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Mental Manipulation

June 5, 2010

After I left the Church of Scientology, the question that people asked most often was “Why did you put up with it?” People would hear stories of the abuse, the degradation, the sleep deprivation, the slave-level wages, the control, and wonder why anyone would put up with it.

Recent stories about abusive “reg cycles,” blatant extortion, threats, invasions of people’s privacy, family disconnections and so on prompt the same question: Why do people put up with such insanity? Why did we put up with it?

It was a question that plagued me for years after I left Scientology. I consider myself an intelligent person, a rational person. I don’t consider that I am easily pushed around or manipulated. So why had I gone along with such insanity? Why had I agreed to be treated that way? And that prompted my own study of the subject of what we might call “mental manipulation.”

I deliberately avoid the term “brainwashing.” It’s an inaccurate and emotionally charged word. People associate it with duress and torture – pain, drugs, and hypnosis. As a Scientologist, I knew that no one had tortured me, hypnotized me or given me drugs, so the idea that I had been “brainwashed” was ridiculous to me. I also avoid the term “mind control” for similar reasons. People get pictures of staggering zombies with their eyes rolled back in their heads.

But there are ways to manipulate people. There are ways that we are manipulated. And it’s important to know how.

I’ve used the term “cognitive dissonance” before – defined as an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. George Orwell, in his novel 1984, called it “doublethink.” The guy who invented the term cognitive dissonance, Leon Festinger, broke it down into three factors: behavior, thought, and emotion. His theory was that if you could control or change any one of these factors, the person would tend to change the other factors to minimize the amount of dissonance they experience.

To give an example, the Church tells public that they cannot watch the Anderson Cooper 360 series on Scientology. This is behavior control. A Scientologist might experience some cognitive dissonance – after all, what is a church doing telling people what they can and cannot watch on TV? So the Scientologist rationalizes it (changes his thought) by saying “Well, they must have a reason for it,” or “It would probably ruin my case if I watched it.” They might also change their emotions to fit the behavior change – feeling hatred for Anderson Cooper as an “enemy” or feeling guilt if they considered watching the program.

If a group can control all of these factors, it can manipulate its members – for example, if they can prevent people from watching the TV program (control behavior), convince them it will ruin their case (control thought) and feel guilt if they contemplate watching it (control emotion), then they have established near-total control.

Steven Hassan, in his study of cults, added a fourth factor, information.

Let’s see how this breaks down with the Church of Scientology:

Behavior Control: Of course, in the Sea Org, behavior control is almost total. Members are on a strict, minute-by-minute schedule. They sleep and eat when they are told to. They wear what they are told (a uniform). If they are told they cannot sleep, they don’t. They have to get permission to talk to family, go to the store, or take any time off. They follow detailed orders and are subject to punishments and discipline if they deviate from approved orders and programs. Every minute of their life is controlled.

But these days, even public Scientologists are on a pretty tight leash, particularly those at the top of the Bridge. They show up when they are called, donate when they are told to, do what they are told – or face ethics “interviews” and Sec Checks. They are told who they can be friends with, if they can contact their family or not, and what they can and cannot watch on TV. As Mary Jo noted in her KR, they are expected to reveal their complete finances, their connections, their intimate relationships – or else.

Thought Control: As Orwell said in his novel 1984, “mind control” isn’t really someone else controlling your thoughts, it’s you learning to control your own thoughts according to the group’s ideology. In a cult-like group, that ideology is composed of black and white, good and evil, “them” and “us.” Members are expected to filter their thoughts and attitudes through this ideological framework. If information comes from the group leadership, for instance, it’s always true and good. If it comes from those designated as “enemies,” it’s always false and bad.

Having enemies is vital. The enemy can be invented or exaggerated, but an enemy has to exist. The group has to believe they are in a “war.” That then justifies extraordinary sacrifices, excessive donations, and even criminal acts, all in the name of “winning the war.”

In a cultish group, the leader is always right and may not be criticized or challenged. The doctrine or beliefs are always right and may not be criticized or even discussed. Any problems or failures are assumed to be the fault of the individual member. The member soon learns to blame himself or herself for any failure. This is true, by the way, of all cults.

LRH never said, by the way, “If I tell you something, then it is true until the end of time and may never, never be questioned or challenged.” In fact, he said the opposite: “If it is true for you, it’s true. And if it’s not true for you, it still isn’t true. Not even if Ron told you is it true. It’s just not true, that’s all” (from the lecture Differences Between Scientology & Other Philosophies). But in the current Church, no questioning of LRH is allowed. And certainly no questioning of Miscavige is allowed.

Independent thought or discussion is discouraged in any totalist group. All of the answers are to be found in the group’s doctrine. You have a question? Read more doctrine. You have a doubt? Read more doctrine. Looking outside the doctrine is forbidden. Questioning or challenging the doctrine is considered treasonous.

Members of a cult-like group are trained to block out any information that is critical of the group, the leader, or the doctrine. If information is perceived by a member as critical, a hostile wall goes up. Anyone attempting to present critical information is perceived as “part of the enemy camp” and is shunned or even personally attacked.

Emotional Control: The emotions most often used to manipulate others are guilt, shame, and fear. These are used as levers to get members to conform and to do what they are told.

Part of creating fear is having a powerful enemy who is out to destroy the group. Where would the IAS be if they couldn’t throw Scientologists into fear about the “psychs,” Anonymous, the “SPs,” and so on? Fear is used to get donations, to get people to devote more and more time and effort to the group.

Members are taught that their own feelings, their own needs, are unimportant and selfish, and that the needs of the group and the leader are paramount. They are never permitted to criticize the leader, but are encouraged to blame themselves, to feel shame and guilt for not doing more, contributing more.

Confession, of course, is a powerful tool. As we know, when a Scientologist confesses anything in session, that information can and is used for manipulation. If they step out of line, the information can be used to shame and control them.

Members are also trained to fear the world outside the group. They are taught that they will be alone and defenseless in the face of unspeakable evils and depravity – drugs, crime, violence.

Information Control: Controlling what information members have access to is key to maintaining control in a cult-like group. Flag, for instance, recently briefed public that they were forbidden to read the St. Petersburg Times articles on Scientology or watch the AC 360 program on CNN. Anyone exposing themselves to this information was routed to Ethics.

But Scientologists are trained to censor their own information flow. If they run across information they perceive as critical of their leader or the Church, they’ll shut it off. They’ll refuse to read it. They will stay off of “enemy sites” or “natter boards” so they won’t be exposed to “entheta.” They are taught to shun members who are speaking out. They are taught to “unfriend” people who are critical of the Church. And they are taught to spy on each other and report anyone seen to be critical or doubting.

Scientologists claim to know far more than outsiders about their Church, however, once they leave, they find out that they knew far less than those on the outside. Scientology is so stratified and so secretive that no one at any level knows what is really going on at the next highest level. They only find out after they leave – or by reading “forbidden” sites.

So why do people put up with abuse? Because they are, in one way or another, under the group’s control. Objecting or complaining is not allowed in the behavior codes of the group and would result in censure or rejection. Thinking critical thoughts would put one on the “dark side” – on the side of the “enemy.” Feelings of fear, shame and guilt keep one from making a fuss. Or one filters out “negativity” and “entheta” and tries to only read or forward positive information. Any one or all of these factors can keep an individual effectively under group control.

Know these factors, and, like Pinochhio, you can sing “I’ve got no strings on me.”

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235 Comments
  1. Synthia permalink
    June 5, 2010 1:40 am

    I believe that the insidous and the “can’t get unstuck from” aspect of Scientology is that what it says it is and what it is are two different things. In our religion, you’re always “allowed” to do anything….if you want to pay the consequences.

    Take, for example, the Latter Day Saints:

    “Latter-day Saints caution their members against using tobacco, consuming alcohol, tea and coffee. They interpret the misuse of drugs–illegal, legal, prescription or controlled–as a violation of the health code known as the “Word of Wisdom.” ”

    It really comes down to being against the rules to use caffeine and tobacco.

    In other groups you may not be able to wear make up or slacks if you are a woman. In another group it is against the rules to dance or play rock ‘n’ roll music. There are many examples and these are stated, known about, and agreed upon. They are probably even written down.

    Scientologists walk around conforming to all sorts of unwritten rules, thinking they are free because LRH never said you couldn’t drink. LRH has the policy on 2D Rules (remember, they’re really aren’t any?). LRH says we can talk freely and think freely and counter the opinions of others (even though LRH can’t grant that freedom anyway as it is a human right). LRH makes it very clear how bad abortion is and that family is important.

    So, we think we have these freedoms as Scientology would never be so archiac and superstitious to ban dancing, cosmetic use, or coffee. Scientology would never require a woman to wear a veil across her face or demand a man have his hand cut off for fondling a woman’s breast before marriage. These are primitive and unenlightened behaviors that don’t belong in the purview of a science of the mind.

    No, we have these freedoms if we want to pay thousands of dollars and many added hours to our programs along the path to freedom. No, we have those freedoms in our minds because we have seen them on official documents such as HCOBs and HCO PLs, etc. while we allow just the opposite to occur. We have those freedoms but we are willing to suspend them, for a while, for the greater good and somehow this all makes sense.

    Some have allowed the cognitive dissonance to become a soft, dull, ghost of a sensation and are slowly going insane because of it no matter how “normal” they all look to themselves. I say this as a fellow member doing the same thing just months ago.

    I am grateful that the cognitive dissonance was so uncomfortable for me that I could no longer sleep or function properly and HAD to take action.

    Though all cults are dangerous, Scientology has an unseen and therefore even more gripping danger in that it says it is everything any sane person would ever want, even gives you many glimpses of that potential reality, while it actually is the complete opposite in the end in terms of practice.

    I have a very dear friend who was in a very popular rock band in the 70s and 80s. They came so close to making it huge. They toured all over the world with all the hot bands of the time and had girls hanging all over them and everything handed to them on a silver platter. It was quite a life while it lasted but, they never quite made it and then faded from the limelight. This friend has been working laboriously to get back to that promised land ever since.

    I see a similar phenomena with myself and others regarding Scientology. I am so surprised at how many people who were involved way back in the beginning or who put their time in during earlier times, are still here in the philosophical discussions 25, 30 or even 40 years later. It is still so all encompassing. My quest is to determine if we hang on because the promised goal is still possible or because it just says it is in books.

    I say this with all sincerity.

    • June 5, 2010 3:06 pm

      Synthia,

      Two things your post made me think about.

      First was becoming desensitized. I wonder if some individuals are more prone to becoming desensitized to experience than others. Cognitive dissonance is an experience. Violence, humiliation, degradation, unwanted control and all the other things individuals encounter are experiences. I remember back in the seventies how many individuals I knew who were exposed to Scientology just plain walked away because they refused to become desensitized to the contradictions. Some were intelligent, some were not. Had nothing to do with intelligence. Just a willingness to accept the experience.

      I could never quite desensitize my feelings about the contradictions. I couldn’t completely turn off the valves that fed into a willingness to examine viewpoints of those opposed to Scientology.

      Far more people exist outside of “cults” than inside.

      However, one could argue that any society acts like a large cult. Every group has a belief system and standards of behavior. Every group to some degree dictates or tries to dictate behavior, emotion, thought and information.

      Western culture has greatly desensitized to sex and violence. What would have been horrific and intolerable in the fifties and sixties is commonplace now. “The Exorcists” was so horrific that people often left the theater in shock. Some even vomited. Today we have the “Saw” series. “The Exorcists” hardly merits a yawn.

      The “Saw” series plays on choices one must make to survive. Would you be willing to cut off your hand to escape certain death? Scientology has become the “Saw” religion. What would you be willing to sacrifice to survive? What horrible acts would you be willing to commit to survive forever? How much damage are you willing to cause to self, family and others for the chance to go free?

      Marty just did a piece on Viktor Frankl. Concentration camps were all about controlling behavior, desensitizing feeling, and avoiding death. What would you do to survive? How willing is a person to shut off feelings and disregard what is seen and understood? What is most important? Yet, how many inmates became Nazis? Some did.

      So Scientology provides the promise of immortality–not just physical survival but the eternal survival of the soul. The stakes go higher, the consequences magnified. And Scientology promises each of us god-like ability to achieve this immortality.

      Which brings me to that second thought: Scientology’s promise of immortality. From what I’ve seen, the promise is incomplete. Despite all the success stories and personal gains, I’ve yet to see anyone actually achieve the state of total cause over life. Not across the dynamics. Anyone who claims this state certainly can’t demonstrate it. Who out there can mock up a banquet for five thousand people without calling a caterer? What OT has become so knowledgeable that he or she can permeate the body and learn its genetic coding and chemistry so thoroughly as to reverse the aging process and cause the body to live an extra hundred years with characteristics found in twenty-year olds? Let’s see it happen.

      That said, incredible spiritual insights are available using Scientology. That some coach likes to exaggerate and tell you that you will be sprinting for miles and miles doesn’t mean his methods aren’t valid if he helps you knock a couple minutes off our mile time. That Hubbard makes all sorts of claims doesn’t mean Scientology doesn’t provide insights and methods of gaining more spiritual freedom than one might gain elsewhere.

      So, we move from hanging on to being interested and communicating.

      Got to go to yoga with the wife.

      Michael.`

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 5, 2010 6:28 pm

        I had the same thought after reading Jeff’s piece, Michael, that every society acts as
        a cult. There exists within any society “a reality” subscribed to by it’s members, which
        may be unusual or downright strange to members of other societies.

        Not a solution, necessarily, but an interesting piece to the puzzle.

      • Gandiguy permalink
        June 7, 2010 4:33 am

        Remember the quote about reaching for the star allows you to sometimes arrive at the table top! Something like that! One seldom arrives at the postulated goal but falls somewhat short. So if your goal is the table top you may arrive at the top of your knee. In Scientology we had star high goals, full OT Cause over life etc. I haven’t arrived at that but I am a hell of a lot more able that when I started! Of course you can say he might have gotten there another way. Sure, but this is the way I stumbled on. And I had great fun arriving where I have over the 30 some odd years. No regrets.

    • Marta permalink
      June 5, 2010 6:42 pm

      Synthia,

      Thanks for this thoughtful and thought provoking post. One thing in particular, that struck me and I’d like to speak to:

      “if we hang on because the promised goal is still possible or because it just says it is in books.”

      I know I asked myself something very similar (and still do) as a natural part of peeling the onion of deception, as I realized I’d been a part of a cult. It’s a healthy question, maybe one we should continue to ask as we become part of any group, organization, business, or relationship for that matter.

      Because the ends are inherent in the means or as someone else said “your character is your fate”, certainly the promise is NOT possible within the CoS – it, in fact, operates as a cult, its practices and culture are deceptive and manipulative, and it has gotten so much more so over the years.

      One of the keys is in the word “promises”. As a sales and marketing person, a mantra that has served me well over the years is “under promise and over deliver”. The CoS practices the opposite. Caught up in grandiose hyperbole, using absolute wording and generalities, the business model has become promising absolutely, positively, unequivocally, matter of factly, whatever, amen! Is it intentional? I have no doubt. Was it always intentional? I don’t know. I do know, that the seeds of that culture were already well planted in the late ’70’s.

      But, any organization, group, partnership, relationship can go off the rails – no longer practicing or producing their stated values, products, etc. CoS has become a very solid cult organizationally, structurally.

      I guess what I’m trying to say is that having lofty aims and star high goals isn’t at fault. And whether or not the subject of Scientology was intended as a means to a greedy cult-end or not, doesn’t matter if there is benefit in the study and practice of the philosophy, and it can be done in freedom and independence.

      Currently, when I’ve heard and read talk of “organizing up” among the Independents, I’m hearing, too clearly for my comfort, a tendency toward “in the same old way”. And, I for one, am keenly aware of the taste of brine shrimp in those waters….

      The future is unfolding – Life is so good.

      Marta

      • John Doe permalink
        June 6, 2010 3:41 am

        @Marta

        “Caught up in grandiose hyperbole, using absolute wording and generalities, the business model has become promising absolutely, positively, unequivocally, matter of factly, whatever, amen!”

        Well said. Your comment made me think back to a few years ago when I was signing up for services at AOLA, and the registrars now make you sign a multi-page waiver and release that basically says you agree the church is promising you nothing, and that no promo, verbal assurances, etc held any weight whatsoever. You also have to “pre-agree” to undergo the Introspection Rundown “should you need it”, as determined by church personnel.

        I insisted on reading it carefully and the frightening thing was, the registrar told me that in the several years this waiver had been in use, no one had ever insisted on reading it.

        Yet another moment of cognitive dissonance, where the promises that got you to arrive in the org and got you to pay your money were rendered null. “Well, what the hell am I getting for this huge amount of money,” is the thought that ANYONE would have if they had bothered to read the damn thing. Oh yea, you couldn’t have a copy. If I had pressed it, would have made my time in ethics lengthy, no doubt…

      • Synthia permalink
        June 6, 2010 5:19 am

        Oh Marta,

        My beautiful friend. 🙂 You better believe that I give up no hope! I probably did not make myself clear. What I really meant to say is that I wonder if I am clinging to the ONLY hope for freedom being Scientology and Scientology alone.

        I will NEVER give up that path, that yearning desire, that aching feeling for source, for God, for freedom, for truth, and for the realization of all that is me and is you and all of us together in love. That is not meant to be corny but real. I will NEVER stop that quest until it is complete.

        What I was saying is that I am not sure if it is really possible in Scientology alone even though it looks really good on paper 🙂

        That’s all.

        Love, Synthia

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 6, 2010 6:34 am

        John Doe

        That registrar doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Or else she’s lying. Either way, she’s trying to pull one over on the public by having them sign away their rights to their own expectations, the very expectations that church promo has worked very hard to create.

        I know that what she told you about the waiver is untrue because a few years ago I was one who was making a very big stink at my org (let’s just say, proximal to yours) about that very waiver. I not only read it, I protested loudly to the registrar and anyone who would listen. I refused to sign it. I was handled with kid gloves, as my re-signing on another major service was very much anticipated and it was clear that result would be lost if I did refuse to sign. Finally, I was told that I could alter the document before signing, which I did. I simply crossed out the parts I disagreed with! How legal this document then became, I don’t know. I do know that the people who allowed me to do this were genuinely motivated by a desire to get me onto my next action, and that this waiver was making a lot of problems for them. I was not the only person to respond to it as I had.

        So it seems likely to me that your reg found it in her/the church’s best interest for you to believe that you were the only person to take exception to that waiver (and if no one reads it, how could they take exception to it?), but it’s not true.

        Knowing what else you know, it doesn’t actually seem out of character for someone at the org to have deceived you like that now , does it?

      • Fidelio permalink
        June 6, 2010 1:34 pm

        John Doe,

        that waiver just was the scrap for SENIOR POLICY:
        We always deliver what we promise. (HCOPL 21 Nov 1968 I). Of course these promises are in promo pieces, but they are in Hubbard’s writings and teachings galore. So?
        Found that remarkable.
        Fidelio

  2. June 5, 2010 2:19 am

    Thank you, Jeff.

    Pinheaded fanatics arise in every generation.

    I should know – I was one of them.

    But now, with so many ex-pinheads around, maybe the lessons we learned can be worth something to future generations.

    I hope so.

    Otherwise, I’m just gonna go lie down.

    Alanzo

  3. June 5, 2010 3:15 am

    I have another comment on your extremely well-written and th0ught-provoking post.

    George Orwell and Aldous Huxley, and so many others who wanted to promote the freedom of thought, talked about THOUGHT CONTROL. But Festinger taught about the three parts of the SELF: Thoughts, EMOTIONS and Behaviors.

    What if the hook never was THOUGHT CONTROL?

    If it was, then wouldn’t we have learned the lessons taught to us in “1984” and “Brave New World”, and never even considered Scientology? Had those books taught us the lessons we needed to know, why then did we ever get involved so deeply?

    What if the hook of Scientology – and other mass movements like it – are not through thoughts?

    What if their hook is through EMOTION?

    I have always known that the reason a person gets involved and stays involved in Scientology is not because it “makes sense”. It’s because they have an EMOTIONAL RUIN that Scientology connects with and continues to address. There is also an emotional connection in their life which Scientology provides. THAT is the reason a person stays in Scientology.

    Perhaps the way to free people from Scientology is not through thoughts and intellectual models and ideas, but through EMOTIONAL CONNECTION?

    I don’t know what the answer is yet to this. But I do know that “1984” and” Brave New World” – which I had read and much admired prior to diving headlong into Scientology – and becoming a world-class pinheaded fanatic – did not stop me from becoming true-blue.

    Maybe that’s just because I’m an idiot.

    Or maybe the real hook is through EMOTIONS – and the book about that hook has not been written yet?

    What were the EMOTIONAL CONNECTIONS WHICH FIRST ATTRACTED, and CONTINUED TO APPEAL TO YOU IN SCIENTOLOGY?

    Oh, but I’m rambling now.

    As I am wont to do.

    I am going to keep thinking about this.

    Maybe those who have been thoroughly brainwashed are the only ones experienced enough to save Mankind from further brainwashing?

    Ya think?

    Thanks for providing the space.

  4. War and Peace permalink
    June 5, 2010 3:22 am

    MENTAL MANIPULATION
    Yes, at a tone level of CONTROLLING BODIES.

    Jeff, since the 80s, I think you will agree that the CONTROL has increased, becoming worse as time goes by.

    However, the Internet is here. All bets are off. There no free passes for misconduct in the digital age.

    One loused up bad Ethics handling in the past had the public go home and cave in.
    Now, they go home and click that mouse. And voila ~~~ the Internet opens up a whole new world of connections, stories, SO history and more.

    One bad bad reg cycle and the public in their suppressed anger check it out on the web.
    Especially if they have been told to NOT check out those bad mean ENTHETA sites.

    The Church of Miscavology used to have OSA auditors sec check “OSA particles” and sock it to em in intensives of sec checking (actually INTERROGATIONS masquerading as SECURITY CHECKS” at the pc expense.)

    No longer.

    OSA INT does not even HAVE a sec checker !

    Times are a changing.

    There will be continuity of FLAG and other MAAs botching cycles. These MAAs do not have a clue of INTERNET sites, they are after all Sea Org and forbidden to visit the web.
    The more they strong arm the public and bungle, fumble and flub the handling, the more they make enemies who visit the internet sites.

    I would hazard a guess that there is little return to supporting the Church after reading the web. You cannot un-ring a bell. You cannot put the toothpaste back in the tube after it is out.

    The internet sites resonate with their own personal engram or trauma while being a “good Scientologist.”

    Great post Jeff. Buying copies of the book. I have promoted “Counterfeit Dreams” more than you will ever know…….

  5. Kingair350 permalink
    June 5, 2010 3:26 am

    Jeff,
    Going to your site is like going to the Oracle in ancient Greece. I am in awe of your scholarship, clarity of observation and deduction.

    For myself, you have laid out the phenomena that has victimized me for decades. I can now lock scan with impunity; each incident of inval, fear (terror), and suppression falls apart simply by seeing my own contribution to the charge.

    This is important information you’ve presented. You can de-PTS yourself or a loved one pretty darned quick, just by spotting the above points, where they exist.

    I am totally blown away, Jeff. Thank you for your care and kindness.

    • Mary Jo permalink
      June 5, 2010 4:08 pm

      Thank you Kingair for expressing EXACTLY what I wanted to say! Amen! And I love the process you suggest and how this can be used as a tool to help others – thank you.

      Jeff, you never imagined you would in fact become a “third dynamic auditor” but that is in fact what you are! You are a HEALER. And I thank you for that!

      We are very blessed to have your insight, intelligence, experience. And were it not for your huge heart, it would all not reach as deep or go as far.

      Love,
      Mary Jo

  6. Tony DePhillips permalink
    June 5, 2010 4:41 am

    DAMN JEFF!!!

    You have a way of throwing shit in my face that I sort of don’t want to confront. But at the end I always am. 🙂

    Can’t argue with your logic.

    Wish I would have cogged earlier!!!!

    I think I learned my lesson!!

    Am I really that f—ing stupid??

    Here is how it went down for me. I was messed up early on in life. Nothing else I looked into made much sense. Scientology made sense to me. As I downloaded the good stuff, I bought into the virus that came along with it. I relinquished responsibility by telling myself “others” knew more about all this shit than I do. I thereby gave them power.

    I gave the Sea Org tech terminals tremendous power over me. “You need 5 intensives of sec checking!!” Yes master…I want to go free!!! etc, etc.. excuse me I don’t feel so well…I have to run to the toilet…

    Ok Jeff, I’m back…I GOT IT!!! Deep breath!

    🙂
    Tony

    • craig houchin permalink
      June 5, 2010 8:42 pm

      Tony,

      I’m sure we all could say, “I wish I had cog’d earlier.” But we didn’t. It happens when it happens. All the crap we’re hearing about now was in the Time Mag article back in the early-90s, late-80s. We just weren’t ready to look at it then. Our own piles of crap-experiences hadn’t grown big enough to trigger us. I guess you could say, we were still — having fun. And, frankly, that’s okay. A lot of it was fun back then.

      I don’t think you can change anyone’s mind by showing them this data on the internet. A person will not “see” it until he chooses to. For most of us, when the shit-pile gets high-enough and starts to stink — and that point is different for everybody — that’s when we are ready to see, and that’s when just a glimpse of this alternate reality opens the floodgate and it all becomes crystal-clear, and we think to ourselves, “My god, why didn’t I see this earlier.” Because we weren’t ready to. That’s all.

      • Tony DePhillips permalink
        June 8, 2010 5:44 am

        Thanks Craig!!

  7. brendon permalink
    June 5, 2010 4:42 am

    A good analysis of one of the biggest questions of all.

    I do wonder about another part of this equation though: whether some people are more susceptable than others to the kinds of control mechanisms you discuss. I can tell you that years ago I used to hypnotize people for fun. (Setting aside for the moment how hypnotism is viewed among Scientologists!)

    It wasn’t a skill that was particularly hard to figure out. But one quickly learned that your subjects had a huge range in responsiveness to the technique. Most would go under. A very few would be extremely suggestible, and for some nothing happened. The weirdest example I can think of was a person who so wanted to go under that she faked it. I was experienced enough to tell what was going on, and I assure you she would have done anything had I suggested it as well as my most truly susceptable subjects. My point is: wide range of susceptability.

    If I could discern one common aspect of the Scientologists I personally know (we’re taliking on the order of about four) I would say it is an absence of what I would describe as “critical thinking skills.” Something can happen, or they could be told something, and they tend to gravitate to a single answer, no matter how fanciful. I would look at the same circumstance and say, “Well maybe it’s B? Or maybe C? What do you have to ignore for your answer to be right? Does Occam’s Razor fit well here?” etc. etc.

    This though approach also seems to go hand in hand with beliefs in everything from conspiracies to multi-level marketing.

    That’s just my experience. And no matter what you might think, it’s not a knock on them: I love all these people madly. I just don’t operate in their same reality.

    Finally, although it is chock full of the word “cult,” a word like “brainwashing” I also tend not to use, I can’t commend to you strongly enough this brilliant short video. Titled “Mind Control Made Easy, Or How To Become A Cult Leader” it was made about 15 years ago before videos became more sophisticated. It really hits the mark though it is generic rather than directed specifically at the COS, (but I assure you that you will see a lot of Scientology in this film).

    I’ll try to embed it but here is the URL first just in case:

    Here’s the embed, I hope:

    • Marta permalink
      June 5, 2010 6:50 pm

      Brendon,

      Well, this was a terrific little video! Thanks for posting it.

    • earthmother permalink
      June 6, 2010 3:29 pm

      Brendon,
      Great video. Makes me wonder if DM had seen it years ago…

    • Gandiguy permalink
      June 7, 2010 4:52 am

      I have to admit not much of the stuff I have read on these sites really upset me. I saw first hand a lot of it or the seeds of it over the years being both public and staff and just kind of nodded my head with a grimace and said right, right. BUT THIS VIDEO MADE ME SICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      Ever had that crawley feeling in your stomach where your upper lip kind of turns up and your nose gets all scrunched up? Holy s–t. That’s not ME! I’m interllectual! Smart! Wise! OK,….. Gotcha! Now I’m adding humble!

  8. gargy permalink
    June 5, 2010 4:47 am

    The next installment in this intriguing story will detail how the “controlled” do, in fact, cut the strings. What steps do they take to stop controlling themselves? I guess some are lucky — they have loving friends or spouses who brave the dark secrets and then lovingly show them.

  9. June 5, 2010 5:55 am

    Jeff,

    Least your readers begin to frown on the term, the concept of “cognitive dissonance” evolved beyond Festinger to have a more benign meaning in education. Noteworthy educators such as Piaget and Rogers used it to address how a child has an idea that he accepts, then is presented with new knowledge. The new knowledge sets up a degree of mental discord as the child or person examines the new idea and compares it to what he already knows. Learning brings the new idea into harmony with what one holds as true. Too much dissonance between what is already known and what is encountered will hamper learning. Too little dissonance causes very little learning.

    It’s not new ideas or cognitive dissonance which are bad, it’s the unwillingness to step back so one can examine and evaluate without bias. The willingness or tendency of a person to be biased and justify information to conform to that bias is what makes mental manipulation possible. Such a person is predisposed to being manipulated.

    The willingness to view an issue from both or all sides makes mental manipulation much more difficult.

    A lot of this falls back into being right. A person who is very resistant to being wrong will be more likely to manipulate information into an alignment with already held ideas. He’s right. Any contradictory information makes him wrong, and he’s just not going to buy being wrong. He’ll fight tooth and nail to not be wrong. And he will tend to be averse to those who disagree.

    The more relaxed you are about being wrong or foolish or incorrect, the easier it is to accept and /or reject contradictory data or to bring those contradictory data into a broader informational alignment.

    Michael

    • Synthia permalink
      June 5, 2010 1:44 pm

      Micheal,

      You are a sage. I have not seen one single post from you that didn’t make me think – A LOT. I still have not responded to your extraordinarily powerful and beautiful post yoiu left on my story blog but I will. You have helped me a very great deal.

      Love, Synthia

      • June 5, 2010 10:14 pm

        Synthia,

        One of the things that strikes me most about the individuals gathered here is how much they care. When you posted our story, you just got the tip of the iceberg in response. Lots of readers don’t feel confident in their writing, opinions, position, whatever to post. But the people here care about you, girlfriend. A lot. And they care about one another.

        Now that’s a generality. And there are exceptions. But, I see it as the rule. People got into Scientology because they cared about others. And wanted to help. Wanted to make life better for self and others. Wanted a better world.

        I care about you Synthia. I care about everyone who posts here and who does not. And I think the rule here is that so many posters could easily say exactly the same thing. It’s not some wishy-washy form of being solicitous. I don’t wring my hands in worry over your well being. I would kick your ass in a heart beat if I thought doing so would serve your best interests.

        Or give you a hug.

        Or feed you when you need a meal.

        There’s a generosity of spirit lurking here, just waiting to emerge. Permeating all that is happening here. Doesn’t matter how fucked up our experience with Scientology might have been or how wonderful. Doesn’t matter how betrayed we feel or how satisfied. We care.

        And that’s the voice of a greater consciousness than mine speaking. In your brightest moments you can feel it and smile. In your darkest, you can reach out and find it sitting there, ready to embrace you, ready to lift you up.

        It’s not me. It’s much more.

        And I don’t pretend to know what.

        Much love,

        Michael

    • Just Me permalink
      June 5, 2010 3:05 pm

      I appreciate the distinctions Michael makes here between the different ways people respond to “cognitive dissonance”: (1) over-weighting and under-weighting known facts and creating false data to reduce their anxiety due to the dissonance or (2) seeking additional data and exploring different ways of relating all the data to understand whether the original belief is valid, should be modified or rejected in favor of a new belief.

      It’s the difference between “rationalize” (justify, explain away, make excuses for) and “rationalize” (think rationally, employ logic or reason).

      Thanks, Michael.

      Just Me

      • June 5, 2010 10:16 pm

        Just me,

        Ain’t it a pain when the same damned word means two things so utterly different and a large segment of the population still can’t tell the difference?

    • Jeff permalink*
      June 5, 2010 4:28 pm

      Michael, thanks, as always, for your intelligent analysis. Cognitive dissonance, IMHO, is a two-edged sword. It can be used to manipulate, getting people further and further into a cult mindset, but it can also dig them out. It serves an educational purpose, as you pointed out. Many people end up leaving Scientology because the dissonance becomes too great to be rationalized.

      • June 5, 2010 10:37 pm

        Jeff,

        As so many have noted, a person just has to be impressed by the intelligence exhibited on these blogs. Just has to be. Scientology wasn’t just attracting a bunch of dummies. Scientology was a magnet for some very bright people.

        And the things about Scientology that attracted all these bright people are just as valid today as ever. Maybe not via Scientology. Maybe so. Depends on the person. Betrayals be damned.

        What I see here is sort of like watching a city that has been thoroughly bombed. The survivors come out, some too shell shocked to function. Others emerge to take care of the wounded, clean up the mess and put things back in order. That later group is what I see here. And there’s Jeff, caked with grime, a bit weary, broom in hand, taking a moment to help his neighbor drag in a mattress so the kids will have a place to sleep.

      • Marta permalink
        June 6, 2010 2:50 pm

        Michael,

        If I can get thru my barrier of intimidation toward writing to you….I’d like to thank you for the way you share yourself so thoroughly with us here. Damned impressive and quite a gift to receive, as much so as Jeff is.

        What you just described is very true for me – people coming out after a disaster. I’m so often struck by it when I see the “organic communities” forming, and the synergy created here and on other sites.

        As I’ve cut the strings from CoS, I’ve wondered sometimes what keeps me coming to the sites, daily. Although, I still “wonder at it” I know I come here to be a part of this community given birth from a cult that itself grew from our coming together in another place, space, time.

      • June 6, 2010 11:52 pm

        Marta,

        You silly goose. I love your stuff and am honored by your communication.

        Being out of Scientology or not doesn’t change who we are. Just gives us a broader freedom to explore what we went into Scientology to find in the first place.

        I’m with you. This is a new community forming. Full of energy. I don’t think we’re necessarily here to rediscover Scientology but to embrace that which Scientology originally meant to us.

        So we all need to get over the feeling of guilty pleasure being here. Being here may be as important as finding a new love. Just because the old lover sucked doesn’t mean we have to forsake love. This is something new, not wallowing in something old.

        Maybe this time we’ll get it right. Or move closer. What the hell. A little stumbling around isn’t always such a bad thing. With a little practice, the stumbling stabilizes and become balance. Ask any toddler.

        Michael

      • Marta permalink
        June 7, 2010 9:04 pm

        Michael,

        “Maybe this time we’ll get it right.”

        Ha! Exactly – you’ve read my mind again. My husband and I often get good belly laughs using comparisons to the movie “Groundhog Day” and circumstances we see unfolding with CoS, Scientology philosophy, etc.

        What the hell!

      • Tony DePhillips permalink
        June 8, 2010 5:52 am

        Hi Michael,

        I like the analogy. I can see all the zombie like figures stammering out into the street. That was funny saying Jeff was using a broom! LOL! If Jeff is using the broom then I guess I am in the gutter wiping down the curb with a oily wrag mumbling to myself!!

        No I will give myself a bit more credit. I am standing behind a pot full of stewed rats dishing them out to all the poor soles who are muttering ” Wha happened to my church??!” Eyes all glazed over, with drool hanging off their chins…

    • lunamoth permalink
      June 5, 2010 4:49 pm

      Great post, Jeff. Very good material for some reflection. It works for me in that I can clearly see how I contributed to the success of that influence on my own thinking over the years.

      It has served me well in the past, when evaluating how I got myself into one mess or another, to concentrate on what it is I myself did or didn’t do that resulted in the problem. I’ll continue to apply that one.

      I would caution anyone observing this without the benefit of personal experience, who thinks that being so deceived could not happen to THEM, that you are kidding yourself.

      It doesn’t happen to you because you have a character flaw (lack of critical thinking skills? Really? Would Jeff be an example of this, then?). It happens when you make a mistake in trusting someone or something. Or when you yourself make some decision or take some action, that results in that situation occurring. Smart people can be deceived when they make decisions/take action based on wrong data.

      One thing I can guarantee to you is this: if you believe it cannot ever happen to you because you believe those to whom it has lately happened are somehow fundamentally different from you (as in, you are somehow smarter, or have better “critical thinking skills”), then you are simply doomed to experience this at some point. It’s gonna happen, because you don’t understand WHY and HOW it happens.

      I think it would be a good idea for people going through this to chock it up to bad judgement (ok, really bad judgement), acknowledge the rightness there, too, and do NOT get all frickin’ introverted over this. That is just “more of the same,” as far as I’m concerned, and I’m done with that nonsense. But everybody has to arrive at their own truth on this. That’s mine.

      • Marta permalink
        June 5, 2010 7:27 pm

        “I think it would be a good idea for people going through this to chock it up to bad judgement (ok, really bad judgement), acknowledge the rightness there, too, and do NOT get all frickin’ introverted over this.”

        Me, too.

        ” That is just “more of the same,” as far as I’m concerned, and I’m done with that nonsense.”

        Me, too.

        ” But everybody has to arrive at their own truth on this.”

        I agree.

        ” That’s mine.”

        Mine, too, soul sister! 🙂

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 5, 2010 8:40 pm

        Marta, I hesitated to post yet another cranky comment like this – sometimes I fear I will come to be viewed as the crazy cat lady of Jeff’s blogsite ! But it’s good to see my sentiment resonated with someone ! LOL.

        Hey, Marta, do you like cats?

        lunamoth

        (kidding)

      • Marta permalink
        June 5, 2010 11:56 pm

        Yes, I do like cats.

        (no kidding)

      • Just Me permalink
        June 6, 2010 12:10 am

        Lunamoth,

        I think you’re really onto something here!

        Anybody here ever gotten married to the wrong person?

        Anybody here ever screwed up on a job?

        Anybody here ever lost money on a bad investment you never should’ve gotten close to?

        Well, me too. And you know what? I had to go through every one of those experiences to learn what I now know how to avoid and what not to do to sidestep those cow patties.

        In other words, I might’ve avoided every one of those mistakes – out of blind, dumb luck – and still be just as dumb as I was before I and those “opportunities” got all wrangled up together.

        It’s like that saying goes: That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

        Well, folks, we’re not dead yet. Admittedly, a few people did die. But we didn’t. And IMHO we’re all the smarter and stronger and better for it.

        And then there’s the question of what these lessons of ours are worth to us? Well, again IMHO, I think they should be worth at least, at the very least, what they cost us. Because, frankly, that’s what it took for us to learn them.

        Your happy Pollyanna,

        Just Me

      • Marta permalink
        June 6, 2010 1:58 am

        Just Me,

        Exactly!! I even did Amway for a while (facepalm). 🙂

        Marta

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 6, 2010 3:16 am

        Go Pollyanna!!

    • Its me again permalink
      June 5, 2010 7:52 pm

      Michael,

      “A lot of this falls back into being right”. Boy, is that a statement. This can been seen everywhere on every dynamic on this planet. Some people are willing to be dead right, literally.

      Don’t you think above all of the “thinking” of why some will step back and look and some won’t, there is another interesting point. People who have gone into Scientology and looked were mostly people who realized that their existence here on planet earth was more than what was being sold to them or what they were being taught? These type of people usually are more spiritual in nature and are willing to look.

      For whatever has happened along the way for each person, it is interesting that those who are not as far gone as the far, far gone are able to spot out-points better than most. Each out-point was examined until one reached a conclusion that more information was needed to be looked at and ended up here on the internet. One could consider the reasons why it took some to come to a conclusion quickly and some not, but that would be based one each person’s experience. Example: some in the SO or on staff who was constantly connected to the source of the out-points and suppression would have more considerations and involvement in the thinking process than a new Div 6 public who can just walk out and not come back.

      In the here and now, people are on this site who have found the out-points and have arrived at different conclusions about Scientology. What I find interesting is that they are still talking about Scientology. In some regards, it is still part of their life whether it is negative or positive.

      I did Life Spring, a off shoot of EST about 10 years before I came into Scientology. I look at it and saw it was nothing but invalidation, evaluation and degrading of people to make them realize something or make them better. So I did a couple of weeks of it and left. No interest in discussing it or chatting about it or even trying to voice my opinion on it. It was stupid and I just left and kept looking. So why am I here discussing Scientology?? I find my interest to do so, interesting to myself.

      • June 5, 2010 10:47 pm

        It’s Me Again,

        When you come up with an answer, let me know. I sometimes wonder the same thing. My best conclusion at the moment is that Scientology simply represents something much greater that we’ve been seeking. That Scientology either did or did not work out for each of us individually does not negate that greater purpose and truth to which we all aspire.

        I feel something far greater is occurring. Maybe it’s just a hope. Maybe a delusion. That’s okay with me. It makes me feel better. And if I find evidence to the contrary I’ll change my mind.

        Or, I’ll just live with the lie because it’s so pleasant–and be glad I had the chance to experience the lie.

      • craig houchin permalink
        June 6, 2010 12:46 am

        It’s Me Again,

        You wrote: “People who have gone into Scientology and looked were mostly people who realized that their existence here on planet earth was more than what was being sold to them or what they were being taught? ”

        I like this and I believe it is true — and not just because it casts me and my last twenty-years in a better light than does, say, just slapping my forehead and exclaiming, “DOH!”

        By the time I came to Scn, I had already been brought up in and given up on one religion (Christianity), and I dropped it because of the cognitive dissonance created when I realized that people I loved were going to go to hell simply because they didn’t believe in Christianity. I was a young teenager and I thought that was unfair. So I quit.

        Then, about a decade later Scn came along, and we all know that story — same song, second verse (only this verse was much longer than the first) — and now I’ve dropped that.

        The thing is, that realization you mention, that there is more to existence than we’ve been sold, is it’s own cognitive dissonance with the civilization that those of us who ended up in Scn, were possibly trying to harmonize through our initial reach for and participation in Scn in our early days.

        I think we disagree that life has to be led the way we are living it. And that has led us to search out various isms, ologies, and experiences.

        I’m not a fisherman but I’ve heard some stories, often spoken in awe-hushed tones, of some fish, big daddies with multiple hook scars, who are now so experienced with fisherman’s hooks that they cannot be fooled to take the bait. Some have even developed the skill to remove the bait from the hook without the fisherman even knowing.

        So, in our journeys to harmonize the constantly emerging cognitive-dissonance in our lives, sometimes we bite down on a yummy, juicy spiritually fulfilling “worm” and other times we chomp down on a gummy lure with a big ol’ hook in it. As long as we can keep un-hooking ourselves, eventually, we’ll all be big, bad fish hanging out at the bottom of the lake, taking our meals at our leisure.

      • Marta permalink
        June 6, 2010 2:03 am

        Michael,

        I, too, would rather live in hope than without it. And since I am the driver of my life, the one who chooses, I choose to live with hope.

        Marta

      • Its me again permalink
        June 6, 2010 4:31 pm

        Craig,

        Ok, I understand what you are saying. But that still doesn’t answer my own question to myself. I myself have decided not to do anymore Bridge until all the altered tech, so called” lost tech”, black Scientology, management, etc. is handled. I have decided that might not ever happen, happen this life time or that it will happen in another life time.

        So whether or not we agree if the actual intent of Scientology was to help or if it was to help and has been taken over and is being used only for profit and control, we are both here on this site writing our opinions, I wonder about that and find it interesting.

        I usually never surf the web and I won’t even use text messaging on my phone. I like a face to face communication. So what am I doing here? For the most part, the only thing we all have in common is that we have all been in Scientology.

        I was raised Catholic for almost as long as I was in Scientology. I don’t get on Catholic chats about what is going on in that Church and I really don’t care at all. It is not my usually mode of operation to decide against doing something and then stay involved by discussing it. I usually tell myself, it is what it is for now and I just move on .

        What is this attraction I have to keep looking, why can’t I just drop it. So the topic today is why does it take so long to leave or why did one put up with it so long and all the mechanisms behind that. Well, that just got me thinking, if we are out for now or just done with COS , what is the mechanisms behind being here and communicating about something we have already made a decision on.

        I really don’t want to get stuck on the track here, I need to keep moving so I tell myself, that’s it, move on, but here I am again.

        Knowing myself, I am sure one day I will become bored with coming here, but I find it interesting that it is taking me so long to move to Boredom. Something is holding my interest.

  10. June 5, 2010 10:58 am

    Jeff, thank you!
    Very good, useful and educative article.
    It can be used to get Scientologists into LOOKING and LURKING outside their “comfort zone”

  11. Aeolus permalink
    June 5, 2010 12:50 pm

    Thanks Jeff, for supplying another key piece of the puzzle. Like many others, I got into Scientology not to handle some specific ‘ruin’ but to find the answers to life’s big questions, the meaning of it all. Lately I’ve been wondering how I could have been so blindsided, because clues were there all along, some of whjch I’d noticed and dismissed, and many others that I could have found if I was half as inquisitive as I thought I was.

    Here, son. Put these blinders on and follow that taped line. The answers you seek are just ahead, on your next level. Oh, and have some of this kool-aid. It will help you focus.

    Thanks to the Internet and books like yours, I’ve discovered after spending more than half my adult life on that tape that it wasn’t just not quite like I thought it was, it was almost the reverse in many ways. And yet the lure is so strong, I still find myself wondering occasionally if the key to the big cognitions isn’t in that matrix after all and I just didn’t dig hard enough.

  12. June 5, 2010 1:03 pm

    Re., “LRH never said, by the way, ‘If I tell you something, then it is true until the end of time and may never, never be questioned or challenged'”:

    Actually, he did, in his way, in one of his most important doctrines, “Keep Scientology Working” (KSW): Scientology works all the time (“uniformly workable technology”,) when applied correctly (“ultimate success is assured if the technology is applied”.)

    Re., “But in the current Church, no questioning of LRH is allowed”:

    “But in the Church, no questioning of LRH is allowed” would have been more accurate, as this was also true when the Church was run by LRH. There is no questioning a “uniformly workable technology,” and the “only game in which everybody wins,” or else this leads to “misapplication,” “squirelling,” “potential trouble source,” etc. — a whole cascade of negative consequences. These are the rules, as set up by LRH.

    I have a problem with L. Ron Hubbard’s “If it is true for you, it’s true.” That kind of “cute” one-liner is thought-stopping.

    To non-Scientologists, such a statement doesn’t make sense, it is intellectually crippling. Something is not true just because we hold it as true. The free marketplace of ideas didn’t evolve with people sticking to what they held as true for themselves, quite the opposite.

    To me this is just yet another self-serving Scientology maxim LRH “offered” his followers as a refuge against critical scrutiny of Scientology writings, and as such is very much part of the thought-control mechanisms embedded in Scientology, just like other concepts you rightly pointed out — “nattering,” “entheta,” etc.

    • Aeolus permalink
      June 6, 2010 1:06 am

      Mr/Ms Hill,

      You say you have a problem with Hubbard’s statement “If it’s true for you, it’s true”. I would like to submit that the alternative to deciding for yourself what is true is to let someone else decide it for you. Both approaches have been tried in Scientology, but the concept of deciding for yourself came first, right in the beginning. I believe LRH really did want each person to increase their awareness and make rational judgements along the way.

      Of course, there was this other side of the man that wanted us to hang on his every word and just accept it as true, and that side won the day with the issuance of KSW. This policy not only negated the advice for each of us to determine truth, it nullified the contributions of many bright, bright people who had up until that very moment been part of a team effort to develop Scientology. And not minor contributions either, in spite of what the bulletin claims. In my opinion this was the turning point where Scientology became more of a cult and less of an applied philosophy.

      This dichotomy between blindly applying KSW or thinking for yourself is still there in the independent field, and Marta may have had that in mind in her comment above about organizing up “in the same old way”. No doubt this fracture line will become a major focal point once we have achieved Target #1 of getting rid of the abusive madman currently in charge.

      Personally, I’m hanging onto the priciple of deciding my own truth. Many of the principles and practices of Scientology I have found to be very workable, i.e ‘true’, but not all. And I have done best when I applied my own judgement rigorously, less well when I wavered and tried to assuage the ‘cognitive dissonance’.

      • Frederic permalink
        June 6, 2010 11:51 am

        The slogan “What is true for you is true.” is confusing personal belief (“true FOR YOU”) with truth and making the logically false assertion that personal belief would imply truth.
        No one has the power to just decide what is true. Something either is true or it is not true, but it can’t be both. You can only decide what you BELIEVE it to be and of course there can be different and contradicting beliefs what the truth of something might be, but there cannot be different truths.

      • Aeolus permalink
        June 8, 2010 3:27 am

        Frederic,

        Your point is what my philosophy professor used to call “a distinction without a difference”. If there is something that is actually true, even if you personally don’t believe it is true, I would like you to provide an example from your own personal set of beliefs or disbeliefs. Something that is true, but that you don’t believe is true. Just one example will do.

        The idea that there is an objective truth outside of your beliefs, that is true for you and everybody else, at best would have to be restricted to the physical sciences and even there you can get into trouble. Newton ‘proved’ gravity, but then Einstein ‘proved’ it was really something other than what Newton thought it was. Now there are cracks showing up in Einstein’s version, but we don’t yet know what the new ‘truth’ will turn out to be.

        So, I can separate out things that I think are ‘probably true’, but beyond that I have no way to distinguish between what I know and what I believe that I know. And I suspect that you don’t either.

      • Frederic permalink
        June 8, 2010 8:29 pm

        Aeolous,

        “Your point is what my philosophy professor used to call “a distinction without a difference”

        i think that the distinction between belief and truth makes a difference.
        Regardless of whether it is even possible in practice to be able to know beyond any doubt what is true and what is not true, it still makes a difference in the way we think about the world.
        The way how we think about the world influences our decisions and therefore definitely makes a difference.

        While we might not be able to distinguish between what we merely believe to be true and what is actually true in reality, there are surely different degrees of certainty that we attribute to our beliefs. The more certain we feel about a belief, the higher is our confidence that the belief coincides with the actual truth of the matter.
        So how would it even make sense to distinguish different certainties without the assumption that an objective truth exists?
        If there were no objective truth, then these certainties would be completely arbitrary and useless. What would it mean to be more certain about a belief than another, if there were no objective truth?
        Only when we postulate the existence of an objective truth, it even makes sense to speak about different degrees in certainty.

      • Aeolus permalink
        June 10, 2010 5:28 am

        OK, Frederic. In this comment you’ve talked about postulating an objective truth, then attributing some degree of certainty to your beliefs, and I assume you mean that you personally are doing all of this postulating and attributing. Fair enough, that sounds very much like my own modes of thinking. In your previous comment though, you said “No one has the power to just decide what is true”. These two concepts seem to me to be exact opposites of each other, and I have a hard time swallowing the second one. Perhaps you could connect the dots for me.

      • Frederic permalink
        June 11, 2010 12:26 am

        Hi Aeolus,

        the only axiom that i use is this one:
        – Objective truth exists

        So while i might not be able to know WHAT exactly the truth is in each case, at least i know that there IS an objective truth, which is independent from our subjective perceptions and must be valid for everyone.
        As i tried to explain in my last comment, i think that this axiom is necessary, because otherwise it would be kinda pointless to have different degrees of certainty about beliefs, since an absolute reference point for these certainties would be missing.
        So therefore no one can just decide WHAT the truth is, but we can at least assume that it EXISTS and that it therefore is something, which we can try to seek out together, which we can collectively orient our beliefs at and try to come to an agreement upon.

        Now you might say that we don’t necessarily need objective truth as a reference point for our certainties, but could just as well assume for each individuum the existence of an invidual subjective truth, which is at least valid for the inviduum itself, but not necessarily for everyone else.
        The problem that i would have with this model is that a missing global reference frame would make it more difficult if not even impossible to reach agreements and live together. If we don’t share a common reality, which includes a common objective truth, then everyone just lives in his own subjective truth bubble, isolated from the rest of the world. There would be no point anymore to have any kind of discussions and debate about the world, because agreement could never be reached anyway, when two persons have different truth reference points.

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 11, 2010 1:26 pm

        Alright Frederic, let’s see if I have this right. There is an objective Truth which is the same for everyone, but we don’t know exactly what it is. Each of us have our own ideas and beliefs about what truth is, and we attribute a level of certainty to each belief based on how confident we are that we are right. However, we can’t just decide for ourselves what is true, what isn’t true, what’s probably true, etc. because then we wouldn’t be able to come to agreements with anyone else. Is that the gist of it?

        Well perhaps you are right, because if I was free to just make up my own mind about this, I could decide that it’s a pile of double-talking hogwash.

      • Frederic permalink
        June 12, 2010 12:08 pm

        “Is that the gist of it?”

        Almost.
        “There is an objective Truth which is the same for everyone, but we don’t know exactly what it is. Each of us have our own ideas and beliefs about what truth is, and we attribute a level of certainty to each belief based on how confident we are that we are right. ”

        That’s correct so far.

        “However, we can’t just decide for ourselves what is true, what isn’t true, what’s probably true, etc. because then we wouldn’t be able to come to agreements with anyone else.”

        You misunderstood me there. We can decide what is “probably” true for ourselves. That would be just another form of belief with a certainty attached.
        But we cannot decide what is true.
        Furthermore we wouldn’t be able to come to agreements if there were no objective truth, unless you constantly want to lie to yourself.

        “Well perhaps you are right, because if I was free to just make up my own mind about this, I could decide that it’s a pile of double-talking hogwash.”

        You can believe that, but that doesn’t mean that your belief is true 🙂

        Just because something is “true for you”, doesn’t mean that it is also true for everyone else and if there is no objective truth, then the slogan “what is true for you is true” would be a “distinction without difference” and meaningless, because there would be no difference between “true for you” and “true”.
        So in any way the slogan is either meaningless or false.

      • Frederic permalink
        June 18, 2010 12:41 am

        Protagoras: Truth is relative. It is only a matter of opinion.

        Socrates: You mean that truth is mere subjective opinion?

        Protagoras: Exactly. What is true for you is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Truth is subjective.

        Socrates: Do you really mean that? That my opinion is true by virtue of its being my opinion?

        Protagoras: Indeed I do.

        Socrates: My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you, Mr. Protagoras, are absolutely in error. Since this is my opinion, then you must grant that it is true according to your philosophy.

        Protagoras: You are quite correct, Socrates.

      • Aeolus permalink
        June 18, 2010 1:54 pm

        This discussion between Protagoras and Socrates only works if you assume that what’s true for Protagoras must also be true for Socrates. Which I don’t. Neither did Protagoras but he was knocked off his viewpoint, which was the whole point of sophistry anyway. It wasn’t about finding the truth. Socrates was known to occasionally turn around after winning an argument and argue the other side just to show he was good at it. Not my idea of wisdom.

      • craig houchin permalink
        June 18, 2010 3:57 pm

        Aeolus and Frederic,

        This philosophical argument about Truth being objective or subjective seems to me to be un-winable. The very fact that the concept is under discussion proves my point. If Truth were, in fact, Objective then one of you could simply point at it and say, “see, I told you.” And the other would say, “by golly, you’re right,” much like the Socrates/Protagoras example above. But, as evidenced by this discussion, that proof isn’t available, isn’t recognized, or isn’t accepted by everyone.

        If it isn’t available, then Objective Truth doesn’t exist. If it isn’t recognized, then an impediment to observation exists either within or outside of the viewer. If it isn’t accepted, then a disagreement exists within the one disagreeing.

        Not recognizing or not accepting Objective Truth is a Subjective circumstance or decision. How does that get resolved? How do you “rub one’s nose in” what one doesn’t acknowledge the existence of?

        I believe we need to distinguish between Truth and Reality. To me, Truth refers to an ultimate and originating principle of existence — the source of all; whereas, Reality is more about when and where we meet for coffee to discuss the former.

      • Frederic permalink
        June 22, 2010 3:31 pm

        A proposition can either be “true” or “false”.
        We call it “true”, if the proposition expresses something, that corresponds to empirical fact in reality or if it logically follows from other true propositions(analytic propositions).
        “Truth” is the sum of all true propositions.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analytic-synthetic_distinction

        Example: “All triangles have 3 sides.” is a true synthetic proposition.

        I am talking about “truth” in this sense. You can’t deny that it exists, can you? “All triangles have 3 sides” is true and if someone would say that it isn’t true for him, you would think that he just hasn’t understood yet what a triangle is and you would try to explain it to him, wouldn’t you?

      • craig houchin permalink
        June 22, 2010 4:16 pm

        Frederic,

        A triangle is a constructed concept that you and I can agree on. It falls into the category of REALITY — what you and I agree to stand on while we chat. Truth in reality is majority agreement.

        Spiritual truth, however, can exist for one without any agreement from anyone else. It can be an entirely personal experience, neither provable nor un-provable.

        The individual IN the experience calls it truth. An individual OUTSIDE the experience calls it BELIEF.

        You say “to-mah-to,” I say “to-may-to.” We can both be right.

  13. Natalie permalink
    June 5, 2010 2:00 pm

    Well put Jeff. This is something all of us who leave asks ourselves, and I agree that this is in fact what happens.

    I’ve seen so many of my friends go through the same process of leaving, then wondering how you ever put up with the treatment. It really is a multiple step process.

    I’m happy to see so many of my friends waking up and finally acknowledging that The C of S has become a cult. Telling people who they can and can’t speak to, what they can and can’t read, when they can sleep or eat etc is not behavior that anyone has to put up with. Freedom really is on the outside.

  14. Kat permalink
    June 5, 2010 3:06 pm

    Great stuff Jeff! As always.

    Your site is a breath of fresh air and sanity.

    It is indeed interesting how intelligent people (like all of “us here” – ha!) fell for so much nonsense over such a long period of time. 30 years ago my mother spoke of how Scientology works “insidiously” and since it is proper to counter all parental advice when you are young, this meant nothing at the time. Scientology is indeed insidious. Promised freedom that slowly turns into a trap, and all through our own agreement, with EGO being the main contributor.

    Someone on ESMB said that Scientology is a “Status Cult, fueled by vanity”. I think she is right about that.

    I also think people stick to Scientology for the same reasons they cling to any other religion – hope of salvation……. fear of death.

    It is interesting that when I no longer feared death, I no longer cared about what leaving Scientology might do to me.

  15. Freetothink permalink
    June 5, 2010 3:29 pm

    Wow Jeff, once again looks like you beamed something right out of my head & put it on paper :-). Better yet you’ve brought some answers to my own questions still dancing in my head. How? Why? I’ve always considered myself a leader before I learned about Scientology. I was President of this or that club, often involved in organizing people around a common purpose. How could I have fell for this for so long, how did I let it take over my life? I still haven’t answered completly these questions & many more. I’m still peeling off the false data I picked up & even what I would almost call “implants”.

    It helps to break it down into thought, behavior & emotional control.

    Synthia what you said really rings true to me:

    “Though all cults are dangerous, Scientology has an unseen and therefore even more gripping danger in that it says it is everything any sane person would ever want, even gives you many glimpses of that potential reality, while it actually is the complete opposite in the end in terms of practice.”

    When I first heard of Scientology it was everything I ever dreamed of. A group of people who thought it was possible to have “a civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war,
    where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights”. A group of people working towards achieving that goal. A series of tools developed so as to achieve that goal. All I had to do is study the tools & apply them. A dream come true. I joined without hesitation. It was “everything any sane person would ever want”.

    Somehow I never saw, as the years went by, that this very group was targeting the most able people so as to control their wealth, actions and even their thoughts. It was only assisting/pushing them to prosper so as to use the fruits of their labor (comm lines, $, …). When I first started seeing this I immediately thought something must be wrong with me. I should report to HCO, LOL. After I woke up from my stupor, I started really seeing what was going on & the realizations were coming in waves. It was like a Tsunami! I always heard “Scientology is for the able”. Heck, I’ve said it myself many times. Now I’m realizing Scientology wants to own the able!

    I’m still in the process of “disinfecting” myself. But I’ve made lots of progress in the last year. These blogs & comments from all are very helpful. Thank you!!!!!

    Marie-Joe

    • craig houchin permalink
      June 5, 2010 9:06 pm

      Marie-Jo,

      “Somehow I never saw, as the years went by, that this very group was targeting the most able people so as to control their wealth, actions and even their thoughts…Now I’m realizing Scientology wants to own the able! ”

      OUCH! Knock it off with the truth arrows. Hah!

      No, honestly, keep firing. Every stab is another opportunity for cognitive-dissonance-inspired learning. Good stuff, everybody. Thanks.

      And, Jeff, thanks for another good conversation starter.

  16. Mark Fisher permalink
    June 5, 2010 5:51 pm

    Thanks for doing this summary Jeff. I get asked that same question too and this provided me with an answer that I can relay to others that I think they will understand.

    You are right. Brainwashing and Mind Control are not the correct terms. Mental Manipulation hits the nail on the head.

    Thank you for sharing your insights with us all. It provides healing.

  17. Marta permalink
    June 5, 2010 7:22 pm

    Jeff,

    I’m currently reading a book titled “Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships”. It was recommended in a blog article or comments, I don’t recall exactly where.

    As I learn more about the manipulative and abusive behaviors and practices of cults I’m finding it easier to separate them from the parts of the philosophy that I found (and still find) appealing, applicable, and helpful. As I learn more I’m sharpening my critical thinking skills and discernment abilities.

    Thank you for tackling the subject of scientology as a cult head on, with thoughtfulness, logic, and education. I always learn from your shared perspectives and so appreciate your writing and communication skills – wow.

  18. SignsOfSuccess permalink
    June 5, 2010 8:22 pm

    Assuming that all Scientologists are being mentally manipulated
    or brainwashed, it’s a very silly statement in my opinion.
    And a paradox if we take in consideration that many of you
    consider R.Hubbard a psychotic and a pathological liar.
    Don’t you think so?

    • Jeff permalink*
      June 5, 2010 9:46 pm

      SignsOfSuccess: Your comment is an odd one. The whole point is not “We was brainwashed.” I think I made that clear at the beginning. The point is to be aware of methods of mental manipulation (not just in the current Church of Scientology, but with any group), so you can remain self-determined. And as for your statement “many of you consider R. Hubbard a psychotic and a pathological liar,” maybe you can point me to where “many” people have stated this opinion. I haven’t, for one. Otherwise it’s a generality.

      Please feel free to join in the conversation. I would encourage you, however, to deal with the issues being discussed, and present your own opinion. But actually read and understand the posts and comments, rather than assuming something about them, or about the people posting them, that might not be true.

      You feel that “assuming all Scientologists are being mentally manipulated or brainwashed” is a “very silly statement.” Would you care to elaborate or present some information about that? Or are you just going to leave it at that?

  19. Steve permalink
    June 5, 2010 8:36 pm

    It’s so refreshing to see so many Scn’ist waking up from their long slumber and posting here. Jeff, please keep posting! Your blog seems to be getting around the Scn’ist community. Right time, right place; and when your book hits it’s going awaken many more. Another straw will have been added to the camel’s back. Will it be THE straw???

    It’s so hard to explain to a person “why didn’t you just leave?”. My response has always been “the best prisons have no fences”. Information is the key to this ‘prison’ known as Scientology. If you’re reading this, keep exploring! Could EVERTHING on the internet be wrong?? Could ALL of the people writing books recently be lying??
    The last question is the hardest to confront…are the problems with Scientology all David Miscaviage’s fault?? Or could they go beyond him? That answer takes time and much more searching for information.

    LET THE JOURNEY BEGIN!!

    Steve

  20. SignsOfSuccess permalink
    June 5, 2010 10:30 pm

    All right Jeff, after more than 2 years spent on studying
    Anons cult, I can easily differentiate between an hate
    monger and a “freezoner”.
    The first one hates LRH, even if he is trying to hide that,
    Steve , is just an example.
    The second one hates DM and he is open about it.
    Now, I personally don’t believe in your made up theory
    of “mental manipulation” although I believe in “brainwashing”.
    but of course the later has to be done using drugs and force.
    So, in few words your theory about mental “manipulation”
    seems to me a kind of scapegoat or some kind of justification
    for something that you seem unable to confront.
    No offense intended, here.
    Anyway thanks to let me stating my point of view.

    • William permalink
      June 6, 2010 1:39 am

      SignsOfSuccess,

      Interesting comment. You seem to see things as quite black and white. One either loves Hubbard and is a Freezoner, or one is a hate-monger. Perhaps I’m not getting what you are saying.

      There are many, many shades of grey here. I object to labelling people in this way — “Freezoner”, “hate-monger”, etc. It is always inaccurate and does not aid understanding or communication. Just because someone criticizes Hubbard does NOT mean what you think it means. Hubbard was flawed and some criticism is very appropriate — even people who love Hubbard have been known to acknowledge that.

      It isn’t black and white.

    • lunamoth permalink
      June 6, 2010 3:19 am

      “No offense intended, here.”

      Bullshit.

      lunamoth

    • craig houchin permalink
      June 6, 2010 3:25 am

      Signs of Success,

      You are one lucky bastard.

      You have before you the very valuable opportunity to learn from our mistakes. You can learn from people who have been into the belly of the beast, loved it with all their heart, sacrificed for it, suffered under it, and were finally reborn out of it.

      You have available to you a wealth of hard-won wisdom from every point on the journey into and out of Scientology. We didn’t just study the subject like a frog pinned to a table, WE WERE FROGS — and now we aren’t.

      We’ve seen the subject from both sides. We know what’s it like to be totally IN and totally OUT. And we’re here sharing and exchanging what we’ve learned and making it available for others.

      So, there you go, you’re welcome for that. Make the most it.

      Now, an outsider’s viewpoint, such as yours, is always welcome because I don’t think there is anyone here would be where they are in this journey without a little help from an outside viewpoint.

      So for that, I will now thank you.

      I would like to conclude with just a couple of words about manners: USE THEM.

      When you come here, please show respect. Disagree, state your case, argue but if you can’t do it respectfully then, speaking only for myself, you’re not welcome to be here.

      You’re pointed criticisms of Steve and Jeff, are not only off the mark, but simply rude and did nothing to further your argument. And saying, “No offense intended,” at the end doesn’t count. It was offensive.

      So, show some manners and you are welcome here. You can ASK us questions about what you think we may or may not be confronting in our lives, and we might even answer you. But you CANNOT presume to TELL anyone here what is going on inside their own mind.

      It just ain’t neighborly.

      craig

    • Jeff permalink*
      June 6, 2010 7:27 am

      It’s interesting that people sometimes show up and give an unwitting demonstration of what we are talking about. SignsOfSuccess, for instance, gave us a great example of black and white, good and evil, them and us thinking. You either hate LRH, in which case you are a “hate monger” and a bad person, or you hate DM, in which case you are a “freezoner” and a good person. Nothing in between, no shades of gray, no other classifications of people. So of course when SOS reads this blog, it’s filtered through that black and white world. This blog is inhabited by people who discuss Scientology in an open, free manner – people who sometimes disagree with LRH. And even though LRH himself said that it was OK to disagree with him (in the quote I gave, above) every “good” Scientologist (in SOS’s opinion) knows that you never actually are supposed to disagree. If you dare to disagree, then you, obviously “hate LRH” which makes you a “hate monger” which makes you Anonymous. It’s hard to follow the “logic” sometimes, but there it is. It’s a hopeless task trying to have a rational discussion with someone who sees everything through a strict black and white filter. If you don’t agree with him, you’re the enemy.

  21. June 5, 2010 10:32 pm

    Robert Vaughn Young wasn’t comfortable either with “brainwashing,” or “mind control.” He wrote an excellent account on the topic with precious insights, I consider it a must-read:

    “Toward a new model of ‘cult control'”
    http://www.freedomofmind.com/resourcecenter/groups/s/scientology/rvymodel/

    • Its me again permalink
      June 6, 2010 1:07 am

      R. Hill,

      Wow! What a story! Thanks

    • Aeolus permalink
      June 6, 2010 2:14 pm

      Young’s write-up was very interesting, indeed. One thing in particular jumped out at me, the idea of someone in an abusive relationship not wanting to leave their home unless they have somewhere better to go. There is an obvious parallel to someone escaping the Int Base with just the clothes on their back and no destination in mind, having long since severed all of their connections to the ‘wog’ world. I can only imagine the kind of courage that takes.

      The same principle though applies to public. We have our comfortable middle-class lives but our spiritual ‘home’ is (was) Scientology. There, we had explanations for our existence and our place in the universe, explanations for the sometimes puzzling behavior of other humans, a code of conduct that we had in common with other Scientologists, a structure to our lives that we all relied on to a greater or lesser degree, depending on our innate need for structure and how long we had been ‘in’. In addition to that were all of our friends , family and business connections that we shared through the Church.

      So, we might have bridled at abusive reg cycles, maybe we didn’t get the expected wins from this or that action, and we started to see more and more that the Church didn’t practice what they were preaching. But, did we have a better home waiting for us? Where else were we going to go that would fill all of those voids? That’s the real barrier to leaving, and we don’t go unless the pressure builds up and builds up until something snaps.

      The irony is that once we are out, we start to find answers, we make new friends, life goes on but with greater freedom and less stress. That will also be true for those who are still ‘drinking the kool-aid’. The difference is that we’ve snapped already, and they haven’t yet.

    • earthmother permalink
      June 6, 2010 4:32 pm

      R, Hill,
      Excellent story. Thank you for sharing. Having been in an abusive relationship years ago, I can relate. I had so much at stake, or so I thought. Where would I go if I left? Who would remain my friend? The uncertainty was almost paralyzing. Having to find a new place to live seemed so daunting, but not as much as explaining to my family and friends what had been going on. Up until the abuse became physical, I never let on that things were bad and that I was regretting my choice to marry that man. That would have made me wrong. That would have made them blind.

      My decision to leave CoS was equally difficult. I felt I had so much at stake. Who would be my friends? I had already given up so many to join, now what? How would I explain to my (wog) friends and family, after waxing enthusiastic for years about how great CoS was, that I left? What if all I got from them was “I told you so?”

      In both cases, leaving was not as hard as I thought it would be. Very simple in fact. Here’s how I did it. I put one foot in front of the other and kept going, and didn’t look back. OK, that’s a bit simplified, but you get the idea. Best of all, nothing bad has happened to me. Divorce opened up a new world to me, and the opportunity to connect with my soul mate. Leaving CoS has given me back my creative life, time, oh so precious time with my family, and has opened the door to new friendships that are based on shared experiences and mutual interests. You know who you are!

    • Fidelio permalink
      June 6, 2010 5:13 pm

      @R. Hill
      Thank you for pointing out that article by RVY. Now I understand even Jeff better when he referred to the abused woman syndrome. Very interesting.

    • June 6, 2010 7:34 pm

      R. Hill,
      Thanks for linking to RVY’s analysis.
      It brought me to realise that we exprerienced diffrerent kind of “brainwashing”/”mind control”.
      It’s still is a control…. only this control is “Affinity” (Love). “Affinity = Control”. “ARC = Control”. Used slyly it keeps an individual willing to stick around.

    • June 7, 2010 4:34 pm

      The “abused woman” model of RVY works for many, and although it can’t possibly work for all, it offers outsiders (never-been-Scientologist) precious insights to better understand how insiders (been-Scientologist) could stick around such an abusive cult for so long. The model can work the other way too.

      Many former members don’t like that outsiders critical of Scientology see no, or appear to see no good in Scientology, and incidentally, RVY’s “abused woman” model is also useful in further helping mutual understanding.

      Using RVY’s model, an outsider critical of Scientology sees a double-faced, persistently abusive husband, who, while cunningly presenting himself as a nice guy in public, persistently abuses his wife in private, emotionally manipulating her by convincing her that she is responsible for him unleashing his abuses of her, freakishly trying to control what information she is allowed to access, etc. Meanwhile, the wife keep going along because she can’t help but see (often self-promoted) good sides to the husband, apparently thwarting in her mind any ongoing abuses, and tries to convince outsiders of these supposedly overwhelming good sides. This is how it looks from outside.

      When examined externally, to an outsider the prominent features of the relationship are the abuses, and whatever good sides there might be, are mostly occluded by the abuses prominently observed (externally,) over long period of time. (Remember, during LRH era, it was not much different, and demonstrably worst, since nowadays the CoS can’t sneeze in public without a chop.)

      The fact that Scientology might have good aspects is not of interest to me, because the prominent feature of Scientology when being examined externally is that it has been an enduring source of abuses/wrongdoings, over decades, and that whatever good aspect is branded does not justify any single abuse, and anyway often comes with (long) strings attached (meaning, it’s quite unclear how easy it is to completely separate the “good” from what leads to the “bad”.)

      By the way, I would like to point out that RVY didn’t need to rely on L. Ron Hubbard writings or Scientology concepts to make his point. There are enough words and concepts outside Scientology to actually explain Scientology, and it has the advantage of doing away with these (long) strings attached.

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 7, 2010 5:37 pm

        R. Hill

        You’re comment is well reasoned and I have to say I agree with much of what you say here. It breaks down for me, though, on these two points:

        R. Hill: “Remember, during LRH era, it was not much different, and demonstrably worst, since nowadays the CoS can’t sneeze in public without a chop.)”

        – You will have to demonstrate this for me because, while I am not an apologist for LRH, I have not come across anything in my own research that bears this out. Indeed, I have a very hard time seeing how things COULD have been worse under LRH. Please provide examples.

        R. Hill: “The fact that Scientology might have good aspects is not of interest to me, because the prominent feature of Scientology when being examined externally is that it has been an enduring source of abuses/wrongdoings, over decades, and that whatever good aspect is branded does not justify any single abuse, and anyway often comes with (long) strings attached (meaning, it’s quite unclear how easy it is to completely separate the “good” from what leads to the “bad”.)”

        – It appears that you have completely collapsed the church, int management, dm and the philosophy of scientology into one, gelatinous mass. While dm, int management and even that mysterious, non-specific entity we call “the church” have all been undeniably the source of abuse, suppression, manipulation and nullification, I don’t see how the philosophy of scientology itself has been the source of these things. Again, please provide specific examples.

        Thanks.

        lunamoth

      • June 7, 2010 8:39 pm

        Re. first part:
        I can’t possibly throw everything in here, I hand selected these two:

        Scientology’s compound in Hemet: “part insane asylum, part forced labor camp”
        http://xenudirectory.wordpress.com/2010/04/18/scientologys-compound-in-gilman-hot-spring-hemet-part-insane-asylum-part-forced-labor-camp/

        The Scandal behind “The Scandal of Scientology”
        http://www.paulettecooper.com/scandal.htm

        Re. second part:
        For decades, Scientology entities have advertised themselves as the sole reliable source for true Scientology teachings. For decades, tens of thousand members of Churches of Scientology have agreed to this — or else they wouldn’t be members. So, I take their words for it and accept that they are representatives of what is Scientology.

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 8, 2010 1:13 am

        R. Hill

        Thanks for the link. I count 15 sets of ellipses, each set indicating data that has been removed from the original. The original itself is a newspaper article covering a particular period of time in 1980 when LRH was at Gilman Hot Springs.

        My problems with the data you reference are:

        (1) It is severely edited, and therefore doesn’t qualify as a reliable source of information. 15 (!) sets of ellipses in that one block of text alone, and each set indicates an edit. There is potentially a massive amount of data missing.

        (2) It is a second-hand source. Example of first-hand sources would be Nancy
        Many’s book, interview with executives, ex-so members, etc.

        (3) The newspaper article you quote from 1980 appears to cover a slice of time near the end of LRH’s life, a time when we know he was not in good shape. But this is a specific, relatively short period, which you are saying is worse than dm’s 30-year reign of terror. You’ll get no argument from me about that period of LRH’s life, but I don’t accept your reference here as support of the generality “during LRH era, it was not much different, and demonstrably worst (sic).”

        Regarding your second source, the story about Paulette Cooper: I read this a long time ago, and it’s very interesting. I grant you that this kind of dirty business predates dm – again, I am no apologist for LRH. But this source does not in any way address the philosophy of scientology as being the source of such activity. As I said, you have lumped the philosophy in with the church, dm, and now LRH. These things are all different and have their own distinct identities and characteristics. You have not made your case.

      • Its me again permalink
        June 8, 2010 3:48 am

        Lumamoth,

        You are one smart cookie!

        Me

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 8, 2010 6:26 am

        It’s Me Again,

        Hmmmm, have we perhaps met? : )

        lunamoth

      • June 8, 2010 11:49 am

        (1) Sigh. You missed the point. Yes, I removed references to Hubbard from the excerpts to make a point that what could easily be attributable to David Miscavige today, was actually about to Hubbard back then. That was the point — to show the similarities. I provide a link to the full article, I always do with what I excerpt, to allow people to see for themselves. If I wanted to “severely edit” to mislead, I wouldn’t have provided a link to the source material.

        (2) It is an article from a reliable newspaper, based on primary sources, the same way the St. Petersburg Times‘s “The Truth Rundown” is a collection of newspaper articles based on primary sources. By your logic, you dismiss what was reported in the St. Petersburg Times in June 2009 because the article itself is not “primary source”?

        (3) Scientology’s fatwa on Paulette Cooper was not “near the end,” and the doctrine which led to Operation Freakout was spelled out by Hubbard in 1965 (“Fair Game”.)

        Re. Paulette Cooper: As an example of just one flawed Scientology doctrine leading to abuses is the concept of “fatwa,” which is part of Scientology: the “suppressive person” doctrine, that is, someone who impede, or is perceived to impede the spread of Scientology, as defined in “Suppressive Acts” policy letter.

        I criticize all those doctrines and policies which in my opinion lead to these abuses. No amount of rationalization can make me accept such doctrines as anything else than malevolent, nothing positive can come out of these.

        But you seem to ask me to cherry pick and dismiss all Scientology doctrines/policies which are arguably at the root of the abuses and to assess them as being not Scientology. That just doesn’t make sense. I prefer the common sense approach of considering all of LRH (non-fiction) writings as “Scientology scriptures.”

        And it is also in my opinion that the denial or eager dismissal that these doctrines and policies are ultimately at the root of the abuses/wrongdoings is a actually key for the abuses to happen down the road.

      • June 8, 2010 1:36 pm

        FYI interest, here is a first-hand account of Hana Eltringham Whitfield, who worked with Hubbard in the 60s-70s:
        Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qd00GtwXcYQ
        Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmF9Tpqqw_U

        Jonny Jacobsen further commented on Hana’s speech, he had access to the whole transcript of Hana’s speech:
        http://infinitecomplacency.blogspot.com/2010/03/17-tracing-it-back-to-source_29.html

      • Its me again permalink
        June 8, 2010 2:24 pm

        Lunamoth,

        In the time and space of this universe, we may have cross paths at one time or another. But I do know that you can not only spot out-points extremely well, but the way you articulate them is excellent at times.

        Me

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 8, 2010 4:01 pm

        R.Hill,

        Sigh???

        Really?? Does that kind of condescension work for you in your non-virtual life? Because it pisses me off to be spoken to like that. JUST so you know.

        And I didn’t miss the point, Hill. I just didn’t accept it.

        Because I’m not like Jeff. I won’t debate this with you endlessly and remain even-tempered and tolerant. You get a reasonable chance to make your case, then if you don’t, I figure you CAN’T make your case, and I lose interest.

        It’s becoming clear to me that you have an agenda to sell here, and you’re not respectful enough of the intelligence of others to even bother providing the best data you can find. Or maybe this is the best you can find, in which case it’s still not good enough, because, again, you failed to make your case.

        Whatever the reason you edited that piece beyond recognition, you did so and that makes it untrustworthy to any thinking person as a reference. Only an idiot, or someone who didn’t want to take the time to read it, would accept that as a reference, Neither you nor I are idiots, so I’m a little surprised you insist I should accept it.

        The newspaper is NOT a first-hand source, so I don’t care that, if in the opinion of
        someone with an agenda, it is “reliable.”

        Personally, I read the St. Pete Times article and believed it ONLY afer I had seen the video interviews of Marty, Tom, Jeff, Amy, et al. and had believed THEM, and they seemed to have faith in the interviewers who had already authored similar articles on the church.

        I know from life experience that newspapers NEVER get it completely right, often make mistakes and often have an agenda.

        So I first took FIRSTHAND sources, evaluated those, and then accepted the second-hand source of the Times article. See how that works? Now having had this experience with the S.P. Times, I am more likely to accept them as a source of data, but they will never be a firsthand source and I will have to remember that.

        I have heard the talk by Hanna (thank you for that first hand source) and you’re
        absolutely right that what she describes is awful. Probably is on the same level of
        awful as some of the stuff dm has pulled. I’m sure it’s not all of the awful stuff, either. This talk by Hanna makes the case for what life with LRH was like at that time, too, but how does that support this assertion you made : “Remember, during LRH era, it was not much different, and demonstrably worst, since nowadays the CoS can’t sneeze in public without a chop.”

        And can you explain what “can’t sneeze in public without a chop” means?

        Regarding the next link: To make the point AGAIN, I’m not interested in Johnny’s COMMENTS on what Hanna said. I listened to Hanna and evaluated FOR MYSELF.

        One thing you really need to duplicate here, dude, is that I am not interested in accepting your conclusions, nor Johnny’s, nor some newpaper’s. When you feed me a generality that doesn’t sound true to me and I ask you for examples, I’m looking for facts. And I, not you, will be the arbiter of their validity for myself. I’m done taking someone’s word for this kind of thing.

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 8, 2010 4:12 pm

        It’s Me Again – thanks for that.

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 8, 2010 6:03 pm

        R.Hill

        I neglected to respond to something in your post, above, and it’s probably the most important point, because it’s where I believe you’re the most correct: Regarding the Fair Game policy, etc.: these are the outpoints you say they are. No argument. You’re right.

        Any of LRH’s policies that, when applied as intended, which resulted in attacks on individuals, illegal activity (despite contradictory policy against such), or the abuse, nullification or harm to individuals, are themselves “fair game,” IMO.

        However, that does not prove the overall “worstness” of LRH’s era over dms.

        The evaluation that the scene was “worst under LRH” is an opinion, and you can’t possibly be expected to provide me enough data to “prove” that opinion. So I have
        to grant you that your statement IS TRUE FOR YOU, even though it is not true for me.

      • June 8, 2010 8:29 pm

        lunamoth: “It’s becoming clear to me that you have an agenda to sell here”

        Can’t help but think of Hubbard’s “Attackers are simply an anti-Scientology propaganda agency so far as we are concerned. … Don’t use us. . .Shift the spotlight to them. No matter how. Do it!”

        Sigh… There we go, now the spotlight is on my “agenda,” whatever it might be, which “clear[ly]” I am trying “to sell.”

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 8, 2010 11:27 pm

        R.Hill,

        You really need to make up your mind. Are you going to crucify LRH or quote him, honey?

        One piece of advice: LRH has no particular altitude with me. The opinions expressed here are soley those of the poster. If you have point to make, or in this case, a snide criticism, I’d appreciate it if you would make it in your own words.

        And don’t think there is a question in anybody’s mind that you DO have an agenda.
        You provided the link to your site, remember? It’s there, also in your own words. Anybody who doesn’t already know what it is needs only “click” to find out.

        Sigh.

        Lunamoth

      • June 9, 2010 1:58 pm

        lunamoth: “Sigh??? … Does that kind of condescension…”

        Not “condescending,” more like discouraged because…

        In (1), you irrelevantly focused on the style rather than the substance (and with a hyperbole at that,) with your “15 sets of ellipses,” “data … removed,” “severely edited” and “potentially a massive amount of data missing,” where I found myself having to explain that the point of the style was to highlight parallels between LRH and DM, which is a starting point to show that at the very least, many of the abuses and wrongdoings attributed to DM could as well be found in LRH. (And anyway, your particular reproaches to the style are such a non-issue given that a URL to the complete article is provided.)

        Then in (2), you fallaciously downgrade the relevance of the article because of its “second-hand” nature — as if somehow “first-hand” nature of a source are automatically of greater value with respect to truth than any “second-hand” sources, that we could entirely do away with these second-hand sources. This I find amusing, given first-hand source Hubbard branding himself as a nuclear physicist in a policy letter to be used for (fraudulent) recruitment, dated April 14, 1961 vs. second-hand source Evening Post of March 21, 1964 informing people of Hubbard’s misrepresentations about himself… (No wonder Hubbard had such contempt for “second-hand” sources, they had this “bad” habit of contradicting him as a oh-so-much more “reliable” first-hand source. Hmm, thinking of it, he also didn’t like other first-hand sources, those he saw fit to label “SP”…)

        So yes, two paragraphes with irrelevances and fallacies, sidestepping the main point — the similarities between accounts from LRH time with accounts from DM’s time — made me sigh, as I suddenly found myself having to carefully explain to you why it is irrelevant and fallacious. And then it got worst, because now I have to explain why I sighed, again rather than addressing the main point.

        Now, I want to demonstrate you why I see Hubbard worst than David Miscavige, but out of respect for Jeff and readers, I will do this on my blog, because it is unreasonable to expect just a few quotes to make a point, it would be unreasonable for me to throw here everything which I see as supporting my view, which I suspect could lead to more rationalizing/sidestepping — as seen above — as to why you reject this and that, with the net result of clogging this page.

      • June 9, 2010 2:12 pm

        lunamoth: “And don’t think there is a question in anybody’s mind that you DO have an agenda.”

        I wish you would spell out this “agenda” you are referring to. Otherwise, how can I confirm/refute it? (or is it the point?)

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 9, 2010 10:14 pm

        R. Hill

        You know, I’ve been thinking about this. One one hand, we can go on endlessly
        debating our issue, demanding explanations of each other, etc. and maybe make
        some headway at explaining our sides, but I don’t see that we will actually come
        to any understanding this way. So let’s just knock this off. What do you say?

        I will say, too, that instead of using the word “agenda,” a less inflammatory word
        might have been “viewpoint.” You have a definite viewpoint. It comes across
        on the link you sent me to your site. It’s not a crime to have a viewpoint, or to
        communicate from it, so why the hell are we arguing? I’m sorry that in challenging you to show me why you think something is true I invalidated your right to have that viewpoint. You don’t need to have “evidence” to have an opinion. I mistakenly
        identified your opinion as a statement of fact on your part. Stuff like this happens when communicating on a via such as this.

        Truce?

  22. Rebecca-Tribecca permalink
    June 6, 2010 12:27 am

    In my long trek and pathway climbing the Bridge within the Church, the primary and major Cognitive Dissonance was

    FREEDOM/TRAPPED

    The buzzword “FREEDOM” is used widely all across the boards in the Church of Scientology down to TV ads. Even their propaganda magazine is called FREEDOM !

    There are EPs, End Phenomenas on the Grade chart that are “Freedom from…..
    this that and the other.

    But as you go up the Bridge, there is more and more entrapment, even down to who you speak to, who you Email, what sites you visit on the web, where you can stay or not stay in Clearwater, what shop or restaurant in Clearwater is permissible or off limits and so on.

    But most of all, you arrive at Flag for some enhanced spiritual enhancement (FREEDOM) and you are battered and enforced to empty your bank account. (TRAPPED) The routing form for donations, starting with IAS who have to sign off the routing form before you can even arrive make a visit to Flag an entrapment for gouging maximum money for minimum exchange.

    Another brilliant essay Jeff. Food for thought.
    Chicken Soup for the Soul.

    • Synthia permalink
      June 9, 2010 10:40 pm

      Rebecca,

      I have looked at this comment many times and have such agreement with it and couldn’t think of anything pithy to say and so have not commented so, let me say, I totally dig your point here and have experienced the Freedom/Trapped phenom many times (in and out of Scn).

      Synthia

  23. Shelly permalink
    June 6, 2010 1:18 am

    Thank you Jeff. I appreciate the time and thoroughness you put into your blog. I am sure it is appreciated by many, many more than are willing to say so. More power to them (keep reading guys!)

    Best, Shelly

  24. lunamoth permalink
    June 6, 2010 4:05 am

    Jeff

    It occurs to me that Marty isn’t the only one getting lots of lovin’ from OSA these days. I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but my bullshit detector tells me you have a bad case of trolls.

    Signs of success, I’d say. Now, when’s that book coming out again?

    Love

    lunamoth

  25. June 6, 2010 12:54 pm

    RE Cognitive Dissonance Theory

    Cognitive Dissonance can be used to create personality shifts in individuals. Festinger (1950) taught that the personality was made up of THOUGHTS, BEHAVIORS and EMOTIONS. As a contemporary of Hubbard’s, I believe Hubbard studied cognitive dissonance theory to develop the CCHs and much of the lower Bridge and later much of what you find in the Sea Org, in course rooms, and even on the Purif.

    See, per CG Theory, all you had to do to create a personality shift in an individual was to CONTINUALLY CONTROL one or more of a person’s THOUGHTS, EMOTIONS, or BEHAVIORS to be out of alignment with the others, and more in alignment with what you wanted him to be. If you KEEP CONTROLLING HIM, the individual will feel so much dissonance over time that the individual himself will bring the others into line in order to lessen the dissonance he feels.

    For instance, a peace-loving hippie gets drafted into the Marines. His BEHAVIOR is CONTROLLED from the moment he wakes up until the moment he goes to sleep. While awake, he is taught to kill people. This conflicts with his existing THOUGHTS and EMOTIONS and causes him dissonance.

    All you have to do is keep controlling his BEHAVIOR and he will bring his own THOUGHTS and EMOTIONS into alignment in order to reduce the dissonance in himself and be at peace again.

    That’s how you take a peace-loving hippie and turn him into a Marine who will kill on command – and love it. See?

    A personality shift.

    Does any of this sound familiar to anyone?

    Go back to Hubbard’s writings of the early 1950’s on THOUGHT, EMOTION and EFFORT. Look through the lectures on the CCHs and Upper Indoc TRs, 8C, and others. Did he just come up with all of this on his own?

    Allen

    • lunamoth permalink
      June 6, 2010 6:11 pm

      Allen

      That’s pretty fascinating. Our educational system works the same way in this country. Behavior is controlled very tightly from the outset; a child learns to sit where he is told, to stay in his seat – control of location in space – not to speak without permission (raise your hand and wait to be called on), to restrict his activity to and focus his attention on what the rest of the class is doing, to pay attention to the teacher, to go outside, eat or leave only at the proper time and with only with permission, to line up and wait, to respond to bells as cues to do certain activities that are scheduled and ordained by an authority, to respect and obey the hierarchy of power within the organization…

      Thoughts are certainly influenced heavily, if not directly controlled. Which data you are fed determines the opinions you develop and profoundly affects your viewpoints on the world. Schools are all about feeding students data, and which data are chosen to be taught is not under direct public pervue.

      After 12 years of that, a person is pretty much processed into a solid citizen. And yet, SOME people still think for themselves, disagree with group-think, and manage to live life as individuals.

      I am starting to come to a realization here that the fact that scientology is a cult is not going to turn out to have been the worst thing about it. I have survived my education, and while I was never in the military I know men who have survived that with their “critical thinking skills” intact (LOL – sorry – I still find that previous attempt at aspersions amusing), and were not turned into killers. I feel most of us here are actually surviving the “cult” that is our society. So what is so wrong/dangerous/evil about the scientology experience has to be above and beyond its cult identity. Apparently we deal with cults on a daily basis, inside or out of the c of m.

      • June 6, 2010 8:20 pm

        Lunamoth –

        There is a difference between mental manipulation and going to school.

        A “cult” uses its methods of thought control, emotional control and behavior control to get you to work for its interests and against your own self interests where these conflict.

        So again, a cult uses its coercive tactics to get you to work against your own self interests.

        While in the heavily controlled environment of the Marines, a person is not allowed to disobey an order – even if that order will plainly result in his own death.

        In the Church of Scientology, if you are “too first dynamic oriented” then you are “handled” until you “take more responsibility for the dynamics”.

        See how, when you are a Scientologist, the first dynamic – the dynamic of your own self-interests – becomes only one of 8 now?

        Hopefully, the control a school exerts on a child helps him to learn to get a long in the world and to think for himself.

        The control that L Ron Hubbard’s Church of Scientology exerts -over time – only ends up with your own self-interests completely abandoned and every thing of value you have sucked up by the Church.

        That is a very big difference.

        And that is the difference between going to school and becoming a Scientologist.

        Allen

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 7, 2010 5:40 am

        Well, Allen, what I see is that you have not addressed any of the similarities I have pointed out, and you have concentrated only on the differences . Well, actually you didn’t point out any differences, you simply attributed different motives to schools than to cults.

        I would say whether a cult is non-survival and a school is pro-survival depends on the cult, and on the school.

        If you can’t see the similarities between the two, you are missing the point. They have similarities, and being socialized towards ones, say the educational system, makes one more likely to accept another, say a cult.

        Both will describe their intent in controlling the individual to wanting to help insure the greatest possible survival for him. The cult says that survival is best achieved through the third dynamic, and the better the third survives, the better the first will survive. A school is different but also similar in that respect, and if you’re talking about a school in, say, North Korea, you can see my point a little better. Indoctrination, the goals and purposes of the individual sundered to those of the state.

        I would personally feel that a school with a curriculum based on fundamentalist religious beliefs, or a reactionary conservative agenda was cult-like. One based on a more liberal, individual-based teaching methodology would not be. Both “school” and “cult” are generalities here.

        I agree with you concerning the results of the cult of scientology. However, the public educational system in this country has long been concerned with turning out
        workers over independent thinkers. However altruistic, idealistic and dedicated the individuals working within the system, no matter what parents believe about what their children are being taught, the system rewards, among other things, mediocrity, conformity, rule-following, and obedience to authority.

        My point is this: we are faced with cult-like institutions in everyday life, and do not recognize those characteristics in them because they are socially-sanctioned. The ability to distinguish a dangerous cult from an acceptable institution with cult-like similarities is a fine point, a gray area. And this is WHY WE FALL FOR IT.

      • Its me again permalink
        June 7, 2010 5:50 pm

        Lumamoth,

        You are correct. Maybe we all fell for it at one time or another, but some are waking up. Getting the “agreement” that an institution was an “acceptable institution” was the first part of the plan. Whether you are on the Right or the Left, you are being fooled. Schools have slowly become an indoctrination process, turning our children into what ever the agenda is of the institution. To actually be a free thinker, you would have to be more Libertarian in nature. No big government, ” Laws” only for safety of the land and it’s people, Freedom to speak about anything, Freedom to create. Freedom to make your own choices …anything else is just Control.

        Rewarding mediocrity is a well thought out plan. Everything happening now on the planet is to make the able less able and a promise to the unable that they will be taken care of so they have no incentive to become more able. For a long time now schools and governments have taught our children to become an “entitlement generation”….another words slaves. Look carefully what is happening.

        Just like it took some to look at what was happening in Scientology without any” fixed ideas” to see what was really happening…look at what is happening on the planet without any fixed ideas. Like the old saying says, you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.
        But the plan takes numbers into consideration, so if you can fool enough, you win.

  26. SignsOfSuccess permalink
    June 6, 2010 3:10 pm

    I fell the need to clarify something before to continue
    posting here. I’m not a native English speaker and
    sometime I find very hard to vocalize my concepts.
    My personality and my way to discuss things is very
    direct and frank and often I don’t feel the need to be
    liked or esteemed , I know for experience that often
    I look like a rude and offensive person.
    My point above is that I don’t believe that an educated
    and intelligent individual can be mentally controlled and
    I strongly believe that individuals who assert that they
    have been mentally controlled or mentally manipulated
    are justifying something in order to give responsibility
    to someone else (you know? “it’s not my fault because
    someone else was mentally controlling me!)
    Many of you seem to have studied SCN, so you should
    know better than me what I’m talking about.
    There are not methods such as behavior control,
    emotional control or thought control in LRH work, and
    even if they exist in this world as Jeff describes them,
    they will not work if the “victim” involved didn’t
    agree to be controlled on the first place. Obviously
    very low tone and less self-determinate could be easily
    scammed by someone, but to imply that hundreds of
    thousands of SCNists and thousands of pre-OT are
    being mentally controlled is a ridiculous idea.
    I will explain myself better about my “black or white”
    reasoning on a later comment.
    SoS.

    • Jeff permalink*
      June 6, 2010 6:23 pm

      SOS, you’re starting to ask the right questions – same questions a lot of us asked. And that’s good. The fact is, Scientologists are more intelligent and better educated than the average person. I was involved in marketing for the Church and I know this from extensive studies of the demographics of Scientologists. I know YOU are a smart person, otherwise you would not be here asking questions. Yet at the same time, we know that current Church members tolerate things like aggressive crush regging, going deeply into debt, doing hundreds of hours of Sec Checking, doing the same services over and over, tech and policy violations, family separations, and even physical and mental abuse. These are not stupid people. These are not chronic “victims” as you suggest. So why would intelligent people put up with such things? THAT is the question. That is the “dissonance.” And yes, you are right – control doesn’t work unless the person agrees to be controlled. So the next obvious question is WHY would intelligent people agree to be controlled? These are the sorts of questions I have asked, and many on this board have asked. I try to present what answers I have found. The purpose is not to get people to “agree” with me or “believe my theories” (and they are not my theories, by the way), but to stir things up and stimulate debate and thought. I like to encourage people to think outside the box and to look outside their comfort zone. I welcome disagreement and debate. But if you present your ideas here, you can expect to be challenged. That doesn’t mean that anyone here is your “enemy.” It means people here are encouraging you to examine and defend and even challenge your own beliefs.

      • Gandiguy permalink
        June 7, 2010 11:23 pm

        Jeff,
        I know for myself why I continued going along with the Church management. I didn’t know that there was an outside Standard Scientology. I did run into a few people that spoke of getting auditing on the outside but my assumption was that it was Squirrel Tech. Not pure, not fully workable. I believed that the church was truly the saving vehicle for the planet. I believed that clearing the planet was the solution to everything. I believed we were making progress. The numerous times I joined staff was purely altruistic. I wanted to help clear the planet. I believed that I was a spirit and that I lived before and that this lifetime was just a speck in eternity and there would be plenty of time to do all the other things I wanted to do. I believed everyone on staff was of good will and I believed that the admin tech was workable and if applied standardly would insure our success. I always saw shortcomings as human flaws not flaws in the tech. I believed LRH was just a man, maybe more than that, which by some chance figured out or channeled the workable tech. The tech was the tech and he was he.
        I was operating on incomplete data unknowingly. What change my mind was some observation of major outpoints that seemed to originate all the way up the org board. The major step in changing my mind was getting all the data I was missing filled in by others whom I had reason to trust. I never was brainwashed. I am not now un brainwashed. All of the gains I have had from application of the tech are still with me and I continue to have more. What I have come to realize is that a person has insinuated himself into the church management and has systematically sabotaged the workability of the tech. How that was done is carefully explained by these websites and many of the first hand observers posting.
        Yes, the element in the church that fostered my operating on incomplete data may have been a built in flaw or created by the insinuator. In the early days I don’t remember having any restrictions on what I read. I remember being shocked to hear we Scios weren’t supposed to read a particular book as a “
        Squirrel had contributed to it”. That was the first Outpoint that went into my bullpen! I did justify it at the time. The turning point for me was when enough outpoints accumulated in my bullpen and particularly those that I couldn’t rationalize as being local human flaw or un educated staff. For years considering that Super Power would solve that problem.
        So in my estimation, the problem is not brainwashing, at least for the majority but the lack of full data. It seems the barrier to getting it is the belief in the infallibility of the church, it’s leaders and the Tech.
        In addition to continuing to fill in the data on these blogs and by word of mouth it might be of value for some of the Data Evaluator Specialists among us to do up a Data Analysis to find the Why that will “open the door to handling” of the problem of how to get the folks still in the church to look at the data that they have been guided into not looking at!
        Actually, this might be a Marketing problem! (How to sell the missing data to our brothers and sisters still “in” the Church so that we can steer ship into a more pro survival direction.)
        ML
        Gandiguy

    • Its me again permalink
      June 6, 2010 6:57 pm

      SoS,

      I agree that if the Tech is used to help, it will.

      Everyone is different, some don’t take to being badly controlled at all, some accept it because they felt an obligation to their group, some are so invalidated and made to feel degraded with altered tech that they cave. Everyone’s reason is different.

      Your evaluation and invalidation of why someone would put up with behavior or emotional control is not the correct “why” for each person on this site. If it was they would all feel much better now. I am sure this is just causing more BBC.

      The “you pulled it in” shit or any other comment used that is a long this line is not Scientology. It is something that has been used on the track for a very very long time, it is made to introvert, make wrong, degrade, invalidate, control and much worse. While we all have done this at some time or another, doesn’t make it right. Because it was done to you and worked, doesn’t make it right to do to another.

      Really, think about it. What is the purpose in doing this to someone? Only the person knows the reasons he let something happened, no one else. Isn’t this the bases of auditing, the person finding out themselves?

      Try getting your point across in another way without invalidation and evaluation of another person. If you are even some what trained, does this make sense to you?

    • craig houchin permalink
      June 7, 2010 7:02 am

      Signs of Success,

      Thanks for your explanation. That helps.

      I agree with you that people need to agree to be controlled. Even when confronted with the physical force of guns, one still has to agree. And that’s the thing that we are all here to discuss and sort out for ourselves. We all agreed to everything that “happened to us,” or more accurately, everything that we experienced, until at a certain point we quit agreeing.

      So what happened between our initial agreement and our final disagreement? Speaking only for myself, my particular path was one of very incrementally giving up observation, awareness, logic, etc. for each little bit of “good” that I got from Scientology. It was a constant trade-off. The rules became more restrictive as I went along, but I accepted them because I was still getting something out of the relationship.

      It’s like training a wild animal to be hand-fed. By the time I have the animal eating out of my hand, slipping a chain around its ankle is easy. Now, did I brainwash the animal, or did I just manipulate the animal using what it already wanted, easy food?

      The animal agreed to come closer and closer and eventually eat out of my hand, and as long as I continued to feed it, it probably didn’t even mind the ankle chain. Now, I could have simply trained the animal to eat from my hand and not chained it. However, by chaining it, I revealed my true purpose toward the animal.

      So, to circle back to Jeff’s article, yes we had to agree to be manipulated but that doesn’t negate the fact the others were attempting to exercise manipulation on us. That is the point of Jeff’s article. Not that we are victims, but that we did experience manipulative actions directed toward us which, to varying degrees, we accepted and went into agreement with.

      There are all sorts of reasons WHY each of us would agree to say, do, think, or deny things that were contrary to our integrity, and I think those reasons are personal and individual for everyone. But the fact remains that the Church was organized and run in such a way that it did exert manipulative actions on it’s parishioners. Some took the “free food and ankle chain,” others didn’t.

      It’s like the joke about the guy who was afraid that the government was out to get him. The doctor told the guy’s wife that he was paranoid. However, when the CIA showed up and hauled him away one day, the wife was distraught and called the doctor, “Doc, you said my husband was paranoid and now look. The CIA was after him.” To which the doctor replied, “My dear lady, your husband IS paranoid, that doesn’t mean he was wrong.”

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 7, 2010 5:51 pm

        Boy, Craig, this is great. Thanks for posting it.

        I realized while reading it that, just as in order for manipulation to occur the manipulated must participate, it also follows that a covert agenda must exist
        in the mind of the manipulator, but at what point did that start?

        So was it there from the beginning?

        Could we have realized what gains we did from the use of scienotology if we were indeed being manipulated the entire way (in which case, is manipulation necessarily wrong if you benefit from it)?

        Did the author of the tech we used believe that unless we were manipulated we would not stay, use and thus benefit from this tech? Or did the manipulation only become a constant element as his own condition deteriorated?

        Was it all a cynical scheme to increase the power, wealth and influence of one man?

        It certainly does raise some interesting questions.

        lunamoth

      • craig houchin permalink
        June 7, 2010 7:35 pm

        Lunamoth,

        Just to answer one of your questions about the covert agenda being there from the beginning: No. I don’t think it was. I think an inclination toward control of others could have existed in LRH, but it was his followers that over time, fed, fostered and enabled that inclination to grow out of control, and that set the example to be adopted by others who assumed power.

        Just to go back to the tamed-animal analogy, I could have had good intentions toward that animal right up to the point the I realized I COULD capture it. At that point I had a moral or ethical decision to make. Should I or shouldn’t I. Perhaps I could justify capturing it by saying that to do so would actually aid it’s survival. Maybe, at first, even the animal liked it.

        It’s a subtle, creeping thing, I think, on the part of both the abuser and the abused. The two people in such a relationship came together and stayed together because something about their pairing “worked” in some way for BOTH of them. An abuser can’t be an abuser without someone willing to play the roll of the abused and vice-versa. An abused person can’t be abused, until he/she has a partner willing to play the roll of the abuser.

        It’s a weird, symbiotic dance, I think. I by no means have an answer worked out. I’m just thinking out loud.

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 8, 2010 6:12 am

        Thanks, Craig. You’ve given me more food for thought.

        I do see the relationship dynamic you describe. I can certainly see that principle as it manifests in the world at large. But I think the added element of deception does play a role, as well.

        When we were new to scientology, we were not aware of the withheld, altered, omitted and embroidered data concerning both LRH and the true source of some of the tech.

        I have no problem granting the man the right to be a flawed human being- every person I’ve ever loved in the world, and every person who has ever done anything of value, has been a flawed human being. I’m a flawed human being. But I doubt very much that I would ever have invested what I did in scientology, would certainly never have trusted in and believed in the whole deal the way I did, if I’d known then what I know now.

        The truth about Hubbard’s real life and that he had, on many occasions, claimed authorship of tech to which he was not entitled, are pretty damn important data to evaluate when you’re trying to decide on whether scientology is what it claims to be, which is the first big evaluation anybody makes when coming into it.

        Turns out, I could have made better choices had I been given better quality data, as in TRUE data. The element of deception, obviously quite purposeful, was an undeniable influence in my decision to enter into the relationship I then had with scientology for 30 years.

      • Synthia permalink
        June 8, 2010 9:31 am

        lunamouth,

        I couldn’t agree with you more. This is EXACTLY how I feel. Thanks for putting it so succinctly. (And, while I here, let me add that I love playing the game with you! ;))

        Synthia

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 8, 2010 4:06 pm

        Synthia – Me, too!

        lunamoth

  27. Fidelio permalink
    June 6, 2010 3:11 pm

    Wonderful discussion! Thanks again, Jeff for kicking it off!

    What I found most disturbing was the discovery that I was deliberately LIED to by senior execs and publics high on the Bridge. Outrightly and willfully and consistently lied to and personally tricked.

    Starting from there, I discovered more and more lies, the events presented just an ocean of lies, people just disappeared, execs one saw for years just disappeared, things narrowed more and more down to just DM, there was no visible team anymore, no names anymore – but that guy on the front NEVER EVER thanked anybody for all that explosive expansion and progress….hmmm.

    Then I had the opportunity to watch three of those “Ideal Orgs” more closely – those miraculous orgs who allegedly have such stellar production that they exceed all production of the non-Ideal Orgs combined. One of those orgs did not produce one single Clear in over three years and not a single Class V auditor and had a Tech/Admin ratio about 1 : 9 while starving staff were stealing food from the canteen so that it had to be locked up.

    The most shocking to me was to find out about Hubbard’s miserable ending which was in outrageous contrast to his glorious biography painted by himself and by the Church.

    Like you, Freetothink, I’ve always considered myself a leader and when I heard of Scientology, it was everything I EVER dreamed of – for me, for any group and for the world. I wanted to do better and wished the same for my fellows – and if Hubbard had achieved those stellar abilities, I was confident to quickly improve mine if I just closely followed him, who had found the “fasted way to OT”.

    Well – here I am, and I don’t like what I have to find out to be the real truth about Hubbard and the Sea Org and the overall conditions of SCN in the world…

    It is an oceanwide swamp of lies built up over sixty years and it’s hard to wade through that thick morass.
    I cannot see the slightest willingness on the side of the Church to unravel that close-meshed net of lies – quite in the contrary, the net is knitted even tighter every day with additional lies with increasing violent blockage to the truth being found out.

    To me the lies dished out in spades to paint the facade of achieving what I ever dreamed of kept me going for two decades, always envying the Americans or Africans or Indians or … and striving for that “Ideal American Scientology Scene” to be achieved in Europe, too -especially in Germany – “home and birth land of suppression”.

    The deliberate, artfull, glossy, fine-meshed and shameless lies proliferated without the slightest conscience are at the core of the mental manipulation I felt subjected to. That “culture” of lying did not start with Miscavige and that might probably be his biggest set of justifications in his sick beyond sick violent mindset of a sociopath.

    I am filled with gratitude to meet you all in virtual space and see myself enlightened every day.

    My very best, Fidelio

    • Fidelio permalink
      June 6, 2010 3:22 pm

      Jeff,
      by the way, good ol’ Pinocchio was the cue to my comment 🙂
      Fidelio

    • Marta permalink
      June 7, 2010 5:17 am

      OMG, Fidelio, that was so well said, powerful and right smack to the heart of it.

  28. SignsOfSuccess permalink
    June 6, 2010 7:11 pm

    Now. it seems to me that some people here are so obsessed
    with OSA stuff to the point that they will going to thanks
    Fidelio for his well pondered and well written comment.

    After all he started his so “informative” comment with:
    “Wonderful discussion! Thanks again, Jeff for kicking it off!”
    Which alone is indeed food for thought.
    No, thank you Fidelio to have expressed your “opinion” so
    beautifully since you are implying that who has “expanded”
    his criticism of SCN from DM to LRH is indeed more capable
    to reason and to observe “reality”.

    Well, in a black, grey and white context, I would say that
    “black” is the Scientologist in good standing with the church;
    “white” is the guy who wish and is very active in totally
    obliterating SCN, its founder and everything might be
    associated with SCN including its parishioners, and “grey”
    (with its color gradation, obviously) the guy that
    stays at some middle point between them.
    It’s that a more or less correct analysis?

    Need a reckon on this before continuing.
    Please take in consideration that I believe in the power of
    simplicity and too complex explanations are making me
    to spend time on finding out where arbitraries are.
    SoS

    • Jeff permalink*
      June 6, 2010 10:26 pm

      SignsOfSuccess: I do try to give you some slack as I realize English is not your first language, but, dude, I just cannot understand some of your posts. It’s not that I even disagree with them – I literally cannot figure out what you are saying. I don’t know if you are trying to be humorous or sarcastic or what. So I won’t comment on this last post as I do not understand what you are trying to say. Maybe you have a friend who is fluent in English who can check these over for you?

    • June 7, 2010 6:00 pm

      Possibly I would have something to answer, but I need concrete, specific examples of “guy who wish and is very active in totally obliterating SCN, its founder and everything might be associated with SCN including its parishioners.”

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 7, 2010 6:40 pm

        LOL

  29. SignsOfSuccess permalink
    June 6, 2010 7:34 pm

    Oh…thanks for your reply, Jeff and ” it’s me again”

    I didn’t see them before posting my last comment.
    I think it has to do with the waiting for moderation.
    I will respond to the points you made soon.

    • Its me again permalink
      June 6, 2010 11:21 pm

      SoS,

      Your post on 06-05-10 and 06-06-10….you English and writing was very good, this last post is much different. What happened?

  30. June 6, 2010 8:25 pm

    Not trying to say here anything intellectually comparable to highly intelligent comments.
    Will just share my new realisation.
    Allen Stanfield aka Alanzo (hi, Alanzo!) in his second post from the top (about EMOTIONAL CONNECTION) got me to think in that direction and connect things and get to my answer.

    Being a Scientologist is like being in love. And while in love you don’t see anything bad about your partner.
    This is in this video from Hana Whitfield (scroll to 4:15):

    Her statement today was confirmed to me by an excellent analysis by Robert Vaughn Young, link to which is posted above by R. Hill. “Why do battered/abused women stay with their abusive husbands?” Why do Scientologists shut off and close their eyes to the weirdest things happening in Scientology? Why do they hold on to Scientology even if they can’t maintain their life? Why do they always carry and speak everywhere with Hubbard’s beautiful ideas instead of own ones?
    – I think the answer is LOVE. (Or call it “Affinity”, or “ARC”). It’s Love that ties us together stronger than any bonds. In this case it’s Love to LRH, Love to his voice, teachings, Love to the comrades in the Org. Love to everyone who thinks alike.
    With that CHANNELED love, everything else in the world becomes obscure and non-existent – NO Love to the world around you, people around you, things around you and those who are outside the perimeter of your “world”/”reality” (here, Hubbard’s teachings that created for you “your” reality). Even family members if they frown on your connection to Scientology are disregarded and not listened to.
    Not even Love to yourself. – “I must change to love myself”
    Isn’t how it went down with you?

    For me, the good steps to break those “Loving relationships” with the Church, Scientology, Hubbard were:
    1. Return to Loving myself as I am (without ifs, nos and buts)
    2. Return to Loving this world as it is and people as they are and Nature and everything in it as it is (without ifs, nos and buts). Just unconditional Love without ambitions as to “needed/wanted” about them “so they deserve to be Loved”.
    3. Attentively reading and viewing multiple sources about Dark Side of $cn and getting to HATE the Church, Scientology, Hubbard for being duped and my mind fucked with.
    4. Participating and speaking out about myself and speaking my mind about the Church, Scientology, Hubbard.

    Those steps kinda opened my flows. So I’m open now to Life, World, people, myself.
    I’m not on that stuck flow of “love” towards Hubbard’s creations anymore.
    And my Hate towards them is now gone. I don’t care. Bored. Disinterested. Happy as I’m without Hubbard’s ideas. Life is good.

    I’m still mad at abused people and awful things happening (or having happened) to people within Scientology, and I’m truly sorry for them.

    To them, I’d also suggest to open their eyes to this unshakable LOVE (or “Great ARC” or “Huge Affinity”) towards Hubbard, Scientology and the Church.
    Probably, to stop loving the Church as a first step is easier (just after reading numerous reports about continuous and stagerring violations of what Hubbard teaches).

    I’ll add here link (posted by Monte on this blog few threads ago). It also helped me. It’s by Osho about being in Love with yourself as a first and fundamental step BEFORE trying to love someone/something else:

    Hope I’m understood. If not, then – Oh, well. It worked for me. I might have different mentality. There’s a difference between mentality of Americans and Russians – to Americans the top thing in life is Respect, to Russians is Love. 🙂

    • Its me again permalink
      June 7, 2010 12:07 am

      VaD,

      Interesting take. Even though I have never said this to anyone before and there was no point in ever bringing it up. .. I think it is fitting to your post.

      When I first walked into Scientology the first thing I noticed were pictures of LRH on the walls. Boy, did I think that was weird! I wouldn’t receive any auditing until I learned what auditing was, so I only would train, didn’t trust anyone doing anything on me I didn’t understand. I thought some of the staff were down to earth really good people, and some were out there! (I can’t be the only one who felt these things in the beginning)

      As time went by, I still thought the pictures were weird, some of the people “out there”, even the LRH office was strange to me, but I liked the tech, it seemed like something I already knew but with the mechanics explained in a way that made sense to me.

      It took a long time for me to have respect for Ron and that is all I can say about him. I respect his efforts and research in the development of the Tech and the Bridge. I still believe that his intentions were good in those regards, no matter what was going on for him personally.

      “everything in the world becomes obscure and non-existent”
      What you are describing sounds like reactive love. Even in the beginning of a relationship, I think most people would qual a person before getting too involved. Unless, of course, it is that Reactive Love ..which hardly ever last.

      I am sure you are correct, some just fell in love with Ron or Scientology. Maybe it saved some peoples lives and you can’t blame them for feeling that way. Some just came in to look and like what they found. Some came in and walked right out.

      I guess it was different for everyone…..but your take on it makes sense.

      • June 7, 2010 11:14 am

        Is it Ron’s term: “reactive love”?
        Is there then “analythical love”? – Even if so, not to me.
        To me love is just love, be it platonic, romantic, sexual, to the Motherland, to the child, to your home, admiring or sympathetic. It’s a strong emotional feeling that binds one with his “world” (“comfort zone”).

        To my post above I would clarify (if it better fits instead of word “being in love”). It’s “being charmed/attracted/fascinated/not indifferent”.

      • Its me again permalink
        June 7, 2010 6:00 pm

        Ok VaD,

        I agree with you clarification. Thanks. Makes more sense to me now.

      • Its me again permalink
        June 7, 2010 6:18 pm

        Sorry VaD,

        I meant to say “I agree with your clarification”. I seem to drop the “r” in your
        a lot.

    • June 8, 2010 11:52 am

      Now I see that “the answer is Love” was a premature “answers” to the questions:
      “Why do Scientologists shut off and close their eyes to the weirdest things happening in Scientology? Why do they hold on to Scientology even if they can’t maintain their OWN life ON ACCEPTABLE LEVEL? Why do they always carry and speak everywhere with Hubbard’s “BEAUTIFUL” ideas instead of own ones?” (capitalized to correct in the original post)

      I still believe there is a single answer to those – along with “abused women”.

      “Love” is not exactly a correct word. It does have to do with it, though.

      Why do we not get to the correct answer that answers all questions? How come that SO MUCH Intellect, Logic, Facts (and there are LOADS of them in the Internet) doesn’t quite answer it to a “layman” (like me)?

      As wild as it may seem, we are/were/ have been/ had been like under some Spell… each one of scientologists involved/having been involved… those from outside can’t easily understand it… and we rack own brains to try to *Logically* explain it. And while we do a good thing by improving our intellectual skills in doing so, we can’t quite get to the bottom of it… to THE answer which would be satisfying to both parties… Somehow it just doesn’t work when we try explain everything using just logic and Intellect, using only *mind*, *thoughts* and *data*.
      This link above from R.Hill to RVY’s model of “abused women” also tells me that RVY had a hard time explaining it to himself for quite a while (while being educated, trained in philosophy outside CoS PRIOR to involvement). Here are so many of you who are very intellectual and educated but you are STILL racking your brains over the subject “How the hell did I buy into this shit? Why have I been involved for so long and didn’t see anything wrong in it?”….

      Don’t know about you but the getting true and factual data and thinking extensively (comparing the data within with data outside) WEREn’t to me as convincing as changing my ATTITUDE toward the subject. And THAT (now I see that my “steps to overcome these Loving relationships” having been worded around the word “love” wasn’t so right) was the major factor of overcoming being attracted to Scientology.

      Now, I think Scientology hits one (CHARMS one) below the level of awareness, logic, intellect…. the level we don’t want to admit we have… because “we are ABOVE being subconciously affected, and we DO have our STRONG ANALYTHICAL mind”….

      But what if it’s NOT the mind and logic to be addressed and used, and NOT the facts and true data scrutinized (if one wants to get done with $cn)?
      Just what if?

      • June 8, 2010 12:36 pm

        “THE answer which would be satisfying to both parties” – meaning the answer that would be good for both – one been involved into Scientology and the one querying such involvement from outside (Anonymous, family member, old friends, employer, that guy in the bar….).
        Personally, it was hard for me to explain my involvement to myself. Once I got my ATTITUDE changed I restored good relationships with my dad (he’s 72 now) this year. I wish I had restored my good relationships with my mother (who had died in 2002) and my brother (who had died in 2003). Well, that didn’t happen because I was still under that Spell. I wish I had got myself from under that spell earlier! I WOULD have had better and bigger family. And we would have been much more united and strong as family.
        Well, I didn’t do that at the time and my family wasn’t “with my program.” They didn’t understand me, and I had been thinking that they are just “blind”. So there was my attitude toward them…

        Don’t need condolences.

        I just want people not to repeat my stupidity. That’s why I’m here – trying to find simple version to undress this fucking onion!

      • craig houchin permalink
        June 8, 2010 3:36 pm

        VaD,

        One thing I’d like to toss into the mix here is the idea that any answer is better than no answer.

        Now, I haven’t thought this through thoroughly, so take it or leave it, but I think there was, for me as a young man, some mystery about life and living that I didn’t have an answer for. I had already rejected the answer I’d grown up with (Christianity), and yet, it wasn’t like I was even looking for any answers. I just kind of had the vague idea that understanding life, the universe and all that jazz was still a t0-do item on the list at the back of my mind.

        When Scn came along with some answers and explanations that seemed reasonable enough, I said to myself, “Self, I’m glad that’s settled. Now I can scratch ‘solving the mysteries of life’ off of my to-do list.” So I did and forgot about it. Frankly, I was lazy.

        And then fear of experiencing eternity as a dark cinder or some such nonsense got laid in on top of that laziness, and I bought into it just enough to figure I ought to hedge my bet and follow the program.

        That was the beauty of Scn not being a “belief” based religion. I couldn’t convincingly fake believing in something, I’d get busted for sure, but I could keep walking the stages of the Bridge without fully committing. It was a “science.” It was either going to work on me or it wasn’t. No belief involved.

        And when you’re talking about living an agonizing eternity as an unconscious pimple on someone else’s ass or spending eternity as — well something better off, I put my money down and took my chances.

        Anyway, my point is, Scientology could be viewed as AN answer in the confusion that seemed reasonable enough, therefore — from a lazy man’s point of view — it must be true.

        This idea may not resonate with everyone. I’m not even sure I buy it completely — except the part about me being lazy. That’s true.

        Now, the epilogue of this sad tale is actually quite wonderful. The past year and half that I have been moving out of Scn and allowing myself to look at other ideas and philosophies and even create a few of my own, has been the most spiritually fulfilling period of my life. And, it hasn’t even been hard, so I can still be lazy — so this freedom thing has that goin’ for it, too.

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 8, 2010 4:08 pm

        VaD

        I feel ya on the family thing. You and me, both, brother.

        And I LOVE the “undress this fucking onion” remark LOL!

      • Its me again permalink
        June 8, 2010 5:12 pm

        DaV,

        Thanks for sharing your experience and what you yourself has decided what happened in your experience with COS.

        I am hoping you will look at this viewpoint and maybe we can agree again:

        Why people do anything is a personal experience and decision only they can explain. It cannot be handled as a “collective thought”. Whether you agree with me on this or not is your decision to make. Individuals will agree with me or not, there is no expectation that everyone on this site will agree in a “collective agreement”………..don’t know if I am being clear but hopefully you will get the idea of what I am trying to say.

        The way things are being handled in COS now is different than what I understood in my study of the tech. Everything now is trying to handled the person has a “collective mind”. No individual thinking or questioning is allowed. Everyone needs the same handling. Everyone needs the same corrections.

        People who are individual thinkers cannot and will not accept being handled as a “collective.” Not in a church, in a society, not by our leaders…..we inherently know this is the road to the” loss of self” and will fight for that not to happen again (look at history).

        Oh, before this is brought up: Yes, in a group that is operating as a government, business, church, corporation, etc. there are some type of collective rules and handling for that enterprise to succeed, but those are agreed to by it’s citizens, members or employees if one want to participate. The individual’s free thinking, expression or willingness to ask questions should not be interfered with.

        Best,
        Me

      • June 8, 2010 7:41 pm

        Craig,
        let me quote your words there:
        “That was the BEAUTY of Scn NOT being a “belief” based religion”.
        Wasn’t it so for anybody else? (I, for sure, was attracted by the “beauty and simplicity to all things in life”)
        Wasn’t it Charm of it that attracted us there??

      • June 8, 2010 8:20 pm

        Its me again,
        RE: DaV. hope it was typo on your part. I’m VaD. It’s short for “Vadim Dolgov”, and that is my name.
        RE: your post. You don’t know how much I know and how well I can judge for myself about scientology. Your input is interesting but it will not change my mind. In fact, not a single reference from LRH will change my mind. And it doesn’t mean I’m against everything that LRH had said. I just KNOW that all of this mindfullness source is just a “poop” (to say mildly).
        RE: mental manipulations. We can go on with you about it for ages. Your logic, your mind, your perspective… they will be all there to defend your personal vision. The fact is that you can’t explain to yourself why you have to respond to so many posts here (and do SO MANY explanations)… There must be something moving you to do that. Isn’t there?
        To tell you the truth: I was moved to post on this blog (partly) to practice my English… also, to speak my mind about things and other’s visions from MY perspective (without reference to LRH).
        RE: me. Yes, I’m not high up the Bridge. But it’s not and will never be my problem. I’m not going to raise my intellect or my happiness using scientoloy. Ever. If I read LRH in the future, it will be for fun or after getting other out of his charms sphere.

        No offence.

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 8, 2010 9:49 pm

        Its Me Again

        Yes – very good points!

        This, especially, hits home:

        People who are individual thinkers cannot and will not accept being handled as a “collective.” Not in a church, in a society, not by our leaders…..we inherently know this is the road to the” loss of self” and will fight for that not to happen again (look at history).

        Nothing more need be said. Thank you.

        lunamoth

      • June 8, 2010 10:48 pm

        Vadim, Sorry, I did miss-spell your name.

        I am kind of confused regarding your last comment to me. I did not quote anything nor was I trying to get you to agree with Scientology. I was giving viewpoint of handling individuals verses a collective and how the church handles people now.

        I know you don’t want your mind changed about Scientology, so my communications with you are only my personal viewpoint, from me, to you.

        I was just communicating, that is all, no intention to change your mind about Scientology.

        Ok? (smile)

      • June 9, 2010 12:33 pm

        @ me,
        sorry, didn’t mean to offend you. Just don’t like when people talk LRH to me…
        You know? It’s when they mean to “help” me (when I hadn’t asked for help) or “handle” me (when I haven’t done anything illegal except speaking my mind).
        It’s just a flow I had felt from you… before… now I see that you are making headway – continuing to be here (without agenda) and comminicating.
        I like it. Truly!
        Mr. Me, please be here and communicate. I like you being criminal (in this sense). 😉

      • Its me again permalink
        June 9, 2010 6:53 pm

        VaD,

        When communicating to you, I don’t use LRH quotes or talk about the Tech unless you originate it first. I am getting a good idea of who is who on this site and try not to push any buttons. So if I am talking to you directly, I will respect your viewpoint. But I do reserve the right to communicate my personal believes when communicating on this site, in general.

        If you mean by offending me, To Hurt or To cause resentment by violation of what is proper or fitting. Don’t worry, I don’t bruise easily, you can say what you want. I take no offense.

        Me

    • June 8, 2010 12:47 pm

      Nice.

      The Russian Soul will save each and every one of us.

  31. Synthia permalink
    June 7, 2010 12:00 am

    SOS,

    You know, when I was “in” and I knew there was something really wrong, I would long to look on the Internet but knew I could not. I still had sneaky ways of doing so though as I might search something and then gloss over the results that came up but never actually press the link. In this way I never really went “on” a negative website but I might still be able to pick up some clues from the descriptions of the links.

    The only way I could justify actually going on to any kind of negative website is if I somehow happened upon it in some circuitous way and then if I left some nasty remarks and continued to strongly defend the church while all the while being able to soak in the rest of the information (even though I had to continue to bat it back). Am I making sense? I would argue points only to hold the “church defense side” so I could get to see the other side. I would put up some pretty good arguments, as I am able to do when I put my mind to it, and sometimes others would concede. At this point I was somewhat disappointed. I would then be able to get off the Internet thinking I still kept my loyality to the church. Now that I am admitting that it is really pathetic, isn’t it?

    Now, if I was doing great and I loved every minute of my experience and if I felt I could address any and all concerns from inside the church, well, why would I be on one of these sites at all? So, I always wonder what someone defending the church, solely and only, is doing one these sites. What problem is that person trying to solve?

    Logically, I break it down like this:

    1) If a person is really winning at their church, certainly they wouldn’t be wasting their time bantering back and forth with us here. They would just go about flourishing and prospering and allowing OSA “to do their jobs”. Therefore;

    2) If a person is here popping in (not of the usual crowd), they must have some slight doubts, or problems with the church. So;

    3) If they had some slight doubts, it would be better if the person would be honest about them and not just come in as the devil’s advocate and although, anyone can say anything they want and I am all for free speech, that speech would be more well received if it were completely genuine. So;

    4) SOS, do you have any doubts? Any troubles? Anything we can actually help you with as there are VERY kind and caring and intelligent people here. You are always welcome but could it be possible that your communication isn’t as clear as it needs to be because you need to be more forthcoming? Not accusing, just checking. Truly

    • Kingair350 permalink
      June 8, 2010 2:51 am

      Synthia,
      You are kind beyond words. Your preamble described my own Internet habits to a T. I chuckled as I read your own carefully manufactured mindset to justify reading those ‘naughty’ posts. Did the same for years. I called it “staying current with the enemy line.” Oh, Pleeeze, gimme a break.
      It was only when I got severely whacked that I went to these sites with a vengence, looking for the real answers. It didn’t take a whole lot time – the pennies kept dropping.
      I owe a great debt of gratitude to the guys at Friendsoflrh, Marty, Jeff, Dan, and even the ruthless arguments of Alanzo 😉

      Someone in an earlier post on this thread commented that he wasn’t sure why he kept coming back to this and other sites.
      I can only say for mysell that this site is the ultimate Starbucks! Gallons of virtual caffeine, total interest in everyone’s comments, life changing at times. And I think all of us are making a real difference, I think hanging out with good people is it’s own reward. That’s what got me into Scientology decades ago. And you’re all still here!!! Dog my cats.

  32. glh permalink
    June 7, 2010 4:51 am

    You know Jeff the abuse starts right at the beginning. My brief stint in the sea org started with Wolly recruiting me and then on to the ship with whatever food we received on tin trays (Navy Style – sort of) sometimes with utensils and other times with our freakin hands (survival of the fittest?). My God the first time I thought “what in the hell have I gotten myself into”! And I think it went downhill from there. But at least it has taken me many moons to laugh a bit. Anyway, levity levity lol!
    GLH

  33. June 7, 2010 6:48 am

    It seems to me that Scientology would have been much better off without the Sea Org.
    When my org was booming in the 80’s it seemed that the only time it got worse or public and staff became enturbulated was when a sea org mission came.
    Once I was being berated by a missionaire so I walked out got my divisional stat graphs and threw them on the table in front of him. When he told me my stats were not in a high enough range I laughed out loud. Called him an ass and walked out of the org. That didn’t go so well for me but I maintained my integrity and its what Ron had said was the right thing to do.
    Perhaps a good qualification for Sea Org members would have been well trained auditor with at least 5 years experience at a Cl 5 org or mission.
    Any attempt at mind control seemed to originate only from downtone execs or missionaires who imo seemed completely unable to duplicate the most basic of principles.
    SOS anyone?
    (BTW a lot of my booming stats had to do with a great dianetics campaign by Jeff so i will give the Sea Org credit there except that the great minds weren’t quite bright enough to follow simple LRH policy on successful actions)

    • June 8, 2010 12:33 am

      Clarification:
      When I asked: ” SOS anyone ?” I was refering to Science of Survival not Signs of success.

      • Synthia permalink
        June 8, 2010 12:54 am

        Oh, yeah, obvious my friend, No misduplication there 🙂

  34. glh permalink
    June 7, 2010 3:45 pm

    “It’s me again” reminded me of early similar’s! After reading Dianetics et al (not listening to any input from others – you know “stuck on stupid”) and finally doing a comm course, where I learned to stare at people and be a talking robot, I actually had a lot of fun. But, the “piece de la resistance”, was clapping at the larger than life picture of Ron. Wow! That was just to much. But hey I went along to go along. Little did I know that this “Road To Total Freedom” was actually “Till Nothing Is Left” and I didn’t get hurt as much as a lot of others. So there!

    • lunamoth permalink
      June 7, 2010 5:59 pm

      glh

      Yeah, clapping at that picture was always weird to me, too. But I did it so as not to “make trouble,” and thereby helped really cement that reality that “now everybody claps and nobody thinks it’s weird at all.”

      I was actually creating a reality I didn’t agree with, by pretending to agree with it.

      • Its me again permalink
        June 7, 2010 8:55 pm

        You know what is stranger. I got sent a promo pack the other day with 4 CD’s in it. One was of the New Year’s event. I decided to give it a look. I watched about 5 or 10 minutes of it and was looking for outpoints.

        I saw the usual outpoints about the lost tech, now 30 years later, but there was one thing that was very strange to me:

        When DM would say something and pause, everyone would jump, stand and clap. Then DM read something that LRH had written. No one stood up, they just sat in their chairs and clapped.

        That was about as much as I could watch and I don’t know if that followed all the way through, but I guess DM is now Source in the minds of some.

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 8, 2010 4:10 pm

        Yuck.

  35. SignsOfSuccess permalink
    June 7, 2010 7:09 pm

    By craig houshing; “The rules became more restrictive as I went
    along, but I accepted them because I was still getting something
    out of the relationship”

    What if the rules actually never changed? How in that case would
    be possible for them to “become more restrictive”?

    By craighoushin: ” It’s like training a wild animal to be hand-fed”
    Do you mean that some Scientologists (not all of them of course)
    are unwilling to leave their church because of an stimulus-response
    mechanism?

    By It’s me again:”What is the purpose in doing this to someone? Only
    the person knows the reasons he let something happened, no one
    else. Isn’t this the bases of auditing, the person finding out themselves?”

    Well, itsmeagain, if that was totally true, auditing and the e-meter
    would not even be necessary at all 🙂
    I know that for many guys here just mentioning “e-meter” sound
    creepy.

    Ok,ok,ok, I know that many of you would like me to be more
    straightforward and forthcoming.
    Since R.Hill, VaD and Fidelio are allowed to post here, i don’t
    think Jeff is going to block me.

    Maybe this question will show more about my point of view:
    ‘WHAT IF DM IS RIGHT?”

    WHAT IF LRH WAS RIGHT ABOUT HIM?

    • Jeff permalink*
      June 7, 2010 8:00 pm

      SignsOfSuccess: Yes, I allow pretty much anyone to post here, give their opinions and openly discuss Scientology. I don’t believe in censoring people because I disagree with them. It’s called open debate.

      I even allow you to post. Despite the fact that you don’t really give your opinion or debate anyone, you usually just ask oblique questions and make cryptic, and sometimes incomprehensible, remarks.

      When I – or anyone else – attempts to engage you in a dialogue, you just change the subject. You do not respond to people’s questions or comments about your posts, you just change the subject and come back with more obscure questions and cryptic remarks.

      So let’s get down to brass tacks here:

      1. You ask Craig “what if the [Church] rules never changed?” Well, Craig and others have given many examples of how the Church has become more and more restrictive over time. I’ve written about that subject extensively on this blog, with many examples showing how the Church has become more restrictive. Do you have data to the contrary? Then present it. Do you believe that the rules haven’t changed? Good, then state that as your opinion and back it up with some facts.

      2. You ask if Church members are unwilling to leave the Church because of a stimulus response mechanism. Well, no one said that except you. So what do YOU think? Do you think that is the case or not? What data do you have to back up your opinion, pro or con?

      3. You ask “what if DM is right?” and “What if LRH was right about DM?” Again, what do YOU think? Do you have any evidence that “DM is right?” What, specifically, is he right about? Do you know what LRH said about DM, if anything? What did he say? Do YOU think he was “right about him”? Why?

      How about staying on subject? How about actually responding to what people ask you? How about giving YOUR opinion and backing it up with some actual facts?

    • Its me again permalink
      June 7, 2010 8:16 pm

      Regarding “WHAT IF DM IS RIGHT”

      “What if ” all the criminals in prison who have the compulsion to harm and act on them are right and the rest of society, who at least try to control their compulsion to harm, are wrong?

      “What if” We are all here playing a big joke?

      “What if” You aren’t really who you pretend to be?

      I guess my answer to your question is: So, what if…….is a question you yourself would have to answer and if your answer handles it for you, then that is all that matters in your own universe.

      Regarding your response to me:

      I suggest you read PAB 93, 24 July 1956 A CRITIQUE OF PSYCHOANALYSIS (Continued)

  36. craig houchin permalink
    June 7, 2010 8:40 pm

    Signs of Success,

    I’ll answer both of your questions in order.

    1. You asked: “What if the rules actually never changed? How in that case would
    be possible for them to “become more restrictive”?”

    Fair enough. Let me rephrase that to say, as I became more aware of the restrictiveness of the rules; as I become more aware of the restrictions about to whom and about what I could communicate; as I became more aware of the freedoms and human rights I had to give up in order to stay in “good-standing” I became less and less interested in remaining in “good-standing.” Thanks for allowing me to clarify that.

    Now, before I answer your next question, I have a question for you. If you have had any experience in Scn, then don’t you find it ironic that the EP of Grade 0, at the bottom of the Bridge, is (paraphrased) the ability to communicate with anyone on any subject; and yet, at the top of the Bridge OT VIIs are literally freaked out to have any kind of comm come to them that falls outside the narrow channels of the Church trough they are feeding from, for fear of it getting them into expensive ethics trouble? Reconcile those two ideas for me, please.

    2. Your next question: “Do you mean that some Scientologists (not all of them of course) are unwilling to leave their church because of an stimulus-response
    mechanism?”

    No. I would never explain anyone’s actions, even an animal’s, in so simplistic a way. Stimulus-response is a very limited theory, if in fact it has any value at all except to denigrate someone. Even in the case of an animal, the stimulus-response theory does not take into consideration the limitless influences, environmental stressors, pleasures, etc. that even an animal is capable of experiencing and, thus, using in it’s computations.

    My hand-fed wild animal analogy was simply that, an analogy, to express the idea that sometimes a relationship can start out mutually beneficial and full of ARC and that that is how a person, me for instance, could agree to rules and restrictions that under other circumstances I wouldn’t. I was still getting something out of the relationship, right up until the moment I decided that the imbalance had become too great and that the things I valued were now outweighed by the things I found harmful.

    Additionally, I am not here to try to explain why anyone else is unwilling to or even should leave the Church, nor am I trying to influence that decision for anyone. You, me and everybody else here have their own path to walk. You might stay in the Church forever. I’m not gong to judge that. I’m simply here to review my own path in and out of Scn, to learn from the journeys of others and to share my own. That my personal path occasionally lines up with another’s experience allows us to chat about it but I am still here for my own personal understanding.

    As someone else has pointed out here, Scientologists are a pretty savvy lot. Their personal power has always resided in their freewill. That’s why this discussion is so interesting to me and apparently to others — because they ARE smart, savvy people who willingly gave up their freewill. I think that’s a fascinating situation and an exciting opportunity for self-exploration and self-understanding.

    I would now like to address your final questions:

    ‘WHAT IF DM IS RIGHT?”

    WHAT IF LRH WAS RIGHT ABOUT HIM?

    First you will have to define “Right,” by whose estimation and about what. If you mean that Miscavige’s actions are “right” in that they have produced greater survival for himself and for Scientology and that LRH was “right” to further the survival of Scientology by supposedly passing to Miscavige the scepter of leadership — then I would have to say that there is a lot of evidence stacked against that viewpoint. However, if, as you moniker suggests, you are of the belief that attacks and existential threats are indeed signs of success, then neither of us will be able to convince the other of anything and we’ll just have to wait and see where Scn, DM and LRH’s legacy is this time next year.

    I’ll meet you here on 7 June 2011 and we’ll compare notes.

    • lunamoth permalink
      June 8, 2010 6:17 am

      HA!

  37. gargy permalink
    June 7, 2010 9:19 pm

    Jeff, there was an informative article on Ask The Scientologist about handling trolls. You will find invaluable data regarding signsofsuccess and what you’re up against.

    • Synthia permalink
      June 7, 2010 10:57 pm

      Great article, Gargy…this is Jeff’s usual handling so he’s pretty good at it I would say, eh? Thanks for posting.

      Synthia

  38. Synthia permalink
    June 7, 2010 10:43 pm

    Regarding: Signs of Success (the concept and the HCOB)

    Regarding this HCOB, we have A great example of black and white, non-critical and dare I say, cult-like thinking.

    From HCOB 1 MAY 1958 SIGNS OF SUCCESS,

    “Whenever we’re really winning the squirrels start to scream. You can tell if somebody is a squirrel. They’ll howl or make trouble only when we’re winning.”

    Okay, fine. The reference DOES NOT say,

    “Whenever we get attacked it means we’re winning.”

    There IS a difference.

    • craig houchin permalink
      June 7, 2010 11:16 pm

      Excellent point, Synthia. Thanks for making that critical distinction.

      craig

    • Just Me permalink
      June 7, 2010 11:40 pm

      Synthia,

      I haven’t had time to respond to all your posts, but I am so enjoying listening to you.

      Thanks,

      Just Me

    • June 8, 2010 12:04 am

      Great point Synthia.
      In this case however it is DM and his cronies who are the squirrels and LRH was right in that they have been howling and making trouble for years because the independants are winning!

      • Synthia permalink
        June 8, 2010 12:29 am

        Axiom38,

        I thought about that too, yes. Certainly they are “squirrels”. I mainly have a distaste for such illogical thinking that makes involves bland, one dimensional thinking like, “See, we are being attacked, we must be winning, doooiiing, @!#@!!, duh, uh, okay, I’ll go back to my desk now and write a dispatch. Is it almost time for muster?”

        I don’t need LRH to tell me, either, that if there are THIS MANY people pissed off to high heaven that maybe, just maybe, there’s a reason. However, he did say that we would be eaten up internally and upbraided for no results (paraphrased of course), so why do people automatically go to that stupid think? Well, because they have to justify the attacks somehow.

        Synthia

    • lunamoth permalink
      June 8, 2010 12:53 am

      Synthia, you are one smart girl. Thanks for playing.

      lunamoth

  39. June 8, 2010 12:53 am

    I agree Synthia.
    A lot of Scientologists reach for a reference that will make them right and of course with DM it has become SOP. In the 80’s when my Org and a lot of other Orgs truly were winning the attacks were much fewer and in the main they either were from lunatics (One of whom I knew who was an absolute raving psychotic) or due to off policy and out ethics actions by the Church heirarchy which Ron covers in many other references such as KSW #1 which you paraphrased.
    It pisses me off to no end that Mestcavige had one simple policy to enforce and he took it twisted it and has done virtually the complete opposite.
    IMO he is an SP and I started noticing in the late 80’s and early 90’s that more and more of the SO members who showed up were PTS and it spread to CL V staff then throughout the field. PTS people make mistakes and make no case gain and are certainly susceptable to mind control at the hands of the SP and other PTS es.
    I think everyone such as you and myself who have recently disconnected from the Church would do well to restudy the tech on PTSness.Think I’ll go do that now!

  40. SignsOfSuccess permalink
    June 8, 2010 5:16 pm

    Thank you Craig for answering my questions, even if they were
    somewhat “cryptic” for some people I see you got what I meant.

    Before answering you question, let me say that in my opinion
    and experience I’ haven’t sensed any rules becoming more restrictive.
    I believe that it has more to do with a subjective feeling or “observation”
    than objective one. Like you said (and I appreciate that you better
    explained your hand fed animal analogy) a relationship can start out
    mutually beneficial and full of ARC and that that is how a person, for
    instance, could agree to rules and restrictions that under other
    circumstances he wouldn’t. And I agree, it’s just like a 2D marriage.
    Sometime one of the partners as time goes by seems to become more
    and more unwilling to agree on those same rules for some reasons.

    Regarding pre-OTs, becoming literally freaked out to have any kind
    of comm come to them that falls outside the narrow channels of the
    Church, I honestly don’t know what you mean. I’ve instead observed
    the opposite. Of course, more your ability to communicate increases
    so it’s your ability and self determination to not communicate with
    someone.

    Regarding DM and LRH statement “”Since there apparently have
    been specific allegations of wrongdoing by David Miscavige,
    I wish to take this opportunity to communicate my unequivocal
    confidence in David Miscavige, who is a long time devoted
    Scientologist, a trusted associate, and a good friend to me.
    Any activities which he may have engaged in AT ANY TIME
    concerning my personal or business affairs have been done with
    my knowledge and authorization and for my benefit.” –LRH
    I have to agree with you, neither of us will be able to convince
    the other of anything and we’ll just have to wait and see, yes
    let see what will happen.

    Regarding your statement:
    “I am not here to try to explain why anyone else is unwilling to
    or even should leave the Church, nor am I trying to influence that
    decision for anyone. You, me and everybody else here have their
    own path to walk. You might stay in the Church forever. I’m not
    gong to judge that….”
    I think it’s a fair, wise and very just position. I thank you for that.
    Just a curiosity, only if you wish to answer it, obviously.
    Are you Craig Housh, the person who started Chanology Project
    and Anonymous “cult” against SCN with the popular YT video
    “Message to the Church of Scientology”?
    That ‘s not an accusation, I’m honestly curious about.

    @ Synthia, I’m totally in agreement with your differentiation
    thanks to have pointed that out.

    • Jeff permalink*
      June 8, 2010 6:20 pm

      SOS – you’ve presented something here as an LRH quote, yet it appears to be current – “Since there apparently have been specific allegations of wrongdoing by David Miscavige…” etc. LRH died in 1986. The “allegations of wrongdoing” have been over the last year. So what is this quote? Where did it come from? Why is it being signed “LRH” as it obviously wasn’t written by Hubbard?

      • June 8, 2010 8:15 pm

        Looks to me it might be coming from “A seven-page ‘legal declaration’ purportedly written by L. Ron Hubbard,” according to this May 20, 1983, article in the Los Angeles Times, “Hubbard still alive, judge rules” (http://www.xenu-directory.net/news/library-item.php?iid=2730)

        I notice the quote is currently used only on “dead agent” sites (religiousfreedomwatch.org, markrathbunisasquirrel.com, marcusbrutusrathbun.com)

        This makes me go “hmmm”… It almost looks like one it trying to covertly make a point that one has a document with legal weight that one can use to “prove” that LRH trusted one into taking care of his stuff…

    • craig houchin permalink
      June 8, 2010 7:00 pm

      Signs of Success,

      My name is: CRAIG H-O-U-C-H-I-N.

      Craig Housh is close — but no cigar. So no. I am not that fella.

    • Synthia permalink
      June 9, 2010 1:47 am

      SOS,

      Here is one line of the SP Times, Truth Rundown series where the church responds to the allegations of DM being abusive:

      “Yingling and chief church spokesman Tommy Davis acknowledged that violence became part of the management culture. ”

      http://www.tampabay.com/news/article1012138.ece

      Now, here are a few definitions of the word “culture”

      1. The totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought.

      2. These patterns, traits, and products considered as the expression of a particular period, class, community, or population: Edwardian culture; Japanese culture; the culture of poverty.

      3. These patterns, traits, and products considered with respect to a particular category, such as a field, subject, or mode of expression: religious culture in the Middle Ages; musical culture; oral culture.

      4. The predominating attitudes and behavior that characterize the functioning of a group or organization.

      Now, I’ll let you chooses which definition fits as they would all probably suffice for this argument’s sake. I am going to choose definition number 4.

      So, using definition number 4, the church spokesman and the churches lawyer both admitted that violence had become the predominating attitude and behavior that characterized the functioning of management of the church of Scientology. Let that roll around in your head for a while. Ask yourself how that could be.

      Do you really believe that Marty accomplished that tremendous feat single handedly? Really? And he was allowed to create an entire CULTURE of violence within the HIGHEST echelons of this “highly respected religion” without David Miscavige knowing or having anything to do with it at all?

      Why, if this madman Marty is gone, and has been for years, do reports continue to surface of abuse at the Int Base? Surely getting rid of Marty would have handled that, no?

      What about all of your many, many fellow Scientologists (your spiritual brothers and sisters) telling of their absolute horror stories of their time in the SO or RPF?

      Why do these people have to not only go through hell but they then have to scream through bullhorns outside of organizations STILL to have no one listen? Why does David Miscavige or those running the SO automatically rate over people who obviously have sincere, genuine stories to tell? Why are our fellow brethren to be ignored? What kind of religion is this? Are you heartless?

      When you have watched every video of the Truth Rundown Series (every one) and watched the videos in the series of “ex-Scientologists speak out” done in Feb of this year and then read at least one of the books by either Amy Scobee, Marc Headley or Nancy Many (the more the better) ONLY THEN will you have started to scratch the surface of this sordid mess.

      I am really not interested in entertaining your question, “What if DM is right?” First of all it is a totally general question and secondly, HE’S NOT, period, no matter how specific or general that question gets.

      Here’s why and I will not continue to go back and forth on these points. Here’s why:

      David Miscagive is the LEADER of a religion that has thousands of disgruntled members and hundreds of people who have stories of abuse, within the church, that would would make a hardened criminal bawl his eyes out and yet he says NOTHING. He DOES NOTHING.

      David Miscavige is very conspicuously missing from the scene. If the kind of accusations that are being wielded at him were being levied at me, and I was innocent, I would be on every TV show, newspaper, etc. handling those concerns with a caring heart and not an vicious attack mentality.

      I would also be listening to what my former staff members and parishoners were saying about their painful experiences and working to make sure that Scientology with its kindness and fairness and loving arms was giving succor to these people, ya know, like any other religion would do? Hello.

      I don’t want to hear about how DM was never allowed to speak or tell his story. That’s a LIE. If this man wanted a platform from which to speak he could get it in a heartbeat but ya know what? All the guy really needs to do is go down into his own organization and start healing it and start listening but instead he pushes his staff members to extract money from parishoners at every turn while ignoring HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES and handles complaints about HIS church by being a childish, petty, nasty, unprofessional, non-spiritual bully.

      Until you get more educated, it is a waste of breath to continue humoring you and your comments.

      Two questions (and let’s see if you can ACTUALLY answer them):

      What are you trying to accomplish, EXACTLY?

      If you are so happy with the church, why are you on this board at all?

      Awaiting your answer.

      Synthia

  41. SignsOfSuccess permalink
    June 8, 2010 8:16 pm

    Jeff. “…it appears to be current”? (referring to LRH quote).
    Probably you don’t know that DM has constantly been attacked
    since it became almost certain (1982-83) that he was the one who
    LRH was going to choose as the most trusted friend to lead the Church after
    his departure.
    Do you remember the constant personal “conflicts” between
    David Mayo and DM? (1981-82) How that ended?
    No it’s not Mark Rathbun ‘s version. (DM was behind Mayo’s fall)
    All you have to do is looking up this Executive Directive:
    SO ED 2344 INT 20 August 1983
    here is just an excerpt:

    “The actual situation is that you had a bird dog right in the middle
    of the control room: David Mayo. He was sabotaging execs by
    wrecking their cases. None of this was by accident or incompetence.
    Of all the crazy, cock-eyed sabotage I’ve ever seen, man, he was at it.
    He was not doing Dn and Scn. He was just calling it that and using
    the patter. His obvious intention was to wreck all cases of persons
    who could help others.” (LRH)

    Also an HCOB was written by LRH entitled ETHICS AND THE C/S,
    ( HCOB 13 Oct 82, C/S Series 116.) few months earlier of that ED.
    Mayo is actually the “C/S” described in the opening two pararaphs
    of this HCOB:

    “It has just been brought to my attention that over the last few
    years a C/S had been advising staffs that C/S approval was required
    before somebody could be handled in Ethics!”

    “(The real problem that he was solving was that he had an out ethics
    situation of his own going on, and didn’t want an Ethics Officer any
    where around. He has since been removed from post.)” (LRH)

    And yes, it was DM who removed Mayo from his post, but only on
    order by LRH!

    I don’t know, but it seems to me (and this is only my personal
    opinion) that LRH had some kind of a nose to see who has a flair
    to spot “squirrels”.

    I’m only expressing my opinions, I don’t have any intentions
    to offend someone here.
    I just feel that there is too much mis-information and lies about
    SCN Religion on the virtual world, that’s all.

    • Jeff permalink*
      June 8, 2010 9:23 pm

      SOS, you quote from Church websites as if they are factual and there is no argument about it. I worked for the Church of Scientology for 35 years. I know well, from being on the inside, how much exaggeration, fabrication and outright lies go on these sites. I have been in the meetings. I have seen it happen.

      Scientology can fool the ignorant. They can’t fool those of us who were there.

      No, LRH didn’t choose DM. He chose Pat and Annie Broeker. Or weren’t you there at the 1986 event? So soon we “forget.”

      You never said where you got that supposed “LRH” quote.

      You changed the subject. As usual.

    • lunamoth permalink
      June 8, 2010 9:28 pm

      Oh, SOS, you crack me up! You didn’t answer Jeff’s question but rather changed the subject to David Mayo and you think he’s not going to notice!! Hahahahaha

    • June 8, 2010 10:57 pm

      SoS,

      Is this LRH quote, something that was lost and now just found?

      If so, can you tell me were if was found? I am very curious about the state of the MEST were all this lost stuff was found. Was it behind an old desk, under a floor board, in a stack of papers left in a corner of a room? Can you give me some data where all this lost tech and this quote was found, really, I am interested. I have no visual were all this stuff was all these years.

    • craig houchin permalink
      June 8, 2010 11:54 pm

      Signs of Success,

      You really need to put down that pipe now. I don’t think that’s tobacco you’re smokin’.

  42. June 8, 2010 9:01 pm

    Re: mental manipulations

    You, hghly intelligent people, having no reactive mind, might (and will) disagree (and try to correct my statement).
    Aberrated me here will say the following:
    Hubbard set on you CHARMS. He put on you CHARMS.
    Scientology (not it’s theory but it’s being/existence) is a continual SPELL.

    To you, intelligent people who wouldn’t ever think it’s ever been possible be done to you: haven’ t you you been excited and enchanted (charmed)? By Danetics? by Self-Analysis? by the first book of LRH you read?
    If not, then why are you reading this blog?

    I’m talking here not about INTELLIGENT analysis of Scientology.
    I’m talking here about LRH who (having never admited being a Scientologist himself) insisted about his practices to be named “Scientology”.
    I’m talking about dark magick.
    You don’t believe it? – Well, i didn’t believe it, either. But now (having read some of Aleister Crowley) I see my prevous love to Scientology better.. like: “Why don’t I love Scientology as much as I should have?”

    It’s very much relevant to my post about love above.

  43. lunamoth permalink
    June 8, 2010 9:41 pm

    Jeff, I love your blogsite. I am grateful for your willingness to do all it takes to put it here, and to
    continually stimulate meaningful and productive dialogue. I’ve learned SO much, had so many
    great exchanges on this site. The issues, ideas and people I encounter here have helped me to evolve my viewpoints well beyond where I started, several months ago.

    I also want to say that I admire your patience and your willingness to engage viewpoints of all kinds. You give every person an opportunity, no matter how sketchy their first attempts at communication.

    Have you noticed a change in the quality of the traffic on this site, or the character or viewpoints of new people posting here over, say, the last couple of weeks?

  44. SignsOfSuccess permalink
    June 8, 2010 10:59 pm

    Jeff, with all my respect, the quotes I posted are not from
    Church websites which are more interested in PR.

    They are from actual EDs and courts affidavits.
    If your opinion is that LRH was fool enough to be scammed
    by DM, go head with it, I will respect your opinion anyway.

    But don’t say that Pat Broeker was LRH choice.
    Where you got that info from btw?
    So, were you there at the 1986 event? If so you should
    have witnessed Pat “nervousness” during his speech
    and DM questioning Pat behavior after the event.

    Anyway, I don;t want to make this a big deal here, even if
    I feel it IS a big deal.

    Sorry Jeff, but I can’t understand what you meant by:
    “Scientology can fool the ignorant. They can’t fool those of us
    who were there.”

    Ohh..Sorry Craig for my doubts of you being that guy,
    (the father of anonymous).
    I read some of your posts and no way you could be that hater.

    • Jeff permalink*
      June 9, 2010 1:00 am

      SOS, still no answer as to where you got that quote. Still waiting. A link to the document is what you should provide. We are all waiting…

      The video of the LRH “death” event is on line. Anyone can watch it and make up their own mind as to who LRH passed the torch to. (And this is an example of “providing a link.”)

      My point is this: there is a lot of revisionist history around. The Church is trying to revise history in one way, others try to revise it in another way. My point is, I was actually there. So anyone can revise history any way they want and try to convince me of one thing or another. But I was actually there. And so were a lot of other people.

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 9, 2010 1:17 am

        Yeah, I was there, too. It’s pretty obvious SOS wasn’t, right SOS? Because that was SUCH a stupid mistake to make. So either you’re 14 years old screwing around on the interntet, or you ‘re an OSAbot, or you’re just plain ignorant of the facts.

        Which is it?

    • June 9, 2010 12:17 pm

      SignsOfSuccess,
      please answer me to this question:
      What’s YOUR PURPOSE in lurking and posting on the blog named “Leaving Scientology”?

      the reason i’m asking is because your purpose is obviously at odds with Jeff and the majority of other posters…

      Excuse me being stupid but – what points have you been trying to make? Can you give it in simple terms?

      Thanks in advance for your answer.
      Vadim Dolgov

  45. Boyd H. permalink
    June 9, 2010 3:41 am

    I think what SOS is trying to imply covertly and indirectly, (which is OSA’s calling card on any websites attacking DM, instead of direct dead agenting and be done with it) is that stat analysis and eval tech and everything is out the window. The long list of high crimes and squirreling doesn’t matter, forget about it there’s something else much more significant. Burn the tech and OEC vols, f*** everything, something ELSE is much much more important to 20 plus years of mindblowing insanity:
    Assuming for arguments sake the quote is legit, this document gives DM carte blanche to destroy everything is what SOS is actually trying to get across here. Reams of policy saying remove an Exec with violence who violates XY and Z, and DM does XY and Z as his full time job, and none of that matters, because assuming this quotes is true this quote trumps all of that.
    The argument must be dragged into the foggy area of “I think LRH liked DM like a brother but that’s just my opinion blah blah blah”. If LRH made out with DM everyday it doesn’t have anything to do with the downstats. The argument must be dragged into “are you then saying LRH didn’t know how to choose his personell”? and other foggy zones where you “feel” a certain way about things and nothing is certain. It’s all so totally out there. I talked to an OSA person one time about details and got back “I ‘feel’ that LRH trusted bla blah blah” – chk, boom!
    Look at the stats on your computer SOS. Who’s the squirrel and who’s screaming because who’s winning?

    • Its me again permalink
      June 9, 2010 4:38 am

      Oh my Boyd H., who ever you are.

      I guess that says it all. Good for you.

  46. craig houchin permalink
    June 9, 2010 6:07 am

    To all participants,

    Let’s get this conversation back to where this thread was last doing well, to where we were enjoying a good discussion about our personal involvement with Scn, and examining Jeff’s thesis of mental-manipulation as it related to our own personal experiences.

    I’m afraid we’ve allowed an interloper to hi-jack our comm cycle. Oops. Score one for him/her/it/them.

    But we can stop doing that now and find our way back to the path that WE want to take. Let’s let the GAT students spend their time talking to brick walls. We don’t have to.

    • Synthia permalink
      June 9, 2010 12:46 pm

      Craig,

      Well said. I have to admit that it was a bit cathartic to let him/her/it/them have it but…..where were we last doing well? 🙂

      As far as handling trolls goes, I think we all did pretty well. On the OSA game board he really received no points for disrupting civility. This is an amazing group here (if I do say so myself!)

      Let’s carry on, like you said.

    • Its me again permalink
      June 9, 2010 2:44 pm

      Oh, come on Craig,

      This is fun. I come here for adventure and I am never disappointed. Us Italian’s really do keep our friends close and our enemies closer, how would you ever win unless you knew what is going on in the minds of those who want to do you in?

      Me

  47. June 9, 2010 12:45 pm

    @ Jeff,
    please do me a favor and let this post stay at the top of your blog for some time. Once you post someting new people will tend to shift to that new thing.
    I consider “Mental Manipulation” subject to be the most important one of all re: Leavng Scientology.
    Please, let it be “brewed” (in the heads) for some more time… I, for one, keep evolving here (as my thought patterns concern). And I believe that it’s not just me… I feel people’s minds working with this idea… and getting to their new and evolved conclusions…. And it’s amazing!

  48. SignsOfSuccess permalink
    June 9, 2010 3:49 pm

    Aside the SO ED I mentioned, here it’s a link that you
    were waiting for:
    http://tinyurl.com/2wt7dc5

    “…In 1983, Mr. Hubbard’s estranged son, Ron DeWolf,
    challenged the entire handling of Mr. Hubbard’s estate and assets
    by bringing a frivolous probate action in Riverside county,
    California.

    20. Mr. Hubbard was in seclusion at that time, involved
    principally in research and writing. I advised Mr. Hubbard of
    the allegations that were being made about him and his estate and
    he disposed of this matter by providing two documents:

    A. a handwritten letter to the presiding judge in
    which he affirmed that he was in voluntary seclusion in
    order to work on his projects, was in full control over his
    legal and financial affairs, and that his estate was being
    very competently managed, followed by

    B. a sworn declaration which repeated and amplified
    this same information and also responded to allegations I
    advised him had been made about those who were handling his
    affairs, including David Miscavige, assuring the Court that

    8

    any activities by Mr. Miscavige “at any time concerned [Mr.
    Hubbard’s] personal or business affairs have been done with
    [his] knowledge and authorization and for [his] benefit.”
    [Ex. B, Bowman Dec. and Exhibits 3 and 4 thereto)

    21. The authenticity of Mr. Hubbard’s declaration and
    handwritten letter was demonstrated to the full satisfaction of
    the Court and the general public:

    A. The handwritten letter and the declaration bore a
    unique specially-prepared, time-dated ink that was
    formulated, and later confirmed, by BATF Forensic Chemist
    Richard L. Brunelle;

    B. Both the handwritten letter and the Declaration bore
    Mr. Hubbard’s fingerprints on every page and these were
    positively identified by Los Angeles police Department
    fingerprint expert as belonging to L. Ron Hubbard; and

    C. The handwriting and signatures on both the
    handwritten letter and the declaration were confirmed by
    William Bowman, the top Forensic Document Examiner for the
    Los Angeles Police Department, as being, without question,
    that of L. Ron Hubbard.
    (ex. B, Bowman Dec.)….”

    Anyway Jeff, don’t follow anonymous “axiom” that states:
    “if is not on the Internet, it’s not true”.
    It’s a false axiom.

    I hope that we can go back to the main subject of this thread, now.
    Sorry if I derail it a bit.

    • Jeff permalink*
      June 9, 2010 5:10 pm

      Thanks for providing the link, SOS. I have seen this website.

      The document quotes Hubbard in 1983 saying that he felt that his legal affairs were being competently handled at that time. To present that quote as if it is a blanket approval of Miscavige’s actions until the end of time, no matter what he does, is a stretch. A big one.

      No one is saying that something has to be on the internet to be true. But it has to exist somewhere and the internet is a good place to start.

    • Its me again permalink
      June 9, 2010 5:22 pm

      http://sc-i-r-s-ology.com/contents/howirsruns.html

      Thanks SOS, I also found this on the site you gave. Do you know anything about it? Does the IRS control the Church from above? Any Data?

  49. Glinda permalink
    June 9, 2010 4:07 pm

    I agree with all the above views on this subject. However, I’ve come to a personal conclusion that there is an underlying foundation of the how’s and why’s listed above. It’s called Personal Integrity.

    It might be a “mistake” to go on a date with some obnoxious jerk, but to go ahead and marry same is a lack of Personal Integrity. Maybe it was a trade off for financial security, or some other prize. It is only afterward that manipulation can occur because you paid the price of admission.

    It might be a “mistake” to balance your checkbook incorrectly, but to go into gross debt is a lack of Personal Integrity. Again, there was something you wanted, wasn’t there? Now you can be manipulated by financial institutions as well as others, because you paid the price of admission.

    It might be a “mistake” to forget a family member’s or friend’s birthday, but to forget they Are your family or friend takes a lack of Personal Integrity. Maybe the tradeoff was, for example, rising to the top rung of a corporate ladder. You now can be manipulated by bosses or shareholders or competitors, because you paid the price of admission.

    It might be a “mistake” to start on that first scientology course, but to not leave after reading the first policy “KSW” is a lack of Personal Integrity (show me one person who didn’t think to do just that on first read). Your first trade off of integrity for whatever it was you wanted at that time starts right there.

    This is why I’ve believed for some time now that the only True scientologist is an Ex scientologist. Personal Integrity: Priceless.

    • lunamoth permalink
      June 9, 2010 5:57 pm

      Glinda

      Good point. I cannot dispute there is a lot of truth to this.

      Love the WOOZ reference. : )

  50. lunamoth permalink
    June 9, 2010 4:30 pm

    …and Marie Jo brought up a very interesting point, right before some minor distraction occurred, about scientology wanting to own the able (as opposed to scientology wanting to make the able more able).

    Perhaps they should adopt as their slogan “Scientology: making the able more able to make us rich.”

  51. Its me again permalink
    June 9, 2010 5:32 pm

    CoS,

    http://sc-i-r-s-ology.com/contents/irsagents.html

    Oh wait, it gets better. If you go to the home page of the article you gave us, you will find some interesting reading on these topics:

    How the IRS runs Scientology

    CST & IRS: Copyright Terrorist

    IRS agents in the Church

    The Scientology Copyright

    Empire and the IRS

    Why the government took out the Guardian Office

    Thanks for the article, it turned into some interesting reading.

  52. Its me again permalink
    June 9, 2010 5:54 pm

    http://sc-i-r-s-ology.com/contents/copyrightempire.html

    Well, if this is actually true, I guess I am going to have to re-think my idea of putting the Church back together….It’s doomed.

    Again, thanks SoS for the link to this site.

  53. June 9, 2010 6:41 pm

    So
    where is an answer to this question: Mental Manipulation?
    Did I miss that?

    • craig houchin permalink
      June 9, 2010 7:30 pm

      VaD,

      Speaking only for myself, my short answer is: yes mental manipulation was/is going on. Perhaps not always as an intentional and knowingly harmful act but more as a culturally inculcated behavior that everyone inside passed around like a mental virus.

      I think Glinda’s note about Personal Integrity is also quite accurate.

  54. SignsOfSuccess permalink
    June 9, 2010 8:26 pm

    Mental manipulation in my point of view doesn’t work
    if physical force and drugs or narco-hypnosi are not used.

    However it works well when an individual withdraw from his
    responsibility toward his several dynamics, which means he
    lose more and more the ability to exert his influence on those,
    thus becoming more and more victim of them.
    Therefore, it seems that “someone’ or “something” else is
    controlling him, when in fact he and only he is doing that
    to himself. He is losing his control on his life.
    You see? Someone MUST have done to the other dynamics
    things that now other dynamics seem doing to him.

    So that what “mind manipulation” is boiling down to.
    As you should know very well, good self-determined and
    responsible people are almost impossible to hypnotize
    or control, such are clear and pre-OTs, so if they somehow
    feel being manipulated , they should look at themselves
    first, asking what they have done to lose their mental
    control of themselves.

    I think that my point is much deeper and a better explanation
    of what mental manipulation is actually is.
    Well, that it’s just my personal opinion.

    @it’s me again.
    Yes, very interesting,. it looks like those intriguing cospiracy
    books, isn’t?
    it’ is also very complicate to sort out what really happened
    in those years. many data and contradictions.
    I spent many years to look into that mess.
    Finally I found my answer and I was almost shocked
    how simple it actually was.

    • It's me again permalink
      June 9, 2010 9:20 pm

      SoS,

      Clears and OT’s can be fooled. If an OT couldn’t be fooled, then what are we all doing here on planet earth, using a body and writing to each other on a machine right now? Even Ron said he was fooled and he didn’t like being fooled.

      All you have to do is fool someone by changing the game he agreed to play, lie about why it had to change and then get the person to agree not to play or look at any other games. How is this all done? Well, you know how it is done. It is a very old trick.

      And by the way, I do believe in Black Helicopters. I am still reading the link you gave, it makes perfect sense to me.

    • Synthia permalink
      June 9, 2010 10:24 pm

      SOS,

      “Now, when you have to explain all of your motives to somebody, you realize that you really shouldn’t bother. Because if your motives are not visible to them when you don’t intend to hide your motives, then an explanation of your motives are not very likely to do very much to them, because their level of awareness of you already doesn’t exist. Do you see?

      “It almost comes down to it that he – a thetan could make a hard and fast rule, only he never should make hard and fast rules – but it’s a good one to observe, is never explain. Be as obvious as you please and be as plain as you please and as straightforward as you can be. And if the ordinary evidences which lie around then don’t justify your actions and so forth, there’s no sense in explaining it to the person who is challenging them, for the good reason that he wouldn’t be able to understand them anyway.”

      – L. Ron Hubbard
      Excerpted from the lecture Scientology Definitions II delivered on 6 December 1966.

      TR3:

      Two questions (and let’s see if you can ACTUALLY answer them):

      What are you trying to accomplish here, EXACTLY?

      If you are so happy with the church, why are you on this board at all?

      Awaiting your answer.

      Synthia

  55. Jeff permalink*
    June 9, 2010 8:58 pm

    SOS: You said: “Mental manipulation in my point of view doesn’t work
    if physical force and drugs or narco-hypnosis are not used.”

    What studies, if any, do you base this on?

    Are you familiar with the Milgram experiment (which has been duplicated many times with similar results)?

    Are you familiar with the Stanford Prison Experiment?

    Are you familiar with Lifton’s extensive study of Chinese thought reform techniques?

    Have you read anything on the subject other than Hubbard? What information, exactly, do you base this opinion on?

    You have every right to your opinion, whether it is an informed opinion or not. I’d be interested to know if it is an informed opinion, and, if so, what informed it.

  56. Its me again permalink
    June 10, 2010 12:21 am

    SoS,

    http://sc-i-r-s-ology.com/documents/1993-10-01closingagrmt.html#confidential

    Since you are throwing around “legal” paper on the site you linked to us, can you explain this confidential agreement between the IRS and the CoS titled:

    Department of Treasury-Internal Revenue Service
    Closing Agreement on Final Determination Covering Matter

    This whole site you referred us to is nothing but the Legal Mental Manipulation of Scientology and Scientologist by the cover-ups and lies told at the conception of a take over and the lies that followed. No wonder why DM went psychotic and the exec’s involved are never going to be allowed to leave (and why they don’t leave). What an overt that was committed!

    And don’t try to give me it’s only a conspiracy theory. I had an idea that something like this happened along these lines when I first started researching a couple months ago, but couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for until you put it in my hands.

    • June 10, 2010 3:44 pm

      Its me again: “And don’t try to give me it’s only a conspiracy theory.”

      The thing is, yes, this appears to be a conspiracy theory.

      Larry Brennan worked toward the restructuring of corporate Scientology, and he never mentioned anything that support the theory put forth by sc-i-r-s-ology.com. See Larry Brennan’s e-book concerning Scientology, Inc.: http://larrybren.blogspot.com/2009/11/my-first-ebook.html

      The site is very well done, and the document transcriptions seem to be reliable (most can be cross-examined from other sources), and a number of people have wondered who is behind it for years now. Some think it is purposefully designed to mislead people on a conspiracy theory tangent, which would conveniently cause them to dismiss that David Miscavige is really at the helm of Scientology, Inc. I don’t know.

      But by all accounts, past and recent, David Miscavige is at the helm of Scientology, Inc., and accountable for his wrongdoings, and that of the organizations he runs.

      • Its me again permalink
        June 11, 2010 2:40 am

        R. Hill,

        I agree that DM is the COB and is responsible for any and all wrong doings to the staff and members of the church and should be held accountable and brought to justice. But I am a business person. I also am deeply involved in watching the governments of the world in this critical changing time we are now living in.

        When the new structure of the church was set up, it looks to me like it was made to keep certain people in power without any legal recourse and any abuse of on the finance lines could be hidden (or done legally) so that some could get very rich.

        Everything is very well hidden and is really a covert operation now. This much is obvious.

        From my memory of Ron talking about the government and what was going on back then, I am not going to discount the fact that there is government involvement. After I heard about the event when DM said “we won”, I found it very strange that he could just walk into the IRS and because of his great abilities, get the IRS to do what he wanted. I wasn’t the only one who had these thoughts. The idea that he blackmail one IRS agent, doesn’t make sense either, this is not how the IRS operates.

        It would be no surprise to me if there is government involvement in the church. It would take a pretty big outside organization that looks into government illegal activities to ever really find out anything.

        There is something going on and one would have to take into account that information is put out there to throw people off the trail. All one can do is look at all the data and then put all the pieces together and see what one makes the most sense. Some of the opinions out there just don’t fit all the circumstances. But then you would also have to take into account if those circumstances are true. What a mess!

        I will look at the site you gave me.

        Being pan determined on this is very interesting. I find the set-up of the church an ingenious idea.

        Thanks

  57. SignsOfSuccess permalink
    June 10, 2010 4:19 pm

    I will try to answer to all of you guys gradually.

    Yes Jeff, I read about Milgram experiment on
    obedience to authority several years ago and I found it
    interesting but the outcome didn’t surprise me that much.
    I believe that if that experiment would be done again with
    Scientologists the outcome would be very different, don’t
    you think so? That should really be an interesting outcome
    to psychologists indeed.
    Regarding your point about “informed opinions”, well I
    consider Mr. Hubbard’s work to be senior to every work and
    research done in the field of human psychology.
    And I’m going to use Milgram experiment to show it.

    First of all let us remember that we are talking about mental
    manipulation or mental control which is a different concept
    than “being sometime fooled” and the concept of obedience.
    On the link that you provided about the experiment, it says:
    “At this point, many people indicated their desire to stop the
    experiment and check on the learner. Some test subjects paused
    at 135 volts and began to question the purpose of the experiment.
    MOST continued after being assured that they would not be held
    RESPONSIBLE” ( emphasis in caps it’s mine).
    “Professor Milgram elaborated two theories explaining his results:
    The first is the theory of conformism, describing the fundamental
    relationship between the group of reference and the individual
    person. A subject who has neither ability nor expertise to make
    decisions, especially in a crisis, will leave the RESPONSIBILITY
    of decision making to the group and its hierarchy.
    The second is the agentic state theory, wherein, per Milgram, the
    essence of obedience consists in the fact that a person comes to
    view himself as the instrument for carrying out another person’s
    wishes, and he therefore no longer sees himself as RESPONSIBLE
    for his actions. Once this critical shift of viewpoint has occurred in
    the person, all of the essential features of obedience follow”

    Again as I already said on one of my previous post, the key word here
    is still responsibility, even if we are talking about the subject of
    obedience and not about the subject of mental control;
    the main difference between those two concepts is the person awareness.
    (in obedience the person is aware to obey, in mind control, he is not)

    Psychology is not one of my strongest point (I’m more into
    nuclear physics) but I don’t need it when I can use a more vast and exact
    “science” such as SCN and DNS in explaining human behavior.

    To mix SCN with Psychology is also a mistake and I hope that nobody
    is going to audit a person with such mentality.

    @Synthia
    What I’m doing here?
    Well, since SCN is the basic common denominator of this blog and I’m
    interested in it, I don’t see why I should not posting my opinions if I’m
    allowed to do so.
    I saw that even people who “hate” (please note the double brackets)
    SCN and LRH are allowed to exchange their opinions in here, so I thought
    I might bring some contribution with my own’s.
    SoS

    • Its me again permalink
      June 11, 2010 4:09 am

      Being fooled is a form of mental manipulation or control.

      A parent tell a child to come in the house because it is dark outside. The child says no. The parent says, in a panic voice, there is someone in the brush behind you, hurry run inside. The child runs in. The parent lied and fooled the child. ( mental manipulation.)

      An SO members runs away and hides. The SO member is found. Her sister is brought to see her. She is told that she never should of been treated the way she was and if she comes back she will see her sister and be with her husband again….everything is going to be so much better when she returns.
      She comes back and never sees her sister, is put back in the same conditions she was in before she left and her husband divorces her.
      She was fooled, tricked and lied to to change her viewpoint (or mental manipulation)

      Lies, threats, physical abuse, inval, eval, degrading all can be used to change a person’s viewpoint. Scientologist or not.

      Everyone is different. What effects you may not effect another in the same way. This is why blanket C/Sing doesn’t work.

      I gave you this ref in another comment. PAB 93 24 July 1956. A CRITIQUE OF PSYCHOANALYSIS.

      Here is a paragraph under INVALIDATION

      “The greatest invalidation, of course, is to be struck when one does not expect to be struck, to be criticized when one does not think he merits criticism. Essentially it is the act of telling a person that although he thinks he should be there, he is really not supposed to be there and the use of thoughts or force in order to accomplish his not-thereness. Reversely, it is also making a person sorry for his absence. In essence it is saying that a person has no validity, therefore that a person’s thoughts and postulates have no validity.”

      Me

  58. Its me again permalink
    June 10, 2010 4:26 pm

    Hi Jeff,

    I watched the video you provided on “A Discussion”. It was interesting.

    This is what I come up with. Any group could be considered a cult to any other group with different ideas. Example. Iran could consider the USA a cult. USA could consider North Korea a cult. In the USA, one group of people believing in the Constitution and others who believe the Constitution is a living document breathing document each could consider one another a cult.

    The idea of mental manipulation, could be done in each one of these groups by advertising, bias news reporters, PR, peoples church leaders, agenda’s in schools, and in some areas of the world threats, prison or death. Mental manipulation is always done to change a person’s viewpoint. Luckily for some, they are being manipulated in an environment that has human rights and free speech. So all one has to do is look at the other sides propaganda, decide they like that idea better and change their viewpoint and join the other side.

    All countries, governments and groups on the 3rd and 4th dynamics, no matter how good their basic laws and intentions are will always, at one time or another have people who, in human error or for evil, do covert and unspeakable crimes. This is done “for survival of the group” or “for personal power”. When this happens, mental manipulation of the group is used to get agreement on the insanity being done. Every war that is started as to have some type of mental manipulation to get the agreement of most the people to fight.

    We are all affect by this on this planet every day, in one way or another e whether we see it or not. It is the individuals who are the free thinkers who will try to step “out” and look “in” at what is happening without bias. They will honestly look at all viewpoints and come up with a solution. Some only for themselves and once in a while for humanity.

    Mental manipulation, no matter how it is done, is only to change a person’s viewpoint. That is really all you can do to a person, no matter what the technique is used.

    This is not to say that there is no right or wrong in a personal viewpoint and that all viewpoints are based on mental manipulation. There are personal viewpoints based on one’s experience and considerations that do not fall under this topic.

  59. SignsOfSuccess permalink
    June 10, 2010 4:39 pm

    IT’S ME AGAIN,
    I’m not throwing around “legal” paper here,
    I was asked to post a link that could show where LRH claim:

    “”Since there apparently have been specific allegations of
    wrongdoing by David Miscavige,
    I wish to take this opportunity to communicate my unequivocal
    confidence in David Miscavige, who is a long time devoted
    Scientologist, a trusted associate, and a good friend to me.
    Any activities which he may have engaged in AT ANY TIME
    concerning my personal or business affairs have been done with
    my knowledge and authorization and for my benefit. –LRH””

    could be found.

    I will express my opinion to you about the allegations on CoS
    being controlled by US government later.

    • Its me again permalink
      June 11, 2010 3:05 am

      “I am not throwing around legal paper here”

      Ok, fair enough, I stand corrected.

      Regarding you expressing your opinions to me later…

      If it is an opinion, ok. If you have facts, please provide a link.

      Thanks

    • Jeff permalink*
      June 11, 2010 5:23 pm

      SOS, actually, you provided a link to a different quote, but that’s OK, I located where this quote is posted – on one of OSA’s anti-Marty sites. I understand your reluctance to directly link to OSA propaganda sites. That might be a little too…obvious.

      • SignsOfSuccess permalink
        June 11, 2010 7:31 pm

        The full quote I provided is in the same court paper that the link
        I posted refers to.
        I’m not OSA btw.

  60. glh permalink
    June 10, 2010 8:35 pm

    Could we go back to one of the first “stimulus response responsible for people leaving church” could it be the opposite people are staying because of “stimulus response”? Just asking.
    Also, it amazes me after almost 30 years that the church is terrified of David Mayo – Is it because LRH assigned him the tech hat till he returned or is it the horrible horrible abuse that was perpetrated on David and Julie Mayo by Miscavvage, Rinder et al. I am sure their must be some logical Truthful reason. You know, just asking .

  61. It's me again permalink
    June 11, 2010 4:20 am

    If David Mayo was doing what the church reports he did, how is it that he was able to fool LRH. For that matter, how is it that a large number of the founding staff at Saint Hill have been declared suppressive yet LRH didn’t spot them as suppressive? If you look at Andre Ethiers site you will see a large number of people including the first Class XII auditors who were personally trained by LRH have been declared. There are only a few possible reasons for this.

    1) LRH was blind and didn’t apply his own tech to himself regarding the spotting of an S.P.

    2) The real S.P. was not known well enough by LRH to be spotted and was able to forward his agenda in LRHs absence.

    The idea that LRH could be duped by so many is an unreasonable conclusion. The possiblity of being fooled once by someone not directly connected to him personally other than to occasionally stand watch while in CMO is more plausible.

    You see what I’m saying SOS? You claim LRH was fooled by Mayo but find it impossible to consider he was fooled by Miscavage. He knew Mayo alot better than he knew Miscavage.

    In my estimation since the early eighties, mental manipulation has been prevalant in the church particularly in the ranks of staff and progressively more so as one moves up the Scientology Organization Board culminating with Int Base. As time goes by and more and more old timers leave or forget what things used to be like the manipulation becomes easier and easier to get away with.

    It was pointed out to me recently that 10 or 15 years ago, I would have never put up with an auditor staring at a meter waiting for a 3 swing F/N while his out TR proceded to kill the F/N. Nor would I have stood for a 12 to 18 hour sec Check every 6 months so I could then spend 15 minutes with the MAA handling my “out-ethics”. Rediculous! This could only have come about by manipulation – the main one being the fear of losing the Bridge. However I do have my own responsibilty in the matter in that I let it happen and didn’t stand up for what I knew to be standard tech. Not until I realized I wasn’t actually doing the real Bridge did I no longer care if I lost the one that was being sold by CofS

    • June 11, 2010 6:30 pm

      it’s me again:: “There are only a few possible reasons for this. …”

      Here is another possibility: “Suppressive” is an arbitrary concept which purpose is to control people in Scientology. If you accept that, it helps explain a lot.

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 11, 2010 6:57 pm

        R.HIll

        The conversation you’ver joined was ABOUT suppressives. Your snide comment and attempt to thus control It’s Me Again’s communication can only be intended as a rude attempt at nullification.

        Earlier in this thread I offered you an olive branch, at which time you stopped communicating to me . Now you’re on the attack here. Perhaps I was too quick to
        grant you your viewpoint. It really looks like your “AGENDA’ is to enturbulate
        and disrupt what was, at one point, a very productive discussion among people who
        can get along with each other.

        Direct Question: Is that the case?

      • June 11, 2010 7:53 pm

        R.Hill,
        I have to agree with Luna…
        I myself found here to be quite offensive with my straightforward statements to those who are still working to get their wits together.
        As for me, I don’t mind to be named ” Suppressive Person” but for others it might be just too much… or agree with this part of being controlled…

        We have to realize that there are STAGES of getting over it… and what’s obvious to you might not be ridiculous to me… and might be a complete nonsense to someone else who spent his whole life doing Scientology…

        Some respect here will bring things straight.
        Eventually, we will all win (like Scientology promised 😉 )

        Patience and tolerance give better results (from my own negative experiences).

      • June 11, 2010 9:01 pm

        lunamoth: It’s not a “snide comment,” I really wish he/she will consider the merit of my comment. The purpose of Scientology’s concept of “suppressive” is to label outside critics as malignant regardless of the validity of their criticism, and to label whatever insiders who doesn’t go all along with its superiors (at whatever level), who doesn’t produce enough, who doubt Hubbard’s doctrines/policies, etc.

        It’s a purely self-serving Scientology concept, as seen in Hubbard’s “Suppressive Acts,” and at the root of many other doctrines/policies, such as, “fair game,” “disconnection,” “PTS,” “security check,” etc.

        My agenda is not to “enturbulate,” but to provide other point of views outside of LRH’s box. If this is seen as LRH’s “enturbulation,” this really isn’t my problem. To “enturbulate” is yet another self-serving, subjective concept: if something someone said make one feel bad, than whatever someone said is bad = fallacy.

        I would rather have the “enturbulated” individual pause, analyze his emotions and explains clearly why something is perceived as “enturlubating.”

  62. June 11, 2010 8:24 pm

    Jeff,
    We had a good example here of an individual who can’t make up his mind.
    “SignsofSuccess” obviously was given much of “true data” by OSA or else. I don’t know if he is/was/has been an “OSAbot” (in fact, I’ve never met OSAbots so I can’t tell his/her attributes/properties).
    But he tried to inject some data he was given to display his superior knowledge of “everything about Scientology” (having NO idea how much WE have lurked before posting anything).
    This fella might return.
    So far, it seems t me, his/her head is overfilled with contradictory data. Some data from us here (and there), some from OSA (which is desperate these days to create “ANY” effect).
    A person is confused.

    SignsofSuccess, we are not combatting you. We just like sincerity. We speak here what we think. We ARE different from one another (I, for one, haven’t met anyone on this blog for sure since I’m in Moscow, Russia and they are in US or Germany or elsewhere).

    Please, DO make up your mind! (whichever way you go, it wil help).

    Jeff, you did a great job of handling. I appreciate it, having seen your responses throughout. It DOES take a nerve – to post and then respond in a calm and intelligent way. (to me 😉 )

    P.S. Jeff, may be you write to “SignsofSuccess”‘s email? You have it… So may be he/she is waiting for you personal comm…. And then (maybe) you will share with us who was that being… if it’s an OSAbot. Well, just a dream (just want to see OSAbot IRL – In Real Life).

  63. lunamoth permalink
    June 11, 2010 9:31 pm

    R. Hill

    I simply refer you back to your comment regarding her use of the word “suppressive.” Your comm speaks for itself. I stand by my observation.

  64. lunamoth permalink
    June 11, 2010 9:32 pm

    Has anyone on this blog ever heard Hassan speak, or perhaps read any of his books?

    • It's me again permalink
      June 12, 2010 4:35 am

      No. Are you talking about the guy in the video Jeff just provided? Why do you ask (smile)?

  65. It's me again permalink
    June 11, 2010 11:30 pm

    Thanks for the back up guys but I took no offense at the comment from R.Hill nor was I enturbulated.

    You could consider “Suppressive” an arbitrary concept. However, it is a real concept, arbitrary or not. The opposite side of any game player could be considered suppressive to that player. Each side is suppressive to the other. This is true of any activity that has opterms (opposing terminals). The Scientology definition applies a general definition to its own specific game. That is all. I am sure psychiatrists feel Scientologists are suppressive, and to psychiatrists, they are.

    The misuse, misapplication and incorrect labeling of a “suppressive” however is a different matter that has nothing to do with the concept or definition of suppressive.

    This is a tangent however which I consider to be a closed matter.

    I would like to have a response from SOS regarding the actual point of the post and this thread.

    • lunamoth permalink
      June 11, 2010 11:59 pm

      It’s Me Again

      You know, thinking about what you said, I’d say that opponents, and opposing terminals, aren’t necessarily the same thing as suppressives.

      In a game, if both players know they’re playing a game, they can be in opposition to each other without necessarily suppressing each other. In order to continue to have a game, each will
      take care, to some extent, to not completely destroy their opponent. And while each will try to win, it is acceptable (though not necessarily preferable) to each that the other might win, as well. The POSSIBILITY of the opponent winning is a part of the game; if a win is assured to one side with NO possibility of a loss, then it is not much of a game.

      Suppression, however, is psychotic in that it seeks survival for one side AT ALL COSTS. The ideal scene for a truly suppressive person would be ONLY SELF MAY WIN, with no possibility of win for anyone else.

      • June 12, 2010 12:34 pm

        lunamoth: … Suppression, however, is psychotic in that it seeks survival for one side AT ALL COSTS …

        L. Ron Hubbard defined it otherwise. To Hubbard, “Suppressive Acts are clearly those covert or overt acts knowingly calculated to reduce or destroy the influence or activities of Scientology or prevent case gains or continued Scientology success and activity on the part of a Scientologist.”

        The only side Hubbard mentions is “Scientology,” and the only outcome of this core doctrine is the promotion intolerance, because it grants carte blanche to any Scientologist to vilify those who are critical of Scientology.

        A family member is genuinely concerned about a loved one who is being sold Scientology in a deceitful manner—let say an ad stating that Hubbard was a “CE, PhD, a nuclear physicist” and that Scientology is the “first science to contain exact technology to routinely alleviate
        physical illnesses with completely predictable success”—than this genuinely concerned family member is labeled as a “suppressive person” as per Hubbard doctrine (“PTS”, disconnection, etc., ensue.)

        If Hubbard hadn’t created that single one doctrine, which further “rationalized” Hubbard’s “PTS,” disconnection, security check, fair game, etc., intolerance to criticism, by attributing “squalid and disgraceful motives to all who oppose it” (quoting Kenneth Robinson), Scientology historical track record would have arguably been very different than what it is now.

        I maintain that the “suppressive person” doctrine is a mean of control (the topic of this blog post,) this was true decades ago, and this is still true, and this is exactly how the Church of Scientology has been able to control its good standing members and staff: Clearly it works handsomely as a mean of control, but it doesn’t work as a tool to make sense of human relations/interactions.

        My suggestion would be to flush this doctrine down the drain, for good.

        Real life account of the “SP” doctrine at work:
        http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=rLz3IUBKhRo

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 12, 2010 5:36 pm

        R.Hill

        I agree with much of what you said.

        The word “suppressive” has come to mean a number of ridiculous things. It’s criminal the way that word is applied in many instances. But the word does have a valid, useful meaning in it’s use to describe the psychotic drive to destroy across the dynamics in order to “survive” that can be seen in people who compulsively attempt to harm or hold down all those around them for their own perceived benefit.

        Using that definition it’s pretty clear that the c of s is currently quite suppressive, and those who it labels such are not.

        Any doctrine (I would call it dogma) that attempts to destroy individuals, lives, families is pretty insane.

        Are we in agreement here?

  66. SignsOfSuccess permalink
    June 12, 2010 4:02 pm

    Well, since Jeff is censuring me (he didn’t approve my comment
    twice) even if I consider that my posts do promote critical
    thinking, I came to the conclusion that he doesn’t approve
    my presence here.
    I hope he is approving at least this comment so as to salute
    you guys.” By, by”
    SoS

    • Jeff permalink*
      June 12, 2010 5:01 pm

      SOS, you are always welcome to express your opinion. You are not welcome to mock, make fun of, denigrate or make less of any poster on this blog. I will always censor personal ad hominem attacks. You may have thought your last two posts (the same post submitted twice) was oh-so funny. I didn’t. Bottom line: it’s my blog. I am under no obligation to provide a forum for assholes. Bye bye – you will not be missed.

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 12, 2010 5:27 pm

        Thanks, Jeff.

        (So SOS did end up being “censured,” as well as “censored. ” )

        LOL

        lunamoth

        one more thing… my gardening experience tells me that if you don’t get most of the roots when pulling out an unwanted plant, it can back nearby. It doesn’t always look like the same plant, either, when it first comes back. Just sayin’

      • Synthia permalink
        June 12, 2010 7:20 pm

        Thank you Jeff. Good riddance to the great non-sensical.

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 12, 2010 8:45 pm

        correction: that unwanted plant can COME back. COME back. As in, return.

        sheeesh. I need to start proofreading this stuff before I hit “submit.”

  67. It's me again permalink
    June 12, 2010 4:40 pm

    Your are right Lumamoth. Your last paragraph is actual suppression.

    The example given to R. Hill was to show suppressive tendencies that “could” arise in a game, known or unknown, to the players. Those tendencies are all subjective, psychiatrists would consider Scientology a group that is trying to destroy them. Scientology would consider this site a site trying to destroy them. So the concept is a valid concept, whether you want to use the Scientology word Suppression or not.

    Remember, we are talking about tendencies above.

    The actual definition you pointed out above, is a valid concept. A dictator who uses his peoples production for his own personal wealth, let’s there be no exchange causing them to live in poverty, only educates them in his propaganda and enforces laws with penalty of prison or death for speaking out or going against him, is a psychotic and ONLY SELF MAY WIN. My example of a game was only to make a point. The concept of suppression is not limited to Scientology and is not a Scientology “arbitrary concept” as R.Hill was trying to say.

    Once again, your observation is on point.

    Thank you!

  68. Its me again permalink
    June 12, 2010 7:40 pm

    R. Hill,

    Regarding your post:

    “Suppressive Acts are clearly those covert or overt Acts knowingly calculated to reduce or destroy the influence or activities of Scientology or prevent case gains or continue Scientology success and activity on the part of the Scientololgist.”

    Yes, that is true. That is why so many, who agree in suppressive acts, left the Church (disconnected). It is committing Suppressive Acts.

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