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So you want to write, honestly


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Personal)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2023/02/20

Social enforcers should be a concern for individuals writing on controversial subject matter.

I have done a significant number of articles and interviews on individuals in dogmatic communities. You should make an informed decision about the possibilities for attacks against you, and the necessary sacrifices made in the process of writing.

The necessary conditions for honest and effective writing will have to occur in the home turf for you, for any semblance of experientially and narratively informed commentary. For example, religious fundamentalism is everywhere, which is to claim, implicitly, dogma as a key feature of human societies and “societies of mind”.

By “home turf”, I am speaking of anything well-known to you, e.g., a subject matter of expertise, a home town, a township, a city, a discipline, a profession, a niche pocket of any of the aforementioned. They provide a nuanced contextual analysis grounded in embodied ideas, your experience.

If you don’t have these experiences or bases of knowledge, then the best option may be silence or tempered commentary. Unless, you’ve done a decent amount of reading of others’ experiences, etc. Then you collate these into a point of view, a critical narrative.

By the nature of the writing in such a manner, you will come to an effectively challenging environment and circumstance. Iconoclastic commentaries aren’t treated well. Religious social enforcers come in all types. From the communal janitorial crew papering over bad behaviour of leaders to young and old bullies looking to destroy the commentaries, the behaviours of those so motivated can escalate.

It can escalate to negative gossip spreading and ruinous reputation activity to stalking and intimidation. Several professional paths have been obliterated due to social enforcers ruining reputation in multiple prior paths for me. These are important parts of the struggle for exposing lies.

When I was writing at a public Christian area, at least, one old Christian man constantly prodded, questioned, and stalked me. Even to the bus on routine trips into a more populous area of the township where I live, one man in his 70s, Christian fundamentalist, stalked and harassed me.

Constantly asking in an aggressive, condemning tone, “Where are you going?” I would dismiss the question hearing the intent behind the tone. He would ask again. I would sit silent. This happened for many, many months whenever I went out. This is distressing.

It is in this fact that the first step to understanding activism is knowing those divorced from reality are emotionally invested, cathected, in the communal enforcement of their delusions.

These individuals and others will try to befriend you. When seemingly innocuous conversation is truly intended to get personal information to use against you, as was done with me, this became something broadcast to all volunteer activist bosses, associates, and so on, known to them. Happily, I only discussed partially with them.

Most of those ties were completely demolished. Those professional paths and years of work were diminished or decimated in a few short months. They were quite active and conscientious in betraying confidences.

This is the nature of activism and exposing lies, and injustices. Christian universities, as a few facts, continue to get public benefit with land, as private institutions, charging exorbitant fees to students, and enforcing totalitarian doctrines on students. If not students, then faculty, staff, and administration, see Trinity Western University’s Community Covenant for starters.

The problem isn’t the people; the problem is the ideology enforced through obedient social structure on fear of firing if they — staff, faculty, and administration — don’t follow through with it. It’s the religious interpretation declaring the saved and the unsaved on nothing more than thin whims and hopes of historical veracity of a flawed series of documents, the Bible. As we saw as recently as late last year, another trans student committed suicide, e.g., at Redeemer University.

Talking to victims of some of the culture coming out of Trinity Western University, there are so many more and horrible stories happening under the cover of media night at these private universities, these Christian universities. It’s like many campuses in that regard, simply with more authority to impose on lives. As one professor at TWU said to me, to discourage me, “Don’t worry about what they’re doing.” (That was a threat.)

Or consider important historical figures in the lives of a townspeople, my township, Langley, has this “Founding Father”. A crucial fact of the country, a constitutional democracy; a singular fact of politics in the municipality, democracy. People are duly elected to Council, like them or not. They are voted in and voted out (by too few votes).

Sir James Douglas (no relation) was the founder of British Columbia by most records. If so, his historical record represents a grand irony. He was, in fact, anti-democratic. It was shown in his work as a leader. He opposed universal suffrage. That’s anti-democratic. Guardians of township history can dislike this, because they can’t deny it. They’d rather focus on worshiping him as a religious holy figure with Douglas Day and a statue in Fort Langley, presumably.

When I was on the Heritage Advisory Committee for the Township of Langley for several years, one elderly woman went after me, hard, after an article about him: “Mixed History: On Sir James Douglas”, presumably, went public. She aggressively mocked, derided, cut me off, and so on, in the meetings. She was “Madam Co-Chair” at the time. She said outright, singling me out in front of everyone, “I know who you are!” I am no longer on the committee.

I do not consider myself a victim, a hero, etc. I see myself as a writer on subjects of interest. However, I am acutely aware from rich personal experience the lengths to which disgruntled individuals will lie, defame, attack, etc.; those individuals who they deem enemies by mere fact of difference of substantiated opinion. In my case, I think richly substantiated.

You will forego financial sustainability and will find a hard time getting work, any work, because of a reputation and relatively impressive and rich lies spread in community: Be prepared for years of menial labour and low-skilled work. This happens in the online sphere too, but behind the scenes. Frauds are rife. To expose them, they will lie to their communities; you will pay a price there too. They have flying monkeys, ignoramuses. Never take yourself as a victim, you are surviving the consequences of honest writing and substantiated reportage with an alternate opinion.

If you want to take the path of independent writing, journalism, whatever you want to call it, simply be ready to be the one standing, saying, “I disagree”, then substantiate the opinion, and be willing to take the consequences; they will impact the paths of your life, multiple times. They will persist for years. By its nature, this will alter the course of your life.

Good luck.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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