Thursday, December 11, 2008

Operation Drop the Masks

I had a quick look to the web page Evolved Rationalist was so angry about.

The web page in fact is not so bad, and quite on the contrary is rather original and interesting, with a lot of good ideas.

I still have to agree with Evolved Rationalist on the opening line, though, because blaming the original anonymous for the failure of Anonymous is, to use a Scientology line, a "wrong target", and AnonymouseHouston indeed should remove or change the opening line of this page.

The real cause of failure, as I explained repeatedly on this blog and on my web site, is because Anonymous made the mistake to fall for the old OG line that proved of little use to counter Scientology over the years. The original Anonymous on the contrary brought in the lulz, the masks, the cake, a very different spirit in many ways. Had they combined this novel approach, springing from the Internet culture, with a different attitude than OG towards Scientology, they may have been much more successful.

In fact, I find that page about the "Operation Internet Love Machine" much better than anything else Anonymous attempted so far. And if they want to prove their non-beligerent approach to Scientologists, they should, as I said, protest when Scientologist are discriminated, in the same way as they protest the CoS. But anyway, they should come to that conclusion themselves, which I hope they will sometime.

This being said, though the intent is good and has many original aspects, I believe it will be almost impossible to achieve that Operation Internet Love Machine successfully, for a series of reasons, of which I can only think two for the moment:

  1. If you want to speak in a friendly manner to a Scientologist in real life, you will have to drop the mask. "Operation drop the masks" may be a good idea.

  2. You can not successfully speak to a Scientologist in order to "deprogram" him, of sort, if you haven't yourself been a Scientologist, at least it just make it so much more difficult.

    Ex-scientologists. OTOH, are not always good either, because, as I explained on my pages otherwise, they often fall in the opposite cultic mindset, that of the anti-cult movement (which by the way is also going through some sort of self-criticism in this respect).

    What you need is a moderate ex-Scientologist, knowledgeable and intelligent enough to go around the many obstacles such an encounter would meet. And it will not be easy to find such a rare beast, because most of them have already been driven away through the OG attitude that aggressively attack moderate ex-members as "cult apologists.

Anyway, all this reminds me of an episode of my own history.

As I tried to enter the UK back when there was a ban against Scientologists, I was caught at the custom because I had a lot of Scientology literature in my luggage. I was subsequently sent back to Belgium.

However, as I was waiting in the UK custom office, an officer came to me with in his hand one of the writings of LRH (I think it was the Creed of Scientology or something like that). He told me "this is very beautiful", something that surprised me a lot coming from him. Then he said "Why doesn't Scientology apply it?".

This was a perfect approach, something that brought me to think and open up, rather than contract in defense. It was non-confrontational, not denigrating, but putting the focus on the actual application of Scientology's own aims without denigrating the belief itself. That's the whole point.

PS - I must say that my web site has been more instrumental in getting Scientologists to think and leave than radical web sites, precisely because I use many of the concepts found on the HoustonAnonymous page. See two examples here and here.

Also check what I webbed two days ago: the "DOs and DON"Ts on How to Help Cult Members", that goes very much in the same direction. (Of course, don't call Scientology a cult in front of Scientologist. Be imaginative, sensitive, moderate, knowledgeable, and most of all try to diversify your sources. Go deeper and beyond the old OG information and tactics. Go out of the OG box to resolve the conundrum Scientology criticism faces. That's what being a true revolutionary critic such as Anonymous is all about. IMHO.)

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