Chris Shelton posted this comment on ESMB (25/06/2016) In response to Marty Rathbun’s blog post – markrathbun.wordpress.com
Excerpt from www.forum.exscn.net
Galactic Patrol; 25th September 2016 at 04:28 AM.
Probably TL;DR but some thoughts I’m having tonight:
This whole meme of trying to create a cult where one does not exist is such an obvious ploy of divide and conquer the ex-Scientology community that if it’s not an OSA-inspired op, it might as well be. From everything that Tory and Karen have communicated from their direct experience at how OSA goes about sowing dissent and getting critics fighting one another, the effort to create an “us vs them” mentality amongst ex-Scientologists is at the top of the OSA playbook. Everyone pretty much knows this and talks about it as a possibility of what Marty is trying to do right now. Whether he is working for OSA or not, the net effect of his actions are the same.
The only problem is that the anti-Scientology community, including not just ex-Scientologists but all those who fall under the “Scn watchers” label, don’t fall under the definition of a cult. At least not the way that Marty is inferring when he compares it to how Scientology is a cult. A cult by definition is a group of people usually brought together for religious purposes who have strange, unusual or sinister beliefs and who may have an excessive devotion to a leader. But Scientology is so much more than that, which is why I have used Janja Lalich’s description of a destructive cult to describe Scientology and differentiate it from other religious groups such as moderate Christians which we don’t call cults but congregations, parishes or communities.
Lalich’s list has quite a few points on it, almost all of which apply directly to Scientology and almost none of which apply to the anti-Scientology community. Like atheism, the anti-Scientology community does not have leadership but it does have some celebrities and famous speakers. I use the term “celebrity” very loosely but I think you get the idea of what I mean. People who speak out effectively enough that people start listening to them and want to hear more from them are who I’m referring to by “celebrity.”
The role of a leader is vastly different from the role of a celebrity or spokesman, as leaders give specific direction and orders while celebrities or speakers simply talk about the subject from their own point of view and usually the points they make gain broad but not total agreement among the community. Celebrities and speakers who try to establish themselves as leaders in communities such as this quickly find themselves ridiculed and rejected. People have argued that Marty tried to do just such a thing with his blog and followers when he was an Independent Scientologist, but I don’t know if that was actually his intention or not. Once he started distancing himself from the tech and Hubbard’s way of looking at things, Marty started writing about Buddhism and transcending the Scientology conflict altogether. While I found his writings difficult to comprehend, I did agree with the general principles he was espousing. As I have gained more time and distance away from Scientology, my interest in it has certainly lessened as my interests in other things in life has grown. It started to become clear that my days of speaking out against Scientology were probably numbered and I was more than happy about that because I had new and different subjects and areas that I wanted to explore. I figured Marty was experiencing something similar.
It would only be natural that in a group as loosely connected as the anti-Scientology community is, which has a dislike of Scientology as the only common denominator amongst its members, that there would be disagreements and arguments. The same goes in the atheist community where the only thing tying them together is a lack of belief. Efforts are made from time to time to galvanize the community around some other common cause, but the fact is that there is no other common cause. So conflict and arguments about how to best go about being an anti-Scientologist, what the varying views about Scientology are and all that would be not only common but predictable and expected. No big deal. Personalities clash and people can get wrapped up in these clashes, but they really shouldn’t divide the community because the thing that joins us all together is our dislike of Scientology.
Yet now Marty is criticizing the entire anti-Scientology community itself with OSA-like tactics of divide and conquer and harsh, undeserved and dishonest criticism of individual speakers and celebrities in the community. I’ve even been accused by Marty and Alanzo of being paid to do what I do by Karen, which would be laughable to anyone who could see my bank account balance. From my point of view, whether he is working for OSA directly or simply applying old bad training habits that he learned in OSA, the results are the same and serve only to help OSA and the Church of Scientology in its efforts to silence any criticism of its activities. I don’t know nor actually do I care why he’s doing this, but it’s certainly obvious what he is doing. That’s all that matters to me.
Lately, the Church itself has been quiet. There’s surprisingly no buildup against Louis Theroux or his movie, unlike the fiasco Scientology engaged in with Going Clear. I have always been amazed at how the Church’s PRs never seem to learn and keep shooting foot bullets and making themselves appear to be nothing but Creepy Town. They ran the same tired campaigns over and over again to try to disavow and invalidate the criticism and ever since Anonymous came on the scene in 2008, those campaigns have not worked. Yet perhaps now, someone in OSA or COB himself finally did get it through their thick heads that overtly attacking critics with attack websites and laughably bad press releases is not such a good idea. Maybe new strategies have now been implemented to silence our dissent. One thing for sure is that OSA is not asleep at the wheel and those Sea Org members are not idle. So if we aren’t hearing from them, what are they up to? Certainly they are up to no good, but what exactly?
Well, who knows but I will say that none of this distraction is working on me or on other critics, speakers and celebrities of the anti-Scientology community. I’ve got a new video series starting this week, I’ve got another big project in the works after that and two book ideas which I will get to after these video projects are done. Being overtly attacked by Marty was certainly interesting for a day or so as I pondered what to do about it and then finally decided I wasn’t going to do anything about it because fighting anyone in the anti-Scientology community is not and never was my purpose.
I doubt any of this is new or different from what anyone else here is saying. Just wanted to get some of this out of my system. Thanks for reading.
This is the Q&A where Chris is addressing the question about Marty –