Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Making of a Cult Member

It is really very simple.  And there are Universal laws that apply. Do you remember the old stories about Vampires and Demons?  You know whether your windows and doors are opened or closed, they can't come in unless you give them permission. So you say, "Fine, I'll never give them permission".  The thing that you don't know is that they don't play fair.  If you even give them a moment to talk to you, you are doomed.

That is sort of the way it is in the Church of Scientology. Make no mistake,  once you have let them in, (which means walked into an Org, took the Personality Test, and bought your first service), they have you and they will suck you dry.  They will steal your life, your will, and if you let them, your soul.

Now I don't know anyone who ever woke up in the morning and said, "Hey!  I think I will go out and join a cult today".  But, they might say, "Hey!  I got this offer to take a free personalty test. It's a $500.00 value!  I think I will do that today".  If you were watching this on T.V.  You would be yelling at this guy, trying to tell him  about the Vampire, but like all movies on T.V. they can't hear you. How do I know this?  For 7 years I was the Vampire that would lead you into the cave with promises all of of your desire fulfilled and riches beyond your imagination. And if you did find out that I had not told you the truth, it was too late.  You have already joined the undead.

 I was in charge of the division that is responsible for bringing new people into Scientology and getting them signed up on their first services.  Usually they were Life Improvement courses that sold for anywhere from $55.00 to $75.00 including course materials.  Here is the way it would go.

You walk into the Org. (short for Organization).  The receptionist meets you and you say that you are here to take the free personality test.  (Originally the American Personalty test, the name was later changed to the Oxford Capacity Analysis, to lend it some authenticity.  Not because it comes from Oxford). The receptionist leads you back to a quiet place and sits you down at a desk.  She gives you the test booklet and an answer sheet.  It has two hundred multiple choice questions.  You are done in about an hour, and then she takes your materials from you and leads you back out to the lobby to wait for your results.  The lobby is usually either part of the Book store, or right next to it so you can gaze at all of the pretty books by Hubbard.

I would come out shortly and escort you back to my office and sit you down in a chair across the desk from me.  I would then place the graph down in front of you and raise my eyes to heaven and say, "Oh my, this is not good at all".

 You are sitting there thinking that it doesn't look all that bad to you.  After all, almost half of it is above the line.  It is not like it was all on the bottom.  That is what you tell me.  And that is what I was waiting for.  I tell you those good points are part of the problem.  That I would rather have all of your points under the line.  And I go one to explain why.  By the time I am done you have a tear or two and you ask me what you can do about it.  I tell you that Scientology has just the right course for your problem.  I sign you up and take you and your money to someone who takes your money and prints up your receipt.  Then I take you to the course room and introduce you to your course supervisor.

These are very short courses, usually 3 to 5 nights, and they are designed to help you solve specific problems.  And surprisingly, the data in them makes sense.  At the end of the course, you actually see that not only do you have this problem but there are steps you can take to solve this problem.  You start to feel good about it, maybe for the first time in years.

You have finished the check sheet  and have been signed off by the supervisor.  Then you are asked if you would like to write up your success on this course.  You say sure and tell just a little about what you learned and how you feel.  The Supervisor then calls a halt to everyone and tells all that you have just finished your course.  Everyone applauds and congratulates you.  You then go down to qual and they ask you if you liked the course, you say yes.  Then they ask you if you would like others to feel the way you do right now.  Of course, you say.

Feeling pretty good about yourself now aren't you?  Good.  Let's go over and see the registrar. (Scientology sales person).  Their job is to take you down a peg and make you see that although you have solved this problem (temporarily), it is not a permanent fix.  To make it permanent you will really need to take this series of courses.  Yeah, they cost more, but you really do want to feel this way all the time, forever, don't you.  Of course you do.  Good just sign here.  You go back out and pay for your course and then you go to the book store and buy your course materials.  Then you go to a real course room.  This supervisor is nice also but she/he gives you a list of rules that you are expected to follow.

You see how it goes.  Ruin you, build you up.  Ruin you, build you up again.  What you have not learned and hopefully will never learn is that we have all been trained and drilled on doing this, with only one thing in mind.  Getting you on to your next service. 

The very first thing you see when you open your course pack is a policy letter written by L. Ron Hubbard. It is called Keeping Scientology Working, Series 1.  Every course pack you will ever open for the rest of your Scientology life will start with these words.  If you wish to read the whole thing, you can click here.  Basically what it is telling you is that you are now a Scientologist.  Here is the pertinent excerpt:

When somebody enrolls, consider he or she has joined up for the duration of
the universe-never permit an "open-minded" approach.  If they're going to
quit let them quit fast.  If they enrolled, they're aboard; and if they're
aboard, they're here on the same terms as the rest of us-win or die in the
attempt.  Never let them be half-minded about being Scientologists.  The finest
organizations in history have been tough, dedicated organizations.  Not one
namby-pamby bunch of pantywaist dilettantes have ever made anything.  It's a
tough universe.  The social veneer makes it seem mild.  But only the tigers
survive-and even they have a hard time. We'll survive because we are tough and
are dedicated.  When we do instruct somebody properly, he becomes more and more
a tiger.  When we instruct half-mindedly and are afraid to offend, scared to
enforce, we don't make students into good Scientologists and that lets everybody
down.  When Mrs. Pattycake comes to us to be taught, turn that wandering doubt
in her eye into a fixed, dedicated glare and she'll win and we'll all win.  Humor
her and we all die a little.  The proper instruction attitude is, "You're here so
you are a Scientologist.  Now we're going to make you into an expert auditor no
matter what.  We'd rather have you dead than incapable."

We're not playing some minor game in Scientology.  It isn't cute or something to
do for lack of something better.

The whole agonized future of this planet, every man, woman and child on it, and
your own destiny for the next trillions of years depend on what you do here and
now with and in Scientology.

This is a deadly serious activity.  And if we miss getting out of the trap now,
we may never again have another chance.

Pretty tough words huh?  You, like all Scientologists will come to live, and maybe die by these words. Yes, it has happened.

If you do not fully agree with this policy letter.  You did not understand it.  There is a word or words that you do not understand.  So you need to read this policy while being word cleared.  This is a process where in you read this policy out load to someone else while they watch you for indicators of the word you don't fully understand.  It will not take too long before you get it that you will understand and agree with this or you will never get through your course.  Why do you want to get through the course?  First, you actually felt good after the last one, and second because you actually liked it when everyone applauded you.

All of this, and more.  The continual tearing down, building up, applauding, cheering at events, the "friends" that you will make, yelling "hip hip hooray" and clapping for Ron (long dead).  It is all designed to do only two things.  To take your mind farther into the cult and to take more and even more of your money.

Hey you!  Yes you.  Do you hear me yelling at my T.V.?  "Don't go in there!"

Thank you so much for reading this.  If you have not yet read my previous post, Why I Left Scientology, please click here. If you like this please share it with your friends, and subscribe to this blog so you can be alerted when the next post comes out.  As always, I welcome your comments.  Thank you again.

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Reason I Left Scientology

The reason I left Scientology can be summed up in three words.  I was Terrified.  I have been out for 17 years and I am still terrified.  Every day.  I still wake up crying from nightmares at least twice a month.  Just by writing this I am opening myself up for attacks from the Church of Scientology and it's Office of Special Affairs.  I am sure they will be spreading lies about me like they have others who have left the "church".  But you, dear reader, deserve to know the truth.

Here is how it happened.  I had never been a Scientology public. (client or parishioner).  I started out by applying for a job as a book seller and moved up very fast.  But I came to believe that Scientology was the only way we were going to fix the world.  Many Scientologists still believe this.

I had been on staff in Scientology for about six and a half years.  First in a mission and then transferred to the Scientology Organization (herein after called the Org), in Las Vegas, Nevada.  I was the Public  Executive Secretary.  This is the person who is in command of the division responsible  for bringing new people into Scientology and I was good at it.  Maybe too good, as my heart was really with Hubbard on the way to build up a great Org, and indeed all of Scientology was to keep getting new people in.  This thought was soon to get me into big trouble.

What happened was this.  The Executive Director of the Org was taken off post for reasons I never knew.  This was a command decision from way up and a lowly Executive Committee didn't have a need to know.  They (command) decided that I was to be the new Executive Director and that I was to appoint the receptionist to the post of P.E.S.  We were both to report to Los Angeles (Big Blue) for training on our new posts.  We were there for three days and the training was intense.  We had three days to learn what most people learned in three months, but we both buckled down and did it.  Another big problem that I will get to next.

Throughout my life I have been blessed (cursed?)  with an almost perfect memory.  What I have read once, I remember.  I can tell you what we talked about several years ago, on a certain occasion.  So because of the things that I had learned in my P.E.S. training, and the things that I learned on my E.D. training, I knew a lot of Hubbard's policies that the average Scientologist didn't know.  I even knew policies that many Sea Organization (The Elite command structure) personnel didn't know.

I had been on this post for about three months and things were going fairly well.  The Org was making money and we had new people coming in.  One day, a Sea Org mission came into the Org to set up an event for the International Association of Scientologists (I.A.S.).  Now I didn't really like this idea because first, I could not find in policy where it should even exist, and second, I had attended their events before and the only reason they had these events was to make money for the I.A.S.  Once a person was at this event, he was going to donate something.  Or he wouldn't be allowed to leave.

Although I didn't like it, I didn't have too much choice in the matter, so I filed it in my mind to write up later.  What happened was that they started pulling all my staff members off of their posts to do an all-hands call-in for this event, which we were supposed to make happen in three days.  I also didn't have too much to say about that except certain posts that I knew we had to have in order to keep the Org running.  Then they tried to pull my P.E.S.  off post to do call in for the event.  That was when I put my foot down.  I knew the Hubbard's order on this was clear.  You do not stop the Public Division for any reason.  I told him to go back to what he was working on and I would handle it.  I told him that if they gave him any flak about it, they could come and see me.  When they came into my office, I was ready for them with written policy to back me up.  They told me it didn't matter.  I told them that if they continued pressuring my people they were out.

One hour later I received a telex to report to Los Angeles the next day by 9 A.M. , at my own expense, for a Committee of Evidence (which is a nice way of saying Kangaroo Court).  I made it there on time and walked into the hallway where it was to take place at 8:45.  Once in the hallway, it was locked with a guard at the door.  They kept me waiting until Noon.  I had gone into the restroom a couple of times, it was a room off the hallway so I couldn't get out that way,  It didn't have any windows anyway.

I was escorted into a small room a set at a table opposite the door.  Although it wasn't a jury of my peers, it would have to do.  My judges were three Sea Org members who were also high up in the Security Command.  It wasn't too bad at first, and I had to give my enemies credit, in that short time, they had managed to get several of my staff to send in reports on me.  When they read me the charges on these reports I handled them all, as they were as false as grannies teeth.  I felt good.  I thought that I had settled any concerns that they could possibly have.

The person who had been asking most of the questions nodded and said "end of committee of evidence".  I though I was going to leave.  I was wrong.  He told my to pick up the cans. (these are the leads to the e-meter).  For the next 9 hours they screamed questions at me rapid fire.  "What are your crimes? What have you done to Scientology? What have you done to Hubbard?  What have you done to David Miscavige? Etc. etc. etc"  each question on the tail of the last with no time to answer in between.  The only times I was allowed to leave the room was to use the restroom and I was escorted there and watched.  Also, I could not have run because of the locked door and guard at the end of the hall.

9 hours seemed like a lifetime.  And by the end, I was broken.  I would have sworn my allegiance  to the Devil at that moment to get out of that room.  I would have agreed to anything.  At that moment, I would have agreed to kill to get out of there.

I later learned that this process is not in any policy written by Hubbard.  It is something that is used anyway.  This process (which is called a gang back security check) is designed to do only one thing.  To break you.  To make you a pliable little staff member.

They told me that I could return to my Org.  That I was going to go back as the P.E.S.  Which made me a little happy because I had never wanted the E.D. post.  At that time, I knew that I only had another three months to go before my contract was up, and I also knew that I would not be signing another one.

They also told me that I was never to tell anyone what had gone on it that little room (oops, I blew that one didn't I).

You think my story is bad?  It is.  But there are many Scientology Sea Org members and staff that are going through worse than this even as you read this post.  Thank you for reading this long post my friend.  If you want to learn more, please click on the red box at the top of this post.