From: Bernie@bernie.cncfamily.com (Bernie)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology,alt.support.ex-cult
Subject: Re: The reasons for the German overreaction against Scientology
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 22:50:39 GMT
Message-ID: <345ebd79.141505311@snews.zippo.com>

jimdbb@aol.com (JimDBB) wrote in article
<19971021022901.WAA11200@ladder02.news.aol.com>
(alt.religion.scientology):

>>Subject: The reasons for the German overreaction against Scientology From: Bernie@bernie.cncfamily.com (Bernie)
>>Date: Mon, Oct 20, 1997 07:51 EDT

>>deomorto@aol.com (DeoMorto) wrote

>>Let me ask you this Bernie - why is this situation in existence? What has brought it about?

>Bernie wrote:
>> A variety of reasons, IMO.

>>(2) General anti-cult propaganda promoted by organizations like the old CAN and others organizations and individuals taking part in the anti-cult movement. They

>>depict groups they consider as "destructive cults" in the darkest possible way, mainly based on the fallacious, largely debunked, argument that their members are being brainwashed and aren't in the groups out of their own free will.

>Bernie, would you produce the anti-cult propaganda promoted by the old CAN which depicted groups they consider as "destructive" cults, in the darkest possible way. It's easy to sit in Belgium and make these judgements without actually having seen the 'propaganda' . Please produce this material on the ARS for all to judge.

It is not because I sit in Belgium that planes do not exist and that I can't move around. I went several times in the States during the 80s and I saw if for myself. Both CAN offices in NY and LA gave me unilateral negative press articles and put me in contact with persons who did their best to convince me on how awful and dangerous cults are. It wasn't called CAN back then, but CFF, the same organization (like the GO changing its name for OSA). In 1987 I went to a CAN national conference in Pittsburgh where members freaked out each other with horror stories about the cults. I don't just "sit in Belgium".

Besides, you give a good example in your posts of the type of "information" given to frantic parents and other concerned persons phoning CAN, since you yourself were responsible to answer their phones (and BTW, I am still waiting for you to post CAN's denial of forcible deprogramming, and the context of this statement).

 I still have some CAN magazines from which I could take some examples, but I don't have my documents at hand. I'll get to them eventually and post them both here and on my web site. In the meantime, I document here under their participation in the Waco tragedy, which also gives additional indication about the type of information they carried around.

>>The anti-cult movement has done so for several groups, among which the CoS. They are one of the main actors in promoting cult phobia and an hysterical reaction on the part of parents and authorities, something I believe helped to bring Jonestown and Waco about.

>Here is Bernie sitting in Belgium attempting to tell us that the 'anti-cult' movement helped bring about Jonestown and Waco. The anti-cult movement came about, in the main, BECAUSE of and after Jonestown.

Utterly false. The anti-cult movement did not came about because of and after Jonestown. Jonestown happened in 1979, and the anti-cult movement blossomed in 1971 with Ted Patrick deprogrammings. It was in full blast in 1974 and 1976, using conservatorships proceedings to grab cult-members declared "incompetent" for reason of "mind-control". On http://uc2.unicall.be/bernie/ryan1.htm, I show the link between the anti-cult movement and the Jonestown events. I am sure there must exist more trace of it.

Your statements that "The anti-cult movement came about, in the main, BECAUSE of and after Jonestown" is completely absurd. John Sweeney, CFF's National Director, even claimed in 1980 that "we passed up the chance to capitalize on Jonestown".

> Waco, was brought about by an insane cult leader and the indecisive actions of the Dept. of Justice.

You are completely dismissing any role from the anti-cult movement, as if they didn't do anything at all or as if they don't even exist. This shows how biased you are.

I just webbed a document showing their role in Waco, and I reproduce it here under as well.

>Wake up, Bernie, and stop posting this drivel

What drivel? What do you specifically contest in what I post here under?

>>The cover shows insects being killed by a fly swatter. The booklet aims at Scientology as well as Mormons, the Unification Church, Hare Krishnas, the OSHO movement, etc. It contains a sticker showing a skull surrounded by the words "SCIENTOLOGY - UGLY - DIANETICS - POISON."

>We could use something like this in the US...young groups exposing cults. The cults listed all qualify as very destructive cults.

Yep. You already said that the Mormons qualified too as a "destructive cult". Then you protest when I say that the anti-cult movement, of which CAN was representative and you yourself were a represent of it, "depict groups they consider as 'destructive cults' in the darkest possible way".

>Bernie, why don't you get on the Belgian lecture circuit and you can go around with this bullshit and tell the Belgians how the 'anti-cult' movement brought about Jonestown and Waco. I think that the Solar Temple tragedy would be a little closer to home. It will be a bit of a stretch, though, trying to blame this on the 'anti-cult' movement.

I don't "blame this on the anti-cult movement", but I point to the responsibility on *both* sides. You, OTOH, only rage against the "cults" and stubbornly close your eyes to any other evidences from the other side.

Here is the document I webbed at
http://uc2.unicall.be/bernie/waco3b.htm. It is an excerpt from
the full document to be found at
http://home.worldonline.nl/~snorri/wacoruby.htm (link doesn't work anymore)
____________________________________________________________________________

The Massacre of the branch Davidians

A Study of Government Violations of Rights, Excessive Force and Cover up

Carol Moore
January 28, 1994

------------------------------------------------------------------------
These are excerpts showing ACM involvement. I let the references number in the text but they currently do not link to the reference. You will need to consult the full report for that. I cut what was not directly relevant to the point and marked the deletions with ellipses (...). Chapter 3.4 is left intact because everything it contains is relevant.

Some of the things that are shown here are:

•the ACM fear inducing propaganda and rhetoric

•how the ACM pushes for forcible intervention by authorities

•the use of "deprogrammed" ex-members as "evidence" for the need of such an intervention

•how the FBI and BATF relied on self-appointed "cult experts" and their "medicalized" interpretation of religious faiths

•how, through past blunders of such an association, they tried to cover up the fact that they did rely on them

•how ACM proponents tried to push authorities to allow them to "deprogram" the survivors so that they could be "productive witness" and desist to maintain that no mass suicide was under way
------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.5 Government Reliance on "Private Spies" and "Cult Busters"

(...)

Once an investigation is underway, most government agencies, including BATF and the FBI, seem willing to receive information from such groups as the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith (ADL) and the Cult Awareness Network (CAN). These groups, and others like them, clearly have their own agendas. They keep copious files of biased and prejudicial information on private individuals and organizations and share these with law enforcement.

(...)

The Cult Awareness Network (CAN) actively urges the press, Congress and law enforcement to act against any non- mainstream religious, psychological or even political movement which it describes as a "cult." After interviewing CAN's executive director Cynthia Kisser, a reporter wrote: "no one knows how many destructive cults and sects exist in the United States. Kisser's binder holds 1,500 names gleaned from newspaper clippings, court documents and thousands of calls to the network's hotline. Some of the groups have legitimate purposes, Kisser says. But her group's efforts show that most, despite wildly diverse beliefs, share stunningly similar patterns of mind control, group domination, exploitation and physical and mental abuse." [23] CAN critics point out that so-called "mind control" techniques are not much different than the techniques used in education and socialization efforts used by all schools, churches, ideologies and philosophies.

According to CAN critic Dr. Gordon Melton of the Institute for the Study of Religion in Santa Barbara, California, CAN has used a number of means to try to destroy small religious groups: they unsuccessfully tried to expand "conservatorship" to allow families to remove members from "cults"; they unsuccessfully tried to have laws passed against "cults"; they unsuccessfully sued the American Psychological Association for rejecting their views on "brainwashing." However, they have found one successful method of disrupting groups: false anonymous charges of child abuse. Anonymous reports are legal under current law. [24]

Priscilla Coates, former executive director of CAN, told reporters, "I know how these types of groups work and the children are always abused." [25] CAN has been on a crusade against the Christian religious group The Children of God, known in the United States as "The Family." CAN alleges the group practices indiscriminate sex, including with children. [26] Many Family members accuse CAN of making false child abuse complaints which have resulted in dozens of arrests in at least 10 countries. Most of the charges are quickly dropped and there have been no convictions. The Family has demanded a Congressional investigation of CAN. [27]

The Cult Awareness Network's other successful approach is referring relatives of group members to "deprogrammers" who charge thousands of dollars for their services and, according to a former national director of CAN's predecessor, the Citizens Freedom Foundation, "kick back" some of the money to CAN. [28] Deprogramming often includes kidnapping individuals, subjecting them to sleep and food deprivation, ridicule and humiliation, and even physical abuse and restraint until they promise to leave the alleged cult. Because deprogrammers usually involve family members in these kidnappings and deprogrammings, victims rarely press charges. However, in the last few years 5 deprogrammers have been prosecuted for kidnapping or "unlawful imprisonment." One such deprogrammer is Rick Ross, a convicted jewel thief, who has boasted of more than 200 "deprogrammings." CAN executive director Cynthia Kisser has praised him as being "among the half dozen best deprogrammers in the country." In the summer of 1993 Rick Ross was indicted in Washington state for unlawful imprisonment.

Nancy Ammerman, a Visiting Scholar at Princeton University's Center for the Study of American Religion, was one of the outside experts assigned by the Justice Department to evaluate BATF and FBI's handling of the Branch Davidians. She was particularly critical of Rick Ross and the Cult Awareness Network. "Although these people often call themselves `cult experts,' they are certainly not recognized as such by the academic community. The activities of the CAN are seen by the National Council of Churches (among others) as a danger to religious liberty, and deprogramming tactics have been increasingly found to be outside the law. . .Mr. Rick Ross, who often works in conjunction with the Cult Awareness Network (CAN), has been quoted as saying he was `consulted' by the BATF. . .The Network and Mr. Ross have a direct ideological (and financial) interest in arousing suspicion and antagonism against what they call `cults'. . .It seem clear that people within the `anti-cult' community had targeted the Branch Davidians for attention." (JDR:Ammerman:1)

Nancy Ammerman compared Waco and Jonestown: "There, too, an exceptionally volatile religious group was pushed over the edge, inadvertently, by the actions of government agencies pushed forward by `concerned families.'" (JDR:Ammerman:8) What she may not have realized is that CAN's President is Patricia Ryan, daughter of Congressman Leo J. Ryan. It was he who threatened and hounded Jim Jones and his Peoples' Temple members until they murdered him and committed mass suicide in Guyana in 1978. Carrying on what seems to have become a family tradition, on April 8, 1993, Patricia Ryan told the Houston Chronicle, "Officials should use whatever means necessary to arrest Koresh, including lethal force." [30]

Ross definitely deprogrammed one (and possibly more) of the Branch Davidians who fed questionable but damaging evidence to BATF. He also provided negative information to the Waco Herald-Tribune for its February, 1993, series on the Branch Davidians. The paper quotes Ross declaring, "The group is without a doubt, without any doubt whatsoever, a highly destructive, manipulative cult. . .I would liken the group to Jim Jones." The authors write, "Ross said he believes Howell (Koresh) is prone to violence. . .Speaking out and exposing Howell might bring in the authorities or in some way help those being held in that compound through a kind of psychological, emotional slavery and servitude.'" Ross told the Houston Chronicle that Koresh is "your stock cult leader. They're all the same. Meet one and you've met them all. They're deeply disturbed, have a borderline personality and lack any type of conscience. . .No one willingly enters into a relationship like this. So you're talking about deception and manipulation (by the leader), people being coached in ever so slight increments, pulled in deeper and deeper without knowing where it's going or seeing the total picture." [31] CAN representatives made numerous television and radio appearances during the siege. Ross bragged on the "Up to the Minute" public television program that he "consulted with ATF agents on the Waco sect and told them about the guns in the compound." On April 19th he told the "Today Show," "I was a consultant offering ideas, input that was filtered by their team and used when they felt it was appropriate." The Justice Department report mentions a Rick Ross television appearance during the siege where he declared he hoped Koresh would be a coward and surrender rather than end up as a corpse. (JDR:167) After the April 19th fire, CAN associate Louis West said on a MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour broadcast that the FBI "knew they were dealing with a psychopath. Nobody is more dangerous or unpredictable than a psychopath in a trap."

After the fire, CAN "counselor" Brett Bates tried to arrange contacts with survivors by meeting with their families. He told the N.Y. Daily News, "Before they can become productive witnesses in the prosecution, they have to realize they were victims of mind control." Columnist Alexander Cockburn wrote, "the deprogrammers are demanding that they be allowed to exercise their dark arts on the burned Davidian survivors so that they testify correctly and desist from maintaining--as they have--that no mass suicide was under way. The FBI says `this is worth considering,' but the decision is up to the U.S. attorney." [32] The only Branch Davidian to turn state's evidence is Katherine Schroeder who was confined in a mental institution after leaving Mount Carmel in March, 1993 (private communication.) It is unknown if she was "deprogrammed."

After the April 19th fire Methodist Minister Joseph Bettis wrote Attorney General Reno, "from the beginning, members of the Cult Awareness Network have been involved in this tragedy. This organization is widely known for its use of fear to foster religious bigotry. The reliance of federal agents on information supplied by these people, as well as the whole record of federal activity deserves your careful investigation and public disclosure. . .Cult bashing must end, and you must take the lead." Larry Shinn, a vice president of Bucknell University wrote to the chair of the House Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights, "media, legal institutions, and law-makers too often rely on the word of self-styled cult experts like C.A.N. whose overly negative agenda often slides into purely anti- religious attack." And in early May, a coalition of 16 religious and civil liberties organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Conference on Religious Movements, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Episcopal Church, the General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists, the National Association of Evangelicals, the National Council of Churches of Christ and the Union of American Hebrew Congregations issued a statement which read in part, "We are shocked and saddened by the recent events in Waco. . .Under the religious liberty provision of the First Amendment, the government has no business declaring what is orthodox or heretical, or what is a true or false religion. It should steer clear of inflammatory and misleading labels. History teaches that today's `cults' may be tomorrow's mainstream religions."

(...)

2.3 "Probable Cause" Based on Biased Information about Intent

The credibility and reliability of witnesses in an affidavit is very important. Yet all Aguilera's witnesses as to Koresh's "intent" had some credibility problems (...) All other evidence on intent came from disaffected former Branch Davidians, all of whom were influenced by "cult busters" Marc Breault and Rick Ross.

(...)

Aguilera began contacting former members in November, 1992. He obtained their names from the 1990 affidavits Breault and other former members left with the local Sheriff's Department and from Rick Ross. Nancy Ammerman, who had access to all BATF and FBI files, wrote "The ATF interviewed the persons (Ross) directed to them and evidently used information from those interviews in planning their February 28th raid." (JDR:Ammerman:Addendum) Rick Ross "deprogrammed" David Block, who lived at Mount Carmel only three months, in the summer of 1992 in the home of CAN national spokesperson Priscilla Coates in Coates' home in California. [78] He or California CAN representatives were probably in close contact with Jeannine, Robyn and Debbie Sue Bunds, all of whom gave BATF information. (Linedecker writes that in 1991 California police said Robyn was being deprogrammed. [79] )

Evidence that Rick Ross had a financial motivation for inciting BATF against the Branch Davidians is contained in Marc Breault's January 16, 1993, diary entry, where he describes a conversation with Branch Davidian Steve Schneider's sister. "Rick (Ross) told Sue that something was about to happen real soon. He urged her to hire him to deprogram Steve. Rick has Sue all scared now. The Schneider family doesn't know what to do. Rick didn't tell them what was about to happen, but he said they should get Steve out as soon as possible. I know that Rick has talked to the ATF." [80] It is unknown how many other families Ross contacted offering his expensive services "before it's too late."

(...)

While such allegations might be credible in most witnesses, they must be regarded skeptically when coming from individuals involved with professional or amateur cult busters. The Treasury report itself notes, "the planners failed to consider how Block's prior relations with Koresh, and his decision to break away from the Branch Davidians at the Compound, might have affected the reliability of his statements. Although the planners knew Block had met with a self-described`deprogrammer,' Rick Ross, they never had any substantive discussions with him concerning Block's objectivity about and perspective of Koresh and his followers." (TDR:143-144) All those who gave BATF the all important "evidence of intent" had similar credibility problems!

(...)

It is interesting to note that none of the most inflammatory allegation's about Koresh's violent criminal intent made by former members--that he had made up a "hit list" against former members, that he had once "tested" them by saying they would have to turn their guns on the public, that Branch Davidians were considering "mass suicide," or that they had renamed Mount Carmel Center "Ranch Apocalypse" [81] -- were included in the Aguilera's February 25th affidavit. Yet the Treasury report claims these allegations--some of which may not have been made until after the raid--were a prime excuse for the raid because Koresh "might soon have been inspired to turn his arsenal against the community of nonbelievers." (TDR:127) It is particularly disturbing to see that these cult buster stories even convinced top Treasury Department officials to support the plan. Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Enforcement Ronald K. Noble told the April 9, 1993, House Appropriations subcommittee hearing that from what BATF officials had told him, the Branch Davidians were "people who were feared to be gathering machineguns and automatic weapons and explosives for either a mass suicide or for some kind of assault near Waco, Texas; that they had bad intentions, evil
intentions." [82] 3.4. FBI Relied on Experts and Cult Busters Urging Tactical Pressure

[Full chapter]

The Justice report states, "The FBI has questioned whether its negotiations with Koresh could even be characterized as `negotiations' at all, but rather as Koresh's attempt to convert the agents before it was too late and God destroyed them." (JDR:17) Yet despite Koresh's obsession with the Seven Seals, they never allowed anyone who was an expert on the subject to have direct contact with him.

Nancy Ammerman believes FBI agents had such a negative view of Koresh's religious views for three reasons: some individuals didn't understand religion, others were antagonistic towards religion in general, and others were antagonistic towards Koresh's specific views, which differed from their own. [224] She noted FBI officials' and agents' "tendency to discount the influence of religious beliefs and to evaluate situations largely in terms of a leader's individual criminal/psychological motives" and that their "consensus" was that "when they encountered people with religious beliefs, those beliefs were usually a convenient cover for criminal activity." (JDR:Ammerman:5) For example, siege Commander SAC Jamar expressed his contempt for Koresh when he declared at the April 28, 1993, House Judiciary Committee hearing that Koresh had merely "corrupted people" and "corrupted religion to his own ends" and that there was "no way to convince Koresh that he was not the Messiah."

It is evident from the Justice report's description of its consultations with seven theologians (JDR:186-189) that the only one they took seriously was Dr. Glenn Hilburn of Baylor University. Not surprisingly, the report mentions that "Baylor University has one of the largest `cult' reference and research facilities in the country." However, even Dr. Hilburn had little substantive impact on FBI thinking or actions. (JDR:186-189)

Several times the Justice report mentions theologian Philip Arnold--an expert on the Seven Seals and apocalyptic groups--but never acknowledges his crucial impact on Koresh's decision to come out. We will review that in detail in a later section. A study of the Justice report makes it clear that psychologists, psychiatrists (JDR:158-185) and "cult busters" (JDR:190-193) who reinforced the FBI's own prejudices had the greatest impact on the FBI's decisions.

a. Psychologists and Psychiatrists

The FBI was particularly attentive to the advice of psychologists and psychiatrists who asserted that Koresh was mentally unbalanced and would not surrender voluntarily. Dr. Park Dietz held that, "continuing to negotiate in good faith would not resolve the situation, because Koresh would not come out." (JDR:168) Dr. Anthony J. Pinizotto said, "Koresh displayed psychopathic behavior, that he was a `con artist' type, and he had narcissistic tendencies." Dr. Mike Webster opined, "Koresh appeared to be manifesting anti- social traits." (JDR:170) Dr. Perry and social worker Joyce Sparks, who interviewed children released from Mount Carmel, agreed that "Koresh was stalling for time, to prepare for his `final battle' with authorities." (JDR:171-174)

Dr. Joseph L. Krofcheck (with FBI psychological profiler Clinton R. Van Zandt) held that Koresh appeared to be a "functional, paranoid-type psychotic," that he was unlikely to "give up the power and omnipotence he enjoyed inside the compound," that there was the possibility of a "mass-breakout. . .with women carrying a baby in one arm while firing a weapon from the other," and that "the only way the FBI could influence Koresh's exit from the compound would be some form of tactical intervention." (JDR:176-179)

b. Cult Busters

There is evidence that in response to Nancy Ammerman's sharp criticisms, to Rick Ross's being indicted for "unlawful imprisonment" in the summer of 1993, and to the New Alliance Party suit against the FBI for its abuse of the word "cult," the FBI and Justice Department have tried to cover up its association with professional or amateur "cult busters." The Justice report asserts the FBI "did not solicit advice from any cult experts' or `cult deprogrammers.'" (JDR:190)

In mid-April the FBI asked Dr. Murray S. Miron, a Professor of Psycholinquistics at Syracuse University, to analyze five letters that Koresh sent out of Mount Carmel. After reading the first and third letters, he concluded that they bore "all the hallmarks of rampant, morbidly virulent paranoia. . .In my judgement, we are facing a determined, hardened adversary who has no intention of delivering himself or his followers into the hands of his adversaries. It is my belief that he is waiting for an assault." (JDR:174-176)

What the FBI either did not know--or did not admit--is that Dr. Miron is an outspoken cult critic. Reportedly, during the 1970s he had been involved with the Citizens Freedom Foundation, the anti-cult group which evolved into the Cult Awareness Network. During the week of April 14-21--even while he was consulting with the FBI-- Miron published an article called "The Mark of the Cult" in the Syracuse New Times. The article contains stereotypical anti-cult propaganda: "The totalitarianism of the cult banishes dissent and fosters dependence upon fallible, power-mad leaders. It is the system of every dictator, whether benign or benevolent." [225]

In typically media-savvy cult buster fashion, Miron managed to make himself one of the few FBI consultants quoted in major media right after the fire--thus using his FBI connections to promote his anti-cult propaganda. He told the Los Angeles Times, "I advised the FBI that all of his promises as to giving up were only subterfuges, deceptions and delaying tactics." [226] He told the Washington Post, "There was every indication in my mind that he was not prepared to commit suicide." [227] His comments occupied eight paragraphs of a New York Times article: "Dr. Miron said that Mr. Koresh had become so delusional" that he and his followers may have believed that after they set the fire "either that they were invulnerable and that the fires would consume the authorities while leaving them untouched, or that they were about to ascend to glory no matter what happened to their bodies." [228]

Rick Ross' contention that he was in close contact with BATF and the FBI is backed up by Nancy Ammerman's September 10, 1993 one page addendum to her report. (Which the Justice Department did not bother to include in its report.) In it she wrote, "The interview transcripts document that Mr. Rick Ross was, in fact, closely involved with both the ATF and the FBI. . .He clearly had the most extensive access to both agencies of any person on the `cult expert' list, and he was apparently listened to more attentively." However, after reviewing Ross's contacts with the FBI, the Justice report states: "The FBI did not `rely' on Ross for advice whatsoever during the standoff." (JDR:192)

The Justice report claims that the FBI determined Breault was talking to the media and therefore only accepted his affidavits and electronic mail from him, but decided "not to contact him." (JDR:192) However, Breault asserts: "as soon as the siege began. . .the FBI tried for hours to contact us. . .they almost sent the police to drag us to police headquarters. Just before they took that drastic action, the negotiators broke through." Breault gave them detailed information about the Seven Seals, Koresh and his followers. Breault also writes: "The FBI contacted us throughout the siege. They showed us Koresh's letters." [229] Clearly, either Breault is lying or the FBI and Justice Department are trying to cover up their reliance on him.

During the April 28, 1993, House Judiciary Committee hearing FBI Director William Sessions admitted that the FBI had consulted "cult experts," though he got confused about the advice they had given the FBI. And SAC Jamar admitted, "we had a white paper on cults that was very, very useful to us." The white paper outlined the traits of cults with one "dynamic, manipulative, egomaniacal, psychopathic leader" and Jamar asserted that the traits fit Koresh "to a T." Jamar did not tell the committee what individual--or organization--gave him the white paper. However, considering that it contained typical anti-cult stereotypes, one might guess either Dr. Murray Miron or Rick Ross gave Jamar the white paper. Despite the Justice report denials, it is evident that there was a definite cult buster influence on--and justification for-- decisions to replace negotiations with pressure tactics against the Branch Davidians.

____________________________________________________________________________

Bernie

From: Bernie@bernie.cncfamily.com (Bernie)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology,alt.support.ex-cult
Subject: Re: The reasons for the German overreaction against Scientology
Date: Mon, 03 Nov 1997 03:35:58 GMT
Message-ID: <3527457f.172284399@snews.zippo.com>

xenu@mindspring.com (Rob Clark) wrote in article
<345a7e79.354140597@news.mindspring.com>
(alt.religion.scientology):

>On Fri, 31 Oct 1997 23:15:11 GMT, Bernie@bernie.cncfamily.com (Bernie) wrote:

>>xenu@mindspring.com (Rob Clark) wrote in article <345923bb.265374097@news.mindspring.com> alt.religion.scientology):

>>>yes, i've read through this, and it is a steaming crock of shit. i will agree with the issue of violation of rights and excessive force, but i do not believe that CAN can in any sane or rational manner be held responsible for the fact that the BATF is a pack of vicious goons with a rambo complex.

>>>i would say, even that CAN was an accurate source of information on the davidians and that it is that the FBI and BATF did *not* listen to them which can be blamed for the catastrophe that CAN and cult experts warned about, but were ignored.

>> On what are you basing yourself? What evidence do you have and what can you quote? Who said what and to whom, and when?

>i quote what the author herself quoted. i quote the author's own evidence, in a fairly long post, which i do not have time to post again.

But you haven't quoted exactly what was the advise of CAN and cult experts. What did they advised, who advised it and when? Do you have any other source on which you base yourself and that you could quote here?

>the author's own quotations appear not to support her conclusion.

That must have been lost among the quantity of your own comments. I didn't see a single quote of the author that didn't support her conclusion. Maybe you could repost it here. It would take you only a few lines. If *I* missed them, then no doubt readers who are following this from the outside missed them as well. It would be helpful for your own point if you could requote them here.

The point of the author was that although the FBI and the BATF *pretended* they didn't listen to the cult buster, evidence show that they did. After her demonstration, the author concludes:

"Despite the Justice report denials, it is evident that there was a definite cult buster influence on--and justification for-- decisions to replace negotiations with pressure tactics against the Branch Davidians."

Dr. Murray S. Miron, that you support, even told the Los Angeles Times

"I advised the FBI that all of his promises as to giving up were only subterfuges, deceptions and delaying tactics."

This is the kind of statement, that aligns perfectly with what the psychologists told too (and that you blame) is what pushed the FBI and BATF to take drastic action with the results we know.

I really don't see where the author herself quoted anything to contradict the point she was making. Unless you can come up with any other evidence, I have to concluded that pressure tactics against the Branch Davidians *was* what was recommended by the cult busters, just as the initial action by the authorities was urged by CAN itself, as the author show as well.

>> The contention of the author is that the FBI and BATF were brought into action in the first place by alarmist reports calling for an urgent action against a "destructive cult", and that this continued through the siege.

>i believe that indeed, koresh's group constituted a "destructive cult," and deserved a thorough investigation. however, i believe that could have been achieved with a far more minimal use of force, such as by apprehending koresh, preferably using local law enforcement with whom he was familiar and with whom he had cooperated in the past.

>koresh took a morning jog daily, as they knew from months of surveillance. anyone with a speck of sense would have apprehended, or at least approached koresh, rather than launching a foolish and doomed assault on a heavily-armed compound fully capable of retaining a defensive posture and returning fire.

>from prior experience, koresh would have engaged in fierce litigation in a case he felt he could win, as he had in fact done in the george roden shooting incident. in my opinion, a set of actions like this might have caused koresh to tone his act down at least long enough for a coherent prosecution to be constructed, rather than trigger his lust for armageddon.

>>You say that it's the fault of the FBI and psychiatrists who urgent for drastic action since Koresh would not listen to reason, that he is putting up a show, etc

>> I don't see much difference between the two viewpoints. Which are they?

>ok, the one viewpoint is this:

>koresh was a dangerous fanatic, who was acting out of a form of religious belief. greed and lust for power may also have been motivating him, but the primary motivation was, indeed, the set of religious beliefs he promulgated. his prophecies involved armed confrontation. thus, armed confrontation by unknown belligerents would reinforce his belief in his prophecies, and once this happened, a tragedy was inevitable.

>in this viewpoint, one is assuming that koresh's primary motivation was religious, and people will die for strong enough religious beliefs.

The anti-cult viewpoint is not that the primary motivation is religious, Rob. It constantly asserts that it is not a religion but that it holds its member through mind-control and the leader a cynic krook that exploit and abuse his members. Anyone reading this newsgroup can attest to that, and it is the constant anti-cult line as well. In the words of Rick Ross, the members were "held in that compound through a kind of psychological, emotional slavery and servitude". Statements from Dr. Anthony J. Pinizotto, whom you refute, that "Koresh displayed psychopathic behavior" and that he was a `con artist' is perfectly in line with the anti-cult approach and what we can read in this newsgroup, don't you think? I didn't see *one* statement that goes along the religious line you say they defended and I challenge you to quote a single statement from the report I posted that is showing that.

Despite Koresh's obsession with the Seven Seals, The FBI never allowed anyone who was an expert on the subject to have direct contact with him. Koresh made repeated requests to communicate with Biblical scholars. Two academics did offer to help in the negotiations, but were turned down by the FBI. The report states:

"Several times the Justice report mentions theologian Philip Arnold--an expert on the Seven Seals and apocalyptic groups--but never acknowledges his crucial impact on Koresh's decision to come out ... A study of the Justice report makes it clear that psychologists, psychiatrists (JDR:158-185) and "cult busters" (JDR:190-193) who reinforced the FBI's own prejudices had the greatest impact on the FBI's decisions".

Until you can quote any evidence showing that the anti-cult proponents advised anything else, I have to believe the argument advanced that they advised an urgent action for fear of mass suicide and other allegation such as ongoing child sexual abuses, i.e. the same type of argument that brought the intervention of the FBI/ATF in the first place.

>the other viewpoint, held by the BATF and FBI was that koresh was simply a charlatan, who had as his primary motivator lust for power and greed. they may have also ceded that religious issues entered into it, but they appear to have ignored anyone who told them that, even when they had found the expert themselves.

Again, on what do you base yourself that the anti-cult line was any different? I will gladly examine any evidence you bring forth to show that anti-cult proponents were advising negotiations along religious issue and were advising that Koresh should be taken on his world that when he finished writing his Seals, he would surrender. I didn't see any evidence to support that line.

>in this viewpoint, one is assuming that koresh's primary motivation was greed, and that when he saw he was endangering his own power and indeed his life, that he would simply buckle and cave in. after all, nobody will die for simple greed, since nobody makes any money by being dead, at least not any money that they will personally enjoy.

Again, that has been the exact point put forth by Ross and company. The Justice Department report, for example, mentions a Rick Ross television appearance during the siege where he declared he hoped Koresh would be a coward and surrender rather than end up as a corpse. Your assertion that psychologists were denying that he would be prepared to die in the final assault is not correct either. Dr. Perry, for example, and social worker Joyce Sparks, who interviewed children released from Mount Carmel, agreed that "Koresh was stalling for time, to prepare for his `final battle' with authorities."

It appears that both the anti-cult line and the psychiatrists line were consistent, and went against the theologians and the group experts (not the anti-cult ones) who advised against the attack and wait that Koresh finishes his Seals. David Koresh repeatedly stated that he would not surrender until he received instructions from God. On April 14, he believed that he had received his long-awaited revelation. He was instructed to write a description of the Seven Seals and then to surrender to the FBI with his followers. He was apparently engaged in this task when the attack occurred 5 days later. One of the followers who escaped from the compound during the fire carried a floppy disk containing the part of Koresh's book that he had just completed. It probably would have taken a few weeks more for him to complete the task.

>> Here are quotes from psychologists you object to:

>>>>Koresh appeared to be a "functional, paranoid-type psychotic," that he was unlikely to "give up the power and omnipotence he enjoyed inside the compound," that there was the possibility of a "mass-breakout. . .with women carrying a baby in one arm while firing a weapon from the other," and that "the only way the FBI could influence Koresh'sexit from the compound would be some form of tactical intervention."

>> And here are quotes from a cult buster that you defend as correct a few paragraphs later:

>>>>"all the hallmarks of rampant, morbidly virulent paranoia. . .In my judgement, we are facing a determined, hardened adversary who has no intention of delivering himself or his followers into the hands of his adversaries.

>in here is the difference, the first set of quotes is self-contradictory. one says he was unlikely to give up the power he held in the compound, and the next predicts a mass breakout, which is an absurd scenario.

What is self-contradictory between "unlikely to give up the power he held" and "mass breakout"? And what is "absurd" in predicting a mass breakout?

>koresh had some basic knowledge of combat tactics, as the initial rout of the BATF showed, and the waco compound was designed for defense, with multiple firing positions available from which to fire at anyone entering by the front door.

>why he would throw away this tactical advantage by sending out anyone useful, much less by sending out women with a baby in one arm and a weapon in the other, is a secret known only to whoever proposed such nonsense as being likely.

>the first quotes are from a psychologist with an obvious lack of knowledge, or even common sense, about tactics and stand-offs. the second quotes, while agreeing that koresh was a virulent paranoid, seems to imply that koresh would remain in the compound come hell or high water, and had no intention of coming out.

>the second, rather than the "women with a baby in one hand and a weapon in the other" tommyrot, is far more accurate.

You are arguing details. Even if it was more accurate, which is only a matter of speculation, the main point is that both lines are basically the same and at odd with the line that promoted to wait that Koresh finishes writing his Seals.

>> Where is the difference? The psychologists statements above are typically along the line of the anti-cult propaganda one that we can witness daily right here in this newsgroup.

>see last comments. the difference is in the absurdity of the tactical scenario presented in the first set of quotes, and the accuracy of the tactical scenario implied by the second.

Both are tactical scenari, with very little differences between the two. That's exactly the point and proves the author's conclusion that "despite the Justice report denials, it is evident that there was a definite cult buster influence on--and justification for-- decisions to replace negotiations with pressure tactics against the Branch Davidians."

As the author showed, the anti-cult busters were responsible (together with other protagonists) not only for the FBI/BATF rambo action, but for the initial mounting of the tension between the cult and the authorities. That's what they did in the case of Jonestown too, and that's what they do in the case of the current Germany issue as well. Through their propaganda, they do hardly anything else than to foster an hysterical answer from parents, the public and authorities. This results at time, together with the fanatical attitude of cults, in the type of disastrous result we witnessed.

In her report, Moore states that Nancy Ammerman :

'noted FBI officials' and agents' "tendency to discount the influence of religious beliefs and to evaluate situations largely in terms of a leader's individual criminal/psychological motives" and that their "consensus" was that "when they encountered people with religious beliefs, those beliefs were usually a convenient cover for criminal activity."'

Isn't that typical anti-cult clichés? The influence of anti-cult think is overwhelming. I don't see any trace that they influenced the FBI in any other way than what the FBI eventually did, at least in this report. I am really curious to know on what evidence you base yourself to state that the cult busters advised against the assault.

>> JimDBB, who represented CAN for some time even said, right in the post I answered to with this one: "Waco, was brought about by an insane cult leader and the indecisive actions of the Dept. of Justice."

>they were, indeed, indecisive. first the BATF goes in playing rambo, then later for a while the FBI tries negotiation, then they abandon that in favor of silly attempts at psychological warfare like playing bad music at them, and finally they end with a tragic and bungled tear-gas assault that may have triggered a fiery calamity.

"May have triggered a fiery calamity"? What worst could have happened than what happened?

I read "indecisive" as "not strong enough". This is consistent with the overall anti-cult line that I demonstrated just above. If you read "indecisive" as changing tactic, then how did this "brought about Waco"? It's not the indecision that brought about the final tragedy. It's the attack promoted by the FBI/BATF, anti-cult proponents, and others like the psychiatrists involved. They should have, on the contrary, been *more* indecisive and favored any possibility of a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

>the only one of these options which i feel had any long-term possibility of a resolution without tragedy was the negotiations in which they discussed koresh's theology.

Exactly! But this is not what was promoted by the anti-cult proponents, unless you can come up with any other evidences to
contradict what was demonstrated here.

>even if it had no hope of convincing koresh to leave, it would have given valuable cues as to his possible courses of action.

>bible talk, not bullets, could have saved the situation, and for that one needs experts in the theology of the specific group.

Right. Of course, with hindsight, this is kind of easy to say.

>and koresh was, in the opinion of most people, an insane cult leader who believed he was living in the end-times and fulfilling old testament prophecies.

Should one need to be insane to believe that? Its a matter of fanatical and delusional religious belief. It may be absured, but there are probably hundreds or hundreds of thousands of people who believe something along this line, and who are not more or less insane than any other person. As a matter of fact, the group existed since 1929, when it broke away from Seventh-Day Adventist Church. It counted several hundreds followers in 1959 before a prediction for the word to end by the 22 April of that year failed to concretize. In other words, the group existed without major group drama for more than half a century until the FBI/ATF decided to act based on anti-cult alarmist propaganda, including their favorite one consisting of allegation of children sexual abuses, all of which denied by the local Child Protective Services who conducted several investigations.

>> Your assertions that they didn't follow CAN and cult busters advices are contradicted by the facts quoted here, and what we see on a daily basis in this newsgroup, without speaking about the type of propaganda and demonization that brought the situation in the first place.

>the "propaganda" and "demonization" followed socially harmful acts by koresh.

>he demonized himself by acting like a demon.

Maybe he did, but there are laws to deal with that. The anti-cult movement take whatever crazy things an already fanatical cult does and dramatize it out of any proportion. That's what it does with every "cults". This does not bring more understanding in the least. It only brings injustices, suffering, and horrendous individual or group tragedies.

>> Can you bring forth any other evidences showing anything else?

>i believe i have done so.

You only have put an other interpretation on the evidences that I myself provided, and not an interpretation that is convincing. I was hoping you would bring some other evidences. If you know of any URL providing evidences that support your view, let me know. In the meantime I found http://rampages.onramp.net/~djreavis/Ashes_faq.html (link doesn't work anymore) and http://www.access.digex.net/~croaker/koramer.html  (link doesn't work anymore) , both of which support what is advanced in the report I quoted.

Bernie

 


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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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