In an excellent paper written by Prof. David Bromley called “The Social Construction of Contested Exit Roles: Defectors, Whistleblowers and Apostates”, the author absolutely nails the socially-constructed elements of the anti-Scientololgist/Anti-cultist’s “Capture Stories, “Escape Stories” and “Atrocity Stories“.
In the section of this paper called “Apostate Narratives”, Bromley explains that because of the polarized situation and power imbalance that exists when leaving cults, there is considerable pressure on individuals who leave cults to negotiate a narrative with a group of Ex-members that offers an acceptable explanation for participation in the cult and for now once again reversing loyalties.
“The common story that is negotiated among Exes of many cults is a “captivity narrative” in which apostates assert that they were innocently or naively operating in what they had every reason to believe was a normal, secure social site; ‘
“They were then subjected to overpowering subversive techniques; ‘
“They endured a period of subjugation during which they experienced tribulation and humiliation; ‘
“They ultimately effected escape or rescue from the organization; ‘
“And they subsequently renounced their former loyalties and issued a public warning of the dangers of the former organization as a matter of civic responsibility. ‘
“Any expressions of ambivalence or residual attraction to their former cult or their association with it are vigorously resisted and are taken as evidence of untrustworthiness.’
“Emphasis on the irresistibility of subversive techniques is vital to apostates and their allies as a means of placing responsibility for participation on the organization rather than on the former member himself. This account avoids attribution of calculated choices that would call for invoking the label of traitor. ‘
“Further, the broad allegation of cult allows a diverse array of opponents to unite under a common banner and to formulate a variety of claims in terms that will mobilize or neutralize a broad spectrum of interests. ‘
“Upon the rendering of an acceptable narrative, the Ex-member coalition accepts pledges and tests of loyalty and professions of regret as the basis for reintegration into social networks to which it controls access.’
This is what I have been looking at every time I stepped outside the lines of this socially constructed Anti-Scientology/Anti-Cult narrative.
This explains a whole lot of my last 15 years being involved in Ex-Scientology.
From the book “The Politics of Religious Apostasy”