Several people have started asking me about recovery and some very personal issues related to what to do and how to start .
I am not a psychologist or therapist or doctor and have no college education of any kind . I do not know anything that would lead me to discourage the use of conventional medicine in any way . So , I will start to give a little of the info I have in this post to assist if possible .
I want to stress that recovery is one of the areas I have looked at the very least and I have only worked significantly on the recovery of one person - myself. So , with that in mind I will try to give my tiny bit of info on this .
First off I want to say Jon Atack has told me that 99% of exes NEVER recover or do anything to make it happen so if you do anything you are standing up to Hub and showing extraordinary defiance ( completely appropriately ) . Second I will say that there are experienced professionals who deal with this like Steve Hassan and ICSA (International Cultic Studies Association ) who have lots of experience dealing with cult issues to go to.
Now , some people due to financial or other reasons have trouble getting treatment or getting to an area with cult experts.
The cult often takes all a member's money and has them work in jobs that do not translate into good careers after they leave the cult .Governments , generally to my knowledge do not support recovery or groups that work in this field .It is largely non-renumerative work . ( That means you do not get paid anything for doing it often )
So , I will start by cautioning that several cult experts have said if you go to a therapist or psychologist find one very familiar with cults or they may waste a lot of time thinking you have issues you do not or need treatments that are not right for your condition .I will also recommend several books and online resources and go a little more in depth about what they have to offer.
I read Rape of the Mind at Lermanet.com very early in my looking outside the cult ( around Jan 2014 ) and found it FELT just like Scientology and KNEW I had to look more .http://www.lermanet.com/scientology/mc-ch1.html
This is a great first book if you are not sure what the big deal about Scientology being bad is .I then took the cult test and got a 98 ( out of a possible 100 !!! ) and knew that I was exposed to DOZENS of methods of mind control !http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-cult.html Now , I am not putting up the test to have people TRY to get a high " grade " !I am putting it up because it with a very small amount of info really makes clear what a cult is and does and consults a person's own experiences for the test .
I also read Eric Hoffer's True Believer and recommend every ex at some point read it . It has many important details about the minds and behavior of followers and leaders of mass movements.
I also read Going Clear , Beyond belief , Queer and Pleasant Danger , A Piece of Blue Sky , Bare faced Messiah http://www.spaink.net/cos/rmiller/index.htmland they gave me a more well rounded idea of what Scientology is like for others around the world .
I also read The Book of Law and found forty one points - often taken nearly word for word - that are placed throughout Dianetics and Scientolgy covertly and very widely dispersed .This was important for me as I was trying to " look at both sides " and be fair and not listen to rumors at this point .I SAW that Jon Atack and Arnie Lerma were quite right when they bring up Hub's theft and alteration of other's work .That was very important for me .
I also read all the Scientology Mythbusting articles and Never believe a Hypnotist and Scientology is an Implant by Jon Atack and about thirty of the entries at Lermanet.com on a variety of topics but found myself drawn to HYPNOTISM over and over again .Those posts and a few visits to sites on hypnosis and NLP would break me through to the point where I started to form some of my earliest rudimentary theories or proto-theories .
I should let you know I did something that I thought would be unimportant but actual experts have said is needed to be included in a book on recovery .I became aware at once of the fact that Hub MUST have been a pathological liar and that EVERYTHING he said was to commit FRAUD for the entirety of Dianetics and Scientology !
I had an overwhelming experience as in my mind as HUNDREDS of pieces of info were like words on cards all flipping over simultaneously as I realized this must be a lie... so that must not mean this... and if there are no clears then...there are no OTs...then all the work and disconnection ...then Hub must be insane...But it was like a computer program being completely overwritten and FEELING it while it happens !
I started writing the contradictions I became aware of in Scientology in a series of notebooks and saw the pyramidal structure of both the group and the doctrine but did not yet recognize the info as implants as such yet . ( or that it all makes the double bind or as I call it the circle of lies )I puzzled for weeks over how they could produce their ultimate effects .
The actual construction of the notebooks was a crude attempt to figure things out with examination , comparison , independent thought and questioning : critical thinking.I initially did not even realize I was trying to think free of the contradictory commands ( double bind ) for the first time in decades regarding many, many, topics.
That was a VERY unpleasant experience as the cognitive dissonance I avoided for many years came crashing down on me ALL AT ONCE .I then read Hypnotism Comes of Age and realized virtually all auditing is a form of hypnosis right away and found many , many examples therein .Hub admitted reading this book so the fact that he knew he was selling hypnotism is obvious to me .
I then started what I do now - in a less developed form . I would read a book and keep a notebook for that book and note important or key parts by writing the quote - verbatim and the page it is on so I can go back to it.I did not know it in terms I could explain but felt it was important to do this.
I was actually regaining several important faculties by using this method.
I was regaining some independent judgement as I was now picking the important points to write and also some perspective as by writing verbatim and saving the notebooks to look at later to base posts on - I regained SEPARATION .In other words I made it clear - this is what the AUTHOR wrote . It is NOT what I think or believe and may be wrong , right or part right .That was very different from Scientology " study " .
Okay that takes me to about March or April 2014 or so .Another vital thing I read was logical fallacies and i recommend every ex learn a lot of them cold .I got a copy of a poster from this site : https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/
I have it in my living room and often look at a particular one and think of how I use it - even now and try to eliminate fallacies from my own thinking.
The study of fallacies has greatly helped my ability to spot lies and deception in hub's doctrine as he studied rhetoric and knew he was controlling thought with Fallacies and loaded language .Honestly it helps in daily life all the time as I can spot and pint out errors in my reasoning and OTHER PEOPLE'S TOO !!To their annoyance .. er I mean delight .For some strange reason people accept me saying I was wrong far better than saying - you have used poor reasoning ! Go figure !
I have since read a lot more and further refined the study to be simply , for reading a book say to take a notebook and on the right hand pages right quotes with the page noted for reference AND now on the left hand pages right MY OWN thoughts , ideas and conclusions for later referral .This is big step toward actual independent critical thought - I know what I read and what I think and try to keep the two separate and know BOTH can and will at times be wrong .I am not a very good Scientologist at all !
Now this method and working extra hard to regain critical and logical thinking may not be needed by all - as I spent twenty five years in and used study tech for probably ten thousand hours of brainwashing er enhancement .But if anybody else wants to try it knock yourself out .I also want to here mention the two books I feel are the most helpful for recovery of all those I have read .
First off freedom of Mind by Steven Hassan . This is short but packed with easy to read and very vital info as a great basic first book on recovery almost any adult can easily get through .He really knows his stuff and I cannot state that strongly enough .Now , the second book I recommend I actually found even better than his .
It is Recovery from Cults and I only recommend it be read second as it is far longer and frankly a much tougher book to read so I want you to get the first book under your belt to be helping you while you put in the effort for the second.This book has a lot of chapters written with many , many authors and gives a great overview on almost every possible cult topic and recovery in particular .
In one of the chapters Phillip Zimbardo co-authored a part entitled escaping a mind control system and it has an actual checklist of 20 ways to resist unwanted social influence .I want to give a few very short quotes from other chapters to support my point :
Begin quotes ;
Page 209 Thought reform
Ex-cultists still in stage one of their recovery process must thoroughly understand how they were under the influence of a thought reform system .
If former cultists do not understand the thought reform program they will not be able to resolve their tangle of emotions - guilt , fear , shame , sadness , and anxiety .
Page 236 Guidelines for therapists
Without an understanding of their cultic experience , those who leave cults on their own tend to be plagued by aftereffects longer than those who gain such an understanding
I could go on for days about all the great things in this book and tell you how it describes many cults and the opinions of highly trained experts with many, many years of experience and that a lot of these guys are world renowned and have been in their fields for fifteen to thirty years and have the finest academic credentials and that some parts are written by therapists who specialize in cults etc. etc.
I hope you get my point that this is almost the closest thing to a bible on cults that I have found .Not every person will like every chapter ; if you start one read a few pages and if do not like the author or the topic skip it and read the ones you do like .There are plenty of things to check out .
I am almost constantly finding new info on cults , undue influence, mind control , rhetoric , persuasion , influence , NLP , thought reform , hypnosis, cognitive dissonance and restructuring , the critical factor , social psychology , reoccurring patterns of human thought and beliefs , sociopaths , logical fallacies , critical and independent thinking , totalistic groups and abusive relationships , trauma , PTSD and recovery and other related issues.
Aside from books , videos by people like Dantalion Jones and Darren Brown and online articles I also have a very important resource that I am sure I would not have made this progress without .ESMB .
By making myself put my thoughts out into a form where it has to make sense to OTHERS and stand up to inspection and questioning I have been able to use the give and take ( not identical to the Socratic method but much closer than Scientology methods ) at ESMB to inspect and reinspect ideas and much more quickly with feedback work out what and how to say and think things.And the info ESMBers give often takes my threads and thoughts in directions that can lead to new ideas .
By debating Commander Birdsong I can look very closely for every way to discredit SOS and come up with several arguments that are very clear and detailed and make the idea that there is nothing true about the tone scale much stronger in MY mind and then find residual habitual thoughts from the cult to dismiss and see the implications of the true scope of how fake and easy to discredit the beliefs and claims of the cult are .
There are many , many - probably hundreds of examples of how the give and take have helped my recovery and its speed .I also communicate very often with Jon Atack and Arnie Lerma and frankly they have a tremendous amount of knowledge that is relevant and are used to breaking it down for people who have not even started to study these things and so I can get custom delivered info from the masters and it really is priceless stuff.
Sometimes an email from one of them is better than a couple BOOKS from someone else !They - in my mind are the top two experts on the con - in the world !So I am very , very lucky to have them as my mentors .
I also have consulted Tory Magoo and Galactic Patrol and got some very very helpful info from both of them on several occasions and recommend their videos to all exes.Now , to be even a bit more open I will let you in on something I am sure some have already figure out .
I also study another...resource to find info and examine aspects of Scientology , cults and human behavior.
YOU . ( ESMB members )
Now , don't get mad but this is a perfect free resource to gather exes and see and learn from what they think , feel and do .See , you are part of understanding human behavior ( as you are human ) and the leaving the cult , recovering or not etc. etc. and reacting to someone who says they want to help etc. etc.
Now , to be fair I did not really understand I needed to study the ESMBers until several months had gone by and I realized I was learning a lot from our interactions and by Pissed it's Not Your Fault !!! http://www.forum.exscn.net/showthrea...OT-YOUR-FAULT- I knew YOUR actions were directly relevant to understanding ex-cultists and cultists . And so they became in truth a body of data to examine and reexamine .
Now , some would say by telling you I am going to alienate some or contaminate the data etc..Well , I would rather proceed with honesty than without and have this information be accurate for any who try to benefit in the future .Is the Russian saying it is better to slapped with the truth than kissed with a lie ?
PS I am adding some more sites for general info and referral on recovery from Scientology.
I want to link this thread to another I wrote on recovery and mental health practices that should be read with this one :
That thread should really be read first if possible .
Mockingbird's Nest : http://mbnest.blogspot.com/search?up...08:00&max-resu
stuff at ESMB