I originally published this article on May 18, 2010. At that time the independent field of former Scientologists was quite fragmented and some groups were actively opposing other independent groups. The field is even more fragmented today but the various groups seem to be functioning quite well independently of each other while the “mother church” is melting away like the bad witch in the Wizard of Oz. I have translated the former article from Scientologese to English, which is the language I use today.
Groups move up and down through the conditions of existence just as individuals do. I feel we are part of an emerging group activity which will have a lasting effect on the lives of those who join it and even those who oppose it, but I do not feel we have enough visibility to say what condition we are in
Back in the mid-late Seventies I remember a group of Scientologists whose primary purpose was going free as individuals and helping others do the same. (Ft Lauderdale Mission and Miami Org ) We had sky-high dreams but we were not aware of our condition as a group. We were just having the adventure of our lives and we never thought it would be necessary to apply conditions to an activity that was in such obvious power. (Little did we know!)
Within a very few years, I saw the cancer of a militant priesthood (the Sea Org) spreading fear and uncertainty through the formerly high morale mission network. Enforced can’t-have, enforced non-communication, and enforced contribution to the group slowly and surely strangled the last vestiges of a real group among Scientology public. We had to be careful who we talked to, what we said and what we thought.
The cancer analogy has a lot going for it. Normal people get converted into a cult mentality like normal cells get converted to malignant matter with the same end result. Vital communications and life giving energy are diverted or blocked and the organism falters and dies or operates in a crippled and unhealthy fashion. The life blood of the old mission network was the friendly communication that went on at all levels. People had wins, people needing help got help, auditors got trained quickly and were encouraged to audit without delay.
When Sea Org missions became a regular occurrence, we quickly learned what not to say and when to turn a blind eye to injustice. Our happy group attitude died in a very short time and was replaced by cult think on an ever increasing gradient. Most of the effort at current Scientology Organizations seems to be directed to spying on who is talking or thinking forbidden thoughts. There is a whole team of toadies who spend their time policing Facebook pages and telling the still-faithful who they can be friends with and who they must de-friend.
Once we become independent, whether we’ve gone public or not, we are exterior to and almost free of the insanity of the church of Scientology. We are becoming aware of ourselves as a group with a commonality of purposes, a common enemy, and we communicate freely among ourselves about anything and everything.
I would estimate that some of us are well into a condition of Non-Existence as a group but we still need to determine what is needed and wanted for us to survive as a coherent group. We may not all choose to speak with one voice and that is as it should be if we really have different goals.
At some point we will have to answer the question of whether a priesthood, militant or otherwise, is what we want to see in our future. I feel it is a vestige of the old command and control mentality that surfaced in the mid-sixties and should be laid permanently to rest.
I have observed that the open connectivity of the Internet has allowed independents to successfully run out group disasters which is a feat that the church was unable to achieve except in rare instances. This is a power that the church cannot control and gives the field an “unkillability” that must be frightening to David Miscavige and his cohorts.
Because of our open communication and instant connectivity, every attack by the church is quickly analyzed and commented on until the confusions blow, the upsets are handled and correct targets are found for handling. The Church of Scientology has nothing to compare with independent group ability.
What is more ominous for Miscavige’s future prospects is that every attack made against an isolated independent individual or group brings the rest of the independent field together in a response against the common enemy, the suppressive Church of Scientology. If we did nothing except continue to communicate among ourselves in response to Church of Scientology attacks, we would find ourselves being shaped into a group by the actions of the suppressive organization that is trying to destroy us.
I think our future lies in maintaining open communication between all levels of independent practitioners and groups. This implies a network solution for delivery of services and training instead of a central org structure, but I feel that open communication will lead to a workable solution to support the goals and activities of this new group of Independents. At some point we will find our way to deciding what condition we are as a group and this will lead to a more focused approach to ridding ourselves of the fetters of the cult we used to be a part of.
On the other hand, the span of activities and purposes may be so great as to result in the creation of several, or many, interconnected groups. In this case, there is the interesting possibility that the different independent groups will be in different conditions!
Whatever happens, as long as there are some independent counselors with the primary purpose of going free as individuals and helping others do the same, I will feel there is a future track I can contribute to for the rest of my current lifetime.
Meanwhile, I am ready to support any effort that will bring about desirable changes in the availability and universal use of workable technology.
David St Lawrence, formerly known as Old Auditor, on August 14, 2015 |