The point is emphasized to that many of these charges are against top officials in the Church not merely isolated incidents of radicals, so for every court case presented in the article so to is the title of the member being charged. The heavy research that has gone into Watcher’s work may be contrasted with the informal article written by the Scientology insider. Whether an intentional effort was made in order to cover up aspects of the Church that were too controversial to discuss, or the author merely did not feel the need to use hard evidence to support his idea’s, the article appears to be personal opinion versus substantial research.
The author Bernie even goes so far as to admit that cultic aspects are evident in the Church of Scientology, yet he does not discuss what these aspects are or how they are evident. The insider does not use any outside sources in his body of work, unlike the extensive bibliography that follows Watcher’s article, instead he solely relies on his own experience in the Church to validate the article. Throughout the Watcher article there are many Scientology policies that are used in support of her argument.
The idea of “suppressive acts” within the Church explains why Scientologists try to silence criticism at any cost, because it is a part of their religious doctrine to protect the name of the Church. Watcher has even managed to secure Scientology documents that help to indict the Church further, one such document reveals how members are held against their will providing members of the Church feel they are going through a nervous breakdown. Who determines the mental state of the member, however is a council composed of top officials in the Church rather than some sort of mental heath professional.
The insider in sharp contrast does not refer at all to specific Scientology policies, he merely gives a broad overview of the Church and its ability to cure any member’s emotional or mental state of anguish. This has often been an accusation brought against new religious movements and their deceptive techniques of recruitment, that initially they will give very little specifics about the Church and make it appear to be a universally acceptable group centered around ideas of health and happiness.
In this sense the insider’s argument seems insubstantial, and plays into preconceived notions of new religious movements and their recruitment methods. After analyzing the few similarities and countless areas of contention between the two articles there are obvious conclusions that must be drawn. First, when analyzing the insider versus outsider perspective it is important to keep in mind that no one side is purely neutral in their beliefs. It would be nai?? ve to think that the insider would be overly critical of their experience, as well as the outsider to be out rightly supportive of a new religious movement.
It is the job of the respective individual to prove something to the reader, whether it be that Scientology is beneficial to society or a stereotypical cult-like new religious group. Therefore it is not a matter of identifying which perspective remained along neutral lines, but which author argued the best case for their point. In this particular analysis the outsider managed to present a strong case against the Church of Scientology using hard evidence to support every claim that was made.
Unlike her insider counterpart, Watcher as a writer was able to criticize the Church of Scientology from a number of fronts without confusing personal opinion for hard evidence. The downfall of the insider’s article was that their emotion and feelings toward the Church of Scientology clouded their ability to critically access the religions policy and practices. It is essential to this study, however that we acknowledge that this is but one comparison between an outsider and an insider’s perspective on a new religious movement.
We cannot conclude with absolute certainty that every insider relies on soft data to prove their point, just as we are unable to conclude that the outsider’s perspective will always have the more sophisticated research methods. What we can take out of this analysis is the idea that the more knowledge we have on a certain topic the more enlightened we become. Relying on one source for all of our information, whether it be outsider or insider is a narrow minded way to go about understanding something as complex as new religious movements.
Like any topic we study throughout our lives we must treat new religious movements as unique and multifaceted institutions, whereby relying solely on one persons interpretation will not advance our knowledge of the subject.
Bibliography Bernie, John. “Another look at Scientology” An Insider’s Look at the Controversy 4 July 2004 http://bernie. cncfamily. com/ars. htm. Melton, Gordon, J. The Church of Scientology. Italy: Signature Books, 2000. Miller, Russell. Bare-Faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard. New York: Sphere Books, 1987. Vosper, Cyril.
The Mindbenders. London: Neville Spearman Publishing, 1971. Watcher, Kristy. “What’s Wrong with Scientology” Scientology Lies 21 March 2002 http://www. scientology-lies. com/whatswrong. html. 1 Melton, Gordon, J. The Church of Scientology. Italy: Signature Books, 2000. p. 53. 2 Watcher, Kristy. “What’s Wrong with Scientology” Scientology Lies 21 March 2002 http://www. scientology-lies. com/whatswrong. html. p. 3. 3 Ibid. p. 2. 4 Bernie, John. “Another look at Scientology” An Insider’s Look at the Controversy 4 July 2004 http://bernie. cncfamily.com/ars. htm. p. 5. 5 Ibid. p.
7. 6 Bernie, John. “Another look at Scientology” An Insider’s Look at the Controversy 4 July 2004 http://bernie. cncfamily. com/ars. htm. p. 3. 7 Watcher, Kristy. “What’s Wrong with Scientology” Scientology Lies 21 March 2002 http://www. scientology-lies. com/whatswrong. html. p. 2.