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working for a Scientology-run business?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by pd48, May 28, 2011.

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  1. pd48

    pd48 New Member

    Hello.


    I realize that this is a bit different from most of the posts on this board (and certainly this board's initial purpose) but I've been surfing the web and haven't found another message board that seems to be as helpful as this one may be.


    Long story short, for all the tl;drs, I was recently hired at a business that is Scientologist-run and -operated and it's causing me a great deal of stress, trying to figure out whether I should run from the business or whether it's something that I will be able to deal with.


    I recently moved to a new city and found a job online. I came in, took an aptitude/IQ/personality test, and they offered me a job position much higher than the one the ad was for. I took it, thinking that this would be a way to get my foot in the door, so to speak. I have no experience in the field the job position is for, but the tests, which I passed with flying colors, made my friends think that they were willing to give me a shot.


    My job allows me insight into the financial aspect of the business and the way it's run. On my first day, I was shown one of the guys' offices, where L. Ron Hubbard books line every single bookshelf. I figured the guy whose office it was was a Scientologist, but didn't think much else of it.


    Something has always felt "off" about this job. I don't like how they handle their finances, it isn't professional to me, and they treat some of their customers like absolute crap. I decided to give it a go, however.


    The more I learned, the more I realized that it wasn't just the guy who was a Scientologist—it's the owner as well. They're running the business on Scientologist ethics which makes me worry a bit as I'm not a Scientologist and really feel like working for a business where a religion that is not my own is mixed with the business is not something I should be doing. I will never belong unless I convert, and if my timeline is correct, there are people who have moved up in the business—but after they're converted.


    I've found out that new employees have "mandatory courses" although the S-word is never dropped, and sitting in on some staff meetings, the whole atmosphere is one soaked in Scientology. One guy took a newspaper away from a new trainee and told her it was "trash" and his life has been better once he stopped reading things like that. The owner, himself, has apparently achieved the "clear" level so it's obvious he's pretty serious about it.


    All of the tests being administered are, you guessed it, the Oxford Capacity Analysis test and others. These are the sole tests being used to screen new employees. Resumes, in my experience, aren't even really looked at.


    I'm new to the area, no family/few friends, and they've asked me enough personal questions to know that I did not grow up in a religious household, which seemed to visibly please the owner. On the "how likely are you to be recruited to a cult" scale (any cult, really, including religious groups that might not necessarily be cults but have some cultish tendencies), I'd be pretty high up on the list, considering I'm at a crossroads in my life.


    Some of my friends keep telling me that I'm strong enough to work there without falling into the doctrine, but I'm not so sure. For one thing, I'm mentally unstable, looking to get back on psych meds, and if the anti-psychiatry bent is true, if they find out, they might shame me for it—which I really can't deal with. (They have already shamed me for various other things, like my diet, and made comments like, "Well, we'll get you eating better." They've also made comments about how the people I'm currently living with "don't really matter." Um, thanks?)


    I've done some googling, and discovered a review of the place that claims their friend quit after they started pushing him to join Scientology. They're pushy, and a lot of people think that while the business might be legit, it is also a way for them to introduce the doctrine, get you interested, and then try to sell you on the religion. They are also extremely money-focused, to the point where they're constantly making comments about it, and it makes me uncomfortable.


    I guess my mind is pretty made up to quit the job because it isn't sitting well with me, it's in an industry I don't care for, and it's causing me a lot of anxiety and depression.


    Already, I feel too well-versed in Scientology just from a couple of weeks of working there to feel comfortable. Since I've been yay-saying the whole time, they've been pushing me, subtly, even further. Most of the people I've met are either related to the owner or close friends, or new. I don't feel comfortable asking anyone whether or not they're a Scientologist, and I don't know if any answer would make me feel more comfortable, since the business is being run based on Scientology, with an owner who is connected to the Church. I also know that people have been promoted once they convert. I know from reading some people's experiences that it starts out this way: very subtle things that are easily agreeable with (come on, I eat dictionaries for breakfast, so telling me about "misunderstood" words sits perfectly fine and logically with me) and then proceeds into the stickier stuff.


    But I was wondering if anyone has any experience working with a Scientology-owned and -operated business and the level of proselytizing done at a certain point? Can I honestly expect to work here and not be preached to, or pressured into Scientology, or shamed for things? Is this something that I really should be wary of?


    I know that most of you are those who have been in Scientology and then gotten out, or found the way it was run to be less than perfect, so I'm just looking for some advice from a variety of individuals. (And if you can't tell, I am really wary about painting everyone in any religion with too-wide of a brush. In my religion, one of my beloved teachers was murdered by a rebellious subsect. I'm fairly tolerant of personal beliefs and anti-cult and having lived in a very religious environment growing up, have had some friends "disconnect" with me because I wasn't Christian, which I would consider a dangerous thing to do in any group.)
     
  2. Ackerland

    Ackerland Patron with Honors

    Dude, take your legs and get OUT if you don't want to lose your friends, your family and your sanity.

    You are absolutely right, they are pushing you to do Scientology, they will continue to do so and the pressure will get more intense. You can bet on the whole staff being drilled to edge any newcomers like you into taking the courses and then onto the "bridge to total freedom". This is one of their production targets, this is what they do, this is one of the primary recruitment tactics of the Scientology cult today. Look NOW for a new job, and get out. This is a trap and countless lives have taken a turn for the worse due to Scientology.

    Yes, some initial courses may give you some "wins". But the price you will have to pay in the long run is just not worth it. Look at your automaton colleagues. Look at how they treat their customers. Do you want to become like them?
     
  3. FoTi

    FoTi Crusader

    You will probably not get to be promoted without doing Scientology training

    . They will find some way to try to get you to accept Scientology and if you don't you will become not one of them and they will find some way or some excuse to replace you with someone else who eventually will accept it or who will also be replaced by someone who eventually will. If someone there did manage to get you involved in Scientology and started on services, they would get a commission from the cult for services you pay for and start on. So, there also is a financial incentive for someone to motivate you to get involved in Scientology.

    Scientologists cannot help but disseminate to others and try to get them involved in Scientology. It's part of their doctrine and part of their life. L Ron Hubbard has told them to do it and the current leader, David Miscavage, tells them to do it. Most of them are compulsive about it.

    If you decide to leave the company, it might be a good idea to find another job first and then leave because you have another job, and leave the Scientology stuff out of it. It's not a good idea to make enemies with them. They can be kind of nasty if they find out you are critical of Scientology or don't like it. It's best to leave with a good reputation as a good employee incase you want to use that job as a reference in the future.
     
  4. clamicide

    clamicide Gold Meritorious Patron

    run, omg, run...but, with things being the way they are, I'd start looking for other jobs first and just safeguard yourself. I've worked for Scio companies, and in some cases they actually really catered to the non-scios beyond belief, because they weren't used to being treated like slaves. So, you might be able to ride for a bit while you look elsewhere. I've seen the cult come in and back the hell out of those businesses that run into trouble with discrimination suits and such, so I'd be very, very wary...if they do pull crap, then they might not be held as culpable. Disgusting, but just what I've witnessed.

    Or, you could always try to stick it out after contacting an awesome journalist while offering to 'stay undercover' in a scio business, but, then...I'm kinda evil
     
  5. Div6

    Div6 Crusader

  6. pd48

    pd48 New Member

    Here's my main issue: they want me to sign a year contract.

    If I didn't have to sign it, I would hold out for a while, and when it became increasingly clear that they were trying to push Scientology, I'd tell them that I found another job.

    But I figure I need to get out of there before they have me sign this contract. I'm still really new to the area, and have had other job offers, none salaried, and definitely not at the salary rate OR in this particular field. Still, a few of the jobs I'm still looking into are salaried and have benefits, and benefits are important, so I was just thinking of going in and telling them, hey, you can't give me benefits, so I'm out.

    My roommate was really angry when I told him. He only sees the money perspective and having worked in the particular field, is trying to counter literally everything I'm saying by saying things like, "But training sessions are required for many jobs..." and making smarmy comments about how he had to go to training and it wasn't a Scientology course.

    Still, I think it's best to go with my gut because I've felt odd while working there. I think I look like a perfect recruit to them, and it scares the shit out of me. It's not that I don't have self-confidence in myself, my religion, but just I really don't think I'd be able to stand up to them.

    I think my roommate doesn't really understand my fears, and I have no idea why. He actually told me I was acting like a "radical anti-Muslim" which is not true at all--I'm not against Scientologists or Scientology (I think?), but the fact that the business is run like this and employees are so exposed to it and just... ugh. It could very well be a legit business that also functions as a recruitment place where they weedle employees and the public into buying their formula.

    I just don't know what to do. It's good money, but at what price?
     
  7. Div6

    Div6 Crusader

    What is the nature of this "contract"? Some jobs require non-disclosures, etc which is understandable, but beyond something like that, what are they "requiring"?
     
  8. pd48

    pd48 New Member

    As far as I know, one of the things will include a "non-compete" contract. It's justifiable and normal for the field the business is in, and I was wanting to go over it with a fine tooth comb but now I kinda don't even want to let it GET that far. That might be too late.

    I just... man, I don't even know. My roommate keeps saying that maybe the "training sessions" are legit but I've been organizing this place and can tell you 100% this is all lower-level Scientology ethics. Sometimes word-for-word. It's like... is it legal to run your business based on something that is so clearly "religious"? Of course, the S-word ain't being dropped at all, 'cause I don't think they're that stupid.

    I did some googling one of the employees and it says nothing about him being a Scientologist but he's kinda separate from the actual business and is just a partner. I'm working directly with the head honchos and they are Scientologists, so I would feel more pressure to be in tune with them, their systems for running the business, etc.
     
  9. Sindy

    Sindy Crusader

    First of all, non-compete agreements often do not hold up in court. Here is a good article: http://www.stoel.com/showarticle.aspx?Show=2983

    Secondly, understand this well: You are free. You can google anything you want, read anything you want, think anything you want about Scientology. Those people cannot. Soon, if you choose to exercise your freedom, amazingly you will know infinitely more about their religion than they do. They are in a mind control, thought control, information control cult. They are so information starved and they don't even know it. If you stay, you are setting yourself up to also be subject to the thought and information control because it would be considered a heinous crime by them, for you, to read anything negative about Scientology, its history, its founder. If you did so and then that became known, they would have to "handle" you. That would be to either get you to stop doing that and then, for you to get their limited, deluded version of the truth shoved down your throat or, they would let you go.

    Thirdly, and possibly most importantly, the owner and any other active Scientologist that works there are constantly being hammered for large sums of money in donations to the church - sometimes on a daily basis. These people do not think clearly when pressured and throw fiscal prudence and standard finance policies out the window for the sake of the greater good of "salvaging the planet".

    Read about the Rex Fowler case: http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2011/02/william_rex_fowler_trial_scientology_thomas_ciancio.php

    They may be ethical with their finances but if I had to bet my life on it, in the current climate of the ruthless avarice of the "church", I would bet that they fudge and squeeze blood from a turnip to make church management happy.

    When that occurs, they want you to be on board so that you will understand or they may promise bonuses, etc. that they are then not able to provide. It's true that what I am saying on this third point may not apply. I don't know these people but, the chances of what I am saying turning out to be accurate, are rather high.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2011
  10. GoNuclear

    GoNuclear Gold Meritorious Patron

  11. TG1

    TG1 Angelic Poster

    You already sound in some ways like you're acting like a "good little Co$ member."

    You're already scared to be "found out" doing things every person in the world has the right to do: Look for information, learn, and look at multiple sides of an issue.

    That anecdote about the newspaper ("Stop reading it, you'll feel better.") was nothing BUT cult speak. You don't need any other information than that to know what is going on there.

    BTW, your roommate doesn't have a fucking clue what you're talking about. So stop asking him/her to tell you what to do.

    TG1
     
  12. Kookaburra

    Kookaburra Gold Meritorious Patron

    pd48, you are not in a good situation. The majority of Scientology businesses are heavily pressured to get their staff onto Scn courses and into Scn. Over the last 2 or 3 decades, Scn has evolved into one of the nastiest cults on the face of the planet, and those people who are still in there with all the data that is readily available are so deluded they are in another world completely. Get the hell OUT!!!!

    Do not make enemies of these people on the way out the door. Just make some polite excuse that you have found another job which pays better, is closer to home, better hours or whatever. And leave.

    Read the link Synthia gave you to Rex Fowler.

    Your roommate sounds like he has some strange ideas too. How well do you know him?
     
  13. FoTi

    FoTi Crusader

    If you decide to stay and sign their contract, tell them you never sign anything, ever, until you have your attorney read it and discuss it with you first.

    But....personally, having worked for Scientologists in the past, I would never again work for any Scientologist and I would never, ever, ever, sign any kind of contract with any of them.

    If you don't feel good being there now, how do you think you will feel being stuck there for a year?

    If you take the word of your roommate over what people here are telling you, who have been involved with Scientology for a long time and know what you are up against, then you deserve whatever comes at you from that group you are working for.

    It's your job and your decision. Think for yourself.

    If you value your sanity, your rights and your freedom....don't sign anything with them. Find somewhere else to work. And leave peacefully. Hornets can sting if you disturb their nest.
     
  14. Petey C

    Petey C Silver Meritorious Patron

    PD48, you said it -- follow your gut feeling. I don't know for sure what country you're in but I'd say USA (the "benefits" word gave your location away!). Most contracts can be terminated. Just make sure you don't sign anything that you haven't read thoroughly, understand and can agree to. And meantime, keep a private record of things said and done, just in case -- our memories are not always fool proof.

    Is your roommate a Scientologist too? I don't understand what his part in this is.

    There are enough problems in this world, you don't need to add to them by working in a place that creeps you out or that you feel uncomfortable in. You have no obligations to the head honchos beyond your statutory obligations.

    In general it's a good idea to find a job while you have a job. Take a deep breath and then do what you want to do. The world won't fall apart, I assure you.

    Good luck and happy travels.
     
  15. Cherished

    Cherished Silver Meritorious Patron

    pd48, my hunch is that you have other options. You've been offered other jobs and you have further possibilities in the mix. So, don't be anxious.

    Putting the scientology bit aside for the moment - you've said that already some people you've worked with have "shamed" you. And that's a vulnerability for you. That can happen in any workplace if the people there are negative or shaming in their behaviour. That's not something you need to accept.

    I would expect a one-year contract to have a notice period within which either party could terminate. What is the notice period? Can you live with it? Find out your rights as a worker before signing anything.

    There's lots of good advice in this thread. People here have experience with scientologists. They understand the pressures that public scientologists are under and how some of them behave under that pressure. There are good scientologists. But it's difficult for them to retain perspective on the proper way to be a decent employer if they only allow themselves to read Hubbard and to learn from Hubbard, as interpreted by the church. Eventually, even good people begin to do bad things.
     
  16. I told you I was trouble

    I told you I was trouble Suspended animation



    I'm surprised to hear that the OCA is the sole test used for screening new people.

    If they find out about your history they will do more than 'shame' you for it, they will fire you in a heartbeat though they won't tell you the real reason why.

    :yes:

    Get yourself out of there as soon as possible and take good care of you.

    :arose:
     
  17. Free to shine

    Free to shine Shiny & Free

    Yes, that was my first thought.

    Start job hunting now and good luck!
     
  18. Terril park

    Terril park Sponsor

    I'm a scientologist and I studied all the admin.

    There is no reason that a company using scientology admin tech can't do well. I'm in favour of scientology and any courses you are asked to do may well be worthwhile.

    However I have only heard bad reports about such companies.

    They have to pay I believe 10% of gross income to CO$. This in itself will tend to impact your salary.

    Then the owners will always be under pressure to give money to CO$ for training, auditing and straight out donations. Thus they will
    try and pay staff as little as possible. Once you are not considered a scientologist they will possibly treat you as a second class citizen, or
    find a trumped up excuse to fire you.

    Get a lawyer to examine the contract. My guess its all about their benefit and not to yours. I know details of one such contract which
    was very much that way and thats an understatement.
     
  19. pd48

    pd48 New Member

    "If you don't feel good being there now, how do you think you will feel being stuck there for a year?"


    This is what I've been thinking too.


    Regarding my roommate, I really don't know what his deal is. He seems to think that I'm turning this into a much bigger problem than it actually is. Telling me that I was acting like a "radical anti-Muslim" really angered me, and when I told him that I was thinking of quitting, he really did everything in his power to make me consider otherwise. I think, Scientology aside, this would be a great job. It pays very well, better than I could have even asked, and perhaps his anger stems from the fact that I'm currently sleeping in his room while I try to find a job and then we're moving out of the house he's been living in?


    He also knows that I had doubts about this place from the get-go and he's been making fun of me for the amount of research I'm doing. I think he thinks I'm purposefully freaking myself out for whatever reason (I have a semi-history of doing things to sabotage myself, but on the other hand, if I'm doing more and more research and finding more and more shit, that's a legit problem).


    Would he rather me fall into the hands of a cult?


    I don't even think I'm going to let it get to the contract part. Honestly, I don't think they'll allow me to walk outta there with contract in hand to have someone else look over it. It's terrible that I don't trust them that well, but their business is also in shambles and I don't trust many of the promises they've made me (including my own assistant).


    Now, the next question is: is there anything I can do, once I quit, to address some of these issues?


    Like, what is the legality of constructing an entire business around ethics which explicitly stem from a religion? Could this be a partial front in order to recruit more members for the Church? Can I do anything to warn people? There's some information out there about the business ties to Scientology but I don't think any of the new employees have any idea, or much initiative to seek it out. It's an extremely well-paying job for the specific positions, and a lot of the people coming in are kids from the hood with babies to feed.


    Thanks to everyone for the replies. :)
     
  20. AngeloV

    AngeloV Gold Meritorious Patron

    You are thinking way to far ahead. Do not think you can take on this business in any way and not be hurt by them. They are vicious when it comes to 'enemies' which you will become if you try to attack them in any way.

    What you should be doing, 100% of the time, is looking for another job and GET OUT of that office. I'm sorry you are fearful. They love fearful people because fearful people can be manipulated easily. Look at how your roommate is treating you. If you were stronger you would put a stop to his harassment. That's right, it's harassment to keep beating you over the head about you decision to leave this company. It's YOUR life and YOUR job that you are dealing with. If he's worried that you can't pay the rent, make sure you have another job lined up before you leave the cult-company.

    Good luck and stay strong.