I'm an ex-jw. I have some questions!

just_lookin

New Member
I am not, nor ever have been, a scientologist. Actually I was raised a JW.

I'm currently trying to learn about other cults and how they compare. I live in Hollywood, so I see the tables set up for "stress tests" and I'm tempted to pass out flyers to potential converts. What information should be in there and what degree of trouble am I likely to find myself in?

One last question. I realize this video was made to poke fun at Scientology. But is it accurate or did they stretch the truth a bit? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urgqYr3ekAg

Thanks!

Kimberly

P.S. If any one is curious about my story, it's posted on an ex-jw forum:
http://exjehovahswitnessforum.yuku.com/topic/7069/t/Growing-up-JW-and-the-eleven-years-since.html
 

Kathy (ImOut)

Gold Meritorious Patron
Welcome, Just Lookin,

I did three years as a JW. About 11 years after that I went and did 19 years with Scn. It was so long ago that I was in JW, I don't know if things changed from when I was in.

I was never baptized. Just could never bring myself to do that. My mother was though. And less than a year before she died, they "disfellowshipped" her. Even though she hadn't been in contact with any JWs in about 5 years or so.

I also wasn't allowed to associate with non-JWs. But in Jr. High, there were only 2 boys at my school from church and they were mean to me. The other boys in school were at least nice to me. And the girls I had been associating with (non-JWs) started beating me up because I wouldn't hang with them - thought I'd gotten "stuck up". Let's just say Jr. high royally sucked.

Thankfully my mom wanted to get laid, more than she wanted to be a JW, otherwise we would have stayed with the JWs.
 

alex

Gold Meritorious Patron
I am not, nor ever have been, a scientologist. Actually I was raised a JW.

I'm currently trying to learn about other cults and how they compare. I live in Hollywood, so I see the tables set up for "stress tests" and I'm tempted to pass out flyers to potential converts. What information should be in there and what degree of trouble am I likely to find myself in?

One last question. I realize this video was made to poke fun at Scientology. But is it accurate or did they stretch the truth a bit? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urgqYr3ekAg

Thanks!

Kimberly


P.S. If any one is curious about my story, it's posted on an ex-jw forum:
http://exjehovahswitnessforum.yuku.com/topic/7069/t/Growing-up-JW-and-the-eleven-years-since.html


Hi Kimberly,

Welcome to the board.

My comment to you as a scientologist would be, why would you want to pass out flyers if you dont already know what they should say?

Dont take this as an attack but as a rhetorical device perhaps to examine your own feelings for the answer to your question.

I have observed much incorrect information circulating about scientology and the south park episode is one example. Yes some of it does convey certain ideas and a story that exist within scientology, but that story is NOT the core belief of scientology. Thus circulating it does make us look silly, but does not address core issues that are truly worthy of examination.

It is as if I were to make fun of JW's for belief in end times and totally miss the concept of witnessing the word of god.

As to trouble you may encounter it is most likely to be in the form of someone getting in your face, if any at all. You have rights to the sidewalk as does everyone else. And Hollywood blvd is a bee hive of law enforcement activity.

alex
 

Pliny Younger

Patron with Honors
I am not, nor ever have been, a scientologist. Actually I was raised a JW.

I'm currently trying to learn about other cults and how they compare. I live in Hollywood, so I see the tables set up for "stress tests" and I'm tempted to pass out flyers to potential converts. What information should be in there and what degree of trouble am I likely to find myself in?

One last question. I realize this video was made to poke fun at Scientology. But is it accurate or did they stretch the truth a bit?

Thanks!

Kimberly

P.S. If any one is curious about my story, it's posted on an ex-jw forum:
http://exjehovahswitnessforum.yuku.com/topic/7069/t/Growing-up-JW-and-the-eleven-years-since.html

The South Park episode is fairly accurate concerning a level in Scn that is confidential to scientologists who have not done the level, so if you mention this to them, they won't know of this story and think you are BSing them.

If they have done that level they cringe.

When you do the SCN level in SCN. It isn't a cartoon, it is a hand written legal size page or two explaining it. The level is known as OT 3.
 

PirateAndBum

Gold Meritorious Patron
Welcome Kimberly! Wow, your story is so very similar to the stories of ex-Scientologists that were raised in a Scientology family. The trap of having you not dare to question your religion, the demand for your contribution of time, many things are similar. http://www.exscientologykids.com/index.html is another resource for you as well.
 

gomorrhan

Gold Meritorious Patron
It also did stretch the truth a bit. The meter doesn't check "thetan levels", so the scenario was absurd. The OT 3 story was accurate to my knowledge. The meter they use measures the resistance of the body across the two electrodes (cans held by the person), which fluctuates. This fluctuation is theorized to be perturbed by having various types of thoughts and emotions. The meter is used to discover areas where the person responds, that might be fruitful to discuss, as an aid in scientology counseling.
 

Voltaire's Child

Fool on the Hill
Right, Kev. Some of the more amusing (though rather smarmy) critical media such as South Park and Radar, after doing oodles of research (and I mean research. I know these guys have spent a great deal of time looking into Scn stuff.) still can't get the terms right? We don't have "thetan levels". Nor do we have "audits" (thank Radar magazine for that one.)

That may sound nitpicky to some- particularly to my detractors- but consider this: many critics and skeptics nitpick about Scn concepts, CofS practices, things individual Scn'ists and Freezoners say/do- constantly.

I actually liked the South Park episode and I even have a subscription to Radar. (Which I obtained before they went out of business then came back). I think that some of the pop critics are hilarious and actually make good observations at times. I just would like to see there be less screwups in the most basic terms when those same terms are being enthusiastically pedaled to readers/viewers. Seems to me that if they want the truth to get out that they can try for some accuracy on the basics.
 

just_lookin

New Member
Thanks for all the responses...

Thanks for all your responses and your kind words regarding my own cultic upbringing.

I admit I don't know much about Scientology. That's why I'm here to learn.

My goal was never to start conflict with current scientologists. Only to stand a few feet back, waiting respectfully for someone to finish the stress test and then offer them a rebuttal in written form. It would be an attempt to raise awareness among the public, especially those who just heard the Scientology sales pitch. But I've heard rumors of how dirty and underhanded the church can be against opposers. So, I was wondering if this would get me in over my head? All opinions welcomed! :)
 

Zinjifar

Silver Meritorious Sponsor
It's unusual that I agree with Alex (well, not all *that* unusual, as long as it's not about Scientology), but here I'd agree with one part.

The first step to criticizing or discussing Scientology with anyone, scientologist or not, is to inform and educate yourself.

So, that's the first step; read the board, check links, such as to http://www.xenu.net etc. and even the Scientology Church's own site.

Once you know more about it, you'll know yourself what specific parts you wish to concentrate on; which flyers to use; what you want to discuss. It comes organically :)

Then, if you're standing by the Stress Test Table with your flyers, you'll actually know something of what you're talking about. Note though; there's little point to discussing Scientology with a Scientologist going about his 'recruiting' function; he won't discuss anything, but merely 'handle' you (as well as he's able; many of the 'body routers' are fairly new and low level Scientologists) or get mad.

The person *taking* the stress test though may be helped by well organized and informed information.

Zinj
 

alex

Gold Meritorious Patron
It's unusual that I agree with Alex (well, not all *that* unusual, as long as it's not about Scientology), but here I'd agree with one part.

The first step to criticizing or discussing Scientology with anyone, scientologist or not, is to inform and educate yourself.

So, that's the first step; read the board, check links, such as to http://www.xenu.net etc. and even the Scientology Church's own site.

Once you know more about it, you'll know yourself what specific parts you wish to concentrate on; which flyers to use; what you want to discuss. It comes organically :)

Then, if you're standing by the Stress Test Table with your flyers, you'll actually know something of what you're talking about. Note though; there's little point to discussing Scientology with a Scientologist going about his 'recruiting' function; he won't discuss anything, but merely 'handle' you (as well as he's able; many of the 'body routers' are fairly new and low level Scientologists) or get mad.

The person *taking* the stress test though may be helped by well organized and informed information.

Zinj

And when you are hanging around the stress test tables, try it yourself just so you know what its about.

(neener, neener zinj!)

alex
 

just_lookin

New Member
I'm sorry. I guess I'm not being specific enough.

The hand-out wouldn't be a rebbutal to the stress test. It would be an over-view of scientology to those who have just finished a stress test, since they have probably just been given a sales pitch, following the stress test. Am I wrong? Isn't the stress test a recruiting effort?

I'm only trying to find a way to counter their recruiting efforts,to discourage the interest of those who are potential converts, before they are indoctrinated. If my suggested method doesn't seem effective, do you have any reccomendations?

I guess the better question is, what do you wish you'd been told before you joined the cult? What would have been the best method to reach you?
 

gomorrhan

Gold Meritorious Patron
I'm not sure if it would have been necessary to "reach me". I wasn't looking to be indoctrinated. If someone had informed me that abreactive therapies existed outside of Dianetics, and that Dianetics was just a name-brand with hyperbolic and fraudulent claims, I would have looked into that. Of course, at that time, finding information about the cult was much more difficult, as it was prior to the advent of the world wide web.

Now, I think all you'd have to do is give the person a card with a web address on it saying "for more information about what dianetics and scientology are about, try using Google"
 

Zinjifar

Silver Meritorious Sponsor
Not wanting to rain on your parade, but, the answer's the same. The best way to counter the recruitment is to be very informed yourself. In a way, individual activism can be more difficult than say, participating in an 'anonymous' protest, where you have the support of others who can pick up the slack when your own knowledge fails. As it does for all of us.

But, can you imagine offering a flyer and discussion to someone taking the 'Stress Test' and not being able to counter the (fairly rudimentary) trained 'handling' of the recruiter? Scientologists aren't stupid and they've heard most of the objections and have canned answers (speak lies and distractions and diversions) to almost all of them.

Yes, the 'Stress Test' is purely a recruiting tool, and, they often attempt to disguise even the Scientology connection, but, that's not to say that they don't have training in it. And, it's their whole purpose. If they don't pull in the 'Raw Meat' they don't get paid even the miserable allowance they may get, so, their motivation is high.

I just wouldn't want to see you in over your head before you know what you're getting in to. Nothing protects against Scientology recruitment like knowledge, and, you have to have it before you can give it.

Zinj
 

Voltaire's Child

Fool on the Hill
Yes, stress tests are a proselytization effort, as are personality tests and book sales.

I guess it depends on how the leaflet would be worded. At that point, the person wouldn't have been told much of anything, so there wouldn't be any points to rebut, but no reason one couldn't pack the leaflet with all kinds of good info.

What I'd have liked to have been told before getting into CofS is the way they treat staff members and the fact that they try and talk people into mortgaging their family's homes and other assets- even when those family members aren't even Scientologists- to buy more and more "bridge".

I think that stuff about the following people or links to their stories would be really good:

Maria Pia Gardini
Raul Lopez
The Woodcraft family
Birgitta Harrington
 

Dulloldfart

Squirrel Extraordinaire
Have a flier that says something like "Google Scientology and then decide for yourself". You don't have to pick a few choice morsels to present. And even a trained Scientologist could have no real answer to that line. He can't really say "You shouldn't believe anything said by anyone not a fanatic Scientologist."

Paul
 

just_lookin

New Member
Thank you!

All good advice. I am here to learn! :)

I like the "google 'scientology' and decide for yourself" method. Short and sweet. Just the right pace for Hollywood/Highland where handouts are in abundance. I'm definately not looking for confrontation.

Do you think I might find myself getting into trouble with the CofS for doing this?
 

Voltaire's Child

Fool on the Hill
Well, they won't like it and they may try to give you a bad time. (not being sarcastic here)...you may want to wear one of those V for vendetta masks the anons wear and don't park nearby. I am NOT trying to scare or upset you. I'm just sayin', don't give the cult any ammo...
 
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