>Diane Richardson wrote:
>> Brainwashing is interpreted as requiring
both mental *and physical* coercion. That is the objection which is raised most consistently about Dr. Singer's application of Robert Jay Lifton's criteria to
the cult experience. Public scientologists[tm] undergo nothing even conceivably similar to imprisonment. Lifton maintains quite
clearly in his book that milieu control is necessary before any thought
reform tactics have a chance of success.
>Milieu Control does not necessarily mean
physical imprisonment and if you think it does you are very much mistaken.
I quote Robert Jay Lifton:
"The most basic feature of the thought reform environment, the
psychological current upon which all else depends, is the control of
human communication. Through this milieu control the totalist
environment seeks to establish domain over not only the indivudal's
communication with the outside (all that he sees and hears, reads and
writes, experiences, and expresses), but also -- in its penetration of
his inner life -- over what we may speak of as his communication with
Anyone would be hard-pressed to describe a public Scientologist's[tm]
contact with an org as "milieu control," Monica. Public
Scientologists[tm] are not cut off from the outside world -- they
continue to work at their own jobs, live in their own communities, and
interact daily with whomever they please. To describe this as a
"controlled milieu" is absurd. The Amish, for example, are far
successful at "milieu control" than the CoS, yet few if any
consider the Amish a "destructive cult."
"It is probably fair to say that the Chinese Communist prison and
revolutionary university produce about as thoroughly controlled a
group environment as has ever existed. The milieu control exerted
over the broader social environment of Communist China, while
considerably less intense, is in its own way unrivalled in its combination of extensiveness and depth; it is, in fact, one of the
distinguishing features of Chinese Communist practice."
Lifton goes on to discuss the Chinese government's control of its
population's access to dissenting information. To claim that the CoS
exerts a comparable level of control over public or even staff
Scientologists[tm] is a blatant misrepresentation of facts.
You know that, Monica. Why is this so important to you that you are
willing to disregard facts which any reader of alt.religion.
scientology has known for quite some time?
>Lifton himself wrote an essay of his 8 criteria as applied more specifically to cults in his essay in "The Future of Immoraltality" which was reprinted
in its entirety at the back of Steve Hassan's book *Combatting Cult Mind Control*. There are numerous examples of "milieu control" in
cults. Lifton has spoken at numerous CAN conferences. He obviously disagrees with you that his 8 criteria do not apply to cults.
Was Lifton referring to specific cults? Does he specifically discuss
"milieu control" of public Scientologists[tm]? Are you applying
Lifton's words to a group which he would *never* apply them to?
I'm amazed at your readiness to abandon rational thought in an effort
to buttress an obviously unsupportable contention. If this is at all
representative of the honesty you display in your dealings with
clients, I'm aghast that you are permitted to practice.