This weekend, Marty posted blog entry entitled Scientoligy Inc’s Mafia-like Censorship. I always laugh when Marty complains about censorship, since he engages in censorship himself. But reading the blog entry, I think I’ve discovered the root of the problem. (Or, as LRH might put it, “After careful investigation, I have discovered the real cause. I am the first and only person in 86,302,000,000,000,004 years to do so, and you must follow my instructions EXACTLY to avoid getting deathly ill, so get out your checkbook and follow me!”)
Anyway, I’ve discovered the problem: Marty has a misunderstood word*. Censorship.
(*According to Scientology, misunderstood words are the root of countless problems, which is funny considering how many words Hubbard re-defined. Scientologists are big on dictionary definitions, although Hubbardian definitions take priority.)
Webster’s dictionary defines “censor” as “to examine in order to suppress or delete anything considered objectionable ; also, to suppress or delete as objectionable.” Wikipedia defines “censorship” as “suppression of speech or other communication which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient to the general body of people as determined by a government, media outlet, or other controlling body.”
Marty’s example of censorship: WordPress cut off his posting access because they received complaints that he was sending out spam emails. They shut him down for a day, sent him a reprimand email, and turned his account back on.
Assuming the accusations were false, that’s not censorship. It’s harassment.
Webster’s Dictionary definition of harass: “to annoy persistently; to create an unpleasant or hostile situation for especially by uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical conduct; to worry and impede by repeated raids.”)
As for “mafia-style,” the only form of censorship practiced by the mafia is execution. “Mafia-style” censorship is a lot more permanent than what happened to Marty.
Now, I’m going to take Marty’s word that he wasn’t sending out spam emails (although the Admin Tech’s policy on marketing does essentially condone spamming**). Assuming the complaints were malicious — and we’re dealing with the Church of Scientology, so they probably were — I’m sure this was intentional harassment.
So why does Marty call this censorship? Perhaps he’s applying LRH’s “Positioning” tech (a bastardized form of Trout & Reis’ marketing classic). Here’s Hubbard:
“Positioning takes advantage of a fact that one can compare the thing he is trying to get the other person to understand with desirable or undesirable objects… by comparing something he wants people to detest to an undesirable thing, he can achieve a rapid communication and comparison.
“We know people loathe psychiatry, so we communicate something as being loathsome as saying it is below (worse than) psychiatry. We could also make people think something was good by saying it was against psychiatry, bad because it would bring them to psychiatry, or awful because it used psychiatrists (like the tax people).” — LRH, HCO PL 30 January 1979, POSITIONING, PHILOSOPHIC THEORY
If Marty does actually know what censorship means, and he knows that the public loathes censorship, he could be trying to position the Church’s actions as censorship to make them seem more detestable.
The problem with this theory is that a) the public loathes harassment, too, and b) his readers already loathe the Church. So maybe Marty really doesn’t understand the concept of censorship. No one ever accused Scientology education and training of turning out rocket scientists. (Or nuclear physicists.)
What makes this ironic is that Marty himself practice censorship. He deletes comments that he considers objectionable.
This, of course, is his right. But to Marty, “objectionable content” includes factual evidence that the crimes he accuses DM of committing are based in LRH policy. In other words, Marty won’t print the truth if it’s inconvenient to his cause.
When your philosophy is basically wrong, censorship is the last line of defense. Marty isn’t just censoring in the name of good taste; he is deliberately misleading and misdirecting his readers.
Just like his idol L. Ron Hubbard.
And his arch-nemesis David Miscavige.
“Hello, Kettle? This is pot…”
(** An interesting side note: Alhough LRH’s management system (the Admin Tech) does not mention spamming per se, following the admin tech requires sending unsolicited communications in ever-increasing numbers in order to increase statistics. I don’t think Marty has enough followers to constitute spamming, and most would probably agree to receive email, but a spam complaint isn’t outside the realm of belief.)