You are correct. CAN used to be a one of the first and a genuine "cult awareness" organization. Scientology wished to supress its exposés and did so by personalizing its attack. A bit like some BKs are doing with any that contributes to this site. On the Wikipedia, BK Simon is casting it as "an attack site" and we as "anti-BKWSU activists". Do you relate to that?
john wrote:Since 1996, the Cult Awareness Network appears to be owned by Scientologists. Even so it's an interesting site, striking back at those that too loosely use the term 'cult' in a derogatory sense.
Its a really big shame that the entire spiritual and religious debate, which should largely be left academics and practitioners, has been so distorted by "America" and Scientology. A set of polemics that have been exported all around the world by other media hounds looking for the currency of sensationalism to trade. So to that extent you are correct.
Its a shame because the words cult, sect, religion etc should have clear, impartial academic meanings, and the "cult experience" is one that should be analysed and discussed outside of both general hysteria and political correctitude. That said, Scientology is particularly crazy, money orientated and aggressive, to the point of being militarised and engaging a 'secret service'. Particularly nasty things have been done in their name. Personally, I see that more of an expression of the shadow side of America. Again a shame because there probably is something in the simple e-machine counselling.
The late Robert Vaughn Young, who handled public relations and media for Scientology for more than 20 years said,
"The Scientology world is a labyrinth of corporate shells that was designed to baffle all but the initiated. Add to that an arcane language and dedicated 'PRs' trained to divert and control inquiries, and it becomes obvious why few outsiders have been able to comprehend the Scientology hydra, let alone write about it."
Would it be too far off the beat to write;
"The Brahma Kumaris world is a labyrinth of service operations that was designed to baffle all but the initiated. Add to that an arcane language and dedicated Senior Sisters trained to divert and control inquiries, and it becomes obvious why few outsiders have been able to comprehend the Brahma Kumari hydra, let alone write about it."
Looking at the Wikipedia debacle, the removal of discussion elsewhere, the banishing and duffing up of PBKs, the hunt for VIPs, the hiding of the core teachings and fictional developments ... I think the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University ought be very careful before they end up being labelled the "Scientologists of India".
Rather than look at the Scientology debate, learn from it and avoid it ... they seem to me to be looking at the Scientology debate, learning from it and applying Scientologies methods! Or at least allowing themselves to be lead by similar human tendencies. Does the security wing have guns in Madubhan yet, or do they just rely on the India Army to provide tactical support when required?
For me, cultic behavior aside, its all about acquisition of real estate. Both physical and mental. And the agresive defense of that which has been acquired by any means. This also explains the orthodox religions' response to new religions.
It is strange to look at all the other, a-cough-and-a-wink
, "New Religious Movements" and see how similar the polemics are. You have the cultsters, the ex-cultsters, the anti-cultsters and the Family of cultsters slugging it out. Around them the cult-awareness commentators and then a whole host of academics and media folk in a ring around it benefit professionally and jeering them on. Then over in the distance the 'rest of the world' wondering, "WTF?" and getting on with their lives.
Now and again someone from the 'rest of the world' wonders what is going on, wanders over and gets caught up in the "full wash and spin" cycle playing out the various parts. You could take Moonie, Aum, Scientology, BKWSU, US Marine Corp (oops), EST, FWBO ... whatever and the dynamics are pretty much identical.
When we get to make a movie of all this stuff, can I have Tom Cruise play my part?