It’s Saturday and Terra Cognita is here….
Personal Choice vs Scientology Policy
The Church of Scientology has always been quick to point out that disconnection from others is a personal choice. Yes and no.
It could be argued that every decision one makes while in Scientology is personal. Every course one does, every session in which one picks up the cans, and every evening when a person walks through the front doors of the org boils down to personal choice. Nobody twisted your arm while you filled out an OCA. Nobody held a gun to your head while you read DMSMH and did the Comm Course. These were all personal choices. Right?
Joe decided to plunk down the money for his Life Repair. He decided to continue up the bridge. He decided to donate to the IAS and later, toward a new building. He decided to join the Sea Org for a billion years. And while there, willingly submitted to the RPF. And yes, he decided to disconnect from his sister who refused to stop reading all those anti-Scientology books and blogs. To one degree or another, following any policy in Scientology is preceded by a personal decision to do so.
On the other hand, if a person wanted to go FREE—he’d damn well better play by LRH’s rules. The man dictated policy on all aspects of personal life in typical authoritarian fashion. He wrote strict “guidelines” on:
How to behave.
What to think.
Who to befriend; who to avoid.
Who you can communication with; who you should shun.
Whether you should handle or disconnect.
What condition you’re in.
Whether you’re in-ethics or out-ethics.
Whether you’re on-purpose or off-purpose.
What is the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics.
Whether you’re a tiger or a lamb.
Again though, you’re free to walk away from the game whenever you want. There are no bars on org windows—at least not on the ones at “my” hometown org. Members aren’t forced to wear ankle bracelets or shock collars.
If you want to go FREE—truly FREE for the first time in a quadrillion years—you’ll roll Ron’s dice and move your token around his game board. If you want to dead-file that reactive mind that’s been ruining your life for eons and finally go Clear, you’ll follow his policy and do as his proxies say. After a year or two of heavy indoctrination, you’ll do anything to get rid of all those nasty space cooties inhabiting your “space.” Some even join the SO!
These are the carrots. These are the lures, the sweet honey that makes people comply with crazy tech and policy—policy they inherently know is wrong. Policy that is hurtful, demeaning, and which breaks up families. Policy that not only guts bank accounts, but strips away dignity.
LRH was a master at crafting insidious codes and doctrines that on the surface appeared sound and reasonable, but when applied turned into mechanisms of control. Perhaps his most famous example is Keeping Scientology Working.
By the time a person does a course or two and gets grooved-in by the Ethics Officer, leaving the church can be harder than crossing a quicksand-laden swamp.
At each successive step up the Bridge, extracting oneself from the clutches of the group becomes harder and harder. The higher one climbs, the more difficult it is to break free of Scientology policy and mind control.
Walking away after experiencing a life-changing win or two on the lower levels can be challenging. It’s hard to admit you were conned, that you were a fool, and that you were played after investing tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars on “spiritual freedom.” It’s tough to walk away from your community—oftentimes, leaving the only friends you’ve ever known; family members; people you love. It’s hard changing course after thirty years of paddling up the same river with the same group.
Older, experienced members are expected to participate more. They’re expected to contribute to newest big cause. Expected to redo courses. Expected to set good examples. Make pilgrimages to Flag. They’re counted on to bring all their family and friends into the fold. All the while, tossing out love bombs like rice on newlyweds. For many parishioners, these expectations become so ingrained that if they fail to meet these demands, they feel they’ve committed an overt.
Abandoning the group is the ultimate sin. Walking away is hard.
All too often, people comply with Ethics Officers’ and Master at Arms’ “suggestions” that they disconnect from family members if they wants to remain in “good standing.” Ever since they’ve been in the church, it’s been drilled into their heads that Scientology is their only chance at salvation; their only chance to ever go free.
So…personal choice? Or not?
Still not Declared,
Tina Marie says
Interestingly, “handle” never included doing something about the bad situation of the slurch. If my mother sent me an article about slurch members getting ripped off, the handling was never to investigate the rip-off. One of my past preclears sent me the Time magazine article, right to the mission. Of course it was confiscated by the ethics officer and never made it to me.
It was definitely an us-against-them viewpoint from the beginning. So few people have actual “antisocials” connected to them, so why even bring it up?
Scientology would probably be better named satanology. The study of freeing yourself from Satan’s grip, the Organization of which gets overtaken by satan. To not have any heart could cause one to distrust everything, causing over- analytical compensation and all sorts of other insanity come manifest. Just speculating. Was lrh a spiritual warrior in disguise? I don’t know, but I know I was. And I know others that were also. Well I’m off of all things scientological and satanic for as long as I can see into the great distant future. The book of Job complete. Abrazos. And if you see a spider let it live, you never know, it might have just caught and eaten and liberated Satan from the planet earth. Going to finish building this guitar with Jesus reincarnate.
All forms of PTSD be gone. Poof.
“So…personal choice? Or not?”
There can be no “personal choice” under “coercive persuasion” or “thought reform”, Terra Cognita. A “choice” made under the duress of a threat of loss from another, isn’t really a choice, but the result of “Undue Influence”.
Of course, even under undue influence we are the ones deciding upon our courses of action, because we can always choose; Free Will is inherent to being alive, otherwise, life wouldn’t have any real meaning. Everything would be a “predetermined” event out of a probability mathematical equation. So when everything has been said and done, it is the individual who chooses what to do, regardless of the phenomena of undue influence. But I like to differentiate “Personal Choice” (or “Personal Free Will”) from “Free Will” as such, in that “Free Will” means that the “potential” to decide on all probable courses of actions is ALWAYS present, but “Personal Choice” implies that no coercive persuasion or thought reform is part of the scenario.
I would like to quote some parts of a text written by the late Dr. Margaret Thaler Singer, a pioneer in cultic studies :
“Coercive persuasion or thought reform as it is sometimes known, is best understood as a coordinated system of graduated coercive influence and behavior control designed to deceptively and surreptitiously manipulate and influence individuals, usually in a group setting, in order for the originators of the program to profit in some way, normally financially or politically.”
“deceptively and surreptitiously” are the key words. That’s how LRH controlled others with his “tech”; a gradient approach to thought reform and submissive obedience that takes away critical thinking. All one needed were two things A) KSW #1 and B) The “Study Tech”. Those two put together was the recipe for a totally hypnotized robot created by coercive persuasion. And LRH’s use of that coercive persuasion, got him thousands of slaves and millions in money.Continuing with Dr. Singer :
“The essential strategy used by those operating such programs is to systematically select, sequence and coordinate numerous coercive persuasion tactics over continuous periods of time. There are seven main tactic types found in various combinations in a coercive persuasion program. A coercive persuasion program can still be quite effective without the presence of ALL seven of these tactic types.”
“TACTIC 1. The individual is prepared for thought reform through increased suggestibility and/or ‘softening up,’ specifically through hypnotic or other suggestibility-increasing techniques such as: A. Extended audio, visual, verbal, or tactile fixation drills; B. Excessive exact repetition of routine activities; C. Decreased sleep; D. Nutritional restriction.”
“TRs” comes to mind, especially TR0, and the repetitious nature of Scn’s processes. The intense study schedules as well. A pattern of control starts with those things.
“TACTIC 2. Using rewards and punishments, efforts are made to establish considerable control over a person’s social environment, time, and sources of social support. Social isolation is promoted. Contact with family and friends is abridged, as is contact with persons who do not share group-approved attitudes. Economic and other dependence on the group is fostered. (In the forerunner to coercive persuasion, brainwashing, this was rather easy to achieve through simple imprisonment.)”
This is self-explanatory as it applies to Scientology. Concepts such as “The Wog”, the “Outside World”, the “Critics of Scn” and their alleged “crimes”, the whole subject of “PTS/SP”, etc, etc.
“TACTIC 3. Disconfirming information and nonsupporting opinions are prohibited in group communication. Rules exist about permissible topics to discuss with outsiders. Communication is highly controlled. An ‘in-group’ language is usually constructed.
“ALL psychiatrists and psychologists are evil”, “All other spiritual and healing practices are ‘booby-trapped’ and thus unworkable”, “altering the ‘tech’ even for purely research purposes is a ‘huge’ crime”, “Squirrels are evil and criminals”, “Scn is perfect and should not be neither reformed nor improved in any way except by know-best lunatic Elron”, “the ENORMOUS Scientologese language”, etc, etc.
“TACTIC 4. Frequent and intense attempts are made to cause a person to re-evaluate the most central aspects of his or her experience of self and prior conduct in negative ways. Efforts are designed to destabilize and undermine the subject’s basic consciousness, reality awareness, world view, emotional control, and defense mechanisms as well as getting them to reinterpret their life’s history, and adopt a new version of causality.”
This is done by LRH’s lunatic interpretation of the subject of “Ethics” where one was basically being “ethical” as long as one didn’t oppose Scn or LRH in any way. This is also done by the use of forced confessionals which in Scn are ALWAYS imposed upon us regardless if it is a Security Check or just regular auditing. The concept of “You pulled it in” also comes to mind. “We are ALL very old ‘thetans’ who really have no father and mother, so family values and culture is for the birds”, “Children are really ‘good’ thetans inside small bodies, so they should be treated as adults”, etc, etc, etc
“TACTIC 5. Intense and frequent attempts are made to undermine a person’s confidence in himself and his judgment, creating a sense of powerlessness.”
This is done through confessionals where – even though the the auditor allegedly isn’t “evaluative” and judgmental of our “sins” – we are being controlled by the church as to how exactly we should conduct our lives, and what exactly is to be considered as “good conduct”. Are values system is twisted and perverted, and replaced by the Scn codes..
“TACTIC 6. Nonphysical punishments are used such as intense humiliation, loss of privilege, social isolation, social status changes, intense guilt, anxiety, manipulation and other techniques for creating strong aversive emotional arousals, etc.”
Seck Checks, “The Hole”, the “RPF”, the “Ethics Cycles”, the “Knowledge Reports”, the “Lower Ethics Conditions”, “Rewards and Penalties”, etc, etc.
“TACTIC 7. Certain secular psychological threats [force] are used or are present: That failure to adopt the approved attitude, belief, or consequent behavior will lead to severe punishment or dire consequence, (e.g. physical or mental illness, the reappearance of a prior physical illness, drug dependence, economic collapse, social failure, divorce, disintegration, failure to find a mate, etc.).
“Disconnection”, “We will lose our ‘salvation’ and ‘eternity’ if we fail to be totally KSW”, “This planet is about to die”, “Nuclear war is about to come”, “We are man’s only change”, “The whole destiny of billions is on our hands”, “If we don’t make it this time, we will face eternal darkness and pain”, etc, etc.
Isn’t Scientology a PERFECT description of those 7 conditions, Terra Cognita? 😉
It should have read “Old” (thetans) and not “good” in this sentence :
“Children are really ‘good’ thetans inside small bodies, so they should be treated as adults”, etc, etc, etc”
I forgot to include this other great quote from Dr Singer’s article :
“Truly peaceful religious persuasion practices would never attempt to force, compel and dominate the free wills or minds of its members through coercive behavioral techniques or covert hypnotism. They would have no difficulty coexisting peacefully with U.S. laws meant to protect the public from such practices.”
“Looking like peaceful persuasion is precisely what makes coercive persuasion less likely to attract attention or to mobilize opposition. It is also part of what makes it such a devastating control technology. Victims of coercive persuasion have: no signs of physical abuse, convincing rationalizations for the radical or abrupt changes in their behavior, a convincing “sincerity, and they have been changed so gradually that they don’t oppose it because they usually aren’t even aware of it.”
For anyone interested in reading the while artile called, “How Thought Reform Works” by Dr. Margaret T. Singer, here is the link for it. This is perhaps, one of the best articles in the subject that I have ever read before. It is truly revealing and empowering :
Thank you Thetaclear
“Thank you Thetaclear”
You are most welcome, T-Marie, 🙂
Terra Cognita says
Thetaclear: Great analysis. By both you and Dr. Singer. One of the best comments ever. Thank you.
Thanks Terra Cognita; most mind. I am glad that you liked it. Dr. Singer’s books are, IMHO, the most accurate description of cult phenomena that has ever been written to date. Her resume is quite impressive, actually. She was the one who started all this subject of “Undue Influence”, and one of the first experts to testify on courts about this phenomena. But at the time it was not generally understood. Mainly thanks to her, cultic studies and phenomena is a specialized branch of clinical psychology where other psychologists and individuals from the psychotherapy circles, have contributed their own views and clinical studies about it.
As we are discussing here the subject of “choice” and “Undue Influence”, I want to take the opportunity to clear up a few misconceptions that some (or many) KSW type of Scientologists (or Scn sympathizers) have about me, part of a rumour campaign intended to shut me up in my rather passionate criticism of Scn and LRH. I hope that this post does get through, as I tend to like to set the records straight about anything. When I am wrong about something, I have always had the balls to so say it, and PUBLICLY so. When I see anything wrong, likewise, I have always had the balls to PUBLICLY comment about it and to heavily criticise it. I am not a perfect individual by a loooong ways, and have a bad past that I have to carry on my shoulders every day. But I am an honest individual who has the best of the wishes and interests for everyone: for the Scientologists, ex-Scientologists, Still-ins, and Never-ins ALIKE. Unfortunately, there a few who like to think that I don’t; their loss, not mine.
First misconception : I was part of USA based Indie delivery group, and I was “kicked out” for being problematic.
This is completely false. I have never ever been part of ANY Indie delivery group at ANY place on the planet. I DO know, though, many individuals from several Indie delivery groups around the globe, and I am good friends with a few of them. Outside of the CofS, I never got any type of service, and I don’t live in the USA.
Second misconception : At one point in the past that they refer to as “recently” (actually this was more close to 3 years ago, give or take a few months), I wanted to get a hold of the NOTs materials from the Indie field, and was “denied” them allegedly putting me on a “No auditing” situation that would eventually take me to feel very “bitter” about Scn and the Indie field, and I “started” to criticize it/them out of “vengeance” for “denied” service.
Totally false and even RIDICULOUS. In the first place, I have under my possession the whole of the Bridge from zero to OTVIII including the Ls. I always had them. But this fairy tale was started by an individual from the MS2 (“Milestone Two”) delivery group on a blog communication exchange where I wanted to ascertain that what we had out here on the Indie field was a “standard” version of NOTs and not an altered version from the CofS to damage cases. I HAD the materials, but I wasn’t 100% sure that they were totally “On-source” as we liked to call it, 🙂 , so I PUBLICLY queried this on the blog. The records ARE there of what exactly I DID posted.
You gotta understand that by that time, I was STILL a believer in the “Tech”, even though I was not ignorant of the destructive policies that LRH had written. I just kept quiet about them as most Scn/LRH sympathizers and lovers do. I was GENUINELY worried about NOTs – and especially Solo-NOTs – being “On-source” as it was my belief then, that any alterations from the “standard” procedure could bring about harm in the cases of others.
But what REALLY happened was – And I wasn’t aware of this back then – that a nobody from the middle of nowhere like me was NOT supposed to PUBLICLY question or “challenge” those “mighty” highly trained class 8s and above, ESPECIALLY not a “hot shot” class XII that they were ALL revering as this great “representation of standard tech” that was not EVER supposed to be questioned, and much less publicly, and much less by a “nobody” who wasn’t even known by others. I was “altering” the “good” order of the blog; I was being “entheta”, so they said. The ones who really know me, knows how a rebel can I be against “authorities” that we are supposed to kiss their asses. Remind me of Leah, 🙂
What I realized was that the SAME culture of “Do not question ANYTHING” that was representative of the CofS, was the one being manifested at that blog, and actually in most Indies that I met over the time.
An individual from the MS2 blog – part of the board of directors of the MS2 delivery network, in fact – arbitrarily decided out of a “conspiracy theory” attitude, that I was an OSA guy trying to ascertain what exact materials did the Indies have and exactly WHO had them (because I was ALSO challenging the authenticity of the OT8 that they had). No matter how much I explained to him my REAL purpose, he fixedly held onto his “conspiracy theory”, and I was banned from the blog.
Apparently the “Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Thought” rights was not something that they either understood or believed in. The SAME EXACT “shut the fuck and just DO what we said” well known attitude of the CofS (and of LRH, of course; he started it all), was the one that this group of “KSW fundamentalists” had.
After that event I started to participate in the now gone, “Scientologists Back in Comm” blog, and after Chris Shelton published an article there explaining exactly why he no longer considered himself a Scientologist (very well written with a lot of respect for the believers), I immediately attacked him and even mocked him. The administrator of the blog moderated my comment (she very much believed in the “Tech”), but took the time to explain the reasons why she did so, in a very caring, kind and fair way. I was very much impressed by her respect for Human Rights (Gee, I didn’t even know anything about Human Rights; I wasn’t supposed to, being a Scientologist, haha), and that was THE wake-up moment for me regarding LRH’s many destructive policies and weird viewpoints on Human Rights.
After that – even though that I STILL considered myself a Scientologist, and that I thought that the “Tech” was workable regardless of LRH’s errors in judgment – I began to write about all the “bad things in Scientology” along with the “Good things in Scientology” to keep a proper and fair balance. Instead of the well known hateful ways that most of the Scn critics back then used to criticize Scn and/or LRH, I came up with a new approach where I would take my time to carefully and in great details explain my arguments against the bad policies of Scientology, backed up by documented evidence. At the same time, I was making very sure to validate the “good parts of Scientology and LRH”, and talk about my OWN wins and success with the “Tech”, both as a PC/student as well as an auditor.
To illustrate how it was that I was STILL a believer in the “Tech” and to at the same time explain what it was that finally got me to dismiss Scn, I will tell a little story.
While being a part of the “Scientologists Back in Comm” blog, I was looking for an Indie delivery terminal to audit a very dear friend of mine up to Clear. Even though that I was an excellent auditor, I wasn’t officially trained in a Scn academy as such, and most of my delivery had been about Bk-1 and “Scn Introductory Processes and Assists”. I had read most HCOBs of the “Tech Volumes” and was as familiar with the tech as any highly trained auditor was (including a vast knowledge as a C/S), but I didn’t feel confident enough back then to audit anyone up to Clear. I had been more a “repair” kind of auditor. Besides, my friend and I had an history together that would have made my role as an auditor quite difficult for BOTH, and I didn’t want to risk her chances. I needed a VERY specific terminal who could deliver in Spanish as she couldn’t speak any English yet.
To make this loooong story short, we found the auditor, she paid him $16,000 USD, and after a few weeks, he – out of some silly disagreement who was basically bullshit – stopped auditing her, and blew the place without delivering the promised services, and totally unwilling to refund the money to her. This thing is being legally dealt with as I have already tracked him down.
This happened at a well known Indie USA based facility. The ones who run the center alleged that they had nothing to do with that (which they DIDN’T, in fact), but what they fail to recognize is that this auditor used THEIR facilities to deliver those services, and that my friend even stayed at one of the homes BELONGING to this center. But the owners of the center basically washed their hands of it all, and said, “We don’t want anything to do with it; we don’t want to be the witnesses of ANYTHING because we don’t want ‘bad PR’ for the Indie field”. So even though that they fully KNEW what really happened, and that according to them they agree that this auditor committed a crime against my friend, they left her on her own while she lost her savings, just because “they didn’t want bad PR for the Indie field”. Brushing things under the rug, as the CofS does. How convenient of them!
Because I was still a fucking Scientologist, I wasn’t supposed to take this auditor immediately to court, without first attempting to use the Scn “Justice System”, was I? So being very “KSW(ish)” about it, I basically wrote a “Condition Assignment” as a looong KR (“Knowledge Report”), and sent it out as an email with copies to EVERY Indie delivery group and individuals that I could possibly find (more than 100 at the time). I wanted to alert others about this scammer auditor, and I wanted them to help me to get this auditor’s ethics in, in whatever ways possible, before deciding to take the matters directly to the “Wog” court system.
I was very much impressed – to say the least – that most Scientologists that got my email didn’t react good to this, but in fact, had the SAME EXACT attitude of “Let’s not talk about this ‘publicly’ because it can ‘damage’ Scn’s ‘reputation’. Let’s just handle this ‘behind doors’.”. Or they didn’t want ANYTHING to do with it. Many of them criticized me and questioned my real motives and the veracity of my claims even though that I had clearly told them that I had ALL the evidence (emails, communications, contracts, etc) at my disposal should anyone of them wanted to review it all. They all basically assumed the attitude of, “It is YOUR problem” (which I ACCEPT it was), but the Scientologists are supposed to be the “most ethical individuals on the planet”, aren’t they?, and the fact that they didn’t even care a fuck about it all, and were even protesting my email about it, says a lot about them and about their weird mentality.
The SAME terminal from MS2 who had accused me of being an “OSA plant” when I questioned them publicly, was the one of the ones who became VERY furious at me for having sent that email in the first place. He wanted me to stay quiet and to deal with it on my own. Remember, I was only trying avoid getting the matter to the “Wog courts”; how STUPID of me, isn’t it?
I then realized what Scientologists were REALLY like, and that was my 2nd wake-up call as a Scientologist, and the one that FINALLY got me to realize how INCREDIBLY destructive and cult-like was Scn.
I am not going to generalize here because I am quite aware that there are some Scientologists who are not like that – though they are not that many – but most of them, even if Indies, are STILL very much under the hypnotic spell of LRH, with LRH’s own misconduct and misguided ideas about Human Rights. The same thought patterns of LRH are to be found with most Indies, regardless if they realize this or not. Most of them can’t be trusted, and not because they necessarily are bad people; they are not. But because their thinking has been damaged by Scn in terms of Human Rights and knowledge in general. With their fundamentalist attitude, they either don’t do ANYTHING about obvious Human Rights abuses, or if they “do” (with limits only to “protest” about it on a blog), they attribute it all to DM’s alleged alterations of the “Tech”, and not in any way or form, to LRH’s unaltered policies. And in my dictionary, that’s called “being an accomplice of a crime”.
After that event with my dear friend, I studied EVERYTHING about cults, I educated myself in many REAL methods of spiritual healing and psychotherapy, studied many eastern religions and philosophies, studied and read everything written against Scn and LRH verifying the sources, and freed myself of each and every bad consequences of having been involved with Scn.
The path towards recovery and self-esteem, was a very painful one, but a very fulfilling and revealing one at the same time. I was able to realize how INCREDIBLE the damage that Scn had caused in me and the Scientologists that I knew, had been. So I decided that it was my moral duty to get others to wake up from this insidiously destructive cult, and to help them recover their self-esteem, self-confidence, and their critical thinking abilities. And there you have it, the REAL story of how I stopped being a Scientologist. ANYTHING else is just their weak effort to shut me up with their misguided idea that Scn is workable and worth saving; it is NOT to BOTH.
Mike Rinder says
Can you please try to keep your comments shorter? I just dont have time to read these lengthy epistles…
“Can you please try to keep your comments shorter? I just dont have time to read these lengthy epistles…”
Sure Mike; I’ll do my best effort to do so. Thanks for posting it! 🙂
Maybe you can, instead of posting your comment as such, offer it to Mike as a blog post? Just like Terra Cognita or RB? 🙂 Saves Mike some time!
Also: iIMHO it is not always necessary to repeat the request in the comment you are answering to. This may help to keep your posts short and succint.
Of course ThetaClear’s explanation of the discourse on the M2 website has a somewhat of the Churchillian “being economic with the truth” ring about it and if anyone cares to read it (it is otherwise quite interesting about NOTs), will see that certain “facts” are being bent. He was not kicked off because they thought he was OSA and he was extremely deferential to the Class XII amongst many other er, alterations of what actually went down. Anyway here is the link, and as I say it is far more interesting an article than just what went down with ThetaClear.
The discourse is of course contained in the comments at the end of the article.
‘Too’ all my fellow bloggers here: I find it despicable that these so-called religious leaders would pimp themselves out to the CoS. Are they that naive? Or are they bought and paid for one way or another? What are their crimes??
Hubbard was truly a sick asshole. And people still worship his words. Muppets.
To choose any religion over your family…. that is the neon sign showing you you’re in a flipping cult.
Thank you for all you do! Never having been a Scientologist, I am still fascinated by the work you and Leah Remini are doing, for in the end all cults are all alike, and it seems to be part of the human condition to pursue substitutes for truth for a long time, because truth seems so scary. The way out only emerges when we start recognizing that truth is what it is and unchangeable, so my contribution does not make it so. I just need to accept what is. The story of Scientology and the way out for the few who wake up from it is highly valuable for any member of the human race. It just seems to be an extremely pernicious cult, but in the end all cults are alike, so we can all learn from your awakening process. And what it feels like to pickup the pieces and start to realize that we are all valuable for just what we are.
Nan B says
Mike, I want to thank you for all you do.
I know it took a great deal of courage to speak out against this god-forsaken cult, and your contribution is invaluable.
I am so looking forward to Aftermath, Aug. 15th – you and Leah are so much fun !
Disconnection as a policy by Hubbard was always a personal choice in that one could NOT disconnect and the church would declare you and you would be Fair Game for any other scientologist to attack you.
There will be some psychos (aka Ronbots) who will probably post here that Hubbard didn’t implement that policy but some “new and suppressive management team” lead by Miscavige did. That would be an outright lie.
If you can’t gainsay what I said below, then trying to sneak an answer through the back door of another comment somewhat proves my point does it not. Indeed such would be an outright lie but then that is not what was said, was it? No one can rightly say that disconnection didn’t exist before 82 and of course no one stated that. Trying to put a slant on what was said to justify one’s personal hatreds is more akin to an “outright lie”.
What ARE you insanely rambling on about now Fool?
Stephen Hutcheon says
A marvellous article and incredibly spot on
It really is! The best, most simple and direct article I have read yet with regards to this cult. This should be copied and 100’s tossed from rooftops, airplanes and stuffed in mailboxes.
A personal choice made with bad data, as Scientology organization and staff “holds down the 7 on the adding machine” with the constant drilling and indoctrination, combined with praise about how “theta” you are when you do their bidding.
Terra Cognita says
Sue: Love your “held down 7” reference.
There is a lot of truth (for a change – haha) in Terra’s article but this disconnection thing only became a real problem after about 84 when Miscavige and his management ethos had worked its way down to the Orgs and declares and expulsions became (more) politically motivated rather than being based on the actions of the people thus declared. I am not saying that such did not happen before 84 but it was far less, probably of the order of about 4 or 5% to what it later became. And of course could be corrected also and which (correction or restitution) was often done. I myself can speak from experience in that I was chairman of Comm Evs which undeclared people and which findings were accepted (unbelievable eh!?)
Before 84 (or so) I think it was fair enough if someone was rabidly trying to persuade someone to give up their religion to disconnect from them, especially if after the usual PTS “good roads good weather” handlings were to no avail. People disconnect from others all the time in other spheres of life so I don’t see why Scientologists couldn’t have done so just because they are Scientologists. However, since about 84 the Church changed, drastically. So people who had realized the (drastic) change and the detrimental affect this was having generally on the Church complained in various ways and no doubt informed others of the changes and thus fell foul of the “new” management. And thus became “SPs”. And so this, over the years, enormously broadened the amount of people who were affected by enforced disconnection.
My point is that essentially there is nothing wrong with disconnection (at least as a last resort). For all the anti-Scientologists on here if your mother or brother or friend is constantly badgering you with how good Scientology is are you going to eventually disconnect from them? You will do will you not, even if not done formally – you will drop out or certainly reduce your comm lines with them as you don’t want to hear what they are saying. You won’t want to be persuaded that your anti-Scientology stance is incorrect, will you? So of course it works both ways.
My (perhaps main) point is that this would not really have been a (major) problem if Miscavige and his bandit gang hadn’t turned the Church into something eventually that was quite easily hated and loathed, even by its own members, and thus had to resort to “political” declares, expulsions and thus “disconnects” to maintain the grip on it remaining members.
Mike Rinder says
You are correct about the timing, though it was probably begun a little before 84. Around the time of the Mission Holder meeting. Hubbard was becoming more and more paranoid about people “ripping off” “his” orgs and staff. He issued various orders about making it a High Crimes to remain connected to an “SP” and began talking about excommunication and being barred from scientology for all eternity and that when you “take out an SP you must take out all his connections.”
This is what was behind what you saw being implemented and it has continued to this day.
Yes you are right – it was about 82 as I recall now. I am not sure what you mean about Hubbard issuing (further) orders about being remaining being connected to SPs (at this time). This (principle) was mentioned in HCO OEC Vol. 1 policies dating back to the mid-60s. The principle (here) was in force since the mid-60s. My point is is that such was relatively rare. The stringency may have increased but no, I don’t think that was the case either – if before this time someone continued to disobey HCO in disconnecting then eventually they were also declared or whatever. But my point was that it was rare(r) and usually quite justified as the persons so connected were connected to the rabid dog types, rather than people who just complained about the new management’s daft altering of HCO Policies, tech and membership policies etc. Best example would be Debbie Cook and her famous email – one could hardly say she is an “SP”, or that her actions were suppressive – far from it, but of course the “new” management does. Before this time a disconnection would be ordered if one was connected to someone like Wynski – and quite rightly so! (Thought I would give readers some “mass” and reality on what I am talking about. Haha!)
Mike Rinder says
Apparently you didn’t read what I wrote or chose not to understand it as it doesn’t fit your version of history. That’s ok.
But you are correct that Hubbard has always considered anyone critical of him to be suppressive persons, whether they fit the 12 characteristics of the Anti-social personality or not. Being critical of him trumped those characteristics. It was the greatest sin one could commit on this planet. Just look at how he treated his first critics – psychiatrists. Every single one of them became SP’s. Every one of them is a whole track implanter.
Thanks for your comments, Mike R. In the early 80’s I remember seeing the MAA on more than one occasion to handle whatever terminal came up on the 10 Aug or whatever. After studying the references that applied, I was always asked if I wanted to “handle or disconnect.” And in those days they always steered you more toward handling than outright disconnecting. But after DM took over, it was knee jerk instant “disconnect” even tearing kids from their mothers etc. You can’t just quietly leave the church. No, they label you an enemy, an SP and then order everyone to disconnect from you, fair game you (I have been Fair Gamed), and do it quickly, all because you decided to leave.
Dead Men Tell No Tales Bill Straass says
I concur with your comment. Although many think the Church was totally fucked up from the beginning, I do not believe that. However, that just created more victims as I think that if it was this bad from the beginning, more people would have told them to get lost.
There is a danger inherent in disconnecting from someone who simply holds different viewpoints. If surrounded by people who all think the same as you do, it becomes much harder to tolerate, let alone understand alternate opinions. Eventually you find yourself in an echo chamber. A self-made mental prison, where it is far easier to dismiss those who hold opposing views than it is to understand why they hold them. It’s the epitome of intellectual laziness.
You can see this everywhere now, especially with regards to “hot” issues such as Trump, Brexit, Islam and immigration. Dare to suggest the rate of immigration is spiralling out of control in Europe? Prepare to be shouted down as “racist” or “xenophobic”. Concerned about Islam and whether Sharia Law is at odds with a progressive, liberal culture? “You’re a bigot!” I understand there are calls for the establishment of “safe spaces” on US college campuses and that individuals of a certain leaning have been banned from giving speeches. It’s insane.
This is what happens when you disconnect from criticism, from opposing views. Reality, in other words. If you only read one source of news, if you’re only ever surrounded by like-minded people, you’ll never be intellectually challenged. You’ll never have to make the effort to understand why people believe the way they do and, ultimately, you’ll never fully understand the world and the people in it.
Ronbot’s are proficient rope manufacturers. 😉
Hang ’em high, hang ’em high! With a nice Goldenrod placard around their necks.
Dead Men Tell No Tales Bill Straass says
I remember around the time Mayo was declared a missionaire from uplines came to FSO and took a SP Declare issue and attached it to the wall by driving a daggar through it in front of the entire crew.
“The principle (here) was in force since the mid-60s. My point is is that such was relatively rare. The stringency may have increased but no, I don’t think that was the case either – if before this time someone continued to disobey HCO in disconnecting then eventually they were also declared or whatever. But my point was that it was rare(r) and usually quite justified as the persons so connected were connected to the rabid dog types, rather than people who just complained about the new management’s daft altering of HCO Policies, tech and membership policies etc.”
“….rare(r) and quite justified”? My God Foolproof; you are a REMARKABLE piece of art! 🙂 Actually, you are so full of shit, that I can’t let this opportunity pass to dead-agent your pure stupidities; because that’s ONLY what they TRULY are: plain stupidities. I want to make VERY clear that I don’t give a rat’s ass what a guy like you think. But I DO care, though, about about any Scientology sympathizers who read this blog, to be unduly influenced by your convenient ignorance of the FACTS. So, shall we begin, then? 😉
“Rare(r)” isn’t even an appropriate adverb; perhaps “less frequent” would be a more accurate description of it. The two statements are not interchangeable. “Rare(r)” implies that the action under discussion (“Disconnection”) was a “rare” event in Scn before the ‘82 which is of course, a BLATANT LIE. Now, if you say, “Disconnection as a practice was less frequent before ‘82”, then that’s a true statement. But “less frequent” doesn’t mean that it didn’t occur before in a rather frequent enough way.
You seem to be INCREDIBLE ignorant of the history of Scn as an institution. Perhaps reading, “Let’s Get Them a New Piece of the Blue Sky”, can give you a CORRECT and ACCURATE description of what was Scn like before ‘82. That you didn’t know of that many instances of forced disconnection, doesn’t necessarily imply that they were not occurring; just that you had no means of finding out about this as we still didn’t have the Internet, and whatever books that exposed this CRIME against Human Rights, were available, we didn’t know about them.
The different Inquires into Scn were also something not generally known to the Scn population, but mostly only to high profile SO members and some regular Scientologists here and there as part of the secret gossiping that went around orgs.
We have the famous “Victorian Inquiry” known as the “Anderson’s Report” in ‘65 more or less, the “Foster Report” from the British government in 1970-71 I think, and a few others. In the British inquiry, they were particularly concerned with the subject of “Disconnection”, but LRH cleverly told them in WRITTEN that “Disconnection as a practice had already been cancelled”, a BLATANT lie that the inquiry didn’t necessarily bought, and I quote from the inquiry report :
“From the discussion of the evidence it will be seen that the Commission has concluded that there was clear proof of the activities, methods, and practices of Scientology in New Zealand contributing to estrangements in family relationships.”
“It seems clear that at some stage in the course of its operations in New Zealand Scientology did actively contemplate interfering with familial relations in such a way as to induce trainee Scientologists to disconnect from close relatives who were considered by Scientology to be acting in the role of suppressive persons.”
“It appeared to the Commission that the attitude of Scientology towards family relationships was cold, distant, and somewhat uninterested. In a number of cases of which the Commission was informed it must have been apparent to the Scientology organisation, or at least to some of the officers concerned, that family relationships were being subjected to a strain and could possibly be damaged by a continuation of a course in Scientology. There is no evidence in any of these cases that Scientology or any of its officers took any steps to remedy or alleviate this situation.”
“The Commission was informed that the practice of disconnection was cancelled by directive of 15th November 1968, and the Commission received a letter from L. Ron Hubbard stating that the Board of Directors of the Church of Scientology had no intention of reintroducing the policy. He also added that, for his part, he could see no reason why the policy should ever be reintroduced …”
“This undertaking does not, in its terms, go as far as the Commission had hoped. It had hoped that there would be a direct undertaking by L. Ron Hubbard that the practice of Disconnection would never be reintroduced. However, the intention appears to be there, although it is stated in somewhat guarded language” (End of quote from the Foster Report).
And like the quoted “Foster Report” above, we have several other similar reports, though they might not be the product of long inquires, but shorter reports. All the DOCUMENTED evidence, you can find it on Jon Atack’s well researched book, particularly in the new edition where he made very sure to include all the sources where anyone can easily verify his assertions. But I am sure that you being a lover of LRH, you have never read Jon’s books.
If you also would have read the soooooo many testimonies of old-timers who worked DIRECTLY under LRH, you would know that the action of Disconnection was rather common and was NEVER EVER actually “cancelled”. It was ONLY a PR statement from LRH to get the British government off his back.
Of course, that lacking the Internet and the many communication lines that we have today for the gathering of information, there was NO WAY of knowing (and you simply DON’T know, so don’t pretend that you do) to what actual degree was Disconnection occurring. But now in the Internet era, such information has been CONFIRMED and validated by multiple reports from multiple credible sources. Disconnection as a practice was rather PREVALENT in Scientology when LRH was in command. That’s a FACT, not Thetaclear’s opinion. Yes, it is true that after ‘82, the instances of Disconnection grew rapidly in numbers, but that they did grew, does NOT mean that it was a “rare” event in Scn; it WAS NOT. Only a blinded LRH lover would think such a thing.
“Best example would be Debbie Cook and her famous email – one could hardly say she is an ‘SP’, or that her actions were suppressive – far from it, but of course the ‘new’ management does. Before this time a disconnection would be ordered if one was connected to someone like Wynski – and quite rightly so! (Thought I would give readers some ‘mass’ and reality on what I am talking about. Haha!)”
Another one of your BIG HUGE stupid utterances, I am afraid. Because Debbie wasn’t actually critical of Scn nor LRH himself but mostly about DM’s alleged “alterations of the “tek”, you of course, being an obedient Ronbot, think that in that case she wasn’t an “SP” and Disconnecting was not then applicable, but in the case of the ones who heavily criticize Scn and LRH, then Disconnection is applicable???? What a nut case you are, mister!!!
Disconnection isn’t EVER justified; PERIOD. We don’t disconnect from others just because they disagree with us. Disagreement is part of life. Most people who disagree with their family members or friends practicing of Scn do so out of REAL concern of them being hurt and brainwashed. And most critics of Scn/LRH are more than justified in their criticism, as LRH was a liar and a con man who used others for his advantage. Many of those critics were heavily harmed by their participation in Scn; what the fuck did you expect from them? A welcome committee, perhaps? Don’t be soooooooo silly and cultic, for Christ’s sakes!!!
Go get a new life, and get married or something, would you? 🙂
It seems you are very worried about my comments – enough to write huge long screeds quoting government reports into Scientology (which really are full of shit) and calling me all sorts of names because you are worried that your little game on here of trying to drive people away from Scientology, browbeating and attempting to dominate and slant conversations with exaggerations, might be disturbed. All that I have said is true and you and all readers who have been involved in and know Scientology for long periods know this. Because you don’t like that, you resort to ridiculous and childish ad hominem remarks in venting whatever frustrations you have with the subject in attempting to drive me away from stating what are really quite innocuous and yet truthful remarks. Do you really think that people who have long experience with Scientology and have achieved good case gain etc. believe your warped and exaggerated rants? See Cindy’s comment as 1 example. Marc Wenger is another. And many others will not comment as they cannot bother replying to the vitriol and bile that you and Wynski and a few others may heap upon them. Fortunately I am well-audited and trained and such stuff falls like water off a duck’s back to me.
And as for me getting a life you seem to spend an inordinate amount of time writing huge long screeds that most of the readers on here will bypass. But I bet they read mine eh?
(Mike as usual I didn’t start this.)
My last comment on this (generally – and I have mentioned this before) is that I still have the feeling that some or many of these rabid anti-Scientology commenters are actually OSA plants designed to drive people who are UTR back into the Church (even into the nightmare that is Miscavige’s church) as what they see “outside” is a bunch of jabbering lunatics.
Ah! Now I know where I have come across ThetaClear before! I seem to remember him commenting on the M2 website and desperately trying to get hold of the NOTs materials and any more information on NOTs in the field (with a view to receiving it). And as I recall (from my many other contacts) was thrown out of one of the US independent groups for being troublesome (but still wanting auditing). So it seems that his anti-Scientology stance is only a relatively recent one. It is indeed a terrible thing to be denied auditing.
Mike Rinder says
PLease refrain from this sort of back and forth that adds absolutely nothing to the conversation. It’s just ad hominem that is of no benefit to anyone. If it makes you feel better, write down your thoughts for yourself and when you’re done throw it in the trash.
Sorry but I agree with Foolproof. I have nothing against the subject of scientology. I actually enjoyed it all the way. Now Miscavige is a criminal. That’s the all story to me.
I Yawnalot says
“Attack, never defend” was put on steroids in the 80s that’s for sure and there’s no off switch. It sure cost us a lot, and I don’t mean just money. The one person Hubbard couldn’t hide from was himself, but he sure as hell blamed anyone and everyone but himself for the mess of organised Scientology. He became his own version of Sultan Griss.
Marcel Wenger says
I posted this on Marty’s Blog recently but it didn’t go through…
When Scientology was the game of freeing beings, disconnection from people who didn’t
like this made sense. When the Church’s game became enslaving people, it all became inverted, people were told to disconnect from those who blew the whistle on the new game.
Marcel, I fully agree with you. Your comment has made more sense and come straight to the point on this issue, far more than mine or other attempts to explain/decode this subject on here. In other words you have struck the right nail on the right head.
“When Scientology was the game of freeing beings, disconnection from people who didn’t like this made sense.”
“Made sense”, Marcel Wenger? What a bunch of nonsense indeed!!
I am assuming that your comment was not kind of rhetorical, but if it was, then my apologies in advance. I confess to being very slow at picking up when someone is just joking or being sarcastic about something, haha. Regardless, this reply is applicable to many Scn sympathizers, so I am posting it.
In the first place, Scientology was not EVER a “game about ‘freeing’ beings”; it was a game of ENSLAVING and CONTROLLING others right since its beginnings.
And in the second place, disconnection never “makes sense” unless one is connected with a truly psychopath individual whose primary behavior is harming others. And even in that case, Disconnection is an INDIVIDUAL decision and should NEVER be imposed by ANY god-damned group or individual. What the fuck is that of anyone telling us to whom we should be connected to or not? That’s a Human Right abuse; PERIOD.
I am fucking tired the shit of this incredible ignorance on the subject of Human Rights from many Scn sympathizers. Absolutely NO group, institution or individual has ANY right to tell others to whom they might relate or not, or else. That’s just ABSURD. But then again, Scientology is mainly based on absurdities.
Oddly enough, in my personal experience, when one leads a basically honest and responsible life – treating others with kindness and fairness – we are not the target of attacks or bad actions from others. At least that has been my experience. When I was being irresponsible and an asshole (which I was the greatest portion of my life), I was the target of attacks, had many problems, and my life was basically a gigantic mess. But when I decided to change it all around and started to assume responsibility for my bad past actions; and when I started to respect and take into account the rights of others, then magically life started to make sense (before it didn’t), and my basic love towards others rekindled.
Of course, I am not saying that bad things don’t happen to good people. But generally speaking, if one leads a good life GENUINELY respecting the Human Rights of others, and if we are wise enough to avoid being connected to psychopaths and troublesome individuals, then life should be an easy and fulfilling activity.
Taking the above as a somewhat true assertion, and taking into account that according to LRH himself, having too many problems and hostilities from others in life is a sign of “PTSness”, “Overts and Withholds”, or rather BOTH; then by “reductio absurdum”, LRH was one of the biggest PTS and full of O/Ws individuals in the whole of Scientology!!! I mean, I am only being KSW(ish) about it, am I not? 😉
He was allegedly “attacked” by a VERY looong list of individuals, this according to his OWN confession. And he had been sick to some degree or another his whole life. And because according to HIM, the condition of PTSness ONLY occurs if the person being PTS have Overts and Withholds against the terminals he is PTS to, then if one is to be really KSW(ish) about it, LRH was FULL of Overts and Withholds. But he was supposed the be this great “OT” capable of a compassion not humanly possible, wasn’t he? So how come the most compassionate, kind and clear of O/Ws person in this planet (and even galaxy, haha) was capable of going soooooooo PTS?
I rest my case, 🙂 I have been critical enough for one night, haha.
Theta Clear, You are still a scientologist on your way of thinking. Hubbard of course had a lot of overt withold, and was quite PTS. Where would he had experienced it if not with himself.
He missed help to some degree and finally didn’t survive, and his church into the hand of supressives let say, didn’t survive as well.
Hubbard was anything but an angel. Only ultra stupid church members have this vision.
They are a bunch of idiots as well as the raving anti-scientology.
I am not a scientologist any longer really but I havent’ met a logical argument to get rid of the tech. I liked to study it. I could audit someone and I consider it a good psychotherapy.
“Theta Clear, You are still a scientologist on your way of thinking.”
Gee, FG; if I didn’t know you any better, I would take such a statement as an insult, haha. But you are alright with me, 🙂
“Hubbard of course had a lot of overt withold, and was quite PTS. Where would he had experienced it if not with himself.”
Yes, but he was supposed to have the “perfect” tech to handle it on himself. By “reduction absurdum” he either was TOO irresponsible with others, totally incapable of compassion, or his “tek” was unworkable. It is one way or the other.
“He missed help to some degree and finally didn’t survive, …..”
He had ALL the help of the world of Scn available to him, FG, and the best auditors of the planet. Any help he “missed”, was totally self-imposed.
“…..and his church into the hand of supressives let say, didn’t survive as well.”
Well, there has always been a lack of balls with most Scientolgists. I wasn’t one of them, though. I was never a slave.
“Hubbard was anything but an angel. Only ultra stupid church members have this vision.”
Unfortunately, dear FG, 99% of the Scientolgists DO fit that description, though I don’t think that it has anything to do with being smart or not. I think it has more to do with self-esteem. I never thought that LRH was smarter than me, but most Scientolgists I knew did.
“They are a bunch of idiots as well as the raving anti-scientology.”
Most “raving” anti-Scientology guys/gals are more than justified. In your particular case, you didn’t lose your family; but they did. Failing to be aware of that particular perspective, is what Scn sympathizers need to heavily work on.
“I am not a scientologist any longer really but I havent’ met a logical argument to get rid of the tech.”
Oh, but you HAVE heard it, my friend; you are just not ready to listen to those arguments yet. But I am not losing hope on you, 😉 Not as yet.
” I liked to study it. I could audit someone and I consider it a good psychotherapy.”
Not for me, FG; not any longer. But I can understand why you do, and I am OK with that. Just be careful.
Theta Clear what else can i say that I like you and I would never miss one of your comments.
Yes, you are right, I didn’t loose my family. Probably because I never permitted them to be too heavily indoctrinated (but it’s true that those who exprienced disconnection of loved one have reasons to be really upset against scientology).
But I always had a sceptikal mind especially about group thinking. The clue with me is that I am a kind of anarchist, true non believer, not in agreement if it doesnt seem to “indicate” me.
You see I can find many similarity on Hubbard thinking and mine, I don’t know how to tell you, but I know you understand what I am saying.
But being a kind of lazy non believer, ennemy of any extreme, I couldn’t also agree with all this circus. I’m also terribly snobish. Scientologist were for me mostly too ugly to be mainly acceptable. But Hubbard did fit my idea of a kind of genious. And gosh I enjoyed listening to his lectures! The class 8, when he takes this british accent, quite funny.
But to be more honest, I have lost my enjoyment of Hubbard.
Maybe you’re right my mind was finally framed. I didn’t buy the human incarnation of the church, ideal orgs and all garbage, but I was hit on “thetan mind”. Yes to some degree to believe you are an immortal being is quite convenient.
There are even studies independant of any scientology having the same conclusion.
Hubbard talked 50 years ago about the “cultural lag”, it seems to be it.
To what point am I under the cult spell ? Probably on some point, somewhere. But I always, I hope, studied scientology on an analytical level, not in a kind of hypnosis.
Because I have met many people quite hypnotized by the subject and swearing robotically by it (and also some crazy mad against it, other side of the coin). But the answer was in the tech itself : earlier practices, people have earlier similar hypnotized practice. Like all kind of religions. They are used to obey, a very long experience of obedience to church, state, army. Ideology for which they can give their life, gullible poor fools !
I am quite opposed to monotheisme (did you read Freud theory about Moses being an egyptian?), and totalitarian politics.
I could only be a kind of 1,1 (when inside) deeply opposed to the Church of Scientology.
But recently, my wife asked me few questions of Self Anlysis just to see. I have had a return of past delicious emotions, it reminded me the end phenomena of ARC SW : “knows he will not get any worse”. Isn’t that only worth the trip?
Geez these people won’t leave me alone I told them to stop contacting me. But the church won’t stop.
From 2008 ten years I’ve told them I can’t afford to pay for their classes.
They wanted me to spend money on their classes instead of feeding my kids.
I told them it was a rich man religion.
But they just don’t listen.
Tell them that Newcomer is your new best friend. Make sure Julian knows. It will all come to a screeching halt. If it persists, let me know and I will send a communication to the halls of everlasting eternity and I guarantee you it will stop!
Tell them you read the internet. That will shut them up. I promise. Tell them you love Mike Rinder’s Blog. Tell them Aftermath is the Bomb. Do not appeal to logic. Refer to Tony Ortega’s Blog. Tell them you appreciate them contacting you because you had forgotten to get on the internet today to check out the latest blog Mike Rinder had written. They will back off quickly. It worked for me. No contact in 6 years.
Python Swoope says
Want to see “super powers” in action?…….Watch me make this 12 pack “disappear”!
Doug Parent says
The Scientology crime syndicate demands disconnection or will happily use the “eternity card” to intimidate members into compliance. Lets see…disconnect from my family, or live the next endless trillions of years in agony and total darkness. No wiggle room. And your needle is supposed to “float” after you made your decision, or at least you better act like your needle is floating. You either walk away from the only people who really care about you or basically commit the equivalent of what they’d characterize as spiritual suicide. Any organization that would seek to manipulate people into that no-win-scenario is composed of sociopaths and criminals. Period. Even if this hasn’t happened to you but it happened to one of your friends, you should stop supporting the Church of Scientology. If you don’t …then you tacitly support these tactics and you are part of the problem.
Barbara Carr says
Personal chioce, scientology. An oxymoroon if I ever heard one. BB?
Clearly not clear says
This reminded me of being eighteen. I wanted to be an adult. I wanted to be happy. There was a lot of judging going on around me and plenty of self judging that was not helpful. And then I found the cherch. Love bombing ensued and I was treated like I was somebody. Boy did I fall into that like a soft pillow.
I was shown a reference about exteriorizing your attention and it really helped. The self invalidation was harder to do when busy and being about what was around me and not what was inside me.
Then there was this crazy strong urge to please that has been a part of who I am for a very long time. If I was shown some LRH about behaving a certain way I was then asked how I’d like to behave from here on out. At the beginning I happily took on stable data that seemed to help.
Farther down the rabbit hole I was coaxed to work more hours and buy this bridge thing and that bridge thing. I always got mad at myself when I found I was struggling to make it financially. It’s that I wasn’t good enough, not that the cherch was sucking me dry.
Then it was getting multiple credit cards. I agreed to that. But I see that I was conditioned very skillfully to “Read it” “Agree with it,” “Get pats on the back for how smart – insert love bombing language here – I was,” and then “decide that the best thing to do was the thing I just had an ‘education cycle’ on.”
I look back and think if some organization was getting my child at that age to make all those changes, commitments and financially too steep moves, I would have a cow, get all up in their business and protect my child.
My parent wasn’t aware of my financial difficulties, because somewhere along the line I agree “on my own determinism” to always portray the cherch as the best influence in my life and how much I was “helped.” Even when I felt torn, partially broken and lonely while surrounded by my cherch friends.
It’s painful to remember the awful things I “agreed” to. Too many stories.
It shakes a person’s certainty that they can look out for them self when so much history of failing at it in the name of clearing the planet has occurred.
But I have faith in me and my ex-er friends here that we can own our autonomy and here forward question any attempt to get us to behave a certain way or believe a certain thing.
Old Surfer Dude says
CNC, they told me I was in the top 10% of highly intelligent individuals. And, yes, i bought into the entire scam.
A diamond says
Clearly, your story (like the ones on Aftermath and many other places now thanks largely to Mike & Leah) is what got me (never-in) wanting to help the Anti-$cientology cause. Thank you for speaking out. And I love that you ended your comment with KAW (Keep Aftermath Working) as I believe I coined that acronym. KAW
You really hit the nail on the head, Terra. This is the exact way a person gets hooked by this cult. I experienced everything you said, step by step. Great job of explaining it.
teddy bear says
Great for me, it was my choice to leave not theirs. The truth of what they really were up to became more and more real through time, I gradually just pulled away even thou they were after me in every way possible, even having friends calling to come in. Until one friend told me, they will keep after you unless you get declared, So it was also my decision to do something that declared me, so I came closer to Mike Rinder, and that did it, I was glad. I’m not bothered anymore.
There are other religions that by becoming a member of, one is EXPECTED to “toe the line” in order to stay in the good graces of that particular religion/church. If one steps out of line, one might be shunned or banned from further participation within the confines of that particular religion
. I knew of someone who rejected most of her then friends because in the indoctrination of the belief in her newly joined religion……”we didn’t know Jesus”…..not in the format she claimed she did as a new member of “that congregation”. That particular church was one that met several times a week and Sunday was an “all day event”…starting at 8 AM and running through til 6 or 7 PM….they had breakfast, lunch & dinner together & were encouraged to “disavow” even their family members who were not members of that church in an attempt to “suck those family members into also joining the fold”.
They also were expected to tithe weekly & add additional money for “special intentions”….i.e., a “prayed for new job” would meaning if you wanted the leader & congregation to PRAY that you got that new job, new home, etc…you had to “donate” extra funds. If you were OUT of work because you lost your job…..you STILL were expected to come up with your weekly tithed donation…& if you didn’t have the money you OWED it to them…..it was in the contract all new members signed. The “church” made out very well, they had enough money to build a larger newer church & membership continued to grow.
Every statement the members made about the benefits in life they received when spoken about were followed by the words “praise Jesus”…….so much for religion & cults..
Dead Men Tell No Tales Bill Straass says
Another great one. It will take me some time to make all of my comments on this subject.
I was fortunate that I did not have to make a choice in the matter. I was booted out after testing positive for HIV although I had stirred some serious shit just before. I had been trying to go to my parents 50th wedding anniversary dinner and I was just getting run in circles and came close to self termination, which was discovered by CMO in a videoed metered interview. I told the CMO how and why I was going to self terminate and all that happened is that the F/N was indicated. That is like saying “GO AHEAD, MAKE MY DAY”.
Dead Men Tell No Tales Bill Straass says
So yes, I had a choice. If I wanted.to see my family, I could get off the ship; In a body bag.
To begin with, I have a question: did Hubbard ever clearly identify any situations or circumstances in which individuals did not or would hot have personal choice?
Under Hubbard’s, and Scientology’s, typically black and white, extreme and self-serving notions of individuals having choice (and thus being “responsible,” or to blame), nearly or even everything can be justified. For instance, the person who created the RPF on the ships at Hubbard’s direction, later said that individuals who really didn’t want to be in it would have at least had the choice to escape – those who attempted to do so when the ships docked were tracked down and dragged back, though a few made it, which may create the justification that the failed escapees were “responsible” (to blame) for just not having tried hard enough. Ultimately, unless Hubbard defined some limit – which has to be fairly obscure, and readily ignored by Scientology – in theory everyone has the “choice” try to escape from anything even if at risk of life and limb, and ultimately, to even chose to “end cycle” (suicide) and reincarnate.
There’s a point to the idea that people often have notions of personal limits that can in fact be transcended, that limit their abilities unless they are challenged and learn to challenge themselves. But taking that to the other extreme, failing to recognize coercion and psychological control, and blaming the victim, is even worse.
In short, so much for “We don’t want people here who don’t want to be here”.
Is that a correct summation?
The fact that one has to “escape” at all implies he’s not there of his own free will.
Every time you install new software or sign into a new site on line get a new “free” something, then work your way done to the bottom of the page and click the “I Agree” button, it is your choice. you agree to be tracked, and recorded and shared and be spammed. We agree to a lot of stupid stuff, myself include.
Great article Terra
Yea, it’s the old fake religion which presumes the followers are gonna play along so they attain the supernatural powers and soul-flying “OT” status someday, as part of the bargain for playing along with the fake religion’s fake image.
I loved (sarcastically) that old policy that says to be sure to show the Regs the wins of the pcs and students, otherwise the Regs will sour and start thinking they are defrauding the public.
Fake “wins” to keep the faithful thinking they aren’t a fraud!
If only some of the OT 8 Scientologists just used a tiny tiny bit of their “OT” power to do something good in the world, which showed that they truly did attain some “wins” to make the whole group’s assembly line (The Bridge to Total Freedom is the supposed assembly line to produce the great “OT” Scientologists).
LRH admitted to Sarge that LRH had failed.
I wish he’d have been honest enough and smarter enough to see there weren’t any “OT” Scientologists being produced, and admitted it more publicly to the Scientologists before he died.
And then he ought to have made a final Ron’s Journal and let everyone “voluntarily” quit.
Scientology just winds up fools into a fake religion pretending “OT” supernatural soul powers from doing the Hubbard lineup of quack crank past-lives pseudo-therapy and then tops it off with Xenu’s “body-thetans” exorcism.
IT’s a quack subject with rules to make the customers wrong for not making Hubbard’s quackery work on themselves.
Right Chuck. So today I will once again defi Source and have a good day instead of the DB flipping burgers I was told … If I left…
Murray Luther says
When the cop shouted, “Stop or I’ll shoot,” I stopped. Mind you, it was a personal choice.
Marie guerin says
Once the ethics officer in charge of your declare has ruined your good name , either with lies or wild exagérations , or even info from your pc folders , added to the threat of lost eternity , it is not anymore a simple choice with a conscience for your loved ones . It is a “have to “disconnect.
Anything preceded with a “have to” implies a no choice , at least in my book.
Excellent article Terra. This insane LRH BS policies and indoctrination is why I don’t hold any real anger towards my son for not communicating to us for 2 and a half years. I understand. I’m not happy, but I understand. He is working for Scientologists, engaged to one, he was working at an org (maybe still is, I don’t know) and all of his friends are Scientologists.
It is quite strange though that I was introduced to SCN from birth and I have not disconnected from one single person and neither has Lois. True, I was out of the grips of SCN 35 years ago but for the first 29 years, up until 1982 – it was never forced on us. I maintain to this day that I would never had disconnected from my parents nor my siblings. But am I fooling myself with this assertion? I like to think that my love for my family would have overruled any attempt at forcing me to disconnect. I know Lois loves her family equally. We were both brought up this way, that family is the most important group.
When we were trying to get our son back into our lives we pretended to be back with the cult. We did our sec-checks and played the game as we didn’t want to lose him. During the sec checks we had to secretly meet with my sisters and our friends Janis and Paul Grady. They wanted us to disconnect from my sisters and my oldest, never-in, son. They wanted us to disconnect from my oldest son’s in-laws. We wouldn’t do it. We got thru the sec checks but they finally caught us at the in-laws having dinner with Bitty and Ronnie Miscavige. End of the road – we were now the SPs!
In writing this I see the difference between Lois and me, and my son. His fiancé (2nd gen SCN) is now his most important thing in his life. If Lois was still into the church and I was on the fence or teetering, that would be a problem. Luckily we have always seen things the same way.
Terra Cognita says
Clearlypissed: I too, told myself I would never disconnect from my family. Fortunately, I never had to test that decision.
Infinitely More Trouble says
It is true that Scientology offers “carrots” that seem so compelling the only sensible outcome is a personal choice to adhere to L. Ron Hubbard’s policy. If people buy into the whole idea of godlike super powers, they and their church can claim their detestable actions are all the result of “personal choice”. For most people, however, the process of buying into Hubbard’s grandiose promises is a carefully mapped series of thought reform. Hubbard may have called it the “Road to Freedom”, but it is actually the Road to Thought Reform.
As a third-generation Scientologist, the meanings of words such as communication, dynamic, ethics, justice, reality, certainty, and emotion were only ever defined by Hubbard, so discovering the real meanings of these words was revelatory for me. To a person new to Scientology, all of the introductory stuff like the Communication Course introduces these new meanings and slowly changes the inductee’s mindset so that the horrible things they do later on make perfect sense.
For example, Hubbard defined “communication” as a strict formula that must be followed for communication to have occurred. If you don’t receive an acknowledgment, then that person did not communicate with you. Thus, when you talk to Wogs who don’t “ack” you, then they are not communicating. Eventually, it becomes easy to dismiss what they say, because, according to your warped Scientology requirements, they are failing to communicate.
“The Most Ethical People on the Planet” get away with this outrageous claim because they have re-defined the meaning of “ethics”. Rather than using one’s judgment to know the difference between right and wrong, the word “ethics” in Scientology means “doing the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics”. You can see here how Scientology changes meanings inside of other meanings like sludge circling down a drain: “dynamics” is of course yet another re-defined word which does not mean what you think it means. And, I assure you, an “ethical” Scientologist will always do whatever is necessary to protect Scientology, no matter whether it is right or wrong.
When a Scientologist is talking, their language is full of re-defined words that they have slowly accepted over many years. It may seem like it is their personal choices that lead them to do the terrible things they do, but it is the re-definition of words that makes them believe these choices are the right ones.
You have a misunderstanding on the (Scientology) definition of communication. There is nothing mentioned about acknowledgement.
“The formula of communication is: cause, distance, effect, with intention, attention and duplication with understanding.The component parts of communication are consideration, intention, attention, cause, source-point, distance, effect, receipt-point, duplication, understanding, the velocity of the impulse or particle, nothingness or somethingness. A non-communication consists of barriers. Barriers consist of space, interpositions (such as walls and screens of fast-moving particles) and time. A communication, by definition, does not need to be two-way. When a communication is returned, the formula is repeated, with the receipt-point now becoming a source-point and the former source-point now becoming a receipt-point.
Infinitely More Trouble says
That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Hubbard’s bizarre and convoluted explanations don’t have anything to do with reality. Except he conveniently redefined that word as well. Once someone is drawn into this web of altered meanings, it’s easier to control them.
I do acknowledge that not everyone has to allow themselves to be so easily controlled. I know at least one independent Scientologist who I have had irritating conversations with because she thinks the tech has much intrinsic value rather than the wholesale rejection I would argue for. But the important thing is that we are able to have these conversations, and then go about our ways without rancor.
Thanks for pointing out my error. But, I still think Hubbard’s convolutions are designed for control.
Kay M Rowe says
Very well stated! Thanks for your awesome articles.
Old Surfer Dude says
When I was on staff in Honolulu, I did a course. Can’t remember what it was about, but, when I finished the course, they said I needed to write a success story. I said the course was ok, but, nothing to write home about. Whew! You’d have thought that I had slapped the shit out of Hubbard! These people were angry! Real angry. And they said I either write up a success story, or do the courses over. So I did my best to give them what they wanted. That’s when I started to have doubts…
I laughed when I read your story. I think it was more of a releasing charge kind of laugh, OSD. I had a similar experience. I was new, finished a course, was asked if I wanted to write a SS and I said “No.” OMG, same thing, it was like all the alarm bells went off. When they got me on the meter and asked what was up, I told them that by the time they asked me this, it had made me late for work and all my attention was on how to get to work and what I would say to my boss as to why I was late. So they let me attest again next day when I wasn’t so rushed.
Terra Cognita says
OSD: Oh yeah. I hated the whole concept of “enforced” success stories. I rarely felt like writing one.
Dead Men Tell No Tales Bill Straass says
The last course I did on the ship was OEC Vol.0. I attested and wrote a.Success Story but the Key Question did not F/N. I was asked what the problem was and I said.” Maybe I went.by a MU. I was hauled off to ETHICS.
Probably the real why was closer to the fact that it had just come up on session that I was dying and I knew that I would never use the data from the course as I would soon be dead.
Harpoona Frittata says
Since disconnection is perhaps the most well-known cult practice which normal folks uniformly react to with revulsion, disgust and calls for intervention by gov’t authorities, the cherch has been at great pains to try and normalize it by emphasizing the point that disconnection is a “choice” that parishioners themselves make.
Trouble is, not all “choices” are equal, and without specifying the determining conditions upon which choice is made, the cult is attempting to obfuscate the difference between “free choice,” in which the decision is NOT based on fear, threat, coercion or any other negative, externally imposed result which conditions that choice, and the kind of conditional, fear-based choice that actually exists in $cn.
Thus, while it’s true that the Meryl Streep character in the movie “Sophie’s Choice” was given the choice of saving one or the other of her two children from being killed by the Nazis, that’s not the kind of free and uncoerced choice that most of us associate with the meaning of that word. In the same way, $cilons are very often placed in the forced choice position of either disconnecting from their SP relatives or being declared a SP themselves and, as a direct result, losing what they believe to be their only hope of attaining their Eternity.
It’s a conditioned forced choice which takes this form: If you do not ‘choose’ to disconnect from those that you’ve been ordered to by the cherch, the cherch will disconnect from you. It’s a coercive threat that everyone within the cherch must obey or they will lose what they’ve come to (falsely) believe is their only true chance of attaining spiritual freedom.
I often think of the coerced false choice dichotomy that $cn habitually places its parishioners in as “Doofies’ Choice,” in that you really need to be a completely duped doofus to believe in it in the first place! Since $cn is definitely NOT any kind of path leading to spiritual freedom or the acquisition of stupendous super powers, there’s no need to disconnect from anyone, except under your own completely uncoerced self-determinism. In other words, there IS NO “or else” to worry about or be concerned with to begin with. Since what you’re threatened with losing doesn’t actually exist to begin with (at least in $cn, that is), there’s no good reason to allow yourself to be manipulated by anyone who threatens to take that non-existent opportunity away from you!
To have this crucial epiphany is to see the bars of your own “prison of belief” vanish before your very eyes…all you need do then is to march straight the fuck out and never look back!
During one period of my own “apprenticeship to idiocy” in the cult, some power-mad, douche weasel of an EO was trying to convince me to disconnect from my parents (primarily because they wouldn’t lend me the cash to pay for my bridge), I was actually considering doing just that. I think that I didn’t because, at that point in the cherch’s history, the emphasis was on “handling,” rather than disconnecting from relatives like mine who took a jaundiced view of “the cult life”. Thank Xenu for that!
It’s really pretty simple: any professed path to enlightenment and spiritual freedom which requires you to disconnect from family or be tossed out on your thetan could never be a true path to spiritual freedom in the first place!
Of course, if Elron was ever to come back with even more awesomely amazing stupor powders, then I’d be forced to reconsider my conclusion here 😉
Dead Men Tell No Tales Bill Straass says
Shortly after I got in, around 1978, I remember reading a reference regarding “Handle or disconnect”. The reference said that one should always handle if dealing with family and disconnect only as a last resort. It said that just disconnecting was lazy. I wish I could remember the reference. Now the emphasis is disconnect, not handle. The Church doesn’t give a rats ass about PR, it is fighting a war against everyone. It acts like the definition of a suppressive person.
That is incorrect Bill. The reference did NOT state that if an SP (as determined by HCO) was a family member that one must always “handle”. Handle or disconnect (in ’78) was A) HANDLE the antagonistic person to NOT be antagonistic towards the person doing scientology IF possible. B) Disconnect if the person could NOT be handled or, disconnect if the person were a SP as determined by HCO.
Terra Cognita says
Harpoona: Not all choices are equal. You’re so right.
Hub’s justice codes – analysed and graded, scientology style.
Steve Snyder says
To anyone let down after placing hope and trust in Scientology tech and auditing:
If someone is lost deep inside a mind shaft with many tunnels and is told “this one” will be the “bridge” to total freedom and you spend almost all your energy and time only to find a dead end, one will be reluctant to believe in any One Way out.
Having experienced this heartbreak many years ago in Scientology I decided to go to the creator of all things and get His help.
He offers salvation by a personal relationship with Him for He personally became human to bridge the divide between God and humanity.
This is NOT science fiction, I have experienced it!
We all have the free will to choose in order to be able to experience the love of Jesus Christ.
Having received Him as Lord and savior 37 years ago I can truly say I have never been disappointed!
When Jesus took away my sins (overts) I experienced a joy Scientology never gave me.
I know there are some truths in Scientology but adding all the tech up will produce a lie.
God will never lie to you.
Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Don’t believe me. Just quietly ask Him to reveal Himself to you and see what He does!
Jesus said if you seek Him you will find Him.
It’s all about RELATIONSHIP not RELIGION!
Hope this helps anyone who has experienced the let down of lies and harsh treatment instead of finding God’s truth and love.
God really DOES care about you,
Yes, it is a personal choice, but a choice made under extreme duress. If I went out onto the street and asked for a strangers wallet while I had a gun pointed at his head, it would be his personal choice for him to hand me his wallet.
For a Scientologist, the threat of an SP Declare is worse than pointing a gun at his head. You’re not threatening his immediate life as with shooting him; instead you’re threatening him with the loss of his family, friends, business associates, and his own spiritual freedom for trillions of years.
In Scientology, ignoring the suggestion of an Ethics Officer to disconnect from a person who’s been SP Declared (even if a family member) can cause oneself to be SP Declared as it is considered to be a High Crime to stay connected as per Scientology’s policies on Ethics.
Coercive behavior is coercive. That coercion only sets in after you buy the scam. Between sunk costs and love bombing, what’s a clam to do? Bow to the Ethics Officer or some Knowledge Report or pay big bucks for a sec check?
How can any clam think for themselves when they are required to think what Lron wanted them to think? Those who can think for themselves get out when confronted by abuse. They leave if they don’t have to leave family members behind or jobs. Emotional and financial kidnapping is allowed in the US. Fu*k us.
I like the way you put out essays that gets us thinking TC.
It is impossible to leave Scientology by doing the conditions if one believes that Scientology has the only technology to eliminate aberration and limited abilities and has the only path to enlightenment and super beingness. Therein lies the trap. All “One Way” religions share that same trait. There’s no way to make an ethical personal decision to leave if you truly believe that only the C of S can deliver on the promise of salvation for yourself personally and for all mankind. The dynamics as applied by ethics then suppress all dynamics except the 3rd. (imho) The only way to escape this is to personally assess whether the church actually delivers what it promises and in that it has failed miserably. That in itself proves the church is suppressive and should be disconnected from, and that was my personal decision.
Harpoona Frittata says
$cn is just another new flavor in the One True Religion scam which, by now, no sensible human would ever even consider falling for!
The only big differences are that SPs are the stand-ins for Satan’s minions; you’re your own god-in-training and $cn Heaven IS open to the wealthy…actually, it’s ONLY open to the wealthy 😉
” and every evening when a person walks through the front doors of the org boils down to personal choice.”
It sounds like just about no one is making that personal choice these days, judging by the emptiness of the buildings.
Old Surfer Dude says
And SM, it’s only going to get worse. They must be wearing some HUGE blinders…