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The Dark Side

December 8, 2010

It has become a favorite phrase within the Church of Scientology to say that someone has “gone over to the dark side” when they leave the Church. I recently heard a story about someone who was told that they could not talk to a friend of theirs as they had “gone over to the dark side.” The person asked what they had done, but the Ethics Officer couldn’t say. “That’s confidential,” he said, “All I can tell you is that he’s gone over to the dark side.”

There are several definitions of the word dark.  One definition is “evil or wicked.” But another definition is “hidden or obscured.”

Imagine Scientology as a building with all of the windows blacked out so no one can see outside. Those who are inside are told that what is outside the building is evil. They are not allowed to talk to anyone outside the building. They cannot read anything from the outside world. If their friends or family are outside, then they are not allowed to talk to them. You can imagine them sitting in this building, staring at the blacked-out windows, and wondering what is on the other side – the “dark side.”

This metaphor isn’t that far-fetched by the way. I recall attending a demonstration at the local Scientology Org. People were holding signs, playing music and singing. The Org reacted by putting up black curtains all across the front of the building so that their staff and public could not see what was going on.

Amazingly, when they do get up the courage to walk out of that building, they discover not darkness, but light – a whole big world of people and buildings and parks and vast wilderness. A bright world of freedom where people can talk to anyone they want to, read anything they want to, and think anything they want. Or go to a movie or take a walk or go on a vacation or read a book.

And if anyone notices that little building with the blacked-out windows, they just say “what a curious little building. I wonder why all the windows are blacked out?”

So who’s on the dark side?

  1. Tara permalink
    December 8, 2010 9:46 pm

    Ahhhhh, or even sleep in! 🙂 I’m lovin the dark side!

  2. December 8, 2010 10:15 pm

    I love it out here! So fresh and bright and wonderful. I’ve never been happier. Scientology made me tense and paranoid. Now I’m free from that. And so glad to be shut of it.

  3. Valkov permalink
    December 8, 2010 10:52 pm

    Totally vivid and descriptive post, Jeff. Very, very good! It so well describes it. “Hiding” comes to mind.

    Again I am reminded of regimes like North Korea, where the ruling class has tried to do this to the entire country.

    North Koreans are taught from birth about the “darkness” outside of their country, and how “enemies” are planning to destroy them. But it is so bad to live there in North Korea, people keep slipping out whenever they can, looking for some sunshine. (And food!) It is China’s shame that the Chinese return escapees to North Korea when they are caught in China.

    • December 9, 2010 1:24 am


      That’s because China covertly supports North Korea as their buffer against South Korea and the US.

      To them its just real politik geopolitics as usual.

      Like America’s support of utltrafascist regimes in the name of “saving democracy”.

      Or Kruschev’s support of East Germany’s decision to wall off the Eastern Zone even thoughit was against his better judgment.


      The amorality that passes for high political ideals is pretty shallow.

      I mean we spent all this time and money fighting the (crumbling) Soviet onslaught only to have Western Europe embrace the Euro-Soc of the EC.

      I’m sure Karl Marx is smiling.


      Anyway the ‘Hermit Kingdom’ is pretty much on life support these days and will have to embrace the evil west

      Unlike Cuba it can’t blame America for its intransigence and gain international sympathy.

      (I mean I’m still pissed that we still have a fifty year embargo because Fidel gave us the finger and still can’t get a good Cuban Cigar and I forgot the address of a friend of mine who worked for……never mind…)

      Nor live on the good will of European and Canadian Touristas.

      Personally I think that most Scientologists outside of the Sea Org are beginning to see the light fka the “Dark Side”.

      I foresee foot marks all over Dave as he’s trampled by Scientologists heading for the exit at his next event.

  4. December 8, 2010 10:58 pm

    Speaking of “Dark-Sided” things and this kind of thinking from the Church of Scientology: I was cruising and I found a video of a woman who was not a Scientologist, but who believed heavily in the “Dark Side”.

    I believe that the more EVIL a Church tries to get their members to see all around them, the more they instill cult-like thinking – until finally you end up like the woman in this video.

    How DARK SIDE! rants have you seen like this in the Church of Scientology?

    Follow this link here and watch it on YouTube:


    • Joe Howard permalink
      December 9, 2010 12:25 am

      That’s Jenny Linson, Lisa Schroer, Barbara Ruiz and Angie Blankenship all rolled into one. And then some. Incredible. Possibly the most worthwhile five minutes of my life. Not.

      • December 9, 2010 1:30 am

        I’ve seen people act like that in the Church of Scientology.

        The “Inch-Wives” come close to this woman, and they were even under the restraints of being interviewed by Anderson Cooper on CNN! You have to wonder what fury they let loose in the green room after the show!

        I’ve seen Sea Org Execs act just like her, too, while believing they “getting in ethics” and “being causative”.

        These people are SEIZED WITH EVIL.


        Totally whacked.

        Endlessly entertaining.

    • John Doe permalink
      December 9, 2010 7:21 am

      Fer cryin’ out loud, Alanzo. I NEVER saw a woman that insane and mixed up in all my cult years.

      • December 9, 2010 8:20 am

        Hey I think I went out with a girl like that once.

  5. TheChaplain permalink
    December 8, 2010 10:58 pm


    Thank you for your always insightful articles.

    This one reminds me of the movie “Pleasantville” in which the residents of a cozy town are “happy”, as long as they don’t look at anything outside their perfect black and white bubble. But, when they eventually look, they find life and beauty and color out there.

    “No, you never learn about — you never learn about man by avoiding man. You have to walk with man to know man. You never learn about life by withholding yourself totally from life.

    “If you do hold yourself entirely away from life and if you are of a frame of mind that keeps you detached from existence, you will always continue to be a slave. You’ll be a slave to something. Only if you can live, only if you can freely circulate in existence, only if you can face up to your fellow man, only if you can talk to the beings that exist on the planet you’re on at the time, can you have any idea of the reality of existence or can you form any real opinion of existence.”
    — L. Ron Hubbard
    From the lecture Opening Lecture delivered on 21 January 1961.
    South African Anatomy Congress lectures

  6. December 8, 2010 11:01 pm

    “A bright world of freedom where people can talk to anyone they want to, read anything they want to, and think anything they want”. – That, of course, means that they will lurk, read, think and then talk about the dark side of Scientology (which is both “evil or wicked” AND “hidden or obscured.”
    If not, they will still see the dark side everywhere (while it’s only in their head).

  7. John Doe permalink
    December 9, 2010 7:18 am

    So, um…if we come over to this Dark Side, do we, like…get a cool light saber?!

  8. Cool Observer permalink
    December 9, 2010 8:36 am

    As Anonymous would say: Obvious truth is obvious. However, I think you got the picture wrong, provided you describe the organisation under David Miscavige. I think this man is more appropriate (at least for those outside of the building).

  9. December 9, 2010 9:48 am

    “That’s confidential,” he said, “All I can tell you is that he’s gone over to the dark side.”

    This is very dangerous. That’s why court sentences (at least in Sweden) always are available to the public so that the justice process can be evaluated by anybody. (Some restrictions of course when it comes to children or sexual content.)

    That’s why as much as possible should be open so that it can be discussed in the open.

    • John Doe permalink
      December 10, 2010 9:04 pm

      The very word, “declare”, means to announce publicly. Since that isn’t happening anymore, I guess we need a new term, as in:

      “Don’t talk to him. He’s been Insinuated Suppressive”.

      “He was threatened with an Innuendo if he didn’t tow the line.”

  10. idle org permalink
    December 9, 2010 5:26 pm

    The movie “The Village” by M. Night Shyamalan, is a great example of the dark side.

  11. brendon permalink
    December 10, 2010 6:47 am

    Sorry, couldn’t resist!

  12. December 10, 2010 3:00 pm

    The fact that any Scientologist would accept “That’s confidential’…’All I can tell you is that they have gone over to the Dark Side’ and that’s all you need to know” shows just how far Scientologists have sunk by the time this is told to them.

    When you first get into Scientology you learn the rules of the game, and those rules seem so sane: “If it isn’t written, it isn’t true”, “Those accused have a right to face their accusers and the accusations against them”etc etc.

    A Scientologist will agree to all these things in the beginning, and this agreement will be used to gain further agreement for things NOT expressed to them.

    The idea that you don’t have the right to go to the press, for instance, or to sue another Scientologist who has wronged you – or the Church – or that if you apply something in your business from LRH that you found in a book that you paid for, then you do not own your own income from that business and must pay WISE or you will be declared suppressive – all these things become “unknowingly agreed to” by virtue of the fact that you agreed with these other things in Scientology earlier.

    This then culminates with you agreeing with things that violate what you first agreed to, as in “If it isn’t written, it isn’t true.”

    Any declare is supposed to be available to all concerned, especially those who have been declared.

    But that idea was put there just to get you to begin to agree with Scientology – it was never meant to be actually applied when it does not advantage the Church to do so.

    No Scientologist would ever have become one if they knew where it was all headed in the first place.

    The fact is that no Scientologist ever did know where it was all headed in the first place. That was intentionally hidden from Scientologists, in order to get them to begin agreeing with Scientology, and swallowing it whole.

    • Cinnamon permalink
      December 10, 2010 6:53 pm

      Alonzo, that is very well put. If I were a prosecuting attorney for the United States Department of Justice, I might start my opening argument right there.

      I agree – people who start out idealistically thinking that all is well in Scientology can end up finding themselves in a different place than they expected.

  13. Cinnamon permalink
    December 10, 2010 6:56 pm

    Jeff –

    One of the things I liked a lot about your “Counterfeit Dreams” blog was the ending, in Chapter 17 where you described the everyday pleasant things that were now available to you. A walk on the beach, the chance to be with family…

    I just re-read it a few nights ago.

    The same with this blog post… “A bright world of freedom where people can talk to anyone they want to, read anything they want to, and think anything they want. Or go to a movie or take a walk or go on a vacation or read a book.”

    Reading this is for me like walking outside after a bad rainstorm, and the air is now fresh and clean, still a little misty, and little drops of clean water are everywhere, evaporating and giving way to what will be a new day of sunshine.

    Thanks for the reminder about the good that can be found in life, when freedom to find and enjoy it is regained.

  14. Cinnamon permalink
    December 10, 2010 7:15 pm

    Jeff –

    Just a word of explanation.

    My post-Scientology financial state is still one of frugality, where every dollar is carefully considered.

    So rather than buy your “Counterfeit Dreams” book (which I would very much like to read) I have asked my local library to buy it. That way, every one in my community can also enjoy it. I just have not yet heard back from the library.

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