Five Years Later

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It’s five years since I last posted. I am refreshing the site and have my story in chronological order now as a separate page link at the top for easy reference.

There have been many on-going events in my life and as usual scientology casts it’s shadow. Coming to terms with such complete indoctrination and finding ways to relate to normal society is something that I expect will continue for a long time. I have stories to tell of triumph and heartbreak and it’s time to start talking again.

Stay tuned.

“The Most Ethical Group on the Planet”

This article written by Jeff Hawkins is one of the best I have read about how scientologists explain “the greatest good”.

Here is a small excerpt:

And one has to penalize downstats, right? So how do you do that? Well, throw them overboard or into a lake, have them run laps around a building, put them on “beans and rice,” have them work through the night. Assign them to the RPF. That’s the “greatest good,” right?

Donating money to Scientology strengthens the Church, therefore that’s “in-ethics.” Refusing to donate your money to the Church does not benefit the Church. So it’s “out ethics.” Buying up real estate with parishioner money is “good for the Church.”

And if someone tries to expose the abuse? Well, they are creating “bad PR” for the Church. That’s not the “greatest good.” So those people are SP. And how are you supposed to handle an SP? By any means necessary. After all, didn’t LRH say “One treats a real Suppressive Person pretty rough” (HCO PL 5 April 65 Handling the Suppressive Person) – a quote Miscavige loves to repeat.

So of course, ganging up on someone and screaming at them is for the “greater good.” Disconnecting people from their families is for the “greater good.” Making their pc folders public is for the “greater good.”

And when all this “goodness” gets exposed, how do you handle the Church’s resulting “bad PR”? Well, of course, you lie. You lie to protect the Church. You tell “acceptable truths.” There’s no violence. There’s no disconnection. There’s no abuse. That’s also for the “greatest good”.

Read the whole article here:  Leaving Scientology

Why I oppose Scientology

This brilliant essay is written by my friend Paul Schofield.

To read more of Paul’s story go here – CIFS

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Why do I oppose Scientology?

It’s something I spent the better part of 30 years supporting in every way that I felt I could. I did 80 courses on the subject and received a lot of Scientology counselling in that time as well.

I was a staff member for over twenty years and later worked for Narconon (Scientology’s drug rehab organization) intermittently from 2002 to 2008. I did some work with Applied Scholastics (the Scientology organization dedicated to getting Scientology’s Study Technology into the schools systems) and was on the Board for the local Applied Scholastics school for roughly a year.

I trained at the self-professed “Mecca” of Scientology in Clearwater, Florida for over a year and trained twice at the International Training Organization of Scientology in Los Angeles. My expenses were paid for during my time there. I was twice flown to LA in my time at Narconon for briefings and training. I was an ordained Scientology minister who was recognized by the state of NSW in Australia as a religious marriage celebrant and performed quite a number of weddings for Scientologists in that capacity. I was one of a very people awarded the certificate of Professor of Scientology – I gained mine in 1989 after completing many courses.

So – why do I oppose Scientology?

Is it because in the vast majority of time I worked for the “Church” or any of its “social betterment” organizations that the pay was a pittance? Never enough to feed me, let alone raise a family or buy a house? Even when I worked for a wage at one Narconon, the pay was minimal. At the other Narconons I have worked for, the pay was dependant on how much money was gotten in for that week – at one time, I went for five weeks and received no pay at all because little or no money had come in in those weeks. I have been longer periods than that working for the “Church” for no money at all. Most of the time, a pay of more than $50 was a “good” week.

But I knew what the pay was before I started and agreed to these conditions even though I thought the pay would increase rapidly (and had been told this.) The decision to suffer these conditions was mine and mine alone – I could’ve left any time I felt like it. Although I was convinced I would have to pay back many thousands of dollars for training and counselling received while on a staff contract. But this also was something I’d agreed with when I started (even tho’ it’s not legally binding on me, as I recently found out.)

So – why do I oppose Scientology?

Is it because the focus of all the activities of this “Church” now seem to me to be totally aimed at collecting money?

No – while I feel like a fool for having supported such an organization, the world is full of such organizations and they’re not necessarily something to be attacked. Even if the current leader of the “Church” spends millions on houses, cars, motorbikes, holidays etc. for himself while many of those doing 80 or 90 hour weeks for the self-same “Church” earn $5 or $10 dollars allowance plus basic food and clothing each week. They do it voluntarily for the most part. Just like I did. I feel for them, but it is their choice to stay there.

So – why do I oppose Scientology?

Is it because of the cover-up of the Founder’s past, turning his life into a total myth of enormous scope?

No. I was rather upset when I found that this man who I’d been led to believe had been a dynamo achiever of huge goals was actually neurotic and unstable. His war history bore no resemblance to facts. He manufactured so much of his history he must’ve known he would eventually be found out. Either that or he was delusional. Yet I enjoyed my time studying his writings and listening to his recorded lectures and found much that I felt was useful in them. If a man wants to invent his past that is his business, not mine. It is only what the man achieves that I am interested in, and I felt then that he achieved much. Even if his achievements didn’t result in the universally workable technology he claimed. And I now know that much of his major “breakthroughs” were actually the work of others.

So – is it because his “technology” is flawed and doesn’t do what he said it would? That his many claims for his mental therapy is little more than blatant lying and every simple independent test conducted on this proves this so? That no-one out of all his adherents have ever achieved even a small part of the claimed benefits of the promised superhuman?

No. There are some benefits to be had, even if they aren’t the overall goal of a new improved human being as stated often in Scientology literature. In fact, I think it largely depends on the person. I know several people who have spent a lot of time and money receiving Scientology services and they are still the crooks or fools or connivers or bullies that they’ve always been. Maybe now a bit better at it. And the nice people are still nice, if now broke. And I believe the benefits could be gotten a lot easier (and a lot cheaper) in other practices available to the average person. But it wasn’t all bad and I did learn some valuable life lessons from my time as a Scientologist

So – why do I oppose Scientology?

Is it the widespread (but constantly officially denied) practice of disconnection? Where an adult with children will be told by a fourteen year old staff member to leave their spouse or be unable to continue with their Scientology services? Told that if they stay with someone who is critical of Scientology in any way they risk their own immortal future? And that of everybody else because it may impact on the whole scheme of things?

No, although I have lost several friends to this very practice recently. One is a staff member who believes that he is trained in the basic secrets of human behaviour and instructs others in how to counsel people with Scientology. He works his forty hours plus for the “Church’ and also works another job just to get by. He informed me that he could not communicate with me until I “handled” my “problems” with the “Church” that he had read about on the staff noticeboard. This was a communication I never received from the “Church” so I know not what it is that I need to handle, nor do I think the “Church” will tell me any time soon. But, to my friend, the fact of an official announcement on a noticeboard on my apparent wrongdoing is enough to abandon our friendship. Without once consulting me for my side of the tale. Because he believes sincerely I have “gone over to the Dark Side.”

Another is a friend who knows of my disagreements and has disconnected also because of the few I have voiced to him. He is a man who is risking bankruptcy yet continues to donate money he hasn’t made to the “Church” because he sincerely believes it is the best thing for him to do – the greatest good for the greatest number. His children have mostly signed billion year contracts and do the expected 80 to 90 hour week of the Sea Org (the paramilitary arm of Scientology that perform all of the upper management functions.) He urges his fellow Scientologists to follow his example and give freely of both time and money. He owns neither car nor house. He has nothing set aside for his retirement yet he has earned probably millions and given it to the “Church” over the years.

When I spoke frankly to him of what I saw were the dishonesties of this “Church” he told me he would get someone to get me the true data on this and turned the whole matter over to the “Church” for official handling and has not communicated to me since, nor do I expect him to. For once a person in Scientology is officially labelled as some sort of enemy in any way, none who wish to “remain in good standing” with the “Church” may communicate with the now-enemy.

Even when I mentioned I had doubts about Scientology to my wife, her reply was that I needed to “handle” this or I would never see her nor our children again. She then rang the “Church” for advice on what to do to “help” me.

I have no problem with any of the above people’s actions as it’s what I would have done in the same position as a dedicated Scientologist. It certainly isn’t totally the fault of the people who are doing what they thought was best for me as well as them. And there are other religious and non-religious groups that practice disconnection, although probably not to the same lengths as Scientology goes in its “official” pronouncements to its members.

So – why do I oppose Scientology

Is it because of the reported human rights abuses? The reported unjust imprisonments and coerced abortions?

I have a friend who was in the Sea Org and got pregnant with what would be her second child. There had been an edict put out by the Executive Director International of the Church in the mid eighties that forbade Sea Org members having children as children had become too much of a drain on resources. Should anyone become pregnant they would be sent away from their home in the Sea Org to a “small struggling” Church and raise the child then return to the Sea Org once the child themselves were of the age to join up as well. Her first child was born before this edict came into force.

My friend was seen by a number of senior executives who tried to get her to abort the child, as both her and her husband were highly trained counsellors and their services brought in a lot of money for their “church.” She refused, citing the Founder’s first book on the subject of the mind where he stated flatly that only an insane person would want to abort a child for any other reason than the possible death of the mother should the pregnancy continue. Her husband divorced her to remain in the Sea Org and she was sent to another “Church” where she basically had to fend for herself, with her two children. The pay at that “Church” was abysmal and she had to clothe, feed and house herself and her family by working another job as well as working at her new “Church” for at least forty hours a week.

To be fair to her husband, he first joined “Church” staff at the age of fifteen. A couple of years later, he joined the Sea Org with his mother (a single parent) and she was expelled from the “Church” soon after. He was soon assigned to the “Rehabilitation Project Force” where he was made to spend months running around a track in southern California as part of his program. He told me he wore out five pairs of running shoes doing this “therapy’” running from morning until after dark every day for that entire time. He was still a teenager, with no contact allowed with either of his parents, nor indeed with anyone outside of the project. He could not speak to anyone unless they spoke to him first. He needed to be cleansed of his “evil purposes” so that he would be a fit and proper sea Org Member in the future.

When he graduated, he became a counsellor for the Sea Org and was renowned for his dedication to his work. He won several annual awards for the most hours done over the year period, averaging well over forty hours every week, seven days a week, year in and year out. His seniors even publicly joked that they didn’t allow him out for meals any more, just pushed the food under his door and let him out after ten every night when he had finished for the day.

I know of many other horror stories, including several personal tragedies. But for each and every one of these cases, there has always been the complicity of the victim themselves who has agreed to this – most could have walked away if they so wished.

So – why do I oppose Scientology?

A fundamental belief of Scientology is that everybody is an immortal spiritual being who has been around for eternity and has been kicking around this universe for trillions of years. And once we all were gods, with powers of creating and destroying universes all by ourselves just by thinking about doing it. But now here we are, stuck on a minor planet at the rear end of this universe and we can’t even cure headaches properly. Why?

Because we’ve all sinned against each other and so limited our powers down and down to the point where now we are so close to total extinction that only a miracle will save us. And that miracle is Scientology.

Scientology is the product of its Founder and he alone (per the official Scientology biography) came up with all of the Scientology miracles. And the greatest sin any Scientologist can do is alter the sacred technology of Scientology that the Founder left his faithful.

And it is a broad collection of technology.

From how to save a marraige to how to look after cut flowers. From communication to espionage. From counselling to creating artistic masterpieces. From running an expanding, prosperous business to how to drive a car.

Every Scientologist is constantly exhorted to emulate the Founder and “Do what Ron would do.” Live life by the exact dictates that Hubbard laid down as that is the only way out of The Trap that is this universe. The only way to reverse the Dwindling Spiral we all are apparently on that, if not “handled,” will result in the ultimate degradation of all that is good and true. The only way out is to be like Source, the Founder, Mankind’s Greatest Friend.

In effect, to become a copy of the Founder and do what he would do throughout all areas of your life.

Those who train to be counsellors listen to tape recordings of his counselling sessions and work hard to emulate him. Those who work on staff are told to ask themselves “What would Ron do?” if they are in a situation they can’t solve. Those who study Scientology are told that their disagreements are a result of them not fully understanding what Source is saying. Source is infallible. Scientology works if applied exactly. If it fails it is in the application of it, not the original technology.

So the road back to Total Freedom as an individual is through totally prostrating oneself before the identity of the Founder and seeking to become Him as only He ever did anything that resolved this Downward Spiral. All one’s efforts in all those endless past lives just added to the degradation of themselves so the individual has no idea of what it takes to be free, only the Founder knows. And only by following his Closely Taped Path will anyone ever be free. All other religions, all other practices (especially the evil ones of Psychiatry and Psychology) lead to further degradation of one as a spiritual being. The world outside of Scientology is a scary place, full of evil people who wish to destroy Scientology, The Only Hope For Mankind. Because, if Scientology ever succeeded, these evil people would have their sins exposed.

And those who aren’t inherently evil are poor duped fools living miserable lives who badly need Scientology brought home to them. They don’t rush for Scientology because they can’t see the freedom it offers because they are so trapped in this universe. They have to be shown what a terrible state they are in and slowly brought to the realization that their only salvation is Scientology.

So the Road to Total Freedom requires becoming a clone of the Founder, as He is the only person to have ever worked out how to be free. All everyone else ever did was create less freedom.

A Scientology world would never allow a Gandhi, a Beethoven, a Buddha, an Edison. a Michelangelo, a Mandela, a Tolstoy, a Dickens – it would be a world where everybody is devoted to the goal of Scientology in which everything else had no place. Time and time again I heard people told that their goals were nothing compared to the goal of Scientology and to follow their own goals was “out-Ethics” – the Scientology equivalent of sinful. Many was the time this happened to me – I abandoned pursuing my own goals until Scientology was achieving its own. Which of course never happened. And will never happen, because it offers no real freedom but just a dull hypnotic state where one thinks one has become cause again but actually is having a harder time coping than the average person.

Scientology promises immortal and invincible individuality: instead, it swallows the individual whole and regurgitates them as the perfect soldier who will follow any orders because their Founder has all the answers and His teachings are the only thing worthwhile in this (or any other) universe because they are supposedly the way back to the state of Immortal and Invincible Individuality.

That’s why I oppose Scientology.

Paul “Scooter” Schofield

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Negative attitudes and ‘waiting’ in scientology

Some thoughts that come to mind reflecting on scientology concepts.

1. Negative attitudes

I’ve noticed this particularly in long time ex Sea Org or staff – the attitude that you must not discuss things in detail when challenging events or issues raise their heads. It’s ok to relay what happened in a ‘debrief’ kind of way, but not to experience the emotions that are normal when something awful has happened, like being angry or crying beyond a certain limit. It’s that limit that interests me.

I suppose this is an obvious result of not being able to share normal emotions within scientology and having to ‘wait for a session’ to let it all out etc and it is one of those insidious concepts that can influence normal human interactions without one being aware of it. I have found there can be an almost desperate attempt to ‘make it all positive’ very quickly, a ‘get over it/suck it up’ thing.

Besides the obvious scientology concept of “make it go right’ or you have “pulled in” disaster, it seems to me that a lot of this can be also traced back to the need to be seen to be successful, no matter what is really going on beneath the surface. “Good roads” once practiced is a powerful thought stopper. Is it that once you show compassion for another’s suffering, the door is opened to admit that there are things in one’s own life that really need compassion too? A sign of failure?

There is nothing wrong with being positive and seeking the lessons and wisdoms that can come with such experiences. However there is something wrong with a blanket attitude of “don’t be negative” because that assigns that experience a certain distain and worthlessness, instead of understanding.

I have learned through a lot of experience with many different people that compassion and real interest are incredibly powerful healing tools, if one is prepared to use them. It was a native American medicine woman who first opened my eyes to this many years ago and taught me how to be still and let the wind blow through me to empty the bad energy to make way for the good. To do that you need to see and experience those negatives for what they are and this is true whether it be in yourself or another.

2. “Wait is Enemy”

I can’t remember which policy this comes from, but it was said to me the other day and it reminded me of how often it was used.

I think that concept is another major thought stopper, a powerful kick in the behind for when someone wavered. I see scientologists who plough through any obstacle no matter the consequences, to make something happen NOW. Again it’s the “make it go right” attitude, no matter the costs. If you are not seen to be doing, then your value as a ‘being’ is diminished. The “speed of particle flow and power” thing comes to mind, something that was drilled into us, so your concept of your own ‘power’ is challenged if you wait a bit.

One of the hardest lessons I learned, and still learn, is about patience. Coming out of a drama ridden and chaotic family and scientology life, it was the wisdom of a few marvellous people who trod the road beside me for a while that taught me (and still do) about the need for stillness and the consequent ability to “let go”. If we don’t ‘wait’ for both emotions and events to take their course, then how can they ever be seen for what they are? If you don’t allow time then you short circuit life, and the challenges come back at you in another way to repeat and repeat what you need to become aware of.

“Wait” is not enemy. Only to the scientology mindset which values the future over the present.

A Billion Years Distilled

This is a poem my brother wrote some years ago about life in the Sea Org.


DWJ Sea Org

I’ve stood my tallest, strong and keen
sharp navy blues on white unpressed
gilded with such pride of meagre rank
still thrilling inside grim-faced mask
all individual, part of elite group.
I am the team
I work flat out
I run, don’t walk
I know the score.
(This life grand Yvonne’s softly eyes endorsed
This adventure David’s manic glint engaged).

I’ve walked the gangplank, up to Flag
a bridge to total freedom? no,
to something better: duty, care
penultimate, right next to Source
where action is, and bellys young and fired.
to graduate
to make my mark
to give my all
to save the world.
(Surprise! my greeting is a Terri laugh,
precursor to a thousand smiles
Surprise! they’re just a hundred guys like me
with taste for action — vive la vie!)

I’ve met the Old Man, Commodore
(an LRH who fancied to be HRH)
my guru, chief, raison d’être
strong, inspiring, our own Thor
and only sometimes showing feet of clay.
He chatted, navigation stars
he yelled, a flub-catch leaving port
he messengered, all wee winged feet
he wrote, prolix! (but always fun in OODs)
(Oh Lafayette you weren’t exempt,
great power overpowers *all* egos
Oh David young Hermes indeed
fly close, fly high – wax melts, take heed!)

I’ve weathered fiercest ocean storms
a hurricane close to the rocks
“one more degree of list and she *will* keel”
grip-riding drenching high bow waves,
my ship my surfboard, I’m The King!
Hear rigging’s scream
feel dancing bolt (hung from a string)
see faces white
taste waves, my God the waves!
(Poor ‘Frank The Bucket’ – desparate!
and extra food for us who don’t turn green
Poor children of our legend be
those Sea Org members without sea).

I’ve worn a uniform with pride
‘on mission’ like Blues Brothers but
by orders of some lesser Gods
My ethics in, my confront high,
they’d look away but up their game when Sea Org came to town.
Get those stats up!
get back on-tech!
get regging, quick!
get off your ass!
(But Doreen did that knife-in-wall trick really work?
and Jill why did down stats return
and why were bridges all so burned?)

I’ve loved intensely, sardine style
when stress entreats and close feels like affinity
Too-easy touch can seem like need, and havingness means gettingness
We practiced well at kidding selves, were righteous stars like Hollywood
so honour waned, and family. The smorgasbord awaits.
Is she with him?
is he off lines?
is “flows” 2D?
is family and a life just wog-world dreams?
(No wasn’t scared of your Dad hon
but yes I knew he’d think me low
No I’ll never listen to Hey April
without heart-clutch about mischievous green eyes.)

I’ve done my time in serfdom, slaved in boiler-suited RPF
some higher up thought low of me, gold buttons making goldenrod
or dirty needle? dirty hands!
so here’s some hell – go janitor and rehabilitate!
Some MEST got rehabbed but not me, I know how POWs feel:
you fake Yes SIR through bitter sweat, and only cry at night.
No, I see rust!
no, no time off!
no case on post!
No! CSW is not OK.
(Ah irony of destiny
mete balance and such just deserts
Ah them that lightly “banish!” said
will soon enough be banish-ed).

I’ve stopped and thought, looked at my life, evaluated stats
Examined tech not Chinese style or ‘knowing’ it correct
In doubt looked at polarities, deciding paths to take
So walked down gangplank tenuous, goodbye?
but leaving friends, not enemies, ’cause now I understand.
Me? I’m just a graduate.
me? I’ve made my mark.
me? I gave my all (and more besides)
me? my world is everyone’s, not some’s (the ‘able’ rich).
(Father was it my fault that my life went thus so long?
well no but yes, we made it all go right
Father was there one thing I should now do different?
what if?…who cares, or possibly could know?)

What I know is
we can come back
or not – now power comes from self
the past has passed
abandon self to love,
and dance and learn
hang tough take care
each moment built your life’s net wealth
so drink your Sea Org buddies’ health
our new quest life right here!

DWJ August 2006

Talking the Talk

The first thing a group with cult tendencies does is introduce a new and exclusive ‘language’ to describe concepts that are limited to that group alone. Scientology had a massive ‘dictionary’ to explain their jargon, which includes numerous abbreviations, totally new words and new meanings for normal everyday English words.

This new language gives a sense of inclusion, of being part of an elite group that can communicate certain concepts only to each other. It breeds a sense of safety and familiarity within the group and widens the divide to the ‘outside world’.  After learning hundreds of new words, it in fact becomes a second language.

The first scientology word I learned was “ARC”. This is a made up word from the initials of the words Affinity-Reality-Communication. Without going into lengthy explanations, the idea is that you need to have all three concepts in alignment to lead to ‘understanding’. The term “ARC” is a very small word for a very large concept. It includes all sorts of emotions and substitutes for normal words such as liking, connection, love, empathy etc. The opposite of “ARC” is “ARC Break” (ARCX in the super duper abbreviation requirements) and this means any upset, disagreement, dislike and so on.

Two little words then become a sort of shortcut to describe the vast array of real human emotions – they are squished and squashed into a box labelled “ARC” and equated with “understanding”.

I learnt about “ARC” at the age of 14, just when a young mind is starting to awaken to the wider boundaries of life. I was so excited while doing my first course (Personal Efficiency or PE Course) and felt that I had a head start on my poor peers left studying boring subjects at school, they would never be able to grasp the incredible truth that was being revealed to me.  This is the point where you begin to really learn the ‘language’ and the start of the gradual disconnection from a normal life.

Talking the Talk of scientology (or any other cult) is a passport to a life of cognitive dissonance – a state of mind where you hold conflicting ideas simultaneously. When you are told something is “true” and your continued acceptance by the group depends on your acceptance of that “truth” –  yet you feel that something is ‘not right’ somehow (i.e. you may have conflicting experience) – it is a very uncomfortable place to be. The easiest solution, given that you feel the benefits of such a group outweigh any other consideration, is simply to accept it. If you do this long enough then you can actually get to a place where you barely use logic and alternate viewpoints in your thinking as it is all supplied for you in a ready-made package. Accepting that package leads you to accepting a life as defined by the cult leader and it happens in such a way that you barely know it has happened.

Much of the jargon stops you thinking, and is designed that way. A great article on this is Thought Stopping by Jeff Hawkins and his follow-up article Thought Stopping on Steroids.

One of the hardest and also most rewarding things an ex scientologist can do is to re-learn normal vocabulary. I have been often told that  “it is not necessary, as the jargon explains concepts that are exclusive to scientology”. Well that’s the whole point! Take any one of those exclusive concepts and write it out in plain English, it is an exercise that is guaranteed to start to shift some of the automatic thinking that using the jargon brings. Best to start with the smaller and more common words, such as “theta”, “ARC”, “Comm”, “2D” and so on.  I will add that it’s not easy to do, at first, though well worth the effort.

It is such a wonderful thing to be able to truly make your own mind up about a subject without having to double think and translate into scientologese. Wonderful.