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After Scientology - Getting Over the Shame and the Guilt

Discussion in 'Life After Scientology' started by Gottabrain, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. Caroline

    Caroline Patron Meritorious

    You are welcome of course, sallydannce. I'm grateful for the chance to participate in this discussion, and for the interest some thinking folk have in the shame of it all. Also for your courage in telling your story with such generosity and detail. I had read part of it, but didn't realize until today how much you've shared regarding your awareness and experience of shame. Your journey is worthy, and your telling it is an inspiration to many.

    You posted about the experience of deep shame, while driving, and being torn up and grief stricken. I'm thinking you could have had a great blessing. It would be a shame if it was otherwise.
  2. sallydannce

    sallydannce Gold Meritorious Patron

    Thank you Caroline. :)

    The shifts in my perspective have been quite spectacular. I am working on some further writing about how scientology inflicted shame deeply into my life, my core.

    In many ways I wish my experience with how scientology infected me with shame was "unique" and "only me" but my gut tells me this is far from the reality. Furthermore as I am laying out all the pieces - the manipulation techniques, the various methods used in scientology - the conclusion I am reaching is that the system is based on inducing shame. You can break someone that way - and control them.

    The scientology system seems to juggle between guilt-inducement and shame-inducement. The former (feelings of guilt) appears to motivate people to reach harder and more for the "fix" of the tech. The latter (shame) seems to create the isolating barrier between the individual and the outside world. It seems to create deep defensive thought patterns that keep the person hooked into (addicted) to scientology.

    Perhaps it is shame that holds the "mind-control tunnel walls" around the individual. I haven't worked this all out yet.

    What I can see is if all the shame-inducing tactics were removed from the scientology methods I would not have been so plugged in/addicted and have stayed for all those years.

    And this new insight is bringing me great comfort, laughter and a fresh perspective. :)
  3. Sautez

    Sautez Patron with Honors

    :heartflower:Uniquemand: Thanks for this-

    'At any rate, your mileage may vary, but don't give up on helping, loving and caring for other people, our civilization or any other objectives just because Scientology is a cult and you feel betrayed, stupid or whatever as a result of being involved. That's like giving up building your house because you banged your thumb with a hammer (repeatedly).'

    This thread has been great for stirring the pot and pointing towards resolution for me.
    New feelings came up for me about the same time this thread was started by Sallydannce and it has been a revelation in many ways due to what a lot of you have shared here.

    Thanks! Momentarily interrupted by something good at my door so I will come back later.
  4. sallydannce

    sallydannce Gold Meritorious Patron


    Stir that pot, shift perspective - healing, connection, love.

    Smiling right at ya! :)
  5. Man de la Mancha

    Man de la Mancha Patron with Honors

    That would be awesome. The Friday night O/W bonfires in LA Org parking lot, or Clearwater Beach. It would also be a cool way of symbolically letting go of any baggage related to the Oh-Dubs.
  6. uniquemand

    uniquemand Unbeliever

    I didn't mean to infer that a person should avoid experiencing shame or guilt that follows actions or thinking about actions. I simply meant that they can be very "sticky" emotions, and that people can obsess about their shame or guilt to the point of exclusion of enjoyment of their lives or otherwise distort who they are. I see emotions very much as indications from our internal compass about whether we are on a good, constructive course or not, from our own perspective. If the compass itself gets jammed, though, and constantly emits indications that are no longer relevant... it becomes fairly useless as a direction finder!
  7. Caroline

    Caroline Patron Meritorious

    Thank you, uniquemand. I agree with you that people can obsess about shame and guilt. People have the option of obsessing about just about anything, to the exclusion of other things, including enjoyment.

    I'm not sure that people can distort who they are. The Scientologists sell the idea that we can, but that is doubtlessly false sales. People can certainly distort who or what they think or believe they are. And that's all that the Scientologists are delivering.

    Recent ESMB discussions provoked a look into the wealth of scientific research on shame, guilt, etc., in developmental stages and social settings. The application of this research to the Scientology brainwash is very encouraging to me. I feel hopeful that the Scientologists use of these and other human emotions to trap and manipulate people for unworthy purposes can be laid bare. Hopefully too this will help free people from their quandaries relating to the guilt and shame Scientology and Scientologists generate in them.

    I also think that psychological researchers have a tremendous opportunity to increase our human understanding of shame and guilt by studying the Scientology system in personal and transpersonal contexts. What exciting research that would be!
  8. Caroline

    Caroline Patron Meritorious

    I agree with you wholeheartedly on this, sallydannce. I think it can be shown how, in service of Scientology's leaders, its system and personnel both induce shame and suppress it. The SP doctrine seeks to install shame by beastifying us with black PR, by disconnecting us from our families, and by other punishments for actions that do not warrant punishment or shame. The same doctrine provides justification for Scientologists to suppress or deny their shame for antisocial actions they must perpetrate on people like us, who tell the truth about Hubbard and Scientology.

    Wonderful! :) I'm looking forward to reading more of your thoughts on this important topic.

    Here's a fascinating quote from a 2003 journal article "The Role of the Self in Shame" by Michael Lewis. Lewis places shame as the "counterpoint" of hubris. Some examples of hubris that Scientology induces are inherent in their claimed results: "Clear," "Cause over Life," "Cause over Matter, Energy, Space and Time," "Power on all 8 dynamics," "Operating Thetan."

  9. Alle G

    Alle G Patron with Honors

    Re cult indoctrination video post 73
    How can such crude techniques work?

    I noticed that former cult members tend to describe only external events when talking about their conversion, similar to that video. There is no in-depth analysis, so outsiders can’t understand what is really going on.

    For example, Steve Hassan’s story about his own recruitment into the Moonies does not make sense. He is young and vulnerable, goes on a 3 day retreat, is lectured, love bombed and sleep deprived. He goes on the second retreat and a short time after he believes that Moon is a Messiah bigger than Jesus, and he starts fundraising and recruiting on the streets. His purpose in life now is to serve Moon. How is it possible?

    Scientologists’ stories are similar, only external events are described. Someone young reads Dianetics, takes a communication course, perhaps gets some auditing, believes a few lies about scientific research. Then after a short while he believes that Hubbard knew what happened trillions and trillions years ago and that Hubbard is the only one who knows how the Universe works. This does not add up.:confused2:

    There has to be more to it to produce a worldview shift. Where can I read about how people become true believers and what do they get out of it?
  10. Caroline

    Caroline Patron Meritorious

    I don't know much about how other cults lure people in, Alle G, but Hubbard's material on dissemination tech is the procedural basis in Scientology. It's a bait and switch operation in which Scientology disseminators seek out people with problems, and exploit their vulnerabilities.

    By various means (OCA tests, E-Meter stress tests, etc.), disseminators get their marks to open up and discuss their areas of life difficulties. They zero in what seems to be the central concern with the person. Examples: failed relationships, trouble talking to girls, career problems, etc. Disseminators drive home these troubles, getting their marks to admit that [x] is literally ruining their lives, or would ruin them if they weren't solved. The goal is to sell Scientology as the solution or benefit.

    Being in "ruin" is a terrible experience. The shame for me was virtually unbearable, and in that broken state, I took the only "honourable" route out, which was to pay the cult money for the books and the Comm course.

    Here are a couple of OCMB discussions on this topic:
    Personality Test Experience

    More on the tragic death in Norway

    Hubbard's Motivations

    Some Scientology material on Dissemination:
    Luring them in

    Testing Practices
  11. Alle G

    Alle G Patron with Honors

    Thanks Caroline

    I find ESMB the most interesting blog ever. I have been reading it for months now, it requires some preparation from outsiders to understand what people are talking about.

    But trying to understand you (plural) I understand lots of other things about human mind. Ex scientologists seem to know a lot and are highly interesting and intelligent people. (Compare to martial arts blogs: they can't even maintain a thread for three comments without going off :p)

    Last edited: Sep 8, 2012
  12. Alle G

    Alle G Patron with Honors

    Also, in Paradise, when Adam and Eve ate the apple and acquired consciousness, the first emotion they felt was shame that they are naked.:omg:

  13. Ogsonofgroo

    Ogsonofgroo Crusader


    And you know this because... you were there? :p



    (oh, and :welcome: too newbie Alle)
  14. Infinite

    Infinite Troublesome Internet Fringe Dweller

    Whew! In his promotion of "survival" and salvation, L Ron Hubbard certainly provided nightmares as well as illusions of the fantastic. Of course, all good cult leaders apply sophisticated "carrot and stick" manipulation but your post provides a glimpse at the sort of personal, internal thinking which results from it. Thank you.

    L Ron Hubbard's mental-image-picture of Body Thetans seems often to be the exact opposite of many I have found on my own, meandering, spiritual journey. The imagination I like best is that the components of the MEST Universe are, indeed, made up of the physical bodies of spiritual beings, but that these beings have no need for a physical presence so have gifted their bodies to create MEST so as to provide other spiritual beings, like you and me, with a human experience. Hope that makes sense and might help reframe the larger concept in a new, more positive light. When I found it, I was filled with a new wonder for Nature and an impulse to protect the environment as a sign of respect to the spiritual. And myself.
  15. Caroline

    Caroline Patron Meritorious

    The following passage contains the perfect example of Hubbard's personal generation of shame in another, here a mere bill collector. This well-known indoctrination material is studied on Academy Level II.

    Hubbard also flaunts his hubris, which I noted a few days ago that researchers had called shame's "counterpoint." "The only evil thing we are doing is to be good," "helping people everywhere," doing something to us is "all out of proportion to" what's done to mere ungood, unhelpful wogs.

    He really was vilifying people who were telling the truth about him and Scientology, not people who were libeling and slandering them. He was magnifying the "wrongs" done to Scientology and himself, in order to beastify the truth tellers and justify their beastification.

    This bit from the bulletin is also instructive about Hubbard's double-curve tech.

    Hubbard dated his "Blow-Offs" bulletin, which he also issued as a policy letter, December 31, 1959. Happy New Year everybody! On December 23, Hubbard published a very famous and BPI bulletin, "Responsibility." Merry Christmas everyone! The biggest blow of all time, L. Ron Hubbard, Jr., had left on November 23, 1959 (according the Nibs). Happy Thanksgiving, Dad!

    Also note Hubbard's super-hubristic boast that he kept a death list that he was happy to show to Scientologists who wanted to see it. That's a message for his son. And it's been a message ever since for everyone else as well.

    I am beginning to see that the Scientologists are stuck in hubris toward the SP class, as unable as Hubbard to experience shame to get unstuck.

  16. sallydannce

    sallydannce Gold Meritorious Patron

  17. Free Being Me

    Free Being Me Crusader

    Wow, what a beautiful thread! Thank you! This is an important part of cult recovery and what's more, is applicable throughout any part of one's life. :grouphug:
  18. Xenu's Boyfriend

    Xenu's Boyfriend Silver Meritorious Patron

    I just want to say thank you so much for posting these. I'd never heard of her before, and I watched them both, and I'm going to read her books. I really needed these today.
  19. I didn't watch the videos.

    I feel so guilty about that.

    The Anabaptist Jacques
  20. SchwimmelPuckel

    SchwimmelPuckel Genuine Meatball

    Hmm.. Bible says so? - I'd have expected 'em to feel delightfully naughty... :unsure: After all, they couldn't have read the Bible yet.