Dissent From Guru Cults Draws Slander and Harassment
Posted by Barry Pittard on November 5, 2007
Discussions with activists from other movements of exposure of corrupt gurus are revealing. The various types of comparison between our separate experiences fall thick and fast. Those who speak out have typically and intensively undergone:
- threats of injury or death
- cyber and other forms of stalking
- vilification, demonization, libels, character assassination
- attacks on privacy and attempts at muckracking
- attempts at intimidation by threats of various kinds, including those aimed at media who investigate the allegations
- shunning or sometimes harassment by former fellow followers
- mixed falsification and concealment by leaders to the rank-and-file of the testimony of those who have dissented
- dereliction of the duty-of-care by organization leaders
- gross distortions of words, intentions and actions of those who speak out
- frequent branding of dissenters as ‘liars’
- putting worst case interpretations on statements and situations, without considering alternative explanations
- failure to understand, or at other times deliberate failure to acknowledge, why in many cases replies cannot be given to questions aimed at dissenters (e.g., security, individual or family sensitivities, knowledge that whatever is stated, attackers will use it for their own ends, sometimes devious, sometimes simply blinded)
- ignoring the points being made, leaping on peripherals and ignoring essentials
- making extremely improper inferences by extrapolation and decrying of dissenters as e.g., perverts, anti-Semitic, fascists, drunkards, Hindu hating, Christian fundamentalists, liars, hallucinators, addicted to drugs, etc
- the lumping of all dissenters, as though they are perfectly co-ordinated or speak with one voice at all times (The Aristotelian ‘law of the undistributed middle’ – the confusion of the logical operators of ‘all’ and ‘some’ – is frequently violated)
- complicity by organization leaders, of both high and lower rank, in standing back and allowing proxy defenders of a guru to attack dissenters, while secretly ensuring that legal or other information or funding is passed to the proxies, and turning a blind eye to devotees who stalk, harass, and defame those who speak out or, more often, covertly assist those who do.
All of this proceeds despite the knowledge that dissenters have spent long years of dedication, service and sacrifice in their former cause, and who are known in their professions, trades and communities at large as persons of integrity, sacrificial service in noble causes, kindness and decency.
The Sharing of Experiences With Those Abused By Other Leaders
In discussions with those involved in other abuse exposures (sometimes very usefully conducted via webcam via a service like Skype), discussants have often not had to end our sentences. This is because of the great similarity of experience of the crimes, dirty tricks, cover ups, and shocking vilification of those who raise their voices out of conscience and deepest concern. The recognition-of-situation factor is sky-high, and tragedy, betrayal and – that greatest of emotional allies and sublime social lubricant – humor are able to be deeply and spontaneously shared.
A selection of closely-related articles on https://barrypittard.wordpress.com follows:
Caught In One of History’s Most Powerful Cults (Parts 1-4)