"Forced" Abortions and the SeaOrg

Discussion in 'News and Current Events' started by XenuLovesU, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. XenuLovesU Member

    "Forced" Abortions and the SeaOrg



    I hate to argue semantics, but could we PLEASE quit saying, "forced abortions?"

    The SO doesn't "force" anyone to have an abortion. It COERCES them to do so. It doesn't diminish our argument at all to use the word, "coercion".

    I'm nit-picky with this one... because someday, someone is going to ask you to PROVE that they FORCE someone to have an abortion.

    The CoS is going to say, "don't be silly -- of course we don't force anyone to have an abortion... parishioners are free to leave the church at any time... blah blah blah". And you know what? They'll be (sorta) telling the truth when they say that. Of course, they aren't telling the WHOLE truth when they say that, but it still effectively negates a simplistic statement like, "CoS FORCES ABORTIONS!!1!"

    You need to argue that they COERCE abortions through abusive policies that ensure they will lose status in the church... be marginalized... risk being declared suppressive and losing all of their friends and social support... yadda. That's a much more difficult charge for them to dismiss outright.

    If you have any evidence of *forced* abortions, for Xenu's sake, bring it forth. There's a big difference between force and coercion -- and that difference will not be lost on folks who critically examine our claims.

  2. Cockleblocker Member

    Re: "Forced" Abortions and the SeaOrg

    Excellent point XenuLovesU.

    Your caveat that we should always be ready to "prove" goes for ALL arguments.

    Scientology may be shitty at arguing without reverting to logical fallacies but the rest of the world ain't necessarily so.
  3. Re: "Forced" Abortions and the SeaOrg

    I'm not sure about this one, specifically because I happened to be reading a site about forced marriage today to reference in another thread. It has a good explanation of the difference between an arrangement and force.

    Past arrangement, force involves:

    This coercion applies to abortion as much as anything else and as you can see, is already understood to mean force, in the UK at least, though I'd be very interested to see any evidence of any different general consensus in other cultures.

    Basically, the difference is going to be academic to a Scientologist: whether you use "coerced" or "forced", you can expect a denial of either happening, just as you'd expect whether you'd call it psychiatric or physical abuse.

    The site also mentions:

    which is worth bearing very much in mind.
  4. AnonMomAnon Member

    Re: "Forced" Abortions and the SeaOrg

    excuse me, what?!

    let's have a look at just a couple of statements about these abortions:

    Declaration of Tera Hattaway
    12 April 2001

    6. "She went on to tell me that the spirit doesn’t enter the baby’s body until the baby is born. She made the point that all I would be “killing” is a piece of meat essentially. We discussed this for a couple of days and she showed me definitions in the L. Ron Hubbard Technical Dictionary to persuade me to have an ABORTION."

    *****yeah. i guess you could say that this girl wasn't forced. just a couple of days of someone telling you over and over that the baby is just a piece of meat and being shown definitions in the l. ron hubbard technical dictionary is just PERSUASION.

    My daughter was ordered to have an abortion
    Open letter of Clarence Sevdy 31 July 1998

    "I asked for her permission to pass on her story,which she gave to me. While at Superorg in L.A. she was indiscrete...she got pregnant. She was told by those over her to make amends(I don't know Newspeak well enough to use here) . She was ordered to get an abortion!! She refused. Then the bullying started. She had signed a "billion year contract". Your church promised to send her home , but after a bunch of American Nazi wannabees kept her confined (all day in the patio area, not in a room, how kind they were) Then every day for three days , she was kept in a room with 10 to 12 screaning rageing maniacs doing a Chinese Brainwashing routine on her , with an E-meter ."

    *******hmmmm...this one is a little tougher to call. the girl's mom actually says it was a forced abortion, but these pesky grandma's are prejudiced about this sort of thing. then in the statement the mother of the girl says that she was "ordered to get an abortion." are "ordered" and "forced" the same thing? then the story ends with a three-day "coercion" period. so, the jury may be "out" on this one, too.

    ^^^^both of these statements are from

    from andrew morton's unauthorized biography of tom cruise:

    "During Tom’s tour of the compound, it was evident that this was not a place for children. Like nuns and monks, Sea Org fanatics were not allowed to have children; if a woman got pregnant, she faced the heartbreaking choice between her beliefs and her unborn child. For the true believer, abortion was an article of faith. If the woman decided to have the child, she had to leave Sea Org and serve the sect in a lesser capacity. Former Sea Org follower Karen Pressley remembers that she was often approached by fellow Scientologists asking to borrow money to pay for an abortion so that they could stay in Sea Org. “I had a real problem because I don’t believe in abortion,” she recalls. Scientology officials reject as “simply false” the assertion that Sea Org women are encouraged, as a matter of policy, to have abortions."

    ya know what? i think i'll continue to call them what the women who went through them call them: forced abortions.
  5. XenuLovesU Member

    Re: "Forced" Abortions and the SeaOrg

    The entire reason I bring up this semantic argument is that here, in the US, when someone says something like "forced to have an abortion" (to me) it means they were either physically forced to have an abortion... or required by law to have an abortion... or subjected to some other FORCED process they had no other alternative to.

    I genuinely get that the SeaOrg "essentially" forces abortions by applying so much social pressure and fear that there is little choice (short of giving up your faith and losing everyone you've grown close to) to having an abortion. Will everyone who hears that message care enough to reach the same conclusion?

    The distinction between force and coercion is an important one. If you invoke the "force" argument, most people are going to focus on that... and frame it within the typical notions of force.

    If, however, you discuss the coercive aspects... it leads to many other questions about the practices of the CoS and the SeaOrg. One argument is easily knocked down by those unwilling to delve further. The other is not. I think it's important... no... CRITICAL to take the moral and factual high-road when we argue our suppositions.

    In this case, semantics become VERY important.
  6. southernstate Member

    Re: "Forced" Abortions and the SeaOrg

    I think that if someone threatens to take away your salvation/livelihood/family/etc. if you don't do it, that can be construed as "forced."
  7. Optimus Prime Member

    Re: "Forced" Abortions and the SeaOrg

    Its only a problem when context isn't provided. Saying "they force you to get abortions" doesn't give enough context. The stories AnonMomAnon gave do give context. There is no question whats going on in those stories. But for the short, one line statements, then XenuLovesU is more correct. Saying coerced provides more clarity for such a short statement. So really use which ever you want, but give the statement context, it will help your conversations more.
  8. AnonMomAnon Member

    Re: "Forced" Abortions and the SeaOrg

    the women who went through this: what do they call it?

    go back to all of them who have already given statements and see if the one's who did use the word "forced" would like to change that to "coerced." if you can get everyone of them to "okay" that? i'll gladly change over and use the word "coerced" from that day forward.
  9. Re: "Forced" Abortions and the SeaOrg

    It's important not to forget that they may be compelled to comply through not only social engineering but also the hypnotism/post-hypnotic suggestion we've heard of throughout Scientology, against which they have little defence - let alone warning of even consciousness - just as someone may not be strong enough to resist a physical force.

    However you introduce the issue to your audience, what you would inevitably have to take into account is that unfortunately, just as you see "forced" as "coerced", it's as easy for your audience to drop "coerced" to "mildly suggested" in their own minds before you've even had a chance to mention your evidence and it goes downhill from there...
  10. anonypuffs Member

    Re: "Forced" Abortions and the SeaOrg

    IMO coercion, especially in this context, is tantamount to forcing. Especially when you consider that Scientology isolates you psychologically and socially, so that any outside support you could possibly have (in terms of keeping your baby) is nonexistent or inaccessible.

    *edit* for example. if your parents told you, "get an abortion or we disown you", wouldn't you say that they forced you?
  11. martinpoulter Member

    Re: "Forced" Abortions and the SeaOrg

    I agree that "forced" gives a somewhat wrong impression, and prefer to use the phrase "mandatory abortions". The Mary Tabayoyon affidavit goes into the most detail about this policy.
  12. anonhuff Member

    Re: "Forced" Abortions and the SeaOrg

    How about "To remain in Scientology's 'Sea Org', abortions are mandatory." Then if anyone challenges your statement, have a flier with proof ready.
  13. musketeerwang Member

    Re: "Forced" Abortions and the SeaOrg

    Sorry, I feel for all those people, but yours is an argument from emotion. We're all angry about what they do, but when making short statements like those on placards, I agree with XenuLovesU that we need to be strictly accurate in what we say.

    To me, coercion is just as bad as "forcing". To most here, probably. But definitions are important nonetheless.

    ETA - Anonhuff's is a good way around the problem actually.
  14. amaX Member

    Re: "Forced" Abortions and the SeaOrg

    so, if we're all to be "strictly accurate in what we say" on our signs---that means we have to stop using some of our other signs.

    here's just one example:
    most anons don't have a problem with saying that this cult killed Lisa McPherson do they? no one was ever convicted of that. our first protest was in honor of her birthday. i guess the signs that just say that we remember her are okay, but anything that says the cult killed her? we need to stop carrying those. we probably should just stop putting the why are they dead website on our signs, too.

    mine is not an argument from emotion. my argument is that this is what these women called it themselves. why are you all so eager to make this particular Co$ policy more palatable for society? it's not up to you or me to change one word of their stories. we don't change the other stories that we've been told by ex-$cieno's. why must we change these people's stories? i believe in telling the truth or i wouldn't be in this movement at all.

    to me, this is a slap in the face of these women and their families. they're telling you they were forced and you're arguing semantics? their stories just don't jibe with your idea of what forced means? tough. you weren't there. they were.

    there's really nothing you can say that will make me change my mind about this. these women say they were forced. there are many women and other people who have given statements about these women being forced. i've read the sea org orders about how they don't have room for kids and how no one else can have a baby and if they get pregnant they have to be routed out to bad orgs. it was their policy and they enforced it.

    i just refuse to add insult to injury in this instance.
  15. southernstate Member

    Re: "Forced" Abortions and the SeaOrg

    "Mandatory" I think is a better word in this case than "coerced." Coerced to me implies trickery, and let's be honest, for all the evil things that the CoS does to people in the Sea Org, I don't think they're being "tricked" into abortions, they're just being told to have them, end of story. "Mandatory" is better because it implies a policy of aborting, which was actually the case.
  16. Samuel Hughes Member

    Re: "Forced" Abortions and the SeaOrg

    I agree we should skirt around the word forced. Use the word COERCED for accuracy and to create dialog instead of having them dismiss the accusation as false.

    HOWEVER, in a post-mortem judgment against Swami Rama, he was basically found guilty of being a sexual predator), even though the women in question weren't physically forced or underage.

    Read it. Study it.

    It lays the groundwork for holding a person or group responsible for actions that ordinarily would have been considered consensual or of their own free will.

    Similar judgments could get ex-scientologists' money back and damages for mental health issues. Besides, their coercion could mean their wavers are worthless or void in a real court, if they weren't worthless to begin with.
  17. amaX Member

    Re: "Forced" Abortions and the SeaOrg

    this thread has pretty much solidified what my sign will say for our april 12th protest.
  18. Toonces Member

    Re: "Forced" Abortions and the SeaOrg

    Oxford dictionary:
    • verb
    1 make a way through or into by force.
    2 push into a specified position using force.
    3 achieve or bring about by effort.
    4 make (someone) do something against their will.
    5 (force on/upon) impose (something) on.
    6 artificially hasten the development or maturity of (a plant).

    Function: transitive verb
    Inflected Form(s): forced; forc·ing
    Date: 14th century
    1: to do violence to; especially : rape
    2: to compel by physical, moral, or intellectual means
    3: to make or cause especially through natural or logical necessity <forced to admit my error> <the last minute goal forced overtime>
    4 a: to press, drive, pass, or effect against resistance or inertia <force your way through> b: to impose or thrust urgently, importunately, or inexorably <force unwanted attentions on a coworker>
    5: to achieve or win by strength in struggle or violence: as a: to win one's way into <force a castle> <forced the mountain passes> b: to break open or through <force a lock>
    6 a: to raise or accelerate to the utmost <forcing the pace> b: to produce only with unnatural or unwilling effort <forced a smile> c: to wrench, strain, or use (language) with marked unnaturalness and lack of ease
    7 a: to hasten the rate of progress or growth of b: to bring (as plants) to maturity out of the normal season <forcing lilies for Easter>
    8: to induce (as a particular bid or play by another player) in a card game by some conventional act, play, bid, or response
    9 a: to cause (a runner in baseball) to be put out on a force-out b: to cause (a run) to be scored in baseball by giving a base on balls when the bases are full

    Cambridge Dictionary of American English
    force (DO UNWILLINGLY)
    verb [T]
    to do (something difficult or unpleasant) or cause (something difficult) to be done, esp. by threatening or not offering the possibility of choice
    I hate string beans, so I had to force myself to eat them.
    Anderson was forced to leave the game with a bruised knee.
    I didn't actually want any more dessert, but Julia forced it on me.

    'nuff said.
  19. XenuChan Member

    Re: "Forced" Abortions and the SeaOrg

    I think if the Co$ really did care about human life, but still felt the need to keep their Sea Org members from having families, then they could've offered adoption rather than abortion as an option. I find it sick and disgusting that this supposed religion claims that they want to help the planet, but show such disregard for human life. I'm sure there are TONS of potentially good parents out there who would be willing to take in an unwanted child and raise it as their own and if the Co$ really wanted to avoid this PR nightmare, they would give these people a chance by giving up unwanted children for adoption, rather than just kill "a piece of meat".
  20. waianon Member

    Re: "Forced" Abortions and the SeaOrg

    And we have a winner! Forced is accurate. </thread>
  21. rasputin Member

    Re: "Forced" Abortions and the SeaOrg


    "Forced" is the only word that gets across how the policy works. "Mandatory" is much, much too mild, and while I don't have a problem with "coerced," "forced" drives the point home much better. also, given the dictionary definitions just posted up, it's accurate.

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