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, November 5, 2015

Scientology Building The Prison Of The Mind Part 11 The Weakness Of Non Reality Based Belief Systems

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

 Image result for explosive cognitive dissonanceImage result for mental breaking point
Like all posts in the Building the Prison of the Mind series this one consults and quotes Leon Festinger's book A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance. These posts all run in order and follow the book. They should be read in order and I recommend every ex Scientologist read A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance.

This post focuses on specific ideas from Cognitive Dissonance on social effects. And their consequences.

Festinger wrote:
The existence of dissonance seems to lead to the initiation of social communication, and the reduction of dissonance is followed by a lessening of such communication. (Page 225)

Festinger goes on to share very relevant and specific ideas on how and with whom a person experiencing dissonance will communicate. Festinger described how a person who internally has little dissonance and only finds disagreement externally in the minds of others is likely to seek to use persuasion to change other individuals' minds.

When a person has dissonance internally however the behavior is very different. They seek agreement with others who already hold their own beliefs to lessen dissonance. This is very applicable in looking at Scientologists' behaviors.

I found in the process of coming out of Scientology a noteworthy change in my own selection of information sources. While within Scientology I often didn't seek any sources of disagreement regarding Scientology and only sought information agreeing with Scientology doctrine quite often. I avoided contradictory evidence quite strongly.

In the process of coming out of Scientology and trying to learn what happened to me I realized at every point in adult life I have held thousands, perhaps millions of ideas and opinions and behaviors simultaneously. And that due to bias and flaws in thinking which are not ever entirely avoidable I had always held several hundred or thousand incorrect ideas. It is unavoidable, try as one might to escape it.

So I accepted flawed reason and conclusions as the human condition forevermore. So I wrote I Am Wrong And You Can Be Too ! And it has a flexibility in accepting (in theory) the cautious possibility, even inevitability, of some ideas no matter how deeply or passionately being held, of having to be wrong.

The result of this is an increased willingness to accept contradictory evidence and to find only seeking confirmation from information to be alarming. It's an unusual approach to find high certainty as a sign to be cautious and play devil's advocate in trying to find evidence against my beliefs, in case they are incorrect or too simplistic and blocking deep critical thinking and comprehensive analysis.

But this is the opposite of the thinking stressed in Scientology. There submission to Hubbard is the highest value and seeking confirmation of his ideas and avoiding contradiction of them is the motivating force in Scientology.

Festinger goes on:
The greater the magnitude of dissonance already existing when one is made aware of disagreement within the group, the greater is the tendency to seek support from those who already agree with one's own opinion. (Page 230)

Festinger found people tend to want their faith restored if it is shaken and several studies have led him to believe a terrible bias and effect occurs quite often.  People get their beliefs thrown into doubt by contrary evidence. They may even fail to maintain faith, but as they find reasons or agreement with their ideas they recover their faith, then overrecover their faith. It actually becomes stronger and more vigorously defended.

Festinger also found something else significant in behavior. If a person experiences an emotion they seek context for the emotion. Normally a person sees a causal relationship between experience and emotions, some things are boring, some frightening, some pleasing and so on.

But when unseen forces inspire emotion then context is sought, meaning expected. So in Scientology members often project negative emotions ruthlessly and passionately onto critics. Why ? Because Scientology consistently produces stress and anxiety that is buried and builds over time along with hidden dissonance. And without understanding of why certain people and ideas are so upsetting, Scientologists blame the people who remind then their technology doesn't really work, and they can't persuade non-Scientologists quite as they know they should be able to. The failures of Scientology to make magic are brought right out when critics or merely uncooperative individuals refuse to submit to Scientology.

Festinger went on to describe a vulnerability of belief systems that is inescapable ultimately for Scientology. It is an idea George Orwell described in the afterword of 1984, which hopefully will given time undermine any non reality based belief systems. The dissonance brought on by direct observations of irrefutable proof that the doctrine of Scientology or a totalitarian regime is undeniably false will weaken the mental hold any such system has.

That our minds eventually discover and reject the lies that enslave us is perhaps a saving grace, it may save humanity from abusive and totalitarian regimes time and again.

Festinger noted that when clear and certain disconfirming evidence impinges it usually inspires abandoning the dissonant beliefs. But sadly, there are circumstances where direct disconfirming evidence is not immediately persuasive enough.

This is made difficult if the social support one has entirely requires agreement with disconfirmed ideas. This is the norm for thousands of Scientologists.

Additionally, Festinger notes a crucial idea for an idea or belief system or group holding an iron grip, it is an experience familiar to many Scientologists. The irrevocable act that demands compliance.

This has long been known to a degree, it exists in the gang that requires murder to join or the child soldiers that are required to rape girls and murder children so they cannot try to return to the society they were plucked from. Most Scientologists don't murder for the cult, but many do leave and renounce families and friends. Many quit jobs and forsake their educations. People often sacrifice so much and are arrogant to so many people with Scientology as the only justification that admitting Scientology is an incorrect belief and behavior system becomes unbearable.

So with direct evidence showing Scientology isn't right but support within the cult acting to confirm it is right the cult member can increase agreement in Scientology by gaining new members. So cult members try to gain new members. Hubbard faked massive expansion to fool members. In the sixties he claimed millions of Scientologists existed, when there have never been more than a hundred thousand active members. Miscavige found an interesting twist on this by building massive organizations that are temporary manned up for publicity temporarily with Scientologists then hollowed out and left empty inactive shells, but still promoted as well staffed and vibrant centers of immense expansion, which never occurs.

So the lie serves to fool members into thinking Scientology has tens of millions of members and millions more joining every year as proof of its workability. When it has tens of thousands of members and cannot grow with its horrible reputation for crimes and abuses.

Festinger found groups support members unreal beliefs by mutual conduct.

By studying millennial doomsday groups he found failure of the world to end on an appointed date actually increased the fanaticism and zealotry of the members. This happens many times to long term Scientologists as Scientology is packed with contradictions and observable false claims.

The process of repeatedly doubting Scientology then recommitting oneself over and over serves not to just close a mind, but to weld it shut effectively making the prison nearly impervious to outside influences. But at the very peak of possible dissonance, with an adamantium outer layer the dissonance can no longer be reduced and the inside crumbles opening the mind to facing reality at last.

Explosive dissonance finally erupts. The experience is a tremendous release of long buried doubts and emotions. It takes one to the very edge of madness and has extreme anxiety, shame, self-loathing, disgust, feeling betrayed, feeling worthless and realizing your entire belief system and life is a lie altogether and at once. It can take months to recover from.

But in facing your fears and Hubbard's lies you free yourself from his dark influence and lift the long shadow off yourself and are free to walk in the light of truth once again.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.