Introuduction

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 .

Saturday, March 27, 2021

What is something that is so strange that it's not recognizable?

 One of the strangest things that I have ever encountered is the difficulty that we as human beings have almost always with accepting and considering ALL the implications and consequences of the concept that free will doesn't exist to any degree whatsoever.

I am not saying the idea is true or proven. My point is that in many articles, books, videos and conversations people demonstrate tremendous difficulty in examining the reality that would be true if this concept is true.

For example, many people have said it simply cannot be true, because either they simply don't believe it (personal incredulity fallacy), or it's not true because it has unpleasant emotions or implications (either argument from consequences fallacy or appeal to emotions fallacy), or it cannot be true because it would negate a cherished belief, a belief that relies on it being true despite having no scientific evidence (a sort of begging the question, believing just because you want to believe) or they don't know how they can deal with it if it isn't true (A type of argument from ignorance).

If you get past that issue then quite often people only partially consider the idea. As a very frequent example, several people have written on the idea that they have “chosen” criticizing others for condemning criminals for example for their high behavior when they believe the criminals are not truly responsible for their crimes if free will doesn't exist in an absolute sense, but they have failed to consider that the people condemning the criminals logically must ALSO have no true choice if free will doesn't exist and they themselves must also likewise have no free will in criticizing the same people.

People seem to be able to act like an audience watching a play with puppetmasters and puppets and to realize the puppets lack free will but to not understand that the audience too lacks free will in these situations. They have a regress, or stepping back to observe the people who lack free will and yet most often don't consider the full implications for the people outside their observations which should include all people including themselves.

Aside from this process of needing to think about a class of people as outside our usual intuitive understanding of behavior as including free will is the fact that we seem to have to take a step back or regress one step further than we are easily able to and it's like a person outside a photo considering the people in the photo as lacking free will and taking a step further to see the photo is in a larger photo, perhaps adding more people who they previously had not realized were in the photo but somehow failing to include everyone or people in every circumstance or especially themselves.

It's a sort of infinite regression and human beings apparently are not suited to perceive the infinite directly, or we have trouble understanding the concept of the absolute absence of free will at least.

Another example is people who think they are being clever or genuinely wise when they say either they have no choice but to believe in free will or to not believe. They are addressing responsibility and not the actual issue. Very often human beings mistake being able to assign responsibility for answering a different question.

The fact that you can believe a lack of free will would make responsibility a false concept or something much different than our current understanding doesn't address the issue of whether free will exists or doesn't exist. It is a different question.

Or saying it does not matter also does not answer the question, not even a little bit.

I have written about this for sime time and think a good way to explain it exists. For example, we can imagine that intelligent life , whether human beings or other beings, could someday send craft to explore space. These craft could have incredibly complex and intelligent machines controlling them. It is much easier to send out machines carrying machines than machines carrying living beings, like human beings for example.

An unmanned craft can withstand more extreme conditions and use less resources as it would not need to protect a crew and maintain an atmosphere and temperature for the comfort of the human occupants.

So, say we hypothetically or another species from another world one day build advanced technology and create ships that are controlled by entirely artificial or computer intelligence. It may include mechanical systems quite different from modern computers or similar, we are not there yet.

But we could well establish that the computers or whatever we use are entirely mechanical, meaning following the rules of physics and they lack free will. Parts interact in ways determined by the nature of physical reality and in no other way. It would be more complex than most physical interactions we observe but the principle that matter and energy don't normally demonstrate free would still be present.

So, we could have incredibly intelligent and complex artificial intelligence developed that pilots craft, selects outcomes to obtain and calculates how to obtain them and controls the craft and other systems such as robots to attain goals. The intelligence might or might not even have emotions like we do. Our emotions help us to make decisions and pick priorities. Imperfectly, certainly, but they do.

The artificial intelligence systems developed could have emotions, just as we do. The systems could have incredibly detailed files including the details of their own design and history to enable them to monitor and repair their own systems as needed.

They could hypothetically think, feel, remember, know and decide as part of their function, just as we do, or perhaps in a very similar fashion. They could “know” they have no free will, none whatsoever.

We as humans can almost instictively understand that things like cars and toasters and computers lack free will. We have an easy time accepting that.

So, imagine a bunch of highly developed artificial intelligence systems developed in a high tech setting that pilot craft and direct robots and direct automated systems of sensors and they communicate with each other and they are so complex they have individual identities and personalities as they have different emotions, beliefs, and experiences.

Imagine they disagree on how to achieve goals and even perhaps on priorities and values.

At some point you have to ask if they feel, think, remember, believe, and decide as we do and they demonstrably have no free will then hiw do we?

Now, you can say “this is an unproven hypothetical! We don't know if such artificial intelligence systems are really possible! So, we don't need to do this thought experiment!”

Okay, let me ask this question then. What harm is there in trying to consider the experiment?

And if free will exists then you need to say when and how. Do infants have free will? Do eggs and sperm? Do child? Do people with structural damage or their brains removed? Does it begin at one moment and cease at another? If humans have it do animals? Which ones? How much?

See, the question of how do you or I possibly have free will and how other emotional, remembering, feeling, thinking creatures don't have free will is difficult to seriously answer. The stock answer that animals or artificial intelligence systems simply lack but that we as human beings simply do is not an adequate explanation.

What makes us special? Our feelings? Many animals display rich and varied emotions. Our intelligence? Many animals have similar aptitude to our own in many areas and it's plausible that artificial intelligence systems could equal or exceed our intelligence, and it's well established that the most intelligent animals are extremely close to human beings in this regard.

And certainly our intelligence varies over our lifetimes so there are times in which normal humans are less intelligent and aware than some animals. So, very young people are not as aware as some chimps at a later stage of their lives.

Dies this mean the chimps have free will? Do the people? If so who or why not?

These are not easy questions to answer.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

What conspiracy theories turned out to be true?

 I am not an expert on history, so I have accepted these claims as being accepted by reputable historians and authors and scholars. I don't have absolute personal knowledge or belief without any caveats regarding these ideas.

I happen to know that the idea that the Scientology cult has intentions of taking over the world and concealing their true intentions from most people is true from having been in Scientology for twenty five years. That is the one conspiracy theory that I can assure you from personal direct experience is true.

Many people in Scientology don't realize this but if you are in Scientology long enough and progress far enough in your indoctrination then at some point you either accept this, deny it to yourself despite strong evidence or disagree with it and most likely leave Scientology.

The ones that are interesting that turned out to be true are many. The business plot is among my favorites.

The Business Plot (also called The White House Putsch) was a political conspiracy in 1933 in the United States to overthrow the government of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and install a dictator.

COINTELPRO (syllabic abbreviation derived from Counter Intelligence Program) (1956- unknown) was a series of covert and illegal projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting domestic American political organizations.

Operation Snow White was a criminal conspiracy by the Church of Scientology during the 1970s to purge unfavorable records about Scientology and its founder, L. Ron Hubbard. This project included a series of infiltrations into and thefts from 136 government agencies, foreign embassies and consulates, as well as private organizations critical of Scientology, carried out by Church members in more than 30 countries. It was one of the largest infiltrations of the United States government in history, with up to 5,000 covert agents. This operation also exposed the Scientology plot 'Operation Freakout', because Operation Snow White was the case that initiated the U.S. government's investigation of the Church.

Here is a link to an article on several more.

https://www.businessinsider.com/true-government-conspiracies-2013-12

The sad reality is that governments are so large that inevitably some of the people involved become involved in conspiracies and some of these conspiracies get exposed over time. This doesn't mean that everyone in the government is a criminal or involved in conspiracies or aware of them. You can be in a company and unaware of a conspiracy that the leadership is engaged in.

You can also have an accusation that is not true. Just because some people in government sometimes engage in conspiracies it in no way means that everyone is always in some conspiracy and you just need to figure out the details. It doesn't work that way.

That is like saying that most people lie some of the time so everyone is always lying and you just have to figure out what they lie about and what they are hiding. No.

Just as people may go a long time without lying and be honest, people in the government may go a long time without lying and be honest as well. Now, I am not saying to trust the government by default and I am not saying to believe they are always lying and hiding crimes by default either. You have to use your best judgement and independent and critical thinking to evaluate each claim they make unfortunately. There is no shortcut to the truth. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

What can I do to help get my son out of a cult?

 If you have a person you care about in a cult there are a few things I should tell you right away.

First, if you want to be able to help this person the first thing that I should tell you is that many of the things that people instictively do are completely unsuccessful and bar the road to helping the person in the future.

The first thing many people do is tell the the person they are in a cult, they are stupid, they are wrong, they have been duped, they are gullible, they are wrong. This is the absolutely worst thing you can do. The experience of many thousands of people has proven this.

It results in the person doubling down and defending their choices even more and shutting out the loved one, in this case YOU. Cults are designed to make members shun outsiders and they use this to have the members reject their loved ones who don't join the cult.

The best resource that you have with someone who you care for that is in a cult is your relationship. Don't harm it or take it for granted.

You have to be open to the person and let them know you are available for them. If practical and possible you can offer them a place to stay and material support for them if they ever need it. You don't have to say anything negative about their current choices. You can mention a different person who in a completely different situation needed support and the fact that you are devoted to your son and will always be there for him, whether he ended up needing or wanting support.

I can't emphasize enough that this has to include no condemnation or even negative implications regarding the cult or the choices of your son. The use of a different example, like a person who loses their home in a fire or gets laid off in a mass layoff, both examples that contain no blame whatsoever, will work for some people. You have to use your own knowledge and best judgement.

If you simply said, “Look, I have something I want to tell you. I heard of a person who lost their job/home etc. and their family members helped them to survive and I felt a strong desire to let you know that I was compelled to tell you that I would be there for you if there was ever a circumstance from whatever origin, that left you in need, I would want you to know that I will always be available for you. You may never be in that position, many people never are, or you may be, many people are through no fault of their own and either way I just want you to know this. I may be overreacting to something that has nothing to do with you, but I just had to tell you.” Something like that would work for some people. It won't work for all.

In her book Terror, Love and Brainwashing, Alexandra Stein described “escape hatch relationships” that cult members can use to escape cults. These are relationships with trust, hopefully some love, and they are not dependent on approval from the cult.

Cults are designed to severe these relationships, so you have to be very careful to not play into traps they set for members.

So, the first two things are don't condemn the cult or the choice in any way. If the person is really in a cultic relationship, then criticism of the cult or choice is almost always guaranteed to fail and make things worse, possibly permanently. You don't want that.

Second, keep the relationship in the best shape you can and as a minimum let your son know you care, in a way that's appropriate for that relationship, and let him know you are available for him, that to the degree you can you will support him emotionally and if possible materially.

You have the job of keeping in regular contact and with a cult it is difficult as cults usually convince members that the only activities worth pursuing are ones that directly benefit the cult.

If you can't get frequent contact and only get it rarely then you have to do your best to persuade those son that you love him, that nothing will change that, and that if he ever left the cult or needed your support you would undoubtedly both be there for him and never condemn his actions, even if he regretted them.

If the relationship has already been harmed by any if the behavior I advised against then you have a tougher job. If he won't communicate with you then it's even tougher.

No matter what position you are in the third thing that I have to tell you is that I believe you have a decision to make. I recommend taking on the subject of cultic studies as a serious student and making a thorough study of it and make being educated in it a high priority.

This is not something I say lightly or that can be taken on lightly. Cultic studies involves a lot of work. I have read over fifty books, probably a couple hundred articles on cults and exchanged over a hundred emails with cult experts as well as studied psychology, sociology, propaganda, hypnosis, rhetoric, critical thinking, and several other subjects to understand cults.

I think that when a person is in your position if they really want to be able to understand and help a family member who is in a cult, they have to be willing to frankly put in hundreds of hours of work to understand cults. There is no substitute for that. It is a requisite in my opinion.

You may have success without it, but if you put in the work in my opinion your chances are far better.

I have a post online with a list of the books I read in the first few years after leaving Scientology. Several more have been added over time.

https://mbnest.blogspot.com/2019/04/my-road-out-of-scientology.html


My Road Out of Scientology


I should also mention that there are several top cult experts who have helped people to leave cults. You may have heard of them.

People like Jon Atack, Steven Hassan, Daniel Shaw, Rick Alan Ross, Alexandra Stein, Janja Lalich and several others have devoted decades to helping people to leave cults. Many of them have websites, Facebook pages and YouTube channels. You can contact them and ask for advice and help.

I have over five hundred posts at Mockingbird's Nest blog on Scientology and many address leaving a cult.

Here is a link to the blog archive by topic.

http://mbnest.blogspot.com/2020/07/blog-archive-by-topic.html?m=0

Hopefully, this has information that can help you. 

Sunday, March 7, 2021

What is the relationship between narcissism and fringe cult leadership?

 

I think the most direct answers to this question are found in two books: Terror, Love and Brainwashing by Alexandra Stein and Traumatic Narcissism by Daniel Shaw. They both describe the relationship between a cult leader and the followers in fine detail and the mindset of the cult leader in terms regarding the dynamics of this relationship.

The ideas put forth by these cult experts in these excellent books explain in very clear terms how the cult leader acts as a human predator, known in much of the literature as a malignant narcissist, or in Shaw's terms a traumatizing narcissist, and uses the people following them in an abusive relationship.

Cult expert Margaret Singer said that to be a cult leader you must be willing to lie to people and to exploit people. She meant in my opinion you must be willing to harm them, to traumatize them, to cultivate trust then betray that trust. Her book Cults In Our Midst described this quite well.

I also think that Robert Jay Lifton described this quite well in numerous books including his latest, Losing Reality.

Here are blog posts related to this topic:

In Depth Analysis of Books and Videos

How Cults Work 1 - A New Look
I have written many posts online about cults and taken on many separate aspects of cults in the past few years. This post is going to be dif...
How Cults Work 2 - First Things First
This is the second post in a series dedicated to the book Terror, Love and Brainwashing by Alexandra Stein. In her book she starts out by ...
How Cults Work 3 - Totalist Group Structure
This is the third post in a series dedicated to the book Terror, Love and Brainwashing by Alexandra Stein. This post picks up at the topic...
How Cults Work 4 - The Brainwashing Process and Outcomes
This is the fourth post in a series dedicated to the book Terror, Love and Brainwashing by Alexandra Stein. In this we now take on the bra...
How Cults Work 5 - Attachment Theory
This is the fifth post in a series dedicated to the book Terror, Love and Brainwashing by Alexandra Stein. In this post we zero in on atta...
How Cults Work 6 - Forms Of Attachment
This is the sixth post in a series dedicated to the book Terror, Love and Brainwashing by Alexandra Stein. In this post we can examine how...
How Cults Work 7 - Disorganized Attachment and Dissociation
This is the seventh post in a series dedicated to the book Terror, Love and Brainwashing by Alexandra Stein. In this post we take on two c...
How Cults Work 8 - Recruitment
This is the eighth post in a series dedicated to the book Terror, Love and Brainwashing by Alexandra Stein. In the third chapter of Terror...
How Cults Work 9 - Undue Influence In Recruitment
How Cults Work - Undue Influence In Recruitment This is the ninth post in a series dedicated to the book Terror, Love and Brainwashing by ...
How Cults Work 10 - Totalist Indoctrination
How Cults Work - Totalist Indoctrination This is the tenth post in a series dedicated to the book Terror, Love and Brainwashing by Alexand...
How Cults Work 11 - Fright Without Solution
This is the eleventh post in a series dedicated to the book Terror, Love and Brainwashing by Alexandra Stein. Stein described the totalist...
Cults In Our Midst Part 1
      "The public takes care of their fear by thinking only crazies and stupid people wind up in cults. I've interviewed over 4000 ...
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 ...
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 fro...

Several more posts are available at Mockingbird's Nest blog on Scientology.