Hello , I am an ex Scientologist , this blog is primarily about that but I may address other topics as the mood hits me to . I was in Scientology for 25 years and spent about 10,000 hours using the indoctrination and thought reform method "study tech " . I also spent time on staff and met hundreds of Scientologists and did hundreds of the cult practices . Many were the "ethics cycles and OW writeups " that really are an attempt to suppress or remove a person's identity and replace it with a mental pseudo clone of Ron Hubbard . To make a fanatical slave for the cult .

I looked outside the cult for answers in about January 2014 and left the cult in about March of 2014 . While in about 99% of members have no idea of the truth .

We are told we are in a mental therapy or spiritual enhancement or religion or science for helping people unlock potential . Or any of several other fronts that all pretend kind and humanitarian goals .

The truth is Scientology is a terrorist mind control cult and this blog is my attempt to understand and expose that . And try to state as clearly as possible the tools that I have found helpful in dealing with this .

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Scientology Building The Prison Of The Mind Part 5 Explosive Dissonance

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 Image result for a theory of cognitive dissonanceImage result for a theory of cognitive dissonance

Like all the other posts in the Building the Prison of the Mind series this post refers to the book A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance by Leon Festinger. I will include quotes from that book for reference. Festinger refers to many studies and experiments, but I won't go into them here.

This post deals with particular ideas on cognitive dissonance building and being avoided.

Festinger wrote:
If there is no behavior or action in which a person engages or possibly may engage that is relevant to a particular area of information, there will be no motivation from this source to acquire cognition concerning this particular area of information. (Page 124)

Now that can be broken down to simpler terms. If something isn't important regarding a subject than it can't inspire dissonance for that subject. It is irrelevant, even if related to the subject. Why ? Because it just doesn't matter so it won't upset or really help in a meaningful way.

This has a special significance in Scientology. When Hubbard decreed that there is no background information or outdated ideas he made everything students study have equal authenticity. In other subjects a student can see different ideas developed at different times by an authority as being more or less final and complete. They can also compare different authorities and give one more credibility than another. This approach encourages a degree of critical and independent thinking and analysis which is entirely absent in Scientology.

Hubbard put his name on everything, despite plagiarizing ideas from many others, and gave them all the same literal unquestionable authority. So none can be dismissed as old or partially developed in comparison to others. So no comparison occurs.

This additionally makes dissonance between them routine as Hubbard contradicted himself consistently. So that traps the student in a web of close minded contradictions. I covered that method in Insidious Enslavement and the Secret of Scientology part one Control via Contradiction.

Festinger described how people without preexisting bias on a subject who need to make a decision on that subject seek information. Regarding that subject they seek information of different kinds from different sources and are impartial in what they seek out and willing to take in information of different kinds without concern for either the source or content. They are open to different ideas from different people.

After making a decision some of the information will become consonant in other words in agreement with the behavior chosen and some will become dissonant in other words in disagreement. This will effectively reorganize the information and eventually create bias.

Festinger went on to say:
The presence or absence of dissonance in some particular content area will have important effects on the degree of information seeking and on the selectivity of such information seeking. (Page 126)
Relative absence of dissonance. If little or no dissonance exists, there would be no motivation ( considering this source of motivation alone ) to seek out new and additional information. (Page 127)
The presence of moderate amounts of dissonance. The existence of appreciable dissonance and the consequent pressure to reduce it will lead to the seeking out of information which will introduce consonances and to the avoidance of information which will increase the already existing dissonance. (Page 128)
The presence of extremely large amounts of dissonance. Under such circumstances a person may actively seek out, and expose himself to, dissonance-increasing information. If he can increase the dissonance to the point where it is greater than the resistance to change of one or another cluster of cognitions, he will then change the cognitive elements involved, thus markedly reducing or perhaps even wholly eliminating the dissonance which now is so great. (Page 129)

Festinger here gives us crucial information. If the internal conflict over an idea or behavior is entirely absent a person has no reason to gain information. There are some things a person doesn't care about. A concept may not have any supporting or opposing content in one's mind. So you just don't care.

If you have moderate dissonance, meaning a bit of discouraging information but not too much you avoid disagreeing evidence and seek agreeing evidence. So you might avoid TV shows that disagree with your political views, as an example, and watch ones likely to agree.

For millions of Americans an extreme polarization and self censorship is observable. With as an example Fox news millions of people either agree and only watch Fox news for national political information or strongly disagree and never watch Fox news for national political information.

One could say many of these people have moderate dissonance and seek to reduce it by finding agreement from Fox while avoiding disagreement from others. Now one might say "Why is the dissonance continuing if he only seeks agreement ?", Well he runs into people who don't follow his beliefs or other evidence. So he can stay in moderate dissonance for decades if he doesn't change his routine or get new information of significant influence relevant to the dissonant cognition.

Here is the goldilocks zone of any subject, you care and are not unbiased and open to any information. But you are seeking more proof you are already right and avoiding proof you are wrong. The conditions are just right to keep you close minded and biased towards your beliefs and behaviors. And to keep finding evidence you are right while avoiding evidence you are wrong.

The Scientology cult is built to get a person here subtly, covertly and keep them there.

Now when dissonance is near the absolute limit possible a person changes dramatically. They can seek dissonant information to examine. Why ? Because the way they have been thinking and doing things isn't comfortable and finding small bits of consonant information doesn't relieve the dissonance.

As a simple way to describe this say you get a job at a company and for a while like the pay, work and work environment. It is highly consonant. You don't look for evidence against your job. Simple, then say you find out your company pollutes extensively and uses slave labor in other countries and other unethical practices. Say that is highly troubling to you and you feel tremendously conflicted. It generates high dissonance. You are very concerned on a deep personal level.
 At that point just seeing the company logo or motto won't comfort you. A manager just trying to mildly compliment the company won't work. It will merely frustrate you.

In this situation seeking more evidence against your old behaviors and ideas may actually be sought and feel right. Even though you face admitting having been wrong you can dismiss much or all the dissonance involved by changing your mind. All the dissonant elements can be resorted as consonant and the formerly consonant ones as dissonant. So you can entirely switch sides on an issue. For a job you might quit.

Well for Scientologists this has special meaning. When dissonance escalates to explosive proportions the Scientologist can start seeking neutral or critical information on Scientology. Normally Scientologists never do that.

But eventually hearing the same ideas from Hubbard or getting auditing may not relieve doubts about Scientology. So this is the origin of lurkers - the people who secretly look outside the cult and examine the internet at sites like the Underground Bunker and read books critical of Scientology.

In social psychology the three factors of emotions , behaviors and ideas interact. In theory all three are connected and can influence each other. Hubbard stole all three for his methods and renamed and redefined each. He called emotions affinity, ideas reality and behaviors communication. He recognized that manipulating any one could control the other two. I explored that in ARC and KRC.

 Cognitive dissonance theory has the concept that with enough dissonance, which for my example can be seen as equivalent to an emotion, one can affect behavior and subsequently beliefs which are ideas. With no concern for something no behavior regarding it is inspired, with slight concern a little reassurance is sought and accepted and with tremendous unrelenting discomfort, even anxiety , internal conflict and worry a person can be driven to look for disagreeing information to settle the issue. They can become open, even slightly, to accepting the criticism of their formerly held beliefs. In this way emotions that in the past trapped a person can turn and compel them towards freedom. This level is called explosive dissonance.

The lurkers moved outside the goldilocks zone. Some sadly are so overwhelmed and confused they stop and go back into the cult. So the information they run into is important.

Fortunately many keep up looking outside the cult and begin recovery in earnest. I hope this post has offered an explanation that will help people understand why people stay and why they leave. And to help them recover.

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