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The Church of Arrogance

November 3, 2009

In contrast to the heartfelt stories of abuse by former staff members in the recent St. Petersberg Times articles, the Church of Scientology’s response comes across as cold, arrogant and filled with utter contempt and hate. It’s issued over Tommy Davis’s name, but in all likelihood was written by Miscavige himself. It bears his imperious stamp.

The stories of the former staff are compelling. They are rich in detail. They tell their stories with emotion, and without guile. My heart went out to these people as they related their stories of abuse, criminality, pursuit and oppression.

And all the Church can say is “they are lying.” Really? All of them?

So I suppose they sat around and dreamed up all of these detailed stories, then meticulously co-ordinated them with each other so that the details matched, then rehearsed them and rehearsed them so they could deliver them convincingly. And maybe they took an acting class in their somewhere.

Yet this is exactly what the Church expects us to believe. And not only that, they tell us that these people are all malevolent criminals, perverts and lunatics. Despite the fact that these people devoted many years of their lives to the expansion of Scientology, despite the fact that these people passed the rigorous screening to be allowed to go to the Int Base, despite the fact that they were trusted with high positions in the Sea Org, suddenly we are asked to believe that they are all the dregs of humanity, every single one of them.

As proof, they offer up snippets from their PC folders and ethics files. Juicy little tidbits from their confessions. See? See how evil they are?

This sort of thing should send chills down the spine of every Scientologist. Because they are also saying, “step out of line and we’ll go through your folders.”

It’s called an ad hominem argument, or, to be more exact, ad hominem abusive. An article in Wikipedia describes it in these terms: “Ad hominem abusive…usually involves insulting or belittling one’s opponent, but can also involve pointing out factual but ostensible character flaws or actions which are irrelevant to the opponent’s argument. This tactic is logically fallacious because insults and even true negative facts about the opponent’s personal character have nothing to do with the logical merits of the opponent’s arguments or assertions.”

It is a logical fallacy – a deliberate attempt to divert an inquiry by changing the subject.

Here’s another logical fallacy. The rebuttal says that the accusations cannot be true as Scientology has 8000 orgs, missions and groups, millions of members, and “some of the most successful social betterment programs on Earth.” Even if these things were true (and they are not – see my analysis of these sorts of claims here), it is not a rebuttal. It is an argumentum ad populum. “We can’t be guilty as we are so popular.”

Or how about this one. They accuse the St. Pete Times of “providing a platform to impugn the name of the ecclesiastical leader of Scientology, denigrate the religion and cause undue harm to its parishioners.” In other words, if you expose abuse, fraud or criminality in the management of Scientology, you are “attacking my religion.” Please.

Are you saying that abuse, fraud and criminality are an integral part of your religious belief system? Are these things vital to your religion?

“You can’t attack Miscavige because he’s a religious leader.” Really? Does that give him a carte blanche to commit any abuse or crime?

The whole “don’t attack my religion” stance goes beyond a mere logical irrelevance. It’s a red herring, a deliberate attempt to divert attention from the subject of Church abuse and crime by changing the subject.

The point is, these tactics are obvious. It is obvious to even the most casual reader of the St. Pete Times that the Church is trying to cover up, to divert attention, to impugn the reputation of anyone who dares to blow the whistle on them. Their tactics are transparent, obvious and clumsy.

With every word they utter, they strip away their mask and reveal themselves for what they are – an arrogant, fanatical criminal gang.

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14 Comments
  1. sherrymk permalink
    November 3, 2009 4:56 am

    You have as usual, made your point in a most intelligent and logical fashion. I find your articles to be some of the most well written, well thought out and insightful of anything on the net. I hope that more Scientologists get to read your words. There is little to argue about and a tremendous amount of food for thought. The Ad Hom and Ad Populum tactics are all that Miscavige and his minions can come up with against the obvious truth being spoken out. My heart goes out to all the ex Int Base Staff that have suffered so under the thumb of Scientology management. Know that I will stay in this fight until justice is served. Love, Sherry

  2. November 3, 2009 5:40 am

    The Church is operating how CIA and various other Government agencies operate when someone blows the whistle on them.Full press character wet work. Never mind the possible validity of the crimes and abuses exposed. They figure that if they can discredit the person enough that they will be neutralized as a threat.

    You can tell they are getting desperate when one of the “heinous crimes” they uncover is “premarital sex”, which just shows how puritanically self righteously sanctimonious Miscavige and his gang really are!

    Other than that like the afore mentioned agencies when caught with their hand in the cookie jar or worse all they do is deny, deny, deny and categorically DENY as if anyone with an IQ bigger than their shoe size would believe these denials.

  3. Ex-RPFer permalink
    November 3, 2009 5:52 am

    Here here Rebel. Well said. I only hope that more Scientologists will actually tear themselves away from the event propaganda long enough to see these articles. It is so apparent that the church is lying in them. But most Scientologists would never dare to look at an article of that nature.

    That really should be the indicator to them. They aren’t even allowed to look for themselves and make an informed decision about whether or not it is true. What ever happened to, what’s true for you is true for you?

  4. November 3, 2009 8:46 pm

    This is another excellent analysis from Rebel008… I’d add to it another CoS argument I’ve seen today — especially in the comments of their operatives: the expansion defense: “Our expansion is now 4 times more explosive than at any period in the last 40 years so obviously you didn’t do any research.”

    • November 3, 2009 9:05 pm

      Thoughtful that’s funny:)

      How could anyone do “any research” when under Miscavige the actual stats per the OIC are Top Secret SCI?

  5. November 3, 2009 9:41 pm

    (rebel008, it’s “St. Petersburg,” not “St. Petersberg.”)

    Robert Vaugh Young wrote about how the Church of Scientology in a must-read article titled “Scientology from inside out” (published in Quill in Nov. 93). In “Trick #6” he details how to counter negative coverage through using a “dead agent pack.” It is exactly what the Church of Scientology is doing here, to the letter:

    A DA pack can include anything from Hubbard’s writings to a piece of press to an affidavit obtained by a private investigator. The purpose is to refute the targeted piece, person or group at virtually any cost. If the article presents no clear-cut falsehoods or errors but paints Scientology in an unfavorable light, the DA becomes a general reply (usually an attack on the source) that may be issued as a pamphlet, an ad, or an article.

    • November 4, 2009 12:14 am

      Good point Mark, however what the Church calls “dead agenting”, has no resemblance to how it is explained in HCOPL 11 May 1971 PR Series 17 Black PR page 3 para 9 where Ron says: (begin fair use quote)

      The “dead agent caper” was used to disprove the lies. This consisted of counter-documenting any area where lies were circulated. The lie “they were…” is countered by documents showing “they were not.” This causes the source of the lie and any other source to be discarded.

      (end far use)

      This is covered in Chapter 13 of Sun Tzu’s Art of War under Types of Spies:

      (begin fair use)

      There are five kinds of spies :

      1. Native spies;
      2. Internal spies;
      3. Converted spies;
      4. Expendable spies;
      5. Surviving spies;

      When these five kinds of spies are working together at the same time and their operations are clandestine, it is called “The divine manipulation of the threads”, and it constitutes the sovereign greatest treasure.

      Native spies are civilians from the enemy country whom one employs as spies.

      Internal spies refer to enemy’s officials who are employed as our agents.

      Converted spies are those who are originally enemy’s spies and who had later turned and are paid to work for our side.

      Expendable spies are one own spies who are deliberately given false information, and who then convey the information to the enemy. These spies usually face death after capture, once the enemy discovered that they had been deceived.

      Surviving spies are spies sent to enemy country who return with information .

      (end fair use)

      Thus the “dead agent” is the penultimate i.e. “the expendable spy”. A twist on an old idea that Intel Agencies have used to some effect especially when they suspect that the agent they’ve doubled may turn on them. They also call it “burning an agent”.

      Any way the way I’ve come to understanding the “dead agent” tactic which is also explained further in great detail in HCOPL 21 November 1972 Issue I PR Series 18 How to Handle Blank Propaganda (which I hope you don’t mind I don’t quote in full but we both know how touchy the Church is these days on the subject of copyrights 🙂 ) is not to discredit the source also known as “character assassination”,(a cruder method also employed by Intel agencies especially when they are desperate about the fact that the leak is valid) but discredit the source’s information or intelligence. In other words proving that it is false. Something the Church can’t possibly do right now, because of Tobin and Child’s fine investigative journalism and the very credible sources that they’ve been able to accumulate, such as Mark or Marty, Steve, Jeff, Mike et al who are all a stellar individuals, while on the other side you have Tommy and Dave who overtly violate “Priest Penitent Privilege” and hand over a stack of obviously coerced “declarations” saying that Miscavige never laid a finger on them! Not only do they partake in some good ol’ character wet work, which is about as transparent as windexed glass but they also attack the St. Pete’s Times for being “Tabloid”! I mean how stupid is that?

      In my opinion if any one is being “dead agented” here it is the comedy team of Tommy and Dave, because they discredit themselves! The only ones who could possibly believe them as anyone who has been drinking Dave’s brand of Koolaid!

      • November 4, 2009 2:32 am

        On the other hand, if I look at HCOPL of 25 February 1966, “Attacks on Scientology,” L. Ron Hubbard says “we NEVER agree to an investigation of Scientology. ONLY agree to an investigation of the attackers.”

        This “NEVER agree to an investigation,” doesn’t that set the stage for intolerance to outside criticism of Scientology in the mind of Scientologists?

        The same policy letter contains the steps on how to deal with an “attack,” which I see define pretty well how the Church of Scientology reacted to the St. Petersburg Times’ special report:

        (1) Spot who is attacking us.
        (2) Start Investigating them promptly for FELONIES or worse using our own professionals, not outside agencies.
        (3) Double curve our reply by saying we welcome an investigation of them.
        (4) Start feeding lurid, blood, sex, crime actual evidence on the attackers to the press.

        In other word, attack the messenger rather then address the message. Again in the same policy letter, L. Ron Hubbard continue to drill into members that any outside criticism of Scientology is never genuine (my emphasis):

        They have proven they want no facts and will only lie no matter what they discover. So BANISH all ideas that any fair hearing is intended and start our attack with their first breath.

        Given the above, the reaction of the Church of Scientology or its good standing members is not surprising, it is expected, and to me it reflects pretty well Hubbard’s writings. What I find most unfortunate is that even some ex-members still don’t accept criticism of Hubbard, and I suspect LRH teachings like the one above contributed to this.

      • November 4, 2009 5:47 am

        Actually, that looks a lot like HCOPL Attacks on Scientology (Additional Pol Ltr) which I’ve seen variously dated as either the 15 , 18 or as you’ve cited 25 of February 1966 which is of questionable provenance since it isn’t listed in the HCOPL Subject Policy Index nor can it be found in the original OEC Vols nor in the new ones either!

        Check it out yourself.

        Thus if its not in there it can be hardly considered a Scientology policy nor would most Scientologists who have studied actual policy due to that oversight be aware of its existence!

        Ergo in my opinion criticism would be unfair, since it is not even acknowledged by the Church itself to be a policy written by Hubbard.

        Funny we where just discussing Black Propaganda and here you offer a perfect example:

        Black propaganda purports to emanate from a source other than the true one. This type of propaganda is associated with covert psychological operations.

        From Psychological Warfare, page 44

        http://www.amazon.com/Psychological-warfare-Myron-Anthony-Linebarger/dp/B0007DNFL6

        The fact is it could have been as easily written by the FBI under COINTELPRO or it could be a valid policy.

  6. November 3, 2009 9:46 pm

    [Eww… my previous comment was full of typos/omissions (delete it pls), here it is again << This line can be deleted]

    (rebel008, it’s “St. Petersburg,” not “St. Petersberg.”)

    Robert Vaugh Young wrote about how the Church of Scientology deals with negative press coverage in a must-read article titled “Scientology from inside out” (published in Quill in Nov. 93). In “Trick #6″ he details how the Church of Scientology counter negative coverage through using a “dead agent pack.” It is exactly what the Church of Scientology has been doing re. the St. Pete Times' "Truth Rundown", to the letter:

    "A DA pack can include anything from Hubbard’s writings to a piece of press to an affidavit obtained by a private investigator. The purpose is to refute the targeted piece, person or group at virtually any cost. If the article presents no clear-cut falsehoods or errors but paints Scientology in an unfavorable light, the DA becomes a general reply (usually an attack on the source) that may be issued as a pamphlet, an ad, or an article."

  7. Hubbardianen permalink
    November 3, 2009 10:19 pm

    Do Scientologists actually believe management, or have they been too short in the church? I remember an event years ago when one speaker said that “almost every surgeon now worked under silence due to the knowledge of the reactive mind.” before he went off stage and the music started.

    Yeah right. That was the first time I started to wonder how truthful they really were.

    Facts first please. That’s the only way to reach true expansion. A lie is an alter-isness.

    Oh my Goooood… somebody replace management please.

    • November 3, 2009 11:12 pm

      Yeah I remember hearing that “stat” too and thinking to myself, yeah and Porky’s gota pilots license. It was getting to the point that half the stats that ‘management” were reporting at the events were ridiculously absurd and the other half were absurdly ridiculous.

      I remember about the time I was packing my bags on the Church of Whatever, that the now famous Cruise couch jumping flap occurred and they were getting all kinds of bad press. I mean back when I audited GO Staffers they had a stat I was aware of in the PR Branch known as “inches of good press” and as far a I know this was the only stat they counted!

      Yet in Davy’s Church they’ve kinda embraced the Huey Long press philosophy of “I don’t care what they print as long as they get my name right” which means at one event for the first time they could honestly say that the amount of press on Scientology has “explosively expanded” and is now “straight up and vertical”!

  8. G. Allen permalink
    November 4, 2009 12:19 pm

    This is ut I think it’s completely from a wog perspective, however I think it’s apropos and very important.

    You write “Are you saying that abuse, fraud and criminality are an integral part of your religious belief system? Are these things vital to your religion?”

    This is something that leaps off the page and slaps me every time I see it. If I needed a reason to dislike Scientology, this would be it. TD and COB keep running on about how their excesses and criminal behavior is and “ecclesiastical matter.” In more common terms,”it’s church business – shut up!”

    This was a blog post I made along those lines back in 2008.
    http://blackfish.biz/allen/?p=256

    Again; from an outsider perspective and someone who will never “avail” myself to Hubbard training, I must say that even suggesting that anything is OK so long as it’s a called a religious rite is an abuse to our society and must be curtailed. You see, I believe in freedom of religion and freedom of expression. I think Scientology is just fine except for the parts that harm people on the outside and the portions that harm and disable minors. I don’t care for it but I also don’t care for skinheads and the KKK, I might snicker at them but otherwise I don’t really mind if people make fools of themselves (BTW I’m not comparing Scientology with skinheads or whatever.)

    However, Scientology harms my community and has sought to harm me personally. That makes a big difference and the fact that they keep beating on this “church business” thing drives me to distraction. Why?

    Because; we live in a relatively open society, when the societal rules are violated to a certain extent, governments usually step in to restore order. Not just to curtail the abusers rights, they curtail everyone’s rights.

    In other words, Mom will shut down Scientology and it will ruin the party for everyone.

    • November 4, 2009 11:54 pm

      I agree with G Allen. Scientologists should never consider themselves above the law and in fact I don’t.

      The fact is that David Miscavige and Tommy Davis are not representatives of the Religion of Scientology, they have merely hijacked the name Scientology and are using it to justify their illegal and odious actions just like a lot of Christians committed Genocide in the past by claiming “God on our side”! So don’t be fooled by the ass clowns who claim to be Scientologists!

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