Scientology Controversies - "Attack The Attacker" Policy

"Attack The Attacker" Policy

Scientology has a reputation for hostile action toward anyone who criticizes it in a public forum; executives within the organization have proclaimed that it is "not a turn-the-other-cheek religion." Journalists, politicians, former Scientologists and various anti-cult groups have made accusations of wrongdoing against Scientology since the 1960s, and almost without exception, these critics have been targeted for retaliation by Scientology, in the form of lawsuits and public counter-accusations of personal wrongdoing. Many of Scientology's critics have also reported they were subject to threats and harassment in their private lives.

The organization's actions reflect a formal policy for dealing with criticism instituted by L. Ron Hubbard, called "attack the attacker." This policy was codified by Hubbard in the latter half of the 1960s, in response to government investigations into the organization. In 1966, Hubbard wrote a criticism of the organization's behavior and noted the "correct procedure" for attacking enemies of Scientology:

(1) Spot who is attacking us.
(2) Start investigating them promptly for felonies or worse using own professionals, not outside agencies.
(3) Double curve our reply by saying we welcome an investigation of them.
(4) Start feeding lurid, blood, sex, crime actual evidence on the attackers to the press.
Don't ever tamely submit to an investigation of us. Make it rough, rough on attackers all the way. You can get "reasonable about it" and lose. Sure we break no laws. Sure we have nothing to hide. BUT attackers are simply an anti-Scientology propaganda agency so far as we are concerned. They have proven they want no facts and will only lie no matter what they discover. So BANISH all ideas that any fair hearing is intended and start our attack with their first breath. Never wait. Never talk about us - only them. Use their blood, sex, crime to get headlines. Don't use us. I speak from 15 years of experience in this. There has never yet been an attacker who was not reeking with crime. All we had to do was look for it and murder would come out.
Attacks on Scientology, "Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter," 25 February 1966

Read more about this topic:  Scientology Controversies

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