Monday, January 26, 2009

Depth of Inhumanity

Gold Base Raid, 24 Jan 09 - alt.religion.scientology | Google Groups: "We had several funny signs. 'GOLD BASE, HOME OF THE ELECTRIC SQUIRREL.'"

Barbz and her ilks find this a "funny sign". If I am not mistaken this refers to the incident in which the daughter of Moxon accidentally died electrocuted trying to save squirrels that got trapped in a vault.

That some people may find such a sign "funny" shows the depth of inhumanity their hatred have led them into.

Just imagine the outcry if this would had happened to the daughter of a critic and if Scientologists would be waving such a sign in front of his house or office. But because it is against the "evil cult" of Scientology, it's OK - and even "funny"!

Monica Pignotti - Releasing the Bonds of the "Cult Mind Control" Narrative

Very good, albeit long, article from Monica, questioning some of the anti-cult dogma and methods.

As far as I am concerned, the anti-cult approach is itself a cultic belief system, mostly because it is based on an us-vs-them explanation.

Not that the anti-cult approach is fundamentally false, but like with anything, a partial view is presented as the whole view, and there lies the problem. Viewed in its own perspective it can be very useful, but when you turn it into a belief system through which you interpret everything, you just fall in yet another trap.

I think that this is part of what Monica describes here.

In my opinion, you don't need to "recover" from a "cult" anymore than you need to "recover" from a marriage turned sour unless you have been seriously beaten in the process, which is a tiny minority. It isn't a sickness, it just is part of life.

We make choices and some of these may be wrong, we learn from them and move on. That's really all there is to it. It all is part of spiritual learning, exploring, experimenting, like a child learns to explore his environment. You don't "recover" from being a child, this is silly. You learn and grow up.

Monica Pignotti, MSW: Releasing the Bonds of the "Cult Mind Control" Narrative:

I happened upon Steve Hassan’s book, CCMC, one day in the bookstore and was so fascinated, I could not put it down. It seemed to explain everything I had gone through, 12 years before in Scientology. [...]

The problem with these kinds of checklists is that the symptoms could have many alternative explanations, yet when someone is caught up in the cult mind control and post-cult syndrome narrative, that person uses it to explain any trouble they are having. [...]

That is what needs to be challenged and questioned. The studies showing high rates of post-cult symptoms were done with samples of people who had been exposed to anti-cult narratives or people who were having difficulties and sought professional help. Not included in these samples are people who left these groups and did not have such difficulties.

Critical View of Steven Hassan and His Counseling

Interesting criticism of Hassan's approach.

Main points:

  1. Focuses on results rather than information
  2. Insists on special counseling from "cult experts"
  3. High fees
  4. Recovery presented as endless
  5. BITE mind-control model confuses mind control with normal spiritual experience
  6. Cult-like behavior in his own forum

Blog of Lema Nal: Steven Hassan and His Counseling

More Information on Travolta's Extortion Case

Still clouded in mystery, but this additional information kind of makes sense. I doubt a Senator and a friend of Travolta would get involved in such an extortion attempt, and at such a time.

Wilchcombe Outraged by Extortion Claim - "Here's what's interesting. Wilchombe says the attempted extortion was committed by 'one single individual.' It appears he's talking about EMT Tarino Lightbourne, who we're told is still in custody. [...] Sources tell us Wilchcombe maintains Bridgewater got wind of the extortion attempt and told him so he could pass it along to Travolta's lawyers. Wilchcombe told Us Magazine he 'did a noble thing' by giving Travolta's people a heads up."

Perez Hilton: Travolta 'Friend' Tied to Extortion Plot Speaks Out: "Apparently, the information was passed on to him early last week by another suspect in the extortion case, former Bahamian senator Pleaseant Bridgewater.

'She knew I was close to the Travolta's,' says Wilchcombe. 'She wanted to bring something to my attention.'

When asked if he sought compensation for the tip off, he exclaimed, 'Never once, asking for anything! Never once, expecting anything! This is ridiculous and absurd. The Travolta's are suffering, it's just outright foolish. Never did I ask for anything, no one can say that. We had a friend in my country who lost a son. It was one single individual [who tried to take advantage of the family], the Bahamian people have been very kind to the Travoltas.'


We can't wait to hear what Pleasant, the woman who put everything into motion, says in her tell-all interview!"

Copyright, Internet, and Scientology

The article below makes a reference to the battle between critics and the CoS around Scientology's copyrighted scriptures and how it created precedents in the current legislation.

For more detailed information on this subject, see my web page on The Eleven Legal Cases.

Internal Affairs: It was Tom McEnery's Web site, but where's McEnery? - San Jose Mercury News: "Whyte, however, says his most important legacy may be his then-unprecedented 1995 decision that Internet service providers could be liable for copyright infringement; that case involved the Church of Scientology."

Second Chance Scientology Base

The Albuquerque Journal has an article about Second Chance, in which it claims that it was not just partially based on on Scientology, but that Scientology was its very skeleton.

I think this is very plausible. The president and her husband being Scientologists, and the program being funded in part by wealthy Scientologist such as Randy Suggs, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Scientologist businessman and part-owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks major league baseball team.

Unlike the "Study Tech", that could partially stand on its own (see Will Smith schools), Scientology does not mix well with other methods in such a field as drug and crime rehabilitation. You need to tackle with the root cause of these deep-seethed problems, and you can't really do that without addressing what in Scientology is considered as the prime source of what they call aberration. Other methods can come as a support to it, but I don't see how it could be the other way around.

This being said, it does not necessarily mean that the program is harmful or ineffective, and it seems that on the contrary it did have positive results, as I blogged about back in Dec. 30, but I agree that such an evaluation should be conducted through independent and objective means.

It is not going to happen anyway, because the mere link with Scientology is going to bring distrust to the program, hamper its government funding, and make it the target of close scrutiny for anything they'll do that isn't quite kosher. As it already happened, by the way.

SND Scientology Base Denied By Officials