Friday, January 9, 2009

The Anatomy of Manipulation


I explained earlier how Tory Christman - Bezazian - Magoo - lies about her seizure history by focusing on a small part of the whole story that can be found in the affidavit she wrote in 2003.

She now made a video to add an emotional dimension to the lie. In it, she describes the incident in full drama mode, with the obvious intention to exploit the wave of emotion in the wake of Jett Travolta's tragic death. This makes the video particularly ominous.

I saved this video, should Magoo chose to delete it some day, as a perfect example of how fanatical Scientology critics try to manipulate public opinion.

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2 comments:

pignotti said...

I've met Tory in person and I think she is very sincere and her emotions are genuine, not faked. I think it is her strong emotions that may make it difficult for her to recognize the inconsistencies in her accounts. I don't think she is intentionally lying.
There is a book by Susan Clancy about her research on people who believe they have been abducted by aliens that may provide some insight into what is going on here. Although this is obviously a completely different topic, some of the principles are the same. When people have an experience that they don't understand, they will naturally seek out explanations. Based on explanations they find, people may develop narratives about their experiences that seem to fit and give the person a satisfying explanation. When people leave groups such as Scientology they often feel confused and want explanations for what they just experienced. The anti-cult literature often provides (ironically) easy explanations. It is also comforting to perceive that all the years spent with the group has some kind of purpose in that the person can now turn around and help others who were victimized. It is difficult and painful for people to deal with the fact that they spent decades in a group that they now perceive as abusive. While I think that a degree of activism is healthy against actual abuses, the best way to recover, in my opinion, is to develop a life and find activities and positive goals not related to the group. One helpful way to do this is to explore why the person was attracted to Scientology in the first place and then think about other ways outside of Scientology they might be able to achieve those goals.
If someone leaves Scientology and then makes their entire life purpose about fighting it, in some respects, they are still being controlled by Scientology just as much as when they were in it. It is very easy to lose perspective in these situations and end up distorting the facts for a cause, especially since anyone who challenges this is attacked in the way you have, and the way I recently have as well.

Bernie said...

"I've met Tory in person and I think she is very sincere and her emotions are genuine, not faked."

I believe so too, in general, but not in this video.

However, you are right to say that "faked" is not a good description, and I have now re-written my post.

What I mean to say is that she builds up a drama to add an emotional dimension to her lie.

She may indeed have found the experience of trying to stop her meds horrible, and in this I believe her emotions are genuine, but because this is completely irrelevant to the point she is trying to make, i.e. that it is CoS policy to prevent people to take their meds, it merely consists of pure and unadulterated emotional exploitation (obviously aimed at capitalizing on the wave of emotion in the wake of Jett's tragic death).

I now describe this as ominous rather than faked. Of course, this is my personal opinion and subjective impression.

"I don't think she is intentionally lying"

Well, I don't think she is stupid. It does not take a genius to realize that presenting a small part of the whole story, omitting vital elements that are in direct contradiction with the impression she seeks to give, is a gross lie.

I usually am the first to give people the benefit of doubt, but in this case I think she is intentionally lying in an attempt to capitalize on the tragedy.

You have presented your theory now here is mine. I base myself on what I have personally observed throughout these years.

People, for one reason or another, feel very committed to their cause, in this case to denounce what they see as Scientology abuses. They feel that they are not correctly understood by the public. The public goes "naah, it isn't so bad" and that sort of things. So, to make an impact, they will exaggerate things. They may get in the habit of engaging in such a behavior. This will cause them to increasingly move more and more away from reality. At some stage, they may not even realize how far off they have gone, and the fact that they are now lying their teeth out.

I think they do realize somewhere that what they are telling is not true, but they somehow block this realization from bothering them. They bascially find it justified because they do it for "the cause". In other words, they have become cultists just as what they supposedly decry.

"If someone leaves Scientology and then makes their entire life purpose about fighting it, in some respects, they are still being controlled by Scientology just as much as when they were in it."

Yes - I call that living in the shadow of Scientology.

"It is very easy to lose perspective in these situations and end up distorting the facts for a cause especially since anyone who challenges this is attacked in the way you have, and the way I recently have as well."

Well, there are two things here.

One is as I explained above, and which you word differently but basically is the same thing.

The other is the group pressure of people who think alike, who in fact share the same delusion, the same commitment, the same fanaticism. People who deviate from the invisible party line gets ruthlessly attacked, as you have experienced yourself.

Now also take into account that in the case of Magoo, there is something else at play here.

She went through difficult time in a not so distant past. She has been rejected by Anonymous and I think she resents that as not being loved.

In the wake of the Jett tragedy, people have been encouraging her to come in the forefront of the scene with her story about being prevented to take her meds. I have seen that live through comments. People were telling her something like "you are the one who can tip off the balance with your story and make a real difference". Obviously as a justification to the point they are desperately trying to make in the public. The public is not sympathetic to critics' accusations presently because they find it improper giving the circumstances. Critics thus seek a greater justification, stronger arguments, and have thus encouraged Magoo to come up with her story in such a way as to support their argument.

And the poor girl fell right into it. In addition to her own desire to make people listen to her plea, I think there is also somewhere a desire to come in good standing again with the people who rejected her. All this prompter her to come up with this incredible lying, that is so easily disproved just by looking at her previous affidavit.

So that's my theory...

At the end of the day I pity her more than anything else, but the fact that what she is doing is ominous remains and deserves to be exposed.

The right thing for her to do would be to realize what she has done and to apologize, but I doubt she will allow herself to look in that direction, in addition to what this would mean for her status amongh Anonymous Credulous.

This is why in response to comments pointing her to her lie on her video pages, her reaction has been simply to delete such comments without addressing them. She damn know what she is doing. She just does not want to look.