Saturday, February 14, 2009

Scientology and Freemasonry

Tom Newton has a comparison between anti-Scientology attacks and anti-Freemasons ones.

Some of his claim I agree with, others I don't. Overall, I think it is stretching it a bit.


What I agree with:
The anti-Scientologists and the anti-Freemasons are both quick to tell the public that they are merely "critics" and not "against" the respective organization. These "critics" invariably end up hawking books, audio and video tapes, and CDs, in which they extol the the "truth" that you can get from them.
Actually that's not what they claim. Anonymous claims to be against the organization but not necessarily against the tenets. However, I agree with Tom that such a claim is hypocritical, because that's not what they end up doing.
neither group of critics have anything to do with spreading the truth, but have everything to do with emotion based appeals, fear, paranoia, and the systematic demonization of their targets.
It's a bit black and white as a position, because Scientology critics do in fact present facts and a position from the other side, but it is true that many of them end up just using emotion based appeals, fear and paranoia. It's sad, actually - and they don't even realize what they are doing.
These claims are being made about by Anonymous right now, as they attempt to prove that anti-Scientology books are being "banned" or censored by the "Scientology controlled" publisher. This same illogic is applied to, which is "in the pocket of Scientology" as many anti-Scientologists will readily attest.
It's classic - as independent entities don't align with the debunked claims of critics, the later switch to conspiracy mode, accusing them to be bought by the all-powerful CoS.

It's of course hypocritical as well for critics to protest about banning and censorship when in fact they excel at it in their supposedly "open" fora.

What I disagree with:
Both cases are notoriously impossible to confirm or deny, which makes it easy for the critics to convince their followers that it is the truth [...]

Whether the "Xenu" myth will be exposed for what it is is irrelevant. The hoax which "exposed" the Freemasons was debunked a long time ago, yet the belief still persists thanks to the tireless efforts of "critics" who have agendas beyond telling the "truth".
Tom Newton seems to doubt that story of Xenu is not really what is taught at the OT III level. I am pretty confident that it is. The presentation of critics are correct in that respect. What critics do wrong, of course, is to claim that this represents the core belief of Scientology and then present Scientology as if that was what Scientologists actually believe Scientology is. I would not claim it is irrelevant to reveal these levels, because it has its utility, but critics should put in the correct context.

I don't know anything about the Freemasons claims but doubt it is what they really believe as well and would accept the idea that this claim has been debunked (though I have no time or interest to investigate this further). That critics continue to perpetrate debunked myths, however, is something I can see indeed among Scientology critics as well.

A Novel idea:
The critics insist that one should "investigate both sides" before making up one's mind about joining said organization. That sounds very objective and reasonable. Why shouldn't one investigate "both sides"? Well, for one, because there are not "two sides", except in the minds of the "critics" and their customers. This is one of the primary logical fallacies used by "critics" because it enables them to attach themselves to their target. [...]

They want the general public to believe that their side is somehow comparable, and that they represent "the other side of the story". This is just one aspect of how these parasites mislead the public.
I don't quite get at what Tom is hinting at here. Theat there are no two-sides or that they are not comparable? Critics are indeed parasites. They would not exist if Scientology did not exist, and they have no philosophy of their own to oppose to that of the CoS, but does it mean that alternative presentations they make have no validity and that it does not represent "the other side"? I don't think so. There is quite a bit of truth in what they say. The main problem is the context in which they use the information.


Anonymous said...

Your blog wouldn't exist, if critics wouldn't exist or if Scientology wouldn't exist.
You are a parasite as well. But you, just like Tom Newton are even worse, because you are a parasite of critics AND Scientology.

Bernie said...

Hmmm... maybe you are right...

Anyway, it's kind of a funny comment :-)