The seductive power of uniforms and cult dress codes

Discussion in 'Breaking and Major News about Scientology' started by triumph, Jun 7, 2018.

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  1. triumph

    triumph Patron Meritorious

    CNN style
    The seductive power of uniforms and cult dress codes
    by Clive Martin

    While most of us have never fallen prey to a cult, that doesn't mean we've escaped their allure entirely. Many of us are still captivated by the mythologies behind these dubious and sometimes dangerous sects, and the wealth of films, television shows and books on the subject is surely proof of our enduring fascination.
    Recent years have seen the likes of HBO's "Big Love" and "Going Clear," as well as Louis Theroux's "My Scientology Documentary" and the eerie "Martha, Marcy, May, Marlene" delve into the disturbing world of cults. Netflix's "Wild Wild Country" is the latest entry into the genre.
    Studio 54: The disco playground where sex and glamour reigned
    The six-part documentary series tells the bizarre story of how Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, also known as Osho, and his followers took up residence in rural Oregon, embarking on a campaign of bioterrorism against the enraged local community.

    also snippets

    How uniforms attract followers

    History has long shown that if you want to get people to behave as you want, a uniform can go a long way. "A uniform is usually a clean slate, a starting point," said Alex Esculapio, a writer and Ph.D. candidate with a focus on fashion and sociology. "It shows you're not alone and you belong to a group of people. It becomes your new identity, and really signals a new start."

    The flip side of the sartorial choices of cults

    Manson was using aesthetic to both lure people in and to push them away. He created a pastoral, utopian, hippie version of his followers for when they needed to attract lost souls and runaways, and then turned them into a violent, freakish nightmare version for when they were put on a world stage.
    Another infamous American cult who used uniform and stylistic language to create a feeling of purpose and vision was the suicide sect Heaven's Gate.

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    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
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  2. HelluvaHoax!

    HelluvaHoax! Gold Meritorious Sponsor

    In March, I was walking to a meeting and happened to turn the corner and realized I was approaching an "Ideal Org".

    How did I know this from a distance?

    The black undertaker uniforms.

    The only profession I could think of that wears moribund black suits like that are:

    -- Hearse Chauffeurs

    -- Mortuary Undertakers

    -- Funeral home staff

    Since they were hawking each pedestrian that walked by, I pretty much concluded that they were not trying to sell funeral-related services on this planet.

    By elimination, I was therefore able to deduce that they were Scientologists funeral-related services on other planets, like Target II, where the most elite and lucky OTs are allowed to go when they unexpectedly decide to kill their own perfectly healthy body, like guru Ron.

    So, that's my cognition today--Scientology sells post-suicide wins where you receive standing ovations for pretending to go exterior and traveling into deep space to "research" something that will "save mankind". This seems paradoxical, however, since the mere fact that Ron Hubbard killed himself and began hiding trillions of light years distant from Earth was itself a wonderful way to "save mankind" from his evil influence.

    And, oh yeah, about those black suits they wear. Judging from my own observations every time I've seen an Idea Org staff member trying to deliver their sidewalk pitch to pedestrians---I'd estimate about 1 in a 1000 actually stop to engage in any brief conversation. An even tinier percentage ever buy a book--and a nano-fraction of those book buyers ever go in the org or express any interest in doing L. Ron Hubbard's "Bridge". I would venture a guess that people seeing black uniformed pitchmen with gleaming eyes and neon dollar signs flashing in their goofy grins are immediately made uncomfortable---the exact opposite of Scientology's vaunted "ARC" theory and "2-way-com" dogma.

    I mean, why appear like a morbid funeral car driver when approaching a total stranger? Isn't that the opposite of how to "get in com"? Oh, wait, I just remembered, the cult is using "advanced" technology. The funeral home uniforms are a gradient, later on they put on the full nautical costume with medals and such. Cults do realllllly bizarre shit that freaks people out, that's why they call them cults.

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  3. DagwoodGum

    DagwoodGum What a long, strange trip it's been!

    Uniforms create the superficial illusion of legitimacy while concealing the true intent and identities of those who would agree to cloak themselves as such. Their black uniforms play right into our realizations that their "orgs" are little more than "Morgues" and are to be avoided at all costs.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2018
  4. Enthetan

    Enthetan Master of Disaster

    In the Sea Org, I found some uniforms to have seductive powers. Especially the white slacks and shirts on some of the female SO members, when they had worn thin enough to be effectively see-through. There was one lady in particular, back in my Flag days, who I'm sure knew that, and enjoyed producing the effect.
  5. triumph

    triumph Patron Meritorious

    The Fruit of Islam..militant thug enforcement wing of Louis Farrakhans Farrakhantology
  6. TheOriginalBigBlue

    TheOriginalBigBlue Gold Meritorious Patron

    This article had very little depth. About 3 on the Meh Scale but gets points for Scientology honorary mention.

    Hubbard obviously put a lot of think behind the adoption of uniforms and as is consistent with Scientology logic the focus on the little important woo things in the Scio bubble cause them to miss the big picture. I think the most practical application for uniforms was as an intimidation factor for internal management. Sure LRH gave all kinds of subliminal whole track rational for it but he wanted Sea Org missions/special projects to be able to go into any org or mission and completely dominate it and many non-SO orgs would be converted to SO. He could implement a secondary paramilitary based policy structure on top of the policy letters that governed the rest of the organization which was much more arbitrary and totalitarian. Join the SO and you sign onto that.

    I think they recognize that for the outside world this has been a disaster. It looks paramilitary, controlling, aggressive and just bizarre. The military and most non-military applications have rational reasons for wearing uniforms. The COS seems to have backed away from this to something that awkwardly falls between waiter and yacht club. Clearly there are a lot of SO at these Ideal Org events but we don't see a lot of caps and lanyards. I feel sorry for those staff in Clearwater who have to wear vests in the stifling humidity and heat and if I know the Church, they probably are forced to keep the thermometers set to cheap.

    Those uniforms are not made of quality material either. If you are buying your own uniform with something like $10. to $50. a week you go to the discount shop. They are thin to start and when you only have enough to get you through the week they wear thin quickly. This helps with the Florida climate but there is something that nags your thinking when you are being told that you are the elite of the elite but your shirt or blouse is see-through. So OK, maybe that is why the vests.
  7. DagwoodGum

    DagwoodGum What a long, strange trip it's been!

    Or Hubbard was merely dramatizing and recreating his former military career only this time with he himself as the General in charge. He collected yes man sycophants to arrange as subordinates the way a child arranges plastic army men on his bedroom carpet with riflemen hiding behind his crumpled up underwear and socks strewn about on his imaginary battlefield. Nothing more to it.
  8. TheOriginalBigBlue

    TheOriginalBigBlue Gold Meritorious Patron

    I have little doubt there was something to that as a nostalgic fantasy angle but over time his pattern became clear. He would create a set of policy with an accompanying hierarchy, praise it as perfection and imbue it with ultimate authority. Then he would become mistrustful of it and in practice it wasn't very efficient. It's primary purpose was to make money and keep the revenuers from taking it. That required an increasing level of secrecy, complexity and control. So the Sea Org was created to override the Green Vols but the Green Vols were scripture and could only be undone with excuses that they were altered by SPs or written by unauthorized people. Flag Orders, Base Orders and OODs (Orders of the Day), R Advices , mission orders and special projects all superseded policy letters.

    HCO and the LRH Comm networks are vestiges of an older system. They could do way with everything except CMO and OSA and there would be little practical difference and after the brutal culling of the CMO it's really just OSA now. Even DM can't trust OSA so the next level of bypass is their attorney network that only answers to DM and cuts the Board of Directors and the rest of the Sea Org out of the loop. And who is in OSA now? A bunch of aging broken Sea Org members that have been through the RPF 3 or 4 times with a younger class of subordinates who are clueless about the real history and skeletons in the closets?

    So I perceive the Sea Org and it's accompanying uniforms as part of a natural progression that brought the Scientology organization to where it is today - Miscavige and lawyers.
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  9. Enthetan

    Enthetan Master of Disaster

    Miscavige, lawyers, and PI's.
  10. DagwoodGum

    DagwoodGum What a long, strange trip it's been!

    Well, you know the twists and turns of the different layers of complexity that I wouldn't know about as a public of less than a decade, even though I held the COS off at a distance because of a building mistrust I had for the very policies that you provide further insight into than I had at the time or since for that matter. I just always saw his little navy as a carry over from a failed military career that he was still trying to recreate only this time on his own terms.
  11. lotus

    lotus autonomous rebellous

    Uncovered :oops:
    So many years later :p
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  12. TheOriginalBigBlue

    TheOriginalBigBlue Gold Meritorious Patron
    The core group of Commodore's Messengers had completed their task. When they were first appointed to management at the end of 1979, with the creation of the Watchdog Committee, there were two power groups, linked only through Hubbard. The CMO had to take over both the Guardian's Office and the Sea Org without being allowed to show any evidence that they were following Hubbard's direction.
    The Watchdog Committee had gradually asserted control over the everyday management of Scientology Churches. By May 1981, it was strong enough to successfully challenge Mary Sue Hubbard. The GO was in its control by August. Hubbard's Personal Office was absorbed in 1981, with the creation of the Product Development Office International. A purge of long-term Messengers also took place in 1981, with the removal in June of Diane Voegeding, then Commanding Officer of CMO. Her sister, Gale Irwin, replaced her, only to be ousted at the end of the year. After removing Executive Director International, Bill Franks, that December, John Nelson, the next Commanding Officer of the CMO, lasted six months. By the end of 1981, the Missions had been placed under the control of the new Scientology Missions International. A purge of Mission Holders began early in 1982 culminating in the San Francisco Mission Holders' Conference that October, where leading Mission Holder Dean Stokes was added to the growing list of excommunicants. Mayo and his staff had been removed in August. By the end of 1982, most of the Sea Org veterans who had held high positions had been declared Suppressive.

    The whole restructuring had to be engineered without a single appearance by Hubbard. The CMO had to persuade the management organizations of the Church that they were acting with Hubbard's authority, but with no signed orders from him, nor even orders issued over his name. At the same time, a new management structure had been created through an elaborate series of supposedly separate corporations. Author Services Incorporated looked after Hubbard's finances, in reality causing millions to be transferred from the Church into his personal accounts. The Religious Technology Center controlled the use of the trademarks. The International Finance Police, part of the new Church of Scientology International, monitored income.

    To add insult to injury, the CMO announced monthly price rises starting in January 1983, and distributed a newsletter with extracts from the San Francisco Mission Holders' Conference. Photographs of the uniformed and beribboned speakers glared out ferociously. Most Scientologists had conceived themselves part of a crusade to bring sanity to the world. The savage rhetoric, the aggressive attitude and the perplexing new corporate titles, especially the International Finance Police and their Dictator, did not fit easily into that concept of sanity.


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    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018