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.