Because of various problems with Blogger, I've copied everything as of November 26, 2012 over to WordPress. The new location is Ask the Scientologist. I am not deleting this blog and will still accept comments and answer questions here too, but any new articles will appear at the WordPress location. I apologize if this causes any problems.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Scientology Troll Handling

Now, I'm not the world's best example of how to handle Scientology's trolls, but I have observed a few things that I'd like to mention. These are things I've learned over time and that I wish I could keep in mind when I respond to trolls. Sometimes I do.

The wrong thing to do when you run into someone who you suspect is a Scientology troll is get into a heated argument. This is what they want: A flame war, a diversion.

Here are some things I have found more or less workable:
  • Try to be courteous and polite. It contrasts nicely with their abusive and illogical posts. When they use gross insults, and (hopefully) you haven't, point this out, it's worth highlighting.
  • Do not let them derail the thread. This is their job so don't let them do it. Point out that they need to post their (off-topic) comment on a different, more appropriate thread and then you bring the discussion back to the main subject -- usually something the Church of Scientology wants to hide. If you consistently and repeatedly do just this, they are defeated.
  • Know your data. Include links to the facts available on the Internet. We know that trolls can't go and look, but the other readers can and will get the facts.
  • When the troll makes their claims or accusations, demand proof. They will not give you any so keep asking, it drives them crazy. If they do provide some bogus "proof", debunk it with links and then demand "valid proof this time". Keep saying, "You claimed X, so you need to prove it!" They really hate it when you keep returning to the exact thread they have worked so hard to derail.
  • Admit it when you're wrong. If you've made an incorrect statement, admit it and correct it. It contrasts nicely with the troll's inability to admit any error no matter how well debunked.
  • If the troll is off-topic, abusive, insulting, etc. you do not have to respond at all. If they are not participating in the real discussion, why follow them down their little rabbit hole?
  • This leads to: The troll is not in charge, don't act like he/she is. The troll will demand that you answer their abusive and off-topic comments. They use various tricks from L. Ron Hubbard to try to "control" you. But those tricks don't work, they are not in charge, and you can do whatever you want. You could simply say "Why are you avoiding the subject?" or some such, or just ignore them.
  • While it may be quite satisfying to get into a flame war with the Scientology troll, realize that this is their job and their intention. If they successfully muddy and distract a discussion of Church of Scientology's crimes, they will have fulfilled their purpose.
  • Not all people who defend the Church of Scientology are Scientology trolls. For many people, attacking a church, any church, is just wrong. If the only thing a person has seen/heard/read is the Church of Scientology's lies, they will believe that the church is good and the attackers are evil. This is another good reason to be courteous and polite. Provide links to the truth. I realize that Scientology trolls sometimes pretend to be this kind of person, but even in that case, your being polite and providing links won't hurt the discussion.
  • The Scientology trolls love to equate criticism of the organization, Church of Scientology, with intolerance of the belief system of Scientology. They seek to hide the abuse and crimes of the church behind the cloak of religion. This is a ploy that many, many people fall for. Unfortunately, some newby critics of Scientology make this same mistake. A small number of newby critics of Scientology do attack the belief system of Scientology, sometimes even neglecting the crimes of the organization. While it may be entertaining to make fun of Scientologist's beliefs (and some are quite strange), if you do this, and someone accuses you of being "intolerant of another's beliefs," well, I'm sorry, but they are right.
  • In any case, please don't you equate the two, that's just playing into the Church of Scientology's game. Keep the two things separate. The fact that the belief system of Scientology is very weird is not the reason and has never been the reason that the Church of Scientology is being attacked. Always be very clear: The belief system of Scientology, wacky or not, is up to the individual. They do have the right to believe as they wish.* On the other hand, the organization of the Church of Scientology is a criminal and abusive organization and its leader, David Miscavige, and all others responsible, have no right to get away with that abuse, "religion" or not. There is no "right to abuse people" in Scientology. They must and will be brought to justice.
While I'm no great expert, I do know that the Scientology trolls are trying to control the Internet and suppress the truth. If you fall for the troll's tricks, they move toward that goal. If you simply continue to expose the crimes, abuses, fraud and lies of the Church of Scientology, the Scientology trolls lose, the church loses and, eventually, the organization will fold and the criminals will go to jail.

* While people
do have the right to believe whatever they want, they should be well and truly informed of all the facts before they buy into any belief system. This does not happen in Scientology. It is important to realize that a majority of Scientologists do not know the seriously wacky stuff. Most Scientologists are sincere people who were lured into Scientology with a few, carefully selected, acceptable bits. Many joined before a lot of this other data was widely available on the Internet.

Attacking Scientologists only plays into the Church of Scientology's game of "them against us." It would be more accurate and more useful to frame the conflict as "honest people -- non-Scientologists, ex-Scientologists
and Scientologists -- against the corruption in the Church of Scientology". Scientologists are simply future allies against that corruption. When they finally learn the truth, they, too, join the fight against Church of Scientology corruption. After all, that is why the leaders of the church work so hard to keep them in the dark.


  1. Thats a good list you've put up man, you're giving away some of my secrets, but you don't know them all yet. Here's one of them to try out next time you have 'live ones' as I call them.

    Get them to admit that the organization is imperfect, which usually isn't hard, then tell them to name a specific defect in the organization. If they say 'Operation Snow White' or anything about Paulette Cooper, you know they're OSA. Only those issues can be admitted, because the CofS has already publicly said they were wrong. You can really pound them with this once you know about it.

    -Red Pill on Topix
    rpontopix (spamsux) yahoo dot commie

  2. Thanks Red Pill. I always appreciate your comments on Topix. The Topix:Scientology crowd is preeminent.

  3. A poster, StevieRayFan, on OCMB made the following comment over there regarding this post:

    "Though I agree everyone has the right to believe…I disagree with this portion of the blog. The Belief System, according to the writer, is off limits. That’s because his focus is apparently destruction. My focus is on healing, and one can’t heal unless the belief-system is dissembled bit by bit, part by part.

    "Every one of my posts since I started here has been focused on healing, and I often talk about the traps and trips of the tech (the belief), and WHY people should get away from this.

    "All fine and good? Damn right it is good.. I was there and I can help people get out of it… and that’s why I post here… and I ain’t no fucking troll.

    "Disagreeing with, and discrediting the tech, is what I am all about. There are plenty like me on this board.

    "The Belief System is not off limits… no way.

    As I do not have an account over there, I will answer your post here.

    If you read more of my posts here, you will find I often work to demolish bits of false information from the church, Hubbard and Miscavige.

    If you re-read this original post, especially the footnote in the section you quoted, you will find I am urging that people do not attack Scientologists for their beliefs. I have seen comments calling Scientologists "stupid" and worse. This does no good at all.

    I actually agree with your comments on Clambake. As I said in my footnote, the church lures people in by presenting small bits of carefully selected information. Scientologists should be informed of all the facts.

  4. I'm just wondering if OSA ever impersonates known public Scientologists. There's currently a heated exchange going on on the Glosslip blog over 2 videos that portray the church in a very bad light.
    The guy claims to be a scientologist named Jim Warren.

    This isactually a great post because Anonymous is currently considering setting up a board or website devoted just to refuting scientology arguments and dealing with sci-trolls.

  5. I'm not sure what you mean by "impersonates" a Scientologist. First, OSA staff are Scientologists, but I assume you knew that. So, second, OSA recruits public Scientologists to do their work. These people aren't in the Sea Org, but they are "approved" to go to "suppressive" sites to do OSA's work.

    As a rule, good Scientologists will avoid such sites -- so chances are anyone posting on "bad" sites is working for OSA.

  6. I know this is an outdated but I saw my name here and just had to comment.
    I am Jim Warren and as I said then when I wrote, OSA doesn't, nor wouldn't tell me to write. You people have an overly paranoid view, in my opinion, of Scientology and you think we are all controlled idiots, or something to that effect.

    From my experience Scientologist are generally self determined and even a little bratty at times about any control, which you learn in Scientology can be a good thing, to some extent.
    I say now as I said then, just chill out on the cult paranoia. We can all just get along.

  7. Hi Jim Warren, actually, I believe that was all over at Glosslip, apparently. I don't know you.

    I know that Scientologists are, for the most part, very big on control. Hoever, the only real control Scientologists exercise is to carefully control their own thoughts -- to avoid "anything negative" about Miscavige, Hubbard, Dianetics and Scientology -- especially if true!

    Scientologists talk a good talk about "truth", "confront" and "responsibility", but they don't actually look for truth, they don't confront what's really happening and they've all given up all responsibility to their sociopathic leader, Miscavige.

    When Miscavige and his church stop the abuse, stop lying and stop committing crimes, then we can all "just get along". You see, sane people don't "get along" with criminals unless and until the criminals stop committing crimes!

  8. Dear Jim Warren,

    I love your artwork -- you are obviously a gifted artist.

    I was a member of the church of scientology for many years and I will openly agree that I benefited from some of the processes and training.

    But Jim, I hope you open your eyes completely and see what is really happening to you and the people you love by staying loyal to Miscavige's organization.

    Just look around. Be honest about what you see. Allow yourself to finish the questions that start in your head but you have to quash them. I know exactly how that works. I did that for years. I wrote letters and "things that shouldn't be" reports and it made no difference. There are SOOOO many outpoints, way too many to keep ignoring.

    You can have your spiritual freedom, you can have personal growth, new knowledge and deep understanding of the world and life -- and you can do it practically for free. Even better, you can do it while maintaining your true personal integrity.

    I hope you start asking the difficult questions and are ready to hear the answers.


  9. To Bill, and Cathy.
    Yes that Glosslips thing was over months ago. That was the only thing I ever responded to actually.
    I do like the truth and never one to be afraid to hear it. I just think some people are accusing things that aren't really proven, such as criminal acts by David.
    I just have a simple attitude in life that if someone is up to no good, it will become very obvious soon enough to everyone, even, possibly die hard loyalist.
    Much of the anti-Scientology people, I think even some themselves would admit, come across as bitter and destructive and insulting like they have decided the church guilty without a fair trial, or like they have some personal vendetta.
    True, Scientologist should question things and I feel I always have without a problem. But questioning and destroying is two different things I think. If someone has what they feel is truth I think anyone will listen and look if presented objectively and diplomatically.
    Do you get my point? Does that make sense? Just rushing so no time to edit sometimes when I write, unlike when I paint.

  10. Wow, Jim, I really didn't expect you to reply, but I do appreciate it.

    I don't know if you've read much of my other stuff, but I know a lot of good people who are still Scientologists. And I agree with you that a number of people who call themselves "critics" are pretty nasty -- unnecessarily so.

    But almost all Scientologists automatically reject all criticism of Scientology, Miscavige or Hubbard. They cannot and will not consider that these "negative things" just might be true. When someone has that kind of automatic filter -- based not on whether it is true or not but only whether it is negative or not -- they cannot, ever, know the truth. They cannot determine for themselves what is the truth. And they can -- and are -- manipulated by others.

    All I wish for all Scientologists is that they stop rejecting things without inspection. There is nothing out here that can harm them. Criticism cannot harm them, they are all big boys and girls.

    Scientologists have a huge responsibility to know everything they can about Miscavige and their church. They cannot get that information solely from the church because their family, their friends, their co-workers, are getting information from elsewhere. Scientologists should, at least, know as much about their church and their leaders as the rest of the world!

    I only wish the best for Scientologists.

    Just Bill

  11. Jim, I just looked back at the Glosslib thread where you were posting. I thought you made some very good points, but I was struck, again, by a couple of very fundamental points that both sides often do not get:

    1. "Church of Scientology" is not the same as "Scientology".
    2. "Miscavige" is not the same as "Hubbard".

    Just because someone believes in Scientology and considers that Scientology helped them does not mean that the Church of Scientology is "good".

    In actual fact, Miscavige's church has strayed far, far away from basic Scientology principles as believed in by most Scientologists.

    Miscavige believes that he is now "Source" and can do whatever he wants with the "tech". And Scientologists go along with it, despite everything Hubbard said. You objected to my referring to Miscavige as a "criminal", yet he is. Why do you ignore all the evidence? Why do you believe him and only him and no longer follow Hubbard? You abandoned KSW without even a second thought!

    I think it's great that Scientology helped you -- but that doesn't mean that you must ignore everything Miscavige and his current organization is doing! This is a key point that most Scientologists totally miss. "Scientology" is not equal to "Church of Scientology", especially today.

  12. Bill,
    I do get your point and agree that just because the church,or Scientology has helped, doesn't meen it or David is good.
    I don't even mind someone saying he is criminal nessesarily but I think anyone would want better proof, maybe even proof that stands upin a court of law since it is charge of criminality.
    If he was doing half of what some accuse him of doing I would be the first, one of the first, to see him exposed.
    But just as I don't beleive everything just because David or Hubbard or anyone in the church say it is so, I don't beleive either at face value anyone speaking against it.
    I see what I see and know what I know which maybe for my taste, every other Scientologist doesn't do enough of, but nor do the non Scientologist in regards to what they might hear against it, in my opinion.
    The proof just seems to be bits of info such as the Basics were re-written to clean up mistakes, which shouldn't have been there before anyway, true I guess, but it sounds like theory that it was done maliciously.
    Who can say what the true story is just by wondering?

    I can't say for sure any of what I hear no matter what side I listen to so I go by what works for me when deciding to continue to use and study Scientology or not.

    I would though be just as hard on someone in the church doing things to mess it as someone outside of it, even more so probably.
    As far as it looks to me overall, now as well as 30 years ago, Hubbard is the founder, it's him I listen to when listening to tapes, and David's job, and his only job as far as I am concerned is to keep it as Hubbard researched it and to help get it out to people so they can decide if it is for them or not.
    If you have proof that that isn't happening then I would write it up simple and specific as possible, without accusations or conclusions, and send it to OSA or Ethics officers at Flag or RTC or whatever.
    As I think I said, people, children, even S O will look at information presented in a way that is facts, with just your opinion, that lets them conclude what it all means.

    I think you usually do that actually from a few things I read of yours.

    Anyway, that's my thoughts and opinions.

  13. Jim,

    I appreciate your comments and viewpoint. Going by what you, personally, find to be true is really the only way to go.

    I know from my own experience that, even if you intend to only accept things that you, yourself, personally find true, many uninspected assumptions creep in.

    Certain, seemingly innocent assumptions, can affect the way we think, things I think should be very important to a Scientologist. Let's look at "The Basics". Here were massive changes to key Hubbard creations. You, I assume, pretty much accept that these were, as you say, "to clean up mistakes, which shouldn't have been there before anyway". Maybe you don't accept that, but most Scientologists do.

    You also know, from reading and listening to Ron, that he considered his books to be the most important things in all of Scientology and Dianetics. He said so all the time.

    How do you reconcile these two "facts". They were Ron's "most important creations" AND they were "riddled with huge errors"? How?

    There is only one way to reconcile these two conflicting "facts", if you buy into Miscavige's "riddled with errors" story. If you accept Miscavige's story then you must assume that Ron was stupid! That IS the inevitable conclusion! The books that Ron valued so much for 30 years were ... garbage ... until the wonderful Miscavige re-wrote them.

    Now, a lot of Scientologists have ended up effectively agreeing that Ron totally missed massive mistakes for 30 years. Do you see what that does? That elevates Miscavige and degrades Ron! Miscavige is "Source" and Ron was stupid. Now, how can any Scientologist go along with that? Yet they do!

    I could go on (and have!) but I only want to mention something about your suggestion to "report to RTC or OSA". Many, many Scientologists have reported Scientology crimes, out-tech, squirrling, etc to RTC and OSA. Many. Their stories are all over the Internet. I, myself did so. You know what happens to people who report such things to RTC and OSA? They get declared suppressive. No, that report line doesn't work.

    As for working through the regular justice system -- that's actually being done, and has been going on for many years! That's why Miscavige spends millions in lawyers and settlement agreements. Check court documents on all the cases where the Church of Scientology either lost or "settled out of court" for huge sums of money. Scientology's courtroom "wins" are very few, their losses have been numerous.

    The information about all this is out there for all to see, but Scientologists are forbidden to look -- not because it will hurt them, but because it will hurt Miscavige.

  14. We have the docs...

    Surrender now.

  15. Re: Docs

    Really, the only thing Scientology has to sell is mystery -- "We have amazing, incredible, powerful information, but it's secret. We'll tell you if you pay us!"

    And you spoiled it.


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