The Houston Chronicle: Sympathizing with Scientology

Sindy

Crusader
Sympathizing with Scientology

The most unsavory “four-letter word” in America may be “change.” Perhaps its antecedent “new” also carries some seriously suspicious impressions. Whether warranted or not, Americans are reticent to readily accept, incorporate, or appreciate relatively new religious movements.

Although we like to pick our way through the buffet of religions on offer to us in a digital and global age, we are suspicious of full-fledge nouveau religious systems. After all, we like our religion like we like our comfy pants — worn-in, familiar, and neutral in color. Or perhaps, we prefer those religions that remind us of mom’s Thanksgiving stuffing recipe — don’t transgress the recipe and we can all enjoy a scoop or two of whatever we want.

Then there’s the Church of Scientology. Founded by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology (as it is popularly known) is the quintessential new religious movement for examining Americans’ wariness of accepting entities, beliefs, and rituals they do not understand.

Based on Hubbard’s book Dianetics, published in 1950, and other writings and manuals Scientologists believe that the individual is first and foremost a spirit, or thetan, and that thetans can be cleared of negative energy through a process called auditing. They espouse this as “spiritual technology” as auditors use machines called “e-meters” that measure stress and other markers of spiritual and material tarnish.

Scientology has long suffered derision in popular culture and in political maneuvers. Likewise, Scientology has been one of the most famously secretive and prone to take their complaints against their detractors to the civil courts. Their publications, while slick and well produced, appear paranoid and overcomplicated. Their public personas (Tom Cruise, John Travolta, etc.) are often edited and represented in news media as strange and nutty.

All of these streams at work in the societal misgivings concerning Scientology and the religion’s disgruntled posture recently came to a head with the release of Alex Gibney’s combustible HBO documentary “Going Clear,” based off of the best-selling book of the same name written by Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright (The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11). The film has drawn ire from the church, who took out a full-page ad in The New York Times to combat perceptions of Scientology solely based off the film, released a series of online videos to contest Gibney and Wright’s claims, and also arranged a team of lawyers to prepare litigations.

I read Wright’s book when it came out. Wright is a powerful and convincing investigative writer. His work was scrupulously researched (just look at the nearly 50 pages of endnotes!) and he leaves no Scientological stone unturned.

Certainly, in investigating Scientology’s founder, history, theology, rituals, and leadership systems (including the infamous ‘Sea Org’) Wright presents an impressive, engaging, and eerie story of a religion that many view as an out-of-control cult. And, in Wright’s estimation, they may have every reason to believe so.

Granted, Scientology has some strange beliefs and practices. Its cosmogony features a perplexing narrative that started some 75 million years ago. At that time, according to Hubbard and Scientologists, the Galactic Confederacy was run by an evil overlord named Xenu who exiled human souls (thetans) to Earth in space ships that look more like DC-8s than anything alien or ancient. Then there is the secretive Sea Org leadership crew and its Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF). The RPF involves punishment for Sea Org members who act, or speak, out and takes them through a process of remediation wherein they are supposedly forced to live in primitive conditions of forced asceticism, forced labor, and without contact with the outside world.

So yeah, when it comes to Scientology things can get weird.

Like most people, I am simultaneously enthralled and repelled by exotic entities such as Scientology. Therefore, just as I took a creepy little drive through the polygamous planned community of Colorado City after reading Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven, I decided to drop by the Scientology center in Phoenix, AZ.
A picture from the backside of the Scientology Ideal Org in north Phoenix, AZ.

A picture from the backside of the Scientology Ideal Org in north Phoenix, AZ.

Greeted by a young man we’ll call “Tom” in suit and button-up shirt, looking the picture of business-casual Arizona chic, I was invited to sit down, served a glass of water on a seasonably warm day in the Valley of the Sun, and was given a run-down of the center’s significant history. Tom told me the Phoenix center has some renown because it was the birthplace of Scientology, where Hubbard reportedly “made the breakthrough discoveries of the human spirit that gave rise to our religion.” The Phoenix center is an “Ideal Organization” (or “Ideal Org”) as it provides the full spectrum of facilities to educate Scientologists and serve as their home base for spiritual technological ritual.

I was then invited to enjoy an initial auditing session, what they called “a free stress-test,” and take a brief tour of the facility. Already late for a meeting at a local church, I declined. I’ll be honest, it was a convenient excuse. Bathed in Wright’s analysis of Scientology I was swimming in cultic images and depictions of domination and control. I shivered as I left the air-conditioned insides of this Ideal Org and stepped into the Arizona sun.

Fast-forward to 2015. This time, I’m not in Phoenix, but in Nashville, TN walking along broadway, the epicenter of “Nash Vegas” and its hoard of honky-tonks, neon-lit big boots, and country music kitsch.

Finish article here:

http://blog.chron.com/sacredduty/2015/03/sympathizing-with-scientology/

I wrote to this writer today (and got a reply) and think he's a good guy. I would love it if more people shared their views, respectfully in the comment section of this article. :) I don't think he should be attacked. He's just trying to sort it all out as far as I can tell, not trying to shill for the cult.

I will admit to reading his article a bit superficially though and see by the other commenter that I missed a few things.
 

DeeAnna

Patron Meritorious
This guy needs both an editor and to do a whole lot more reading about the "church". Probably one of the first things he should do is to educate himself on the attributes of a cult.

And yes, I was polite.
 

Sindy

Crusader
This guy needs both an editor and to do a whole lot more reading about the "church". Probably one of the first things he should do is to educate himself on the attributes of a cult.

And yes, I was polite.

Agreed. He certainly needs an editor. I had a hard time deciphering what his main point was to begin with and it took him too long to make it simply because it was not succinct. Thanks DeeAnna.
 
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SPsince83

Gold Meritorious Patron
I wrote to this writer today (and got a reply) and think he's a good guy. I would love it if more people shared their views, respectfully in the comment section of this article. :) I don't think he should be attacked. He's just trying to sort it all out as far as I can tell, not trying to shill for the cult.

I will admit to reading his article a bit superficially though and see by the other commenter that I missed a few things.[/B]

This writer is, given his adherence to the 19th century version of "Ron is RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!111111111, in posession of zero critical thinking skills. Joseph Smith was just as full of shit as LRH and Brigham Young was every bit the asshole Miscavidge is. Now given that we all got swindled, some compassion is in order. He was probably born into his cult.

It's hard enough dealing with scn victims (such as myself :biggrin: ). But of all the theist religions mormons may be the most loony/
 

Sindy

Crusader
This writer is, given his adherence to the 19th century version of "Ron is RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!111111111, in posession of zero critical thinking skills. Joseph Smith was just as full of shit as LRH and Brigham Young was every bit the asshole Miscavidge is. Now given that we all got swindled, some compassion is in order. He was probably born into his cult.

It's hard enough dealing with scn victims (such as myself :biggrin: ). But of all the theist religions mormons may be the most loony/

Are you saying he's a Mormon? Did he say that? I missed that. Here's a page from his blog.

http://www.kenchitwood.com/#/academic-work/

and another:

http://www.kenchitwood.com/about/
 

bromo

Patron with Honors
I left a comment which I assume is in moderation. I suggested as a student he do more research. Which he should have done before he wrote this article imnsho.
 

Techless

Patron Meritorious
After reading, I just got the impression that he was saying (paraphrased) "lets all have compassion for one another, don't be judgmental, bla, bla" and something I think we can all agree on is good. A-duh! kindergarten lesson 1a.

Then he seems to go all scholarly and try to impress with his theological deepness, (and some words I didn't know) and lost the point.

Sindy and Deeanna's responses where perfect - and friendly! Thinking he might be taking these thoughts home with him before he tries that again.

But most definitely the whole topic is impossible to explain, even IF you don't know of all the bs behind it. Always is the challenge.

Then perhaps a well-placed, timed, and promoted MOVIE on HBO!! Gawd I can't wait - a little kid the night before Christmas...
 

Sindy

Crusader
I left a comment which I assume is in moderation. I suggested as a student he do more research. Which he should have done before he wrote this article imnsho.

Yes, it's more like it just takes long for it to get posted as he told me that he doesn't censor stuff unless it's really nasty. I wrote to him, as it was taking a long time for my comment to go through and I just wanted to feel him out to see if he was another cult apologist who wouldn't let negative comments about the C of S go through and he said no, but that the Chron is not his site and that he, himself, doesn't get notifications when people post there (even though he writes for them) but apparently he can still get the comments through once he's told.

My guess is that the comments will all go through in about 9 or 10 hours from now when they get back to work.
 

Sindy

Crusader
After reading, I just got the impression that he was saying (paraphrased) "lets all have compassion for one another, don't be judgmental, bla, bla" and something I think we can all agree on is good. A-duh! kindergarten lesson 1a.

Then he seems to go all scholarly and try to impress with his theological deepness, (and some words I didn't know) and lost the point.

Sindy and Deeanna's responses where perfect - and friendly! Thinking he might be taking these thoughts home with him before he tries that again.

But most definitely the whole topic is impossible to explain, even IF you don't know of all the bs behind it. Always is the challenge.

Then perhaps a well-placed, timed, and promoted MOVIE on HBO!! Gawd I can't wait - a little kid the night before Christmas...

Thanks. The reason I even brought up the idea of being "friendly" is just because I see that sometimes we all tend to get riled up here and then don't necessarily use emotional discipline when making comments (myself included) and really that doesn't work. It just pisses people off.
 

Sindy

Crusader
His column is titled Ask a Mormon. :confused2: What else would I think?

I looked for that and couldn't find that anywhere.

This is from his About page on his blog:

“The friendly study of the world’s religions is a most sacred duty.”

— Mahatma Gandhi

religion | culture | theology | public intellect

Ken Chitwood is a religion scholar, PhD student & teaching assistant fellow at University of Florida studying Religion in the Americas with interests including glocalization, transnationalism, intersections of religion & culture, global Christianity, global Islam, Islam in the Americas, Islamic minorities, and theories of religion, & ethnographic methods in a global age. He is also fascinated by the intersection of religion & popular culture and writes & speaks on this topic as both an academic and a journalist covering 'the god beat.’ (see his blog Faith Goes Pop).

Chitwood is also a forward-thinking Lutheran theologian, preacher & popular speaker who accents 'global' 21st-century Christianity. As a "theologian without borders," his interests include global theologies, multi-cultural ministry, & the contextualization of doctrines & practices across religious boundaries, physical borders, & cultural barriers. Weaving together historical context, societal exegesis, & a fair dose of ironic humor, Ken speaks with power, love, & sound mind.

In Gainesville, Ken lives with his wonderful wife Elizabeth (musician & elephant advocate) and their two dogs - Pepper & Spartan. He enjoys ultra-distance running, well-placed sarcasm, craft beer, bike-commuting, traveling, hiking, camping, & rugby.

*What is vocatio? Vocatio is Latin for "vocation" or "calling." Ken feels called to the work of religious literacy. For him it is more than work, it is an effort with spiritual promptings & divine intimations.
 

SPsince83

Gold Meritorious Patron
Are you saying he's a Mormon? Did he say that? I missed that. Here's a page from his blog.

http://www.kenchitwood.com/#/academic-work/

and another:

http://www.kenchitwood.com/about/

I could be wrong, of course. :coolwink: But now given his academic credentials I'm even more surprised at his inability to see the lies in scn. Mormon or not he is still a theist which to me is an unsupportable position. Critical thinking eliminates the bible, koran, book of mormon all from the realm of serious merit and into the realm of unfalsifiable assertion.
 

SPsince83

Gold Meritorious Patron
I could be wrong, of course. :coolwink: But now given his academic credentials I'm even more surprised at his inability to see the lies in scn. Mormon or not he is still a theist which to me is an unsupportable position. Critical thinking eliminates the bible, koran, book of mormon all from the realm of serious merit and into the realm of unfalsifiable assertion.

Just like scientology:duh:
 

bromo

Patron with Honors
From his about page

Chitwood is also a forward-thinking Lutheran theologian, preacher & popular speaker who accents 'glocal' 21st-century Christianity

http://www.kenchitwood.com/about/

ETA: I see Sindy beat me to it while I was milling about in the kitchen fixing a midnight snack of shredded wheat. LOL
 
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SPsince83

Gold Meritorious Patron
His column is titled Ask a Mormon. :confused2: What else would I think?

The first time I clicked the link to his article I swear it said "ask a mormon" in big red letters. Clicked just now, not there. I withdraw my mormon objection. The theist objection remains.
 

Techless

Patron Meritorious
Thanks. The reason I even brought up the idea of being "friendly" is just because I see that sometimes we all tend to get riled up here and then don't necessarily use emotional discipline when making comments (myself included) and really that doesn't work. It just pisses people off.

Exactly, and it really is important to keep in mind when public perusal is approaching all time high.

With witch hunts being a dime a dozen these days, I don't think people's attention is even functional , unless at least some ''decent/human side' to whatever battle may appear to be there...throwing kaka back and forth just goes into the entertainment, waste basket. Yet this IS serious matter and needs to be constantly promoted as such. Not just the crazy cult and all the crazy exes thing...makes me uncomfortable at least

Our government is riding on the very edge of it though (acting decently towards each other up on that hill) so it's not apparently going to matter much anymore anyway, and scn will be the least of our worries.

Too late, nitey now!
 

Sindy

Crusader
I just sent him an email inviting him to engage with us here as part of his journey through all of this and hope he does so.
 

eldritch cuckoo

brainslugged reptilian
just another rant against "religious scholars"

CRINGE!

AND FACECOUCH!*


I've [STRIKE]read the quoted excerpt[/STRIKE] now read the whole article, and [STRIKE]don't see what point he's trying to make, if any[/STRIKE] :confused2: am fucking annoyed. You know, to the point where I feel like I'm growing a pair of horns. :devil: The point where cats start to slowly whip their tail. Too interesting not to stare at it, but...

Ken Chitwood reminds me of James Beverly and the rest of these "religious scholars of religiosity". (Even before I went to the whole article, where, oops, stood that he's indeed a student of religion.) Even if not "shilling for the cult", they still keep "shilling for religiosity in general", and its little (and IMO even more sinister) brother, the "due respect, awe, reference, for people who still ACHIEVE (LOL/cringe) to maintain their religiosity, in these difficult times"...
All belief systems are meme viruses and their hosts will do anything to defend their belief systems and seek to clutch any straw and to create sympathy and to beg or demand "tolerance" just when it all tends to crumble down, yawn.
This is nothing than another desperate attempt to promote a "pro religiosity" attitude. I don't say he has a hidden agenda, I say he has an agenda he's unaware of. That's, to say the least, often the case with religious people. Religiosity is just a feeling of being-in-love that is not focused at a specific person, with the trance backed up and maintained by elaborate belief systems. Religiosity, as a system of delusions, inevitably makes people dumb and actually reduces their self-awareness - as psychology defines it, such as awareness of one's own motives and emotions and issues, because some spiritual pipe-dreams about metaphysical realities and fantastic interpretations DON'T count for me as "points of self awareness achieved".
The result are arguments that go in circles and certain points (or vocabulary, such as "CULT" or "MIND CONTROL") can never be approached because with it would come the essential need to acknowledge that their own belief system is bullshit as well.
Yawn.


Ken Chitwood said:
Instead, I felt like I’d just talked to a human being. More than that, a spiritual and physical being in search of something greater than herself and finding it in the “spiritual technology” of Scientology. In my work as a religion newswriter, academic, and Christian churchworker I have interacted with lots of Betsy’s. They’ve been Muslim, Lutheran, non-religious, Buddhist, pantheistic, and everything else betwixt and between.

What I see here, is a person infected and blindfolded by the virus of spirituality, unable to call a dangerous, brutal cult with heaps of abuses a fucking CULT, because it's "something spiritual". The main program of this person is SPIRITUALITY = GOOOOOD.


Ken Chitwood said:
Could I be being swayed by propaganda, both public and personalized? Quite possibly. Is there something to be gained, and learned, through scrupulous study spurred by suspicion? Most definitely.

The "SPIRITUALITY = GOOOOOD" virus, again. Spirituality must be justified, talked-up, held up, at EVERY cost. What an idiot.


Ken Chitwood said:
Even so, I believe it is time to uncover another side of the Scientology story by investigating it sympathetically, exploring its human dynamics, and pursuing an emic (insider’s) point-of-view.

Oh, so cool. Why not open your own Indie group, and try to "salvage" what is salvageable. It's a belief system and somewhat "spiritual", so SOMETHING must be groovy about it, because, after all, they're on a spiritual mission and feeling spiritual, right...? Circular thinking much...? :duh:

I still think he's a fool, and I still despise this approach. I think it's useless, superfluous, a fancy mindgame, fancied by people who are "into the spiritual" (of whichever kind, and whether they're tolerant of and interested in other belief systems, or not), and they're confusing this need to feed their natural, overly distinctive schizoidity with "being into improving the world". Really all what they're doing is entertaining themselves.

To make it plain, I know what he INTENDS to say. I DO understand what he's thinking, and THAT he's thinking.
But all he achieves with that kind unctuous fluffy, wishful talk, is to steer up and revitalize the Satanist in me.


The urgent need of these religious scholars to strive for "tolerance" and "fairness" in regards to belief systems is nothing than a sign that religiosity, with its extraordinary claims (many refutable and indeed refuted by now) and hopelessly outdated explanations for natural phenomena, is overall becoming so cornered that its hosts are gradually switching from vindicating a specific belief system to vindicating ALL belief systems. I'm referring to something similar to instinct here, unconscious moves, urges that are implanted by the mental virus that has infected their minds. It's a numbers' game. Shilling for "acceptance" and "reference" for ALL religions is, under the conditions given, simply the more effective strategy to maintain a friendly climate for A SPECIFIC religion. It's, after all, important to keep politicians getting voted who tend to be compliant to religious agendas. (So sorry I couldn't find a better translation for the wonderful, salacious, no, somewhat incredibly nutty German term "GEFÄLLIG". :hysterical: ) In former times, local religions didn't have to face much concurrence because people hardly travelled - nor could they read. In situations of concurrence, rude authority or throwing some good speeches was all what was needed for one religion to be victorious and the otehr one eradicated - locally. But the game has changed. Vindicating one belief system over another, no matter how charismatic the preacher and how elaborate the language used and how shiny the academic credentials of the presenter (hello, Mr. I-know-it-all-so-I-must-know-it-all Beverly), can still become a lost cause with so many people having easy access to (and curious about) comparative informations.
"Yay, so, let's sing together.
Let's SHILL together.
Let these atheistic suckers get the feeling that they're hopelessly OUTNUMBERED.
:dance3:
That's all that counts.
That's, in fact, all we still have: trying to make them feel insecure, and feeling guilty over "dropping their faith"." :dance:



The Scientology phenomenon needs SCIENTISTS investing it neutrally, pursuing a SCIENTIFIC point of view, and methods. Only this helps to unravel the mind control and to inoculate people forever, against this con, AND similar ones. And every ex is, in some way, an expert in doing that kind of work, so yes, their testimonies have a central role in this. I actually used the term "scientist" very loosely here, more as a label and not an official job description, happily including good journalists who dig up stories, meticulous book authors who sample testimonies, etc. - In other words, what has to be encouraged is analysis by psychology, psychiatry, and sociology. Political science, economics and criminology may chime in.
Religious scholars, on the other hand, are ... religious scholars. There's the history of religion, theology, including the histories and belief systems of cults, which can be documented and sorted and labeled, and then there's all sorts of philosophical pipe dreams. One can spend their whole life comparing the rant of one philosopher/guru/wannabe-therapist to the rant of another, whether the supernatural is involved in their rants or not.
Will the "religious scholars" with their utopic-humanistic pipe dreams and unworldly idealistic rants please take their paws off the Chult of Scientology and go fuck themselves, because obviously that's what they miss most in their lifes. (I'm totally serious about all parts of that sentence.)


Ken Chitwood said:
Is Scientology a dangerous cult or an exalted form of 21st-century “spiritual technology” that holds the keys to our mythic past and our advanced future? The truth is probably on neither end of the spectrum, nor anywhere in the middle. Scientology is certainly strange (at least to me, and I am assuming, many of you) and its claims are surely suspect and deserving of skepticism. Nonetheless, the effort needs to be made to endeavor to understand even that which seems overly exotic, cultic, or bizarre – Scientology included.

(Red emphasis mine.) Here you have it. "MUST-AVOID-THE-CONCLUSION. MUST-AVOID-IT!!! MUST-NOT-MAKE-ANY-JUDGEMENT!" A mind that is desperately trying to avoid the issue, which results in nonsensical gobbledegook, almost (?) confusion technique applied on himself. Idiot. :no:


Ken Chitwood said:
While Buddhists, Christians, Sikhs, Muslims, atheists and other religious bodies all catch plenty of flak, new and unusual religious groups encounter the most hostility.

Yeah, but he seems to think that's because of shere unfairness and bigotism, some sort of mindless habit, and NOT because what is likely the MAIN reason for that "bias": the public is watching the enormous amount of abuses and atrocities PER CULTIST, IN AVERAGE, and gets grossed out hopelessly. The true explanation is likely that the "new religions", the "cults", had less time than the old religions to learn to shove aside the most crazy, brutal, inhumane aspects of their "scriptures", instead of taking them literally and implementing them ruthlessly, just like the radical movements within the "old" religions seek to do. Scientology, ISIS, "evangelistic" churches, mormonism - all these are radical movements, and they're all CULTS. (And esoterics and some others, from NLP-fanatics to militant vegans, are "cultish" in my book, for what's it worth, because they show some cult-like behavior and thought schemes, but typically they're not members of a controlling organization.) We can still assume that the craziness of the official "scriptures" of old and new belief systems lies within the same order of magnitude of craziness, but really the main factor whether the result is "RELIGION" or "CULT" seems to be how they're APPLIED, and it COULD be that the main factor here is TIME. In other words, all religions might have started out as cults.


I know that for many, the article of this student of religion may come around as thoughtful and contemplative, as open-minded and fair, and within that, as overall agreeable, but I say he's just going in circles, focusing on meaningless pipe dreams that ALL evolve around the Central Meme That Must Be Vindicated, - "SPIRITUALITY IS GOOOOOD".
There are arguments and issues, perspectives, well within their field, that these "thoughtful", "contemplative", "fair", "open-minded" (appearing) religious scholars NEVER will approach, that really are taboo for them, and that is ONLY because of their own religiosity. Their own belief systems are installing thought-stopping mechanisms and wicked priorities in their minds. In other words, their own religiosity is what makes them BAD SCIENTISTS. LOUSY SCIENTISTS, SLOPPY SCIENTISTS, PHOBIC-PLAGUED SCIENTISTS, SCIENTISTS HAUNTED BY NEEDS OF AVOIDANCE AND INHIBITED BY MENTAL BLOCKADES.
In other words, INEPT Scientists.

:moon:


Ken Chitwood said:
In that way, we can all move forward and “go clear” in our efforts toward greater religious literacy and interfaith engagement.

LOL. How about, ANTI-FAITH engagement? How about, religious people daring to face atheists? How (the fuck!) about, religious people gaining some greater literacy particularly on psychology and neuroscience? How about, communication of religious people with non-religious people instead of dwelling mainly in comparative theology and, overall, relying on their thought-stopping formulas and rushing into one evasive rambling after another? Ofcourse, ANTI-religious engagement, engagement of religious people in listening to atheists, that doesn't even seem to be worth mentioning as an option, for a RELIGIOUS SCHOLAR OF RELIGIONS.
Mark my words, the argumentation and research of these religious scholars is flawed, and condemned to stay flawed, unless they drop their faith, completely.
 
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Sindy

Crusader
I can't argue with you! What a post. I agree but then we're getting into the sticky bramble (of which a large portion of the population will rail against) of all religion is bull shit. That's my stance but clearly it's not everyone's, by a long shot.

"Faith" demands a suspension of critical thinking.
 

Veda

Sponsor
IMO, the problem is not religion. The Presbyterian Church down the street is not a problem.

The Destructive Cult of Scientology, that disguises itself as a religion, has tried, for years, to depict its critics as being against all religion. It's one of Scientology's many tricks.

Cults don't have to be religious, but those with religious trappings or ornamentation can count on "religious scholars," and similar types, going to bat for them.

That "all religions started out as cults" is a line propagated by some of these same "religious scholars," and others of like mind (or employment, in the case of those actually on the payroll of one or more cults).

Historically, a wisdom school or humanitarian philosophy, or almost anything originally benign, can become a cult or a destructive cult. For the most part though, in modern times, destructive cults begin - indeed are designed - as destructive cults, and then disguise themselves as something else, most commonly as a "religion."

This brings to mind the struggle between those who recognize cults for what they are, and also recognize such things as premeditated cult-deception, manipulation, mind control, brainwashing, and coercive persuasion, and those who insist that these simply do not exist.

Forgive me for being briefly "conspiratorial" but, years ago, some individuals or groups, advertising firms?, the military?, the government?, crazy faith-healing-type preachers?, unidentified others?, or, likely a combination of all the above, exerted their influence, discreetly, to discredit the idea that mind-control, brainwashing, and coercive persuasion exist.

Coercive persuasion, they insisted, does not exist, and what's been called Stockholm Syndrome does not exist, along with any kind of premeditated, institutionalized, systematic, mind-manipulation.

When Patty Hearst was kidnapped, locked in a closet, tortured, and then subjected to "bad cop/good cop" by her captors and tormentors, that was said not to be coercive persuasion. Yet it obviously was.

So what the heck was going on? Who - besides the obvious cults - is afraid that the general public will get the idea that mind-manipulation is a valid subject?

Mmmmm....

Anyway, forgive the brief derail and mental wandering. :)

[video=youtube;8bRBFhMEQFk]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bRBFhMEQFk[/video]
 
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