Essay Instructions: I would need a research on Scientology itself.
in other words I need a clear introduction of Scientology.
I should have a perfect understanding of what is Scientology, how did it start, the reasons why ? the growth of followers etc.
Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: Comparative Analysis of a New Religious Movement
10-12 double-spaced pages, plus annotated bibliography
Prepare your work following the scholarly conventions of a recognized style manual, e.g., MLA
For this paper, you will compare and analyze a negative outsider representation with a positive insider representation of a new religious movement, selected from the following list:
The Unification Church
Your comparison may take a broad view of the group, or may focus more specifically on a single aspect of the group such as its leader or its social teachings, etc. The general idea of this assignment it to have you provide a picture of your group as it appears to insiders or adherents, an opposing picture of how it appears to "critical" outsiders or opponents, and a sense of what can be considered reliable information in these conflicting pictures.
Your paper should include the following five sections:
2. An Insider's View of the Group
3. An Outsider's View of the Group
6. Annotated Bibliography
In the Introduction you will introduce what you are about to do, and so you might want to write your Introduction first and then re-write it last. However, try not to make your Introduction a repetitious summary of what will follow. Usually, an introduction culminates with a thesis statement but your paper will probably not have a thesis. (2 marks)
In the Insider's View of the Group you will try to show what your group, or a particular aspect of your group, looks like from the point of view of committed insiders. In showing the insider's view, be sure to make it clear that you are trying to objectively report on how insiders see things by withholding both your positive and negative evaluations. This is a subtle art - you want to convey the flavour of the insider's perspective but you don't want to give the impression that you either believe or disbelieve it. (7 .5 marks)
In the Outsider's View of the Group you will, of course, try to give your reader an accurate feel for the outsider's view of your group, with no signs that you either condone or condemn this perspective. To some extent, you will want your account of the outsider's perspective to mirror your account of the insider's perspective, in order to make your following comparative analysis easier. However, you will probably also find noteworthy information in the outsider's representation that is omitted from the insider's representation and vice versa that will create a useful asymmetry in the two accounts. (7.5 marks)
NB: You do not need to use individual accounts for your insider and outsider accounts. You can use collective accounts from an NRM’s leadership or from a group opposed to an NRM - or you can construct an account using multiple individual accounts.
Furthermore, keep in mind that you are not looking for objectivity in these accounts; you are looking to compare the (likely) biased accounts of those aiming to promote a group and those aiming to discredit it. Consequently, the Internet will be your best source of information for this assignment.
In the Analysis, the following three components are necessary and sufficient: 1) a discussion of points of agreement in the two accounts; 2) a discussion of points of contention in the two accounts; 3) an evaluation of whether either side is more convincing on points of contention and points of possible contention (i.e. claims made on one side but not countered on the other.) The first and second of these components are straightforward. In the third component, you are looking for clues that either one side or the other is offering more reliable information on points of disagreement - or that unilateral points are valid or not. For example, Scientologists in their public literature make remarkable claims about the effectiveness of their drug rehabilitation technology, and cite statistics from studies showing this, but they provide no references indicating who conducted these studies or where they were published. If our chosen critic of Scientology claims that Scientology's drug rehabilitation technology is highly ineffective and backs this up with studies published in a credible medical journal we could not only say that Scientology and its critics disagree on the effectiveness it drug rehab technology but also argue that the position of the critics is more credible. Similarly, you might argue that certain claims made by your group or its opponents (whether or not these are challenged from the other side) are questionable because they are derived from faulty reasoning. For example, if a critic argues that the teachings of your group are all wrong because its leader is sexually immoral, you might argue that ad hominem arguments are invalid and, therefore, that this conclusion is not a reliable piece of information. Of course, in some cases, contentious claims on both sides will seem spurious - or, perhaps, partly right - to you. In these cases, simply note what makes you suspicious of them and/or what you find convincing about them. And in other cases, you will have no means of knowing whether or not the claims on either side are true. "Metaphysical" claims made on either side would fall into this category. Here you will have to remain content with noting the controversy or the potential controversy. On the whole, your analysis should give a sense of what is reliably known about your group by identifying agreed upon facts, by flagging points of contention, and by making arguments about the relative merit of various claims. (11 marks)
The conclusion, may include a very brief summary of what you have just done, but should be more concerned with reflections on what you have just accomplished: What is the value and what are the limitations of your study?; what do we now know about your group because of your study?; how could your study be improved?; and so on. (2 marks)
You are to "annotate" your bibliography by classifying your sources according to the categories introduced in week #2 - (anti-cult, counter-cult, NRM member, etc.) and justifying your classifications (2 marks)
-> lecture from week #2 to help annotate the bibliography:
Representations of New Religious Movements:
Let's now look at this field of inquiry more broadly in terms of Eileen Barker's categories of secondary constructors as discussed in "The Scientific Study of Religion? You Must be Joking!" and cult-watching groups in "Watching for Violence: A Comparative Analysis of the Roles of Five Types of Cult-Watching Groups."
In "The Scientific Study of Religion??" Barker makes an analytical distinction between primary constructions of reality and secondary constructions of reality. Primary constructions are the data of social science, and secondary constructions are accounts of these. In the case of aNRM the primary construction would be the "product of direct and indirect interactions between members of the movement and, to some extent, between members and the rest of society." (2003:7) Secondary constructions, on the other hand, are accounts about the movement made in the "public arena" by social scientists and others. Barker does acknowledge that this distinction is fluid insofar as a broader perspective will allow one to see a secondary construction as part of the primary construction. Later in the article Barker talks about the process of including and excluding data in one's secondary construction, such that it becomes a useful and intelligent representation rather than a mere play-back, or presentation, of data; consequently, secondary constructions or representations tend to be more conscious, intentional, and purposeful than primary constructions.
Secondary constructions or representations of new religious movements can come from a number of different sources and in "The Scientific Study of Religion??" Barker discusses several of these - namely, the sociology of religion, NRMs themselves, the anti-cult movement, the media, the law, and therapists - while at the same time acknowledging the incompleteness of her list. In "Watching for Violence?." the more recent article of the two, Barker doesn't speak in terms of secondary constructors but of "cult-watching groups," even though all of the cult-watching groups could also be described as secondary constructors. For our purposes here, I would like us to think in terms of secondary constructors or, indeed, of secondary constructions/representations since I want us to be able to differentiate among different types of information/accounts/representations about, or of, NRMs. The reason I have brought Barker's cult-watching categories into this discussion is because I think they are better (implicit) accounts of the different types of secondary constructors than those (explicitly) found in "The Scientific Study of Religion??" Therefore, we are going to think in terms of different types of secondary constructors with their different types of constructions/representations of NRMs as discussed in "The Scientific Study of Religion??" but we are going to use (with some modifications) the cult-watching categories - understood as different types of secondary constructors with different types of constructions/representations - found in "Watching for Violence..." These categories include, cult-awareness groups (CAGs), counter-cult groups (CCGs), research-oriented groups (ROGs), human-rights groups (HRGs), and cult-defender groups (CDGs). If you are finding this distinction confusing, don't worry, the main point is that there are different ways of seeing the same NRM.
I said, I am going to make some modifications to Barker's list of cult-watchers or secondary constructors of NRMs. First, I am going to add a category that Barker included in "The Scientific Study of Religion??." but excluded from "Watching for Violence?."; namely, NRMs themselves or NRM members. Second, I am going to call Human-Rights Groups, principle-based groups; third, I am going to emphasize types of constructions/representations over types of constructors; forth, I am going to categorize the representations as 1) negative-oppositional, 2) neutral-informational, or 3) positive promotional. So, let me now make some comments on the different types of representations of NRMs that you are likely to encounter in your research. I am not going to thoroughly review Barker's categories from the assigned readings, but I am assuming you know them and you will need to know them in order to understand my supplementary comments and slight conceptual modifications.
I) Negative-Oppositional Representations
i) Cult-Awareness/Anti-Cult Representations
Barker uses the term cult-awareness groups in an attempt to neutralize the negativity associated with the anti-cult movement, even though both refer to the same general phenomenon. I asked you to read an on-line article called "Conceptualizing 'Anti-Cult' and 'Counter Cult"' from the Religious Movements Page. This article describes how the anti-cult movement grew out of the cult-boom of the late sixties and early seventies and, more specifically, out of the efforts of parents to have their adult children removed from various NRMs. It evolved quickly from an informal network of information sharing into a "professional network of organizations." (2) These organizations dedicated themselves to such activities as warning the general public (often through the mass media) about the dangers of the many cults in our midst, kidnapping and deprogramming cult "victims," suing cults for alleged abuses, and so on. Moreover, they believed their punitive actions were a just response to the unjust actions and behaviours of NRMs, and that their understanding of NRMs was grounded in empirical evidence and sound scientific theory.
Cult-awareness groups have suffered a number of setbacks over the years, particularly on the legal front where the practice of deprogramming and its theoretical bulwark, the brainwashing theory, have fallen into disrepute. Moreover, the simple fact that not so many young people are now joining cults (demographics is presumably the major factor here) means that the work of cult-awareness groups has become increasingly irrelevant.
Even so, there are a number of cult-awareness groups (CAGs), many with web sites, dedicated to defaming "the destructive cults." As a source of information about NRMs, CAGs have obvious limitations. According to Barker such groups are dedicated to showing the harm done by NRMs and so their representations of NRMs tend to focus on their bad and criminal acts and ignore anything normal or positive about them; moreover, they tend to conflate all NRMs into an undifferentiated mass wherein they're all equally bad.
There are also groups and individuals, usually ex-members, who may have no connection to other "anti-cultists" but set themselves the task of revealing the awful truth about an NRM (and usually just one). Because they have a single focus they can be quite knowledgeable about their target group, and the Internet can give such groups and individuals a disproportionately "loud" voice (in much the same way that it can for a small NRM). These groups and individuals - who often pride themselves on setting the empirical truth straight - can be a good source of information about an NRM, though caution should be taken since the group will inevitably be represented negatively.
ii) Counter-Cult Representations
In "Watching for Violence?." Barker makes the increasingly accepted distinction between anti-cult and counter-cult, along the same general lines of the "Conceptualizing 'Anti-Cult' and 'Counter-Cult'" article. She understands the anti-cult movement as secular in nature and dedicated to uncovering the bad things that cults do, and the counter-cult movement as religious or theological in nature and dedicated to uncovering the wrong or heretical beliefs of NRMs. Barker would probably be reluctant to recommend counter-cult representations of NRMs as reliable sources of information since they tend to ignore shared and (therefore) "correct" beliefs of the NRMs; indeed, she seems to represent this voice as largely irrelevant outside of particular faith communities. The article from the Religious Movements Page is more positive about counter-cult groups as potential sources of information. It argues that although these representations are sure to be filtered through a particular theological lens they are grounded in accurate accounts of the beliefs of the groups and therefore constitute an "extensive descriptive literature." (2) According to this article the counter-cult movement is much older than the anti-cult movement, beginning in the nineteenth century with the effort to challenge sectarian movements such as the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses. I would argue that we could trace the counter-cult impulse, if not movement, back even further to 1143 when Peter the Venerable commissioned a Latin translation of the Qur'an as a tool for fighting Islam - the "sink of all heresies." (Southern, 1962:38) Those in the counter-cult movement, like Peter the Venerable, are happy to show the beliefs of the other religions exactly as they are because they show exactly how wrong they are!
In any case, just as there are cult-awareness (or anti-cult) groups and individuals dedicated to cults in general and to specific cults, there are also counter-cult groups and individuals dedicated to cults in general and to specific cults. And, in both cases the general purpose is to show the beliefs of the cult or NRM as false, even if the dedicated groups tend to have a better grasp of the specificity of their target group.
According to Barker both cult-awareness/anti-cult groups and counter-cult groups evaluate NRMs negatively. Both groups also tend to oppose NRMs, whether in general or in specific. Cult awareness groups usually oppose NRMs because they offend against accepted secular norms, whereas counter-cult groups usually oppose NRMs because they offend against accepted religious beliefs. This is why I have categorized them as negative-oppositional representations.
II) Neutral-Informational Representations:
Besides oppositional and promotional representations (discussed shortly), there are representations whose purpose is neither to promote nor oppose NRMs but to inform about them from a position of neutrality; these could be called neutral-informational representations. I will divide informational representations into two categories - research oriented representations and principle-based representations - and with qualifications we can understand these as the respective products of those in Barker's research oriented groups (ROGs) and human rights groups (HRGs).
iii) Research-Oriented Representations
To understand research-oriented representations let's take a closer look at how Barker characterizes the social scientific study of religion in "The Scientific Study of Religion? You Must be Joking!" (pp.11-15) since research-oriented groups are, basically, groups of social scientists.
According to Barker, the aim of those involved in the scientific study of religion is to present accounts that are, as much as possible, accurate, objective, and unbiased. More specifically, sociologists will want to describe, understand, and explain "social groupings and such phenomena as?power structures, communication networks and belief systems?.. " and account for "the range of different perceptions held by different actors and to access the consequences of such differences." (2003:11) And, although Barker notes that the "regularities" of the social sciences are relative to the contingencies of social space and time, in a way they are not in the natural sciences, she maintains that sociological accounts/constructions of reality do contain empirically refutable claims and that these are open to public criticism.
Barker continues her summary of the sociology of religion, with a theory about the nature of knowledge/truth; namely, that no one could ever know and present the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Social scientists, like all other "secondary constructors" of reality, necessarily select what they will include and exclude in their representations of (a social) reality. She adds, that this is done for methodological reasons, but also because it is necessary in order to make things understandable. For example, if I wanted to make the Unification Church understandable to a group of Presbyterian theologians my secondary construction might focus on theology, teleology, eschatology, etc. and not so much on mass marriage ceremonies, capital ventures, etc. In fact, I would probably compare the theology, teleology, eschatology of the Unification and Presbyterian Churches to try to make it clear where Moonies stand on these issues. Barker, speaks of this process, of skilfully selecting and conveying certain facts, as a form of "translation," and stresses that it is not done for the sake of hiding things but for illuminating what might be seen. She says it is a matter of representing rather than merely presenting in the manner of a recording and playback machine.
Barker then goes on to say what types of information social scientists systematically, or methodologically, exclude and include in their representative constructions. First, she says that sociologists exclude what they or their audience would not find interesting or useful. The aforementioned Presbyterians ministers would probably not be much interested in a lengthy exposition on the deeper meaning and significance of Adi Da's various names, though they might be interested in his sexual habits - naturally, from a professional, ethical point of view! Sociologists also exclude theological judgements in their constructions, meaning that they neither confirm nor deny "ideological beliefs." She says that scientists as scientists have to remain "methodologically agnostic," since they have no way of empirically knowing if supernatural beings or entities act as "independent variables" in the world - and, we can safely add, that they can't know if someone is acting as an agent of a supernatural being. Thus, since social scientists can't attribute causality to God, (or Whatever) the most they can say about miracles, divine revelation, transcendental states of consciousness, and so on, is that there are (religious) people who believe in these things. Next, social scientists exclude "definitional essentialism," by stipulating what they mean by particular concepts, or by using "ideal types," and they understand their definitions and types heuristically. Of course, when they do encounter essential definitions in their research data they are able to report what people mean by these definitions and take note of how they use them, even though they cannot say if they are true or false. Finally, social scientists try to exclude their own prejudices or "subjective evaluations," by various techniques so that their study is about its object and not their own subjective beliefs. (This is similar the Biblical exegesis of Rudolf Bultmann wherein the exegete tries to eliminate subjective prejudices so as to hear what the text is actually saying.)
As for what sociologists include in their secondary constructions, there is obviously their study of the "primary construction," i.e. the religion they are studying, that might involve "interview, questionnaire, participant observation, and the examination of written material." (2003:14) But they also include supplementary data from other sources tangentially related to the primary construct, and from sources with no relation to the primary construction at all. An example of the former might be an ex-member of a religion, and an example of the latter might be members of the general population who are comparable to those in the religion. Studying comparable people outside of a religious group, in order to compare them with the members in the group, allows the sociologist to gain a wider perspective on the group and learn things about it that might not be knowable otherwise - for, example, that its members are less violent and more educated than the general population. Coming to these conclusions, of course, requires some technical skills that are specific to the sociology of religion, as compared to say the comparative history of religions, such as being able to statistically manipulate data and effectively use control groups.
This should give you a good sense of what research-oriented representations are all about, but before moving on let me make one final points. According to Barker, social scientists are sometimes accused of inappropriately sitting on the fence on important issues related to values, claiming that they can't pronounce on such matters as social scientists. This might give one the impression that social scientists are, or try to be, value-free in their work. In many respects this is true, although science or the quest for accurate, balanced, and objective knowledge about reality is itself a value. This shows in the fact that social scientists are compelled to speak when this value is breached, specifically when others make empirical claims that are not true. In the "cross-fire" between promotional and oppositional representations of NRMs there have certainly been many false empirical claims aired on both sides, and I would argue that this is the factor that has drawn social scientists into the "cult scene." Social scientists may also be aware that bad things are happening within the cult scene as a result of false knowledge - and may feel compelled to act in some manner, as citizens, on account of this - but I maintain that their primary motivation for speaking about NRMs comes from perceived offences in the arena of scientific knowledge.
iv) Principle-Based Representations
Principle-based representations of NRMs are related to research-oriented representations in that both claim to give neutral unbiased accounts. But whereas research-oriented groups feel compelled to speak when scientific truth is being violated in the "cult discourse," principle-based groups feel compelled to speak only when (one of) their guiding principle(s) is being violated. It is also possible to see a link between anti-cult groups and principle-based groups in that both are primarily concerned with the actions (rather than beliefs) of NRMs - but, whereas anti-cult groups tend to denounce the actions of cults altogether, principle-based groups will do this only if evidence shows that the NRM offends against their guiding principle. For example, if the group is based on the perceived good of religious tolerance it will only judge a religion to be good or bad insofar as it perceives this religion to be either respectively tolerant or intolerant. However, with respect to reporting on other actions, behaviours and beliefs of the NRM it will remain neutral. Such is the limit of neutrality in these groups; it is similar to the neutrality of research-oriented groups that comes to an end with false scientific claims.
In any case, I have decided to rename Barker's human rights groups (HRGs) principle-based groups, since there are groups that are not motivated by human rights but by specific (social) principles such as the aforementioned religious tolerance, and religious freedom, etc. Admittedly, religious tolerance and religious freedom can be enfolded within the category of human rights - and human rights groups undoubtedly call upon these specific forms of human rights - but we might fail to recognize significant efforts to provide largely non-evaluative accounts of NRMs if we look only for groups that speak in the name of human rights. Thus, I want us to think in terms of, and learn to recognize, groups and individuals that are motivated to represent NRMs in terms of an overriding (social) principle - which, again, will be neutral except with respect to this principle. Indeed, in this respect, principle-based groups might be quite critical of NRMs, just as research-oriented groups can be quite critical of NRMs that make a lot of scientifically refutable claims.
III) Positive/Promotional Representations
On the end of the spectrum furthest away from negative-oppositional representations we find what could be called positive-promotional representations. These come almost entirely from members of particular NRMs who may also be joined by sympathetic outsiders.
v) NRM Member Representations
As said, Barker included NRMs themselves as secondary constructors in "The Scientific Study of Religion??" but excluded NRMs as cult-watching groups in "Watching for Violence. (It may have sounded too silly to speak of cults watching themselves or, quite likely, there was a better reason for this omission.) In any case, I am including NRM members in my list of secondary constructors, or I am including NRM member representations in my list of different types of representations of NRMs since these are so ubiquitous, especially on the Internet.
In "The Scientific Study of Religion??." Barker tells us that the aim of NRM member representations is to promote the beliefs of the group, and to create a positive public image of it - presumably in order to gain new recruits and help secure a safe social environment for its practice. NRM member representations are typically based on "primay constructions" such as the group's sacred text(s). And, since the aim of these representations is to present a positive public image they tend to emphasize good behaviour and downplay "skeletons in the closet." Thus, we might find news about a group's positive work with criminals or drug addicts, but not about its on-going legal battles over alleged cases of sexual abuse invloving the leader. Although Barker doesn't say so I think we can also add that these representations also tend to emphasize aspects of their teachings that will resonate positively with the public, and to conceal controversial teachings. For example, they might emphasize their teachings on world peace but hide their teachings on homosexuality. And, of course, as noted by Barker, they will also hide any esoteric teachings. Finally she says (sort of) that these representations are usually communicated in the form of "witnessing" or promotional literature.
NRM member representations can be divided into the categories of official and unofficial. Official representations will come from the leadership of the group or be given its stamp of approval, and unofficial representations will come from NRM members working independent of their leadership. Official representations are likely to be less self-critical than some unofficial representations, but they are also sure to be more balanced than some unofficial representations. But in general, and to concur with Barker, member representations will be more positive than any other type.
vi) Cult-Defender Representations
I am including cult-defender representations in this list, just in case the category of cult-defender group has more validity than I am able to recognize at present. As far as I can tell, most defensive and apologetic work for NRMs is done by NRMs; in other words, members of NRMs are usually the ones who respond to attacks on their religion, be they theological or secular. And, if this is true, cult-defender representations can simply be categorized as a particular type of NRM member representation - probably as the flipside of promotional representations. That said, let's see how we might justify a distinction between cult-defender representations and NRM member representations.
Let's start by discounting some representations from the category of cult-defence, even though they may seem to fit. First, I would discount research-oriented representations insofar as they remain true to their aim of providing accurate, balanced and objective accounts, and steer clear of evaluative judgments - except on the issue of scientific truth. Unfortunately, there are cases where scholars of religion seem to have stepped beyond the bounds of science and into the realm of apologetics (theology): Barker mentions the work of academics in AWARE as possible cases, and William Sims Bainbridge, at the end of his recent book on the Children of God, seems to have clearly left science behind in his comment that the objects of his study are perhaps the Children of God. Nonetheless, scientific accounts of NRMs that turn up reliable facts that others deem "good" are not cult-apology - even if they are seen as such by those who can only see the "bad and false" in NRMs. Next, I would discount, principle-based representations that remain neutral on all matters, except in the domain of their guiding principle where they will judge NRMs to be either good or bad.
That leaves us with those who for some reason believe cults are good, or at least not bad, and deserving of defence when they are attacked. In "Watching for Violence," Barker describes cult defender groups (CDG's) as the mirror image of anti-cult/cult-awareness groups. They usually include members of NRMs along with other "cult-sympathizers," such as family members, and are like the NRMs themselves in that they focus only on the positive aspects of NRMs and explain away their negative aspects. (They are, perhaps, unlike NRMs themselves in that they are merely defensive and reactive rather than positively and self-consciously self-promoting.) Barker also notes that CDGs tend to have a short and unproductive life-span when composed of members from several different NRMs due to ideological differences.
Again, I find this be a borderline spurious category - whose work can be understood within the category of NRM member representations - and that only seems to exist in the form of research-oriented and principle-based groups gone bad. On the other hand, there may be more to this group than I can see.
-------> end lecture week 2
Literacy style and quality of argumentation will be graded out of 3 marks.
I would prefer this essay to be written about scientology, if you choose to write about a more in depth topic of scientology a topic of your choice will be fine as long as it meets all essay requirements.
I have also paid for 12 pages assuming 10 pages for the essay and 2 pages for the annotated bibliography.
Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: The research paper has to consist of a well written insight into the scientology religion. The paper should have a good amount of information about the start of the religion and what type of people join this type of religion. Also what the general population thinks of the religion and how the religion will or will not prosper in the future.
Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: my report is on scientology. I view scientology as a cult. I live in Clearwater Fla where one of the main bases is.
discuss history of scientoloy. related articles on deaths and lawsuits on scientology. How scientology is considered a cult and not a real relgion. brainwashing technics, deaths,dont beleive in medicence and how they take all your money for books and classes. Its a secret society to get passed to certain levels and only higher ups only knows the secret.
need cover sheet and sources cited sheet
Excerpt From Essay:
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