Cerri posts on 13 July 2004Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology Date: 13 Jul 2004 19:16:20 -0000 Message-ID: <S9S1OWWL38181.email@example.com> From: Anonymous-Remailer@See.Comment.Header (Cerridwen) Subject: Gardening Every once in a while in this unindoctrination process I just take a break from it all. I've been on a break for a bit. You may have noticed that the Comp lists don't come out quite as fast and furious as before That's because I started getting interested in other things. One of thing main things I got interested in was gardening. I had no idea how much work and how much fun gardening was. I always thought you just bought some plants, stuck them in the ground, watered them every so often, and voila! A garden. I was truly surprised to find out that there are all kinds of do's and don't, as well as planting, watering, feeding, pruning and weeding. Don't even mention the subject of aphids to me! I've gone so far as to subscribe to a gardening newsgroup! Aside from the beautiful flowers and lovely view that gardening provides, it is also a wonderful time for reflection. The past 4 years have been wonderful and horrible. Wonderful because I have gotten rid of so much of the Scientology mindset. Wonderful, because I am not afraid to listen, look and learn about new things any more. Wonderful because I have established wonderful relationships with "Wogs". ;-) I love my wog friends and I love my friends that still consider themselves Scientologists both in and out of the Church. I no longer consider myself a Scientologist, but I also know that I am not and will never be a Wog. Actually, I take that back. I can't say I will never be a wog, because 4 years ago, I would never have thought that I would no longer identify myself as a Scientologist. There is still much about me that is a Scientologist, and I think those are some of the good things :). I've really worked hard at getting rid of what I thought were the bad Scientology behaviors. However, I have learned to never say never. I also have no idea if the unindoctrination ever ends. I think it might and then in its place I may start to evolve more and more of my own ideas.
My viewpoint on many, many things has changed drastically but it has not been easy. The hard part is dealing with how fucking stupid I've been for so long. It's really hard on the self esteem. It's tough to confront that you've been that stupid for that long. It can be truly depressing. So I got to thinking about it. I was wondering why did I agree? Why did I allow myself to go along for so long. Why did I fail to see though the lies? Why was I oblivious to what is obvious to most everyone else? Scientology was a promise of what I thought "could be" . I agreed because I had this spiritual quest that gave me all the answers. And I think that was the hook for me. "All the answers". Scientology is the lazy man's religion. It requires no thinking, no researching, no further looking. It's all bundled up for you in a nice neat package, thanks to "Source", or LRH And I bought the package and refused to look, research or think because I was too lazy to even bother. I guess what I am doing now is I am finally bothering. Instead of taking everything Hubbard says as gospel. I look it over and say is this a good thing or is this fucked up Indoc stuff. Quite a bit has been tossed to the compost. ;-) Oh well. It's been a definite learning experience. Too bad it took me so long to catch a clue, but I sure am happy that I finally did. The ARSCC is by far one of the more fun and interesting group of people that I have ever known. I even enjoy the ones that piss me off. Even though I disagree with the views of some members, I still read and listen to them because I want to make sure I never fall in to a "I know it all point of view again". It occurred to me that to only have dealings with people that completely agree with you all the time is a bad thing. Actually, being with people that agree with you all the time is lazy and lazy thinking has the potential of leading you to cult thinking. I love ars. What I treasure most about the ARSCC is that its members are all so very different. So many different points of views, so many different characters, and behind the scenes intrigue. It's totally addictive. To admit otherwise is being a fraud ;-) Thanks to each and every one of you for your contribution and assistance. My life has been bettered by being in this wild and crazy place. Ok time to do more weeding ;-) -- Cerridwen Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it. - Andre Gide For Stats on Scn go to: http://www.truthaboutscientology.com/stats/ For News on Scientology go to: http://www.itsamystery.ca/blogger/cult.html EMAIL: sorry, out of order.
Kristi writes back two days laterNewsgroups: alt.religion.scientology Subject: Re: Gardening From: Kristi Wachter <firstname.lastname@example.org> Message-ID: <email@example.com> Date: 15 Jul 2004 23:35:29 -0400 My dear, dear Cerri, Thank you so much for your wonderful post. I loved reading about your gardening, and I always love reading your thoughts and feelings as you continue growing and learning and seeing new things from the new perspectives you're acquiring. One thing you wrote, though, really differed from my viewpoint, and I wanted to share my thoughts and my perspective on it. You wrote, "The hard part is dealing with how fucking stupid I've been for so long." And that just raised a big red flag for me - because I've never known you to be stupid. I mean, we all make mistakes, and in fact we all make stupid mistakes, and depending on the circumstances of our lives, those stupid mistakes sometimes have repercussions that affect our whole lives and the lives of those we love, and sometimes we seem to "get away with it" - one person can make a stupid decision, knowing how stupid it is, to have unprotected sex with a stranger, and become infected with HIV, and die, after years of horrible suffering and grief to self and family and friends; and another can make the same stupid decision and NOT become infected. The extent to which our stupid mistakes and our stupid decisions affect our lives does not necessarily reflect how many we've made or how stupid they've been. But here's the thing - even smart people make some stupid decisions (even some colossally stupid decisions), and that doesn't make them stupid people. I'm not even really sure there is such a thing as a stupid person. There are lots of people whose values differ from mine, which is a different thing; and there are lots of people who haven't been exposed to the same facts I have, and people who have developed learning systems that make them process those facts to reach different conclusions than I have. But that doesn't make them stupid. Here's the thing - you and I are humans, and humans are learners. That's what we are. That's what we do. All our long lives, from the early days when we're learning to recognize Mom's voice and Dad's face, to the very ends of our lives, we learn. I have this image in my head of a giant vacuum machine sucking up everything in its path. It has hundreds of suction tubes that suck things in from all different directions. If a chunk of rock gets stuck in one of the tubes, it won't work quite as well. I think that's what happened to you. There you were, going along in your life, learning learning learning, and you came across Scientology. And you learned lots and lots of things - you learned some things about communication and about how to be more productive with your time and some other ideas that seemed useful and valid. But you also sucked in a rock - you learned that some information is bad and dangerous and should be kept out of your learning system altogether. Now, part of the learning system we all develop is a set of internal filters. A piece of information comes in, and we evaluate it. "Hmm - seems to make sense; comes from a source I've known to be reliable - let's put that in the Reliable Information pile. Now this other one - doesn't reflect other information I've deemed reliable, so let's put that on the False pile." Scientology disrupts those filters, and plugs up some of your intake valves - rather a lot of them, I think - by telling you that lots of sources aren't to be trusted (SPs, the news media, natterers), and that certain information is so dangerous it can jeopardize your entire eternity (the OT levels, discussing your case with someone else). So in addition to blocking some of your inputs altogether, it also, as I said, messes with your internal filters. It does this, I think, in two ways: first, by confusing values with facts, and second, by making it dangerous to examine either facts or values. First, I've found it useful in my own understanding of the world to learn to separate facts from values when I'm learning about and judging an idea. But Scientology teachings can make it very hard to do this. For example, Scientology teaches that, if you're having trouble understanding something, it's because you went past a misunderstood word. Now, it appears to me, an outsider, that there is a set of values - judgement - condemnation in that, and that it is HIDDEN. Scientology purports to avoid punishment, to provide tech to rehabilitate any immorality and repair any damage you've done. But I think this is just what Scientology SAYS; I think, in reality, there's punishment and condemnation and shame and guilt and judgementalism all over the place in Scientology. So let's say you're having trouble understanding something you're reading - maybe not even something related to Scientology. You immediately look for the misunderstood word you went past - an act which is, if I'm not mistaken, an overt. So conciously, you're simply doing the mechanical process of finding the point where things went wrong and fixing it; but unconciously, you're aware that you've Done Something Wrong. This confuses asserted values - you did a Bad Thing - with asserted facts - you went past a word you didn't understand. It's important in a case like this to evaluate BOTH the asserted "facts" - did you really go past a word you didn't understand? Does that act really cause you to be unable to understand what comes later on? - AND the asserted values - is it really a counter-survival, Bad act to read past a word you don't FULLY understand? But if you're feeling, naturally, ashamed of having done a Bad Thing, you're not inclined to objectively examine the assertions or the values, because it's less painful to accept the teaching than to be REALLY bad and go down the road of doubting. Scientology mixes value judgements - and condemnation - in with its unfounded assertions, making it much harder to question them than it would be even under normal circumstances. So, I said another way Scientology interferes with your learning system is by making it dangerous to examine facts, or values, or both. In my experience, to judge an idea well, we have to learn to look for its underlying assumptions and judge THOSE. This is hard to do, because so many assumptions are unstated, and because there just isn't time to look for and assess every single one. Take the following statement: "I know the Comm Course works because my ability to communicate improved after I took it." There are LOTS of assertions in here, and this is just one simple, fairly unambiguous statement. Here are some things I might question: Did your ability to communicate really improve? How do you know? How do you define that? How did you measure it? If it really did, how can you tell that it was as a result of the Comm Course and not the result of some other factor or combination of factors? Now, Scientology is, of course, chock full of assertions that claim to be backed up with scientific data - proven beyond any doubt. Just a few examples off the top of my head: The only reason a person ever leaves a group is because of overts against that group. The only reason a person ever criticizes Scientology is because of suppressiveness. The only reason a person fails to make case gain is because of overts. And all of these are proven - PROVEN - *PROVEN!* - by, well, reams and reams of unassailable research. And look how these assertions mess with your internal filters. You might have a filter that says, "Well, I can think of reasons why someone might leave a group other than overts." And Scientology says, "But that's not the REAL reason. It's a fake reason, a cover story. Scientology uncovers the REAL reasons behind the fake reasons. We have hard data to PROVE it." And Scientology further says, "That's just your case talking. That's the devil leading you astray. If you listen to that, you're a goner." And so, if you ever started to wonder whether Scientology was really a group that you still supported wholeheartedly, that really reflected your values, this little filter-jammer has just put a big roadblock on the pathway in your brain that leads to "let me explore this question of whether I belong in this group anymore" - which, make no mistake, can be a pretty scary question for any individual in any group, let alone one that's threatened you with being pummelled with your own history of wrongdoing for simply re-evaluating your support of a group. Asking yourself, "Do I still want to go to my book club?" involves asking yourself questions about commitment, priorities, loyalties - re-evaluating and re-examining yourself. And that can be difficult, even if it's just a book club. So Scientology drops a big roadblock on the "do I still want to be in this group?" pathway, and puts a big DETOUR sign on the roadblock, pointing you to a path that you wouldn't even have in your brain without Scientology - and that Detour is down the "what bad things have I done to my org, to Ron, to my friends and my family and the only hope the world has?" path. Who the hell wants to go there? I think we have these "shoulds" in our brains that short-circuit a lot of paths we might do well to follow: shoulds like "I should be strong enough to always look at my own past without flinching." Or like "I should have known better (... I should have known then what I know now)." And of course, Scientology piles on loads more shoulds in the various codes and creeds. "I should never desire admiration." "I should never desert a comrade in need." "I should never fear to hurt another in a just cause." I can make strong arguments against those Scientology-based shoulds, but I'd like to talk about the non-Scientology-based shoulds, too. Here are some shoulds that might be lurking in your brain: "I should be strong enough to stand up to the group, my friends, my family, anyone and everyone, when I don't agree with something." "I shouldn't worry (or be afraid of) being kicked out of the group." Are these things you think? If so, ask yourself - are they true? I mean, maybe in an ideal world, we would all be completely clear on what we think about everything all the time and we would all be perfectly comfortable saying so in the face of any opposition because there would after all be no repercussions. That's not the world we're living in. Humans are social creatures, and we need each other, and saying you see things differently from everyone around you is RISKY. It's not cowardly to be afraid of that; it's PART OF WHO WE ARE. One of the most fascinating studies to me in all of psychology is the Asch study: http://www.age-of-the-sage.org/psychology/social/asch_conformity.html In this study, the experimenter brought the subject into a room with a handful of other people who were all pretending to also be subjects. They were all shown a set of lines and asked to select the two that matched in length. Then they went around the room and each person stated his or her answer. The experiment was set up so that all the actors went first, and they all gave the wrong answer. By the time they got to the last person, the actual subject, that person usually went along with the group and gave the wrong answer, too. (Over 75% of the subjects conformed to the group on at least one trial.) This is in a small group of a bunch of strangers over something you don't have any big emotional reaction to - just a set of lines. Imagine how much stronger the desire is to go along with the group when the group are your dear friends (mostly), fellow volunteers in the fight to save the world before it destroys itself, your family, your confidants (if you've co-audited or done ethics actions with any of them) - and you're just beginning to think about voicing doubts about the group. Itself. The people you're talking to. That's not just scary. That's paralyzing. There's real danger there, and to decide what to do in the face of that real danger, you need to be able to think clearly about it. But Scientology teachings themselves get in the way of you being able to do that - by insisting that the group is the most ethical on the planet and would never hurt you (although to be sure some of its ways of "helping" you can be extremely painful and harmful to you); by shaming you and misdirecting you to focus on your own misdeeds if you consider diverging from the group; by subtle threats of retaliation ("we will never betray your faith in us SO LONG AS YOU ARE ONE OF US"); by insisting you commit to everything NOW, robbing you of time to consider before you "agreed"; and probably in many other ways as well. You needed to be able to calmly assess what you stood to lose if you said what you thought, but Scientology's false teachings multiplied the normal human fear of going against the group to make it impossible for you to think about it clearly at the time. Fortunately, there was an unconcious part of your brain, working underneath the part that was in denial, that understood the stakes and kept you from risking the destruction of every aspect of your life back then, back before circumstances changed and you could afford to take that chance. That other part of your brain rescued you from that danger. That, my dear, was SMART. I think the world would be a better place, for groups and for individuals, if everyone felt safe to say what they really thought. The thing is, it ISN'T always safe. When you were in Scientology, it wasn't safe. And the unconcious part of you knew that. It protected you from doing something you weren't yet in a position to do. Had you spoken out at the time, what would you have lost? Your family? Your job? Your ability to keep yourself together? Larry Wollersheim suffered ostracization from Scientology. It destroyed his business and broke his mind. The part of you that kept you from letting your disagreement destroy your life knew what was at risk, even if you couldn't conciously admit it at the time. That was very, very smart. And since that genuine, very real risk was combined with the detour in your brain that shoves you in the "what have I done wrong, that I want to protect this wonderful wonderful group from awful horrible evil me?" direction ... well, I don't wonder why you hesitated to voice your concerns, or even think them. Looking for the source of your dissatisfaction within your own misdeeds, instead of with the group itself, is what you had LEARNED. From what seemed like a reliable source. And those ways of thinking quickly become habits, routine ways of thinking like, oh, routine ways of driving - you start going down the road, and it doesn't matter whether you're paying attention or not, you know the way so well you have to concentrate really hard to NOT go the way you always go. Those detours and directions Scientology introduced into the pathways of your brain became comfortable, known routes, and so it's easy and familiar to go down the route of "what bad thing did I do to cause this? what word did I go past? what was my withhold?" It takes a huge amount of effort - and especially awareness - to even see the path as simply the old familiar path, and to remember you meant to go a different way this time. And all that's happening now is you're learning better information. There should be no shame (in my opinion) in coming to see things differently. I hear a reporter once asked Gandhi about having reversed his position on something, and he simply said, "I know better now." You mused about how long it would take for the unindoc to finish and wondered if it would ever be over. I suspect you'll someday find that you don't feel it happening anymore with Scientology stuff, but that a similar thing will go on for the rest of your life with OTHER ideas - which is maybe what you were saying in your post. And that, to me, is just the glorious and delightful (and sometimes scary and infuriating) process of doing what we do - learning. Which often involves unlearning. But one of the reasons I wanted to write this is because I think Scientology teaches you to look for defects in yourself, and to believe that you're fully, 100% responsible for everything bad that happens to you. And I think American society encourages us to beat ourselves up for past mistakes, too. If you got deceived, it was because you were just plain STUPID. Well, I'm here to tell you different, to tell you what I tell anyone who asks me "How can people be so stupid as to believe in Scientology?" - and it's this: Even smart people can be lied to. Scientology lied to you to exploit you. The organization lied to you to get your money, your time, your effort, your dedication and your enthusiasm and all that is best in you. And I'm here to tell you: it wasn't your fault. And I'm also here to tell you: you can have it all back. It doesn't belong to them anymore. You don't have to atone, you don't have to make amends, you don't have to beat yourself up inside before you have a right to have those things back. They're all yours, right now. The wonderful, beautiful, SMART, loving, caring person that you are deserves all that is best in you, to do whatever YOU want to do with it. I hope you'll use it to take really, really good care of yourself - like by gardening. I am outraged and heartbroken by the callous way Scientology uses the enormous punishment of banishment, exclusion, from the group, to manipulate its members. Ostracization, rejection, is an ENORMOUSLY powerful tool, and all you have to do is have your stats dip into Liability for you to AUTOMATICALLY BE EXCLUDED FROM THE GROUP and have to PETITION TO REJOIN. I find that galling. And I want you to know, my dear Cerri, what you probably already know, but I will say it here, publicly, because it's important: There is a home for you here, in my heart, that will always be a home for you. Here, you are cherished, you are admired, you are liked - you are valued for who you are and what you are when you don't even try, when you forget about trying. You are my friend, no matter what. I know you will screw up someday. You will still be my friend. I know you will do things, say things, think things, that go completely against what I believe and value. You will still be my friend. One day, you might do something I can't comprehend, something I will find despicable. I hope not; I don't expect it of you; but it might happen. You will still be my friend, because I love you. And this is a lesson I hope you will learn again and again, perfectly and well and truly each time, from all the many, many people who love you: the irrevocable, unconditional, unfailing truth of love. Kristi