David Miscavige Syndrome: a thesis (of sorts)

Stan D'Teque

Patron with Honors
Disclaimer: Stan D’Teque is the sock puppet of a disgruntled former Scientologist. Any resemblance to persons real or imagined is a fatuous fantasy on your part. Stan D’Teque advises seeking professional help should symptoms persist. Stan D’Teque insists there is no such thing as Stan D’Teque.

Stan left Scientology in August 2008 and proceeded to get a life. He decided to go to university and study Psychology and learn the real facts about the mind, not the unproven tenets of the quasi-religion that he’d been involved in. Stan has been observing the cult-withdrawal process in himself and others over this time period and humbly, oh so humbly tenders the below in a Gift to Mankind.


Several months ago in a late night conversation with a friend I humorously proposed the existence of a “David Miscavige Syndrome” (hereafter referred to as “DMS”) after we were discussing the obvious foibles of the current management of the Church of Scientology. Recent events have led me to believe that this is a very real mental disorder that exiting members suffer from, previously undiagnosed.


David Miscavige (hereafter referred to as “DM”) is the current leader of the Church of Scientology. Much has been written about him in the media since he rose to prominence following the death of Scientology’s Founder, L. Ron Hubbard, in 1986. DM joined the Church at the age of 14, ceasing his schooling and becoming a member of the Sea Organization at that time. He rose to prominence through the ranks of the Commodore’s Messenger Organization, culminating in what some have reported as a power coup when he and a number of other Messengers wrestled control of the Church from the then-management in the early 1980s.

Many reports since have painted an unflattering picture of the man many current Scientologists firmly believe has saved their religion since the death of the Founder. Allegations of beatings, unlawful inprisonments, psychological torture, coerced abortions, fraud, coercive salesmanship and other abuses are being aired with increasing frequency at DM and his administration by the world’s media. His perceived personality disorders have been widely published by his detractors. These include (but are not conclusively limited to):

Obsessive attention on personal image. This to the point of destruction of one’s own powerbase in order to achieve short-lived glory.

Constant denigration of the efforts of others. Again at the expense of the sustaining organization that one’s power depends on.

Inability to focus on an issue to the point of resolution.

Obsessively passing off another’s achievements as one’s own and refuting anyone else’s contributions as minor, unimportant or downright destructive.

Obsessive use of swear words and sexually denigrating language.

Compulsively gambling on outcomes as well as the more usual form of gambling money.

Compulsively vengeful without any remorse.

A “usurper” personality type who has never been able to create success for themselves but instead uses the success of “friends” to further their own ends and then destroys the “friend.”

Bullying behaviour that quickly fades to cowardice once the bully confronted by the bullied subject.

An obsessive reliance on statistics for measuring any “progress” in any area of life.

To give one example of the latter, a well-known Scientologist I knew well would keep tally of the number of men who expressed some sort of interest in her over the course of a day and would regale me regularly with this. Apparently for her, when her “stats were up” in this area, she was personally doing well. And when her “stats were down,’ she would obsessively cogitate on reasons for this. The assignment of numerical values to these experiences is what I believe sets the Scientologist (and recovering Scientologist as well) apart from others who wouldn’t quantify their experiences into statistics but rather “feel” they were doing well or not. I find myself doing this on remarkably insignificant things like the number of red traffic lights I may encounter in a single journey, and I’ve heard many Scientologists express similar thought to these presented above.

As another example of this, many of the recent “counter-attacks” by the Church’s “OSA” seem to have no obvious strategic or tactical reason for existence except revenge and “getting OSA’s stats up” – only when viewed in that light do the incredibly self-destructive actions done in the name of protection make any sense at all

Irrespective of the validity or accuracy of these charges, I’ve noticed that these traits form a common thread in the behaviour of recovering former Scientologists when they “revert to type” under momentarily overwhelming stress. This is particularly noticeable in those who joined the Sea Org at an early age and spent their formative years within the confines of that organization. A number of personal friends (who I won’t name) fall into this category and recognize many of these traits in themselves and assign the genesis of these traits to their time within the Sea Org. None have ever mentioned that they see the same characteristics in DM, although some have had personal dealings with him and seen examples of his alleged psychosis first-hand. For that matter, I’ve noted that I too can “dramatize” these characteristics when tired and under stress, although I have had little personal contact directly with the man myself. But these behavioural characteristics I’ve noticed have (to use “Scientologese” for a moment) come “down the lines” in the form of increasingly irrational behaviour by executives towards their staffs, who then use this same behaviour towards those under them and so on down to the apparent current point in the chain where even parishioners are being subjected to this behaviour when they refuse to pay over the “required donations” for “Scientology services.” I believe there is an identifiable transference of this syndrome via close-order training within the confines of the cult environment, effecting a viral-like spread of the syndrome eventually throughout the entire cult community.

I’ve also read reports of DM using high-level parishioners directly (these are people who’ve spent a lot of time and money in the Church and have climbed high on the Scientology “Bridge to Total Freedom” but not actually been officially employed by the church) to run his “programs” on parishioners in the same manner that he apparently runs the Church apparatus.

My purpose in presenting this is to bring to the “Ex” community a possibly better understanding of the mechanisms under which they and others struggle as they attempt to regain their place in society after their imposed exile from “normal life” while living within the confines of the scientology paradigm. And consequently more tolerance and compassion, not only for the foible of others, but also themselves. I believe this matter does need proper investigation as, if it is a verifiable syndrome, then the collapse of the Scientology organization will expose a large number of sufferers of DMS to the world and the need for an effective manner of treatment will become paramount. I do believe that this is an affliction peculiar to those who are or have been members of Scientology rather than something that may affect the population as a whole, although some of the above symptoms fit into current classic diagnoses of well-known mental disorders.

I also intend to research this further with the view of possibly using this as part of my ongoing studies, so I’m staking my claim as the originator of the term David Miscavige Syndrome (DMS.) I’m inviting comments from the users of this forum as part of this process. I will not answer any private communications on this matter so please do not PM me about this.

On a personal note, I publish this only in the hope that you the reader will find it useful information that will at least get you questioning whether it is correct. I look forward to seeing the resultant discussion. I do not believe that the majority of above symptoms can be attributed to L. Ron Hubbard so I’ve not named this after him – for a start, Hubbard was no gambler and certainly he managed to create his own wealth and organization.

On a less formal note, I still lurk here but, as a friend of mine once said, life begins when you get one.


Best

Stan (NOT my real name :D)
 

scooter

Gold Meritorious Patron
OK - so, to put this in "Scientologese" as you put it, all scientologists are being turned into DM clones?:ohmy:

I see this in those in the SO for a long period of time. especially if they got in as kids.:yes:

But all of us to some degree?:omg:

Food for thought.
 

Panda Termint

Cabal Of One
Nicely put, Stan. It's good to see that D'Teque obviously still works.

Well, I've often pondered the willingness of scientologists (including myself when I was still-in) to put up with the most blatant and obvious Suppression when it originated from the Upper Echelons of the CofS.

I found it very interesting to examine and analyse my own willingness to "toe the line" even when it seemed quite obviously to be the wrong line. I figured it out for myself but I find your thesis to be quite illuminating.

In my own case, I developed an antidote to DMS that held me in good stead through the hard times; I stopped believing that the Upper Echelons of scientology (or anybody, for that matter) knew more about me (or anybody, for that matter) than I did.

One day I took a large dose of that antidote and here I am.
 
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Feral

Rogue male
Q

Interesting Stan, glad to see you posting again. :)

DM was absolutely determined to take control of the CofS when Hubbard died. He removed and humiliated any one who was a possible competitor.

What he did to each of the direct members of the Hubbard family to take every piece of power he could was Machiavellian. The same happened to Broeker and Prince as well as anyone who had any sympathy for them.

There is a wealth of data exposing this on the web.

I believe after DM destroys the CofS and the dust settles this will be the subject of many texts and will one day be understood as a subset of a psychiatric condition.

DMS could hold the key for man to truly understand tyranny and be finally freed of it.

But for Gad sakes, the man needs treatment urgently! Someone needs to bite the bullet and call the wagon.
 

AnonKat

Crusader
Pathological Narcissism at a Glance
What is NPD?

By Dr Sam Vaknin

An all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behaviour), need for admiration or adulation and lack of empathy,usually beginning by early adulthood and present in various contexts. Five (or more) of the following criteria must be met:

1. Feels grandiose and self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents to the point of lying, demands to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)


2. Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or 2. omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting


3. Firmly convinced that he or she is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people (or institutions)


4. Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation - or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious (narcissistic supply).


5. Feels entitled. Expects unreasonable or special and favourable priority treatment. Demands automatic and full compliance with his or her expectations


6. Is "interpersonally exploitative", i.e., uses others to achieve his or her own ends


7. Devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with or acknowledge the feelings and needs of others


8. Constantly envious of others or believes that they feel the same about him or her


9. Arrogant, haughty behaviours or attitudes coupled with rage when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted.
The language in the criteria above is based on or summarized from:

American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition (DSM IV). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.

http://www.ohno.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/pages/narcissm.htm
 
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AnonKat

Crusader


Obsessive attention on personal image. This to the point of destruction of one’s own powerbase in order to achieve short-lived glory.

Constant denigration of the efforts of others. Again at the expense of the sustaining organization that one’s power depends on.

Inability to focus on an issue to the point of resolution.

Obsessively passing off another’s achievements as one’s own and refuting anyone else’s contributions as minor, unimportant or downright destructive.

Obsessive use of swear words and sexually denigrating language.

Compulsively gambling on outcomes as well as the more usual form of gambling money.

Compulsively vengeful without any remorse.

A “usurper” personality type who has never been able to create success for themselves but instead uses the success of “friends” to further their own ends and then destroys the “friend.”

Bullying behaviour that quickly fades to cowardice once the bully confronted by the bullied subject.

An obsessive reliance on statistics for measuring any “progress” in any area of life.




Hotchkiss's seven deadly sins of narcissism
Hotchkiss[16] identified what she called the seven deadly sins of narcissism:

Shamelessness - Shame is the feeling that lurks beneath all unhealthy narcissism, and the inability to process shame in healthy ways.

Magical thinking - Narcissists see themselves as perfect using distortion and illusion known as magical thinking. They also use projection to dump shame onto others.

Arrogance - A narcissist who is feeling deflated may reinflate by diminishing, debasing, or degrading somebody else.

Envy - A narcissist may secure a sense of superiority in the face of another person's ability by using contempt to minimize the other person.

Entitlement - Narcissists hold unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves uniquely special. Any failure to comply will be considered an attack on their superiority and the perpetrator is considered to be an "awkward" or "difficult" person. Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger narcissistic rage.

Exploitation - can take many forms but always involves the using of others without regards for their feelings or interests. Often the other is in a subservient position where resistance would be difficult or even impossible. Sometimes the subservience is not so much real as assumed.

Bad Boundaries - narcissists do not recognize that they have boundaries and that others are separate and are not extensions of themselves. Others either exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all. Those who provide narcissistic supply to the narcissist will be treated as if they are part of the narcissist and be expected to live up to those expectations. In the mind of a narcissist, there is no boundary between self and other.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissism
 

Smilla

Ordinary Human
The picture you paint is that of a cunning thug such as would be leader of a street gang. Maybe he could go and try for that now that he's been declared. Maybe not a good idea. They'd eat him for breakfast :omg:
 

Stan D'Teque

Patron with Honors
Hotchkiss's seven deadly sins of narcissism
Hotchkiss[16] identified what she called the seven deadly sins of narcissism:

Shamelessness - Shame is the feeling that lurks beneath all unhealthy narcissism, and the inability to process shame in healthy ways.

Magical thinking - Narcissists see themselves as perfect using distortion and illusion known as magical thinking. They also use projection to dump shame onto others.

Arrogance - A narcissist who is feeling deflated may reinflate by diminishing, debasing, or degrading somebody else.

Envy - A narcissist may secure a sense of superiority in the face of another person's ability by using contempt to minimize the other person.

Entitlement - Narcissists hold unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves uniquely special. Any failure to comply will be considered an attack on their superiority and the perpetrator is considered to be an "awkward" or "difficult" person. Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger narcissistic rage.

Exploitation - can take many forms but always involves the using of others without regards for their feelings or interests. Often the other is in a subservient position where resistance would be difficult or even impossible. Sometimes the subservience is not so much real as assumed.

Bad Boundaries - narcissists do not recognize that they have boundaries and that others are separate and are not extensions of themselves. Others either exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all. Those who provide narcissistic supply to the narcissist will be treated as if they are part of the narcissist and be expected to live up to those expectations. In the mind of a narcissist, there is no boundary between self and other.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissism

I have no problem with the classic listing of symptoms like this as they apply to DM.

What I'm saying is that there seems to be a growing number of people associated with Scientology who are becoming afflicted with a syndrome of sorts that goes beyond the boundaries of pure Narcissism. These people are turning into "DM Bots" that the "Independents" on Mark Rathbun's blog and elsewhere refer to. These are the people who are suffering from their association with this cult and they are becoming quite mentally ill from this association. And even those who have physically left are still carrying around the mental residues of their encounters and have this sort of mental affliction still effecting their lives.

I'd prefer some sort of discussion as to whether or not DMS is actually a valid diagnosis from the ESMBers' experience or is it just something best left to late-night chats over a quiet ale? Are there a common set of symptoms that recovering ex-Scientologists recognize in themselves and others? Have I covered this (in an amateurish fashion I admit) or are there indeed more that could be added? I've seen no discussion of this before (or maybe I've missed it if it has been raised somewhere else.)


Best

Stan
 

Cherished

Silver Meritorious Patron
Very interesting, Stan. If valid, we'd be looking at those who were closest to DM in the CoS structure (relatively speaking) and particularly those who were exposed to him from childhood, as being the most likely to exhibit these qualities and to struggle with recovery from these behaviours.

As always, different human beings react differently and not everyone will have succumbed to DMS.
 
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