I take to heart the comments to my last post accusing me of casting too wide a net on the issue of whether one should trust a person wearing the scientology banner. To the extent I offended some folks, I apologize. So as to avoid such offense in the future I also provide here fair warning. If the last post offended you, the next several probably will too. If you want positive reinforcement for your faith, you will not find it here; but for possibly in the comments section where scientologists are free to provide their views with everyone else. There is an evolution afoot that perhaps ought be shared with readers here.
Of late I have been asked by a number of journalists, documentarians and religious experts to explain any legitimate aspects of scientology. Since the church responded to the revelations of the Truth Rundown series – and its progeny – by bunkering down and going incommunicado with such folks, I have sort of inherited some of their public affairs function by default. In the course of that odd twist of fate one repeated question became increasingly difficult for me to answer: whether I recommend scientology to the public at large.
My answer has evolved with my own experience and thoughts. Ultimately, my answer is that I would not recommend to anyone that they get involved in scientology. That is because having thoroughly deconstructed the subject I came to realize that its control and exploitation elements are so thoroughly embedded within the teachings of Hubbard as to make the journey more likely to be on-the-whole negative than positive.
Of course there are some stellar results that have been achieved by application of scientology. But, those are contingent not only upon the person they are applied to but to a great extent by the instructors’ or counselors’ ability to inspire confidence. In this context ‘confidence’ can be read almost synonymously with ‘faith.’ If – as in some spiritual and psychotherapeutic practices – that confidence or faith is acknowledged and imbued and nurtured for what it is within the client or supplicant, it more predictably leads toward salutary results. But, scientology – adhered to as the ism it is – by design leads one in the opposite direction.
The raw statistics of scientology support my conclusion about whether it is worth the price one inevitably must pay for it (not just monetarily). David Miscavige (influenced, of course, by Hubbard advices on the subject) used to repeat ad nauseam to his public relations people whenever the media brought up a scientology abuse that they were to say words to the effect, ‘for every one who complains, I can bring you one thousand scientologists who swear by it.’ Having dispassionately ball-parked the numbers through thirty-five years of involvement with the subject, I would say the truth is more on the order of for every one considering she was damaged from her experience with scientology, scientology could probably match it with a die-hard true believer extolling its virtues. Certainly, greater than 90% of people who have taken several courses or intensives (12 ½ hours each) of auditing in scientology have disconnected from scientology as an organization and membership body completely. What percentage of them thought the good outweighed the bad or vice versa is anybody’s guess. Given the extraordinary efforts scientology engages in to keep members aboard, and the draconian punishments it metes out upon any member or former member raising doubts or reservations, my guess is that the latter far outnumber the former. Less than one thousand former members give much attention to on-line forums, blogs and other networks involving scientology at any given time.
By the numbers, it is apparent that scientologists are led to believe they and their subject are a lot more important than they in fact are to the world at large.
When I weigh that objective look against what scientology produces, both inside the official organizations and without, and with what I know about the depth of the embedded control and exploitation implantation within scientology, on balance I cannot with good conscious recommend it as a high percentage bet for anybody.
I have devoted the better part of six years to attempting to help the subject survive by elimination of its negative elements. I concede that the experiment was a failure. As much as independent scientologists accuse the organization (RTC , CSI, et al) of operating on judgmentalism, arrogance, utiltarianism over conscience, form over substance, and Hubbard-revisionism dressed up as Hubbard-literalism I have found all those shortcomings just as prevalent in the independent field as in the organizations. I hold no rancor for such folks – inside or out – to the extent they stay out of the grills of people who ask them to. A dispassionate study traces those self-defeating qualities as stemming from Hubbard and his scientology works themselves.
I have found efforts over the past year and one half to help people graduate from the subject to not be very popular nor worth the effort that goes into doing so. While some of what I have already worked on along that line may appear from time to time on this blog, the focus will veer more toward speaking to the general public – as opposed to the formers, the antis, and indies. The blog continues to serve as a chronicle of my own journey guided by my conscience – for whatever that is worth – and you can expect it to tend toward speaking to the increasing percentage of audience who are unfamiliar with the subject. It may well even tend toward unrelated subjects. There are plenty other forums where positive reinforcement of existing anti, pro, indie, and ex scientology views can be had. I hope for all of you that at some point in the not too distant future you will find your own comfortable, fulfilling middle path.
If you like that, you will probably love this: