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Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

Discussion in 'Think Tank' started by Monstrous Regiment of Women, May 11, 2009.

  1. Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    Graeme Wilson, the UK PR chief for the Church of Scientology is speaking at a seminar on Saturday, 23 May 2009 (9.30am - 4.30pm) at the New Theatre, London School of Economics & Political Science, London, UK. His topic, "Isolation or Community (and shades in between)".

    Strange as it may seem, organizer INFORM are a UK government sponsored cult watch organization run by Professor Eileen Barker, a notorious cult apologist who, despite receiving government funding, is broadly criticized for her close associations with many such groups. She has defended them in court and worked to help them establish credibility rather than helping or protecting cult victims, their family and friends, as one confidential memorandum leaked is said to establish, see here.

    In this latest seminar, she is giving Scientologists the stage, along with cults such as the Brahma Kumaris, as an "Intentional Community" and speaking herself on the wonders of "Community Living". The programme, very nicely balanced with some otherwise benign characters, is here.

    Neville Hodgkinson, is a long term adherent and leading PR advisor to the Brahma Kumaris is speaking on, "Henpecked to Heaven? My 15 years in a Woman-led Retreat Centre". Until recently, INFORM's information sheet about the Brahma Kumari read as if it was written by the BKWSU own PR team. Barker also has a close relationship with the BKWSU putting off individuals exiting the religion or family seeking help.

    The Brahma Kumaris polished PR front has recently started to crack with ex-follower websites such as bkwsuwatch.com exposing their secret teachings and abuses and ex-follower discussion forums such as brahmakumaris.info going into far more detail.

    It is interesting to see the Brahma Kumaris and Scientologists finally meeting, the feminine and the masculine faces of deceit and abuse.

    The Brahma Kumaris are a mediumistic End of the World cult who believe a spirit entity entered into their millionaire founder and started to speak through him. This spirit entity being, of course, the God of all Religions.

    This spirit entities which they named "BapDada", speaking through the movement mediums, told the Brahma Kumaris that the world was to be destroyed by nuclear holocaust, and they were to inspire or "give courage" to the scientists to do so, making false predictions during WWII, 1950, 1976, mid-1980, Year 2000 and so on.

    Further more that this "Destruction" happened every 5,000 Years and that time repeated itself identically ever 5,000 year in a Cycle and that all other religions must come to the Brahma Kumaris in order to learn spirituality in order to start their religions, such as Scientology, in the next Cycle.

    Of course, the 'End of the World' has not stopped the Brahma Kumaris from amassing many millions of dollars of land and property, encouraging their followers to donate their family property, jewelry, parents to hand over the dowries of young girls and so on. The rewards are not for this life but a high status in the future Golden Age on Earth in which the BK leaderships will be royalty, the Emperors of the world. If you think Scientology is expensive or demanding, these people want the lot; "mind, body and wealth" and the daily routine starts at 4 am each day and every day, no holidays until "Destruction".

    In the eyes of the BKs, all other religions are "the Path of Ignorance", "stumbling around in darkness" from which there is no benefit. All other religious founders such as Christ, Buddha, Mohammed and L. Ron Hubbard have had to reincarnate and must come back to them to learn how to run their religious in the future. Only they are the true religion. Only through them does God speak to humanity.

    Strange bedfellows ... perhaps BapDada and Xenu are related?

    Wogs in SciSpeak are Shudra (untouchables) in BKSpeak. Thetans are Atmas. You have the same history of broken families going back 70s, the same 'soft sell' through a variety of courses befor you get to the true agenda, a history of suicides internationally - the most recent this year in the UK (RIP Esther Lung) ... most recently a pattern of beatings of ex-members in reform groups, and the cover up of child sexual abuses happening at their headquarters (the only place "pure" enough for God to incarnate on earth).

    The leadership have been outed for re-writing their personal and organizational history and the mediumistic teachings said to be from "God's" which they keep locked behind security encrypted servers and restrict non-members and even members access to.

    The strangest thing is, despite this all, the BKWSU is in cahoots with United Nations ...

    The seminar does cost to get into but given Scientology's recent response to the seminar run by FAIR, perhaps some creative strategies are called for.
  2. vegnej Member

    Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    Needs a presence from anonomous. Go for it London. !!
  3. Anonymous Member

    Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    The relationship between Wilson and Barker is an old one. Wilson associates with her because she has a track record of apologizing for cults and is one of the few academics who will not "judge" scientology. Google her and INFORM and much will be revealed.

    Anyone can walk into INFORM's headquarters at LSE to ask staff questions and do their own research on cults - so if anyone wishes to inform INFORM about scientology...
  4. Nataku Member

    Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    I'm not sure how effective an Anon protest could be. This is speculation, but as far as I can see, most attendees of this conference are well-aware of the criticisms of so-called "New Religious Movements".

    I don't think general members of the public will be in attendance. Quite a lot of the attendees may be clergy concerned at the increasing secularisation of society, who will welcome the help of any and all forms of 'alternate spirituality' to combat this. There may be academics with vested interests, but others may just be interested in cults as a sociological phenomenon, and won't be inclined to be critical. I'd say quite a few attendees would respond to a "Scientology is not a religion - it's a bizarre cult!" sign with a shrug and a "So what? I'm in a cult myself" attitude.

    Our message may be wasted on most of the attendees (although there's always a hope) Worse case scenario, it may even be counter-productive, if the attendees see cults and the like as legitimate groups who are 'persecuted by bigots'.

    I don't know what the best strategy would be. Something incredibly moralfaggy and deferential? A token silent presence? A "screw it, they're not going to listen anyway, set troll cannons to Rickroll?" Or a protest aimed at the public, to expose the "government-backed cult apologists facilitate Scientology" angle?
  5. Nataku Member

  6. Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    It is bizarre that not just are multi-million dollar operations like Scientology, the Brahma Kumaris etc being offered a PR slot at tax payers expense (without any balancing opinion), but that there are also being guided to a new and positive way in which to present itself.

    "We are not a cult, we are an intentional community now".

    Fair enough ... so what is the "intention" then? To rake in money and property for nothing?

    "Intentional Community" generally bring to mind fairly benign hippie ideals like; ecovillages, cohousing, land trusts, communes, student and housing cooperatives, alternative communities etc. Perhaps they should be offended at having the master cults bundled in with them?

    There is little doubt in most people's minds that the LSE's Eileen Barker OBE at INFORM's intention is motivated by normalizing. She has defended them legally and makes them appear acceptable ... what she almost single handedly coined as "new religious movements". A sanitized terminology for "exploitative cults".

    Whereas some new religious movements genuinely are, does that truly include Scientology?

    There appears to much bitterness and contempt towards the likes of The Family Survival Trust (FAIR) who recently put on a seminar on Scientology who she accuses of being jealous merely because she got the funding money instead of them.

    Those in need of support, e.g. disintegrating families, have been both frightened off because of her close relationship to the cults and disappointed by how ineffectual her little serfs are. Their party line appears to be, "oh, don't worry, most will leave in a couple of years".

    It is strange that this is what public money is spent for. Perhaps others expect better?

    I don't know ... perhaps the cosy little world of academia and grandees does need some waking and shaking up, and be made to realize the real cost of these groups? Unfortunately, Eileen Barker is unlikely to find any such challenges from within her world.

    Barker is a police informer on the subject.
  7. Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    Quoting the leaked confidential memorandum, "Eileen has taken a very significant step in neutralizing anti-cult movements in the UK".
  8. Anonymous Member

    Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    I'll be making a deliberate effort to be present at these seminars, hopefully with the back up of compiled evidence for awkward questions at the end.
  9. Anonymous Member

    Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    Get some quotes from Bonnie Woods.

    I refuse to fund INFORM with the entry fee (and suspect that this will not be an open forum for debate/discussion), so I hope to be outside with a megaphone, a "Judge Them By Their Actions" sign and a nice long list of provable CoS crimes.
  10. Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    Remember:

    It's not the beliefs to which we object, it's the inhumane and criminal practices of these organisations.

    Believe what you want, but don't be forced into handing over your life savings for it; if these groups REALLY cared for people, they'd give away their secret teachings for free

    I still fail to see why Apologist Academics can't get past this fundamental point.

    PROTIP, EILEEN: ABUSE IS STILL ABUSE, AND CRIMES ARE STILL CRIMES, REGARDLESS OF WHAT 'RELIGIOUS' GROUP DOES IT
  11. Anonymous Member

    Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    I think they take the the "we're academics, crimes are for the police to deal with" line.
  12. Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    ... or regardless what religious group funds your junkets, pays for your 'expert opinion', or feeds you sweeties.

    General opinion is that Eileen Barker has finally overstepped the mark with this ridiculous government sponsored seminar. Within the hallowed halls of academia, and corridors of police informing, Barker appears to think she is flame proof and that no cult critics can touch her.

    What more is it but a polished PR opportunity for such multi-million pound funded cults? Why do we have to pay for that?

    To put it into context,

    • this year yet another Brahma Kumari follower committed a symbolic suicide on January the 18th, their "Baba's Day".

    INFORM's response; to put on a PR event for some posh BK adherent to josh about life at the BKWSU's Palladian Mansion retreat center (all paid for by followers giving their money and free labor.

    • the covered up child sex abuse at the Brahma Kumari's two main Indian centers were finally exposed.

    INFORM's response; to publish a note saying "no cases of institutional child sex abuse were known of" ... fine, but the sex abuse was not "institutional", it just happened at two centers in India to the same western kid or kids traveling there.

    • other academics document the Brahma Kumaris policy of demanding dowries from the parent of young teenagers surrendering to them for life, "in order to stop poor parents 'dumping' their daughters on them". The Indian media reports one such young women burning herself to death because she wanted to leave and carry on a relationship, the center-in-charge cleaning up the evidence afterwards. In London, another young girls throws herself of a 5th floor building after falling in love with another adherent of the celibate End of the World cult.

    Eileen's response; friendly home visits from the Brahma Kumaris.

    [IMG]

    This may seem a little bit off topic but it is worth knowing a little of the background and history of the academic/governmental opinion formers. Anonymous, I am sure, will be of thrilling interest to the academics who will all attempt to fit it into one of their neat little boxes. Expect a sociologist lurking near you soon.

    These are, this woman in particular, the people the government goes to for advice before deciding on policy. The seminar is an interesting mix of quite establish and benign individuals and the more greedy and ambitious cults such as the CoS and Brahma Kumaris. Perhaps Eileen has just organized a get together for the cultist in order to lick wounds, share tactics and co-counsel each other?

    Just one question, would the Freedom of Information Act allow for access to any reports she has provided to the City of London police and government regarding both Scientology and Anonymous?

    Had all this cosying up actually produce the type of information INFORM claims to produce, e.g. objective and in depth, or perhaps an increased 'duty of care' and sense of ethics in the groups, then there would be no problem.

    But has it? Or is it government and cult sponsored PR for the aggrandizement of one person's reputation?

    I argue it has not. As families continue to be broken apart and individuals taken for thousands, it would be interesting to see how much she has downplayed Scientology.
  13. NotSoAnon Member

    Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    I believe that UK Anons MUST make an appearance at this event. The reason is that these cult apologists are making strides in sanitizing the cultic venues of crime, deceit of their members, the money-making angles, etc. Scientology benefits greatly when these apologists make nice about the real dangers inherent in being a member of these cults.

    These cult apologists should be ranked right up there with David Miscavige as perpetrators of global scams, since they do their work in order to cover up the crimes and make it easier for the unwitting public to be damaged.
  14. Nataku Member

    Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    Well, ideally, there would be a place for INFORM. From their point of view, they're simply being 'unbiased and non-judgemental'. Which ordinarily would be quite admirable, until it comes to such deceitful menaces to society as CoS and the like.
  15. Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    Ideally, there would be a place for organizations like INFORM etc. 'Unbiased and non-judgmental' are admirable qualities ... as is 'accurate and balanced'. Why no balanced opinion at this seminar?

    Do these groups achieve that, and when shown to have failed, what happens then? Other voices must rise.

    The problem is ... repeating the cult's own PR is not good enough.

    I think most people would be surprised at how much effort the cult apologists invested into putting down the experience of ex-adherents and portraying other voices as extremist or "anti-cultists", when they might just be reasonable and informed voices of concern. Who speak out for the families?

    Has anyone got one of INFORM's information sheets on the CoS yet? Could they post it online? I note that despite the wonders of the internet, it is not possible for you to download them from INFORM's website.

    It would be interesting to see what INFORM's position on the CoS actually is.
  16. Nataku Member

    Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    They do not have a position on the CoS. They are 'neutral', and only provide information.
  17. Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    Ha ha ha ...

    So the PR blurb says. Neutrality is in the eye of the beholder. Barker is distinctly pro-cult, a few of the sociologists in this field are. I think it has become a little irrational, either a throwback to the cult versus anti-cult days of the 70s, or some misplaced maternal instinct towards baby religions.


    We could not judge until we saw what information they provide and how neutral, or in depth, it is.


    The seminar is equally one sided. No balancing opinion.
  18. chrisanon Member

    Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    Cults are all about deception, academia is (supposed to be) all about truth. They can't occupy the same space.

    Scientology and cults like them have no place at academic conferences, except as exhibits and case studies.

    I'm somewhat familiar with these professorial cult apologist types, and there needs to be pushback. Their assessment of Margaret Singer's work, in particular, is so shamelessly biased that their PhDs should be revoked.

    My understanding (I have no dox but trust my source) is that much of their "work" is bought and paid for. Actually, I think some evidence of this is out in the open. ATM, I just can't think where.

    The damage cults do isn't academic at all. It's about time someone confronted (in a genteel, scholarly way, of course)
    the Eileen Barkers of the world with some harsh realities.

    If anons show up and provide info and intelligent discussion, isn't that what attendees come to these conferences for?

    I'm looking at this from a long way away, but handled properly I don't think there'd necessarily be backlash.
  19. Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    You make some very good points, anon. Anonymous should look around them and see how far into governments and academia some of these tendrils go.

    I don't think there would be any backlash at all ... only feverish "documenting" on behalf of the scribes, a certain degree of enjoyment from those that like the entertainment factor involved and, perhaps, a few being made to look in the mirror at their own face. It is the people's money they live off ... when they are not taking backhanders, fees and junkets from the cults themselves.


    I think what Anonymous is doing is wonderful. The best strategy to win the war is to been seen to have the most fun ... make it theatrical ... and expose the ridiculousness. But be inspired by the serious of the very real costs the very real abuses have onto individuals, their bank balances and their families. People have died. Killed themselves. Because of the ridiculousness.

    Its a wonder that given, on one hand, the rise of Anonymous against Scientology and, on the others, the revelations of yet another suicide in the the UK, the child sex abuse cover up and the exposé of all the historical and philosophical revision within the money making Brahma Kumaris that the best idea an "expert" on new religious movements could have ... was to put on a seminar portraying them positively as "intentional communities".

    Pity the poor genuine 'intentional communities' being bundled in with them. I would accept that in the 70s, perhaps the pendulum swung too far in the direction of the "forced deprogrammers" and that their had to be a backlash at the hands of feelingless and theorectical "intellectuals" such as this. But that time is over now. The pendulum has to swing in the other direction again back towards the human element.

    I find it interesting that Eileen Barker, in the courses she taught to her students, had them deconstruct government "anti-cult" acts or memorandums. I never heard of her equally decontructing the techniques used by the cults or exposing their lies.

    An interesting thing came out about the Brahma Kumari recently. When they first came to the West they were preaching the 'End of the World' in 1976. Their supreme-god-thetan had told them so and their millionaire financier threatened to give away all of their wealth to the Indian Government if "Destruction" did not happen in 1976.

    Needless to say it did not ... but guess what? At the very same year they were preaching the End of the World to their followers, the leadership bought the first of many freehold properties, funded by their followers. And guess what ... they still chase followers to give over and will away their family homes and buy them properties by keeping changing the prediction of the End of the World. A trust was set up by some accountant-follower and all the property and wealth invested into that so that the 80-odd year old founder could not give it away. He died two days later.

    Like Scientology, the BKs committment is for eternity ... eternity being a single, constantly repeating and identical 5,000 year cycle. The payback is the promising a high status for those that give the most in the Golden Age which will follow the imminent nuclear holocaust and which their leaders will be the Emperors of.

    In truth, two absolutist and supremecist cults coming up against each others reality could be entertaining but I am afraid that the seminar has even been engineered to avoid that. Its more on the line of "we are all in this together so let's play nice and put on a good face, children".

    What is next ... Scientology turning up at the local "Interfaith Group" pleading for acceptance?
  20. chrisanon Member

  21. Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    Ha ... "great minds" etc.

    Its pathetic. Its great what power money and a few good properties can bring you. Those that love it have been using it as a technica for as long as they have been building churches.
  22. Nataku Member

    Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    Okay, that does sound promising. :) Actually, if nothing else, it'd be interesting to see how many conference attendees take a Anon protest in good faith, how many smile or wave, how many stop to talk or read signs, or how many react badly, or pretend the protesters aren't there. It could be quite telling.
  23. Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    Has Anonymous been investigated and written up by any academics yet?
  24. Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    Monstrous, can you put together the text of a flyer about this event please?

    It doesn't have to be formatted if you don't want, I am capable of doing so. Please let me know.
  25. Nataku Member

    Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    The Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh's Dan Schultz:
    MediaShift Idea Lab . Anonymous vs. Scientology: A Case Study of Digital Media | PBS
    MediaShift Idea Lab . Community Organization with Digital Tools | PBS
    The University of Pennsylvania's Jason Tocci: Geek Studies When Griefing Wanders into Meatspace
    MIT's Center for Future Civic Media: the following post is [about] anonymous | Center for Future Civic Media
    New York University's Gabriella Coleman: JohnSpam Blog Archive Tomorrow Nov 13th! How to Understand the Hacker and Lulz battle against the C0$ - keeping John’s unsolicited thoughts out of your email inbox since 2006
    A brief mention by the University of Western Australia's Cathy Cupitt: Cupitt
  26. jensting Member

    Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    That's a great question! How do you you suppose one gets an answer to it?

    ;-)

    Best Regards

    Jens
  27. Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    Send in a Freedom of Information request to City of London and Metropolitan Police forces Information Commissionaire? Ask INFORM for their copies?
  28. sittingnow Member

    Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    I am researching Anonymous and *chans for my Ph.D ... so yes

    I think that you're barking up the wrong tree with Inform as well, there's a lot of information that you've taken out of context (I worked for Inform briefly, and have helped at their seminars).

    SN (mabelogic23)
  29. Skeptic1337 Member

    Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    lol, I'd love to see this PhD
  30. sittingnow Member

    Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    you'll be welcome to as soon as it's done :)

    I'm thinking of publishing my MSc Dissertation as well, it's a study of Sci using Criminological theories of deviance :D

    perhaps a tl;dr version?
  31. Anonymous Member

    Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    or the regular version would be fine :D
  32. sittingnow Member

    Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    kk, I can PDF it for you guise if you want? I have some really funny flyers that a Scientologist delivered to my neighbours when I refused to give them my interview data.
  33. moarxenu Member

    Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    Post pdf's pl0x.
  34. LilDebbie Member

    Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    NAO
  35. Anon-007 Member

    Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    Remember those similarity tests you used to get at school?

    Well, David Miscavige is to Dwarf like Graeme Wilson is to failure.
  36. terryeo2 Member

    Re: Graeme Wilson at leading Cult Apologist Seminar in London, UK

    BUMP from the dead... now relevant thread is now relevant

    So did anyone so to this?

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