From: Bernie@bernie.cncfamily.com (Bernie)

Date: 1997/07/24
Message-ID: <33e4479d.121874355@news.ping.be>

ceon@u.washington.edu (Ceon Ramon) wrote in article <5r6d4r$fnu@nntp4.u.washington.edu>:

[snip]

>I don't think Bernie has ever actually told us what it is in his experience that led him to go to CAN programs, upon which he has most certainly and firmly founded his idea that CAN fostered, initiated, encouraged kidnapping and forcible deprogramming.

>How about it, Bernie? Why _did_ you attend CAN meetings?

It wasn't just out of one or a few CAN meetings that I based my ideas. When I came out of Scn, I had a kind of fascination for deprogramming and the anti-cult rhetoric. How could someone just be brought to so drastically change his mind? Was deprogramming a form of brainwashing itself, or on the contrary was cult beliefs a form of mind-control?

In order to find that out, I started to get my hand on any documents I could find about the subject, and in the process became a member of most anti-cult organizations, not only CAN. I also made researches in libraries, newspapers, and contacted independent organizations such as the ACLU. I made three extended trips in the US, went to the main CAN office in both the East and West coast, as well as other cult-related organizations, attended CAN's and other organizations' meetings. I submitted myself to the "dreadful" brainwashing of the Moonies and to the "enlightening" arguments of Ted Patrick. I spoke to dozens of ex-members, deprogrammed members, deprogrammers, anti-cult proponents, anti-cult opponents, exit-counselor, etc.

I do have first hand experiences in the area. The only thing I didn't do is to participate myself in a forcible deprogramming, being opposed to the very principle of it. I genuinely tried to understand the issue as best as I could and tried to listen to what each protagonist had to say.

My overall impression about the anti-cult, following this research, is that they really are no better than the cults, and that the cure they offer is worst than the illness. There are exceptions, of course. Like the cults, they do have some valid arguments, but the framework in which these are presented tend to cancel the value of these arguments. Like the cult-members, they seem unable to make distinctions and a finer analysis - much like what is to be witnessed from many anti-cult proponents
right in this newsgroup.

I certainly am an ex-anti-cult member the same way I am an ex-Scn member. I checked them out and came with the conclusion that I don't need either of them, even though both do have their positive aspects.

>>Bernie is going to great lengths to deflect attention away from the atrocities committed by Co$, and onto his mightily vilified "anti-cult cult". I'm just trying to turn that back around.

>I think Bernie is just trying to show the other side of the coin.

Yes. I am trying to reflect a different viewpoint than the one that is generally promoted in this newsgroup. Its amazing how some of those who speak about the inability of cult members to consider any contradictory viewpoint than their own, are the very same who will jump at anyone daring to voice anything else than the party line. They will see an enemy in everyone questioning their fixed beliefs.

>I think people in ars annoy him by their over-heated rhetoric and generalizations about an experience that he found of some value.

That's part of it. I am also pointing out to the cultic mindset that is sometimes present here. I am a bit in a situation in which I would be speaking against the Scn cultic mindset in the middle of a pro-Scn forum.

>Bernie doesn't really defend the CoS, you know.

Of course not. I have written extensively why I think that the COS is a cult, and in which way I object to it. It certainly is interesting that if someone objects to the over-reactions, excesses and illusions of those on the other side, that he is automatically accused of defending the COS. Again, it's a typical cult mentality: "you are either with us or against us".

Bernie


From: Bernie@bernie.cncfamily.com (Bernie)
Date: Tue, 02 Jun 1998 07:05:45 GMT
Message-ID: <357e9e10.86888859@news.ping.be>

gunbunnyxx@yahoo.com (Keith) wrote:

>On Mon, 01 Jun 1998 21:30:12 GMT, Bernie@bernie.cncfamily.com (Bernie) wrote:

>> I also remember Ted Patrick telling me that he considers the Bahai a cult.

>You know Ted Patrick. Please tell us of your impressions of the "father of deprogramming"?

I met him after I visited several members of the anti-cult movement on the East and West coast of the U.States in 1983. I was told by Lowell Streiker (who at the time was in the acm, but changed his mind afterwards) that it was awfully easy to get in contact with him, because he was in the phone directory. When I arrived in San Diego, I looked it up and there it was. I phoned him and since he had to go to LA for one of his many court cases, he proposed me to go with him, in a Mercedes he got on loan from somenoe, so that we could speak on the way (and billed me for the trip!), which we did. It must have been an hour or so trip, since American have this stupid habit of *respecting* speed limits that are ridiculously low (people usually laugh at them in Europe, except maybe in the UK).

My first impression was in sharp contrast with the other people I met so far from the acm. Patrick actually had something *original* to say, contrary to the other anti-cultics who simply repeated the acm doctrine and looked to me very much like cult members themselves. Not that I agree with what he said, but I have to grant him that. My second impression is one of thickness and dulness. The fact that he had glasses that were really very very thick and that it's almost impossible to understand what he says because he mumbles and still had his pronunciation deficiencies, added to that impression.

That's really all I can say of him personally. I didn't realize that court hearings he attended to were public. I would have gone to listen to it if I knew it at this time, so I missed that. I found my way back to San Diego, going through LA downtown, which is probably one of the ugliest place I ever saw. I bumped into some thugs who didn't appear to me much different than the man I just met.

Bernie


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