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Thursday, February 10, 2011

The New Yorker Article and All the Reactions

The New Yorker article by Lawrence Wright, The Apostate, and all the follow-up commentary has been quite wonderful.  Not only are whistle-blower sites covering this but major media all around the world.  I can just applaud.

What can I add?  Wonderful coverage and comments.

The information that the FBI is investigating the Church of Scientology and David Miscavige personally has certainly caught the attention of media around the world.  OSA's attempt to "dead agent" that report was incredibly weak, but was spammed on almost every website that reported it.  Here was their attempt:
"A federal law enforcement source told AOL News [that] the investigation has fallen short and no criminal charges are expected to be filed."
This is so typical of the Church of Scientology -- posting information that is lacking everything it needs to be checked.  Let's investigate further.  The full context in the AOL News story has a bit more information:
The author cites two sources in the FBI who "assured me that the case remains open." However, a federal law enforcement source told AOL News [that] the investigation has fallen short and no criminal charges are expected to be filed. Laura Eimiller, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Los Angeles, declined comment.
But wait, even that is still missing some very important information.  What Wright actually said had significant information that AOL clipped off:
"I recently spoke with two sources in the F.B.I. who are close to the investigation.They assured me that the case remains open."
And now we see why AOL clipped it.  Who would you believe more, a vaguely described "federal law enforcement source" or "two sources in the F.B.I. who are close to the investigation"?  Hmmm?

And who do we think this vague "federal law enforcement source" is?  Could it just be the mole that the Church of Scientology infiltrated into the Clearwater FBI office?  Ya' think?

The church used some ally or "inside Scientologist" to get this anonymous quote into the news article published by AOL News and is now flogging that minor snippet for all it's worth -- and it really isn't worth anything.

The church is running scared and botching the job spectacularly, as usual.

But how are Scientologists taking the New Yorker story, not to mention all the other very, very negative press we've been seeing?

They are "shielding" themselves from it.  They are discounting it.  They are using their cult-thought-control to keep from thinking about it.  As Lawrence Wright said in his interview about his article with Fresh Air's Terry Gross on NPR, The Church Of Scientology, Fact-Checked.
Wright said, when asked how his article might affect current members of the church that it "may not matter to people who are involved in it, who may feel they are gaining something from their experience — either because they feel like the truths of Scientology enhance their lives or because the community of Scientologists that they live among is something like their family. So they intentionally shield themselves from knowing these types of things."
Even "independent" Scientologists have this mechanism firmly in place.  Here is Marty's comment:
Whether I agree with some of his views and conclusions or not, I  am fairly certain about two things concerning Larry Wright and his work.  One, he is honestly attempting to understand the phenomena that is Scientology from the outside. Two, he has opened a public debate on Scientology in such a thorough, balanced, newsworthy fashion it will have huge and continuing repercussions.  
I do admire Marty's honesty in linking to and commenting on the article.  This is a good thing.

But it is yet another example of the cult mindset of filtering information, not on what is true or false, but what is, to Scientologists, "theta" or "entheta".  As I've noted before, Scientologists automatically reject entheta (negative information about Hubbard or Scientology) even if true and they accept theta (positive information about Hubbard of Scientology) even if false.  They must do this -- it is what they are trained to do.

Here we have a very well-researched and thoroughly fact-checked article that exposes Hubbard's lies about his life and work.  The article also quotes Paul Haggis regarding the universal lack of any of the "miraculous" results that Hubbard and Scientology promised.

But, as you can see, on Marty's blog, even outside of the church, true believer Scientologists continue to filter out the entheta.  They believe in Hubbard and all of his stories, and no amount of real, verified documentation will change their minds.

The New Yorker article by Lawrence Wright is the way things will be from now on.  The AOL News story is how the Church of Scientology used to control the media.

This nightmare for the church is not going away.

Certainly, major media is still worried about the Church of Scientology's stable of million-dollar lawyers, but how they protect themselves is completely different now.  Instead of ignoring and minimizing Scientology stories of crimes, abuse and fraud, they thoroughly fact-check the information and then write it all up -- big and bold -- front page.

This leaves the Church of Scientology without a whole lot of ground to stand on, and they know it.  There is nothing the lawyers can do about it -- and that is the only thing the church knows how to do.

God forbid the church would admit it and actually stop committing the crimes, lies, abuse and fraud!  They can't even conceive of that route.  And if they continue, as they have, to commit these crimes and fraud, to abuse people and to lie, their problems are just beginning.