MIND CONTROL is the new topic on the next Bernie page: http://bernie.cncfamily.com/lies.htm
I left in the full name of the address, even though the page is called Top Ten Anti-Scientology Myths. Myths=lies? Bernie, check your dictionary, please. You're baiting with a thoughtful word, "myths" and switching to a loaded and emotional word "lies"
The first two links: Scientology Kills, and Members restrained, have already been discussed.
The Third Myth is Victims of Mind Control
(at last a new topic)
Bernie QUOTE: Scientology engages in mind-control at every level, say critics. It does not allow people to make an "informed decision" before joining, then, once in, submit them to a battery of mind-control and hypnotic techniques to turn them into robots and sock puppets at the beset of dangerous psychopaths.
(DC comment: The first sentence is a gross overgeneralization - "Critics" not "some critics." "Every level" not "some levels."
The second sentence shows a misunderstanding of hypnotism. I will discuss in the next post how much of auditing's "wins" come from hypnotism. Most critics would say that during and after auditing the Scientologist is NOT a zombie, NOT a "robot" NOT a "sock puppet." Rather, the person is simply willing to believe Hubbard more deeply, spend more money, and feel a little more superior to the "wog" world. After many Training Routines, they have become used to the hypnotic trance, think it is giving them pre-natal memories, and have "realized" that Hubbard invented a pipeline to "total freedom." All due to the scientifically proven power of hypnotism.
Many critics HAVE criticized the flat empty stare seen in some long-term Scientologists at Flag. It LOOKS over-controlled; some say the person is robotic. I disagree. I'd say by normal standards, the person is ACTING over-controlled and inappropriate. But I do acknowledge that the person is surrounded by other Scientologists and is trying to conform to THEIR ideas of proper human interaction. The person probably can act normally when returning to everyday life.
Bernie arguments that mind control does not exist within Scientology:
Bernie argument # 1, from here
: Lawyers, judges, and some scholars won't accept "brainwashing" as a defense for kidnapping and deprogramming.
(DC reply: reasonable, but irrelevant. We are not advocating kidnapping; we are not in a court of law. We are verbally criticizing a cult that claims it is the "most ethical" yet has forced well-meaning, intelligent people to rip up their families. The rejection of the absolutist "Brainwashing" charge by some scholars DOES NOT MEAN that they claim hypnosis has no effect, or verbal coercion has no effect. They JUST want people to stop kidnapping and governments to stop armed assaults. Above all, they want everyday citizens to look at new religions respectfully and tolerate their legal activities.
Bernie argument # 2. Brainwashing = robots, and CoS people don't act robotic.
(DC reply - see above. Hypnosis is not necessary the Hollywood stereotype, and CoS has enough control to order a mother to disconnect from her child, a highly unnatural act.)
Bernie argument # 3: Criticizing cults can lead to tragedies like the Branch Davidians at Waco. Bernie Quote The atmosphere of irrational fear and phobia this (talk about deprogramming) creates, together with fanatical reactions of cultic groups themselves, can lead to mass tragedies such as Jonestown and Waco
(DC reply - public criticism is quite different than rolling tanks toward a building. There isn't a single regular CoS critic that advocates police/FBI violence to launch an armed assault on CoS buildings. Bernie is depending on Introvigne's alarmist and oversimplified theories, which don't distinguish between tanks and chat groups.
Bernie argument # 4: Some people in the world are unfair, mean and downright nasty to new religions.
(DC reply - I agree. Jerks exist, inside and outside the Internet. Operation Clambake's message board has tried to keep the conversation civil, and even that is difficult. A.R.S. is just too big and attracts too many fanatics on all sides. On the other hand, since it is a Usenet group, it will exist if Andreas dies or retires, and it will probably outlast floods, volcanoes, and moderate sized asteroids! Usenet is more rugged than the world wide web so with all its faults, we need to put up with the jerks so that we can always share information and ideas.)
Bernie argument # 5: There is a slippery slope from kidnappers/deprogrammers
to people who verbally support kidnapping
to people who want legal restrictions on totalistic cults
to people who mention "mind control" when they criticize CoS.
However, Bernie DOES acknowledge a few "moderate critics" who are not moral monsters. The rest of us critics, presumably, are worthy of contempt.
(DC reply -Bernie is unfair not to distinguish among levels of fanaticism among CoS critics)
Bernie's argument # 6: Some critics on a.r.s are inept at arguing about mind control, and don't stay nice and rational.
(DC comment: True. This was the HARDEST topic on Bernie's website. I had to read a lot of legal and academic papers, fights with critics, and realize that they weren't necessary "cult apologists." I even changed my mind about CESNUR being propaganda - there are some good essays there. I started criticizing various scholars, then realized it was irrelevant. Judges and the American Psychology Association have made their conclusion, and that settles it. But then I went back to Touretsky's website and read posts there about the Training Routines, and it occured to me that the scholars are silent about hypnosis-linked-to-fraud.
Bernie is making the anti-mind-control conclusions far more sweeping than the scholars intended. Bernie should have created her website with all the arguments, and invited the critics to read them BEFORE getting into catfights with them.) Conclusion
: Bernie flat-out contradicts herself on the mind control issue:
He had started out SOOOO reasonable:}
BERNIE QUOTE: I do have to agree with the proposition that, at the end of the day, Scientology is a "mind-control cult", of sort. Scientology is exclusive and absolute and does divide the world in a them/us situation. It is intolerant of dissent and criticism and the belief that Scientology is the last hope of humanity is induced through a mixture of constant repetition, authority, fear, guilt and faith leap. The fact that its technique does not achieve the lasting result claimed is covered up in a network of justifications, of which Scientology's war with the outside society and its harassment of critics are just a part. Despite the fact that I disagree with the cult mind-control theory taken literally, it did help me, as a metaphor, to realize the particular cultic illusion I was in...
(DC comment: Then Bernie plays games with the words "metaphors" and "myths" )
Now exactly WHAT does he mean by "mind control as metaphor?"
First Bernie appears to acknowledge CoS mind control as REAL paranoia, real "us versus them" real deception. WHERE is the metaphor? I think he is talking about the word "THEORY" not the word "METAPHOR." He's been assuming those Sociology scholars speak normal English!
It's like he wants to have it both ways. If someone confronts her with a CoS mind-control technique, she'll acknowledge that "theoretically" there is mind control but it's not "REAL" because scholars say there is no mind control and the word "mind control" might lead to rolling tanks and mass suicide.
Okay, Bernie, get this. Scholars different from YOUR scholars have said for over a CENTURY that hypnotism is not just a theory, but has scientifically proven effects on the brain.)
BERNIE: Contrary to what anticultists have claimed for years, cult Mind-control, taken literally, simply does not exist. It has been thoroughly debunked by scholars back in the 80s, to the point that it isn't much of an issue anymore in academic milieus.
(DC reply: Again, the scholars struck a blow against kidnapping-deprogramming. They pointed out that attacking mind control means attacking ANY religion and many groups, including, say, the Marines. But the Methodists and the Marines are not breaking laws. Gang leaders use use rituals and group bonding to mind-control their members into committing crimes. This is breaking the law. What the scholars say is that, BY ITSELF, highly influencing somebody is legal. The scholars did NOT say that CoS can legally use mind control to defraud and extort from its members.)
Conclusion: Bernie has a misunderstood word, confusing "metaphor" with "theory." He has overstated quotes by scholars to sweep away all charges of "mind control" as a "MYTH" (which he discusses on a webpage called lies.
) Bernie has some valid and interesting points, but his scholars' studies are silent on on the central role hypnotism plays in auditing and training routines. They also ignore coercion-to-get-the-public-member-to-go-into-debt, and coercion-to-commit-fraud-and-extortion, which is rife in the most cult-like part of CoS, the Sea Org.