Behavior of Scientologists and Liberals Eerily Similar
Disconnection in Scientology is described as the organization directing members to sever all ties with family members and friends who dare criticize practices of the Church of Scientology and its dogmas, leaders, and beliefs. Labeled "suppressive persons," these enemies of the church are isolated from their social network, labeled in public as hateful, and when the dogmas of Scientology are rejected or criticized, they're ultimately "disconnected." "Suppressive persons" are dehumanized, categorized as evil, hateful, destructive, and the source of history's most catastrophic events.
Marching in rank with L. Ron Hubbard's guidance, liberals are now demanding that everyone within their bubble of experience disconnect from individuals who would dare question their ideology. "Suppressive persons" to the new left can easily be named: Ann Coulter, Gavin McInnes, Ben Shapiro, Milo Yiannopolous, etc. Basically, if you've ever been invited to give a talk at a university and someone pulled the fire alarm, you're probably on their list.
Resistance to opposing points of view is carried out in a number of ways: name-calling and dehumanization (Nazi, Hitler, racist, sexist, Islamophobe), lighting things on fire, pulling fire alarms, blocking streets, etc. Jeremy Scahill's recent tantrum represents yet another tactic: outright refusal to participate in discussion with people their cult of social Marxism has identified as their version of "suppressive persons." Invited to participate on Real Time with Bill Maher, Scahill canceled his participation on the show when he found out he would be appearing with the hyper-labeled Milo Yiannopoulos.
All of the key tactics are there. Milo is dehumanized as hateful, "openly … racist," "anti-immigrant," transphobic, etc. None of this is true, of course, and examples are lacking due to this absence of evidence. The attack and "disconnection" in this case, however, are meant not to affect the taping of the show, but to again smear Milo and publically identify him as a form of "suppressive person" using the same strategies dictated by Hubbard.
Dr. Jordan Peterson of the University of Toronto has developed a nine-point list detailing the mechanisms of behavior behind socially Marxist/SJW political correctness:
- Identify an area of human activity.
- Note a distribution of success.
- Identify winners and losers.
- Claim that the losers are losing only because they are oppressed by the winners.
- Claim allegiance with the losers.
- Feel secure in your comprehensive explanation of the world.
- Revel in your moral superiority.
- Target your resentment toward your newly discovered enemies.
- Repeat. Forever. Everywhere.
In Scahill's public shaming of Milo we see the second half of that list very much on display – and display is what it's all about.
To his credit, Maher condemned Scahill's bailout:
Liberals will continue to lose elections as long as they follow the example of people like Mr. Scahill whose views veer into fantasy and away from bedrock liberal principles like equality of women, respect for minorities, separation of religion and state, and free speech. If Mr. Yiannopoulos is indeed the monster Scahill claims – and he might be – nothing could serve the liberal cause better than having him exposed on Friday night.
As liberals struggle to come to terms with the fact that 50% of the population disagrees with their worldview, another similar tactic has evolved from university safe-spaces: disinvitation.
Since their founding in 1999, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has noted that "one worrisome trend undermining open discourse in the academy is the increased push by some students and faculty to 'disinvite' speakers with whom they disagree from campus appearances."
Similar to the cultic practices of Scientologists who demand that family members and friends still within the church be cut off from disbelievers, or an individual who has dared to criticize the organization's dogmas, liberals on college campuses throughout the Western world are now organizing to "disinvite" formally invited speakers who present information at odds with their own cherished dogmas.
In 2016, FIRE recorded 43 cases of disinvitation. Thirty-five of these disinvitations came from the left of the speaker, and five came from the right, with three absent of political alignment. Milo Yiannopoulos represented 12 of these cases, with Ben Shapiro serving as another repeat offender. Numbers for 2017 are not yet available but are expected to surpass the 2016 numbers.
The parallel tactics employed by Scientologists and liberals in dealing with individuals expressing ideas, beliefs, information, or even raw data contrary to their own worldview is striking. That a Libertarian gay Jew with a black boyfriend (or boyfriends) is the most heavily protested speaker serves to show how completely cognitive dissonance dominates when the fabric of identity politics is called into question.
Pete Vanderzwet graduated from the University of Toronto with an honors degree in history and Near and Middle Eastern civilizations. He is a husband, father, and perpetual student. Follow him on Twitter at @rationalstoic.