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, April 3, 2016

Roots And Chains

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There is an African proverb "If you cut your chains you free yourself, if you cut your roots you die." In looking at relationships, cults and psychology this has relevance.

It can be interpreted as showing that contributing to and strengthening relationships with people who are good to you is beneficial and destroying or damaging those relationships is harmful. Additionally at times getting out of the influence or effect of people that are constricting you or actually toxic to you is very important too.

In cultic groups and abusive relationships the truth is turned on its head. One can get so lost in the confusion and lies of a traumatic relationship (such as in a cult or abusive relationship) that good people can seem bad and bad people can seem good. The abusers can masquerade as saints and the decent, loyal and loving people in your life can be painted as villians most foul. Abusers do this intentionally to increase dependence, to strengthen control and to isolate their victims from anyone who would assert the worth of the victim and protect them from abuse, even if only by treating them with kindness and dignity.

Sadly a cult or abuser can use lies, reversals of truth, denial and projection to delude a victim into an actual state of helping the abuser, who is trusted blindly, and doubting then condemning the very people that actually care about and love the victim. Quite often this is the family and friends the victim has long had.

The victim can be so lost it's like being so far in the dark you don't even know which way is back toward the sun. And you take the word of the abuser over your own senses, intuition or knowledge that you are confused or upset.

Sadly in this state a cult member or victim of abuse can lash out and hurt, insult or abuse innocent and good people. They can be cruel, vicious and cause actual real hurt and trauma to people who don't deserve it at all.

If you come out of a very long and severe experience such as being in an abusive relationship or cult you may have to face many unpleasant realities. You obviously have to face how you were abused and deceived. You have to face that a person or group pretending to love and help you did in fact harm and betray you.

This can carry a lot of weight all at once. You are capable of being betrayed and deceived on a profound and lasting level. You may have to face that life isn't automatically fair, just or loving, nor even necessarily decent, certainly at times. You may have to realize your entire beliefs and values could be wrong, or at least need careful examination.

That's a lot to take in. You may also have to face the depths of cruelty, dishonesty and evil that may be possible in a person or group. It may be far more than you were prepared for or ever imagined even possible.

Then on top of that you would do well to learn how this occurs, what abusers do to victims and how victims are deceived in the process. Often people study narcissists, sociopaths, and cults and high control or totalitarian groups to understand this. Very often a victim feels vindicated in the knowledge that the abuser abuses because of circumstances that are entirely independent from the victim. Plainly the cult or person was ready to abuse or already abusing people long before the victim came along. So the victim doesn't prompt the abuse. The victim often learns many people, whether smart or attractive or wealthy or sane or good all can and do get abused and misled.

It's not due to a particular flaw or weakness and certainly not due to asking for it or deserving abuse. That's pure nonsense. These realizations often bring great peace and comfort to victims who pursue education about the relationship they were in. They also come to recognize the use of methods described in writings on abuse. They learn when they were fooled and what they were right about.

These all bring a feeling of relief from anxiety for some. They know to a degree what was done and how and don't doubt themselves in the same way anymore.

But there is another side to the coin: realizing when and how they took the side of the abuser or did the same acts. Plainly they learn to see the very real harm they suffered in terms like gaslighting, projection, reversals of truth, denial and a plethora of terms on narcissistic and sociopathic behaviour. They can learn so much about abuse and the ways abusers avoid responsibility and actual reality that they crack open a look at themselves.

Seeing yourself in terms like these can be devastating. It can prompt very emotional and at times harmful reactions, but it doesn't need to. If you sincerely realize what you did was wrong because it isn't justified, because it was out of hatred or arrogance, because it was selfish or cruel and you can face that it is painful to be sure but in a way a good sign. You can admit being wrong on an ethical basis. Not everyone does.

In looking at this I feel several things are relevant - both Robert Jay Lifton and Steven Hassan have at times spoke of achieving a healthy balance between humility and pride. If you are tearing yourself down endlessly there won't be anything there to do anything positive for anyone. If you have no humility you can't be honest and have the luxury of honest self reflection and likely can't easily improve.

I have heard the best apology is changed behaviour. I don't know who said it first, but it's apt. I feel there's a tremendous difference between apologizing and repeatedly going back to the acts one has apologized for and actually making long term changes for the better.

But striving to understand what you have done and how to do something better is commendable and an entirely different matter than empty words, or promises that prove false as that makes the words behind them ring hollow.

For people who leave cults, high control groups and abusive relationships many challenges follow. Not the least of which is facing two paths of discovery simultaneously. A person in this situation can feel order and stability as they see the acts done to them but also face personal responsibility - if they in turn have done harmful acts.

The process of learning about several subjects has helped many victims of trauma and abuse to both understand their experience and recover, certainly according to them. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of individuals have written accounts of this which are now available online. Many blogs and websites are easily available for examples.

I generally recommend this, although I am no expert. But for many long term cult members there is a reality that they may have been responsible for harmful and traumatic acts as well. It's not true in every case. Individual situations differ greatly and you shouldn't assume things about every ex cult member.

But if you are an ex member and look at information and realize it describes your own conduct then being honest with yourself is your best option. I don't endorse endless self condemnation or any form of self destructive behavior.

It can be hard to see in psychology how trauma is inflicted and see that you have done this, it is the same for many other subjects. When you look at how narcissistic and traumatic abuse occurs and recognize many details about abuse in your own actions.

I can say from personal experience that leaving a cult after many years has had this effect on me. As I spent twenty five years in the Scientology cult and then examined many things after leaving I learned all too well that I had taken on the same lies and justifications used by other cult members and the founder Ron Hubbard. I realized the ideas in Scientology doctrine are ultimately entirely false and intentionally meant to confuse, deceive and enslave people.

The methods of behavior, conduct and even thinking used in the cult are ones that deny the value and authenticity of people. So by using those ideas one unfortunately may carry them to their natural and abusive conclusions.

Scientology encourages elitism, prejudice, arrogance, disdain, cruelty, narcissism, denial of flaws and errors by oneself, projection of negative emotions onto scapegoats, reversals of truth to make oneself seem infallible and godlike with others portrayed as having flaws and undesirable conduct which oneself in truth actually has. Scientology by the way has been described as the cult of cults, the abusive relationship of all abusive relationships.

 It tragically combines many forms and types of abuse and is quite extreme in concentrating institutional evil and individual acts of abuse both. It provides a wealth of traumatic subjugation to examine. It doesn't have every possible form of abuse as a matter of course, but the ones it does have are quite extensive.

Additionally Scientology discourages strongly love, compassion, empathy, honest and balanced self reflection, humility, cautious slow consideration, critical thinking, independent thinking, Socratic debate, accepting limitations, charity, valuing family, scientific methodology, valuing other faiths, respecting other races and cultures, being reasonable and open to new ideas, being willing to inspect basic assumptions or long held ideas, being able to set aside bias for allies and against opponents.

As I saw the depth and breadth of this as incorrect and not truly supported by the claims associated with it I also saw my own participation in behavior that simply is wrong. It was not right to be narcissistic, condescending, cruel, disdainful, domineering, arrogant and mean to people.

And I personally have felt a need to do several things related directly to this. First, to be willing to even consider that my own behavior honestly could be truly traumatic and abusive, in other words that I myself could have been and may yet be doing the behavior that is that of the abuser. It's very easy to reflexively look away from my own behavior when I get an inkling of it possibly being wrong, but that habit is part of maintaining the behavior. I would rather face the behavior and honestly swallow my pride and eat some crow then be able to change that behavior.

Additionally,  I think reframing the parts of the cult experience and the psychology of the interactions between abusers and victims carries natural responsibilities and consequences. I found it is easy to see how the most obvious and criminal acts such as overworking people, and defrauding them and actually harming them physically or abusing them sexually that occur in abusive relationships including cults are wrong.

Almost everyone who examines abuse can see that. But then I started dissecting the nuts and bolts of this and realized the auditing and indoctrination involves undue influence as well. It involves the use of hypnotic trance states without informed consent, which I had to accept supporting, defending and participating in personally. I saw moral compromises that may have held awareness they might be odd or questionable choices and I didn't ask the questions over time as it was easier to stop asking them. Then I stopped thinking the questions.

That's a compromise with my own integrity, just because it seemed easier in the short term. I did it, not someone else or Ron Hubbard. Others certainly have responsibility for their contributions to be sure, but I had to deal with being able to look back and clearly see where my own actions were simply wrong in the time I was in with the knowledge I had then.

This has carried on as I see more and more ways of examining these relationships and their results. It's certainly not always pleasant to see a terrible, low-down, dishonorable, evil behavior that is used to describe a narcissist, sociopath, malignant narcissist, or abuser by another name and to realize that has been, or even may still be, my own behavior. It may be a long term repeated act that is habitual and long considered above criticism and entirely justified and downright correct and in looking at it through the language and concepts from other subjects a startling thing can happen. I can realize it is actually the method an abuser uses. It can fully fit the objective perspective on what hurts people, what belittles people and what destroys relationships and actually causes trauma.

It takes a lot to balance compassion and judgment in dealing with people. It's important to take a balanced view and keep perspective. This is true in dealing with others AND yourself.

It's easy to feel either entirely victimized and never see my own fault in this, and I many times have said I am no saint, or to feel undeserving of any acceptance, attention, consideration or love because of my own incorrect or even evil acts.

That's a kind of double bind that ties up many people. You need to separate and not become fixated on different issues and responsibilities. If you want honest examination of your past it in my opinion requires a far higher degree of honesty than what occurs within abusive relationships. In my opinion abusive relationships are built with lies. The fundamental lie they all share is that it's acceptable to treat some people as being less genuine and authentic than others or as less than human. It's expressed in many ways, but that's the heart of it.

It's only logical and a good use of critical thinking to examine the abuse done TO a person separately from that done BY a person, particularly if you are that person. If you want to understand and possibly improve your behavior and relationships it's a must in my opinion.

I found the Scientology cult as an example encouraged and I followed a path of elavating self and devaluing others. I found and continue to discover again and again that I pushed myself up and pushed others down. I unfortunately did this thousands and thousands of times over the decades. I most strongly did this to my own family members. I gave an entirely unfair and undeserved plethora of abuse to my son and daughter, my wife's father and her mother and gave the lion's share of grief to my wife herself.

It's something I almost get to discover anew as I look at subject after subject, theory after theory, story of surviving abuse after story. Many of these subjects are what I call metaphors of the mind. They use different language to help explain similar phenomena in different frames. None are perfect or complete, but many have something to contribute that is worthwhile.

As I go through them, sometimes with a book or three on a subject like social psychology or recovery from cults or cognitive dissonance theory or narcissism/sociopathic behavior...etc. etc. I continue to see more of the details and descriptions which bring to light additional aspects of not only how I have been treated and harmed but also how I mistreated others.

In a cruel reversal which abusive relationships seem to automatically mandate I found the people that I was worst to - by a large measure, in my family and particularly my wife - actually in a truly cruel irony are the very people that deserve loyalty the most, that deserve appreciation the most, that deserve support the most and definitely deserve love the most.

It's a long hard road to go into or take on an abusive methodology of conduct for decades and then face it, seek to dissect it and find that in my own behavior and emotions I was being the very worst to the people and person who I should have been my very best to. And I certainly regret that.

I think the best way to show regret in a way that is constructive and not denying the reality or getting lost in self condemnation or the double bind is to be honest about it, to face and appropriately acknowledge it, which can include apologizing, and to face the challenges that accompany striving for the best apology (changed behavior).

That's a lot to take in I must admit. But I hope it's helpful for people. Now not everyone will have the same experiences I have or the same behavior to face. Some people who are abused never abuse others. Some do to a far lesser extent than I have. So your "cultage" may vary, so to speak. So please don't assume you or anyone else need exactly the same path.

But I gave this VERY detailed personal information to give a concrete, no bullshit, true example of what a journey out of a cultic life and abusive mindset can be like. I try to write these posts for ex cult members and their families but also want to as much as possible include in the audience people who have never been in cults or other abusive relationships. They have a tremendous amount to contribute to recovery and to protecting others from future harm.

I hope everyone who looks to this work can feel valued and find value in these posts. I want the fear and confusion abusive relationships create to be replaced with a calm and relaxed atmosphere of accepting the truth. And optimism ro replace the fear as one sees that improvement is possible with growing knowledge, even if it's at times rough or incremental.

The best days can be ahead of someone who had a severe abusive experience, even if both as victim and abuser, if they are willing to do work and be honest. I certainly don't know any better options.

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