Tribalism within Scientology

Discussion in 'Evaluating and Criticising Scientology' started by Mimsey Borogrove, Oct 13, 2018.

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  1. Mimsey Borogrove

    Mimsey Borogrove Crusader

    In the link below, the referenced New Yorker Article, discusses tribalism in politics - it has some bashing of both sides, but overlooking those, it makes some interesting points. It breaks down American politics into 7 factions and it discusses the problem with identification with a tribe, assuming the positions of the tribe as a deterrent of having to think. If Scientology is about anything it is controlling thought.

    As I read the article, I began to wonder if there were tribalism in Scientology, and which tribes existed and their various endemic viewpoints. What do they identify with?

    I guess there is an uninterested tribe which would be the casual book buyer, a person who has perhaps attended a lecture and has no desire to participate further.

    If however they become involved and take further courses, they may see themselves as a sort of tribe. They may call themselves Scientologists to their fellow coursemates, but not to their "wog" friends. They may see themselves as ethical, and in a sort of self help mode. Sort of proto scientologists

    The next would be the people who consider themselves Scientologists. They apply Scientology to their lives, they agree with the tenants of Scientology - they self police and avoid entheta. You see in them the blocking of thought and refuse to discuss opposing or different viewpoints of The Subject Of Scientology. Whether they are in, flying under the radar, or indi scientologists, the viewpoint is the same - they believe. They may harbor doubts, or think were they in charge they would do things differently, but as a whole the subscribe to Hubbard's teachings. These are sheep to be shorn, recruited, and of little importance, unless they are members of another tribe - whales.

    Whales, whether celebrities or business persons or high income producers, either resent the constant reging for donos or feel they would rather pay for expansion, than expend their own time to do so. They are sort of a subset of the above, though are love bombed and catered to, and given a mantle of being a big being. While they may consider themselves valuable contributors, the top groups sees them as a never ending fountain of cash and as such, will go to great lengths to insulate them from entheta, counter intention, and the like. However the top tribe has no compunction about declaring them if they fall from grace.

    The next tribe is one that is disappearing, as it is replaced by Sea Org members. That is the mission and class 4 org staff members. Many moonlight to make ends meet or have a working parent or spouse that supports them, while they toil away trying to deliver services, or do their post duties. While many have become tech and policy wonks, they have an underlying feeling their efforts are being wasted in the incessant emergencies, the too little too late, any income being vacuumed uplines, so they are constantly underfunded, and expected to make it go right nonetheless. They are in a constant battle with the Sea Org tribe that rips off their staff, public, pc's and students and other assets.

    The Sea Org is a fractured tribe, with many sub tribes, though they have a central identity, they are stratified, depending on where they are posted, ( Gold, Int, CMO, Flag etc ) and the posts held ( reg, IAS, MAA, tech or qual) They have a disdain of every tribe below their own as being dilatant, lacking true dedication that their sub tribe exhibits. They would rather be trapped in the Hole at Int than be on the RPF in Pac Base. They have a very strong tribal identity as the bearers of Hubbard's and COB's torch into the inky blackness of reactive mind dominated think.

    Their fearless leader and his inner circle could be seen as a small, ruthless tribe, however, never having met them - I couldn't comment with any accuracy as to their beliefs, their identity considerations.

    I would welcome amplification of the above - I was a staff member, gave the IAS over $120 K, was a class 6 and on OT 7 so hopefully my observations are some what correct, based on my experience of over 40 years on lines. If you see inaccuracies, please contribute.

    Below is a link and some quote from the article. It isn't overly long and worth reading, whatever political tribe you belong to.


    "We live in a time of tribes. Not of ideologies, parties, groups, or beliefs—these don’t convey the same impregnability of political fortifications, or the yawning chasms between them. American politics today requires a word as primal as “tribe” to get at the blind allegiances and huge passions of partisan affiliation. Tribes demand loyalty, and in return they confer the security of belonging. They’re badges of identity, not of thought. In a way, they make thinking unnecessary, because they do it for you, and may punish you if you try to do it for yourself. To get along without a tribe makes you a fool. To give an inch to the other tribe makes you a sucker."

    "I’m using “tribalism” to refer to what George Orwell, in an essay he wrote at the end of the Second World War, meant by “nationalism”: “the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or other unit, placing it beyond good and evil and recognizing no other duty than that of advancing its interests. . . . The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality.” Our tribes are competing for power over the state, the media, public opinion, the verbal battleground. When politics becomes a perpetual tribal war, ends justify almost any means and individuals are absolved from the constraints of normal decency."
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  2. Dotey OT

    Dotey OT Patron with Honors

    I've noticed that some tribalism existed as an "us vs them", staff to public. I always felt someone created that then and still do. Same thing with ideal contribution levels. You are nothing until "Humanitarian", again, created for a purpose. There was a case level tribalism, noticed even with older OT case level folks, where only OT's vs Clear vs lower case levels.
  3. HelluvaHoax!

    HelluvaHoax! Platinum Meritorious Sponsor with bells on


    I find it beyond awkward to try and jam the word "tribe" into the Scientology ecosystem and make it fit.

    The word "cult" already precisely & dynamically describes and informs how Scientologists think and behave.

    As true for any organization or society, within the cult of Scientology there are different "classes" of people This parallels the tradition of any country or culture, however named. By way of example, India has an "untouchables" class and England has a "royalty" class. Likewise Scientologists are divided into classes (not warring "tribes"), such as the "ruling class", the "celebrity" class, et al.

    The term "tribalism" is currently in vogue, but it only describes one extremely narrow aspect of cults.
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  4. TheOriginalBigBlue

    TheOriginalBigBlue Gold Meritorious Patron

    What a ridiculous premise. The "impregnability" they refer to is a direct manifestation of the degree of fanaticism in ideology. And "Nationalism" isn't a habit of placing your country beyond good and evil. That's an asinine statement - unless you are a Marxist using divisions of class and pitting subgroups against each other in competition for redistribution and special rights that can only be granted by the anointed. Then a sense of nationalism is your enemy. If you are a Marxist then support and belief in the US Constitution, it's freedoms and culture are a bad thing and support of it need needs to be redefined and denigrated as "Tribalism". Nobody really believes that to be nationalistic, to have pride in your country, to want rule of law and sovereignty means that you don't recognize it can also be evil or destructive. It is a constant battle to keep any government on track. If your country is becoming Marxist then it is becoming evil. The "perpetual tribal war" is between freedom and Marxism and, which side has absolved itself from the constraints of normal decency? Marxism is by definition revolution but because violent revolution didn't work they shifted to "The long march through the institutions". Somehow I doubt the New Yorker views the takeover of those institutions by Marxists to be tribalism. To them this is simply the correction of evil nationalism and tribalism.

    Now to get real, Scientology absolutely cultivates and feeds upon internal division and competition of all kinds. Instead of listing the long litany of things, I'd suggest trying to find some aspect of Scientology organization or culture that doesn't encourage one-upmanship over the other. Good luck!

    I'd also point out that the same kinds of deprivation and predation the Sea Org inflicts on non-Sea Org units, higher echelons within the Sea Org also inflict on lower echelons of the Sea Org.
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  5. guanoloco

    guanoloco As-Wased

    The other thing is that to be a tribe people identify as that. Casual bookbuyers don't identify themselves as that...they are just themselves as people. A tribe is "African-American" where the person is that. They attack blacks who exit the tribe...Kanye West, etc. Bookbuyers have zero identity as anything.

    I buy books on subjects and through Amazon but am not part of any identity associated with either.
  6. HelluvaHoax!

    HelluvaHoax! Platinum Meritorious Sponsor with bells on

    The far left Social Justice Warriors are CREATING FAKE TRIBES that are supposedly warring against each other. This is how "Big Brother" in the apocalyptic novel 1984 controlled the populace.

    Since these tribes don't actually exist (i.e. they are actually socio-economic categories or "classes") they have to manufacture false narratives and shocking accusations to drum up hatred and constant conflict. Hitler did this against the Jews.

    SJWs create mythological demon "tribes"; blacks vs. whites, rich vs poor, women vs. men, fascists vs. SJWs, et al.

    The marketing glue they use to promote these supposed demon tribes is wholesale, indiscriminately audacious & outrageous BIG LIES. Once the release their insidious propaganda, dull-witted members of the SJS cult dutifully begin chanting the hate-chant du jour.

    "Evil racist policemen murdering innocent young black men"

    "Racist President of the United States who hate and wants to murder Hispanics"

    "Serial Rapist White Judges"

    "Fascist white politicians who want everyone to own guns and murder each other"​

    The list is endless.

    Okay, let's take a moment here to get REALLLLLLY politically incorrect. Let's say something that is forbidden, lol. The author of this thread is a SJW who often promotes false tribal narratives, even after statistics and facts have debunked his propaganda. Yet he writes about "tribalism" as if he has risen above it. Hey, I told you it was going to be ugly, lol. But, let's inject a little reality into this discussion instead of the abstractions being bandied about.
  7. Mimsey Borogrove

    Mimsey Borogrove Crusader

    I see your point HH, do you think perhaps there exist cults within the cult itself? As Doty OT said, there is constant infighting within the cult - there is open warfare between orgs and public, orgs and sea org, between IAS and orgs and sea org, there is physical abuse of staff by seniors, making the Tech Trainers work at menial posts while at flag. The orgs are hostile in their treatment of each other, their rapacious treatment of lower orgs when tours arrive and usurp the org and it buildings. There is constant ripping off of staff, pcs, publics, money from one faction to another. I think downgrading it to classes ( or castes even) is to lessen this aggression.

    To look at it as separate waring tribes makes more sense, IMO. Perhaps I am naïve, but class structure doesn't seem the have the same warlike demeanor that is present in Scientology between it's various parts.

  8. Mimsey Borogrove

    Mimsey Borogrove Crusader

    Right, but those weren't the tribes discussed in the article:

    "On Wednesday, More in Common, a research organization based in Europe and the United States, released a report called “Hidden Tribes: A Study of America’s Polarized Landscape.” It builds on the group’s prior work in France, Germany, and Italy—an effort to understand and counteract rising populism and fragmentation in the Western democracies. Throughout the past year, the report’s four authors surveyed eight thousand randomly chosen Americans, asking questions about “core beliefs”: moral values, attitudes toward parenting and personal responsibility, perceptions of threats, approaches to group identity. The authors then sorted people, based on their beliefs and values, into seven “tribes”: Progressive Activists, Traditional Liberals, Passive Liberals, Politically Disengaged, Moderates, Traditional Conservatives, Devoted Conservatives. Progressive Activists, as described by the report, tend to be “younger, highly engaged, secular, cosmopolitan, angry.” The Politically Disengaged are “young, low income, distrustful, detached, patriotic, conspiratorial.” Moderates are “engaged, civic-minded, middle-of-the-road, pessimistic, Protestant.” Devoted Conservatives are “white, retired, highly engaged, uncompromising, patriotic.”


    Here's a link to their site, and in it, they link to the full report.

    "This report is about polarization in America today: what is driving us apart, and what can bring us back together.
    Political polls and years of knife-edge elections have convinced many that our country has become a 50:50 society, divided into two opposing political tribes and trapped in a spiral of conflict and division.
    Our research uncovered a different story, one that probes underneath the issues that polarize Americans, and finds seven groups that are defined by their core beliefs, rather than by their political opinions, race, class or gender.
    In talking to everyday Americans, we have found a large segment of the population whose voices are rarely heard above the shouts of the partisan tribes. These are people who believe that Americans have more in common than that which divides them. While they differ on important issues, they feel exhausted by the division in the United States. They believe that compromise is necessary in politics, as in other parts of life, and want to see the country come together and solve its problems.
    In the era of social media and partisan news outlets, America’s differences have become dangerously tribal, fueled by a culture of outrage and taking offense. For the combatants, the other side can no longer be tolerated, and no price is too high to defeat them.
    These tensions are poisoning personal relationships, consuming our politics and putting our democracy in peril.
    Once a country has become tribalized, debates about contested issues from immigration and trade to economic management, climate change and national security, become shaped by larger tribal identities. Policy debate gives way to tribal conflicts.
    Polarization and tribalism are self-reinforcing and will likely continue to accelerate. The work of rebuilding our fragmented society needs to start now. It extends from re-connecting people across the lines of division in local communities all the way to building a renewed sense of national identity: a bigger story of us.
    Our polarization is not simple, but nor is it insoluble. We need to understand it, so we can fix it. More in Common hopes that this report can help inform and inspire this urgent work."
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
  9. screamer2

    screamer2 Idiot Bastardson

    $cientology : tribalism in politics


    bicycle : fish
  10. Mimsey Borogrove

    Mimsey Borogrove Crusader

    Yeah - you're correct - they most definitely don't think of themselves as raw meat or wogs. I was kind of looking at as a scale of involvement, and they don't consider themselves a tribe as such, despite how the vulture culture of scientology may label them.

  11. Mimsey Borogrove

    Mimsey Borogrove Crusader

    I said in the outset - I was looking at tribalism within scientology - I was inspired by the article, and was overlooking the political aspect of the basic concept, and seeing it's parallels within scientology.
  12. Mimsey Borogrove

    Mimsey Borogrove Crusader

    Something I have never understood is why the orgs were arranged in such a competitive way, why it wasn't a cohesive whole. Mimsey
  13. screamer2

    screamer2 Idiot Bastardson

    So you dis-clude ex-clams?
  14. Mimsey Borogrove

    Mimsey Borogrove Crusader

    No - if they still believe, though disaffected - indi's in the parlance, they are still part of the tribe of scientologists. While they may disavow many aspects of how the orgs are run, if they still believe in the basic tenets, aren't they still part of the tribe?

    If they have disposed of scientology beliefs they wouldn't consider themselves as part of the Scientology orbit. You could consider them as a tribe, as you could consider the critics and anti-scio book writers, bloggers, Leah et al as another.

    But a key point is the inherent belief structure of each tribe, and how it separates one faction from another in a kind of unthinking adherence to it's own core beliefs.

    If you were to say the sea org tribe has a zealous belief in Hubbard to the exclusion of any other viewpoint, and compare that to the critics, there you have a less polarized belief and a willingness to evaluate scientology on it's merits or lack there of, you would have a less tribe like demeanor between the critics. Does that make sense?

  15. HelluvaHoax!

    HelluvaHoax! Platinum Meritorious Sponsor with bells on

    Oh you are sticking with "tribes in scientology", I see.

    No, that is an abstraction. Scientology is a cult.

    The notion of "warring tribes" makes no sense. They are not at war. They are vying for positions of power/money, just as every other human on earth does in the workplace. It's called "competition" or "free enterprise".

    Scientologists are all joined at the brain to "clear the planet". They are "at war" with NON SCIENTOLOGISTS, not Scientologists. Being humans (not homo novis) they naturally are "aberrated" and get feisty, contentious and petty amongst themselves. That is not tribalism.

    Scientologist are also nasty people, modeled in the image of their creator, L. Ron Hubris. They declare and disconnect each other with reckless abandon. That doesn't make them "tribal", that makes them closet sadists and mashochists, LOL.

    But, stay the course Mimsey, don't let facts get in the way of your theories and feelings.
  16. Enthetan

    Enthetan Master of Disaster

    When I was in the Sea Org, there was a definite sense of "us" Sea Org members versus dilettante public. The group-view was that if you weren't Sea Org, you weren't serious.
  17. guanoloco

    guanoloco As-Wased

    Well...that's hierarchy, though. And that ran the whole gamut. So, if you were public you were better than wogs, if on staff at a Class V you were better than dilettante public, if you where posted in HCO you were the shit, if you were on EC you were the shit (and each time you were "the shit" everyone below you ain't shit), then you go to the SO and then all the branches there with Bridge, CLO, CMO, etc. Finally, RTC.

    I wouldn't equate that to tribes...maybe EUS vs WUS or something but really this was just hierarchy.

    For instance, at a local org the public, the mission if it existed, the staff, the Execs - everybody identified as part of the org and as Scientologists. It was just a command channel - not really tribal. At the end of the day we were all Scientologists.

    Somewhere, waaaaaaaaaaaaay back there in time in anthropology 101 or thereabouts it was taught to guano that virtually every root word of any tribe anywhere defined as "the people" and if you weren't part of the tribe you weren't "people". That meant that Lakota Sioux defined as "the people", etc.

    I suppose the clearest tribal distinction for Scientology would be "Scientologist/wogs" where they were less than know...stimulus response push button artifacts of conglomerate psychopaths suffering from amnesia and pain and overwhelm out of valence and circuits and all that. Bank.

    We had to help them in spite of themselves because they were so PTS they factually could NOT help themselves. Bank being what it is.

    We, on the other hand, were smart, intelligent, moral, ethical and willing to do what's necessary to "save" everyone and "salvage this sector"...on this planet.

    Which is the way that liberal progressives view people who aren't liberal progressives.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
  18. Dotey OT

    Dotey OT Patron with Honors

    Btw, I've noticed an insistence by some to call this thing called Scientology a cult. I'm new around here so I suppose this has been discussed in great detail and at great length somewhere here. It's as if you can just toss aside a point being made because "it's a cult", and stop the discussion right there. For my part, I had no evil or sinister motives for my participation. I wished no one ill will, inside or out. I hoped it could help people. It seems, just in my opinion, that a true cult would exist only where people were knowingly doing something against someone or something, with bad intentions or ill will, with a thought towards some destruction. That wasn't my thought, and seemingly wasn't the thought of the people I knew. It was most certainly my opinion I was involved in something good. I do not think that now.
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  19. screamer2

    screamer2 Idiot Bastardson

  20. Mimsey Borogrove

    Mimsey Borogrove Crusader

    Well HH, while I agree with this: "Scientologists are all joined at the brain to "clear the planet". They are "at war" with NON SCIENTOLOGISTS, not Scientologists." I disagree with the last three words and the section about there are no tribes in the church.

    I had been in Scientology some 40+ years and have seen this evolution from a unified push to clear the planet into a culture within the church that pits various sections against each other. In the beginning of my career in scientology the SO was not a common presence. They were off somewhere in the Mediterranean sending policies and tech out, they were training the first class 8's at the ship. Then they came in to a more public awareness.

    As they expanded into the land bases, I began to see more networks, more battles with the FBOs (Flag Banking Officers) who sucked income out of the orgs, more recruiters stealing staff, more reges ripping off students and pc's from the class 4 orgs, more abuse of staff, threats of RPFs, more ethics conditions etc. Perhaps warfare isn't the best word for this.

    To me - the concept of them being tribes within the whole makes sense. The different parts are distinctly different from each other. Yes, there is this overarching purpose to clear the planet, but internally, the organization as a whole, is at odds with itself as the different factions /sections /orgs /units vie and are at odds with each other. The whole concept of tribes is that each tribe has it's own beliefs, and you definitely see that in the different portions of scientology, and the collision of these conflicting beliefs.

    That a recruiter could walk into your org, recruit your chief reg into the SO, and walk out the door with your biggest income producer, many times inadequately replaced, belies a moral belief in the recruiter that their purpose is higher than yours, that ripping off your staff isn't an overt. That is exemplar of one tribe vs. another within scientology.

    I suppose I could refer to them as individual 3rd dynamics within an over all third dynamic of scientology, but I would be told - shut! up! with the scientology terminology. Hence tribes fits.

    tribalization - the act of making tribal; unification on a tribal basis
    jointure, uniting, unification, conjugation, union - the act of making or becoming a single unit;

    That last is what I mean - each portion is a single unit - separate yet existing and competing against other units, within the whole of scientology.
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