Bernie's November 2003 Website

Media coverage related to the Church of Scientology.

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don_carlo
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Post by don_carlo » Mon Nov 03, 2003 7:15 am

Bernie’s November 2003 Website -

I’m starting fresh on Bernie’s newly revised site. Sorry to Andreas and to old regulars that I have to re-copy some posts from the thread “Is Bernie Fair and Balanced?” I have stopped posting analysis on that old thread as of today.

Since the first page is untouched, I can mostly repeat myself. When I remember, I'll put Bernie quotes in blue.

SENTENCE # 1 from Bernie's Homepage: QUOTE: While more and more information (and disinformation) about Scientology is available through the internet, the anti-cult movement goes largely unnoticed. END QUOTE from
http://bernie.cncfamily.com

Bernie may be the first person to critically examined the opponents of Scientology, without calling us SP's. Bernie has a less loaded name for critics: "the anti-cult movement," It's STILL loaded, however, making us sound negative and mob-like.

The clip art is odd. On the right is the Cult Awareness Network. This indeed was an intensely committed organization, and some of its people were zealous enough to advocate de-programming. However, the Cult Awareness Network was destroyed by CoS in 1996, and in fact CoS took over the mailing list and the entire organization. So Bernie's 7 years out of date, here.

On the right side is misty, El-Greco style clip art with with a church, a star, a Christian cross and the word "RELIGION." Bernie chose this ready-made clip art that, to me, trumpets the sanctity of religion as compared to the profane mudfights of alt.religion.scientology.

BERNIE'S DESCRIPTION of ARS:
QUOTE: alt.religion.scientology is a newsgroup dedicated to criticism of Scientology.END QUOTE

This is true only if you think that usenet groups must have only one viewpoint. A.r.s. is open to anyone: trolls, anti-psychiatry posters, AND anti-CoS posters. The founders of a.r.s. wanted to criticize Scientology, sure, but they also wanted open debate and free speech. I don't equate a.r.s. with its founders. For all I know, they don't even post anymore.

NEXT BERNIE SENTENCE: While actual information can sometimes be found, the newsgroup is a lively example of anti-cult bigotry. END QUOTE

Exactly what is Bernie's definition of bigotry?
Using visual clues, it seems to be any criticism of Scientology THE RELIGION, (see above note on sanctified clip art). If that is the case, yes, a.r.s. is crawling with bigotry. But what if CoS is not a sanctified group, but a scam? Then a.r.s. is crawling with whistle-blowers.

Some jerks regularly visit a.r.s. and throw around insults. It's an annoying sideshow on many usenet groups. Does one jerk critic make every critic on a.r.s. a jerk? You might just as well criticize the entire Internet.

I click on "Alt.religion.scientology" and on to Bernie's next, extensively revised web page.

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Post by don_carlo » Mon Nov 03, 2003 7:47 am

I must have finally enlightened Bernie about his biased clip art showing demon critics and "moderate" crusaders. This new second page,Another Look at Scientology has lost its old clip art (but there still is a demon under "bigots" later in the website. Will it still be there by the time I get to it?)

This page now has four boxes -
1. Cultism - Bernie says cultism exists. I agree.

2. Anti-cultism Bernie says Though the danger of anti-cultism is not as apparent as that of cultism, I consider it being an equal, if not greater, danger than cultism itself. The combined fanaticism of both movements can be devastating.

My comment: If every day a cult was on the verge of suicide or mass murder, I too would be cautioning critics to tone down the rhetoric. But the most awful deaths, at Jonestown and Waco, are have only an incidental relationship to CoS. In one case an anti-cult person like Congressman Leo J. Ryan, (who had UNRELATEDLY criticized Scientology) was gunned down in the same vicinity as the suicide. In the other case an anti-cult critic may have given advice about David Koresh, which may or may not have had anything to do with the outcome. But what does this have to do with CoS critics today?

3. Bernie says The third way aims at a factual and respectful criticism of cultic movements, and the pursuit of anti-cult ideals in a way that does not endanger Freedom of Belief and basic civil rights.

My comment: The first sentence implies that critics are sloppy and vulgar. I agree; so is the entire Internet and, in fact, humanity. I get my facts wrong occasionally, but I try to fix them. I have pointed out a number of Bernie mistakes and I will check to see if he fixed them! The second sentence implies that critics endanger Freedom of Belief and basic civil rights. Once again, Bernie is quietly setting up his argument that kidnappers/deprogrammers violate civil rights, and they are critics or friends of critics, therefore critics AS A GROUP violate civil rights. Bernie is also leaving out Free Speech as a valuable tool for minorities and majorities.

4. The fourth box has background, FAQ, etc. Bernie calls critics angry rather than bigoted. Bravo, Bernie. Angry is my preferred word, much better than "hateful" or "bigoted."

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Post by don_carlo » Mon Nov 03, 2003 7:53 am

Next page: No to Cults, No to Anti-Cults
BERNIE QUOTE: While cults can be said to represent a form of danger from minorities to the majority, anti-cults can be said to represent a form of oppression from the majority towards these minorities. In no way is it less dangerous, less ugly. END QUOTE

My comment: What exactly was dangerous and ugly? "The anti-cult movement" could be Operation Clambake, since it is vilified elsewhere by Bernie. Although maybe we are ugly, since INDIVIDUALLY we could use a good haircut and some liposuction, we aren't as dangerous as CoS. We don't defraud, extort, or break up families. ALL WE DO IS WRITE. Can legally using our first amendment rights be so wrong?

MORE BERNIE:
Neither the simplistic "solutions" of cults nor the simplistic "solutions" of anti-cults are acceptable. END QUOTE

What is the simplistic solution that Bernie is talking about? We want everybody to know what CoS is really up to (including the cruel disconnection practice) , and prevent the influx of uninformed "raw meat," and encourage the outflow of dissatisfied Scientologists. We want the US government to enforce the law, punishing them for the fraud and extortion they have already committed, and preventing CoS from committing future fraud and extortion.

This is not a simplistic solution. It involves many thoughtful decisions by potential new recruits, by dissatisfied CoS members, and by government bureaucrats. There will be many case-by-case decisions.

Yes, there are trolls who say "Shut Scientology down." That's simplistic and wrong. Use the media, use the existing justice system, and CoS will crumble by the force of gravity.

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Post by don_carlo » Mon Nov 03, 2003 7:59 am

Umike pointed out that "critics" violated human rights, did money laundering etc. When I asked who other than Minton, he wouldn't name names and I let it drop. He also said two years ago a.r.s. was mob-like.

I also said "a majority can theoretical burn minorities at the stake. But everyone is a minority in the US. Either a racial, or religious, or national origin, or political, or disability, or fat, or old... I don't see Scientologists in any physical danger from critics. If the government enforced the law, the inner circle of CoS would be in danger of imprisonment.

The reason I don't like the term "movement" is because it implies a group identity among critics. Some are jerks, some are deranged. I don't wish to be identified with those people.

One fear I have is that if all the facts about CoS abuses reach the general public, you'll have psychopaths attacking orgs, like psychopaths attacked innocent Arabs in the US after the 9-11 attacks. People in CoS may write an editorial opposing Osama bin Ladin, but if those CoS people speak out against random anti-Arab attacks, nobody can blame THEM for random Americans attacking Arabs.

Similarly, I have always spoken against violence. I am not part of any violent "anti-cult movement;" I believe there is no such thing, only individuals, good and (unfortunately) sometimes bad."

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Post by don_carlo » Mon Nov 03, 2003 8:01 am

Next stop on Bernie's website: My Story at http://bernie.cncfamily.com/scientology/my_story.htm

Bernie shows thoughfulness and intelligence about his own experience in CoS. Interesting that he was interested in Krishnamurti, who the Theosophists decided on, and groomed to be Maitreya, the reincarnation of Buddha, until he disagreed with them and founded his own group.

Bernie jumped into the Internet at a passionate and angry time: 1996. QUOTE: Horror stories of murder, physical restrain, and other pet killing, which for me were nothing but myths, where presented as typical. Questioning these were again met with cultic attacks.

Bernie and the critics who argued with him were talking past each other. Bernie is trying to explain that he knows of no-one in CoS who was restrained. At the same time, the critics, who are freshly horrified and angered by the Lisa M. story (which had JUST happened on Dec. 5, 1995), are trying to force the Lisa story down the throat of anyone who is dismissing it. Bernie got his feelings hurt - but isn't he supposed to be "at cause" not "at effect?"

Bernie, defender of the CoS tech, still subscribes to the thumb-sucking philosophy what's true is what's true for you. Since he and his co-workers weren't restrained, that's his reality and he intends to tell the world that THAT is the important story, not this little oddity about Lisa.

As I go through Bernie's website, I will look for how he treats the Lisa McPherson and Reed Slatkin stories. Although on nearly every page Bernie calls his site "balanced" he carefully leaves out the things CoS really has to be ashamed of.

It's irrelevant to Bernie's defense that Andreas, or the founders of alt.religion.scientology are biased against CoS. Andreas and a.r.s. founders WERE PROUD to be anti-CoS, and Andreas' website and actions are consistent with that. Yet both OCMB and a.r.s. allow all kinds of pro-and-anti-Scientology commentators. Bernie claims to be unbiased, yet allows only carefully selected snippets from "moderate critics." His hurt feelings loom large, and we are supposed to feel sympathy for him, while the story of Lisa is so far unworthy of sympathy or even comment from him. So far his website is inconsistent with the claim of balance.

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Post by don_carlo » Mon Nov 03, 2003 8:02 am

I replied to some criticism, "My point is that Andreas, and a.r.s. founders are not claiming to be "balanced." Bernie is making that claim but is leaving out too many inconvenient facts.

The Minton mess was displayed in full detail on both a.r.s. and OCMB. There was no censorship of those who wanted to show Minton's dirty laundry. Even closer to home, when Andreas was involved in some Minton cash transfer, the anti-Andreas people on OCMB went ballistic. Yet Andreas defended his position and let people speak, even though it was embarassing to be tangled up with a loose cannon like Minton. But Bernie snips out Lisa's name and story, as if the angry, insulting critics of 1996 were being mean just for spite. Not fair."

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Post by don_carlo » Mon Nov 03, 2003 8:06 am

Next Page: Two Questions
Next Bernie page, Two Most Common Questions.
http://bernie.cncfamily.com/scientology ... stions.htm
I LIKE Bernie's characterization:
crap = Scientology belief system
stuff = Scientology actions
Bernie (snort) still believes in "hundreds of thousands or millions of CoS members, apparently soldiering on, proving there must be a pony under all that horseshit.

Bernie doesn't think there was a government conspiracy. But the IRS and CoS committed a conspiracy (defined as "An agreement to perform together an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act.) The IRS violated the 1st Amendment of the Constitution by declaring (for the first and only time in history for a US religion) that CoS was a religion, when it only has the authority to accept that CoS was a 501(c)3 charity. It violated the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment, by granting CoS the right to charge fixed fees for courses, while denying this right to all other charities and religions.

Maybe Bernie never read the Secret Agreement. Here's a link
http://www.sweenytod.com/cos/irs1.txt

The FBI was dedicated to nailing Slatkin, so I think there's no conspiracy there. Since Sept 11, 2001, the FBI has been overwhelmed by terrorist investigations, and CoS got shoved to the back burner. Unfortunate, but not a conspiracy.

Clinton did seem to kiss Travolta's butt. He set priorities; investigating Scientology wasn't one of them.

Mind control I will address in my next post.

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Post by don_carlo » Mon Nov 03, 2003 8:06 am

Continuation of Bernie's "Two Most Common Questions" web page: Mind Control.

Bernie claimed to be deeply influenced by the mind control debate in the 1980's. A subgroup of critics then claimed that cult mind control was so bad that it justified deprogramming, even kidnapping/deprogramming. Bernie got indignant, then calmed down as judges sided against "mind control" as a defense for forcible deprogamming.

Then Bernie watched the 1993 Waco / David Koresh burning (which generated sympathy for cults) and calls for police to not label extreme groups as crazy. As I have already stated, Bernie joined the Internet during the uproar over Lisa's death. People debated "how could 'nice' people let Lisa die?" Many decided that CoS systematically trained its staff to blindly obey orders to the point of Lisa's death. As I stated before, the critics were determined to cram awareness of the wrongful death of Lisa down the throats of anybody who even mildly defended Scientology. They weren't going to listen to "the good side" of Scientology, and repeatedly accused Bernie and others of being a robotic dupe. Since Bernie left CoS, and saw many flaws in it, and was an outspoken kind of guy, Bernie was no robotic dupe. This episode appears burned on Bernie's memory and his website is his blog on it.

But this is seven years later. CoS has made many more mistakes, and most critics have calmed down. Yet Bernie still sees things like they were in 1996, when everybody picked on him.

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Post by don_carlo » Mon Nov 03, 2003 8:12 am

Next page: Questions and Answers from Bernie's site

The clip art is more artistic, however, it is a yin-yang theme. The implication is that Bernie is in balance and the rest of us wallow in imbalance.

Interesting quote: Critics, however, present these things in the framework of the anti-cult belief system which claims cult leaders are evil exploiters taking advantage of brainwashed victims. I disagree with this presentation. In my view, cult leaders are themselves victim of their delusions. END QUOTE from

http://bernie.cncfamily.com/site.htm

I agree that it's not just evil exploiters/brainwashed victims. And I believe the irony that cult leaders are themselves victims. Ron of course became a victim, dying with Vistaril injections in his butt. Miscavige, lost so young in the Sea Org, missed a chance at a normal life. I also think absolute power corrupts absolutely, making the person abuse others but also corroding his internal character.

Bernie: I usually agree with scholars (called "cult apologists" by anti-cult cultists because facts encountered as part of social studies do not agree with anti's wild claims).
Bernie wrote this before Touretsky came along and wrote several scholarly pieces on CoS. Touretsky is definitely not one of the "social studies" scholars (like Introvigne); he is a unabashed critic of Scientology AND a PhD. So Bernie using the term "scholars" is out of date.

Bernie Q & A: As an ex-member, do you feel you have been hurt by your stay within the group?
No. Mostly because I don't view the cult experience along a simplistic victim/oppressor duality, but more as a form of illusion in which both members and leaders have their part.

This is quite true regarding PUBLIC Scientologists, assuming that each person impacted by CoS is a rational adult who is able to say no to being regged and extorted. But some CoS public impactees are children, some are exhausted RPF inmates, some are relatives that CoS forbids its members to contact. How is a disconnected parent "participating in an illusion?"

Bernie's theory crumbles regarding Sea Org members. In my opinion, this is the most cult-like and frankly exploitative situation. CoS is breaking the law by not paying minimum wage. If CoS gave each staff member the free choice to receive minimum wage or a pitiful pittance, almost all would voluntarily take the higher sum, and use it for important things like food, clothing, and medical/dental care.

CoS recruits Sea Org staff with false promises of good pay, nice conditions, gets them to sign a "billion-year-contract" and then breaks the promises. Thus, it is truly top management who is the exploiter here. The fact that many Sea Org members take the low pay, long hours, and poor conditions does not lessen the guilt of top management.

Bernie: Anecdotal evidences presented by apostates who have an axe to grin with their former group often come in direct contradiction with the testimony of moderate ex-members and with scientific studies conducted by independent 3rd parties.

More loaded language: Critics have only anecdotal evidence; moderate ex-members have testimony. The third parties he later quotes include Massimo Introvigne, who is a lawyer, not a socialogist.

Regarding independent third parties - Dr. Touretsky is independent, having no previous contact with CoS before reading about CoS trying to stop free speech on the Internet. His study of the facts led him to take a critical view. Bernie NEVER mentions Touretsky.

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Post by don_carlo » Mon Nov 03, 2003 6:42 pm

Next: Positive and Negative Aspects of Scientology and Scientology critics.

This rewritten page is quite clever. Bernie states an aspect of Scientology and then qualifies what he says, so that he can't be easily criticized. Let's see how airtight is each side of his arguments:

Bernie: Scientology techniques have the potential to create potent effects that are felt by the person to be highly spiritual...despite its negative aspects, Scientology can act as one of the many channels that can help one to awake his spiritual potential.

My comment: Scientology doesn't just offer up a belief system, but tries to have it both ways by claiming it is scientifically proven. In addition, they tap into the ego needs by verbally promising higher IQ's and a superior beingness. Trying to have it both ways, the recruiters VERBALLY promise OT abilities although they are careful not to make any written promises. They just direct the student to read Hubbard's books like Dianetics, that have sweeping, unproven claims about becoming clear, like never having colds. The two main hard-sell techniques are fear and greed. The fear is instilled through the rigged personality test which every recruit MUST fail. Plus CoS hammers on every alarming news event to "prove" civilization is crumbling, degradation is increasing, and only Scientology can save us all. CoS teaches you to fear contamination within your body, which can only be cleansed by quack $5,000 Purification Rundowns. On top of that there is the paranoid preaching against the psychiatrist "conspiracy" and the evil "SP's." This is not a healthy spiritual attitude, but a transference of Ron's contempt for ordinary people, inability to hear criticism and fears about the world.

Once the person has been convinced that the world is collapsing and only CoS can save it, CoS can then turn the fear into hope by pressuring the person to take CoS courses or work for CoS to "clear the planet."

The greed hook that CoS dangles is for the person to increase his IQ, get OT abilities, keep smoking while never getting cancer, be part of an elite group, and feel morally superior for working to "clear the planet."

Bernie probably means the "thetan" concept when he talks about getting in touch with spiritual matters. Even three year old children ask about life after death, and everybody else has thought about it. The immortal soul comes up virtually DAILY in church, TV shows like Touched by an Angel, books, magazines, movies, and everyday conversation about death/reincarnation/heaven. I don't think there has EVER been an adult who joined CoS who hadn't heard of the word "soul" and "life after death." Perhaps a few had never heard of reincarnation, but that's just one belief, and is not essential to true spiritual development (Mother Teresa didn't believe in it, for example). So I don't see that CoS is providing any public service here. In fact, it's likely to drive people AWAY from spirituality with its money-grubbing and "wog" talk.

Bernie's qualification of the spirituality "benefit" is QUOTE: This does not mean - that there are no other means to have the same experiences. Let's hear a CoS QUOTE: This is the vision man has cherished for at least ten thousand years, and it is now attainable by following the steps as laid out on the chart. It is an exact route with precise procedures providing uniformly predictable spiritual gains when correctly applied. The bridge is complete and can be walked with certainty. END QUOTE from
http://www.scientology.org/en_US/religi ... pg002.html

My comment: The bridge metaphor here definitely implies it is the only way to certain spiritual gains. There are repeated belittlings of traditional religion and science here:

The Scientology religion follows just this tradition of man’s search for his spiritual identity... The search has been long, but answers now exist in Scientology for anyone who wishes to reach for them. END QUOTE from http://www.scientology.org/en_US/religi ... index.html

Again, the implication that CoS has found the answer that has eluded the other religions.

Next Bernie qualification: It doesn't mean that everybody necessarily goes through a spiritual awakening in Scientology, or even that this is what they need or want.

My comment: See again above quote: It is an exact route with precise procedures providing uniformly predictable spiritual gains when correctly applied.

Another CoS QUOTE: One’s spiritual awareness improves as one progresses in Scientology. END QUOTE from
http://www.scientology.org/en_US/religi ... pg001.html

So it appears that you MUST advance spiritually in CoS, whether you want to or not!

Bernie's big, big flaw on this and other pages is that he doesn't distinguish between official CoS doctrine and what he envisions for Freezone (Independent Scientologists). When you point out a specific CoS heavy-handed phrase or deed, Bernie can say that's not REAL Scientology. Yet Bernie says regular critics criticizing a † † C H U R C H † † is bigotry. He thinks he is criticizing CoS to reform it, so what he says is not bigotry, but regular critics commit the original sin of saying CoS has violated so many laws it's more important to unmask, prosecute, sue and mock it.

Bernie also confuses critics who rail against the Lisa McPherson treatment as attacking the entire "tech" and therefore CoS's entire world of spirituality. In fact, Bernie doesn't distinguish between (1) critics who are SPECIFICALLY against exploitation and over-control of the most cult-like part of CoS, Sea Org workers, and (2) troll-like critics who mock any spiritual belief.

Bernie, what if CoS was sued into bankruptcy. Would that be a great rending in the spiritual world? Think of the benefits for you: More people would be available for Freezone. Freezone groups could go public since CoS wasn't around to sue them.

Also think:
Sea Org workers arrive in the real world to get a living wage, health benefits, and the RIGHT to have children.
Money not being sucked from families to offshore banks.
Scientology jokes fade into history.
Families reunited.
Critics find other productive things to do.

Wouldn't this free up a lot of time and energy to pursue spiritual and do-gooder goals?

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Post by don_carlo » Mon Nov 03, 2003 8:22 pm

Scientology's 2nd benefit per Bernie: Social effects - Another major appeal of Scientology is the group experience, allied with a deep sense of purpose. End quote from http://bernie.cncfamily.com/posneg.htm, # 2

I looked up "Nazis" & "sense of purpose" and found
QUOTE: Unemployed young men who joined Hitler’s groups were given food, shelter, uniforms and a sense of purpose.END QUOTE from Planet Papers

I looked up "Communism" & "Sense of purpose" and found QUOTE: Under Soviet rule, young people in Central and Eastern Europe were drilled into the ideology of communism - indoctrinated with its sense of purpose, of structure, of belonging.END QUOTE from Life online

The Huns and the Visigoths had a sense of purpose, too! So, a sense of purpose does not mean that the group is good.

Bernie's caution about the sense of purpose is well taken - it's important not to get overzealous. I wish CoS took this advice!

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Post by don_carlo » Mon Nov 03, 2003 8:32 pm

Scientology's 3rd Benefit per Bernie: Psychological effect - While fundamentally a spiritually-oriented philosophy, Scientology technique can also address psychological problems without reference to spiritual concepts

My comment: This benefit arises from the scientifically proven power of hypnotic suggestion, talk therapy, and the immense power of any person to heal himself, physically or psychologically. This is not unique to Scientology AT ALL.

In his caution about psychological benefits, Bernie starts out reasonably - QUOTE: The main problem remains of course that whatever valuable psychological techniques are in Scientology are always part of a larger cultic package. This is one of the prime reasons some Freezoners try to set valuable aspects apart from the package...
As a matter of fact, many Scientology concepts at that level have now been integrated throughout more accepted alternative therapies
(Now Bernie goes to la-la land) or even within the mainstream courant.

Talk to me, Bernie. I'll grant that a number of Scientology offshoots are now selling Hubbard's (non-original) ideas. But name one concept, original with Scientology, that has become mainstream. I have looked and looked and found none.

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Post by don_carlo » Tue Nov 04, 2003 6:49 am

Scientology's 4th Benefit per Bernie: Positive Orientation. Quote: For example, rather than "being taught to lie", as critics generalize, using an out of context example, Scientologists are shown how lying and being dishonest eventually cycles back to them through universal law, and they will be less likely to indulge in such actions than the average population.

My comment. "Less likely" is more wishful thinking by Bernie. He has no proof, other than CoS blather. But critics DO have proof of lying from CoS staff. Again, Bernie is carefully to say, "In general, Scientologists" which implies public members who are not CoS staff.

This entire passage is one platitude after another. The way you know it's a platitude is if the reverse is absurd. Scientology would not claim to make members less productive or less creative. More "productive" is blurry enough that no-one could disprove it, anyway.

Bernie qualifies this by saying QUOTE: This does not mean - that actions by Scientologists will always be positive. The cultic aspect present in Scientology can bring its member to engage in destructive actions, all the while being convinced they are doing the greatest good. This isn't something reserved to Scientology, but is rather common everywhere the cultic mindset is present - most visible, by the way, among so-called "critics" END QUOTE

My comment: Once again the right-hand-box, which is supposed to tone down the left-hand box claim, is used as a soapbox to hammer critics. Read carefully: the left box praises CoS, while the right box warns of overdoing the positiveness, but claims the "most visible" of these "destructive actions" is by so-called "critics."

First of all, Bernie should flat out acknowledge some of the abuses of CoS "necessary truths" and some of the Founding Lies of CoS, like

The United Churches of Florida purchase of the Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater hid the CoS true buyers.

The promise of OT abilities is a cynical and greedy lie which CoS AND some Freezoners still use.

CoS twists the word "Ethics" in CoS to mean obedience to CoS authority.

Secondly, Bernie HAS specified elsewhere that Critic X, Critic Y, and Critic Z separately told lies. He should make a little list and trot it out, instead of using "guilt by association" to claim that "critics" in general are liars. Then he should point out that the fact that certain critics lie is completely irrelevant to whether CoS itself lies.

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Post by don_carlo » Tue Nov 04, 2003 7:19 am

Scientology's 5th Benefit per Bernie: Cultic lesson - I often say that I learned about as much from having been in Scientology as from having gone out from it. While in the group, I learned many things:
a true sense of purpose,
solidarity,
group dedication,
heightened awareness,
self-improvement,
responsibility, etc. At the same time, realizing the cultic nature of Scientology, and what the cultic mindset is in general, was about as enlightening. Discernment, discarding the false to keep only that which is true and lasting, is an integral part of the spiritual path.


On the right-side box, Bernie's qualification of this gush-fest is another critic-bash. This does not mean - that one necessarily have to go through a cultic experience such as Scientology to learn about discernment. It is, however, a good school, and from experience and observation, those who have gone through this kind of experience and managed to escape the opposite delusion represented by the anticult movement, usually have an higher level of critical thinking ability than many so-called "critics" who in reality are hardly doing anything else than mindless bashing and still have to realize the extend of their own form of cultic mindset.

My comment: This is classic Bernie: I'm a better person and you critics are all poopheads.

First, Bernie is proudly discarding the false to keep only that which is true and lasting. Bernie is squirreling Scientology, which Hubbard said could not be squirreled. So he is creating a new religion, Bernie-ology, not a reformed Scientology. Scientology is a twentieth century religion and is firmly stuck there AS DOGMA.

Secondly, many critics ARE ex-Scientologists, who have gone through the same process and are supposedly now all noble and improved. Oh, but they didn't see the light that critics-are-cultic-thinkers, so any benefit they got is lost by them being dumb and "bitter."

Thirdly, critics who are NOT Scientologists have gone through a number of passages and challenges in their life, and most of them have had powerful group experiences as an athlete, a volunteer, or a worker in a company during a crisis. They are not "mindless" and not anti-community.

Fourthly, people do mature and grow after age 21. That's why only people over 35 can be elected President!

Finally, let's look at another view of each of modest ;) Bernie's benefits:

a true sense of purpose OR misguided hero-worship
solidarity OR blindness to other member's faults
group dedication OR conformity to the group
heightened awareness OR smugness about feeling superior
self-improvement OR practice in self-hypnosis

Conclusion: Bernie was an intelligent, assertive, and organized person going into CoS, and was able to fend off exploitation and eventually leave. He is still more intelligent, assertive and organized than the average person inside or outside Scientology. He is on the high end of the bell-curve, and looks down on many critics who are immature, sloppy, and frankly dumber than himself. But him being in Scientology and critics criticizing Scientology did not create this situation. He's just smarter ( though he has no sense of humor). And he can't resist being arrogant. What an irony for him that he has his own critics-are-bad filters, which render him illogical and uninformed in so many ways.

don_carlo
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Post by don_carlo » Tue Nov 04, 2003 7:45 am

Now, for Negative Aspects of Scientology. In the left hand box, Bernie is going to criticize Scientology, and in the right hand box he is going to qualify his criticism.
First Negative Aspect: Cultic Context. Bernie implies that there's not intrinsic mind control in Scientology, it's just bad people who intimidate and control the members.
Bernie's Qualification: This does not mean - that the manipulation is a conscious one. Rather, it is part of a larger cultic illusion of which the leader himself is a victim of. This is important in that it runs counter to the anti-cult model of an evil leader exploiting an innocent victim - the cult mind-control concept that is the basis of the anti-cult belief system.

Yes, critics like to mock and unmask David Miscavige and Hubbard. I don't believe this is a MODEL, though. Let's word-clear for Bernie.

Merriam-Webster says a model is A schematic description of a system, theory, or phenomenon that accounts for its known or inferred properties and may be used for further study of its characteristics: a model of generative grammar; a model of an atom; an economic model.

And schematic means diagram. So Bernie's words say that critics are diagramming a visual depiction of Scientology, presumably with a puppetmaster at the top, controlling his underlings.

First, I have never seen such a diagram. Second, most critics agree that Hubbard and his early associates cobbled together an ingenious and ruthless Sea Org with rules and customs that today control what's left of CoS. So critics have seen the group of Sea Org leaders as a problem since the mid-1960's.

Hubbard is more colorful and dramatic than organizational rules, so he gets more press. But after Hubbard disappeared from sight, the Org showed a self-sustaining ability to exploit its staff. After his death and after the IRS secret agreement, most regulars think a group of non-Scientology lawyers, plus some top Scientologists, are in charge and are "in on the scam." So I don't see where Bernie gets this "model," unless it's writing from uninformed newbies and trolls.

Bernie, choose another word than "model," please. You're supposed to be more aware and self-improved from Scientology. Prove it and use your dictionary.

The whole "Larger cultic illusion in which the leader himself is a victim" is one of Bernie's better phrases. Hubbard was a victim at the end, with Vistaril injected into his buttocks, and David Miscavige lost his teenage years to the creepy world centered around Hubbard. But I have just pointed out that there is no charismatic single leader now, just a secret committee. It's hard to imagine a board room full of very rich middle-aged and older men that are somehow pitiful victims and unaware of the cold, hard decisions they are making to underpay their staff and fleece their public members.

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