There is absolutely no doubt that Steve Hall designs very nice web sites. He is very good at this and I appreciate his dedication to his cause but I question much of his logic in his Marty post. Some has been pointed out already but this logical fallacy, IMO, is crippling to his project as a "death blow" to DM/Scientology:
Scientology may be Googled by over a million people a month but they aren't Googling "Scientology review" or "Scientology reviews" or any variation of those terms. I know this is true because I'm one of those people who Google Scientology in connection to "news". By no means am I searching for reviews of Scientology services and I seriously doubt any percentage of those searching for Scientology are either. How does he think he's going to divert all this traffic to his site when people don't even use Google search with these terms? The basic premise of his whole site is deeply flawed by this reasoning. While the "Scientology-cult" site actually works because cult and Scientology are terms actively searched while reviews in connection with Scientology are negligible at best.
Last edited by 120 Degrees; 10th November 2012 at 09:00 AM.
This whole thing might be another Op. Paranoid view, I know.
It's hard not to be so, while parting with the pro cult though.
"Simply delusional" is a suspect concept to me now.
Too much first-hand experience, observation and information out-there.
There are no Clears and OT's in Scientology, yet the noise goes on.
- Aka Scientology Review Website (heavily moderated, understandably).
Time will tell, soon.
P.S. The desperate cult is desperate. CofS, Indie, Freezone or otherwise.
Last edited by Stat; 10th November 2012 at 11:51 AM.
"If you have an innocence of being, curiosity about life, a liking of people, and a feeling of sweetness inside, you have everything." ~ Smilla's Mom.
On the one hand the difference between that, and simply making up fake reviews from scratch, is in practice slight. Rathbun has plenty of loyal groupies, to write all the glowing reviews his site could hold. He could also induce plenty of more moderate reviews, to give an appearance of objectivity, just by making a few blog posts out of the rational side of his mouth, and encouraging his flock to admit that the tech is only workable and not perfect. Then, by deciding how many of those less glowing testimonials to reject as black PR, he can tune the overall glowingness level of his reviews site just as if he had a dimmer switch. So even without any of the posted reviews being edited, the site can end up saying exactly what Rathbun wants it to say, just as if he wrote every word himself.
On the other hand, I don't think it's entirely paranoid to suspect that CofS goons might try to poison an independent tech review site. Real review sites do have problems with astroturfing, both positive and negative, and I think most must make efforts to weed out fake reviews. So what Rathbun says about his plans isn't obviously outrageous on the surface.
I think the real conclusion from thinking about his planned review site, though, is that grassroots reviews from the public are just not going to work for Scientology. It's not a consumer product which any non-expert can convincingly review because the things that make it good or bad are obvious to anyone. Scientology is more of an expert topic, and the more appropriate kind of reviews would be by a named panel of respected experts. The trick lies in getting a panel of experts whose judgements would be respected by wog public. They would need to have serious credentials from outside Scientology, or the general public will just assume that the supposed experts are marketers pitching their own goods.
But of course there are no experts on Scientology who have any serious credentials from outside Scientology. And that fact right there is pretty much the only Scientology review that anyone really needs to see.
Steve Hall is a little late with his idea for a website where Scientologists post REVIEWS on their Scientology experience.
It's already been done.
It's called ESMB.
Scientology literally saved my life! Without Ron's books I would have frozen to death!!! (see avatar)
Scientology in one word? HelluvaHoax!
I never felt as free as when I freed myself from "Total Freedom".
For offended Scientologists reading this blasphemy about L. Ron Hubbard---my apologies for talking about real life without lying to you, like Scientology, with goo-goo theta-talk. I know you don't have a floating needle right now. You're not supposed to.
There is no way the Indie Show is going to allow free reviewing of their brand of nuttery. The moment they open up for review, the whole of WWP will be busy posting reviews for a week or two. So they are stuck with the positive reviews they write themselves and that will just look the offcial church site: Win after win after win.
It's a concept doomed to fail.
"My attitude when I first got out was "Tech" good, management bad." - David Mayo
In 1951, Dr. J.A. Winter, who had written the Introduction to 'Dianetics, The Modern Science of Mental Health', wrote in his 'A Doctor's Report on Dianetics':
There was a difference between the ideals inherent in the Dianetic hypothesis and the actions of the Foundation in its ostensible efforts to carry out these ideals. The ideals, as I saw them, included non-authoritarianism and a flexibility of approach. The ideals... continued to be given lip-service, but I could see a definite disparity between ideals and actualities.
In the early 1970s, in his 'Naked Scientology' William Burroughs wrote about his experiences at St. Hill in the 1960s:
...I rockslammed on a question, "What would have to happen before Scientology worked on everybody?" (I couldn't confront it.)...
Scientology is the model control system... How did Hubbard do it? With the e-meter of course...
Burroughs wrote approvingly of some aspects of Scientology "tech," but also warned that Scientology came into being:
fundamentally as [a means for] an ersatz[substitute] immortality for its founder...
Also in the early 1970s, Robert Kaufman wrote (the original) 'Inside Scientology'.
From the chapter, Life in Present Time:
Last edited by Smilla; 10th November 2012 at 05:47 PM.
"Your Freezone stinks."
- Steve Hall
"It is true that the term FZ includes many varients of Scn, and some may be inadequate. Or even wrong headed."
- Terril Park