Adapting to Modern Scientology PR Warfare: The Soundbite

Co-evolution is a regular part of any struggle. Each side vies to always be ready for what the other side is going to throw at them, while always staying one step ahead of the adversary so as to leave them in a state of defensive impotence. The result: a bi-directional game of cat and mouse where expedient and effective internal communication and external intelligence-collecting are of absolutely critical importance.

The war between the Cult of Scientology and its critics is primarily a war of information. The critics are working to inform as many people as possible of the very real dangers and abuses of this genuinely malevolent sinister cult which has apparently managed to hijack the minds of many well-meaning people. The cult is trying and usually failing to stop protests and to paint the protesters as a homogeneous cohesive body of bigotry, hate and terrorism. They have played the religion card and the Hitler/KKK card, largely unsuccessfully. They have avoided giving detailed interviews and where they have – i.e., Tommy Davis’ recent CNN appearance – they have engaged in blatant lying and platitudinal say-nothingisms. They have also engaged in their honed intimidation tactic of aggressive shutter-buggery of protesters, having Sci-plants masquerade as protesters in order to attempt to gather protester information and to incite illegal activities which could in turn be blamed on the entire protest movement, lurking and trolling on protest forums, websites and blogs, publishing the names of individual anonymous critics, pursuing frivolous legal and criminal action against protesters, and having YouTube and Google impede the online communication of protesters.

On the other hand, the protesters have engaged in setting up mass communication networks across the Internet, aggressively publishing/posting on the unethical practices of the cult, engaging in many protests with participation ranging from a handful to hundreds, distributing and posting fliers, flooding YouTube with critical and expository videos, alerting the media, letter-writing campaigns, occasionally clicking Scientology ads because they know it will cost the cult money, promoting leading critical sites (e.g., Xenu.Net, ExScientologyKids.Com, GlossLip.Com), and tightly binding on an international scale to rail against the cult’s aggressive and unwarranted legal/criminal action and harassment of protesters. This, of course, is in addition to more cunning methods like Google Bombing (i.e., exploiting the Google algorithms so as to make the first site return for “Scientology” Xenu.Net, and Scientology.Org for “cult”), and now out-right shunned methods like Scientology website-crashing, black faxing and prank phone calls. These latter methods were the norm back in the first 1-2 weeks of the Anonymous backlash, but were abandoned on the thoughtful advice of Mark “Wise Beard Man” Bunker in favour of grassroots online and street activism.

A YouTuber has released a video claiming to expose another Scientology attack strategy: manufacturing soundbites. In this video, it is claimed that Scientologists are looking to engage protesters in interviews in which leading questions are asked so as to elicit responses in which they call Scientology a religion, speak of negative behaviours committed by Anonymous protesters, and make other remarks which Scientology can use in its propaganda media. It is important to be aware of this subtle and cunning approach so that people can be wary and watch how they phrase their responses to questions regarding Scientology and not comply with the framing of leading questions. Put simply: do not let the questioner control the discussion. If they are framing the issue inappropriately, reframe and then respond.

For more on Scientology, click here.

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Comments
2 Responses to “Adapting to Modern Scientology PR Warfare: The Soundbite”
  1. Anon says:

    Nice post. Glad to see this speculation and analysis.

  2. skepticus says:

    Ditto Nice analysis here. The cult is definitely evolving or growing more heads like the proverbial hydra. Makes me want to contemplate new maneuvers for the counter cult movement.

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