We’ll start the day with a checklist on cult characteristics.
It has become increasingly popular with the East Grinstead duo, their Ally, and a certain “world expert” to refer to those who protest Co$ as being a cult. This logic was promoted by another ex-member on his blog, labeling it the ASC (Anti-Scientology Cult). At the time, it barely hit my radar, as it was a far-fetched idea to me. I certainly have never hoped to join or support a cult.
In reviewing the cult checklist, linked above, it becomes clear that generically tagging protestors as a “cult” is simple projection. Yes, we do have at least one common theme – the reported abusive, manipulative policies, beliefs, and actions of Co$. But, among us, you will find many differences. Some are cat lovers, some dogs, cows, pigs, and other various creatures. There are as many trump supporters as anti-trump folks who oppose Co$. And, to my knowledge, we have never been given any “orders” from a higher power to do, say, or act in a certain way. In fact, yes, there have been some accounts who have stepped over Twitter rules and been suspended. If we were given some sort of “playbook”, a few have not followed it. If there were orders from some leader, I’ve missed them completely.
So, why the accusation of being in a cult? Well, I think it’s obvious. Unless someone blatantly threatens physical or emotional violence, they have no real recourse against us protestors. We speak of their organization based on first-hand accounts of ex-members, or our own experiences. Several of us have “visited” orgs and come back with interesting stories of the trips or we have interacted with members on social media.
But, why cheer or celebrate when a scientologist blocks you? Aren’t you exhibiting cult mentality or group thinking? No. It is amazing how this complete, perfect belief system, that is supposed to arm you with tools to “confront & shatter”, seems useless in the real world. Rather than debate the beliefs, policies, and actions of Co$, these folks generally hide from discourse by blocking us. In fact, we are often blocked without engaging the blocker. We cheer because it shows how ill-prepared they are to debate, and there is no other option. Should we get mad if they block us? And, what would that accomplish?
Using the “logic” that scientologist employ to define a cult, even loyal sports fans of a particular team should be labeled a cult. Does that seem logical? Not in the least. But, understandable they have no other means to trigger us. In most cases, they refuse to discuss policy or actions. They talk in circles without answering any questions, or reply with simple “Nope”, “What courses or books have you studied”, “Which org have you visited” or #facepalm responses. They supposedly have all this “great” data/stats to prove we are all wrong, but are unable or unwilling to share it.
Please note, at times I have embraced the “ASC” tag as I thought it funny that they would try to argue that protestors are a cult. It has become an “inside” joke that we reference frequently. But, you would be hard pressed to find anyone one of us who really takes it seriously.
While we have forged special and valued bonds, we also maintain our individual identities. We have created friendships, along the way, that go well beyond our interest in protesting Co$. So, continue accusing us of being a “cult”, using “echo chambers” or “group think”, we will continue to amplify the reasons we protest. At the end of the day, we are experiencing monumental and historic growth, and will continue to stand up, speak out, and be heard.