Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2003 13:25:33 -0500
Subject: Re: Sayonawa for now
From: Rebecca Hartong <email@example.com>
References: <firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com>
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Xref: news2.lightlink.com alt.religion.scientology:1652114
On 10/26/03 4:27 AM, in article firstname.lastname@example.org,
"Gerry Armstrong" <email@example.com> wrote:
> On Sat, 25 Oct 2003 17:21:24 -0400, Rebecca Hartong
> <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>> On 10/25/03 2:36 PM, in article email@example.com,
>> "Gerry Armstrong" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>>> It is lying, black propaganda, unmerited attacks and the refusal
>>> deal with these honestly and straight across that merits inclusion
>>> the GOoN sQUaD FOLLIES page, not disagreement, not criticism. Lies
>>> cannot be criticism.
>> Whether an "attack" is merited is entirely a matter of opinion,
so let's set
>> that aside right away.
> Why? How do you come up with the conclusion that opinions are somehow
> above or beyond discussion?
Opinions aren't above or beyond discussion. You, however, don't appear able
to distinguish between opinions and facts.
> If I claimed that you are an axe murderer, isn't the merit of the
> claim immediately relevant, and most definitely not entirely a matter
> of opinion? If you are an axe murderer then my attack is relatively
> merited. And if you are not an axe murderer than my attack is
> completely unmerited. If you eliminate any discussion of the merit of
> the attack, you necessarily eliminate any discussion of the truth of
> the attack. Wouldn't that be a nice state of affairs for those who
> deal in lies or make false factual assertions?
Here's a very good example. Claiming that I am an axe murderer would be a
factual assertion--NOT an opinion.
> I believe that your insistence that attacks' merit be set aside is
> illogical, and detrimental to arriving at the truth in any situation.
That's because you don't understand the difference between facts and
>> There's no point in discussing it when opinions are
>> already pretty well set.
> That's not true. I don't subscribe to any such rule.
That's great! If the day ever comes where you're able to discriminate
between facts and opinion, an ability to discuss opinions will come in handy
>> Further, whether a person is "dealing with these ["lies"
>> attacks"] is ALSO entirely a matter of opinion.
> That isn't true,
Yes, I believe it is true.
> but even if it was, so what? Let's just say that I
> say that you're a chain saw murderer. And you say that that's a lie.j
Again, you give an example that perfectly illustrates your inability to
discern between statements of fact and statements of opinion.
> If I don't respond to your accusation that what I said is a lie, and
> if I don't support my assertion that you are a chain saw murderer, it
> is demonstrable, even in a court of law, that I haven't dealt with the
What is it to "deal with a lie"? If you're able to provide factual
that I am a murderer then it's not a lie. If you're not able to provide
evidence then it's an assertion whose truth is unknown. If you ~know~ that
I'm not actually an axe murderer and you state that I am, THEN you've got
yourself a lie. There's no "dealing with it"--that's a phrase that doesn't
seem to really say anything. Either way, it's a factual assertion. Opinions,
on the other hand, are conclusions ~drawn from~ facts.
> It is not entirely a matter of opinion. You have made a factual
> assertion that is false.
In the case of the axe murderer--yes. In a case where someone like me is
saying "that Gerry Armstrong sure is a kook"--no. Calling you a kook
making a factual assertion. Calling you a kook is expressing an opinion--an
opinion being a conclusion drawn from facts. You might rationally claim that
my opinion is based upon lies, BUT it makes no sense to claim that an
opinion is a "lie."
> I have shown you by example that your factual
> assertion is false.
LOL!!! Truly, you appear to be completely clueless about the difference
between opinions and factual assertions! It's sad in a way--and yet, I find
myself oddly amused by it. Must be my dark sadistic side asserting itself...
> You have the opportunity to deal with my logical
> disproof of your false factual assertion in an honest, straight across
> manner, or not. Whether you deal with it honestly and straight across
> is not entirely a matter of opinion.
>> As for "black propaganda"... What is that? I think in your
>> criticism alone qualifies.
> You have a false thought. If you dealt with it honestly, you would
> support your thought, or conclusion, or projection with evidence.
You provide the evidence yourself--almost every time you post on this
subject. I'd dissect it and provide a complete diagram of my thinking on the
matter if I had even the slightest hope that you'd see the error of your
ways. But, I don't have even the slightest hope of that. I'm completely
persuaded that you are intractably stuck in your current mode of thought and
you don't matter enough for me to give it more of an effort that I've
already put forth.
> can show you dozens upon dozens of criticisms that I do not think
> constitute black propaganda.
Am I correct in thinking that it's only when the criticism happens to
coincide with some of the of things Scientology has said about you that you
call the criticism "black propaganda"?
> But I am not the person making the assertion, you are.
There's that tricky facts vs opinions thing again...
> to demonstrate to you that I can support the assertion I have now
Which assertion was that?
> I will state this: This criticism of your claim that you think
> that in my mind criticism alone qualifies as black propaganda does not
> qualify as black propaganda. Thus I have disproven your assertion.
Actually, that was an assertion of *what I thought*--not an assertion of
some fact about you. You haven't (and cannot) disprove my own assertion
about what I'm thinking at any given time. All you can do is try to persuade
me to change my OPINION by providing facts that support a different
I'll take your word for it that you don't consider all criticism to be
>> So, if there are no specific LIES in a particular post (keeping in mind
>> a lie is not simply a difference of opinion but is, rather, a willful
>> misrepresentation of an established fact), what it all really comes down
>> is that you include posts on your web page if you disagree with the opinions
>> expressed in them.
> No it doesn't.
So you say.
>> To whit:
>> ---Incidentally, Gerry, in reference to this post, I don't believe I
>> saw your post providing evidence of your claim that "virtually all
>> Scientologists are criminals"--
> Here's what I wrote on August 23, 2003 in response to your challenge:
> From: Gerry Armstrong <email@example.com>
> Newsgroups: de.soc.weltanschauung.scientology,alt.religion.scientology
> Subject: Re: German Translation of 1986 Armstrong "settlement
> Date: Sat, 23 Aug 2003 08:58:20 +0200
> Organization: Lightlink Internet
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> On Fri, 22 Aug 2003 18:41:56 -0400, Rebecca Hartong <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>> On 8/22/03 1:23 PM, in article email@example.com,
>> "Gerry Armstrong" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>>> ...and even despite the fact that virtually
>>> all Scientologists are criminals,
>> Say what?!? Talk about "black propaganda"! (An idiotic concept,
by the way.)
> Why do you call it an idiotic concept? It's the cult's term for one of
> their main weapons of war on us wogs®. I find it revelatory and
> helpful. Why do you think it's an idiotic concept?
It places into a pigeon-hole behavior that is not only poorly defined but
which is also quite likely to motivated by a wide variety of factors.
>> I'd really love to see your evidence that "virtually all Scientologists
>> criminals." Please provide it. You can post it here.
> I'd be glad to. It's rather lengthy for posting here, however, but if
> that's absolutely necessary I certainly will.
> The evidence is all laid out on this site:
> The site contains a considerable number of legal documents, but if you
> read carefully and understand what you read as you go you can make
> your way through it.
Oh yeah. I think I did see this. I dismissed it as the complete non-answer
that it is.
Let me assist you by giving you an outline of how a REAL proof might have
been put together:
"Why, yes, Rebecca...I can provide you with this indisputable evidence.
have copies of surveys (performed by an independent and unbiased agent)
taken during the years 1975 through 2000 of Scientologists from around the
world. The Scientologists questioned were a random sample and of a size
sufficient to be considered representative of all Scientologists worldwide.
In these surveys, Scientologists were specifically questions about their
criminal backgrounds. (The difference in criminal law from country to
country were taken into account.) For purposes of this survey the words
"virtually all" was taken to mean 90% or more. The surveys did indeed
that 90% or more of the Scientologists questioned are criminals. Since the
surveys were of a random sample of sufficient size to be representative,
they do indeed prove that "virtually all Scientologists are criminals."
[...and then you'd provide me with a way of obtaining copies of the survey
results for my own examination.]
Now, THAT's how you prove a statement of fact.
> Have you read all the documents and sections that I directed you to on
> my web site? To really be able to understand the answer to your
> question you would have to have understood the documentation already
> up on that site. So let me know if you've read it all, and understood
> it, because the detailed answer to your question is there. And then if
> you haven't been able to understand it all, or still have more
> questions, please let me know.
Nonsense. If you had any REAL facts at your disposal (as regards your claim
that "virtually all Scientologists are criminals"), you wouldn't need
direct me to read your web site.
It's ~your opinion~ that virtually all Scientologists are criminals.
Maybe that's what you meant all along and that fact vs opinion disability of
yours just got in the way of you expressing yourself clearly.
>> And last, but by no means least, a post that (in my opinion!) only
>> could consider anything other than a critical opinion...
> No, I don't believe that at all.
LOL!! I'm sure you don't!
> I've written probably a few hundred
> thousand words that I've posted to a.r.s. and are easily available to
> you. It shouldn't be hard for you to prove your insult from all that
Indeed. I don't feel a need to document how I came to my opinion, though.
Those who care enough to be following along already have their own opinions.
Some of them (perhaps a majority?) agree with me. Others do not. Whatever.
> And obviously inherent in your critical opinion that I'm stupid
Did I say you were stupid? I thought I just said you were a kook. There's a
difference 'ya know.
> your opinion of yourself that you are by comparison very intelligent.
> If you were as stupid as I actually am, you wouldn't voice the insult
> that I am stupid, would you? So perhaps to support your insult
> concerning my stupidity you could also dig up some evidence to support
> your claim to greater intelligence.
Whoa...you're really off on a tangent here!
> I say that I'm just average, common too, I'm just like him
> and the
> same as you. Is that stupid of me?
Who said you were stupid? You're a kook. (That's an opinion, by the way.)
Your whole side-trip into this "stupidity" thing is just further evidence
> I like your Locke quote too. Why not apply it to the propositions you
> might be entertaining about me?
Oh, I do...I do...
> But first of all, definitely read the materials on my site that answer
> your question, and then get back to me.
I don't need to read your site to accept that it's your ~opinion~ that the
majority of Scientologists are criminals. I don't agree with your conclusion
and I think it's ill-founded but I can easily imagine how someone like you
might come to it. If you're claiming this criminality thing as a FACT,
though...if you had any actual evidence of something like that, you wouldn't
need an entire web site to prove it.
"One unerring mark of the love of truth is not entertaining
any proposition with greater assurance than the proofs it is
built upon will warrant." --John Locke