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The Killing Fields

Discussion in 'Evaluating and Criticising Scientology' started by johnAnchovie, Nov 5, 2007.

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  1. johnAnchovie

    johnAnchovie Still raging

    A journalism module in my college course requires, among other things, that I write reviews on several movies.

    I have just completed my third watching of David Putnam’s ‘The Killing Fields’. For those unfamiliar with this work, it covers the true story of the experiences of New York Times reporter Sydney Schanberg and his Cambodian assistant, Dith Pran as that society buckled, and then crumbled, under the onslaught of a fanatical, nihilistically influenced movement, the Khmer Rouge. It is a harrowing story. I recomend that you rewatch this if seen before, and you have never heard of it, then go and get a copy, you owe it to the social democracy that giives you the freedom to read this.

    Pol Pot made children a major focus of re-indoctrination and used them to carry out horrific, inhuman acts. I saw shades of this in Scientology. A study of the Khmer leader’s philosophy would provide much material for a comparative analysis with that of Hubbard, the founder and guru of the afore-mentioned religious cult. I could not help noticing many similarities with its fanatical inner core, its elite, the Sea Organisation, a group, I am ashamed to say, that I belonged to and believed in for twenty years.

    Below is an extract from a New York Times review circa 1984:

    In 1975, after five years of civil war in Cambodia, the US-backed, right wing Lon Nol government was overthrown by communist guerilla forces, known as the Khmer Rouge. As the guerrillas entered the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, they were welcomed as saviours and there was much jubilation at the thought of peace being finally restored to the war-torn country.
    Little did the population of Cambodia know, but this was to be the start of one of the greatest human catastrophes and acts of barbarity ever to be seen by the modern world.
    Just two days after the takeover of Phnom Penh, the Khmer Rouge started a forced evacuation of all major cities. The entire population of the capital was told that the city was under imminent threat of air attack by US B52 bombers and they should leave immediately.
    The cities became ghost towns and the entire population of the country was moved into the countryside, forming what would effectively become an army of slaves, forced into working on the land. Personal property was made illegal, everyone was forced into the black pyjamas normally worn by Cambodian peasants and all talk about pre-revolutionary Cambodia was punishable by execution.
    The Khmer Rouge organisation ruthlessly searched out and killed not only former members of the Lon Nol government, but anyone with an intellectual background - doctors, lawyers, students, reporters, etc. None were spared. As well as the systematic murder of the intellectual classes, the regime enforced by the Khmer Rouge leadership (forced labour, malnutrition, complete lack of medical facilities, etc.) caused the deaths of millions. Various estimates of the number of casualties during the four-year reign of terror put the death toll somewhere between 1.3 and 2 million people. Up to 1/3 of the country's entire population was to die in the killing fields of Cambodia.

    Had Hubbard been able to operate with impunity, away from the eyes of national governments and humanitarian groups, I am sure that the Sea Org experience would have been violent, Hubbard seems to endorse inhuman acts iin order to forward his worldview, and I and my fanatical comrades were certainly conditioned to view ‘wogs’ ‘DB’s’ ‘psyches’ and ‘down stats’ as lower forms of life without rights or recourse to justice.
    What are your views? Had Hubbard and the Sea Org the freedom to operate at will, would they have gone as far as Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge? I know what I think.

    If you concur, then do you consider that such operations as Scientology, fanatical and radical islamic groups, fanatical, militant, evangelical christian cults and so on should be made illegal? Should such be seen as threats to our western democracy? Or what do you think could or should or could be done? Do such groups actually pose a threat to our social order?

    John Anchovie
     
  2. Zinjifar

    Zinjifar Silver Meritorious Sponsor

    For me, Scientology has always most closely resembled the Eastern Bloc communist nations, especially East Germany, in the strange mixture of cynical exploitation and manipulation and bug-shit-crazy True Believer fanaticism. This especially for the 'Church' as founded and operated by Ron.

    However, given the ability (unlikely) I could easily imagine a Scientology per David Miscavige evolving into a 'Pol Pot' scenario. Thankfully, that won't happen, although I think fear for those still held hostage in the Sea Org, and, to a lesser extent, on 'staff', is well founded.

    Zinj
     
  3. Bea Kiddo

    Bea Kiddo Crusader

    This is a difficult and involved thread. I am sure that it will bear interesting answers.

    As Sneakster so aptly pointed out to me, some time ago, while there are abuses in the Sea Org, and many of them, they are not the worst thing that has ever happened to someone.

    There is, and always will be, that "worse than" scenario. To all abusive activities and cults.

    With that in mind, your post got me to ponder on something as yet completely unconsidered for me, until now.

    See, in the church, and I have seen many, many cases of this, people are encouraged to drop out of college. Or High School. They sacrifice their education, because they think "all" of the answers are in Scientology.

    And as you posted about the abolishment and death of all of the educated people during that time period, it made me think:

    If, for example, the Sea Org and Scientology DID become a worldwide sensation.... consider this for a moment:

    There would be denigration of doctors. Who needs them? Only for emergencies. People would be very discouraged from training as doctors. Spend your time and money going free. In the Church.

    And every other important and neccesary function would be abolished in the same fashion.

    I do not think it would be INTENTIONAL. But there is a clumsiness about the church, where it shoots its own feet repeatedly by thinking of the stats before 2pm Thurs, and not the future of mankind.

    There are some serious flaws in the system.

    I probably have more stories to write on this thread, and others, and starting even more threads about Sea Org abuse and neglect. I shall, when time allows.

    But I wanted to drop this here as a point to ponder.

    They target College kids. They always have. And many have dropped out to dedicate their live to the Church.

    How many actually found the church and still managed to finish college and go on to a career in that field?

    Maybe I am lacking information on this. But I have noticed a high amount of college dropouts, on staff, in the SO, and some public too.

    Anyone?
     
  4. Mary

    Mary Patron with Honors

    Great post John!

    Zinjifar, I really appreciate your optimism.

    But I'm not so sure that it is unlikely that the Cof$ under DM or his sucessor could evolve into a Pol Pot scenario.

    The National Socialist Party (Nazis) were laughed at and ridiculed in the press for many years before they gained power. I suspect they gained this power by the same sort of methods that are today employed by the Cof$.

    The German government seems to be aware of this and is taking steps to avoid past mistakes.

    I wonder what steps we would have to take to ensure that the Cof$ either reforms its suppressive ways or is disbanded.

    Crusty's post on another thread about reforms to the Church were really good.
     
  5. Mary

    Mary Patron with Honors

    Bea,

    (Sorry, I only saw your post after posting mine.)

    What you said has real insight and I'm sure that is the way the evolution would occur.
     
  6. johnAnchovie

    johnAnchovie Still raging

    Mary and Bea, I am trying to get my head around Euopean constitutional law at the moment, I am active on a few fronts in the legislative arena. Social Democracy is wonderful, as is the parlamentary system of debate and motion, this system works, but like a court case, any motion requires ephirical evidence, primary reaserch and adequate proof of hypothesis. Such takes time and in the case of cults, is very difficult to prove a case for outright legislation agains a corporate body.

    Bea, indeed, Scientology is anti intellectual. Most of the recruits at SH and many I met around the world were never able to carry on their educations and gain degrees. A lot of the reason behind this is probably because collage and University level education teaches critical thinking, the same thing that Pol Pot feared and Hubbard detested.

    The Catholic Church in Ireland was and remains, anti intellectual, - in fact I am pretty sure that all theist religions are such - but at least this body has to have a degree of public transperancy, and thus can only get away with so much. Scientology and such cults are immune to such requirements, thus they succede rather well.

    John
     
  7. everfree

    everfree Patron Meritorious

    Yes. There are worse. Mass murdering regimes such as Mao's cultural revolution. Groups that encourage and develop suicide bombers. The mafia. There can always be worse.

    I place the CofS well above those things but somewhere below your average televangelist.

    I guess I think of CofS as something like what would happen if a televangelist put together a paramilitary arm of semi-slaves to serve him.

    Yay for the church being better than genocide! Good job guys, keep up the great work.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2007
  8. Zinjifar

    Zinjifar Silver Meritorious Sponsor

    They would if they could, but, they can't, so they don't.

    Zinj