In 1993 before the finalization of the Secret Agreement, CoS was desperately seeking any validation that it was a ''real religion." Dr. Wilson was one of the few academics that they could point to. Dr. Wilson had studied many new religions and made a nice academic career writing mostly positive books about them, becoming a "Reader," one step below full professor at Oxford. Even better, Dr. Wilson had a bias toward the leadership of new religions rather than any underlings. After all, the leadership created / maintained interesting dogma and rituals for Wilson to analyze, and often fawned over Wilson, while grumpy underlings just ruined the pretty picture.
Note 1aReferring to a case involving the Exclusive Brethren, he once remarked somewhat tartly.the unquestionable freedom in Western society for individuals or groups to maintain a distinctive, serious and conscientious way of life, should not be less than the very evident contemporary freedom to maintain an utterly frivolous and uncaring life
Note 1bWilson published the definitive study on the Exclusive Brethren
in 1967, and was an expert witness in their court cases. Wilson’s
conclusions were based on information the religion provided
about itself; he dismissed ex-members’ accounts as suspect
atrocity stories and warned courts not to give credence to their
Wilson's Exclusive Brethren writings show that Wilson, like many, confused individual religious freedom with authoritarian "free-to-rule" privilege for the leaders of a religion. Perfect for Scientology!
(Note 1)Jacqueline Kevanar, was the Sea Org Scientologist who was the In Charge on the project to secure the legitimizing treatises from the religion scholars, and she told me of going to Oxford, meeting Wilson, interacting and getting the product of the treatise.
In 1993 Wilson became "Emeritus Reader" at Oxford, meaning he retired and had more free time while possibly hungry for a little fresh recognition and maybe some cash. He was suffering from Parkinsons and "amazed his friends by buying an enormous television set and watching such unlikely videos as Japanese westerns." (Note 1a) It appears Scientology's British headquarters Saint Hill invited him, fawned over him, staged one or more "religious services" that fooled him (Note 1), told him how mysterious and interesting Scientology was, and likely how awful its critics were. He wrote a favorable piece on Scientology and its secret teachings, comparing them to the secret teachings of the ancient Gnostics, which were revealed only to long-time students, in 1994. (Note 2)
Wilson is frequently named and quoted in CoS sites.
(Note 2) The previous sentence, if true, makes him quite the lazy academic, never looking at "the other side" of these religions.His work has involved reading the publications of these movements and, wherever possible, associating with their members in their meetings, services, and homes.
Wilson wrote a paper The Creed of the Church of Scientology, (Note 2a). This is one of the major cornerstones of Scientology's claim to be a religion. While written in a thoughtful, articulate, very academic style, it does not look like original research. The first part appears to be a direct rehash of his earlier writings about new religions in general, and the second half appears to be heavily copied from Scientology's own works, for example theta and the tone scale from Science of Survival.(Note 2b)
CoS was desperate to bring down Larry Wollersheim, who had won a lawsuit against CoS in 1986, and was fighting to collect the funds. (Note 3) Wilson wrote a essay about apostates in 1994 (Note 4) that basically called them all bitter liars. His essay has no apparent sources or opposing views, so, academically, it's a pathetic paper. No peer-reviewed scholarly journal would have accepted it. But CoS LOVED it, and quoted it repeatedly.
Possible evidence, that CoS paid Wilson for his favorable writings about apostasy, is the above quote: "Getting the product of the treatise." This sounds like a paid deal. The work seems so perfectly tailored to CoS, which was burning from ex-members speaking out, and needed badly to say a magic word that would invalidate ALL of them. That word was apostasy.
If, near his death, Dr. Wilson had presented himself as just "Bryan Wilson with Parkinsons looking for auditing" Scientology would likely have rejected him sooner or later as a "degraded being," Scientology's word for people in poor health without a ton of money. But CoS eagerly welcomed and likely paid "Dr. Wilson, PhD from Oxford University", and politely ignored any Parkinsons symptoms, since the Oxford connection was a ticket to legitimacy for themselves and invalidation for their critics. Dr. Wilson died in 2004; if he ever took back his positive words on Scientology, please let me know. Wilson's apostate insult becomes more and more feeble over the years as a flood of ex-scientologists have told similar tales of abuse.
Note 1 Chuck Beatty post at http://forums.whyweprotest.net/threads/ ... ogy.67479/
Note 1a http://www.religionnewsblog.com/9150/bryan-wilson
Note 1b http://owll.massey.ac.nz/pdf/sample-book-review.pdf
Note 2 http://www.theta.com/copyright/wilson.htm
Note 2a http://www.bonafidescientology.org/Append/02/page17.htm
Note 2b http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_of_Survival
Note 3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Wollersheim
Note 4 http://www.scientologymyths.info/aposta ... -study.pdf