You guys rock!! (warning: sentimental)

Tiger Lily

Gold Meritorious Patron
Fluffy, thanks for that! The open communication here was one of the reasons that I joined and stayed. . . it's very obvious that people who post here are, for the most part, very willing to share ideas and to debate issues while maintaining respect and even affection for each other.

After a while it's easy to take that for granted; thanks for the reminder of what we have here.

-TL
 

bluewiggirl

Patron Meritorious
I'll be candid, too. I am pretty biased in favor of not just Scn but toward cults and culties in general. My initial reaction whenever I read any story about any culties anywhere is to want to defend the culties. IMHO, they're just trying to find a better way. Then again, I feel that way about adherents of elder religions, as well. So I'm an idealist about that and that's going to seem skewed to some people. I just wanted to share this with you as I'd rather be honest even if it's about something that may be controversial or a minority view. (or- gulp!- incorrect!)

I absolutely feel the same way about this. When I first heard about Scientology back in high school I really believed that my German teacher was full of crap when he mentioned offhand how bad Scientology was and how his country was much smarter than ours for not buying any of it. I really thought they were just trying to get some answers and he was a jerk for maligning their faith. It wasn't until years later that I saw the real damage Scientology has done to its own people and wants to do to the rest of the world. My own beliefs on religion aren't particularly "mainstream" and I would never want to see my right to pursue them abridged, but freedom of religion is NOT freedom from criticism.
 

Voltaire's Child

Fool on the Hill
Sure. I think that people should be able to counter the opinions and beliefs of others. I do think it can be a two edged sword, though, but then again- can't all communication? That must be the nature of the beast. But, yeah, in our society, if we don't agree with what's being said, we speak up and speak out about what was said. That's the remedy.

I think that there are things that are problematic to say in general, like (and this is totally made up. This does not reference or represent anything that's happened to anyone I know or any forum on which I've participated) saying that someone was messing with kids or embezzled money. That would be libel (or slander if delivered orally). That would not be right.

So with that in mind, flame wars can be tricky. Jane may say that Susie is a liar and that she is a this and a that- well, that can be problematic because there Jane is straying close to libel. However, what if Susie did lie or Jane thinks she did? So Jane thinks she's not libelling and may not be libelling. But then you get into a he said/she said type situation. I think that's where the rules of conduct, netiquette and so on come into play. Most articles about netiquette and rules of conduct on forums say not to make the argument about the guy who's saying it but to talk more about what he actually said instead.

People's interpretations of those things may vary and can even be self serving (this includes me, too, btw) but it's good to have some criteria and ground rules. We're never ever going to get this stuff 100% right. We're imperfect people and we also get really excited. That's why I think being able to counter the commentary of others is important . But it's not an excuse for fair gaming people like the cult does. What the cult really should have done was to do press releases or something like that when things were said it didn't like. (Well, what they really should have done was stopped being abusive but here I'm discussing tactics, dealing with what's been said and so on.) But instead it would try to oppress people and shut them down and harass them. They don't want people to have freedom of speech. Cults are totalitarian.

In the long run, as long as it's Scn, Hubbard, the church, the FZ, Dianetics, etc, that we're discussing, we're pretty safe there. We can get pissy, we can disagree, we can get snide. We're not Buddhas sitting on a cloud. We're better off being excited, anyway. I think it's fun. It's like late night bull sessions in college or at somebody's house where people stay up late into the night talking, getting excited, getting a bit drunk, maybe, but it's really fun. It generally is pretty good natured and that's how it should be.

I mean, I'd love it if someone here was passing through my neck o' the woods, (Seattle) and wanted to have drinks or something. I like the idea of having spirited discussion with the person that was fun but with many possible points of disagreement. I know I keep using that word, but that's the word that keeps coming to mind. That and "healthy" and "cathartic".
 

FrankBooth

Patron with Honors
Not that my opinion matters, but to simplify things down I look at it like childhood swimming lessons.

By just being here means that people have acknowledged that the water is there.... some might want to just put a toe in the water, others might want to just plunge right in off the diving board.

Some people might want to still play around in the shallow end of the pool with their floaties on, pretending that they know how to swim but are just fooling themselves, and that's fine too.

But believe me, the water is much more refreshing out here in the deep end, because when you're comfortable in the deep end, you aren't afraid to swim anywhere in the pool....and that is total freedom.
 

Xclam

Patron
Thanks Fluffy for your post!

So after 8000 posts you start to see flashing stars? Hmm.. What else, do you get to wear a uniform too? Sign a contract to post another 5 billion posts?

Anyway, great thread this and much needed (on the internet in general, not just here). I can get quite upset for some reason about people out of CoS still believing in Scn. It doesn't make sense to me, at all. To me the only explanation for believing in Scn (or the "tech" or Xenu or whatever) is that you're under the influence of a brainwashing cult. But when you get out??
In its own twisted way, the CoS makes sense. They brainwash people for money and power, fine. I understand that. But the Freezone? No, makes no sense to me.

I hope I can learn to understand that on this forum, among other things. I hope I won't be offensive or unpleasant along the way, or "invalidate someone's case" (or maybe just a little, for fun :) )
 

Voltaire's Child

Fool on the Hill
Hi, XClam,

What makes sense to my about my friends in the FZ (I'm too ornery to use the moniker "Free Zoner" for myself) is that it's a philosophical and spiritual endeavor for them apart from the cult. Not all FZers are ex CofS but a lot of 'em are, of course.

Many of the people who get involved in CofS to begin with were interested in the spiritual and self help aspects. As time went on, most, if not all, of them get immersed in the cultic aspects. But those weren't apparent on Day One, right? So the wish of some of us to pursue it outside CofS is like that. It's just a reach for one's spirituality and the self help aspects. Same as with people who become interested in other ologies and isms.

Not every ex member relates to this line of thought but I'm hoping that if we all talk openly about these things that people can see where others are coming from. It's not a wish for everyone to do and believe the same things, of course. I don't roll that way. I have had some people suggest that I need some sort of deprogramming- just got a message containing that thought (and it actually was a very nice civil message, too. It really was.) yesterday. But think about it: outside CofS, we're free to be "reasonable" and to study other philosophies besides Scn. In CofS, if not exactly forbidden (depends on which staff member you talk to or get handled by) it's certainly problematic.
 

EP - Ethics Particle

Gold Meritorious Patron
The way of a lazy man...

Not that my opinion matters, but to simplify things down I look at it like childhood swimming lessons.

By just being here means that people have acknowledged that the water is there.... some might want to just put a toe in the water, others might want to just plunge right in off the diving board.

Some people might want to still play around in the shallow end of the pool with their floaties on, pretending that they know how to swim but are just fooling themselves, and that's fine too.

But believe me, the water is much more refreshing out here in the deep end, because when you're comfortable in the deep end, you aren't afraid to swim anywhere in the pool....and that is total freedom.

Fluff, I have always had affinity and respect for you, and I think you may know that already...but, in case you didn't, I do! :yes: :wink2:

Plus, I liked FrankBooth's post so much, and it seemed so applicable, that I took the easy way out and just used it! :clap: :thumbsup:

Mike, aka EP
 
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