OPEN CALL TO EX COMMUNITY: Louis Theroux working on Scientology documentary

Self enquiry

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Self Enquiry. :biggrin:

So there is this question that hovers around: How stupid were we to be in the cult - or to be in the cult for so long? Just really quite intelligent people who .........etc......etc. Right?
Just imagine you had been a subject on Theroux's program. How do you think you would have come off?
 

MissWog

Silver Meritorious Patron
My memory is not what is was, and I have not seen anything new from him for a while, but as far as I remember he meets several members (2 or 3 families) who are members of something.

His easy charm and little boy approach often lulls them in. He spends time with them asking them about their beliefs and practices. (and asks some hard questions). He then "attends" their group, or centre and tries to meet their guru or leader, (and is often not permitted to, or blocked as they are more secretive and more suspicious). My guess is he is looking for a few "practising" Scientologists/families.
Oh this sounds good! I'll be looking for something to watch on my Roku soon!
Thanks!
 

MissWog

Silver Meritorious Patron
On second thought... All his docs look sad and depressing.. I think I'll wait a little longer.. Not really in the mood to get weepy seeing drug addicts and crime and not at all feeling like getting pissed at a bunch of self righteous born agains.. Funny enough the Guru episode looks the most benign?
 

Freeminds

Bitter defrocked apostate
My memory is not what is was, and I have not seen anything new from him for a while, but as far as I remember he meets several members (2 or 3 families) who are members of something.
...

Fair point, but... Scientology families? Oxymoron alert! Oxymoron alert!
 

Danger Mouse

Patron with Honors
Scientology is not a con for stupid people. The bait is designed to pull in intelligent and idealistic people. Hubbard was using basic philosophy of the Iron Age, circa 600 B.C., as a foundation. Upon this foundation, he constructed the ultimate crackpot buffet, something for every taste: pseudoscience, reincarnation, pop psychology, magick, flying saucers, conspiracy theories, medical quackery, etc. Whatever whimsical fantasy could possibly obsess your particular personality, he had it for you, and when you started getting bored with one, there were plenty of others to choose from to keep you interested right up until the moment you died, broke.

Stupid people don't need this much intellectual tinsel and glitter. There are plenty of cults built around only one of these absurdities, or maybe a few of them.

Scientology is the Mensa of cults.
 

Tamlin

Patron
Re: Self enquiry

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Self Enquiry. :biggrin:

So there is this question that hovers around: How stupid were we to be in the cult - or to be in the cult for so long? Just really quite intelligent people who .........etc......etc. Right?

Hey DB, I haven't seen this particular program and as a never-in, I can only give the POV of an outsider - but having studied many types of groups, I would say Scientologists (well, particularly the exes and indies) come off as unusually intelligent. I haven't run across anyone yet who seems less than bright.

Another thing that stands out is that Scientologists appear to be extraordinarily social. This may be a result of the training routines, or - this is a theory of mine - perhaps people who are extra sensitive to social cues are more likely to be drawn in.
 

ThetanExterior

Gold Meritorious Patron
Re: Self enquiry

Hey DB, I haven't seen this particular program and as a never-in, I can only give the POV of an outsider - but having studied many types of groups, I would say Scientologists (well, particularly the exes and indies) come off as unusually intelligent. I haven't run across anyone yet who seems less than bright.

Another thing that stands out is that Scientologists appear to be extraordinarily social. This may be a result of the training routines, or - this is a theory of mine - perhaps people who are extra sensitive to social cues are more likely to be drawn in.

I agree with the intelligence thing. I was a member of Mensa and a Scientologist.

Being in the cult and staying in is nothing to do with lack of intelligence. You get in and stay in because you want something - for some it's to improve yourself and for others it's to save the planet. Whatever. You think that you'll get what you want and you trust those who are in charge so you keep going.

Maybe "trusting too much" is the fault we all had.
 

Freeminds

Bitter defrocked apostate
...
Scientology is the Mensa of cults.

That may have been true in the past, but Scientology has changed. The 2nd and 3rd generation Scientology victims have had deficient schooling - typically taught by whackjob cultists, and/or taken out of education to serve in the Sea Org. Meanwhile, Miscavige's cabal sees virtue not in intellect, but in the opposite: unquestioning obedience. The whole thing is topped off by the wrongheaded notion that parroting LRH equals wisdom. This secures Scientology's doom: it gets steadily more and more out of date, and it can't change.

Smart people jump ship: only fools can remain.
 

He-man

Hero extraordinary
That may have been true in the past, but Scientology has changed. The 2nd and 3rd generation Scientology victims have had deficient schooling - typically taught by whackjob cultists, and/or taken out of education to serve in the Sea Org.

The more distanced I get from the whole scene, the more I doubt just that. I used to think that I've met some way cool and intelligent people in Scientology of the past, but now when I look back most of them were just whackjobs with an air of self importance.
 
Re: Self enquiry

I agree with the intelligence thing. I was a member of Mensa and a Scientologist.

Being in the cult and staying in is nothing to do with lack of intelligence. You get in and stay in because you want something - for some it's to improve yourself and for others it's to save the planet. Whatever. You think that you'll get what you want and you trust those who are in charge so you keep going.

Maybe "trusting too much" is the fault we all had.

Are you totally divorcing how you get what you want (in life), and purposes, - in this case grandiose purposes - from intelligence? Ask Mensa for a membership refund.
 

ThetanExterior

Gold Meritorious Patron
Re: Self enquiry

Are you totally divorcing how you get what you want (in life), and purposes, - in this case grandiose purposes - from intelligence? Ask Mensa for a membership refund.

Maybe you could express your point in a clear and rational way rather than just being rude?
 

Lord Xenu

Patron Meritorious
What exactly does Scientology and Scientologist's believe? Once again, I could not explain IT when I was IN, and now that I am out, I still can't explain what Scientology IS.

I know what it isn't! :wink2:



Well at least that's better than 'not knowing that you don't know'!
 

Lord Xenu

Patron Meritorious
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He usually makes his subjects look like dingbats, dupes, charlatans etc but does it in
a sort of soft almost innocent sort of way. I can't imagine the COS will let him touch
any of their slaves, but OTOH since they don't watch TV they might be lured into
Theroux's own form of bait and switch.


Oh but they do watch TV....they just self censor themselves. I was at one time staying with somebody on OT7 - This person would be in session and then walk into the living room and watch any inane family entertainment garbage.
 

Lord Xenu

Patron Meritorious
Scientology is not a con for stupid people. The bait is designed to pull in intelligent and idealistic people. Hubbard was using basic philosophy of the Iron Age, circa 600 B.C., as a foundation. Upon this foundation, he constructed the ultimate crackpot buffet, something for every taste: pseudoscience, reincarnation, pop psychology, magick, flying saucers, conspiracy theories, medical quackery, etc. Whatever whimsical fantasy could possibly obsess your particular personality, he had it for you, and when you started getting bored with one, there were plenty of others to choose from to keep you interested right up until the moment you died, broke.

Stupid people don't need this much intellectual tinsel and glitter. There are plenty of cults built around only one of these absurdities, or maybe a few of them.

Scientology is the Mensa of cults.


Some fair points there but many scifags are intelligent not intellectual. I mean how far can you go before one of the ridiculous claims makes you think 'I'll just look that up to see if it tallies with known scientific or geological evidence'? 4 quadrillion years, you say? Piltdown man? Thoughts have mass? Oh,I feel a new thread coming on.......
 
Re: Self enquiry

I agree with the intelligence thing. I was a member of Mensa and a Scientologist.

Being in the cult and staying in is nothing to do with lack of intelligence. You get in and stay in because you want something - for some it's to improve yourself and for others it's to save the planet. Whatever. You think that you'll get what you want and you trust those who are in charge so you keep going.

Maybe "trusting too much" is the fault we all had.

Are you totally divorcing how you get what you want (in life), and purposes, - in this case grandiose purposes - from intelligence? Ask Mensa for a membership refund.

Maybe you could express your point in a clear and rational way rather than just being rude?

Ok. This to me is logical. I can't see how it can be true that intelligence has nothing to do with people getting in, or staying in the cult. Those who get in and stay in read a hell of a lot of stuff that is full of contradiction yet they fail to see it is contradictory, or outright lies. Or they do see it, yet still hope it will bring them what they want. They might also hope to save the world. How does that not have anything to do with intelligence?
 

Oh but they do watch TV....they just self censor themselves. I was at one time staying with somebody on OT7 - This person would be in session and then walk into the living room and watch any inane family entertainment garbage.

They need to keep their finger on the off switch of the remote these days. :)
 

ThetanExterior

Gold Meritorious Patron
Re: Self enquiry

Ok. This to me is logical. I can't see how it can be true that intelligence has nothing to do with people getting in, or staying in the cult. Those who get in and stay in read a hell of a lot of stuff that is full of contradiction yet they fail to see it is contradictory, or outright lies. Or they do see it, yet still hope it will bring them what they want. They might also hope to save the world. How does that not have anything to do with intelligence?

I think this argument all hinges on the definition of intelligence and I'm not pretending to know the correct definition.

Being able to do Mensa tests is the way Mensa defines it but I think there's more to it than that.

"Quickness of understanding" is probably a general definition but I think a person can be quick to solve puzzles or quick to learn data and yet be slow to realise they're being conned. And to me, the difference between these things is that there is an emotional component to the "being conned" scenario. That's why I don't think it is just about "intelligence". I think emotions come into it too.

I was in Scientology for 15+ years yet I never joined staff or the sea org. The way I see it is not that I was more intelligent than those who did join, it was just that I didn't get carried away with the emotion of it all in the way other people did. But I still had enough emotional attachment to achieving my goals to stop me from seeing the con.

That's just my opinion.
 

Tamlin

Patron

Some fair points there but many scifags are intelligent not intellectual. I mean how far can you go before one of the ridiculous claims makes you think 'I'll just look that up to see if it tallies with known scientific or geological evidence'? 4 quadrillion years, you say? Piltdown man? Thoughts have mass? Oh,I feel a new thread coming on.......

This touches on why I think the sensitivity to social cues mentioned upthread might be meaningful. I've spent a lot of (head-bangingly frustrating) time trying to help some very intellectual people with their social skills. Despite their impressive intellects, they could be totally insensitive when it came to reading cues. One thing that was evident was how difficult it would be to convert any of them to a religion, philosophy or any other new way of thinking. It was all logic for many of them, with little empathy or emotion. What's more, there was very little desire on their part to be part of some larger group or goal.

When looking at those* who have joined Scientology at some point, I see a very different type of personality emerge. The same intelligence may be there, but the social and emotional nature of the personality is quite opposite. That may change as indoctrination takes hold, but it seems to pop up again after leaving and decompressing. Being open and trusting may well be part of that sensitivity.

Scientology purports to be scientific, but it plays heavily on the emotions.


*I don't mean to paint all Scientologists with the same brush - obviously this would not apply to everyone. It's just a more prominent characteristic I've noticed.
 
Re: Self enquiry

I think this argument all hinges on the definition of intelligence and I'm not pretending to know the correct definition.

Being able to do Mensa tests is the way Mensa defines it but I think there's more to it than that.

"Quickness of understanding" is probably a general definition but I think a person can be quick to solve puzzles or quick to learn data and yet be slow to realise they're being conned. And to me, the difference between these things is that there is an emotional component to the "being conned" scenario. That's why I don't think it is just about "intelligence". I think emotions come into it too.

I was in Scientology for 15+ years yet I never joined staff or the sea org. The way I see it is not that I was more intelligent than those who did join, it was just that I didn't get carried away with the emotion of it all in the way other people did. But I still had enough emotional attachment to achieving my goals to stop me from seeing the con.

That's just my opinion.

The way I understand your post is that you are supposing that intelligence can be over-ridden or hijacked, or subverted by emotion. So how long can this go on for? Decades, it would appear. Even if it is for a short while, can a very intelligent person not come to understand emotions? You do not have a definition of intelligence, except a vague idea that it is what Mensa says, while admitting that this might be insufficient. I question the idea that scientologists or people attracted to scientology are generally more intelligent than the general population average, as self flattering as it is. The idea that people who do not get themselves into scientology are more intelligent seems at least as likely, or more so.
 

MrNobody

Who needs merits?
Before anyone here posts their IQ-test results, pulls out their Mensa-membership cards (oh wait, it already happened...) and whatnot, let me say this:

I know some very intelligent people and I know some pretty stupid ones too.

Example 1:
One of my teachers. A very intelligent person who had achieved three doctorates. She failed the mandatory tests which are necessary to obtain a driver's license at least 5 times (that I know of), before she gave up on it. She continues to ride her bicycle.

Example 2:
A woman born with Downs syndrome and therefore probably not very intelligent, managed to get her driver's license and it only took her two attempts.

The tests are basically the same for everyone. I passed all 4 of them (1 regular and 3 special licenses) in the 1st attempt.

So, out of these 3 people, is the most intelligent?

I also know a guy who had lost approximately 1/2 of his skull (and the brain therein) in an accident. After some serious rehab, he can now speak, eat, etc. again. He can even hold a regular job and he can use his computer in his spare time. I probably wouldn't want to have him around 24/7 unless necessary, but all in all, he's just a nice guy who's nice to have around most of the times.

In fact, I'd probably prefer him (or any other "stupid'" person) over anyone who needs to flaunt his Mensa-membership card, IQ-test results and whatnot.

'nother example: On one of my travels, I met the "youngest, most intelligent qualified and practicing medical doctor at that time" (I later confirmed this information and he really was what he had told me). He took me with him for a few hundred miles and we talked about "God, the world and everything".

He drove the worst piece of shit car I've ever seen and I've seen a LOT of piece-of-shit cars. Our conversation about that condensed and paraphrased:

"That incredibly huge rust hole on your left door is big enough to cut anyone's head off, if you ever get involved in an accident."
"I know."
"So why the fuck don't you fix it!"
"I don't know how."
"Fuck! One sheet of sand paper, one square meter of glass fibre, one bottle of epoxy, and, if you want to do a "really good job", 1/2 can of spray paint. 1 hour of work and your car is no longer a danger to society."
"Probably yes, but I don't know how."
"What??? You wouldn't hesitate to cut open, fix and close a human being and you even would be successful with that, but you can't even put a simple patch onto a fucking car door?"
"Yes, because I don't know how."

Message to the ESMB admins: For stories like this, I could really use a huge "facepalm" icon. :faceslap:

Anyway, in the big scheme of things, "intelligence" means less than most people think it does.
 
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