Blog: Critical Q&A 162 - 2018-06-03

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F0.png Critical Q&A #162 June 3, 2018, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large

The weekly show where I answer questions from viewers left in the comment sections of my Critical Q&A videos or sent to me by email at This week, the questions I answer are:

(1) Some times it occurs to me as if the criticism of destructive cults was mainly introduced by "concerned parents" (especially in the 1970s and 80s). Do we have to consider the possibility that some points of cult criticism are, in reality, the maintenance of questionable societal norms and potentially the symptom of a new generation, becoming more and more independent, colliding with the traditions and values of the previous generation and which is frightened about changes in society and a subjective feeling of "alienation" to their children (maybe scapegoating cults, considering them as having a somehow "indecent" influence on the youth)? For instance, parents of young members of the Rajneesh/Bhagwan cult were often concerned because of the group's progressive mindset concerning sexuality. How is it possible to differ between appropriate cult criticism and undifferentiated maintenance of traditional family ideals and societal structures? Don't get me wrong, I am absolutely convicecd that there are destructive cults using dangerous and psychologically harmful techniques of control, manipulation, thought-stopping and hypnosis, but how can we tell the difference between a benign, socially progressive group and a destructive cult?

(2) In an interview with Jeff Augustine, Jon Atack talked about the theft of the OT materials packs from Copenhagen. How many copies of each OT materials packs would a class 5 / ideal org have? What are your recollections of the time when the materials were stolen? Did you hear about it or was it hushed up? Did you notice security tightened?