It may come as a surprise to many that there are not-so-hidden agendas working behind so-called counterculture and anti-establishment news and media outlets, which deceptively discriminate against and dehumanize practitioners of alternative spirituality.
While often being couched in satirical language and “wacky” stories, these agendas in actuality use the same fear-based psychological triggers utilized by mainstream media outlets to shock and “entertain” the public and to develop and retain strong consumer bases for their publications.
These fear-based tactics — which typically rely on sensationalist hearsay, and biased, one-sided reporting — are based upon decades of stereotypical illegitimate anti-cult movement propaganda that automatically presumes any spiritual group or author beyond the mainstream must be deviant or harmful in some way.
This site was created to examine one such particular instance of deceptive reporting, in which a former VICE intern attended a free 8-week meditation-based course in a public library in Canada, and bought a book for a suggested donation of $5. He then proceeded to create a hit-piece on the alternative spiritual group and an unrelated author using the aforementioned anti-cult movement stereotypes.
The main article on this site explains how the reporter overlooked, omitted or misrepresented facts, and relied on the testimony of anonymous cyber bullies and internet trolls in order to support his sensationalized false narrative. It also explores how the media outlet he wrote for has consistently published this type of story in order to attract consumers to their publication, indicating that the reporter attended the course from the very beginning intending to create a sensationalized “crazy cult” story, despite there being no evidence with which to support it.
The article also explores from a wider perspective the suppression of alternative spirituality in society through biased media reporting, and the consequences on individual liberty and religious freedom posed by media outlet and individuals adopting or supporting anti-cult agendas.
Read the full response to the VICE article about Belzebuub and the Mystic Seekers Toronto group here.