I've been trying to learn more about how Scientology works in regard to how they investigate, interrogate, and discipline their members, and how similar their methods are to Jehovah's Witnesses. I am currently PIMO, and while I have never faced a judicial committee, the elders have tried to investigate me. I won't go into detail, but basically it was just a case of me not wanting to reach out like they wanted me to. Most of the elders at the time had known me for a while, so they didn't really care. But you always have a couple of elders who take themselves way too seriously, and they were the ones I had to deal with. These are the type of elders who figure that since I'm not foaming at the mouth to become like them, then I must be engaged in secret sin.
So these two brothers drag me into the back room. At the time I was still PIMI, but very sick of the whole thing. I just didn't care anymore. Of course they arrange the seating in such a way as to seem more intimidating I guess. Even though there were only two elders, they still tried to make me feel boxed in. They asked me why I didn't seem willing and eager to reach out for more "privileges". I just explained that I was satisfied with what I was already doing, and that I didn't feel the need to take on any additional work. They seem to have a certain tactic. They'll start off trying to seem very warm and friendly, like they're your best friends in the whole world. Looking back on it, they were obviously trying to get me to let my guard down. Then they hit me with a question similar to this: "Do you have anything else that you'd like to share with us?"
That question surprised me, because in my mind, we were meeting for a specific issue. Once I explain myself regarding that specific issue, that should be the end of it. If there was something that I wanted them to know, I would have already volunteered that information. So I just told them no. When I said no, it was as if my answer wasn't good enough. They wanted me to admit to something so that they could turn it into a judicial matter. Even though I was PIMI, by then I had figured out that the elders don't have superpowers, and I knew that I didn't have to say a goddamn thing that I didn't want to. So after a few seconds of awkward silence in response to my lack of a confession, they ended the little investigation and we were back to being "friends" again.
I'm not sure how Scientology works exactly, but here's what I'm getting at. When the elders ask a question, they observe your body language very carefully. That's one of the reasons they sometimes box people in with the seating arrangement. They want to make you feel uncomfortable. In Scientology audits, they are depending on the e-meter to reveal how nervous you get when certain questions are asked. It's the same thing done in slightly different ways. Look at this quote from Cracked.com: "See, the Church of Scientology has its members pay for regular auditing sessions. These are a little like Catholic confession, only without all that confidentiality nonsense. This means the church has a big fat blackmail file on every one of its members. If you leave, you're declared a suppressive person. They'll take the worst bits from your file -- that time you got caught shoplifting, or that dark sexual fetish you admitted to having -- and serve that to your family along with a side of straight-up lies."
thing that stood out to me about that quote is the fact that Watchtower
also keeps a file on you. And they make sure that wherever you go, your
dirty laundry follows in the form of the "letter of introduction".
Here are some of the crazy questions Scientology uses, courtesy of Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Scientology_security_checks
Scientology also does this to children. Look at some of the questions they ask: https://www.villagevoice.com/2012/06/30/what-katie-holmes-is-saving-suri-from-scientologys-interrogation-of-children/
Notice what Village Voice says about the questions: "It’s disturbing stuff, especially when you picture a child of Suri’s age holding the sensors of an e-meter, being interrogated by an adult determined to have her confess her transgressions."
I can only imagine the conversation that took place after I was dismissed:
Elder 1: Why the heck didn't that work? I thought for sure we had him that time! He didn't get nervous or anything!
Elder 2: I don't know. Maybe we could have done some things differently. Maybe next time we should ask more direct questions.
Elder 1: I know he's hiding something. There's a reason he isn't reaching out, and I plan on getting to the bottom of it.
Elder 2: Well one thing is for sure. Holy Spirit will reveal his sins in due time. We just have to be patient. Jehovah won't allow this congregation to be defiled. Did you hear the way he said "no" when I asked him if he had anything else to tell us? He said it like he has no respect for our authority. We'll have to make sure we keep an eye on him.
Elder 1: A Local Needs talk about this might be in order.
Elder 2: What would you talk about exactly?
Elder 1: Hiding secret sins. The information is much needed because there are a few other people that I'm suspicious of.DOWN WITH THE SCOTCHTOWER BABBLE & CRAP SOCIETY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!