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Degrees of harm

Discussion in 'Evaluating and Criticising Scientology' started by Emma, Sep 26, 2007.

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  1. Emma

    Emma Con te partirò Administrator

    I had this idea today that flashed into my mind that I want to throw out there for discussion.

    There seems to be 2 distinct groups of people that joined Scn looking for something. Those that sought spiritual knowledge and enlightenment and those who were looking to "fix" themselves. I know these two groups can have a middle ground and some were looking for a bit of both, but from my experience, people were predominantly looking for one or the other.

    For example, me. I had an unhappy childhood and was looking for a way to get a few monkeys off my back. I wasn't particularly religious or spiritual, but I was looking for counselling to help me break free of some shackles of the past. I didn't like who I was and I wanted help.

    An example of the other group would possibly be Vinaire. I know I'm taking liberties here Vinaire, and please forgive me if I'm wrong, but it seems you were more seeking spiritual answers rather than a mental problem that needed "fixing".

    Given the scenario that there was no Scientology, I might very well have ended up on a psychologists couch, whereas Vinaire might have ended up in an advanced philosophy class (or something similar). But we both ended up in Scn instead.

    In my situation, Scientology became much more than a body of knowledge to be explored and investigated. It created me anew. It defined me. It gave me a purpose, a family, a goal, a group, an identity. All the things I had been lacking prior to Scientology.

    In Vinaire's situation (and again I might be wrong in this) but it seems he didn't need Scientology to define or create him. He already had an identity and was just seeking further knowlegde of the spiritual nature of man.

    Given these two different situations, there will be different outcomes when the walls come tumbling down.

    The person who relied on Scientology to define their existance, is going to be hurt in a whole different way to the person who was just seeking answers.

    While both might feel cheated, one is going to be personally damaged much more than the other.

    I'm probably not explaining myself very well here. I'm trying work out why there seems to be two different levels of harm or hurt that people feel toward Scientology.

    Some seem to just brush off the bad stuff and try to see the positives in it and carry on with those. Others feel completely betrayed and want to strike out and destroy the thing that caused them so much hurt.

    Could this difference go back to what Scientology meant to them in the first place?
  2. Zinjifar

    Zinjifar Silver Meritorious Sponsor

    I can see where you're going with this, and, I think there is a difference.

    The one group (those who already had a 'spiritual identity') tasted (or gorged) from one side of the Scientology smorgasbrod, the 'mystery sandwich' menu where Hubbard's *hollow* revelations allowed them to supply the sandwich filling and then 'own' it. Thanks to the verbot against 'Verbal Tech' they came to believe that what they had themselves constructed *was* Hubbard's revelation. That's one (and only one) value I see in the 'Tech' discussions here on ESMB; the revelation and comparison of the various 'dub in' that people allowed themselves to make 'sense' of Hubbardism

    The other 'fixer-uppers' ran into a different scenario, where their problems were never *addressed* but, instead replaced with a standard issue set of *exterior* problems, which Scientology claimed to address. Many of the people who joined Scientology to 'save the world' may fit into this group, if their despair over 'world conditions' was actually a *projection* of their own inner turmoil. Still, instead of fulfilled, their 'goals' were hijacked.

    The 'seeker' group may tend to be less dissatisfied with their Scientology Experience, since, thanks to their *own* contribution, they actually received what they sought, once they had been convinced (or convinced themselves) that 'it' was.

    There may be a subset of these seekers; those who wanted the 'gnarly OT Powerz' (exteriorization, control of MEST, able to leap tall buildings...)

    Unlike the 'mystery sandwich' people this group gets disappointed when the promised results are not forthcoming.

  3. Div6

    Div6 Crusader

    This is deep, Em. I have been conjecturing along different lines, but maybe there is some overlap here.

    There is self-determinism. I would assign the Vinaire unit to being self-determined in their approach, consumption and use of Scn data and procedures. This comes not only from him as a being, but also is a part of his cultural background.

    Then there is other-determinism. I too looked to "escape an undesirable past" by re-inventing myself within the 3rd dynamic of scn. This was essentially the abandoning of earlier "selves" and embracing a "new" self. But by so doing, I was granting far greater power and responsibility to the 3d than it ever really had.
    And so the hurt is bigger.

    There is not only a 1-d aspect of Reactive Minds, there are 3rd and 4th D aspects as well. One can speculate that perhaps the REAL lesson of the Xenu mythos is that Governments of any type should not have the power to implant reactive minds in others. If you have been around in the galaxy for any length of time, having energy with conflicting significances enforced upon you has been a "de rigeur" control mechanism for quite a while.

    Perhaps that explains why we tolerate (at least in the US) the govt we have. Maybe not.

    This is just my opinion.
  4. Pascal

    Pascal Silver Meritorious Patron

    In essence you nailed what Dianetics and Scientology are. Dianetics fixes you up, after that you will start to wonder about life and look for spiritual answers offered in Scientology.

    I got in because I knew I had tons of potential but was seriously fux0red. :p
  5. Emma

    Emma Con te partirò Administrator

    I think you missed the entire point of my post.
  6. Björkist

    Björkist Silver Meritorious Patron

    Great posting, Emma!

    I walked into a CofS and encountered Scientology on my continuous/continuing life quest, but I was not looking for anything in particular...but instead "letting the 'universe' guide me" it still does today...

    I handled some things in auditing that definitely needed handling and I also encountered a fascinating subject that was fun to study and that I felt was useful...and still do.

    I walked in without any standards of judgment or pre-requisites...just that "here is where I am, so here is where I am supposed to be" and learned from it...just as I do today on ESMB...and with various inter-personal relationships.

    Indeed, certain ESMB members I may not agree with, and you Emma, the founder of ESMB may have had unfortunate events in your life which you aren't broadcasting the explicit details of to all of us...but it doesn't make this group, or its founder, any less, fun, vital and a pleasure to be around...and most importantly, it is a learning experience on all levels for anyone and everyone who has their eyes open and isn't just forwarding an "anti-this, pro-that" agenda.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2007
  7. Pascal

    Pascal Silver Meritorious Patron

    I have observed something similar. Some people get into SCN messed up and others normal. Messed up people get in to get fixed and then either go on to OT or leave. Normal people go in for spiritual stuff, OT, etc...

    I don't even what to think about where I'd be without SCN tech! I was a dead thetan, sub-apathy case, living in the worst hell possible. Now I'm human and improving, living on Teegeeak, the second worse hell possible. :p
  8. Mick Wenlock

    Mick Wenlock Admin Emeritus (retired)

    I snipped a lot of your excellent posting just for brevity's sake.

    I actually think there are three groups -the two you mention and one more that was more interested in 'helping' mankind. I did not join Scientology because of things I wanted to handle personally, I didn't join because I was on some philosophical quest. I joined because I thought that society needed an effective hand up and that by doing that I would be helping myself.

    I thought Hubbard had some good points..

    well I also thought Peterborough United would be in the Premier League by now as well..
  9. The Oracle

    The Oracle Gold Meritorious Patron

    I think you are right on the real deal Emma.

    I never really became involved with Scientologists the entire time I was in Scientology until I went in the Sea Org. I had all my own friends that were not Scientologists. I mean, it didn't become my group. I had no interest at all in doing the OT levels until 9/11. As a Catholic I thought I had no right to consider such matters. All of my upsets with the Church had to do with what I saw happening to others. In a large way I was never really "part of the team". Even in the Sea Org I was used outside of the Church in the public arena, I wasn't in the Org and didn't see a lot of what was going on. I was happy to leave the Sea Org. I was dismayed to find out what it was really like people wise but glad to leave it behind. I didn't think about Scientology again until 9/11. I guess that shook me up a bit. Even when I worked at an Org/Mission I just went in the evenings and did my job and left. I guess on some level I was shunned by Scientologists because I didn't hang out with them, but I was really young when I got involved (two weeks past 16) and none of my friends were involved and they were all from another generation. I liked the auditing but I didn't really get involved with the people.
    I was always neutral about the people and I'm still pretty neutral about it all.
    I'm still doing what I always did, reading and auditing. The only time I wasn't really involved with Scientology at all was my time in the Sea Org. I know that sounds wierd. I just feel like getting mixed up with the group took me off purpose. I haven't really fit in with any FZ group either. It kind of mystifies me how some people get so emotional about it all. So I think you have a good point. I was curious about the auditing experience, the reading of the books, but the people and what they were doing seemed to be some other dimension. Many times in the Sea Org if I was in an Org the CO would shuffle me out if some Int Execs were coming to do an inspection because she thought I would say something wrong. I often said things that violated someone's reality and I was notorious for giving people money to leave that did not want to be there anymore. I wasn't regarded as "patriotic". I think the only reason I was allowed in the Sea Org and kept there was that I could talk to the public. There were only a handful of people that could talk to the public with any reality. I was slated for a PR post in the beginning and all through my time I was more or less kept in with the public as a group. When I left I didn't loose anything because I still had all the same friends as before I went in and I was still friends with all the public I had known, so, nothing changed except I had a lot more friends, most of who were mystified that I even spent six years in that arena. I remember doing marching drills and Sea Org members around me going into glee with tears running down their cheeks that I was doing marching drills. I was sec checked everytime I returned to the Org for out 2d. Like, they thought I had no self discipline. Also my desk would be searched for booze. Like, they thought I had no self discipline. I did go to bars on Friday nights. Like I had done all my life. So what? It wasn't on post time. I had my stats up for six years. Until the day I left. When I left it was really easy to go. I just caused a scene with an Int Exec on inspection and was walked out the front door pretty instantly. The only loss I had with the whole adventure has been the illusion I thought the Sea Org was. I found out it wasn't. But for me, I would rather know what is real than live with some illusion that has no truth connected to it. So I just looked at the whole experience as another process I worked through. It made me "grow up" about leaning on others to do something for me. The rest of the bridge, I have managed on my own, with help from personal friends. And to tell you the truth the Scientology is lots of fun when done in the spirit of friendship without all of the negatives attached to it. It has been a blast.

    I don't think I was ever really accepted or trusted in the Sea Org because I did not act like a soldier. I was clear expanded grade 4 and had done the LX lists. That soldier thing was really way too out of valence for me.

    I mean, I know those CMO missionaires didn't even have a drivers license. I mean, they didn't even have authority to drive to a car. How far can one indulge in pretense I ask?
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2007
  10. Bea Kiddo

    Bea Kiddo Crusader

    I'll have to chime in for the fourth category, of which I may the last comic standing for anyways..... :sad:

    Which is: I was born into it. I have no fucking clue what I am doing here anyways. I know nothing else, so I guess that is why I am here. (meaning Scn).
  11. olska

    olska Silver Meritorious Patron

    I think each individual’s involvement in and/or exit from scientology is different from every other -- Bea brings up a good point regarding those born into it. Where might they be if they'd had a choice? who knows! Of course there will be some people who think a thetan "chose" to be born into those circumstances -- again, who knows?

    My own story has elements of both your categories as well as the third category that Mick proposes, but imo cannot be “pegged” into any one of those three.

    By the time I encountered Dianetics and Scientology, I had turned my back on the (Christian) religious practices of my childhood and had little if any interest in “spirituality” (whatever that means); yet I always knew “I” was “not my body” -- this was not a revelation, but served as a point of commonality with scientology.

    And while I did have some serious and troubling life issues, I would never have gone to a psychologist or psychiatrist to be “fixed” (though I was told I should by some who “cared” about me) because of what I’d seen happen to friends, and because I grew up near a state mental hospital in a community that attached much social stigma to being an inmate or outpatient of “the funny farm.”

    I am a practical person, interested in practical solutions to real-world problems, and one reason I got involved in Dianetics and Scientology was simply that it was handy. I was interested in self-development, overcoming limitations, developing what I believed were my personal “potentials,” helping others and making a better world where I could, and living a long, physically healthful, and productive life.

    These are the promises in DMSMH, and not only are the attributes of “clear” tantalizing, but Dianetics is presented as a “do-it-yourself” endeavor – perfect for a self-reliant person living in an isolated area, as I was then.

    Once I got “on lines,” the extent of “control” that the CoS exerts over its students and staff was a big (unwelcome) surprise (what about "self-determinism..."), as were the chaotic conditions in the orgs I visited. Initially, I believed that the classed auditors, “OTs” and experienced execs must know something I didn’t that explained the deplorable conditions in the orgs; I fell for the admonition to help rather than criticize. I’m a person who “pitches in” when there is work to be done, so I joined Class IV org staff and tried to help “fix” it.

    The overwhelming illogic and insanity in the org coupled with some personal circumstances eventually wore me out. I left and rebuilt my life as a “wog,” and little by little got my balance back and with the help of all the information now on the internet, came to understand – IN MY OPINION – from whence this insanity springs: not some “reactive mind” that we all supposedly share and can be rid of, or from bands of “SPs” who are out to destroy mankind’s only hope, but from Ron the Con, a master manipulator whose “good will” for the rest of humankind was quite short lived, if ever it existed at all.

    Of course there is some “truth” in scientology, some things that “work” – without bait to attract the mark, a confidence game simply would not work. I don’t much care what individual humans “believe” or “practice” if it isn’t enforced on others--live and let live. Even if I'm not interested in studying "the tech," I can appreciate the sincere efforts of early scientologists who worked with Ron before he became so obviously crazy--they were/are an interesting "think tank." I admit that I have little respect or patience for those I see as willfully ignorant.

    Historically, entire cultures have been destroyed by the “crusades” and “jihads” carried on by various religion-based political groups against other such groups or against the “heathen” non-believers. Imo MOST organized religions are at least partly “dangerous” in their elitist attempts to enforce their ways on others “for their own good;” and in this regard, “scientology” is no different.

    “Scientology” – not only the “church” but also the “belief system” -- is the basis for such a (even if not overtly violent) crusade. Having seen close-up what those who ascribe to that “belief system” can become and do to and with other vulnerable individuals who fall into its spell, and having seen close up how a society or a political power based on “scientology” beliefs would operate, I’d rather it didn’t win.

    That, not “personal hurt,” is the basis of my stance against the spread of scientology.
  12. Terril park

    Terril park Sponsor

    You were born into a dying cult. But one which had some good ideas.

    Your life was ripped apart.

    What dosn't kill you makes you stronger.

    You will survive and help make the world a better place.

    I think your dad will be real proud of you. :)
  13. Vinaire

    Vinaire Sponsor

    Scientology will become what you make it. Scientology will appear as a "belief system" to those who are conditioned to indoctrination as part of their background.

    But it will appear as "knowing how to know" to those, who are used to thinking freely for themselves. Actually, this is how Scientology started out in the 50s, when it primarily attracted free thinkers who loved adventure.

    But somehow, over the years, Scientology has come to be dominated by those who prefer the safety of agreed beliefs to the risky adventure of new ideas.

    This is what Scientology has become today. The free thinkers have not lasted for long in the Church of Scientology. Those remaining there, from top to bottom, share the viewpoint of "believe and get indoctrinated." Scientology has simply become a reflection of that viewpoint.

    I think that children born in Scientology to "free-thinking" parents are likely to leave the present Church of Scientology. The children born in Scientology to "believing" parents are likely to stay in the present Church of Scientology.

    Thus, the future that I see for the Church of Scientology is less and less of "knowing how to know" and more and more of "believe and get indoctrinated..."

    ... Unless a really free-thinking thetan takes over.

    Last edited: Sep 26, 2007
  14. Mick Wenlock

    Mick Wenlock Admin Emeritus (retired)

    yeah, true. My stepson has the same problem - though he is still in unfortunately.
  15. Vinaire

    Vinaire Sponsor

    To give you my take on the original thesis outlined in the first post, since my name is used to define a category, I would say that I wouldn't have considered this subject in the first place if I were not suffering from a physical ailment, which, I believed, gave me only two more years to live.

    You can get more details on this from Vinaire's Story.

    What got my immediate attention was the Dianetic statement about illnesses having a psychosomatic origin. Scientology came later.

    Now, I wouldn't have continued with Dianetics either if hadn't achieved the success I achieved in my first 25 hours of Dianetic R3R auditing. In those 25 hours, I not only ran the birth engram, but encountered a past life incident of such an intensity that it took my breath away. By then I just knew that my ailment was history. Until then I wasn't thinking of any philosophy.

    But, yes, because of my Hindu background, whatever philosophic elements that I encountered in Dianetics and Scientology of 1969, made absolute sense and contributed to increasing my trust in the subject. However, none of it would have mattered if I hadn't had those early wins.

    Now that my immediate problem of "whether I am going to live" was handled, my other goals kicked in. Most fascinating to me were the Study Technology and the Data Series Technology, and funny enough, I have stuck to them to this very day. I just wanted to make things easier for myself and others to understand. I saw LRH doing just that, for he had taken the knowledge of the past and had organized it "Lieutenant Data-like" into concise and precise Axioms and Logics. LRH's actions to summarize knowledge seemed to coincide with something that I always felt attracted towards.

    Today, my efforts seems to be in the direction of summarizing and simplifying LRH data against the background of Vedic Data.

    Funny, I haven't deviated from my original purpose at all. (This is a cognition, by the way.)

    Last edited: Sep 26, 2007
  16. Lulu Belle

    Lulu Belle Moonbat

    Emma, your post is "spot on".

    And (probably unfortunately) I am definitely a member of "your team".

  17. Voltaire's Child

    Voltaire's Child Fool on the Hill

    Great thread!

    With "ruin finding", CofS seeks to get "converts" (as I sometimes call them) from any situation, any walk of life.

    They'll tell people Scn will fix anything. Search for enlightenment and haven't found it? No prob. Scn will do it for ya. Trouble at home? No prob. Scn can handle that. (not mentioning enforced/coerced disconnection to the newbie, of course). Want to be less fearful/sad/have anger management issues? No prob. Scn can help you with that. Problems with body? Scn can help you with that.

    Plus the "pan denominational" stance.

    The goal is to get as many stats as possible.

    To clear the planet, you have to appeal to a great many different types of people.
  18. Voltaire's Child

    Voltaire's Child Fool on the Hill

    Olska wrote: "Having seen close-up what those who ascribe to that “belief system” can become and do to and with other vulnerable individuals who fall into its spell, and having seen close up how a society or a political power based on “scientology” beliefs would operate, I’d rather it didn’t win."

    That seems like a bit of an unfair generalization, to me. I've seen a great many dogmatic Scientologists, but away from CofS, it's far mellower. I think there is still room for improvement, but there are a lot of very broad minded people who study Scn who are not evangelical and who do not hurt people.

    On the whole, the majority of the indie, Freezone and other non CofS Scientologists I've known and/or talked to were far more tolerant and far less aggressive than the majority of the critics I've known and/or talked to.

    In each category, however, there certainly are exceptions.

    That's how people are. Varied.
  19. Vinaire

    Vinaire Sponsor

    Whatever anyone may say, Scientology has generated great interest, and it continues to generate great interest.

  20. Mojo

    Mojo Silver Meritorious Patron

    Thus, the future that I see for the Church of Scientology is less and less of "knowing how to know" and more and more of "believe and get indoctrinated..."

    ... Unless a really free-thinking thetan takes over. Vinaire.

    If asked to do so would you take over the position of the world wide leader of the church of scientology Vinaire? (whatever title that post would be).

    And if so, what would you do as the leader of it, to change it?

    And if not, why not?