The Scientology "Soft Landing Place" - blog post by Just Bill

VaD

Gold Meritorious Patron
http://askthescientologist.blogspot.com/2011/04/scientology-soft-landing-place.html

Prior to 1800, there was a problem with opium addiction. In December of 1804, Friedrich Sertürner extracted a highly potent analgesic from opium, which he called morphine.

It was soon to be touted as a solution to opium addiction. Unfortunately, soon many people were addicted to morphine.

In 1895, a German drug company marketed diacetylmorphine as an over-the-counter drug under the trademark name Heroin. It was chiefly developed as a morphine substitute that "did not have morphine's addictive side-effects".

It was touted as a solution to morphine addiction.

However, contrary to the company's advertising as a "non-addictive morphine substitute," heroin would soon have one of the highest rates of dependence amongst its users.

In 1937, another lab developed methadone, a "safe" alternative to heroin. So the poor addicts could have yet another drug to be addicted to.

The problem with all of this is obvious. If you substitute one "solution" to addiction with another "solution" that works exactly like the original, you really haven't solved the addiction, have you? You've just substituted one addiction for another.

And so we get to "Scientology outside of the Church of Scientology".

While I'm not specifically comparing Scientology to a physically addictive drug, I will contend that Scientology, and specifically the temporary euphoria induced at the end of most auditing sessions, can be quite addictive in its own way.

While in this temporary state of euphoria, Scientologists will feel capable of almost anything. They will actually attest to "having gained" the most amazing abilities, knowledge and powers which, when the euphoria fades in an hour, a day or so, completely fail to materialize.

And most Scientologists crave that wonderful sense of power and ability more than anything else. They live to go back into session. They pay tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of dollars to get back into session.

The more consecutive sessions you have, the better it gets. Up to a point, the more consecutive sessions you have, the longer the subsequent euphoria lasts -- sometimes it can last for days -- but it always fades, leaving the Scientologist without any new abilities or powers, but with a craving for more.

While continuing to get these feelings of euphoria, Scientologists feel that they are "making progress up the Bridge" to OT. They have hope. They think it all "works" -- that all the time and money they have spent was worthwhile.

Yes, for many, Scientology is psychologically addictive.

And, despite the assurances of the original manufacturers and distributors of morphine, heroin and methadone, the solution to addiction is not "more of the same".

There are those who laud the providers of Scientology outside of the Church of Scientology because they provide a "soft landing place" for Scientologists who have just left the church. They provide a version of Scientology that "isn't as abusive" and "isn't quite so strict" -- and, therefore, "isn't as bad".

I do understand that concept, but I do not agree.

They are still delivering the same "drug". They are still promising the same false promises of "miraculous powers and abilities" but are only delivering the same, addictive, temporary euphoria.

They are still rushing their clients through to write their glowing "Success Stories" about how wonderful it all is -- quickly before the euphoria fades. They are still publishing these euphoric "Success Stories" as if these were talking about actual, permanent gains.

They are still pushing the same "drug" -- and more of the same is not a solution to that addiction.

My advice to Scientologists who have left the Church of Scientology is that they give it a rest.

There is no hurry. Scientology outside of the church will still be around in six months or a year.

Take your time. There is a ton of information that you have not been permitted to see and that you really do need to know. Don't rush into the arms of another group that dictates which information is acceptable and which is not. Take your time and read all that "forbidden" information. It may be upsetting at first -- the truth often is.

Let some time pass and take a look at what actually happened to you in Scientology. Without the temporary euphoria and without the relentless church propaganda about how "wonderful" and "successful" Scientology is, take an honest look at yourself and your friends. What were the actual results?

Stop using Scientology terms and concepts for a while and see what happens. Reframe your thoughts and questions into standard English (or whatever your native language is) and see all the ideas and solutions that have already been developed around those concepts outside of Scientology.

Look around at the world you have been cut off from. There are many, many people who are living great lives and doing wonderful things outside of Scientology's tiny world. You can learn a lot from just looking at the real world.

Get in touch with all those old friends and family that you disconnected from (officially or unofficially). Catch up on the news.

Then, in six months or a year, if you still think you need Scientology, go ahead and find a Scientology practitioner who you can trust -- who is honest and doesn't implement the abusive parts of Scientology -- if you can find one.

I'm betting that, by then, you will enjoy being free too much to go back.


---------- Post added at 10:53 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:44 AM ----------

There is a good line from the post:

They live to go back into session.

Isn't THAT true?!
 

VaD

Gold Meritorious Patron
Re: The Scientology "Soft Landing Place" -comment by Just Bill

There is an interesting comment that Just Bill left here:
http://askthescientologist.blogspot...howComment=1304962170499#c4950979733044507050

Question:
Anonymous said...

I've read quite a lot about Scientology online, but this is the most explicit emphasis I've seen on the Scientology 'auditing high'. Is the euphoric sensation of confidence and enlightenment really that strong? If so, I think this aspect of Scientology really deserves more emphasis than it gets, even from critics. It sounds from this post as though the auditing high is THE story to Scientology.

What causes the euphoria? Is it hypnotic? Is it some neuro-electrical effect of the e-meter? Is it pure theta shining through? What's going on?

Answer:
Just Bill said...

Re: Euphoria

No one knows what causes this euphoria, or "auditing high". It has never been studied scientifically.

As for why it hasn't received much attention, this is because it was thought to be a by-product of auditing, and not a separate phenomena. Everybody already "knew" what caused it.

Scientologists believe that this euphoria is caused by "blowing charge" in auditing, and is directly related to the amount of "case gain" the person has received.

I bought that explanation as a Scientologist and continued to believe this for some time afterwards. But it doesn't actually add up when you look at the facts.

Through many conversations with many ex-Scientologists, I discovered that, while many "felt better" as a result of auditing, this was always temporary and no one ever had any substantial, long-lasting "case gain", let alone any of the miraculous results promised.

Most ex-Scientologists admitted to feeling just about how they felt before Scientology. Some felt a bit better, some a bit worse, but nothing significant had actually happened through Scientology. A review of the Scientology community shows Scientologists struggling along just like their non-Scientology neighbors.

If there wasn't any significant "case gain", I reasoned, then there wasn't any significant "charge blown". And if there wasn't charge blown, the end-of-session euphoria was a completely separate, as yet unexplained phenomena.

This was borne out through further investigation and more conversations. The euphoria was not, as Scientologists believed, an indication of any permanent life improvement.

However, it was quite pleasant and desirable in itself. Coupled with the belief that this euphoria was a taste of what some future state would be like, it became quite seductive. It is part of the trap, not part of any "road to freedom".

It would be quite enlightening to discover the actual cause of this euphoria.
 

boatswain

Patron
It's a very good question - how does the auditing process induce an addictive biochemical high? Explaining the core mechanism why people enjoy auditing so much would be a great start to explaining how Scientology works so well as a thought reform cult. Certainly the way Scientologists talk of 'blowing charge' has a somewhat euphoric connotation that smacks of an addiction.

I've read of at least one ex/critic who believes it's an electrical effect of the e-meter on the body, although the skeptic in me finds that doubtful.

People do become 'addicted' to other forms of psychotherapy and ritual though, and Hubbard was certainly familiar with forms of occult rituals that may have similar mental effects - no supernatural mumbo-jumbo or BTs required!

Here is a recent article on "Therapy Addiction" - change some keywords and it could easily describe 'progress' up Hubbard's imaginary Bridge.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/small-steps/200912/when-therapy-becomes-addiction

Judith pursued therapy for most of her adult life. "It was more than a crutch ... it was a religion," she writes. "I believed that if I doggedly worked through my story, interpreting and reinterpreting key events, not only would I heal but it would all make sense." She clung to this promise of future deliverance, and, she says, it almost destroyed her life. Because what she learned after years and years of therapy and many therapists is that she had a mood disorder (mixed anxiety and depression).


This quote from a 1993 NY Times article is also telling in that it nails a key tenet of Scientology.

That need may be financial. "In therapy that goes on far too long, you have to consider the therapist's greed," Dr. Geller added. "With the economics of therapy tilting toward briefer therapy, those long-term patients become even more valuable."

Other motives that prolong therapy, he said, include a kind of perfectionism, where the patient has too lofty an ideal of how much therapy should change him. And therapy that focuses on character and personality patterns rather than specific symptoms, like depression, can make it hard to tell when the job is done.

http://www.nytimes.com/1993/04/18/w...ds-when-a-long-therapy-goes-a-little-way.html
 

Student of Trinity

Silver Meritorious Patron
This does seem like a good question to me. The 'auditing high', as this anonymous poster seems to have coined the term, would seem to be a double whammy. Not only is it apparently addictive in itself; it also serves as a kind of evidence supporting the whole Scientology theory, of 'engrams' and 'charge' and 'running it out'. If there's really such a drug-like effect from auditing, then it would seem as though any idiot could run a pretty good cult based on it.

And this would resolve some of my own longstanding perplexity about Scientology. The cult has just been a bit more successful than I feel I can plausibly attribute just to Hubbard's glib prose. The notion that there are a few valuable things in the mass of wacky Scientology theory and practice has seemed like an almost necessary ancillary factor, except that none of the ones specifically pointed out has ever really seemed good enough to do the job. But if you throw in a drug-like auditing high, then I can totally see how Scientology could have come about as it has.
 

Free to shine

Shiny & Free
This does seem like a good question to me. The 'auditing high', as this anonymous poster seems to have coined the term, would seem to be a double whammy. Not only is it apparently addictive in itself; it also serves as a kind of evidence supporting the whole Scientology theory, of 'engrams' and 'charge' and 'running it out'. If there's really such a drug-like effect from auditing, then it would seem as though any idiot could run a pretty good cult based on it.

And this would resolve some of my own longstanding perplexity about Scientology. The cult has just been a bit more successful than I feel I can plausibly attribute just to Hubbard's glib prose. The notion that there are a few valuable things in the mass of wacky Scientology theory and practice has seemed like an almost necessary ancillary factor, except that none of the ones specifically pointed out has ever really seemed good enough to do the job. But if you throw in a drug-like auditing high, then I can totally see how Scientology could have come about as it has.

Yes it's not all about the glib prose. The only thing that will make a person stick with it through thick and thin is that 'high' you sometimes get. I can't say that is what made me stay though, mine was more about family with the added perhaps of a breakthrough if I was a good gal. :eyeroll: In fact the best 'win' I ever had in auditing was on a question "has anything been suppressed?". Well duh....
Once you get that off your chest (as long as it's not about the tech or organisation) you can feel great, for....days. I have since found of course that the same thing can happen in a good deep and meaningful conversation, as mentioned on Scooter's thread.
 
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