Ming the Mechanic:
The downside to living your life publically

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 The downside to living your life publically2004-02-18 10:16
picture by Flemming Funch

Alexandra Polier got involved in a potential looming scandal for leading U.S. democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. Somebody thought he'd been having an affair with her, and he denied it. And so does she, and there probably wasn't anything to it. She once dated one of his staff members, and it was all a big misunderstanding, probably. And so what if it wasn't? But journalists and political opponents are looking hard for anything incriminating. So now look at something like this article. Somebody found her profile in Friendster. OK, seems like it has been pruned a bit since then, but when they looked at it, it was a Friendster profile like thousands of others, saying things like:
"About Me: just another hot piece of ass with a philosophy degree and a love for old movies. I'm afraid of death, hospitals and insects. I can't spell. I like old people. I want to travel the world reporting on injustices while taking the time to enjoy an umbrella drink when appropriate."
And it lists her being in an open relationship (gasp!) and stuff like that. Nothing special. Except for when the world press is scrutinizing your life looking for any sign that would indicate you to be some kind of loose woman who would be likely to have an affair with some important politician. Stupid moralizing hypocricy on the side of such journalists and the people who pretend to be shocked at reading about it.

But 100s of thousands of people are very publically posting stuff like that in online networks or on their blogs or other webpages or forums or discussion groups. People like me, who're generally open to living your life fairly out in the open, and who feel that the advantages of open networking outweighs the downsides. At least until you suddenly are put particularly in the spotlight, and any little comment you might have made can be greatly misconstrued and taken out of context, painting a picture of you that isn't really true.

I've had a bit of a taste of that recently myself. I unfortunately can't post the full story, because it is causing some other people much bigger problems than it is causing me. I found it kind of hilarious and entertaining, even if it is very mean-spirited. In brief, a friend of mine has an organization in Germany inspiring young people to choose positive directions in their lives. Somewhere on the website there's a quote from me and a link to one or more of my websites. An investigating journalist was bent on finding some dirt on this organization, to bring it down, for some reason that isn't entirely clear, other than that it is somehow "alternative". So, he started investigating anything he could find on me and anybody else linked from the site that could possibly be a good target. And, well, there's a wealth of material on the net about me, both what I've written, and references to things I've done in other parts of my life. Taking some of those references out of context, and forgetting to look at the date, the guy decided I am some kind of top Scientology cult leader. Scientology is a very bad word in a number of European countries, so any kind of association is about at the same level as being a Nazi or a Satanist. And I used to be a scientologist. To be precise, I was kicked out and excommunicated 22 years ago, quite thoroughly. Scientologists are forbidden from even speaking to me. And, sure, I've been friends with people who used to be top scientologists. And, sure I've practiced various alternative therapies and written books. A good scientologist wouldn't recognize any of that as being scientology, but if you don't look too closely, you might quickly conclude that it must all be the same kind of weird occult brainwashing type of stuff.

This journalist also found my blog, which told him I had moved from the U.S. to France recently. And he searched the net and found my profile in OpenBC, an online business network with a European focus. Which happens to have its company headquarters in Germany. And he sort of added these things - badly - together, and concluded that I am a top Scientologist who's about to invade Germany in order to corrupt young people's minds.

So, while I'm just sitting around here, in France, minding my own business, trying to survive - there I suddenly am, last month, on the front page of a minor German business newspaper. Big color picture of me, taken from my blog. And this whole harebrained story, painted in rather threatening terms, guessing heavy-handedly at my possible hidden motives for establishing a "business presence" in Germany. You know, that OpenBC profile! It is all kind of funny, and doesn't really bother me personally. For that matter I'm kind of flattered. But it is bad for my friend who actually is trying to do some good things, and who's name gets smeared by his association with unscrupulous and sinister characters such as me, however fanciful the story is.

I don't think I personally want to change anything about how open I am with posting things. I believe the answer generally is MORE communication, not less. Sure, you can come and take one thing out of context, but there's plenty of other material that can balance the picture, if an intelligent person bothers to look. And if there's anything in particular I think might easily be misunderstood, I'd rather be the first one to write about it myself, before anybody else gets a scoop out of revealing it.

There's always a bit of a danger in being a multi-facetted, open-minded person with varied interests and years of colorful experiences exploring different things. ANY part of it might pop up out of context anywhere. Your sexual preferences, your history of drug use, something you said sometime when you were really depressed, something you thought was said to a closed group of friendly people, those pictures your ex-boyfriend took of you - anything. But in the long run, I think that's a good thing. It makes it much harder to claim that any of us are just one-dimensional perfect people without a spot on their record. If we all have lots of varied spots, it no longer is such a good weapon to come along and discredit you by bringing out one little controversial piece of information from your past, which just happens to play well in a soundbite.

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18 Feb 2004 @ 14:41 by vaxen : Gee Ming...
That is some pretty hairy/scary stuff. Is there anything that we can do to back you up like DDOS the creep from afar? ;) Oops, maybe I should'nt have written that? Now they will think we're all hacker/cracker terrorists! Shades of Bader Meinhoff!

Seriously, though, this may have silver linings as I'm sure with a good attorney you may have stumbled across a veritable, hopefully not just virtual, pot of gold! Sue the 'scum-bag!' Well, you will do what you must but I, for one, hate this kind of yellow journalism and am dead set against it.

Let me know if you'd like to 'do something' (email campaign? letters?) about it. I know it probably hurts but I also know that you are big enough, in spirit, to conquer all these petty trivialities of living, not dying, tellurian life. Chin up bro! And thanks for the 'heads up.'  

18 Feb 2004 @ 16:45 by ming : Fighting back
Thanks for the support. Well, if it were just about me, I'd be inclined to just blast it out there, and do a few specials on that particular journalist and the newspaper, doing a little investigating on my own, and engage others to participate. And I'd rather enjoy the battle. But I also respect that the other people involved feel that they would not be served well by that kind of publicity, and that it would probably make it worse for them if I blew it up further.  

18 Feb 2004 @ 20:09 by Jon Husband @ : Thanks, for being normal .. and truthful
Almost anyone has things they have done in their past, and we're all imperfect - except someone who was totally well-behaved all the way through grade school, high school, university, never went out partying, never thought anything "different" and only read things from approved official institutions would ever make the grade, never got arrested or in any official "trouble".

I wouldn't want, really, to work closely or be close friends with such a someone. I wouldn't discrimate against them, or hold the ir stinted path through life against them, I just don't know where/how I would relate to them  

20 Feb 2004 @ 02:18 by magical_melody : Hey you look like Prince in that Pic!!!!
Hee hee! That looks like a Prince pose! You've turned French already. Now just don't get fried over this crazy issue. Funny story and yet it is such a symptom of the age we live in!!

I like that picture! I like the comments you all have made. Good points! Thanks for sharing this Ming. Max and I enjoyed this one and laughed lots! It really is funny! The stuff people come up with.  

20 Feb 2004 @ 07:59 by ming : Hey, I AM Prince!
The French Prince. Or you can just call me "#!éïç". I just didn't want it to get out into the tabloid press just yet.  

26 Feb 2004 @ 16:26 by ming : Scientology
Well, well, well, hello Herr Felmberg. Good to hear from you directly! No, I wouldn't think of deleting your message.

As you can obviously see from the letter to the editor you posted, the Scientology organization distances itself strongly from me. As I do from them. He is quite correct, I have nothing to do with Scientology any longer.

And, to correct a few things. No, I was actually only a member of Scientology for 3 years, from 1979 to 1982. And I was never a top scientologist. I was maybe, later on, a top opponent of the Church of Scientology. And associated myself a lot with other opponents, and a variety of ex-scientologists involved in other activities. Some of which used to be top scientologists, but certainly no longer were at that time.

To be fair, I don't have anything very negative to say about my time in Scientology, or about most of the people I've known who have been for or against it. I've enjoyed most of it.

But today I wouldn't think of recommending to anybody, neither directly nor indirectly, that they should go and join Scientology, or do the Scientology OT levels. And, no, it is not business I would want either.

There are lots of things I WOULD recommend to people, such as being more present, and working out their issues, maintaining good communication with other people, exploring the boundaries of experience, and becoming the very best they can be. I'm at times involved in helping people do such things, and I've written a lot about that. And, yes, I am all for transformation and other weird holistic stuff. If you don't like that, there's probably nothing much we can do about that.

As to {link:http://www.newciv.org|www.newciv.org}, it is an online network and community site with around 8000 members. People sign themselves up and fill in a profile, and can also list their websites. I've noticed that a couple of apparently active scientologists have signed up for it. They're free to do that, even if I personally don't like if they put up links to Scientology sponsored sites. Likewise, some ex-scientologists and "freezone" people have signed up as members, which they're perfectly welcome to, and some of those are my friends as well. Either way, whatever any of those 8000 people are doing or not, it is not the policy of that site to neither condone it nor censor it based on the webmaster's personal preferences.

You yourself have just added a link to wise.org to my site here. I don't condone that, but it is part of what happens when people are free to post messages and links.

Anyway, my life is pretty out in the open, and people can easily form their own opinions and check things out for themselves.

If you personally still are convinced that I have a "dangerous psychological influence", you're of course free to think so too. Just as I am free to find that somewhat amusing.  

1 Mar 2004 @ 04:21 by Ashanti @ : For the record
I am one of those that thinks Scientology and its off-shoots promote a dangerous, anti-social effect, and can harm people greatly. I have met some people who have been really messed up by Scientology.

Which is why I find this whole thing so odd - Scientology does not permit people to think freely, or critically about it. It will not put up links from its site to well known critic sites such as www.xenu.net and it does hurt people. Flemming in my experience is the exact opposite - he allows freedom of expression, permits a variety of views, even those he does not agree with. His newciv.org site is about freedom, not oppression. I fail to see how a link can be made bewteen Flemming, who is about helping people become empowered, linking them, connecting them with others who share the same interests, to the oppressive cult of Scientology.

So, he was Scientologist 22 years ago. So what? What he is today is the antithesis of that harmful group. I did point out to him a long time ago that someone had linked to the WISE site, and his response was that he did not agree with it, but that all people on his site had the freedom to link wherever, and express whatever. I pondered that, and then thought "OK", no big deal. The person with the link to WISE has never bothered me, I've never interacted with that person. Instead, I've met some really interesting people, and found some very helpful tools, ideas and resources to help me with various aspects of my work and life in Africa. See, we're building this amazing new country here in South Africa.

Flemming's current interests which appear in his blog do not even remotely promote an agenda of insiduous "psychological influence". The complete opposite, he wants people to think for themselves. How can that possibly be harmful? I'm not getting it. And I'm one of those who thinks Scientology is dangerous.  

1 Mar 2004 @ 10:32 by bushman : Hmm
I think Mr, journalist, should be more worried about the military industrial complex couping his country, if that hasnt already happened. He should worry about the global meglomaniacs, that are destroying the minds of his countrys youth, ie: Mc donalds, wallmart, the fact the USA is telling you whos oil you can buy. See Mr, journalist, here in the USA they already did that to our kids, no metal shop, no wood shop, no auto shop, and even school newspapers, are cencored of the truth, most of our youth here now can't even fix a flat on thier bicycles, let alone figure out how to use a hammer and pliers. I got intrested in scientology, and found it lacking as Ashanti mentioned above. It still gave me the motivation to look deeper. I'm a gardener with an 11th grade education, I can fix anything, drive, fly, anything placed into my hands. Seems to me the big threat in this time, is the truth. I can tell you without any doubt that ming, is not , nor will he ever, try to brainwash a child, thats just nuts to even postulate, when all of us are focused on lifting the veil of lies and deception our governments have imposed on us to hide the truth for over 2000 years. Your enemies are Masons and templars, a global eliet, they run your schools, and your police and fire, and most public transit, they are the ones pushing scientology worldwide. I know this because here in the USA and at least in CA, they have allready started using text books writen by Mr, LR Hubard, ming has nothing to do with that, and believe he wouldn't even subject his own kids to it, maybe why he moved over there, I dont know, do your schools use text books writen by scientologist? I dont think so. Do you back globalization and the usurption of planetary resources by global corperations? Who pays you? And last but not least, do you Mr journalist think any of the kids today have what it takes to run a country, unless they are specificly groomed by the powers in control of your world? It's why they kicked me out of school, I just wouldn't fit thier mold, lol. "We are here now, no more lies"  

2 Mar 2004 @ 11:31 by Seb @ : Unmasked!
I submit that Flemming is even more dangerous than what this journalist suggested. After an extensive investigation I have determined that he is actually Ming the Merciless, Emperor of the planet Mongo, the embodiment of pure evil. Here's proof: http://s93846884.onlinehome.us/MingtheMerciless.png  

2 Mar 2004 @ 11:47 by bushman : lol
Darn, I knew it, for the truth be know, the Lost Tribe, was first called the Mongo Tribe, before we got net access, lol.  

4 Mar 2004 @ 07:26 by ming : Ming the Merciless
Damn, you've got me. But now I've had it with you silly humans. I'm going to destoy Earth, hahahahah!  

3 Sep 2004 @ 02:32 by qmal @ : political oppession, propaganda

3 Sep 2004 @ 11:53 by ming : Scientology or not
Mr.Felmberg, oh, I don't have in mind deleting your postings. All sincere views are welcome here, and your little arguments with me have a certain entertainment value. Your activities do not seem well-intended, but I suppose you believe in what you're doing.

Ha, I didn't actually know about those Process Facilitator videos. But I can easily guess who made them, and I find it flattering to be credited as a source of some of the subjects they're teaching. But, now, I fail to see what that has to do with Scientology. I don't see the word anywhere there, and I don't think Verlag Dexheimer would be interested in having any relations with Scientology.

Are you maybe assuming that everybody who's working with other individuals as facilitator of some kind of personal process of transformation are scientologists? I think that would be giving Scientology way more credit than it deserves, and it is confusing a lot of distinct approaches with each other.

Hubbard was quite a pioneer in some of these areas. But he also borrowed a lot from many other disciplines. General semantics, hypnosis, buddhism, psychoanalysis, etc. What he was doing was philosophizing about how life and the universe works, and to try to develop techniques for personal improvement. Thousands of other philosophers and psychotherapists have done the same. Trying to call of all such activities "Scientology" would be a little silly. You'd have to include psychologists too, of course.

Scientology consists of a very specific set of beliefs and models and techniques and practices, and a very specific language that describes it. A scientologist is somebody who adheres to that system. Most specifically it is somebody who's a member of the Church of Scientology, as that organization aggressively takes legal action against anybody else who practices scientology without their approval.

Anyway, no, I'm not a scientologist who's trying to pretend he isn't. And I'm not trying to make money by using Scientology's materials. Are you suddenly working for the Church of Scientology now? Anyway, I have no interest in that, or use for it. The techniques I use are very effective as they are.

I can easily speak scientologese. Sometimes I do, if I run into some people who prefer that. Just like I can speak new age, or I can speak NLP language, or just like I can talk with a christian or with a materialist about what I do. It is useful to be able to translate concepts between different systems. Likewise, I can easily compare the things I do with other practices, and tell you how it is similar or different to what one does in scientology or in NLP or other subjects I'm familiar with.

No, I'm not familiar with Stichting Milieu Bewustzijn. I did a quick Google lookup, and it looks interesting. My dutch is not good enough to understand it in detail, though.

I don't know what BND is. You seem to be giving some kind of threat there about reporting somebody to the "Verfassungsschutz". Not sure what you're hinting at. Some guys with brown boots and skulls on their hats, who go out and beat up undesirable people, eh? Nothing new.

So, you obviously seem to have a connection with anti-cult groups. I'd like to hear what is actually going on for you. Not that I think you'd be willing to speak. In my experience these groups are usually run either by fundamentalist christians, or by fundamentalist materialists, and serve as a modern version of the inquisition. I.e. attempting to hunt down and elliminate people who don't believe the "right things". I.e. people who think for themselves and speak about it. You obviously are one of the tools of such a movement in Germany. Your targets seem to be just about any do-it-yourself metaphysical activity you can find, and your tools seem to be to just generally ridicule it all, and try to expose "hidden" links to something you know will create a negative effect in many readers. Scientology and suicide cults and child molesters and terrorists are always easy choices. It still is just cheap tabloid journalism. Not aiming for the truth, but simply for what creates the desired effect.

So, Mr.Felmberg, who's paying you for what you're doing? What are your spiritual beliefs? What groups are you a member of? Let's hear more about you.  

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