Author Topic: Is it all up to us?  (Read 3497 times)

Offline ethercat

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Is it all up to us?
« on: July 01, 2010, 18:46 »
I've often heard people wish aloud that the FBI would raid scientology and close them down.  I've expressed that wish many times myself.  Every so often we hear calls by high profile critics to take any pertinent information we have and give it to the FBI - the last such time I remember was in 2008 - but did anything come of it?  Not that I know of.  Is it likely that anything will be done by the FBI?  I don't know, but I'm not overly hopeful at this stage.  Is there any history from which we can learn?  Yes!

In Greece, Scientology was banned in 1995.  How did it happen?  Did the Greek equivalent of the FBI investigate and close down the "Church" of Scientology (called KEPHE, Center of Applied Philosophy of Greece)? 

http://unchain.gr/intro.html
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The importance of "The Greek Case" is significant for a number of reasons. As far as I know, it is the first time that a Scientology organization is raided outside of the United States, documents are seized from its offices and the organization is ordered to shut down. It was only the FBI doing similar in the past.

The FBI-seized documents reveal the structure and operation of Scientology from the center, while the ones seized in Greece (what has started to be called as "The Greek Papers" or "The Greek Documents") significantly complete the picture and reveal the structure and operation of Scientology from the edges to the center. They give light to the coordination, policy and overall operation of a national Scientology organization with a headquarters - type one such as in Copenhagen or Los Angeles. It is amazing to see that even the way the Scientology heads prepare their attack plans and the structure of these plans, remained almost identical for at least two decades: from Paulette Cooper until the Prosecutor's raids.

The way everything started, is very characteristic. The raids and the investigations were not the product of a government-initiated effort to protect the Greek citizens. On the contrary. The state and the society at large, were in heavy darkness on Scientology. This was, largely, the result of specific actions from Scientology and from others on support of Scientology and other cults. These actions resulted in shutting down the Hellenic Intelligence Agency's department, responsible for monitoring cults and other groups, in order to determine if they were really operating as they were claiming or if they were having covert operations, using their demonstrated image as a cover to hide operations harmfull to the society and the national security. The equivalent department of the Hellenic Security Police was also shut down. According to the seized documents and the Prosecutor's Report, CIA shut down the Intelligence Agency's (EYP/KYP) department and Scientology, in cooperation with PANIFE (and its President, Mr. Takis Alexiou), did so for the Security Police department.

What remained was a Parents Organization (Panhellenic Parents Association - PEG) and the Synodic Commission on Cults and Parareligions of the Hellenic Orthodox Church, headed by the late father Anthony Alevizopoulos. He was the assigned person from the Orthodox Church to scientifically (theologically and socially) review the books, leaflets, practices, etc of cults and determine if they are incompatible with the Christian Orthodox faith and way of life (as a result of demands from beleivers). It was not a "personal uncontrolled crusade" as Scientology accused him for, but an official spiritual and community service (demanded by beleivers), which eventually turned out to be national service as well, since no state entity existed anymore to protect Greeks from Scientology and other cults. The fact that this Synodic Committee was the only official body in Greece to resist the Scientology corrosion of the Greek society and national security, resulted in a war against father Anthony. He attracted the Dead Agenting defamation fires of Scientology.

In this situation of non existent state entities, to get help from, some parents of KEPHE members decided to take the situation in their hands. Two of them went into KEPHE offices (at 200 Patission str) and created a mess there, demanding that Scientology stop exercising control over their child. They were accompanied by people of TELETORA TV, who were recording everything. TELETORA broadcasted the event and it was published as well, in their ELEFTHERI ORA newspaper.

The parents caught Scientology by surprise. Scientology's decade old experience of reactions from parents, had not allowed them to foresee this. Scientology was caught on sleep by this classically Greek reaction.

Now it was time for the authorities. Public Prosecutor Ioannis Angelis received the order, from the Supervisor of the Athens First Instance Court, to investigate the case. He conducted three raids in KEPHE offices on June 9, September 27 and November 6, 1995. He confiscated internal Scientology documents, member files and folders (PC - Pre Clear folders), computers and floppy disks, instruments (such as E-meters), etc. The computers and floppy disks were taken to the Security Police's Criminal Research Directorate, Laboratory Department, Graphology Laboratory and the text included in the hard and the floppy disks was printed (many disk files were encrypted).

Each page was sealed with a number indicating the order in which the page was printed (1st, 100th, 1000th, etc). Almost 2.500 pages were printed. To understand the volume of material kept in KEPHE, an indication would be to know the volume of documents the Prosecutor studied, in order to prepare his Report. Sources indicate, he studies over 20.000 pages of documents.

The first four pages of Prosecutor Angelis' Report are characteristic on the events up to the raids:

In order to "force" the State to investigate this case, the directly interested parties, that is the parents and others' of the individuals' (members) close environment, went to the TELETORA private TV Station, whose owner also publishes the daily newspaper "ELEFTHERI ORA". Therefore, this specific preliminary investigation was ordered in a self appointed way, after the front page title "Mr. Prosecutor, ask for the KEPHE file" of May 12, 1995 of the above newspaper. (Note: These are mentioned because they have connection to the way of facing ("handling" according to KEPHE) both of the editor and journalist of the newspaper and station, as well as the people who went to it, from the side of KEPHE, as will be mentioned in detail). It is also characteristic, that whichever public entities the parents went to (Police, etc), they met refusal to investigate the specific case, because "the fullishness of those involved in this Association, is not a criminal act to justify State intervention ...

Also, during the first investigation, 90 folders, out of the thousands existing, were seized, to substantiate the accusations (that is forced dispatch of people to work abroad, giving pharmaceutical substances, etc), as well as 55 computer floppy disks. From the study and processing of this material, the exercise of strange actions, for the Greek social reality, were detected, as will be described, so that a second investigation became necessary and conducted on September 27, 1995 during which two computers, found at the Office of Special Affairs, 48 floppy disks, as well as a number of folders, were seized.

On November 6,1995 a third investigation was conducted during which various folders and documents were seized. Some of these folders concerned those people who received courses in the Academy, as KEPHE says and others were about people unrelated to KEPHE functions, such as "Archbishop Seraphim", "DISTINGUISHED CLERGYMEN", "L HANDLING PGM", "OUT ETHICS of clergymen", "DSA BASIC", "DAGUNAKI VICTORIA", "ADFI", "DIAMADIDIS Spyros", "BOSNACOUDIS Anthony", "ARMS", "ENTHETA REPORTERS", "THE PRIEST", "PRO OC", "PENTELI ARM", "SKY FLASH - TELETORA", "P. PROSECUTOR", "AMERICAN CONSULTANT", "GREECE RAID", "ANTI ARM", "MP's NIKOLOPOULOS". Part of the folders, after studied, was put into guarrantee after the important, in the judgement of the signee, documents were removed, to become part of the case. Until today, 1.104 folders were put on guarrantee ad a large number remains to be studied. The two computers and the floppy disks were sent to the Criminal Research Directorate of the Hellenic Police from where almost 2.500 documents were produced. Almost all of these documents were in the English language and were the product of communication - through modem - of KEPHE and the relevant organizations abroadfrom which it is totaly depended, executing their orders to the last detail.

The fact that many of the computer documents were, for unknown reasons, encrypted, caused impression, initially. It must be noted that the documents and the rest of the seized evidence are the non important elements of the KEPHE organization - Association, since the important elements were sent abroad through post or by a special messenger and were kept in a place that was not detected by the investigation. This is clearly extracted by the No 0067 document, according to which OSA EU asks - among others - by Ilias Gratsias, person in charge here: a)to send a safe address in order for the data to be sent to him, b)to consider the "security" factor when he sends his reports and if necessary, change the real names in the documents.


The Prosecutor's Report ends like that:

[page 100] From all the above real facts, for which no doubt exists, since they are prooven through certain documents, it is clearly demonstrated, that the Civil Code Association under the name "Centre of Applied Philosophy of Greece (KEPHE)", based in Athens (200 Patission str.), not only has purposes different than those determined in its statutes, but also its actions, purpose and operation have become illegal and immoral and are against public order (article 105, per 3 A.K.). Therefore, this report must be conveyed, alongside the attached and other

[page 101] relevant documents, to the Attiki Prefecture, in order to receive consideration in the ongoing Administrative and financial control.

Similar administrative and financial control must be exersised in the dependent Associations EPANDI [=CCHR] and PANIFE, which also have (according to our judgment) different purposes than those determined in their statutes. It must be mentioned at that point, that the right to file relevant request to the court for dissolution of Civil Code Associations must also be in the hands of the Prosecuting Authority, at least in the case when after executing criminal investigation, it is prooven that the purpose and operation of the Association have become illegal and immoral and are against public order, according to article 105, per 3 A.K. This of course can be achieved through modifications of the Law, since the current judicial practice of civil courts precludes this right from the Public Prosecutor.

At the same time, however, the preliminary investigation to found the crimes, that this investigation is related to, must be continued, because the signee is transfered to the Halkida Prosecuting authority and the continuation of the investigation cannot be done by him (the signee). The relevant investigation must - according to our judgment - be continued by another Prosecutor and not by some department of the Greek Police (or a Magistrate) since, as mentioned before, there is no department relevant to the issue, after their shut down, as a result of the coordinated efforts of KEFE and PANIFE.

Finally, a copy of this Report must be sent to the Supreme Court Prosecutor to be informed on the issues of monitoring of political persons.

Athens 17-6-1996
The Prosecutor
IOANNIS ANGELIS


In Greece, it was not done by the government.  It was done by the people, who (in the words of the Prosecutor) "met refusal to investigate the specific case, because 'the fullishness of those involved in this Association, is not a criminal act to justify State intervention ...' "  It was public outcry and a front page headline which read, "Mr. Prosecutor, ask for the KEPHE file"

And so it will probably be in the US - we must make our voices heard. 

Protests alone will not do this; the number of people we reach on the street is limited.  There are plenty of people who are aware of scientology and the reasons they should be investigated by authorities and closed, and even more who just think it's a wacky cult.  How do we persuade these people who know to write a letter, speak to a congressman, call for government action?
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Offline RedShieldwolf

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Re: Is it all up to us?
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2010, 22:55 »
How do we persuade these people who know to write a letter, speak to a congressman, call for government action?

Before I answer, I want to make it clear that I do not wish for an outright ban on Scientology. Banning Scientology may cause more problems, and will essentially make it forbidden fruit. As free speech activists, we shouldn't be hypocrites. It is painfully obvious to anyone who takes time to look at both sides that we have the power of truth on ours. In the words of Wise Beard Man (Mark Bunker): 'I'm not afraid of anybody hearing what Scientology has to say or reading anything that Scientology puts out to read.' (ethercat, I know you didn't ask for a ban, I'm just trying to clarify my position here.  :) )

However, with all of this being said, I believe Scientology should end in its present form. Scientology Orgs and Mission should be raided (provided there is evidence for that particular raid), Gold Base should be raided, and David Miscavige should be put in jail.

But if government raids happen, they need to be done carefully and with the consent of the public. When you talk about "government raids on cults", people might think of the Waco Siege or the more recent YFZ Ranch raid, both handled poorly and both drawing lots of criticism from the public. We definitely don't want this with Scientology.

Maybe one of the more thought-out pro-Scientology talking points (more thought-out than OH NOEZ RELIGIOUS BIGOTRY, COMMUNIST NAZIS, AD HOMINEM, PROVING A NEGATIVE) is that the policy of Fair Game and Operation Snow White are all in the past and that the cult has effectively reformed. Yet we have several examples of Fair Game in action and the raid in Turin Italy shows that Scientology has not changed. Point this out to the public. Also point out the unfair tax exempt status.

ethercat, you said the number of people you reach on the streets will be limited. This is very true. But a good activist is not just on the streets, but in other places as well. So, set up meetings with religious groups, colleges, taxation watchdog groups, organizations enforcing separation of church and state, etc. When there is enough pressure on the government to act, the government WILL be forced to act.

All of this will take time and patience. But I am one of those willing to see it through to the end.  8-O)--|#|

Offline mefree

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Re: Is it all up to us?
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2010, 00:10 »
EC thanks for the Greek story. I had not seen that before.
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But a good activist is not just on the streets, but in other places as well. So, set up meetings with religious groups, colleges, taxation watchdog groups, organizations enforcing separation of church and state, etc.

Good suggestions.  *-->-->|
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Offline ethercat

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Re: Is it all up to us?
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2010, 10:57 »
Before I answer, I want to make it clear that I do not wish for an outright ban on Scientology. Banning Scientology may cause more problems, and will essentially make it forbidden fruit. As free speech activists, we shouldn't be hypocrites. It is painfully obvious to anyone who takes time to look at both sides that we have the power of truth on ours. In the words of Wise Beard Man (Mark Bunker): 'I'm not afraid of anybody hearing what Scientology has to say or reading anything that Scientology puts out to read.' (ethercat, I know you didn't ask for a ban, I'm just trying to clarify my position here.  :) )

Yes, I should clarify that I don't think a ban on scientology as a subject would be a good thing either.  Many times when I refer to "scientology," I am talking about the organization itself, the so-called "Church" of Scientology and the front groups.  I tend to just call it scientology because a) "Church" is such a misnomer, b) it's long to type the entire phrase, and c) Hubbard himself said that there is no scientology outside of the official organization.  Hopefully, we, not being scientologists, are able to take the meaning from context.  (Not directed at you, RSW, but clarified for anyone reading but not posting).

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However, with all of this being said, I believe Scientology should end in its present form. Scientology Orgs and Mission should be raided (provided there is evidence for that particular raid), Gold Base should be raided, and David Miscavige should be put in jail.

I think the official organization, the Church of Scientology, and all its tentacles should be raided, evidence obtained and seized, and after a very public due process, closed down, along with all its front groups and shell corporations.  All in a well-organized and deliberate fashion, with lessons learned from the mistakes of the past raids on cults.

As much as I detest the "tech," philosophy, teachings, or whatever one would choose to call it, and think it is dangerous to the thinking of those who practice it, I take a very libertarian view of the practice - people own themselves, they are not owned by the government or anyone else, and as such, are free to harm themselves if that is what they want to do, as long as it does not harm or destroy the liberties of an unwilling participant.  (See, this is one of my particular concerns, the agressive nature of their "evangelism" (if you will), the fact that they covertly push their agenda into our society - our laws, our schools, our government, our social groups, etc.  Most real religions do not hide, or actively lie about, their religious nature when it suits their purposes.) 

Under that same libertarian philosophy, however, I am also free to warn people against things I think will harm them - like a hot stove, or like scientology.

Those who commit criminal activity should be tried and prosecuted if found guilty.  Those who commit unethical and/or immoral activity (in the eyes of greater society) should be exposed for the public good. 

I'll go one step further than you, and say that a raid on all orgs and missions would be justified, whether or not there is evidence on each org or mission, because the organization is so interconnected, the individual orgs and missions do not act on their own without permission of the mother church.

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But if government raids happen, they need to be done carefully and with the consent of the public. When you talk about "government raids on cults", people might think of the Waco Siege or the more recent YFZ Ranch raid, both handled poorly and both drawing lots of criticism from the public. We definitely don't want this with Scientology.

I'd be satisfied with the term "government raids on criminal organizations."   ;)  I don't think the public would have a problem with that.

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Maybe one of the more thought-out pro-Scientology talking points (more thought-out than OH NOEZ RELIGIOUS BIGOTRY, COMMUNIST NAZIS, AD HOMINEM, PROVING A NEGATIVE) is that the policy of Fair Game and Operation Snow White are all in the past and that the cult has effectively reformed. Yet we have several examples of Fair Game in action and the raid in Turin Italy shows that Scientology has not changed. Point this out to the public. Also point out the unfair tax exempt status.

Good idea; there are plenty of more current examples.  Yet, this leads me into murky waters where the "scripture" and the actions of the organization blend.  The actions are driven by the "scripture" and the two become inseparable, at least in my mind.  Sure, people who practice scientology can pick and choose what they practice, but if they follow what Hubbard wrote to the letter, the "fair game" (i.e., harassment), the "covert investigation" (i.e., spying), and the "training" (i.e., mind control), are all written into that too.  So how does one separate the actions from the "religion"? 

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ethercat, you said the number of people you reach on the streets will be limited. This is very true. But a good activist is not just on the streets, but in other places as well. So, set up meetings with religious groups, colleges, taxation watchdog groups, organizations enforcing separation of church and state, etc. When there is enough pressure on the government to act, the government WILL be forced to act.

Good suggestions, and I am sure that is happening with some people.  I hope that when groups and individuals are informed as to what scientology is, the person doing the informing will urge anyone listening to go the extra step and make their feelings known to the government.  I wonder if it would make it easier to have a form letter to hand to people so all they have to do is sign it, put a stamp on it, and drop it into a mailbox? 

It is, ultimately, all up to us, and to those we can reach.

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All of this will take time and patience. But I am one of those willing to see it through to the end.  8-O)--|#|

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Offline RedShieldwolf

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Re: Is it all up to us?
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2010, 17:19 »
ethercat, thanks for your commentary. I wrote all that when I was tired, so I'm glad it's coherent.  :P

Offline Lorelei

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Re: Is it all up to us?
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2010, 23:05 »
I like the idea of a letter or postcard to hand out to people to sign, add their comments if desired, and mail.
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Offline Sarcasm Pirate

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Re: Is it all up to us?
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2010, 15:24 »
It has always been my opinion ( I repeat my opinion.  I have very little to back it up.  :P ) that the FBI and other federal agencies know about a bunch of the stuff the cult has done. As much as I doubt the intelligence of some of our government agencies choices in the past I find it extremely difficult to imagine that they are completely unaware of the abuse, the money laundering, the fraud, etc.  In my mind I think it boils down to a few things.

-Scientology is now not a threat to the government.  Yeah, they invaded the IRS and all that back in the day but the cult lacks the leadership and resources currently to be even a remote threat to them I think and thus they fall low on the priority list of things to take care of.

-Scientology is unfortunately able to hide behind the mask of religion and in our country it is most unfortunate that religion holds such power.  We are afraid to speak up against abuses within many religious groups because freedom of religion is a value so highly held in this country that to speak out against a group calling themselves will quickly garner you the title of intolerant.  Religious organizations get away with much more than any secular group ever would and while we distinguish that scientology is at the best a poorly run pyramid scheme not all of our fellow human beings are willing to single them out of the fear that they will be labeled bigot I think.

-I also believe the government has been very, very afraid to take action against religious organizations after Waco.  Of course the circumstances are greatly different but looking back at the government's handling of 'cults' pre-Waco and then post-Waco there is a clear hesitance to get involved.  Waco ended up being very bad PR for our government and I think a good bit of fear is that such a thing could happen again especially if the government has an inkling that David Miscaviage is unstable. ( Hello abuses allegations!)

In sort, I do think it is up to the individuals as anything is in our country.  Only through continued pressure from activists will the government's eyes be opened to the seriousness of the situation.  The more the government hears about scientology the harder it will be to ignore the problems occuring.  The time will come for federal and local government entities to get directly involved I think but for now all we can do is keep informing.  :D

Offline ethercat

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Re: Is it all up to us?
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2010, 12:39 »
Thank you for your thoughts, SP.

... I find it extremely difficult to imagine that they are completely unaware of the abuse, the money laundering, the fraud, etc.  In my mind I think it boils down to a few things.

I agree with this.  They would have to be blind to not be aware there are problems.  Another thing we must remember is that the government is comprised of a bunch of people - some who may recognize scientology for what it is as we see it, and some who may not, who may be snowed into thinking it is what it says it is.  The ones who recognize it may have to convince the others before any action is taken.

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-Scientology is now not a threat to the government.  Yeah, they invaded the IRS and all that back in the day but the cult lacks the leadership and resources currently to be even a remote threat to them I think and thus they fall low on the priority list of things to take care of.

They are, however, a threat to the people, and in today's economic climate, a threat to funding for more worthwhile programs, what with Applied Scholastics receiving money for the SES programs, various arms resembling Narconon receiving money from local governments for worthless "detox" programs (Utah Meth Cops Project and New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project), and other such ways that the octopus goes after public money, that is, taxpayers' money.

In the instance of Narconon specifically, it is not only a threat to the individuals who are "treated" by Narconon, but also to the business and income of other legitimate drug treatment facilities.  Applied Scholastics - a threat to legitimate tutoring services.  WISE - a threat to businesses which could instead spend their money on legitimate management training, and to those businesses who could provide that training.  etc.

I guess one has to ask if a threat to the people is also a threat to the government.

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-Scientology is unfortunately able to hide behind the mask of religion and in our country it is most unfortunate that religion holds such power.  We are afraid to speak up against abuses within many religious groups because freedom of religion is a value so highly held in this country that to speak out against a group calling themselves will quickly garner you the title of intolerant.  Religious organizations get away with much more than any secular group ever would and while we distinguish that scientology is at the best a poorly run pyramid scheme not all of our fellow human beings are willing to single them out of the fear that they will be labeled bigot I think.

I find it sad that in a country that was founded for the purpose of speaking one's mind without repercussion by the government that so many are reluctant (or afraid) to speak their mind for fear of being called a name (intolerant).  People should worry less about what others think of them, and more of what the groups that prey on that kind of thinking are doing.  People in the US particularly should be willing to stand up for their convictions.

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-I also believe the government has been very, very afraid to take action against religious organizations after Waco.  Of course the circumstances are greatly different but looking back at the government's handling of 'cults' pre-Waco and then post-Waco there is a clear hesitance to get involved.  Waco ended up being very bad PR for our government and I think a good bit of fear is that such a thing could happen again especially if the government has an inkling that David Miscaviage is unstable. ( Hello abuses allegations!)

Thinking back though, wasn't Waco a very tiny cult with very little influence on anyone other than those directly involved, compared to scientology?  I can understand that the government needs to consider the mistakes that were made in Waco and adapt, but that doesn't need to mean hands off completely, does it?

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In sort, I do think it is up to the individuals as anything is in our country.  Only through continued pressure from activists will the government's eyes be opened to the seriousness of the situation.  The more the government hears about scientology the harder it will be to ignore the problems occuring.  The time will come for federal and local government entities to get directly involved I think but for now all we can do is keep informing.  :D

Keep informing, and ask those we inform to request government involvement from their representatives. 

I like the idea of a letter or postcard to hand out to people to sign, add their comments if desired, and mail.

I am thinking this needs to be a sort of "standard issue" along with any fliers we hand out.  Paper would probably be cheaper than postcards - one 8.5" x 11" sheet could be cut into 2 half size sheets, which could then be folded, and and a stamp put on and mailed.  One side could have a letter, with room for the person to add any of their own comments and sign, and the other could have a congressman's name and address, localized for wherever they're being handed out. 

What sort of information would we choose for a letter?  (There's so much!)  Should we focus on the money angle, since that seems to be on everyone's mind these days?
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Offline Lorelei

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Re: Is it all up to us?
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2010, 06:17 »
Info to focus on: "How does this affect me / my children / my community?"

I.e., do you pay your taxes? Do you know that part of your tax money goes to subsidize Scientology, which does not? Did you know that no other group, religious or otherwise, has the same sweetheart deal with the I.R.S.?

(This, after 11 Scientologists, including the founder's wife, were caught, convicted and jailed for breaking into government offices, including the I.R.S., and trying to remove or destroy records that were unfavourable toward Scientology? Did you know that Jim Jones' People's Temple did the exact same thing, breaking into and raiding newspaper offices when unflattering but factually accurate articles were published?)

Or, "Do you know someone struggling with a drug or alcohol problem? Scientology hides behind many front groups, one of which is deceptively named Narconon, which is intended to cause confusion between the front group and a legitimate group (Narcotics Anonymous). Did you know that they fudge their stats and claim inaccurate success rates? Did you know that their treatment program is quackery, and has caused harm to many?

Or, "When a business moves into a neighborhood, it is expected to maintain its property and building(s). To do otherwise causes urban blight and lowers the perceived property values in the area. Scientology has owned a building in Sandy Springs for X years, as well as a Narconon facility, and both are horribly run down."

Or, "Do you know someone who is having trouble in school? Scientology hides behind many front groups, one of which is deceptively named Applied Scholastics, which is intended to cause confusion between the front group and a legitimate group (Scholastic, a publishing company). Did you know that they fudge their stats and claim inaccurate success rates? Third party reviews prove that Applied Scholastics' "study tech" in ineffective."

There are better ways to phrase these ideas. The goal is to answer "what's in it for me, and why should I care?" There  would be no hungry children in Africa if waving human misery under people's noses was more effective than it is. This is not to say that the human rights abuses are unimportant, but there is a danger that the average person will shrug it off and think, as people who aren't familiar with how cults work often think, that any adult getting mixed up with Scientology has done so of their own free will and thus s/he deserves everything s/he gets.

If this approach doesn't appeal, a second approach might be "What would the world be like if Scientologists ran things?" with examples of racism, homophobia, deliberate lying, junk science, being harassed constantly to buy more books / courses / levels, getting exposed to asbestos, the RPF and RPF's RPF, the coerced abortions, the family disconnections, the ruined lives, the attempts to harass and frame Paulette Cooper & other critics, the complete lack of the word "love" in any LRH material, beatings handed down by the tiny tyrant, not paying taxes but exhausting tax-paid services like garbage pick-up (though they apparently don't do much cleaning or repair), and public servants like LEOs who are called repeatedly on false pretenses to try to scare off / harass critics and to try to get the LEOs upset with critics, and the secret alien nougat center.

Just spitballing, here.
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Offline Stutroup

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Re: Is it all up to us?
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2010, 14:02 »
Or, "When a business moves into a neighborhood, it is expected to maintain its property and building(s). To do otherwise causes urban blight and lowers the perceived property values in the area. Scientology has owned a building in Sandy Springs for X years, as well as a Narconon facility, and both are horribly run down."

I'm certainly not devaluing what you've said, but at our last Narconon trip I noticed something that may need to be looked back into: There was building maintenance going on (at another part of the complex).  I can't say whether the entire complex has been given new siding, or if a new tenant has moved in, and part of the lease clause was a better repaired building :P

Offline ethercat

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Re: Is it all up to us?
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2010, 15:40 »
This post from Astrid on ARS seems relevant to this thread:

Quote
From: Astrid <@yahoo.com>
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Re: The web and the new disgruntled apostate
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 2010 16:52:15 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <196d3678-25f1-4185-b111-3e74da1a7fe4 @v19g2000yqa.googlegroups.com>

On Nov 18, 4:22 pm, Transremaxculver <transremaxcul...@yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

> Another issue that occurs to me is the big split between the EU attitude
> to Scientology ie 'a nasty litiginous cult' and the US attitude to
> Scientology ie, an 'IRS timewasting, cult to much trouble to ignore, and
> too many celebrities to dismiss' oh sorry that should read 'Bonefide
> Religion'. in this context would it be better for ex- scientologists to
> set up camp in europe and use strategies to bring the EU and the US into
> discussions aboutappropriate recompense. I'm sure a way could be found
> to entice the US IRS into discussions about regaining all that lost
> revenue.

The celebrity thing is a hitch. U.S. politicians, who just don't grasp the
dimensions of abuse and control in this cult, are afraid to oppose it,
fearing the fan base of Tom Cruise (Movie Fighter pilot and all- American
hero, always fighting the bad guys) will make them lose votes. That
coupled with the "freedom of religion" and official tax exemption. We know
they can't appear to be against any religion without losing
Fundamentalists etc.

If they do read in depth about it, there could even be a fear to stand up
against them. They don't want to be the second Congressman assassinated in
the line of duty after Leo Ryan lost his life investigating a cult in
Jonestown. Then there was the Waco thing. A lot can go wrong when trying
to shut these cults down, or even investigate them. And it's time
consuming and not usually something a high % of one's voting constituency
cares about.

Jonestown had the endorsement of politicians and good people like Mrs.
Carter, who just thought they were honest people trying to live the
utopian Christian life. And most of them were. They were not nearly as
wealthy and belligerent as Scientologists are. And few knew the depth of
Jim Jones's psychosis. He just came off as a very charming character that
was of great help for local liberal political causes.

So most of these politicians see the surface of Scientology, a nebulous
self-help do-good group that wants everyone off drugs, literate, and
rehabilitated from their criminal tendencies (Oh the irony). How bad could
they be? Tom Cruise thinks its a blast. David Miscavige appears to be a
clean cut midget who wants to fix abuses in the psychiatric profession
blah blah blah. They know how to target the one or two politicians who
have a sore spot against psychiatry and take advantage of it. No
politicians seem to have a sore spot against cults. All that would have
been different had Kaja Ballo (killed herself after she took the
personality test, because it made her feel so low) been the daughter of an
American Senator, instead of a Norwegian one. Scientology would have been
gone by now.

That's why Nick Xenophon showed such courage, and considerable intellect
to not only take the Australian 7 seriously, but to master details of the
cult mindset, history and operation and then be so damn eloquent about it,
to the few people listening to him in Australian Congress. But he does
have an advantage being in Australia.

Maybe I just forgot about it, but I've never had anyone try to sell me a
copy of Dianetics. I must have seen their table at least once (I lived in
three major cities), and just thought "Fruitcakes!" So, it is kind of the
people who have been seriously damaged by religious cults vs. the people
in religions who are very vocal and active about maintaining their freedom
-- a much bigger number -- and in Scientology's case that means having the
billions to fight and create all this glittering propaganda about the way
to happiness etc. Finally, the last group. People relatively unaffected by
Scientology or other cults.

The steps for a politician should be.

1. Watch the Tom Cruise video.
2. Read the wiki on Scientology, for its history 3. Read the wiki on L.
Ron Hubbard

Then hit some books, like Bare-Faced Messiah, or read ex-members stories,
not necessarily book length.

Reading Bare-Faced, the incredible creepy nuttiness of it all just leapt
out, throughout. If they were ever to get the political power they crave,
it would be a nightmare. Even if there's little chance of that, the time
to start warning people, is early, now, not just sit back and say and do
nothing, as I do about most of the other things in the world that are
wrong.
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Offline Mary_McConnell

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Re: Is it all up to us?
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2010, 19:57 »
I think it's important to expose those things about scientology so that people are informed. Scientology is a dangerous cult, in my opinion, and goes to great lengths to stop people from speaking up. Free speech is not allowe in scientology. So the more people speak up with facts and information, the better. I think it's up to anyone who has been personally effected to help as they can towards closing the doors of this organization. It's been proven that the more that people have spoken out, the more it's effected scientology's expansion and pockets. I do appreciate the help others have given. However, it's a personal decision whether one will help. But the help is surely needed.
I am a volunteer advocate for victims of the Narconon scam. I am a former scientologist. I post anonymously. Mary McConnell is my long time nom de plume. Feel free to contact me for assistance in righting the wrongs.

Offline ethercat

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Re: Is it all up to us?
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2010, 12:50 »
I couldn't agree with you more, Mary.  I think it's important for anyone who sees wrong there to speak up, but certainly the people who have had personal experience, whether from being a member, or from being affected in some other way, have the most influential voices.  With them, it cannot just be called hearsay - it is personal testimony.

Unfortunately, for most, it comes down to a matter of time as to which wrongs they will try to right, if they will even try.  People who are willing have to prioritize, based on what they see as most important.  There is so much wrong in the world today - political corruption, disregard for the environment, human rights abuses, lack of regard for anything but $$, children not being taught the difference between right and wrong, so many more - and those things all threaten the future. 

But those wrongs for the most part are driven by individuals, not by an organization (CoS) who would rule the world if given the chance.  As said in the post, "If they were ever to get the political power they crave, it would be a nightmare. Even if there's little chance of that, the time to start warning people, is early, now..." 

What do we do, if anything, about the people too afraid or too apathetic to speak?  How can we embolden those who are afraid?  How can we induce the apathetic to care?
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