samedi 24 septembre 2016

Scientology and a broader perspective on cults

To my dear fellow Ex-Scientologists,

I have been on this board for a while now, and have posted (at some length) on various topics over the time I have been here. I have been receiving therapy, mostly in regards to issues which predated my long involvement in Scientology. You may not be surprised to learn that those issues were not addressed in any meaningful fashion while I was involved with L. Ron Hubbard's (and now Miscavage's) delightful little cult.

Still, I did some work with my therapist to understand how and why I got involved with, and stayed involved with Scientology for way too long. A key part of the work was reading the book "Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships" by Janja Lalich and Madeleine Tobias (ISBN-10: 0972002154 / ISBN-13: 978-0972002158) . This book was written for people who had suffered or who are suffering because they, or a friend or loved one, have been or are still involved in a cult.

Ever heard of the term 'assymetric power relationship'? It is a common element found in abusive cults. How did we relate to the Ethics officer, the Course Supervisor, the Registrar? When the overbearing Sea Org Missionaire cornered us at an event, were we freely able to express our discomfort about being forced to do things we knew weren't good for us?

Yeah, those assymetric power relationships…as designed by Hubbard.

As I worked my way through that book, and read about how many different types of cults all prey on our human needs, and manipulate us using our common human weaknesses, I began to realize that those of us that have had the dubious pleasure of being exposed to the 'wisdom' of Hubbard are not unique in our experiences.

This is not to say we did not suffer, emotionally, physically, or spiritually.

People trapped in many different cults all suffer. The problem is not just Scientology. The problem is not just 'religious' cults. There are political, spiritual, family, psyco-therapeutic and even martial arts cults. Folks, please don't be offended, but we victims of Hubbard's foul scam are not special snowflakes. We are members of a much broader collection of folks who get trapped in cults, large and small, that prey upon their victims in the name of (fill in the blank) using methods that are eerily similar, once the window dressing is stripped away. ("Bridge to Total Freedom", anyone?)

In studying this book I realized that cults are much more varied than I knew, and that humanity still has much to do to educate itself about the hazards of allowing others to gain total control of our lives.

What IS special about us is that we unfortunately do know far more than most people about the particular cesspool that is Scientology. Therefore we have the ability to share our bitterly-earned experience with others who can then avoid Scientology, or limit its so-called "reach", or otherwise bring Hubbard's and Miscavage's thralls back into the light of truth, reason, and freedom.

To you, my fellows, I highly recommend this book, as it could help you gain a wider perspective to your times and experiences within this cult we know all too well. I found it helped me much better understand and recover from my experiences in Scientology.

Be well!
Scientology and a broader perspective on cults

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