All of them, those in power, and those who want the power, would pamper us, if we agreed to overlook their crookedness by wilfully restricting our activities.
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Within the Church of Scientology, you are taught that Scientology is the one and only solution to all mankind's problems, and during this narrow window of opportunity in mankind's history it is possible to "clear the planet" (i.e. give everybody auditing) and save humanity from itself. Most other goals pale in comparison and anything that detracts from Scientology, or its expansion is in essence a mortal sin against humanity. This belief is strong enough to get people sign up the Sea Organization (LRH's private navy) on a billion year contract (i.e. you are in for the long haul... and not just this lifetime)
Anyone who attacks the church is either a suppressive person (2.5% of the population who are evil — think Hitler), PTS due to a connection to an SP (Potential Trouble Source — 20% of the population), or has committed various other overts and withholds (i.e. sins and secrets) and it trying to justify their own actions by making the Scientology seem less (because if you admitted to yourself that Scientology was the "one and only solution" then your otherwise small crime would have to weigh fairly heavily on your conscience). Anyone who commits various sins and suppressive acts, will be subconsciously aware of this, and slowly do themselves in (i.e. get sick, have an accident) to prevent themselves from committing more crimes.
It is also taught that if someone encounters the OT3 materials before being ready for them, then as part of the psychological conditioning to create "prison-planet" earth, the person may get sick and die and this is the reason it is considered "confidential" and heavily protected, and only available to members of the church past a certain level. In the south park episode "trapped in the closet", they did a cartoon version of the OT3 materials labeled "This Is what Scientologists Actually Believe", if Matt and Trey has been members of the church, they would have been ex-communicated very quickly. The church would have almost definitely told Isaac Hayes to "disconnect" from them or otherwise become ineligible for any future Scientology services or auditing.
This "truth" or "reality tunnel" is slowly conditioned into you until you internalise it. There is a huge taboo against reading or discussing anything potentially negative or "entheta" against Scientology or the church, often the taboo will extend down to the point that you feel it is wrong to "think" about potentially negative things regarding Scientology. To do so would potentially detract from Scientology and is thus a mortal sin against humanity, or you might wind up making yourself sick. I know this, because I was brought up within the church, and through the process of leaving the church and the Scientology "reality tunnel", it took me around two years to fully confront this internal taboo to the point I could openly think and speak on the subject.
Part of the process for getting people into this state of mind, is that during Scientology auditing, if you have any undisclosed overts or withholds, or you have your attention stuck on something, the e-meter will pick up on this (that you have your attention stuck on something after you where asked a question - its the same principal behind the polygraph), Thus the auditor will be trained to uncover these issues, by continually asking questions on the subject, with the help of the e-meter, which may include turning part of the auditing session into a confessional. Auditing is essentially about being completely open and honest with yourself and your mind, and fully confronting (with the help of the auditor) any issues that where previously painful or unconscious about (this is actually the good bit about Scientology). Having out-ethics or keeping secrets is considered to be a barrier to your own spiritual growth.
KSW (Keeping Scientology Working) is a policy letter placed at the front of every course, it drills into you the fact that Scientology "works" and "gets results" and that the only reason it doesn't work is due to incorrect understood, applied or "squirreled" (intentionally modified — i.e. you would have to be nuts). Part of the problem with this policy is it creates a feedback loop where every problem encountered has an immediate solution. You are having a problem with process A, firstly go back over the materials and find any words you didn't fully understand and look them up in a dictionary, re-drill the process until you have it down verbatim. If that doesn't work, then look for more mis-understood words. If you still having problems, then it could be an issue with any out-ethics you might have in your life, so go and see the ethics officer and she will help you clear these issues up and then come back any try again. The only learning is from "source" (i.e. LRH), the supervisor in the course room does not teach her students, but simply ensures they follow the correct procedures for studying their course. On the subject of applying Scientology, its not a case of "think for yourself", but "do it 100% exactly per the tech".
One of interesting the things Tom Cruise talks about in his online video is his complete and un-wavering faith in KSW: "It really is KSW... that policy has really gone, boy!... that's exactly it". While in one sense, this is a very powerful, one-minded and un-distracted mindset to be in, on the other hand it is the embodiment of Scientology fundamentalism.
One of the most interesting things that the RTC (Religious Technology Center — holders of Scientology copyright/trademarks and defenders of KSW) has been doing lately is subtly altering the published works of LRH. The explanation usually given is that there where errors from when the writings where first transcribed (LRH usually wrote on paper, and had someone else type them up), or that a suppressive person had previously altered the writings behind LRH's back (without him noticing) — thus RTC is making the tech even more 100% pure (and getting everyone to buy a whole new set of newly published books). This may seem a minor thing to outsiders, but remember that the whole purpose of the RTC is to preserve the purity of the technology, exactly as written by LRH. It is something comparable to the pope releasing an "updated" version of the bible, or Stallman deciding to release an "updated" version of the GPL v2.0.
The most blatant example of this is their altered definition of the "second dynamic", which is one of the basic driving forces in mankind — the dynamics are a fairly basic and fundamentally part of the Scientology teachings.
To my embarrassment, I didn't consciously notice this myself whilst still actively in the church, and most others within the church are either not actively aware of it, or have learnt to accept the RTC line. I only really noticed it after reading this online 230 page report: Alteration of Scientology Materials Report.
Reading this report, and validating its correctness for myself (as anything critical of Scientology must be full of lies), was the first major crack in breaking myself out of the Scientology reality tunnel, a contradiction that could not be explained away through "SP lies", "for the greater good", or "my own out-ethics". Gene Zimmer, its author and a member of the Sea Org, tried to send this report through the official channels of Scientology the report was later used as evidence in a Committee of Evidence (a Scientology trial) used to declare him a suppressive person and ex-communicate him from the Church.
The unspoken law, especially as you get higher up within the church, is that loyalty and unquestioning dedication to scientology and the church is a must. Soon after David Miscavige (head of RTC) took over from LRH, in 1987, he did a purge of anyone within the church who he considered was not 100% loyal to him by declaring them suppressive and excommunicating them (members of the church are required to "disconnect" and never again speak to someone who has been excommunicated). My own mother was even ex-communicated recently, her crime was to take her divorce settlement through the legal courts, rather than submit to adjudication by the church's internal chaplain service. I choose not to disconnect from my own mother, but had to leave the church and my own father and sister have "chosen" to disconnect from me (as I am still in contact with my mother). I am not bitter on the subject, and ironically I consider the whole process of leaving Scientology and being forced to question all my beliefs, has made me a stronger and more self determined person and given me many of the personal gains that Scientology claimed it could offer through not leaving.
Well back to the original question of do David Miscavige, Tom Cruise and the others running the Church, truly believe in what they say? My guess is that they do, they are so fully immersed in the Scientology reality tunnel, that they cannot actually see outside of it. Once you start questioning it, the contradictions become obvious and starts to crumble fairly quickly (it can be scary if you have nothing to replace with), so instead it is accepted 100% as a matter of faith to the point that they have dedicated the whole of their lives to this mission of "clearing" the planet, and "handling" anyone who gets in their way. There is too much at stake (the whole future of mankind) to even consider the possibility that they might be wrong or deviating from their course.
Money and power are essential prerequisites for being able to achieve this goal (The poor and powerless rarely change the world). But they have certain beliefs they refuse to question (like "Scientology is always right" and "suppressive are the source of all problems"), they point-blank refuse to be "reasonable" (which has negative connotations within Scientology) in applying policy. Thus like in trying to work-around a logic bug in a computer program, they have to find alternative explanations for events that allow them resolve their logical contradictions, even if the result might seem a little paranoid, delusional, illogical or self-defeating at times.
As for the rank and file "spectators" within the church, as Adolf Hitler put it "If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed".