Patron with Honors
Thank you so much for writing it!
I know that you're not looking for agreement or sympathy but I just have to say that what you've described strikes me as a horror story, you're a brave soul in my estimation and kudos to you for surviving it!
Your story has already helped people finally make up their minds about the actual intentions and activities of the CofS. It will undoubtedly help many more who read it here on ESMB in the future. Thank YOU.
This, to me, is normal. I don't for a moment think that everything in scn is crap.
As an Auditor you have seen the wins of PCs and know that certain things are achievable with scn. It's the way these things are used by the CofS in their game of greed and manipulation that I revile.
My current favourite analogy is to liken scn to a "Spiritual Poker/Slot Machine"!
Yes, it pays off every now and then, usually just enough to keep you pumping in the coins and coming back for more.
Every now and then it pays off big-time and you jump for joy at your good fortune... if only you could simply walk away.
Most gambling addicts would readily identify with the CofS operation; the only real winner is the House and they'll take you for everything you've got. With the CofS, it's always a case of "Your Money or your Life" as the old Highwaymen used to demand of their victims.
Of course, the old Highwaymen of yore were much more honest and upfront, at least you knew you were being robbed.
Great point Panda, I actually had a cog after reading this. You see I have been studying some Psychology since leaving (because I am an SP ) and this rang a bell. That people continue to stay involved in Scientology is actually explained quite well by some work by Pavlov and others. The below comes from an article I just read; I modified it a little to make it shorter and more readable. It may help answer some questions as to why we all stayed in the Church longer than we should have. Of course if you are utterly convinced that psychology is evil and false, then just skip it and stay ignorant...
Experiments were done on "Behaviorism"; one of the early observations was that a behavior that was consistently rewarded was acquired very rapidly. But that once the rewards stopped, so did the behavior. But if the behavior, once established, was rewarded every second, third or fourth time, it took longer to extinguish that behavior. It was as if the animal "became used to having to work harder for the reward." And if you put the reward on an entirely random schedule, so that the animal could not know when the reward would be received but only that if it persisted long enough, it would eventually receive a reward, then the behavior became almost impossible to extinguish.
Does this sound familiar to you? Are you thinking of Las Vegas and Slot Machines? Or how many of you will walk by a vending machine and, if no one is looking, will put your finger into the coin return slot? Random, intermittent rewards are one of the most potent reinforcers of behavior. When you perform "survival" activities, a drug called Dopamine is released by the brain to make you 'feel good' as a reward. The release of Dopamine is even more potent when the reward is unexpected.
The Behaviorists then went on and tried to formulate laws of punishment. And sure enough, punishment did seem to have some effect on behavior. But they could never be sure of what the resulting behavior would be. And punishment that worked once, may not work again in differing, or even in similar circumstances. Nor could the magnitude of the effect be predicted. And sometimes, punishment seemed to result in a strengthening of that behavior! In the end, they could only conclude, somewhat weakly, that punishment produced uncertain results on behavior.
And they could never answer a crucial question. Why do people persist in unrewarded behaviors? As in: Why do abused women return to their abusive husbands?
So why do abused women and children (and public and staff and SO members) want to return to their abusive environment? Is it because they are more afraid of the unknown? That they would rather "face the terrors that are seen and known rather than face the terrors that are unknown?" Well lets see if we can start to answer that one.
Has any Jew that you know of looked back fondly at Auschwitz? No, because there the experience was unremittingly horrible.
Right! There was no reward in Auschwitz! But that abusive spouse or parent (or cult) may not be unremittingly abusive. He may be tearful and regretful, begging the woman's forgiveness, promise to be gentler, to do better next time, shower her with gifts, etc. He usually says something like this: "You made me so angry." In so doing, he concedes that he has no control, and it is the woman who does! The child, when it is not being abused, is played with, given food, shelter, clothing and attention. And given the fear and expectation of abuse, the reward is even more unexpected. And what happens with our little dopamine neurons when an unexpected reward is received? BAM, Big release of dopamine and a huge emotional reward. And the beat goes on.... And the beat goes on... Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain...And the behavior persists.
And so now we can see clearly how and why people (Scientologists and SO members) persist in a psychotic environment. It's no mystery from a biologist's point of view. It's because those behaviors are intermittently rewarded. And the more random and infrequent the reward, the more difficult it is to root it out.
PS. Maybe your ex should have a chat with this guy...