Monday, February 22, 2010

Am I in a Cult? (Part 1)

I've spent some time over the past couple of days--too much time, probably--reading around at the Forum maintained by a guy named Rick Ross, a prominent anti-cultist. I started reading because Margaret said that there was quite a bit of negative information about Zen Master Seung Sahn (you can read it from start to finish here). I noticed pretty quickly that a member who calls himself "The Anti-Cult" was especially driven to attack ZMSS, but that much of what he said was unfactual or a massive distortion of the facts. I've written a response to him, but  after reading a thread started by someone calling himself "Dr Logic," I realized that there's no point in trying to reason with "The Anti-Cult"--or anyone on the Forum. Most of the posters seem locked into a very rigid perspective in which any disagreement with them constitutes an effort to manipulate, even brainwash them.

It was especially unnerving to watch the Forum members begin attacking "Dr Logic," whose protests were then construed as attacks for which he was eventually banned from the Forum. There were lots of other instances where the Forum members, especially The Anti-Cult, would accuse Dr Logic of doing exactly the thing they themselves were doing. It was kind of like watching a microcosm of American political discourse--but somehow sadder.


Algernon said...

Your insight is wise. Forums like that seem to be nothing but an echo chamber.

I wrote to a columnist for WORLD Magazine who implied that Buddhism was somehow responsible for the rape of Nanking. He actually responded and was nice to me, but was firmly glued to opinions and ideas that did not make sense.

There's probably no need.

Anonymous said...

Why do you feel it necessary to defend ZMSS or any of your beliefs? ZM Man Gong says that defending Buddhism goes against its basic tenets. What someone else says about anything is their belief, not yours. Their belief is neither good nor bad, unless you make it so.

Christina Hauck said...

Algernon--agreed. I had already decided that there was no point in responding to these people. I should probably change the title of this post.

Christina Hauck said...

Anonymous--are you someone I know? Could you email me privately? I think you've misunderstood my intentions. I certainly don't mean to defend DSSN--his record stands for itself.

Anonymous said...

Good Morning Christina,
No, we do not know each other nor have we ever met. Perhaps it is just my perception that you were defending either ZMSS or Dr Logic. My bad. Am I not doing basically the same thing as the anti-Cult by even speaking of 'defense'? Am I not also 'defending' something? The anti-Cult just uses somebody elses words for his/her arguement. I don't think he/she perceives the truth. If we even let an arguement arise in our minds from his/her speech, are we not a cow with nostrils?