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A Discussion

June 8, 2010

Here’s a fascinating discussion between Larry Brennan, former WDC member of the Church of Scientology, Nancy Many, author of My Billion Year Contract, and Steve Hassan, author of Combatting Cult Mind Control. It’s a little over an hour and well worth the time. Provocative, and touches on a lot of the things we’ve been discussing.

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81 Comments
  1. June 9, 2010 3:24 am

    I cross-posted this to the Ex Scientologist Message Board:
    Larry Brennan, Nancy Many and Steve Hassan Video Discussion

    I also cross-posted this to Why We Protest, the home of Anonymous on the web:
    Larry Brennan, Nancy Many and Steve Hassan Video Discussion

    /

  2. gargy permalink
    June 9, 2010 5:35 am

    Thanks, Jeff. I’ll finish watching it tomorrow.

  3. Fidelio permalink
    June 9, 2010 8:15 am

    Jeff,

    AWESOME. COOL. Very Helpful. Very instructive. Very educational. Very enlightening. And very much à propos to our last discussion. Didn’t know about the Unification Church, the Moonies and their minds being “set up” by similar mechanics. Thanks again.
    My very best Fidelio.

  4. Another Layer permalink
    June 9, 2010 6:45 pm

    Hi Jeff,

    In my experience with the CoS, it’s been anathema to interact on any level other than dismissive fear and anger with a “psych,” let alone having an informed, intelligent discussion. So, this video is incredibly refreshing! I’d like to hear more from this panel.

    The entire discussion about the cult mind vs. the individual mind made such an impact. When I first started in Scientology, I never thought that I would agree that LRH was other than a man with workable ideas that gave me hope for the future. I certainly saw no point in elevating/worshiping him. But somehow over time, I inadvertently adopted another, more elevated opinion (not worship, but definitely seeing him as one who knew better than I did about most of life). The panel’s viewpoints have provided liberating perspectives. In fact, over the past 12 hours, more and more of these contrary ideas have surfaced for inspection. Yippee!

    Larry, Nancy, and Steve – Do you have plans for future videos?

  5. earthmother permalink
    June 10, 2010 12:10 am

    I found this very informative for me personally, and will use this as a tool to help others understand how it is that I became involved with CoS.

    Years ago, I was shopping for art supplies for one of my college classes and a couple of Moonies approached me, and began to chat. I thought they smiled a bit too much, but they were very friendly. I was invited to come have tea with them in their converted school bus, and when I said I had to get back to my home and make dinner for my family, they offered to come help. That, I found too odd. I thanked them and left. The next day there was an article in the local paper about the group ‘recruiting’ young college kids. When I told my dad about my encounter with them, he about blew a gasket. He’d been reading about them for months, and knew of some of the shady dealings of Rev. Moon.

    When I look back on my first encounter with Scientologists, they were a lot like the energetic, smiling Moonies. The difference, I suppose, is that this time my life was in need of help. I took the bait, and got the hook. I am glad to be out and see it for what it is. A cult.

    Thank you Jeff. I will be looking forward to more videos like this. This is a great service you are providing.

  6. Rebecca-Tribecca permalink
    June 10, 2010 8:49 am

    I watched it all the way through.
    Here’s another long ago exited Executive Larry Brennan who witnessed David Miscavige abuse and beatings. It keeps coming up from one source after another.

    I found the CULT definitions and phenemona interesting. And it has nothing to do with what the Beliefs and Doctrines and Scriptures are. It is the conduct of the members and how they behave that define the world’s perception of them as a cult.

    Many religions believe in Spirits. Many religions believe in demon spirits. Every single Calendar day of the year the Vatican gets a request from one Parish or another requesting to do an Exorcism.

    The technology of handling a troubled spirit or spirits does not make it a cult. It is the conduct within.

    I see a major flaw in Scientology Doctrines that will cause it endless trouble, which will only get worse with instant digital Information Age.

    The United States and other Christian nations have as a fundamental building block
    THE FAMILY.

    It is sacred, it is inviolate, it is senior to other commitments and friendships and duties.

    Scientology does everything in a collision course to counter that.
    Disconnection from parent to child, child to parent, sister to brother, grandma to grandchild. It goes against natural law. A CULT does try to cut you off from familial connections.

    Lengthy interrogations about CRIMES and Overts and witholds at huge $$$$expens$e has become such a fixation in the Church. In addition, forcing donations to get out of the Ethics office makes it obvious this is a business first and foremost. To hell with spirituality, pay up and increase our coffers or we will deny any further spiritual advancement.

    Enforced Disconnection, Enforced regging and endless gouging of bank accounts, while constantly changing the tech under the pretense of KSW will continue to plummet stats.
    I am sure they blame sites like this for loss of market share. They do not look at the internal WHY of what Miscavige is doing.

    If you did OT 8 in the 1980s and OT 8 in the 1990s and OT 8 in the 2000s, not one process is alike, it is a TOTALLY UTTERLY different rundown.

    DM is making the stuff up.

  7. craig houchin permalink
    June 10, 2010 5:18 pm

    Thanks, Jeff. This is a great video and helps explain why I always felt a bit guilty for saying “no” to the Sea Org, “no” to staff, and trying to make up for that with cash donations to the IAS. Hah!

    Oh, well. Live and learn.

  8. PlainOldThetan permalink
    June 10, 2010 6:39 pm

    Jeff: I watched the “Steve Hassan” fan club episode 1. I learned several things.

    (1) All three people in the video had their own stuff to hawk. And spent time hawking each others’ stuff.

    (2) Steve Hassan claims he believes in religion and spirits and the afterlife. Just before he says

    (3) Psychiatrists have proven that 66% of all people are suggestible idiots. (My own wording, but watch the video. That’s what he’s saying.)

    (4) Finding a philosophy that works, applying it, and citing it, is cult-think.

    (5) Doing OT III over a giant missed withhold results in a nattering nabob of negativity.

    (6) While Steve Hassan has criticism of cults and religions, in this video, he had no stated solutions for what he sees as are problems. (How do you detect a suggestible idiot before he or she gets cultified? What societal changes would result in no new cults, destruction of old cults, and no cultification of suggestible idiots?)

    I couldn’t help but notice that 3 people were featured in this video. I spent the last half of the video trying to figure out which two of the three were suggestible idiots.

    What I am more interested in is what crimes and civil rights violations have occurred and what the people who committed them are doing to correct the internals of the Church so they don’t happen again. LRH says in Esto Series 34 MISTAKES “It isn’t making mistakes that is actionable; it is failing to learn from them and repeating them.”

    (Oooh. I made a cult-mistake there. I cited a writing of the founder. Even though it makes sense, and is applicable to life. I need to go watch an episode of Real Housewives of Jersey. No chance of getting indoctrinated there with something worth citing…or that makes sense…or is applicable to life…or is spiritual.)

    • craig houchin permalink
      June 11, 2010 4:25 am

      Plain Old Thetan,
      My comments are in CAPS below yours.

      Jeff: I watched the “Steve Hassan” fan club episode 1. I learned several things.
      (1) All three people in the video had their own stuff to hawk. And spent time hawking each others’ stuff.

      MANY AND HASSAN’S BOOKS ARE FOR SALE. BRENNAN’S IS AVAILABLE FREE ON THE INTERNET. IN FACT I HAVE A PDF COPY OF IT. LRH NEVER PASSED UP A CHANCE TO SELL A BOOK. WHAT WERE THE CONGRESSES BUT SALES EVENTS? HIS MERCANTILE EFFORTS DIDN’T DIMINISH WHAT WAS IN THE BOOKS HE SOLD OR REDUCE THE VALUE OF HIS CONGRESS LECTURES. DON’T BEGRUDGE AN AUTHOR HIS PROMO LINES.

      (2) Steve Hassan claims he believes in religion and spirits and the afterlife. Just before he says
      (3) Psychiatrists have proven that 66% of all people are suggestible idiots. (My own wording, but watch the video. That’s what he’s saying.)

      FIRST, HE DIDN’T CALL ANYONE A SUGGESTIBLE IDIOT. HE MERELY POINTED OUT THAT 2/3 OF THE PARTICIPANTS IN THESE STUDIES RESPONDED IN A SIMILAR WAYS. YOU ARE DRAWING THE CONCLUSION THAT THEY ARE SUGGESTIBLE IDIOTS. THAT THOUGHT NEVER OCCURRED TO ME.

      FURTHERMORE, I PERSONALLY WOULD NOT BASE ANY PLANS OR DECISIONS IN MY LIFE ON THOSE STUDIES. THEY ARE SIMPLY INTERESTING FOOD FOR THOUGHT.

      (4) Finding a philosophy that works, applying it, and citing it, is cult-think.

      I DISAGREE. CULT-THINK WOULD ONLY COME INTO PLAY IF YOU ALTERED, REDUCED OR DENIED YOUR PERSONAL INTEGRITY TO MAINTAIN OR IMPROVE YOUR STANDING WITHIN A GROUP — ANY GROUP. CULT-THINK IS GROUP-THINK.

      AS LONG AS YOU ARE THINKING AND ACTING FOR YOURSELF WITHOUT COUNTER-INFLUENCE FROM A GROUP, YOU ARE NOT ENGAGING IN CULT-THINK. SO ROCK-ON!

      (5) Doing OT III over a giant missed withhold results in a nattering nabob of negativity.

      THAT STATEMENT IS ONLY TRUE ACCORDING TO YOUR BELIEFS. IT IS NOT AN OBJECTIVELY AND UNIVERSALLY TRUE STATEMENT. YOU BELIEVE IN OT III. JUST ENJOY THAT. NOBODY IS ASKING YOU TO CHANGE YOUR MIND OR ALTER YOUR PERCEPTION OF WHAT IS TRUE FOR YOU. TO INSIST THAT YOU THINK OTHERWISE UNDER THREAT OF SOME PENALTY WOULD BE ENFORCED CULT-THINK. WE DON’T WANT TO DO THAT TO YOU.

      (6) While Steve Hassan has criticism of cults and religions, in this video, he had no stated solutions for what he sees as are problems. (How do you detect a suggestible idiot before he or she gets cultified? What societal changes would result in no new cults, destruction of old cults, and no cultification of suggestible idiots?)

      I BELIEVE HE DID OFFER A SOLUTION: KNOWING ONESELF AND BEING CONFIDENT IN ONESELF IS THE BEST WAY TO APPROACH LIFE. HE SAYS SOMETHING LIKE THIS NEAR THE END.

      I couldn’t help but notice that 3 people were featured in this video. I spent the last half of the video trying to figure out which two of the three were suggestible idiots.

      I KNOW YOU’RE BEING FACETIOUS HERE. OBVIOUSLY NOT EVERY GROUPING OF 3 PEOPLE WILL BREAK DOWN WITH 2 OF THEM BEING WILLING ELECTROCUTE THE THIRD. THAT’S SILLY, SO I KNOW YOU WEREN’T BEING SERIOUS.

      What I am more interested in is what crimes and civil rights violations have occurred and what the people who committed them are doing to correct the internals of the Church so they don’t happen again. LRH says in Esto Series 34 MISTAKES “It isn’t making mistakes that is actionable; it is failing to learn from them and repeating them.”

      I THINK MOST OF US HERE ARE RIGHT WITH YOU IN THAT INTEREST. HOWEVER, SINCE JEFF POSTED HIS MIND-MANIPULATION ARTICLE, THAT SUBJECT HAS BEEN THE TOPIC OF DISCUSSION ON THIS BLOG. WHILE THE CULTISH ASPECT THE C OF S MAY NOT BE REAL TO YOU, IT IS TRUE FOR A NUMBER OF US WHO HAVE PARTICIPATED IN THIS DISCUSSION.
      AS STATED BY LRH IN THE QUOTE ABOVE, WE ARE TRYING TO LEARN FROM OUR MISTAKES SO THAT WE DON’T REPEAT THEM. THAT IS PRECISELY WHAT WE ARE DOING.

      (Oooh. I made a cult-mistake there. I cited a writing of the founder. Even though it makes sense, and is applicable to life. I need to go watch an episode of Real Housewives of Jersey. No chance of getting indoctrinated there with something worth citing…or that makes sense…or is applicable to life…or is spiritual.)

      WISDOM IS WISDOM. WHETHER YOU FIND IT IN A SPECIAL EDITION LEATHER-BOUND BOOK OR WRITTEN ON THE BATHROOM WALL, IF IT WORKS FOR YOU USE IT.

      YOU ARE FREE TO QUOTE WHOEVER LIKE. IF IT RESONATES WITH ME, I’LL ACCEPT IT. IF IT DOESN’T, I WON’T. EITHER WAY, IF YOU ARE CONFIDENT IN YOURSELF AND YOUR OWN KNOWING, THEN IT WON’T MATTER TO YOU WHAT I DO OR DON’T BELIEVE. RIGHT?

      • PlainOldThetan permalink
        June 11, 2010 6:19 pm

        —-> I KNOW YOU’RE BEING FACETIOUS HERE. <———

        You missed it in the middle of all my button-pushing.

        MY WHOLE COMMENT WAS FACETIOUS.

        After two hours of watching snarky natter, my "natural human impulse" to mimic and be idiotically suggestible took over. Yes, I watched it twice.

      • Jeff permalink*
        June 11, 2010 6:56 pm

        “snarky natter” = “opinions I disagree with”. More Scientology-speak.

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 11, 2010 9:39 pm

        Craig Houchin you have a beautiful mind and I adore you.
        Suzanne knows.

        lunamoth

      • Heather G permalink
        June 13, 2010 11:51 am

        Craig, I agree with luna. Tell Suzanne. 😉

        Seriously, that’s a patient and wise response. As you say, for some people, understanding HOW they made their mistake IS how they will avoid making the same mistake again.

    • Wallflower permalink
      June 11, 2010 5:13 am

      “It isn’t making mistakes that is actionable; it is failing to learn from them and repeating them.”

      My Dad taught me this concept when I was VERY young. It doesn’t take a religion to figure this one out.

    • June 11, 2010 5:26 pm

      Craig,
      You responded for me, too. I agree with all your points, especially with (6). Hassan DID say that one should look (paraphased) “according to his lights at things and be allowed to judge – without being enforced and pushed by the group to think/look by the group this or that way” (sorry, if misduplicated words – I think the meaning was to that point, though). So, I DO think he offered solution (not in a “tech” form yet…)

      Wallflower,
      Wonderful! You brought to my mind that my lessons from childhood (parents words, proverbs, sayings, fables, fairy tales and even “instructive” cartoons were my best lessons on how to behave – waaaay before even thinking there were even any religions. Lessons from childhood last forever! Great stuff! Never lets me down.

    • June 14, 2010 1:50 am

      Hey there PlainOldThetan.

      I am the Larry Brennan who was in that video and about whom you made some comments in this thread.

      I would like to reply very briefly to a few of your comments about me and then make you an offer.

      OK, here goes:

      I. You said: “All three people in the video had their own stuff to hawk. And spent time hawking each others’ stuff”.

      In actual fact I did not “hawk” anything of mine. My ebook was published openly and freely on the internet for all to see. I push it in order to get out the truth so as to help people.

      I absolutely would love to see Nancy’s and Steve’s books be widely read. Steve I’ve met just two times and I am very impressed with him. I think he has been a big help to others in need of same and will continue to be so. Nancy, well to me she is a soul mate. I admire her greatly for what she has gotten herself though and how she is trying so hard now to help others. I will stand behind her anytime and do it proudly.

      II. you said: “Doing OT III over a giant missed withhold results in a nattering nabob of negativity”.

      LOL! Actually when I did OT III in early to mid 1974 I was in the Sea Org posted as the HGC Admin of AOLA. My stats were constantly in either affluence or power as we were running over a 600 hour HGC (so big that per LRH HCOBs (CS Series 25 if I remember correctly?)it should have been made into two HGCs). At that time I was a true believer and LRH himself gave me written ethics protection from any justice actions due to my huge upstats. So, how exactly is that “Doing OT III over a giant missed withhold”?

      I reject the whole premise of OT III now but at the point I did it and for many years later I was a true believer.

      So, as in “I” again I submit that your statements about me are both wrong and unresearched.

      III. You said: “After two hours of watching snarky natter, my “natural human impulse” to mimic and be idiotically suggestible took over”.

      I would be curious to know exactly what I said in that video to be “snarky natter” vs just factual and said with the hopes that it would help others.

      Actually feel free to do the same with any of my other videos, radio shows, writings, etc. You can find them on my blogspot at: larrybren.blogspot.com

      IV. You said: “What I am more interested in is what crimes and civil rights violations have occurred and what the people who committed them are doing to correct the internals of the Church so they don’t happen again”.

      Just so you know I have been speaking out on just that for years. While I do not know who you are, I suspect that you were not helping 3-5 years ago when I was feeling really lonely pointing out how Miscavige was beating and abusing others and the crimes behind corporate fraud, etc. At the time Jonny Jacobson was trying to get press on it but all outlets he contacted were afraid to publish as they only had my word for it. Right after that some other courageous people came out and spoke about the above in an attempt to expose it and try to help end the abuses and this list includes John Peeler, Marc Headly, Jeff Hawkins, Bruce Hines, the three girls at EX scientology kids and at most a few others publicly. Even back then people like Amy Scobee and Nancy Many were helping back channels. Before us, courageous people like Armstrong, Lerma, Tory, Wollersheim and a handfull of others fought almost alone at times against such abuses.

      Heck I have gotten with and reported to many government agencies in France, Germany, Belgium, Australia and in the USA not to mention helping lawyers, writers and others seeking justice or soon to be doing so.

      I’m guessing that you are not one of those people who in fact HAS been working for years to try to deal with all this.

      So how you can imply what we bring up is natter is quite interesting as at least we ARE trying. Are you?

      BTW, I go well back with LRH and have covered his butt many times. I did it, for example, in 1975 when Flag moved to Florida and his plan to do it under false pretenses of using UCF and SLDLC blew up. I was the one who wrote the corporate program to stabilize the corporate scene at flag. After LRH wrote to me approving my program he almost pleaded that I get them a “Consumers Cert of Exemption” (sale tax exemption) as his efforts to get one through others there failed and they might get kicked out of the area as they did not have a dealers license which you must have to sell products/services if you are not exempt. I told him I would handle it for him and I did. If you look at the records from back there you will see submissions in the name of Duke Snider of C of S of California. I wrote all of them, put together the scholars’ opinions used and myself got the exemption.

      I covered LRH’s butt many times when he broadly told scientologists that he got no money from organized scientology while through back channels was taking millions of dollars without any proper legal exchange.

      I wrote to LRH weekly and was ordered by him weekly when on Watchdog Committee and saw him lie repeatedly. I saw him stab in the back people who had supported him and lie about them when the heat got too much for him. I had his orders in my hands to spit on poor people busted at Int and refused to do so even though people like Miscavige and others on WDC were carrying out such orders with a vengeance.

      I have seen LRH go along with huge, wholesale abuses of countless innocent scientologists in 1982 and 1983 when over $40 million was secretly funneled to him.

      Many details of all this can be found in my free ebook (feel free to download a copy), my declaration and elsewhere on my blog.

      Telling facts about lies and abuses after you have woken up is a good thing not “natter”. I have already been threatened by Miscavige and his attorney telling me to stop such postings or face their legal wrath. That was several years ago and I have not stopped.

      I will make you an offer:

      1) take some time and look over my blog. Note down all I have said that you feel is “natter” or a lie or otherwise just wrong.

      2) set up a time with me where you and I can do a video to discuss all this. You can bring up anything you want to prove your points and I will bring up just first hand information I have on lies and abuses behind organized scientology, including by LRH.

      3) you can bring along anyone you want (up to 4 more people) to support you if you like. I will bring no one but myself.

      4) you arrange someone to video it and so do I (so two copies will be made). My only requirement is that the entire unedited video must go up on the internet for free usage and copying as anyone sees fit. No editing, no stopping its free distribution for copyright or other purposes.

      We have our little chat/debate if need be and as a result more truth gets out to the public.

      I am a huge supporter of diversity of opinion and views so would be happy to support this going online even though much of it will not be what I believe.

      What do you say? Want to try it? Feel free to email me about it at larrybren12345ATaol.com (with the “AT” representing the “@” symbol).

      w/respect Larry

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 14, 2010 4:29 am

        Larry,

        As I said (below) to Nancy, thanks for sharing your conversation with the rest of us.
        I hope to meet you in person in some day and get some schooling on how to handle
        hecklers. You are the master.

        Lunamoth

      • June 14, 2010 6:11 am

        Larry,
        THANK YOU VERY MUCH for being here and responding!!!

        “Plain Old Thetan” seems to be not so plain as Hubbard himself is concerned. And it wil be good two of you having straight talk about Scientology video’d.

      • June 14, 2010 2:23 pm

        Larry,

        Not that I give or receive praise lightly, but I sincerely appreciate your courage, intelligence and persistence.

        How odd that telling the truth is perceived as “natter.” Or that being willing to communicate one’s ideas in book-form can be viewed as “hawking.” I personally value the communication of others, whether it be calm and considered or troubled and irrational. Viewing either (or any point in between) affords us an opportunity to understand ourselves and others. Honestly. Without the hype. Without the pretense. Life is not always smooth. In honest relationships, we can vehemently and securely argue with those we honor.

        An author works hard to formulate his/her ideas into something comprehensible. To not let others know those ideas are available would be criminal. The author would be remiss in his mission. Where would this culture be without books? To say that an author is merely “hawking” is such a disparagement, much like describing romantic love as “whoring” simply because sexual interest might exist. One deserves recompense for one’s efforts.

        If love is whoring, a whore’s lips I will gladly kiss. If spreading one’s ideas through books is hawking, let me have wings.

        To me, authors carry and propagate the culture.

        As an aside, I know you’ve been around for a while. I found it amusing when one of the current opinion leaders proclaimed that he had founded the independent movement. Huh?

        Michael

      • PlainOldThetan permalink
        June 21, 2010 6:12 am

        (Edited to take out the ad hominem attacks, name calling, and case evaluation. Can you make your point without attacking others?)

        Larry B.

        I decline your kind offer for on-camera debate, as my personal rejection of A DISCUSSION centered mostly around … Nancy Many and Steve Hassan…

        I find it somewhat regrettable that you needed to partner with them in order to get your website known.

        I *do* think there are dangerous cults in the world.

        If Nancy Many and Steve Hassan had presented a single viable approach to addressing Islamists and making the world a safer place as a result, I would have listened a third time.

        But I didn’t see it or hear it.

        What I’m looking for is people who are correct-targeting.

        I’m still waiting for people who have witnessed or contributed to criminal activities to swear out affidavits with the correct authorities.

        More correct-targeting.

  9. Suzanne permalink
    June 10, 2010 11:00 pm

    Wow. That was amazing. Some definite food for thought here. There were some new ideas introduced which I hadn’t previously considered. Watching it a second time would probably be a good idea. Thank you Larry, Nancy and Steve.

    Rebecca – always love your posts. This one, in particular, was very incisive.

    Thanks, Jeff, for posting this wonderful video.

  10. June 11, 2010 12:20 am

    This was very good! I got a lot out of it. Hassan offered some interesting perspectives which I need to look into further. Looking forward to more videos by Larry Brennan and Nancy Many. Thanks for posting it.

    Mary

  11. lunamoth permalink
    June 11, 2010 2:45 am

    This was interesting. I don’t begrudge them the opportunity to promote their books. It was a little awkward, but it’s not a talk show, it’s just a video of three people talking, so WTH. I thank them for sharing their thoughts.

    Never heard of Steve Hassan, and as an ex-Moonie he probably has lots of interesting insights to share. But I have to say that I don’t think he necessarily understands the cult phenomena any better than the average scientologist; I heard a lot of labeling of phenomena and not a lot of explanation of the mechanics. I think any trained scientologist with an exterior viewpoint and the willingness to apply the data regarding “valances” to themselves could see the same thing, because that’s how I’m understanding it right now (it was Steve’s use of the concept of the separate personality, though, that made me look at it). BTW, getting that exterior viewpoint and having that willingness to look are huge things.

    The trap is that part of the valance is to NOT look at it from an exterior viewpoint, and to NOT EVER be WILLING to look. I say that from personal experience.

    What Hassan calls “the cult personality, I see as a valance constructed from what one learns is the acceptable mock-up of a good scientologist. Sea Org members, especially, do it. They affect the mock up of a good Sea Org member. Lately, that’s a pretty harsh, not even standard scientological mock up.

    I think I mocked up a personality like that, my “scientologist personality.” It was pretty much who I am, with some things I would never do or say (or even think, in some cases) added, plus many many viewpoints that actually belonged to LRH, not me. PLUS all the “supposed to’s” and “everybody knows” from the other people in the group.

    That kind of thing doesn’t just come from studying”standard tech and policy” as some would have you believe. I think it comes mainly from the culture of scientology. We touched on this recently on this blog when discussing the use of the make-wrong, “pulling it in,” remember? That’s only one of the many things you learn from other scientologists, which you may or may not ever think at the time to ask to see the reference about.

    Because in addition to applied study we also learn on a very basic level by mimicking, and mimicking is often unconsciously done. I think that which we learn from other scientologists often effects us the most because it often goes unanalyzed and completely unexamined, and so when it becomes habit it is unthinking, engrained, reflexive.

    It is much of this “learning” that we find we are now having to unlearn by examination, and which we end up discarding. I personally find it to have been destructive to my individuality and to truly conscious living. But I don’t think that is a flaw with scientology, the body of data; rather, it’s a product of the culture of scientology, which, ironically, we all contributed to creating.

    • craig houchin permalink
      June 11, 2010 4:39 am

      Excellent, Lunamoth. This is a great explanation and does, in fact, circle back to the video where Hassan and Nancy were discussing the individual’s participation in the co-creation of his/her valence.

      I had never thought of it in terms of valences before. I did indeed manufacture a personality that made me acceptable to the group, and the only way to do that is to continually submerge into the group, and learn from the group what is an “acceptable” identity. And yet, I was still aware of the identity I called ME, existing alongside the slightly altered identity I called “me the Scientologist.”

      Thanks for that insight.

    • June 11, 2010 8:40 pm

      Lunamoth,

      You know, reading your comment, I had an interesting cognition: I kept blowing Scientology because I found myself committing the overt of denying myself. I would start moving into the valence you’re talking about, know deep down it was an overt, and leave. Hmmmm. Curiouser and curiouser.

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 11, 2010 10:10 pm

        You describe my experience, too. We can’t be the only ones, either.

      • earthmother permalink
        June 13, 2010 4:33 am

        OnceUponaTime and Luna,

        I am in good company here!

      • Another Layer permalink
        June 13, 2010 6:06 am

        To Lunamoth, Once and Craig,

        Yes! So beautifully expressed!

        I’ve definitely had similar thoughts to yours, especially about the culture we’ve all been part of. When I had certain observations and questions, I learned to let ’em float silently, because they weren’t acceptable to the group. In retrospect, I would park my observant self at the door and flip into an alternate version without skipping a beat. The frustrating part is that this shift into denying my “warts and all” self was so normal! From there, the denials compounded into weird pockets of apathetic stupidity. Which is pretty much the reverse of why I became interested in Scientology.

        I also wanted to say that having access to taboo information, questions and answers, and participating in the overall dialogue has greatly increased my interest in Scientology training … how’s that for a paradox? All this bad internet stuff is supposed to drop you in your tracks, and yet you emerge unscathed and interested!. (Gosh, I feel happy just now!)

        Thanks again!

      • June 14, 2010 1:40 pm

        Another Layer,

        Your needle is floating. Cog and all. Now, get your ass to the examiner. But, since most of us are running our own org boards now, that hat is held by you, so….

        I know what you mean by the paradox. I’m completely not interested in being a Scientologist, but my interest in Hubbard’s works has been renewed. Probably because I feel free to accept or reject any part of the subject. And partly because I’m in a forgiving mood about the lies and deception and exaggerations. And partly because I’ve been independently researching this spiritual stuff since ’82 and have found that much of what I learned in Scientology has merit.

        I have come to accept that our spiritual freedom will depend on a group effort. None of us will go free for long as individuals. In my opinion. Just really is no where to run. We’re all connected.

        Michael

      • gargy permalink
        June 14, 2010 6:25 pm

        OnceUponaTime,

        Your comment about being in this together reminded me of a recurring picture I had when I began my search for spiritual freedom:

        all of us are holding hands, in a spiral. the person just above you has learned just a bit more than you and is offering his/her hand to bring you up. you are holding the hand of someone who has learned just a bit less than you and you are bringing them along. so all along this spiral we are helping and being helped and in this way even the one at the very very bottom is being assisted up and up. we can only learn the next little piece of our own puzzle of course, but that doesn’t mean that someone else’s puzzle is irrelevant to us.

        I appreciate all the helpers here who have their hands held out to me and anyone else who wants to grab on.

      • June 14, 2010 9:41 pm

        Gargy,

        What an interesting concept.

  12. Nightmares Getting Less permalink
    June 11, 2010 6:02 am

    Lunamoth,

    I am with you this one time.

    Look forward to meeting with you this month.

    Personally, I think this is interesting but it is just weird, thats my own personal viewpoint in the moment.

  13. earthmother permalink
    June 11, 2010 6:24 am

    Wow. Luna, your last two paragraphs had a huge impact on me. I only spent a few years in, but had made friends with many ‘older and wiser’ Scientologists, and I was definitely influenced by them as they had so much more experience than I did with training and auditing. But there came a point where I realized that they weren’t really looking at the real world. What they knew was what they agreed to be told. I tried to make it work for me too, but try as I might, I had too many questions. I guess that I am just a troublemaker at heart. ;o)

    • lunamoth permalink
      June 11, 2010 9:44 pm

      Yeah, but you’re such a fun, lovable troublemaker…

  14. June 11, 2010 2:46 pm

    Jeff, thanks for the video link. Definitely informative and educative – on several planes.
    (BTW, was it only with me that sound was distorted?)

    Want to bring up a point that Nancy in the video stated – about having to have some policy…
    Got me thinkng about:

    Own common sense vs. “Sacred Scriptures”

    In Encarta Dictionary, “common sense” is defined as “sound practical judgement derived from experience rather than study”.

    In my exprerience being on staff, “common sense was not so common”.
    In fact, own common sense was had zero weight and was dismissed or even rebuked IF there was no “correspondence with what LRH said”.
    It HAD TO be like that – with CSWs, requests, POs, orders. Even verbal communications.

    Situations that seemed insane and plain wrong to me had to be dealt “per policy” and “in-tech” because “LRH had it all taped” and “you just need to find right one” (and then keep remembering it all the time…having references handy to show them any time). They were like saviors. It’s like having to remember all the stuff, facts, evidences all the time and keep them handy when you have ever-ongoing litigation (be you plaintiff or defendant or attorney). Mind-boggling stuff.

    And then you kinda get used to looking at situations at the same trying to quickly find in your mind “what LRH would do”. If you found you won, if not – you lost…. So you get used to THINKING like Hubbard would…
    Any argument between scientologists is solved by reference… if not, then by another reference…. ad infinitum… And considering that LRH could have some dubiousness in his writings, whoever is senior/boss wins the argument and has it his way.

    Kinda denies using common sense in argument or in getting things done, doesn’t it?

    I’d dare say that “common sense was not so common” when I was in…

    Gradually, own common sense was being substituted with getting and carrying in the head more and more LRH data “for all and every life situations that you might encounter in your dealings with others”.

    “Maintaining” “what LRH said” and correcting myself to return to that (in case of losing view of “stable data from LRH”) continued up to beginning of this year.

    Seems to me that public persons have been going through the same thing of “gradual replacing of what is common sense with politically correct “LRH said it.”

    Does that ring the bell?
    Isn’t “LRH data” what effectively blinds one from using common sense/his own mind/competence/education?

    I meant – relevant to the original post – isn’t restoring value of own common sense in one’s own eyes (instead of finding the “best fitting” quote from LRH to maintain “my truth”, “my reality”) would be the best “restore point”? (speaking computer language here – that’s the last time computer was doing well…)

  15. June 11, 2010 2:52 pm

    Came to this late because I didn’t have an hour to devote to watching this. Have only gotten part way, through with a couple of fifteen minute viewings.

    Couple of points: Hassan said that it wasn’t stupid people attracted to cults, but the brightest. Scientology is very, very complex. You have to have the capacity to handle very, very complex material to understand it.

    Second thing I finally accepted was that Scientology is a cult.

    But, Scientology is also not a cult.

    There are really at least two “Scientologies” that get superimposed. We are attracted to the Scientology of truth and understanding and workability. We love the ARC and KRC and spiritual gain that comes from that Scientology. We embrace the honor and integrity and ethics of that Scientology. We get gains from looking at ourselves, our pasts, our lives, and others during counseling. In that Scientology, we learn and grow and become what we’ve always wanted.

    Unfortunately, there is another Scientology that is pure cult. The mind control, the RPF, the guards, the secretiveness, the slavish devotion to one man’s ideas, etc. In that Scientology, integrity and honor and ethics are all redefined as obedience. This is the Scientology of Orwell’s works. The individual is subservient to the state and must willingly sacrifice self for the greater good of the state. Having thoughts not allowed by the state is unacceptable. Having other intentions or fish to fry is unacceptable.

    One is the good twin, the other evil. Both have the same name, the same face. Mistaking one for the other leaves us confused. No one ever told us there were two of them. Not knowing this, we try to justify and explain the conflicting behaviors we witness.

    But, there are two.

    Or more.

    Because I have to rush off, I’ll have to relay my other observations later.

    Michael

    • June 11, 2010 6:11 pm

      Michael,
      I believe that Scientology is extensive study of one man’s mind (up to total devotion and inability to think without that other mind). Study of his dreams, visions, upsets, evilnesses….
      It’s just “one man’s vision, one man’s dream”.
      And that man had his bright side and had his dark side… Just like you and me.
      (Btw, take a look at my avatar. On the left it’s dark but on the right it’s bright. That’s how my mind is. His, too. And one gets what he validates, be it bright or dark).

      “2 or more” scientologies are just two or more sides of one person. He wasn’t willing to let either one of them go into the past. He had with him both – whatever was validated (and he liked to be validated as one can feel listening to his lectures. He had upsurges when people were in awe of his “new breakthroughs!”).

      Also couldn’t let others have authorship of a piece of tech (he himself hadn’t developed):
      interesting discussion on ESMB about David Mayo’s contribution to Solo NOTs development
      http://www.forum.exscn.net/showthread.php?t=18511
      This kinda tells me the man wasn’t willing to give anything away, even other’s contributions but rather tried to have it “it’s all Mine! ONLY mine!”…
      So, to me it’s ONE Scientology… just different sides of one being.
      And I agree – it’s a complex study… because the being itself was very complex…. It’s hard to understand him at one fell swoop. It takes many “meals” – to peel it off layer by layer.
      Hope those “meals” are enjoyable. 😉

    • lunamoth permalink
      June 11, 2010 9:46 pm

      Michael,

      Exactly.

      lunamoth

    • lunamoth permalink
      June 11, 2010 10:21 pm

      Michael

      Exactly.

      lunamoth

    • Marta permalink
      June 12, 2010 3:39 pm

      Michael,

      You’ve described perfectly what I’ve come to know as dichotomous scientology. I’ve had so many gains and enriching experiences and positive applications, life changing stuff. And as long as I stayed with those, all was good. But the cult culture vs the ideals creates the cognitive dissidence. The cult culture has definitely grown and solidified and spread over the years.

      I’m changing still, about all of this. VaD made such a good point about becoming litigators and in so doing helped create more cult culture for ourselves and the group. I’ve always done better when reading/contemplating the higher level SCN stuff, Factors, Qs, Logics, ideal, aims, in a broader sence. The philosophy is where I have found inspiration, pan-determined perspectives.

      Now, more than ever, I am the opinion that a “new deal” Scientology without the honest intention and authentic practice of inspecting every aspect of the former, will not gain my support.

      I also firmly feel that regardless of the cult aspects, and whether LRH intended them or not, if the subjects (tech, ethics, admin, SO, etc) dealt with openly and in transparency, is the only way to take the subject foward. Starting with the parts that can be dealt with in that manner. Because our agreements and then our resultant actions helped build what’s here, Our disagreements/no agreement/common sense will be vital in shaping what comes next. They are what’s next. We are creating it.

      I may have gone too woo-woo here. Thanks for the space to learn from you, reflect with you, and talk to you all.

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 12, 2010 8:43 pm

        Marta,

        Please feel free to woo-woo anytime. You make a lot of sense to me.

      • Marta permalink
        June 13, 2010 2:16 am

        Lunamoth,

        Thanks for the encouragement. you sweetie. I noticed after posting that typing on the iPad (new for B-day) I made some pretty jumbled sentences – still figuring out how to scroll back within a post to re-read/edit. I’m impressed with your ability to make any sense out of some of that!

      • June 13, 2010 2:33 pm

        Marta,

        The planet I come from is called “Woo-woo.” As a loyal citizen, I live, breath and eat the essence of Woo-woo. You might even say I’m addicted to Woo-woo, unlike superman who is allergic to Kryptonite.

        So, please, girlfriend, spread all the woo-woo you want without apology. I think there are many Woo-wooians hanging out here, pretending to be from Earth.

  16. Kristen permalink
    June 11, 2010 3:26 pm

    Steve mentions some of the most famous and most fascinating studies in human behavior ever conducted. The Milgram experiemnts, for example. We all think: “well, I would have walked out of the room!” But really, how do we know? Knowledge of this experiment and others biases our thinking so we really can’t know how we’d react with no prior knowledge of the purpose of the test.

    These conformity studies, which use the scientific method (recordable & repeatble results), are really worth a look if you think Steve H. is full of it.

  17. June 12, 2010 12:55 am

    One point that Steve Hassan made that hit home for me: we are all partly responsible for our own indoctrination. We project our own meanings into the message presented.

    I suspect that each of our experiences in Scientology is uniquely our own. There may be commonality, but we each provide a specific meaning to what we are given. We fill in the blanks. We color between the lines. We provide the specific goals and aspirations unique to each of us and attribute any gains or successes in reaching those goals to the subject, be it Scientology or Buddhism or Christianity or yoga.

    The awareness and potential are in us, not the subject. The subject merely provides an avenue for expression, a validation of that expression of ourselves. And the more profound that aspect of ourselves that wants to be expressed, the more profound our appreciation of the means we find to express those ideas and feelings. If that means is Scientology, we say how wonderful Scientology is. Though the value really rests with us, we project that value on the subject.

    You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Nor can you make a being more than he inherently is. That we are inherently wiser and more spiritual than normal society would acknowledge forces us to seek outlets beyond normal channels to experience and express that wisdom and spirituality. That which we are seeks expression. Seeks validation. If our family, friends, groups do not recognize or allow us to express what we are, we look for someone who will.

    But, least my point be lost, we are the ones providing the subject what we want. The subject merely feeds this back to us and enables us.

    Excuse me if this is not particularly clear or correct. I haven’t had a chance to fully explore this or think it through.

    Michael

    • glh permalink
      June 12, 2010 3:08 pm

      Thanks for posting that Michael. I had been mulling this over for a few. I wish there was a better copy as it is tough listening. My point is that we project our goodness/knowledge into Scientology or Ron and think that that is what the subject is without fully looking or if we do look and see the bad we cover it up with non confront as so many of us have done. I mean guilty as charged, hear no evil see no evil – I am guilty. I guess you get to the point that you are saturated with the BS that you just leave no matter what.

    • Another Layer permalink
      June 13, 2010 6:21 am

      Michael,

      “The awareness and potential are in us, not the subject. The subject merely provides an avenue for expression, a validation of that expression of ourselves.”

      Beautiful! I can’t wait to hear more on this.

  18. June 12, 2010 2:46 am

    AN INTERESTING STORY!

    Thank you Jeff for not posting my first comment!
    It was made after viewing the first 10 minutes of the video and well into a bottle of fanastic Cab Sav!
    Now that i got that off I will continue!
    I grew up on a ranch in a very remote northern community (We`re talking 50 below winters here.)One day when i was about 14 I was on the schoolbus going home from school and we were the last kids dropped off.On the bus there were 5 kids in my family,two piano students of my older sister, a friend of my younger brother and the 65 year old farmer,part time bus driver.He unexpectedly hit the brakes as he was about to turn into our driveway and exclaimed`What the H is that`. All the kids looked and there hovering about a mile away over my grandparents house was this weird disc shaped thing. We were all trying to make out what it was then it just took off. Someone said`There it is!`and we saw this spot on the horizon.
    Then suddenly it zoomed up to us and hovered 20 ft off the ground about 50 yards away!
    I swear it was clearly a space ship of some sort and I could make out every detail of it! It took off after about a minute allowing all 9 of us to clearly see its make up.We also all looked in the direction it left although it was barely visible it moved so fast.
    Although this happened a long time ago it still brings us together as we speak of it in rather hushed tones.No one reported it as who the H do you call,`yeah I`d like to report a Ufo`Right!
    Anyway over the years I have heard countless debunkers saying how no such thing could happen. It`s swamp gas, its mass hysteria, its this or its that. What a load of complete crap!
    THE POINT!
    I know what I saw.
    I don`t believe or disbelieve in life on other planets.
    I saw an unidentifiable flying object.
    I don`t know where it was from.
    I don`t need an `expert`to tell me what it was or wasn`t.
    I did not need agreement from others.
    This is the difference between knowing and believing!

    I approached Scientology the same way.
    I did not agree or diagree on its truth or workability based on what others told me either pro or con.
    I studied it thoroughly and tried it`s principles like I had done with many other philosophies. I found they were true and i found that they worked when applied.I did not need `experts`to tell me whether or not Scientology worked.
    Have you ever heard of an engineer reading the works of Moon then searching them out.Or someone reading the bible then trying to find the nearest Born again Christian group. Or someone reading the Koran then strapping bombs to himself.
    No…although I agree that many Scientologists have not thought things through and like the video says they got swept up in the whole cultish aspect off it, I also know that many Scientologists know the workability of the tech and practice it in its pure form without giving in to the herd mentality which brings out the worst of any technology!
    BTW:You may think my UFO story is a bunch of crap and I dont blame you.As I said knowing and believing are two totally separate animals.

    • lunamoth permalink
      June 12, 2010 10:22 pm

      Axiom38

      Thanks for the story – I enjoyed it. I have my own, too, and though it’s tempting to divert the thread, mine doesn’t really make any point other than just “sometimes you have to just know what you know in the face of nobody believing such a thing is possible.”

      I feel compelled to point out something, and this may be just an imperfectly communicated idea on your part, but it’s this: For thousands of years people of all kinds of backgrounds have read and followed the Koran without feeling the desire to strap bombs to their chests. Just as some of the most horrible atrocities have been committed in the name of one religion or another, it’s not the religion that is to blame but the state of mind of the perpetrator. A Muslim (or a Christian or a Libertarian or a Librarian or anyone) with a bomb strapped to his chest is a nut-job, a terrorist,
      no matter which religious or political views he uses to justify his crimes. As I said, you may simply have scooted over that inference on your way to making a point, but it stuck with me and so I comment here.

      One more thing: What is Axiom 38? The only one I can remember is Axiom 10 (The creation of an effect is the highest purpose in the universe). It’s what we used to call our son when he was about 4 years old.

  19. June 12, 2010 9:15 pm

    People responding to this posting have varying degrees of agreement with Steve Hassan and I think that’s healthy. The good thing about not being in a cult is that we don’t have to swallow whole what someone says, just because they may be considered an “expert” and there is no reason to be in awe of him, as there are many different points of view among cult experts who have heated debates and disagreements with one another, and that’s a good thing, IMHO. Instead, we can mull over what was said and decide what we agree with and why and what we disagree with and why. I too have points of agreement with Hassan and points of disagreement. He identified his point of view as that of a “mental health professional” but not all mental health professionals agree with all he said. The whole area of separate identities being formed through dissociation is actually a highly controversial one amongst mental health professionals. Same goes for hypnosis and the degree to which it can actually have an impact on getting people to do things they would not otherwise do. What I would urge people to do is read widely on different points of view on these topics. Go to conferences like the ones given by the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) where all kinds of different ideas are tossed around. This is still a new area of study and I don’t think any one person has all the answers and we all still have much to learn. The fact that any one person has 30 years of experience doesn’t necessarily mean they are right about everything. New people can bring in fresh thinking on a topic and so as I see it, those of you who are new to all this have a great deal to contribute. Very interesting discussion, though.

    • craig houchin permalink
      June 12, 2010 9:43 pm

      Thanks for your input, Monica. Those are very good points. I think that most of us here have pretty much had enough of single-source information and thought, but it’s always nice to be reminded. And I agree with you that availing oneself of a diversity of thought, opinion and ideas is a valid road to understanding.

      • Marta permalink
        June 13, 2010 2:25 am

        “I think that most of us here have pretty much had enough of single-source information and thought, but it’s always nice to be reminded. ”

        Ditto 🙂

      • June 13, 2010 1:34 pm

        Ditto.

    • lunamoth permalink
      June 12, 2010 10:26 pm

      Monica,

      Thanks for reminding us all that the field of mental health is not a monoculture. It’s always good to restore “dimension” to one’s understanding by searching aware of the differences.

      If you’re inclined to join this discussion on which you’ve commented, is this your field of expertise/interest?

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 12, 2010 10:27 pm

        “searching aware” is my own special language for “being aware.”

        Yes, yes, I know. Proofread.

      • June 13, 2010 3:08 am

        Yes, very much so on a number of levels. I’m an ex-Scientologist (1970-76) who was on the Apollo and I am a mental health professional with an interest in cults and trauma, among other things.

      • craig houchin permalink
        June 13, 2010 3:33 pm

        Monica,

        First-hand LRH experience such as yours is extremely valuable to me and others like me, who as public Scientologists, were always on the outer edge of the group and away from the worst (and possibly the best) of the Scientology experience. Your pre-DM experience is doubly valuable. Have you posted a story of your personal journey into and out of Scn anywhere? I would love to read it.

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 13, 2010 4:28 pm

        That’s quite a pedigree you have. So, welcome, and I hope you’ll join in on the discussion here more in the future.

    • June 12, 2010 10:40 pm

      Something that just struck me was the “cult valence,” the concept that constructing an “acceptable” personality that fits in with the group and censors “unacceptable” ideas is such a cult-specific and, therefore, a bad thing. I know that I have a father valence, a husband valence, a son valence. I have shades of personality that I employ at work. No one around me knows the true me for a variety of reasons. What they know is the meanings they assign to what I present. They know their reactions to my manufactured valences.

      Being a good citizen in any culture tends to be very similar to what goes into being a cult member. You manufacture an acceptable valence that suppresses any native urges. I know librarians and teachers who could be considered sex addicts, but you would never know it from their church-like personae. Our society, despite the widespread availability of “obscene” material is basically prudish. Having too much interest in sex is frowned upon. So, we suppress what we feel and adopt an acceptable mentality.

      And all of this manufacture of an acceptable personality is very, very complex because we are exposed to such a range of expectations from others. Even a person in a cult tends to adjust his cult persona to be more acceptable when dealing with those on the outside.

      We tend to be awed by those who are at such peace with themselves that they don’t seem to be manufacturing a persona. They just are. We feel no pretense from them. Even when we sense that this person is troubled, we understand that they are genuine. A Scientologist might say that person has their TRs in. But, it is more than that. Having one’s TRs in is often just another valence. Honestly being oneself is probably the essence of TRs.

      So, the argument that developing a cult personality is somehow unique to cults and wrong really has a much broader application. Being anything other than true self has a certain “wrongness” to it. Doesn’t apply just to being in a cult.

      Michael

      Problem is discovering and understanding that true self.

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 13, 2010 1:31 am

        Michael

        All true.

        For me, the cult valance isn’t so much “wrong” as un-authentic. Your last line is
        the key; “discovering and understanding true self” is a common purpose in life among many of us, and possibly the underlying reason many were attracted to the scientology philosophy to begin with.

        So ending up with a self that is LESS than authentic, and is an even more complex synthesis of added elements, is not what I wanted, personally. The difference between your “father valance” and your “cult valance” is that the first is not a true valance, as in a synthetic personality. There is a certain deportment that is correct for your “hat”as father, which is different than the one for your hat as “husband,” although admittedly they may overlap. I would say that the cult valance, however, affects every aspect of your life, including how you think and act as a father and a husband.

        Here’s an example from my life: My teenage daughter never considered herself a scientologist, though she knew her parents were. One day she asked me “Do you want me to join the Sea Org?” I was flabbergasted. I most certainly did NOT want her to join the Sea Org! I would not have wanted her to do so even if she she had been a dedicated scientologist -I have ALWAYS felt this way.

        Yet because I was a relatively good group member, I couldn’t say that to her. I told her “an acceptable truth,” which was that I wanted her to be happy (I did), and that if joining the S.O. would make her happy that would be fine (no, it wouldn’t), but if not, she shouldn’t join. What I said to her wasn’t strictly true, but the mother me wanted to tell my beautiful daughter PLEASE DO NOT JOIN THE SEA ORG, and didn’t, even though I was nearly having an anxiety attack contemplating it.

        My mother hat not completely trumped by the cult valance, but my mother integrity took a hit. Just one example.

      • June 13, 2010 3:31 am

        I agree — people take on different roles in life and can appear to have very different personalities in those roles and that this is not just limited to cults. In social psychology there is a theory called role identity, which is not any kind of mental health disorder, but just part of being human. Quite possibly, what’s happening is that different aspects of the true self are coming out in these different life roles.

        While there definitely are commonalities to the Scientology personality, there is also a lot of variation as to how different individuals responded to the situations we were in as Scientologists. We all experience alienation from our true selves at times and not just in Scientology and yet there were also plenty of moments while I was in Scientology and the Sea Org that I was very much my true self, which is probably why I didn’t last.

        My main disagreement with Hassan is that I don’t see the personality changes as a mental health diagnosis or disorder and I don’t think it is necessarily tied to hypnosis. I see it more as part of the human condition and although I do think that the TRs and other Scn processes do contain hypnotic elements, I have come to see hypnosis as being overrated as the main cause of how we got trapped. Hypnosis does not necessarily alienate a person from self. I think that more ordinary social influence processes, coupled with naivete and lack of critical thinking skills, at least for some of us, as more important factors. But again, I think there are many possible interpretations and this could vary from person to person.

      • June 13, 2010 1:31 pm

        Monica,

        I’ve often wondered why hypnosis gets such bad PR when the process sometimes leads an individual to heightened ability and awareness. Surely hypnosis, in and of itself, is not the culprit. More, as you say, lack of critical thinking skills. In hypnosis, a person becomes subject to (I don’t know the terminology) command values. The hypnotists provides explanation for experience or provides commands to be followed. These ideas then dictate the person’s behavior. But, if a person exercises critical thinking and remains cause over his thoughts and ideas and responses then hypnosis, by definition, is not a relevant factor.

        I’ve never been a viable subject for hypnosis. Just didn’t ever work on me. Much as I wanted it to. Seemed kind of fun and exciting. Just wouldn’t work. A part of me was always analyzing what was going on. So when I hear, “Oh, those Scientologists have all been hypnotized into believing that crap,” I roll my eyes and shake my head at the ignorance of such a broad explanation. What kind of science offers opinion as fact? Once data emerges to contest a theorem, you just have to adjust your hypothesis. If you’re honest.

        A lot of Dianetics and Scientology is designed to spot the unconscious commands dictating one’s life and giving one control of those areas again. Cognition is part of the end phenomena of an auditing process. A person becomes more aware of his self and the world, not less. And that’s a good thing.

        The cult aspect isn’t so good. The cult aspect enforces ideas rather than providing opportunities for cognition or increased awareness and understanding.

        And as Lunamoth and Marta indicate: no sense in contributing to a new organization which pretends to increase ability and awareness by taking away one’s rights to ability and awareness. What spiritual magic. What sleight of mind. Now you see it, now you don’t.

      • June 13, 2010 1:33 pm

        Lunamoth,

        About your daughter. I shudder.

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 13, 2010 4:31 pm

        Thanks, Monica. The use of hypnosis as an explanation for the phenomena we’re discussing has always bothered me and has never seemed true to me, either.

      • lunamoth permalink
        June 14, 2010 1:24 am

        Dear Once

        You and me both, brother.

        I am VERY extremely delightedly happy to say that there is no longer the slightest chance in hell that any of my children will EVER end up in the Sea Org. Thank God.

      • June 14, 2010 6:42 am

        Michael,
        I agree about hypnosis. Myself I wanted to be hypnotised many times (just to see what it’s like). Hypnotists said I wasn’t suggestible enough… so could never get into that state.
        Yet, I know of this datum (true or not): “Any communication is a suggestion” (“Suggestion” being not common meaning “offer, advice” but another one).
        So, to me “hypnosis” is not just when you sit in a comfortable place and willingly doing what you’re told…. it can be other way. And THAT as well can be a Magick/Spells/Charms. Couldn’t it?
        imho (I might be wrong. Just want this input be heard).

  20. glh permalink
    June 13, 2010 4:20 am

    After watching the video’s that are up at the St. Pete Times on the forced abortions – the moms – my stomach just churns at the evil and disgusting crimes of C of S. I don’t remember reading this in Dianetic’s or coming up with these types of “cognitions” in session. This is a Milgram experiment in reality that is not a study but real life horror. But this goes with the duplicitous statements that have gone on for ever in the church. Does Tommy Davis even have a soul anymore or has the being just left the scene. Disgusting!

  21. June 13, 2010 11:32 pm

    wow, I’m glad our round table discussion has brought up all of this discussion. We had no plan. We were not hawking our books, in fact Larry Brennan’s book has been free on the internet for ages, you couldn’t even buy it if you wanted to. Larry Brennan and I had some points were our jobs crossed in Scientology, he in the UK and myself at Flag. I didn’t know much of what Larry shared of his background, and I had never met Steve Hassan. We were the three speakers at the Boston Mega Raid, more ex Sea Org Members were invited or intended to come, but did not. I’m sorry about the sound, but I am glad we have this discussion. I am of the opinion that I am the captain of my own thoughts and I can change them at any time. Some of you have given me food for thought, and may or may not change my views on something.
    But the freedom is that I can listen to you all, with your own differing thoughts and change my mind every day if I want to, or get more information, or find that your comment confirms my conflicting belief. We three were not Friends, we were not Hawking our books, we had no agenda other than to sit down and share ideas, and I think that has led to more sharing of ideas out here. Thanks Jefferson for posting this. Nancy Many

    • lunamoth permalink
      June 14, 2010 1:36 am

      Nancy

      I’d like to take the chance to say thank you for writing the book and for continuing to fight the fight. I wrote to you after reading My Billion Year Contract, months ago, to say the same.

      I hope you’ll do more of this kind of video when chance brings you into contact with other whistleblowers. It’s very informative and interesting to those of us who don’t cross paths with you, and so who don’t get to chat with you about these things. You’ve got a valuable perspective to share.

      My own opinions and emotions regarding all aspects of my scientology experience continue to change and evolve, as well. I’ve found that the others on this blog have been very inspiring and stimulating in our discussions. They’ve helped that growth along tremendously, as have you, Jeff, Mark Headley and Amy Scobee, through the books you’ve all written.

      I wish you lots of happiness. Thanks again.

      lunamoth

      • June 14, 2010 6:49 pm

        thanks so much. I think the more we can share and listen to each others
        points of view the better, if it is done with respect and true listening.
        What has been said to me will either make me feel my previous feeling more,
        or it will give me food for though that might change a point of view.
        This discussion has given me both. I have my freedom of thought and freedom of speach back, and noone will ever take it away from me. So, I will
        continue to appear wherever, whenever I am asked.
        Thanks a lot,
        nancy

    • Suzanne permalink
      June 14, 2010 5:22 am

      Nancy! I’m almost finished with your book. Holy moly. What a journey.

      Your thoughts about the events which unfolded and your conclusions sounded like my own mind – down to the exact syntax. Scary. This book is so well written and detailed. One ability I wish I shared with you is your incredible memory of time, place, form and event!

      Thank you so much for the wonderful interview – the three of you really gave me pause and made me look at some areas from a fresh perspective. Every time I think I’ve got something figured out – whoop! – WRONG AGAIN. It’s a continual process. When I was reading your book, I thought of the onion analogy – but with a twist. Every time I think I’m getting to the core of the onion – I look over and there’s a fresh bucket of onions to be peeled. Shit!

      Anyhow, thank you again for writing your book – and for helping the rest of us get untangled. And, of course, thanks again to our dear Larry Brennan and Steve Hassan.

      • June 14, 2010 6:55 pm

        I’m glad I shared my journey with the world, as you know it was not a pretty one, nor was it one I have significant pride in, but it was my journey. I received intense metal abuse, which left me fully psychotic, in restraints, in the hospital unable to even recognize my husband. I have been healing ever since. And my views have continued to evolve. I simply love that there are so many disagreements on this board, but so far with politeness. That’s how we learn and grow, or like you said the onions keep on coming. I asked a friend once when she thought I would have this out of my life and thoughts, and she said you may never, you simply need to integrate it into the person it has made you now…. Thanks

    • June 14, 2010 7:06 am

      Nancy,
      THANK YOU VERY MUCH for getting to this blog and sharing here YOUR perspective!
      btw, I DO LIKE YOU!!

      Seems that some (from Marty’s camp I believe) tends to dispute about points that were brought up in the video. Well, it’s all a part of the bigger picture… Scientology is (I believe) the most controversial “religion” in the world these days, isn’t it? We have to take that controversy into account… and continue to peel it off.

      Thanks again for being there (in the video and the book of yours) and here (on this blog).

      Please DO continue to share your perspective. For some reason, it fully resonates with me (even though I was in SO later. In USA (LA, mostly): 1997-2003 )

      Respectfully yours,
      Vadim Dolgov
      Moscow, Russia

      • June 14, 2010 7:00 pm

        My neice married a wonderful Russion while she was over there perfecting her Russian. Krril, and don’t ask me the last name. I apreciate youre remarks and I truly am happy to see all these many points of view, and some do make me think, and I think that is a good thing. I don’t want to have the world all decided or figuired out from
        me I want to speak with lots of people and examine many, to find the ones that resonate with mine. This is a good thing. This is Free Speach in America. And I will continue to go on any radio show, event whatever that wants me to come. Scientology
        is committing too much mental abuse of it’s members, that I will not shut up until it stops….. thanks, nancy

    • June 14, 2010 9:49 pm

      Nancy,

      Apologies. The reply I posted under Larry”s comment should have included “Nancy” and “Steve” in the salutation. Goes for you and all authors. Got your book when it first came out. It’s slowly moving up the stack of “must reads.”

    • Another Layer permalink
      June 15, 2010 2:04 am

      Hi Nancy,

      I’ve ordered your book and cannot wait to read it. Thanks so much!

  22. appledore2 permalink
    June 23, 2010 5:46 pm

    To Plain Old Thetan,

    I hope you are the correct person that wished Steve and I had discussed more how to help stop islamic Terrorists etc. You are correct, Black and White Thinking is the same, whether it is from planting road side bombs or a person placing a bomb upon their person to kill many people (and themselves)

    The sociology studies both Steve and I referenced, do refer to those as much as to Cult Member, or any
    zealot member of a desructive groupl (key word being destructive) Personally I think Amway is a cult, but I know of nothing to make me feel it is destructive. Human nature is that we travel and think in Packs, and the environment you grow up in forms a lot of your later adult points of view.

    Hate can be taught, whether it is hate for all psychiatrists and anonymous members, or hate for the Nazi’s and the Japs in WWII.

    Another sociological study I found immensely interesting was done on a group of “seminarians”, in training to become leaders in the Christian Faith. They told each seminarian, that quick they had to make it to another building to give a lecture, and varied the amount of time, or the amount of people waiting. They then planted their “person in Distress” in the middle of their Path. Even though the talk they were to give was about “The Good Semaritan”, the majority walked passed the person in need. “They had people waiting” “They were already late”.

    Steve was correct when he stated it takes a smart person to get into a cult like Scientology, because it is so vast and they are so adept at curtains and mirrors.

    The solution to all of this —Education — Education on how Peer Pressure works, Education on how cults operate, Education on putting the Group above Individuals, and mainly the Education to dehumanize the enemy. In WWII they were not killing people, they were killing Nazi’s and Japs.

    Same with the Palestinians and the Jews, they both dehumanize the other. Their are several groups in America who sponsor summer sessions containing both Palestinians and Jews, it takes a few days of dialogue, but pretty soon the find out that they have a lot more in common than not. They go away feeling they can no longer dehumanize “the other”, because they have met the enemy and he is just like us.

    I used to have such a passion for Public School Education in America, because it was supposed to do just that, humanize differences.

    Do, I have a simple solution — no. Do I have any real solution — no, but I do know that it lies in Education. The Koran does not say to strap on some bombs and go kill all the members of a wedding, that has been taught by people who are not wearing the bombs themselves. The officers don’t have to walk into that wedding and see people laughing and dancing and perhaps look into their eyes before pulling the plug. But the individual pulling that plug, probably did not see people, he saw Jews.

    Just like Scientologists do not see people trying to help — they have been taught to see Psychs, and Psych meds as the sole cause of decline in this universe. The more education a person has, the more freedom of mind he has.

    Also, it is ironic, but I read one of Steve Hassan’s books, KNOWING that the Moonies were a cult, just like Jim Jones group, but I also knew that Scientology was not a cult. I was a member of it.
    I didn’t “feel” brainwashed. After reading Steve’s story and the unbelievable amount of similiarities between the Moonies and Scientologists — my blinders came down.

    It was education. And also education that if I have been a “True” member of Scientology I wouldn’t be allowed to read any way.

    I wish I could give a quick and simple answer, but I know the problem does exist because of a human’s ability to dehumanize another, and that cults exist for the same reason.

    All I know about solutions, is that I know it will be found some place in the area of educating.

    I wish I did have an answer for you. There wasn’t one on the video because I don’t have an answer.
    nancy many

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