The Dark Side
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?