Imagine society like a battlefield.
You have the cultists on one side (actually numerous fronts), the anti-cultists on the other, the field is strewn with ex-cultists (many of them wounded or spiritually dead and out of the fight), from time to time "the media" charges in then out again causing chaos like an out of control cavalry ... then you have the "official battle observers", as in the days of old, documenting what has or is going on. Academics, of various fields, with an interest in religions, new religions, sociology of religion, millenarianism etc.
There's a relative small number in the entire world, so it should be relative easily to document them all and shine a light on their activities.
What are they up to?
Whose side are they on?
Who do they serve?
How good is their work?
Let's peer review the peer reviewers.
Again, to use the war analogy, it's a bit like looking back at history and discovering who you thought was a neutral journalist was actually a CIA operative, or working as a propagandist for which ever cause they favored.
Or simply paid the best, or served their interests.
What people thought was objective reportage, was actually propaganda ... views that today have become the foundations of "received information" (what people believe to be true).
As far as the more extreme apologists go, usually the finger is pointed at a small network including; J. Gordon Melton, Massimo Introvigne, and Eileen Barker and others. I've flagged up Frank Whaling in another topic. In many cases, I think the criticism are valid, however, I think there are also new and younger academics who are too seduced by the groups of their interest that they lose objectivity, or are too much under the influence of such individuals as above.
I see this site takes sides and list those they considered to be so aligned, here
And then there are so called academics who are actually cult members and serve their cult's interests by prostituting their professional academic values by publishing false, misleading or whitewashed accounts.
I recognize those from the cult I was involved with ... and can translate what they are doing into plain English; others might know and recognize those coming from and dealing with their cult.
They may know who is behind the scene seducing and guiding academics to pickle their publications in favor of the cult.
Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 05/24/2020 06:18AM by ex-.