Note - This is a story I wrote in 1996 when I discovered the alt.religion.scientology newsgroup (mostly populated by critics of the movement) The story is still valid today, but since then I pretty much dissociated myself with the anti-Scientology movement because I disagree with their exaggerations and the cultish way they attack dissenters within their own rank.
5 Apr 1996
I am a Scientology ex-member and would like to share some of the reflections and experiences of why I went out of Scn and why I stayed out for many years now. I hope that it may help advance the overall debate about Scn, and maybe also the larger issue of what is behind Scn after all: the search of Truth.
Before finding the somewhat poetic title here-posted, I was thinking to post this series of messages under the more prosaic title "Scn doesn't work". Because I think that that's one of the key to the whole question.
Suppose you are a convinced Scn. You believe you have found THE Truth and that your entire future and that of humanity depends on it. You have no problem running dirty tricks on people hostile to Scn because they try to destroy the one and only Truth that can still save humanity. Enemies of Scientology are evil of course and just deserve to be punished or at least stopped in their evil deed, for their own good as well. You apply the "tech" as best as you can and discuss with high enthusiasm with your fellow Scn about the bright future that is opening up. Of course you don't discuss doubts you may have, you keep those for yourself, because in Scn you don't discuss your "case" with others, and it is "suppressive" to emit doubt about the validity of "clears" and "OTs", LRH, etc. But you say "How great and terrific the last Flag event was", "Ron is really a genius, he must really be super-human to have made all these breakthrough discoveries", etc. You do all these kind of things because you were convinced, by arguments, experiences and "cognitions", that here lies THE Truth, and that "Scn works". In fact, in front of each training you do, you read "Keeping Scn working", and every time you read it, it reinforces your conviction.
But then how about if it really doesn't work? If it isn't the one and only truth you were searching for? Then how do you view all the dirty tricks you are playing in good faith on "wog", "sp" and "robots" living in the abberated world? How do you view your intense and sometimes ruthless efforts you are investing with the purpose to gain "complete freedom"? How do you view the immense propaganda the church is putting out? They are lies, of course. And your involvement has no meaning, is a wrong investment. And your dirty tricks are just dirty tricks...
But what do I mean by "it doesn't work" exactly? In fact I am not saying that Scn doesn't contain many a wonderful thing. And although I have made up my mind about Scn, I am still glad of having been in this "delusion", because it was filled with hope and a sense of sharing on high level that is not often experienced in a "normal" life. But if you are serious about it, at some stage, you will ask yourself about the ultimate value of what that you are pursuing. What does it really bring me? What does it really bring Humanity? In other words: at the end of the day, does Scn deliver what it promises? And when I looked at it honestly, without induced fear or guilt, I decided that, even though many good thing can come out of Scn, at the end of the day, Scn just doesn't delivery what it promises. There is no "total freedom", there are no super human beings called "OT" or even "clear", there is no ability to communicate or be efficient. The efficiency of Scn organizations could at best be called "frantic activity performed between raves of shouting"; there can't be communication if you can't communicate your true feelings "out of session" or if you label anyone having counter opinion about the sacro-saint Scn as "sp", "over act", "pts", etc. Instead of clear or OT there are just normal human being, with their ignorance, fear, wisdom and intelligence, who's consciousness have been, for some time, somewhat stretched, and there is certainly no "total freedom" in such web of fear, conditioning, illusion, justified evil acts and fanatic reactions.
I don't mean by that to say that there isn't an absolute reality, that there is not something that could be called an higher principle, light or Truth. Rather, I view Scn as a mirage in the desert: we are in a desert and some of us see a beautiful oasis. We strive with all our might to reach to it, but when we arrive, we discover that nothing exists but sand, it was an illusion. And somehow, we continue our way, if we still have the strength and the courage. But actually, a mirage is but only a reflection of something that actually exists!. Maybe it was not it, but it gave us the taste for it, a preconception of what it might be. And some day we may bath in real refreshing water and shade. But this of course will never happen if we don't recognize a mirage for what it is. We may manufacture beautiful plastic flowers in the desert, they will never be the same as real flowers. The moment you realize that what you are so desperately clinging to are just artificial, plastic, flowers, you have no reasons or interest to keep them and you simply let it go.
Of course this is not as easy, because, as for with the other cults, it addresses our very "basic basic insecurity", and our deepest longings and ideals. It also mixes some real insights and experiences with its unending series of affirmations and suggestions. It's like an "implant" really: it's the thin edge of real "theta" that keeps the thetan "trapped" in what otherwise he would just recognize as false.
It's useful, for that matter, to be in touch with members of other cults. Because then you may discover that exactly the same phenomena are at work. They also think that they hold the Absolute Truth that will save their future eternity and that of Mankind, etc. You see them hold on to something which obviously can't be the Absolute Truth, and you witness their strange deeds, fanatic behavior, mechanical, predictable, reactions. Anyway, they can't have the all Absolute and exclusive Truth because *you* have it. But one day, you discover that, actually, this deluded and dangerous fanatic and *you* are but one and the same! They may behave in a manner that isn't as sophisticated as Scn, but deep down, I am convinced that the phenomena at work are identical. Scn is just a new dressing for a thousand years old phenomenon. A phenomenon based on the desperate fly away of our basic insecurity, on fear, guilt, ignorance, ego and group influence.
Fear, to start with, has nothing to do with spirituality and freedom. The moment you allow yourself to be influenced by fear (fear of hell, fear for your eternity, etc), you quit the path of genuine search and enter the one of endless escape forward. You have to refuse, if you are serious at all, to let yourself influenced by any kind of conscious or unconscious fear, guilt, conditioning, etc. And of course this isnít' easy! It isn't easy as well because *we* are the first ones to create, to generate, these feelings. Outside fear we allow to influence us are often but acting in resonance to our own innate fears. In other word: we are our own and foremost greedy and "exploitative" "cult leader"!
The moment we realize all this, we realize that what we pursue can't be real, can't be the real thing, no matter the amount of propaganda and manipulation that are poured on us. It doesn't pass the test of time, because no matter what experiences we go through, at the end of the day, we are just the same self again, with the same fears, the same ignorance. Maybe these take up now other forms, new justifications are in place (evil society, more "rundowns" to do, etc), but we really are still at the same place. These flowers can't be real, it is not what I am looking for, not what I want, and I let them on top of some garbage can somewhere.
But now I know! I may not know what are the real flowers, I even maybe never saw any but I know what are *not* real flowers! And this, if I really see the root of it, is already more than half of the way!!!
It's somewhat similar to taking drugs. At the beginning it gives me new insights and experiences. It gives me something I somewhere deeply search for. So I repeat the experience. Slowly, with the passing of time, the amount of "high experiences" I get from it are getting shorter and shorter, but the amount of secondary effects, effort, spending, dependency grow in a reverse way. At the end of the day, I end up a complete wreck for the sake of some artificially induced experiences. But now I am hooked to it and I can't go back. For drugs it goes on body dependency. For cults, it goes on mental dependency. In some respect it is more dangerous, because I don't even realize my dependence. It is only from the moment I start to realize this that I can start the laborious process of freeing my mind of the induced "substance".
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