What really lures people in and makes them sacrifice so much?

Discussion in 'General Scientology Discussion' started by Emmanuel Goldstein, Dec 24, 2017.

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  1. By now I watched a lot of documentaries about Scientology and even read a lot of their own materials and it was really helpful for me to overcome my own traumatic experiences and indoctrination by Communist groups. Because of course I watched and read a lot of things exposing Communist methods, but since those were necessarily written by "Anti-Communist" (basically the Communist equivalent of an SP) it was still kinda hard for me to accept and believe, because after all they were written by "the enemy".

    So reading and watching things that expose Scientology was actually really helpful because those things were "just" written by SPs (which means nothing to a Communist) and not by "anti-communists" so it was much easier for me to accept, while it was still basically exposing the same methods and that way I could kinda circumvent my own indoctrination against "anti-communists".

    Anyway, it was really interesting because I found so many parallels when it comes to the methods used. There is only one thing I still don't quite understand and that is what exactly the promise is that is used to lure people into Scientology.
    I mean I think I kinda understand it, but only partially and of course from my perspective.
    Like you know, for Communists there are two promises. One is the more realistic sounding one that is used in the beginning to lure people in and one is used later on and sounds so great and so big and perfect, so as to make you do ANYTHING to accomplish that goal.

    So with Communists the first, more tangible and more realistic sounding promise is that of social equality and that's the one that draws people in because they can really relate to it, nor does it sound too far fetched (yet). Like who doesn't have some kind of boss or some person in a position of power that they don't like and who they feel suppressed by? So when Communists tell you that these people are like the most evil people ever and promise you to rid the world of such people, you go "yeah, finally someone who stands up for me and MY interests and dares to speak the 'truth' that my boss and other people I don't like are inherently evil".

    So, then later on, that develops into the second promise, which basically is eternal peace on earth.
    Because once the SPs - ahm I mean capitalists and anti-communists have been "disappeared" and eliminated the world over and the Communists Party has conquered the world, it will reign in that sort of new era for mankind were everyone will forever live in eternal peace and comradeship and freedom and equality. And of course, to reach a goal THAT good, no personal sacrifice is too great.

    And during the course of reaching that goal (that will of course never ACTUALLY be reached) they will start to ask you to make A LOT of sacrifices. But it's gradual and only one at a time and each time you feel like you only have to make that one more sacrifice and then that big goal can be reached and then everything will be fine and even perfect again.

    And of course, basically the first sacrifice they ask you to make is to give up your money (basically and eventually pretty much all your money). How that plays out for Communists is explained very well in the book "Brain-washing in Red China" by Edward Hunter that I talked about in one of my previous posts.

    And even though that is basically the first (of many) sacrifices they will ask of you, for Communists that sacrifice (even though it's the first) will come relatively late (of course if you are labeled a capitalist it will come somewhat sooner) but in any case it only comes at a point at which you and everyone around you is already fully devoted to the communist cause and at a point where their little private, ridiculous looking, dress-up paramilitary force will have already replaced the national armed forces.

    Basically I am saying that at the point when they are asking YOU to make the first sacrifice (instead of just victimizing outsiders who you don't like anyway) at that point, it is already too late and you will feel like if you value your life, you have to comply.

    But I feel like for Scientologists, that step (although it is also the first one) comes much sooner and although Scientology also seems to have a paramilitary force and forced labor camps, when they start asking you for your money (even ALL your money as well) at that point you are not yet a member of the Sea Org, so you don't have to fear their paramilitary nor their version of forced labor camps nor have they used their ultimate lure of world peace yet - by ridding the world of THEIR enemies. At that point it seems to still be the initial lure of merely helping you to get rid of your personal enemies.

    So I don't quite understand how that initial lure alone can be strong enough to already make you want to give up all your money. Or is there some kind of lure that I missed?
  2. Enthetan

    Enthetan Master of Disaster

  3. Enthetan

    Enthetan Master of Disaster

    One similarity between Communism and Scientology is that both place the goals of the Group as being senior to the goals of the individual.

    The other, opposite, world view, as laid out in the US Declaration of Independence, is that individuals have goals (life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness), and that the true purpose of the group (government) is to preserve the individual's ability to pursue his own goals, and that when a government is no longer doing this, then it's time to abolish it and create a new government.
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  4. pineapple

    pineapple Silver Meritorious Patron

    It may vary from person to person, but what got me in:

    1) Curiousity. I wanted to see what it was really like.

    2) The scngsts were nice people. (You might think they'd all be a bunch of wild-eyed nuts, but this wasn't the case.) With few exceptions, the scngsts I knew were intelligent, fun to be around, and they were glad to accept me into the group.

    3) It was cheap. At the entry level, scn did not cost much in 1975. The Comm Course cost $50. Auditing was $25/hr. I knew the prices got higher at the upper levels, but that seemed very remote in the beginning.

    4) LRH said "Nothing in scn is true except what you yourself have experienced." I didn't have to accept anything that didn't make sense to me.

    5) Scn isn't all complete bullshit at the lower levels. The Comm Course actually did improve my ability to communicate and increased my self confidence. After that I believed that "scientology works."
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  5. programmer_guy

    programmer_guy True Ex-Scientologist

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  6. programmer_guy

    programmer_guy True Ex-Scientologist

    What's interesting about that is that EVEN IN Scientology that is called "inverted 3rd dynamic".
    Should we say that Hubbard was a hypocrite?
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  7. ThetanExterior

    ThetanExterior Gold Meritorious Patron

    It depends on the individual. I was in for 15+ years but I remained a member of public and consistently refused to join staff or the sea org. Some people join staff or the sea org almost immediately. We're all different.

    For me the lure was the promise of attaining special abilities from Clear and OT, which I now know was a lie. For others the lure was the idea of creating an ideal world.

    I suppose you could summarise it by saying some people are interested in helping themselves whereas others are more interested in helping mankind. These two ideas do overlap once you are in scientology but each person has a preference for one or the other.
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  8. Enthetan

    Enthetan Master of Disaster

    Much of what Hubbard said depended on what he thought was in his interest at the moment .

    Back in the 1950's Dianetics book, the chapter on The Four Dynamics (those being Self; Sex and Family; Group; and Mankind), his viewpoint was that an optimum solution would be something that would benefit the individual and his family as well as the group and mankind, and that expecting somebody to sacrifice his own personal welfare for the benefit of the people, was non-optimum.

    That changed as soon as he had his own organization -- then everyone was expected to advance HIS goals, or die trying.
  9. Leland

    Leland Crusader

    Many get in too young.

    I got in at 17...

    Looking back....from my sixties now.... that was just too young to know better!

    As an observation.... most Scien promo has very young people featured in it.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2017
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  10. pineapple

    pineapple Silver Meritorious Patron

    I joined staff after I'd been in about six months, after I finished HSDC. I remember this one girl who'd been in only a little longer than me. She never joined staff or SO and a couple years later I did her grades on my IV internship. At the time I envied her. She was now Grade IV, and I wasn't, and she seemed to me to be living a pretty happy life. She wasn't subject to the pressures and the poverty I was experiencing as a staff member, and probably hardly even suspected what I was really going through. A while back, I was looking at old scn service completions and happened to see that she attested to OT VI sometime in the 90's.

    I think now that if I hadn't joined staff early it might have taken me much longer to see the dark side of scn, so it's a good thing I did.
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  11. Miss Ellie

    Miss Ellie Miss Ellie

    Everyone wants to be a SUPER HERO!

    Save yourself
    Save your family
    Save humanity
    Save the planet
    Save the universe
    If you join THEM then you get to save EVERYONE!

    If you have the urge to "serve" we can fix you right up... just sign this littl' bitty contract for a billion years and go do it.
    Your life will have meaning
    Your life will be perfect, no illness, no insanity
    Your family will be safe and happy

    You just have to hand over your free will, swallow a lot of bullshit, loose what you want to keep, spend what you do not have & in the end you will save no one including yourself.

    But they keep them coming in although not in the numbers of yesteryear.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
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  12. @ Miss Ellie

    That is the kind of explanation that makes sense to me... meaning I can relate to people really buying into that and believing that because they WANT to believe it.
    When I watched Lea Remini's documentary, they showed a few clips of the movies they show at those Scientology propaganda events. And some of them show like those soldiers (well basically just the Sea Org, but dressed up nice like they are doing battle) or they show like those images of like an army of horsemen engaging in battle and then they have like that narration saying like that future generation will remember the struggle of a chosen few that like singlehandedly destroyed all the enemies and liberated the planet or something.

    Basically they are promising you to become a hero and who doesn't wanna be a hero?
    It's the exact same mentality and the exact same promise that makes people join Communist militia groups.
    Like for example, the military (initially paramilitary) of the Communist Party of China is called "People's Liberation Army".
    I always found that name very revealing, as it almost sounds like "Salvation Army" like they would be saving people (by killing them :) ).
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  13. Enthetan

    Enthetan Master of Disaster

    Initially, Sea Org members were expected to get Judo and weapons training, but that had dropped out by the time I was in.

    An exception was for Sea Org members directly protecting Hubbard. Hubbard's personal location had armed people,


    Present day Int Base reportedly also has armed security, and the Los Angeles upper organizations have Sea Org security guards who reportedly have access to arms.
  14. Gib

    Gib Crusader

    Before Eric Hoffer, the true believer and mass movements, was Le Bon's The Crowd, a study of the Popular Mind.

    Hubbard and Hilter read Le Bon. Le Bon is French.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Eric Hoffer did too as well so as to further explain.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
  15. Gib

    Gib Crusader

    to answer your last question is not easy.

    The initial lure is not strong, it's a gradual approach, Hubbard called it "gradient" meaning a little at a time. The analogy is slowing boiling a frog in a pot of water. Lot's of people have checked out dianetics and scientology, only a few stick.

    It starts in the beginning of a few courses and one has a "win" or a "realization" about their life, so they continue to check it out, if they have more wins or realizations, they continue, if they do not, they leave. This continues for a person and eventually they are exposed to The Bridge To Total Freedom with it's two main goals of Clear, and then OT as one progress's.

    As one slowly gets involved, one is subjected to the many "literary devices" Hubbard used in his lectures, books, HCOPL'S, HCOB's, Flag Orders, everything he wrote or spoke. They are quite persuasive once you have a few wins or realizations.

    Nobody is asked in the beginning to give all their money, that is slow as well. What actually happens, is that when one becomes a true scienlogist, one is actually working for Hubbard and Scientology whether public or staff.

    When one is working as a public, one is actually earning money to give to Scientology to go up this Bridge to Total Freedom. As a staff member, one is working to get others to give money to go up the Bridge. Hubbard created a culture, or cult.

    It gets complicated.
  16. programmer_guy

    programmer_guy True Ex-Scientologist

    Did a bait-and-switch occur for your joining staff? Just curious.
  17. pineapple

    pineapple Silver Meritorious Patron

    Sort of. It's a long story.

    I joined staff wanting to be an auditor, but understanding that I'd be spending some time in Div VI first. (Div VI, for those not familiar, is dissem. This is where you get new people in and try to sign them up. At the most basic level it's body-routing -- approaching people on the street and getting them into the building.) I hated Div VI, sucked at body-routing, and kept wondering how long I was gonna have to keep doing this, and it went on for a LONG time :banghead:.

    The situation was complicated by a change in management. Maybe a month after I joined staff, the GO (Guardian's Office, forerunner of OSA) seized our mission. I never quite understood why, and at the time I was too intimidated to ask. The local guardian came to the mission and delivered a blood-curdling speech to the staff, the main point being "there's gonna be some big changes around here." She said anyone who wanted to could walk away NOW, with no penalty. Only one guy did -- the guy who originally routed me in off the street a few months earlier. In times to come I often wished I had joined him.*

    Our former ED (who was also the C/S) was either removed or blew -- I never knew the details, but I saw him leaving the premises carrying a suitcase, and that's the last I ever saw or heard of him. I have no idea what became of him. This was not discussed further, as you're not supposed to talk about "entheta." He was replaced temporarily by a local OT/Cl VIII who only came in part-time. (He used to say, "Be OT now!" kind of mixing scn and Baba Ram Dass. :))

    During this period, the relaxed, "theta" atmosphere that prevailed when I originally joined staff was replaced by something more joyless and sinister. Trying to get stats, not getting them, getting put in lower conditions, being broke. It seemed pretty hopeless. What about my goal of being an auditor? Was that ever going to happen? At this point, yes, I did feel there had been a bait-and-switch, and that scn didn't deliver on its promises. But if I brought it up to seniors -- and I did -- it was pointed out that the situation had changed since I joined staff and that the promise of becoming an auditor hadn't been made by the current management.

    Things finally improved when Bent Corydon took over our mission. I got out of Div VI and eventually got trained through Cl IV auditor and C/S, -- though we were such a small mission (~20 staff) that I had to wear other hats as well. I spent a lot of time as academy sup. :)

    * In retrospect I'd say that what the GO did to our mission was "unmocking a working installation," which IIRC is some sort of scn "crime" or "high crime." The mission after that NEVER recovered to the point where it had been before the GO took it over, not even in its best periods. I left in 1981. A few years later (mid 80's) I heard from another former staffer that it had shrunk alarmingly, down to only about four staff. A few years later (early 90's) I revisited the site myself and found the building had been torn down. I was unable to find any trace of it. Vanished completely.
  18. pineapple

    pineapple Silver Meritorious Patron

    The quasi-military thing appeals to some, but not everyone. It never had any appeal for me. Even in my most gung-ho moments, I never had any desire to join Sea Org. And there were no SO stationed where I was, so I almost never saw them. A couple SO recruiting missions came through during my time in scn. Those were the only times I saw SO.

    Conveniently, as of 1977 (?) SO stopped taking recruits who'd ever done LSD, so that let me out, as I'd done LSD before scn.

    Not just the SO -- I never bought the whole "save the world" thing. At the time scn used to say, "A clear planet in this lifetime." I never believed that would happen. It was obvious to me that most people were not at all interested in scn, or ANY so-called self-help movement, unless it had very immediate and tangible results -- i.e., "Am I gonna make more money/have more sex?" Most people were way too materialistic to go for it.

    If I could help myself and a few other people WHO WANTED TO BE HELPED and WERE WORTH HELPING, that was good enough for me. ("Wanted to be helped" and "worth helping" did not describe everyone who walked in the door, not by a long shot.)
  19. programmer_guy

    programmer_guy True Ex-Scientologist


    Were you on staff at the Riverside Mission or were you on staff at the Hawaii Mission?
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
  20. pineapple

    pineapple Silver Meritorious Patron

    Both. I joined in Hawaii and spent most of my time there, but I did two stretches in Riverside. I'm a little vague about timing on this now, but the first time I went to Riverside must have been in 1976. (I think you'd probably left by then.) I did the TR's and Objectives Course and the HSDC (for a second time) there. I think I'd already done my HSDC internship at Hawaii Org by then, because I felt very confident as a dn auditor. I was told the pc I audited for my practical was considered "difficult," but I didn't think so. I didn't mind doing the course again. Rodney Michaelson and Dave Siebert were suping in the academy at the time.

    Second time must have been in 1977. I don't know what the purpose of the second trip was supposed to be. I spent some time working out of a lower condition in the EPF (Estates Project Force -- Riverside had an EPF, like the SO) and then was posted in the academy as a W/C'er. This was probably the most enjoyable time I spent in scn. I had a job I liked, was actually getting paid $55 every week, and had a decent place to live ($90/month, shared with one other staffer). I guess I did this for about 3 months. Cathy Steiner, who was then Qual Sec. asked me if I wanted to stay in Riverside instead of returning to Hawaii. Although I was much happier in Riverside, I felt I owed it to the group there to return, so I went back (what a dope). :duh:

    Ah -- just remembered I got some (I thought then, excellent) auditing on that second trip! From Yvonne Santana, Cl VI auditor. (Yvonne had another last name, too, but I don't remember what it was.) We did a CS 53, which included the Int RD and fixing up lots of out list/wrong indication stuff. That was probably the purpose of that second trip.