Tuesday, May 15, 2007

One man's cult is another man's system of government

Up until a couple of hours ago I thought these two clips were the most demented things I’d seen on Youtube in recent days...

Fat Kid on a Ride

Full Metal Jacket for the Wii

But that was before I’d seen the clip of crapck BBC investigative reported John Sweeney losing it in front of a Scientologist armed with a camcorder. If you are not one of the 472,018 people who have already seen the video it comes highly recommended. And even if you have already seen the video, fuck it, it’s still worth watching a few more times

If you judge a man by his works, particularly his more recent works, John Sweeney is not a very nice man. The problem is, of course, that the video exposing the less fluffy side of his personality has been put out by Scientologists. So, any glee at Sweeney’s embarrassment has to be tempered by the fact that Bad People are behind it

Bollocks does it

The enemy of my enemy is not my friend and I am neither with them or against them

Bollocks to all lunatics and their false dichotomies.

Choosing neither is always an option.

So, in the same way that rejecting Bush and Blair’s take on the world doesn’t make me a supporter of terrorism, I can sit back and enjoy Sweeney making a complete knob of himself completely untroubled by the fact that another bunch of knobs are recording it.

Actually, that adds to the pleasure. The rules of the media game have changed in recent years. Supposed ‘investigative' reporters working on shallow hit pieces ('Scientologists are weird' - no shit Sherlock!) are now faced with the very real possibility that their quarry might be returning the favour at the same time. The hunter has become the hunted. An altogether much more entertaining and genuinely sporting option.

Think how much more fun fox hunting would be if the foxes were carrying bazookas.

Or if a wealthy 'cult' launched a counter-strike on the entire profession of psychiatry.

Stuff like that

As the makers of South Park famously said after their recent bruising at the hands of Scientologists

"So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for earth has just begun!"

Another point that might be worth bearing in mind is that, without making any excuses for Scientology, the movement is perceived as an easy mark by journalists because it has been designated as a cult. And through the act of trashing cults those journalists are implicitly endorsing the prevailing and dominant social paradigms. There's no mileage, or money, in covering alternative belief systems in a positive way.

The likes of Sweeney are never going to ask questions like 'What has this group got right?', 'Why are people drawn to it?', 'How does mainstream society stack-up in comparison?'.

Nope, 'cult' members are all a bunch of brain-washed nutters. There's nothing else to learn here. End of story. Sleep easy in your beds boys and girls.

L R Hubbard - having a laugh. And if you spent your autumn years sailing around the Caribbean in a private yacht crewed exclusively by young women dressed in tight-fitting uniforms of your own design wouldn't you? In spite of his tremendous influence and all too human failings, history fails to record any instances of L Ron or Scientologists illegally invading or blowing the shit out of anyone...

We all know that cults are bad because they enrich themselves at the expense of misguided souls who think that they will be happier if they embrace the cult’s distorted worldview and become economic and mental slaves to that worldview.

Of course, John Sweeney’s employer, the BBC, definitely isn’t an integral part of a (slightly larger) system that operates in exactly the same way. No sirree Jimbob. It’s certainly not the same. Not least because most Scientologists
at least seem to be happy with their choice. And without medication too. The poor dumb brainwashed bastards.



Anonymous said...

You're too hard on Sweeney. The guy lost it but he was dealing with a manipulative arsehole.

The Scientology guy is probably used to dealing with polite and cowardly people.

I could last an hour with the scientology guy before punching him in his stupid face.

The Antagonist said...

Sweeney's a twat. Sweeney, professional and journalism don't belong in the same sentence, as documented by Lord Patel of the Internet.

Still, if you liked Sweeney's documentary that wasn't, you're positively going to love this.

Remember 7/7? The Scientologists had their hand in that too:

".... More than 200 Volunteer Ministers took part in the relief operation following the London July 7 terrorist bombings, providing assists and other forms of comfort to victims, police, medical and other emergency personnel. "

They, "arrived at the first site within seconds of the attack and immediately began to help."

"Though even the firefighters were forced to evacuate the area when it was designated a crime scene, the Volunteer Ministers took up the task of directing people to where they needed to go."

"While access to victims of the attacks was restricted, OT VIII and Volunteer Minister Gabi Gadiot wasn't going to let that stop her from bringing help to those who needed it most. She worked her way through every layer of the heavy security, including full body searches and trained dogs, and received permission to work with eight of the families."

"Even the media started coming to the VMs for updates on the rescue efforts; after all, the VMs were one of the only groups allowed into the cordoned-off zones."

What a fucking magical, if entirely humourless, organisation.

Full story along with a link to a BBC Radio 5 Live report on the J7 Independent People's Inquiry Forum, here.

Stef said...


And if a Scientologist had lost it on camera? That would have been the centrepiece of Sweeney’s documentary

As far as I can tell all the Scientologists were doing was feeding back a dose of his own medicine and he didn’t like it one little bit

The unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible…

I’d be the first admit that Scientology is more than a little scary.

And it would be well worth someone doing an investigative piece on why people are drawn to Scientology, or any other ‘cult’, and how the ‘cult’ exercises continuing control on its followers

The problem would be, of course, that such a documentary would raise as many questions about the shortcomings of wider society as Scientology and maybe even draw some parallels with the control techniques used inside and outside of the movement

Sweeney wasn’t going anywhere near any of that. Mainstream journos never do. He was looking for some nutters to wind up and they wound him up instead.

When two cults collide…

The Antagonist said...

I forgot to mention, how do you think the Scientologists referred to their own rescue efforts "within seconds of the attack" on 7/7?

Yes, you guessed it, "Bringing Order to Chaos."

Now, where have I heard that before?

Stef said...



The Antagonist said...

That's what I thought too!

Tony said...

It is that time of year in which people loose it in front of cameras and microphones:

Stef said...


Bolton may be the Spawn of Satan but what he does he does well