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.