Arel wrote this email to Tory over a month ago and sent it to me to post. I never got to it in the mad press of other things going on. Incidentally, Arel has been picketing somewhere, orgs, missions, government buildings, and lawyer offices every day since my conviction. She is always open to someone doing a proxie picket for her. Send her email if you can take a day. Keith Henson Subject: Re: So Glad!
From: [email protected]
Date: Sat, 14 Apr 2001 06:24:04 EDT
Hi Tory, My life is insane as usual. I was just thinking that I know what you mean about walking through the wall of losing friends. It happens to critics too. I've finally learned to call it "Blaming the victim" when friends and family think there must be something wrong with the person who is being attacked by $-ology. "Well, you must have done something," is a typical response. It must be a character flaw, something wrong with the person who is engaged in litigation with them. Many people just shun the critic, won't talk with us or get angry or amused or change the subject whenever we mention $-ology and OSA tricks, litigation, etc. I did this when Keith was first sued, and have definitely lived to regret it. Neither of our families has been supportive, and few friends whom we knew before $-ology litigation. Our lives are divided into B.L. (before litigation) and A.L. (after litigation) or B.S. and A.S. I think of the typical response of friends and family to OSA persecution as the "chicken response." If you've ever had chickens, you know that if a chicken is pecked by one higher in the hierarchy, or if a human inadvertently steps on or purposely brushes away or strikes a chicken that is part of a flock, all the other chickens, even those subordinate to it in ordinary social intercourse, start pecking at it. Chickens are commonly killed this way. This is the "If some strong and recognized organization is pecking you, there must be something wrong with you!" response. It still hurts coming from friends and family, but we've learned to recognize and survive it. So we have come to value our friends made A.L. in a very special way, and to admire the bravery of people like you who have left what is actually programmed to be an all-encompassing social and emotional life. Many of us have had our lives profoundly changed by our encounter with OSA. I know I have. I have had to give up much (including my world view), and have done what I can to prepare myself to give up everything in what I now regard as a struggle for liberation--liberation not only of members as you were, but especially of Sea Org staff who (according to accounts) are kept as virtual slaves at "Gold" and "Flag." I no longer expect justice, sympathy, understanding, public involvement, press indignation, political action, or any of the other things I assumed should happen with injustice of the magnitude we've encountered. Remember the old saying, "Be careful what you ask for. Because you might get it"? I now remember asking to understand what happened to Nazi Germany--how the Gestapo and Hitler could just take over and people could live with concentration camps practically in their back yards. Now I understand. The people of Hemet live with "Gold" in their backyard. The people of Clearwater live with "Flag" in theirs. It's possible because generation after generation we "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil," and in fact are trained to ignore evil so it doesn't come after us personally. As an evolutionary strategy, it doesn't pay to get involved in our neighbors' fights. Except that sometimes if we don't get involved people die. We are ill prepared by nature or nurture to make the decision when to intervene, when to give up personal peace and comfort to step in and try to make a difference. I appreciate your bravery and possibly can understand some of what you've been through and are going through even though I'm an outsider. You're free. That's great. Now, if only . . . Love,
Arel [Tory wrote back very supportive and suggested Arel post--Keith]