In among the many Search Terms concerning Rebekah Brooks, leading people to this blog there have been a few including Scientology. I have spent a while wondering why this might be and have come to the conclusion, that it is because there are some remarkable parallels to be drawn between Scientology, and available information about practices at the News of the World, whilst Ms Brooks was ‘on the bridge‘, and within News Corporation as a whole. Some of these parallels are perhaps accidental, others prehaps suggest that News Corporation might have cult like qualities.
The Profit motive?
Scientology, is somewhat notorious as a ‘religion’ which charges its adherents for what it offers.
“MAKE MONEY. MAKE MORE MONEY. MAKE OTHER PEOPLE PRODUCE SO AS TO MAKE MORE MONEY.” – L. Ron Hubbard, Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, 9 March 1972, MS OEC 384
It might seem a bit unfair to make a connection between Scientology and a commercial company on this score, however on the other hand it raises the question of what the ethical limits of good practice are, many critics of Scientology feel strongly it is on the wrong side of the line, and the current phone hacking scandal puts Ms Brooks, the Murdoch father and son and News Corporation on the same wrong side of the same line.
Using personal information to control others/Manipulating information,
In scientology’s case this has been the use of personal information from supposedly private ‘auditing sessions’ which has been used to silence, and intimidate those who have left the church, and expressed criticism of the church. E.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tory_Christman,
In the case of the News of the world, and Ms Brooks we might point to, the hacking of a missing child’s phone, and worse the manipulating of the information hacked into, by deleting messages found there, in order to direct the news story in a way that benefited the NOTW, and it‘s parent organisations. This may go further Peter Oborne the Daily Telegraph’s chief political commentator thinks that Rebekah Brooks has dirt on Prime Minister, David Cameron:
“It may well be dangerous for David Cameron to ditch Mrs Brooks. She may have acquired a great deal of information about him and the senior members of his cabinet, both at those quiet Chipping Norton dinners and quite possibly through other, nefarious means.”
Like hacking his phone perhaps.
“Somebody some day will say ‘this is illegal.’ By then be sure the orgs [Scientology organizations] say what is legal or not.” – L. Ron Hubbard, Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letter, 4 January 1966, “LRH Relationship to Orgs”
Operation Snow White is perhaps the best example of Scientology ‘omnipotence’, in which they set out to whitewash L. Ron, Hubbard’s image by trying to remove negative information held on him by government organisations. The following wikipedia page gives a reasonable good overview of this.
The omnipotent posturing of News |Corporation is a bit hard to hide in any context, as Since Margret Thatcher sought Murdoch’s support all subsequent Prime ministers have done the same and have perhaps needed to. The central role of the ‘Australian‘, the only national broadsheet in Australia, owned of course by ‘News Limited’ (Do I need to say who owns that particular company), has been underlined by the homage paid it by Australian prime ministers.
Fair Game policy?
I posted this here. In anticipation of this article https://transremaxculver.wordpress.com/2011/07/18/scientologys-fair-game/
In Scientology this infamous policy letter and ‘cancellation’ justifies all sorts of behaviour towards critics. Perhaps the most famous example of which is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Freakout the attempted discrediting of Paulette Cooper. And even if it is shown that Sean Hoare died of natural causes a good case could be made that a very similar thing happened to him, as a result of claiming Andy Coulson knew about phone hacking at the NOTW all along.
Today’s (18-7-11) editorial in the Wall street Journal seems designed as exactly that a direct attack on critics of News Corporation, invoking the US First amendment no less. In addition the list of names of politicians who’s phones were hacked, include several who were openly critical of the Murdoch empire, of which Ms Brooks was such an important player.
This seems to me to show how Ms Brooks, Murdoch and News Corporation do seem to be behaving in a way remarkably similar to the Cult of Scientology. Others have noted this too.
Discusses the cult like qualities of Rupert \Murdoch’s empire, however this can be extended., beyond the limits of News Corporation.
Discusses the cult like qualities of the American Right wing.
And interestingly the ‘Tea Party’ are the current manifestation of the right in the USA, and among it’s major contributors are? Go on, guess.
Ok its Murdoch and Fox news who also reportedly give the Tea Party, air time for free, A connection I might explore further in another post. Although Murdock is not the only contributor, most commentators appear to agree that he is one of the top two.
I would freely acknowledge that I have slipped from Brooks to Murdoch, however in my defence I would say that her career has been so closely tied to the fortunes of News Corporation that it is next to impossible to separate them.
I think that the major dynamic which makes Ms Brooks’ behaviour look a bit like a Scientologists is actually a dynamic of major corporations. It makes very good business sense to demand almost unthinking staff loyalty and obedience to company policy. It could even be argued that this is a central plank of modern commercial operations.
There is one major problem with this to my mind, and that is it seems to be a one way process. In a lot of very large organisations, the core group of ‘essential‘ staff, might be happy to show loyalty to each other a la Murdoch’s support for Brooks in the face of the obvious: but everyone else is disposable, e.g. the staff of the News of the World. However the expectation is that more junior staff are expected to show absolute loyalty to the company, despite their disposability.
This creates a very cult like quality, everyone wants to get into that privileged group, the inner circle, and will climb over anyone to get there, even the bodies of murdered schoolgirls, or other Journalists.
I don’t think Rebekah Brooks is, or ever has been a Scientologist. In truth; I think that because as soon as I research anything about her I collide with the shadowy figure of Murdoch, that I am increasingly thinking of her religious outlook as: Murdochist. Which probably deserves a post all of it’s own.