Jon Atack and Steven Hassan have been the Jimmy Swaggart and Billy Graham of the Anti-Cult Movement for well neigh 40 years now, and I hear they’re just about ready to get some science to back up what they’ve been preaching to vulnerable Exes – real soon now!
So it’s no wonder Jon and Steve got together to attack sociologists who have done a lot of scientific research on minority religions for the last 40 years.
Here’s their video discussing two sociologists, Gordon Melton, Distinguished Professor of American Religious History at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. And Eileen Barker, Emeritus Professor of Sociology and the study of Religion at the London School of Economics.
Here’s their take-down of the careers these 2 sociologists, smearing them recklessly with all kinds of crimes.
Watch this video to see how they try to convince you to discredit their work:
My Comments on this video:
Right off – Straw Man fallacies start stacking up:
“The focus of this video is to begin to disseminate information in an organized way about “cult apologists” or cult defenders, or “academics” (these are rabbit ears)… who have published journal articles and books and have said “THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH MOON. HE’S NEVER LIED.”
Wow. Right out of the gate we’re going to need to examine the way Steve is representing the writings of sociologists who have written about Sun Myung Moon. In everything I’ve read, I have never seen even one sociologist state “THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH MOON. HE’S NEVER LIED.”
On the contrary, many of them go into the problem areas. But they just aren’t hysterical about it. They stay grounded and stick to the facts. Unlike Steve here.
“I researched it by asking Moonies “Does Moon ever lie?”…”
Another wow. This is actually more than a straw man, this is a complete fabrication about how sociologists do their research.
Maybe Steve is being “informal” here. Maybe he thinks he’s talking to anticult friends at a kegger or something. But whatever he’s doing, he is absolutely misrepresenting the message and research methods of sociologists who have studied the Unification Church, and other minority religions.
Not a good start to this video.
Then Jon Atack comes on. He actually says this:
“I mean Gordon Melton has been a problem for a long time. And this little group of people, they’ve been with us since the 1980s, and they defend the rights of people to belong to any group they choose to belong to, and they defend the notion that part of that Liberty is to be exploited as much as the group wishes, and you have the right to be exploited.”.
I know of no sociologist who says “part of that Liberty is to be exploited as much as the group wishes, and you have the right to be exploited”.
I have seen them say everything that Jon characterizes before that part, though. I think Jon needs to produce a reference of a specific sociologist saying this exact quote here, don’t you?
Then Jon says this:
“I understand the kind of liberal ideas that are behind this but they are in a very dangerous situation. Now the problem, the first problem I have with these people is THEY’RE MERCENARIES they are freelancers, they are people who are paid money to give their opinion“
Yeah Jon. They’re mercenaries.
And they work at universities. The universities pay them while they produce the research necessary to publish their work.
Okay. This is already getting tiring. And you can see why Steve Hassan has been so nervous. Academia, and real science, has backed off “the cult problem” in the last decade or so because it just hasn’t been a big deal. These guys have made their recent rise to fame on Scientology, because it’s the whacko group that keeps on delivering. And so now that they perceive that the “cult apologists” might come after their gravy train again, they’re getting skittish.
But I can’t go through every word like this. There’s a reason these guys are not taken seriously by true experts and governments, and you are seeing it here already: Total hysteria, straw man arguments, demagogic use of language in an attempt to create a moral panic over “weird” minority religions.
Later you can see Jon Atack declare loudly – twice – that there ARE ABSOLUTELY NO SCHOLARLY CITATIONS IN GORDON MELTON’S BOOK!, and then later say “Oh here’s a couple of pages of them”. LOL
Also look for Jon Atack declaring that sociologists are HIRED GUNS! in the same Rambo vein he established above.
If you are an Ex – be on the lookout for how anticult movement evangelists like Steven Hassan and Jon Atack are manipulating you. And don’t let them scare you away from real scientific analysis of minority religions by Eileen Barker, James Bromley and other real social scientists on the study of religion.
You can get caught up in a lot of hysteria after Scientology, or after any minority religion. Google search “social science on” [your former religion].
The social science on what you’ve been through is sane, non-hysterical, and real scientific research. It is the most helpful, grounded advice you can get after you’ve experienced a loss of faith from a minority religion, or a majority religion, as well.
If you want to discuss more points that these ideologues make in the video, I’m all for it. But I’m not going through all this and laying out each hysterical manipulation for you. It’s not worth it for me, or for you.
If, while watching the video, something jumps out at you, make a comment.