email@example.com (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote:
>>>In article <199810112220.AAA17395@replay.com>, Anonymous
WOW - just when I thought I had finish with ars for today, I catch a
whole bunch of follow ups on this thread. For some reasons, the thread
un-watched itself, so I only caught it by chance, while scanning the
OK - let's get down to business. I doubt I'll have time to answer
everybody today, don't even know if I will at all.
>I apologize; when I initially waded into this
thread, I was under the impression that you were accusing critics of behaviour that was worse
than that of some scientologists. (That'll teach me not to read a thread
straight through before jumping in with my opinions and pre-conceived notions,
>Of course, given that you have since established that you find such
"violent" behaviour to be unacceptable coming from either side, that rather
makes moot the point that I was trying to make in this particular paragraph.
Sorry about that.
>>Well, yes. YMMV. You can kill with bullets -
you can also kill with words. See what I mean? Some even pretend they can kill with a
>No, you *can't* kill with words.
<sigh> I thought that my 'see what I mean' would have tipped you
Now we'll have a whole rant on how you can't literally kill with
words, right :-)
>You can use words in a way that may lead others to commit actual acts of violence, but the fact remains that to
take that final step -- from reading "all psychiatrists are insane
criminals who should be removed from this plane of existence because of the harm
they to do others to actually going out and committing an act of violence
*against* a psychiatrist *solely because of what you have read* -- is more than a
matter of simply reading too many 'violent' posts on USENET.
OK - I understand how you understand my statement now. No, that's not
what I mean (that propaganda leads to violence). I mean: you make a
snide and hateful remark - you just kill the person figuratively (even
if the person is not emotionally hurt). Psychologically, you try to
kill the person, to get him out of your way, to shut him up... It's
figurative, not directly or indirectly literal.
>I have always been somewhat uncomfortable with
the laws against "hate speech" per se, mainly since I believe that words are just that - words. Not
actions. While I can understand the temptation to hold the writer of hateful
words - say, an Ernst Zundel, for example - responsible for whatever acts may
be spawned by his words, I think it is a fine line to draw. Telling
someone to "go out and kill the
Jews/Scientologists/psychiatrists/critics" is different from writing posts that may, in rare and tragic cases, lead to someone
doing just that. I don't think anyone on a.r.s. would ever do the latter consciously, but I will concur that the possibility is always there.
On both sides.
But who does it consciously? People are usually convinced that they
are on the right side, and that the other is on the wrong side. Isn't
that the modus operandi of every war?
>There is a difference, I think, between trying
to "slaughter everything in sight through words" and even your first comment, which is that
"trying to hurt another is a violent act." When I criticize some aspect of
scientology, I am no trying to hurt any individual scientologist. I am commenting
on something about the organization itself. I will sadly admit that in
some cases, people on a.r.s. do not make much effort to avoid
"hurt[ing] another with ... a snide remark," but I think this is more due to the
cartoon-like quality to many of the offiical OSA-bot posters to a.r.s., which do
not seem capable of being 'hurt' in the orthodox sense of the word.
>Does wgert feel bad when people tease him about his pig? I don't know.
I've never seen him reply to posts here in anything approaching a
'personal' way. He posts whatever dead agent material or juicy court documents his
superiors have handed to him; he makes snide remarks about various critics, he
outs people. He doesn't seem to react to anything that is said to him, so
I'd be hardpressed to say that he is 'hurt' by snide remarks launched in his direction. In fact, for wgert, this seems to be a job - nothing more,
>None of this, of course, is in any way meant to argue that critics
ought not concern themselves with whether their words make scientologists feel
that they have been hurt, whether justified or not. I've been through the 'clam'
wars. When I see critics behaving badly, or treating others in what I see as
a dehumanizing way, I say something. I do acknowledge that some of your
points may -- sadly -- be correct, but I think it's also possible that you
have become so discouraged by what you see as pervasive violence amongst
critics that you miss the voices of reason.
My comment is general, really. Not just for critics. We do it at every
level in life - through greed, jalousy, hurt, insecurity. It's just
the unfolding human drama.
>I think Dennis can be blunt, and harsh, but
violent? I just don't see it. I'm sorry. (And I've been on the receiving end of his blunt/harshness
myself.) Using your broad definition of 'violent', as in, that which causes
another to feel pain, I suppose that's true - but then, I could say the same
thing about *your* posts. And, probably, about anyone else on this group. There is
nothing one can say that won't offend somebody, somewhere. That's not
violence, that's reality.
>Do you think it's possible, though, that some posters to a.r.s. who
you might see as 'more often violent' are, in fact, channeling whatever anger
and bitterness they might have towards scientology into this medium,
rather than letting it devour them from the inside, or take it out in the real
> For the record, to continue using Dennis as an example, I have read
posts from him that are unquestionably angry, particularly when he discusses
the effect of scientology on his relationship with his daughters. I have
never seen him threaten violence - actual, physical violence - against
His FOAD, and "do it soon" are extremely violent, for example.
deliberate misreading in Margaret's intentions and his outing of her
was violent. I could go on and on. In my eyes, he is a violent man.
That doesn't necessarily make him a *bad* man. It's two different
>>I think that what comes out through the
present kind of electronic forum is more the real person than what can be known through the
real life behavior of this person. I am quite confident that I know
better many posters around here than I know my colleagues whom I see
>I'm not sure about that. Surely you have heard of the phenomenon of
'net personas' -- the often-exaggerated characters that 'real people'
become when behind a keyboard. Often, these personas are far more outgoing than
the person himself - or herself - is in real life. So which is the 'real' person
- the online or offline persona?
Good question. Now I am not sure. Maybe they effectively become two
different persons? Possible. But then, aren't we a different person in
different IRL situations too? Of course, the fact that you don't have
to put up with a face on the net maybe eases off communication? Or
does it hinder and reduces it? Does it allow more of the real person
to come out, or does it encourages the creation of a net personna, as
I have a very definite image of each poster - at least those I have
read for a long time, and even more so about those I have exchanged
ideas with. I tend to think that this is the real person - but maybe
that's just an illusion.
>Or are they both just facets of the complicated, contradictory nature of a fairly typical human being?
Would read it that way from the paragraph above.
>It is, I'll agree, far easier to hurl vitriol at
someone who is no more than ASCII characters glowing on a screen than it is to do the same to
someone you meet face to face. I think that goes for both scientologists and
critics. Many of the most outrageous posters would undoubtedly be perfectly
polite to a scientologist they encountered on the street. There is a curious
quality to this medium that I don't think is unique to a.r.s. Is it a good thing
or a bad thing? Damned if I know. It just *is*.
Eh - I see we are on the same mind about that :-)
>You can read Jeff from here till eternity -- or,
if you prefer, go back in time through DejaNews - and you won't find a single violent outburst.
That doesn't mean he doesn't get angry. But he is -- of all arsians,
scientologist, critic or other -- one of the calmest, most reasonable and goodhearted
people on this group.
That has been my impression so far too - even though I disagree with
him on more than one point.
>Whoa there, I think that the 'fascism' card has
been overplayed already on this group, if only by Martin Hunt alone. I've never seen Rod attack
anyone without serious provocation
And that's the principle of non-violence? I don't think so.
>- and that includes his rounds with Diane. There is a history of which you may not be aware, but Diane has certainly
done her share of attacking first.
I only know of Diane what I read on ars - since I don't usually irc.
>From what I see from here is Rod attacking Diane because she pointed
out the fact he mentioned on irc that Minton mentioned about his
relation with Stacy and therefore he lied before (confused sentence
but what the heck, it's too late at night). Seems to me as yet another
cultie trying to protect a sacred cow, you know, like the Cooper
thing. I am doubtful about the "Diane just tries to be mean"
explanation type of things. I don't say it is or isn't the case, I am just doubtful about it.
>As for Keith Wyatt, I would tend to agree that
many critics treat him as little more than a convenient football. But I've seen him 'start it'
just as often as I've seen people light into him with no immediate
provocation. Rod doesn't like Keith, and makes no bones about showing it. Is not liking
I guess no. You can't like everybody - and you can't force yourself to
like everybody just out of principle. But again, it isn't just a
matter of personality, you know - Keith is actively busy criticizing
critics. As far as I am concerned, it isn't a matter of "like"
"dislike". It's a matter of pure intolerance to criticism - and
makes the person ugly, in my eyes - especially when the same critics
blames CoS members for not being able to open up to criticism... That
makes them hypocrites, and I think it's a major fault for someone who
claims to be a critic.
>You ought to search for Lady Ada's posts on Deja. I have a feeling you
would agree with many of her points.
Thanks. I'll do that sometime <sigh> I'll probably never will find
time for it anyway, but it's good to know.
>As I recall, Warrior was suspicious of whether
Claire was telling the truth about her purpose on a.r.s. Is healthy scepticism "violent"?
I wouldn't call what he did "healthy scepticism" - but that's
subjective I guess. The lack of sensibility to other's feelings - the
lack of true understanding. Yes, I find that very violent.
>I'm surprised by this verdict. I have never seen
Efish post anything even approaching 'violent'. She has, however, posted impassioned attacks on
what she sees as the monstrous policies of the CoS with regards to
dead-agent packs, investigative techniques and the like. How is that, in itself, 'violent'?
I can't say. I guess it's her lack of understanding on certain issues
that makes me see her that way. That hurts too. Maybe it gives the wrong impression that it's made on purpose while it may not be.
>>>Any of dozens more
>>Sure - Roland, Dave Bird, Erlich, Zane Thomas, Martin Hunt, Rob
Clark, Arnie Lerma, William Barwell, Bruce Beppy, Dominion, Ex-mudder, Tilman Haussherr, Alex (jeaux), Anti-Cult, Freiman, Gary Scarff, Graham Berry, Gregg Hagglung, Roger Gonnet, Steve Fishman, Steve Withlash, bc, sandy, Ralh Hilton, Jana Moreillon, Jim DBB, John Dorsay, Tom Klemersrud, ...These are some of the people I consider violent - and out of
charity I left out quite a few who occasionally can be violent too. The
first named are the worst.
>In fact, I think you would find that there are many, many critics who
are uncomfortable - to put it mildly - with Roland's rhetoric, trolls and
attitude towards scientologists in general.
Yes - but they use his text on "introduction to Scientology" on
web page, right? I also think that Roland is making himself be the
troll of ars - so they can say "it's just Roland, you know, it's not
us". I think that he is doing that out of embarassement for posts he
made early on and that came out to speak against him. So now that he
got so deep, he just exaggerates it: "See - I say a lot of silly
things, it's not serious, you know"... Just a wild theory, of course.
>As for the rest, I take it that you consider anyone who is a 'hard line critic' - ie, criticizes both the
beliefs and the actions of scientology - to be inherently violent - and I
still don't think that's fair, or logically consistent.
No I don't think I take that in consideration. I listed Ralph Hilton
with the lot, right? Ralph Hilton can be very violent at time, even at
other times he is rather high spirited. But it's amusing to note that
the rest do indeed have that in common. I didn't think about that.
Just coincidence (or maybe not, maybe that's just part of them being
>By sweeping all these critics - many of whom are in furious and impassioned disagreement not only with
other critics but with each other -- under one broad heading of 'violent',
the nuances between passion and violence become blurred. And there is a difference.
>In some senses, to my mind (I preface this with disclaimers because as
you may know, I have never been a scientologist), scientology discourages
*any* spontaneous outburst of emotion, whether positive or negative.
Where do you get that from?
>mind' - that bit of grey matter that says 'ouch' when one touches a
hot stove - is considered something to eradicate.
Yes - but all emotions don't come only from the reactive mind. In
fact, in Scientology, even anger is not considered a "bad"
just an emotion. Look at the tone scale.
An emotion is reactive only when it is inappropriate, when it comes
out of an irrational and unconscious reactions that finds its origin
in unconscious past trauma.
You really should do a bit of Scientology, Kady. Seriously. You would
at least have a better reality of what you are talking about. I think
it would do good for all critics to do at least do some basic courses
and some basic auditing, until they have a clear enough idea.
Seriously. They can still remain a critic if they like afterwards.
Reminds me of valerie - who was so cult phobic that she was even
afraid to watch a Tom Cruise film (supposedly she would be hypnotized
or what?) - then when she made the Hollander seminar, she was all
surprised to find that there were some good people in Scientology.
>But in the wog world, emotions - when not given absolute free reign, of course - are considered part and
parcel of being human. That includes feeling outrage over what happened to
someone like Lisa McPherson. I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing.
No - when it stems from a right understanding. Feeling outrage at
something that is really just a mock up is a bad thing. Lisa McPherson
wasn't "murdered" - feeling outrage thinking that Scientologists
actually had the intent to torture and kill her is plain stupid.
Saying it, like Erlich does, is misleading and manipulative, because
he knows very well that this wasn't the case.
>>>Am *I* violent?
>But under your definition, I can be. Sometimes I get angry. I'm human.
Me too. But then I don't parade around boasting about my non-violence
(not to mean that you do so).
>>Wgert, Justin, Rod Fletcher, Enzo (and I
probably forget a couple) - I consider violent.
>You see, that's where (again) we differ - the first three I see as
calculated, more than anything else. Wgert, Justin and RodF - these are not
outbursts of a genuinely angry scientologist;
We differ indeed. I think they are. They just are blunt Scientologists
and react in a blunt way. If they ever come out of Scientology, they
would join up the ranks of the group above, and become blunt critics.
>these are pre-fabricated attacks that in all likelihood come from some Big Book of DA. There is no honest emotion
in their posts. They're doing a job. Someone back at OSA INT might feel
genuine anger, but in all likelihood, they don't - it's just policy.
You do have wild ideas about OSA, Kady :-)
You also are underestimating them. If they were to send someone from
OSA, they wouldn't send stupid jerks like wgert, RodF or Justin. They
have better material than that, you know - it's just that they use
them where it matters: court cases, public relations (not with
critics), auditing, management, promotion. Anyone who has ever been in
the CoS knows that there are an awful lot of bright individuals in it
- that they don't want to waste them in a.r.s. is the most plausible
>To me, that's not violent. It's disagreeable, and in some cases disgusting - but it's
not personal enough to be 'violent'.
Does violence have to be personal? I don't think so. In fact, cold
violence, like the one of an arbitrary government is even worst.
>>RonsAmigo, MikeSmith, MiKe, Wonderflur,
Whippersnapper (although he can be sometime), The Pilot - I don't.
>I would tend to agree with you here. Then again, I consider very few
posters to be 'violent', as you may have guessed :) That goes for both critics
*and* scientologists. Deluded, meanspirited, egotistical, willfully ignorant
and just plain tiresome to read: yes. Violent - no. Not yet, at least -
and I hope that things don't deterioriate in future.
All of that is a form of violence, IMO. Deluded persons are usually
violent, and so do meanspirited and egotistical ones. Ignorant and
stupid ones are usually violent too. Everything that comes in the way
of listening and trying to honestly understand another's viewpoint is
violent, IMO. But then, I maybe have a very wide definition of
>Alright, let me turn the question around. How, in your opinion, can
one criticize scientology without it being seen as an effort to 'hurt' ?
Absolutely. Didn't you yourself just said in another thread that the
*way* to do things matter? That when you don't, the person becomes
defensive and closes himself up? Real criticism, in my book, would be
to bring someone to a greater understanding. Most of what passes off
as criticism in this ng is hardly more than a defense mechanism in
itself, a constant effort to make oneself right and the other wrong -
to prove oneself right by making the other wrong. That's not criticism
>To destroy a belief system would, indeed, be
'violent' based on your definition of the term. To counter well-loved myths based on
misinformation, to argue with someone about the facts of a given incident that are
still under dispute - all these things could be seen as 'violent'. But to do so
under the belief - right or wrong - that by giving that same someone the other
side of the story, and to show them that they have been led to believe a lie
(when they see not through the eye :) ) - is that violent?
How you do things is what matters, not so much what you do.
> Or is it, to quote another 'Source' - the truth
that shall set them free?
Yes - but truth without love is cruelty - and that doesn't set free
anyone. I am afraid that the quotes that would apply most often around
here are the "blind leading the blind" and the "straw in