Because of various problems with Blogger, I've copied everything as of November 26, 2012 over to WordPress. The new location is Ask the Scientologist. I am not deleting this blog and will still accept comments and answer questions here too, but any new articles will appear at the WordPress location. I apologize if this causes any problems.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Recovering from Scientology

It is hard for those who have never been intensely involved in something like the Church of Scientology to understand how difficult leaving can be.

It can be a shock. Depending on how deeply one was into Scientology, whether one was on staff or in the Sea Org, it can be quite traumatic and can take quite some time to recover.

Often, upon leaving, the newly ex-Scientologist still feels that they are "a Scientologist". If the person has been kicked out rather than leaving voluntarily, they may honestly intend to carefully follow all the steps so that they can get back in "good standing" with the church.

If the person is leaving voluntarily and no longer wants to be involved with David Miscavige's Church of Scientology, they may need to hide that fact, because they work for a Scientologist, or because family and friends are still Scientologists.

It can be confusing and difficult.

Here are a few suggestions that might be of help:

Stop thinking like a Scientologist.

This may be the most important first step. The longer and more deeply you were involved in Scientology, the harder this step will be, but it can be very helpful.

One of the major difficulties you, as an ex-Scientologist, face is integrating back into the real world. You don't know the correct terms for things, other people don't know what you're talking about. It is very much like you have just arrived on Earth from an alien planet. You're talking about "ARC" and "enturbulation" and it doesn't communicate.

Stop thinking and speaking using Scientology terms. Find out the real world way to say what you mean and use those terms. At first, you may find this quite difficult, but the rewards of doing so are tremendous. One of the side-effects of eschewing Scientology concepts and terminology is that you become free to think new thoughts. For anyone in Scientology for a long time, the experience of thinking new thoughts can be very exhilarating.

Stop following church rules and mandates. You do not have to do things "per policy" any more. Church policy is for their benefit, not yours. You do not have to do anything the church "requires". If you need to deal with the church, find out the standard, real world way of doing it, and do it that way.

An important part of this is: Do not disconnect from your family and friends. While they will undoubtedly be forced to disconnect from you by the Church of Scientology, you are under no such obligation. One ex-Scientologist said this when a friend tried to disconnect, "I will never disconnect from you. You will always be my friend." I think that says it very well.

One note about the myriad of "contracts" you were required to sign by the church. I am not a lawyer and so, if you have questions, get a lawyer. But, most of these "contracts" are, in my opinion, invalid. Think about it. Did you get your own copy, signed by a church representative? Was the contract binding on both parties? Were you allowed to obtain legal advice before signing? Was there quid pro quo, or was it all one sided - on you? In many people's opinion, those "contracts" were designed to threaten and intimidate Scientologists, but have little or no legal validity. It's pretty obvious these "contracts" would be very difficult to enforce in a court of law.

On a related note, those ridiculous "freeloader" debts are not in any way legal. Just imagine that going to court. "Let me get this straight, you paid this person how much per week? And now you're sending them a bill?"

Don't say anything if you don't want to.

You are under no obligation to "disclose all" to the church. If you work for a Scientologist or you have good friends and family who are still Scientologists, you don't have to "announce" your departure. That's church policy -- which you are no longer following.

Now, I have heard that, recently, David Miscavige has been declaring people "Suppressive" just for being inactive! Can you imagine anything more insane? If that's the case, even if you say nothing you may eventually end up "declared" anyway. For this reason, if you work for a Scientologist, it is important that you work to find another job as soon as you can. Staying silent about your leaving Scientology may give you the breathing room to disentangle your life from Scientologists without too much stress.

You are not "Suppressive"!

Many people who have been kicked out of Scientology, think they are "suppressive". While David Miscavige can "declare you 'Suppressive'," you are definitely not a "suppressive person". Because of Miscavige's insanity, there are probably more "declared Suppressives" than there are active Scientologists! It's insane and it's meaningless.

Scientology plays on guilt very, very heavily. Despite Hubbard's claim that "man is basically good", the real basic premise is "you are so, so guilty". To the church, your thoughts are very bad. You must spend hundreds of hours and tons of money going through endless sessions to uncover all your "evil intentions". As a result, Scientologists think that they are evil, rather than good. That's Scientology in action.

But you are not evil. You were gullible. You certainly made mistakes, but you are probably a better than average person because you wanted to help. You got involved in a group that promised to help people. It didn't, it doesn't, and you left. Seems reasonable, not bad.

Of course, Miscavige doesn't like you, but then he doesn't like anyone, so who cares?

Some people have the idea that "they failed". Somehow, they "let the church down". When you have more distance and better perspective, you will see that it was the Church of Scientology that failed -- and failed in a big way. If you feel you "failed", give it some time and you'll see the truth of it.

Get more information!

Being inside Scientology, you've been in an information vacuum. As the old joke has it, you've been a mushroom: Kept in the dark and fed a lot of fertilizer. You need information and you need lots of it.

The amount of information available is overwhelming. Some of it is quite false, much is true but unbelievable. Most of the information from the church itself is false. It can be difficult, at first, to determine which is true and which is false.

You have been told, by the Church of Scientology, that the information will kill you. This is a complete and obvious lie. People have been reading all of the available information for decades and no one has even gotten ill from it. You can read it, even the "OT confidential" information.

A good starting place is Wikipedia.

The information about L. Ron Hubbard, especially the information from his own letters, his own diaries and his own statements is very important. This stuff has been viciously suppressed by the church but you need to know it.

Second in importance would be the stories from behind the scenes, from high level people who were there and who have the real story of what went on in church management.

After that, read lots of stories from other people who have left. It is important to know that you are not alone. Others have gone through exactly what you are going through.

There are many resources available to help ex-Scientologists. It is absolutely amazing. A lot of people have gone through what you're going through and want to help you.

Get in touch with other ex-Scientologists

One of the things that is very helpful in recovering from Scientology is to talk to other ex-Scientologists. There are quite a number of forums where you can do this -- even anonymously. This is highly recommended. At first, you should just lurk and read. When you feel ready, make yourself known. You never have to give your real name unless you want to.

Coming out of Scientology, you are probably deeply in debt and may be looking for new employment. You may be wondering how to get your money back or perhaps just need someone to talk to who knows what you've been through. Other ex-Scientologists have been there and are eager to pass on what they've learned.

These, and other sites, can be tremendous help. You are not alone. You have friends.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Scientology Results

mir·a·cle (mĭr'ə-kəl) n.
  1. An event that appears inexplicable by the laws of nature and so is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
  • L. Ron Hubbard referred to the "miracles" produced by Scientology. He claimed that Scientology could produce results that would appear to be miracles to non-Scientologists.
Much of the hard-core belief in Scientology is based on this premise that Scientology regularly and predictably produces "miracles". Scientologists will brazenly make that claim with no qualms. They quite believe this.

Oh really?

And is this claim made from personal knowledge? Have these Scientologists actually experienced some kind of "miracle"?


What most Scientologists have experienced is times of more happiness, which they have attributed to Scientology. Scientologists will sometimes speak of having an "increased awareness". Obviously those who consider themselves "Scientologists" do so because they got some benefit from Scientology.

But is this unusual? Is this sort of personal improvement unique to Scientology?


Various practices, books, music, teachings have, for millenia, brought people greater happiness, awareness and enlightenment. This is not unusual. In making some people happier, Scientology is doing nothing unusual nor miraculous.
  • Scientologists are fond of saying "Scientology works!" Scientologists will claim that what is different about Scientology is that it is "scientific" and that it works 100% of the time -- standardly and without fail on everybody.
Oh really?

According to the Church of Scientology's own statistics, tens of millions of people have "tried Scientology". In its press releases, the church counts all those people as "Scientologists". However, the church's own, internal statistics show that there are less than 50,000 people actually active in Scientology. As with anything, one can assume that those who found Scientology workable, stayed and those who did not get any benefit, left.

Instead of 100% workability, it appears Scientology's actual workability percent is less than 1%.

Given that the "placebo effect" (people who improve, even though an inactive substance or procedure was used, just because they expected to improve) is usually estimated to be above 30% -- this 1% workability percent is a bit shocking.

So, if it isn't this mythical "100% workability", what is it that makes Scientology different, unique, special and important?
  • Scientologists will point to various "solutions" to a number of serious problems: Drugs, illiteracy, mental health. These Scientology solutions, the Scientologists would say, are the answer to the world's biggest problems!
Oh really?

If this were so, there would be evidence that these Scientology solutions were actually accomplishing what they claimed. David Miscavige, in his gaudy event presentations, is happy to present a few anecdotal stories concerning the successes of these Scientology solutions, but no evidence.

Experts in the fields of drugs, education and mental health have not found Scientology's solutions to be particularly different or effective. Independent, unbiased testing has not been done, and is not authorized by the Church of Scientology. There is no evidence available -- and the church is making very sure there never will be any independent testing.
  • Scientologists will all claim that Scientology makes people better and that nothing else is as effective.
Oh really?

What you hear, from the less than 1% of the people who have actually had benefits from Scientology is not much different from the testimonials of people who have tried any one of the hundreds of other self-help practices: "I'm more aware," "I'm happier," "My life is better."

Do Scientologists report personal gains at all different from stories reported by other people from other self-help practices?


My point is not that Scientology "does nothing." My point is that Scientology does nothing different or miraculous. When it does "cause improvement" it only does so in less than 1% of the people who try it.

So what is it that is so valuable about Scientology?
  • Scientologists will say that what makes Scientology different and important is that it is a "bridge" to a higher state of being -- the OT Levels.
Oh really?

The abilities and benefits that Hubbard claimed for Clear and OT were miraculous indeed. But has anyone ever gained or exhibited any of those abilities or those benefits promised by Hubbard?


Of the hundreds of people who have completed OT VIII, none of them have demonstrated anything miraculous or particularly outstanding. In fact, many OT VIIIs have now left Scientology.

David Miscavige drinks half a bottle of scotch a day while presiding over the destruction of the Church of Scientology that, every day, gets worse and worse. That isn't very "OT".

Even L. Ron Hubbard, who supposedly attained some super-high level of OT, died in pain, hiding from the law and betrayed by those he trusted. That isn't what Hubbard claimed that Scientology could produce.

If Scientology is a bridge to a higher state of being, why hasn't anyone attained any "higher state?"

If Scientology is as miraculous as Hubbard claimed, why are the "results" from Scientology so very, very ordinary and happen so very, very rarely?

It turns out that Scientologists are not holding on to Scientology because of their own results, which are rather ordinary, nor because of anything they've actually seen with their own eyes. Scientologists, it turns out, are holding on to Scientology because of the wonderful miracles that Hubbard spoke of (but never produced).

Scientologists are holding onto a dream that Hubbard created only in their minds. Such dreams are very hard to let go of, no matter how nonexistent they are in reality.

Friday, September 12, 2008

What Price the "Promise" of Total Freedom?

Dear Scientologist,

What price are you willing to pay for the promise of "Total Freedom"? Only the promise. No one actually has this "Total Freedom". No one shows any evidence of even being close. All Scientology gives you is a promise that sometime, far in the future, you will attain something L. Ron Hubbard called "Total Freedom".

And it's a rather vague promise at that. Exactly what someone is supposed to attain, and exactly when they are supposed to attain it is very undefined. It obviously isn't available now. No one has it. Let's face it, none of the OT VIIIs are showing anything special -- and if they don't have "Total Freedom", no one does.

All anyone has is a "promise" of Total Freedom. Some day.

And for that, you pay. And pay.

Not just money, although that is substantial. The most significant payments that Scientologists make are much more than just money.

You, basically, pay with your life.
  • You certainly give to the Church of Scientology more money than you can afford, and then go deeply into debt. And that certainly affects your whole life, but that is only the beginning.
  • You give the Church of Scientology all your time. You work long hours, even overtime, at your job, in the struggle to make enough money. You volunteer at the Church of Scientology to help with various church projects, OT Committee projects and Volunteer Minister activities. You sell books -- or at least try to. Any "spare moment" must be used in doing something for Scientology. Your time is not your own.
  • You give the Church of Scientology your family and friends. You've tried to bring all your family members and friends into Scientology, but that didn't go over very well. Even those who did get involved usually dropped out again. And the church won't let you stay in contact with friends and family who know and think and say negative things about Scientology. And so you've lost your family and friends.
  • You give the Church of Scientology all your attention, hopes, plans. Scientology is your life. Everything you say, everything you think, everything you read, everything you listen to, it's all Scientology. When you plan for your future, it is "your future on the Bridge". You have invested everything in the Church of Scientology.
And in return you have a promise.

But that isn't enough. David Miscavige keeps telling you that you must give more. You simply are not giving enough and you must find a way to give even more.

For this promise.

Unfortunately for you, and all Scientologists, David Miscavige has never been very good on keeping his promises.

Where are all the "Saint Hill-sized Orgs"? That was a huge promise years ago. What happened to that promise? It was huge, it was vital -- and it disappeared when Miscavige failed to do his job.

Where is SuperPower? You probably gave a ton of money for that "very important project" that he promised. Turns out Miscavige collected four times what the SuperPower building cost. What happened? You paid, but Miscavige never delivered on his promise.

Miscavige keeps promising that he'll do everything he's supposed to do if only you give him your money and your time. So you gave more money, you gave more time, but Miscavige never delivered on his side of that bargain. It's his job to deliver a "Scientology boom" and that never happened. Miscavige failed to deliver what he promised, Scientology is collapsing -- and he just keeps demanding more from you.

Now he's pushing the "Ideal Orgs" project, requiring more and more money from you. But those buildings Scientologists worked so hard to buy are standing empty and all the churches are struggling to survive. Again, Miscavige promises that if you give and give and give, then he will produce that Scientology expansion. You do the giving, but Miscavige never delivers what he promises.

You've paid and paid and paid, but you're not getting "Total Freedom"; you're not getting Scientology expansion. You are only getting more demands, and more promises, from Miscavige.

It's time to stop paying Miscavige for his endless empty promises.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Hubbard, Miscavige and "Power"

One of David Miscavige's favorite pieces of Hubbard writing is "The Responsibilities of Leaders," which was a critique by L. Ron Hubbard of a book The Four Seasons of Manuela. A Biography. The Love Story of Manuela Sàenz and Simòn Bolivar written in 1952 by Victor Wolfgang von Hagen.

Simòn Bolivar, of course, was the great South American revolutionary leader, and Manuela Sàenz was his mistress and confidant.

Hubbard wrote his critique of von Hagen's book as an official church policy letter dated 12 February 1967.

Miscavige is so enamored with this policy letter, that he had copies of Hubbard's letter made for all of his celebrity friends one year as gifts, and in 2003 he had copies of the von Hagen book made for his celebrity friends, including Tom Cruise.

Hubbard's analysis of this book says more about Hubbard's own personality than about Simòn Bolivar or Manuela Sàenz.

His main critique of Bolivar and Sàenz was that they were not ruthless enough - they were "too idealistic."

Listen to some of his criticisms of Manuela Sàenz:
"...she never collected or forged or stole any documents to bring down enemies..."

"...she never used a penny to buy a quick knife..."

"She never handed over any daughter of a family clamoring against her to Negro troops and then said, 'Which oververbal family is next?'"
Presumably Hubbard would have done these things to maintain power - forgery, theft, murder, rape.

He concludes:
"Life bleeds. It suffers. It hungers. And it has to have the right to shoot its enemies until such time as comes a golden age."
Yep, you read that right - "the right to shoot its enemies."

He also states,
"...the foremost law, if one's ambition is to win, is of course to win."
That's right, the foremost law. So things like murder, robbery and forgery are above normal law because that it what is needed to "win."

There's more.

Hubbard lays out his seven principles of power. These are chilling. Some excerpts:
"When you move off a point of power, pay all your obligations on the nail, empower all your friends completely and move off with your pockets full of artillery, potential blackmail on every erstwhile rival, unlimited funds in your private account and the addresses of experienced assassins and go live in Bulgravia and bribe the police."
And here's how to be a good subordinate and support a power:
"He doesn't have to know all the bad news and if he's a power really, he won't ask all the time, 'What are all those dead bodies doing at the door?' And if you are clever, you never let it be thought HE killed them - that weakens you and also hurts the power source. 'Well, boss, about all those dead bodies, nobody at all will suppose you did it. She over there, those pink legs sticking out, didn't like me.'"
"...always push power in the direction of anyone on whose power you depend. It may be more money for the power or more ease or a snarling defense of the power to a critic or even the dull thud of one of his enemies in the dark or the glorious blaze of the whole enemy camp as a birthday surprise."
That's how you're supposed to support a senior - get him more and more money and kill his enemies.

This is what Scientology executives are trained on. This is what Scientologists are trained on. This is what celebrities are trained on. Anything is OK as long as it "pushes power to power" and the foremost law is to win. And if you are serious about winning, anything goes - theft, blackmail, bribery, forgery, rape, and murder.

Scientologists will justify this - as I did when I was in. "Oh, he's just speaking metaphorically" and so on. To them, I say, read it again. This is Hubbard's view of power. This is Miscavige's idea of power. It is the way the Church of Scientology operates! Not metaphorically - but actually.

Someday they will try to remove all copies of this document from circulation and say Hubbard never wrote it, but for now they are arrogant enough to publish it broadly.

Scientologists are not only obsessed with power, they are indoctrinated into Hubbard's view of power - the ruthless use of any means to achieve one's goal.