See our earlier article Why this blog?
Some comments were made in a recent article on this blog which raised an issue which many just leaving the church run into.
With this in mind we felt it important to put forward our view of how this blog is evolving, its purpose and what we wish to see come of it.
The internet and the “blogosphere” can be tricky to negotiate especially when one is just taking the first tentative steps in looking outside of the church for information about it. Those who have taken this journey and have assumed a hat of helping others through it refer to this as “heading down the rabbit hole”.
There are several types people one encounters out here in the wild when it comes to Scientology:
- Those who are in the process of leaving and looking outside for the first time
- Those who have left but retain a certainty on gains they experienced and wish to continue the practice of Scientology in some form.
- Those who actively practice Scientology and are quite happy for others to practice in the way they see fit..
- Those who have left and wish to no longer practice or associate with the subject.
- The radical (but not official) Scientologists who attack other (non official) Scientologists for being out tech or non-standard.
- Those who have left who are bitter, angry and looking for a target. For them the entire journey of Scientology was a mistake they wish to erase.
- Those that have never been Scientologists but are active in exposing abuse and just want such abuse to stop.
- Those that wish to erase the name L. Ron Hubbard from history and believe that any practice of Scientology is toxic and ridiculously stupid. These are generally referred to as the haters.
Of course the above are loose generalisations and we accept that some will take exception to such labeling. This is how we perceive it to be as a rule. If we were to look at our desired readership it would be the first three types of people listed above.
There are venues on the internet for all types and, where appropriate, we have encouraged, through moderation, such people to find an alternative venue. Importantly we do not refuse or reject their right to think we are all bunch of brainwashed idiots. But of course we will enforce our right to believe they are wrong.
In the spirit of free speech and open communication, some of the most popular blogs by ex church members have given Scientology haters and critics a massively popular public venue to systematically invalidate the tech of Scientology, LRH, and the wins of those who’ve benefited from their usage of that tech.
The above was stated by Ronnie Bell in a comment a couple days ago and he makes a real and valid point. The more popular the blog the more likely these haters will look to stake a claim. Our policy has been to err on the side of liberal when moderating discussion. But our overall view is that the philosophy of Scientology has a role to play in this world so we do stand on the side of those who wish to be Scientologists. As our record has shown we do not shy away from controversy, criticism or questioning. In fact we like to encourage such.
It is inevitable that open communication will attract negative comment and communication. The tendency in individuals and in groups (most notably the church) the response to such is to shut down lines and channels of communication. This is a response of defeat. A response of victory is more communication.
We question our intentions and activities every day. Why are we doing this? What’s the “end game”? What type of articles should we run? In the end we have mostly gone with what the community of readers want, which is to say we run articles that get the most response and invite the most communication. In the last week we have opened up the blog to the community by inviting articles. We see this as a strong position going forward.
With that in mind we strongly encourage all communication. Even if such comm does not pass moderation it should not be seen as a rebuke but rather a necessary constant challenge to the moderators to inspect other viewpoints.
Ultimately the purpose is to make this blog irrelevant. With a community that has come from a strict, enforced no-communication culture this platform provides an outlet for communication. From experience in dealing with people who are leaving this is probably the most important factor – being able to openly, honestly and without fear communicate.
There will come a time when the church’s influence on those outside will abate, when it will have no affect. There will be a time when talking, questioning and criticizing is the norm. When that time comes, this blog will be irrelevant, it will have served it’s function and can be quietly retired.
And that is what we and this blog are about. Either disconnection is abolished, in which case the church we will reform itself (it is only disconnection that prevents this) or the church becomes so small and irrelevant that it’s influence cannot prevent open communication without fear on the outside.