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 .

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Two Years Out Of The Scientology Cult

I am approaching my two year anniversary of looking outside and leaving the Scientology cult. As many people know I was in for twenty five years.

So leaving was a significant change and many other changes have come along the way. Tony Ortega, Tory Christman, Arnie Lerma and Jon Atack all provided a tremendous amount of help to me that made understanding the truth about Scientology possible and helped me tremendously in finding out how the cult harms people and hides it.

That likely saved me decades of digging to understand even what Scientology is and how it functions. Arnie Lerma and Jon Atack each personally both provided resources for examination that summed up probably over half a century of research and also each personally exchanged dozens of emails with me in which they helped me to find references for my own consideration. They both were quite generous with their information and time.

I will greatly summarize the subjects I studied and have since written on and say they included hypnosis, rhetoric, propaganda, cognitive dissonance theory, social psychology, abusive relationships, narcissists, sociopaths, malignant narcissists, traumatic narcissists, relational systems of subjugation, logical fallacies, critical thinking, cults, thought reform, doublethink, loaded language, recovery from cults, trauma and related subjects.

That was primarily initially for my own recovery from Scientology and now certainly includes that to a degree but is now focused on finding information to hopefully help others. Scientologists, ex Scientologists, critics, independent Scientologists, never ins all have value and worth as human beings and therefore are worthy of sharing information and opinions with. I never expect absolute agreement but do hope to have some degree of cooperation and hopefully benefit for an audience. And to benefit as an equal to others and to in turn be an audience myself.

But this post is primarily intended to reflect on the changes, particularly beneficial ones, that I have noticed taking place over these two years. Many of the things that were easily noticed at first are well documented by people like Margaret Singer, Steven Hassan, Robert Jay Lifton and Janja Lalich. All cult experts.

At first there was a progression that many experience. An overwhelming disruption in the smooth acceptance of cult indoctrination occurred. I went through decades of being lied to and seeing contradictions in Scientology doctrine and practices each within itself. Finally I looked outside the cult and within a few weeks realized Scientology was entirely a harmful fraud and within a few more weeks realized it was all deceptive and none of the technology actually is of any benefit whatsoever. A stunning reversal to be sure.

The usual result of near sanity shattering shock and trauma which many ex cult members experience predictably occurred. The loss of confidence in Scientology with the sense of deep personal betrayal by Ron Hubbard was easily all encompassing and emotionally and psychologically overwhelming. This resulted in several things. It created a deep anxiety and sense of confusion that was overcome by two factors. Time spent doing normal things was immediate in that I woke up each day. Remembered my situation anew and forced myself to get up, put one foot in front of the other and go to work and fulfill my basic obligations. That made me go on and discover how to do things for myself and make decisions independently simply to survive. A wealthy person who could sit idly might have a much harder time as necessity won't compel his actions.

Secondly I set out to learn about Scientology and discover what the relevant information for personal recovery for myself was and how to most quickly take it in efficiently. That has been an adventure in itself to put it mildly. I had to relearn how to read with some measure of critical and independent thinking. This is a stark contrast to the indoctrination and thinking within Scientology. After thousands of hours of cultic indoctrination methods over decades my thinking virtually entirely fit the heavily constrained and directed results from Scientology.

So to learn how to read I had to find a new approach. Under Scientology everything was under a filter of either agreeing entirely with it or rejecting it - based entirely on if it agreed with Hubbard. Simple criteria, simple results, no middle ground. Then after leaving the cult a new way of reading and observing has been implemented.

I started to read a book and take a notebook. On the pages of the notebook that were on the right I would write notes on the author's key ideas and points. (I underlined the lines in the book itself while reading it) Then on the left page next to the author's lines I wrote my own opinions and ideas. The contrast is clear. I can agree, disagree, be uncertain, be confused, be indifferent. But my ideas are separated from the author's. And we may both be wrong.

That is a way of thinking that is totally alien to Scientology. Accepting and thinking with Hubbard's ideas is the only acceptable way EVER.

And as I have gone on I have reframed my ideas not only on individual pieces of information but on entire subjects and even ways of thinking. I now don't see any subject as perfect, complete, all encompassing or infallible.

The subjects of hypnotism and social psychology and cognitive dissonance theory overlap. To me they compliment each other and examine the same and similar ideas with different language. The language guides and limits thought and so by studying the different subjects one can consider, hold, accept, reject and refine or combine the different ideas from the different subjects. An important idea for hypnotism may not be expressed in hypnotism but well expressed in cognitive dissonance theory and vice versa. That is just one example.

So understanding I can never learn it all is a humbling realization and limitation Scientology doesn't have. In Scientology one is taught underlying simplicities found in Scientology can explain everything. Literally everything that does or can exist. That ends up as thinking only in the phrases Hubbard used over and over and in variations he used within Scientology doctrine. His thoughts substitute themselves for his slaves thoughts. That was by intent and design.

Also understanding that as a human being I always have many thousands of beliefs and opinions with several thousand being incorrect is another humbling realization. It doesn't mean I was wrong and corrected it. It means I am always wrong, largely unknowingly and cannot escape it ever. Another total reversal from Scientology. In Scientology one expects to be more and more correct. And usually assumes they are far, far more right than normal people after a short time in Scientology. The cult self selects people that accept this and rejects people that don't accept this. So internally it socially supports this.

Many ideas and behaviors predictably changed. People like psychiatrists, normal people, gay people and poor people that are heavily demonized in Scientology became acceptable and even admirable as the Scientology influence fell off. Blaming people for their misfortunes has greatly diminished. Learning about social psychology has helped me to see how situations influence conditions and individuals are not entirely independent and self sufficient. Now I have not entirely abandoned notions of free will and individual responsibility but try to greatly broaden the picture to include many other factors.

Many, many factors can mitigate the blame I would have formerly placed on people. And I take into account I might not see them and if I see them I might not understand their significance. I no longer blame people for being poor, homeless, sick, uneducated or a number of other conditions that I see as certainly generally outside the direct control of human beings. In Scientology the reverse was strongly encouraged. People get blamed for every misfortune they ever suffer no matter what or how old they are. Pretty brutal.

The interesting thing this shows is an essential difference in thinking and feeling. In the way of thinking described it is natural to assume people are good, there may be exceptions such as Hubbard to be sure or times individuals who are generally good aren't on their best behavior but those are assumed to be the exception and not the norm. In the Scientology model increasingly people are assumed to be responsible for bad things as individuals and shown no compassion. So an assumption of evil, incompetence, stupidity and worthlessness grows as one progresses in Scientology. This cannot be stressed strongly enough.

Even further on this line is another contrast. As I study social psychology I see more and more social influence and institutional influence. In other words results of systems of power that are bad that the system produces - often with at least partially unaware participants. So as aspects of institutional evil emerge the participants often have individual responsibility mitigated. That obviously is not absolute. But in our social systems it is often taken for granted. A man without social support can kill one person and go to prison for twenty years. A person can bomb thousands of innocent civilians including non-combatant men, women and children with social support and face no judgement or penalty. That is institutional evil.

Countries are invaded and millions murdered routinely. And without even a pretense of self defense or supporting an ally. The narrative doesn't even include a lie of moral justification. Perhaps other lies but hardly good ones.

But the individual soldier isn't accountable, he trusts his government. The general or politicians aren't blamed. They were just doing their job or fulfilling a role. A role within a system. As the public fulfills there role of confused disaffection. The public as a whole actually holds the power within the country but doesn't know it and the individual politicians and soldiers don't hold power in their minds either. Everybody plays a role. Or the system removes them.

Notably to get populations to this point if they aren't invaded and occupied or subject to oppression or great deprivation it takes a tremendous and ongoing propaganda effort. And that is something worth always examining as an important factor in human behavior.

Now the point of that is that the dysfunctional system is largely to be blamed or restructured or torn down if necessary. So even oppressive and terrorist regimes get a certain degree of consideration, such as the United States. Certainly not a free pass, after all murder by governments needs to be discouraged and exposed. Or understood to be tacitly consented to which is a crime of conscience itself. Was it Plato who said silence equals consent ? If so he had a point. We all have it tough and are subject to human limitations and social pressures but passes for murder and other serious crimes shouldn't be tossed about. And the larger the scale the more people this impacts so the more seriously it should be considered.

But seeing issues as complex and worth examining from many aspects is not the Scientology approach. Finding something Hubbard said that seems right is the beginning and often end of the road. And not open to considering structural issues that could contradict Scientology doctrine and even worse lead to critical and independent thinking, totally unacceptable for Scientology.

Little changes in attitude and how I talk to people are also observable. I now generally accept dissenting views, but still may object to rudeness and insults. Though not as passionately as before. I just say that ad hominem and the genetic fallacy aren't conducive to good reason. Quite different to the Scientology approach. Then disgust was the effect disagreement created. Jon Atack explained that was actually Hubbard's intent. If Scientologists are disgusted at criticism they don't consider it and reject the critics. That serves Hubbard's desires quite well.

I now know disgust is conditioned in Scientology, much as it was by the Nazis against Jews and by Americans against Native Americans and by others in prior genocides. Currently it is ongoing with Americans and Muslims.

Disgust simply ends reason. The relationship cannot be overstated. Feel tremendous disgust for someone and good reason goes out the door. So by seeing that I try to avoid disgust or failing that realize I need to get rid of disgust to avoid extreme bias.

But lots of little progressive improvements are almost imperceptibly gradual. I now understand normal people have and want boundaries. They are natural and accepting subtle clues and cues is important. Normal people don't like to be stared at, it is too aggressive and dominant. So looking for a few seconds then looking a bit away is more comfortable. Giving people room to be comfortable is important too and it varies, so pay attention. Don't go too close. And that has been largely successfully achieved.

In contrast in Scientology staring into people's eyes is taught and often practiced habitually for decades. And boundaries are ignored and discouraged, abusively.

Similarly normal people don't want tons of extraneous information and attention. That means they don't want to be talked to or to talk endlessly. They often are content to just interact a little or even not at all and that is okay. It's nothing personal necessarily. There are exceptions but Scientology doesn't allow or express this. So a Scientologist may go on and on and upset or annoy people while a normal person would simply know better.

In Scientology more communication is encouraged and action without waiting is encouraged. This combination creates a compulsion for constant endless communication.

By being in the Scientology cult this is tremendously encouraged. So getting out and becoming comfortable in having limited or no communication with people without a poor relationship is a significant development.

It makes an ex Scientologist far more socially acceptable to be comfortable not talking all the time or always needing to greet and acknowledge everything people say. Normal people have a greater range of options for communication. So while TRs give quick answers they are greatly limited and artificial responses that feel unnatural to normal people. Particularly once they observe the extreme repetition of responses, actions and types of communication within Scientology the normal person finds this uncanny, odd, too artificial, and ultimately inhuman.

It is a bizarre simulation of and substitute for normal communication. It is rejected as robotic and inferior. It comes across as lacking empathy, humility, understanding and human attachment. It comes across as morally or intellectually deficient. It's not comfortable.

Throwing off the TRs and the comm formula is a slow process that is easy to see by the effects of the changes in reactions from people who were never in Scientology, particularly if they know nothing about Scientology or cults.  As the Scientology methods are removed people find normal communication to be more natural, comfortable and less creepy and gross. It may seem like too simple a description but it is accurate.

And all these changes can add up and have a cumulative effect. A person can look but not stare, talk without following Hubbard's rules and formula, accept being wrong, understand that acting out of disgust is poor reason, accept limits on others from social situations and structural effects and have an easier time accepting others and being accepted by others.

That is the kind of subtle changes I have experienced in my two years out of Scientology. They are to me a very strong argument for getting out and staying out of Scientology. And pursuing recovery as a lifelong pursuit.

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