Because of various problems with Blogger, I've copied everything as of November 26, 2012 over to WordPress. The new location is Ask the Scientologist. I am not deleting this blog and will still accept comments and answer questions here too, but any new articles will appear at the WordPress location. I apologize if this causes any problems.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Easy There!

I have noticed that some of the more enthusiastic whistle-blowers against the Church of Scientology tend to jump on comments and articles that are not, actually, all that pro-Scientology.

The fact that an article or comment isn't completely negative about Scientology does not warrant an attack.

The fact that a person might say something nice about Scientology or might protest against "attacking a religion" does not necessarily mean they are a Scientologist.   With fewer and fewer actual Scientologists, it is more likely this will be the case as time goes on.

To viciously attack some article or comment when a more reasonable response would be more appropriate, makes us Scientology critics look like the insane fanatics.  To attack a commenter, who really isn't pro-Scientology, looks very bad.  A vicious anti-Scientology attack can invalidate everything a more reasonable whistle-blower might be trying to say.

Err, if you will, on the side of milder, more reasonable responses to articles and comments about Scientology.  You can say the same things, but from the viewpoint that the author is merely misinformed.  This is tremendously effective.  When some Scientology sock-puppet attacks you, you own the high ground.  When a Scientology apologist insults you and makes crazy accusations, you come out far, far above them.

If the author is not a Scientologist, you will get back an intelligent response and will, perhaps, change their mind about the Church of Scientology.   If you attack the author, you will solidify in their mind the idea that critics of Scientology are insane fanatics.

Understand that you cannot change a Scientologist's mindset, but you will influence the lurkers.  Keep that in mind.  Do not engage in a battle with a Scientologist, just expose their lies.

Certainly, every single Scientology lie should be debunked, but it is most effective when done calmly, reasonably and with as much respect as you can muster.

Let the Scientologist froth and foam, insult and accuse.  Let us take the high road, always -- because it makes them look horrible.

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.