Dear Ms. Šorytė:
I am responding here to your article “‘Secretophobia’: The Modern Prejudice Against Religious and Spiritual Secrets,” recently published in The Journal of CESNUR. 1 It is broadly an attack on American professor of religious studies Hugh Urban, couched as a scholarly criticism of his writings on secrets in Freemasonry and Scientology.
In your article, you also take a gratuitous, cooked-up swipe at me. More importantly, you take the same nasty swipe at all the Scientologists’ victims and all the people who stand up for us, whom you label and smear as “anti-cultists.” Urban has written disapprovingly about the Scientologists’ history of victimizing people and written sympathetically about the Scientologists’ victims. It is well known that the Scientologists have targeted me relentlessly and criminally for over forty years with their lawfare and extralegal “battle tactics.”
I am aware that the word “victim” has come to be used as a pejorative, meaning a person who is not an actual victim, but who is faking it or acting like a victim. Seeking to hide their own attacks on their victims’ psyches, the Scientologists and their collaborators disparage their victims’ psychology, accusing them of having victim mentalities to obtain some undeserved benefit.
Throughout this article, however, I am using only the dictionary definition for “victim,” e.g., from Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary:
- someone put to death, tortured, or mulcted by another
- a person subjected to oppression, deprivation, or suffering
- someone tricked, duped, or subjected to hardship
- someone badly used or taken advantage of
- anyone who suffers either as a result of ruthless design or incidentally or accidentally
A pretend victim is not a victim. Pretend victims are a societal reality in the insurance industry, the justice system, in the media, in labor, in management, in sports, in families, in international relations. I am considering here, however, only victims and victimization, not pretend or fake ones. Victimizers will commonly accuse their victims of “being a victim,” meaning they are pretending, and wallowing in hopelessness and “not getting on with life” to elicit sympathy. Thus the victimizers heap further abuse on their victims by gaslighting us.
Scientology fabricator L. Ron Hubbard was so obsessed with hiding his diabolical practice of victimizing his own followers that any time they became slightly conscious of what he was doing to them he would order interrogations to push down their perceptions. In fact, on July 18, 1959 in his bulletin “Technically Speaking,” he redefined “Scientologist” to be “one who is not a victim.” Anyone who left his cult was therefore just a “victim” and could not possibly be worthy of being called a Scientologist. In truth, the vast majority of Scientologists are victims – of his lies, fraud, threats, betrayal, inculcated hatred of their fellow human beings, and unjust punishments.
I have not “played the victim card.” I have stood up to my formidable victimizers and have not let them drag or persecute me down to powerlessness or hopelessness. The Scientologists hate their victims, but the persons they hate the most are their victims who refuse to be silenced or destroyed, who despite their suffering take pleasure in life, as I do, who accept that part of their life they are getting on with is standing and speaking up, and working as happily as possible to end the Scientology-generated threats, abuses and persecution for everyone.
You write your article from your position at the “European Federation for Freedom of Belief (FOB)” where you are on the “Scientific Community.” FOB states:
For the establishment of the Scientific Committee, the Association co-opts national and international experts who have a social and cultural high profile. The function of the Scientific Committee is that of a consultative body for the Executive Council. 2
You are married, of course, to Massimo Introvigne, the managing director of the Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR), and Editor-in-Chief of his own journal that published your “Secretophobia” article. Even before you married him, you both were intimates in the cabal of persons and entities who are united by the vilification of the individuals like me your cabal calls disparagingly “anti-cultists.” The cabal members, which includes FOB and its “Scientific Committee,” “Board of Directors,” “Advisory Board” and “member” organizations and their personnel, make a show of being linked by the defense of “religious liberty;” but this is in large part a sham that facilitates the malign campaign against “anti-cultists.” Introvigne is a celebrated demagogue in this cabal.
The Scientologists being considered here are members of the central, largest, wealthiest and most pernicious Scientology sect. As you know, it was started by Hubbard and is now run from the US by David Miscavige. Many of the Miscavigeites’ agents or collaborators in their victimization programs are not Scientologists but hirelings or fellow travelers. The Miscavigeite Scientologists and their collaborators comprise a key component in the anti-anti-cultist cabal that includes you, Introvigne, FOB, et al. The Miscavigeite Scientologists are also a major destructive cult whose history, policies and actions victimizing people you and your fellow cabalists whitewash and defend, and whose targets your group further target, as you have done here and in other “academic” papers.
As I mentioned, unlike other academic scholars of new religious movements, Urban takes anti-cultists seriously. He quotes approvingly even Gerry Armstrong, one of the most rabid anti-Scientologists, to the effect that Scientology will eventually disappear because all its secrets will appear on the Internet. Urban writes that “the Internet may well prove to be ‘Scientology’s Waterloo’—that is, a battle of information that it cannot realistically win” (Urban 2017, 294).
You know that I am not an anti-cultist, not actually an anti-Scientologist as you mean it, and not rabid. I do not believe you are ignorant, but just pretend ignorance of your lies and the harm you intend and are doing. Indeed, you undoubtedly have a decent intellect. What you are doing however, is stupid, because you are using your intellectual ability for dishonest, vampiric purposes.
Intellect is on the IQ scale, between profound mental disability and genius or profoundly gifted. Unwisdom is at the bottom of a morality scale, with wisdom on the top. Unwisdom is an uncommon and somewhat clumsy word meaning stupidity, the more common word. Something unwise is stupid. “Stupidity” is often used to mean low IQ, unintelligence or ignorance. Here, however, I am talking about the rectitude or turpitude of what a person or group does with their God-given intellect or intelligence, knowledge or abilities.
A person can be very intelligent, smart enough to run a huge corporation, a global cult, or even a large country, and act very stupidly. Acquiring, loading, aiming and firing a gun requires at least a modicum of intelligence, but performing these actions to murder someone, or a mass of people, is really stupid. Forrest Gump had an IQ of 75, but was a morally upright person, brave, honest, tender-hearted and unassumingly unstupid.
Scientology claims to be the “science of knowledge;” and it is true that within its millions of words of “scripture” there is some knowledge. Even if he flunked out of university, Hubbard clearly possessed intellectual gifts. There are certainly some intelligent and talented Scientologists. But there is precious little wisdom in Scientology or among all the Scientologists, which the stupid leadership stupidly — not ignorantly — claims are in the tens of millions.
Hubbard claimed that Scientology auditing raised IQ “a point per hour on average,” which would have been a great gift to mankind, if it were true. His claim, however, was patently false. It was monstrously stupid of him to make this claim, and it was stupid of me to believe him. After a thousand hours of auditing, my IQ had not moved up a point. As long as I believed Hubbard, trusted him and accepted his words as true, my IQ was actually stunted.
Although dedication to the Scientology system does not produce profound intellectual acuity, it does produce in its members a discernable set of character traits or behaviors, which I identified some years ago, including last year to Introvigne: vanity, dishonesty, hypocrisy, perfidy, envy, pugnacity, malignity and pusillanimity. Although these unremarkable qualities can appear to be valuable – otherwise, why bother adopting and enforcing them Scientology-wide as “pro-survival?” – they ultimately add up to a grave stupidity.
Stupidity is often, and properly, equated with evil, and wisdom equates with goodness. In his chapter “My Lai: An Examination of Group Evil” in his 1983 book People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil, psychiatrist M. Scott Peck wrote:
Let us remember what so many theologians have said: Evil is the inevitable concomitant of free will, the price we pay for our unique human power of choice. Since ours is the power to choose, we are free to choose wisely or stupidly, to choose well or badly, to choose for evil or for good. Since we have this enormous—almost incredible—freedom, it is no wonder that we so often abuse it and that human behavior, in comparison to that of the “lower” animals, so often seems to get out of whack. P. 244.
Peck’s reasoning and lessons in this chapter apply to both the Miscavigeite organization and your anti-anti-cultist cabal, and I hope all of you take them to heart.
Earlier in the same chapter, Peck wrote:
This book is entitled People of the Lie because lying is both a cause and a manifestation of evil. It is partly by their lying that we recognize the evil. P. 242.
You may already know that in the first lawsuit the Scientologists filed against me, the trial judge stated about Hubbard in the judgment, affirmed on appeal:
The evidence portrays a man who has been virtually a pathological liar when it comes to his history, background, and achievements. 3
For that to be the reality and legacy of a man of undeniable intellect and ability is extremely stupid. Miscavige similarly lies gargantuanly, which is similarly stupid. Scientologists he controls are compelled to accept and regurgitate the lies he promulgates and has other promulgate. That is stupid. The Scientologists under him end up lying about so many things, and being compelled to lie about so many things, that only apostasy, escape from his stupid control, frees them from lying and permits them to tell the truth. When Miscavigeites wise up, they leave his stupid cult.
Your fellow cabalists promulgate the lie that apostates from Scientology, or from other destructive cults, should not be taken seriously, whereas active Miscavigeites and members of other destructive cults should be. This idea is stupid, and patently evil. Here you smear Hugh Urban for taking “anti-cultists” seriously, and you foist the ludicrous, unsupported insinuation that he alone, among “academic scholars of new religious movements” does this. You single me out as someone you imply, without any evidence, is so dishonest, so untrustworthy, that Urban is scoff-worthy or nuts for taking me seriously. Your implication about me and your conclusion about Urban are seriously stupid.
As I explained to you above, and as I have explained on other occasions to your fellow anti-anti-cultists, the people you label anti-cultists are actually, and much more importantly, victims of destructive cults. You smear me as “one of the most rabid anti-Scientologists,” and you willfully and totally omit the reality that I am one of the Miscavigeite Scientologists’ most victimized victims. The only reason a person like me is anti Scientology is because the Scientologists and their collaborators victimize people.
You call me “rabid,” without supporting your rabidity charge, when my “anti-Scientologist” activities have been telling the truth about my experiences and knowledge of the Scientologists’ fraud, abuses and crimes; defending myself and others from the Scientologists’ black propaganda and criminal “fair game;” and peacefully protesting against the Scientologists’ fraud, abuses and crimes.
Introvigne has a stupid habit of smearing me as “militant” — “militant apostate,” “militant anti-Scientologist,” “militant opponent.” He even calls Michael Flynn, my lawyer from forty years ago, a “militant anti-Scientologist.” The relevant truth is that Flynn, using the US justice system and his skill as a litigator, and possessing an antipathy to bullies, stood up for a multitude of the Scientologists’ victims. Consequently, the Hubbardite and Miscavigeite Scientologists subjected him to the most ferocious fair game campaign.
As you do with your false charge of “rabidity,” Introvigne does not support his false charge of “militancy.” Like you, he omits the vital fact that I am one of the Hubbardite and Miscavigeite Scientologists’ most egregiously persecuted persons. Like you, Introvigne, does not acknowledge the truth that my “militant” activities are merely telling the truth about my experiences, knowledge and beliefs; defending myself and others from attacks by the Scientologists and their collaborators; peacefully protesting against their antisocial and criminal policies, practices and actions. I have steadfastly unviolently and unmilitantly resisted their aggression.
That you and your fellow anti-anti-cultists, including your cabal’s covey of academics, do not take the people you call anti-cultists seriously is stupid. In truth, you do take me seriously, and you do take other people you target as anti-cultists seriously, but you pretend you don’t, and pretend we do not deserve to be taken seriously, as part of your black propaganda attack on us; which is really stupid, or evil — take your pick.
As I’m sure you know, your husband has been falsely labeling me an “anti-cultist” for some time. In September 2021, I published an article “Massimo Introvigne – pro destructive cults for the hell of it” refuting his false labeling. I also emailed him a link to my article and its complete text, so there is no doubt that he knows of my refutation. I am copying the entire email here, so there can be no doubt that you also know your anti-cultist label for me is false, and that both of you are being stupid for continuing to so label me.
From: Gerry Armstrong [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: September 20, 2021 8:28 AM
Subject: Pro destructive cults for the hell of it
Webbed at: https://gerryarmstrong.ca/massimo-introvigne-pro-destructive-cults-for-the-hell-of-it/
Dear Dr. Introvigne:
You just published an article in your Bitter Winter magazine that contains this famous photo of Thomas Gandow, Alexander Dvorkin, Luigi Corvaglia, Archbishop Nikolay (Chashin) and me in Salekhard, Russia on September 29, 2017.
I have not discovered any logical connection between your article and the five of us or the Salekhard conference we were attending. It appears you could have used the photo purely for black PR purposes. In your caption, bizarrely, you call us “an international network,” and, contemptuously, you lump us together as “anti-cultists.”
It isn’t necessary for me to mount a defense for the others you label “anti-cultists.” It is sufficient to know that your assertion that I am an “anti-cultist” is both ridiculous and a lie. Having dealt with you and your lies for some time, I am sure you know it’s a lie. I think you also sense its ridiculousness. “Anti-cultist” is a dishonest label that you know is dishonest.
Your term’s nebulousness and its meaninglessness render it ridiculous. Because of this, its users use it as a black propaganda epithet, just as its users use “cultist” or “cult,” or the Scientology hate term “Suppressive Person,” and even “SP.” That the source is an “academic” adds to its black PR value, and also adds to its ridiculousness.
Qualifying your term, it could be said, but still not very accurately, that I am an “anti-destructive-cultist.” That is cumbersome, of course, and rarely if ever tagged to people. Oddly enough, it is the position that a majority of people might very well say they hold if ever asked if they were pro or anti destructive cults. Who or what would not be anti destructive cults?
Although “anti-cultist” is a false label for me, it is the essential term for understanding and analyzing the paradigm you posit when you label or mislabel me as one. Because I am not in any form or measure a cultist or “cultist,” it would be an improvement in the direction of truth to say I am, like so many people, anti destructive cults. Admittedly, I was a serious Scientology cultist, but I have not been a cultist in any cult ever since, almost forty years. It is conceivable that there is a cult, or are cults, of antis; they could be anti cults or anti pretty well everything else. They might even call themselves “anti-cultists,” but I am not a member, and would never call myself one.
I am sure you know I am not anti all cults, or whatever someone said were cults. Your false implication that I am anti all cults, makes me sound extreme, or perhaps a bit of a fruitcake, don’t you think? I think all cults are legitimate subjects for legitimate research, analysis and comprehension. I would only end up anti, however, the dangerous ones.
In your article, you even link to an apparently pro destructive cult site that identifies the title of the conference in Salekhard in 2017 as “Destructive and pseudo-religious organizations, sects and cults: challenges and solutions.” (Ital. mine) All the participants knew that they were there about destructive cults or sects, not benign constructive cults. The guests at the conference also had to know that the topic was destructive cults, not brotherly benevolence-driven cults.
I am aware of cults, indeed destructive cults in society. I do not know enough about any destructive cults, except for Scientology, to actually do something anti them to the point of studying them, writing about them, and taking a known stand against their antisocial actions. I know enough and do enough about Scientology to semi-properly be called anti Scientology, or an anti-scientology specialist.
In fact, in Scientology scripture, the Scientologists also call Suppressive Persons like me “Anti-Scientologists,” and defame us as being afflicted with “antisocial personality disorder.” See, e.g., HCOB 27 September 1966 “The Antisocial Personality – the Anti-Scientologist.” The Scientology cult leaders labeled me an “Anti-Scientologist” before I ever considered myself anti Scientology. They attacked and pursued me as an “enemy” before I ever considered myself one.
What I am actually anti is Scientology antisociality, by which I mean the Scientologists’ antisocial doctrines, policies, practices and actions. Antisocial actions include fraud, abuses and crimes. Because Scientology is so well known for its fraud, abuses and crimes, because of the human habit of abbreviating terms, and because of the preference to avoid semantic redundancy, although it would be more correct to say I am anti Scientology antisociality, it is not incorrect to simply say I am anti Scientology.
The reason I am anti Scientology or Scientology antisociality is because its practitioners victimize people for base purposes. My basic classification, still staying within your paradigm, is “Scientology victim,” or “victim of Scientology antisociality.” I am pro Scientology victims. You are anti Scientology victims.
Obviously you are distinguishing yourself from me, and from others in the group you label “anti-cultists.” This means that you would be a pro-cultist. As I am anti destructive cults — not in truth, but in your projected paradigm — you are pro destructive cults. This is not news. You have been widely known as pro destructive cults for many years. I learned of you because of your being pro the Scientology destructive cult and, anti, inter alios, Gerry Armstrong.
I expect you have already read Tony Ortega’s August 26 article that touches on your pro destructive cults history, specifically pro the Scientology cult. 2 Some of the comments also show that intelligent people exist who know about your being pro destructive cults. These commenters could probably be classified, among your paradigm’s classifications, as anti your pro destructive cult proclivities and activities.
Your work pro destructive cults, even over many years, is eminently understandable. Support for destructive activities, teachings, persons, groups, governments, or cults, or dark forces is, it seems, almost everywhere one would look. Pro destructivity is so prevalent it isn’t far out of the ordinary. Despite being so destructive, it’s so banal.
I’ve written about this previously, but it clearly requires repeating. I am anti the things, to the depth of my understanding, abilities and obedience, which God’s children should be anti. I am not particularly professional at this task, but it is one of my labors. Again fitting into your anti-pro paradigm, you are pro the things, or pro a set of things, that God’s children should be anti.
You can easily change this, simply by telling the truth about what you’ve been lying about. Pretended ignorance of the truth is a common defense of lying – it is standard among Scientologists — but, being pretended, is an anti-defense, another lie. In the subject paradigm, you appear to be pro-pretended ignorance.
You have a responsibility to demonstrate that you have been honestly ignorant, or, now that the sincerity of the ignorance you present has been challenged, to henceforth undertake to be honestly unignorant in these matters; and help the persons you have helped victimize with your intellect, skills, positions, organizations, connections, knowledge, time and lies.
Ortega ends his August 26 article with this:
We choose to believe Gerry Armstrong because of his long history of credibility and integrity.
CESNUR, on the other hand, has already proved that it has no credibility at all.
As with the letter proving that Hubbard did boast about having a nonexistent engineering degree that CESNUR never apologized for claiming didn’t exist, do you think CESNUR will now issue an apology for smearing Gerry Armstrong?
Of course not. It will simply move on to its next attempt to rescue L. Ron Hubbard from his own well documented history of ignominy.
I get Ortega’s dim view of your redemption odds. I still, however, retain hope, not for you to issue an apology for smearing me, because I do not seek one, but just that you would have a total change of heart.
As you can see, I very patiently explained to Introvigne the falseness and ridiculousness of his labeling me an anti-cultist. Despite my patient explanation, and my care to insure he saw it, he did not respond, obviously pretending to not take me seriously, and again, in April this year, falsely labeled me an anti-cultist. In an article “Sympathy for the Devil: The Anti-Cult Federation FECRIS, China, and Russia. 5. FECRIS’ Support of Religious Repression in Russia” in his online magazine Bitter Winter, he wrote: “One speaker at the 2009 FECRIS conference in St. Petersburg was Canadian anti-cultist Gerry Armstrong.” Not only am I not an anti-cultist, but I did not speak at or attend the St. Petersburg conference.
For more than forty years I have been a victim of, and have dealt with, the Hubbardite and Miscavigeite Scientologists’ policy and practice of repeating their calumnies over and over, despite their knowing the truth underneath their lies. This Scientology policy and practice is clearly sacramental, and stupid beyond belief. Your policy and practice, Ms. Šorytė, and your fellow anti-anti-cultists’ policy and practice, of repeating your calumnies targeting the Scientologists’ victims, like me, despite your knowing the truth about us is also unbelievably stupid.
Your policy and practice, and that of your fellow anti-anti-cultists, of not taking the destructive cults’ victims seriously, or pretending to not take us seriously, spookily apes the Scientologists’ naziesque “Suppressive Person” or “SP” doctrine. One of this doctrine’s directives states that any Scientologists who “in any way grant credence to” a person the Miscavigeite hierarchy labels an “SP” can themselves be targeted as SPs. 4 To grant credence to an SP means taking that person seriously. Targeting persons as SPs means they “May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist [doing the targeting] May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed.”
It is a well-recognized psychological fact that once a person or group vilifies another person or group it is very difficult for the vilifier to stop and correct the vilification. In a group like your anti-anti-cultists, it would take real moral courage to break from your black propaganda campaign against your “anti-cultist” targets, and most acutely against the Suppressive Person class, who comprise the Miscavigeites’ targets and victims. Unfortunately, the Miscavigeites display and enforce real moral cowardice — the “pusillanimity” in the set of Scientology-produced character traits above — and people in your anti-anti-cultist group manifest the same trait, which is dangerously stupid.
I believe that your cabal’s continuing, and even intensifying, your anti-anti-cultist attacks, is in significant part driven by the Scientologists’ policies and actions fair gaming SPs, of which all of you are well aware. That is why the anti-anti-cultist academics, and the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, and other US Federal agencies, which constitute a powerful force in your cabal, never acknowledge the Scientologists’ victimization of people, both their own members and the people like Hugh Urban who expose and oppose this practice.
Any such acknowledgement would be granting credence to Suppressive Persons, or, in other words, taking them seriously. SPs, of course, are largely and pertinently ordinary persons like me who tell the truth about their experiences and knowledge of Scientology-related lies, fraud, human rights violations, “disconnection,” criminality, etc. And they are the very persons who should – if the Scientologists, their collaborators and your anti-anti-cultists were wise and courageous – be taken very seriously.
The anti-anti-cultists academics are well aware of the Scientologists’ rabid and militant Office of Special Affairs/Religious Technology Center fair game personnel and at least some of their actions targeting people like me. There is a slew of first hand reports of ecclesiastical head David Miscavige personally physically assaulting his minions many times. His minions or collaborators have physically assaulted me six times, and threatened to assassinate me. These anti-anti-cultist academics are also aware that the people, who, like me are being victimized are not rabid and not militant, and therefore are safe to further victimize. So, without moral courage, it is easiest, safest, financially most beneficial — and stupidest — for the anti-anti-cultists to join the Scientologists’ attack on their targets.
I am not claiming or even suggesting that I am a source of any wisdom whatsoever. God is the Source, the Fountain of all wisdom. He is not the source of stupidity, which is the result of looking for wisdom other than to Him. He is the Source of Truth, and not the source of lies, which are part and parcel of stupidity.
“Wisdom” appears about 239 time in the KJV Bible I work from; “wise” appears 254 times, a number of which mean “way or manner,” e.g., “him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” “Wisely” appears 14 time, and “wiser,” 8. “Stupid,” “stupidity,” “stupidly,” “stupider,” etc. are not in the Bible. Instead, the writers and translators employ the synonym “fool” 67 times, and its derivatives “foolish,” 53; “foolishly,” 12; “fool’s,” 7; “fools,” 42; and “folly,” 37. The Bible speaks of “man’s wisdom” or “wisdom of the world” as foolishness or folly; which is not wisdom at all, but stupidity.
James 1:5 states: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” That is my message to the Scientologists, and to you and your fellow anti-anti-cultists. The Scientologists would not be guided to hate, vilify or fair game SPs, God’s children, if the Scientologists looked to God and asked Him for wisdom. And you and your fellow anti-anti-cultists, if you sought God’s wisdom, would not be guided to abet the Scientologists in their war on His children.
The Scientologists, tragically, however, are prohibited, by their “scriptures,” policies and leaders from seeking God’s Kingdom, from communing with Him, from loving Him, and from asking for and receiving His wisdom. It is now time for them to end that Satanic Luciferian stupidity. And time for you too.
cc: Massimo Introvigne
cc: Miscavigeite Scientologists
- The Journal of CESNUR, Volume 6, Issue 3, May-June 2022, pp. 68-82 https://cesnur.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/tjoc_6_3_full_issue.pdf ↩
- Freedom of Belief: https://freedomofbelief.net/scientific-committee ↩
- Breckenridge Decision: https://legal.gerryarmstrong.ca/1984/06/22/memorandum-of-intended-decision-june-22-1984/ ↩
- SPD 28: http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/cult/sp/spd-28-1982-08-13-txt.html ↩