October 24, 2018

Vice.com Headlining for Criminal Deprogrammer

I sincerely recommend that you adopt a policy of research first, write second. There are frequently at least two sides to a story. It would behoove you to get the other side(s)—or you’ll have to get very familiar with eggs.

October 24, 2018

Caroline Thompson
Vice.com

Ms. Thompson,

I read your article yesterday about multilevel marketing and saw that you cite Rick Ross as an authority on the subject of coercing people.

Rick Ross is indeed a leader in the field of deprogramming and depersonalization. So involved was he that he was sued for attempting to violently coerce an 18-year-old Pentecostal man from his faith. Ross failed to brainwash him and the young man brought suit against Ross and his co-conspirators. The young man won and was awarded over $3 million by a jury. This verdict was upheld on appeal, but Ross, being the criminal he is (a convicted felon), declared bankruptcy to avoid his fiduciary and fiscal responsibilities.

You also cited Robert J. Lifton, a psychiatrist whose theories were adopted by the infamous psychologist, Margaret Singer. Their theory of “cultic coercive persuasion” was repeated like a hypnotic mantra by anti-religious bigots of the 1970s and 80s, until the American Psychological Association (APA) rejected Singer’s theories as lacking scientific foundation.

The APA formally dismissed Singer’s ideas in the 1980s after she and her associates from the American Family Foundation (AFF), an anti-religious hate group, formed a task force within the APA on “deceptive and indirect methods of persuasion and control.” This task force submitted its report to the Board of Social and Ethical Responsibility for Psychology of the APA.

The Board rejected the task force report in May 1987, declaring that “the report lacks the scientific rigor and evenhanded critical approach needed for APA imprimatur.”

I saw you made a passing reference to “drinking the MLM Kool-Aid.” Well, here too you didn’t research. “Drink the Kool-Aid” originates from the assertion that the residents of Jonestown, Guyana, willingly drank a concoction containing cyanide from vats of “Kool-Aid.” However, this is at odds with the statements of the Chief Medical Examiner of Guyana—the most competent medical authority to examine the dead at Jonestown—who said that all of the bodies he examined, close to 200, were murdered. No competent testimony has ever refuted his direct observations.

I sincerely recommend that you adopt a policy of research first, write second. There are frequently at least two sides to a story. It would behoove you to get the other side(s)—or you’ll have to get very familiar with eggs.

Reading your piece leaves me with little wonder that only 6 percent of Americans trust the media.

Scientology has been declared a religion by numerous courts, governments and religious scholars around the world. This fact is well beyond argument, except among criminals like Rick Ross. You can see their findings here: www.scientologyreligion.org.

Sincerely,

Edward Parkin
International Director, STAND

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