Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Deprogramming Manual

The other day I was looking at this video, which I commented otherwise on Nov. 30. Apart from the sheer harassment factor, something else caught my attention.

In response to Anonymous' attack (frankly distasteful and ugly, it remains to be said nevertheless), the Scientologists accused them, with all apparent seriousness, to be associated with deprogrammers who horribly torture their victim.

And I thought to myself: "What? They still believe that?"

When I was in the CoS (and that's nearly 30 years ago now), I was also given to read horror stories, mostly based on the "Deprogramming manual", supposedly written by Ted Patrick, but in reality almost for sure a forgery by the CoS itself. I found it horrible that this kind of crime would still be allowed to go unpunished in our modern society. It is only when I got to read the actual Ted Patrick book, "Let Our Children Go", that I realized I had been lied by the CoS regarding forcible deprogramming.

Don't get me wrong. I still think forcible deprogramming is a terrible crime that should not go unpunished. But, compared to what the "Deprogramming Manual" depicts, it almost is child play.

And there I see Scientologists, 30 years later, who still believe this is what forcible deprogramming is, and who still think critics are criminals who indulge in it... Incredible...

They can't be more wrong. First, what the deprogramming manual describes is extremely exagerated, to the point it has little to do with it anymore. Second, forcible deprogramming itself has almost entirely dissapeared and is almost not practiced anymore. Third, not all anti-cultists supported it at the time, see Nan McLean, for example. Even less now. Fourth, not all critics are anti-cultists.

But, apparently, this seems to be what at least some Scientologists still believe. And you know what? Anonymous coming up with their frightening masks and gross slogans, harassing Scientologists and taunting them with Xenu, are playng right into the CoS' propaganda. It confirms to them that critics are indeed evil people associated with evil deprogrammers.

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