Free Speech

Libel Lawsuit Filed over Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult


The case in Eliot v. Lions Gate Entertainment (C.D. Cal.), filed by motivational speaker and author Marc Eliot. From the introduction:

[B]y misleading splicing of words, editing, and use of Plaintiff's images, Defendants insinuate that Plaintiff is dangerous, has been trained to kill, is capable of killing himself if told to, and condones sexual violence against women. Further, in the series Defendants equate Plaintiff to the likening of a rapist, an ISIS and Al Qaeda terrorist, a Nazi experimenter, and a murderer on command.

I don't know whether the lawsuit is well-founded, but the underlying story has been in the news, including as to odd legal procedural details, so I thought I'd note this latest twist.

NEXT: Psychology and Pseudonymity

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  1. Don’t know anything about the case but I think we all know about mainstream media. Katie Couric confessed to this regarding her interview with RGB. They create a narrative to drive an agenda. I have no doubt there is some substance to the allegations contained in the plaintiff’s filing.

    1. Holy confirmation bias, Batman!

    2. But let’s break that down!
      1) “I don’t know anything about the case”: admission of lack of facts
      2) “but I think we all know about the mainstream media”: appeal to overgeneralization
      3) “Katie Couric blah blah”: appeal to existing biases
      4) “They create a narrative to drive an agenda”: identify disagreements as “the other” and assume nefarious intent
      5) lI have no doubt” … of a completely BS unsupported conclusion devoid from connection to reality.

      Propaganda 101, people. Give Michael D a big hand! Try your waitperson, tip the veal!

      1. That’s all very nice and all. But this is not exactly the forum in which one can expand upon media bias. So yes, we can go from the general to the specific and extrapolate that indeed, if bias is widespread in the industry, there is a possibility that the defendant might engage in the same practice as the rest of the industry.

        I am sorry I cannot provide you with the details of this case to support this assertion. But here is where you are misguided regarding the mainstream media. What you label as an appeal to overgeneralization, I would label common knowledge and a belief held by most people, if polls are any indication of sentiments.

        And yes, there is always an agenda. Your failure to be an astute observer who recognizes this agenda is not my problem. Outside of traffic and weather, nearly every news story is meant to create a narrative that feeds the agenda which in most cases is based on the biases of the individual reporter and often the publication.

        As an example, I finished watching the Vox produced series on Netflix titled “Explained” which is supposed to be fact-based explanations of various aspects of life. Every episode pushed an agenda with a narrative created by obfuscation, leaving data/info out of the story and presenting partial truths.

        The point being that even a show which is supposed to be something of a documentary explaining these things helped to feed a narrative.

        So yes, while I am not familiar with the case, I am very familiar with the creation of a narrative by the media. So I can assert with high probability that the possibility exists that the same thing occurred in this case.

        1. You went from the specific to the general back to the specific. That's absolutely fallacious.

          As to your Vox example, that's media consumption 101 - the speaker's priors are part of the story being told. That does not invalidate the story, it just shows how points of view foreground some facts and not others. You should also interrogate your own take (and where you got it from) with the same zealousness you did with the Vox doc. From this comment, it's quite clear you did not.

    3. While I share your disdain for almost all aspects of the media today, by all accounts and multiple sources this is a pretty evil dude.

  2. Haven't been following it closely, but when a case involving celebrities, socialites or famous athletes results in sentencing levels usually reserved in civilized countries for mass-murderers, the notion of having a Court of Star Chamber (which, despite the reputation, was very effective at insulating the law from political pressure by the aristocracy that it policed) doesn't seem too far beyond the pale.

    Mr. D.

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