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Releasing the Bonds – a talk by Steve Hassan

October 20, 2010

Here’s a fascinating talk by Steve Hassan, given two days ago at the New York Ethical Culture Society. It’s about 40 minutes, well worth the time. He mentions Scientology a few times.  Especially interesting for us is his advice on how to talk to someone who is in a cultic situation. He advises against directly attacking them or making them wrong, but instead offering them love and friendship and understanding, listening to them, asking them questions. He repeatedly refers to his BITE model, which is on his website here. He offers this as a way to see if a group is a cult, and it makes for interesting reading and analysis.

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24 Comments
  1. October 20, 2010 1:14 pm

    Excellent reference, Jeff.

    The BITE model by Hassan is the key to unlocking cultic influence in one’s mind and life.

  2. Suzanne permalink
    October 20, 2010 6:26 pm

    Wow, Jeff. Simply outstanding. Steve reminds us that using care and compassion with those who are still “in” is the only workable route one can ultimately take.

    It’s hard, because those of us who have left are so painfully aware all the lies and deception. This creates in us a natural tendency to demonize DM and a desire to shock a person into “waking up”. In listening to Steve, however, you see that this approach generally does not work and may, indeed, backfire.

    Shortly after we publicly left the church, a friend of ours came over to have a talk with us. During our conversation, I told her about the numerous accounts of people who had been beaten by DM. She wanted me to be more specific, so I gave a litany of names of people who had either been beaten or who had witnessed the beatings. Her response? “Well, they must have done something to deserve it.” WHOA! Who was shocked now? It certainly wasn’t her! You see, in her mind, it’s all justified.

    Anyhow, I would highly recommend this video and also check out the British entertainer, Derren Brown on YouTube, and see how easily people are manipulated. It will make you feel all “jiggly” inside. Quite an eye opener.

  3. craig permalink
    October 20, 2010 8:02 pm

    Jeff,

    Thank you for this video, it sparked an interesting train of thought that I have been brushing up against for awhile but never voiced aloud or in my mind until watching this video. I’ll try to share it here.

    In keeping with your theme of Thought-Stopping, I have come to the conclusion that a popular myth about the self-aware evil of cult leaders is itself thought-stopping. It seems to me that cult leaders, outside of their cults, are presented to the public and so perceived by the public, as self-aware and knowing manipulators and doers of evil; that they are in some way cunning, evil supermen directing their campaign of terror against the innocent. This viewpoint, I believe, stops rational thought about these human beings and makes doing anything effective about them, on a personal or social level, nearly un-confrontable. How does one defeat an evil superman?

    The truth is: they are not a supermen and they are not evil. Their actions and the majority of the effects they create are viewed by some as “evil.” However, those same actions and effects are viewed by them and their followers as “good.” It’s all a matter of personal perception.

    In dramatic writing there is the concept that every character in a story or movie is the hero of his own storyline, just as in life we are each the hero of our own life-journey. If you apply this concept to “evil” cult leaders, you see at once that they, too, are the heroes of their own dramas.

    In good drama, the bad guy never recognizes that he is the “bad” guy. In his view, he is the hero of the story fighting for his life against the “good” guy. We, the audience, get clued in about who to root for because the author sets it up that way. I’m sure a bunch of Sith Lords watching Star Wars, cheered all of the parts that the rest of us booed at.

    Hitler, as leader of the doomed Aryan Nation Cult, is the tragic hero of his own life-story. Osama Bin Laden, as symbolic leader of the cult of the Cult of Islamic Defenders Against the New Crusade, is the underdog hero of his own life-story. Everybody loves an underdog challenging the oppressor story, and compelling dramas with these men as traditional heroes could be concocted for some audience somewhere. Their followers would cheer at all of the parts that the rest of us would shudder at.

    So, Miscavige, not to compare him to mass murders but simply to position him as a cult leader perceived by some as evil and by others as a savior, is the hero of his Scientology story. To his mind, he is still saving and promoting Scientology. To his mind, he is the defender of the faith. He does not view his actions as evil, incompetent, off-policy, or antithetical to the Founder. He is not consciously doing “evil” things. He is not plotting “evil” actions. He is defending his existence like any other hero in a white hat would do, and his actions are just because, to him, his cause is just. He is simply playing out his own hero role in his own movie. And in his movie, we are playing the roles of the villains and, until now, I’m sure we have not thought of ourselves as villains in the story because no one ever does knowingly play the villain.

    This distinction between unconscious villain and self-aware hero is important, because if we think of Miscavige, or any other cult leader, as a diabolical, calculating, knowingly evil-doing, super-being, out to intentionally dominate others, we give him comic book villain super-powers. If we think that Miscavige goes home to his Int Base chalet each evening, coiling his hands together and cackling demonically about his latest deceit against his unsuspecting followers, then we are deceiving ourselves and we are diminishing our own power to effectively deal with him.

    However, if we view Miscavige, or any other cult leader, as a clinically insane and anti-social personality — a deranged person in other words, then any “superpower” we have previously given him drops away and he becomes as confrontable as the raving lunatic on the street corner (who by the way, is also the hero of his own paranoid story).

    So my main point is this: villains, in real life or in drama, never think of themselves as, or take delight in, being evil. They are simply human beings, deranged human beings from our point of view, who are playing out their heroic role in their own story; a story in which we who oppose them are seen by them and their followers as the “evil” guys.

    So take a step back, pull your head out of the drama and look at the actors on the stage and at the masks that they are wearing. The evil villain mask is terrifying and horrible to look at. The actor wearing the mask is not.

    I know this was kinda long and I’m not sure I’ve explained it well but something about it seems to make sense to me.

    • Valkov permalink
      October 20, 2010 9:52 pm

      I get what you’re saying, but I disagree about a couple of things. For one, I don’t think Miscavige sees himself as “saving scientology” at all. I think that is is political PR on his part. I think he is actually all about money and power for himself, and status. He is out to aggrandize himself, pure and simple. I don’t think he cares about scientology orotherpeople, except as a way to get rich and powerful.

      Yes, Hubbard himself said “people are basically good”. He also said “Goodness and badness are alike considersations, and have no other basis than opinion.”

      But in practical terms, we do make those kind of judgements, and we have to, to survive. We make them on the basis of the results or consequences of the others actions. Did the person “intend” evil? We can only judge by the results of his actions. Certainly by any common standard of human judgement, Hitler intended evil towards Jews. Stalin’s GULAGs were not an expression of good intentions towards the mass of people incarcerated in them. Nor do Ithink Stalin thought he was “doing good”.

      In practical terms, being an apologist for those kind of people doesn’t appeal to me. It’s kind ofl ike sympathizing with a dog that gets infected with rabies and threatens my child.

      He may have been “Awww, a good dog” once, but now he is a threat and I wouldn’t hesitate to put him down to protect myself and my family and friends.

      • craig permalink
        October 21, 2010 1:42 am

        Valkov,

        My reply was not intended to be an apology for Stalin, Hitler, or Miscavige; and I’ll concede that perhaps I did not express my ideas as well as I might have after thinking this through more thoroughly.

        My main cognition and the point that I was trying to communicate is that I believe that we who observe and, from our particular points of view, judge a person or his actions to be evil, do ourselves a disservice by imbuing our “villain” with more evil intent than he may actually have. We give more power to an “evil” person when we imagine that he is aware of and bent upon evil. It means that not only his confront, but his command over evil is much greater than our own. We cannot comprehend doing to others what our villain has done. Therefore, in the arena of evil, he must be more powerful than us.

        Hitler is more frightening to me as a super-villain, aware of the evilness of his acts and not only pursuing success at evil but seeming to thrive on it. However, when I think of him as a fucked-up lunatic who was able to convince others to join his storyline, then he is suddenly not this monolithic evil but just — to use your analogy — a rabid dog who needs a cure or a bullet before he bites someone.

        Like I said, maybe it’s just me but the that distinction opened a door for me.

      • Valkov permalink
        October 23, 2010 11:52 pm

        I kinda get what you’re saying, Craig, it makes a psychological difference in how you feel about him, but my point is that objectively the bottom line is, which ever way you look at him, the same number of people died as a result of his actions.

        Whether or not he saw himself as “evil”, also does not make any difference in that context; but I would guess he did not see himself as “evil”.

        I think humans have agreed on some parameters about what is good/bad, good/evil, etc. So I’m not sure what we are discussing here. Some actions and results are better than others, and some are worse. I believe most people have some sense of which are which. Those individuals who consistently produce the “worst” actions are generally viewed as “not a good person”, or if their actions are majorly destructive, they might commonly be described as”evil”. It seems to me common sense applies to this issue. I will give an example from Scientology.

        Within the Scientology universe, there is an organization called the IAS. I believe the IAS is evil by anyone’s definition of the word, based on an objective look at the actions and the results of the IAS’ actions. They are a criminial organization that has defrauded thousands of people since it was established in1984(!)

        The IAS has not only defrauded everyone it has solicited donations from, it has in many cases crippled, damaged or destroyed their lives, by not only condoning, not only encouraging, but insisting andhigh-pressuring those who donate to max out their credit cards, re-mortgage their homes, borrow money from their relatives, friend, and businesses that short of winning the lottery, they will never have the ability to repay. It is quite likely the IAS is responsible for driving thousands of people into bankruptcy.

        And, the target of the IAS has always been public Scientologists, so the IAS has done more than any other group to insure that people interested in Scientology are unable to buy the services – Scientology courses and auditing.

        In Scientology terms, the IAS is the textbook example of a Suppressive Group – a group that acts to prevent people from being able to have Scientology if they want it.

        Oh, did I mention that the IAS does not use the money they ‘reg’ from people, for any of the “noble purposes” they say you are donating towards?

        That is what makes it a fraud, a scam. The money is collected under false pretenses.

        So, even putting the Scientology context aside, this is an organization that would be considered “evil” by almost anyone who was aware of what it is actually doing. And of course the individual IAS reps are sharing in creating and maintaining that evil.

        So, does the con man who takes a widow’s life savings in exchange for nothing, leaving her empty-handed, is he “evil”? Most people would say YES.

        Does he think of himself as “evil”? Who cares! We don’t know, and it doesn’t matter. That’s between him and his own conscience, between him and his God, between him and his own sense of Ethics, or whatever. To the people whose lives he’s ruined, it’s academic.

    • Aeolus permalink
      October 20, 2010 10:47 pm

      Craig, I would agree as a generality that everyone makes the decisions that they consider to be ‘right’, even if they only take their own self into consideration. A completely sane person will then observe the effects of those decisions to see if it’s what they intended, and will modify their future decisions as needed. Hubbard said that someone in a suppressive valence doesn’t have the luxury of self-examination, and that’s one of his datums I happen to believe. Because the SP has to have been ‘right’ about every decision, one bad one is usually followed by other bad ones to justify the first one, and so on down the rabbit hole.

      When the SP becomes the leader of a group, I think he (she) will automatically enforce that edict against self-examination (meaning any genuine examination of the leader’s actions) on the followers, and right there you have the makings of a cult.

      Miscavige has to know it’s bullshit, when he’s up on the podium spewing those bogus stats, but he also knows the ‘right’ thing is to keep the truth from the masses. Otherwise they might start to question his leadership, and that’s forbidden, even for him.

      Of course, none of this changes the fact that he needs to be taken out, as quickly as possible.

    • October 23, 2010 6:26 pm

      I highly recommend reading scholarly mags particularly “The New York Review of Books”, even if only one or two issues, gotten in all major libraries, or online (current issue) for free.

      Intellectuals definitely would agree with your comments, in that ALL major personalities in history are way more complex than the stereotypical comments the average citizen hears through normal media channels.

      Book length discussions simply lay the complexity of the biographies of the major “SPs” in history.

      The New York Review of Books, the topnotch intellectual dissection of history’s major individuals, is a MUST, to put Miscavige and Scientology, and LRH, for that matter, in true historical context.

      I’m no longer a sought out person for ex members exiting the Sea Org, but when they do come calling, usually via the 866-XSEAORG toll free number that I still “run”, I always ALSO tell them to PLEASE read!

      Read good current media.

      The best of the best, in my opinion, is “The New York Review of Books” articles which show really detailed thoughtful dissection of major issues currently.

      I also like Harpers, Atlantic Monthly, The Nation, Mother Jones, Newsweek, Religion Despatches (online), The London Review of Books, Skeptic magazine.

      DM’s a minor pipsqueek historically, once you put him in context.

      I fear longer range, it’s LRH’s writings which will be more troublesome, longer range.

      My hope is this blog, Jeff’s blog, and the other Scientology chat sites, and Marty’s blog, all contribute to having SOME influence on overall Scientology’s organizational downsides (the downsides being what LRH has unfortunately written into the Sea Org as their structures that will outlive Miscavige’s 30 bad years).

      Thank goodness for the internet.

      • Valkov permalink
        October 23, 2010 10:18 pm

        It doesn’t matter if DM is a “minor pipsqueak” in a broad historical overview. That’s not the issue at all.

        You’re just as dead if you’re killed by a minor pipsqueak, as if you are killed by a major criminal media darling mass murderer like Hitler or Stalin. The pipsqueak may have character traits in common with the “big boys” but not the ability to achieve power and historical prominence.

        Otherwise, I agree with you that it is good to read about analysis of current events written by intelligent people.

  4. bigawatts permalink
    October 20, 2010 9:29 pm

    Steve Hassan recommended listening to “Derren Brown Nature of Beliefs” on YouTube. I had never heard of this guy before. Amazing. Here’s the link to Part 1 for anyone who is interested:

  5. October 20, 2010 9:31 pm

    I’ll probably be spammed for writing this or not posted at all.

    But I look at someone like Steve Hassan as Ted Patrick lite.

    It’s now euphemistically known as “exit counseling” FKA “deprogramming”

    89 Branch Davidian mostly women and children burned to a crisp can attest to the fact that the “tech” has questionable validity.

    If anyone wants to leave the Church they can do so on their own volition just as they got in under their own volition.

    What many of these people seem to ignore is the person’s own responsibility in the matter and treat anyone who belongs to a “cult” or who adhere to the “cults” principles as mentally ill.

    Here’s an interesting article on the whole subject:

    http://www.mansoncasefile.co.cc/authors/Constantine,%20Alex/Alex%20Constantine%20Interview%20-%20CIA%20Cults%20&%20Anti-Cults.htm

    • Jeff permalink*
      October 20, 2010 10:03 pm

      I expected some to react to Hassan this way. But it seems you didn’t actually listen to his talk. He mentions Waco specifically, and how his advice was not taken in that instance. In his lecture, he advises communication, love, tolerance, and speaks out against making people wrong or forcing anyone to do anything against their will – the things you correctly object to about 1970’s-style forced de-programmings.

    • Bert permalink
      October 21, 2010 2:05 pm

      Steve did not state or imply that those in a mind control group are mentally ill. And I would argue that humans are pattern seeking animals that assign mutliple levels of intention, which is a characteristic of intelligence. Mind control groups play on that intelligence.

      Of course members can leave Scientology, and many have. But the sec checking, disconnection and threats of losing one’s eternity amount to such significant obstacles that the idea of “voluntary” loses it’s meaning. That is Steve Hassan’s point.

      • October 21, 2010 9:19 pm

        What I see you saying in Scientological terms is that humans prefer order over Chaos or you could say:

        “that humans are pattern seeking animals”

        Anyway you slice and dice it.

        However some prefer adventure or uncertainty over a predetermined preprogrammed lifestyle of conformity.

        This is why despite the chances of being or maimed, not to mention boot camp why people sign up for the marines.

        To some of us Scientology was an adventure, still is to some degree, like walking point on patrol , rock climbing, bull riding, riding a Harley,whatever turns you or floats your boat etc.

        For me it was fun being part of the organization because it was an adventure.

        When it stopped being fun was when I quit.

        And trust me with Miscavige running the show it ain’t no fun at all unless you are a masochist or con artist.

        Regarding disconnection, sec checks and chasing critics around with PIs etc.

        I.e. using black mail and extortion.

        Well we all know those things ain’t right and in fact where abolished at one time until his satanic majesty took over.

        So the thing to do is to demand that the Church reform its current practices and stop doing that crap not exit counseling.

  6. Soderqvist1 permalink
    October 21, 2010 11:52 am

    Craig: The truth is: they are not a supermen and they are not evil. Their actions and the majority of the effects they create are viewed by some as “evil.” However, those same actions and effects are viewed by them and their followers as “good.” It’s all a matter of personal perception. I’m sure a bunch of Sith Lords watching Star Wars, cheered all of the parts that the rest of us booed at.

    Soderqvist1: this is truth from a detached point of view, as you have so intellectually descried with the use of Sith Lords, but everything will change when you get hit in life, only for the simple reason that your skin happens to be in touch with the reality, so to speak!

    RJ: What many of these people seem to ignore is the person’s own responsibility in the matter and treat anyone who belongs to a “cult” or who adhere to the “cults” principles as mentally ill.

    Soderqvist1: that’s truth!
    In example; A dog is uncountable because he is totally dependent upon humans for his well being, and often many humans comes to the rescue when a dog is in need, and rightly so, because we have domesticated wolfs in the last10 thousand years for our own benefit, and they as dogs are our companions nowadays, and they naturally see us as pack leaders. Jews in Auschwitz are not responsible for their occupation, because they are put there by force by the Nazi. The Nazi is totally responsible for it, but Heber Boy is in Scientology by his own volition and is accountable for it. So I doesn’t bother much about that Heber Jentzsch is mistreated in the SP-Hole, but in stead I am wondering about how much more he will take before he will recognize that the group is insane, and want to leave?

    Btw, do you know that Auditing doesn’t make people more able?
    All you need to do to break that spell is to ask your PC’s relatives and friends, neighbors, colleagues, etc if they are inspired by the result, and want auditing? No they aren’t! why? Because they haven’t been under the hypnotic spell of Auditing, and thus can see its lack of result. That the PC feels better doesn’t impress!

    Jeff: Here’s a fascinating talk by Steve Hassan, given two days ago at the New York Ethical Culture Society. It’s about 40 minutes, well worth the time.

    Soderqvist1: I have read his both books; ‘combating the Cult Mind control”, and ‘Releasing the Bonds’. It is a lot of foods for thought there, and what “deprogramming” wanted to solve with force, his Exit Counseling will do with finesse! But there is one question left he couldn’t answer, or so he said at least, in example; why do some people end up in cults, but others do not? But I know the answer to that question, I know what kind of mind, which is very unlikely to end up there, it is a mind, which bases his conclusion upon verifiable facts, and doesn’t let his wishful thinking mess with this process. Steven Hassan was/is a believer in the God of Israel, and that did him amenable to include more things which cannot be verified to exist outside his skin, in example a lot of things the Sun Myung Moon has told him, which are simply lies. Of course he is an Ex-Moonie now, and can see through the Moonies manipulation, but the basic flaw is still there, probably unknown to him!

    • October 21, 2010 5:51 pm

      “Btw, do you know that Auditing doesn’t make people more able?
      All you need to do to break that spell is to ask your PC’s relatives and friends, neighbors, colleagues, etc if they are inspired by the result, and want auditing? No they aren’t! why? Because they haven’t been under the hypnotic spell of Auditing, and thus can see its lack of result. That the PC feels better doesn’t impress!”

      Btw Sv1

      That is a blatant generality and is basically untrue.

      The reason many people are involved in Scientology is because they were inspired by the results evident in others.

      For example Joey has been a druggie for years and does the comm course and quits doing drugs.

      Mary has lumbosis or some other ailment and suddenly its gone after Dianetic auditing etc.

      The fact is that the only reason some of these Scientologist tolerate someone like Miscavige is because of the results they have seen in others or have achieved themselves.

      The problem with people who try to save others from “cults” is they seek to discredit any salutary effect that someone’s association (in their own opinion and from their point of view) may have given them.

      This applies to drugs, alcohol and cigarettes as well.

      The person is convinced that the benefits out weigh any detrimental effects.

      • Valkov permalink
        October 23, 2010 10:08 pm

        I have to agree with you RJ.

        Anyone who can’t see the improvement when a person actually gets the EP of his auditing, is blind or maybe one of those low-toned jealous people who go “poo -poo” whenever they come across anything positive. They just MUST tear things down, can’t have THAT happening!.

        When I got my Life Repair auditing back in the day, people NOTICED. People I worked with at my job asked “WHAT happened to YOU?!” They wanted to get some, whatever “it” was.

        I don’t know what it’s like now, (although I have my suspicions, what with the “3 swings” FN rule, the GAT “wall of drills” making robotic auditiors,etc), but back then, in the 1970s, it was obvious when people were getting the EPs of their processing. People changed. The ARC flowed from them, they looked and acted more energetic yet calmer, communicated better, you name it. It was hard to miss.

        Maybe today they still get an EP, but then they are immediately suppressed at the Exam and then by all the heavy reging,”Ethics”, and make-wrong that goes on in ” His Satanic Majesty’s” cult?

        Anyway, IMHO it’s total BS that real auditing in a safe environment does not increase ability. Just ask any of the people who knew me before and after I got my first auditing.

      • Jeff permalink*
        October 23, 2010 10:32 pm

        “Anyone who can’t see the improvement when a person actually gets the EP of his auditing, is blind…”

        Well, if he “actually gets the EP of his auditing,” which is, by definition, improvement, then of course he improved. But how about someone who didn’t get the EP of his auditing?

        If a person receives auditing, but does not improve, then they didn’t improve. To point that out is simply relating a fact.

      • October 23, 2010 11:44 pm

        I agree Valkov.

        If I hadn’t gotten the spectacular results I got as an auditor or achieved the personal gains I had as a PC and PreOT. I would have packed it in long ago.

        In fact I did pack it in when it was blatantly obvious to me that you couldn’t achieve those results under his satanic majesty’s robotic regimen known as GAT unless it was purely by accident or the PC or PreOT was a “true believer” or one of those 22% who get a “result” of some kind from a placebo.

        The fact is that I audited some tough costumers who didn’t believe that Scientology worked but it worked all the same when the correct tech was applied.

        Anyways Jeff.

        You are absolutely right when one doesn’t get the EP or expected result then it’s pretty much game over (I believe the Ol’man said this as well in some obscure policy letter of some kind something about “poor results” or “no results”) since these results aren’t forthcoming and they haven’t been since at least ’96 to any large degree which is what you see spilling onto the internet.

        I think lack of results is the key that opens the door that was supposed to be kept closed and was opened with the “Golden Age of Tech”.

        Again per that obscure policy letter.

        Those who are still hanging in for the most part are still hoping for a result or are pretending to themselves or others that have achieved some kind of result.

        Or.

        Are those who are just so purely evil that they look at Scientology as a means of preserving their elitist position or are involved in world domination just like Blofeld from James Bond.

        In fact Miscavige does kind of fit the description of Fleming’s Blofeld as given in the novel ‘Thunderball’.

      • Valkov permalink
        October 24, 2010 12:53 am

        I have no problem with what you just posted, Jeff.

        I was responding to Soderqvist’s bland global generality that: “Btw, do you know that Auditing doesn’t make people more able?”

        That’s a laughably, patently over-generalized and unprovable statement. And no, I don’t think what I just wrote is an ad hom. That statement is gratuitously provoactive and egregiously false, and I think Soder knows it. He’s often pretty sharp. Let’s ask him if he just threw it in to stir things up….

        Your own comment refutes it. If even one person out of 10 has some improved ability as a result of auditing, it proves that statement false. Even if it’s one person out of a 1,000 or 100,000 that got some improved ability, then by simple logic the statement is false.

        And beyond that, how would Soderqvist know? Did he go out and inspect every single person who ever received auditing? Did he interview all those people’s family, friends, and co-workers? What does he base such a global evaluation on? I’m sorry, but that statement is absurdly without basis. It’s on the order of “God is everywhere”. Well, prove it. It’s just as false and unproveable as saying “auditing helps 100% of the people it is applied to.”

        I also don’t agree that the EP of any particular process is by definition, “improvement”. A person’s EP may be some realization, some new awareness or feeling, or some perceptible to him alone change of mental. emotional, or even physical state.

        My background is psychology/psychiatry, so here I am talking about “clinical” improvement. Clinical means visible. They are things others can see about a person. The person getting an EP can result in changes in the person that others can see. There are also the improvements he himself reports, which are called “anecdotal evidence”, but “clinical” means “visible”. And Sodeqvist refers to “talking to your PC’s relatives and friends, neighbors, colleagues, etc”, so he means clinical results.

        Your point is quite right, though Jeff. I do not mean to give anyone the impression that if they get auditing, they will necessarily be happy with the results.

        In fact, let me be the first to tell people to stay away from auditing in the Co$ – from what I hear, that needs an FDA “blackbox warning’!

        But I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the kind of auditing I got in1972. And from an objective perspective, if 10 people got auditing and 4 got improved ability, that would be a far better result than psychiatrists and psychologists get with their methods. Psychiatric drugs get about15% to20 % positive results, and most counselors don’t do much better. Their therapy is interminable, and they don’t offer refunds at all, either.

  7. October 23, 2010 6:00 pm

    Thanks Jeff!

    I remember at one of the turning points, little turning points, for me, while on the Int RPF, sometime in 1996 or 1997, I was sitting in the RPF course room, Clark Morton was doing my PTS Rundown on me, and the listing and nulling part of the PTS Rundown, when you consider who you are PTS to, I realized that my family, my Christian family members, who NEVER in my life tried to foist their Christian ideas on me, nor convert me to their denominations of Christianity, THEIR behavior was WAY more loving and kind and decent and open, compared to ANY of my years of Scientology contacts, superiors, friends.

    LRH says somewhere that sanity is thinking and comparing things, and the big point is to compare.

    Well, comparing the more decent behavior of family members I had/have outside the movement, helped me through the long “doubt formula” I went through in deciding to get the heck OUT of the Scientology upper ranks staff environment and back to the saner more decent outside world of people who behave far kinder and more open and loving.

    So Steve’s point is what I also tell people, family members, to use on their Scientology staff family members still stuck in the current overly authoritarian totalitarian Orwellian Sea Org.

    Use kindness, and show that there are decent people out in the real world who will accept them back, when those inside the Sea Org choose to make the change and get out.

    Also, though, long range, I hope, that longer range, somehow the Sea Org gets this overall message, and themselves simply buck Miscavige’s influence.

    He’s just one guy. He will die someday, just like all totalitarian “only one” leaders do, and the organizations that propped them up, in this case, is an L. Ron Hubbard laid out organizational multi-echeloned extensive bureaucracy.

    I think longer range, Miscavige’s “damage” to Scientology will be replaced in the decades to come, with LRH’s legacy of administrative writings being executed by future Sea Org members who pick up the pieces and try in the future to “do what Ron said.”

    Miscavige’s operating basis, is as you have written here and in your great book!

    Thanks so much for all you’ve done and written these last 5 years.

    I well recall your call out of the blue, in Sept or Oct 2005!

    I can’t thank you enough Jeff!

    Another extremely important voice, is Jim Dincalci’s, he was LRH’s Deputy MLO, and his insights and focus today on “forgiveness”, is HUGE. Family of Sea Org members who display forgiveness and love for their Sea Org family, will win the hearts of their family still stuck in the Sea Org (if they are stuck in the various Catch 22 suffering circumstances that often Sea Org members get stuck in eventually).

    Chuck

  8. October 23, 2010 6:55 pm

    Thanks again Jeff for your string of excellent blog themes opening up discussions.

    This thread ALSO reminds me of the “Cult of Personality” as it related to those in China living through the period when Mao was still alive, but clearly waning in influence.

    This is something future (and existing) Watchdog Committee members and Exec Strata members SHOULD read as required reading:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult_of_personality

  9. February 10, 2011 6:48 pm

    We all have are thoughts being controlled in one way or another

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