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MainStream Society's Humiliation of Minority Spiritual and Religious Pursuits

Discussion in 'Life After Scientology' started by Alanzo, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. Alanzo

    Alanzo Bardo Tulpa

    I had an interesting talk with a never in today on the OPEN Facebook group called SCIENTOLOGY DEPROGRAMMING.

    Philip Fairbanks

    I was never in Scientology but after years of reading Campbell, Jung and countless NLP books from Structure of Magic on I realized the insidious nature of the CULT is that theres a baby in the bathwater.

    I fell for Thelema and after a weird experience I couldn't explain spent years studying and trying to do the rituals. To this day though I want nothing to do with Crowley, Thelema or any orgs of which thankfully I was never a member, but there were parts of the (like Hubbard's, culled together from dozens of mysticisms before) practices that seemed to work.

    As to deciding where the baby is in the bathwater or if a partially faulty set of "principles" cobbled together from other spiritualist hoaxers like Crowley for instance, can be practiced safely independent of the primary cult, as Mueller would say: I cant speak to that.
    One of the most insidious aspects of having been in #Scientology is the stigma mainstream society places on Exes for having found a "baby" in the bathwater at all.

    Most Exes under this mainstream humiliation will deny that there was ever a baby in the first place - just to show that they are not "brainwashed" any more, and mainstream society can accept them again.
    This is a social pressure from mainstream society down onto members and former members of minority religious and spiritual pursuits. It's easy to see if you take an example outside of Scientology.

    Egypt, for example, has a mainstream society that is primarily Islamic. But there have been a small group of Christians in Alexandria and Cairo for 2000 years called the Coptics.

    Mainstream Egyptians need an explanation for why these people rejected the mainstream and chose to be Christian instead. So they say they did not choose at all - they were brainwashed or hypnotized or deceived into having beliefs that do not conform to theirs.

    This social pressure from mainstream society is rarely talked about any more among Ex "cult" members. The anticult movement beliefs of blaming the brainwashing dominate the worldviews of Exes now, and punishes them for rejecting mainstream religion and daring to find an alternative.

    Exes now are pressured to forget the "baby" they knew in Scientology, which was the reason they willingly and intentionally chose, every day, to be a Scientologist.

    When that baby disappeared, or if they no longer needed that baby, they left Scientology. And then they had to apologize to everybody in mainstream society for why they did what they did. "I was brainwashed" is an easy, and very self-destructive, way of explaining yourself so you can be acceptable again.

    What if Exes stopped apologizing for themselves?

    What if they valued the lessons they learned and recognized that getting out of a cult was not something to recover from, but something that they were strengthened by?


    Philip Fairbanks
    I'm sure it's different depending on the individual and in some cases maybe best to just make a clean break. Though I was never in a cult I've found in studying them the tactics employed are the same as a few abusive sexes. There are, for instance, certain movies or songs I cant, rather wont listen to because it brings back all of that trauma. It'd be healthier maybe if i just faced it but I have to recover at my speed. So I can respect and empathize with folks regardless what line they're on.
    Philip Fairbanks Some of the most abusive and fanatical people in Scientology, such as Mike Rinder and Chris Shelton, need to blame the brainwashing for how they acted while in the cult.

    But if you never harmed anyone in #Scientology, and never would - which is 99.9% of the people who were involved - you don't need to apologize, or to blame something else for why you were in Scientology.
    A person can be made to believe that they experienced trauma, or to re-interpret their experiences as trauma. They can build up a kind of socially constructed nightmare and tell themselves continually that they were traumatized - simply because they believed something different from the mainstream.

    Rachel Bernstein, the cult counselor says that "every day you spend in a cult causes damage."

    No it doesn't.


    This is simply saying that there are more productive and constructive (and more true) alternatives to explain to yourself why you were in a "cult" than the anticult movement belief system allows.
  2. I told you I was trouble

    I told you I was trouble Suspended animation

    I agree with your thoughts in the main @Alanzo.

    It isn't true however that real and lasting damage is not done to many. I'm thinking specifically of those who had their family relationships fracture, often to the point of no return ... but who knows, they may have shattered anyway with or without cult involvement, family relationships can be fraught with negativity and are known to be hard work even in the best of them.

    The cult made a lot of things far more difficult than they needed to be though and no provision was ever made for individual personalities to express their true and emerging selves ... and that matters and damages.

    The tone scale is nonsense. I'm basically an introvert ... I like order and calm and I don't enjoy being in a large group of people very much, it exhausts me. I'm happier working by myself or just with a few people that I know are competent ... I'm one of those weirdos who love nothing more than spending time alone with my dogs and am THRILLED when pre-arranged plans, that involved me having to be with people (even though I may love them) get cancelled, lol. You can imagine what being in the SO would have done to me had I stayed there for longer than I did and I know there are many people just like me who have stayed there for decades often because they felt they couldn't escape ... and they may be forever damaged by that experience.

    Extroverts would suffer while in the cult too because they are basically chained (mentally, physically and spiritually) from the very moment they become part of the charade, perhaps they recover faster when they get out though and end up stronger as a result?

    We are all different.

    I am not you.


    I just wanted to flick it all from my life as fast as I could and regain my true self ... luckily it didn't take me very long to do that once I committed to leaving and I believe I'm as strong now (and definitely the happiest) as I have ever been and that overall it did me no real harm ... apart from the family damage done (permanent) and financially ... both of which I can live with because I choose to and am not willing to let the rest of my life be ruined by the past.


    Edit: So ... what are your thoughts on scientology using hypnotism to entrap?
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
    Wilbur and DonkeyOT like this.
  3. Alanzo

    Alanzo Bardo Tulpa

    What you bring up is true, ITYIWT.

    But there is a different way to frame this discussion.

    Mainstream Cultures vs Sub Cultures. Mainstream society vs minority religions.

    If those dynamics are never acknowledged, then I think the importance of the factors you mentioned can become skewed. I think an Ex can lose perspective and begin to blow things out of proportion for himself.

    As for Hubbard's covert use of hypnosis in TRs and auditing, that is very clear. The problem is how POWERFUL hypnosis actually is. Have you seen any scientific studies where when hypnosis was used on a person it worked to make them do things against their own self-interests?

    Hubbard definitely believed in the POWER of hypnosis and brainwashing. But he also believed in pyschs from the planet Farsec.

    Lots of people believe in brainwashing. But lots of people believe in witchcraft too.

    The problem is, just like with witchcraft, when ever science has studied brainwashing it has been found to have no (or very little) power to get anyone to do what you want them to do against their will. None of the 40 subjects in Lifton's study (from Thought Reform & the Psychology of Totalism) became communists, for example.

    So that's why I am saying that there is a different framework that can describe what we experienced before and after Scientology in a much more accurate way. And using that framework can provide answers that are much more constructive and true.
  4. I told you I was trouble

    I told you I was trouble Suspended animation

    I'm not entirely sure what you mean (regarding a different framework for the discussion) but I know I wasnt hypnotised while in scientology.

    I'd be interested to hear your thoughts though, not so much for myself because as I mentioned I'm quite happy with my situation and feel content with the way my life has turned out but others may find a different framework useful.
  5. Alanzo

    Alanzo Bardo Tulpa

    Oh yes, absolutely ITYIWT, this is only what happened to me. It probably doesn't apply to anyone else.

    But I do know one thing: if you do explain your own decision-making while in Scientology with "I was brainwashed" or "I was hypnotized", then that's the most simplistic explanation ever for why you decided the way you did. It leads to almost no insight.

    In fact, explaining yourself by saying "I was hypnotized" blinds you to your own decision making process.

    It's simply not nuanced or accurate enough to be helpful.

    If it was true, that would be one thing.

    But it's not even true.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
  6. Alanzo

    Alanzo Bardo Tulpa

    You may not want to say, and I'd understand that.

    But if you don't use the "I was hypnotized" explanation for your decision-making in Scientology, how do you explain it, ITYIWT?
  7. Churchill

    Churchill Gold Meritorious Patron

    The Facebook page “Scientology Deprogramming” is an incendiary open air cesspool of disgusting ad hominem attacks against Tony Ortega, Leah Remini, Karen de la Carrierre, and other good people.
    Alanzo just provides the matches and gasoline.

    Alanzo attempted, unsuccessfully, to join the Supporters of Leah Remini Facebook group under the false pretense of being a fan of The Aftermath, and when his sincerity in this regard was challenged, (he is most decidedly NOT a fan) he quickly changed the subject to criticizing Tony Ortega. He is a troll and a shit stirrer.
    My condolences to ESMB...
  8. Alanzo

    Alanzo Bardo Tulpa

    Churchill wrote:


    Don't crap your pants, grandpa.

    Just talkin about stuff.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
  9. pineapple

    pineapple Silver Meritorious Patron

    Andrew Salter mentions several studies showing hypnotic subjects could be made to act against their own self-interest in his book "What Is Hypnosis?"

    Salter acts against self-interest.png

    Read or download the book here. Also available on amazon.
    Infinite likes this.
  10. Alanzo

    Alanzo Bardo Tulpa

  11. pineapple

    pineapple Silver Meritorious Patron

    Lifton interviewed his subjects after they had been freed by the Red Chinese and returned to Hong Kong, then under British control. They'd left the communist environment so the brainwashing was beginning to wear off, just as scn's does when you leave the scn environment. The brainwashing they received very clearly did have an effect on them, though.

    I'd refer you to the case of Dr. Vincent in Chapter 3 of Lifton's book. One of the first questions he asked Lifton was, "Are you standing on the people's side or the imperialists' side?" So he was clearly still thinking with a communist vocabulary.
  12. Alanzo

    Alanzo Bardo Tulpa

    Have you ever heard of Dick Anthony?

    He was a psychologist who, in the 80's and 90's, acted as an expert witness in court against de programmers who were arguing that cult members, because they were brainwashed, had lost the capacity to think for themselves. That's why kidnapping them shouldn't be considered a felony.

    Dick Anthony wiped the floor with these guys in court. Here's an excerpt from him discussing their use of Lifton's book as a series of justifications for their arguments - under the rules of evidence - in court.

    The reason I keep mentioning "court" and "rules of evidence" is because once the Internet arose, all these guys like Singer and her acolytes like Hassan moved to the Internet to gain recruits - where no rules of evidence applied.

    They've flourished in this Internet environment among Exes - I think to the detriment of Exes of all minority religions.

    The problem is that Exes do not know that these arguments were earlier obliterated in court. Fully discredited.

    Here's a small section of Antony's take-down.

    "For some reason, the God and Jesus of the AntiCult Movement is Lifton and Schein. Everything Anti-Cultists write about, and testify in court over, is supported by Lifton and Schein – even if it isn’t.'
    "In Dick Anthony’s 100 page chapter in Zablocki’s book, called “TACTICAL AMBIGUITY AND BRAINWASHING FORMULATIONS: SCIENCE OR PSEUDO-SCIENCE?” Anthony shows how Zablocki, Ofshe, Margaret Singer and others who refer to Lifton & Schein for the proof of their belief system – actually get Lifton & Schein wrong!​

    "Here’s 8 clear examples Anthony gave – in Zablocki’s own book!​

    “As we have shown, the CIA brainwashing model which had been disconfirmed by the CIA research program, as well as by the research of Lifton, Schein, and others, provides the actual theoretical foundation for all statements of brainwashing theory including cultic brainwashing formulations such as Zablocki’s.’​

    “Consequently, his cultic brainwashing theory, like the earlier statements of this theory, such as those of Singer and Ofshe, is contradicted by its own claimed theoretical foundation, that is the research of Schein and Lifton. My 1990 article demonstrated that eight variables differentiate Singer’s and Ofshe’s brainwashing theory from Schein’s and Lifton’s research. ”​

    “The present chapter has demonstrated the same set of conflicts between Zablocki’s approach and generally accepted research on Communist thought reform as characteristic of the Ofshe-Singer formulation.”​

    “As I have shown above, the research of Schein and Lifton on Westerners in thought reform prisons, upon which Zablocki claims to base his brainwashing formulation, confirmed and extended Hinkle’s and Wolff’s earlier findings. As I argued in my 1990 article, their research on Communist forceful indoctrination practices disconfirmed the CIA model with respect to eight variables:’​

    1 Conversion. None of Schein’s and Lifton’s subjects became committed to Communist worldviews as a result of the thought reform program. Only two of Lifton’s forty subjects and only one or two of Schein’s fifteen subjects emerged from the thought reform process expressing some sympathy for Communism, with neither of them actually becoming Communists. In the remaining subjects, Communist coercive persuasion produced behavioural compliance but not increased belief in Communist ideology (Lifton 1961:117,248-9; Schein 1958: 332,1961:157-66,1973: 295).​

    2 Predisposing motives. Those subjects who were at all influenced by Communist indoctrination practices were predisposed to be so before they were subjected to them (Lifton 1961:130; Schein 1961: 104-10,140-56 1973: 295).​

    3 Physical coercion. Communist indoctrination practices produced involuntary influence only in that subjects were forced to participate in them through extreme physical coercion (Lifton 1961:13,1976: 327-8; Schein 1959: 437,33 1961:125-7).​

    4 Continuity with normal social influence. The non-physical techniques of influence utilized in Communist thought reform are common in normal social influence situations and are not distinctively coercive. (Lifton 1961: 438-61; Schein 1961: 269-82,1962: 90-7,1964: 331-51).​

    5 Conditioning. No distinctive conditioning procedures were utilized in Communist coercive persuasion (Schein 1959: 437-8,1973: 284-5; Biderman 1962: 550).​

    6 Psychophysiological stress/debilitation. The extreme physically-based stress and debilitation to which imprisoned thought reform victims were subjected did not cause involuntary commitment to Communist worldviews (Hinkle and Wolff 1956; Lifton: 117, 248-9; Schein 1958: 332,1961:157-66,1973: 295). Moreover, no comparable practices are present in new religious movements (Anthony 1990: 309-11).​

    7 Deception/defective thought. Victims of Communist thought reform did not become committed to Communism as a result of deception or defective thought (Schein 1961: 202-3,238-9).​

    8 Dissociation/hypnosis/suggestibility Those subjected to thought reform did not become hyper-suggestible as a result of altered states of consciousness; for example, hypnosis, dissociation, disorientation, and so on (Schein 1959: 457; Biderman 1962: 550)-​

    "This is just one devastating take down of the anti-cult belief system of cult brainwashing in Dick Anthony’s 100 page chapter in that book."
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
  13. I told you I was trouble

    I told you I was trouble Suspended animation

    Well, I believe it may be true for some people but it isn't true for me.

    I don't explain it ... I don't feel the need to, but if pushed I'd probably say that the whole (cult) relationship was akin to that of a bad marriage which included elements of domestic violence.

    Where are you going with this though?

    You mentioned using a different framework for the discussion but from where I stand we each see things from our own vastly different viewpoints based on personal attitudes and issues and I feel no need to try and encourage people to start viewing them from mine. I didn't join ESMB to do that. Of course I'm very happy to discuss, chat and laugh about the cult connection and it's many tangled webs (that is after all what ESMB is about) but I've never felt the need to explain myself nor would I expect others to do so.
    Me and My Self likes this.
  14. pineapple

    pineapple Silver Meritorious Patron

    Patty Hearst ...
  15. Type4_PTS

    Type4_PTS Diamond Invictus SP

    Just for the record, I couldn't agree more with Churchill's post above. :D

    But during the time you still are here I'll respond to some things as I have time.

    With regards to the part of your post I quoted, we can't really know at this time what's been found through science on the subject of brainwashing. Much of the research on brainwashing has been done by governments and was classified. While some of the MK ULTRA files have been declassified, many others were conveniently destroyed, and we may never know the full truth about what was discovered during that program.

    As far as the state of the science that has been published I would say that much more research would have to be done on the subject before you can draw any type of conclusions as to the efficacy of various types of brainwashing.

    Fortunately for the CoS though, even if brainwashing is found to be ineffective there are other ways to control their members.

    LRH said:
    “The only way you can control a people is to lie to them.”
    I would have to disagree with him on this point, although lying to them, indoctrinating them in a false reality, does seem to be an exceptionally effective method to control people, but not the only method.

    Also effective is threatening their eternity, threatening to disconnect them from their family, friends, customers, etc,
    Threatening to revoke certificates. Threatening to fair game people.

    When I've got time I'll respond to many other things you wrote.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
  16. Me and My Self

    Me and My Self Self-born, Autogamous Unicorn

  17. Enthetan

    Enthetan Master of Disaster

    The hypnotic aspect is just one facet in the controlling whole.

    The constant psychological abuse can lead to a condition of "learned helplessness", similar to what sometimes happens in domestic violence cases. Likewise the blackmail ("give us money or we will reveal what a nasty person you are. We have your session secrets"), extortion ("if you don't shape up, we can make your entire family disconnect from you"), etc.

    Scientology "Ethics" makes up a big part of the control mechanism.
    Type4_PTS likes this.
  18. Alanzo

    Alanzo Bardo Tulpa

    There have been lots of studies, all public, all find "brainwashing" has little to no power to get someone to work against their will.

    "NRM’s did indeed devote tremendous energy to outreach and persuasion, but they employed conventional methods and enjoyed very limited success. By the mid-1980s, researchers had so thoroughly discredited “brainwashing” theories that both the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion and the American Sociological Association agreed to add their names to an amicus brief denouncing the theory in court (Richardson 1991). The brainwashing myth collapsed under the weight of numerous case studies.'

    "One of the most comprehensive and influential studies was The Making of a Moonie: Choice or Brainwashing? by Eileen Barker (1984). Barker could find no evidence that Moonie recruits were ever kidnapped, confined, or coerced. Participants at Moonie retreats were not deprived of sleep; the lectures were not “trance-inducing”; and there was not much chanting, no drugs or alcohol, and little that could be termed “frenzy” or “ecstatic” experience. People were free to leave, and leave they did."

    "Barker’s extensive enumerations showed that among the recruits who went so far as to attend two-day retreats (claimed to be Moonie’s most effective means of “brainwashing”), fewer than 25% joined the group for more than a week and only 5% remained full-time members one year later. And, of course, most contacts dropped out before attending a retreat. Of all those who visited a Moonie centre at least once, not one in two-hundred remained in the movement two years later. With failure rates exceeding 99.5%, it comes as no surprise that full-time Moonie membership in the U.S. never exceeded a few thousand. And this was one of the most successful New Religious Movements of the era! When researchers began checking (as opposed to merely repeating) the numbers claimed by leaders, defectors, and journalists, they found similarly low retention rates in nearly all “cults.”

    I personally witnessed these rates of failure for the "brainwashing" that Scientology employs in Scientology missions as an ED and Course Sup for 7.5 years. Chris Shelton saw these failure rates as a course sup in Santa Barbara, as well.

    So the question becomes, if something like brainwashing has this little POWER, does something like brainwashing actually exist?

    I say no. It's a superstition, a belief only.

    And it's part of the belief system of the Anti-Cult Movement.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
  19. Enthetan

    Enthetan Master of Disaster

    A close high school friend got involved with the Moonies. His parents got him away from them for a while. I had a chance to chat with him. He was not the same person I knew before. I observed him to be in a weird, almost trance-like state when I talked to him, muttering about "the Satanic Will"
  20. Alanzo

    Alanzo Bardo Tulpa

    Could it be possible that this didn't mean he was "brainwashed"?

    Could he simply have adopted different beliefs from yours, and you found him weird since he had adopted them, and you used the anticult movement belief system to interpret what you saw as "brainwashing"?

    People used to see witches, too.

    I'm not trying to be insulting, Enthetan. I'm just saying that, just like Scientology, once you start scrutinizing the ideas in Anti-Scientology, those beliefs start falling apart too.