Escaping Scientology - Overcoming Crushing Certainty

Discussion in 'Leaving Scientology' started by mockingbird, Jun 8, 2018.

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  1. mockingbird

    mockingbird Silver Meritorious Patron

    Escaping Scientology - Overcoming Crushing Certainty

    Scientology has such a reversal of reality that things they consider negative actually are positive often. You don't know it until after you leave and disengage from Scientology thinking to a significant extent, sometimes over decades.

    A few examples, getting declared suppressive is treated as ruining your life and a disgrace while in but often leads to someone escaping Scientology because they gain contact with information from outside the cult. Leaving the Sea Org is treated as a disgrace and rock solid proof you are a degraded being by Scientologists and often a source of deep humiliation and shame for people in Scientology but often saves you from psychological and physical degradation.

    It also makes you ineligible for staff, which gives you a better chance to get established in an outside job. I was briefly in the Sea Org which turned out to be good in the very long run because it left me disqualified for staff so I eventually had to find steady work outside of staff and the Sea Org which lead to something crucial for me leaving Scientology.

    I got a job at a regular company with no Scientologists and realized I had to translate everything I was thinking into normal English to talk to people and was translating everything they said to Scientology terms to receive it.

    I realized this was slowing my communication down and thought it was like growing up speaking Spanish and translating everything to English and back. I decided for efficiency at work to try to just think , speak and receive communication in English, after all thinking in Spanish or English shouldn't change the truth of what you think.

    So, I started thinking in English and over several months my thinking started shifting and then my feelings started shifting and my ideas started to unravel. Things I took for granted as true for decades starting to bit by bit become uncertain. I started realizing different assumptions that were deeply held weren't supported by evidence or were in fact false.

    I ended up realizing for example that an assumption I made when I was first entering Scientology was false. I assumed that a person couldn't be covertly influenced against their will by books or words over time. I thought the false dichotomy of "if someone could covertly and insidiously influence people with a book or tape then they would rapidly take over the world and enslave everyone or recruit everyone into one monolithic and inescapable group, therefore covert influence doesn't exist." The problem of course with this false dichotomy is it assumes influence must be absolutely perfect and instantly irresistible or nothing at all. In truth subtle and slight influence is all around us and usually produces effects so slight we don't notice them.

    So, Scientology or other efforts to influence people have a vast number of factors that determine if they are effective, to what degree, on which people and for how long. We could go over books and experiments on social psychology, cognitive dissonance theory, propaganda analysis, logic, history, evolution and far more to explore this and realize it's incredibly complex but the truth is covert influence is possible, particularly if time permits repetition and other methods to be used on a subject over a long period.

    That realization was regarding a different method of influence but it made me highly anxious for a reason I didn't understand immediately as it disrupted my long held assumptions regarding my inability to be influenced. It took a long time for that to affect my conscious thinking on Scientology. I had an uneasy feeling, a kind of wobbly and reeling feeling of not knowing if I was coming or going, like I unexpectedly lost my balance somehow and couldn't quite get it back.

    I also realized people are responsible as individuals for their choices regardless of any group or philosophy or religion they belong to. I thought of this regarding something unrelated to Scientology directly.

    Those two key realizations hadn't occurred in decades prior because I was at first immersed in Scientology then thinking in Scientology terms and reinforcing the indoctrination over and over thousands of times by believing the terms were true and proving each other by thinking them and since hundreds are defined by one another in webs of interconnected lies I was reinforcing all the terms over and over. Orwell described this well in the definition of double think from the appendix to 1984. It's the process of thinking of the term knowing it's true meaning, denying it, knowing its false meaning and asserting it each time it's thought of and denying or even dissociating from the truth to assert the lie, making it more automatic to think this way and more automatic to deny the truth by repetition of this thinking.

    So, by thinking in Scientology terms for decades I made it almost impossible to think thoughts outside the Scientology framework of reality. It seemed absurd and difficult to comprehend and emotionally upsetting to think outside the Scientology view and physically painful, literally causing headaches to think thoughts in conflict with Scientology doctrine and terms.

    Only after forcing myself to think in English for many months did something interesting happen. One day I realized something was just not right in my life, but I couldn't put my finger on what it was. I realized I had a good job, wife I love, kids I love, pretty good health and finances yet I was somehow unhappy or uneasy about...something I couldn't put my finger on.

    I decided to carefully look at my life and see if there was something I wasn't handling or that could be the cause of my unease. I at first made a mental inventory of different things, including my marriage, relationships with my kids, job and hobbies and interests and thought of Scientology. I thought that Scientology couldn't be the problem. I thought it was the easiest thing to deal with since I knew it was not the source of anything negative. I had made that mental appraisal many times before. It was automatic from doing Scientology indoctrination and ethics conditions hundreds of times.

    I then did something different, something only possible because I hadn't been thinking in Scientology terms for a year or so and had discovered that subtle hidden influence was possible and I was responsible for my choices regardless of any beliefs, no matter what they were or who they came from. I realized I was assuming Scientology couldn't be the cause of anything negative and was skipping actually looking at it and had done it so subtly it was first nature and something I had done for many years.

    This gave me pause and I decided to actually take a look at Scientology. After all, if I was off base I could confirm it and be reassured and move onto looking at other things. I thought it's probably nothing I will just look at Scientology to be thorough and if it's fine I can read Scientology books and listen to lectures and feel how I used to when I was doing Scientology courses all the time again.

    So I reluctantly started to look for answers regarding Scientology. First just little things like neutral information on the size and image of Scientology. That showed lots of criticism, a shocking amount. But I could write that off as lies. Okay, now for information from Scientology to give me answers.

    That is where the real trouble emerged or exploded. The Posse Of Lunatics story was available online. It was definitely from Scientology, so I couldn't dismiss it as lies from outsiders.
    It portrayed the Sea Org as full of incompetent and bumbling criminals who rose to upper management and undetected bungled their way through the highest reaches of Scientology for decades like the Three Stooges.

    But this didn't conform to Hubbard's claims. Hubbard claimed his technology was infallible and took beings into states so high no one and nothing could strike you down and further he claimed his administration technology was magic and could make an organization invincible and able to survive and succeed against any challenge.

    So between his auditing and training providing perfect understanding of people and personal abilities like telepathy, telekinesis, remote viewing or astral projection and precognition and his administration technology giving the secrets to group success and the Sea Org technology giving the keys to running a planet, Scientology should have been far too capable and far too competent to get fooled by the Posse Of Lunatics, particularly as Scientology executives in the Sea Org and particularly for years.

    The only plausible explanation was that the Sea Org lacked OTs because otherwise they would have easily detected and handled the Lunatics long before they became executives, probably very early in their Scientology careers.

    So, by their own portrayal Scientology was painted as victims of very human beings. This meant Scientology was without OTs running the Sea Org. It was inescapable to me. That meant there must NEVER have been OTs because an army of demigods as Hubbard portrayed them couldn't possibly be defeated by humans in just a few decades, it's absurd. He must have never made OTs at all, which meant he was completely wrong because he asserted the difference between Scientology and other groups was results. If you don't get the primary result you rest your reputation on then all the claims you tie to that reputation need strong reevaluation and examination.

    I realized with the claims of OTs completely invalidated that there had to be no clears too and then that throws out the reactive mind and tone scale and engrams because all these concepts are defined by and allegedly proven by one another. With no proof of the OTs or clears then Scientology and Dianetics don't have a leg to stand on. I ended up at the Underground Bunker blog and reading the Scientology Mythbusting series by Jon Atack and several articles by him like Never Believe A Hypnotist to understand why Scientology seemed to hold results but actually is just a complex con.

    I of course read a lot more with dozens of books and exchanged hundreds of comments, etc in trying to untangle from Scientology.

    But without the benefit of having left the Sea Org and being forced to work outside Scientology and being forced to interact in a Scientology free environment where thinking like a normal person was obviously beneficial I possibly would never have had the slow shift to gradually having independent and critical thinking resurface, even if it was only momentarily for a thought every few months. A few key thoughts was what it took to prime me to look at Scientology then realize looking required looking and not assuming then realizing I had been assuming for a long time.

    Then I made a conscious effort to not assume, because crucially I understood covert long term influence was possible, I and not Hubbard or Scientology or anything else made my decisions and I had been blindly assuming Scientology could do no wrong for decades without even seeing it.
    That mindset was necessary for me to be ready to see the problems with the Posse Of Lunatics story.

    That is why the prison of the mind is so insidious and pernicious and persistent. The prisoner creates it with their own thoughts and doesn't see it at all and has to take apart the exact right things in the exact right sequence to escape.

    It's rigged to use your own blindspots which you create regarding yourself, so you never even see what needs to be unmocked to start your journey out.

    It reminds me of what Harriet Tubman said (well Snopes actually rated this claim false, but it's a good quote regardless of who did say it) “I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”

    It's knowing you are wrong or could be fooled that is the ultimate obstacle to overcome.

    Unshakable certainty and inexorable confidence are the foundation of the prison of the mind. It's that foundation that must be destroyed by the individual who is subject to influence and deception to escape the prison but it's often invisible to the person, until it's not.
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  2. wogwog

    wogwog Patron

    Thank you for this post. A lot of what you shared spoke to me personally, and I have been going through your other big posts too.

    I have struggled with a mental "flip" or "inversion" where "good" memories are now bad and "bad" memories are now good.

    For example, looking back at that moment of certainty and unmatched clarity of purpose when I decided to join the SO, I can still feel the sense of pride and idealism I felt then, but now I see it as a huge mistake that derailed my life.

    I can still recall the shame and depression I felt when kicked out of the SO and labeled a "DB." I buckled under the stress of being a "coin" in the personnel trade wars between depts/orgs desperate for staff, the oppressive state of fear all low level SO members feel because of ever-present inspectors and security guards hunting for the smallest infractions, and the verbal and sometimes physical intimidation used to "get stats up," but now seeing that being kicked out was one of the easiest ways to be free of that abuse.

    Recalling these memories now has layering of emotions, like looking at a photo with multiple filters over them, where what I felt then is almost an inversion of how I feel about it now, but I can feel both, and it can be quite frustrating and confusing.

    The traps that Scientology sets in your mind have been difficult for me to explain to people who were never in because it doesn't seem like they could be possible. The process is so gradual, and it's hard to believe that reading some books and listening to tapes could dominate someone's mind so fully. But nonetheless, by studying Scientology, you build a framework of beliefs, "facts," personal experiences, "wins", confirmation biases, circular logics, etc. Once it's in place, it teaches you to control how you think about everything and whether you even allow a thought into your mind. And if you are not doing a good enough job breaking down your mind and replacing it with LRH's, an organization is there to see to it that you do and spiritually strong arm you if you fail to comply.

    In my case as a second gen, my family and all of my friends are Scientologists. When I had doubts, I naturally brushed them under the rug because everyone else seems to be so "up tone" and "up stat" so it must just be my problem. In fact, policy says it is, and policy is never wrong. The only reason for critical thoughts are my O/Ws. The only reason I would want to blow are my own crimes. The reactive mind will try to protect itself by making you have doubts. Doubt itself is a lower condition. Failing to have certainty on KSW is a crime. Being other-intentioned is like being counter-intentioned, and anyone that counters us is an Enemy of Mankind. You must do what is the greatest good for the greater number of dynamics, and Scientology is always the greatest good...

    That was my mindset then. Thankfully it is not any more, and it has not been for a long time now.

    What got me out was not any single event or piece of information, but if I want to give credit to the most significant one, it was simply gaining a non-Scientologist friend who I looked up to as a mentor who was an atheist (which I had never met before), and seeing that he was still a good and kind person, and he told me that no harm can come from critically evaluating your belief system or hearing what critics have to say. "How true and good could a religion (or anything else you believe in) be if it cannot stand up to the smallest amount of criticism?" After a lifetime of being warned against reading "entheta" that would just cost money to reveal in sec checks, I had a visceral phobia against anti-Scientology material to the point I would get panic/anxiety symptoms when I ran across it. My friend did not even know I was a Scientologist, and was talking about a totally different topic than religion, but what he said made sense to me, and that is what got me to sit down and brace myself to read the ex-Scientology stories.

    Once I let myself act on the thought that "what someone else says cannot hurt me, and if I am wrong, it is better to know than to never doubt," the floodgates opened and I did the binge reading that most of us on this board do once we dare to see the truth in what the critics are saying.
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  3. Out Ethics

    Out Ethics Out Ethics Ex Ethics Officer

    The reason L Ron Hubbard wants you to write up your WINS is four fold:

    1. You have wrapped your own concepts and beliefs around Scientology you BELIEVE and don't suffer from Cognitive Dissonance.

    2. You want to be RIGHT about how great Scientology is because you are INVESTED with money and/ or TIME. THIS implants into your subconscious....then the mind will DIE to be RIGHT.

    3. Write up your success story so you can convince yourself how great Scientology is.

    Then - announce your "wins" to the group after each course or grade completed on the Bridge to Total Confusion.

    4. You also want the service to you can finish.

    LRH: low toned people get nothing done...they don't finish cycles of action....

    You want to be considered by the group "HIGH TONED" and can complete cycles of action.

    If you are auditing - you come up with some justification soon so you don't have pay...and pay and pay...

    Intensives are really EXPENSIVES....

    Your success stories are then used against you if you want a refund cuz the WINS DON'T LAST unless you continue to self hypnotize ...

    That is why Scientologists use the question to rehab your wins...

    "Did you have any wins in Scientology?"....this gets you to get your mind off of the truth and back into hypnosis...done by self and L Ron Hubbard, the criminal con.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
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  4. mockingbird

    mockingbird Silver Meritorious Patron

    Thank you.

    We each came in Scientology, had a unique personal experience and if we are lucky got out of Scientology alive. I certainly don't know everything about the experience of anyone else but hopefully there is common ground and by saying something about my experience and interpretation of it I can do something positive for myself and others.

    I am always glad to hear someone got out of Scientology and hope you can throw off any negative influence from Scientology if you experienced that in your life.
  5. DagwoodGum

    DagwoodGum Squirreling Dervish

    The biggest hangover effect that I've witnessed personally from when a person leaves the placebo cocoon of L. Ron Hubbard's shadow, which all of Scientology falls into, is that many people run amok with drugs and deviant sex because they associate NOT doing these things with obedience to L. Ron.
    Once they conclude that they've been mislead, they fall into the trap of believing that just doing the opposite of what he's decreed will somehow undo the stranglehold they've lived under.
    At that point they have unfortunately fallen into Part II of the trap.
    Hubbard took credit for all of the rewrites of all the discoveries of all the great thinkers that he had stumbled across during all of his years as an author.
    His flock had it drummed into their psyche's that he was "source", and he had all kinds of derogatory labels for anyone that stepped out of line with any involvement with "other practices", whereas it was through Hubbard's own involvement with these other practices that his thefts and rewrites of their discoveries occurred years earlier.
    He didn't want anyone to stumble across the true sources of his ideas and discredit him.
    But back to my point, when many people leave they too often go reverse polarity and do the opposite of all they had done and not done during their years of psychic enslavement in Scientology.
    Many associate any attempt at personal growth from that point on with that which would put them right back on track to being mislead and ripped off, and compulsively avoid anything that they find that is in any way similar to Scientology and become a "backslid Scientologist" with behavior that they never saw themselves as prone to prior to the effects of going reverse polarity in Part II of the trap that I've only touched upon.
    Some on the other hand, try to recreate their own rewrite version of Scientology, often with Free-zone type involvement when they leave, and again often end up flat on their faces.
    I've found it's best for me to find my own truths and pay no mind to whether Hubbard had got their first and rewrote it into Scientology because he had a hell of a head start and a whole lot of help from "the group" that he said contributed nothing, as groups never do - or so he said in the Phase I of The Trap.
    In the end, one's prior Scientology experience most often thwart's any further attempts at spiritual growth, turns one to drugs and/or deviant behaviorism's as substitutes for the buzz one used to get holding the cans, and one becomes certain that anything in any way similar could only lead to more of the same misery and tragedy.
    One is thus stopped dead in one's tracks and accepts that one is nothing but a meat headed meat body, or however else you would define a fool, and that spirituality is nothing but an illusion of the delusional - and that's the biggest tragedy of it all.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
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