As is obvious through Monica's recent stance in ARS and OCMB, she no longer shares some of the myths common in the anti-Scientology milieu. The level of verbal abuses and personal attacks she encounters in these forums now almost reach the level of attacks that were levied at Diane Richardson and myself for years. That's always a sure sign that what she is saying has more impact than what anti-Scientologists can deal with and so have to resort to try and shoot the messenger instead.
Though slanted in the anti-cult direction ten years ago, Monica was always, IMO, a gentle and thoughtful character. See for example her 1996 debate with Diane Richardson on the mind-control issue, then compare this to the more typical sort of "reply" anti-Scientologists engage into in the 1997 second Diane Richardson mind-control thread which I also webbed.
Anyway, in addition to this interesting C.V., the points I would like to make here are two:
- Even though anti-Scientologists think they are experts because they gather from the Internet tons of information, they nevertheless remain on the surface of that ocean. Dipping deeper will reveal a host of alternative information that would bring one to revise some of the mis-conceptions and simplistic views they have about Scientology and cults in general. You don't have to engage in academic study to find these out, though it certainly helps. I have been encouraging Anonymous to go out from this box too by extending their area of investigation beyond the OG fixed certainties, but I now start to doubt this will ever happen.
- This being said, I believe Monica, and myself, are somewhat different than most academic researchers because through our experience with Scientology, we are also aware to what I personally refer to as the "cultic-mindset". This too is an interesting field of investigation and scholars should likewise dip further in it than they henceforth did. We are now seeing an interesting debut of convergence between moderate anti-cultists and some scholars in this direction. I believe the contribution moderate and informed critics such as Monica can bring in this new direction can be invaluable.