OSA’s BBC Handling
If you’ve ever looked at online news articles about Scientology, you may have noticed the occasional lame and rather disconnected comments from Scientologists. And you may have asked yourself “how can they sound so clueless?” A letter sent out to some Scientologists in the UK, recently posted on WWP, provides some insight into OSA’s “strategy” to deal with the BBC program. The letter is from Zabrina Collins, a UK Ethics Officer tagged by OSA UK to carry out their “campaign” in Ireland. The text of the letter follows, complete with typos and misspellings:
I am working with OSA to get some good PR onto online versions of the Irish newspapers. You may or may not know that Panorama is doing a 2nd take of their documentary on the Church a couple of years ago. This new documentary will be aired on Tuesday night on BBC.
There will be media coverage both before and after the airing. The majority of the coverage is expected to be on line. So therefore OSA UK have organised a counter create on this whereby certain Scientologist are selected to post comments/readers opinions/ratings etc where possible next to the articles on line.
The purpose of this is so that when public google SCN or read these articles the majority of comments/posts etc will be theta, rather then untruths.
Here is what I need you to do:
1. I will contact you with data on where a negative article is – I will probably text you as that will be quickest.
2. You log on to the site of the newspaper and go to the article. Please do this as soon as possible after getting the text from me.
3. You do not necessarily have to read all the article.
4. There will be an opinions section or forum close to the article.
5. I need you to write a good roads, good weather comment here stating some true data about SCN – using a personal experience is good! DO NOT take up any entheta – grant to no beingness. It is important not to engage the opposition and get into a debate or react to provocations. You can also if you wish deviate off the subject onto a new topic. The concentration of your post is to fill the vacuum per PR Series 18 and continue to talk about expansion!!!
6. When you have done – copy and paste your post and email it back to me. If you have any questions, call me on <NUMBER REMOVED>. I know this is total pain in the ass guys – and postulate that the Irish newspapers don’t put anything on line so we don’t even have to bother!
This is classic OSA glutz. In the first place, in order to implement this “handling,” they have to let Scientologists know that the BBC show is airing and when. I am sure that they assume Scientologists will “of course” not watch the show. I wouldn’t count on it, OSA. Not these days.
Secondly, note the tacit assumption that any media coverage is going to be bad. And the assumption that any reader comments are going to be bad unless they specifically deputize Scientologists to write “good” things. So they already know that public opinion is running heavily against them, that is implicit in their “strategy.”
But do you suppose they ever stop to think, “Gee, I wonder why people don’t like Scientology? Do you suppose it has something to do with our actions? With the things we do to people? With the way we act? Do you suppose it might have something to do with our practice of disconnection, where we split up families? Do you suppose it has something to do with the creepy way we have reporters and whistleblowers followed by private investigators in black SUVs, with instructions not to talk to anyone, but stand around silently and creepily with camcorders? In other words, do you suppose it might have something to do with the very actions exposed on the BBC program?” No, of course they don’t have those kinds of thoughts.
But they are in a bind. How do you get Scientologists to comment on negative articles without actually reading those articles? Well, you tell them, as Zabrina has, to post comments but “you do not necessarily have to read all the article.” Well, you might ask, being a rational person, how can anyone comment on an article they haven’t read? Won’t they sound like a total ditz?
The answer? Follow OSA’s lead. Change the subject. That’s right, don’t bother to comment about disconnection or staff abuse or creepy PIs, just talk about something else. Talk about “good roads, good weather.” Talk about your “personal experience.” Talk about “expansion.” Talk about anything but the subject of the article, which is, after all, “entheta.” Don’t comment on it. Don’t even read about it. Just go on there, having not read the article, and talk about something else.
And you wonder why Scientologists sound so clueless and disconnected on these public forums.
Because they are told to be clueless and disconnected.
After all, if they actually read the article or watched the broadcast, if they actually got a clue, if they actually had to confront and address and defend the very real abuses of the Church, they might realize what is really going on. And they might not like it. And they might stop giving money. And they might leave. And we can’t have that, can we OSA?
Really? This is your PR strategy?
The only “vacuum” to be filled, apparently, is the one between the ears of OSA and its operatives.