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Think Out Loud – OPB

February 14, 2011

I was on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Think Out Loud program with Emily Harris this morning. Interesting program.  You can download the program or stream it here.

Here’s the comment I posted to the OPB website:

The Church of Scientology did their standard boilerplate handling for whistleblowers or critics: deny everything; attack the critics personally.

Their lame attack on me is to say I am associated with or running with or even leading Anonymous, which they brand as a “terrorist organization.”

I was able to read the following reference on the air, which is from Hubbard’s Church Policy Letter of 17 February 1966, “Public Investigation Section”:

“Associating the attacking group’s activities with reprehensible groups in the past by using familiar descriptive words will be found very effective. For example, if the word “white” has been made hateful to the public by some past criminal group we use “white” in our descriptive terminology concerning the group that is attacking us…”

They’ve chosen to use the word “terrorist” to associate with me. “See? He pals around with terrorists. Therefore he’s a terrorist.”

Anonymous, of course, is the loose term used to describe the community of online activists who oppose internet censorship. It is not “an organization” as such. They have no leaders, no meetings, no structure. Factually, anyone who does anything anonymously on the internet can call themselves “Anonymous.”  And any authoritarian regime that wants to censor the flow of information on the internet and keep their own misdeeds secret hates “Anonymous,” of course, whether that is Mubarak’s government in Egypt or the Church of Scientology.

My entire connection with Anonymous is that I showed up at one of their protests at the local Portland Church of Scientology. The Church’s intelligence arm, OSA, photographed me from all angles and then concocted their story to try to smear me by association.That five minute chat with peaceful, law-abiding protesters then became, with the Church spin, “palling around with terrorists.”

It’s the standard Church handling. Deny everything. Attack the critics personally. Try to discredit them with negative buzzwords, implied associations and vague allegations.

Rather than attacking their critics, Scientologists should be looking for ways to reform their church and cease the abuses of human rights.

 

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31 Comments
  1. Just Me permalink
    February 14, 2011 2:04 am

    Break a leg, Jeff! And post a link afterward.

  2. February 14, 2011 5:35 am

    Good luck Jeff.

    Thanks for the heads up……

    Hey wait a minute!!!!!!

    Isn’t like 9 AM in the morning ?????!!!!!!!

    Are you gonna make an Mp3 available?

  3. Michael permalink
    February 14, 2011 5:50 pm

    Good job!

  4. February 14, 2011 5:54 pm

    Jeff, you were great! You did an excellent job of demonstrating how to be a non-cultie, especially compared to the folks who are still enthralled. I enjoyed the program.

  5. sherrymk permalink
    February 14, 2011 6:23 pm

    Excellent interview Jeff. Just finished listening. You are one cool headed dude! OPB mentioned that the program, (in Portland it’s 91.5 FM) will be replayed at 9 pm or one can go on OPB.org to listen to it there.

  6. February 14, 2011 7:03 pm

    Jeff, you totally rock! Totally a class act — especially compared with the avoid-the-question-and-attack cult callers. You done good.

  7. John Doe permalink
    February 14, 2011 7:47 pm

    For the church to only attack a critic or their character means the church has no effective counter argument against the actual premise, argument or point their opponent is making. The church cannot talk about the abuses they perpetrate because they are doing nothing to stop them. Since they know disclosure or admission of such is “out-PR”, they use personal attacks, and try to side-step discussion of the topic.

    This is not limited to the church of scientology. Most of the political ads on TV during election season attempt to associate a political opponent with ideas or deeds deemed bad or unpopular.

    Here is a hint for the church: If it seems like disclosure of something about the church would be “out-PR”, how about knocking off doing that thing? We are in a new age of transparency, and your misdeeds will be found out and posted on the internet.

    Come up to Present Time.

  8. lurker permalink
    February 14, 2011 9:26 pm

    what I find interesting when I listen to the scientologists that called the show today was their affect, sounding so disconnected (not even passionately defensive) and their inability to form a logical argument..

    As a friend of mine who is a practicing Catholic said, ” Just because I wasn’t abused by some pedophile priest, doesn’t mean no one was.”

    The callers (pro church) seemed to be sure, that since they personally hadn’t had a problem, that no one else would..

  9. February 14, 2011 9:44 pm

    Jeff – I think you did a great job concisely summarizing your experiences in the CoS! OPB’s Think Out Loud is not the longest show.

    Shamefully, the local Org did not show up. Perhaps it was an act of mercy: Emily Harris is an incredibly astute host that knows how to debate _both_ sides of any matter and would have eaten their lunch.

    I encourage everyone to participate in the very fine OPB Think Out Loud comment thread.

  10. Synthia permalink
    February 14, 2011 9:52 pm

    Great job, Jeff.

    I’ve been thinking of starting a blog entitled, “Saving Louanne” but after doing a bit of research on this entity, I believe that she has been assimilated by the Borg and it is, unfortunately, far too late for her. I’ll keep the lights on for her though. 🙂

  11. Karen#1 permalink
    February 14, 2011 10:01 pm

    MANIPULATING THE INTERNET ORCHESTRATED BY OFFICE OF SPECIAL AFFAIRS

    BRIEFING TO ALL SCIENTOLOGISTS ON THE INTERNET

    FROM THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY INTERNATIONAL
    (NOTE: If you know any other Scientologists on Internet or

    America Online, please e-mail this briefing to them).
    Dear Scientologist,

    As you know, there has been quite a bit of false and derogatory information going out over the Internet by a few detractors, squirrels etc.

    The Church fired a project to collect up all this information, and we have been in comm with some of you already. We have obtained legal input on some of the messages that individuals have posted that could be libelous or in violation of copyright laws.

    We have a plan of action that we are taking, to simply outcreate the entheta on these newsgroups (alt.religion.scientology and alt.clearing.technology), and get positive information to the general public on what Scientology is, our activities around the world, successes stories and LRH writings. There will also be some legal actions, which you will be further briefed on. Basically, as a group we will NO longer put up with our religion being criticized, harrassed and denigrated on the Internet.

    As a first step, I want to thank those who have posted positive material and handled some of the entheta that has been posted. This is very much appreciated!

    Secondly, I would like to ask your assistance in getting each one of you to post positive messages on the Internet (at least once a week, more if you like), about Scientology.

    We want to make these messages “high ground”. In other words, don’t get tempted into a two way comm with some l.1 jerk on the Internet. Ack him and continue to post POSITIVE and HIGH TONED messages that really explain what Scientology IS doing, how it helped you or a friend, community activities of the Church, Church expansion. It is easy to get into an opp term situation with the detractors over this system, but this doesn’t necessarily communicate very well to the broad public who may read this.

    There is an excellent issue by LRH which is PR Series 27, THE ENEMY LINE. In here, LRH says that you never forward an enemy line, nor do you get into just attacking. YOU COME UP WITH A BETTER CAMPAIGN OF YOUR OWN.

    This should be applied whenever you post a message on Scientology, as we want to keep this on a theta, dissemination comm line to the broad public.

    The Church of Scientology International is getting our own site onto Internet, and we’ll also be posting messages regularly in there, so if you feel you are getting attacked by some detractor or jerk, let us know right away, and we can get you material to counter whatever is being said.

    If you imagine 40-50 Scientologists posting on the Internet every few days, we’ll just run the SP’s right off the system. It will be quite simple, actually.

    CSI will be e-mailing around various briefings and good news messages to individuals for posting also, so that you are getting new material to post. If you need material or want to get your material cross-checked with us for content, e-mail it (to this address for now, until CSI gets our own), and we’ll get you the material you need.

    The two newsgroups on the Internet are “alt.religion.scientology”, and also “alt.clearing.technology” (which was set up by Homer Smith, a squirrel and declared SP). We need to fill up both of these newsgroups with positive information on the Church.

    For those of you with access to America Online, you know there is a similar situation with Scientology being attacked on that system. So this would apply to this newsgroup as well (posting positive messages on Scientology).

    The Planetary Dissemination Org (PDO) will be getting their own site onto Internet, which will be for the dissemination of LRH’s works, WIS book, and other materials and campaigns. We intend to put these works onto laser discs, and utilize all the tools of the Internet to disseminate Scientology internationally.

    This is very exciting, and will be a new era for computer users as regards the subject of Scientology.

    Look for CSI’s first posting very shortly. We WILL outcreate anything that is on there.

    I would like to hear from you on your ideas to make the Internet a safe space for Scientology to expand into. Thanks.

    ML, Elaine Siegel
    Office of Special Affairs International

    • Just Me permalink
      February 15, 2011 6:04 pm

      Whoa! SRSLY?!? Is this a recent email from the Co$? The Co$ is really telling its parishioners, “If you imagine 40-50 Scientologists posting on the Internet every few days, we’ll just run the SP’s right off the system. It will be quite simple, actually.”

      This has me laughing so hard my stomach hurts. And they think that posting on alt.religion.scientology and alt.religion.squirrels and AOL is where the action is?

      It just boggles the mind.

      Please, Jon Stewart, use it. Please quote the Co$ email above in your monologue tonight. Please.

      Just Me

      • Mike Hobson permalink
        February 20, 2011 7:02 am

        No, it’s not *recent*. It’s the email that was sent out prior to the great A.R.S. spam flood attacks some years ago.
        Michael A. Hobson

      • Just Me permalink
        February 20, 2011 8:59 pm

        Thanks, Mike.

  12. Karen#1 permalink
    February 14, 2011 10:02 pm

    MANIPULATING THE INTERNET ORCHESTRATED BY OFFICE OF SPECIAL AFFAIRS #2

    Scientology–Rig online polls so they look legitimate

  13. Karen#1 permalink
    February 14, 2011 10:04 pm

    MANIPULATING THE INTERNET ORCHESTRATED BY OFFICE OF SPECIAL AFFAIRS #2

    Scientology–Rig online polls so they look legitimate

  14. Karen#1 permalink
    February 14, 2011 10:05 pm

    MANIPULATING THE INTERNET ORCHESTRATED BY OFFICE OF SPECIAL AFFAIRS #3
    see this excerpt
    Flooded alt.religion.scientology with tens of thousands of the same articles. The business took about 20 paragraphs from the propaganda book What is Scientology® and spammed the shit out of the newsgroup. Each paragraph was posted hundreds of times a week, forcing valid articles off of the world’s NNTP servers (this attack is called “vertical spamming”). This was an effort to silence the truth by shouting lies louder than the truth. Here is a call for Scientology to stop the abuse.

    click here ~~
    http://www.holysmoke.org/forgeries/forged.htm

  15. Karen#1 permalink
    February 14, 2011 10:16 pm

    UTTER HYPOCRISY JEFF !!!!

    Belittling ANONYMOUS
    They use ANONYMOUS phone calls as a stock in Trade !

    That is modus operandi of David Miscavige and his CULT.

    They have tried to set Marty Rathbun up with ANONYMOUS phone calls.
    They have tried to set Mike Rinder Up with ANONYMOUS phone calls.
    They have tried to set Chuck Beatty, Tory Christmas Up with ANONYMOUS phone calls.
    They have tried to set up almost all whistle blowers with ANONYMOUS phone calls.

    They have tried to set various journalists, authors, media whistle blowers up with ANONYMOUS phone calls.

    Their shady “DESTROY them UTTERLY” policy is done ANONYMOUSLY

    • Marta permalink
      February 14, 2011 11:52 pm

      Karen #1,

      Just think how much it must sting that Anonymous is beating them at their own game 🙂
      Bwaa-ha-ha-ha

      The pompousness of these types of scientology programs and edicts never ceases to make me cringe. The obvious attitudes communicated are flagrant and appalling (to use a word frm one of the callers to the radio show). Although it is kind of funny to read how they regarded the internet, newsgroups, and AOL when this was written.

      Thank you for posting them for all to see.

  16. Marta permalink
    February 14, 2011 11:42 pm

    Jeff, you were so terrific in the interview. You came across calm and unassuming, balanced and informative. Not the least bit defensive, while remaining resolute. Flat out impressive.

    The sanctimonious attitudes of some of the callers were pretty evident. Talk about well prepared – you with the LRH reference at hand. Guess you’ve been down this road more than twice.

  17. Jeff permalink*
    February 15, 2011 12:12 am

    By the way, my old friend Wolfi “I see nothing” Frank called in to the show. Here’s a video of Wolfi.

    • Fidelio permalink
      February 17, 2011 1:41 pm

      Had the chance to listen to the interview only today:

      Jeff, your calm and layed back attitude impressed me the most.

      And Wolfi Frank? My merciful god, poor lying sod…talks about “possible violence” but has seen nothing….

      Thanks Jeff for your tireless engagement, little strokes fell big oaks – and this interview was again a BIG stroke on the not so big oak!

      Thanks. Fidelio

  18. February 15, 2011 6:49 am

    Well done Jeff.

    The problem with the “church” is that it has been caught publicly lying so many times that it is no longer believed. The general public might not know what Scientology is but they know it has a policy of attacking critics and denying EVERYTHING.

  19. February 15, 2011 8:04 am

    Hello Jeff,

    If anyone contends that there wasn’t physical abuse at the Int base they can be refered to the sworn affidavits written by the very “leaders” of the church like Yaeger, Ingber, Jenny and Guillaume, where they go into great detail the extreme violence that they observed at the INT base over the years and did nothing about.

    Do you need copies of the affidavits?

    Tommy Davis also told the St. Pete Times that he had found 50 verified incidents of violence at the Int base. A recording of him saying this can be found online at the St. Pete Times website covering “The Truth Rundown”. Tommy didn’t deny the violence, he just denied Davids participation (as ordered to do by Miscavige).

    The heads of this “church” are so used to the violence that they will swear to its continued existence in their presence and not even see it as a statement of their own incompetence.

  20. February 15, 2011 11:36 pm

    Today I copied the radio interview to my telephone, and listened to it while going to work (in Moscow Metro – it takes a while to get to work :)).

    What I had on my mind, been confirmed and acknowledged.

    What I thought of Jeff and his views, been confirmed.

    Jeff, I want you thank you very much!

    – I was reluctant to thank Jeff for the last several months because I was not willing to think of him as another “guru”. I was even trying to fight others who came to this blog (thinking they have found in Jeff a new guru).

    It was Jeff who who helped me to think for myself. – I still remember his words to me. Words that helped me think for myself. I must be grateful to him for that. And I AM!

    Yes. Jeff is a GOOD guy!

    And I will fight for him. No matter what sh*t Scientology Church gives him.

    “it’s rough and tumble. It’s wild and wooly. It’s a blast. It’s a blast. It really is fun, because damn it there is nothing better than going out there and fighting the fight and suddenly you see things are better”

  21. Sid permalink
    February 16, 2011 10:51 pm

    There are two questions I would like to pose to those who believe the CoS is an innocent organization being attacked by malicious apostates:-

    “There have been many accusations of abuse leveled at the church and in particular its leadership in recent years. You claim that there are no foundations to any of these accusations. David Miscavige , the leader of the church, has not given a single interview to the media during that time, nor has he spoken publicly to church membership to reassure them about these allegations.

    Would you like to see the leader of your church come forward and address these allegations, to reassure the church membership and also the public at large.

    Secondly, in all likelihood these allegations will continue to be made, and will continue to damage the church. Would you be happy to see an independent investigation made of the principal allegations in order to either put them to rest and allow the church to move forward, or get to the bottom of it and fix anything that needs fixing?”

    If there are any lurkers here from the CoS, I would genuinely love to hear your answers…..

  22. Tony DePhillips permalink
    February 16, 2011 11:38 pm

    Being a Kool aide drinker is a true sickness. The cult of cabbage is demented and sick, I see it clearer every day.

  23. windhorse permalink
    February 17, 2011 5:05 pm

    Fabulous interview Jeff. How you keep just a cool head is really beyond me. The chap from Delphi – 37 years in the church, 2 daughters were in SO and are now – OH so happy!!! — was tough to listen to but then when he chimed in after the heartbreaking story of Michael – left the SO at 15, on the streets, couch hopping until a relative not involved with the SO sent him a bus ticket. OMG — listen to this guy from Delphi with his “righteous indignation” saying — WHAT are they talking about?

    Sorry — it’s just so old. EVERY scientologist in the SO or OUT, knows about VERBAL abuse at the least. Serious VERBAL abuse. EVERY scientologist in the SO or out, knows about disconnection.

    Someone should have asked this man IF Martin Samuels children were allowed to talk to Martin? Huh huh huh???

    So — hat’s off to you. I could never do it. I work hard to try to maintain a level of cool but it’s not the hard for me.
    I don’t know ANY people anymore IN the church and I don’t do media etc etc.

    Again thanks for your courage and willingness to continue to shine the light!

    WH

  24. lesj39 permalink
    February 18, 2011 3:51 am

    Thanks for such an honest commentary. I know where you are coming from. Scientology was lucky to have someone that did the work you did. They just seem to eat their young. You are better than that. I wish you nothing but the best in your life.

  25. lunamoth permalink
    February 18, 2011 4:22 am

    Jeff,

    I finally got a chance to listen to the interview. The word that comes to mind is “masterful.” It’s almost unfair, the advantage you have over the poor, desperate sods who have been pressed into
    service to “handle” you. They must feel so feeble and so frustrated, and and I’m sure they can’t even see why that is.

    SO good to be free.

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