Author Topic: The Literati Contest - essays about scientology  (Read 1293 times)

Offline ethercat

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The Literati Contest - essays about scientology
« on: August 14, 2009, 01:51 »
Bob Minton was a critic who could polarize other critics perhaps more than anyone else.  It's not my intent with this post to stir up a bunch of wounded feelings, but to point to something he did with his wealth that was one of the best things he could have ever done with his money, the Literati Contest. 

He organized a contest to see who could write the best essay on scientology and its inner workings.  The winner would be (and was)  awarded serious money for his/her winning entry.  There were 2 contests, the first organized by Bob Minton in 1999, and the second organized by Stacy Brooks on behalf of the now-defunct Lisa McPherson Trust, in 2000.

We are better off today for having these essays, and I thank Bob, belatedly, for sponsoring and holding the contests that brought them forth.  You can read them here: http://lisatrust.freewinds.cx/scientology/essays/literati/
http://lisatrust.freewinds.be/scientology/essays/literati/index.html

If you don't know who Bob Minton was (I hate to say this, and you will rarely, if ever, see me say this again on this forum), do a search for his name.  There are a lot of opposing opinions of him, so you're probably better off using your own judgment on this one.

But read the essays - they're there at the mirrored link, long after the original links are gone, and just as good, regardless of your opinion of Bob Minton - and say a silent thanks to the critic who has mirrored them for all these years.

Edit: updated link.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2011, 06:25 by ethercat »
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Offline Lorelei

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Re: The Literati Contest - essays about scientology
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2009, 02:36 »
I am neutral about Bob, personally, as I have never spoken to him or met him, but I greatly appreciate everything he did and tried to do, and his extreme generosity, as he donated a large chunk of his financial resources to support criticism of the human rights abuses (specifically Lisa's case) perpetrated by the cult.

If I were subject to the same amount of harassment and scrutiny and criticism he was, I don't think I would have held up half as long as he managed to.
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Offline mefree

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Re: The Literati Contest - essays about scientology
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2009, 11:21 »
I am neutral about Bob, personally, as I have never spoken to him or met him, but I greatly appreciate everything he did and tried to do, and his extreme generosity, as he donated a large chunk of his financial resources to support criticism of the human rights abuses (specifically Lisa's case) perpetrated by the cult.

If I were subject to the same amount of harassment and scrutiny and criticism he was, I don't think I would have held up half as long as he managed to.

My take as well...
The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.
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Offline ethercat

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Re: The Literati Contest - essays about scientology
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2009, 12:50 »
Has anyone read any of the essays?

The first place winner in 2000 was Chris Owen, a British historian, much of whose work is archived on Dave Touretzky's site and Ray Hill's site

His winning essay was "The Control Agenda: Control, Responsibility and Freedom in the Church of Scientology" and dealt with four spheres of Scientology's control -- Personal, Organizational, Societal and Cosmological. 

The essay begins with quotes from Hubbard, the second of which many will recognize, but the first is not so well known:
Quote
An endless freedom from is a perfect trap, a fear of all things ... Fixed on too many barriers, man yearns to be free. But launched into total freedom he is purposeless and miserable.
(Hubbard, "The Reason Why", Professional Auditor's Bulletin no. 84, 15 May 1956, reprinted in Technical Volumes of Dianetics & Scientology vol. 1 p. 418)

Quote
The only way you can control people is to lie to them.
(Hubbard, "Off the Time Track", lecture of June 1952 excerpted in Journal of Scientology issue 18-G, reprinted in Technical Volumes of Dianetics & Scientology vol. 1 p. 418)

The Introduction starts out:
Quote
For the non-Scientologist, the fact that "the road to total freedom" should be administered by such a prescriptive (and restrictive) organisation is surely one of the strangest paradoxes about Scientology. Freedom and control are fundamental issues for Scientology's philosophical outlook, intertwined in a complex relationship where the promotion of individual freedom and rigid authoritarianism co-exist in a bizarrely paradoxical fashion. One is reminded of the crowd in Monty Python's Life of Brian insisting in perfect uniformity that "We are all individuals". Yet to the Scientologist, there is no paradox. What does Scientology's behaviour tell us about its approach to issues of freedom, control and responsibility?

I think I will start my reading with his essay.  One of my big concerns about scientology is their desire to run our society, and our governments, according to Hubbard's instructions.  That is not the kind of world I want to live in.

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Offline mefree

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The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.
-Dalai Lama

Offline ethercat

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Re: The Literati Contest - essays about scientology
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2011, 06:28 »
Thanks Free, I changed it in the first post.
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