Another in my series to bring more understanding of what makes Scientologists think and act the way they do.
Every religion has its Big Reward for the faithful. It’s “Heaven”, “Nirvana”, “Paradise”, “Valhalla” or something equally wonderful, just for you after you’ve accomplished what that religion says you’re required to do and have “gone to your reward”.
That’s the carrot. It’s what’s promised to the faithful for following orders. You follow their instructions now and you’ll get the Big Reward, later.
The stick is that they can deny you that reward. They have the power to close the gates, kick you out, mark you as “bad”, whatever. The more you believe in the Big Reward, the more power they have over you, because they can take it away.
That’s the Big Penalty. Call it “Hell”, “Tartarus” or something else. Instead of all the good that will come to you in the Big Reward, it’s all pain, torture and suffering. It’s a very big stick used to threaten the faithful.
Do the Big Rewards and Big Penalties exist? No one has come back to report, so they are unproven and unprovable, but all the True Believers are betting, big time, that the Big Reward does exist, and that they will get it; they picked the right religion!
Scientology is no different.
The Big Reward in Scientology is “OT”, “Operating Thetan”. This means being able to operate without the body, able to create and destroy matter, energy, space and time; free of all past pain and upset; at cause.
Now, supposedly, this state is attainable right now. According to Hubbard, you don’t have to wait until you die to attain OT. Hubbard claimed you could have it now.
Well, sort of “now”. Hubbard announced that it was all within reach in 1954. No one had attained it (except Hubbard hinted that he, himself, was pretty advanced) but it was just around the corner.
And the years passed, and many people paid a lot of money to move up the ever-extending “Bridge to Total Freedom”. And, always, the “true” OT was always further away, above the top of “The Bridge”, not yet available, but there, oh, yes! It was just there, waiting!
Now, all Scientologists believe this. Devoutly. Absolutely. And they want OT. More than anything.
And this colors what Scientologists do, and it colors everything that the church says and does. The church must always slant things and spin things to keep that dream alive. Obviously, they’re not actually delivering “OT”, so they have to do everything to make it seem like it is possible.
One of these tricks is that the OT Levels are highly, highly confidential — well, they used to be. They still are for most Scientologists (since they can’t look on the Internet). The story told to Scientologists is that just reading these confidential materials will make your head explode (or something). See? They are that powerful. The fact that millions of “unprepared” people have read these materials without any harmful effects is a fact that must be kept from Scientologists. Scientologists must continue to believe in the sheer, awesome power of these documents.
In addition, those who have completed these OT levels must never talk about them except in the most vague terms. This keeps the mystique alive.
The fact that Hubbard died in hiding, on the run from the law, the fact that the last years of his life were spent sick and in pain, these details must never be known by any Scientologist. The story they were told is that Hubbard was far, far advanced and “dropped the body” to do further research as an OT. The true facts of Hubbard’s death completely invalidate the myth that he had mapped out any road to “true OT” and invalidate the myth that he actually was one of the true OTs. These facts must never be known.
The statistics of the Church of Scientology also must never, ever be known by Scientologists. The myth is the the “mighty church, lead by advanced OTs” is booming as never before. It is doing fantastic and very OT things! At least that’s what Miscavige says at his events. The facts that the church is collapsing, closing churches, losing money and in trouble all over the world must never be told. You see, the failure of top management clearly says that OT does not exist. If “true OTs” could be made, the church sure could use a few!
The Church of Scientology loves to talk about the Big, Evil, Powerful Conspiracy that fights them at every turn. It’s the reason why all the super-powerful OTs don’t seem to be able to make much of an impact on the world. They would, of course, but there’s this very powerful batch of Kryptonite over here … Of course, there is no such conspiracy, but, the church needs yet another excuse for all of its failures. If there was no super-powerful conspiracy, then — where are the OTs?
The church scrambles all the time to suppress anything that shows that Hubbard, Miscavige and the Church of Scientology are just regular, flawed, un-powered folk. It is a tough job, given all the mistakes Hubbard made, and all the goof-ups Miscavige is making.
However, for the True Believers, the myth is alive and real. The carrot is there, dangling a few inches from their fingers. The Church of Scientology keeps them all in line, blind to reality, by wielding their stick, the Big Penalty of Suppressive declare, disconnection, fair game. The Big Penalty is no Scientology, forever!
And Scientologists think:
So what if I have to pay and pay and pay? “True OT” is beyond any price.
So what if the church demands more and more of my time? So what if the church insists that I cut off all connection with friends and family? “True OT” is more important than my immediate concerns. It’s my salvation for eternity!
So what if Miscavige beats people, locks people up in RPFs, and makes staff members work 20 hours a day for years? Making “true OT” a reality is worth any sacrifice!
And so it goes: Scientologists giving up everything, tolerating anything, sacrificing all, just so they don’t lose their place in line for “true OT” when it becomes available.
And now you know the state of mind of a Scientologist. This is what they believe and this is why they so desperately toe the line, shut their eyes and ears, and pay and pay. They believe that, in the end, they will get the Big Reward: “True OT”.
Even when Scientologists finally leave, many feel a terrible loss — they will never go OT. Even when they know that it was all fake, they still feel the loss. It was a dream.
And, when Scientologists finally leave, they understand the depth of the betrayal by Hubbard and Miscavige. Those at the top of the church know that they can’t ever deliver “OT”. There is no way that Miscavige can pretend he doesn’t know this. He has been faking everything to pretend that there was such a thing as OT so he could stay in charge and keep milking money from the marks.
“OT, it’s just out of reach. There! Can’t you see it? Trust us, believe us, and keep sending money … or else!”
And that is why Scientologists are so annoying, and yet they are to be pitied.