Scientology vs anti-Scientology

Many years ago, some guy in Amsterdam's main shopping street invited me to a personality test. Spinelessness found me at "Dianetics", the name Scientology gives itself in countries that don't recognize its church status. The fairly mediocre test, which resembled psych tests at job interviews, revealed my weak spots and strengths. The results were far from mind-blowing. I left, declining the Dianetics guy's attempts to coax me into buying stuff.

Neverthless, I was shocked years later when I read up on the Fishman Affidavit, a legal document released by an ex-member of Scientology that contained the cult's superduper secrets involving the intergalactic overlord Xenu. More research taught me that Scientology used mind control, threatening lawsuits, tax evasion, and allegations of pedophilia against its opponents and victims. I came to regard Scientologists as dangerous lunatics. Now, a popular YTMND presentation revives these stories.

I thought I was wiser because Scientologists can't tempt me into their test again. But I found that I've been equally stupid by taking the anti-cultist accusations (which include murder) at face value. To wake me from this dream is a level-headed and politely insistent Web site (by an ex-member) that says the truth is in the middle. Bernie, the author, shows that anti-cultists take a surprisingly cult-minded approach to cults (best illustrated here). And if you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. The same people who, unlike me, were so gullible as to be taken in by the Dianetics team and became ex-members will also be swayed by equally hysterical and absolutist countercultists. So kudos to Bernie. And I must mention that I discovered he used an image from snowstone only after reading his site.

Posted by cronopio at 02:49 PM, June 28, 2006