Author Topic: Activism and Theory; What do critics want?  (Read 1639 times)

Offline Zinjifar

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Activism and Theory; What do critics want?
« on: September 16, 2012, 19:46 »
It seems to me that the basic theory of Scientology Criticism has changed over the past 15 years.  Even over the past 5 years, with many people who have decided to oppose Scientology not knowing that there was a difference of opinion.

For me, and when I first got involved, it was about exposing the Scientology Organization.  Yes, I want the abuse to stop; yes, I want people to 'get out'; yes, I really really really want a criminal prosecution of the Scientology Organization, but, not because I particularly care about the legal penalties, but, because I don't think that anything but a criminal prosecution, with raids and subpoenas and sworn testimony can ever even hope to reveal the 'truth' about the 60 year history of this moloch.

And, I care about that because Scientology is not the 'worst thing in the world', but instead, is a testbed for how we can deal with such evil.  And, one thing is certain; we can't function as a society without actual and real history.

And, no Scientology approved history will ever be honest.  It's impossible.

There is a competing view that sees the purpose of opposition in 'getting people out'.  It's a noble purpose, but, it opens the question of what methods are best.  One that tends to cloud the issue of 'truth'.

Because, an opposition that coddles and offers a 'gradient' approach to truth to lure Scientologists out will of necessity demand lies.

Zinj
You Can Lead a Clam to Reason; But, You Can't Make Him Think

Offline ethercat

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Re: Activism and Theory; What do critics want?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2012, 21:16 »
It seems to me that the basic theory of Scientology Criticism has changed over the past 15 years.  Even over the past 5 years, with many people who have decided to oppose Scientology not knowing that there was a difference of opinion.

For me, and when I first got involved, it was about exposing the Scientology Organization. 

As I recall, and I am not sure when exactly you got involved, but as I recall in "the old days", it was more about exposing scientology itself, with little thought to the difference in the Scientology Organization and scientology as a philosophy, or a system of thought.  Of course, there was the FreeZone, and they were concerned with the difference, but the mainstream critics saw the danger in the subject itself, which was magnified by the organization and its capabilities.  There weren't as many concerns about political correctness, and I don't recall nearly as much "people can practice the religion, we protest the abuses" from back then.  Personally, I see the two as inseparable (except that I don't see scientology as a religion; I see it as a hoax), but the subject will seek to organize, whether it is the Official organization, or some other.  Scientology wants to expand, by the nature of its teachings.

The POV I take is that I can't seek to control what types of thought experiments people do with themselves and their own brain, although I can try to influence and educate them; but I draw the line where the evil that is scientology seeps out into regular society, MY world, as it does with the front groups, and with influencing influential people (through literally any means) to do things that help scientology at the expense of the rest of society. 

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Yes, I want the abuse to stop; yes, I want people to 'get out'; yes, I really really really want a criminal prosecution of the Scientology Organization, but, not because I particularly care about the legal penalties, but, because I don't think that anything but a criminal prosecution, with raids and subpoenas and sworn testimony can ever even hope to reveal the 'truth' about the 60 year history of this moloch.

Even the sworn testimony, if made by any KSW scientologists, will not reveal the truth - it may reveal that there are lies being told, but scientologists will and do lie, even under oath.  We see that with the depositions in the Desmond case.  So, absolutely, raids would be necessary to obtain evidence, in order for parts of the "truth" to avoid being destroyed.

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And, I care about that because Scientology is not the 'worst thing in the world', but instead, is a testbed for how we can deal with such evil.  And, one thing is certain; we can't function as a society without actual and real history.

We certainly do need to know how to deal with that type of evil,  :yes:) because it seems like every day, someone starts up a new scam of some sort.

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And, no Scientology approved history will ever be honest.  It's impossible.

Agreed.

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There is a competing view that sees the purpose of opposition in 'getting people out'.  It's a noble purpose, but, it opens the question of what methods are best.  One that tends to cloud the issue of 'truth'.

Because, an opposition that coddles and offers a 'gradient' approach to truth to lure Scientologists out will of necessity demand lies.

I like to see people get out, but can't say that it's a goal that I put effort into, primarily because it's like getting someone off drugs (we talk a lot about rehabs, addiction, and such here, because of the focus on Narconon) - people are not going to leave scientology (their "drug") until they themselves are ready to quit.  When people are ready, they will get themselves out.  They may need some help (rehab) when they make that decision, but the needed help doesn't come in the form of Indie or freezone scientology.  The only good thing I can really say about the Indies or freezone is that they don't wield the power to control people's access to the information that will help them get over scientology. 

However, I also see the whole scientology ball of wax tar as too big for me to make a significant impact on.  Like in wynot's sig, the stonemason chipping away, one brick at a time - the brick I chip away at is Narconon.   I view Narconon as a cornerstone providing a large amount of the money, and some new members, to the organization and when that cornerstone can be unseated, it will leave the rest of the structure unstable.

But yes, you're right, there has been a shift in the state of criticism over the years.  Lots of history has gone down that is only known to a remaining few of the original ARS critics.  One thing that seemingly hasn't changed, though, is there are still a lot more people talking than doing.  There's value in talking, but IMO the big scores come from from the doing.

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Offline wynot

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Re: Activism and Theory; What do critics want?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2012, 21:23 »
Hi Zinj; long time, no see-um - it's great to have you on the board!

I have seem the same two viewpoints as you, dating all the way back to the 90s on alt.religion.scientology, but have never felt they were contradictory, or even opposite. The cultish evil of Scientology is spread out enough to hurt many people in many ways, and our responses to it need not be limited to only one path or another. I know when I did my first solo picket I had no expectation of getting anyone out (much as I would have loved to get one particular person out), nor did I have any hope of gaining justice, whether in the courts, or the court of public opinion. I just wanted them to know they were being watched!!! |*\ /*|

It seems to me the only folks offering a "'gradient' approach to truth" are the ones still clinging to their scieno beliefs. I do not have much faith in such an approach, at least partly from the evidence I have in my personal experience that truth is a better way, and constant honesty pays the big dividend in getting a friend free from a cult's clutches. But I am willing to concede I have not all the answers, and some may need a gradient to get completely free.

So my answer to your question is I want more than one result from my anti-cult activities; I want them to stop hurting people, and to pay for their crimes both civil and criminal. I want to see CoS totally disbanded and shamed into non-existence. I want their slaves freed, their prisons emptied, and their current members, both staff and public, to receive the psychiatric mediation they so obviously need. I want their children to get real educations, and to be allowed to live as children, not 'adults in little bodies'.

And I will happily take any item, or combination of these items, and count it as a win. But I don't think I will have to be content with that little; the cult appears in retrenchment on so many fronts today. Isn't it wonderful?!

'til next time, old comrade;
wynot
"When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before."

Jacob Riis

Offline Zinjifar

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Re: Activism and Theory; What do critics want?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2012, 22:01 »
Thanks to both old friends, even if I've never met you.  I think we're at least talking about the same thing and openly, which is a bit of a relief :)

I have some small quibbles, additions and different views, but, nothing that's not well within what you both say.  Some ginger in the soup maybe :)

I'll certainly have more to say,  but, I'm watching 'other practices' at the moment and I'll take some time replying.

Thanks for the forum.

Zinj
Joe Lynn
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Offline Zinjifar

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Re: Activism and Theory; What do critics want?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2012, 22:08 »
And, P.S. Ethercat; having an impact is *not* the same as achieving the desired 'results' :)  You have, over more than a decade, had more impact than you can possibly know.  One of the reasons I'm interested in opposing Scientology is not because it's the 'worst thing in the world' or because I think my input can achieve my desires, but because it's exactly that kind of small war where my own input can have an influence.

Tilting at windmills is a *good* thing.  Better than whining about gravity :)

Zinj
You Can Lead a Clam to Reason; But, You Can't Make Him Think

Offline mefree

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Re: Activism and Theory; What do critics want?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2012, 22:53 »
I can't speak to years of Scientology criticism, having been involved for just a few years. However, I'm all for exposure of human rights abuses, scams and front groups that bring in a lot of cash to Scientology.

One reason I enjoy this forum, is the focus on informing the average Joe, more so than other critics. Through increased exposure in the media, and multiple outlets on the Internet, the general public is better informed than in the past, and less likely to consider getting involved with Scientology, in the first place.

Though the Scientology ranks are dwindling, the front groups continue. Fewer people are aware of their existence and connection to Scn. So, I see informing others about the front groups as a method of prevention.

Narconon seems to be one of the front groups that's doing the most harm at the cost of young lives.
The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis.
-Dalai Lama

Offline Zinjifar

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Re: Activism and Theory; What do critics want?
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2012, 02:54 »
And, many thanks to David Love.   But, also many thanks to Bob Lobsinger, who exposed Narconon in Oklahoma back in the early '90s.

Never heard of him?   That's a good reason to look at history :)

http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2012/08/scientology_bob_lobsinger.php 


Zinj
You Can Lead a Clam to Reason; But, You Can't Make Him Think