My exScientology friend...

by james_woods 14 Replies latest jw experiences

  • james_woods

    I have a friend who backed out of Scientology way back when Hubbard was still alive. We go to lunch together quite often here at work. We have often commented about the great similarity & difficulty between breaking away from WT and from the Scientologists. I am not so sure that Scientology doesn't put the WTS to shame on a few grounds.

    Anyway, this guy was one of the elite Sea Organization people back when Ron was still on his yacht running around out in the Atlantic islands to avoid the IRS. He tended the engines on this ship, which he described as a converted WW2 antisub patrol boat which they renamed the Apollo.

    By his description, Hubbard was every bit as paranoid as the Judge and at the same time as whacked out on occultism and self delusion as Russell. So - check out a few parallels between what he made and the WTS:

    * complete unquestioning belief in Godlike founders and rulers

    * organization obsessed with publishing mass quantities of crazy literature

    * organization ordered to buy these literature themselves to force best seller status

    * organization obsessed with absolute control and brainwash of rank & file

    * organization obsessed with money grubbing from rather modest membership

    * organization obsessed with paranoia; everyone is out to get them because only they know the truth

    * creepy self spying and shunning practices that would put the East German communists to shame

    * belief system which hates conventional physchology, mainstream christianity, and normal governments

    * belief system which has disturbing linkages to occult ideas

    * original founder's carefully planned successors got hijacked immediately after death by a strongman from nowhere

    * they got Tom Cruise, we got Michael Jackson...

    etc... Scary, Huh?


  • AlmostAtheist

    I've heard that come cult members were awakened to their condition by seeing how non-unique they were. Being shown information like the list you provided woke them up.

    I don't know what the success rate is -- quite low, would be my guess -- but lists like this are nice to have around for that purpose.



  • Sentient

    You're right james_woods, there are many similarities, and I would say that Scientology uses even more extreme tactics when it comes to certain things. I remember reading a book called The Outsider, where the author (Lachenmeyer I think) explains his quest to understand his schizophrenic father who's mother had raised him in the group. The relationship between a person and their high-control group is a like a mirror of an unhealthy relationship between two individuals. The individual is highly dependent on the group and guidance from supposedly enlightened leaders, and does not know how to get along in the world without it. The control the individual is subject to in the group becomes reflected in their relationships with others...they cannot unconditionally accept another nor allow them to hold contrary opinions.

  • Rooster
  • divejunkie

    * they got Tom Cruise, we got Michael Jackson... Man that's really scary...:)

  • james_woods

    Hey Almost,

    I guess you are right about low success on comparison of cult behavior...But, were you still in when the Jonestown massacre occurred? I was (but fading fast) and I know for a fact that this incident shook up even some of the hardliners - even heard them comment on how the "world" might think we were "cult-like" as well. Maybe some of the deep researchers (Blondie or Mouthy???) remember what WT and Awake had to say about this tragedy. Should have been interesting to see them explain cult behavior without self incimination.

    BTW - should have also added that both founders died rather suddenly under slightly mysterious (or at least unusual)circumstances.

    There is also a similarity between this friend and some witnesses who leave for reasons mostly other than doctrine. This exScientology guy is almost like the Russellites who split when Rutherford took over. He really thinks L.Ron was right but that it all went to hell in a handbasket when David Miscavige took over. Yes, still holds with the phony lie detector, Xenu the alien, the bad souls in the volcano, etc. - just thinks the organization has gone astray. I see this with some who leave on control issues, rebel against parents, etc. Hope they are waking up to the underlying causes of the rotten mess, and are not believing it but just mad at it because it cramped their style.


  • TallTexan

    Has anyone seen the South Park episode where Stan is supposedly the reincarnation of L. Ron?

    I tell ya, if anyone ever comes to me again with a religion that 'they and they alone know the way to salvation', I'll probably pop them in the eye. Is that like the tell-tale sign of a cult?

  • AuntieJane

    Interesting post, James. My husband's cousin was named for L. Ron Hubbard because his parents were

    early followers and personal friends. This would have been in 1950, in the Denver, or at least, Colorado

    area. I need to research Hubbard's history and see if this is correct, but it is what we have always been told,

    and these parents were kind of guru-like, free spirits. They didn't 'get into' Scientology, or at least didn't stay

    with it, but went with some other offbeat cult-like group.

  • DannyHaszard

    Provocative post,and that's it! SOP Standard Operating Procedure for deprogramming---Make comparisons of the "non uniqueness" with the other high control cults.

    Moonies call their lying protocol heavenly deception

    Watchtower calls same theocratic warfare,yes how this rings and resonates,when i made the discovery it blew me away.-Danny Haszard

    [Dr Robert J. Lifton put it all together in 1961 with his masterpiece on Totalism & the 8 marks of a cult.]

  • yaddayadda
    * they got Tom Cruise, we got Michael Jackson...

    Huh? LOL. I think you will find a top celebrity in just about every religion/sect on earth, surely.

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