Neue Aktivitäten gegen Scientology
THE NEW ACTIVISM OF ALT.RELIGION.SCIENTOLOGY
By a conservative estimate there are at least 26,000 people
from all over the world contributing to or lurking on the
alt.religion.scientology newsgroup. I (Lawrence Wollersheim)
believe there are considerably more than this and that the
number is growing geometrically. (In one 24 hour period a few
weeks ago there were 972 new messages.)
Of the estimated 26,000 people who read a.r.s. it is estimated
that 60% of them are ANTI Scientology and oppose or are critical
of the Scientology organization. These numbers are important
for more than just their size.
This newsgroup on the Internet has shown itself to be potentially
the greatest force that has ever existed to counterbalance the
wrongdoing, criminal activities, and human rights abuses of
Scientology. It potentially transcends the FACTNet library
and all the good that many individual activists have done before
this newsgroup existed. The means may be at hand to finally
make Scientology accountable for its actions. Here's why.
1. The Internet connects huge numbers of like minded people
economically in ongoing dialog.
2. The Internet allows victims and critics to maintain anonymity
and avoid Scientology retaliation through lurking or alias postings.
3. The Internet's synergy-promoting way of connecting people
speeds information sharing to the people and places it is needed.
4. Scientology exists and grows ONLY because it has been able
to crush dialog, criticism, and the healing and corrective synergy
that its victims and critics would generate among themselves.
To achieve the potential of a.r.s. to expose Scientology and
bring justice to its victims, something more is needed: a responsible,
informed and courageous ACTIVISM. I hope to be able to say,
someday, that the largest educational and dialog project ever
done on Scientology and its front groups was done by the almost
16,000 Scientology critics and victims in this newsgroup.
There will be opposition. Scientology has worn down most of
its leading adversaries and critics through years of harassment
and depletion of their resources. It has targeted the few to
put a head on a pike as an example to frighten the many. It
has driven wedges between the different factions of its adversaries
and critics with black PR campaigns and when new organizations
like FACTNet were formed it declared a type of all out war against
them. But now, there are a whole lot more than just three or
four of Scientology's victims standing up and making their voices
heard. Now we can find each other, talk to each other, support
As a result of Scientology's strategies, the "old guard" of their
adversaries and critics are burned out. I don't need to mention
all the names here. I can tell you, from my own experience
with Scientology over the last 15 years, that if there is not
a major change of operating basis soon on how we deal with
Scientology, the Scientology resistance movement will lose many of its
key people not because of lack of will or right cause, but burnout.
This newsgroup offers a great opportunity to pass the torch to a
new generation of activists, simply by using the newsgroup's full
potential for public dialog. I invite you to participate in
A NEW INTENSITY OF ACTIVISM ON THE INTERNET.
I invite the inactive among the 16,000 anti Scientology victims,
critics, and lurkers to do more than just heal yourself and
talk among yourselves about how bad Scientology is.
It is time for Scientology to learn that when they attack any
one of us, they are attacking 16,000 anti Scientology victims,
critics, and lurkers.
It is time for Scientology to learn that they will never stop
religious dissent, freedom of opinion or open dialog. We can
find ethical ways to use the awesome corrective and economic
power of unstoppable information and dialog on the Internet.
We can make sure that Scientology remains unable to hide, bury,
seal, rewrite, or destroy their past history of abuse or their
secret policies and intentions.
Scientology organizations run on compulsory policies designed
to OVERWHELM their adversaries, but it only has the resources
to do this to the few critics and adversaries it can isolate,
weaken, and wear down... and then make examples of (like Enid
Now it's Scientology's turn to be overwhelmed, not by harassment
and criminal activity, but by 16,000 concerned activists building
a new level of education and dialog.
Hubbard himself tells us why this strategy will work. He said
something like "whatever a person compulsively does to others
(overwhelming adversaries) is the thing that they are least
capable of having done to them." Remember Scientology's insane
resistance to any change, and the fanaticism and zealotry created
in its staff and members. They will do what they have always
done, only this time the world will be watching.
There is useful, helpful work for the 16,000 anti Scientology
victims, critics, and lurkers in this newsgroup (I know many
are already doing this; it is the silent ones I am speaking
to.) Contribute new information to a.r.s. Spread what you learn
on a.r.s. to appropriate media, legal authorities, mental health
professionals, etc. Spread the word with a new activism that
reflects your understanding and concern for the new dangers
to our civil liberties.
Become librarians and debaters (details below), and spread the
information that FACTNet and many other organizations have preserved
to every world group or individual that comes in contact with
Scientology or any of its front groups. You can get information
readily from many ftp sites around the world. Help make it
available to the people who really need it, even if they don't
have Internet access.
I'll bet somebody who reads this will find a way to make the
data widely available in Russia. Be creative. Find ways to
ensure that Scientology's victims in the former Soviet countries
and elsewhere have access to the same information and dialog
that is available in the U.S. and U.K.
Unless a new generation picks up the ball and runs with it,
you could lose the whole educational and dialog confrontation
with Scientology. After Scientology puts the heads of its remaining
key adversaries on a pike (like Enid Vien and many before her),
how many more people will have to endure what they endured?
How many will have to survive what Armstrong, Atack, and Wollersheim
survived? Scientology will continue to focus all its resources
on crushing those who remain, one by one, as long as we let
ourselves be isolated and attacked one by one.
Here are some thoughts about projects you could create or be
a part of, anonymously if you prefer.
1) Every time you hear of Scientology or any of its front
groups doing a promotional or PR program anywhere in the world,
be a good librarian and get the word out. Supply the key people
who will evaluate Scientology with an info pack that contains
the secret documents on Scientology's history, practices and
goals or any other information that will help them make INFORMED
(Scientology's attempt to penetrate the corporate world at Allstate
was undone by just a few librarians part-time informing the
board of directors about Scientology's secret history. Every
corporation where Scientology shows up needs a librarian. Who
will be the librarian for Amway?)
2) Every time Scientology does a smear campaign on a critic,
accelerate the pace of your librarian work. Don't back off.
The message we want to send is that if they keep attacking us
personally instead of opening dialog on the information we are
discussing or presenting, all they will get is more people getting
more information faster.
3) Support your fellow librarians by sharing information about
successful projects that counter Scientology's unethical actions,
by volunteering time to help proof the million pages of new
Scientology materials yet to come, and by helping to organize,
display, and distribute information about Scientology to other
librarians and library sites.
4) Support those people in litigation with Scientology in
any way you can.
5) Break the fear grip of inaction in which so many former
members or family members are paralyzed. Stop letting a few
people take most of the heat that Scientology generates. I've
been at the top of Scientology's enemy pile for 15 years and
its not so bad. Mostly its just tiring and tedious.
Do your part. Most of you were gung ho to clear the planet and
save the universe. Now how about just helping clean up your
own mess so others have the information available to make better
choices? How about putting up electronic information signs all
over the world that say "Danger - Scientology could be hazardous
to your well being?"
6) Stop fighting among the various factions. If Scientology
eliminates any dissent faction they will just redirect the efforts
to the next most effective dissent faction until only your faction
is left, alone.
7) For those of you that are healing from your Scientology
experiences I have found no better or faster healing medicine
than standing up to my aggressor and fighting back though education
and dialog. Its effective because it changes the flow and dynamics
of the situation.
8) Post YOUR OWN ideas for ways we could work together to
bring Scientology to justice. Post the victories in the actions
people have done and are doing. Show the effectiveness and
growth of the new activism that we see reflected in a.r.s.
Scientology has been the bully on the block long enough. It
has abused and twisted the privileges and protections given
to bona fide religions of charitable and humanitarian purpose.
Scientology has 40+ years of back pressure from people it has
abused coming to a boil. This pressure is beginning to be focused
into ethical dialog, education, and a new activism on a.r.s.
The world must learn about Scientology. You 16,000 anti Scientology
victims, critics, and lurkers on this newsgroup who are not
yet activists are going to have to do it. Those of us who have
been the activists for years or decades are so near to collapse
from Scientology's attempts to overwhelm us that we can no longer
PS - When I say educate and dialog, I mean to focus on the Scientology
organizational policy, ideology and practice -- not people.
The people caught in Scientology now are no different than you
or I when we wanted to crush all SPs. They are victims too.