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Gaijin

Patron
Allow me to briefly introduce myself. I am not a cult member, nor have I ever been, although I have had some brief exposure to cults. Let me explain:

In the city where I grew up, there was a long series of articles in one of the city's newspapers about the Moonies, and the efforts of one family to rescue one of their members from that particular cult. Around the same time, one of my college classmates, related how he and his girlfriend wound up in Booneville, and how they escaped. (Booneville is one of the Moonie camps). I'll call him John.

As John described it to me, he and his girlfriend (Jane) were visiting in the States, and were approached by someone on the street inviting them to a free dinner put on the "Creative Community Project". Neither John nor Jane really gave it a second thought, and as a result, they went to that dinner. What they found a little strange was that there was a person standing outside the premises, who warned them not to believe everything they heard inside.

After this dinner, they were invited for a camp for a weekend retreat, which they decided to attend. Mindful of what the person outside had said, they asked for directions, as they would be travelling in their own car. They were told that this wasn't necessary, that a bus would be provided to take everyone to the camp. When they insisted on taking their own car, the pressure to take the bus was ramped-up -- they were told it would be more fun travelling with the group, etc. The more pressure the organizers applied to get them to not take their own car, the more suspicious John and Jane became.

Nevertheless, they did eventually travel to Booneville for the weekend.

They described being love-bombed, sleep-deprived, meagre food, the usual tactics employed to break down resistance. They also tried to get John to surrender his car keys, which he absolutely refused to submit to. John and Jane were split-up, and John was told that Jane was staying. Jane was told that John was staying. Somehow they managed to get back together, hightailed it for their car, and got the hell out of there. As John explained it to me, "If we hadn't taken our own car, we would have been unable to leave, and we'd be Moonies today."

The closest thing I came to a cult experience was with my girlfriend, when we attended what we later learned was an EST seminar, which I was referred to by an acquaintance. I don't remember much of the details of the lecture, as I was made extremely suspicious by the fact that there was a person stationed by each of the exits, to make sure we couldn't leave.

We were told this was to make sure that we "weren't disturbed". Yeah, right. Needless to say, both of us hightailed it out of there as soon as we could, and never went back. Fortunately for me, I had access to a computer (this was the early '80s), and I did some research on EST, and was not impressed with what I read. Needless to say, we never went back.

Gaijin
 

Gaijin

Patron
:wave::welcome: May the farce be with ya! :p

EP

:thankyou:

At the risk of being serious, one of the best weapons to use against an opponent is humour and/or ridicule. I've seen politicians interviewed, and they have said they could shrug off editorial columns, news stories and the like -- what they said were the hardest to get over were the political cartoons.

One good cartoonist is worth 50 demonstrators, in my view. Come up with a good cartoon, and it'll stick in the mind. Cartoons (and some other visuals) can wound the cult better than anything else.

Gaijin
 

nozeno

Gold Meritorious Patron
:thankyou:

At the risk of being serious, one of the best weapons to use against an opponent is humour and/or ridicule. I've seen politicians interviewed, and they have said they could shrug off editorial columns, news stories and the like -- what they said were the hardest to get over were the political cartoons.

One good cartoonist is worth 50 demonstrators, in my view. Come up with a good cartoon, and it'll stick in the mind. Cartoons (and some other visuals) can wound the cult better than anything else.

Gaijin

plo0164l.jpg
 

MrNobody

Who needs merits?
Hi Gaijin. :)

:hmm: Research about EST on a computer in the early '80's?

Yes, why not? Some schools and universities had computers back then, and EST came into existence in the early 80s, IIRC. Or did I misinterpret something somewhere? :confused2: :coolwink:

Anyway, welcome Gaijin.
 

Gaijin

Patron
Hi Gaijin. :)

:hmm: Research about EST on a computer in the early '80's?

Hard to believe, but true. I had a really expensive computer, top of the line box, CP/M, S-100 bus, 4MHz Z80 CPU, 64K RAM, 9600 baud serial terminal.

I also had a Dialog account, which is what I used to conduct literature searches, and was also one of the earliest BBS users in Canada. I was on the Internet before it was called the Internet. The Canadian equivalent of what was later called the Internet was Northnet; I had my first Northnet account in 1986, courtesy of a contact at the University of Toronto. That was LONG before the World Wide Web... my better half was taking an online course at U of T, using proprietary software around the same time.

I was/am a serious computer nerd.

Gaijin
 

FoTi

Crusader
Yes, why not? Some schools and universities had computers back then, and EST came into existence in the early 80s, IIRC. Or did I misinterpret something somewhere? :confused2: :coolwink:

Anyway, welcome Gaijin.

EST was around in the mid 70's. I had a roommate in the mid-70's who came into Scientology and joined staff. When they found out that she had attended one EST meeting, prior to Scientology, to see what it was about, they kicked her off staff and would not allow her to receive any auditing. She was treated like some kind of DB (degraded being) and it introverted the sh*t out of her. Telling someone that Scientology has the only route to total freedom and spiritual freedom and then when they believe it, taking it away from them and forbidding them to have it. I thought it was mean and cruel mental torture, but instead of looking at Scientology as having something wrong with it, I towed the line and refused to ever speak to or have anthing to do with anyone in EST for fear of losing my own eternity. This is how they control people. :angry:

Welcome Gaijin.
 

MrNobody

Who needs merits?
EST was around in the mid 70's. I had a roommate in the mid-70's who came into Scientology and joined staff. When they found out that she had attended one EST meeting, prior to Scientology, to see what it was about, they kicked her off staff and would not allow her to receive any auditing. She was treated like some kind of DB (degraded being) and it introverted the sh*t out of her. Telling someone that Scientology has the only route to total freedom and spiritual freedom and then when they believe it, taking it away from them and forbidding them to have it. I thought it was mean and cruel mental torture, but instead of looking at Scientology as having something wrong with it, I towed the line and refused to ever speak to or have anthing to do with anyone in EST for fear of losing my own eternity. This is how they control people. :angry:

Welcome Gaijin.

Hey FoTi, you didn't click the link I provided, did you? :D
 

LongTimeGone

Silver Meritorious Patron
Hard to believe, but true. I had a really expensive computer, top of the line box, CP/M, S-100 bus, 4MHz Z80 CPU, 64K RAM, 9600 baud serial terminal.

I also had a Dialog account, which is what I used to conduct literature searches, and was also one of the earliest BBS users in Canada. I was on the Internet before it was called the Internet. The Canadian equivalent of what was later called the Internet was Northnet; I had my first Northnet account in 1986, courtesy of a contact at the University of Toronto. That was LONG before the World Wide Web... my better half was taking an online course at U of T, using proprietary software around the same time.

I was/am a serious computer nerd.

Gaijin

That actually makes complete sense and I apologise if my flippant remark was offensive. I was actually just trying to show how long I'd been nerdy. :yes:
D.
 

uniquemand

Unbeliever
EST was created by Werner Erhard, who had been a Class IV auditor in the Church, prior. It was his own creation, though, and not just a scientology rip. Many more people that ever got involved in Scientology did EST training, from my understanding, and it recently morphed into Landmark Education Forum, with Werner deposed.

John Denver was associated with EST, and he said that it changed his life in one weekend. I'm inclined to believe him. Erhard was interviewed during the documentary "Century of the Self", and made intelligent remarks. I think there was a business interest in EST, which turned the group into a cult, but that there was also a valuable product to be obtained. I have known several people who have done either EST in its original form or the watered down Landmark Forum series of workshops, and most of them had very good experiences, other than the "reging" that is similar to high pressure scientology sales tactics.

My view of it is that it exposes a person very harshly to their "items", and provides no real address of them once they are exposed. In a way, this is good, because self-knowledge is good, but it's also damaging in that your defenses are stripped away.

If I wanted to be an aggressive and cruel person to take advantage of this, I would advocate that people do Landmark Forum and then come to me to handle whatever was exposed. :)
 

Sindy

Crusader
EST was around in the mid 70's. I had a roommate in the mid-70's who came into Scientology and joined staff. When they found out that she had attended one EST meeting, prior to Scientology, to see what it was about, they kicked her off staff and would not allow her to receive any auditing. She was treated like some kind of DB (degraded being) and it introverted the sh*t out of her. Telling someone that Scientology has the only route to total freedom and spiritual freedom and then when they believe it, taking it away from them and forbidding them to have it. I thought it was mean and cruel mental torture, but instead of looking at Scientology as having something wrong with it, I towed the line and refused to ever speak to or have anthing to do with anyone in EST for fear of losing my own eternity. This is how they control people. :angry:

:angry: Argh! That is how they control people. How dare they use that dangling carrot to get people to compromise their own humanity! I cringe in embarrassment and horror when I think of how I didn't stand up for people when I should have.

Also, welcome Gaijin!
 

uniquemand

Unbeliever
:angry: Argh! That is how they control people. How dare they use that dangling carrot to get people to compromise their own humanity! I cringe in embarrassment and horror when I think of how I didn't stand up for people when I should have.

Don't be too hard on yourself. You *did* wake up. When I was a child, I was raised Catholic. My father was ethnophobic, and so I duplicated a lot of his attitudes, and so I hated "niggers", "kikes", "fags", etc. I got in fights with them, just because they fit those labels. As I grew up, I started to realize that however they fit those labels, those labels did not encompass all of them. In most cases, they were literally only skin deep, or one very pale aspect of a much deeper, richer being lying just below that I was cheating myself from knowing.

I individuated from my father's views at that point. It took time to stop using the offensive words, or thinking them when I would first meet people that I would normally have judged those ways in years before. Now, I am offended, myself, when I hear them.

In the same way, a person can become trusting of an organization, and adopt its attitudes concerning other people. If you don't have doubts about these attitudes, and later individuate from them, then I would question your judgment, but you *did* indivduate from them, despite strong pressure not to (stronger pressure than my Dad ever tried to bring to bear on me).

I remember there was a guy in our Dissem division for a short while. I think his name was David, and he was asian. He had been "fitness boarded" out of the Sea Organization. I didn't know this, or what that meant, and so when I met him in the bowels of Boston Day org, I simply started chatting with him and getting to know him. I was pulled to the side by the HCO Area Secretary, who informed me he was a "degraded being" and that I shouldn't talk too much to him as he was "ethics bait", and that it could cause trouble for me. I almost slapped her. I went back, and chatted him up some more, and he was OBVIOUSLY RELIEVED TO BE CONSIDERED A HUMAN BEING BY SOMEONE. It was so pathetic that it disturbed me deeply. This guy actually believed he was a degraded being, himself. It really angered me. The next day, he wasn't around anymore.

I don't know what happened to him. Perhaps I should have done more. That was then. I know it contributed to my waking up, though. It was a glaring "outpoint".

Such things are sad. That I was involved saddens me. However, the important thing is that we transcend such experiences, learn from them, and cease treating people that way in the future. Dehumanizing people is offensive to enlightened individuals.
 

iduna

New Member
Naraconon Canada

New member here. Just thought would say hello to everyone. I was in Narconon in Toronto in the 70s. Never thought I would ever come to "one of these sites", but here I am. Recruited walking down the street. This girl came up to me and asked me what color my shoes were, and walked me in the door. I was there for about four years, off and on. Any other Narconon Canada x's out there? Name is Joe by the way. When I find the right area to post my story I will. Just not sure quite where to go yet.
 
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