Not an ex-scientologist, but...

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Moochie, Dec 5, 2014.

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  1. Moochie

    Moochie New Member

    Thanks to everyone for the lovely welcome. Much appreciated.

    I would have responded sooner but I was in the RPF for not listening to my own typo.

    Thanks again, and I will come back later to answer a question or two regarding PT.
  2. Moochie

    Moochie New Member

    I attended a PT clinic in Melbourne that was run by an 'apostate' of sorts. He was a charismatic psychiatrist who had been to Arthur Janov's place in the US. He and Janov had a falling out - I don't know the cause - so he finished his training at the clinic of a US 'apostate' based in Denver.

    Our guy returned to Melbourne and opened a place in an inner-city suburb and started raking in the cash. By the time I got there the 'therapists' were people whose main qualification was that they'd been through the 'therapy' at his clinic. My 'therapist' was a young woman who'd been taught to gently assist people to 'feel'. This was done chiefly via talk, and very occasionally a light touch here and there if my physical position on the floor of the padded and soundproofed and red-lit room seemed to indicate that I was 'closing up'. It was utterly ridiculous; and it was fraudulent, in that applicants for the 'therapy' were led to believe they'd be treated by the mildly famous charismatic psychiatrist only to find that the sitters - that was what the 'therapists' were called - were usually people like themselves who sometimes only months earlier had emerged from the 'therapy' and had more or less been declared 'cured', not unlike the early 'clears' in scientology.

    In short, it was a self-serve 'therapy', and during my 18 months there it became increasingly obvious that the charisma guy had attracted a bunch of people who were susceptible to charisma and therefore incapable of reason or even common sense. In and Out groups formed. A chief requirement for membership in the inner circle was an ability to 'primal'. This allowed members to have unfettered access to the anointed one. 'Therapy' sessions became competitions to produce the best primal, or facsimile thereof. It was mad and sad, and very clear to me that many people I met there were hanging on in desperation, tragically looking for that elusive 'primal' because they'd been seduced by that initial book by Janov into believing that only this would and could transform their miserable lives. I had fallen for it too, but something in my makeup allowed me to wake up well before my peers, some of whom had been there for several, mainly unproductive, years, never questioning the dogma.

    Towards the (self-chosen) end of my tour it was the institution's wholesale adoption of weird ideas such as past lives and cellular memory, that hastened my exit and set me on a road to becoming a certified skeptic. The 'therapy' had been a bust, and like in scientology the blame, often merciless, for one's inability to achieve the perfect 'primal', rested firmly on one's own shoulders. So I bought and devoured more of Janov's books and avidly read every scrap of primal-related news I could get my hands on and for too long a time after leaving the center I wrestled with notions of my inadequacy and abject failure, notions that only deepened the malaise that had brought me to PT in the first place.
  3. Jupiter17

    Jupiter17 New Member

    Way back in 1974 I got a very strange handwritten letter from someone encouraging me to join Scientology. I did not know them and I do not know how they got my name. Even more oddly, they were in another country. I knew a bit about handwriting analysis (graphology) and the writing was very scatterbrained. It did not seem impressive.

    4 years later I walked into a Scientology branch out of curiosity, and the person there tried to convince me that I needed to go through their programme which involved the outlay of money. All I had financially was what I needed for my own survival, so that was not on. Since then I have been watching Scientology like a hawk. I cannot see how Scientology makes the world a better place by taking money from people and enslaving them.

    In Christianity there is a sin called Simony, which is where you attempt to sell spiritual favours for money. Many preachers, gurus, and spiritual organisations are guilty of this.

    To quote 1 Corinthians 9:7, "Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver".

    Speaking of Primal Therapy, I read the Primal Scream by Dr. Arthur Janov in 1979. The neo-Freudianism was excellent, however I knew I had to be careful using it in casual conversation, especially in places where alcohol is served. Some people could be righteously very offended to the point of them engaging in violence towards me.

    You have to pay a lot of money to become a Primal therapist, however the economic model is flawed. Janov himself wrote a sequel to the Primal Scream (20 years on) and mentioned that economic weakness. Some Primal therapists have made cults, however I do not know if that is what Janov would have intended. Not only is it prone to being a cult, but there is a high burnout rate among primal therapists. Indeed, you get so much stuff dumped on you by patients if you are doing your job correctly that you cannot last more than a few weeks.

    Primal therapy seems to be a bit like Marxism. The critique of the (most extreme form of the) present state of affairs is excellent, but the solutions offered will often lead to totalitarianism, or in the case of the material covered on this forum, cultishness.
  4. Enthetan

    Enthetan Master of Disaster

    It's a long-running observation that a lot of people go into psychiatry and psychology because they want to understand why they are so screwed up themselves.
  5. JackStraw

    JackStraw Silver Meritorious Patron

    I heard, long, long ago, that there were two reasons people went into psychiatry and psychology professions: 1: as you say, to find out why they, themselves are so messed up & 2: They want to learn how to control/influence others!


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