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Positive aspects of the Anti-Cult Movement


4. Positive aspects of the Anti-Cult Movement

1. Highlight cultic phenomenon - While the mind-control myth is prone to be used as a totalitarian tool, it can also help, when used as a metaphor rather than a myth, to highlight the phenomenon I refer to as the cultic mindset. The cultic mindset is characterized by an unquestioning certainty in the absolute and exclusive value of one's belief. It mostly holds in place through hope, fear, guilt, faith leap, repetition, and the demonization of the enemy, rather than through an open and honest examination of the root of one's belief. It leads to the justification of acts that would otherwise be viewed as unethical and to attempts to intimidate dissenters into silence or eliminate them altogether. In some respect, the anti-cult movement has its role in bringing cult members to realize their dependency, and, in this sense, it can have a relatively positive impact.

This does not mean - that cult members cannot realize cult dependency by themselves, and that, on the whole, anti-cult groups don't do more harm than good. While anti-cult groups can indeed be an incentive for cult members to look at the other side, they often use the vulnerability of the newly de-converted to indoctrinate them into the anticult movement's own cultic theories. This can turn him into a fanatical anticultists, mirroring the fanatical cultists he was in the first place. Anticultists will sometimes claim that they never meant their mind-control theories to be taken as anything else but metaphore. This is utterly false, as they themselves have demonstrated over the years by their kidnappings and the arguments they have used in courts to justify them.



2. Trim true spirituality - The invisible nature of the spiritual realm, and the impact of existential questions, make that undue influence of a "spiritual authority" is very much possible. Despite the cultic nature of anticult groups, it is rare they can do much harm to a group on which little criticism is possible. Seeing the downside of something can be healthy, especially when one can mentally correct overstatements and put them in perspective. Discernment is very much part of a spiritual path, and for anybody who is really serious in his search of the truth, honest and ruthless questioning is a necessity. In this sense, issues raised by the anti-cult movement, when correctly understood, can help one delineate for himself what are the criteria for a true spirituality. It can also help him to become aware of tales he is telling to himself, and, ultimately, assess the solidity and validity of his beliefs.

This does not mean - that this is by far what anticult groups are doing in general, or the effect they have. As seen in the negative aspects, their cultic aspects often prevents them to fill up their true role, and they end up making more harm than good. But, on the whole, seeing anticult groups as uniformly bad, would be the same cultic mistake as seeing cults under the same light. Cults and anticult groups alike address fundamental aspects, but each are usually so over the top that they defeat their own purpose. Over time, cults sometimes evolve into more mature religions. It is only logical to think that over time fanatical anticult groups may follow lead, and evolve into a more balanced and more respectful approach. This however, won't happen if anticultists tolerate in their own ranks what they oppose in cults.



3. Protection against abuses - One of the characteristics of cults is that they would abide by the precept of the end justifies the means. Anticult groups may be paranoid, they may lump all sort of groups together, it remains that some cults can be dangerous. Anticult groups can act in these cases as a watchdog organization. Not only will they call upon authorities when illegal acts are committed, they will also warn public opinion when cases of harassment occur that are not necessarily illegal but unethical nevertheless. This provides a protection for ex-members and critics alike. It can also help to protect members who are still part of the group and, of course, society itself. In this sense, actions from anticult groups can have a positive effect.

This does not mean - that anticult complains to authorities are always justified, or that what they present to public opinion is always accurate. In fact, most of the time, what they demand from authorities is abusive and the presentation made to the public wild distortions. This requires authorities and the public to use discernment when they receive such claim. However, where cult abuses really occur, authorities should pay due attention to the complain, and the public should not remain indifferent either. Requiring anticult groups to fully substantiate their claim is a good protection towards abuses from both cult and anticult groups alike.



4.  Well meaning - Cults and cult members often consider critics and anticultists as criminal or bad persons. This is not the way I consider them at all. Quite on the contrary, I am convinced that most of them are well-meaning persons who are genuinely offended by Scientology abuses or the danger of cults. That they are under the illusion of the anticult mindset does not prevent them to be sincere. Some of them are even brilliant minds, hard workers, and very dedicated individuals.

This does not mean - that they are necessary right in what they do, or that they cannot fall victim of the cultic mindset. Quite on the contrary, you will note that the description I make on the left is exactly what I think of cult members too. Anticultists are simply cultists in their own rights. Even when they excel in intellectual wrestling, researches, or in any other way, the fact that they are entirely enthralled in their anticult belief system prevents them to see the wrong they are doing.



5. Mirror of cults - This does not mean -

The rest will come soon (hopefully)


Positive aspects of Scientology Critical aspects of Scientology
Critical aspects of the Anti-Cult Movement Positive aspects of the Anti-Cult Movement



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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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