I am republishing my 2010 article because there are too many ex-scientologists who still do not realize they sacrificed their personal lives and futures for a cult. They are still beating themselves up because they feel they failed to carry out their self-assigned missions impossible!
There is no wrong answer to the title question, just consider it a nudge to examine your experiences in a new light.
I applied some Wikipedia cult checklist material to my 33 years in Scientology as a mission holder and as public and was appalled by the result.
Six months ago, I would have confidently answered, “definitely not!”
One month ago, I would have answered, “Well, sort of… at least it seemed that way at the end.”
Yesterday, I read some definitions of cult behavior and I said, “Where have I been? The Church I belonged to turned into a cult long ago!”
Today I read more information on the Internet and realized the CofS became a cult in 1965, but the total transformation from fun-loving scientologists to SO dominated cult members was not complete until the mid Seventies. (Your mileage may vary as you may have been closer to the center than I was.)
I had Googled “cult checklist” and came up with about 321,000 results. Some cult checklists are written by one sect which doesn’t like another sect and decides the easiest thing way to make the other sect unpopular is to label them a cult.
I found several examples on Wikipedia which seemed to be more objective than most and by the time I finished the page I realized I had been part of a cult for 33 years! My first four years had been so enjoyable at the Ft Lauderdale Mission and at Miami Org because the cult behavior had not been installed there yet.
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This article was published 6 years ago and nothing significant has happened to change the situation the church has created for itself. The billions of dollars Miscavige has squirreled away will not change the eventual outcome. At most, these reserves will only delay the final days of the cult.
Some Confront Required
The Current Church of Scientology
WORST-CASE TOP-DOWN ORGANIZATION
The church organization was designed as a top down command and control system. Even the “justice system” is weighted so that the unsupported word of almost any Sea Org person bears more weight than that of a trained OT public person.
Once a suppressive individual gains control of a top down organization through a coup, there is no way to unseat this person, especially if they have carefully discredited all who might have challenged them.
David Miscavige has managed to do this and has supplanted LRH as the goal maker for Scientology and has replaced any theta goals with MEST goals designed to flow money and power to himself.
Read “An Essay on Management” 9 Jan 51 for a full description.
Scientology public and staff are indoctrinated from their first days in the organization that Source is not to be questioned nor are the motives of the group itself to be questioned. At the highest levels, this translates into following orders and taking actions that are illegal, inhumane, and immoral without question if the need arises.
As the public person moves up the Bridge, they are convinced to make more agreements that limit their freedom of choice. If they achieve higher levels of perception and greater understanding of life as they progress up the Bridge, they are simultaneously forced to deny what they are able to perceive.
They may gain a greater understanding of life, but must learn to ignore or not-is invalidation and abuse if they are to continue up the Bridge. This degradation is deliberate as OTs are notoriously hard to control once they can think for themselves.
Replacing David Miscavage will not change the church culture which was designed by Ron himself. Ron was a benevolent dictator most of the time and the church produced viable products until Ron went into a long decline and no longer had first-hand information to work with. Church policies will reflect the sanity of the person holding the top spot. There has never been an effective check and balance system for the church.
It cannot stand up to the scrutiny of the Internet and may possibly implode in the years to come.
The Future: Networked Independent Practitioners and Groups
(Name to be determined by the survivors)
Independent Field Network
I see the field outside the church evolving into a network of practitioners and groups with varying technologies but some common agreements on quality of service, mutual support, and mutual defense.
I see these mutual agreements being the result of an Open Source movement to develop field policy for the benefit of all practitioners and their clients. I do not see much of the current Green and White Policy being included.
Internet Organizations have some properties that brick and mortar organizations cannot match. They are independently run nodes that are connected to every other node on the network. Connections are determined by need, not by orders from a higher source of power. Any terminal in any node can access any other terminal in any other node and if denied, can search for information about that terminal using a search engine.
There is a continuing search for information and communication about that information so that perverted comm lines get exploded almost immediately.
It is becoming apparent that much of the technology that produced desirable results was not created by LRH and it would be appropriate to research these areas and recover anything that was lost when LRH claimed it as his own.
Study Tech was developed and tested by others. NOTS was developed and tested by others. An Open Source spiritual technology research effort might attract many of our senior technical people who could be revitalized by the prospect of finding the full set of workable technologies and testing them for use.
Agreements can be hammered out quickly on a cooperative basis. Organizational hierarchies can be formed on the basis of abilities and and needs instead of by executive fiat. There is a constant review of published works so that mistakes and poorly conceived ideas can be caught at an early point.
The Open Source approach to development attracts those who want to get things done. Someone will probably come up with a bright idea for Internet training centers offering distance learning and coaching for auditors and practitioners of every stripe. Coached meter drills can be done with a webcam setup to show the auditor and meter.
Supervision of study and doll drills can also be done remotely.
Russian auditors are already doing remote auditing and remote Case Supervision,so I see no reason why a motivated team can’t come up with ways to use the internet and extend counseling in ways that have not been considered before.
The future of the field
If the driving goal is to develop a workable technology and workable policies that can be adjusted to meet market needs and to safeguard Clients and Practitioners, I think it will be accomplished in a relatively short time. The goals must include:
1. A way of estimating what can be delivered to a client
2. Delivering what is promised
3. A means of handling failures to deliver so that they do not repeat and that customer satisfaction can be obtained.
I see the key is that we in the field need to act in a coordinated fashion so that we can present a united front to handle regulatory bodies and competitive organizations who might seek to license us or to drive us out of business.
It promises to be an interesting time. I’m glad I’m here to see it!
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