Scientologists: Can You Remove The "Cult" From Scientology?

anonomog

Gold Meritorious Patron
Another calm logical analysis by Just Bill at http://askthescientologist.blogspot.com/

BTW If you are newly surfing the internet for information about the church, whether you are still in, newly out, anon or just curious, this site has a lot of very thoughtful information and well worth the visit.

The post expands on the "eight characteristics that typifies a destructive group" and how Scientology fares on each point.

After reading through the post, I was wondering if anyone can put forward any valid reasons to refute Just Bill's reasoning? I can't, but I am severely biased and was never in. I would be interested to read something that doesn't justify the behaviour by comparing it to other religions or groups.

Anyone? Just one?

Maybe the inability to persuade people that it isn't a cult is more telling than simply stating that it is.:confused2:



* Summary.

Dear Scientologist, if you are like I was when I was first looking beyond Scientology, you will be shocked and alarmed by the fact that Scientology exhibits all the attributes of a cult. This cannot be acceptable to you.

This subject is very important to any Scientologist who wants Scientology to go forward into society. Cults cannot do that. You may insist that Scientology is not a cult, but unless you remove all the cult attributes from Scientology, it really doesn't matter what you believe. In the real world, if it talks like a cult, acts like a cult and controls its members like a cult -- it is a cult.

Can you remove the "cult" from Scientology? In truth, I'm betting Scientologists won't even try, especially those who aspire to leadership in the "new" Scientology.

The benefits of Scientology retaining all its cult characteristics are to the leaders of the cult, not to its members. When the supposed leaders of "new" Scientology vehemently support the retention of all these cult attributes, be aware of why they do so.
 

Sindy

Crusader
I was quite impressed by this blog post. I find it irrefutable. He was concise, to the point. He could have really gotten mired down in trying to prove his point but he didn't. Brilliant and very real. I think if I had read that while still in, it would have made quite an impact on me. :thumbsup:
 

anonomog

Gold Meritorious Patron
Interesting that you believe it would have made an impact on you while still in. Would you have been more accepting of it if it was published in a newspaper or sent by e-mail by a friend? Would you have not shut out the arguments if you found yourself on an "ex" or anti-sci site?

I appreciate the blog because it rarely uses Scieno-language which can make understanding concepts really heavy going for the non-sci.
 

TG1

Angelic Poster
The following quotation is taken from an article at the International Cultic Studies Association at http://www.icsahome.com/infoserv_articles/langone_michael_cultsqa.htm . It's short, but I think it pretty accurately summarizes the major reasons people leave cults, including the Church of Scientology.

Q. Why Do People Leave Cults?
People leave cults for a variety of reasons. After becoming aware of hypocrisy and/or corruption within the cult, converts who have maintained an element of independence and some connection with their old values may simply walk out disillusioned. Other members may leave because they have become weary of a routine of proselytizing and fund-raising. Sometimes even the most dedicated members may feel so inadequate in the face of the cult’s demands that they walk away, not because they have stopped believing, but because they feel like abject failures. Still others may renounce the cult after reconnecting to old values, goals, interests, or relationships, resulting from visits with parents, talks with ex-members, or counseling.​
 

anonomog

Gold Meritorious Patron
Q. Why Do People Leave Cults?
People leave cults for a variety of reasons. ..snip...

Wow. This could be a neutral summary of many leaving stories posted on the net.

But just because people leaving Scientology do so for the same/similar reasons others have when they leave cults, does it further the claim that Scientology is called a cult?
 

Sindy

Crusader
Interesting that you believe it would have made an impact on you while still in. Would you have been more accepting of it if it was published in a newspaper or sent by e-mail by a friend? Would you have not shut out the arguments if you found yourself on an "ex" or anti-sci site?

I appreciate the blog because it rarely uses Scieno-language which can make understanding concepts really heavy going for the non-sci.

To answer your question:

When I was "in" (only 10 months ago), I felt like I was in a cult but being bombarded with all the "good news" and propaganda day in and day out, my mind was fogged over. I was on staff and would go into the org in the evening. I began to dread it and enjoyed my own reality when I wasn't there. The "reality" that gets created each day within the org is very overpowering and completely overtakes you own. When you walk out the door to go home, you feel a bit of a sense of relief but you can't totally relax because you have to go back and experience it again and again and again.

You become introverted as you look around and see people who seem to believe all the crap and that they are doing well and you think, "I must be me."

So, if I had seen that blog post I would have felt a great sense of relief because it would have articulated that feeling that I was too smothered to clearly see.

Unfortunately, I would never have seen the blog as I would not allow myself to go on the Internet as I thought it would land me in ethics (which it would have) and I knew that there would be no turning back.

If I saw the article printed, say, at my Dad's house I would have read it, felt the obligation to combat it to my Dad - justify, lie, protect but, it would have been the end for me. It would have pulled me out. :byefly:
 

Operating DB

Truman Show Dropout
Has anyone read The True Believer by Eric Hoffer? It was written in the 1950's. I read his book after escaping the cult in 1985. It lists about 10 cult characteristics and funny enough I found that each characteristic described the Church of Scientology. It really helped me see the cult in it's true light. It may be a longer read than Just Bills which is nice and concise but the fact that it was written 5 decades ago in the midst of the rise of the scio cult is interesting.
Oh, and anyone interested can google the title and author and download a PDF of it.
 

Sindy

Crusader
Has anyone read The True Believer by Eric Hoffer? It was written in the 1950's. I read his book after escaping the cult in 1985. It lists about 10 cult characteristics and funny enough I found that each characteristic described the Church of Scientology. It really helped me see the cult in it's true light. It may be a longer read than Just Bills which is nice and concise but the fact that it was written 5 decades ago in the midst of the rise of the scio cult is interesting.
Oh, and anyone interested can google the title and author and download a PDF of it.


Do you have a link? Thanks, I appreciate this as I was going to go get it at the library. :)
 

anonomog

Gold Meritorious Patron
To answer your question:

When I was "in" (only 10 months ago), I felt like I was in a cult but being bombarded with all the "good news" and propaganda day in and day out, my mind was fogged over. I was on staff and would go into the org in the evening. I began to dread it and enjoyed my own reality when I wasn't there. The "reality" that gets created each day within the org is very overpowering and completely overtakes you own. When you walk out the door to go home, you feel a bit of a sense of relief but you can't totally relax because you have to go back and experience it again and again and again.

You become introverted as you look around and see people who seem to believe all the crap and that they are doing well and you think, "I must be me."

So, if I had seen that blog post I would have felt a great sense of relief because it would have articulated that feeling that I was too smothered to clearly see.

Unfortunately, I would never have seen the blog as I would not allow myself to go on the Internet as I thought it would land me in ethics (which it would have) and I knew that there would be no turning back.

If I saw the article printed, say, at my Dad's house I would have read it, felt the obligation to combat it to my Dad - justify, lie, protect but, it would have been the end for me. It would have pulled me out. :byefly:

Thank you for your answer.:)
Did you surf the internet at all? If so, apart from official sites, online banking and gmail etc, was there any perceived safe areas?
My husband got a COS Google ad when checking his email; and there is/was absolutely nothing in his surfing habits or emails that would have triggered it with keywords.
It might be a place for Scientologists with doubts to get some more doubts.

I am very glad you no longer have to dread your evenings because of Scientology.
 

anonomog

Gold Meritorious Patron
Has anyone read The True Believer by Eric Hoffer? It was written in the 1950's. I read his book after escaping the cult in 1985. It lists about 10 cult characteristics and funny enough I found that each characteristic described the Church of Scientology. It really helped me see the cult in it's true light. It may be a longer read than Just Bills which is nice and concise but the fact that it was written 5 decades ago in the midst of the rise of the scio cult is interesting.
Oh, and anyone interested can google the title and author and download a PDF of it.

I looked it up a couple of days ago, someone mentioned the book in another thread.

Here are some bite size quotes:
http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Eric_Hoffer
http://www.erichoffer.net/quotes.html

But I'd like to read the book if you have the URL
 

freet43

Patron with Honors
yes - but not within the church itself

I found this interesting and very true.

I also find most religions are cultish- in fact, for those that don't think Scientology is a religion - the fact that it is a cult simply proves it is a religion...

Mainstream religions that are also cultish include most religions - in most cases, however it is the most "fundamental observers" that exhibit the extreme cultish behaviors... Examples abound, such as fundamentalist christians, orthodox jews, mormons, islam, etc.

One can practice Scn outside the church and not exhibit any of the cultish attributes.

Marina

Another calm logical analysis by Just Bill at http://askthescientologist.blogspot.com/

BTW If you are newly surfing the internet for information about the church, whether you are still in, newly out, anon or just curious, this site has a lot of very thoughtful information and well worth the visit.

The post expands on the "eight characteristics that typifies a destructive group" and how Scientology fares on each point.

After reading through the post, I was wondering if anyone can put forward any valid reasons to refute Just Bill's reasoning? I can't, but I am severely biased and was never in. I would be interested to read something that doesn't justify the behaviour by comparing it to other religions or groups.

Anyone? Just one?

Maybe the inability to persuade people that it isn't a cult is more telling than simply stating that it is.:confused2:
 

Operating DB

Truman Show Dropout
Do you have a link? Thanks, I appreciate this as I was going to go get it at the library. :)

Hmmmm, I may have jumped the gun on that statement. When I googled it in the corner of my eye I saw a couple listings about the book and PDF but can't seem to actually find a download for it. I guess you may have to make a trip to the library or buy it online. Sorry if I got you excited for nothing!
 

Sindy

Crusader
Hmmmm, I may have jumped the gun on that statement. When I googled it in the corner of my eye I saw a couple listings about the book and PDF but can't seem to actually find a download for it. I guess you may have to make a trip to the library or buy it online. Sorry if I got you excited for nothing!

Hey thanks for looking. No prob. I can go to the library! I need to get away from the computer every once and a while :)
 
I found this interesting and very true.

I also find most religions are cultish- in fact, for those that don't think Scientology is a religion - the fact that it is a cult simply proves it is a religion...

Mainstream religions that are also cultish include most religions - in most cases, however it is the most "fundamental observers" that exhibit the extreme cultish behaviors... Examples abound, such as fundamentalist christians, orthodox jews, mormons, islam, etc.

One can practice Scn outside the church and not exhibit any of the cultish attributes.

Marina
I too find most religions to be cultish, but I do not find all cults to be religions.

I do not find Rush Limbaugh to be a religious leader, but he and his listeners displace all the symptoms of being a cult including his very own cult lingo, and worshipers who will call in, wait on hold for several hours at a time, day in and day out, just to say "God Bless You Rush For Giving Us The Truth".

http://wikibin.org/articles/jargon-of-the-rush-limbaugh-show.html
 

programmer_guy

True Ex-Scientologist
freet43 said:
One can practice Scn outside the church and not exhibit any of the cultish attributes.

That might be true in some cases but Scientology has many falacies and it pretends to be a "science" which is untrue.

Scientology is a pseudo-science.
 

anonomog

Gold Meritorious Patron
I found this interesting and very true.

I also find most religions are cultish- in fact, for those that don't think Scientology is a religion - the fact that it is a cult simply proves it is a religion...

Mainstream religions that are also cultish include most religions - in most cases, however it is the most "fundamental observers" that exhibit the extreme cultish behaviors... Examples abound, such as fundamentalist christians, orthodox jews, mormons, islam, etc.

One can practice Scn outside the church and not exhibit any of the cultish attributes.

Marina

Thanks for your thoughts freet43. You mentioned that most religions are cultish especially the fundamental types of those religions. I can agree with you that the more fundamental types appear very cultish to me, but what about mainstream?

I have gone through the eight points in the article expanding it with my own experiences with mainstream Christian churches.

To clarify my standpoint first. If asked, I would say I am Christian. I do not belong to any particular church. I would not go to war because of my beliefs as I pretty much believe that in the end we all pray to the same God anyway.

When I feel the need to go to church and feel closer to my religion or God, I will happily go to any church belonging to Anglican, Presbyterian, Catholic or Methodist. My personality is irritated with happy clappy, evangelical charismatic or fire and brimstone type groups, so my commentary below does not take those groups within Christianity into account. It is my experiences only.

Lifton details the following eight characteristics that typify a destructive group environment:

1. Dictating with whom members can communicate

I have never heard any minister forbid any member from speaking to a member of another religion. In my experience open communication within a community is encouraged. Christian orders are invited and become participants in peace talks or reconciliation talks. eg Bishop Tutu. Their overall effectiveness may be questionable or may be invaluable, but they attend, participate and communicate. Their presence speaks volumes as they are leaders and role models for the congregation, it seems logical that they want the congregation to do the same.

2. Convincing members they are a chosen people with a higher purpose.

Tricky one. Christians believe they have their faith right and that believe it is what God intended them to believe.
However, Christians are usually taught the term "love your brother". My interpretation is that we are all brothers and sisters. Not better or worse than anyone else. On an even footing. The higher purpose is to live a godly life and love and be kind to others. I have never been made to feel superior because of my beliefs.

3. Creating an us-versus-them mentality, whereby everything in the group is right and everything outside is wrong.

I think this its a human condition to compare ourselves to and be competitive with other groups. The main teaching is love one another and be repectful and kind to others. Whether you agree with their values or not.

4. Encouraging members to share their innermost secrets and then purge whatever hinders their merging with the group.

I suppose Catholic confession can fall into this category. In my rootless form of Christianity I have found various ministers preaching to look within and forgive ourselves and try to live a better life.

5. Convincing members that their philosophical belief system is "the absolute truth".

I can't argue with this one. Who is going to go to a church that proclaims "we might be right, maybe, ok we aren't really sure, but it sometimes works for us."
However I have never been discouraged from reading or researching other religions, with the exception of satanism.

6. Creating an "in" language of buzzwords and group speak which becomes a substitute for critical thinking.

The common denominator in the churches I frequent is pretty much: love yourself, love one another, believe Jesus died for your sins, believe that you will continue after physical death and follow the 10 commandments.
I can't honestly say if those themes have an impact on my critical thinking overall. I accept that Jesus dying for my sins is part of my religion however I don't roll with it as it seems illogical. I am quite happy to talk to a minister or an atheist about the concept to get an understanding. I don't consider myself less of a Christian because I think the bible can be a bit off and 2000 years tends towards alteration of events.
I do stand by the concepts of love oneself and love one another as good things and an integral part of the religion.


7. Reinterpreting human experience and emotion in terms of the group's doctrine.

I am too much of a free religious spirit to comment personally. I work with a religious lady who I respect greatly because she actually lives her religion. She takes the 10 commandments and the message of love to heart and tries her best to do good without proselytising or condescension. She does say that she is blessed by God when good things come her way, but she also says it to people of completely different religions when they have good coming into their life, so her concept of God's blessing is not limited to within her religion.

8. Reinforcing the idea that life within the group is good and worthy, and life outside evil and pointless.

"Deliver us from evil"
I think that the concept is that we are all struggling with the good and evil within us. The church is there to help us with the struggle against evil within and when evil strikes our lives.
It would be self defeating for a church not to promote the idea that life is good and worthy within the group. I have heard ministers speak about staying away from evil influences, but I have never heard them say that the only place to be free/safe from evil is by staying within the church/group.

If the holy spirit resides within the Christian, it would be a bit daft to suggest that the holy spirit hops out of the person the moment they step over the church's threshold in body mind or spirit.

Conclusion
Having analysed my own personal experience of Christianity I conclude that while it may have some characteristics of cult behaviour, I have too much freedom of mind, body and spirit to believe myself to be a member of a cult. My nomadic religious lifestyle proves it to me. I have always been welcomed in, always been welcomed to leave as I wish and never been penalized whenever I have returned.

Can Independant/Freezone Scientlogists do the same?
 

Infinite

Troublesome Internet Fringe Dweller
I'm blown away by the followup post: http://askthescientologist.blogspot.com/2010/10/scientology-and-wrong-why.html

The author (I assume Bill) has nailed it. Blaming David Miscavige for the woes of Scientology is the wrong "who" and the wrong "why". His analysis leading up to that conclusion is:

* The situation is that David Miscavige is abusive, destructive and has been destroying the Church of Scientology.
* The earlier problem was that Miscavige was allowed to do it. He was allowed to take over the church. His sociopathic behavior was not a secret. It was well demonstrated before he came to power.
* Miscavige destroyed L. Ron Hubbard's tech and Scientologists not only let him do it, they applauded him for doing so! Thousands of people worked to help Miscavige do it.
* Miscavige had and has no qualifications to lead Scientology, no training and no experience, yet no one stopped him. Many Scientologists followed him and helped him.
* Miscavige was abusive from the start and none of the senior Scientologists stopped him. In over thirty years, no Scientologist stopped him or stopped his abuses. Many Scientologists started emulating the abusive Misavige.
* Only a few Scientologists stood up to him and they were destroyed -- and other Scientologists helped Miscavige destroy them.​

. . . and goes on to ask:

Which were you, dear Scientologist? Were you the one who applauded while your church was destroyed? Were you one of those who disconnected from your parents, your friends, your children? Did you help the church destroy innocent people? Or did you just turn away, hoping "things would get better" and didn't say anything? Were you the coward, or the enabler? How many of your principles did you fail to uphold? When did you decide it was too hard to be honest and decent? How did you help in the destruction of Scientology and your fellow Scientologists?

Don't look too far for the "Who" in all this. Some day you might grow enough to take responsibility for what you have done, what all us Scientologists have done.

As most people know, the "who" is L Ron Hubbard and the "why" is his, and his followers', worship at the altar of Mammon.
 

Panda Termint

Cabal Of One
A little over 2 years ago, Just Bill's excellent essays helped me divest myself of the cultic mindset of a "dedicated scientologist".

Just Bill's "Ask The Scientologist" http://askthescientologist.blogspot.com/ and Jeff Hawkin's "Counterfeit Dreams" http://counterfeitdreams.blogspot.com/ helped me enormously.

At that time I was unthinkingly dismissive of much that I'd read on OCMB and ESMB. Needless to say, I've changed since then. :eyeroll:

The "Ask The Scientologist" and "Counterfeit Dreams" blogs contain some of the best information for the still-in scientologist and communicate that information in a way that scientologists can accept.

Bill and Jeff have helped with every successful rescue I've been a part of. For that, I am eternally grateful. :yes:
 
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