Discussion in 'News and Current Events' started by Sponge, Jan 18, 2011.
Andreas posted this on OCMB:
James R. Lewis: An Open Letter to: Scientologists, Ex-Scientologists, and Critics of the Church of Scientology
Tuesday, 18 January, 2011 23:46
"Geir Isene" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
tl;dr I liked Scientology up until they declared me SP for writing about Xenu, so now I
will not shill for them anymore.
He's looking for ex-member to help him with further research:
Testing. Can't seem to anon post lately.
Rant part 1:
Sorry Lewis, but I have to call bullshit on several things you mention, with probably the largest bone of contention being the way you have for years wholesale ignored concordant testimony from multiple independent victims behind a smokescreen of ‘nuance’. Simply ignoring such is not recognising nuance.
Quite true. It is funny how you accuse the ‘anti-cult group’ of black and white thinking while you do exactly the same thing in how you dismiss many legitimate criticisms that have been made regarding your work.
Given that your work has consistently being used as a PR coup by the CoS for years, and given that your work has been used by the CoS in court cases, I think it a little late now to recognise the public nature of your work. It is also a complete cop out when you recognise some of the cases your work has been applied to, especially those involving child custody cases. I find it personally quite egregious when a concerned and caring parent is maligned in such court cases for being an apostate due to some of the careless material you produced.
There are shades of the value-free sociological model currently being perpetrated by groups such as Inform. When a group is exerting such widespread and constant harms as the CoS is currently doing (and has been doing for five decades now), it is a complete failure to the victims of that group to not consider the widespread evidence of such harms. To be blunt about it, if you had applied your current research methodology to a group like Jonestown I doubt you would have found anything amiss. After all, by giving a weight of near zero to victim testimony as you do in your works you preclude yourself from ever properly considering the harms performed by such groups.
This all reminds me of Massimo Introvigne who, when the first child sexual cases started to come out of the Legionaires of Christ, dismissed all the allegations as being motivated by hatred and greed. Boy did he turn out to be badly wrong. And a huge reason why the judgement was so off the wall was due to a complete failure to give weight to the victims. Same shit, different academic.
Rant part 2:
It is somewhat hypocritical of you to tar all critics in such a black and white way here, particularly given the existence of many substantive criticisms of your work. It seems you are accusing the wrong crowd of black and white thing here.
When you ignore massive systematic abuses in your analysis, what other word can be used to describe that analysis other than a ‘whitewash’? Not only have you got the multitude of victim testimony, but you also have the CoS scriptures that underpin those testimonies for every abuse detailed. If you perform ‘research’ while completely failing to spot the elephant in the room then ‘whitewash’ is the only adequate term.
This is cheap way of saying you partially woke-the-fuck-up. It is quite clear what is going on here. Your ‘academic’ research is clearly unreflective of the available facts, but this has only now become a problem since the recent massive media coverage – an upshot of which is a tendency to undermine your academic reputation. The fact is that for much media coverage you have been a go-to guy for the apologetic view. All of this has had more contribution to your open letter rather than this ‘evolving understanding’ bollocks.
Or to put it more bluntly, now that the available facts are entering the public consciousness you’re jumping ship to try and salvage your academic reputation. A simple ‘I was wrong’ is too much to ask for.
Rant part 3:
How you view yourself is kind of irrelevant given that your work, and comments you have given to the media, have had the effect of providing cover for an organisation of abuse.
And yet, you failed at just this purpose when you missed the giant elephant in the room. The psychological conditioning of adherents that allowed the systematic abuses to take place has never appeared in your academic works. The mental hold and fear that is cultivated by CoS membership never appeared anywhere in your ‘scholarship’.
Rant part 4:
Here is where you, rather hypocritically, are yourself guilty of such black and white thinking. Your ‘scholarship’ on the CoS and how the recent media coverage is highlighting its abject failure where victims are concerned is key here. After all, your open letter is to do with Scientology right? So why are you not dealing with the specific context of Scientology, instead moving the discussion into a pointless vague and, rather ironically, simplistic jibe against an ‘anti-cult’ movement?
I suspect the reason for this is due to a recognition on your part, on at least some level, that your vague accusation does not hold up within the specific context of Scientology. To put it another way, you recognise that the evidence within the Scientological context is so overwhelmingly against you that you have resorted to moving your allegation outside of that context. Oh, and it is pretty dire to be lecturing others on the difference between bad and good science given the categorical ignoring of testimony that has plagued your work.
Rant part 5:
Here is a particularly bad example of scientific methodology. To equate two groups, the one you were a member of and the CoS, in such a generalised and vague way without properly considering the specific actions of the respective groups, in particular how CoS performs a metric fuck-ton more abuses, is pathetic. As I alluded to above, your methodological approach is biased towards not recognising the existence of such abuses. If you applied the thinking you expressed here to a group like Jonestown you would, once again, miss the elephant in the room.
This has always been a major bone of contention I have had with your work. Your hypothesis explicitly relies on an inherent sampling bias.
Let me explain how this applies within Scientology. Per your criteria there are two groups. There is the group comprised of people who became disillusioned with their CoS membership and left in that state of disillusionment. There is a second group of people who left after intervention, often at the behest of concerned family and friends. The former group contain people who have yet to properly contextualise their experiences, and often those people are not even aware that what they experienced was abusive. To illustrate how this disillusionment can cause a disconnect from reality consider people who believe the freeloader debt to be enforceable. I want to emphasise this – this is a group of people who still do not re-recognise the norms of society to realise that things like freeloader debt are bollocks. Gee, is it any wonder that sampling this former group displayed a bias against the more hostile and negative views of the CoS? Now consider the latter group. Often interventions are taken on behalf of family and friends, and this context has to be recognised. The people in this second group, should they choose to leave CoS, do so within an environment where they recognise the CoS attempts to keep them from family and friends. It is often the case in such situations that, prior to leaving, the people in question received drilling on how to handle friends and family. The recognition of what this drilling really embodies is a powerful stimulant for legitimate hostility towards the CoS. Aside from the context of family/friends and the application of ethics/disconnection tech, there is another bias that has to be considered here. Interventions are not things that families and/or groups of friends choose to use lightly, and it would have likely taken quite obvious exploitation or other clearly present abuse in order to have inspired such action. The upshot of this is that the people who left after an intervention are most likely to have experienced the more drastic of the abuses. When these two factors are recognised to be present in the second group, is it really that surprising that sampling showed a bias towards and more negative and hostile view?
Which is more plausible, the above factors which represent an inherent bias in your sampling or an hypothesis which completely ignores such obvious sampling errors?
Do you really believe that the recent activities are new or unusual? I find it somewhat disconcerting that, because such abuses were not prevent in the popular media, you appear not to have noticed such. It would seem you got ‘wined&dined’ hard, although I doubt you would admit it.
It is comments like this which, imo, fully legitimises much of the criticism that has been directed at you and your work. You are an academic right? Have you consulted any of the academic work on either study tech or criminon? The 2008 research performed by the University of New Mexico found the Second Chance criminon centre to be utterly useless at reducing recidivism. The Second Chance centre disappeared overnight soon after. The key point here is that the available academic work on these topics exposes their uselessness. But looking up such academic works can be difficult when one is being ‘wined&dined’.
You are correct in that these are ‘serious enterprises’. Serious about recruitment as detailed in internal policy materials such as the Clear Expansion Committee documents.
Public exposure of an abusive organisation tends to hurt the credibility and reputation of its defenders. It would be much more honest if you would admit this.
Given that the official response hasn’t really changed in decades, why was the official response able to convince you in the past?? Seriously, compare Tommy Davis interviews with those of Heber Jentzsch. Hell, compare the letters written by Scientologists made in denial of current allegations with the letters written by Scientologists in the build-up to the snow white case. What has changed between now and then??? The same turns of phrase are used, the same good roads good weather tricks, the same media handling tricks, the same attack the attackers responses, etc. Seriously, what the fuck has changed between back then and now that you suddenly find the official CoS responses unconvincing?
I’ll answer that for you – not a jot. Recent PR and trying to salvage what is left of your credibility is more convincing reason for your comment here.
You do realise that this has been going on far longer than just the 2007 rerelease of the basics right? Why was this not a problem in the past only to become such a problem for you now?
An important question for clarification – where you unaware that the same repackaging and reselling was going on for decades? Or did your ‘research’ fail you that you needed the popular press to enlighten you?
The ‘new information’ you speak of has been at the core of victim testimony since as long as there have been victims. Don’t try and pretend it is somehow new just because you have ignored it for so long.
See the sampling bias comments above.
Can we expect your usual high standards or scholarship on this project?
In summary, trying to save your flailing public credibility with attempts to excuse your ignoring of relevant evidence and information by hiding behind vague jibes against ‘anti-cult-groups’ and the pretence that the recent media coverage contains anything new is little more than self-serving tosh. Given how the CoS has used your work and media comments to help cover up the abuses you, apparently, only recently recognise, I think you owe the massive group of ex-members who consistently and loudly told their experiences an apology for ignoring them. An open admission that you got it badly wrong when it comes to the CoS is also warranted, particularly given how your materials have aided them in covering up abuses.
There are no apostates in scientology, only victims and victimizers.
Nice rants, anon.
lol, he calls his work "science", when he himself admitted that it is mainly informed by his personal experiences in another cult and his good relations to Heber Jentzsch and some other Scientologists, who were nice to him, instead by objective observations.
Seconded and seconded, for fuck's sake. Man, this idiot makes me rage!
LOL a smorgasboard of lewis footnukes.
Excellent rants say it all, but let us not forget this recent gem that seems timing coincident to open letter of hogwash
Thanks Lewis. You schooled me in the complete understanding of the meaning of "intellectual dishonesty"
You've made your own bed, now you can lay in it.
Oh, and if you or anyone else can show me someone of repute that was once critical of Scn Inc, then eventually did a complete 180 degree turn-a-round, I along with many others would be interested.
(lying scientologists not included)
You kinda remind me of Omar Garrison. Only up until the point Omar realized that he was a pawn in a 'game' orchestrated by Scn Inc.
Omar woke the fuck up in a real hurry when he saw the bold-faced facts for himself. Of course, Omar didn't flail his arms and write the kind of ass-covering shite you've recently vomited in your defense.
Omar stood up and set the record straight and had no regard of how he would look in the eyes of his academic peers. I guess being unbiased and objective can be liberating when the truth shines through.
I guess it is impossible for you to now say how wrong you were on so many fronts about scientology.
Oh well, you were the one that wrote what you wrote and still stand by the majority of it.
Your recent activity smells like your own attempt to try preserve your own self-perceived importance in the study of 'new religions'
Off to the apologist corner with you, where Bernie and Massimo hang out.
< cough >
Scientology "Religious Order" Dox and Rebuttals
I made that ^ massive compilation of dox just to refute "researchers" like Lewis.
I will refrain from being impolite. At this time. Because I am the refraining type. For now.
Hey Mr. Lewis, if you read this thread (unlikely, I know) please see the huge list of documents posted in the link.
Please see these verified facts before inventing your own crap pulled out of, um, dated textbooks from the 70's and Scientology websites and Heber's glowing, um, hmmm, oh yeah
SCIENTOLOGY IS THE FASTEST GROWING CULT IN THE WORLD
Bajillions of new followers every second of every day in 14,789 countries around the world, with the fastest growing galaxy expansion ever seen worldwide with suppression of SPs and psychs imminently verifiable and IRS tax exempt status proves we have shitloads of undocumented cash with absolutely no money laundering worldwide with David Miscavige hidine billions in Cartagena, Colombia
damn, I'm out of breath.
I could go on and and on and on, and on and on, but I think you get my point.
There has always been "experienced administrators" and "[experts] in highest levels of Scientology technology" defecting, nothing new here. ("experienced", "expertise"... MMs must be pleased with the free ad disguised as an opinion from an academic).
Anyway, "experienced" and "experts" in what? Implementing Hubbard's deceit/bullying through Scientology's dogmas, policies. This is what made Scientology's future not bode well.
Right, and he forgot to mention that with the most important source, ARIS, the margin errors for these numbers make it impossible to claim "healthy growth" in the first place, regardless of the 2006 survey. Shouldn't an academic know that?
The sampling issue he refers to is "The results for the smaller religions have greater error due to the sampling methodology" [ref.]
I find amusing that he tries to convince us that somehow the 'sampling issues' that he recognizes are an issue for the ARIS 2008, were not a problem in ARIS 2001, such that he still defend his earlier conclusion of "pattern of healthy growth". Why would these "sampling issues" not be an issue in ARIS 2001 that he still feels comfortable to have claimed "pattern of solid growth" in his book?
My particular gripe with this is he continues to use the derogatory slur of "apostate" to describe people who leave a cult. This is an incredibly derogatory term that basically smears anyone who leaves a cult as the equivalent of a traitor (look up apostate in any thesaurus). I can't take a cult apologist seriously who uses this term, as if it is neutral, to smear people who leave a cult, while pretending to be an academic (instead of a paid whore).
Because now the results from ARIS disagree with his bullshit. So now, they're "flawed." I guess it depends on how many commas there are in the amounts in the checks he gets.
Stephen A. Kent; Theresa Krebs, When Scholars Know Sin Skeptic Magazine (Vol. 6, No. 3, 1998)
Mea Culpa! Mea Culpa! J. Gordon Melton Responds
Kent and Krebs' Skepticism Crosses The Line Anson Shupe Responds
Let The Scholar Who Is Without Sin Cast The First Stone James R. Lewis Responds
Clarifying Contentious Issues: A Rejoinder To Melton, Shupe, And Lewis 1/2, Stephen A. Kent and Theresa Krebs.
Clarifying Contentious Issues: A Rejoinder To Melton, Shupe, And Lewis 2/2, Stephen A. Kent and Theresa Krebs.
James R. Lewis has a new book, "Violence and New Religious Movements":
I hope he includes the Rajneeshees and their biological warfare in Oregon.
Choose a color via Color picker or click the predefined style names!