Is The Anti Cult Movement True?

The Anti Cult Movement is an 80’s era hysteria that dehumanizes members of minority religions.

It’s time to stop it.

Video Transcript of The Anti Cult Movement

Hi. It’s Alanzo from AlanzosBlog.com

I’ve got my IPhone. I got my white wall. I got my open window. Let’s do a video.

So I was a member of the the anti cult movement without really knowing what it was and how it was made up… what its history was… for many years, maybe even a decade, before I realized that I was a member of it.

I had adopted its ideology and its belief system. I felt a kinship and an allegiance to a bunch of different people who were also fighting cults that I really didn’t have very much in common with. I didn’t really realize this. I just knew that we were on a quest to get rid of injustice that destructive cults were causing to people. And we were freeing people from the chains! And all the cult brainwashing!

I did that because I like logic and I like debate. And you know, cult brainwashing is kind of the ultimate in debate, right? If you can change a person’s mind when they’ve been brainwashed into believing it – that’s the ultimate rhetorical victory, right?

The anti cult movement has been around for a long time – hundreds of years, actually. But it wasn’t until the 1960s and the 1970s that they kind of took on this veneer of being scientifically validated.

Prior to this, it was clearly ideologically motivated. The anti-cult movement is made up of a bunch of ideologues. If you begin to examine it you’ll see Christian ministers, you’ll see practicing Jewish rabbis, you’ll see staunch atheists like Tony Ortega, who are all after minority religions – mostly because they have less power than the majority ones do.

They’re not going after the Episcopal Church. They’re not going after the abuses in the Catholic Church. They’re going after Scientology and Mormons and JW’s because they have less power. They’re minority religions.

Cult brainwashing is the underpinning, the foundation, of basically everything in the anti cult movement. Cult brainwashing would be the ability of the cult to apply certain techniques to you that make you decide things in the cult’s favor rather than in your own self-interests.

Eileen Barker, of the London School of Economics, in the late 70s and early 80s studied this. The claim was that the Moonies were applying cult brainwashing techniques in their three-day seminars where they were recruiting people. So Eileen Barker, as a sociologist, went and counted the number of people in the room. And she continued to count them. And she counted the ones that joined up and she found that 90% of the people who’d been subjected to this so-called cult brainwashing during these three day recruitment seminars for the Moonies, ninety percent of those people did not sign up. And of the ten percent who did sign up? They were all gone within two years.

So if cult brainwashing exists as anything other than a belief, where’s its POWER?

If cult brainwashing is being used during a recruitment seminar – and it really exists – then those people will be making decisions against their own self-interests and for the cult. And they will be signing up, right? Yet when you study this so called cult brainwashing, and when it’s studied over and over, it doesn’t make people do that.

So if something like cult brainwashing has so little power, does something like cult brainwashing actually exist?

I say no. I say it’s a belief only. And it’s one of the beliefs that you, as an ex, were offered when you got out of Scientology and you used it to explain everything you were too embarrassed about yourself to admit.

I’ll tell you what – just go on to Wikipedia and type in “anti cult movement”. Just read that article. If you’re an anti Scientologist, or even a staunch Ex-Scientologist, and you’re not aware that you’re a member of the anti cult movement, you will be after you read that.

See, a minority religion is just a minority religion. No one was brainwashed into it. No one is brainwashed now. They are no more brainwashed than a staunch Catholic, or a staunch Buddhist, or a staunch atheist for that matter. They’ve got an ideology, and they’ve adopted it. It’s a sense-making device that helps them to understand the infinite multitude of the world coming at them. And that’s all that’s going on. There is no cult brainwashing like the anti cult movement teaches.

These beliefs actually cause their own trauma loops. You can see that, right? “I was brainwashed!” You know? “I was brainwashed!” “I was brainwashed!” You sit there and you tell yourself that enough and pretty soon you’re destroying yourself! You’re actually denying your own power of choice – to yourself!

Another trauma loop that’s caused by accepting the beliefs of the anti cult movement is “I wasted 30 years of my life!… Ten years of my life!” Whatever it is. However long you spent in the brainwashing cult – you wasted. That’s a trauma loop, as well.

I’m sure that you can find some of your own trauma loops that don’t come from your experiences having anything to do with Scientology – they come from your adoption of the belief system of the anti Cult Movement.

Everything should be able to be examined, right? We should be able to examine the beliefs of the anti cult movement, right? Or the beliefs of anti-scientology, even the beliefs of ex Scientology. Just like were able to examine the beliefs of Scientology after we got out, we should be able to do that, too.

If you can see the damage that these kinds of ideas, and controlling people into adopting these ideas, and not being able to think freely and discuss them freely – if you can see the damage that causes to somebody who was in something like Scientology – where they did that to them, too – then you’ll understand why I’m so rebellious about all of this.

I should be.

And so should you.

If there’s one reason that I’m doing these videos, it’s because these ideas from the anti cult movement are destructive to an Ex-Scientologist, or an Ex-member of any minority religion that they call “cult”. And they’re just beliefs – they’re not not facts.

There are other ways to believe. There are alternative explanations for what you did when you were a Scientologist and this is why I’m saying what I’m saying.

When I call somebody a fanatic, I don’t call them a fanatic because it’s in their DNA. I specifically say that they don’t need to be a fanatic. They don’t need to run these anti cult movement beliefs on people, and control all the message boards so that everybody only espouses the beliefs of the anti cult movement – which is what all the Snow Suzi properties do. I’m against that.

I’m not for David Miscavige. David Miscavige is a violent psychopath. He should not be running the Church of Scientology. He shouldn’t be running a taco stand!

It’s the anti cult movement beliefs that I’m talking about.

They’re do-do. They’re poop!

When you examine them, they just evaporate.

And that leaves you with an alternative way to explain your involvement in Scientology to yourself that is much more productive, much more positive and constructive. And actually more true, as well.

I’ll be showing in future videos how these alternative ways of explaining your past spiritual pursuit are more true, okay?

Thank you very much. Over and out.

, , ,

44 Responses to Is The Anti Cult Movement True?

  1. B. Volta March 11, 2018 at 4:55 pm #

    The dictator of the Scientology organization is a psychopath.

    Members of Scientology are subject to being checked on a lie detector to see if they’re thinking thoughts critical about this psychopath.

    Members are given counseling sessions where they are expected to confide their innermost and private thoughts and experiences with counselors.

    Records of these counseling sessions are accessible on demand to the psychopath.

    The psychopath has micromanaged the Scientology organization for over thirty years.

    He controls and commands numerous high priced lawyers, private investigators, and high pressure sales people. He also has absolute control over any counselor, or any Supervisor of counselors, if he so chooses.

    Through a collection of front groups, this psychopath’s organization actively recruits young people.

    And Alanzo is upset that this organization is called a cult?

    LOL!!!!!

    • Alanzo March 11, 2018 at 5:34 pm #

      The day when you demonstrate an ability to accurately represent an argument that you disagree with is the day when I’ll consider you more than a bush-league piker.

      • B. Volta March 12, 2018 at 5:24 am #

        Looks like you boxed yourself into a corner when you said “David Miscavige is a psychopath” to give yourself a modicum of credibility while regurgitating standard Scientology Inc. PR lines.

        Everything I wrote above is accurate and true and you know it.

        • Alanzo March 12, 2018 at 6:07 am #

          Another fine example of two-poled thinking.

          “Tyranny is the deliberate removal of nuance”

          – Albert Maysles

          • S B October 6, 2018 at 2:01 am #

            Ive been following your blog on and off for a while. I generally agree that the anti scientology community tends to be cult like. However, I also realize that scientology (and all OFGANIZED religion (not connection with the creator or spirituality but organized religion) is also cult like.. here’s where my confusion comes in. You seem to have a distaste for scientology in some instances but in others you seem to defend it. I realize that not everything is black and white.. but are you opposed to the immoral aspects of scientology or do you defend it as a whole? Or are you trying to spread the message of live and let live?i try to find a more clear answer in comments but most of your responses (to my eyes) are vague. No disrespect or criticism here.. just wondering. Thanks.

          • Alanzo October 6, 2018 at 6:45 am #

            Hi

            Thanks for the question.

            Social science shows that a ‘cult’ is simply a sub-culture with a mainstream society surrounding it.

            In a majority Islamic society, for instance, a Christian group is considered a ‘cult’ in that mainstream society while it would not be here.

            The morals of a mainstream society determine what is moral and what is immoral in that society. So I think you have to have a perspective that allows for this when thinking about ‘cults’.

            The important demarcation line, rather than moral vs immoral, is legal vs illegal. I now think those illegal behaviors are the behaviors to get enraged about – if you want to get enraged about cults.

            It’s the anticult movement’s ideas that cause this loss of perspective and get people all lathered up and intolerant about ‘cults’, and which I now see as a danger to a free society. I now realize – after my teenage apostasy from Scientology which was fueled mostly by the ideas of the anticult movement – that we should have more tolerance for minority religions.

            When I was an unknowing and unthinking proponent of the anticult movement’s ideas, I got just as lathered up about ‘destructive cults’ as the next guy. But as time has passed after Scientology for me, I’ve realized this and evolved into what I think is a more sustainable position – in my opinion.

            I now think the key is religious tolerance as part of a free society. So rather than moral vs immoral, I now think the important line to look for is legal vs illegal.

            Minority religions such as Scientology must be prosecuted for any illegal acts they have committed, but not for any differences in morality they display with mainstream society.

            Again, think of a majority Islamic society and a minority Christian one inside it. Should the differences in morality there bring down the force and power of the government? Or should the government only step in when a legal line is crossed?

            I now see that a rich religious landscape offers alternatives for people. And minority religions like Scientology, JWs, Latter Day Saints and others should be protected from the pinheaded hysteria & intolerance of anticultists where their beliefs and practices are not illegal.

            Thanks again for the question and welcome to AlanzosBlog!

  2. Lone Star March 12, 2018 at 8:34 pm #

    [comment blatantly censored pursuant to the relevant ACOPLs on the subject]

    • Richard March 13, 2018 at 7:36 pm #

      Lone Star – That sounds like internet addiction or Internet Use Disorder as the cyberpsychologists refer to it. I also suffer from it and I’m glad Alanzo is allowing some comments again so I can feed it.

    • Gib March 13, 2018 at 9:00 pm #

      What if some new curious seeker found scientology or even dianetics? And landed on Alanzo’s blog? That is the intended audience, get it.

      Why they will eventually be introduced to going clear, going OT. Any new curious seeker will be exposed to the Grade Chart and the Bridge to Total Freedom.

      My two pole thinking is simply no clears or OT’s and I once thought that a clear or OT existed but found out none existed, and yet the COS says there is a clear and/or OT. Well, any new person landing on Alanzo’s blog, let me tell from experience and observation, that there are no clears or OT’s,

      So am I right in making this statement Alanzo and Lone Star and anybody else?

      Hence from a media POV, the mantra should be the COS does not produce a clear or OT. Two pole thinking, LOL

      Hubbard certainly confused people with his gradient level of logic and yet it was not used in Scientology. LOL

      • Alanzo March 13, 2018 at 9:05 pm #

        You are right in making that statement, Gib. There are no Clears or OTs.

        The question for this thread is: does brainwashing exist?

        Or is it a belief only?

        Hubbard certainly believed in brainwashing – he put tons of classical brainwashing techniques into Scientology. But Hubbard also believed in psychs from the planet Farsec.

        If every time brainwashing has been scientifically studied it has been found to have little to no power to influence the decision-making of anyone, then just like there is no evidence for clears or OTs, does brainwashing exist?

        • Gib March 13, 2018 at 9:29 pm #

          does brainwashing exist?

          yah, it’s called rhetoric, the art of persuasion.

      • Richard March 15, 2018 at 6:01 am #

        Gib – I’d say Clear is a something rather than a nothing. The simplest explanation is that it’s a subjective reality that nothing in the past need affect me in the present. It’s nothing unique to Scientology, just putting a label on it.

  3. DigThatGroove March 13, 2018 at 1:54 am #

    Since you brought up the subject of brainwashing, I would like to ask if you are familiar with Canadian Sociologist Benjamin Zaclocki. He has written some works on the subject which I find to have merit:

    Exit Cost Analysis: A New Approach to the Scientific Study of Brainwashing
    https://www.benzablocki.net/exit-cost-analysis/

    Toward a Demystified and Disinterested Scientific Theory of Brainwashing
    https://www.benzablocki.net/toward-a-demystified-and-disinterested-scientific-theory-of-brainwashing/

    An interesting aspect of Zablocki is that he both subscribes to the idea that brainwashing is used in cults to some extent* and is likewise a critic of the anti-cult movement. Zablocki actually concurs with some of the criticism leveled by the likes of Barker against the ACM. However, he also argues that the ACM’s concept of brainwashing is a caricature of the original theory that was formulated by Robert Lifton and Edgar Schein (Toward a Demystified, pp. 3-4, 9), thereby refutation of the former does not settle the brainwashing in cults debate. If you’re inclined to discount Zablocki as merely a clone of other ACM members I would caution against it; you may find in his works an interesting third perspective.

    His retort to Barker’s argument (which is cited in your video) about the dropout rates in cults consists mainly of two points: 1) Brainwashing is not the means by which members are obtained by the group, but rather the means by which the loyalty of existing members is retained (Toward, p. 21). Those three-days seminars which Barker attended are not the point in which any brainwashing would begin. 2) “[N]othing in the brainwashing model predicts that it will be attempted with all members, let alone successfully attempted.” (Toward, p. 21). A full elaboration of his thoughts regarding the issues of cult rectruitment, cult retention rates and the relevance of said issues to the brainwashing debate can be found on pages 18-22 of Toward a Demystified.

    I should note that despite my tentatively positive appraisal of Zablocki I am not yet at the point in which I have firm position on this debate one way or the other. I do believe that I should read more materials on this subject from all sides (both from “cults apologist” scholars and even from the ACM authors Zablocki criticizes) before I’ll reach a more definitve conclusion. I think it would be good for you to do the same and familiarize yourself with Zablocki’s arguments, I’m looking forward to hearing your evaluation of them. Another discussion worth having would be whether or not the description of brainwashing as provided by Zablocki (if it is valid) applies to the experiences of Scientologists, and if so to what extent. I’m not so sure where do I stand on this issue either.

    *Though not in all cults and according Zablocki cults that use brainwashing do not always use it on all members.

    • Alanzo March 13, 2018 at 5:19 am #

      Excellent on-topic and valuable comment, DigThatGroove.

      I’ve not read all that much about this guy but plan to now. Thanks for this.

      I think you always have to keep in mind the null hypothesis in any discussion of cult involvement: people joined and maintained their membership because they were getting something out of it. They finally left because they weren’t any more. No brainwashing necessary.

      For ex members, brainwashing can serve as an excuse and something to blame for thier own self-interested decision making of which the wider culture does not approve. “I was brainwashed” can hide their true decison-making and motives – even from themselves.

      I think when an ex member can say “I joined because I wanted to, I stayed because I was getting something out of it, and I left because I wasn’t any more” then this is a sign they are truly “recovered” from their ‘cult experience’.

      For those who harmed people, like Mike Rinder, Marty Rathbun and Karen de la Carriere, “I was brainwashed” hides the fact that they liked what they were doing in the group. They were getting something out of it. And the release from guilt that the “I was brainwashed” defense provides can also absolve the feelings of guilt for those who didn’t harm anyone but are just embarrassed they were members.

      I say screw all that: OWN your former cult membership and get your groove back. Only then are you ever going to ‘recover’ from anything. In fact, that is the very definition of “recovery”.

      Unjudgmentally answering the question for one’s self “even in the most deprived of circumstances, what was I getting out of it”? Will always be much more productive and therapeutic than “how could I have let myself become so BRAINWASHED”???

      Like the word “unicorn”, just because there’s a word like “brainwashing” doesn’t mean it exists.

      • DigThatGroove March 13, 2018 at 10:38 am #

        “Excellent on-topic and valuable comment, DigThatGroove.”

        Thank you for your kind words. I find much of the points you raised in your comment to be of merit. However, I don’t think that they clash to a significant extent with the brainwashing theory as presented by Zablocki. I think that if you’ll read him you’ll find him to be compatible to some extent with your current views. To illustrate this, there are a few points I would like to stress:

        *Brainwashing is not the end all explanation for all cult behavior – Per Zablocki, not all cults practice brainwashing and those that do not always practice it on all or even most of their members (Toward, p. 18). He sees it as an explaination for only some of the behavior that goes on in cults. He would not dispute that in some or even most cults some and even most of the members stay without being brainwashed or even having undergone attempted brainwashing.

        *Brainwashing theory is mainly supposed to explain uncritical obedience in some cult members. – It also supposed to provide an explanation for why some members stay but I don’t think it’s the main purpose for which Zablocki uses it. It’s not used to explain cult recruitment, Zablocki does not believe it’s used at that stage.

        *Brainwashing may not be relevant to the experiences of all current and former Scientologists – As I noted above, Zablocki says that it’s often the case that a cult will practice brainwashing on only a minority of its memebers. Furthermore, in a talk he gave (to which I’ll link at the end of this comment) he notes that the brainwashing process is often not completed successfully (skip to 14:32). It may be that most ex-Scientologists do not have a successful or even attempted brainwashing in their past they need to deal with.

        *Brainwashing and moral/legal culpability – As Zablocki says in his talk (9:35), one is not absolved from any legal or moral responsibility for actions that he had done during or after having gone through brainwashing. I’m not bringing into the table anything that could become Mike Rinder’s (literal or metaphorical) Get Out of Jail Free card.

        “Like the word “unicorn”, just because there’s a word like “brainwashing” doesn’t mean it exists.”

        Brainwashing may or may not exist as an actual concept, I do have a currently positive view of Zablocki’s work but I do need to read other materials and consider other points of views and arguments to reach a more definitve conclusion. However, I do wonder whether or not brainwashing has actually been shown not to exist or if its merely an ACM strawman that’s been debunked.

        Here’s the talk I’ve referred to in my post:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4JngQ4sWrI

        Audio is lost around 4:08 but is restored at 5:10.

        • Gib March 13, 2018 at 9:46 pm #

          well there you go, he says it was mass persuasion.

      • Virginia March 13, 2018 at 2:20 pm #

        “For ex members, brainwashing can serve as an excuse and something to blame for thier own self-interested decision making of which the wider culture does not approve. “I was brainwashed” can hide their true decison-making and motives – even from themselves.

        Very true.

        I think when an ex member can say “I joined because I wanted to, I stayed because I was getting something out of it, and I left because I wasn’t any more” then this is a sign they are truly “recovered” from their ‘cult experience’.”

        This is a great way of looking at it.

        I think I might change to something even simpler.

        “I joined because I wanted to, I stayed because I wanted to, and I left because I didn’t want to any more.”

        V

      • Eileen March 14, 2018 at 2:49 pm #

        That is not a null hypothosis, Alanzo.
        A null hypothesis would be that scientology experuences have neither a positive nor a negative impact.

        • Alanzo March 14, 2018 at 3:45 pm #

          That’s what I meant: there is no causative connection between cult brainwashing techniques being applied to someone and that person’s decision-making with regard to the cult.

          • Eileen March 14, 2018 at 8:44 pm #

            Nope. Try again.

          • Alanzo March 14, 2018 at 9:16 pm #

            Ok.

            Out of 100 people who were exposed to the cult brainwashing techniques applied during the three day Moonie seminars, only 10 signed up to be moonies.

            And they all were gone within 2 years, which were also filled with the claimed cult brainwashing techniques.

            So after 2 years of having cult brainwashing techniques applied to them, none ended up changing into Moonies.

            So the intervening variable, cult brainwashing, had no effect after 2 years.

            Therefore, null hypothesis, Q.E.D.

          • DigThatGroove March 15, 2018 at 1:22 am #

            Before we begin to discuss brainwashing we need to know what do we actually mean by these term. It would be helpful if you were to provide the definition you have in mind. The definition I’m using is methods essentially similar to the ones referred to by the Maoists themselves as brainwashing and the psychological processes which are supposed to ensue from said methods according to the theories of Robert Lifton and Edgar Schein.

            “Out of 100 people who were exposed to the cult brainwashing techniques applied during the three day Moonie seminars, only 10 signed up to be moonies.”

            Per Zablocki, brainwashing doesn’t start at the recruitment stage. If he’s correct then nothing that happened at those three days seminars would be relevant to the brainwashing in cults debate.

            “And they all were gone within 2 years, which were also filled with the claimed cult brainwashing techniques.”

            It seems to me that there’s an implicit premise in this sentence; being a member of a cult/totalistic group means that one must has been subjected to brainwashing techniques. Zablocki however says that cults usually reserve brainwashing to only some of their members, typically those assigned to sensitive roles. If he is correct on this point, not every observation of a cult member’s experience would be relevant for the study of brainwashing and an assessment of the phenomenon’s existsnce (or lack of).

            “So after 2 years of having cult brainwashing techniques applied to them, none ended up changing into Moonies.”

            I’m a bit befuddled by this sentence. How can two years of brainwashing be applied to to the population referred to here without them having already been Moonies? Wouldn’t you be more correct in saying someting along the lines of “So after 2 years of having cult brainwashing techniques applied to them, none stayed Moonies”?

            Furthermore, Zablocki says that after approximately three years the turnover rates in cults declines signficiantly (Toward, p. 21). This does not have to be explained by brainwashing (, p. 229) but it is a point worth keeping in mind.

            Now let me provide my own two cents. Some of the people reading my comments in this thread will say that I have been brainwashed into accepting Zablocki’s views considering my excessive references to his work. I would like to disabuse you of this idea by noting that as of now I’m only “flirting” with his ideas and am not yet “married” to them. It could be that in course of my investigation I will find it proper to call the wedding off. I’m not citing him so as to tell our propertier that he’s wrong. Rather, I do so because I wish to see the propertier address Zablocki’s arguments and possibly refute them if he can.

            If there is a point on which I’m relatively convinced by Zablocki is the one to which most of this comment is dedicated to. I do tend to think that Barker’s argument, as presented by the propertier in the previous comment, is inadequate to settling the debate about brainwashing in cults one way or the other. But just because an argument against the brainwashing hypohtesis has been shown to be lacking does not mean that the theory itself is necessarily correct. To assess the theory’s truthfulness we’ll need to look at the evidence presented in its support. A summary of said evidence is provided by Zablocki in Toward, pp. 41-49. On this issue I’m far from being decided.

          • Alanzo March 15, 2018 at 7:48 am #

            I gave a quick definition of brainwashing in the video.

            Here’s an enhanced version of it:

            Brainwashing, as it is understood when applied to members of minority religions, has a choice-denying quality. If you have been brainwashed by a ‘cult’, you don’t have the same power of choice as someone who is an atheist or an Episcopalian.

            As a brainwashed cult member your ability to decide for your own self interests has been reduced or even destroyed by the cult brainwashing. You can only make decisions in favor of the cult and can not make choices in your own self interests.

            So when The Moonies were brainwashing those people at those seminars, they all should have joined up because that’s what the brainwashing was designed to do. Or at least a majority of them should have. But 10%?

            That’s not very powerful brainwashing, is it?

            And I’ll bet even those 10% signed up because they were doing so for their own self interests.

            And the fact that even those who signed up all left within two years shows that even when the Moonies had them under their full control, their brainwashing techniques couldn’t make them lose their power of choice to leave.

            This is the basis of all anti cult movement efforts to delegitimize minority religions: the people who are members are not members because they choose to be members – which is their religious right – they are members because they have lost their ability to decide things for themselves.

            The cult brainwashing has damaged them and destroyed their power of choice.

            Membership in a minority religion is just as legitimate as membership in a majority religion or being an atheist. Barker shows that cult brainwashing is a superstition only and is simply used an excuse to go after people who are practicing a religion or spiritual pursuit which those in the anti cult movement don’t like, similar to how a belief in “blood libel” was used as an excuse to go after Jews.

          • DigThatGroove March 16, 2018 at 2:21 am #

            Thank you for clarifying your position. Maybe the use of word “brainwashing” is unwise on Zablocki’s part. I do think that the phenomenon he refers to by this word might be real, but it may be best if he were to call it by a different term. There appears to be a plethora of differing definitions of the word “brainwashing” that are being used by different people,* most of which (including your own) do not concur with Zablocki’s definition of the term. It’s difficult to have a debate about whether brainwashing exists and if so whether it’s used in cults when the various sides are not even in agreement on what the word actually means. I’m guessing that it’s often the case that one person says “brainwashing” and his listener percieve a different concept than what the speaker had in mind.

            Did Eileen Barker debunk that idea that brainwashing exists? She certaintly showed that what she defines as brainwashing does not exist. Per Zablocki, her definition of the word is also one that is shared by many in the ACM. But so far I’ve seen nothing to disuade me from the idea that she did not debunk the existence of what Zablocki defines as brainwashing**, which he deems (correctly I think) to be different than the Barker/ACM definition of the term. I will not repeat Zablocki’s rebuttal of Barker, it’s already outlined in my previous comments. I brought up his arguments because I was curious to see if you have a refutation of them. I will still be happy to see you provide one if you can.

            I think we’re reaching the stage in which we’ve exhausted this debate, but there’s one more point I would like to tackle:

            “Membership in a minority religion is just as legitimate as membership in a majority religion or being an atheist. Barker shows that cult brainwashing is a superstition only and is simply used an excuse to go after people who are practicing a religion that those in the anti cult movement don’t like, similar to how a belief in “blood libel” was used as an excuse to go after Jews.”

            What you’re saying may be true for the ACM, but I don’t see Zablocki usinh the concept that he calls brainwashing in such a way. Otherwise, he would have not said that brainwashing is absent in some cults:

            “I have observed fully developed brainwashing processes in some cults, partially developed ones in others, and none whatsoever in others.” (Toward a Demystified and Disinterested Scientific Theory of Brainwashing, p. 42)

            Nor he would have suggested that brainwashing may be practiced in socially acceptable religions and institutions:

            “It does not trivialize the concept [of brainwashing] to demonstrate that it may also be at work in institutions such as the United States Marines and in Catholic monasteries both past and present. [emphasis added]”

            Above quote is taken from the following article, p. 98:

            https://www.benzablocki.net/the-blacklisting-of-a-concept-the-strange-history-of-the-brainwashing-conjecture/

            Other than that I don’t think I have much more to say, as I’ve already stated I think we’re reaching an impasse in this discussion. At most I’ll bother you with one or two additional comments on this subject, but probably no more than that.

            *From looking at Richard’s comment I think he would agree with me on this point.
            **He says that what he calls brainwashing is the same thing that Robert Lifton calls “thought reform”. Based on my reading of Lifton I tend to agree.

          • pluvo March 16, 2018 at 6:41 am #

            “Indoctrinated” is a better description, IMO, than “brainwashed” which you used yourself abundantly (see examples below). It’s the decision-making according to the basis of once former experiences and mindset mixed with the indoctrination and absorbance of it. How far the decision-making is influenced to follow KSW and “Command Intention” is individually different.

            https://isene.me/2013/03/13/brainwashed/

            Alanzo says:
            2013-03-13 at 16:41
            OK. My point is not that no other religion or organization on earth has ever engaged in brainwashing except Scientology. Of course they have.
            However, very few organizations were developed SOLELY to brainwash people as relentlessly (and as obviously – once you know the technology of brainwashing) as Scientology.
            VERY FEW.

            Alanzo says:
            2013-03-13 at 01:15

            This is another form of classical brainwashing placed into Scientology and used by L Ron Hubbard to brainwash Scientologists.
            Alanzo

            Alanzo says:
            2013-03-13 at 14:23

            Since we are social animals – our learning and socialization processes do contain similarities to brainwashing. But the key difference in Scientology brainwashing is the deliberate targeting of the self-identity of the recruit, and to target that self-identity to change and adopt goals that served the organization over his own self-interests.
            Alanzo

            Alanzo says:
            2013-03-14 at 01:31
            LRH’s tech of “Confusion and the Stable Datum” is a basic of Scientology brainwashing technology.
            Alanzo says:
            2013-03-14 at 01:45
            What auditing process were you doing when this happened to you?
            The False Purpose Rundown, which is probably LRH’s highest achievement in terms of a brainwashing rundown. In it, he used almost all of the tech he had developed from the BC on “SOP Goals”, “GPMs”, OW’s, and the “prior confusion”.

            https://isene.me/2013/03/13/brainwashed/

            Alanzo says:
            2013-03-13 at 16:41
            OK. My point is not that no other religion or organization on earth has ever engaged in brainwashing except Scientology. Of course they have.
            However, very few organizations were developed SOLELY to brainwash people as relentlessly (and as obviously – once you know the technology of brainwashing) as Scientology.
            VERY FEW.

            Alanzo says:
            2013-03-13 at 01:15

            This is another form of classical brainwashing placed into Scientology and used by L Ron Hubbard to brainwash Scientologists.
            Alanzo

            Alanzo says:
            2013-03-13 at 14:23

            Since we are social animals – our learning and socialization processes do contain similarities to brainwashing. But the key difference in Scientology brainwashing is the deliberate targeting of the self-identity of the recruit, and to target that self-identity to change and adopt goals that served the organization over his own self-interests.
            Alanzo

            Alanzo says:
            2013-03-14 at 01:31
            LRH’s tech of “Confusion and the Stable Datum” is a basic of Scientology brainwashing technology.
            Alanzo says:
            2013-03-14 at 01:45
            What auditing process were you doing when this happened to you?
            The False Purpose Rundown, which is probably LRH’s highest achievement in terms of a brainwashing rundown. In it, he used almost all of the tech he had developed from the BC on “SOP Goals”, “GPMs”, OW’s, and the “prior confusion”.

          • Alanzo March 16, 2018 at 9:15 am #

            Thanks, Pluvo. That looks like an awful lot of work to make your point.

            Yes. As an anti-Scientologist I used to believe in brainwashing before I applied a little basic skepticism to it and searched for positive evidence which would support it. I couldn’t find any. What’s more, I found evidence, as in Barker and others, where the POWER of brainwashing was disproven.

            Applying Basic Skepticism to the claims you’ve accepted as a Scientologist, and as an Anti-Scientologist can change your whole life.

            It did mine.

            Won’t you join me, comrade? 🙂

          • DigThatGroove March 17, 2018 at 4:09 am #

            “What’s more, I found evidence, as in Barker and others, where the POWER of brainwashing was disproven.”

            Currently working on compiling a reading list, which works have informed your current views on this subject?

          • Alanzo March 17, 2018 at 7:59 am #

            Jeez. My current views on this subject come from 16 years in Scientology and 19 years out of it as a critic of it, and everything I have read and seen in all that time.

            But, as for the sociological ideas about cults and ‘brainwashing’, here’s a quick list:

            Eileen Barker “The Making of a Moonie”
            Robert Lifton “Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism”
            Margaret Singer “Cults in Our Midst”
            David Bromley et al “The Politics of Religious Apostasy”
            Cowen and Bromley “Cults and New Religions”
            Leon Festinger et al “When Prophecy Fails”
            Festinger “Conflict Decision and Dissonance”
            James Lewis “Apostates and the Legitimation of Repression: Some Historical and Empirical Perspectives on the Cult Controversy”
            James Richardson “Brainwashing Theories in European Parliamentary and Administrative Reports”
            Janja Lalich “Bounded Choice”
            Hugh Urban “The Church of Scientology”

          • Richard March 16, 2018 at 11:51 am #

            Pluvo – I like your first paragraph but something confuses me. You mention “once former experiences”. Former experiences are always former, aren’t they? I could absorb scn doctrines in relation to former experiences which were little to none for me regarding philosophy, religion and science.

          • Richard March 16, 2018 at 1:04 pm #

            Here’s how I would rewrite that paragraph for my own purposes without any attempt to correct Pluvo’s idea:

            “Indoctrinated” is a better description, IMO, than “brainwashed”. It’s the decision-making according to the basis of former information and experiences and mindset mixed with the indoctrination and absorbance of new information and experience. How far the decision-making is influenced to follow KSW and “Command Intention” is individually different.

            Going back almost 40 years and further tracking how I came to believe everyone should be a scientologist is not a “high interest item” for me (sciospeak is fun sometimes.) In it’s simplicity a LOT of scn made sense in the beginning. Body – Mind – Spirit, Analytical mind – Reactive mind – Somatic mind, Memories as Mental Pictures. There’s a long list of such things which might lead me to follow Hubbard/scn on his Bridge and as Gib notes, Hubbard was a master at rhetoric and persuasion.

          • Alanzo March 16, 2018 at 1:17 pm #

            But is “indoctrination” any different than a Republican making decisions along the narrative lines that Fox News puts out, or a Democrat making decisions along the lines of MSNBC?

            Why do we reserve these concepts such as “brainwashed” and “indoctrinated” for minority religious beliefs, and not for other types of beliefs?

            I’ll tell you what I think after stepping out of the anti-cult mindset and looking at this from a more objective viewpoint: the inclination toward religious persecution doesn’t go away in our species – it keeps popping up in various ways. And the anti-cult movement is one of those ways were you can get your religious persecution hard-on going while still maintaining a party-bus atmosphere on the Internet.

          • pluvo March 16, 2018 at 8:44 pm #

            You are right. I meant “one’s”. I’m ESL and when reconstructing the sentence, trying to express somewhat what I meant, I made the mistake (I know the difference one’s/once).
            I was also looking up “brainwashing” vs “indoctrination” but was not diving further in it.

            But anyway for me it is clear now that Hubbard set up Scn with an Orwellian “1984” structure (the Sea Org being like the Inner Party) and his “ethics’ and ‘justice’ system was set up so that HE and his many lies weren’t found out. One gets regularly interrogated for “thoughtcrimes” and the ‘ethics’ officers/MAAs are used like a Thought-police. The amounts of files which are kept and the KR and snitching culture rival the Stasi.

            When I talked last to a priest when we had a death in the family, I mentioned that I didn’t share his believe (I was raised Catholic), but I was not KRed, interrogated, threatened or ostracized. Siblings which resigned from the church can talk about it and are not pressured to disconnect.

          • Richard March 17, 2018 at 8:40 am #

            I did some word clearing and found I was fuzzy in my definitions.

            indoctrinate – 1. to instruct in, or imbue with, doctrines, theories, or beliefs, as of a sect 2. to instruct, teach
            the root word is doctrinare, to instruct.

            imbue – to permeate or inspire (with principles, ideas, emotions, etc.)

            A marine might be instructed in how to parachute jump and indoctrinated in the marine code of honor, neither being malicious. In scn I considered I was studying and learning things and was also being indoctrinated or indoctrinating myself in a belief system. Mr. Hubbard discouraged looking at other belief systems – haha

            Democrats and Republicans follow their confirmation bias and hysteria but are free to look at both sides of the issues. “Impeach 45!” or “Lock Her Up!” depending on their preference.

    • Eileen March 14, 2018 at 2:47 pm #

      Beware of sociologists bearing research reports. Sociology research is under severe criticism for its lack of rigor, its use of poorly reasoned assumptions, basically its presentation of reasoned opinion under the guise of research.

      • Alanzo March 14, 2018 at 3:49 pm #

        Do you see this lack of rigor, a use of poorly reasoned assumptions, and a presentation of reasoned opinion under the guise of research in this particular paper – or are you just dead-agenting the subject of sociology as a whole?

        Is this just another round of “Psychs vs. Sosh” or are you actually pointing something out to us here with this study?

        🙂

        I’m thinking of founding the SDL, the Sociologists Defense League.

        • Eileen March 14, 2018 at 8:55 pm #

          None of the above. I didnt read the paper, and dont represent “psychs”.
          I just want people to be aware that many sociology studies specifically have come under severe censure for making statements and drawing conclusions that are really opinions, not science. This is the fault of the publishers who have not held these studies to basic standards.
          One example is the sociologists that argue that exscientologists are negatively biased against scientology. There is zero evidence to support this assumption. Until they can support this statement they shouldnt make it.

          • Alanzo March 14, 2018 at 9:03 pm #

            The only study I’ve seen that claims anything like that is one which shows that former cult members of any group who have under gone deprogrammng have much more negative views of their former group than those who haven’t.

            And I can’t even remember who the authors were now. Which is quite convenient, wouldn’t you say? 🙂

            Science is a game of domination and escaping domination, isn’t it?

  4. Statpush March 13, 2018 at 2:13 pm #

    Brilliant, Al

    • Richard March 13, 2018 at 7:43 pm #

      Alanzo’s video skills are continually improving. He needs a costume or maybe he can wear one of his Buddha masks in one of his videos. My evening comments are stupid-er than my morning ones so I’ll make an on topic comment tomorrow.

  5. Richard March 14, 2018 at 8:36 am #

    Brainwashing has come into such common use that it’s original sinister connotations have been diluted. Democrats are brainwashed. Republicans are brainwashed. “Your husband/wife has you brainwashed.” etc. Other words or terms might be more applicable.

    I was a scn-ist for seven or eight years before I left in 1982. Whenever I interacted with someone it was always in the back of my mind that he or she should become a scn-ist. It wasn’t until I was out for maybe a year that I realized I was just as firm in my thinking as any Jesus freak walking around who wants everyone to be saved. That was a rather humbling revelation but I let it go – It was what it was.

    Indoctrination or programming doesn’t seem to fit. Maybe groupthink, positive reenforcement, seeking approval or other things apply. How about hive mind or being assimilated by The Borg or your favorite cult?! The prison of belief is a good general description and the investigation of the how and why of it continues.

    Leaving because one is no longer getting benefits is one description. When I left I had no problems with the subject itself. The price increases had resumed which I thought were greedy and unjustified. It was a personal injustice to myself.

  6. John Doe March 14, 2018 at 10:05 am #

    Some thoughts on brainwashing:

    • How come people with dirty minds never seem to get brainwashed?

    • Is brainwashing best done in the gentle or normal cycle?

    •. If someone tells you, “a penny for your thoughts”, and then brainwashed you, is that also money laundering?

    • If beings from the next dimension came to our universe to clean it up, would that be considered brane-washing?

    Just sayin…

    • Alanzo March 14, 2018 at 10:09 am #

      Lol.

      Ba dum bum!

    • Richard March 17, 2018 at 9:45 am #

      John Doe – I’ve washed my brain of the nonsensical parts of Scientology and now it smells quite nice, thank you.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Clicky