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Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Scientology "Soft Landing Place"

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 exchange it for empty promises and temporary euphoria.


  1. At last! a new post. I'm addicted to them, you know?


    Well said JustBill, and oh so beautifully put!

  3. Amen and amen!!

  4. Nicely said, Just Bill. I especially like:

    "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."

    This, in my experience, is a truly powerful antidote. It takes vigilance, like learning a new language...or giving up a dependency. I love now, how scientology terms seem foreign, odd and out of place. I grin. Grinning is good :)


    May 8, 2011 8:38 PM

  5. 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?

  6. 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 a 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 believe 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.

  7. @Marta

    Yes, I think it's one of the healthiest things for an ex-Scientologist (or outside Scientologist) to do, even if they think it's only temporary: Stop using Scientology terms and concepts. Like you, I found it wonderfully freeing -- and I've never gone back.

  8. William, I copied your post and a couple of comments from here to ESMB.

    Title of the thread there is the same as your post's title.

    Thanks, VaD

  9. Dear Just Bill,
    I recently reread "Messiah or Madman?" by Corydon and Hubbard.
    I read it 10 or so years ago. At that time, I was still "under the tent" and I rationalized everything I read.
    This time, the experience was 180 degrees different. This time, it was OMG! It's true, it's true. Oh crap.
    There is no way to understand LRH or SCN unless one accepts the proposition that SCN was intended by LRH to be a trap.
    I wish I could say, "Whatever his short comings, he meant well."
    But that would not explain the lies that were present from day one. When you think about it, when you consider that the very premise of Dianetics is the ENGRAM. And when you consider that LRH claimed to have cured himself of his war injuries as proof of his system and then find out that he didn't have war injuries. He had an ulcer and he did not even cure himself of that. In 1951 he was asking for disability for that. Some cure!
    Well, he did discover something and it did do something and some people have been cured of some things.
    But what was his intention? That's what has been bugging me. Afterall it is part of the Doubt Formula.
    And until I read the following in "Messiah or Madman" LRH's intention was a mystery to me:

    "When the mind is strongly biased towards any special theory,the result of an illumination is often to enflame that portion of the mind which is thus overdeveloped, with the result that the aspirant, instead of becoming an Adept, becomes a bigot or a fanatic." Aleister Crowley

    My thought upon reading that was, "So that's what this has been all about."

    His intentions were not about clearing the planet, or creating a new civilization free from crime, insanity and war.

    His intention was to create fanatics who would give him all their money and make more money and give that to him and their children and their lives.

    Yes, he created something that does cure some people of some things. I give him credit for that. I could give you examples of people who have been helped by this or that process. I mean genuinely helped. Like cured of drug addiction and things of that nature. That is powerful. That is good. That is beneficial to mankind. He had discovered something.

    But it seems that that was the means to an end and the end was not spiritual freedom for his followers but wealth and power for LRH.

  10. @Squash Lady

    Thanks, I appreciate your input.

    That's a good book. The more one learns about Hubbard, the more it appears that he knew it was a con from the very beginning. The stories of Hubbard's cruelty and greed are also quite disturbing.

    To express my opinions and thoughts about Hubbard would take more time than I'm willing to spend, but I'm aware that he was a very complex and very troubled person.

    You mention some good that Scientology accomplishes -- and I will grant that I've seen what I thought were good, if minor, results. However, I am no longer so sure that Scientology actually did that much good.

    Scientology tends to claim "cures" that could be attributed to other factors -- and its failures are much more common. Narconon's actual, verified results are abysmal and Hubbard's Purif has been not only debunked but found to be potentially harmful.

    Dianetic "cures" have been found to be in line with "placebo cures". In other words, "magic" crystals and secret chants are just as effective.

    I'd truly love it if Dianetics or Scientology were found to produce significant, beneficial results, but I have been disappointed. The world needs more solutions -- but not more scams masquerading as solutions.

    What I find ironic is that, at the end, Hubbard appeared to have bought his own snakeoil. The stories are that Hubbard was desperately auditing himself right up to the end, trying to reach the OT levels he had promised others.

  11. "What I find ironic is that, at the end, Hubbard appeared to have bought his own snakeoil. The stories are that Hubbard was desperately auditing himself right up to the end, trying to reach the OT levels he had promised others."

    But what about the "psych drugs" in Hubbard's butt? He was playing both sides; trying to improve the scam he half-believed in, but using the medicine he denied his followers.

  12. @Strelnikov

    So true. But then, Hubbard's rules for everyone else never applied to Hubbard himself.

  13. Many thanks for explaining the addiction aspect to non-scientologists, like me. When I see the behavior of many scientologists, especially when anyone dares criticise them- it looks like the behavior of an addict.

    Addicts frequently lie, to others and to themselves, commit minor/ major crime- justifying it to themselves and will pay almost anything for their next fix: I see scientologists behaving like this all too frquently.

  14. Dianetic "cures" have been found to be in line with "placebo cures". In other words, "magic" crystals and secret chants are just as effective.

    Well said Bill. Placebos and nocebo rituals such as "pointing the bone" actually do work. Even the physician is a placebo. A study found that patient recovery is increased by words that suggest the patient “would be better in a few days.”

    The mind/body connection exists and the power of belief is real.

  15. @Dave

    Yes, the power of belief is real, which makes debunking some bogus "healing" rituals difficult.

    No matter how bizarre and useless some group's "technology" may be, there will be some believers who will be "healed by it" -- just because they believed enough.

  16. I agree that occurs which brings us to "considerations are senior to mechanics". That being the case, the success of all technologies (if that's what you want to call them)are merely and only due to the person's considerations of workability.
    Well, I guess you take a look at something and decide that you are going to make it senior to your own free will and power of decesion.
    Now most of us can't just do that---"beam ourselves right".
    So I guess these things (religions etc.) help get a person into good enough shape to realize HE is the one driving the car?
    Answers anyone?

  17. @Anonymous: Considerations are senior to mechanics

    Placebos definitely work. You mention religion, but despite what it says in the Bible, (They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them. ~ Mark 16:18), some fundamentalist Christians have died of poison in front of their congregation while shouting hallelujah. Faith (or as you say, consideration) only goes so far IMO. I don’t think anyone can make gravity senior to their own free will and power of decision. Jump off a 20-story building and you are going to die. Gravity doesn’t care what you decided. It doesn’t care if you believe in it or not.

    So IMO we are the one driving the car but only to a certain extent. For one of my boys we had a kiddie’s car seat with a steering wheel and when I was driving around town he thought he was the one steering the car. I think that would be a better metaphor for life as a human being. I’m reminded of the headline you will never see, “Psychic wins lottery!”


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