Another Rumor Down the Drain

Since 2009 the usual hate crimers and Anons (same difference) were trying to glue a tragic suicide of a boy on the Church of Scientology and Scientologists. Unsurprisingly it now turns out that there was no relation at all, just as the accused have said all along. As the judge in the case put it, the accusation was “A MERE HYPOTHESIS that is without essential support based upon reasoned and direct inference from the available evidence.”

To me it was clear that the case was bogus the moment I heard who was pushing the case. But the general public does not have this interest in background connections and – unfortunately – nor does the “media.” One would think that journalists have a minimal ethics code to follow and actually they do. The Society of Professional Journalist ethics code says:  “Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.”  Sure. How courageous is it to pound on a grief-stricken father who just lost his son to a suicide? How fair is it to repeat online rumors and conclusions from rabid anti-Scientologists? How clever is it to follow an obvious spin campaign instead of doing actual research?

Let’s have a look at the people who pushed the hate campaign:

1) Anonymous – attention whores, paid and unpaid dupes in the name of hate and persecution of minorities. Not much needs to be said about these assholes. For those who don’t know what I am talking about, read here.

2) Dave Touretzky – another fanatic lacking the guts to do some real research and stand for his errors. There is plenty of information about him here and here.

3) Rick Ross – a former criminal and deprogrammer who IMHO never got to stop his ways, only his means.

4) Scott Pilutik – former legal assistant to Ken Dandar (the lawyer in the above case) and in bed with a couple of anti-Scientology campaigners (like Touretzky above). Did he think there was money in for him? Lame.

5) Mark Bunker – since 2008 the Anons are drooling over him because he took over the thinking for them. They call him Wise Beard Man. Well, Bunker, nomen est omen, is a hardhead for sure but not for humanitarian reason. My guess is that he wouldn’t be able to make any money if he wasn’t selling his services to brain-dead dupes. A vicious circle that might leave him with cancer in his testicles (psychosomatically anything can happen, just saying).

Anyway, got to cut it short, here is what the Courthouse News Service has to say about the “Kyle Brennan” Case:

Defectors Say “Church of Scientology…”

Defectors…. what a nice term, try that out for size, defect-ors. Something’s not right about them.  Commonly these people are called “apostates” and they are known for inventing the most ridiculous stories about their former friends. I wrote about them earlier. But here is a new viewpoint, just ticking into my Google Alerts:

It is unfortunate that some government officials and media continue to rely on discredited apostates to justify discriminatory policies against the Church of Scientology and its members. Virtually all punitive government actions targeting Scientology in the past decades were based on unsubstantiated anecdotal testimony from disgruntled apostates. When the evidence was finally reviewed by objective government officials or judicial bodies, the Church emerged completely vindicated while the false allegations of apostates were exposed and discredited. (Author Jeff Smado links to my site, ha!)

Interesting symbiosis, and I might add that it has mostly been anti-religious governments officials (as opposed to neutral) that use those losers. So, basically, is it far-fetched to assume that someone is sponsoring “ex-Scios” for some other agenda?

– L

Scientology: allegations and the truth

A little reminder from :

What is an Apostate, or “ex-member”?

From the American Heritage Dictionary: One who has abandoned one’s religious faith, a political party, one’s principles, or a cause.

Usually apostates are called ex-members or former members.

Lonnie Kliever, Professor of Religious Studies at the Southern Methodist University, says about apostates:

“There is no denying that these (apostates) present a distorted view of the new religions to the public, the academy, and the courts by virtue of their ready availability and eagerness to testify against their former religious associations and activities.”

The full Study: The Reliability of Apostate Testimony About New Religious Movements

Why are ex-members poor sources of true information on Scientology?

Ex-members, called apostates, are an acknowledged phenomenon with known, predictable patterns, as documented by sociologists and religious scholars. To quote just one, Bryan Wilson, Ph.D. of Oxford University in the United Kingdom:

“The apostate is generally in need of self-justification. He seeks to reconstruct his own past, to excuse his former affiliations, and to blame those who were formerly his closest associates. Not uncommonly the apostate learnt to rehearse an “atrocity story” to explain how, by manipulation, trickery, coercion, or deceit, he was induced to join or remain within an organization that he now forswears and condemns. Apostates, sensationalized by the press, have sometimes sought to make a profit from accounts of their experiences in stories sold to newspapers….”

“Academics have come to recognize the ‘atrocity story’ as a distinctive genre of the apostate and have even come to regard it as a recognizable category of phenomena.”

This happens with other groups as well and even in marriages or broken friendships. The one who leaves sometimes goes a long way to explain how bad the relationship was or tries to justify that he abandoned his friends. This is a social mechanism and sometimes quite fantastic to listen to, but not a good measure to find the truth.

Some former members might complain about “bad experiences” they had or claim to have had. So, obviously they decided not to do something about it and left the organization. Maybe it was not the right thing for them. Just as most other religious organizations Scientology does not hold members who do not want to be members. Scientology practices do not work properly if done under pressure or false premises. So who wants to go, should leave or help to remedy perceived wrongs. Ex-members who try to make a living as “experts” on the faith they abandoned are clearly not neutral and not a good source for anything related.

An unbeatable way to find out something about Scientology is to go to a local church or mission and look around, get a tour and get informed. You can also go to a library and get a Scientology book. A pretty comprehensive book is one called “What is Scientology?” which tells about the Scientology belief and the organization structure (the book is also online since more than 10 years here).

There are also 18 basic books of L. Ron Hubbard in which he describes his findings and works in chronological order. Last but not least there are plenty of websites with free books or excerpts of Scientology material which the Church has put out over the last years.

If you are more interested what the Church of Scientology, the organization, does and supports, you should have a look at the Statistics page on this website.

Bryan Wilson: Apostates and New Religious Movements
Kliever: The Reliability of Apostate Testimony About New Religious Movements

Bonnie and Richard Woods

# Comment by chansonroland on February 16, 2008 7:45 pm

In the case of Bonnie Woods, she had apparently taken the CoS to court at one point for having denounced her as a ‘hate campaigner’, hired a private investigator to follow her and her family, and providing a creditor of her and her husband with free legal assistance to sue them into bankruptcy. These sound like some pretty harsh tactics to still be using in the 1990s. What are your thoughts?

Answer (updated 25 Feb 2008 to include Church apology):

My thought on this are irrelevant. Her are some fact which you omit to tell anybody here. Bonnie Woods and her husband Richard are former Scientologists who converted to fundamentalist Christianity and live in the United Kingdom. So far so good. Now, since that time though they have engaged in what they call “Spiritual Warfare”, as their new “Christian Duty”. For more than 10 years they have spread anti-Scientology propaganda in the media and other place with the sole purpose to scare or confuse relatives of Scientologists so they would emply the Woods to “deprogramme” Scientologists.

Deprogramming: a pseudo-therapy in which the member of an unpopular or controversial religion is abducted, involuntarily detained, and repeatedly insulted/harassed/threatened by individuals, usually paid by that person’s family, until that person gives up his belief. Recently, given the bad reputation of many deprogrammers who got jailed for kidnapping, assault and other crimes, deprogrammers have adopted new euphemisms for their roles, such as “interventionists” and “exit counselors.”

This is the background to what you are refering to, which happened in 1993:

In 1993 the Woods distributed flyers outside a Scientology bookshop in East Grinstead, UK, denigrating the Church and the church members working in the bookshop. In response, the Church published a leaflet stating that Bonnie Woods was a hate campaigner against religions (not only Scientology). Woods filed suit and claimed that the Church could not state they conducted a hate campaign against religions (plural) because their campaign was only be against the Church of Scientology. Originally she also sued over a statement that she had a devious financial history (she withdrew this complaint when it became clear that she would lose on this point). The litigation was settled without a trial in 1999 and the Church of Scientology issued an apology which you can find here in full.

It states that “Bonnie Woods does not hate any religion and would not take any step to force people away from their chosen religion or encourage others to do so. While the Woods have on occasion met with Scientologists and their families at the request of their families and discussed the Church of Scientology with them, the Woods have not put pressure on them or the Church of Scientology to prevent them continuing in Scientology. Mrs Woods is sincere in her Christian faith. The publication of the allegations to her friends and neighbours in the local community was deeply distressing to Mrs Woods. In order to clear her name, in December 1993 Mrs Woods sued Church of Scientology Religious Education College Incorporated and the individual members who had published the leaflet for libel. The Defendants have now acknowledge that the allegations about Mrs Woods were untrue.

Later, in a different legal case, Richard Woods admitted under oath that they are actually engaged in spiritual warfare against the “forces of Satan” which he confirmed included not only Scientologists, but also Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses and others. He admitted that deprogramming Mary Johnston was part of that spiritual warfare, and confirmed that he and Bonnie were “exit counsellors” (deprogrammers) by profession (Source: Hearing transcript of 4th February 2003, High Court Dublin, in the case of Mary Johnston vs. Scientology Mission Dublin).

– Lou

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