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 .

Friday, March 11, 2016

After The Cult Part 1 Scientology Acceptance And Denial

I left the Scientology cult in 2014 and have been out for two years now. I have noticed one of the absolute most important factors in recovery from cultic abuse is empathetic witnessing.

Empathic witnessing is listening and displaying humility, empathy and compassion in communication with others. It is important in human relationships but holds particular value for ex cult members.

The experience of cult members has been described by Daniel Shaw as similar to the trauma experienced by victims of rape, incest and sexual abuse. This trauma is severe and a deep personal betrayal. It is an experience that involves the treatment of the victims as less than genuine individuals in relation to the cult leader.

The victims existence as individuals fully deserving human rights and subjective views is denied by the leader. They are reshaped or treated as objects to be used as seen fit by the leader. The leader may acquire, devalue then discard them at will as they see fit. This is the pattern of a narcissist.

Cult leaders in Daniel Shaw's hypothesis on malignant narcissists as cult leaders have very specific elements. He calls such abusers traumatic narcissists because they inflict trauma in their relational systems and use trauma to subjugate others.

The use of trauma to subjugate victims by denying the victims' subjectivity confuses the victim and creates anxiety and overwhelm which leads to denial, reversals, projection in the victims often which mirrors the conduct of the leader.

By having one's subjectivity undermined and denied the victim experiences such deep betrayal it can become a core part of their identity. They can feel simultaneously worthless and less than human as a result of traumatic subjugation and at fault for deep, deep feelings of wrongness, worthlessness, shame and an irredeemable abhorrent identity.

 They can see their own decisions to trust and love abusers as creating emotional vulnerability and within their own control. Like victims of sexual abuse, incest and rape the cult members can feel they must be responsible for their own trauma. They can feel less than human through the traumatic subjugation they experience. They can internalize the cruel and hateful malignant narcissist's denial of the authentic individuality and value of others.

The traumatic narcissist (aka malignant narcissist) has shown unimaginable cruelty and nonrecognition of authenticity of the victim as a person and the victim has felt let down by their expectations of genuine value and decency in the narcissist. The victim learns the abuser shouldn't have been trusted and the abuser certainly doesn't trust others. The abuser seems to win in the relationship as they get the upper hand and have their desires fulfilled as the victim must submit to their demands.

In coming out of the Scientology cult a victim has been subjected to a system in which Hubbard's authenticity is the only one recognized often. Sometimes David Miscavige assumes the guru's role as the only one worthy of recognition as an individual deserving rights and self determination.

When they leave they have experienced an environment that strongly condemns victims and blames them for their own hardships. Scientology by doctrine and practice routinely demands harsh repudiation of members seeking sympathy, equality or compassion.  Especially if the member is vulnerable and poor and has low status in the cult caste system. The Staff are generally treated poorly and most Sea Org members are treated worse and RPF members are extensively abused.

Ultimately all members are abused, traumatized and exploited in the cult.

One of the easiest traps for a member leaving to fall into is a lack of empathic witnessing. Indifferent or uncaring witnessing is unfortunately quite common. It is traumatic in itself.

It is recreating the experience of being denied authenticity as a person. By denying the abuse that is disclosed by a cult member a witness denies the assertions that the victim deserves to be accepted as a genuine person and even if this denial is only by implications or tacit indifference it still inflicts trauma on the victim.

The victim can three times over learn to not trust. They can detest their trust and love of their abusers and hate themselves for having been vulnerable and see their abuser's lack of love and trust as superior to their attitude and then finally see the lack of empathic witnessing as showing they shouldn't expect trust or recognition as a genuine person from others.

It can become deeply ingrained and convince them trust and compassion are the essential weaknesses that lead to victimization. They can share this trait with some victims of incest, rape and sexual abuse.

For victims of these highly traumatic crimes denial of their experiences is extremely traumatic. Unfortunately rape victims for example must endure blame based on how they dress or if they went out in revealing or tight clothes or if they were with a man alone. These acts are irrelevant to the crime of rape and the trauma it inflicts. Similarly knowing the attacker or being married to them or having given consent prior to the violation but then subsequently withdrawn the consent similarly are irrelevant to the crime and trauma.

In any of these circumstances the right to not be violated never ceases and the trauma rape inflicts never lessens. The case is similar with incest and sexual abuse. Sadly victims of rape, sexual abuse and incest often encounter witnesses who are indifferent, deny the authenticity of the violation and inflict trauma themselves through their lack of empathy.

Women who come forward with rape allegations all too often are immediately accused of victimization of their rapists. They are accused of seeking money and attention. Or given a brush off and treated as inferior to others. Their authenticity is denied.

The same often holds true for victims of incest or sexual abuse. Sometimes their closest family members choose to not trust them or listen as their claims are horrific and if believed would shatter families but if denied would just make the victim a foolish liar.

Deciding a child foolishly lied is easier to accept than that a spouse or parent or priest is a child rapist. The reality of the abuse is life changing, but denying it seems acceptable to some.

The consequences for a child or woman whose abuse is never validated cannot be overstated. Lifelong trauma and misery may follow. And the repetition of abuse on others to perpetuate the trauma over generations can follow as well.

The conditions of PTSD and CPTSD are experienced by many victims of rape, sexual abuse, incest and cultic abuse.

All have the common trait of demanding empathic witnessing. If a person calls cult members stupid, crazy or weak they deny the abuse, minimize the crimes and most importantly deny the validity of the victim as a person worthy of compassion.

By implying cult members need to be especially gullible or willfully ignorant one lowers them and their experiences. This inflicts trauma as well.

Most people lose loved ones. It is a universal traumatic experience. Imagine a cherished loved one dies and you are crushed emotionally. You can't contain yourself and confide in a person that you feel like your heart has been ripped out. Imagine they respond "You had to be  stupid to have feelings like that" or "You didn't really have it that bad" or "You had to be crazy or gullible beyond belief to fall for that".

You know that is completely wrong to do to someone. Well, in denying cultic abuse the same result can occur. And it can be denied just by being incredulous or over and over asking "how anyone can fall for Scientology" or " You did not do your homework and look at both sides."

The result is similar to telling a raped woman she should have known better. Actually it doesn't matter what she knew - she shouldn't have been raped because the rapist should have respected her right to not be abused which is never gone.

The horrible thing a witness must accept if they bear witness is that a crime can happen to anyone. A witness must accept that assumptions about life being fair or just, people being safe or loved and the world and individuals being just can be at times simply wrong particularly if those assumptions shut down empathy and compassion in bearing witness to the experiences of others.

By merely questioning the very real claims of both abuse and trauma from the Scientology cult a person will unknowingly inflict more trauma on ex cult members.

This is similar to racists and their allies who deny racism, inequality, police brutality against minorities, disproportionate incarceration and sentencing and many other aspects of societal and institutional racism despite mountains of strong evidence.

In denying the crimes, discrimination and abuses a racist denies the authenticity of the victims as genuine full people worthy of basic human rights. This is similar for gay people, religious minorities and other marginalized groups.

One cannot help but be affected by being treated as less than human. Sadly, often abusers use the psychological defense mechanisms of reversals, denial and projection to pretend to be the victims of the very abuses they commit.

If you hear of abuse or harm against someone and don't want to inflict trauma the least you can do is lend a sympathetic ear. It doesn't mean every claim is true or you have to fully agee with everything you hear, but if you feel a person deserves to be treated as a person and not an object it's the very least you must do.

So if a cult member asserts they were hypnotized or brainwashed or gaslighted listen if you can. Blaming them is flat out wrong. If they did evil acts that is a separate issue and must be addressed as such. Often the cultic abuse sets up a double bind of being guilty of abusive behavior and also being a victim of abuse while in the cult.

The two can create a confusion of feeling both ashamed of evil and unworthy of help or compassion and simultaneously desperately needing compassion for the trauma one has received. So blaming when listening is needed only makes this worse.

There is certainly more self hate in this world than I care for so if you can help someone to escape it I recommend it. They can face culpability for wrongdoing too, but not simultaneously.

If any of this makes you feel uncomfortable that is a very good sign that you may have the luxury of honest self reflection to wonder if you could've done better in the past or been more thoughtful and compassionate. That you would face that means you can. I know I certainly can do better at empathic witnessing and will definitely try.

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