The Price of Tolerance

Moderator: doubleVee

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DRE

OTIII

Posts: 247

Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 3:20 pm

Post Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:08 pm

The Price of Tolerance

For many years I have chosen to hold a viewpoint of cautious tolerance towards the Church of Scientology. I see them as wayward children, people making mistakes but still capable of wising up. I want them to reform, not be destroyed. I recognize some people depend on the CoS for solace, I give them the right to religious freedom. I condemn the CoS for the bad things they have done, but I refuse to see them as all bad. I'm not part of them any longer, don't want to be, but I don't want to hate their parishoners either. "Love the sinner, hate the sin." Give people a chance at redemption. That's what I want to do.

With this opinion, I am able to still enjoy the works of my favorite Sci celebs, to hang out with my friends who are in the Freezone, to sleep well at night, to retain my faith in God, and tell myself I am not part of some misguided conspiracy of hate. Not that I think the opposition to Scientology is the latter, in fact I know it's not intended to be. However, it's kind of hard to see it otherwise sometimes. If you keep reading you will understand why I feel this way.

I have tried to validate my stance to others on multiple occasions. To put my feelings into words, vent them, affirm them and make peace with myself feeling the way I do. Every time I do it before anti-Scis, though, it comes with a burden. I have been cussed out on multiple occasions. I have been told my views are dangerous. I have been called every insult in the book, from "clam" to "low form of scum". I have been told I need brainwashing from a deprogrammer to "correct the obvious brainwashing I must have had from a cult". I have had false rumors circulated about me. I have been labeled a member of OSA, an organization I would never join in a million years. No one pays me to voice my opinions. I say them because I want to say them, because I mean them. There is nothing more or less than that involved in this.

I often wonder why I put up with all the opposition I get. Wouldn't it be easier to just give in to my frustration, to let the burden of my opinion go? I can't do that, though. I don't want to give up. I don't want to bully or dehumanize people, nor do I wish to let it keep happening to me. I don't want to see it happening to my friends and the people I admire either. Nor do I want to lose my friends, which I would if I chose the anti-side.

Sometimes I feel great satisfaction from my stance. I won't deny that it empowers me on occasion. There is a part of me that enjoys being the one who stands up and defends. Nothing will ever take that away.

A part of me easily sees anti-Scis as the bad guys too. They pass out the dehumanizing labels. They wear masks, intimidating their opponents and concealing their human emotions (including fear). They swear off forgiveness in their creed. They are so juvenile, with their insults and their never-ending needling. Their ways of trying to win me over aren't working, they make me even more committed to my views. I cannot stomach the way they act. I don't want to hurt them, but I don't want to be them either.

I know they have good reasons for opposing Scientology. I know it has a negative history and many of its fanatics continue to make mistakes. I know many have been hurt by Scientology. But I cannot see Scientology as its negatives alone. I have a conscience. I have hopes for a better tomorrow, for them, for their critics, for me especially. These emotions are not wrong. I will not discard them. My experiences, my feelings, are as equally real as those of anyone who voices opposition to Scientology and has suffered for it. They are also equally tragic.

How much longer will I be able to shoulder this burden? How long will I be able to look at myself in the mirror and stand being looked down on by so much of the world? Will I crack? Do I want to? I don't know.

Then I remember I am not alone. Bob Minton and Stacy Brooks were critics of Scientology who fought its evil for decades, then found themselves able to drop the crusade and seek peace. Many former Scis, including high officials such as Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder, have exited the CoS without bitterness. Numerous others, including former Sci kids on this site, have made better lives for themselves after leaving the CoS, still love their families, and have given me the right to speak my mind here on their site. I appreciate the latter gift.

I write a rant or story featuring my opinion. It is praised by my fans. I see a celebrity I admire in a film or TV show and I reflect on how I am sure they are not a bad person from everything I have read and heard about them that is not tabloid trash. I feel my friends' comforting hands on my shoulders, and see their smiles when I regard their faces. I hear their comforting words.

From these things, I find the strength to go a little further down this Damascus road. I know I will make a difference, and I will be here to sigh in relief when the end of this conflict comes, as it must. At least, so I hope. :rockon:

Edit: This was a vent. Perhaps it was improper. If so, let me know by PM and I will take it down. Otherwise, I hope you appreciate the peak into my psyche and what has brought me to this point in my beliefs.
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astra

Site Admin

Posts: 451

Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 5:53 am

Post Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:49 pm

DRE, I respect your commitment to your opinions and ideals.
I guess my question would be "What are you trying to accomplish?" I don't mean this in a negative way. But what I see is you are stating your opinions and some people are disagreeing with you, sometimes in a pretty nasty way, sometimes not. Do you want to convince critics that parts of Scientology are okay, that they are too harsh in their judgement? Or do you simply want your voice, with a different take on the CofS to be heard? I think your voice has been heard. I get your stance. I may disagree with some of what you say, but not vehemently. I think all are entitled to their opinions. I bet you and I could debate, and do it in a friendly manner for hours on end, and you wouldn't change my mind and I wouldn't change yours. I don't want to change your mind anyway. So I don't enter into the debate.

Now I am the one rambling.... I guess what I am saying is that if you are looking for peace, you are not going to find it entering into debates on Scientology! But that you should be satisfied with the fact that you have offered up your point of view and stayed true to yourself. I think you have proven a valid point. That there aren't only two groups, CofS and critics, but some in between.
Last edited by astra on Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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DRE

OTIII

Posts: 247

Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 3:20 pm

Post Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:12 am

Thank you, Astra. You have hit the nail on the head regarding my motivations. I want to speak my mind and get over the bad feelings doing so has given me. People's words do get through to me, even when it appears they don't. I have gained much relaxation and calmness from coming here, and I am grateful for that. Speaking my mind has... well, enlivened my mind is the best way I can think of to put it. I think many others here have felt the same.

I want people to know that all involved in this conflict are humans and have the right to be treated as such. I want the dehumanization to end, on both sides. I want respect to be brought into the battle, or strengthened if it is already there. These are not demands, just hopes, and I intend to keep them strong no matter what.

I now have enough confidence to release my Yahoo Messenger ID if anyone wants to debate me in a realtime chat. Dougelder21. No spam please. I'm not afraid of Fair Game, I haven't suffered it yet and look forward to the challenge.

Ta Ta For Now.
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nazlfrag

User avatar

Non-E

Posts: 7

Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2008 3:44 am

Location: Teegeeack

Post Thu May 14, 2009 7:47 pm

To say something on the anti-side, we love you. We unconditionally love each and every one of you. No matter if you are still in, or have left but have connections with scientology. No matter what the situation, we will be there for those who have enriched their experience by not just embracing the outside world, but being embraced themselves. We are here to embrace you. It's hard to suffer, and even harder to know that you've suffered. We are here to ease the pain of transition.

If we didn't love you we wouldn't kick up a fuss. Don't mistake belligerence for hate. It sounds like you've had it hard from both sides, it's time to tell them both to FUCK OFF and decide for yourself again, but not just for you but for everyone around you.

Best of luck in the future.

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