Scientology's Rejection of the Family
Recently at the Lisa McPherson Trust, we helped a woman get out
of Scientology. She took her child with her, a child who at
a very young age had already been recruited into the Sea Org.
The woman's mother has been in the Sea Org for a long time. She
came to the woman's house, extremely upset that the woman had left
but particularly upset that she had taken her child out of the Sea
Org. The mother brought a sheet of paper with the tape excerpt below.
She frantically told the woman that she was throwing away her future
and urged her not to let considerations about her family stand in
the way of her freedom and that of her child.
The woman told her mother that she didn't want to be in Scientology
any more. Then the woman's mother pulled the child aside and in
all seriousness urged the child to file for legal emancipation from
the parents so that the child, who is underage, could go back into
the Sea Org.
The child was very upset but, according to the woman, is beginning
to enjoy interacting with other family members and friends. I asked
the woman to fax me a copy of the tape excerpt her mother had given
her. When I read the excerpt, it sickened me. I have never seen
this excerpt before. I have never seen a quote from LRH in which
he so clearly urges his followers to turn away from their families.
Here is the text of the excerpt:
"THE GE IS A FAMILY MAN
The GE is a family man; the GE is lost without a family. It's very
strange, but Homo sap is a family unit. The GE is built on that
basis. It's fascinating, fascinating. It's not important to know
it but a lot of your urges toward families and so forth are not
thetan urges at all, they're the GE. The GE can't survive at all
without a family unit. He's just as dead as a mackerel if he isn't
a family unit, whereas your thetan is just dead as a mackerel if
he gets too mixed up in family units.
You can't talk to GEs; they're kind of psycho. And by the way, you
can fall into this dreadful trap with a GE. You see, he uses the
MEST universe with which to build. He's gotten very, very bad off
and he has to use MEST materials all the time.
So, you get this situation here with the GE, and your GE is busy:
build, build, build, build, build. And, of course he's got to have
a family to build with.
You get this terrific family thirst. And you get your GE surviving
best and being loused up the most because of interfamily relationships.
And your thetan, by the way, can much more easily go into a group.
Families are not good groups; they're bad groups."
LRH, From the taped lecture
"Flows: Patterns of Interaction"
10 December 1952
For you to understand why this quote affected me so strongly, I
have to translate LRH's Scientology-speak into plain language. First
of all, the GE is the Genetic Entity. The Scientology Tech Dictionary
defines it this way:
GENETIC ENTITY, 1. that beingness not dissimilar to the thetan which
has carried forward and developed the body from its earliest moments
along the evolutionary line on earth and which, through experience,
necessity and natural selection, has employed the counter-efforts
of the environment to fashion an organism of the type best fitted
for survival, limited only by the abilities of the genetic entity.
The goal of the genetic entity is survival on a much grosser plane
of materiality. (Scn 8-8008, p. 8) 2. formerly referred to
as the somatic mind. It has no real personality, it is not
the "I" of the body. This is the "mind" of an
animal, a dog or a cat or a cow. (HOM [History of Man], pp. 13-14)
3. that entity which is carrying along through time, that is making
the body through the time stream, through the action of sex and
so forth. (5410C10D) Abbr. GE
Now let me tell you how I understood it when I was in Scientology.
I want to try to give you a window into how Scientologists think.
I want you to understand how it could possibly be that Scientologists
turn against their own families and see it as an ethical thing to
do; how Scientologists can see their feelings of love and loyalty
to their families as something psychotic, something they need to
do away with in order to be good Scientologists.
This is how Scientologists are taught to think: The Genetic Entity
is the part of a person that is still tied to the universe of Matter,
Energy, Space and Time - known as the MEST Universe in Scientology
-- that we will leave behind when we are able to become stably exterior
with full perceptics. This is the real goal of a Scientologist -
to be free of the MEST Universe, to be able to discard the body
and be completely free of the limitations of MEST. When enough Scientologists
reach that goal (a goal which no one to my knowledge has yet attained)
and Planet Earth has been cleared, they will be able to travel at
will anywhere in the galaxy to clear other planets and, eventually,
the entire MEST Universe. They will do this without the encumbrance
of their bodies, of course. They will be free of their bodies. They
will just pick up new bodies on whatever planet they go to. They
might be meat bodies like the ones on Earth, or they might be doll
bodies, or any of a variety of other kinds of bodies thetans use
throughout the MEST Universe. But the point is that they will be
able to mock them up at will, because they will be totally at cause
Obviously, for someone who has it in their head that they are trying
to leave the MEST Universe behind, the Genetic Entity - and everything
connected to it -- is something from which one would have to distance
oneself. In fact, there is an insulting slang term in Scientology
for someone who is too much into their body, or too much into their
family - meaning their husband or wife, their children, their parents,
brothers, sisters, grandparents. A person like that is considered
to be "stuck in the GE." That's a very bad thing in Scientology.
Very out-ethics. Psychotic, in fact.
When LRH said in the tape excerpt that "your urges toward family
are not thetan urges at all, they're the GE," what he was saying
was that anyone who puts any importance on the family is going in
a direction toward MEST, not Theta. That is an out-ethics thing
to do. It is putting counter-intention on the forward motion of
Scientology. It is holding back the entire group.
When he said that "Homo sap is a family unit," he was
denigrating Homo sapiens for caring about family. He was saying
that Homo sapiens, the evolutionary phase of the human race before
Scientology came along, is a terribly primitive creature. Homo novis,
the superman that Scientology has made possible, is the next evolutionary
step, the superior being. Homo novis isn't interested in families.
Homo novis is at cause over Matter, Energy, Space and Time. Who
needs a family when you can exteriorize at will? Who needs to procreate?
Who would want to hold onto any connection to the MEST Universe
once you realized that those connections are doing nothing but holding
back the forward progress of the entire human race?
It is Homo sapiens - "Homo sap," as he says in the tape
- who needs a family. It is Homo sap who still has a connection
to the GE. But you see how LRH lets you know what a degraded being
- what a Homo sap - you are if you care about your family. Listen
to what he says: "the GE is as dead as a mackerel without the
family unit, but the thetan [that's Homo novis, which is only possible
to attain through Scientology] is as dead as a mackerel if he gets
mixed up with a family unit." So you are actually putting up
a roadblock to Mankind's forward progress by clinging to old, primitive
notions such as family.
The message here is clear. If you're an ethical Scientologist you
are not going to hold onto MEST relationships like your family.
You are going to be much more interested in theta relationships
like your fellow Scientologists - people who have risen above MEST-oriented
relationships and are interested only in theta-based relationships
- those that will further Scientology's aims. An ethical Scientologist
only wants to associate with others who are also striving for the
enlightened state of Homo novis.
I no longer adhere to this belief system. I am no longer a Scientologist.
But for fifteen years I distanced myself from my family and the
friends I had had before I got into Scientology for this very reason
- I did not want to contaminate myself by associating with unenlightened
people. In Scientology this is called contagion of aberration; you
don't want to be around people who are stuck in MEST because it
might rub off on you. You don't want to do anything that will slow
you down from becoming an enlightened Theta Clear.
For those of you who are familiar with the term Suppressive Person,
or SP, and Potential Trouble Source, or PTS, it is upon this fundamental
concept that these terms are based. An SP is someone who is so stuck
in the MEST Universe (so solid) that they can't bear to have anyone
around them who is moving in the direction of theta (the opposite
of solid). A PTS is someone who has allowed themselves to become
vulnerable to an SP's influence and is therefore getting more solid
- less theta.
This is why Scientologists distance themselves from the rest of
society. It is why the Sea Org members in Clearwater refuse to make
eye contact with the citizens of Clearwater when they walk down
the street. It is why the Scientologist son of a dear friend of
mine has refused to speak to his mother for thirty years.
Recently a woman contacted the LMT for help. She had been happily
married for nearly twenty years. She and her husband had two beautiful
teenage children. They had a beautiful house and a wonderful life.
She considered herself the luckiest woman on Earth because she had
such a happy family. Then her husband got into Scientology. By the
time she spoke to me, her husband had gotten them nearly $100,000
in debt. He wanted a divorce because she didn't want to be a Scientologist.
He refused to speak to either of his children because they didn't
want to be Scientologists. When she begged him to speak to someone
with a different point of view about Scientology he told her he
would disappear and never contact her again if she ever tried to
put him in contact with someone critical of Scientology. She and
her children are heartbroken over the loss of a man who was once
a wonderful husband and father. He, on the other hand, is convinced
that she is an SP - that she is trying to keep him from moving toward
the enlightened state of theta clear.
Another woman contacted the LMT recently about her sister, who has
just joined the Sea Org. The sister has two children. Now that she
is in the Sea Org, the children have been sent to the Sea Org children's
ranch north of Los Angeles. They never get to see their mother.
They have been sneaking phone calls to their aunt, tearfully asking
their aunt why their mother doesn't love them any more. The mother,
meanwhile, fully believes that her children are a distraction from
her production and that it is necessary to separate from them so
that she can realize her full potential. She also believes that
if the children are ethical, they, too, will benefit from severing
their ties with her, since their relationship is based on nothing
more than the fact that she is their biological mother, something
which is meaningless in the new society of Homo novis.
At the LMT we get these heartbreaking calls nearly every day.
Today, I see the Genetic Entity, Homo novis, and the whole idea
of isolating oneself from the so-called MEST Universe and concentrating
on becoming Theta Clear as a delusion of grandeur which originated
in the unbalanced mind of L. Ron Hubbard. Hubbard was unable to
have healthy relationships with his parents, his three wives or
any of his children. But instead of taking any responsibility for
these failed relationships, he blamed his family members. Then he
took it a step further. He created an entire cosmology that would
justify his inability to have successful personal relationships.
Families are bad, friendships are bad, any close relationships are
bad, because he was incapable of having them. All he could conceive
of was a world in which there is no love, no compassion - nothing
but impersonal, cold-hearted relationships based on statistics and
the "greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics."
What he said in the tape transcript sums it up: "Families are
not good groups; they're bad groups."
I realize I risk incurring the wrath of dedicated Scientologists
by saying what I did in the above paragraph. But I think it is extremely
important for Scientologists to realize that LRH does not have to
have been a perfect man for there to be any validity to the Tech.
I speak to people nearly every day who have had wins and gains from
their auditing. I never tell them their wins aren't valid. I never
tell them the gains aren't real. I'm happy if someone has had wins
and gains. The tech is not something I want for myself, but I don't
think everyone else has to feel the same way I do. I have no doubt
that many people have had wins and gains from the tech.
But this does not mean that LRH was perfect. I discovered he wasn't
perfect when I worked on the LRH biography research while I was
still a Sea Org member in good standing. This discovery did not
cause me to lose faith in the tech. All it did was to make me realize
that even though LRH developed a technology that could help people,
he was a human being just like the rest of us, with blind spots
and character flaws the same as everybody else. The problem was
that one of his flaws was an utter inability to accept any criticism,
and as a result of this he tended to label anyone who did criticize
him as an enemy. This flaw has now been institutionalized in the
organization known as the Church of Scientology.
But criticism is not a bad thing. It is a good thing. If the tech
really works - and I know many people feel it does - then it can
bear critical scrutiny. Just because someone criticizes something
doesn't mean it isn't valid. It doesn't mean that person is an enemy.
Scientologists must learn to differentiate between the parts of
Scientology that are valid and those parts of it which are not.
LRH had a blind spot on the subject of personal relationships and
the flaws in his own thinking have been inherited by the organization
called the Church of Scientology. It is crucial that Scientologists
begin to see that they have the right to accept those parts of Scientology
that work and to discard those parts that do not. LRH's view of
the family as a degraded, out moded form of human relationship is
terribly destructive and urgently needs to be recognized by Scientologists
as a harmful part of the Scientology world view that should be discarded.
This does not mean I am advocating that the entirety of the tech
should be discarded. It means I think LRH had a blind spot on this
subject because of his own shortcomings, and I don't think his personal
shortcomings should be embraced by Scientologists so that they take
on his own blind spot as their own.
Until Scientologists become willing to differentiate the beneficial
from the harmful aspects of Scientology, the outside world will
continue to view it as a chillingly amoral belief system and respond
accordingly to it.
For the people on the outside, the question is how do we get through
to the people who have bought into this chillingly amoral belief
system? How do we help the thousands upon thousands of families
who have been torn apart by Scientology? My answer is this: All
we can do is continue to do everything we can to get through to
Scientologists at every opportunity. Thank God for the internet.
It is our best chance to communicate to them. The most hopeful thing
of all at the LMT is that we are getting calls every day from Scientologists
who are making the decision to embrace their Constitutional rights
of freedom of speech, freedom of thought and freedom of association.
They are going on the internet despite orders from the Organization
not to. They are learning for themselves about all sides of Scientology.
They are regaining their powers of critical thought and deciding
for themselves which parts of Scientology they want to embrace.
And they are beginning to rebuild their own shattered lives and
Epilog by Mike Gormez.
If a scientologist would wonder whether this is genuine Scientology
'scripture', then look up Philadelphia Doctorate Course tape
#29. It has the above text in a slightly different from:
And she doesn't take into account - because the GE is a family
man; the GE is lost without a family. Uh.. it's very strange,
but homo sap is a family unit. The GE is built on that basis.
It's fascinating, fascinating. If you wanted to study the GE,
you.. you'd really get yourself some data about what could happen
in this universe. It's not important for you to
know it, but a lot of your urges toward families and so forth
are not thetan urges at all; they're the GE. The GE can't survive
at all without a family unit. He's just as dead as a mackerel
if he isn't a family unit, whereas your thetan is just as dead
as a mackerel if he gets too mixed up in family units.
So you get this terrific starvation, family starvation, and so
forth, for the GE. Your GE runs.. you see, he's lost.. he's lost
his independence of action and so on, and for uh.. passing along
this line and uh.. so on, this terrific dedication that he has,
fabulous piece of dedication; he feels this terrific responsibility
for getting this.. this life continuum going. He's got to continue
That's.. you find that in cells. When a cell divides, what do
you I.now? it duplicates its memory bank and hands it over to
Well, man thinks he's doing this; when he duplicates himself,
the GE duplicates itself, it thinks it's handing its memory bank
over, and maybe it is. Who knows? You can't talk to GE's; they're
kind of psycho. They're really monomaniac. Boy, are they conservative,
too. Whee! They're really stuck.