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Basic Tenets

The anti-cult tenets and the position of this web site in contrast


The anti-cult theory basically rests on the mind-control theory. Evil leaders have subjugated the will power of innocent victims to do their biddings. This view automatically creates a simplistic and cultic duality of baddies against goodies. It also justifies the denial of the groups' religious legitimacy and thus encourages States to interfere in individual religious choices. Those who object to this position are automatically viewed as unable to understand the rightness of the anti-cult wisdom or as corrupted individuals bought by the cults.

This web site considers the above black and white Disneyland worldview as cultic itself. While cultists consider someone saved by his mere adherence to the group, anti-cultists consider him saved by his mere removal from it. While cultists view their leader as absolutely divine, anti-cultists view him as absolute evil. In other words, anti-cultists mirror the cultic mindset almost point by point. In time they have even become a greater danger than cults themselves, kidnapping/deprogramming cult members and envenoming conflicts to culminate in tragedies like Jonestown and Waco.

This website, however, does not reject the anti-cult view as absolutely false. It recognize that it points to a phenomenon worth considering, that of the cultic mindset. However, it points that vital distinction need to be made. Rather than "mind-control", "indoctrination". Rather than "deceit", "illusion". This web site is also opposed to the unwarranted intervention of the State in religious affairs, but claims that the religious nature of cults do not shed them from criticism or scrutiny.

The table below goes into more details in this parallel.

Anti-Cult Tenets Position of this Website

1. Mind-control. Cultists are under mind-control. They did not join the movement out of choice but because they were deceived, or because they were subjected to mind-control techniques that subjugated their free will, freedom of choice, and critical abilities. Likewise, they do not stay in the movement because they want to, but because, having been deprived of their free will, they now can’t get out. In the early days, Ted Patrick claimed that the only solution was to physically retrieve the member from the cult’s influence and “deprogram” him. Nowadays, this claim is not made anymore, and forcible deprogramming has been replaced with “vountary exit counseling” (in contradiction with the basic theory).

1. Cultic Mindset. The mind-control theory has some heuristic value as a metaphor to describe what I refer to as the "cultic mindset", but taken literally, as anti-cultists have done over the years, can prove very dangerous. Because of this, it is of vital importance that a distinction be made. Rather than "mind-control", I prefer to use "indoctrination", as this does not resort to esoteric, superstitious, unproven, and dangerous explanations of hypnosis or demonic-like possession that overrides the person's will. The persons always retains his will, but is simply convinced that the black and white view of the cult is right through constant repetition, fear, appeal to authority, faith leap, positioning, and others means. Likewise, after years of study, mainstream psychologists and sociologists have not retained anti-cultists explanations and describe instead the lure cults hold for some people by the fact that groups like Scientology provide a feeling of belonging, a sense of membership in an elite group, and more.



2. Con Game. The cult leader is seen as a psychopathic exploiter motivated by greed and power. He maintains his influence on followers through lies, hypnosis, and a strictly controlled environment. His hold is such that his followers can kill or commit suicide on command. They are his slaves and are forced to work night and day for little or no pay. Ex-members are “free” when they realize they have been lied to and understand the mind-control mechanism to which they have been subjected. This is supposed to produce an "healthy" anger, considered as a stage towards anti-cultic “liberation”.

2. Cult Illusion. The anti-cult depiction of evil cult leaders on the one hand and innocent brainwashed victim on the other is a typical cultic, black-and-white, Us vs.Them depiction. My position is that in most cases the cult leader himself believes in his own doctrine. One of the proof of that is that he is often willing to die for his beliefs. This is an extremely important difference for ex-members, because it means that there is no need, in order to be free from the cult illusion, to go through an “anger” phases as one would thinking he has been "lied" to. All it takes is to realize the mindset and understand the psychological mechanisms at the basis of this particular form of illusion.



3. Not a religion. The religious cover of cults is a cynical exploitation of the special protection genuine religions enjoy. Because of the use of mind-control, cult members did not really choose to join the movement, and therefore their beliefs cannot be counted as true religious beliefs. These are the pathological result of psychological manipulation from which ex-members need to "recover" once they realize they have been lied to. Therefore, cults should not be treated like religions, but like frauds and scams.

3. Religious Rights. I oppose the idea that cult members are mindless robots. The fact that the cultic mindset is a form of illusion does not prevent the beliefs of cult members to be as genuine as the ones of any other believers. For that matter, I don't view the cultic mindset as being the exclusivity of cults. Members of any religion, or anybody for that matter, can very well be the victim of it as well. To claim that cult members should not have the same rights as any other persons is a very serious attack on the most basic rights, and one of the most de-humanizing things there can be. It is, however, the kind of things the anti-cult theory directly leads to. To deprive someone of such right, one would need an extraordinary reason, and the mind-control claim of anti-cultists on which this is based, is at best unproven, and at worst totally false. Religious movements, however, are not above criticism, and nothing is lost by recognizing the religious nature of cults.


4. Intervention. Governments have a responsibility to protect society, the family, and the victim himself, from this scam. Special laws to address the cult problem are necessary, and existing fraud and youth protection laws should be fully applied to stop the cults.

4. Referee. The State has to be aware that arbitrary siding with one or the other parties can have disastrous consequences. It is very important that it maintains its role of impartial referee. It is the unwarranted intervention of authorities that helped to precipitate tragedies like Jonestown and Waco. Existing laws are entirely sufficient to deal with whatever problems cults may create. Since cults are considered scams rather than religions, the measures proposed by anti-cultists are not seen as religious discrimination. Since this premise is false, it does indeed constitute  religious discrimination, and one of the worst kind at that.



5. Cult apologists. Those who deny the dangers of cults and claim that anti-cult laws are religious discrimination are dupes deceived by cults or paid by cults to lie. They are “cult apologists”, cult shills, and what they say should be ignored.

5. Civil Rights Activists. Being opposed to kidnapping and forcible deprogramming has nothing to do with defending cults. It has to do with defending the freedom of belief of EVERYBODY. Being opposed to dangerous and unwarranted intervention of authorities has nothing to do with defending cults. It has to do with preventing further tragedies from occurring. To refer as “cult apologists” people who scientifically investigate what truly happens in cults, and those who use the highest principles of law to defend the rights of oppressed minorities is yet another illustration of anti-cultists' cultic mindset.

Conclusion

The anti-cult theory mostly rests on the first two tenets, which I call myths in both cases - the Mind-control myth and the con game myth. The two other points (not a religion and appeal to law enforcement) are consequences ensuing from these myths, while the last one (cult apologists) is the cultic justification against those who oppose anti-cult myths.

My position stands in contrast to those tenets. Rather than mind-control, I refer to indoctrination and cult illusion. The difference is important, because it does not imply a subjugation of the person's will, the key justification of anti-cultists to deprive cult members of their rights and responsibility. I am also opposed to the black and white, Us-vs.-Them, depiction of an evil leader vs innocent victims. I claim, on the contrary, that both share in the same illusion and reinforce each other in their beliefs. Naturally, this means that, while cults should be criticize for what they are, it does not remove their religious prerogative, nor justify special laws to repress them, and that those who seek to preserve these rights (and indirectly the basic rights of everybody) are not "cult apologists" but, on the contrary, civil rights activists.




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Disclaimer :

This web site is NOT created by a Scientologist. It is created by a Scientology EX-MEMBER who is critical of Scientology. However, this ex-member is ALSO critical of the anti-Scientology movement. This does not make him a Scientologist, nor a defender of Scientology.

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