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Cultic or human nature?

Discussion in 'General Scientology Discussion' started by Emma, Dec 28, 2007.

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  1. Emma

    Emma Con te partirĂ² Administrator

    I get confused these days when it comes to evaluating my own and others actions. Having tried so hard over the last few years to lose the cult mentality, I think I may now go too far the other way and judge myself and others too harshly as "cult thinkers" when in fact it is just human nature.

    I'll give you an example:

    In a few days it will be Jan 1 and I can see and publish stats for December and the whole year (minus 4 days). I like to publish the stats because I know that people are interested and it's nice to see how ESMB is growing. But each time I do it I get a gnawing feeling that I'm being a Scientologist and living the adage that "the stat is king". If I'd never been a Scientologist I'd probably not think twice about publishing stats. But because I was a Scientologist I wonder if I'm doing it because of some left over programming. I also wonder if others think of me as being "cultic" because I do this.

    Another example:

    Recently a friend of mine completely cut communication with me because she didn't like who I was associating with. I wasn't forcing her to have anything to do with this other person, but she didn't like the choice I had made and so completely cut me off and made a few attempts to publically cause a rift between me & this other person. If my friend had never been a Scientologist I wouldn't think of this behaviour as cultic - just bitchy, but because she was a Scientologist I do wonder if she is consciously (or unconsciously) practising disconnection as she considers me to be PTS.

    Does anyone else run into this problem? I see it all the time on ars where an ex is immediately accused of being "a Scientologist" because they attack another or disagree with a prominent critic, when in fact it might just be that they are exercising their right to their own opinion and voice it loudly.

    Is this something that will ever go away? Once you've been in a cult are you ever really free of the thinking or, even worse, fear of the thinking?
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2007
  2. petraph33

    petraph33 Patron with Honors


    Hi Emma and I see where you are coming from. I belief it is a clear sign of "not being part of it anymore" that makes you feel still "part of those cultic actions" as I have felt for some years as well. You see: as soon as you are able to take a step back and look at it, you can decide what type of action it is, but you are no longer "under the influence of it" and are doing it "on your own determinism". I felt it kinda peeling off me bit by bit, the more I realized that I was able to differenciate these actions from "normal actions" as you already are doing (you used the word bitchie or the fact that posting stats is just a normal thing to do). If you are able to see things for what they are, I belief you are no longer under the influence of cultic methods or ways of doing things. If you robotically do things without looking at them or realizing something might be wrong with them, you would still be under the cultic influence. Now you can decide if and how you want to either carry on doing them, dissagree with them or dump them.

    This is how I feel about it and I got rid of those considerations and "ways of doing things" almost completely. There are still those "funny leftovers" that one got so used to, but only until one realizes them for what they are and decides if one should continue with them or not.

    I like to see those stats every month for information purposes and I do not feel the urge anylonger to apply conditions to them :D :coolwink:

    Petra
     
  3. lionheart

    lionheart Gold Meritorious Patron

    Hi Emma

    I think we all go through that sort of analysis and I think Petra's reply is excellent.

    The trouble is Ron suckereed us into his cult by using good and workable stuff as bait.

    For example judging how a business or website is doing by looking at statistics is obviously better than just going on hunches or feelings.This is why hosting services make stats available (not because they are Scientologists or cult members!)

    Even disconnecting from troublesome people is a natural thing to do.

    So long as you are analysing as to whether you and others are being cultic, you are doing ok.

    How long does it take to break away from cultic thinking? Not sure. It took me at least ten years, so be gentle with yourself!
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2007
  4. Tanstaafl

    Tanstaafl Crusader

    Some in Scn seem to think that it would be impossible to start a business and make it thrive without green-on-white - yet people have been doing this since the very first barter!

    Businesses have been using stats since the abacus I should imagine - applying conditions is something else entirely.

    It would be impossible to write as much material as LRH and not have something that was "workable" in there somewhere. Does it matter whether it was an idea or an observation that was entirely original or extrapolated from the work of others or even ripped-off wholesale? I believe not.

    It seems to me that part of reclaiming ourselves from the cult is going back over the subject and deciding what we can be sure worked (and how well/consistently) and then deciding on whether we wish to use it (or not) and to what extent. Some may just decide they don't give a fuck - each to his own.

    This scene reminds me of when I had an interested in weighlifting many years ago. I used to read bodybuilding mags to get data on nutrition, supplements and training regimens. Two brother (Joe and Ben Weider) had a stranglehold on the competitions and publications in this field. One of their ploys was to give a "name" to every possible variable in weightlifting exercise so that no-one could claim to be practising anything other than a "Weider Principle". The reductio ad absurdem (and they came close!) would be the Weider Breathing Principle, where, to get the best results from your training, you always inhaled and exhaled!

    By naming virtually anything that happens in interpersonal relationships (ARC etc), Scn can falsely claim to know everything about it and also that people who are successful are using Scn principles whether they know it or not. Bullshit. The truth is the truth. I didn't treat my dogs badly because Hitler treated his well.

    I think the first thing to do is to separate out truth from technology. ARC was being employed by people long before Hubbard put a name to it, e.g. How to Win Friends and Influence People. No-one can copyright or trademark the truth - though some may try! Technology is something we use to change one truth to another - it relies on motive and competence (and the underlying validity of the technology).

    I've been long-winded (sorry) so I'll cut it short.
    What matters are your motives and your results.
    If you want to help yourself and others you're on the right track.
    If you succeed at a reasonable rate then you're on the right track.
    Your beliefs and the technology you employ are junior to your motives and efficacy.
     
  5. Free to shine

    Free to shine Shiny & Free

    Excellent replies!

    I remember many years ago my brother when he left telling me of the successful businessmen he met, the nice normal people in the 'wog world' that far outweigh the odd crazy. I didn't believe him then. I wish I had.

    It is true. And as we examine our own thinking and actions we do need that comparison. It is OK to cry, to be bitchy, to sing, to dance and not need to label them as anything but what they are in the moment.

    Yes, it does require practice...and it does get easier. :)
     
  6. Free to shine

    Free to shine Shiny & Free

    Hey I just got another star...cool! :)
     
  7. Bea Kiddo

    Bea Kiddo Crusader

    Yes, I know how that is!! I have been on a very stressful job over the last few months. Very, very long hours. Very little time off (sounds like the SO, but I signed up for this one...).

    Anyways, the stress got to me and I spoke with my boss and just hit the roof and let out all my frustration and feelings of being tired. And my upset. I totally thought I was being case on post. I felt really stupid after. What was my bosses response? very, very caring. He wanted to help me to fix things. He asked me what he could do to help me to get everything running smooth again.

    They really want me to relocate and take over running this area, and they gave me an offer. I said it wasnt enough. They asked me what I wanted to agree to relocate. I told them. They are now giving me more than what I asked for.

    Though the hours can sometimes be long, and the work tiring, the company makes it worth it. I am fortunate to work for some very, very good people. (so far at least. Three years and they have so far always stepped up to the plate when asked, and it makes me step up to the plate when I am asked.).

    ----

    I also have to restrain myself from using Scn words. Especially Dev-T. There is all kinds of it in the world. But really, who cares? It took me a couple of years to not get impatient with peoples devT. Now, its alright with me.

    ----

    And HE & R are normal, but not as often as one would think. People are pretty tough in general before they get over the edge. Every once in a while, people need to vent. And I am there for them when that happens.

    ----

    When I left the SO, I had zero friends. Now I have tons. I love that.

    -----

    When I left the SO, I had no family. Now I have my entire family, except for those who choose religion over family. And those ones are clueless about what the other members of the family think of their strange religion.

    ----

    By the way, Emma: Stats are used in businesses outside of Scn. Its ok to have stats. People in the real world compare production too. In my work, its from the same period last month. That is because there are actually seasons where people buy products and other seasons where they do not. In the SO, they compare to the week before, which never really works.

    But if you start assigning conditions to us.... that would be an entirely different matter and we may not be so friendly...:whistling:
     
  8. Alanzo

    Alanzo Bardo Tulpa

    Congratulations Free to Shine!!!

    You're just a little Patron Meritorious now!!!

    But if you huff

    And you puff

    And you post and post and post!!!

    You may soon reach the status of SILVER MERITORIOUS PATRON

    And what a glorious day it will be for you!!!
     
  9. Alanzo

    Alanzo Bardo Tulpa

    I was thinking the other day about how it was actually a very common human experience to get out of a cult. Not necessarily that specific thing, exactly, but the kind of experience it is - is very common to humans during their lifetimes.

    The basic nature of the experience is to have everything you've believed in, and all your highest ideals, turn out to be completely and utterly false.

    And such a joke.

    I realized that this happens to people all the time. I'm not this unique weirdo for having devoted myself to something and then found it to be false.

    And so all this accusation of cultic thinking - which I've done to others and had others do to me - is really not as dangerous as I've been thinking it was. Like Emma says - it might very well simply be human.

    To me, what led me to place so much of myself into such a false thing as Scientology was my lack of critical thinking skills and my unwillingness to ask questions and to listen to the answers. I had such a deep emotional need that Scientology was fulfilling for me that I had no sense. And I didn't want to use reason because I needed the emotion so much.

    Like a woman who marries the wrong man, or a man who marries the wrong woman, I wasn't thinking well at the time.

    But something was going right, or else I would have never done it.
     
  10. SchwimmelPuckel

    SchwimmelPuckel Genuine Meatball

    Well, just don't let the damned stats be some judgement on your character or value as a human being!

    I don't know if that's what you mean Emma.. But that 'happened' to me when I was in. The (my) stats became a threat. If they were poor I started suspecting myself of being an SP, DB and no good waste of space. If they were good I felt: Whew! - I got lucky and escaped exposure once again!

    Stats for this website is fine and useful! - If they're good.. Why, then we rejoice!

    If they're bad.. Well, they might be at some time in the future. When Scientology is dead as a mackerel and people lose interest. And if that's why, those poor stats are a reason for celebration too!

    :)
     
  11. Bea Kiddo

    Bea Kiddo Crusader

    Just scream generalities out the window, Schwim!! (That still makes me laugh so hard it brings tears to my eyes...)
     
  12. SchwimmelPuckel

    SchwimmelPuckel Genuine Meatball

    Hahahaaha! - You should try it Bea! It's a great way to vent!

    :D
     
  13. Zinjifar

    Zinjifar Silver Meritorious Sponsor

    I can appreciate these problems. I have experience being with Scns and ex-Scns and there's often a temptation to see normal human reactions as Cult hangover, and, often it's true, but, not always. The pernicious thing is that almost all of the behavior, much of the mindset and a lot of the principles behind what can be cultic behavior is taken directly from normal human social behavior. It's why it's so persistent.

    What might help in recovering is recognizing one key difference; Hubbard took the normal and usual and *attached* additional implicatons to it. Statistics are fine and useful, but, the implication that 'stats always go up' is an obvious *false* implication. When a 'stat' goes down, it can be meaningful, but, *it can also be a completely meaningless random quirk* :)

    When someone avoids you because they're mad at you, it *can* be a kind of 'disconnection', but, *there is no reason it must be maintained until the situation is HANDLED* :) People can 'make up' for *any* goddam reason, including just getting tired of being petty.

    I think it might help in discerning the difference between 'cultic' and 'normal' to ask yourself; 'What is the unstated subtext?' 'What is the implication?' 'What do I think this *means*?'

    Be wary of the unspoken assumptions and implications.

    Zinj
     
  14. Vinaire

    Vinaire Sponsor

    I think that not all aspects of Scientology are cultic as it does not exist in isolation but uses earlier knowledge. And not all knowledge is cultic. Statistics are used independent of Scientology.

    There is nothing wrong with using the Scientology viewpoint along with other viewpoints. But there is everything wrong with being fixated on a narrow Scientology viewpoint only.

    As long as one can freely look from both Scientology and non-Scientology viewpoints, I don't see any problem. That is how it should be. One should be able to assume any number of viewpoints.

    What is "cult mentality" anyway? It is any kind of fixated narrow mindedness. I see that in many Scientology critics too. You may say that there seem to be a cult of Scientology haters.

    .
     
  15. Mick Wenlock

    Mick Wenlock Admin Emeritus (retired)

    Don't fret Emma - its just a phase. When we get out, when we are freshly and newly out there we, for the most part, think the same way we did when we were in. Even if we are happy to be out, no longer want to be Scientologists and so on we still tread the same old ruts we had been ploughing when we were in.

    As time goes on and we examine our beliefs and assumptions most of us swing the other way - anything that smacks of "cult" is evil. Any belief that sounds "Hubbardian" gets automatically rejected. Again, I think this is normal - we have not had time to examine everything. There is no way, when you are out and getting on with your life, raising kids, shopping, surviving, meetings new people acquiring new skills and so on that we have the time to go back through years of intense indoctrination to start examining every concept.

    Then one starts to examine and find those things which exist as concepts idependent of Hubbard and Scientology.

    Well at work I produce graphs for calls made on a weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis. There are figures in the records going back decades - there are graphs of income statistics that predate Hubbard...

    Its what someone does withe the stats that is cultic or non cultic...


    Your friend, I presume, is or was a Scientologist? This is not "bitchy" behavior this *is* cultic behavior - it is attempting to control the actions of people based on personal approval or disapproval.

    In the real world - who you talk to or are friends with is YOUR business.

    Well thats because it is difficult to distinguish between someone being stupid and someone being a scientologist. LOL. In fact its nearly impossible.

    It may well be that the person disagreeing with another critic is merely voicing their own personal opiion. It may well also be that this "opinion" is just the verbalization of prior Scientology indoctrination.

    Let me give an example - most ex-Scientologist get an almost visceral reaction to the word "psych" or "psychiatrist". Most of the ones I have run into over the years express varying degrees of dislike of the psychiatric field. The problem is that when I have questioned them about it - most of their data comes from the CofS. Very little of it comes from Psychiatry.

    [/quote]

    Nope, I don't think it ever really goes away. You just have to be aware of the possibility.
     
  16. Pooks

    Pooks MERCHANT OF CHAOS

     
  17. Div6

    Div6 Crusader

    cult
    "1617, "worship," also "a particular form of worship," from Fr. culte, from L. cultus "care, cultivation, worship," originally "tended, cultivated," pp. of colere "to till" (see colony). Rare after 17c.; revived mid-19c. with reference to ancient or primitive rituals. Meaning "devotion to a person or thing" is from 1829."

    WE all have our likes and dis-likes, and those change over time. What seemed virtuous in youth may be a vice in old age. There are many many points to view from on the Tone Scale, and not all are congruent or harmonious.

    Don't worry about what other people think.


    I have found it impossible to love other people that have no love for themselves...
    So please, do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law....
     
  18. Lulu Belle

    Lulu Belle Moonbat


    I always have a hard time with these "will we ever be free of the indoc/cult think/cult behavior" kind of questions.

    I agree with what Alanzo said here. There are many experiences in life where you thought something was everything only to find out that it wasn't. Like falling in love with someone who turned out to be not what you thought. Or getting to be friends with someone who you thought was wonderful and who you looked up to, only to find out they were using and manipulating you.

    In some ways, getting involved in Scientology isn't all that different. You committed yourself to something and you were betrayed by it.

    Probably the answer isn't all that different from other life situations that are like this. All you can do is try to step back and look at the experience and try to learn from it so that you don't make the same mistake again.

    And, like all these other unfortunate life experiences, they will always be a part of you and who you are. To me, trying to exorcise any trace of your Scientology past like it's some kind of demon is stupid and pointless. It is part of your past. It is part of who and what you are.
     
  19. Voltaire's Child

    Voltaire's Child Fool on the Hill

    There are behaviorisms that can be found outside cults that are also very much present in cults and which are encouraged and engendered by cults. Yet, there're people who never were in any cults who have them.

    There are plenty of people who could be, say, cocky or arrogant, in any venue, yet, we've all seen Scn'ists who definitely let their status in CofS or their status as supposed "homo novis" totally go to their head and then become arrogant.

    But they were already a time bomb waiting to happen, in that respect.

    Same with the good traits, the caring, altruism that sometimes I did see in CofS. Well, those were probably pretty nice people already.

    Stressful and cultic atmospheres can bring the negatives out in people and when you have a group that encourages people to cut communication, disconnect, lord it over other people, betray them- then, those lessons will stick with a person a very long time.

    Long after they left.

    I would think that an interest in stats you, Emma, might have, would have been learned in CofS, but if you're not obsessing about them or yelling about them, and it's just fun- then that's your own benevolent personality kicking in and it's nothing to worry about.

    Here's one thing I've really noticed (in general, here and there, over several years' posting and reading) and that's that non or ex Scn'ists sometimes expect and project just because they know they are talking to a Scn'ist, FZ, heretically, CofS or otherwise. So anytime the person says anything it's "your master taught you well. This is your brain on Scientology. yadda yadda".

    I think that kind of thinking is a mistake.

    Here's an example. A certain woman who's famed for being litigious, confrontational, used by OSA, paranoid, lives in Utah...anyone on usenet will know who I mean.

    Ok, so she does this stuff and she does it alot. Lots of yelling, attacking, paranoia, etc.

    Then people post "this is your brain on Scientology".

    Well, there are plenty of paranoiacs outside CofS. And there are plenty of Scn'ists who don't do that.

    So that lady is that lady. It's her thing. I'm sure that CofS wasn't good for her, but she's clearly someone with issues of her own. I mean, there was another lady who was rather similar to that a few years prior who'd never been in Scn. And another one, too, I'm thinking of.

    So, no, projection isn't a good idea.

    Look at the puritans and the witch hunts. Pretty fanatical and mean, right? Cultic behavior. But I heard that a number of the people originally hanged as witches at Salem- that their families had either opposed the appointment of that minister or had their land in a certain area.

    Well, that sure doesn't sound like religious fanaticism.

    Evil and mean people will look for a way to express themselves-and if they happen to be in a group, they'll use that.

    Nice people also work through whatever group or community they're in.
     
  20. Leon

    Leon Gold Meritorious Patron

    I take the nice bits of the groups and cults I've been in. I grew up as a Christian but left it altogether many many years ago. But I still do Christmas and the trees and presents and all the fun. I also do easter eggs and bunnies and hot cross buns. None of this makes me a Christian.

    I also love matsos and gefilte fish even though I'm not jewish.

    So take the bits you like and that are fun and do that. Skip the rest.