Sometimes it pays to be an SP
Because I oppose the Cult of Scientology’s terrorist mafia practices (or, their “religious freedom” as their spokespeople might euphemistically term it), I am surely eligible for the Scientology label of Suppressive Person, or SP. This is not a problem for me. After all, when a suppressive organization labels an individual a suppressive person, one can infer using mathematical reasoning that they are probably doing something positive.
I’m surely not the only one who sees the positivity of my suppressive posting behaviour. Over the past month or two a few readers have offered kudos for posting on the Cult’s deplorable track record of abuses and criminal activity, which I have appreciated. A few days ago I was honoured to have been awarded with a Thinker Award by the Oz Atheist in recognition of the ongoing Scientology expose, which I proudly display here:
I quite like this sheep. It’s sort of a funny contradiction, in that the sheep is characteristically meant to signify an unthinking follower. I just think it’s cute. (Note to bloggers: Looking for a bit of extra traffic? Give The Frame Problem an award and you, too, will receive a post in your honour, which is really in my honour. Also, I’ve got a pretty healthy sense of humour and fairly thick skin, so I might even be willing to acknowledge negative “awards” such as “The Know-It-All Douche Award”).
A few observations on the posting on Scientology:
The impact on blogger traffic has generally been pretty positive. Some people are coming less as I’ve posted less on other issues at the intersections of religion with politics, science, ethics, culture and cognition, but many new people are coming and a fair number are engaging the comment sections.
Scientologists have been visiting the site. At least 2 or 3 have commented in the comment sections. I’m very glad about both of these observations. It’s unfortunate, however, that each of the Scientology commenters has fit quite neatly into the standard means of “handling” critics that have been made famous by handlers such as Dan Murnan and Mary DeMoss. Specifically, they have conscientiously avoided confronting the cases that I have been making against the cult’s official practices and have in some cases resorted to ad hominem attacks on me. I have wondered if some of these commenters are perhaps not even reading my posts but are just zooming down to the comment section. From what I’ve heard from a number of ex-Scientologists, this sort of activity would be quite reasonable and prudent for a committed Scientologist, as exposing themselves to information contrary to L. Ron Hubbard and the CoS could land them into administrative and financial difficulties with the cult.
Despite a number of people coming to visit the site and read the posts, it seems that relatively few are linking the posts on their sites. Posts on The Frame Problem were linked more often before I began posting on Scientology, even during times of lesser traffic and commenting. My speculation is that many people are understandably nervous about posting content that is critical of Scientology on their blogs, given the cult’s aggressive ways of dealing with those who speak against the organization.
Related to the previous point, not too many other secularist/atheist bloggers have been posting much on Scientology. Some are not posting much or at all because they are more interested in other issues. Some are probably not posting because of fear of harassment from CoS. I personally wish that more secularist/atheist bloggers would post on this topic as the protests against Scientology are addressing many of our key shared concerns (e.g., infractions of human rights such as free speech, free thought, and freedom from abuse, exploitation, and detainment, intense social divisiveness, isolationism, medical quackery and malpractice, the misrepresentation of pseudoscience, as well as pervasive deceit, dogmatism, and profiteering, all conducted in the name and under the justification of “religion”). As I’ve written before, I hope that more of the secularist/atheist blogging community will become a part of this online peaceful protesting, just as I hope all bloggers will as these abusive practices are surely as much a concern to religionists as they are to the non-religious.