By Kim Palmer more
15 July 2006
These quotes from Star Trek V always remind me of the cult
Sybok: Let us explore it... together. Each man hides a secret
pain. It must be exposed and reckoned with. It must be dragged
from the darkness and forced into the light. Share your pain.
Share your pain with me... and gain strength from the sharing.
Kirk: Damn it, Bones, you're a doctor. You know that pain and
guilt can't be taken away with a wave of a magic wand. They're
the things we carry with us, the things that make us who we are.
If we lose them, we lose ourselves. I don't want my pain taken
away! I need my pain!
This has always reminded me of scientologists who talk of
freeing themselves of their reactive mind. It is my belief that
every experience we have, every memory, every event (even if we
do not actually remember it) is part of who we are — to
"free" ourselves of it is to dismiss our experience and
invalidate who we are. We are who we are because of what we
have experienced — painful experiences teach us
something about who we are — tragedies happen — loss
happens — should I abandon who I am for some flaky
philosophy that says free yourself from your reactive mind. What
would I become? An empty shell of who I was — and all
that pain and experience will still be there regardless of how
many hours I spend auditing. It is who I am — how I
came to be — you cannot "free" yourself from that.
You can change how you react to things but you cannot free
yourself — there is no such thing as a state of clear — or
OT. We are who we are because of what we have experienced.
Hubbard tapped into the great human need to be in control of
one's entire life — but that is a fallacy — one
cannot be in control of one's entire life — we all
have connections to others — many superficial but they
exist and we cannot control everyone in our environment — ever.
It is why kids rebel and families break apart — from
enforced control — it cannot work — to
invalidate ourselves is to invalidate others and that is not
conducive to communication.
Fundamentalist groups provide simple straightforward answers
for life — simple steps to create a perfect life — just
apply these steps, this prayer, this ritual, this much money and
life will be perfect. What these groups are in fact doing is
creating people who cannot feel, have no compassion, and who
hate anyone who stands up to them in any way. Fear is a grand
control mechanism within any group and is used to keep the flock
Not thinking for yourself, not questioning anything the
leader teaches as fact, not being able to talk to people about
what you are learning, not being able to freely communicate
thoughts and feelings means you are invalidating yourself and
your experience. No one experiences the same event the same way — not
ever and being unable to talk about your "case" except for your
"wins" means you are being handled to make sure you follow the
party line always.
This is the true face of coercive groups and how they
suppress the natural human ability to learn and grow.
Everything is neatly packaged and laid out for you and all you
have to do is follow the rules exactly and you will be happy.
What they do not bother to tell you is that the rules will
change arbitrarily and without notice and you better be prepared
to follow those changes too or else...
That is why cults are dangerous — they strip people
of their individual identity and ability to think freely and for