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Comments from Scientologists

Date: 16 November 2001


From: "E.J."

I have been a practicing Scientologist for nearly my whole life.  I am a
public member, that is to say, I’m not staff.  People typically think I’m
working for the OSA, but that is simply not true.  (I suspect they see it as
a way to discredit me among the critics.)  In any event, I have known a
great many Scientologists and have spent much time in their presence.  I
have trained and gotten auditing.  I am very familiar with the teachings and
beliefs of the Church.  I can only speak to what I know to be true.  Some
have raised questions about the motivations of the upper echelons of the
Church, but I can’t speak to that ­ at least not in more than a limited way.
I only know what I see.

I’ve invested some time here on Operation Clambake.  I actually can’t recall
how I first came across the site.  But as a practicing Scientologist, I was
intrigued to see what all the fuss was about.  There was so much
misinformation and odd statements here I was shocked.

It’s not as though OC is the only anti-Scientology site around.  There are
several.  But most are shoddy affairs - poorly laid out, difficult to
navigate, utterly rabid in content.  And as, by most accounts, OC is the
most visited site on the subject, I decided to direct my attention here.

This site is somewhat deceptive, in my estimation.  When one first visits,
they might think this site is intended to present a balanced view of the
Church of Scientology.  Of course, this is not the case.  As Andreas clearly
says, "It is not unbiased or objective, and it never claimed it was."  But
everything is presented as if it is factual ­ not the product of a biased
opinion.  One should be careful not to simply believe everything one reads
here.  I encourage all to do their own research.

One good place to start would be:

On Bernie’s site, [which by the way, is not linked on Operation Clambake],
you’ll find a well researched site, which is far more balanced than OC.
Bernie has also taken up some of the myths that are so commonly put forward
by anti-cultists here on this site and proven them wrong.

There has always been a link to on the front page of Operation Clambake. Andreas
Further, the Church of Scientology has it’s own rather extensive web site which will provide a decidedly positive viewpoint on the subject. There is a massive amount of information available there. Andreas has linked to this site, but you’ll have to hunt to find it. Why do you suppose he doesn’t put this link on the front page? If you wanted to continue your research, you might want to visit: Mike’s site is a pro-Scientology site that further debunks many of the popular myths. Vigilance is required when you undertake an investigation of this site. A cursory view will leave you thinking that the Church is totally evil and must be stopped. But nothing could be further from the truth. THE ANTI-CULT MENTALITY: When I first came to this site, I was very naïve. I thought these critics had just misunderstood things about Scientology and I thought I could help them better understand this group they were viciously attacking. Boy was I wrong. I soon found my way onto the Message Boards and began posting. I was immediately attacked and railed against for my beliefs. But I persevered. What I have come to find, is that despite their claims, these critics are not interested in the "truth". THE MYTH OF CRITICAL THINKING AND THE DOUBLE STANDARD: If you hang around anti-cultists much, you’ll hear lots of talk about "critical thinking." It’s a catch phrase they love to throw around. But you’ll quickly find, as I did, that they are not so interested in engaging in it themselves. Just try to get an answer about the nefarious activities of the anti-cult hero Bob Minton around here. No one wants to talk about it. Here’s a prime example: SanDiego Wednesday, November 14, 2001 - 08:20 pm "Critic's are not terrorists. They're critics and that's it. Just words." E.J. Wednesday, November 14, 2001 - 08:26 pm "SanDiego is right. Except about the "just words" part. Many of the critics here translate their opinions into action." I-Loki Wednesday, November 14, 2001 - 09:05 pm "Congratulations, E.J. You've outdone yourself, with possibly your most idiotic statement so far. That utterance is a bald-faced LIE. If not, prove it!" I then posted several examples of the sort of actions critics are taking. Some legal and relatively benign activities, some, as with Bob Minton’s physical assaults on Scientologist not so harmless. But I went on to underscore my point: E.J. Thursday, November 15, 2001 - 02:14 am "I think it is important because I think some of the people posting here are not aware that there is a network of critics here. And they plan and execute actions, not just words. Large sums of money change hands. Bob Minton was given $ 650,000 by the LMT. What's up with this money?" "Where did it come from?" "Stacy Brooks of the LMT: "The LMT received $300,000 from Operation Clambake and the rest of it came from an anonymous source who I don't know who it was." "It's an interesting question that no one wants to talk about here. I wonder why." Now we see the kind of blind loyalty the anti-cultists so often criticize in Scientologists: Curious Thursday, November 15, 2001 - 09:49 pm "I am confident that the money was put to a useful purpose. Exactly how it was used is of no concern to me nor I am certain, to the other posters in this forum. We're confident that it was used for a noble purpose, whatever it may be." Bob Minton and the LMT are hardly ‘noble’. But the larger issue is that they can’t even investigate it for themselves. Further, they can’t even concede that it is hypocritical. RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE: The Anti-Defamation League, who’ve been fighting Anti-Semitism, Bigotry and Extremism for many years published their perspective on The Internet as a Hate Tool. "For years, hate groups have created written materials of every kind to spread their propaganda, including books, glossy magazines, newspapers, flyers and even graffiti. As communication technologies advanced, these groups have kept up. First, they used standard broadcast-band and shortwave radio, audiotape, videotape and public-access cable TV. More recently, bigots of all kinds recognized the Internet's power and rushed to use it to rally their supporters, preach to the unconverted, and intimidate those whom they perceive as their enemies." Religious tolerance is of vital importance to all races, creeds, and peoples of the world. And you’ll find most critics will pay tolerance some lip service as well. But their actions betray their true feelings. There is some commonly used slang among the Scientology critics. "Clam", "Co$", "L.Con. Nutbard", and plenty of others. They are used to dehumanize Scientologists, plain and simple. And once you dehumanize a group you can do anything you want to them. The parallels to the treatment of other minority groups is clear. It conjures imagery of graffiti on synagogues and racial epithets. There are anti-cultists who have no other interest than hate, bigotry, and violence. Here are a few examples of some particularly threatening hate posts I received on this message board: Slicer: "E.J shall be gangraped and crucified with anthrax-laden spikes." Slicer: "...murdering Scientologists has just been declared legal and I've got a very real .45 in my hand..." Slicer: "Slicer hates this idiot. Meatgrinder bait. May be deprived of property or injured by any means by anyone, and Slicer will buy the guy a beer. May be tricked, sued, lied to, destroyed, shot in the back in the head with a .45, decapitated, incinerated, run over, horribly maimed, or thrown in the fucking meatgrinder." And then with this, we see that perhaps Slicer would like to try to find me by using an IP tracer: Slicer: "And Andreas without an IP tracer. Who wants to bet that Lennox, E.J., and Harper are the same idiot?" This sort of behavior is not as uncommon as one might believe. I found that many critics simply could not confront the idea that this is the way many of their brethren think. A ‘clam’ is just a ‘clam’ to them, after all. Just look at the name of the site! Operation Clambake? What if it were a Klu Klux Klan site called "Operation Niggerbake?" Or a neo-Nazi site called "Operation Jewbake"? I ask you, would you visit such a site looking for information on those groups? The level of religious intolerance is incredible. And even more incredible than that, is they will DENY that it is intolerance when applied to Scientology. Of course, the critics will jump in with all the tired old arguments: "But Scientology is not a religion!" I’m amazed anyone even tries to make this claim. There are several sites with a thorough analysis of this point. But the summation is quite simple: Scientologists, members and leaders alike, sincerely believe that they are spiritual beings who take on other bodies after they die and can improve through Scientology. This alone already qualifies Scientology as a religious group. And even if it were not a religion, that does not excuse hate and bigotry. Tolerance should extend to all groups whether religious, racial or of sexual preference. But around here a "clam is a clam." APOSTATES: a-pos-ta-sy (ú-pÄs2tú-sT) n. 1. Abandonment of one's religious faith, a political party, one's principles, or a cause. The anti-cult movement is largely [with a few notable exceptions] made up of apostates: ex-members of Scientology. One might think, as is commonly implied, ‘who better to know the truth about what goes on behind closed doors.’ But in reality the reverse is often true. "Neither the objective sociological researcher nor the court of law can readily regard the apostate as a creditable or reliable source of evidence. He must always be seen as one whose personal history predisposes him to bias with respect to both his previous religious commitment and affiliations, the suspicion must arise that he acts from a personal motivation to vindicate himself and to regain his self-esteem, by showing himself to have been first a victim but subsequently to have become a redeemed crusader. As various instances have indicated, he is likely to be suggestible and ready to enlarge or embellish his grievances to satisfy that species of journalist whose interest is more in sensational copy than in a objective statement of the truth." -Bryan Ronald Wilson -December 3, 1994 -Oxford, England - Apostates and New Religious Movements One must treat with some skepticism the personal accounts that are related on this site. This should not be taken to mean that they are pure fabrications. I don’t believe that is the case in the majority of incidents. However, the temptation to exaggerate may be too much to resist for some. And at best they seem to leave out the role they may have played in any difficulty. I’m not suggesting the Church is perfect. In fact, neither did L.R.H. "Scientology is a workable system. This does not mean that it is the best possible system or a perfect system." ­ L.R.H. I’m sure mistakes are made. And the technology is misapplied sometimes. In fact, I’ve experienced that myself on occasion. But to throw the baby out with the proverbial bathwater is a bit extreme. THE BLATANT LIES: There are so many it’s hard to even count them all. But one I hear a lot in critical circles is that Scientology doesn’t permit any dissenting views. This is simply not true. In fact there is an internal system within the Church to air such grievances and resolve them. Of course, there are also many Scientologists on the net with their own web pages which don’t follow the Church’s doctrine to the letter. And yet they are not attacked, sued or excommunicated. Here’s an example if you don’t believe me: Then there are fantasies of frivolous lawsuits undertaken by the Church against any critic who speaks his mind. Of course the reality is quite different. The Church aggressively protects its scripture from copyright infringement, this is true. And just as the laws of the land condemned Napster for facilitating the theft of intellectual property, so is it the Church’s right to pursue people who violate their rights. The critics distort the facts of the matter in their favor. Other lies concern the claims made by critics regarding the ‘secret scriptures’ of Scientology. There is a popular belief among the critics that the philosophical core of the Church is hidden from its parishioners. But this is inaccurate at best. There is a gradient scale of enlightenment in Scientology, just as there is in many other religions. Scientology was developed to be a path that could be walked by many, not just a chosen few. And as such, one must crawl before he can walk, walk before he can run, and so on. But the critics believe that if people knew the ‘truth’ about these beliefs they would never engage in the activity. Specifically, critics take issue with the ‘science fiction-like’ nature of these beliefs. While you may not agree with these beliefs and you may find them ‘crazy’, they are certainly not hidden. One need only pick up a book. They are widely available. In fact, the free introductory video shown to any new parishioner addresses these beliefs openly. And as far as ‘un-believability’ goes, one could say the same about most spiritual belief systems. Who are they to judge what someone else can believe? THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN: Certainly, it’s not fair for me to paint all critics with the same brush. Just as it’s not fair to consider all ‘clams’ equal. And I must acknowledge that some critics are more moderate than others. The critics are motivated by different things and to different ends. Some seek reform of the Church. They hope to inform current and potential members of the ‘truth’ as they see it. These moderate critics are more apt to engage in an intelligent debate. And perhaps consider some logical arguments. They usually advocate only legal means of resistance against Scientology. I have little to complain about when I consider the moderate critics. They are totally free to have their own opinions and I support their right to pursue any legal means to get their message out. But many seek the utter destruction of Scientology and its beliefs. They advocate legal injunctions against belonging to the religion or the ability of the religion to exist at all. And I cannot support any act which attempts to curtail my right to believe what I will. CONCLUSIONS: If you don’t agree with the critics, then you’re either an apologist or brainwashed. There is no other explanation for them. And so, it’s difficult to have an intelligent conversation with an anti-cultist. They simply discount anything you say. It doesn’t matter to them that there are literally millions of written testimonials over the last fifty years from Church members extolling the virtues of Scientology. They would rather put undue weight on the tiny minority of ‘horror stories’ that can be dredged up. In the mind of an anti-cultist there is simply no room for any positive information regarding Scientology. So you will never gain any ground on any issue. I would suggest you not waist your time trying. There are legitimate issues regarding Scientology. And reasonable people can disagree. But the fervent, malicious, extremists who frequent this board and others like it are not interested in anything but their point of view - and IMPOSING IT ON YOU. Thoughtfully yours, -E.J. -11/2001 I should add that IF Andreas has the guts to add this message to his board, we might assume there is hope for him yet.

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