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, June 15, 2017

Scientology's Persistent Myths 3 - Sarge's E meter Story

In Scientology history one anecdote has taken on epic proportions of influence. The story Steve "Sarge" Pfauth (who was a caretaker for Hubbard in his final days) reportedly told Lawrence Wright which was described in his book Going Clear of Hubbard allegedly asking him to design a super strong E meter to rid him of his body thetans.

Tony Ortega has an excellent short article posted on this story dated July 11 2016 on his blog The Underground Bunker.

The incident described might have occurred as reported. It's possible.

I am not certain one way or the other. So, as a first point I want to say it is just one story told by one man.

That can be given too much weight in evaluating the meaning of this information. It is not to my satisfaction a well confirmed account.

Second, it is often used to fill in the blanks to complete or prove ideas on Hubbard's mental health and certain ideas on Hubbard's history.

Some people have the idea that Hubbard was more or less relatively sane when he started Dianetics in the late 40s and eventually went completely insane by the 80s or perhaps even earlier over a long slow decline.

That might be true or not. I don't know for sure either way. But it is in my opinion giving far too much value to this one anecdote, unless someone has a lot of other relevant information to support this idea and I have not seen that presented myself.

There are alternative theories on his sanity or deterioration. Some include insanity throughout his adult life, various illnesses like schizophrenia, narcissism, malignant narcissism, paranoia and a variety of others.

I personally like the malignant narcissism idea and the traumatic narcissist model Daniel Shaw created with aspects of Robert Jay Lifton's guru model.

But I just wanted to emphasize that the use of a single anecdote from a single source to make such an important evaluation is problematic in my opinion.

I think a very thorough examination of cult leaders in general and the types of personalities they may have is in order and no quick simple idea will be sufficient for that.

I would recommend watching the available YouTube videos on cults by Margaret Singer and Robert Jay Lifton and Daniel Shaw. Also reading the eight criteria for thought reform by Robert Jay Lifton (from his book Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism, the eight criteria for thought reform are available free online), True Believer by Eric Hoffer, Traumatic Narcissism by Daniel Shaw, Cults In Our Midst by Margaret Singer and all the Scientology Mythbusting articles at the Underground Bunker by Jon Atack as well as his book Let's Sell These People A Piece Of Blue Sky.

For a more comprehensive examination of cults I would give my highest recommendation to Rick Alan Ross's masterpiece of cult curriculum Cults Inside Out. Also, Take Back Your Life by Janja Lalich and Recovery From Cults and Steve Hassan's Freedom of Mind.

I have to emphasize that in my opinion in looking at cult leaders and their relationships with cult members one is dealing with abnormal psychology, the psychology of very unusual people with extremely unusual and unhealthy relationships with others. Thinking they think, believe, feel and behave as you and I do is in my opinion a fatal error. They don't and as a result their relationships aren't like ours.

To look at the psychology a lot of work can be done and can include the essential book A Theory Of Cognitive Dissonance by Leon Festinger, Age of Propaganda and The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout. Certainly a serious look at narcissism and malignant narcissism should be included too.

Scientology's Persistent Myths 2 - Scientology Can't Be Regulated

One thing that is really odd is the fact that a lot of Scientology critics and journalists say "I know everything in Scientology is fake and a fraud, and that it has harmed and deluded a lot of people, but it since it can't possibly be regulated, because people can believe whatever they want and will act on those beliefs. So if David Miscavige is stopped from disconnecting families, I don't care if people get auditing."

That's ridiculous to me in a few ways. It combines several false ideas. Just because people believe in something doesn't mean a behavior has to be legally allowed. There are millions of people that believe slavery is a good idea. In many countries their ideas are illegal as practices. Unfortunately there are probably millions of people that believe sex between adults and children is acceptable or desirable. Just because they believe and desire that doesn't make it legal. I am glad that practice is illegal in many situations and countries, and wish it was illegal in more situations and countries than it already is.

There are other practices like treating women and members of different races or religions as inferior beings that are unfortunately legal in some places but not everywhere that anyone desires.

There are several other beliefs that are regulated in practice and sometimes even outright denied under the law. It happens, people outlaw some behaviors.

With Scientology it would be difficult to enforce but it could be and importantly if say auditing and Scientology indoctrination were outlawed then actions taken with Scientology would be crimes and not able to hide behind the first amendment or legal protection reserved for legitimate business.

That would make a huge difference. Scientology could not require any contracts that support a criminal activity to be honored as such contracts are themselves illegal.

Furthermore a tremendous amount of evidence that auditing and Scientology indoctrination actually can be harmful to mental health while claiming to be a legitimate and scientifically validated therapy exists. There's tremendous evidence the alleged validation of Scientology never occurred and was all lies. That's a fraudulent claim. So, presenting this is false advertising.

Additionally, there have been numerous studies like the Anderson Report that consulted actual experts who time and again found Dianetics and Scientology indoctrination and auditing as dangerous, fraudulent and harmful.

In my opinion the presence of demonstrably false ideas like engrams, reactive mind, basic basic, locks, secondaries, overts, witholds, MUs, and hundreds of other ideas as the foundation of Dianetics and Scientology makes the use of it an activity in which a practitioner is doing things they don't understand in a framework that can't truly exist and is entirely fraudulent. This leads to beliefs that are delusional and the requirement of informed consent is to me impossible to satisfy.

How can an activity that is entirely framed by lies and represented with fraudulent claims be undertaken with informed consent ?

I don't think anyone understands all the harm such an activity can cause, but it has on occasion been significant. And is often noticeable. That's relevant and to me something journalists and Scientology critics should not ignore.

At the very least they should report the strong criticism actual psychologists and psychiatrists have given time and again. Both individual cult experts like Margaret Singer and Robert Jay Lifton and Jolly West, all of whom are experts on psychology or psychiatry, and panels and commissions of inquiry like the Anderson Commission have been extremely critical of Scientology auditing and indoctrination.

That's worth telling people as a fair warning.

Scientology's Persistent Myths 1 - Hubbard's Beliefs

In coverage of Scientology by media and online conversations on the subject many ideas have been brought forth and shared. Many ideas in Scientology doctrine have been thoroughly exposed as improbable and highly unlikely, if not impossible.

I have been very happy to see that and tried to make an admittedly small contribution to this effort. A lot of others have done much, much more work and reached millions of more people than I ever will.

But despite a tremendous amount of good and even great work in my opinion some points get lost or outright denied.

I understand people will have different opinions on some matters, but for some ideas a lot of evidence exists while for others far less than adequate evidence exists. Some of the ideas with a good amount of evidence aren't getting represented enough in my opinion while some others that lack strong or even moderate evidence are being taken as proven facts.

A simple example to start with is Hubbard's beliefs. On many matters it is easy to establish what he wrote in doctrine or said in taped lectures. But to say he believed it is another thing entirely.

Far too often his words are described as his beliefs. That's assuming he believed everything he said or whatever is being reported.

That's an indefensible leap. From his affirmations to a wide variety of his quotes on lying there is strong evidence he embraced lying and if you examine the contradictions in his doctrine and add them up it's clear he contradicted himself hundreds, probably thousands, of times that are easy to see. Together these two bodies of evidence with the accounts of Hubbard taking enormous efforts to hide his lack of results, to hide his plagiarism, to hide his abuses of Scientology cult members and many lies he told in his personal life clearly demonstrate that at any time Hubbard spoke or wrote it was entirely possible he was lying.

So, for any journalist or even mere blogger or Scientology critic in possession of this information to describe Hubbard's quotes as his beliefs is problematic. Perhaps this can be used to describe his affirmations and some personal letters or journals, if one sincerely believes Hubbard was entirely honest in those private personal communications, but that requires extraordinary confidence in that judgment.

To use that description for Hubbard's ideas in Dianetics and Scientology that are for public consumption or even for staff or just the Sea Org or even a portion of the Sea Org then honesty is extremely unlikely to be found, certainly beyond all reasonable doubt. So, I would never casually describe Hubbard's quotes in general as his beliefs.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Scientology's Judas - Marty Rathbun

Marty Rathbun has been a person well known in the Scientology watching world for a variety of reasons over the years. His tenure in the Sea Org and actions as the number two man in Scientology, subordinate only to Scientology leader David Miscavige is well documented.

Marty Rathbun and David Miscavige both have admitted Marty Rathbun committed numerous crimes including felonies for Scientology and it's well established as fact by everyone on either side.

Marty Rathbun helped OSA to harass and try to utterly ruin people which can be proven out by numerous documentaries on Scientology.

I know several people that can confirm Marty Rathbun has attacked and fair gamed them personally. You don't have to look far in the Underground Bunker or ESMB (ex Scientologists message board) or Sps R us Facebook group.

So, Marty Rathbun has plenty of firsthand knowledge of abuse due to having carried out plenty himself. And of course playing a part in ordering it regarding others and reporting on it to Miscavige as well. He likely knows more about Scientology crimes and abuses than almost anyone else living.

So, with that in mind look at his actions. He worked in Scientology committing crimes and abuses for years.

Then he had a fall from grace and left and ended up feuding very publicly with David Miscavige. He wrote several books, posted criticism of Miscavige at a blog and was in several movies and videos.

He ended up dropping a court case against Scientology. Really it was in his wife's name to be technical.

After he dropped the court case he went through a transformation. He stopped criticism of Miscavige and Hubbard entirely as far I am aware of.

He instead criticizing Ron Miscavige and tried to discredit him as an author. He said unkind remarks about several other Scientology critics.

He made an odd blog post that is covertly praising David Miscavige and attempting to discredit criticism of Miscavige.

An odd reversal certainly. Marty Rathbun has gone on to have odd and rambling blog posts since then.

He acts like there is an Anti Scientology Cult and they are obsessed with memes and narratives from meme farmers that make money. He says there is a troika leading the sheep.

I would prefer to avoid such pretentious and loaded terms that are puffed up emotional language to hide the utter lack of proof Marty Rathbun has.

Strong emotions to hide poor reason.

In plain language Marty Rathbun now in his defense of Miscavige is trying to covertly deny all his prior condemnation of Scientology crimes including those by Miscavige. He is denying the crimes he at length went on about for months or years.

He in plain English is saying three people repeat claims and get the ex Scientologist community and Scientology watchers to parrot these claims. He wants the credibility of these unnamed three people destroyed because they make money from their actions.

It's so ridiculous that without his loaded terms and cherry picking of facts it looks absurd. Let's try it without those two items.

His basic claim is "don't listen to the entire critic community because three critics make money", despite thousands of people coming forth with thousands of stories of personal experience and information they get outside the critic community either through personal experience or sources or research they do independently.

Some people just speak on their own experience in Scientology or with family members in Scientology, others get information from people and practice journalism and others read books on psychology and sociology and dig through Hubbard's doctrine itself for hours to find relevant information.

And he has made money off Scientology, independent Scientology, and criticism of Scientology himself and David Miscavige has made money off Scientology too.

So, how should anyone trust Marty Rathbun himself if he asserts that people that make money off criticism of Scientology can't be trusted ? He certainly has ? And he admitted to committing crimes and hurting people for Scientology as well.

But his biggest problem in my mind and the thing I really want to zero in on is simple and the reason he is the Judas of the survivors of Scientology is one thing that is an inescapable indefensible fact: he knows about the harm Scientology has caused through fair game, OSA dirty tricks and other crimes through both committing them and witnessing them and he now denies those crimes ever existed.

I'm going to share excerpts from an earlier blog post here:

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.

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.

End quote from

After The Cult Part 1 Scientology Acceptance And Denial

Marty Rathbun in his roundabout way is trying to deny the crimes and abuses of Scientology, including his own and David Miscavige's.

That's completely unacceptable and morally repugnant. Indefensible isn't a strong enough word.

He is systematically denying the experiences of thousands of victims of Scientology all at once and he knows the crimes of Scientology quite well and id entirely indifferent to the suffering of those Scientology has committed crimes against.

He is uncaring about the families torn apart by disconnection, the people suffering on the Truth Rundown in the RPF and the people who have lost loved ones to Scientology. People lose family members to Scientology drug rehab scams and other horrible tragedies routinely. There are hundreds of victims listed online . There are thousands of people raised in Scientology with unresolved trauma and severe emotional and psychological problems. 

Marty Rathbun knows damn well about all these things. It's undeniable, not a narrative or meme or any other pretentious bullshit Marty Rathbun or David Miscavige want to call it. A clever turn of a phrase or slogan won't repair the harm including deaths Scientology causes. 

That Marty Rathbun knows this all so well, even contributed to these abuses and crimes himself for years and was forgiven and even supported by Scientology critics himself, and still has the callous inhumanity to deny the existence of the crimes against the victims of Scientology shows Marty Rathbun isn't merely a traitor to the victims of Scientology. He is a traitor to the basic decency all of humanity should have. And that is why I call him  Judas. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Ten Stages of Genocide

By Gregory H. Stanton, President, Genocide Watch

Copyright 1986 Gregory H. Stanton
The Ten Stages of Genocide
By Dr. Gregory H. Stanton[1]
© 2016 Gregory H. Stanton

Genocide is a process that develops in ten stages that are predictable but not inexorable. At each stage, preventive measures can stop it. The process is not linear. Stages may occur simultaneously. Logically, later stages must be preceded by earlier stages. But all stages continue to operate throughout the process.

➔ 1. CLASSIFICATION: All cultures have categories to distinguish people into “us and them” by ethnicity, race, religion, or nationality: German and Jew, Hutu and Tutsi. Bipolar societies that lack mixed categories, such as Rwanda and Burundi, are the most likely to have genocide.
     The main preventive measure at this early stage is to develop universalistic institutions that transcend ethnic or racial divisions, that actively promote tolerance and understanding, and that promote classifications that transcend the divisions. The Roman Catholic Church could have played this role in Rwanda, had it not been riven by the same ethnic cleavages as Rwandan society. Promotion of a common language in countries like Tanzania has also promoted transcendent national identity. This search for common ground is vital to early prevention of genocide.

➔ 2. SYMBOLIZATION: We give names or other symbols to the classifications. We name people “Jews” or “Gypsies,” or distinguish them by colors or dress; and apply the symbols to members of groups. Classification and symbolization are universally human and do not necessarily result in genocide unless they lead to dehumanization. When combined with hatred, symbols may be forced upon unwilling members of pariah groups: the yellow star for Jews under Nazi rule, the blue scarf for people from the Eastern Zone in Khmer Rouge Cambodia.
     To combat symbolization, hate symbols can be legally forbidden (swastikas in Germany) as can hate speech. Group marking like gang clothing or tribal scarring can be outlawed, as well. The problem is that legal limitations will fail if unsupported by popular cultural enforcement. Though Hutu and Tutsi were forbidden words in Burundi until the 1980’s, code words replaced them. If widely supported, however, denial of symbolization can be powerful, as it was in Bulgaria, where the government refused to supply enough yellow badges and at least eighty percent of Jews did not wear them, depriving the yellow star of its significance as a Nazi symbol for Jews.

➔ 3. DISCRIMINATION: A dominant group uses law, custom, and political power to deny the rights of other groups. The powerless group may not be accorded full civil rights, voting rights, or even citizenship. The dominant group is driven by an exclusionary ideology that would deprive less powerful groups of their rights. The ideology advocates monopolization or expansion of power by the dominant group. It legitimizes the victimization of weaker groups. Advocates of exclusionary ideologies are often charismatic, expressing resentments of their followers, attracting support from the masses. Examples include the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 in Nazi Germany, which stripped Jews of their German citizenship, and prohibited their employment by the government and by universities. Denial of citizenship to the Rohingya Muslim minority in Burma is a current example.
     Prevention against discrimination means full political empowerment and citizenship rights for all groups in a society. Discrimination on the basis of nationality, ethnicity, race or religion should be outlawed. Individuals should have the right to sue the state, corporations, and other individuals if their rights are violated.

➔ 4. DEHUMANIZATION: One group denies the humanity of the other group. Members of it are equated with animals, vermin, insects or diseases. Dehumanization overcomes the normal human revulsion against murder. At this stage, hate propaganda in print and on hate radios is used to vilify the victim group. The majority group is taught to regard the other group as less than human, and even alien to their society. They are indoctrinated to believe that “We are better off without them.” The powerless group can become so depersonalized that they are actually given numbers rather than names, as Jews were in the death camps. They are equated with filth, impurity, and immorality. Hate speech fills the propaganda of official radio, newspapers, and speeches.
   To combat dehumanization, incitement to genocide should not be confused with protected speech. Genocidal societies lack constitutional protection for countervailing speech, and should be treated differently than democracies. Local and international leaders should condemn the use of hate speech and make it culturally unacceptable. Leaders who incite genocide should be banned from international travel and have their foreign finances frozen. Hate radio stations should be jammed or shut down, and hate propaganda banned. Hate crimes and atrocities should be promptly punished.

➔ 5. ORGANIZATION: Genocide is always organized, usually by the state, often using militias to provide deniability of state responsibility. (An example is the Sudanese government’s support and arming of the Janjaweed in Darfur.) Sometimes organization is informal (Hindu mobs led by local RSS militants during Indian partition) or decentralized (jihadist terrorist groups.) Special army units or militias are often trained and armed. Arms are purchased by states and militias, often in violation of UN Arms Embargos, to facilitate acts of genocide. States organize secret police to spy on, arrest, torture, and murder people suspected of opposition to political leaders. Special training is given to murderous militias and special army killing units.
     To combat this stage, membership in genocidal militias should be outlawed. Their leaders should be denied visas for foreign travel and their foreign assets frozen. The UN should impose arms embargoes on governments and citizens of countries involved in genocidal massacres, and create commissions to investigate violations, as was done in post-genocide Rwanda, and use national legal systems to prosecute those who violate such embargos.

  1. POLARIZATION: Extremists drive the groups apart. Hate groups broadcast polarizing propaganda. Motivations for targeting a group are indoctrinated through mass media. Laws may forbid intermarriage or social interaction. Extremist terrorism targets moderates, intimidating and silencing the center. Moderates from the perpetrators’ own group are most able to stop genocide, so are the first to be arrested and killed. Leaders in targeted groups are the next to be arrested and murdered. The dominant group passes emergency laws or decrees that grants them total power over the targeted group. The laws erode fundamental civil rights and liberties. Targeted groups are disarmed to make them incapable of self-defense, and to ensure that the dominant group has total control.
     Prevention may mean security protection for moderate leaders or assistance to human rights groups. Assets of extremists may be seized, and visas for international travel denied to them. Coups d’état by extremists should be opposed by international sanctions. Vigorous objections should be raised to disarmament of opposition groups. If necessary they should be armed to defend themselves.

➔ 7. PREPARATION: Plans are made for genocidal killings. National or perpetrator group leaders plan the “Final Solution” to the Jewish, Armenian, Tutsi or other targeted group “question.” They often use euphemisms to cloak their intentions, such as referring to their goals as “ethnic cleansing,” “purification,” or “counter-terrorism.” They build armies, buy weapons and train their troops and militias. They indoctrinate the populace with fear of the victim group. Leaders often claim that “if we don’t kill them, they will kill us,” disguising genocide as self-defense. Acts of genocide are disguised as counter-insurgency if there is an ongoing armed conflict or civil war. There is a sudden increase in inflammatory rhetoric and hate propaganda with the objective of creating fear of the other group. Political processes such as peace accords that threaten the total dominance of the genocidal group or upcoming elections that may cost them their grip on total power may actually trigger genocide.
     Prevention of preparation may include arms embargos and commissions to enforce them. It should include prosecution of incitement and conspiracy to commit genocide, both crimes under Article 3 of the Genocide Convention.

➔ 8. PERSECUTION: Victims are identified and separated out because of their ethnic or religious identity. Death lists are drawn up. In state sponsored genocide, members of victim groups may be forced to wear identifying symbols. Their property is often expropriated. Sometimes they are even segregated into ghettoes, deported into concentration camps, or confined to a famine-struck region and starved. They are deliberately deprived of resources such as water or food in order to slowly destroy them. Programs are implemented to prevent procreation through forced sterilization or abortions. Children are forcibly taken from their parents.  The victim group’s basic human rights become systematically abused through extrajudicial killings, torture and forced displacement.  Genocidal massacres begin. They are acts of genocide because they intentionally destroy part of a group. The perpetrators watch for whether such massacres meet any international reaction. If not, they realize that that the international community will again be bystanders and permit another genocide.
     At this stage, a Genocide Emergency must be declared. If the political will of the great powers, regional alliances, or U.N. Security Council or the U.N. General Assembly can be mobilized, armed international intervention should be prepared, or heavy assistance provided to the victim group to prepare for its self-defense. Humanitarian assistance should be organized by the U.N. and private relief groups for the inevitable tide of refugees to come.

➔ 9. EXTERMINATION begins, and quickly becomes the mass killing legally called “genocide.” It is “extermination” to the killers because they do not believe their victims to be fully human. When it is sponsored by the state, the armed forces often work with militias to do the killing. Sometimes the genocide results in revenge killings by groups against each other, creating the downward whirlpool-like cycle of bilateral genocide (as in Burundi). Acts of genocide demonstrate how dehumanized the victims have become. Already dead bodies are dismembered; rape is used as a tool of war to genetically alter and eradicate the other group. Destruction of cultural and religious property is employed to annihilate the group’s existence from history. The era of “total war” began in World War II. Firebombing did not differentiate civilians from non-combatants. The civil wars that broke out after the end of the Cold War have also not differentiated civilians and combatants. They result in widespread war crimes. Mass rapes of women and girls have become a characteristic of all modern genocides. All men of fighting age are murdered in some genocides. In total genocides all the members of the targeted group are exterminated.
     At this stage, only rapid and overwhelming armed intervention can stop genocide. Real safe areas or refugee escape corridors should be established with heavily armed international protection. (An unsafe “safe” area is worse than none at all.) The U.N. Standing High Readiness Brigade, EU Rapid Response Force, or regional forces — should be authorized to act by the U.N. Security Council if the genocide is small. For larger interventions, a multilateral force authorized by the U.N. should intervene. If the U.N. Security Council is paralyzed, regional alliances must act anyway under Chapter VIII of the U.N. Charter or the UN General Assembly should authorize action under the Uniting for Peace Resolution GARes. 330 (1950), which has been used 13 times for such armed intervention. Since 2005, the international responsibility to protect transcends the narrow interests of individual nation states. If strong nations will not provide troops to intervene directly, they should provide the airlift, equipment, and financial means necessary for regional states to intervene.

➔ 10. DENIAL is the final stage that lasts throughout and always follows genocide. It is among the surest indicators of further genocidal massacres. The perpetrators of genocide dig up the mass graves, burn the bodies, try to cover up the evidence and intimidate the witnesses. They deny that they committed any crimes, and often blame what happened on the victims. They block investigations of the crimes, and continue to govern until driven from power by force, when they flee into exile. There they remain with impunity, like Pol Pot or Idi Amin, unless they are captured and a tribunal is established to try them.
     The best response to denial is punishment by an international tribunal or national courts. There the evidence can be heard, and the perpetrators punished. Tribunals like the Yugoslav, Rwanda or Sierra Leone Tribunals, the tribunal to try the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, or the International Criminal Court may not deter the worst genocidal killers. But with the political will to arrest and prosecute them, some may be brought to justice.  When possible, local proceedings should provide forums for hearings of the evidence against perpetrators who were not the main leaders and planners of a genocide, with opportunities for restitution and reconciliation. The Rwandan gaçaça trials are one example. Justice should be accompanied by education in schools and the media about the facts of a genocide, the suffering it caused its victims, the motivations of its perpetrators, and the need for restoration of the rights of its victims.

© 2016 Gregory H. Stanton

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Defeating Trump - Operation Snowflake

Millions of Americans have protested Trump and his policies within the first ten days of his inauguration. The Women's March reportedly turned out over two million Americans in the US and at least a million more people around the world.

Trump's immigration ban drew thousands and thousands of protesters to airports and to cities. The total may never be known.

Great news for people that oppose Trump comes in certain facts and past trends. It has been reported that Trump got only eighteen percent of Americans to vote for him. Just twenty five percent of eligible voters. Hillary Clinton defeated him soundly in terms of the popular vote and got around two point eight million more votes.

His approval rating is historically low for a new president and plummeting. Far below fifty percent of Americans want him as president.

There is a crucial question for Trump opposition. Should we use peaceful resistance or more extreme and radical tactics ?

I have personal experience with being a zealous fanatic and radicalized in a mass movement. I am extremely reluctant to return to such a position again. There are several distinct liabilities to such a position. You are quite likely to use brutal or ruthless means in such a position. I have found evil means often never lead to just ends and so your means in truth are your ends. You do evil today to get to good tomorrow and that tomorrow never comes.

But I have very good reason to encourage nonviolent resistance continues and in fact grows now. Erica Chenoweth studied many cases of nonviolent resistance and concluded it is far more likely to overcome a regime than violence. And that often only three and a half percent of the population resisting is enough to win.

Here's a Tedtalk video that is only twelve minutes long describing her research.

Here's a quote from the book 
WhyCivil Resistance Works The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict

"Conclusions and Implications The central contention of this study is that nonviolent resistance methods are likely to be more successful than violent methods in achieving strategic objectives. We have compared the outcomes of 323 nonviolent and violent resistance campaigns from 1900 to 2006, and we have compared these large-n ªndings with comparative case studies of nonviolent campaigns in Southeast Asia. Based on the combined statistical and qualitative research, we can make several claims. First, resistance campaigns that compel loyalty shifts among security forces and civilian bureaucrats are likely to succeed. Such operational successes occur among violent campaigns occasionally, but nonviolent campaigns are more likely to produce loyalty shifts. Although in the quantitative study these findings are qualified by data constraints, our case studies reveal that three violent campaigns were unable to produce meaningful loyalty shifts among opponent elites, whereas such shifts did occur as a result of nonviolent action in the Philippines and East Timor. In addition, repression against nonviolent campaigns in the Philippines and East Timor resulted in well-timed international sanctions against the opponent regime, which proved instrumental in the success of these nonviolent campaigns. The domestic and international political costs of repressing nonviolent campaigns are higher than for repressing violent campaigns. Our case studies also suggest that violent and nonviolent campaigns that fail to achieve widespread, cross-cutting, and decentralized mobilization are unlikely to compel defection or evoke international sanctions in the firstst place. Broad-based campaigns are more likely to call into question the legitimacy of the opponent. The political costs of repressing one or two dozen activists, easily labeled “extremists,” are much lower than repressing hundreds or thousands of activists who represent the entire population." End quote

Here's another quote from the Guardian article:

It may only take 3.5% of the population to topple a dictator – with civil resistance

The Women’s March on Washington and its affiliated marches – which may have been the largest single-day demonstration in US history – show a population eager and willing to show up to defend their rights. 
Of course, nonviolent resistance often evokes brutality by the government, especially as campaigns escalate their demands and use more disruptive techniques. But historical data shows that when campaigns are able to prepare, train, and remain resilient, they often succeed regardless of whether the government uses violence against them.
Historical studies suggest that it takes 3.5% of a population engaged in sustained nonviolent resistance to topple brutal dictatorships. If that can be true in Chile under Gen Pinochet and Serbia under Milosevic, a few million Americans could prevent their elected government from adopting inhumane, unfair, destructive or oppressive policies – should such drastic measures ever be needed.
Erica Chenoweth is the co-author of Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict
If this information is accurate and the millions and millions of Americans that are in extreme danger from Trump's actions and words stand together we may far exceed the threshold to overcome him. 

If the women, gay and bi and trans people, Muslims, black folks, immigrants and a variety of others slated for a severe loss of rights all stand together then our victory is possible. The US military at some point will have to choose to disobey orders to arrest, detain and possibly even shoot or even execute peaceful protesters.

We must remain peaceful in this model of resistance. That's absolutely essential to avoid abandoning our likely best chance for success. 

It won't be effortless and sadly without casualty. American people will get arrested, assaulted and likely killed. That's unfortunately the nature of clashes with power. 

But outright violence against Trump and his administration will play right into his hands. The use of force and disproportionate retaliation gives the regime the excuse to crack down brutally and kill dissidents. They can simply say they were violent or threatened violence and the associated violence that others did will be good enough to justify the new violence.

Asymmetric warfare would be extremely difficult. The training and experience needed is not easy to find. And it is in my opinion very nearly an absolute last resort. 

It's almost suicidal and quite likely to fail more often than suceed. People would throw away their lives to fail and give Trump justification for martial law.

If protest is allowed, dissent isn't censored, the press continues to report on Trump's lies, abuses and crimes and tens of millions of Americans still passionately oppose him then nonviolent resistance is in my opinion our best option. 

In nonviolent resistance you are not killing innocent people. That matters. In nonviolent resistance you can make a mistake and have far less dire consequences.

I loathe the white supremacy and fascist values Trump embodies and inspires. But I don't want us to destroy ourselves to stop him. And fortunately good reason may show our best option for winning is to use nonviolence. And that brings me peace of mind. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Trump American Fascist 1 Fascism Really ?



In looking at Trump and his reign over America as president it is often said he is a fascist in the mold of Hitler and follows his playbook.

First a very basic definition of fascism is essential.

Here's a short description of fascism:

Fourteen Defining
Characteristics Of Fascism
By Dr. Lawrence Britt

Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each:

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread
domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

End quote

We are now witnessing a fascist regime. I believe Trump has been moving the US from a less than perfect representative democracy aka a republic with democratic elements toward fascism.

It's never been a perfect country certainly, but is rapidly becoming far more in alignment with the description of a fascist regime than it has been certainly in my lifetime. It's a very startling and radical shift towards a totalitarian state.

Trump unlike president Barack Obama doesn't moderate his praise of America and place it as a country in a world that needs to respect the sovereignty and value of other countries. Under president Barack Obama human rights took huge hits as NDAA 2012 expanded the powers the Patriot act created for human rights violations and it was strongly objected to by human rights groups.

But Trump has shown a far greater disdain and disregard for human rights on torture and many other issues. He has repeatedly openly advocated multiple war crimes.

As for scapegoating Trump is in the category with totalitarian regimes that use ethnic cleansing and genocide. He is setting the stage for those acts now. It's not even remotely an exaggeration to say his rhetoric is comparable to Hitler's speeches and shows no signs of diminishing.

Trump identifies strength with the military and has emphasized strengthening it and using it brutally as a diplomatic solution to a variety of foreign policy issues.

Trump epitomizes sexism and chauvinism to an almost unimaginable level. His vulgar remarks about women, appointments of only anti gay candidates, work to revoke funding for programs to help women and support of revoking rights to abortion and other women's rights is as radical as possible.

Trump is attempting to control the media through a system of penalties and rewards. He threatens the media, has said he is in a war with them and grants access to outlets like Fox news, Breitbart and others that only report information favorable to him.

Trump justifies his wall plan, his indefinite detention of immigrants and others, his racist stop and frisk and plans to pack for profit prisons with minorities, his plan to block immigrants and many other acts on national security despite the statistics that don't support his claims even remotely.

He has promised expanded political influence to Christian groups and appointed many people that strongly support Christian doctrine over the constitution and want separation of church and state to be eased in their favor.

He has merged corporate and state power in what many are calling a corporate coup. He has a cabinet with candidates for consideration that has more wealth than a third of American families combined.

Many Goldman Sachs executives, CEOs of Exxon Mobil and other large multinational corporations now are ready to merge corporations with the government. It's an almost naked kleptocracy and kakistocracy (government by the worst men possible.)

Trump has a labor secretary appointee that worked in fast food as a CEO dedicated to wage suppression, violations of worker's rights and depriving workers pay and breaks. Trump openly has said wages are too high and advocates tactics to further reduce pay. Trump has acted to withhold pay for many people in his own business ventures. Trump has been firmly anti union for decades and openly advocates right to work laws that weaken and ultimately break unions in many states.

Trump is amazingly anti science. He advocates anti science conspiracy theories on many issues including climate change and vaccines. He has defunded multiple scientific efforts by the government and acted to muzzle and stifle the efforts of many scientists in the government. He has acted to defund the National Endowment for the Arts and PBS. He is extremely anti arts and sciences.

Trump wants the police to brutally and viciously crack down on people with no repercussions for racism or brutality. That's something I can't stress enough. He has grand designs in this area he often refers to. He wants protesting to be squashed with extreme prejudice. He wants civil rights obliterated.

In just the beginning of his regime nepotism and naked corruption abound. His family and corporations are already taking in money and his business conflicts are tremendous.

He has claimed rigged elections even before they occurred. He persists in this so he can suppress the vote and it actually opens the door to special extreme voter suppression, disregarding election results of he loses or even the eventual suspension of elections if he claims they are being rigged long enough. That's the eventual final result of invalidating the election results. You can just throw them out and claim rigging.

Trump has moved America so radically and so rapidly towards fascism that most people can't comprehend it. But it is here nevertheless. We should identity what fascism is, compare America to it personally and when we see it have the intellectual and moral courage to call it what it is and make it clear fascism isn't just a synonym for bad or bully or totalitarian. It's a specific kind of government with specific characteristics. And it's what Trump is fighting to create in America.

Friday, January 27, 2017



Via Elliot Lusztig in this Twitter essay:
Hannah Arendt in her book The Origins of Totalitarianism provides a helpful guide for interpreting the language of fascists.
She noted how decent liberals of 1930s Germany would “fact check” the Nazis’ bizarre claims about Jews like they were meant to be factual.
What they failed to understand, Arendt suggests, is that the Nazi Jew hating was not a statement of fact but a declaration of intent.
So when someone would blame the Jews for Germany’s defeat in WW1, naive people would counter by saying there’s no evidence of that.
What the Nazis were doing was not describing what was true, but what would have to be true to justify what they planned to do next.
This is how we need to treat accusations and threats from Trump and his deeply immoral team.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Traumatic Narcissism part 2: The Relationships in Scientology

This series references the book Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation by Doctor Daniel Shaw. All quotes referenced are from that book unless otherwise noted. I recommend reading the posts in order if possible.

It is intended to address the concept Shaw introduces of the traumatic narcissist as it relates to Ron Hubbard's mind and cult Scientology. It explores aspects of the relationship between the cult leader and members and the roles both can assume as well as what the relationship is like in a one on one relationship or family as well. Other groups and organizations have the same dynamics in play.

I ended the last post with this quote and remark:

Perhaps the following quote sums up Ron Hubbard's character and details of his cult and personal life as well as any I have ever seen:

"The overinflated narcissist is often someone much more like the original Narcissus of Ovid's Metamorphoses, as I understand the Narcissus myth: reveling in being wanted and adored by others, contemptuously deeming no one good enough, reinforcing his grandiose overvaluation of himself by sadistically negating the value and worth of others; and ultimately trapped and destroyed by his delusional obsession with what he perceives to be his own perfection. This narcissist in real life, a myth in his own mind, is so well defended against his developmental trauma, so skillful a disavower of the dependency and inadequacy that is so shameful to him, that he creates a delusional world in which he is a superior being in need of nothing he cannot provide for himself. To remain persuaded of his own perfection, he uses significant others whom he can subjugate. These spouses, siblings, children, or followers of the inflated narcissist strive anxiously to be what the narcissist wants them to be, for fear of being banished from his exalted presence. He is compelled to use those who depend on him to serve as hosts for his own disavowed and projected dependency, which for him signifies profound inadequacy and is laden with shame and humiliation. To the extent that he succeeds in keeping inadequacy and dependency external, he can sustain in his internal world his delusions of shame-free, self-sufficient superiority."
Daniel Shaw

Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation Page 11

Shaw went on to describe his opinion on the key difference between a psychopath and  traumatizing narcissist in his concepts. 

"When we say "pathological," what do we really mean ? When this term is used by psychoanalysts, it seems to me that some level of psychopathy is what is really being implied. However, the narcissist who seduces others in order to control and exploit them, who attacks and negates other's subjectivity in order to create hegemony for his own, and who does so while being firmly convinced of his unquestionable entitlement and righteousness, does not fit the meaning of psychopath as I understand it. The difference is the psychopath knows he breaks the law and behaves with no regard or empathy for others. The narcissist I am describing is very firmly convinced of his righteousness. This kind of narcissism involves a delusional sense of omnipotence, buttressed by the paranoid belief that all who question the narcissist's perfection are merely envious and malicious (paranoid in the sense that the malice and envy are disavowed and projected). The terms "pathological narcissist," often used to describe this set of character structures, is also used, problematically, to label and describe the people he typically exploits and victimizes, whose sense of self-esteem he has traumatically destabilized." Daniel Shaw

Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation Page 11

He sees the psychopath as knowing the difference between what others see as right and wrong and the psychopath knows he violates the standards of acceptable conduct and breaks the law and doesn't care, doesn't care about hurting people or breaking rules or what anyone thinks about it or him. The ultimate no fucks given attitude.

While in contrast the traumatic narcissist is deeply wounded and has tremendous unresolved trauma motivating him. He has to avoid it by erecting manic defenses. He perpetually uses denial of negative qualities regarding himself including behavior. This in my opinion is the genesis of profound hypocrisy. A traumatizing narcissist can do anything and find justification for it in his self-righteousness while condemning anything in others, particularly those who criticize him.

This is completely obvious with Hubbard who said his critics always had crimes in their pasts and to always meet criticism with attacks against the attacker and to ruthlessly and relentlessly ask "what are your crimes ?" of any critic.

It's also obvious in the behaviour of Trump. He has a long history of attacking any critics often with profoundly immature and petulant remarks like WRONG, OVERRATED, LOW ENERGY and FAILING. These are so belligerent in an emotionally immature way that it simply screams manic projection of disavowed shame and undesirable qualities onto others which Trump must, must, must deny in himself. He can't face his flaws at all.

Shaw goes on:
"Since, for the traumatizing narcissist, insufficiency is equated with mortifying dependency and the ensuing sense of impotence and inferiority, it is crucial for him to keep the destabilizing shame of these repudiated aspects of self from being released into consciousness."
Daniel Shaw

Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation Page 35

"Externalization of shame. Rather than feel self-loathing and the helplessness of unrequited dependency needs, the traumatizing narcissist arranges for dependency and its accompanying shame to be kept external, assigned to belong only to others, so as to protect himself from self-loathing and ultimately from decompensation-literally, mortification, or (psychic) death by shame."
Daniel Shaw

Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation Page 35

These aspects of the traumatizing narcissist show a very unhealthy mind. Hubbard's choice to position himself as a messianic figure in the Scientology cult was to gain attention off his unknowing victims. He craved power over others to bolster his self image. He wanted to escape the one person he never could - himself. He always wanted wealth certainly, but he persisted in turning out millions of words of cult doctrine probably long after he had millions of dollars stashed away. And back in the sixties and seventies that was truly a fortune.

He in my opinion needed to act like Scientology was far more successful than it ever was. It didn't really give beneficial results like the miracles he promised, but he couldn't face that head on because it reflected on his weaknesses and limitations. He had a terrible burden of inadequacy to avoid. He couldn't admit he failed to help people.

It's been speculated that he may have become a collapsed narcissist by the later stages of his life. There's an often repeated story of Hubbard admitting failure with Scientology and requesting a special E meter be built to electrocute his body thetans away and help him die. It may or may not be true. The Sarge special E meter story has a place in Scientology legend. I don't have enough evidence to comfortably support or oppose it.

Many stories about Hubbard have a tremendous amount of supporting evidence including newspaper stories, court records, documents, eyewitness accounts and of course Hubbard's own words and my own twenty five years in Scientology too. So, I can afford to be persnickety about which claims about the past of Scientology and Hubbard I accept. That's no guarantee I will get it all right or avoid every false claim.

Many narcissists do become collapsed over time, particularly if they fail spectacularly or lose their status. So, it is not out of the realm of possibility for Hubbard to have been so disappointed with his many failures that he collapsed and changed from the boastful supremely arrogant cult leader of Scientology to the depressed recluse seeking sympathy some have described. It's consistent with the path many narcissists' lives take.

In Scientology the traumatic narcissism as a relational system of subjugation hypothesis has Shaw's concepts regarding the victim of the narcissist as well. It is quite relevant to the effects that can occur for cult members and children raised by narcissistic parents as examples.

"This is of course a perfect double bind (Bateson et al., 1956). Unable to be anything but dependant, yet still attempting independence, the child of the traumatizing narcissist parent is condemned either way. She comes to associate dependency with shame and humiliation, and independence with rejection and abandonment. Unless she can adopt the counter-dependent, shameless stance of the traumatizing narcissist, she lives instead in a post-traumatic state in which her sense of inescapable badness is cemented."
Daniel Shaw

Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation Page 35

So the cult member can take on Hubbard's worst qualities and act narcissistic in turn. They could for example like Hubbard before them pretend godlike infallibility and perfection. They can become narcissistic and sociopathic to a greatly varying degree. They can have deep shame and self-loathing buried and hidden by manic denial of vulnerabilities and projection of undesirable qualities onto others. Externalization of shame and weaknesses can result in a sense of self-righteousness and harsh condemnation of others, particularly critics. They can become a sort of mental pseudo clone of Hubbard to survive through a cult identity. It's not desirable or pleasant but for some members it happens.

Some others in Shaw's description take on a state feeling absolutely worthless and irredeemable. I went through a period in which the Scientology fair gamed me and attempted to use Hubbard's attempts at brainwashing techniques and interiorizing me by getting me to just look inwardly too much . Part of the results of this method was a feeling of inescapable badness as Shaw says and a feeling I couldn't do anything right, and always was, was now and always would be both deeply ashamed and hurt and simultaneously undeserving of any compassion and wrong for wanting any. A nearly inescapable double bind as Shaw said. It took months to recover even slightly from. The technique used on me was designed to push a person to madness or suicide, certainly to inactivity regarding criticism of Scientology.

 Eventually years later I ended up very gradually getting to where I could look outside Scientology with enough independent thought and confidence to throw off my blind fanaticism for Hubbard and utter lack of confidence in myself and my own judgment enough to carefully look without overwhelming confirmation bias and see flaws in Scientology leadership and eventually the technology, doctrine and Hubbard himself. I ended up at the Underground Bunker and over several months researched Scientology enough to utterly reject it.

I can't stress strongly enough how unpleasant and deeply hurtful the state of inescapable badness is. It's a terrible drop from denying and projecting negative aspects of self to being totally trapped by them. It's completely overwhelming and confusing. It's like suffocating in amber and having no escape or hope of escape. It's entirely destabilizing as everything you relied on for confidence and stability is obliterated. The certainty that you understand life, yourself and your place in life all being entirely snatched away at once with the realization you somehow aren't good enough and your knowledge and efforts that you thought were special and elite were in fact entirely different is crushing.

I had a feeling of badness, worthlessness and shame that made me feel like climbing under the surface of the earth and hiding forever. It felt like that would provide tiny relief and as I failed and it was entirely my own fault for being evil that I didn't deserve that smidgen of relief. That's exactly what a person subjected to Scientology introversion technology is supposed to feel.

I obviously went through a several year process of recovery and continue to study to gain more understanding of my Scientology experience.

I will close with a quote from Doctor Shaw on why people who leave cults don't admit they were abused or open up about the feelings they had in the cult or have after leaving. It's extremely difficult to face and often the "I wasn't fooled, I was in control and I got good things out of Scientology" claims are all a person has to hold off similar feelings to my own from when I was fair gamed and when I left Scientology. That's a terrible burden to bear, either hanging onto a false reality that Scientology was beneficial and not harmful or face severe post traumatic stress and anxiety all at once.

For your consideration from Shaw:
"One of the reasons why many of the people who leave cultic groups choose not to identify their own experience as abusive is because to do so would mean acknowledging an extraordinary degree of grief over the loss of a cherished idealized attachment, connected to their most cherished hopes about themselves and about life. This is in addition to the unleashing of an extraordinary degree of shame about their own self-deception and gullibility, and shame and rage about the manner of abuse they were willing to endure for the sake of maintaining their tie to the leader. Eventually, the realization that their devotion and labor in the group led to no real personal growth, and to no significant contribution to society, will also become a source of deep shame and regret."

Daniel Shaw

Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation Page 51

Monday, January 9, 2017

Traumatic Narcissism: part 1 Scientology and Hubbard

I have seen the extraordinary cult expert Doctor Daniel Shaw in several YouTube videos and read several online articles by him including an extraordinary paper on Traumatic Narcissism.

Here is a description from regarding Daniel Shaw:

Dan Shaw, C.S.W.
Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis
850 Seventh Avenue, Suite 906
New York, New York 10019
Tel./ Fax.: (212) 581-6658
152 Main Street, Nyack, New York 10960
Tel.: (845) 548-2561

Works with former members of cults and cultic groups, and friends and families of cult members.

His work in this area is connected to theories of malignant or pathological narcissism, and he has a special interest in working with those who have exited or who are exiting from destructive relationships with abusive teachers, partners, and significant others.

He is an allied professional member of the Division of Psychoanalysis (39) of the American Psychological Association; faculty and clinical supervisor at and certified in adult psychoanalysis and psychotherapy by The National Institute for the Psychotherapies (NIP) in New York City; co-chair of the Education Committee of the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (IARPP).

Read his essay, “Traumatic Abuse in Cults” completely free. (Reference)

Daniel Shaw received his Masters Degree in Social Work from Yeshiva University, New York, in 1996. He was certified as a Psychoanalyst in 2000 after completing the four year training program at The National Institute for the Psychotherapies (NIP), in New York City. Dan Shaw worked as a professional actor before joining the Siddha Yoga movement and is currently an ex-devotee of Gurumayi Chidvilasananda. Daniel Shaw was active in the SYDA movement from 1981 - 1994, taking on the spiritual name of “Sureshwar”. Daniel Shaw is the webmaster and registrant for the domain:

He uses that term to describe a specific type of person that abuses and exploits others in relationships. It's in my opinion quite fitting to describe Scientology leader Ron Hubbard. I have spent hundreds of hours researching the mind and life of Hubbard in the last three years after leaving the Scientology cult myself. I had been a member for twenty five years and sought to understand what Hubbard had done and what my own experience in the cult had truly been and why such a relationship was even possible.

I can never claim a perfect understanding or infallible knowledge or wisdom but sincerely hope my efforts to learn the truth have borne fruit and at least thrown off any insidious influence or pernicious effects Scientology may have left with me or encouraged the persistence of.

I feel the ideas presented by Doctor Shaw in his book Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation are at times profound and poignant. They have simple themes from traditional academic views on cults such as those of Robert Jay Lifton and Margaret Singer integrated with ideas on abusive relationships and the ideas on malignant narcissism from Fromm and many others along with a tremendous amount of information and interpretation regarding various schools of psychoanalysis.

If a deep study of psychoanalysis is not something you want to undertake this book still has a wealth of information that is more than worth the time and effort to read it regarding narcissism, abusive relationships, and cults. The second half heavily focuses on therapy but honestly if you aren't interested in that then just reading the first half is a tremendous education in itself.

I must give this book my highest possible recommendations. It's vocabulary particularly regarding psychoanalysis isn't the easiest to decipher but looking up a couple dozen words if you never studied the subject is well worth it.

Shaw is exacting in his choice of themes, phrases and terms that are precise and relevant to his subject. I must encourage all ex Scientologists and ex cult members to read this book. Anyone seeking to understand cult leaders, totalitarian regimes, authoritarian regimes, or abusive relationships can benefit tremendously from a fraction of the information collected here.

I am going to discuss the traumatizing narcissist concept as it in my opinion fits several cult leaders and abusive narcissistic people extremely well.

I sincerely believe after hundreds and hundreds of hours of examining two individuals in particular that this description is the best I have yet seen for them and the behavior they have conducted for their entire lives: Scientology cult leader Ron Hubbard and Donald Trump.

I will focus in this post on statements Shaw made that are particularly relevant to Hubbard and Scientology.

Here's a quote to describe how Shaw went from the more usual terms of narcissist or malignant narcissist to his own of traumatic narcissist.

"I had used the example of a narcissist guru as someone who needed to believe that he was completely free, dependent on no one-the kind of narcissist who exploits and controls others, inflating himself by deflating those he surrounds himself with. I was arguing in this paper that he needs others desperately, but that he disavows dependency, which he views as weak and shameful."
Daniel Shaw
 Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation Preface

I have examined among many hundreds of other writings and tapes by Hubbard his perhaps most honest creations: the affirmations. For anyone unfamiliar I have a copy available on this blog and they were private commands Hubbard used to attempt to influence his own mind.

Shaw wrote something giving his impression of aspects of how trauma is intergenerational - meaning transferred from caregivers to children- and which trauma manifests in which ways most often. If you aren't extremely interested in psychoanalytic theory then just understand that is what he is talking about here and set it aside for the moment.

"If one's own attachment trauma is dissociated, the chances of passing along insecure or disorganized attachment experience was traumatic but is not dissociated, one is much less likely to pass along insecure attachment to the next generation."
Daniel Shaw

 Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation page 4

Shaw gives a great description of his concept of a victim of abuse from a traumatizing narcissist like a child or cult member reacting to the abuse by taking on the abusive characteristics of the abuser. That's the essence of how it's a relational system. It is transmitted from abuser to victim who in turn may become abusive also. It certainly doesn't happen one hundred percent of the time. Many victims of abuse as children and in cults do not become abusive.

"There is a different route taken by some children of traumatizing narcissists-involving externalization, rather than internalization, of the hostile projections of the narcissist parents. People in this group, the "externalizers," might come to disdain needs altogether, and imagine that they themselves have no needs, that only others are weak and needy. This sort of person could become fixed in a subjective orientation, paving the way toward manic grandiosity and contempt for others, with a sense of entitlement and self-justification. The same cumulative traumatizion to the sense of subjectivity as with the objectified child has taken place, but this child, rather than succumbing to a sense of helplessness and despairing of being able to feel recognized, instead develops as an adult into someone who arranges to wield the power to bestow, or not bestow, recognition upon others. He has defended against depression by use of the manic reversal-as if to say, "it doesn't matter that you don't recognize me; you are not important, and I don't recognize you." Another way to think about this is to posit that the traumatized, thwarted subjective self of this child morphs into a protector self, which succeeds in preventing the internalization of shame and badness. Instead, this super-defended self locates badness only in others-never in the self. Rather than persecute the self, this dissociated protector is quick to detect inferiority in others, and able to maintain the sense of superiority quite consistently." Daniel Shaw

Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation Page 8

This is a bit to take on but I will crudely translate it in my own terms. Some children of traumatizing narcissists put all negative feelings onto people outside themselves, in other words other people. They are so hurt by having been treated with narcissistic abuse that they have deep trauma and pain regarding being dependent or unloved. They were either treated as only objects of the projected desires of narcissistic people or subjects of abuse or neglect. They were either loved as someone they actually weren't and only seen as extensions of abusers like the child that must be perfect. The perfect student, the perfect star or musician or athlete or church member. In any manifestation it denies the frailties and needs of the child as the genuine individual he or she is and serves to just fit the selfish fantasies of the caregiver as a way to assert the superiority of the caregiver or fulfill the needs for attention or something to their advantage but not in the interests of the child. Or if not loved and approved of as the idealized golden child put on a pedestal then the child was denied love by being abused in any manner possible including physical, emotional, sexual and neglect in which love is completely withheld.

When Shaw speaks of subjective orientation he is referring to a person who must be in charge in relationships and can't be vulnerable, admit to needs or weaknesses particularly faults and flaws. They must dominate others.

Obviously another route children in this position can take is to succumb to a sense of hopelessness regarding being recognized it is a route many victims of abuse including cult members take. Their can be a feeling of being incapable of being loved or ever deserving love.

The other route (but in my opinion more than these two undesirable results can occur, everyone subject to this extreme abuse, idealization or neglect doesn't end up as only either the victim or victimizer) Shaw describes is to become the abuser yourself.

As the abuser took on manic defenses to escape pain and extremely negative feelings of worthlessness, impotence, incompetence and being unloved and undeserving of love or even life itself so too can the victim take on the same defense for the same trauma in their own turn and so continue the trauma across generations. In families it's obviously passed down from parents or grandparents or caregivers to children who then may keep it going in perpetuity. In groups like cults it may be passed along from leaders and may be passed down by cult practices and doctrine. It can go on indefinitely this way.

Of particular note in Scientology is Hubbard's pathological need to assert his infallible perfection and authority as superior to God. I recall a tape lecture in which Hubbard said the closest he ever came to quitting in Scientology was admitting that his job in Scientology was one God himself couldn't do. Meaning in taking it on and succeeding Hubbard had surpassed God. A number of Scientologists have interpreted that the physical universe was created by either a thetan, meaning spirit, long ago who could be called God, or a group of spirits and that it was a place that became degraded and unpleasant for spirits so God, or the gods who were merely old and mighty spirits, abandoned their creation and like an absentee slum lord gave up the responsibility.

Hubbard painted himself as taking on the salvaging of the abandoned universe single handedly and all the inhabitants of it as well. He asserted his sense of superiority to a unique level, well above everyone else.

Shaw explains further:

"From my perspective, rigid orientation to either the subjective or objective position is best understood as the result of cumulative developmental trauma of unrecognition. The trauma of unrecognition could lead one to desperately seek connection through subjugation, and self-objectification; or unrecognition could lead one to hyper-idealize oneself and hold others in contempt." Daniel Shaw

 Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation Page 9

It's clear the subjective position is being in charge and unchanging and infallible, a master and abuser. Being objective is being dominated and controlled, being a victim and slave.

Shaw asserts that not being recognized - as in being unloved in the form of abuse, neglect or being used to be a creation that pleases the abuser without recognition of the actual person - can result in a person that seeks to continue being a victim or to reverse roles and in turn be the abuser.

Perhaps the following quote sums up Ron Hubbard's character and details of his cult and personal life as well as any I have ever seen:

"The overinflated narcissist is often someone much more like the original Narcissus of Ovid's Metamorphoses, as I understand the Narcissus myth: reveling in being wanted and adored by others, contemptuously deeming no one good enough, reinforcing his grandiose overvaluation of himself by sadistically negating the value and worth of others; and ultimately trapped and destroyed by his delusional obsession with what he perceives to be his own perfection. This narcissist in real life, a myth in his own mind, is so well defended against his developmental trauma, so skillful a disavower of the dependency and inadequacy that is so shameful to him, that he creates a delusional world in which he is a superior being in need of nothing he cannot provide for himself. To remain persuaded of his own perfection, he uses significant others whom he can subjugate. These spouses, siblings, children, or followers of the inflated narcissist strive anxiously to be what the narcissist wants them to be, for fear of being banished from his exalted presence. He is compelled to use those who depend on him to serve as hosts for his own disavowed and projected dependency, which for him signifies profound inadequacy and is laden with shame and humiliation. To the extent that he succeeds in keeping inadequacy and dependency external, he can sustain in his internal world his delusions of shame-free, self-sufficient superiority."
Daniel Shaw

Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation Page 11

I plan to write further on this and to refer back to Shaw's work again for other posts and even subjects like Trump as well. I invite everyone who reads this to read all forthcoming posts in this series.