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Featured Johnd's story

Discussion in 'Stories From Inside Scientology' started by Johnd, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. Lone Star

    Lone Star Crusader

    Re: Johnd's story part 2

    I just found your thread today John. With all the news about the death of Karen's son and of course the Tom and Katie saga I, along with many others I 'm sure, have found it difficult to keep up with all of the threads lately.

    I enjoyed reading what you've posted so far regarding your story and I look forward to more! :thumbsup:
  2. Panda Termint

    Panda Termint Cabal Of One

  3. Purple Rain

    Purple Rain Crusader

    This whole question of memory loss is completely fascinating. It definitely does sound to me like the heat was involved, but it seems that more is at work also. I had a wonderful memory when I was young. I'm not sure when or how it got worse. At its worst I could look at a table and know I knew the name of the object but not be able to retrieve it. This happened during my fifth pregnancy, however, and was slightly better after this. I also lost depth perception during this time.

    I must admit I did not look at your posts to begin with - the writing has proved to be really interesting but the title just didn't grab my interest. I am very much looking forward to the next installment, Johnd. I find myself wanting to know what happened next.
  4. Ogsonofgroo

    Ogsonofgroo Crusader

    Yup, we do loves stories Johnd, don't be concerned about interest thing, you're a decent writer, its good stuff and like it! As has been mentioned by others there are a lot of other things going on, keep writing and people will find ya eventually!
    One of the nicest things about people's stories it that they can be cathartic for not only the writers, but the readers too, memory jogging etc., also I highly recommend adding your voice to Ethercat's wondeful collection at ThroughtheDoor :)

  5. FoTi

    FoTi Crusader

    I'm enjoying your story, Johnd. Please don't shorten it up .... I'm interested in hearing/reading it all.
  6. Ogsonofgroo

    Ogsonofgroo Crusader

    The nice thing about truth, while all the bullshit falls apart over the years, it rocks on!
    Cult has the audacity to call real humans, inhuman.....erk-erm, do not miss this point.
  7. Semper Phi

    Semper Phi Patron with Honors

    Johnd, please do continue with your story, and be theoretical if you need to be! Really, what you are saying and the way you are saying it are helping me unravel my own process of getting sucked into the cult and answering that question that I keep asking myself, "How could a smart person like me fall into a mind control system?"

    The super-friendly people were a large part of it for me, as for you. I find I was disturbingly willing to set aside my WTFs (like the "Maoist" pictures of LRH everywhere -- loved that description) when I was being love-bombed by open, friendly people who wanted more than anything to help me be as happy and successful as they were.

    And I'm also looking at the intro training in a new light and seeing how it really did prep me for the blinders I put on later and the willing suppression of all those WTFs.

    Plus, I was a Div 6 TRs sup, and I well remember gently guiding my students to do the drills exactly as written, even when the variations they had been doing would have been perfectly fine -- if the entire purpose was only to improve their communication.

    Looking forward to more from you!
  8. Johnd

    Johnd Patron with Honors

    Johnd's story part 2

    Johnd’s story part 2

    How I think I got hooked
    Long, long ago, in San Francisco, late 1969 or so.

    I did the HQS (Hubbard Qualified Scientologist) course after the comm course. I had no real interest as I recall in the HQS course. I think it was sold to me as a prerequisite to the Dianetics course, which I did want to do. HQS was basically TRs zero through four as on HAS, plus TRs 6 through 9, plus some basic scientology theory. I don’t recall there being any objectives processes on the old HQS as there were in later versions. I don’t recall having a euphoric episode on the drills on HQS as I had on the HAS course.

    One thing I do seem to remember though is TR eight, the infamous ‘ashtray drill.’ I did it on the HQS course and many times after that, to bolster the power of my ‘intention.’ There are several steps to the drill as I recall, and it may have been modified somewhat in later technical renaissances.

    The full name of the ashtray drill is ‘Tone 40 on an Object.’ ‘Tone 40,’ like many things in scn means at least a couple of seemingly contradictory things. 40 is the highest point on Hubbard’s ‘emotional tone scale.’ Someone at 40 on the tone scale experiences ‘serenity of beingness,’ like an angel in heaven I suppose. But tone 40 also refers to a kind of intentionality and a control attitude sometimes used by rank and file cult members, but more often used by higher-ups.

    A ‘tone 40’ command is one given while ‘just knowing that it will be executed despite any contrary appearances’ (PAB 133, 1 April 1958). It is further defined as ‘a positive postulate with no counter thought expected, anticipated or anything else; that is, total control.’ (PAB 152, 15 January 1959, my emphasis) In other words tone 40 meant delivering a command or an order with no thought of the possibility of resistance, and under the assumption that one was in ‘total control,’ despite appearances to the contrary. Maybe someone can explain what this has to do with serenity. I can’t.

    I assumed that TR 8 was a benevolent exercise, maybe to help us become a little more assertive or something. So I imagined that I was in ‘total control’ while knowing I was not. I commanded the ashtray ‘stand up’ and ‘sit down’ and when the ashtray didn’t comply I moved it up or down with my hands. Early in the exercise we shouted at it (to show the student the difference between ‘voice and intention’) and finally just intended the commands silently, all the while ‘expecting’ the ashtray to obey and moving it when the ashtray didn’t obey. I wasn’t disappointed at the ashtray’s recalcitrance. I knew it wouldn’t move. I also acted as ‘coach,’ helping another student through the stages of the drill until he felt he’d done it right. I could imagine no use for anything practiced in this drill and I was happy just to finish.

    TR eight was followed by TR nine, ‘Tone 40 on a person.’ This is a drill done with one student acting as coach and the other as student. It involved the student commanding the coach to ‘look at that wall, walk over to that wall, touch that wall, then, ‘turn around,’ and the whole series was repeated over and over, the coach increasing resistance until the student was able to move the coach smoothly from wall to wall while maintaining the ‘my will is irresistible,’ ‘tone 40’ attitude with crisp and calm ‘intention.’

    (TR 8 is preceded by TRs 6 and 7, drills in which the student is trained in commanding and moving a student between two walls. The drills are similar to TR 9, but don’t involve the use of ‘tone 40’ intention.)

    Again, I did the drill as student and as coach. It did nothing for me, but I saw no clear harm in it or in any of the other drills on the course, although overall I didn’t like the heart of the course, TRs 6--9. I didn’t like it but never really thought out WHY I didn’t like it.

    In hindsight, I disliked a few things.

    One, the ‘total control’ attitude, if one fully adopts it, means that the will and intent of the person controlled don’t matter at all. This idea is just abhorrent if you think about it.

    Two, you’re imagining you’re in ‘total control’ when of course you’re not, and despite evidence that you are not. Isn’t that just nutty? Couldn’t this be a dangerous delusion? If you beamed a tone 40 command at someone and they didn’t comply couldn’t you become very disillusioned—or even get angry at the effrontery and resort to good old fashioned screaming and punishment? (Ironically, the shouting part of TR8 was what many sea org execs seemed later to be using despite the fact that the shouting was done, per the written materials anyway, to show the student that intention had nothing to do with tone of voice.)

    Three, what’s so great about ‘total control’ anyway. I just wanted to be able to cure people of diseases and maladies, be more creative, have better communication skills, have plenty of sex and maybe be able to travel disembodied around the galaxy. Could I just ignore this dull control stuff? I did.

    We also restudied the ‘ARC triangle’ on HQS. (I’m sure it was also on the HAS course and in basic books I read as well.) This seemed brilliant at the time. The idea was that understanding consisted of just three elements: affinity, reality and communication, ‘reality’ being (as I then understood it) agreement between two people. Using the word ‘reality’ in this context seemed odd. I thought of it more as the affinity-agreement-communication triangle. But I loved the idea that ‘ARC’ equaled understanding. The formula was pleasantly simple and seemed really useful. To get to know someone you could just ‘mock up’ a feeling of liking and talk about agreeable things. It was inspirational. Again, I didn’t really think about or question it. I was dazzled that someone could just define something profound like understanding.

    Of course there was little or no discussion of any LRH teachings, much less any open challenge to the validity of anything. I just wasn’t yet a skillful enough in thinker to ask, ‘If communication is key to understanding, why are we so constrained in our communication about the materials of scientology? Why no discussions and Q and A periods? The formulation is very vague. Why? Isn’t understanding a much more complicated subject? Do questioning, testing and imagination have anything to do with it?’ I embraced the basic idea at least as I understood it. It felt right somehow.

    We also studied a bit more about the reactive mind. Heck, if this model was even close to being correct, dianetics and scientology could easily work wonders. I somehow accepted this basic idea also. It seemed simple and perfect.

    I completed the course check sheet and wrote a perfunctory success story and soon after went on to the Hubbard Standard Dianetics Course. I told myself I was making progress.

    I had a couple of student sessions while on HSDC. One I think was just a ruds session. I felt great for a day or so. Someone had listened to me and helped me with an upset! I also had some dianetics from a student. I remember running ‘fear.’ Again, I felt fantastic for a while. Now things were really looking promising. I loved the idea of auditing people to new states of happiness and greater ability.

    But there was a much more fundamental scientology idea I somehow came to accept, a little on the HQS course and much more strongly a bit later on the Dianetics course. It was, ‘We have some time since passed the point of achieving uniformly workable technology.’ (L. Ron Hubbard from HCOPL 7 Feb. 1965 Keeping Scientology Working, which appears at the beginning of each scn course. Pretty much the same point is made in another issue that I think was on both courses, HCOPL 14 Feb. 1965, Safeguarding Technology. In retrospect, there was no conscious reason for me to accept this idea. The supporting evidence was really too weak and the contradictory evidence too strong. There was some other process at work. And it was powerful and I have to admit that it overrode my ability to think. It became a ‘reality.’ An illusion that felt like a fact. A received assertion that felt like a discovery.

    Another absorbed fundamental: Hubbard made it clear in Keeping Scientology Working (KSW) that he had been and still was the sole source of the only workable mental technology ever devised. Contributions from others had been almost entirely useless or even destructive, and never important. There are several paragraphs of confused arguments that don’t really support this point. Hubbard says that individuals not groups do great things. The common denominator of groups is the ‘reactive mind,’ (the bank) Hubbard is an individual who somehow managed to rise above the bank; therefore he has to be the sole source of good mental technology. By implication others are not comparable individuals and are components of the ‘bank’ dominated ‘group.’ I didn’t have the skeptical skills or the power to ask, ‘So why couldn’t individuals other than Hubbard come up with good ideas after they had been ‘cleared’ of the bank by Hubbard’s uniformly workable technology?’

    Think too much about scientology’s basic tenets and you find they are very limited in scope or nothing new (talk therapy, earlier similar, releasing ‘charge,’ ‘trance’ inducement, exorcism, etc.) or just don’t make sense.

    I accepted another fundamental idea: The moments of release you experience early on will keep coming and will keep getting bigger, longer lasting and more profound. This is what was said or implied in many ways, over and over. Just look at the grade chart. It was the Bridge to total freedom.

    Why didn’t I think?

    And why, if I was FEELING A DISLIKE FOR A MAJOR PART OF THE MATERIALS (the ‘control’ stuff), was I continuing on with it. What was happening? I’ll try to give you my best current opinions.

    1. Foremost, in my opinion was the fact that I simply had not developed either the skill or the habit of posing skeptical, penetrating questions and requiring plenty of proof. Had I done either of these things I’d have exposed myself as ‘open minded’ and been shown the door. (And saved many wasted years.)

    2. I think we all suffer from instinctive mental laziness. Thinking requires a lot of energy. Often it’s easier and better to just look at what others are doing or saying and do or believe that, rather than try to reinvent the wheel. Sometimes though it’s a very bad approach.

    3. Things repeated over and over can somehow acquire the sensation of certainty if you aren’t in the habit of challenging ideas. In Scientology basic assumptions are repeated over and over and over. . .

    4. In the cult one is always following exactly some prescribed step by step course of action. You go around the org on a ‘routing form’ whenever you start or finish some service. Courses are done according to a sequential check sheet. Drills are done exactly as given in written materials. Checks for understanding of materials are done in prescribed ways. Auditing is done precisely according to Hubbard’s writings. You’re always following prescribed steps. I think that unconsciously I developed the HABIT of obedience.

    5. Our brains have a mad capacity to come up with justifications for mistakes, misdeeds, and stupid blunders. Like, ‘Scientology needs to ban free discussion of LRH materials because they are from source.’ Or, ‘The execs have to scream at staff because that’s the right tone level.’ Or, ‘Ron just didn’t know what was going on.’ Or, ‘It works; I just need the next level.’

    6. I experienced periods of euphoria, insight and clarity. It didn’t occur to me that I had experienced comparable moments before scientology without attributing them to any particular person. The constant social pressure to attribute everything positive that happened to Hubbard somehow got the best of me.

    7. Wins were celebrated constantly. Discussing your ‘case’ and the fact that it was no better was banned. I was thrilled at hearing some of the wins.

    8. I found society in the Cult. I needed it at that time. I had a group I could be a part of and contribute to.

    9. I may have been mentally weakened by ‘trance.’ Scientology does induce trance in a number of ways. But I think the mental laziness and naivety were already there. No hypnosis necessary.

    10. Naivety. I didn’t then know that certain approaches could induce compliance in thought and behavior without my being aware of it. Everything seemed like ‘choice’ and ‘moral judgment.’ It didn’t occur to me that someone could produce ream after ream of technical materials that were basically part of a pathetic and vast self-delusional fiction. I didn’t know anything about human social behavior, cults, psychopathic personalities, narcissistic personalities.

    11. Scn gave me something to focus on. I needed that at the time.

    I didn’t understand really how much energy can go into deceitfulness, how impassioned, perpetual and convoluted it can be.

    I didn’t realize how unreliable and misleading testimonial evidence is.

    I didn’t understand that delusion can be as euphoric as real insight and can feel just like understanding gained from experience and observation.

    People were happy and friendly. I loved the friendliness. People thought they were in motion to somewhere, to higher states. It was contagious. Wins were asked for at the end of each course period. I never gave any, but I listened. A guy could see how important control was and how he could now better control his life. A woman could see how her life had changed as a result of learning about ARC. Somebody was amazed at how clear clay demoing made things. Somebody went exterior. I applauded after every win. Socially you had to. But I didn’t disbelieve anything. After the win session, the supervisor would lead us in giving three cheers for LRH. This still seemed weird, but I went along with it.

    The wins were thus attributed to Scientology and LRH, and not to the aspirations of the individual students and their work. I didn’t challenge this either.

    You were asked to write a ‘success story’ after every after every course or auditing completion. The better Success stories were posted in certain places in the org. My own success stories were more social gesture, but others shared major wins, or what they thought were major wins. I really thought that was great, although I couldn’t honestly write any rave success story myself.

    I moved into a house with a group of scientologists. More belonging. More comradeship and more talk about upper level OT wins. One guy told me his triple grades had not worked, but LRH had just come out with ‘expanded lower grades,’ and that would correct the situation. One girl talked about past lives and having discovered her purpose which was to work in the mysterious ‘Guardian’s office. A guy told about being shot down in a dog fight during world war two. And so on. One of the people at the house wanted to start a scn field group based at the house (an old mansion on a hill). Somehow I agreed to be part of it. I was appointed ethics officer. It never got going and I never did a thing as ethics officer. Besides, I had no interest in scientology ‘ethics.’

    Auditing was obviously the thing that would save the planet.

    I began to think correctly, consistently, confidently and within a framework of basic Scientology ideas. It was easy. It took a lot less energy than real thinking.

    The tech was uniformly effective. About this I had nearly the same sense of certainty as I had that two and two equaled four. That being the case you HAD to apply it and protect it. The constant repetition of the assertion, my repeated, socially polite commitment to it, the wonderful ‘wins’ and the thrill of future possibilities had produced very nearly the same level of trust in Hubbard (as I imagined him) and the tech as I had in the force of gravity.

    I was censoring evidence to the contrary or rationalizing it. There were no demonstrations of clear or OT abilities because that would be reducing scn to parlor tricks. I wasn’t having many wins because I was so very f#%@ed up and my case needed to be unburdened. Scns didn’t seem any smarter or more able than anyone else because, well, maybe they were struggling to understand something different from anything they had yet experienced, the first uniformly workable mental technology ever developed! Maybe the poor bastards just needed my help!!! (I admit that I really had this thought.)

    Somewhere during the HSDC course I was recruited to join staff at Celebrity Centre, Los Angeles. I can’t remember anything at all about the recruitment, except that I thought I was embarking on a glorious and tremendously challenging project.
  9. Purple Rain

    Purple Rain Crusader

    Re: Johnd's story part 2

    johnd, I think this is the best post I have ever read on the mechanism for entrapment into Scientology. Just reading your post, I'm going, "Yes! Yes! Yes!" That was exactly how it was for me, too, but I've never heard it articulated as well. Someone asked me the other day how I could get sucked into it, and I just couldn't explain.
  10. Ogsonofgroo

    Ogsonofgroo Crusader

    Last edited: Jul 21, 2012
  11. Semper Phi

    Semper Phi Patron with Honors

    Re: Johnd's story part 2

    This ^^^^^ !!

    Johnd, your description rings so true for me, and I am finding this thread so helpful. :thankyou:
  12. sallydannce

    sallydannce Gold Meritorious Patron

    Hey Johnd,

    Just early this morning I was thinking "I wonder when Johnd is gonna post some more.."

    I am so glad you have! :yes:

    Wow! Great stuff! Thank you!

    You have given me much to reflect on. :)
  13. Unex Skcus

    Unex Skcus New Member

    Re: Johnd's story part 2

    Thanks for posting, JohnD. Not having been in Co$, it has puzzled me how people could accept what they were being told in the course of their 'studies' of Co$. Especially since, from the many posts I've read here and at Village Voice (etc), there are heaps of very intelligent people involved in Co$ (or rather, *were* involved).

    Outstanding post! Best regards.
  14. ClearWater

    ClearWater Patron

  15. Johnd

    Johnd Patron with Honors

    Thanks clearwater. So it contained 'predigested collagen' among other things. I looked up collagen and it's animal connective tissue used to make gelatin and GLUE.
  16. luisoga

    luisoga New Member

    Hi John.

    I just became a member to reply to your post.

    The link to this post was placed in one of the comments of Tony Ortega's blog in the Xenu posting.

    Your awareness of all of the influences (interior and exterior) that were impacting on you is quite awesome.

    I had never read a better enlightment of the hidden influences in Scientology.

    I joined in 1970 and sent a letter of resignation about 1983 and, even though I have recongnized most of the influences that produced my self entrapping in it, you offered a few more that I had not discovered.

    I am looking forward to the rest of the story.


    Luis Agostini
  17. Magoo

    Magoo Gold Meritorious Patron

    Re: Johnd's story part 2

    This may not be how you feel, but it's my experience.
    Many times I'll read things and not answer...and I KNOW others do the same, too. The important thing is that you are stripping off junk that has been solidly
    STUCK and the more you share, I believe the more un-sticks, and this is a good thang. Also, the more you share, the more others will have their own realizations, too. So don't worry about responses---just tell your story, please. :thumbsup::clap:


  18. Magoo

    Magoo Gold Meritorious Patron

    Do you have Ethercat's link? I was telling John about that---but couldn't for the life of me (speaking of memory) remember where to find it.

    Thanks...and yes, please DO continue, JD.


  19. Magoo

    Magoo Gold Meritorious Patron

    Re: Johnd's story part 2

    :clap::clap::hifive: :happydance::clap::clap:

    I agree! Excellent points, John. Thank you for sharing. Please continue :)

  20. Sharone Stainforth

    Sharone Stainforth Silver Meritorious Patron

    Thank you Johnd, for writing your story.I am finding it very interesting and your description of the TRs is very good.

    I don't always come here very much any more,not enough time in a day, but I am always reading things I find interesting and your story is interesting!

    Please keep writing,it helps a great deal to see how people got trapped into the mechanism of Scientology and other cults also.