Cabal Of One
I have been quite overwhelmed by the messages, calls, emails, pms and comments from so many people in response to the posting about the death of my mother.
There is not enough time in the day to respond to each individually, and if I have not responded to you personally, it is not because I didnt appreciate your kind words, support and friendship. I just haven’t been able to get to everything today.
This episode has reminded me just how many friends I have. And despite how it may sometimes seem, the good in this world far outweighs the bad. There are so many decent, caring, loving people — some I have never even met or heard from before — that the accumulation of positive energy steamrolled any negative. I shed more tears of joy and appreciation in reading all the kind words than any grief over loss.
This is truly a very sad moment. I will admit I cried before when I read this on his blog (and I am a man so that's not very common for me). I felt compelled to sincerely state my condolences to Mike Rinder publicly
Though this is a very sad moment, it is also a time of learning. This is what happens when you have a group like Scientology, will such a heavy indoctrinated regime, that has been unchecked for so long. You then add all these factors, such as paranoia and fanaticism, disconnection... It just builds and grows from there. And bottom line, this is the result. It is tragic. And I am sure everyone agrees with me here. Whether you agree with Mike Rinder or not, love him or hate him... that doesn't matter. You would not even wish this on your worst enemy. He did not deserve this.
This needs to stop. This is spreading hate and this organisation is adding to the world's problems, not helping them.
Although this upsets me, logically I know this will get exposed more and more in time. Part of the problem, in my opinion, is people need to be educated. They need to learn how to think critically and review things. Even if it's just online. This would help people to not be sucked into groups like Scientology.
I know I am digressing here, but I think it's important. Because, as we all know there is plenty of information out there already. All you need to do is do a google search, and all the atrocities are there. So we ask: why do people still join? It is like finding a hotel to stay at. You go ONLINE and CHECK THE REVIEWS FIRST! Or at least sometime later when you get home! This is part of the thing with me: it just seems like a common law with humanity. I see people to this day that go to the "Stress Test" tables in my city. Dozens and dozens of them. Yes, it's not a lot of people... but you still see those people that are immersed in conversation with the staff there... and you just gotta wonder to yourself.
I may start another thread on this topic... But to the point, this BS needs to stop. Love, don't hate.
Happy Go Lucky,
Thank you for this post. You bring up a lot of important points here...I've asked myself that question too, why do people still join?
I think fewer and fewer are joining, and as Scientology continues to be excoriated in the media, the numbers of new Scientologists will continue to decline.
I'm ashamed to admit this, but I consider myself pretty well versed in Scientologese (although I've never been a member) and I still have thoughts from time to time - "Should I just take the communication course? A lot of exes said it worked for them, even some of the harshest critics. Maybe I could have an auditing session or two, just to see what's it like? What if there is something I'm missing out on - is there way to get the good stuff without the insanity?" Etc, etc. The commercials they have been putting out lately (and ingeniously attaching to many of the anti-Scientology YouTube postings) are filled with wonder and possibility. If you didn't know what we know, you might think - this shit sounds amazing!
I believe that Scientology attracts a certain type of person that is usually of higher than average intelligence and who may really want to improve her or himself and make positive changes in the world. Many of those brilliant people are on this board. Sometimes I think the reason why Scientology is so crazy is because Hubbard had the right dish, he just had the wrong recipe, and when he realized this, he deluded other into continuing to believe in him using his charisma. (Phillip Seymour Hoffman got this quality very right in "The Master".) He then used violence and coercion to keep them loyal when they began to discover he was a fraud. This gets back to issue of why disconnection - it's necessary to keep the dissenting voices as far away as possible, so Hubbard can keep his followers mesmerized - which, by the way, is what endless hours of auditing, sec checks, creating a new language, working Sea Org members into exhaustion, all help maintain.
As a writer, Hubbard knew to ask the right questions for a spiritual movement: Are we spirits having a human experience? I believe we are. Are there states where a human can achieve a level of consciousness where she may have control over matter, energy, space and time, or could possible go "clear"? Some people believe the enlightened masters like Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed may have done so. This is part of Scientology that I believe appeals to any true seeker. The secrecy around it makes one greedy and eager for its potential truths. The horror is that even when you open one door after another and find nothing there - there are still more doors, leading to subconscious panic that members have to supress in order to survive in the organization, and addictive way of thinking, "maybe the truth is behind this one, if I didn't get it in OT 4, maybe it's on OT 5." Once in the maze, it is hard to escape. And I've spent all this money......
I was thinking the other day, if someone said to me, I've discovered the technology that could make you able to walk on water, heal the sick, raise the dead, you just have to trust me and follow me, I know myself well enough to realize: I'd sign up in a heartbeat and I'd probably pay any price if I could. Some of this might be grandiosity or a desire to be omnipotent, which I'm not proud of. But another part may be motivated by a desire to be the best that I can be, to have the fullest human experience possible, to reach Nirvana, or at least full potential, which I think a lot of us would like to achieve.
Add to that the soul searching and experimentation that happened in the 60's, the heartbreak of Vietnam, the deaths of the Kennedys, Malcolm X and King, and the cynicism and desire to believe in something after Watergate; many of us were vulnerable to an ideology, any ideology, and specifically a confidence man who said, "Look here, I have the answer."
(The only reason why I'm not an ex-Scientologist is because there was enough information out there before someone could bring me in, and I didn't know anyone personally who was one. Otherwise my life might have taken a very different path.)
As long as there are heartbroken and damaged people looking for answers, there will always be someone who can take advantage of them and exploit them. Because of the continued star power of Cruise, Travolta and others, there is still a perception out there - yes, the church has done some bad things, but look at what it's done for these superstars and they haven't left. CoS must be doing something right.
I actually don't believe the "church" will be brought down in the court of public opinion. I think it will be in actual court, lawsuit after lawsuit, poisoning the cult with its own litigious medicine. Still it's important to keep sharing the horror stories we're talking about here. As the public continues to turn on Scientology, more lawsuits will be brought forth and will be newsworthy and will succeed.
But it is hard. I just watched Geir Isene's video interview, and I think it is great and I thank him for it - he is very clear and takes a very strong position against the organization and its behavior. At the same time, he also makes it clear that he got something out of several of the OT levels, starting at OT 1 or 2 and going all the way up to OT 8. He is firm - he doesn't want to become a Scientology robot and be owned by the cult, but he definitely stands behind the technology. That continues to be a very complicated message for ex-Scientologists. What part of Scientology, if any, should be kept?
For someone like me, a testimonial like that is still deeply seductive, because it keep the myth alive, if it is a myth, that there is something there, and that whatever that information is, it is so powerful, CoS has to behave the way they do to protect it. They look like they have money and success and information and to some, no matter what they are accused of, that is enough. I don't know how to solve that problem, but this may answer your question about why people are still curious, still walking through those doors even now...
Fuck it, this is the sum total of the Miscavige 'product' and that of the abject sycophants that worship the malevolent little runt.
I differ with Mike in theology, but I am with him in humanity.
I am astounded that this execrable operation can still have the audacity to call itself a 'Church' and the shamelessness to claim tax free benefits while the society in which it operates has to pay through the nose to clean up the human wreckage it leaves in its wake.
Right now I declare that I will fight by his side for an end to the sick system that describes this cult.
This is to you, Mike. Said in rage against the loathsome abuses the cult enacts and in shame at having participated in the system for the better part of my life.