Is the “Church of Scientology” a fundamentalist organization?
In my view, it is. And if you read the criteria for fundamentalism above, there is not much doubt that the hard core members of the church fit right in to these 5 points.
I was prompted to write this by an interesting post on Marty’s blog a little while ago entitled Trained To Lie.
I posted a comment in response which I repeat here:
Marty — the corollary to this is the fact that these people will do anything to “protect the church” and believe that this is “the greatest good.” Thus, telling a lie is not a harmful act if it going to ensure the continued existence of “Scientology” because that “benefits everyone.” And of course, these days, the church and Miscavige are A=A.
This is extremely pervasive in Scientology. And it is not even limited to those who face the Hole or being declared for failing to “protect” the church or Miscavige, nor is it limited to Sea Org members. Even public Scientologists have this attitude.
When my brother was flown in to try and intimidate me along with Jenny Linson, Bloomberg, Guillaume etc etc in the doctor’s parking lot I finally had a conversation with my brother once Jenny Linson and Co had fled when the doctor called the sheriff’s department. I told him he did not know what was really going on and that he didnt know how people were being abused or the extravagances of Miscavige. His response was to tell me that “COB could do whatever he wanted and he deserved 1,000 times more than what he may be given in exchange for his brilliant leadership of the church.” It is SO ingrained into Koolaid drinkers it is hard to fathom.
But this is what underpins the ability to lie. They convince themselves either that it is in their own self-interest to lie (like how I was with the BBC) and/or it is the “greatest good” to lie.
They get away with it often because it is hard for normal people to understand that someone would just lie to their face.
I think this is a subject that deserves some further attention. See also my recent post The Big Scientology Lie.
Lying in Fundamentalist Scientology is such a given that it has become an accepted part of the “religion.”
The Dear Leader of Scientology stands on stage and tells lie after lie and the crowds cheer and applaud and proclaim with tears running down their cheeks how lucky they are to have Him to lead them to the promised land. Even when what he is saying is obviously untrue — they can observe for themselves in their own orgs. He tells them expansion is “straight up and vertical” and that there are 10 million Scientologists and 11,000 orgs, missions and groups. He tells them He has gotten everything “on Source” and all that is required is to pay again to redo everything you did previously. Virtually everything that comes out of his mouth proclaiming “good news” is a fabrication of one sort or another.
Church spokespuppets follow in His footsteps. “There is no such thing as disconnection.” “There was never a place called The Hole.” “We are the largest humanitarian organization on earth.” It is almost a given that any official statement from the church is a lie.
Regges do it routinely. “Your money is needed now to help the relief efforts in the Philippines.” “Your money will get books into libraries.” “We follow LRH policy on returning donations to dissatisfied students and pcs.” “If you give us your money, your income will increase.”
Public do it as a matter of course. “This was the greatest service EVER.” “This was the greatest event EVER.”
And when it comes to dealing with external situations — the media, governments or court cases — there is no limit on the lies that are told. And the lies become over the top when it concerns Dear Leader.
If the media indicates any angle that might reflect badly on him, the church deluges them with sworn declarations from people in the Hole asserting he is the kindest, most hard-working, compassionate man on earth who single-handedly does everything of note in Scientology. That he is a leader of men and stands above all others (Exh 1 Tom Cruise IAS acceptance speech).
But then if there is some threat in a legal case, the same people are trotted out to proclaim that Mr. Miscavige has NOTHING to do with anything anywhere, anywhere, any time, ever. Period. Put them in deposition or in front of a court and they lie with similar alacrity “No, we never claimed to be a residential drug rehab facility.” They even suborn their lawyers to tell outright lies to the court (though the lawyers may not in fact be apprised of the truth, themselves having been lied to) “Mr. Miscavige has no idea what Mr. Rathbun does and doesn’t care.”
These days they don’t have any spokespeople to appear in the media, so all of their tall tales are sent in emails under the name of Karin Pouw.
And too often the lies fly over the heads of the recipients. People really do find it hard to believe (or perhaps to confront) that someone would simply tell a provable lie.
This is more than following the dictates of telling an “acceptable truth” or “shore story” (themselves pretty strange concepts for any religion that is supposedly predicated on truth).
No, this is pathological lying. Just out and out invented assertions and “facts.” Why?
Part of it is the bunker mentality — we are engaged in a war and acceptable behavior towards the “enemy” is whatever we deem it to be. And when the very survival of the planet and every man, woman and child on it is at stake, well, what’s a few lies if it protects the most important thing on earth?
Part of it is arrogance – we are “above wog law” or “the media are merchants of chaos (SP) so its not an overt to lie to them as they lie all the time anyway.” “We are not going to submit to the whims of the SP’s to try and destroy us.”
Part of it is the inculcated mindset that anything is justified when it is the “greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics.” (Of course the 3D counts for 8 — as “benefiting the church” means benefiting all dynamics because the church is the only entity that can truly salvage everyone’s eternity and of course David Miscavige is Scientology).
A big part of it is being afraid of not “following the party line” — the consequences for SO Members may be the Hole or RPF and endless sec checks. Non SO may be sec checked and declared and have their family disconnect. Or lose their job.
So, lying is part and parcel of the “game where everyone wins (as long as you are one of us).”
But does it stop at lying for the greatest good?
Someone recently reported to me that they were told by Marion Pouw (one of Dear Leader’s personal emissaries to “handle disaffection”) that “there are 10,000 sea org members that would do whatever it takes to protect DM.” This was a threat to toe the line or there may be dire consequences. “You don’t want to cross Command Intention.”
Which brings me to this anonymous email that I recently received from “firstname.lastname@example.org”:
“Donate”, “Friends of LRH” LOL. Do you realize that you have pronounced yourself to be the enemy of several million very dedicated Scientologists? Honestly, this is your product. Its Final, that’s for sure. How about Valuable? Hahaha. What have you done for LRH? What are you doing for LRH? You honestly think he’d “be on your side”? He would roast you on a spit. You live on a planet where you have created millions of enemies, MILLIONS. You are skating on microscopically thin ice. You are actively seeking to destroy the church and organizations LRH worked his ass off to build. This is LRH’s Church. So you have disagreements. This is how you handle it? There is no way you’re dumb enough to think this is the correct thing to do. You just can’t be. I’ve seen you speak at past events. You’re not stupid – I mean in terms of IQ.
The best thing you can do is go away quietly and hope next life no one recognizes you. Because this life, you’re done. There is no going back. You will never be accepted back. Its over, totally.
So since you’re not stupid – then what are you? That was fast. Why would anyone run to the press, post videos, start a blog, and ramble on and on and on and on, compulsively, unable to get your attention off COB or the Church? Why? Why Mike Rinder? Can’t you just shut up and leave, go do something else? You can’t honestly think LRH would approve or forgive you. No, you’re not stupid. You know.
If you don’t want to be part of the Church, that’s absolutely fine. I don’t care. We don’t care. I don’t care if people like you or Ortega or Rathburn don’t want to participate. Who gives a shit? It makes no difference. But yet you have to sit hiding in the bushes making crude remarks constantly, the brotherhood of cowards afraid to show your faces for fear of retaliation from the Church. Can’t take it I suppose. At this point the best thing for you to do is cut ties completely, forget about the Church of Scientology, forget about LRH, forget about COB, and move on with your life, and take your new 2D with you. Honestly. Do something else, develop a new career and don’t ever bring it up again. Show us you really mean it, and go, for real.
For if you and your new group are not suppressives, then who is?
This is Fundamentalist Scientology in all its nonsensical bluster.
…you have created millions of enemies, MILLIONS. I guess He buys His own bs about how many church members there are.
You are skating on microscopically thin ice. Hmmmm — doesnt seem thin to me, in fact it seems a lot more solid than the quicksand the RCS is floating on.
The best thing you can do is go away quietly and hope next life no one recognizes you. I grew back my beard, does that count?
… the brotherhood of cowards afraid to show your faces for fear of retaliation from the Church. Can’t take it I suppose. This is a funny line coming from an “anonymous” email probably dictated by Miscavige. I thought your complaint was that I DO show my face and am vocal and can be easily found by anyone? Probably this came as a result of a number of different dictations and someone tried to squeeze them all in to the one email so they could report compliance. The threats of “retaliation” by the church and the “millions” who are out there ready to mow me down as an enemy are typical of the fundamentalist mindset. This is the mindset of the John Allender’s and Ed Bryan’s of the world.
This group is in a dwindling spiral and is lashing out at those who are pointing out its insanities and abuses. There is no introspection. Of course NOTHING could ever be wrong within the RCS. Everything is perfect. It is an “ideal” organization that is above reproach.
“When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.” Thomas Paine
*Note: The five features of fundamentalism comes from a book: The Fundamentalist Mindset: Psychological Perspectives on Religion, Violence and History by Charles B Strozier, David M Terman, James W Jones and Katherine A Boyd