article about Scientology

by Socrateswannabe 5 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Socrateswannabe

    Much has been discussed here about the similarities between JWs and Scientology. When I read this article on, it brought home to me the methodology that all cults, including JWs, use to indoctrinate believers.

    It’s only after years of training, after they have told the church every private fact about themselves, that Scientologists hear about Xenu and humankind’s alien origins. Unsurprisingly, even after many years, Haggis and others still found the creation myth hard to stomach. Haggis even wondered if it was an “insanity test.”

    Curiously, none of those interviewed in the film exited Scientology at that junction. As Haggis put it, “you have already paid for the next [session],” your social life centered around the church, and, besides, you weren’t required to believe it. “If you were told [about Xenu the galactic overlord] on day one,” wonders the journalist Tony Ortega, “how many people would join?” He describes the Scientologist strategy as a “bait and switch.But Scientology has perfected something more nuanced–a technique that separates the process of investing in belief from that of belief itself: By the time Scientologists are told about the creation myth, they have many persuasive emotional reasons to believe in it, or rather, to try to believe it.

    Scientology’s persuasiveness is not in the logic of its beliefs but in its ability to control behavior. People believe in Xenu and thetans because it becomes exceedingly difficult not to in light of all they have committed to the church.

  • freemindfade

    wow. Direct parallel. In all of my dealings with my family yelling at me for being an apostate it always ends with the same thing at the end. "if its not the truth I have wasted my life". Its a strange admission, because everything else they say, 99% of the conversation is about bad mouthing me for not believing in god, and why the org is where its at, but inevitably, usually with tears, they make this admission. Basically all they have invested is lost.

    People believe in Xenu and thetans because it becomes exceedingly difficult not to in light of all they have committed to the church.

    So when I read this I hear that subtle admission they all slip into the cognitive dissonance rant. They are overly invested. its insane.

  • Vidiot

    freemindfade - "...inevitably, usually with tears, they make this admission. Basically all they have invested is lost."

    Basically, your "apostasy" makes them afraid that they might be catastrophically wrong.


    I think I was lucky.

    When my decision to fade came, it was made easier by the quick realization that, in all honestly, I hadn't made an all-encompassing emotional and intellectual investment in my membership (I'd actually lost count of all the little ways I'd had trouble validating something in WT theology that I disagreed with).

  • freemindfade
    Yea me as well, the worst part for me is I have a large family I am (was) very close to. And overnight I am treated like satan. I have good days and bad days. Taking 35 years of amazing relationships and waving goodbye is not easy, even though I am not DF'd or DA'd. I have thought it would be better for my mental state to DA, but I have a handful or more of very good friends that I would lose also who have no idea whats going on.
  • AndersonsInfo

    When I read this statement in the article, "People believe in Xenu and thetans because it becomes exceedingly difficult not to in light of all they have committed to the church," I thought of what I wrote in my life experience that I posted on my website in 2007 at

    "During the mid 1960s there was talk originating from the leaders of our organization saying 1975 would see the end of the present system of things. Worried that maybe we weren’t doing enough for God, in 1968, Joe quit his job with Florida Power and Light Company to be replaced by part-time jobs for both of us as we once again went back into the pioneer work. ... Although the 1975 date set by Jehovah’s Witnesses for the coming Apocalypse came and went, we were not deterred for we had too much invested in the religion to throw in the towel."

    I clearly remember how we felt then although it was forty years ago. We had committed our lives to the Watchtower religion and to leave was unthinkable. To our Watchtower-manipulated brains, there was nothing outside of the religion that was acceptable to us. And all of our family and friends were Witnesses. Since we had "made an all-encompassing emotional and intellectual investment" in the religion, we stayed "with the program" and continued to wait patiently for Armageddon while we "worked" for salvation.

    The JW methodology worked for 22 years more, but began to not sit well after I learned about the child sexual abuse cover-up while in Bethel. Still it took a few more years for me to realize that my "investment" was worthless and to break the control over my mind "to wait upon Jehovah" to do something about the sexual abuse problem.

    Former cult members like XJWs can readily identify with the experiences presently related by those who left Scientology and who are trying to understand why they took the bait in the first place and continued so long in the cult even though it was clear that it was a very harmful way of life and a scam.


  • sparrowdown

    Staying in any situation once you know it's a lemon is like throwing good money after bad.

    The reasoning we tell ourselves is: I have invested so much already it would be silly to give up now. So whether it be a bad religion a bad marriage a horrible job or hanging on to stock we know we should unload, wishful thinking and the belief that "I've come too far to back out now" means we hang on longer than we should and end up losing more and wasting more time. In the world of economics it's called the "sunk-cost fallacy" but people will make the same mistake with any entanglement they have in their lives. Cults know this about human nature and exploit it.

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