There are some folks out there who would like to claim that this blog is slanderous. I take that claim seriously and would like to examine it here. The definition of slander is “a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report.”
If you disagree with me, you might interpret this blog has spiteful, vicious or mischievous in purpose. If you are inclined to think that way, I really don’t think that there is anyway I can change your mind. So, let’s just skip that one.
The second characteristic of slander is that the statements be false. Every single thing I have personally reported on this blog is backed up by facts. And when referencing the words of Dave Hasz or Ron Luce, I have provided links to their videos/blogs when available. In fact, I don’t think that I have yet received one complaint that I am misrepresenting their teachings or taking them out of context.
I have also critiqued more subjective realities regarding the environment there which are not as easily provable. However, both in the comments section and in the stories they’ve sent in, many other interns have testified to the accuracy of my claims (I Tim. 5:19). So clearly, my statements are not false, although they may not apply equally to each intern (especially with regards to the culture of the HA).
And finally, defamation, which is “false or unjustified injury of the good reputation of another.” Does my blog injure the reputation of Ron Luce, Dave Hasz, and the Honor Academy? Yes, it probably does. To me, that only shows the difference between their reputations and the reality of who they are and what they teach.
So, does criticism = slander? Sometimes. But not always. And not in this case. My criticisms are neither malicious nor false but are motivated by my love for others and for the Gospel – and the hope that no one will have to go through what I went through.
As the book Twisted Scriptures states:
“Slander is not the same as speaking truthful facts, even when those facts aren’t favorable toward the leadership of the group. Once leaders have convinced you that anything negative about leadership is slander or gossip, you will suppress such thoughts. Then leaders can get away with abuses and build greater conrol of the flock. If no one can question leader’s activities without thinking “I am guilty of sin” for voicing a negative opinion, it sure makes it easy to control the flock with few objections.
If you group harps on “not doubting” “not slandering” and “dying to self” you should see a red flag. Look more closely and you may find that their defintions of these terms veer away from the Biblical ideal. You may find that the group’s leadership is trying to condition you to avoid thinking critically and objectively about their teachings and practices. You should step back and take a hard look at your group, for there may be alot of other problems!”