Title: Re: A question for the pundits
Ed <metasyn@aol.com>
Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 10:05:07 -0400

Suspicious1 wrote:
> Dear a.r.s.,
> I have a question that has puzzled me for some time.  I'd appreciate any help you can give me on this --- maybe I'm
> just unclear on the concept.  If the Scientologists posting here are specifically "hatted" to do so, what is the criteria
> for selecting the current crop of posters?  I presume that a.r.s posters are chosen to handle the whole unpleasant
> reality of a newsgroup full of critics.  So, good P.R. would be the goal, right?  I understand the psych-spammers, of
> course:  they are mistaking quantity for quality of argument.  Some of the others make cogent arguments, although
> not consistently, and Claire seems "hatted" for damage-control, since she primarily responds to the criticism of other
> posters, rather than coming up with anything original or positive herself.   None of these really do the Scientologists
> any harm.  However, I don't get why the CofS would allow Velcro Kitty and Dorkai666 within 30 feet of a keyboard.
> I'm sorry, but posting people's credit ratings and comparing picketers to Nazis is nasty and STUPID (as has been
> pointed out by others, many others, before me), and it is BAD PR.  Given that the CofS publically plays the martyr in
> response to criticism ("Why are you doing this to us?  You must be a hate-monger!), why are these guys deviating
> from the party line?
          From time to time someone posts here the text of an OSA
program called "a.r.s. handling program" or similar. 

          My opinion, to answer your question above, is that in that
program they use several different types of "identities" to accomplish
different aims. They want to create maximum distraction and dissension
among critics because they want us to look angry, hateful, petty,
argumentative, profane, etc. They want us wasting our time squabbling
with them or with each other rather than posting the stuff that really
exposes truth. The higher the volume of "noise" the harder it is to
slog through it all to find the good stuff.

           Beyond that they want to communicate a few other messages.
1) PR, as in all the anti-psych posts and occasionally when they use
"publicrelations@scientology.org" to promote their official authorized
PR; 2) hateful intimidating messages such as the Toronto bunch are so
eagerly into -- they want to make you, dear reader, consider that if
you post here, they have nasty little people working for OSA who WILL
eventually get around to YOU; and 3) nice, friendly, "open-minded"
people like Claire or Russell Shaw who want to communicate that Scns
are free to read a.r.s. and do whatever they want and think freely,
that it ISN'T a totalitarian cult.

          I would add the important fact that many longtime Scns who
were in it in it before DM's takeover were, back in the '70s, young
and idealistic and they had a good experience and happily decided to
dedicate their lives to Scn. Now they are in the prime of life and
having a good time (in their reality, and despite any outsiders'
judgment to the contrary) because they are happily following their
chosen path. These people can genuinely honestly have views like
Claire's or Russell's, and of course OSA wants to promote that.

> Now, I could be wrong.  Can any Scientologist with a modem post here?  The "clam nanny" software has a.r.s.
> blocked, but what's to stop them from using other software?  I guess I'm asking how effective the church is as a
> totalitarian regime, as well. 

          They are in a big contradiction where the ideas are all
about freedom but the practice is all about control. The great life
lesson which Scns and other cult members face is to sort that out.

 However, I have gotten a very strong impression from what I've read
online (on the web
> and on a.r.s.) that Scientologists don't post here unless selected to.  And yet Velcro Kitty and Dorsai666 are terrible
> representatives.  What gives?

        There is something weird going on in Toronto that seems to me
different than all past Scn history. The Toronto operatives seem to
have decided consciously a year or two ago to be substantially more
open and blatant in their attempts to intimidate their enemies than
they are in every other Scn place. This may be because Scn declined
farther than any other Scn place in the world: in the 1970s it was one
of the biggest and strongest orgs in the world. Unfortunately for them
Canada is a civilized country and Scn took a series of serious
beatings in the courts and saw most of their members drop out or move
to LA or Clearwater. 

         Every time I read Gregg's or the other Toronro critics'
accounts of Scn in Toronto I'm blown away at how far the movement has
declined there. 

         So I could see how top management could have decided that Scn
in Canada in every way was in a Danger Condition or worse and they
needed to drastically clean house and change their ways. And they are
in a position of feeling very much "cornered" and under attack, and
all their "scriptures" tell them that when cornered, you snarl and
bite hard.

        The a.r.s. handling program as well as other Scn policy
without exception make it very clear that no Scientologist is to read
a.r.s. or other "entheta" except for specially trained and hatted OSA
staff (or trained and hatted non-staff volunteers) whose job it is to
deal with such things. For anyone not officially authorized to read
a.r.s. to do so immediately implies a PTS condition (Potential Trouble
Source = connected to a Suppressive) which requires ethics handling

        Claire and Russell Shaw are OSA trained and hatted volunteers
(and very effective at what they do.) Their training includes that
they must lie about OSA's role in their postings. Everything on a.r.s.
is vetted by OSA, so if someone claims to be a member in good standing
but participates in a.r.s. they are immediately PTS and a serious
danger to the organization. The organization is VERY paranoid about

> I'm an outsider here (obviously).  My experience with Scientology is limited to (a) extreme annoyance at the history
> of suppressive lawsuits/threats directed at the net (especially that RMGROUP message), (b) an examination of most
> of the pro and con websites, including all those pesky court docs, and (c) the dubious pleasure of working closely
> with a Scientologist, who constantly quotes L.Ron Hubbard as if it were a verbal tic, or as if he had the Scientology
> version of Tourette's Syndrome.   Many thanks to Battlefield Earth, easily the most painful reading experience I ever
> had;  virtually every message board I've seen on it mentions the Op. Clambake URL -- a most useful site!
> And, hey, before you freak out at the remailer I used, please just relax.  It's convenient, and it's not copyrighted by
> the RTC.  As far as I can tell.  :>
> Thanks for your help!
> --
        Thanks for posting, and do come back again and again.