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Jon Atack: Looking back on a week of Scientology enturbulation in Toronto
By Tony Ortega, The Underground Bunker
Jon, we regret that we could only attend the first two days of your conference in Toronto. But we’ve been looking forward to your post-game analysis. How did things go for you last week?
JON: Our Toronto seminar really did turn out to be a blessing. I arrived back home on Monday and thought I’d wade through the jet lag to sum up our wonderful conference, on this the hottest day of the year so far in merry old England.
We hope to have separate sessions available on Vimeo Pro soon for a few bucks a shot. My job was to prepare my own presentations and muster a dream team, so Professor Jim Beverley was landed with organizing the seminar. High definition filming – with a four man crew – and expenses for hotel, travel, food and so forth, left us seriously cash depleted. We are working on ways to recover those monies so will offer sessions as pay per view. There are 28 separate sessions and we have almost 29 hours of HD film.
Before we can publish, we must have the consent of all parties, and we intend to offer a royalty to all concerned. I am new to this field, so please bear with me while I sort out the details. If any of our readers has professional knowledge in this field, please be in touch. Donations are also gratefully received (and your name can be added to the Patrons Meretricious list posted on telegraph poles around the Blue Buildings).
After Jim’s introduction – he said he was in heaven – I opened the seminar with a Powerpoint show of some of Hubbard’s inflated claims about his youth. It is remarkable that enough material exists to show that Hubbard was a fabulist without turning to the extensive records. For instance, although he frequently claimed to be a “nuclear physicist,” a “scientist” and an “engineer” there is a telling passage in a recorded lecture, still published by the cult. In Introduction to Dianetics of 23 September 1950 (republished in 2007), Hubbard said: “The people were very impressed with atomic and molecular phenomena. And I took the course and of course flunked it.” This is exactly in accord with the transcripts of his studies released by George Washington University. Far from being a civil engineer or a nuclear physicist, Hubbard actually failed to graduate.
In a rare error, Jon spells the criminologist's name Arnaud Palison [sic], when it's actually Arnaud Palisson, and his French book is from 2003 titled "Grande Enquête sur la Scientologie: Une secte hors la loi" roughly translated to English as Major survey of Scientology: An outlawed sect published by Favre, ISBN 2828907333
Wouldn't it have been easier to get the consent of the participants while they were there? Looking at the list of people who spoke, none appear likely to object to being published.
For something like this, time is of the essence. With all due respect, you guys are wasting time.
Pulling off a convention, even a small one with a single track, is complex with a concom, staff and checklists from previous years. Somehow I doubt they had any of that.
With respect, your urgency is not his emergency.
We then had a quick crack at the “religion angle” with insights from Professor Jim (who has written 14 books, so should know). The consensus seemed to be that if the believers treat it as a religion, then it is one. However, it is a bad religion. I take Professor Urban’s view, that it has taken on the form of religion deliberately. Ron Hubbard did not have a religious bone in his body. When the great Lord Denning ruled against Scientology’s religious status in England, in the 60s, he pointed out that there is no act of worship, unless you include the worship of Hubbard; and we have all seen examples of that. He certainly wanted to be viewed as a god, as the original (and hastily withdrawn) OT VIII demonstrates. In his last years, the only statistic that really interested Hubbard was how many minutes the faithful applauded his photograph at the end of an “event.”
So... this conference will not be humbly tendered as a gift to mankind? Bummer.
Jim Beverley's relationship to those under his influence seems to be almost the relationship of a father to his children. "Professor Jim." ..."has written 14 books so he should know." Yup.
That's the standard "NRM" line. Since the institutionalized practices of deception and mind-control ("brainwashing") are rejected by "NRM scholars," when brainwashed members of mind-control groups tell curious outsiders they're members of a "religion," it's taken at face value.
"NRM" is an acronym for New Religious Movement. "Religious expert" J. Gordon Melton (he wrote a lot of books too. So he must know.) claims to have coined the "NRM" designation in the early 1990s - this was around the time Melton was working on behalf of Scientology.
The "Scholar Program" was started in the 1970s by Scientology's Guardian's Office. Scientology recognized that Scientology's survival depended upon convincing even Scientology's critics that it's a "religion."
That Scientology has managed to not only influence, but create, an entire field of academic study is quite an accomplishment.
That it has managed to circle around - like a boomerang - and bonk its critics on the back of their heads, with some of them not realizing what's happened - is amazing.
On the positive side, a lot of people, including many at the latest conference, IMO, still have not bought into the trick of being encouraged to denounce Scientology as a very bad thing as long as they also call it a very bad "religion."
I seriously doubt your estimate as to there being a "consensus" at the conference.
And I know that most with a familiarity with the subject, outside this conference, appreciate that Scientology, known for lying, is not suddenly being truthful when it insists that it's a "religion."
Addressing the second half of your post, I agree 100%.
Denise Brennan's statement on religious cloaking - which has been reproduced on YouTube - is highly recommended for those who've yet to see it. I think it's even on this thread.
There is a huge difference between people following something and it being called a church and the deliberate religious cloaking by the founder.
When the red neck Private Investigator spying on Miscavige's father was asked by the police detective if Scientology was a Church, he responded that, no, it was a corporation. It's obvious, even to a good ol' boy with a pick up truck.
Miscavige is the person emphasizing religious cloaking. He has his cowed and mind fucked minions trained to repeat, "Scientology is a religion," like parrots. Is it working on us "wogs" ? We're supposed to be suggestible, ya know.
Also accomplished by watering down the definition of religion to the point where it can't exclude anything, and is therefore no longer a definition.
The word "Scientology" means more than one thing. Arguing that "Scientology" is a religion because some people believe in it and consider it to be their religion is fair enough. It is at least arguable. But the "Church of Scientology" is not a religion, and I argue not a church either (its behaviors are very different). But even if you disagree and say that the "Church of Scientology" really is a church, it still is not a religion, and cannot ever be one. It is (at most) one organization within a religion.
Free Zone, bitches.
Srsly. Y'all need to get this. It's painful watching this failfest continue when I've* explained this so many times already.
* I'm a pretty big deal.
Yes it is a religion.
Interesting to read the Amazon reviews of Tony Ortega's book about Paulette Cooper, with regard to the attitudes displayed re. Scientology's assertion of religiosity:
The Wikipedia ref for that, a paper he presented at a CESNUR apologist fan-convention in 1999 appears to be wrong. The term was already in use in 1998 by other people. (I'd check their ref on my backup of that site, but screw-it, CESNUR is hardly a reliable source.)
Brainwashed! Scholars of cults accuse each other of bad faith December 1, 1998, Charlotte Allen, Lingua Franca
Melton was rather questionable long before the early 1990s:
J. Gordon Melton willing to fight cults, but for a price August 25, 1975, Rick Ross, Cult Education Institute
He was one of the usual suspects in the attempted intervention in Molko v. Holy Spirit Ass'n for the Unification of World Christianity, concerning brainwashing: amicus curiae brief submitted by APA and academics Jeffrey Hadden, Eileen Barker, David Bromley and J. Gordon Melton, Joseph Bettis, Durwood Foster, William R. Garret, Richard D. Kahone, Timothy Miller, John Young, James T. Richardson, Ray L. Hart, Benton Johnson, Franklin Littell, Newton Malony, Donald E. Miller, Mel Prosen, Thomas Robbins, and Huston Smith. (The APA bailed from that amicus curiae a month later.)
I think, at this stage, many "New Religious Movement" academics are satisfied - and realistically so - if they, only, can convince the general public, and critics, to accept Scientology as a religion.
Lmfao! The only movement the few religious scholars ^^^ should work on is a giant shit & quit. The general public is a lot more aware these days, now, lake over there>>>>>>> JUMP!
Someone should check this out. (I'm too lazy to bother. ) Do the more notorious destructive cults still have their "New Religious Movement" apologists and defenders? Is, for example, Gordon Melton still defending and doing PR for the child molestation cult 'Children of God'? Or have such efforts been largely unsuccessful, and replaced with the simple insistence that such groups, while bad, should nonetheless, have the protection of the 1st amendment?
Twenty years ago, Gordon Melton was announcing that the anti-cult war was over, that the anti cultists had lost, having been defeated by the "New Religions" which were now having mainstream acceptance, according to him.
This was said triumphantly after the crushing of the original Cult Awareness Network - with Kendrick Moxon's help, and the help of Melton himself, who had testified in court as an expert witness.
Then came the popular Internet.
Have Destructive Cult apologists hit on hard times and, perhaps, had to change their approach? Or is it still a thriving business?
What's Gordon Melton writing about these days?
Probably praying that no one asks why ISIL shouldn't be considered a NRM, and what's this "radicalization" stuff is there's no such thing as "cult brainwashing" under any name.
Jim Beverley updated the statement at that link re: filming of the conference.
Here is the video presentation by Arnaud Palisson that was shown at the Getting Clear conference in Toronto on Thursday June 25, 2015:
The French law on undue influence and its irrelevance for legally combating cults in general
and the Church of Scientology in particular
by Arnaud Palisson
Here is the video address by Lawrence Wollersheim that was shown at the Getting Clear conference in Toronto on Wednesday June 24, 2015:
Who owns the copyright to the Ontario event videos?
the professionals hired to do the editing jobs?
The information I have is that James Beverley owns the copyrights,
Still looking for a definite answer to this question. Does anyone know for sure? Is there an update on this anywhere?
Ask the ones who did the filming and video production? Didn't you read what I said the first time? Was I not "clear"?
Your statement had a question mark after it so apparently you're not sure. Who did the filming and video production? They own the videos? No offense, but that doesn't make sense.
It would be a shame if these videos disappeared into a black hole. Is there no new information on them?
Ask Jim yourself. He posted his email on another page ITT so I feel comfortable sharing it
with you email@example.com
Beat me to it.
Update: September 7, 2015
I apologize for the lack of updates over the summer. After the conference I was away on holidays for a good part of July while the films were being edited and uploaded.
I kept thinking throughout August that the films would be ready for publication but we kept running into technical problems and other things that have caused delay.
As of today, a few final changes are being made in regard to film edits, a trailer and the Vimeo Pro site. We should be ready to go public soon.
sauce - http://gettingclear.co/filming.html
The Getting Clear Conference: How to see the videos that lay Scientology bare
By Tony Ortega, The Underground Bunker, September 19, 2015
Historian Jon Atack and religion ethics professor James Beverley put together a remarkable gathering of people in Toronto in June. We were fortunate to see people like Paulette Cooper and Nancy Many and Jonny Jacobsen and Nora Crest and Nan McLean and so many others all get together for the first time.
Beverley and Atack made sure the event would be recorded at a high level of quality for the ages, which cost them a pretty penny. Now, they want you to see those videos, and they’re making their announcement about how to see them here at the Underground Bunker. We’ll let them fill you in on the details, but first, here’s a sneak peek at what is on offer.
Yup. The Toronto Getting Clear videos are up, bitches!
Very nice, high quality, video. Great speakers. I guess it's no surprise that, with Jim Beverley involved, that the trailer presents corporate Scientology as a religious organization (but a bad religious organization), and also presents the red herring idea of removing special privileges for actual religions (which is not going to happen, and is a distraction), and ignores Scientology's program of religious cloaking.
Hopefully the speakers weren't too influenced by Beverley's slant on Scientology - as a religion but a nasty religion - a slant which protects Scientology while criticizing it.
Too bad these videos are not freely in the public domain. This - with so many great speakers - is what people vulnerable to Scientology need to see, not people who already know (and will pay $120.).
Did the people who participated know that people would have to pay to watch the series?
I am disappoint.
It's 90$ if you use the promotion code GC90 before September 26th.
Gerry Armstrong expressed an interest in posting the video of his talk on his site for all to see. Can he now do that?
Suppose it will go down a bit soon. I haz no complaints.
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