Re extreme resistance and flame wars that happened up to me up to about a year ago

Voltaire's Child

Fool on the Hill
I finally figured out what the deal was.

When I was in CofS and was posting to a.r.s. and encountered so much resistance, I was told- and it was mostly true the majority of the time- that it was because I was part of a criminal cult that I was getting ummm...talked to as sternly as I was, with so much personalization. And it's true. I was part of a criminal cult. Eventually I figured it out and I walked away a year before my expulsion and declare.

I went on being candid about my stance as well as my identity since I knew that contributors, often targetted by OSA themselves or witnesses to such are very suspicious of anonymous contributors who have minority views re Scn. So I admitted and emphasized my ideological stance and also my identity. The comments still raged on. And I kept making tactical errata by arguing back. This really pissed those people off.

Now, I personally found that bizarre. If a man walks down the street and someone runs up to him and attacks him, no reasonable person would expect him to be passive. Yet, I was getting a lot of dressings down for doing exactly that.

But I kept harping on it. I still do, in fact. The thing I kept asking was "why are you doing this? How can this be on topic?" That's why I keep talking about this. I never ever got a straight answer. I just got a lot of "q&a" and side stuff about hair, job, marriage, please list everything you did in CofS, stop talking back, Hubbard had rotten teeth, you intend this, you intend that. So the answers I got were those people's opinions about me. This was very relevant and heartfelt for them. I could see that. But it was an answer to a different question. It was not an answer to the question I was asking.

I pointed out again and again that those boards and ngs were about Scn, Hubbard, etc. And still it went on. Frequent and heartfelt commentary about my defects, with my answering back listed as number one, pretty much.

And I finally have my answer. And believe me, I am not being sarcastic or facetious. I really figured it out. I had to figure it out myself because those people who were (some of whom still are, in fact) so angry with me- as much for answering back as for just having a different belief system- just would never ever answer my question.

Remember, I asked again and again about relevance to the forum subject matter, and how could this be about me, then, and why was it not ok for me to speak up against those derailments.

But the thing is, I now know why they thought it was relevant and why they were so very disgusted with my answering back.

If someone's doing an intervention or a deprogramming of Person X, then Person X truly is the subject matter. Therefore, those efforts are entirely relevant. Those individuals consider that deprogramming someone from Scn is part of the subject matter. And I suppose, in a way, that's correct. It's too bad they wouldn't come out and be honest about it, though. I guess it was too much of a hot potato to come out and say.

Think about it. There's a show called Intervention on an American cable network. So Addie the Addict comes tripping trustingly down the stairs and into the Big Old Confrontation Room. She's told they're all going to discuss politics or have dinner or whatever. (They do the same thing with the show "What Not To Wear" which is a much fluffier type of deprogramming having to do with fashion. but the same lure sets the scene since they KNOW the person won't show up if they're told "come down here to be told that you suck.") So she gets there and it's all about her and how she needs to stop doing what she's doing. She IS the subject of the intervention. If she talks back, says anything other than, yes, I'm wrong and I'll go to rehab, everyone's gonna be like, WTF? You're an addict. You are avoiding the elephant in the room. You need to quit taking heroin. Bottom line.

So Addie the Addict is the subject of the intervention. She needs deprogramming. If you've ever read Rummies by Peter Benchley - a murder mystery that starts with an intervention with the protagonist, a full on raging alkie- you'll see that any evasion by that person can not be countenanced since the individual is in the wrong and has nothing positive to contribute as long as he or she is defending his or her destructive way of life.

So if a thread goes on and on about Nora the Non CofS Scientologists' infamies and she argues back, then she is considered to be destructive and derailing the whole thing since those people (who've never met her) obviously know better than she. They're quite sure that she's running down the wrong path. They are not only worried about Nora but they are afraid that if allowed to continue to speak freely about her horrible views, she will corrupt others.

So those people will consider what they are doing to be on topic and that any time Nora says "leave me alone. Let's talk about Hubbard" to be a thread derailment. And derailed those threads were. Though Nora sees it as derailed from discussion of CofS and Scn. Because there's an unwritten blurb on each forum and in the minds of many contributors that Interventions and Deprogrammings are on topic and that derailing those is the real derailment. Because an addict is talking back and therefore can, by definition, have nothing constructive to say unless it's "I agree with you and I need to go to rehab."

The only flaws I could see in this were that those are cyberstrangers, that unlike the people on Intervention, they often make up a lot of things to support their positions and that they aren't coming out and admitting what they are doing.

As it happens, I think those are rather big flaws.

I eventually left Scn behind, but it was not due to those intervention efforts.

But I now know why I've seen so much dismay (in posts and sometimes in pms and emails) expressed at my arguing back. Of course they think those were destructive posts and derails on my part. I wasn't allowing the interventions!

So to those people, I'll just say that I think I figured it out now and that

http://www.forum.exscn.net/showpost.php?p=400542&postcount=1
 
I just got a PM, The words were "FUCK YOU"

I don't disagree with you Fluffy, but I further think even on non scio points, like the bin Laden and Gadaffi's son's killing, emotions run very close to the core of some. Any disagreement is cause for burning at the stake by certain people.
 
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LongTimeGone

Silver Meritorious Patron
It beats me why anyone on ars would think that their words could have a deprogramming effect on a Scientologist.

We, who have spent time in the cult, will most probably agree that no one could have convinced us we were doing the wrong thing.

It had to be our own decision to wake up and make the decision to leave.

Physically grabbing someone and forcing them to look, might work in some instances but making them wrong on a newsgroup or even a board such as ESMB would just piss them off in my opinion.

LTG
 

Purple Rain

Crusader
I dont mind a Scientologist talking about Scientology.

I object when they start going on about the 'crimes' of one of my friends that left, thinking they have a right to spread salacious rumours or spew out vile lies, as if that makes Scientology right and my friend wrong. I just feel like I need a bath after hearing that sort of thing. I feel kind of violated, just want to get the 'ewwww' feeling off me.

But all the OT stuff I either think they're bonkers or I don't understand it, so I switch off.

I do look up to some people more than others, and I tend to respect the Scientologist or 'OT' based on how it reflects in their life. Of course, I respect people from many other faiths or no faith at all based on the same criteria.

However Scientologists have a right to speak just like everybody else. What is most important is what they personally do and how they treat others. They should understand, however, that anyone supporting a destructive, controlling organisation is likely to be unpopular for that reason.
 

Outethicsofficer

Silver Meritorious Patron
Good OP Claire,
Just this morning a good friend was discussing some woes he was having re his errant 18 year old son and so on...reading your OP somewhat clarified the situation my friend finds himself in, here is his son who is expected to be in a certain way in relation to the family and is resisting it, what 18 year olds don't?

The father (my friend) now has to enforce, so he thinks, the rules of the family and 'deprogramme' his son's current thinking. Son is resisting this and drama is ensuing.

What are the choices here?

James
 

Infinite

Troublesome Internet Fringe Dweller
. . . <snip> . . . Now, I personally found that bizarre. If a man walks down the street and someone runs up to him and attacks him, no reasonable person would expect him to be passive. Yet, I was getting a lot of dressings down for doing exactly that . . . <snip> . . .

The analogy is disingenuous in that pertinent facts are left off. If you had mentioned that you were standing in a bad part of town dressed as a tourist and wearing a bum-bag stuffed full of cash, it might hold a little more water. Rather than fighting back, it might have been better to retreat rather than turn up the next day doing the same thing. C'mon, VC, even you will admit that so far as tech-spouting Kool Aid slurpers are concerned, ARS is certainly a bad part of town.

Its interesting to get a glimpse into your thinking in relation to the severe trolling you got. Thank you. I wonder, though, are you perhaps seeking reason where none exists?
 

Pooks

MERCHANT OF CHAOS
Nice post Claire!

Ars was definitely a tough place to "grow up" but at the time you and I were posting it was really the only place where any kind of intelligent discussion could occur. Of course it required you have an active killfile (ignore button) because ars was over run with trolls, kooks and OSAbots.

I think in any kind of large group of people united for the purposes of discussion/activism you'll get the fanatical fringe insisting that their beliefs are true and righteous and anyone disagreeing with them is dealt with harshly. This applies to cultists and anti cultists alike.

You are a beautiful and intelligent woman and you would debate circle around
your bashers making them look the the lying and illogical "deprogrammers" that they were.

I was always astounded at the energy you had in responding to them, and that's a big part of what makes you so fluffy. :happydance:

I can see that some of the people that made it their mission to deprogram you, come hell or high water, cared enough about you to want you to "be better" in their eyes but as you said, there are some big flaws in the approach.

The problem is, you're just too damn smart.

Hugs to you,

P
 

Freeminds

Bitter defrocked apostate
It beats me why anyone on ars would think that their words could have a deprogramming effect on a Scientologist.

We, who have spent time in the cult, will most probably agree that no one could have convinced us we were doing the wrong thing.

It had to be our own decision to wake up and make the decision to leave.

Physically grabbing someone and forcing them to look, might work in some instances but making them wrong on a newsgroup or even a board such as ESMB would just piss them off in my opinion.

LTG

Absolutely. When one attacks Scientology directly, it just makes the remaining Scientology victims huddle together even more closely, and reduces their links with the real world. That could actually delay their process of waking up and getting out.

I can't grab somebody and force them to read something. Nor would deprogramming necessarily work: I suspect that most forms of therapy are only effective on those who want to get better. I can't force a Scientology victim to use the Internet to free his- or herself... but I try to sow the seed.

Hubbard's truly dreadful singing of "Thank You for Listening" is a valuable outpoint. Another one is this:
oldhubb.jpg
 

Voltaire's Child

Fool on the Hill
The analogy is disingenuous in that pertinent facts are left off. If you had mentioned that you were standing in a bad part of town dressed as a tourist and wearing a bum-bag stuffed full of cash, it might hold a little more water. Rather than fighting back, it might have been better to retreat rather than turn up the next day doing the same thing. C'mon, VC, even you will admit that so far as tech-spouting Kool Aid slurpers are concerned, ARS is certainly a bad part of town.

Its interesting to get a glimpse into your thinking in relation to the severe trolling you got. Thank you. I wonder, though, are you perhaps seeking reason where none exists?

Actually, I love a.r.s. and I did great there. I made a lot of lasting friends there. I got into some flame wars but believe me, they were absolutely nothing compared to the flames I got into on OCMB and the constant constant constant constant targetting I experienced there.

But I really realized it was deprogramming.

And, thing was, Blippy, my analogy is correct because I was NOT a tech spouter. All I did was identify my interests and I never ever ever proseltyized. I was already out of the cult by then. I often criticized the cult. But some people just went on trying to deprogram me and they were genuinely angry at what they saw as my efforts to derail that.

ARS (which is only a shadow of its former self currently) was wild and wooly but like I said, even though it kinda got fucked up sometimes I was able to navigate its waters just fine and I didn't get nearly the flak for resisting the deprogramming that I got on OCMB.
 

Infinite

Troublesome Internet Fringe Dweller
Actually, I love a.r.s. and I did great there. I made a lot of lasting friends there. I got into some flame wars but believe me, they were absolutely nothing compared to the flames I got into on OCMB and the constant constant constant constant targetting I experienced there.

But I really realized it was deprogramming.

And, thing was, Blippy, my analogy is correct because I was NOT a tech spouter. All I did was identify my interests and I never ever ever proseltyized. I was already out of the cult by then. I often criticized the cult. But some people just went on trying to deprogram me and they were genuinely angry at what they saw as my efforts to derail that.

ARS (which is only a shadow of its former self currently) was wild and wooly but like I said, even though it kinda got fucked up sometimes I was able to navigate its waters just fine and I didn't get nearly the flak for resisting the deprogramming that I got on OCMB.

I bow to your superior knowledge in regard to ARS and OCMB "back in the day". Still, in your thinking about the situation, it might be worth considering the "red rag to a bull" aspect of "identifying your interests" - I'm sorry, but that just comes across as a tad (I won't say disingenuous this time) naive. I mean, did you really expect that people so vehemently opposed to Scientology would just accept that and then entertain friendly discussion around it? You're not that dumb, I know.

Another aspect - which may or may not be related - is the fact that many commentators play to the gallery. Their comments often have less to do with you as an individual and more to do with appealing to lurkers and/or showing their stripes to those on their side. Very, very seldom is it *all* about you. While, it may well be that some were attempting to deprogramme you, I sincerely doubt that that was what its was *all* about.
 

Freeminds

Bitter defrocked apostate
Ah, happy days!

The best thing about ARS was Babbles Schwartz endlessly feeding the trolls to bursting-point. No wonder you didn't get savaged there, Claire: Schwartz acted as a lightning-rod.

Of course, nowadays, her blog is very amusing too. Almost as good as the vintage moonbattery, but it doesn't quite meet the earlier level. Still, it's a living monument to the corrosive effects of L Ron Hubbard, conspiracy theories unchecked, and animated GIFs.
 

Voltaire's Child

Fool on the Hill
Well, Blippie,

Then it pretty much proves my point. If someone comes onto a forum and says "Well, I left CofS and here's why. THEN I got expelled and declared (though not declaired- nyuk nyuk!) and I'm very critical of the organization." then, in answer to questions, says "I'm not into proselytizing and believe there are other good things out there." and it's still like a red flag to a bull, then it can only be a deprogramming thing.

I can name people who said they were trying to "reach me"- some of them are on this forum now. (Which means I'm not gonna name 'em, having no desire to talk to them about this issue again.) I was scrutizined six ways to Sunday. My motives were questioned and when I answered candidly and repeatedly, some post would appear where someone would make something up and say "here are her motives" no matter how many times I said what they were.

Plus the reactions I got when I said I was no longer calling myself a Scn'ist, that I'd moved on from that. Some people seemed relieved, like I'd lifted a weight from everyone's shoulders. (Some didn't, but just seemed happy for me or had questions or whatever.)

So, no. I know that they (and by "they" I only refer to the flamers who said they were upset at how much I answered back) were worried about contamination and that they were attempting deprogramming. Otherwise, why else would anyone actually have the cajones to cavil at someone defending themselves against ad homs? The only way that can have any legitimacy, real or imagined, is if the person thinks that those ad homs ARE on topic and are relevant. And that is what commonly happens with deprogramming/interventions. Try watching "Intervention" on A & E and you'll see what I mean. Or any made for tv movie about people who need to be deprogrammed for their own good. As an exercise, just observe how any attempts to rebut (by the cultie or drug addict) are regarded.

Bet yer bottom dollar it's identical to what I experienced.

I've spent years trying to figure out why on earth those things were deemed as relevant and why there was so much incredible anger and accusations from my defending myself. Well, the only way can be that they not only thought I was wrong (Well, hell, I knew THAT) but that they thought that they had to discuss me and say those things. The only way they could have thought that was on topic was if they were trying to do an intervention. (Or interventions, plural) I kept telling them I thought it was fine to not want to do Scn and that I didn't care if they did. I often would start discussing the cult's insane and evil actions, only to have someone get real hung up on WHO was discussing it, and start to talk about me again.

It was a real relief to me to have this realization the other day. I still think it was lame as hell and that it derailed threads, but I now know WHY I got more pushback than most people have for sticking up for myself and why some people spent years turning the conversations we were having around to the subject of Claire and her ...whatever.
 

Voltaire's Child

Fool on the Hill
Ah, happy days!

The best thing about ARS was Babbles Schwartz endlessly feeding the trolls to bursting-point. No wonder you didn't get savaged there, Claire: Schwartz acted as a lightning-rod.

Of course, nowadays, her blog is very amusing too. Almost as good as the vintage moonbattery, but it doesn't quite meet the earlier level. Still, it's a living monument to the corrosive effects of L Ron Hubbard, conspiracy theories unchecked, and animated GIFs.

Yah, Babbles got a lot of flak. She seems to have wound down from her participation. Something I thought would never happen. Cuz now a.r.s. has a new fool- that Greg nut.

However, I think I preceded her arrival by about two years or so. Yes, I definitely got flak. I was in CofS when I started posting to a.r.s. I had some people get really mad at me, for sure. But it just didn't have that deprogramming feel to it that the OCMB stuff - and even a bit of ESMB stuff from a few years ago- did.

A number of really awesome people who posted there (Some still do, some don't) reached out to me and became good friends.

I can honestly say that there are people I met there for whom I'd crawl over broken glass if they ever needed ANYTHING.

Yet the cult would have it that they're "eeeeeevil". Yeah, right!!!!
 

Voltaire's Child

Fool on the Hill
Nice post Claire!

Ars was definitely a tough place to "grow up" but at the time you and I were posting it was really the only place where any kind of intelligent discussion could occur. Of course it required you have an active killfile (ignore button) because ars was over run with trolls, kooks and OSAbots.

I think in any kind of large group of people united for the purposes of discussion/activism you'll get the fanatical fringe insisting that their beliefs are true and righteous and anyone disagreeing with them is dealt with harshly. This applies to cultists and anti cultists alike.

You are a beautiful and intelligent woman and you would debate circle around
your bashers making them look the the lying and illogical "deprogrammers" that they were.

I was always astounded at the energy you had in responding to them, and that's a big part of what makes you so fluffy. :happydance:

I can see that some of the people that made it their mission to deprogram you, come hell or high water, cared enough about you to want you to "be better" in their eyes but as you said, there are some big flaws in the approach.

The problem is, you're just too damn smart.

Hugs to you,

P

Awwww...you're too kind. I'd have liked to have been smarter about not engaging with a number of individuals. I guess you could say that I have a thing about bullies. It's weird. I have no real hang ups ( I refuse to use Scnese) about a.r.s., even at its wooliest, but I definitely have some hangups, sadness, whatever else, re a couple other venues.

We were lucky. Technically speaking, we weren't quite in on ARS' heyday- we came on the scene maybe 3 years after that, but there were still lots of people who came on who really discussed things. Boy, there were some great people around then. Some of them have left the critic's scene entirely, but I've seen a number of people here and on WWP say that they used to be on a.r.s.

I'm lucky to still be in contact with people like you and some of the alleged "buttersquashers" and, of course, the sweet amazing ESMB regulars, some of whom used to be a.r.s. regulars.

So I wouldn't say that the deprogramming efforts actually took, because those were bogus, anyway. It was conversations with you, Kristi Wachter, Starshadow, and others that really helped. I even got an email from Chris Owen when I was back in CofS, cluing me in on LRH's military record!!!!!
 

LongTimeGone

Silver Meritorious Patron
Well, Blippie,

Then it pretty much proves my point. If someone comes onto a forum and says "Well, I left CofS and here's why. THEN I got expelled and declared (though not declaired- nyuk nyuk!) and I'm very critical of the organization." then, in answer to questions, says "I'm not into proselytizing and believe there are other good things out there." and it's still like a red flag to a bull, then it can only be a deprogramming thing.

I can name people who said they were trying to "reach me"- some of them are on this forum now. (Which means I'm not gonna name 'em, having no desire to talk to them about this issue again.) I was scrutizined six ways to Sunday. My motives were questioned and when I answered candidly and repeatedly, some post would appear where someone would make something up and say "here are her motives" no matter how many times I said what they were.

Plus the reactions I got when I said I was no longer calling myself a Scn'ist, that I'd moved on from that. Some people seemed relieved, like I'd lifted a weight from everyone's shoulders. (Some didn't, but just seemed happy for me or had questions or whatever.)

So, no. I know that they (and by "they" I only refer to the flamers who said they were upset at how much I answered back) were worried about contamination and that they were attempting deprogramming. Otherwise, why else would anyone actually have the cajones to cavil at someone defending themselves against ad homs? The only way that can have any legitimacy, real or imagined, is if the person thinks that those ad homs ARE on topic and are relevant. And that is what commonly happens with deprogramming/interventions. Try watching "Intervention" on A & E and you'll see what I mean. Or any made for tv movie about people who need to be deprogrammed for their own good. As an exercise, just observe how any attempts to rebut (by the cultie or drug addict) are regarded.

Bet yer bottom dollar it's identical to what I experienced.

I've spent years trying to figure out why on earth those things were deemed as relevant and why there was so much incredible anger and accusations from my defending myself. Well, the only way can be that they not only thought I was wrong (Well, hell, I knew THAT) but that they thought that they had to discuss me and say those things. The only way they could have thought that was on topic was if they were trying to do an intervention. (Or interventions, plural) I kept telling them I thought it was fine to not want to do Scn and that I didn't care if they did. I often would start discussing the cult's insane and evil actions, only to have someone get real hung up on WHO was discussing it, and start to talk about me again.

It was a real relief to me to have this realization the other day. I still think it was lame as hell and that it derailed threads, but I now know WHY I got more pushback than most people have for sticking up for myself and why some people spent years turning the conversations we were having around to the subject of Claire and her ...whatever.

That strikes a cord with me.

To a certain extent, some people leaving a cult can become a mirror image of the cultist; like the cultist who has to convince the world to join them, the ex can feel a need to convince the cultist to leave - I guess it can become a divine mission. :)

Even here on ESMB, the euphoria that erupts when someone leaves is measurable and rightly so in my opinion.

However to some the effort afforded to this mission can become a weight on their shoulders, getting heavier and heavier as they perceive their efforts failing.

They can become more and more desperate, metaphorically yelling louder and louder and wanting to reach out and punch their target into submission - like any crazed fundamentalist.

The natural result is that they feel great relief if they realise even a modicum of success.

So I think your point is spot on VC, but I also believe it had little to do with you as the subject and more to do with their perceived mission in life.

LTG
 

Jquepublic

Silver Meritorious Patron
That strikes a cord with me.

To a certain extent, some people leaving a cult can become a mirror image of the cultist; like the cultist who has to convince the world to join them, the ex can feel a need to convince the cultist to leave - I guess it can become a divine mission. :)

Even here on ESMB, the euphoria that erupts when someone leaves is measurable and rightly so in my opinion.

However to some the effort afforded to this mission can become a weight on their shoulders, getting heavier and heavier as they perceive their efforts failing.

They can become more and more desperate, metaphorically yelling louder and louder and wanting to reach out and punch their target into submission - like any crazed fundamentalist.

The natural result is that they feel great relief if they realise even a modicum of success.

So I think your point is spot on VC, but I also believe it had little to do with you as the subject and more to do with their perceived mission in life.

LTG

I agree - in fact I was talking to a friend about this very thing the other night and honestly I don't know if the ones who flip-flop that way are even in recovery themselves. It's more like they just changed seats on the train. I can't be sure though when I was coming out, there was only OCMB, and shortly after I started to post there I got mindfucked by some OSA ops. It was too soon and the whole thing sufficiently weirded me out; I left the net and did the rest of my sorting out on my own. So I can't say I wouldn't have turned into a ferocious "deprogrammer" myself had I stayed online. But I CAN say with certainty that I'm okay with how it worked out! :)
 

Voltaire's Child

Fool on the Hill
Yah. I think it didn't start out being about me, but when I resisted the interventions, it got really really really centered on me. I mean, my job, my vacation schedule, my hair, my body, my schedule-- all those things were scrutinized. I was told repeatedly that I'd not done any reading about any other belief system or anything else because if I had, I wouldn't be a non CofS Scn'ist. Of course, that wasn't true, but then when I gave them "push back", so to speak, I was resented heartily for so doing. And I know that's why I was resented, because I was told this many times over.

No way could it be anything other than being viewed as a scenario where the addict resists the intervention and is, thus, considered irresponsible and also likely to contaminate everyone else. I truly was one of the most controversial contributors for a time.

I guess I could have lied to them and said I was out of CofS (that part would have, of course, been true) BUT that I had zero interest in Scn outside CofS. Had I done that, I'd not have attracted the hordes of wanna be deprogrammers and people worried about my contamination. But that's just not how I do things. I'll be candid even if it's gonna skew my reputation.

I could give it an analogy like this: I read about some guy who had a Republican tshirt on and he was at an outdoor cafe out here in Seattle. Seattle's pretty liberal. Someone driving a car who saw this, was so incensed by it, that he (the driver) leaned across his child in the passenger seat just to scream at the Republican.

I think people are worried about contamination of ideas. I think that sometimes they're truly frightened and feel threatened. This is an attitude one can find in many venues. CofS, politics, and, of course, fascism, communism, Islamic extremism. It's like an "infidel" type thing.

People aren't so much worried about that person's welfare as they are that his or her actions or exercising freedom of speech will cause harm. That's also the case with the interventions that are done with druggies and alkies.
 
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