On the term "apostate"  

by Miguel Martinez

The term apostate defines reality and puts everything in its place. Its origin is religious, and this "proves" that the cult that uses it is a bona fide religion (unless, like New Acropolis, the organization claims not to be a religion). 

The term reminds me of the apostate par excellence, Julian. Virtually a prisoner, surrounded by tutors who tried to impress him with the "only true faith", Julian made a difficult choice of his own. Which not everybody may share, but which certainly required tremendous courage. 

A nice definition, after all. However, the reason CESNUR uses it is to deny experience. We can learn about cults only from those who know them personally. However, the voice of current cult members is merely a reflection of the only permitted Voice, that of the Master (which, in the theology of "Doctor Plinio" (Plinio Correa de Oliveira), is the only voice a gentleman should pay attention to). Listening to adepts is like trying to learn about the conditions of life in a car factory reading FIAT's advertisements. 

In his e-mail reply to the first edition of this text, Introvigne made the following, highly revealing reference to me: 

"Once again, I am not interested in discussing with an 'interpreter' my academic credentials or my work" 

Actually, the discussion started with an analysis of Introvigne's work on New Acropolis; whether or not Introvigne may call himself a sociologist, I happen to have fourteen more years' experience of this organization than he does; and this gives me the right to discuss his work when it touches a field I know better than him (and when it mentions me).

Silencing the voice of 'apostates' is associated with a will to control. Like nineteenth-century diplomats, the bureaucracies of different leaderships only listen to each other. They may be adversaries or else dialogue at the top, but there is one thing many politicians, group leaders, and some academics agree upon: silencing the unpleasant noise which comes from the soldiers in the trenches when they mutiny, when they stop being merely props for the flags of their leadership.

This is our voice. It may not be pleasant. It may exaggerate at times. It may remove memories which are too painful. But it does give you a much clearer idea of what life in the trenches is like than all the patriotic gazettes of the princes' courts.