These are part of the very foundations of free civilisation:
From the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
(1948, signatories include the US), Article 19:
‘Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
In 2003, this was once more affirmed at the World Summit on the Information Society
(at which the US again participated) with their Declaration of Principles containing the following passage on the information society and freedom of expression
‘We reaffirm, as an essential foundation of the Information Society, and as outlined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; that this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. Communication is a fundamental social process, a basic human need and the foundation of all social organisation. It is central to the Information Society. Everyone, everywhere should have the opportunity to participate and no one should be excluded from the benefits the Information Society offers.
Internet censorship is a checkered board of questionable regimes
, some limiting their citizens substantially
, others applying only basic safeguards to decency and protection of interdependent rights
, as well as some places letting everything pass unchecked. The US
in this case are among those nations listed in the nominal category ensuring decency and prohibiting nought but outright or actually imminent crime.
And finally, the First Ammendment to the United States’ Constitution
laying the foundation for freedom of speech in the US
‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
’ Whose opinion to control, what information to suppress
I think each and every one of us, espians and non-espians alike, would agree that overturning the basic concepts of human rights and their applications will not in any way move civilisation, humanity, its societies, nor any of us individually forward. If an article critical of somebody is being published, there is at all times a full array of options available to us, fitting the context and scope of the critique. Ordinarily, if the article does not tell the truth, this fact can be easily proven; if the account goes too far, it can be addressed even in court in appropriately measured manner; if it is telling the truth, then amendments can be made to the situation by accepting the criticism and either standing to one’s actions or remedying the underlying source of contention; often one can simply ignore unfounded claims for they wear themselves out in due time; etc… For example, Ms Keefe or Raniere might prove beyond a doubt that the child in question is safe by inviting the appropriate authorities on their own accord; could present any potential theory behind the child’s upbringing to the according scientific community; etc… There are always options to those that are prepared to look for them; all-out battle is but the final one when all others have been tried and failed – unless of course, you do indeed have something to hide!
However, it seems such variety is not symptomatic of the NXIVM leadership’s modus operandi, nor indeed of their personal guiding principles in spite of what they teach to the espians: To any criticism, whether justified or not, their only available answer seems to be that of an overreaction. In this case, they pretty much tried to shut down any and all commentary, critique, analysis, even talk of and about NXIVM on the entirety of the internet! Somewhat of an overreach, wouldn’t you agree? And it may well prove to be Raniere’s Operation Market Garden
, specifically tackling one bridge too many; one too many he is trying to demolish in this case, as shall be seen further down.
For, what is the purpose of such a reaction? What does the NXIVM leadership hope to accomplish? They must know full-well that such claims and tactics, while surely frightening and intimidating, are legally and evidentiary hardly sustainable before the law, are in fact unconstitutional in their reach. Why do they fight tooth and nail against all outside (and inside) criticism, review, divergent opinion, etc.? Is this not suppressive by any definition? And does this not tie into the same as Raniere’s failure to submit Rational Inquiry™ (1999)
to a proper peer review, which could result in suitable scientific acceptance, if the method is truly of value? What are these few at the top of NXIVM afraid of? – for any overreaction on such disproportionate scale must be fear-based.
Given that there are almost always other option, and in this case certainly a wide variety of such, this sort of fear-bound behaviour can only be described as ‘totally reactive’ to every actual or perceived slight, portraying the NXIVM governance as ‘victims’ at the ‘whim of [a] world’ full of ‘suppressives’, fighting to see themselves as ‘causing agents’ again in light of an alleged attack on their survival over which they therefore apparently have no direct control nor say. Their ‘range of possibilities’ in this ‘given context’ seems to be severely limited, which by their own definition can lead to only one conclusion: The NXIVM leadership suffers from low self-esteem! (ESP Training Materials (as contained within the patent application for Rational Inquiry™ (1999)
on public record at WIPO), ‘Self-esteem’ Module, pg 128
, ‘Self-esteem is …’)
Merriam-Webster’s defines ‘self-esteem’ twofold: ‘1. a confidence and satisfaction in oneself: self-respect’, and ‘2. self-conceit’. The first is a result of facts and data supporting one’s measured ‘favourable appreciation or opinion of oneself’ (Oxford Dictionary, ‘self-esteem’); the second is a ‘high or exaggerated opinion of oneself, one's talents, attainments, etc.’ (Oxford, ‘self-conceit’) and related to ‘vanity’ (Webster’s, ‘self-conceit’) and hardly ever supported by facts, data, or a ‘consistent external reality’. The downside of believing
that you have many choices and seeing yourself
as ‘causing agent’, especially when you don’t augment these opinions with a healthy dose of factual confirmation and diversified validation or follow it up with the occasional ratification in life, is that you may very well fall victim to your own beliefs and convictions, have faith in yourself rather than data-based trust in your actual abilities.
Those with chronic low self-esteem in addition often lack the necessary willpower to work on establishing a solid foundation for the development of a healthy, honest and factually sound integrity and self-awareness that can lead to a truthful, appropriate, accepted and sustainable self-appreciation. Such people prefer to take the easy road and try to convince themselves of their superiority with artificial and superficial methods. As a result, they suffer permanent, often unconscious or rather repressed insecurities that constantly fester and grow within them. To alleviate their internal turmoil they set to attack the very human nature within, try to eliminate their perceived weakness, the uncontrollable and immeasurable subconscious mind, utterly neglecting its importance in our lives, our actual thinking processes and emotional balance, our humanity.
Such an attack on the essentials of oneself is neither rational, healthy, nor can it ever truly succeed, as I will try to address at some later point. At best, those internal intangibles will be oppressed, suppressed, mangled, and buried deep under synthetic, alien concepts. In that state, they will cause but more problems and eventually have to break free for the survival of the human being, creating a cataclysm and breakdown that in fact will put the person and their mental health in dire jeopardy. In the meantime, however, the constant detractions within themselves will lead to an ever more intense feeling of urgency and thus succeedingly extreme reactions. In addition, the more they do this to themselves and the higher they climb in a system built on such ‘integration’, the more there is a growing need for confirmation by such who do not question them or their ways and the less they can handle any opinion endangering their fragile construct of self-perception.
This gives rise to the question as to whom the purposed effects of this current threat and persecution are addressed? Whom this attempted censorship of the internet serves is clear – but who needs to be kept in the dark is not. On the other hand, by the pure nature and exaggerated extravagance of this reaction one can only conclude that this is not about avoiding knowledge and scrutiny of NXIVM among or from the public; on the contrary, the unconstitutional, illegal scope of the threat are bound to incite exactly that. So, it is but rational to assume that not the non-espians are truly targeted by this attempted control of information-flow, but the espians themselves; once more a stab at Gleichschaltung
by fear-mongering towards not just critics but far more tragically mainly the espians!
In the context of divergent opinions, such reaction draws but deeper lines in the sand. Instead of opening a venue for discussion and perhaps understanding and acceptance to benefit the espians in their endeavours, this newest exercise in ultimate control creates but a ‘them and us’ attitude by declaring every critic or even mere rational inquirer a ‘suppressive’ (or similar) in the eyes of the nxians, and attacking them without due consideration or appropriate and individual measure. This reaction has but one effect, and I dare say that it is to some degree intended: It will harden the fronts on either side and further erode venues, or bridges, of communication. The tragedy is that it will make not the non-espians’ lives harder, but that of the espians, who now will have to explain themselves even more to those they cannot or don’t want to avoid; making them loose ever more ground in society; making their goal of establishing a world ethic so much more difficult and in time impossible. But then again, in an attempt, as with the NDA’s, communication between espians and non-espians is pre-emptively hindered, public clarification by nxians ideologically prohibited, and, through internal (indirect or exemplary) intimidation, even conversation within NXIVM suppressed.
How can you hope to accomplish such a necessary but also intricate feat as founding an ethical framework for humanity if you break down all bridges of communications with the very world you would like to change, behind, in front, and all around you? How can there ever be mutual agreement on ethics of respect if every other opinion is treated in this fear-bound and fear-mongering, disrespectful manner? Agreement is based on trust; and trust can only develop if your ethics are consistent; but not if they are applied selectively, only to one’s own ends and at one’s pleasure, yet are not applicable if they would serve another rather than oneself!
How can the NXIVM leadership even deem themselves fit to teach ethics, if at the first difficulty and potentially justified criticism their only available response is to attack freedom of diverse thought and expression thereof, not only outside but, far more alarmingly, within the organisation itself? If you cannot find rational arguments against another’s opinion, either due to a lack of self-esteem or factual basis for your own views and theories, then you simply curtail their universal human rights? Do you also impede freedom of will or the inalienable rights to life, liberty and property, the pursuit of happiness? Are all these limitations ethical? And most importantly, is this truly what nxians stand for, what they believe in, the ethics you want to teach them and through them establish throughout the world to advance the entire human team, move civilisation forward? Or is this merely another tool to obfuscate reality for the members and thus prevent them from building their own, personal opinions other than those of the NXIVM leadership?
Why does Raniere not take responsibility for his actions? You may not have to disclose everything at all times, but once the cat is out of the bag, so to speak, integrity demands accountability. Being at cause does not only refer to taking responsibility for your responses, but also for your behaviour (‘Communication and Being at Cause’ Module, pg 66
, ‘At cause: …’). Or does that cornerstone of ethic only apply to the espians, exempting the NXIVM leadership unless they are forced to respond? If you truly believe in your theories, it would be but rational to stand to them and not fear the consequences. Either you raise this child according to those, in which case you should face the consequences and take responsibility; or you do not, which should be fairly easy for you to prove in due process.
Yet the NXIVM leadership’s response leaves but one rational conclusion: Most within the NXIVM community do not know of the child and its specific upbringing or have not been told the whole truth and the inner circle needs to ‘protect’ them from this knowledge. It’s highly doubtful that ethical-minded espians would in fact subscribe to experimentation on a child to prove an abstract theory; and it therefore stands to reason that disclosure of such facts in their entirety would create tensions and doubts within the nxian society. The aggressiveness of the response implies that there probably is such an experiment in action; if there were not, it would have been far less attention-raising and easier just to let appropriate authorities take a look at the circumstances and alleviate all doubts on either side.
And finally, there may be another fear-factor at work among the leaders of NXIVM. Raniere by his own myth is not interested in money, but merely wants to help advance humanity. If so, he should actually welcome peer review and disclosure for that would make his theories available to a wider audience; and thus, if they are valid and applicable, facilitate an accelerated forward movement of society, hence the avoidance of civilisation’s ultimate fall. If something can only stand in isolation and should never be compared, it is but cold logic to expect that it would fail any serious comparison in the first place. That is why rational people compare their ideas, to enhance, verify and weed out if proven wrong, to have the certainty that their theories and principles can actually stand their ground in a real environment.
Comparison and exchange diversifies and enhances knowledge and thus one’s range of possibilities. With this come forward movement and the advance of civilisation. This has been proven throughout history and whenever knowledge, science, technology, or philosophy have been suppressed or limited, civilisations have faltered and eventually fallen (‘Mission’ Module, pg 207
, ‘To decrease technology …’). It is a basic scientific truth and only fear can overrule it in one’s mind, make one believe in the validity of one’s ways blindly, without the backing of differentiated data, and thus on faith alone. If fear is the absence of data (‘Honesty and Disclosure’ Module, pg 75
, ‘Fear: …’), and with some additions and diversifications I will address at a later point I agree with that, then maybe a little peer-review data on your ethics and methods would augment the only source so far and alleviate some of that fear.
Quashing the availability of information is censorship, the suppression of knowledge, which is one of the highest values in civilisation. Such action is never taken to profit society but always the few or the one. So, who does benefit of this taboo? Is it not NXIVM’s mission to establish world ethics; to raise ethics both for ourselves and society (‘Mission’ Module, pg 207
, ‘To raise ethics …’); to establish a ‘mutually agreed ethics of respect’ among the people of this earth (‘Rules and Rituals’ Module, pg 62
, ‘16. Non-religious tribute, …’)? Yet the very actions of NXIVM’s leadership hamper this honourable endeavour – nay, progressively make it impossible!
Passing on true and factual knowledge is indeed an ethical conduct, one of the highest honours one can aspire to (‘Mission’ Module, pg 209
, ‘Giving people more …’), ensuring uninfluenced, non-commanded or forced freedom of choice, belief, will, etc., and ultimately life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. Curtailing freedom of thought or of speech though is not. In a free civilisation, any subject should be open to discussion in a rational and honourable way. If it is not, we have the ethical duty to demand such freedom of thought and expression thereof; especially, when the taboo is counter-productive to the very mission our society has set itself (ditto
, ‘In a free society …’). There are a few gentlemen of old, who would have agreed with that wholeheartedly. ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.’ (July 4th 1776
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/04/2010 04:35AM by Macumazahn.