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Yesterday evening, there was an interesting discussion about cults on… 
4th-Jan-2006 09:53 am
Yesterday evening, there was an interesting discussion about cults on the German TV in "Maischberger", a popular, reputable talk show in the non-commerical TV. Of course such discussions have their limits, still it was good to have a discussion because I feel the issue of cults gets more and more neglected in the media, politics and public awareness. [more in the comments...]
5th-Jan-2006 04:44 pm (UTC)
The ex Scientology member was the leader of Scientology in Austria, i.e. he held a very high position. He also was considered "clear" in Scientology which meant that he was "invulnerable" and cannot die. He started to question Scientology when he got cancer and had much time during the chemo therapies. He mentioned that he was so ill that the doctor once said to his partner that he had only 3 more days to live. (Maybe it was not wise to mention this, because actually, if he miracuously did not die of the cancer, wasn't it a proof that Scientologie's teachings were correct? ;-)

There was another interesting statement by the ex Jehova's witness. He said what helped him the most was reading a book about Mormons. After reading it, he suddenly recognized: "I only need to change some of the words used, then everything is so similar to us." So it seems reading books about *other* cults can be very helpful for cult members. Most of all, the hurdle for reading such a book is not so high since obviously, the Mormons are considered a cult by Jehova's witnesses and vice versa. For me as a UBF member, the most helpful readings were those on the ICOC.

There was also a funny moment when the scientology dropout explained how cult members are separated from the world around: "It's like a quargelsturz (cheese cover)". He was obviously not aware that "quargelsturz" is a word only used in Austria, not in Germany. We say "Käseglocke" which is very different. The anchorwoman looked a bit irriated but then dared to ask, "er, what's a quargel..."? The answer "a stinky cheese" did not really help to explain what he wanted to say because the rest of the word was still not German ;-) I'm still loughing about the funny word and the confusion it caused.
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