One thing most of us can agree upon, is our fundamental human rights. Though these are obviously an important bedrock from which our laws and regulations attempt to protect us from unwarranted abuses, they have also been used as a popular public relations theme and gimmick, wherein, even abusive cult groups can be seen to lovingly embrace the bandwagon, aligning themselves to these values, regardless of whether their policies and practices even remotely uphold these values in the real world. Scientology, for example has Human Rights front groups, like CCHR and Youth for Human Rights and includes, inalienable rights to think and act freely, in it’s doctrine, while in practice, their members actions are under group control and their thoughts all end up, alike, as the indoctrination moulds their thinking.
The rights to freedom of speech and freedom of thought, seem to be, particularly brandished around as justifications for all kinds of unsubstantiated ramblings, belief systems, therapies, faith’s, etc. Many of these groups, under the guise of freedom are not only permitted to potentially abuse their followers with coercive control techniques but are also substantially protected and supported by being allowed, special relaxed rules relating to the human rights of their group members, (even children) as well as, financial comforts like tax exemptions (and other loop holes), charity status, tax free donations, etc. They get rich and influential, on the backs of their belief controlled subjects, who invariably are found on the giving end of this arrangement.
The reasoning behind the relaxed rules for labour, pay, tax, etc, are mainly supported by the argument that religious groups bring invaluable services to their communities and that people should be allowed to believe and join or leave groups as they choose, which all sounds very well and good, however, these notions, inadvertently leave the groups members open to ‘volunteering’ themselves up, to various degrees of abusive control, such as scientology’s billion years of dedicated enslavement sea org contract. The notion that one has voluntarily chosen to give up their, time, labour, money, resources, etc, is disputed, as experts in cult behaviour, neurology, hypnosis, post cult counselling, etc seem all to be heading towards, one day, proving conclusively that beliefs can be embedded under a person’s conscious awareness, hence, covertly influencing his decisions and personality. As more and more of this research gradually becomes peer reviewed and accepted as scientifically conclusive, our human rights will need a new clause added to the right to freedom of thought, which express’s additionally, the right of every individual to be protected from coercive thought/belief manipulation techniques in or by groups or persons.
The millions of ex-cult group members, many shunned by still-in cult family members or suffering from mental health issues often related to their cult experience or abuses within the cult groups, warrants a another look at what freedom of thought actually constitutes. Individuals or groups should be allowed to believe and worship as they please but with the exception of the use of coercive thought control techniques, which are hidden in the rites practiced by most of these groups. (See my last post)
Our differing religious and societal belief systems are our main areas of disagreement and discord. Despite the values and communal family orientated religious benefits associated with the more harmless faith’s, the unsubstantiated beliefs embedded as truths, differing from group to group seem like the ingredients for the recipe for war, that we seem to keep added to our pot continually. The perceived value of religious groups and belief systems is outweighed considerably by the destructive consequences of opposing dogmatic unsubstantiated beliefs, constantly striving for dominance over other belief systems. This has invariably results in conflict as exemplified by extreme terrorist groups and wars, these are normally between one groups beliefs and another’s, regardless of any and all other reasons being purported, valid or not.
In conclusion, in my view, the general lack of understanding of the processes and mental mechanics underpinning our beliefs directly contributes to the degree to insanity and conflict we see in the world around us. No group should be allowed to practice religious rites that are hypnotic or coercive in their nature, if our basic human rights are to be protected.