Section I (how'd this get started, anyway?)
Q1- Where did your internet nicks (Fluffygirl and Ball of Fluff) come from?
A1- When my husband and I were posting to alt.religion.scientology ("a.r.s.") early on, he changed the computer settings to show the user nick as Clawed_Waterbuck. his little joking reference to a Hubbard tape. I posted under that for a while as I didn't know how to change it. Friends suggested I find something more suitable for my personality, so I selected Fluffygirl. Later, with the little fluffy things on the Illustrated Scientology Tone Scale in mind, I changed it to Ball of Fluff for most forums.
Q2- Do you post under any other nicks?
A2- Yes, but all are tied to my real name. I'm not an anonymous poster.
Q3- What is the backstory with Scientology, the internet and you?
A3- In a nutshell, I found a.r.s.quite by accident in 1998. We'd just gotten on line and were very excited about that. We put three subjects into the yahoo search engine. Boxer dogs, Church of the SubGenius (which my husband had read about in a book called "High Weirdness by Mail") and Scientology.We found a lot of critical websites about Scientology saying things that we'd never ever heard about. We also found the slack ng (newsgroup) for Church of the Subgenius and there were cross postings to a.r.s. Thus, we found a.r.s. We lurked for a while, then started posting enthusiastically. We were posting all pro Scn, very pro CofS, party line type stuff as that was our viewpoint at the time. We were having an interesting time reading about brave people like Birgitta Harrington and horrific and tragic events like the death of Lisa McPherson down at Flag. (CofS' main center). We started to get calls from our local Scn center because they were getting calls and telexes from OSA. (CofS' Dept of Special Affairs. They are a type of secret police. Ostensibly, they are just there to protect the church from legal flaps but in actual fact OSA causes most of CofS' problems by their inept mismanagement, targetting of critics and FreeZoners, etc.) We were told our loyalty was in question and that we couldn't post to or even read a.r.s. because "we already have people to do that." which means operatives that they send in to a.r.s. and to other critical forums to monitor and disrupt the forums. After a number of these "handlings", as they call them, which were getting more and more annoying, I got pissed off and walked away from CofS while reserving the right to study Scn independently whenever I pleased. A year later, evidently not mindful of the locking the barn door after the horse got out adage, CofS expelled me.They also expelled my husband John for posting humorous jpgs to alt.binaries.scientology. Some of the JPGs parodied scientological things, some were more in the line of an homage to Scn. He also did a couple that excoriated a couple (now former) critics and their foundation; Stacy Brooks and Bob Minton. Oddly enough, we didn't get any flak from CofS when John posted those! I wonder why!
Q4- Are you with OSA?
A4- No. Never.
Section II (Answers to those with an axe to grind)
Q5- What are you doing on so many message boards if you don't like being criticized for your views, and your job, and your style of dress, your husband's proclivities and even the cat food you give your cats?
A5-You're right! Posting to public forums constitutes a complete invitation to have people invade one's private life. No, really! Honest! Totally! So I guess my own personal ban on writing about people's home lives and appearances was completely foolish. I really see that now! Yay!
Q6- Do you still get "handled"?
A6- Yes, indeed. But not by the Church of Scientology or its affiliates or by anyone with any interest in Scientology-LOL!
Q7- Why do you post to several different Scientology debate forums?
A7- Each forum has different contributors, with only a certain degree of commonality between forums. It makes for a different chemistry that can be quite exciting. Various points are brought up at different times and places. Debate forums are more stimulating than ones where people sit around and go "Sonuva gun, that Ron sure was brilliant." and all congratulate each other for being Scientologists
Q8-Isn't it true that you always have to have the last word on Scn debate forums and even admitted it?
A8-Not if the discussion isn't about me and what a terrible person I am. So, if it's on topic, then it all works out like a normal discussion. However, I now know that it is totally wrong for me to ever answer back. It's ok for others, but it's wrong for me. These people are only trying to instruct me! And answering them back only screws up the board. Now, of course, the times such personalized commentary is brought up- by others- now, that doesn't derail discussions at all. Not at all. Bwahahahaha!
Q9- Is it true that you become angry and get in flame wars with anyone who disagrees with you?
A9- Not if they are talking about Scientology or CofS.
Q10-Maybe people are writing about you so much because they care about you.
A10-Yes! That's exactly it! Strangers yell at me and scream about personal stuff and derail discussions out of sheer altruism and caring. That's so true! (excuse me, I have to go change my underwear.)
Comment made a few times by same sort of person-A number of people have said they have killfiled you or placed you on "ignore".
My response: Yes. And it's a good idea. For years, some people have been following me from thread to thread, forum to forum, derailing topics with comments about me and creating topics about me while protesting every response I make. So I think that if these people can't stick to discussion of Scientology or Hubbard and my presence upsets them that much, that they should not read my posts. A lot of thread derailment and flames would have been prevented had these people taken a little personal responsibility and employed a little netiquette.
Section III (Why bother with Scn at all?)
Q11- You know that Hubbard was a liar, a con artist, that he took drugs, treated people badly and that signs pointed to him being out of his gourd by the time he died. So why would you have any interest in Scientology now? Have you learned nothing?
A11- I know that he did lie about a number of things. He was caught doing it. He lied about his war record, how many times he got married, and he let members think he was totally against drugs, while there's evidence that he was taking them right up until he died. It does look like he lost it toward the end and it looks like he was irresponsible and hypocritical in a number of ways for years and years. So yes, I've learned a lot. Would I have said any of this when I was in CofS or even thought it? No, I wouldn't. However, I'm not into the Ron as cult leader thang. I'm not so interested in Hubbard the man as I am in ideas I can use. There are ideas, concepts and techniques in Scn that are useful to me, that never stopped being useful to me. So that's still part of my life.
Q12- What about all the other methods out there that might be good? Why confine yourself to just Scientology?
A12- I don't confine myself to just Scientology. I am studying another method (yoga) right now and have done so with other things in the past. I plan to keep doing this.
Q13- Do you promote Scientology on debate forums?
A13- No. I identify myself as a Scientologist, but that is for purposes of honesty and disclosure. I really don't care if people want to do Scn or not. I do like to answer questions about it and discuss it, but I'm not into making converts.Some people are. I'm not. I also write posts criticizing CofS, Scn, and Hubbard, as well.
Q14- Your stance that current CofS management is the problem and that Scientology itself is just peachy really does not make sense. When are you going to wake up?
A14- That is not my stance. I think that many of the problems with current CofS management's practices stem from contradictory, self serving and autocratic policies Hubbard wrote. I have a number of disagreements there. No question, current CofS management is highly problematic and I'd not recommend that anyone join CofS, but it's obvious to me that Hubbard set the stage for every single thing that's happening now. After all, you know, David Miscavige was his protege.
Q15- Ok.What do you like about Scientology?
A15- I like the ideas about spirituality. I like Hubbard's charts and scales. I like a lot of the policies, though certainly not all. I think that the auditing and wordclearing do work to a great extent but I also think that the claims of what they will do were and are greatly exaggerated by both Hubbard and current CofS management. So with that, I'm more of the half a loaf is better than none persuasion. It's not like it's the only thing I'm studying, anyway. But it surely is the most controversial!