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.
Scn deems it necessary to control the type of information that are 'good' for you and to 'preserve' you from information that are not. This control is better achieved on staff member than on student, and was even better achieved in the then 'Guardian Office' (GO). The information to which you had access in the GO was based on your 'need to know'. Only the so-called 'B1' section in the GO had 'full' information, and then not even everybody in there. However, opportunities aroused in which information would leak out. This information, although not the only factor, helped me to depart from the group. I don't know what would happen had I no access to these. Would I still be in Scn now? It's hard to say, although I think that at some point I would probably step out anyway. It shows the crucial role played by information, and how a totalitarian system can only be successful by preventing free speech and free circulation of information.
Several situations made the leaks possible. First, after the FBI raid on the Los Angeles GO, the World Wide (WW) branch was busy making duplicate of documents to send over-sea. Since it consisted of several thousand of documents and since B1 staff were busy on more important matter, I was called to help out in this process. It was the first time I would see the wealth of critical information about Scn. Secondly, since the FBI seized very compromising documents during the LA raid, the WW branch decided to 'vet' documents from the GO archives to avoid such a recurrence. Vetting meant that the compromising parts, mostly the names, had to be removed, cut out with a cutter. The task was tremendous and every staff was called to help. Last but not least, I was assigned at some point the task of 'nightwatch' in the Manor. This consisted basically of being present there during the night in case a police raid would occur, in which case I should have warned Scn heads and taken photo of the raid.
During my nightwatch duty, I had access to all the unlocked documents and had ample time and opportunity to read them. I didn't do that, however, because it would be an 'overt-act' and you don't do that as a Scientologist. However, something important happened that lead me to still grab some heavily 'suppressive' book and read through. While I was 'vetting' files, I came across a very important piece of information. It was the story of a couple of Scientologist who have been 'kidnapped' and 'deprogrammed'. They then turned enemy of Scn and tried to kidnap other members in an effort to deprogram them as well.
I have read a newspaper article about deprogramming before. The information for the article had been fed to the newspaper by Scn, and they were very proud of this achievement. The article depicted deprogramming as a real brainwashing. The cult member was stripped, completely naked, prevented to go to facilities, deprived from sleep, and overall inflicted all kinds of humiliation until he/she would 'crack down' and renounce his/her faith. The whole ordeal was actually horrible. When I thus read about the Scientologists deprogramming incident, the whole story came back to mind and I was absolutely horrified: not only these evil deprogrammers tortured people, but they were even successful in their brainwashing attempt. Furthermore, and that was the most horrendous part, the ex-Scientologist would now be cut out from the eternal salvation that Scn was, and even further 'damned' by the overt-acts they were perpetrating against other Scientologists and the 'last-hope-for-Humanity' Scn.
Interestingly enough, it was only from this point that I became really aware of my believe in the 'eternal salvation' aspect of Scn, and to which point this believe was deeply anchored in me. I was shaken by the story and was trying to make sense of it all. This gave me the motivation to grab a book from the shelve in the course of my next nightwatch call. I wanted to understand what was for me completely incomprehensible: what was the phenomenon behind this sudden change of mind? How could one be so suddenly turned against what he/she was previously so adamant to defend? The book I took was Ted Patrick's book "Let our children go." I knew about the book and I knew about Ted Patrick from the article referred to above. I didn't get answers from the book to the above questions, but, to my surprise, I made some other important discoveries.
The first one was that the depiction of deprogramming made by Scn was an utter lie. This was extremely obvious. There were no stripping out naked or systematic humiliation tactics. Yes, there was kidnapping, which was and still is highly objectionable, but the deprogramming process itself wasn't anything close to what was contained in the newspaper article. The trust I had in Scn information was seriously shaken. Not only would they forge an outright lie (the newspaper article was made to look like a description presented by Ted Patrick himself), but they were inflicting unnecessary strain and mental suffering with horror stories that in reality are not taking place at all.
The second discovery came upon reading how the cult members reacted to the deprogramming effort. They would fight with all their might and desperation, just like I probably would have if I was at the time in the process of being brainwashed away from what I was holding as the last hope of eternal salvation. These people were exactly like me, hold the same believe, and yet, they weren't Scientologists. The mind-set, though, was identical: these fanatics and I were one and the same person! Still, though, only Scn is the unique and absolute truth, obviously. Isn't it so? How can someone else believe the same for something that is obviously rubbish?
The third realization came from reading about behavior of the cult members. They were indeed acting like robots. Not in the sense of a science fictional mindless robot as it is sometimes wrongly depicted, but because you could predict their reaction, they followed a certain pattern. The cult members referred to the 'holy text' for all their behavior, and if they were speaking, they did it through the text as well. Probably they were also thinking through the texts and through the holy words of the founder. In this sense, they were indeed robots, because it was easy to predict their behavior and the pattern they will follow. But then: hold on a minute: that's exactly what happens in Scn too! You see the whole universe through LRH view, through LRH many scales, through LRH values. You don't evaluate a piece of information for what it is, but you search in your memory "what does the policy says about that?", or "how does this compare to such and such scale?" Sometimes you quote literally LRH words, or you behave like he would. Most of all, no one is authorized to originate anything on Scn, only the 'source' can change anything, only 'standard tech' is valid tech. At the end you become a carbon copy of LRH, and proud to be one. It is thus possible, for someone knowing the Scn ropes and someone aware of this conditioning phenomenon, to predict *exactly* what a 'good' Scientologist will say about such or such subject, or how he/she will react.
The book thus didn't answer the questions I had, but it answered questions I didnít know I had... My duty time for this night was coming to an end. I closed the book and went out. Something had changed in me. As I walked in the beautiful Saint Hill park, the day was dawning and, through heavy clouds, mystical sun rays were piercing the morning haze. I stood still in the silent immensity of nature and the universe. I felt at a cross-point of my life.
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