The draw of the cult and why the CoS is "perfect"

justaguy

Patron Meritorious
I’ve been thinking about this a bit lately, and I wanted to get some outside opinions.

I was reading someone's story the other day, and they were talking about when they had just gotten out, and even though they were sure they weren't going back they'd get these nagging feelings of doubt about their eternity and not clearing the world and stuff. And obviously it was written much better than that, because, for a second there, knowing everything I know about the cult, I felt like running off and joining up.And I thought, “what insanity is this? You wanna run off and get abused?”

I’ve been trying to answer the question ever since and here’s what I’ve got. Bear with me, because I’m going to go off on what seem like tangents but they’re not. Mostly.

You see, a lot of people talk about how you’re not allowed to think for yourself in the cult. While this is true, it’s not how I look at it. To think for one’s self would be counterproductive in the setting, and I’m not sure that the cult could handle any thinking people inside.

Now, life is complicated and life is messy. But the cult is not, not in that way. Answers to questions like “what should I be doing?” and “how can I be happy?” and “why is there suffering in this world?” and “what can I do about it and where do I stop worrying about other people and take care of myself?”, and “are we in The Matrix?” are not easy or simple. (Not everyone asks all these questions, but I do and this is my storyessay so there :p.) Most people end up finding their own answers to these questions, what works for them. That’s what I’ve done. But, at least in my case, they can still float in the back of my mind and bother me every once in a while.

I’m sure everyone here has tried to help someone once and ended up making the situation worse. I’m sure everyone here has done really stupid shit because they thought it was the best thing to do and then later seen it turn out horrible. It happens to everyone.

So, back to why that urge hit me.
Scientology (the church, that is) does not see it my way. The answers to any question you could possibly have are there. You’ll never do stupid shit again. You’ll never hurt anyone again, and you’ll be happy forever. You’re free from having to make the hard choices because we have the Truth and the Bridge and if you do what we say you don’t have to worry. LRH discovered the answers to everything. If you do what we say, not only will be happier, but you will make this world a paradise.

I think what I’m trying to say is that the message inside the CoS isn’t just “don’t think”. It’s “you don’t have to think”.

And for a second there, I wanted to abandon myself to that. I desparately wanted to believe that LRH had the answers, that the cult had the answers, and that whatever went on inside the cult it was okay because he knew and if I did what he (and, by extension, those who are higher up in the group) said everything would turn out alright.

This, for me, was the draw of Scientology. And I’m hypothesizing it’s a big part of it for other people too. And that’s why I don’t think the CoS could ever stop being a cult. Because to ask people to think for themselves, to not unquestioningly follow orders, to not give their money and to maybe say they don’t like one of LRH’s books would mean that LRH hadn’t figured it all out and that, by extension, the business he left behind doesn’t have the easy answers.

I think it’s why LRH can’t just be someone with good ideas in the eyes of the Church. He has to be flawless. He can’t have ever made a big mistake. When faced with a hard choice, he had to pick right every single time.

If LRH was fallible, if he could make mistakes, then that means you can’t use his ideas to think for you. You have to think for yourself. The hard questions, in fact, don’t have easy answers.

And that’s why the CoS can never, ever make a mistake. Because if it does, then it messed up. But it can’t mess up. It has the easy answers to life’s most difficult questions. It has the tech. The tech is perfect, because LRH is perfect.

So, then, obviously, anyone who thinks that LRH messed up, that the church has done something wrong, that there’s a whiff of anything in the entire worldwide organization that might not be going right, is obviously an SP. They have to disconnect because otherwise the fact the scientology isn't perfect gets out.

If scientology is ever wrong, then you have no reason to give them your money now, do you? And DM wants your money. He wants it bad. So scientology isn’t wrong. Never.

So, yeah. This is my answer to my insanity. I wanted life to be easy. I wanted to always know what I should do next.

But that’s not possible. You can’t always know for sure what you should do next. Sometimes you have to make a choice and live with the consequences (which can be great, by the way. Not here to imply that the choice is between bad and worse). There is no silver bullet for life.

The CoS disagrees. It says that it's perfect and that if you give it enough money you will be too. And that's why it sucks. No one's perfect. :wink2:
--justaguy





P.S. After having written this, I see an easy question: “but don’t other religions claim the same thing?”. The short answer: they don’t, not the way the cult does. The long answer: this post is too long already. I’ll post the long answer another time :p
 

clamicide

Gold Meritorious Patron
yep

I really think you've hit a lot of points on the head justaguy. Now for the sick twist. Scientology also tells you that it is the only religion/philosophy/whatever that truly enables you to think for yourself. A lovely load of doublethink, a la 1984. Quite a trick.
 

Tiger Lily

Gold Meritorious Patron
I wanted that too Justaguy. I wanted it badly enough to close my eyes and jump into something I knew nothing about, just because they told me I could have it.

And it made enough sense, that I actually believed they had all the answers.

Great points!

Clamicide -- yes that was the worst part; that he actually got people (myself included) to buy into that doublethink and make us think that it made sense!! :no:

:sadsigh:TL
 

EP - Ethics Particle

Gold Meritorious Patron
My favorite among the many good points...

I’ve been thinking about this a bit lately, and I wanted to get some outside opinions.

...snip

Now, life is complicated and life is messy. But the cult is not, not in that way. Answers to questions like “what should I be doing?” and “how can I be happy?” and “why is there suffering in this world?” and “what can I do about it and where do I stop worrying about other people and take care of myself?”, and “are we in The Matrix?” are not easy or simple. (Not everyone asks all these questions, but I do and this is my storyessay so there :p.) Most people end up finding their own answers to these questions, what works for them. That’s what I’ve done. But, at least in my case, they can still float in the back of my mind and bother me every once in a while.

I’m sure everyone here has tried to help someone once and ended up making the situation worse. I’m sure everyone here has done really stupid shit because they thought it was the best thing to do and then later seen it turn out horrible. It happens to everyone.

...snip...

I just highlighted one or two things that really struck a cord with me in your overall excellent and accurate post.

There is tremendous liability and peril in attempting to help people or situations out here in the real world, as I know from experience - as do most folks.

"Failed Help" is a key datum in Scientology that has not been much discussed to my knowledge - perhaps another thread would be a good thing.

Who feels qualified and competent to give us a dissertation on how most beings "cave in" on "failed help" eventually? :eyeroll:

(Don't all raise yer hands at once!) :p

EP
 

Tiger Lily

Gold Meritorious Patron
I just highlighted one or two things that really struck a cord with me in your overall excellent and accurate post.

There is tremendous liability and peril in attempting to help people or situations out here in the real world, as I know from experience - as do most folks.

"Failed Help" is a key datum in Scientology that has not been much discussed to my knowledge - perhaps another thread would be a good thing.

Who feels qualified and competent to give us a dissertation on how most beings "cave in" on "failed help" eventually? :eyeroll:

(Don't all raise yer hands at once!) :p

EP

"Failed help" could be a great thread EP -- I say go for it!

:)TL
 

Telepathetic

Gold Meritorious Patron
I really think you've hit a lot of points on the head justaguy. Now for the sick twist. Scientology also tells you that it is the only religion/philosophy/whatever that truly enables you to think for yourself. A lovely load of doublethink, a la 1984. Quite a trick.

^^^^^^^^^^
Yes.

TP
 

Ralph Hilton

Patron Meritorious
"Failed Help" is a key datum in Scientology that has not been much discussed to my knowledge - perhaps another thread would be a good thing.
Who feels qualified and competent to give us a dissertation on how most beings "cave in" on "failed help" eventually? :eyeroll:
(Don't all raise yer hands at once!) :p
EP
Failed help is a subject not emphasized by the CofS as, when well understood, it demolishes their use of O/W as a control factor.
The power of O/W as a mechanism depends upon the basic goodness of an individual. Aligned with this is the idea that people survive better when they help each other to survive. Initially a person commits an overt as a solution to a problem which they feel they cannot otherwise resolve. If someone commits an overt and is unable to help resolve the consequences of that overt then due to their basic goodness they will tend to withdraw from the area and become the effect of it.
In the CofS people are now subjected to endless O/W write up and sec checks which never resolves as it never handles the reason the person commits the overts.
If they wished to terminatedly handle the reason a person commits overts then they would need as a minimum to
1. Locate the area of overts and have the person examine them.
2. Handle charge on the failures to help in that area.
3. Determine what the person had problems with prior to committing the overts.
4. Educate the person properly cleaning up the confusions to a point where they are confident they can help themselves and others in that area.
5. Review the original overts and ensure that the person can now handle the problems in the area of those overts with a pro-survival action.

HCOB 22 December 1970 "O/W a limited Theory" gives a lot more data.
 

xseaorguk

Patron Meritorious
I also wanted to just bob along on the 'save the world' merry go round and let the others, who obviously knew so much more than silly me, lead the way.
Before $cn I was neither political, philosophical nor religious, just a regular young guy who liked his sport.
All of a sudden its your aim to 'save the planet' and you're signing you life away in the Sea Org.
I also noticed that the people on staff were not exactly your super-intellectual thinkers, philosophers, as they liked to have us believe, but usually just gullible, trusting souls.
Most people with a bit of training in the Therapy, Esoteric or mental health
area would immediately spot some outpoints
 

HolyCow

Patron with Honors
"I think what I’m trying to say is that the message inside the CoS isn’t just “don’t

Close, now just add the clincher: It's "you better Not Think or else". Remember that first time you read that line about "we'd rather have you dead than incompetent"?

I'm sure you had your own thoughts and feelings about that, but you signed off on the checksheet anyway. We all did.:duh:

1984 Doublethink in spades. Read up a little on cult and means of control, and this whole thing of "only one, only way" with implied dire consequences, not only personal, but always end of the world, end of eternity, and it will all be Your Fault! ha:omg:

Now, if you add Flag Orders to the "tech mess", I'm sure SO members will tell you the conflicts quickly become a three-way train wreck. Triple think!

Just my own conclusion, since I've had to do my own sort out, that helped me because it finally made sense. Trying to apply different bits of rules and applications and writings by a paranoid schizo, who wrote in different personalities all the time, was the reason it was maddening and impossible.

I was well aware of these different personalities in his writings and tech, as well as the conflicting statements.
This was when he was still alive, pre-DM.

As far as failed help, my own personal lesson: Never, ever try to help someone who doesn't ask for it. Period. And if they do ask, ask them what they Want help with.
You can still help save the future & planet. Join Big Brothers/Big Sisters, start an after school program (I hear arts and phys ed is missing). Lots of mentoring kids programs out there. Lots of kids out there, period, that need some kind of help. There's your future.

And I can guarantee you that if you still have a need to feel 10 feet tall, want to be a hero, and walk on water... to any of those kids you help, you can go to the examiner and attest.:dance2:
 

Alanzo

Bardo Tulpa
Scientology has to be perfect because their prices are so high.

If they would just lower their prices, then you could probably get away with saying, "Yeah, that 'Advanced Procedures and Axioms' - probably not one of Hubbard's best books."

Or

"L11 kinda sucked. But what do you expect for 50 bucks?"

If they would just lower the prices, there would be a lot more room for the freedom of thought in the CofS.

Welcome to ESMB, justaguy!
 

justaguy

Patron Meritorious
:thankyou: for all of your responses. That experience, where I wanted to join the cult for a moment even though I knew it was a cult, is what made me stop lurking and sign up. I had to write something about it, and I had to find out what you guys thought, and this is what came out.

What I wrote was my answer to my questions, and it's nice to see that it make sense to people who were actually in the cult, and who know a lot more about it than I do.

As for the help thing, that was something I put in to try and illustrate the hard choices that we have to make. But now that we're on the topic, what's happened to me is not only have I made things worse, I've met some people who I simply couldn't help, for a variety of reasons (I spent a year of my life trying to help someone as a friend, when it's not something a friend can help with). Not that they were beyond help altogether, but that I wasn't the person who could help them. I definitely couldn't do it alone.

So when I get the urge to help and/or save someone, I ask myself "can I help this person?" and try to honestly answer the question. Whether or not they want help figures into that, as is whether or not I know what I'm doing/talking about in whatever situation we're talking about. And if I do get involved, my way of doing things is to do my best until I reach my limits and then hope that the helpee is smart enough to get help from someone who's more qualified.

Unless we're talking about math homework. I'm really really good at helping with math homework. You *will* understand the math problem! RAWR! :whistling:

And an I agree on HolyCow's better ways to help save the world than joining scientology.
Edit: Re: Alonzo: That's a good point. I'll have to think about that one. And thanks! It's nice to be here :)
 

RogerB

Crusader
Astute Observations, Ralhp!

Failed help is a subject not emphasized by the CofS as, when well understood, it demolishes their use of O/W as a control factor.
The power of O/W as a mechanism depends upon the basic goodness of an individual. Aligned with this is the idea that people survive better when they help each other to survive. Initially a person commits an overt as a solution to a problem which they feel they cannot otherwise resolve. If someone commits an overt and is unable to help resolve the consequences of that overt then due to their basic goodness they will tend to withdraw from the area and become the effect of it.
In the CofS people are now subjected to endless O/W write up and sec checks which never resolves as it never handles the reason the person commits the overts.
If they wished to terminatedly handle the reason a person commits overts then they would need as a minimum to
1. Locate the area of overts and have the person examine them.
2. Handle charge on the failures to help in that area.
3. Determine what the person had problems with prior to committing the overts.
4. Educate the person properly cleaning up the confusions to a point where they are confident they can help themselves and others in that area.
5. Review the original overts and ensure that the person can now handle the problems in the area of those overts with a pro-survival action.

HCOB 22 December 1970 "O/W a limited Theory" gives a lot more data.

Yes, astute observatios here, Ralph.

This is the sort of clear and honest thinking that would have gotten the job done that the the current church's practices not only fail to do, but sabotage!

Roger
 

justaguy

Patron Meritorious
I've finally decided to come back to this thread (I had always planned to) but it was such a big outpouring of ... everything for me it's been hard for me to think about it for a while. That moment where I wanted to go join up kinda freaked me out.

Anyways, I've been slowly thinking about it some more, and again I'd like to know what you guys think. As I've been lurking more and more, I've been finding out more of the details on how the cult works, and it's a lot like what I said but with its own LRH twist. To quote alanzo, if they only lowered their prices, they wouldn't have to be perfect. The thing is, I don't think they can lower their prices without fundamentally changing because then they'd no longer have to be perfect.

What I sensed in $cientology was a certain rigidity. A sense that if anything in them were to change in a real way, then the organization as we know it wouldn't exist any more. To use a cliche, black and white thinking. Scientology is good. The tech is good. LRH is good. Therefore, what opposes scientology is bad, what opposes the tech is bad, what opposes LRH is bad. It's very simple really.

I suffered from a mentall illness I won't get into here. About the time I started posting here was the time I started making really huge strides to pull myself out of it, that all the effort I'd been putting into trying to change started paying off. And to me, my experience felt a lot like the experiences I was reading coming out of the cult. I'm not sure exactly how to say this, but here goes.

I'm not going to get deep into it, but what I had was essentially a rejection of reality. I wanted to think that the world was black and white, that it operated according to rules that I could decipher and control. That's why I originally went into science. I had all sorts of delusions that if I just *wished* hard enough for something to be a certain way I could come up with a way to make it that way or I could avoid having to deal with the real world. Pulling out of it was really tough because even though I could see that my insane ways weren't working (they were insane, duh), I knew nothing else. The people around me, the people who loved me, said "try this. Try doing something you think is crazy because just maybe you're the one whose crazy".And I said "why try that? Why should I trust you? I can't trust myself. I can't trust anything I've ever known." It was really, really scary stuff. But they seemed happy and I knew they loved me so I said "what the hell" and I did it and it was scary and exhilirating and tiring and all of those things and now every day I take some time to go outside and smell the roses, ya know (actually, my mom's putting paintings on the walls so I go outside and enjoy the sun and the breeze and watch her paint and I love it.) I have to deprogram myself and I have to learn how to live in the real world with the rest of the wogs for real this time, not pretending.

So to get a little further along in my story, somewhere in the middle of this process I stumbled onto ESMB and started reading the stories, especially the coming out stories. And the emotions these people were going through, it was the same as what I went through (except often worse). The feeling of "how could I be so stupid?". The relief, the fear, the ... all of it. During one person's story, I was reading about how they weren't really sure and they wanted to go back to scientology. And I've felt similar things about wanting to retreat back into my illness, where everything made sense only to me and I couldn't function out there in the real world but at least everything made sense to me whereas now I don't know and I just have to do my best.

That's when emotionally it hit me what being in scientology is like. It's like being who I was. It's not like I was never happy, and I'm a much more smarter person now for having been sick than I would've been otherwise. I have a loving family and great friends and the whole shebang.

For a second, I wanted to be in it. After reading Bare faced messiah and reading the stories and all of that, I wanted to be in it because it was a *whole bunch* of people being like I was and not dealing with the real world and make believing their way through life and saying "well, it'll all be okay because it has to be and my problems aren't because of what I believe but because I'm just not good enough at what I believe". There was a big sense of that in my delusions, and ...

sorry, I need to take a break. this is hard.

I still have to deal with the aftershocks. One of the things that always got me riled up I have to deal with today but I'm going to be okay because I've learned how to confront the things that scare me and make me crazy and I've got people to help me.

So it's not just the money or that LRH is perfect or all of that. It's the total package. It's a whole system set up to induce delusional thinking into its followers that includes everything LRH wrote and did, probably because he was delusional himself. I *know* this. I'm *positive* about it. And I know it because I was insane.

The worst thing for me is that I was good at passing for sane. I was a smart kid, and that was my downfall in a lot of ways because I knew what other people thought was normal and I'd try real hard to convince them (and me) that I was that way,too. And I convinced a lot of people. Or at least I thought I did, so I didn't get my problems thrown back in my face. But I wasn't healthy. I was very sick. Scientology is a lot like that. It can pass for normal until you dig a little, same with the people in it.

Emotionally, in my heart, while the severity varies (usually worse) and the details differ, the experience in scientology as I understand it from everything I've read is my experience. I can't say why besides the fact that the stories here just resonate with me on a very deep level.

So the cult has to be perfect, the cult can never change, because it's a big monstrous thing that lures people in, makes 'em crazy, and then takes their money. That whole thing where they have all the answers, where there's no room for questioning, where LRH is perfect, all that stuff I was saying before, it's a big part of the crazy. It's part of the glue that holds it all together. What you find with a certain class of people who are really mentally ill is not that they can't think but that their thinking is rigid. They've got everything figured out and the only possible conclusion is misery. I was like that. Nothing I believed could change, because to change it had huge consequences, and what I believed led to misery. So I was miserable.

Scientology is like that. It turns people into me. And while I like me, I would never inflict my problems on someone else. So...

Yeah. I don't really know how to end this. I'm not sure if I said what I wanted to say or if my constant digressions got everyone lost. I guess maybe I come from a different place but I know what you exes are going through. My life hasn't been nearly as bad as many of yours, but especially for the people freshly out, I know what you're feeling.

I just got out of the cult of my head.
 

Wisened One

Crusader
II just got out of the cult of my head.

Well, yer in the same boat in that sense...and allow me to again, welcome you OUT, justaguy! :yes: :hug:

I've been enjoying your posts, too! They articulate so many things that I fail be able to say...and due to you posting, it's been helping (me) anyways.

Thank you for that! :yes:

Michelle
 

HelluvaHoax!

Platinum Meritorious Sponsor with bells on
"P.S. After having written this, I see an easy question: “but don’t other religions claim the same thing?”. The short answer: they don’t, not the way the cult does. The long answer: this post is too long already. I’ll post the long answer another time."


sure, every religion has its own trademarks, copyrights and proprietary salvation "tech".

but, (may I paraphrase?)...if you came to earth looking for Scientology's doppleganger, Mormonism would certainly serve....

you want yer one-man sci fi writer source? yer guaranteed standard tech to become a God? yer disconnection? yer world class coverup to try and bury the founding con man's true history? yer top secret confidential xenu stories? yer mind numbing control, manipulation, brainwashing and psychological abuse?

step right up, folks, yer gonna love it!
 

justaguy

Patron Meritorious
Well, yer in the same boat in that sense...and allow me to again, welcome you OUT, justaguy! :yes: :hug:

I've been enjoying your posts, too! They articulate so many things that I fail be able to say...and due to you posting, it's been helping (me) anyways.

Thank you for that! :yes:

Michelle
Thanks Michelle. That means alot. :hug:



What I meant about the religious thing is, well, I've already exceeded my number-of-long-posts-my-brain-can-handle-for-one-day limit. Mebbe tommorow. :)
 
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