Discussion in 'Evaluating and Criticising Scientology' started by Veda, Jun 12, 2014.

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  1. Veda

    Veda Sponsor


    This is a thread for those who were exposed to negative or critical or ridiculing information about Hubbard and Scientology, and became involved anyway.

    Whether it was during the pre-Internet era, or the Internet era, YOU KNEW, yet you STILL JOINED.


    I can fully understand if no one wants to post anything on this thread.

    I particularly don't want to think about it either.


  2. cb1975

    cb1975 Patron

    Like knowing the dangers of drugs. Doesn't stop everybody from trying.

    Some are strong enough to dabble. Others sell their house and move in to the crack den.
  3. Reasonable

    Reasonable Silver Meritorious Patron

    Yes I did hear a few things but the volume of negative press was not the same as now and the up to date daily information and the ability to contact people was not the same.

    But yes I was warned. The most blatant thing for me if I were to look back is that I was just starting Scientology when Paulette Cooper died. It must have been on the news. I remember the Scientolgoists saying that it was not their fault, and I simply decided to believe them. I think I bought the line that it was the press that was out to get us or the psychs.

    The difference was that back in those days all I had was a few news shows or articles if this happened today there would be thousands of people and many blogs and other websites all commenting.

    While I was in I met a man randomly at a seminar who said that Scientology broke up his marriage and I decided not to ask him the details because I knew that I was not supposed to ask and I also remember just KNOWING THAT THIS COULD NOT BE TRUE, or that he deserved it or maybe he was an SP. Or he was just blaming Scientology because he wanted someone to blame.

    The funny thing is that I DID NOT EVEN WANT TO ASK FOR MORE INFORMATION FROM HIM. I think the reason was that for me Scientology was still working. I was being treated very nicely at the time, I really liked the auditing and the courses and I was very involved with the people.

    I usually believe what I experience myself rather than believe what people say.
    And I think most people are like that. Before I left I saw out points firsthand, and I heard stories from people I knew about them personally.

    In the "Can't Leave" thread Lornas is rare in that she is still in the honeymoon phase and is willing to leave based on what she reads from strangers like us.

    One last thing is that even though I heard both good and bad about Scientology before I joined I could not believe that I would not be able to walk away if things for bad.
  4. Helena Handbasket

    Helena Handbasket Gold Meritorious Patron

    Actually, no, I didn't know. This was before the internet (which was invented in the 1990's, not in 1969 as is claimed) and before most negative press.

    I joined in the classic way -- a friend was into it, and recommended it. I was a mess and knew I needed something. Also, I found it helpful.

    But I stayed with it for far too long.

  5. ClearedSP

    ClearedSP Patron with Honors

    I checked my local library more than once. At that time, there were a couple of books and a number of articles that might have warned me. The books were missing, and the articles had either been cut or torn out of the issues they appeared in.

    Later, after I was completely in, a low level student noticed that a new one had been published and was on the shelf. It was stolen within a week.

    Before the Internet, a lot of people didn't know.
  6. Danger Mouse

    Danger Mouse Patron with Honors

    1) There was something interesting there. 2) They helped me become a better student. (It's too bad somebody else couldn't have spent a few hours with me when I was younger and explained why dictionaries are useful and what all those abbreviations meant, but that didn't happen, and I was left to struggle with the "whole word system" only.) 3) I felt great after I did the Purif. 4) Hubbard knew what readers wanted to read: "the sum of all psuedo-sciences."

    Yet, I had read "The Scandal of Scientology" and "Scientology: The Now Religion" plus old issues of Time, Newsweek, Look, etc. I never had any illusions that these people were really my friends. Some of the people were great, but the more I looked, the more evil the organization seemed. I once told my wife, "If ever come out publicly against them, they'll crush me like a bug."

    As I have posted in the past, I found the cheese in the mousetrap quite tasty, and got away relatively unscathed. I never recruited any "raw meat" so my conscience is clear to that degree. But I do feel sorry that even a relatively small amount of my money went to support a slave labor system. I do regret that.

    On the bright side, my kid knows how to use "the magic word book" and is getting straight As (I was already kicked to the curb at her age). I showed her the South Park "Xenu" episode and she totally "gets it," so I know she is Scientology-proof. We like to do the Xenu Laugh from South Park: mhaa-haa-haa.
  7. Veda

    Veda Sponsor

    Shouldn't the missing books and the cut out or torn out articles have been a sign that something was wrong?

    Why not consult another library? Or a University library? Or a newspaper's archives?

    What I did, and what some others did, was decide - despite the signs that there was something wrong - that there was also something right - or that seemed right, so I chose to ignore or discount the bad signs.

    There were tons of bad press pre-Internet, from 1950 onward. There's a chronological list of the articles somewhere, if anyone can find it, and it's mind boggling.

    When I researched Scientology, after hearing about it, I encountered one book, by George Malko, and numerous magazine articles. They were all negative.

    One the other side, I had my very limited experiences visiting the New York Org, writing to OT 6 Rick Alexander (then the top level of "OT"), and the awareness that the Incredible String Band (who seemed tremendously cosmic and cool at the time) were Scientologists.


    George Malko, 'The Now Religion', 1970.



    Paulette Cooper, 'The Scandal of Scientology', 1971:



    Robert Kaufman, 'Inside Scientology', 1972:






    William Burroughs, 'Naked Scientology', 1972:

    [​IMG] Scientology.pdf




    And for those across the pond...

    The below BBC program about Scientology was made in 1967:

    The program, 'The Shrinking World of L. Ron Hubbard', followed in 1968:

    And Australia would have its own collection of bad press on Scientology, pre-Internet.​

    And that's just a tiny sampling.

    Even now, there are people who, in the Internet age, are becoming involved.

    The same mechanism, it seems.

    Who was that Yoga instructor who only a few years ago was sucked in?
  8. Churchill

    Churchill Gold Meritorious Patron

    Correction: Paulette Cooper, thank God, is alive and well, despite the despicable things that were done to her by Scientologists.
  9. I had the internet. I read some very hyped-up negativity about Scientology.
    I knew the Xenu story. I had seen the Tom Cruise video. I was a big fan of South Park.

    But I also had a parent in on the other side of it. It was changing them for what I saw to be for the better at the time.

    And I chose to trust my parent and "try it for myself."

  10. strativarius

    strativarius Comfortably Numb

    The Internet was invented in the United States during the late 1950s to the 1970s by a group of researchers and scientists at the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). On the October 29, 1969, computers at Stanford and UCLA connected for the first time using the network then called ARPANET.


    Don't mind me, I'm just trying to increment my post-count. When it gets up to 100 I'll chill out. :)

  11. chipgallo

    chipgallo Patron Meritorious

    The only negative thing I had heard in 1978 was that they had broken into some government offices. They had standard handing (dead agenting) for "entheta" articles in the press, where it was asserted that the author was connected to or paid by psychiatrists, the AMA or the banking cartel. Often it was asserted that material was "out gradient" if it discussed OT levels or was written by a squirrel (more so in later years). The real threat here is that after exposure, one would have to get review auditing ($$) or go through a lengthy petition process via the Guardians Office.

    Then there were all the PTS Types, A-J and I, II and III. These tended to filter out any number of troublesome individuals who said bad things about Ron or the org.

    Suspension of disbelief is something I take responsibility for personally. At any point I could have asked for the research and if it wasn't presented, walked away.
  12. Lesolee (Sith Lord)

    Lesolee (Sith Lord) Patron Meritorious

    Re:Internet Access

    You're right of course, but then again we never had internet access at my first job (to 1986) in a state-of-the-art electronics design company. Wide-spread access was probably not achieved (in the UK) until the 1990's, so in that sense Helena is also right :yes:
  13. Lesolee (Sith Lord)

    Lesolee (Sith Lord) Patron Meritorious

    Re: I never knew - sheltered life?

    I had heard nothing about Scientology (1986), good or bad. I didn’t tell anyone where I was going. I just got on the train to London (100 miles away) to find out. I did however leave a sealed envelope in my bedroom drawer saying where I had gone, just in case I disappeared / got brainwashed / kidnapped (even Black Belts can get overwhelmed by force of numbers!)

    At least the police would know what had happened.:eyeroll:
  14. Enthetan

    Enthetan Master of Disaster

    You're both right. ARPANET (ARPA= Dept of Defense Advance Research Projects Agency) was invented back in the 1960's and grew from there, but access was not available to the general public. It was originally meant for military researchers to be able to share data.

    The general public started getting access to the Internet until the late 1980's thru the 1990's. The creation of the first web browser in the early 90's made things accessible enough that it started exploding then.

    I find it interesting that in just 20 years the internet has become such a big part of all our lives.
  15. Gib

    Gib Crusader

    I personally was never warned or looked. I guess I bought into the game were everybody wins. :melodramatic:

    • 1. Introduce the user to the world and make them feel special.
    • 2. Give the user an easy challenge to complete and make them feel special about it.
    • 3. Let the user play a fun and engaging game.
    • 4. Allow the user’s friends to cheer them on.
    • 5. Reward everybody for playing.

    "The beauty of the game is that no matter what your skill level is when you start, by the time you finish, everyone is a [STRIKE]rockstar[/STRIKE] loser." :angry:
  16. actually veda back in 1971 when i first took an interest in the subject before i signed on for the Comm Course i spent two days at the san francisco public library with the readers guide to periodical literature hitting the stacks for every article i could dredge up all the way back to 1953. i knew how many times ron had married and the famous quote about "...writing for a penny a word..." and the all learned opinions of hubbard and his work and i was utterly flabbergasted at the utter absence of any sense at all of what was actually in the materials. it was in fact the abysmal ignorance of the press that sealed the deal for me.


    they did in fact warn of some of the questionable aspects to the practice and i'm grateful; forewarned is forearmed. and i'm well ground in scientific method and critical thinking and i applied that to my study and as well remained impeccable in my personal integrity as far as the bill of rights and my own judeochristian sensibilities are concerned. and as enthused as i was about the study i knew early on that a parting of the ways eventually seemed likely, perhaps inevitable. a study of deropp's "the master game" served to inoculate me against the diseases of heart mind and soul to which students of higher consciousness in general and hubbard's work in particular are prone

    and so...

    i was well prepared to distinguish between the koolaid and the wine

    yes, there's koolaid and god forbid it should ever be the jonestown version

    but wine sweet wine there is as well...
  17. WildKat

    WildKat Gold Meritorious Patron

    I always used the explanation that Scientology was just a tool that could be misused by bad or misguided people. If a person took a hammer to pound a nail and instead ended up whacking his thumb, you wouldn't go on a crusade to "ban all hammers". So I always looked beyond all the bad effects I observed and assumed it was just "bad tech" or need for a Qual Cycle.

    Another one I used was "Scientology is cleaning up a messy world, and when you go to clean up a mess, you could get some dirt on you". There's some truth to that.

    Trouble is, there is no "good tech" as far as producing all the promised results. Also, Scientology policy can be found to be actually creating messes.

    The parts that made Scientology "good" were either common sense actions, or things like "talking about your problems to someone who listens makes you feel better". There's no need to join a cult or pay hundreds of thousands to "talk to someone about your problems".

    When I woke up, I saw that nearly all the things I thought were "workable" in Scientology were often just common sense. You don't need a cult to learn or apply common sense. You need life and experience.

    My new religion is Common Sense, Compassion, Logic, Forgiveness, Love. Just the basic virtues that make the world a better place. No need for a cult that will bankrupt and enslave you if you stay in it long enough.
  18. Veda

    Veda Sponsor

    The Master Game was the last book I read before becoming involved with Scientology.


    At the time, I thought, perhaps, Scientology was the true Master Game, whereby we could all become 'Masters" of ourselves and our destinies.

    A comprehensive look at the subject - missing in the articles you mentioned - was attempted in such pieces as this, and the accompanying links.

    Excerpted from the Addendum section of L. Ron Hubbard, Messiah or Madman? by Class VIII auditor Bent Corydon, 2nd and 3rd editions. This is the shortened version that appears in Brainwashing Manual Parallels in Scientology :

    The Scientological Onion

    Scientology could be described as a "layers of the onion" operation.

    The outermost layer of the "Scientological Onion" is not identifiable with Scientology at all, being composed of front groups that conceal their connection to -and control by - the Scientology organization. Front groups might be said to constitute Layer Zero: a place where the tentacles of Scientology can grope incognito.

    The first layer of the Scientological Onion is meant to be very visible...

    Layer One includes Scientology's pampered clique of celebrities, and various public relations ploys. It reverberates with noble sounding sentiments about creating a better world. Scientology seeks to equate itself, and its founder, with anything broadly viewed as desirable or good. A little further along, this layer would include introductory courses with the stated aim of "knowing oneself" and "being free."

    Here exist the potentially beneficial aspects of the many masked Scientology operation...

    Also, at this much publicized layer, L. Ron Hubbard is presented as an engineer, war hero, nuclear physicist, and the "greatest humanitarian of all time," and the author of "22 best sellers with more to come."

    The "first layer" is what Scientology wishes the outside world to know as Scientology. And it is essentially what new converts to the "movement" believe.

    It includes most of what is good in the subject: The dream of peace on Earth, the desire to help, practical wisdom, civilized communication, and some potentially beneficial counseling procedures. The word freedom is used a great deal at this layer, and a heart felt desire for greater personal freedom, and freedom for all Mankind, is not unusual to new recruits to Scientology.

    (Any inconsistencies or contradictions between the publicly stated aims of the movement, and actual practices or facts, become irrelevant as the individual becomes subject to the Dark Side of Scientology. And the deeper one descends into the "onion" the darker it gets.)

    Descending into the "onion" it is necessary to become a Scientologist. This means thinking like a Scientologist. This is the Second Layer where deception eases into "soft" forms of mind-manipulation. Love of Mankind is modified that the awareness that human beings are mere hapless "Wogs"... The desire to help becomes the desire to recruit. The ideal of practical wisdom, based on logic and science, is superseded by the belief in the unfathomable mystery of the "tech." Indeed one is expected to be in a state of awe regarding the "tech," much in the same manner that a peasant woman might regard piece of bone, said to have belonged to a Saint from centuries past.

    The publicly promoted "policy" of honesty is modified by an awareness that deception is OK, as long as it serves to achieve the desired Scientological end. And the ideals of civility and democracy become a joke - just something that "panty-waists" and wimps fixate on.

    One is slowly being "hatted" as a Scientologist.

    (At this point an - unlucky - new Scientologist may be subjected to heavy handed "hard sell" tactics by a sales person or "registrar." Life savings have been lost, inheritances gobbled up, and lines of credit drained, all in a single arduous evening of "hard sell." This is really a premature taste of Layer Four.)

    The Third Layer down is composed of never ending, expensive, highly advertised, but confidential "upper levels." These go on and on - and on. Scientology has been selling the promise of "Total Freedom" since before most of its current membership were born. It remains the ever elusive "dangling carrot."

    Well known individuals who become involved in Scientology - becoming "Scientology celebrities" - do not go deeper into the Scientological Onion than this.

    They are also spared the abuses that "less valuable" beings may suffer at the hands of Scientology sales people, "Sea Org" recruiters, or "ethics" officers...

    At the upper fringes of the next layer down is local "Org staff," and at the bottom of Layer Four can be found "Sea Org" personnel. This layer employs more pervasive and cruder forms of "persuasion" or "mind control." Here is the "slave labor" supplying Rehabilitation Project Force, the Pavlovian "5 Card System," and the grim but repressed awareness that one is mainly a "post" and a "stat," (i.e. statistic.)

    The Fifth layer down includes intimidation of the mass media, use of lawsuits purely for purposes of harassment, and applications of policies and programs, such as those discovered as a result of the FBI search warrants of July 1977. These materials were made available for public view by Federal court order in 1979 and consist of organized applications of the Fair game Law, and related confidential policies and "tech," designed to illegally gain access to private files, infiltrate, harass, lie about, "sue, trick, lie to, or destroy" anyone perceived as an enemy. At this layer also would be secret bank accounts and financial irregularities.

    Other aspects of this layer would include "blackmail," including threats to publicize personal information obtained during "religious confessionals" (auditing sessions); and the inducement of duress of various kinds - including frivolous lawsuits - to obtain promises of "silence," and to obtain "signed retractions" of earlier statements.

    Here also can be found the handful of individuals who constitute the "Scientology hierarchy": the board of directors of the Religious Technology Center, and its chairman David Miscavige or "DM."

    Layer Number Six appears to be the core of the Onion. It is a very temperamental and secret place.

    Here lie the secrets of L. Ron Hubbard: his bad health, bad habits, undistinguished military service, flunked physics and mathematics classes. Here can be found the actual motivations behind, and sources of, Dianetics and Scientology. Here can be found Mary Sue Hubbard, languishing in prison for crimes committed under her husband's direction, while her husband, in hiding, passes the time writing Science Fiction. Here are all the things you shouldn't know about the founder of the "Science of Knowing How to Know."

    L. Ron Hubbard, Messiah or Madman?, 2nd edition:

    I wonder how many people, if they had had access to a truly comprehensive description of Scientology - good an bad - would have wisely said, "Interesting, but no thanks," to any further involvement with the organization.
  19. clamicide

    clamicide Gold Meritorious Patron

    I wasn't someone who "knew", (b4 my time), but I could see the allure. Seriously. I read Abbie Hoffman during the Reagan years... there is something to feeling the world is against you and it's all a conspiracy and fuck it all...
  20. cooooooooooooool...

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