There is an entity known as the Church of Scientology. It practices familial disconnection and financial extortion, among other things. I have denounced the Church of Scientology.
There is an opposing loose affiliation known as the Anti-Scientology community. It is more decentralised than the Church of Scientology but nevertheless demonstrates recurring prominent leadership figures.
Six months ago I decided to speak-up and engage in interviews with Anti-Scientology community members. The subsequent engagements have been both useful and detrimental.
The engagements have been useful in helping me understand that the Church of Scientology has acted, and is acting, egregiously; that I cannot ignore such acts and practices; that I cannot support the Church of Scientology in its current form.
Yet the engagements have also been pernicious in delivering a torrent of negativity. The Anti-Scientology community condones many activities which are on-par with the Church of Scientology’s activities.
The Church of Scientology is worse, yes; however, this may be due to the Church’s centralised institutional power verses an amorphous and decentralised Anti-Scientology movement.
None of this is to condone the Church of Scientology. It is a question of how we, in civilised society, should respond to organisations with egregious practices.
First, I propose, we should be targeted and specific. We should ask ourselves what exactly are the egregious aspects of the Church of Scientology. I propose they rest in its organisational Departments Three (Inspections & Reports) and Six (Registration; i.e. sales).
Second, we should consider how we should respond to such practices. I propose the Nuremberg trials a fitting example: no matter how terrible the crimes, dignity, humanity, and care are our guiding principles.
Beyond the real, our best fiction suggests the same virtues in ‘combating’ evil. From Darth Vader to Voldemort to Sauron and Saruman: we meet evil not in kind but with those qualities which we wish to wash over the world.
I do not believe the Anti-Scientology community, as a whole, in its current form, is a path forward, just as I do not believe the Church of Scientology in its current form should be countenanced.
We must do better. We can bring love into the world, or not.
I aim to do, and be, better. My courage these past many months has fallen short when discussing both ‘sides’ of this situation. I aim to be more forthright, to speak with clarity, integrity, and conviction.