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, 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

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