Just a few months ago, we used to regularly announce people leaving David Miscavige’s Brave New Church of Miscavology. These days, there are so many leaving it’s hard to keep up. Kudos to Kathy Braceland, Murray and Exilda Pearlman, Dr. Brad and Natalie Hagemo, and Silvia Kusada, to name just a few of the recent, high-profile ones. Of course, for every one going public, there are many more behind the scenes, out of the Church but still flying under the radar, usually because of family connections.
But if you think it’s hard for us to keep track of everyone who is leaving, think of the poor Scientologists who are still in the Church! From all indications, there is massive confusion as to who one can and cannot talk to!
Case in point: we recently received an e-mail from Tomi Lyn Bowling, forwarded to us by one of our “reporters.” Tomi is, bless her, trying to make sense of all this and trying to keep people from connecting with, or talking to, the wrong people. It’s something like herding cats, but she makes an interesting attempt.
“With the new explosion of social media,” Tomi begins, “comes the need to say things or look at things we have never had to before…Sometimes our followers, friends, connections, or whatever you want to call them, expand enormously. As the landscape changes our need to remove friends or otherwise disconnect becomes necessary.”
That’s a little convoluted, but to put it in plain language, “so many people we know are leaving the Church now that we have to continually police our social networking connections, find these people, and delete them.”
Easier said than done. Here’s how Tomi recommends to go about it: “if you see someone listed as a ‘friend’ to someone else and that ‘friend’ is not in good standing please tell them ‘hey did you know that your friend is a declared SP- really I recommend you contact OSA so you can see the declare’ DO NOT contact the ‘friend’ that is not in good standing but do be sure that the one who has them listed as a ‘friend’ is aware of this.
“Please verify that the person is not in good standing yourself before you do this,” Tomi advises. “For example if you have Joe Smith as one of your friends and he has Susie Bell listed as one of his friends. You KNOW Susie Bell is declared, you have seen the Declare at the org. Contact Joe Smith and tell him that you have seen the declare order on Susie Bell OR urge him to contact OSA so he can confirm that there is a declare order on Susie himself.
“If you do that and the connection remains then you should write a KR [Knowledge Report] on Joe Smith (in the example above). Please write the KR per the KR policy. Send a copy to them via Facebook private message if you do not know how else to get it to them.
“BUT do not just send private messages to everyone else telling them that Joe Smith has SPs as friends without first confirming that he even knows this. Perhaps Joe Smith does not know. It is tantamount to simply third partying someone that may have NO idea that there is any problem. Conversely if they do know and they are not doing anything about it the need to put ethics in on them is now your responsibility.
“I have received several of these alerts about connections being suppressives. In one case it was true. The others turned out to be ‘panic’ alerts that had not been verified at all. They were false. I even received a private message from someone saying that some lady, listed as a friend of mine, was in bad standing and should be removed from my list. When challenged by someone else (it was a broad message to many people) that did try to verify this her response was that she was removing her just to be safe. Upon pulling the string the lady had done absolutely nothing. In fact it was the opposite, she had been the subject of an attack by a squirrel group. This is a way to really trash someone who has not done anything if you are lazy about it and just keep spreading something without verifying it first. It is a responsibility that you bear to verify these things before spreading them around.
“We have policy on ethics, justice and third party. We do not need to be allowing ourselves to be connected to those that have gotten themselves declared and are stopping our group and its members. We also do not need to go crazy spreading false information that ruins a reputation without cause or proper use of our own ethics and justice.
“Please learn LRH policy on JUSTICE. DO NOT allow your social networks to become a hot bed of suppressives and do not fall prey to falsely labeling someone ‘just to be safe.’ Don’t be lazy.”
So, are we all clear on this? Go through all of your friends’ friends lists, and see if they have any friends they should not have, and then tell them to unfriend the friends who shouldn’t be friends. If they don’t, then KR your friend by PM and, if your friend still refuses, unfriend him or her, and let all your friends know that they should unfriend your friend too, but you have to verify that your friend’s friend is indeed a friend they should not be friends with, otherwise you could 3rd Party the friend and get people to unfriend your friend unnecessarily.
Well, that’s clear enough. But I see a couple of glitches.
First, they don’t publish SP Declares any more, so often the local Org has no clue who is and is not declared.
Secondly, OSA has no clue who has left the Church and who hasn’t. They only have the names of those who have publicly departed or spoken out. There are thousands who have quietly left the Church and told no one. So how do you find those?
Third, how do you know an SP declare is just? Many of those now leaving the Church are not attacking Scientology, the subject. They are merely speaking out against current management abuses. They have legitimate gripes. But they have been declared to shut them up. Is that just? Are these people “SPs”? Shouldn’t we at least read what they have to say before condemning them?
Factually, you are probably connected to many people on social media who have already left the Church, but have not publicly announced it. Should you disconnect from them? How do you know who they are?
Like I say, it’s complex. But let me simplify it for you.
Talk to whoever you want to talk to. Connect to whoever you want to connect to.
After all, didn’t Tommy Davis, the Church spokesman, announce on national TV that “anything that is characterized as disconnection or this kind of thing is just not true. There isn’t any such policy in the Church dictating who you can and cannot be in communication with, it just doesn’t happen.”
It’s official – there is no such thing as disconnection. The Church cannot dictate who you can and cannot be connected to.
And neither can Tomi Lyn Bowling.