Recently, I received a private message from a reader. Unfortunately, the return email they provided wasn’t valid so I could not respond privately.
However, since I occasionally get similar messages from others, I felt it would be worthwhile to respond publicly.
I promise I won’t provide any identifying information about anyone who writes to me privately but, since these messages are similar, I won’t give anything away by providing a fictitious message that is similar to others I have received:
Please advise me what to do
I have been living in fear for many years. The Church of Scientology continues to hurt me and my family but, because the harm cannot be seen, no one believes me. I’ve written to others but they think I’m crazy.
Even now, the church is probably reading what I am typing and I will be punished. I’m even afraid you will be punished for reading this message.
I guess there isn’t much you can do. Thanks for listening.
Here is what I think: I do understand this attitude. This isn’t crazy, this is what Scientologists are supposed to believe because it keeps them fearful and in line when they are in Scientology and it keeps them fearful and quiet when they leave. I have observed this before: Scientology is a religion of fear.
When I left Scientology, I felt much the same way. Here was my response to this reader:
I’m truly sorry that you have having such a difficult time. Scientology does serious harm to people. It really doesn’t help that most of that harm is mental (and therefore “invisible”). When people claim that Scientology does do some good, it must be balanced against the harm and that harm is far, far more than any benefit from Scientology.
One of the tricks Scientology plays is what you refer to: The concept that Scientology and Scientologists are super-powerful people who have secret powers and can see everything.
Here is the truth: They aren’t and they don’t. Scientologists are just normal people with absolutely no special powers. They cannot tap your phone. They cannot see your (or my) computer and email. They do not know where you are or what you are doing.
This is absolutely true. They want you to believe the lies because it forces you to give them control over your life, but it just isn’t true. You will have noticed that, to spy on Marty (for example) they had to hire non-Scientology PIs – and even those guys were pretty limited in what they were able to do.
Scientologists have no more powers than the average person on the street. In fact, Scientology brainwashing makes them more prone to errors.
The Church of Scientology’s only real “power” comes from their total willingness to break the law. But that is actually their biggest weakness, which is now coming back to haunt them.
Things are so rough for the church that all their attention is on desperate defense. They have no time for you. They are not interested in you at all. Even many of those who are actively speaking out about Scientology’s abuses are being ignored by the church.
I want you to try to forget about Scientology as much as possible. The more you think about it, the more it will screw with you. Understand that, by thinking about the church, you are giving Scientology the power over you that they, in fact, do not have.
I also urge you to find someone to talk to about this. Preferably someone who understands cults and cult brainwashing who can understand what you are talking about.
Trust me, things are much, much better than you think.
Please note that this advice does not apply where the Church of Scientology is actually doing something harmful, such as talking to neighbors, contacting employers and so on. This doesn’t happen often but we all know it does happen to some of the more prominent “enemies” of the church.
Those things are actual actions that can be documented and reported to the police. This isn’t what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the belief that Scientology and Scientologists have secret, super powers and abilities and are using these powers to attack everyone, even those who have never spoken out. I’m talking about the idea that the Church of Scientology has the time, the resources and the interest in attacking everyone who has ever been in Scientology. They just don’t. The church is almost gone and any resources they still have are very thinly stretched covering only the biggest flaps, news stories and court cases.
If you are not part of the biggest flaps, news stories or court cases, the church is not paying you any attention.
It’s very hard to know how to respond to this call for help. Without specifics about the “hurt”, one cannot suggest a remedy.
I agree with Bill that the cos does not have the resources or the interest in trying to hurt or silence every ex-scientologist. That said, who knows what individual scientologists might think of to do when one of their own has left the flock. Those guys can get pretty nuts. Look at the “squirrel-busters”.
One of the most telling examples of the reality that there are no OT’s and no Secret Powers is to read the transcripts of the court cases involving the Snow White program, designed to infiltrate the IRS and other U.S. government agencies in the 70’s. This all took place before Miss Cabbage was a meaningful (public) player in Scn. The program had the unarguable fingerprints of LRH throughout.
The Guardian’s office, composed of the most elite and powerful “OT’s” on the planet, including the “Guardian for Life” personally appointed by LRH, Jane Kember, and Mary Sue Hubbard, to whom Kember reported (as a cutout for LRH) were the key operatives, with 9 others. It’s in the court documents and is sworn testimony from the 11 senior church executive level defendants.
They used the most prosaic methods imaginable to do their dirty work: burglary tools like lock-picks, standard copy machines, cheap, portable, hidden listening devices and ordinary garden variety humanoids to do the on-the-ground grunt work of burglary and document theft.
There was no “pervading an area to absorb the data.” Why? Because nobody in (or out) of the church can do that. It was and remains bullshit. There are no OT’s – if there were, nobody would have been caught and gone to jail in the 70’s.
Peeling that layer of nonsense off the onion of lies, one eventually gets to the rotten core of Scn – it’s all largely bullshit and a money making scam.
That reality (the money making scam aspect) is what the Guardian’s Office and now OSA are actually trying to keep hidden – everything else is secondary and almost just a distraction.
Fear has always been a key tool, however the OSA folks are spread so thin there is just to much “entheta” (read truth) for them to chase and the fear level has fallen to near invisibility.
Thank you, Bill! This fear BS is the ONLY power Scientology has except for the money they throw at the problems they make, and what’s left of their familial/business disconnection policy enforcement. They have so little power that they have to make a big deal about how much power they have. This has ALWAYS been a part and parcel of the control sham. Wizard of Weirdo-Oz. Looks a lot like extremely low organizational-self-esteem.
This is a really important issue.
Too many outsiders dismiss the psychological hold that Scientology has over its members because, as you say, it is invisible to them.
I still read people in the comments section of the mainstream news media making glib assumptions about how stupid or gullible people must be to believe all that stuff about Xenu. That shows a complete misunderstanding of how the movement operates.
Even some campaigners involved in the struggle against the movement make a similar mistake.
Some of them focus on the bizarre behaviour of the movement’s zealots and are fairly indiscriminate on the scorn they heap on those still inside. They appear to forget — or are simply oblivious to — the pressure ordinary members are under.
The illusion of power that the movement projects even extends into the mainstream news media. Until recently editors were reluctant to touch anything but celebrity gossip when it came to Scientology for fear of being sued. Fortunately, that is beginning to change.
But there is still an astonishing ignorance about the psychological and emotional abuse inflicted on Scientologists, an issue which needs more exposure than it is getting.
Just a thought for you. I know you don’t post as much because you are busy (that is a good thing) and you feel you are just repeating what others say. But don’t sell yourself short. You have a very important viewpoint and with everything that is going on I miss seeing that. Like I said, it is just a thought. Hope all is well.
Yes, we must ask those that would say scientology is helpful to balance this against the harm it does everyone. Some of this harm is quite subtle. For me, being in scientology caused me to quietly obsess over scientology. I spent a great deal of my time thinking about scientology, having imaginary conversations with people about scientology and Hubbard, preparing myself for situations where I might have the opportunity to “safepoint” scientology or disseminate (these are jobs every scientologist is supposed to do). When I socialized, whether with family, longtime friends, acquaintances or strangers, I constantly looked for opportunities to bring up the subject of scientology. I would bring up seemingly unrelated topics that might cause the other person to mention something closely-related enough for me to bring it up myself. At the very least, this made me a person who was never really just being myself (and certainly not just enjoying myself). I always had a job to do, and carried this meaningless burden for decades. I wonder who I would be today if I hadn’t given over my mind to this worthless enterprise.
Good points, Bill. “I’m talking about the idea that the Church of Scientology has the time, the resources and the interest in attacking everyone who has ever been in Scientology. They just don’t. The church is almost gone and any resources they still have are very thinly stretched covering only the biggest flaps, news stories and court cases.
If you are not part of the biggest flaps, news stories or court cases, the church is not paying you any attention.” I have found this to be true. However, that said, the “church” of $cientology, despite how many public and staff they have lost, still keep up their FLAT OUT LIES about myself, and many other ex’s and critics. It’s fine with me, as I see it as “Proof that they DO still use “Fair Game”, however others may not feel that way.
If you haven’t seen the Documentary, “Going Clear”…make sure not to miss it. It’s in Theaters, starting this Friday, in LA (Archlight, Hollywood many times/day) and SF and NYC. 🙂
Love to ALL ❤ Tory/Magoo
PS: It’s not “fine” with me…as it IS flat out LIBEL and LIES, but hey, .that’s the only way I view it where it does some good for us.
As long as their lies are up on the Net,
which until someone is willing to pay for a group libel case (which isn’t a bad idea…and we could SUE Joel Phillips who SAYS he is “The In charge of Religious Freedom Watch” (their hate page filled with lies)…they do prove their insanities, daily. Love to ALL,
Tory/Magoo (Ex-Scientologist after 30 years “in”)
Oh I may leave a comment… but it will never be read by the public. There is no where on the Internet to ask a question or leave a comment. Raisespecially questions for me right there!
I’m not sure what you are trying to say. If you mean your comment would never be read by Scientologists, well, you’d be surprised. Scientologists do come read this blog.
If you mean non-Scientologist public wouldn’t read your comment, that doesn’t make sense.
this, more than any other example about the harm scientology does, shows most poignently what a religion of fear does to people. When done to children it is inexcusable.