SP Order. Fair game. May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed.
— HCO Policy Letter of 18 October 1967, Issue IV, L. RON HUBBARD (See scan of original at SPDL)
“The best way was to, literally, drive them crazy, to use all one’s resources to find their weaknesses and hit them hardest where it hurt the most.”
—L. Ron Hubbard, http://www.xenu-directory.net/documents/whitfield19940308.html#8
“Don’t ever defend. Always attack. Find or manufacture enough threat against them to sue for peace. Originate a black PR campaign to destroy the person’s repute and to discredit them so thoroughly they will be ostracized.”
—Michael J. Flynn vs Lafayette Ron Hubbard (7 September 1983)
Thanks to the A&E show Scientology; The Aftermath, the outside world is becoming familiar with the practices and procedures of the cult of Scientology. There is nothing redeeming about this organization with it’s policies of disconnection, deceit, protection of sexual predators and Fair Game.
Fair Game was a malicious practice before the advent of social media but now sites like Twitter have added another dimension. The anonymity of the internet allows an extra layer of protection for anyone wanting to target another and engage in harassment and cyber bullying.
Twitter’s forum is perfect for someone to hide behind a creative handle and prey on others. The reporting feature for those being harassed seems designed to allow for a great deal of leniency for the bully while leaving those suffering from abuse frustrated and unsupported.
In an article by Matt Kapko dated August 12, 2016 for Cio he states; “…Fenced in by an abiding commitment to free speech above all else and a unique product that makes moderation difficult and trolling almost effortless, Twitter has, over a chaotic first decade marked by shifting business priorities and institutional confusion, allowed abuse and harassment to continue to grow as a chronic problem and perpetual secondary internal priority.”
Abuse isn’t just a “bug” in Twitter’s service, according to the report, it’s a fundamental feature.”
Whether a current or a former Scientologist the mindset of attacking anyone who happens to disagree is deeply engrained in some. Scientology spends a huge amount of time using mind control to firmly affix their teachings and rules into the members’ psyche. For some, even if they escape, they have become so damaged and emotionally unstable that Fair Gaming their perceived enemies is second nature.
Between this corrupted mindset and the freedom that Twitter allows, this forum is the perfect place for exploitation.
One such situation is currently being played out on twitter.
Twitter has a great many accounts dedicated to exposing Scientology, telling the stories of those who have escaped and for support and encouragement of the former Scientologists who have shared their experiences.
One such group, that will here be called Share and Care, have come together in order to both support and to expose.
Made up of former Scientologists and Never-Ins, they are dedicated to defying and exposing the cult, supporting those involved in The Aftermath, and sending messages of care and support to those who have struggled since leaving.
There is also an account that for the sake of this blog will be called ExScientologist1.
ExScientologist1 and Share and Care came randomly together when Ex posted about being a former member. Share and Care reached out in support and discussion began.
Unfortunately red flags soon went up for some of the members of Share and Care who were former Scientologists. During the course of the discussion COS terminology was used that ExScientologist1 seemed not to recognize or understand.
Naturally this led to some questioning by Share and Care for clarity.
ExScientologist1 responded to the questioning with anger and hostility and immediately launched a campaign of Fair Game against Share and Care.
Blocking each member of the group ExScientology1 came out from behind the blocks, gathered the names and twitter handles of each member of Share and Care and created a list which she posted publicly announcing that it was a group of Scientologist who were stalking her.
Day after day ExScientology1 posted this list, making public claims against the group that they were harassing her, stalking her, doxing her and trolling her.
She would go through the tweets of the members and then post them out of context sometimes cropped in order to create the illusion that the group members were attacking her.
Because of her antics, the group all blocked ExScientology1, expecting the nonsense to stop and life to go on.
Instead the harassment continued daily with lists being posted and accusations made against Share and Care. Frustrated and angry, members of Share and Care began reporting ExScientology1 to twitter support hoping for an end to the daily bullying.
With no success.
Emboldened by her freedom, she upped her Fair Game campaign and posted a tweet one member of Share and Care had made months earlier to a former Scientologist who had been molested as a child. The group member tweeted several posts of support to this former COS member and they spoke back and forth. ExScientologist1 took one of those tweets, in which the Share and Care member referred to the person who had molested the woman as a freak who needed to be in prison stripes, and reported it to twitter support.
Her account was suspended for twelve hours.
In shock and furious she appealed this punishment only to receive an apology email from twitter after the full twelve hour suspension had been served. Twitter acknowledged that a mistake had been made but it was too little too late for the innocent Share and Care member.
In order for the group member to regain access to her suspended account she was made to delete the “offending” tweet first.
Her support and caring for a woman who had been molested as a child was erased permanently on the dishonest word of a cyber bully.
There was no follow up by Twitter or consequences for the lie.
In the meantime the Fair Game continued and multiple reports to Twitter Support were created begging for relief from the daily fear of harassment and the very real possibility of having one’s account suspended.
Daily the list of names were published along with claims that the people on her list were attacking her, her children, publishing her address and name and were working for Scientology.
One complete stranger to every member of Share and Care got ahold of the list of names and twitter handles and created his own list.
It was called “Pedos who should be Doxed”.
Now because of the Fair Gaming tactics of this alleged former Scientology member these innocent people were on a list being called pedophiles. A stranger who had never had a single interaction with any person in Share and Care encouraged the twitter public to dox, or publish someone’s personal information, the people on ExScientology1’s list.
The harassment had crossed the line from bullying to dangerous.
This is exactly what Fair Game is. Hubbard taught his followers that anything goes when Fair Gaming a mark.
Consistently the members have filed report after report, begging and pleading for help.
Consistently twitter responds that no violation has been made.
Twitter does not take the whole picture into consideration. It does not acknowledge that multiple people are all reporting the same account. It ignores the fact that there is a daily history of constant harassment that includes inciting someone else to libel the members of Share and Care and to place them in harm’s way. It has ignored the fact that ExScientologist1 has threatened and blackmailed the members of Share and Care by stating that she will continue to post her list until they stop harassing her.
Considering they are not harassing her apparently this list will continue to be posted ad infinitum.
All it takes is one simple perusal of ExScientologist1’s feed to see that there are no posts by any member of Share and Care. The only posts are by ExScientologist1 herself.
The only thing on her feed are screen caps she has taken somehow from the members pages which have her blocked and that she has posted on her own page.
There is not one single tweet from any member of Share and Care wherein ExScientology1’s address is posted. Not one tweet mentioning her children. Nothing but what she, herself, has put there from blocked accounts.
As in any bullying case the frustration and anger is growing. Because of twitter constantly refusing to step in and address the issue on the group’s behalf Share and Care members feel that their only recourse is to fight back to protect themselves and their reputations.
They have, on several occasions, asked ExScientology1 to stop her harassment. One member sent her a letter pleading with her to stop and just move on with her life.
To no avail.
Given a free pass by twitter who, at the most, has made her delete one, single tweet she continues her daily bid for attention and sympathy on the backs of those she has targeted.
Meanwhile the members of Share and Care have had to slow their original mission of exposing Scientology and supporting those who have escaped because they are focused on protecting themselves against this cyber bully and those who join in with her based on her lies. The members have been tagged in by strangers calling them Scientologists, forcing them to deal with those comments instead of addressing the issue of Scientology and it’s abuses.
For awhile they each had their accounts locked to try and escape the daily scrutiny of ExScientology1. After much discussion they unlocked their accounts because they felt determined not to allow this questionable former Scientologist to quiet their voices.
Locking their accounts and limiting their ability to interact with those they wish to support makes them feel like they are being punished for the things ExScientologist1 is doing.
They are determined not to allow Fair Game to control them and what they believe in.
Share and Care still attempts to get justice and relief from the months of harassment, blackmail, false accusations and bullying.
The false claims have ramped up from them posting the private information of ExScientologist1, which they haven’t, to most recently accusations that the group “infiltrates peaceful protests”.
Whatever that means.
They have attempted to contact live people on Twitter who are part of the company. They have retweeted posts to the Twitter employees hoping someone will step in, investigate their claims, look at the whole picture and DO something.
This then is not only one excellent example of Fair Game in action but also of the forgiving and permissive environment that is created by Twitter that allows trolls, whether Scientologist intent upon destroying by intimidation or Never Ins who just get off on abusing and bullying others to operate freely.
In 2016 Buzzfeed ran an article addressing this lack of protection for victims of harassment by Twitter.
In A Honeypot for Assholes, Inside Twitter’s 10 Year Failure to Stop Harassment, Charlie Warzel writes; “For nearly its entire existence, Twitter has not just tolerated abuse and hate speech, it’s virtually been optimized to accommodate it.”
This tolerance for abuse is fresh, fertile ground for those who endeavor to put Hubbard’s policy of “Originate a black PR campaign to destroy the person’s repute and to discredit them so thoroughly they will be ostracized.” into practice.
So the saga of Fair Game continues unabated in Twitter.
The members of Share and Care continue to attempt to defend themselves against constant daily harassment while still trying to expose Scientology and reach out to those who have suffered it’s abuses.
As of the day if this writing the struggle continues. ExScientologist1 has ramped up the level of her attacks by actually posting one of the members of Share and Care’s full name. This post incited another person to retweet that information along with the name of her husband.
Following this doxing, ExScientologist1 left a threat to the rest of the group hanging over their heads; “I think the trolls may be done now, I found their real names (most are just one person) and Scientology connection and in the real world, not just on twitter.” She has also publicly announced that the members of Share and Care are, indeed, Scientologists.
Given the current growing hostility, anger and resentment towards Scientology this announcement has left Share and Care fearful of further harassment by strangers thinking they are COS. All of these untrue, unfounded accusations create an unsafe environment for those ExScientology1 has targeted for Fair Game.
None of the members of Share and Care are Scientologists.
They continue to report the worst of the tweets.
They continue to be told there is no violation.