August 29, 1989
Scientology, like other cults, is dangerous because after enough involvement in it, you begin to believe that the end justifies the means. Unfortunately, for the honest, decent members of Scientology, the professed beneficial goals of Scientology (a world without insanity, war, or crime) are not likewise held by the top management, including its founder L. Ron Hubbard. Scientology's purported goal appears to be merely a cover for the intention to gain lots of tax-free money.
The 'means' I have seen employed include lying, coercion, guilt, promises of a better future (another lie), elitism, threat of having your future damned (which would be the denial of any future benefits of Scientology), Scientology 'ethics' procedures, pushing the sale of professional counseling ("auditing") at exorbitant rates, etc.
Scientology has a benign appearance. New or potential members are showered with affection and usually get good help from a couple cheap introductory courses. If these new members decide that only Scientology can help them, then they are encouraged to buy as many high-priced services as possible. When a Scientologist's excitement runs out, various means are used to keep him/her dedicated and buying more courses.
There were some theories and techniques in Scientology which were used to help people with their personal difficulties. These techniques involved looking inside the self for the source and solution of the difficulty. This same principle of looking within was used to control members. If a member had done something 'wrong' (e.g., criticism of Church beliefs, methods, activities, etc., tardiness, failure to bring in new recruits, lack of success at "donating" more money to Scientology), they were "helped" to look within themselves for the reason. That one might have a bad credit rating, or that the banks were tightening their loan policies, or some other outside influence made no difference when one was going for another "Scientology loan", for example. Any such related factors were labeled excuses by the Church -- one was ordered to "clean up their thoughts and intentions", and then things would go right. Constant introversion of this nature caused people to police their own actions and thoughts, sometimes to the point of not acting and not thinking. When self-policing and staff "help" to look within failed to ensure proper behavior, the other various "means" (lying, guilt, threats, ethics, etc.) were employed to gain the desired "end."
Please realize two things about those people still in Scientology who defend the righteousness of Scientology. They believe that the unreasonable demands put upon them by their superiors are necessary, justifiable, and ultimately beneficial, in the way that a successful athletic team appreciates how the coach pushes them beyond former limits. Also, according to Scientology doctrine, the future of the entire universe lies in their bands, and that only Scientology can save it from eventual obliteration. In dealing with the Scientologists, one must also realize that they are taught that the outside world (for example, the press, the government, mental health institutions, etc.) are totally against Scientology and its 'beneficence', and that these 'outsiders' spread lies about Scientology and its leaders. Thus, these believers discount and/or ridicule any depiction of Scientology as other than lily-white. They often cannot see what is often-times right in front of them -- that Scientology was really set up to make millions of tax-free dollars for the top management of Scientology.
The following are a few examples of things I experienced in Scientology that were not in the spirit of help and goodwill.
My wife took out $50,000 in dollars of loans during the four years she was in Scientology, to finance courses she wouldn't receive until years in the future. Incidentally, professional auditing cost $200 per hour.
One Scientology executive of our Mission was thrown out after she refused to get any more money out of students, like my wife, for one.
Out of approximately twenty-five people who were involved with our Mission before it folded, ten went bankrupt or Chapter 13.
Staff members who got the most attention from their superiors were those staff members who were more directly involved with bringing in lots of money. I had lots of areas where I was told I was weak in, but I was simply allowed to 'slide'; my post in the classroom didn't bring in nearly as much money as the registrar's 15ositio, so even though I was told that I was always 'messing up' on the job, no one really cared to follow through and 'retrain' me.
(He was later allowed to leave, because he was considered an evil influence.)
If I or others didn't appear to agree with what a superior said, we were usually reprimanded and often sent to practice 'acknowledgements' (part of a Scientology communication drill), until we finally were worn down enough to listen and accept without judgement what was being said.
I saw a registrar break Hubbard's rules of communication that I happened to be teaching while she insisted that a student obey her instructions to get more money (another bank loan) to buy another course. Rules could be broken by those higher up in the name of bringing in money.
Often times staff directed us to be "break buddies" (to befriend a new student, especially on course breaks), in order to make the novitiate feel more comfortable and liked.
In Scientology, a person's judgement was eroded and subjugated to what L. Ron Hubbard wrote, or to the Church's interpretation of it. Any time anyone questioned the writings, they were made to go back and restudy until it 'made sense' to them, or until they gave in and ceased to impose their own opinions.
Although many of Hubbard's teachings outwardly pretended to promote optimum happiness and survival they could be twisted and perverted by the Church, staff, and Hubbard himself in order to get whatever'end was desired usually more money.
One of tile things that was promised was that my communication would be a lot freer, and that I would feel more powerful. What actually' happened was that I was reluctant to speak about any of my doubts about what was going on in the Mission and I was also less communicative with people outside of Scientology because first, they were 'wogs', and second, they might have some distracting or dangerous opinions on life that would be in opposition to what I was trying to believe in through Scientology. I couldn't even talk to my own wife. My life in Scientology was inhibiting.
I really wondered when my wife received lots of expensive auditing, and yet still had some physical maladies afterwards, which were supposed to have been vanquished by auditing.
In summary, I personally felt guilt and failure to perform to the standards Hubbard wrote about in his voluminous bulletins on Scientology. I believe others felt the same inadequacy, which tended to make them more pliable in the hands of the 'authorities' of Scientology. What a relief it was when later I read that Hubbard himself could not get good, reliable results with his own technology.