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Thread: John Sweeney: Why Church of Scientology's gravest threat is the 'net

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    Default John Sweeney: Why Church of Scientology's gravest threat is the 'net

    Back in 1995, when the net was still young, the late Robert Vaughn Young, an ex-scientologist, said the internet would be to Scientology what Vietnam was to the US: an unwinnable war.

    Vaughn Young, a former spokesman for the controversial organisation, believed that the internet would create the first place where Scientology could be discussed openly.

    Free speech has been an issue for the Church of Scientology (CoS) for a long time, and the internet has become the battleground of choice for those who want the church to be more open about its teachings. Not least, online activist groups, such as Anonymous, that targeted the church in a campaign against cyber-censorship.

    In 2008, Anonymous organised a massive denial-of-service attack on CoS websites, and announced a wave of ongoing online harassment, outlining plans to spam their fax machines and Google Bomb their search rankings. Their campaign was prompted by the church’s attempts to remove a video of Tom Cruise extolling the virtues of being a scientologist from YouTube and various other media outlets. Members of Project Chanology, meanwhile, regularly protest against the CoS in the real world, invariably wearing Guy Fawkes masks as seen in the film V for Vendetta.

    The question is, now that the net has matured, was Vaughn-Young right?

    “WH Auden wrote a beautiful poem – September 1, 1939 - in which he describes a dark moment in history, the start of World War Two. But there is a line towards the end in which he describes the Just as winking at each other 'ironic points of light' and I think this is a beautiful description of the internet,” journalist John Sweeney told The Register this week. Sweeney, you may recall, is the BBC Panorama reporter who spectacularly lost his temper with CoS officials while he was making a documentary about the organisation.

    “In particular what is happening is that ordinary people who leave the church have an opportunity to talk to each other instantly. They can go online and see me, a Panorama reporter, a war reporter: if somebody like me can lose my temper because of the emotional and psychological pressure the church can bring to somebody, then they can say, 'that happened to me as well'. So the internet is really great for breaking the hold of fear that the church has over people, in particular the people who have been inside it all their lives, who are second-generation scientologists.”

    As for the behaviour of Anonymous and related groups – who are not without their critics - Sweeney said they have an impact and that, by and large, it is a good one. But anonymity is not something Sweeney is instinctively comfortable with.

    “I do feel that in a civilised society, one should be able to speak freely of things you criticise. Indeed, part of making our society civilised is having the courage to say, ‘I disagree with you and I am going to say so using my own name and my own face’, and that creates a climate in which we all do that. I have been to parts of the world where that is not possible, so there is a slight farcical aspect to some of this. I could say these people are fruitcakes, but I think they are on to something,” Sweeney said.
    How Anonymous mirrors church members

    “I think in particular the way in which the CoS has behaved in the past - terrifying legal threats, the use of private eyes and so forth - creates the paranoia that Anonymous have, in a sense, mirrored. Anonymous are not the source of the paranoia; they are mocking it through mirroring. I am not anonymous, how can I be? So I don’t want to do what they do, but I am not saying it is a bad thing.”

    The church, Sweeney feels, should be able to ignore criticism of its beliefs and let the activities of a group such as Anonymous wash over it. After all, he pointed out, there is a musical opening in London that takes a satirical look at the Mormon faith. The Mormon Church – often accused of cultish behaviour itself – has handled the fun-making rather well. It issued a statement suggesting that people may be entertained by the show but that the scripture would change their lives for ever.

    “These people [Anonymous] might be fruitcakes but they don’t have any money and they don’t have much power so let them do their thing. If Scientology aspires to be a big religion, it should let them do their thing and just carry on and ignore them. But instead you have these counterattacks and so on and so on. I’m not going to be wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, but I think they are mirroring how creepy Scientology is and that is not a bad thing to do.”

    Full article: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/02...ternet_threat/

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    Default Re: John Sweeney: Why Church of Scientology's gravest threat is the 'net

    "Back in 1995, when the net was still young, the late Robert Vaughn Young, an ex-scientologist, said the internet would be to Scientology what Vietnam was to the US: an unwinnable war.
    Vaughn Young, a former spokesman for the controversial organisation, believed that the internet would create the first place where Scientology could be discussed openly.
    Free speech has been an issue for the Church of Scientology (CoS) for a long time"



    Absolutely true, they can no longer control the truth so only their acceptable truths are known

    Back in the late 70's, I was IN and young and naive and stupid.
    I did "special assignments" for the Guardians Office (for which I was later ashamed and still later forgave myself) but at the time I fancied myself as a James Bond type for the church as my "assignments" were "off the books" = nothing in writing

    One of my assignments was to go to the "Religious News Service" and pretend I was a college student doing a research paper.
    This was the late 70's and the Religious News Service was a clearing house of newspaper and magazine articles on all of the religions.
    Pre-Internet this was a paper database of all the current information and news on all religions. Like googling today.

    Anyway, my job was to go there twice a month and sneak out the Scientology file and give it to my Guardians Office handler who removed what they found objectionable and then I returned it.
    It was during this time that Hubbard's son committed suicide outside LasVegas and I had to go weekly so they could remove all of the news articles about this. They also swore me to secrecy about what I had found out - but the damage was done as far as I was concerned.
    How could the smartest man in the Universe's son commit suicide? I never drank the Kool-Aid again

    To the sweet "Church Lady" at the Religious News Service who I lied to all of those times: I am truly sorry - I knew not what I was doing

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    Default Re: John Sweeney: Why Church of Scientology's gravest threat is the 'net

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonycat View Post
    But anonymity is not something Sweeney is instinctively comfortable with.

    Full article: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/02...ternet_threat/
    Anonymity doesn't have much to do with Sweeney, because his career is in being a reporter and making a name for himself, now for a major news organization. He's stepped out of his zone though, and gone well beyond what most reporters who cover Scientology do. I think that's fine.

    Anonymous, on the other hand, wanted to do something about Scientology, not for a career or individual recognition, but because they noticed the censorship, and then felt the cult secrets and abuses needed exposure. Since the cult is totalitarian, secretive, and deceptive, and members will usually not pay any attention to the media at times, protesting at Orgs anonymously made sense.

    Certainly, I'm grateful that people who have a name to use, whether it's Haggis, Ortega, Wright, Jenna, or Sweeney, use their names. But for people who protest -- whether they're ex members or just people like myself who are not writing books -- there's really no advantage to using your name to protest Scientology and all kinds of potential disadvantages.

    Besides the possibility of Miscavige ordering a small fatwa on you, there's always the possibility that a non-anonymous protester can raise the ire of a mentally imbalanced cult member -- especially as the cult orgs start faltering or collapsing. These people are always looking for someone to blame -- the "who," the SP -- so they can destroy them or at least do something to mess up their life. I don't want any nutty cult member making up crimes about me or looking into my financial resources and that sort of thing.

    The Internet closes the main door on a lot of cult's access to raw meat, but with so much money and with their front groups everywhere, they have some ability to try to target new markets.

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    Default Re: John Sweeney: Why Church of Scientology's gravest threat is the 'net

    Quote Originally Posted by zenwarrior View Post
    "Back in 1995, when the net was still young, the late Robert Vaughn Young, an ex-scientologist, said the internet would be to Scientology what Vietnam was to the US: an unwinnable war.

    Vaughn Young, a former spokesman for the controversial organisation, believed that the internet would create the first place where Scientology could be discussed openly.

    Free speech has been an issue for the Church of Scientology (CoS) for a long time"
    Absolutely true, they can no longer control the truth so only their acceptable truths are known

    Back in the late 70's, I was IN and young and naive and stupid. I did "special assignments" for the Guardians Office (for which I was later ashamed and still later forgave myself) but at the time I fancied myself as a James Bond type for the church as my "assignments" were "off the books" = nothing in writing

    One of my assignments was to go to the "Religious News Service" and pretend I was a college student doing a research paper.
    This was the late 70's and the Religious News Service was a clearing house of newspaper and magazine articles on all of the religions.
    Pre-Internet this was a paper database of all the current information and news on all religions. Like googling today.

    Anyway, my job was to go there twice a month and sneak out the Scientology file and give it to my Guardians Office handler who removed what they found objectionable and then I returned it.

    It was during this time that Hubbard's son committed suicide outside LasVegas and I had to go weekly so they could remove all of the news articles about this. They also swore me to secrecy about what I had found out - but the damage was done as far as I was concerned.
    How could the smartest man in the Universe's son commit suicide? I never drank the Kool-Aid again

    To the sweet "Church Lady" at the Religious News Service who I lied to all of those times: I am truly sorry - I knew not what I was doing
    You bring up a point that has always irked me about Scientology.

    Scientology will do anything to NOT have to play on a level paying field. They will happily stack the cards in their favor. They will gladly load the dice, so the right numbers come up for them every time. Simply, Hubbard and his sick-spawn, the Church of Scientology, were/are quite content to CHEAT. And, they acknowledge almost no boundaries or limits to this willingness to cheat.

    For example, with what you brought up above, the Church of Scientology (as ordered by Hubbard) had no moral qualms with sending you into LIE about who and what you were. They had no moral problem with having you STEAL information, and remove actual FACTS from the News Service. Simply, Hubbard and Scientology were/are very willing to commit crimes whenever it might benefit them.

    This sort of thing is what needs to get out into the public view. I would love to see somebody compile a large Information Pack of MANY examples and testimonies by people who were ordered by the Church of Scientology to commit such nefarious actions. And, send them out to every news service, to every state and federal representative, to every mayor and city council of every major city with any Scientology presence.

    They did the same thing with Paulette Cooper, where they knew that they sure couldn't "win" if they had to play on a level playing field where Paulette was simply reporting facts and truth, so they sent people out to try to destroy her life and her mind. They attempted to frame her in crimes that she never committed. These Scientology people are TOTAL SCUM!

    Paulette was guilty of nothing, other than exposing facts that Scientology did not want exposed. From Scientology's demented point of view, rightness is always and only determined by whether or not some action HELPS the Church of Scientology. And wrongness is always and only determined by whether or not some action HARMS or HINDERS the Church of Scientology. It doesn't matter if some fact is true or not. "Truth" is irrelevant to these people. And, anything that helps Scientology is to be unequivocally supported, and anything that harms Scientology is to be unequivocally attacked and destroyed. Scientology happily hides and destroys TRUTH to garner AGREEMENT to their own agendas.

    Hubbard defines the purpose of Scientology ethics as 1) removing counter-intention from the environment, and 2) removing other-intention from the environment. Of course, the criteria is always again the Church of Scientology. Paulette Cooper was a form of "counter-intention", so they just set out to "do what Ron says", and REMOVE the counter-intention, in whatever way will "work".

    Apparently they believe so strongly that their Scientology mission, goals and purposes are so RIGHT and PURE, that they will happily commit ANY crime and hurt any person or group to better realize these goals. They will even feel GOOD about destroying decent people in the name of protecting and expanding their delusional "religion".

    I am sure that if there was a Scientology baseball team, that they would do everything possible to dig up blackmail on the other team's coaches and players, and contrive phony crimes for the referees, so that they would "throw the game for Scientology". In their sick and twisted minds, these sort of things are entirely acceptable because they believe, "Scientology is the GOOD GUYS, and everyone else is NOT".

    Hubbard and Scientology exhibits a continual willingness to practice, "The end justifies the means". Simply, they will do just about anything to WIN. They feel they have a moral license to do so, because they are convinced that their goals are so "pure", and that what they are doing is so tremendously DECENT.

    Part of this is the twisted idea in Scientology, "The game where everybody wins". That is just another bullshit statement by Hubbard that somehow the not-so-bright Scio-weenies make sense of. Hubbard talks about games, and how life is basically a game. He provides various tools to win at this game, and sadly also is quite content to unbalance any game in his own favor. And, they don't care how many people are harmed along the way. Their weird Scientology fixed ideas and rigid belief system (the Scientology paradigm) prevent them from having any normal conscience.

    They justify their harm to others with the inane logic that, "Scientology will pick them up later, maybe next lifetime, maybe in ten lifetimes, and the person will be happy when will help him or her to go free too". It is the same twisted logic in the Danger Formula where you must address and handle the problem NOW, steam-roller over whoever you must, and then later, after everything is fixed and running well, come back to those who were harmed and sort them out then.

    They believe that they have the ONLY solution for any of Man's problems. And, this justifies harming anybody NOW, to keep Scientology strong, so it will always be around the HELP. The crazy logic is that anyone who is harmed now is just a meat body, and will later be quite happy when he or she "salvages his or her own eternity" though Scientology Tech!

    Scientology has done and continues to do such things on a routine basis, and all the while constantly LIES on every media channel that they DON'T do such things. Luckily, it is much more difficult for their tactics to work in the super-fast data age of the Internet. Anything they do, and get caught doing, is on the Internet within MINUTES!

    This involves just another of many hypocrisies and contradictions that exist in Scientology. The Church of Scientology will tell all members to NOT ever do anything like that in their own lives or businesses, mainly because if any Scientologists get caught doing such things it makes the Church look bad. And, bad PR for the Church of Scientology is NOT okay. You can be thrown out of the Church for doing anything that sheds a bad light on them. Now, if you can commit crimes that support the Church of Scientology, and don't get caught, well THAT is fine and even desirable by them.

    Hubbard set up two sets of rules. The rules that all Scientologists must abide by, so that they never get caught doing anything that might make the Church of Scientology look bad. And, his own set of rules - which is basically NO RULES AT ALL. For Hubbard, and for his Church of Scientology, the maxim is the same as Crowley"s, "Do What Thou Wilt" (and FUCK everybody else who is not directly supporting ME or US right NOW today).

    The Church of Scientology, based on Hubbard's many writings, is encouraged to CHEAT at every step along the way. They will do anything, commit any crime, lie as often as possible, make up facts, and deceive over and over to reset any playing field in their own favor.

    See, they are not content to play any game fairly, and what they always aim to do is get in there and meddle, they change the rules, usually hidden from others, so that the rules and resulting decisions go in their own favor.

    The Church of Scientology also hides most of its nasty activities from its own staff and public. Most of the Scientology staff and public are constantly fed fictional PR, and have no idea what their own church is doing to "protect their religion".

    They are SCUM!

    Last edited by Gadfly; 21st February 2013 at 09:54 PM.
    "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

    "They must know how to kindle and fan an extravagant hope". - Eric Hoffer about the "true believer". "Total Freedom", "your eternity", and "OT" involve a few of the extravagant hopes in Scientology.

    Go HERE to view and/or download the essay, "The Three Basic Scientology Beliefs".

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    Default Re: John Sweeney: Why Church of Scientology's gravest threat is the 'net

    Quote Originally Posted by Boson Wog Stark View Post
    Anonymity doesn't have much to do with Sweeney, because his career is in being a reporter and making a name for himself, now for a major news organization. He's stepped out of his zone though, and gone well beyond what most reporters who cover Scientology do. I think that's fine.

    Anonymous, on the other hand, wanted to do something about Scientology, not for a career or individual recognition, but because they noticed the censorship, and then felt the cult secrets and abuses needed exposure. Since the cult is totalitarian, secretive, and deceptive, and members will usually not pay any attention to the media at times, protesting at Orgs anonymously made sense.

    Certainly, I'm grateful that people who have a name to use, whether it's Haggis, Ortega, Wright, Jenna, or Sweeney, use their names. But for people who protest -- whether they're ex members or just people like myself who are not writing books -- there's really no advantage to using your name to protest Scientology and all kinds of potential disadvantages.

    Besides the possibility of Miscavige ordering a small fatwa on you, there's always the possibility that a non-anonymous protester can raise the ire of a mentally imbalanced cult member -- especially as the cult orgs start faltering or collapsing. These people are always looking for someone to blame -- the "who," the SP -- so they can destroy them or at least do something to mess up their life. I don't want any nutty cult member making up crimes about me or looking into my financial resources and that sort of thing.

    The Internet closes the main door on a lot of cult's access to raw meat, but with so much money and with their front groups everywhere, they have some ability to try to target new markets.
    ____________________________

    I had Scio-Friends who did these little missions for the G.O. back in the day. They were absolutely forbidden to discuss this "work". I also did some of this scutt work. Unfortunately for the Scios, many of my friends, and myself if I might be so presumptuous to say, were inherently honest and truly ethical (as opposed to Scio-Ethical). Through the years, as the koolaide began to wear off, we saw the true purpose of these missions and the reality surrounding the people they attacked. The truth of the purpose of these "missions" was ugly, vicious and just plain mean spirited. Most of my friends are out, as am I. But some are still in, as are their kids. I do not know how thay have continued to swallow the lie after all these 25+ years. That's a long damn time perpetuating the delusion. Hope that made sense. I'm extremely tired and sleep deprived through no-one's fault but my own..

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    Default Re: John Sweeney: Why Church of Scientology's gravest threat is the 'net

    Quote Originally Posted by Moosejewels View Post
    ____________________________

    I had Scio-Friends who did these little missions for the G.O. back in the day. They were absolutely forbidden to discuss this "work". I also did some of this scutt work. Unfortunately for the Scios, many of my friends, and myself if I might be so presumptuous to say, were inherently honest and truly ethical (as opposed to Scio-Ethical). Through the years, as the koolaide began to wear off, we saw the true purpose of these missions and the reality surrounding the people they attacked. The truth of the purpose of these "missions" was ugly, vicious and just plain mean spirited. Most of my friends are out, as am I. But some are still in, as are their kids. I do not know how thay have continued to swallow the lie after all these 25+ years. That's a long damn time perpetuating the delusion. Hope that made sense. I'm extremely tired and sleep deprived through no-one's fault but my own..
    It made complete sense to me!

    I also cannot understand how people I knew 30 years ago in the Church of Scientology are STILL involved.

    It takes a very special kind of dumbass.

    I began seeing cracks in the wall of the subject and practices after only a few months, and this perception of the bullshit inherent to Scientology just kept building over time. At no point could I deny it, though at times I did try to justify it, and often I did keep quiet to safeguard my connections, or not have to spend weeks or months in the Ethics office and getting Sec Checks.

    I don't really get how some people can be so blind, so in self-denial, and so unaware, though I can understand the ones who tow the line out fear of SP declares and disconnection. But, to me even that is not okay.

    For me, I could not shut up and keep the obvious faults to myself, so I kept my integrity, spoke what I knew to be true, and lost my family to Scientology through the all-to-typical SP Declare. It took a few years for my daughter to get in comm with me, and then she was herself declared for communicating with me. At that point she couldn't give two shits if she never had anything to do with the Church of Scientology again. Smart kid!

    My son is still disconnected, but there have been rumblings in the distance. I expect that within a few years, he will also choose family over the idiocy of Scientology. I will happily welcome him back with arms wide open.

    I don't blame the people who get caught in the Scientology trap and disconnect from their friends and family. It hurts, but I don't blame them or hold anything against them. They have had their minds severely altered by Hubbard's oppressive and over-controlling subject and practices. It can never be too soon for the Church of Scientology to end up tits up on the mud!

    "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

    "They must know how to kindle and fan an extravagant hope". - Eric Hoffer about the "true believer". "Total Freedom", "your eternity", and "OT" involve a few of the extravagant hopes in Scientology.

    Go HERE to view and/or download the essay, "The Three Basic Scientology Beliefs".

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