Tag Archives: The Scientology Reformation

The Scientology Inquisition

David Miscavige and his Scientology Inc. have of late  taken to waving the flags of the American Nazi Party and the  Westboro Baptist Church.   They are spending huge sums in order to convince some that their own activity belongs in the same category as those august institutions.  They don’t even try to argue that their conduct is not outrageous or unconscionable in a civilized society. Instead, they claim it is their Constitutional right to practice retribution, terrorism and ruination upon those who refuse to relinquish their own First Amendment rights to speak and worship as they choose.

Regardless of their individual failures or successes in this expensive positioning endeavor, there is legal precedent that protects you should you ever be targeted by the Scientology Inquisition.  It is the decision of the California Court of Appeals in the original Wollersheim vs. Church of Scientology of California case.

The following is a reprint of the particular section of that decision that deals with Scientology heretics and their treatment at the hands of the Scientology Inquisition:

B. Even Assuming the Retributive Conduct Sometimes Called “Fair Game” Is a Core Practice of Scientology It Does Not Qualify for Constitutional Protection

As we have seen, not every religious expression is worthy of constitutional protection. To illustrate, centuries ago the inquisition was one of the core religious practices of the Christian religion in Europe. This religious practice involved torture and execution of heretics and miscreants. (See generally Peters, Inquisition (1988); Lea, The Inquisition of the Middle Ages (1961).) Yet should any church seek to resurrect the inquisition in this country under a claim of free religious expression, can anyone doubt the constitutional authority of an American government to halt the torture and executions? And can anyone seriously question the right of the victims of our hypothetical modern day inquisition to sue their tormentors for any injuries – physical or psychological – they sustained?

We do not mean to suggest Scientology’s retributive program as described in the evidence of this case represented a full-scale modern day “inquisition.” Nevertheless, there are some parallels in purpose and effect. “Fair game” like the “inquisition” targeted “heretics” who threatened the dogma and institutional integrity of the mother church. Once “proven” to be a “heretic,” an individual was to be neutralized. In medieval times neutralization often meant incarceration, torture, and death. (Peters, Inquisition, supra, pp. 57, 65-67, 87, 92-94, 98, 117-118, 133-134; Lea, The Inquisition of the Middle Ages, supra, pp. 181, 193-202, 232-236, 250-264, 828-829.) As described in the evidence at this trial the “fair game” policy neutralized the “heretic” by stripping this person of his or her economic, political and psychological power. (See, e.g., *889 Allard v. Church of Scientology (1976) 58 Cal.App.3d 439, 444 [129 Cal.Rptr. 797] [former church member falsely accused by Church of grand theft as part of “fair game” policy, subjecting member to arrest and imprisonment].)

In the instant case, at least, the prime focus of the “fair game” campaign was against the “heretic” Wollersheim’s economic interests. Substantial evidence supports the inference Scientology set out to ruin Wollersheim’s photography enterprise. Scientologists who worked in the business were instructed to resign immediately. Scientologists who were customers were told to stop placing orders with the business. Most significantly, those who owed money for previous orders were instructed to renege on their payments. Although these payments actually were going to a factor not Wollersheim, the effect was to deprive Wollersheim of the line of credit he needed to continue in business.

Appellant argues these “fair game” practices are protected religious expression. They cite to a recent Ninth Circuit case upholding the constitutional right of the Jehovah’s Witness Church and its members to “shun” heretics from that religion even though the heretics suffer emotional injury as a result. ( Paul v. Watchtower Bible & Tract Soc. of New York, supra, 819 F.2d 875.) In this case a former Jehovah’s Witness sued the church and certain church leaders for injuries she claimed to have suffered when the church ordered all other church members to “shun” her. In the Jehovah Witness religion, “shunning” means church members are prohibited from having any contact whatsoever with the former member. They are not to greet them or conduct any business with them or socialize with them in any manner. Thus, there was a clear connection between the religious practice of “shunning” and Ms. Paul’s emotional injuries. Nonetheless, the trial court dismissed her case. The Ninth Circuit affirmed in an opinion which expressly held “shunning” is a constitutionally protected religious practice. “[T]he defendants, … possess an affirmative defense of privilege – a defense that permits them to engage in the practice of shunning pursuant to their religious beliefs without incurring tort liability.” ( Id. at p. 879.)

We first note another appellate court has taken the opposite view on the constitutionality of “shunning.” ( Bear v. Reformed Mennonite Church (1975) 462 Pa. 330 [341 A.2d 105].) In this case the Pennsylvania Supreme Court confronted a situation similar to Paul v. Watchtower Bible & Tract Soc. of New York. The plaintiff was a former member of the Mennonite Church. He was excommunicated for criticizing the church. Church leaders ordered that all members must “shun” the plaintiff. As a result, both his business and family collapsed. The appellate court reversed the trial court’s dismissal of the action, holding: “In our opinion, the complaint, … raises issues that the ‘shunning’ practice of appellee church and the conduct of the *890 individuals may be an excessive interference within areas of ‘paramount state concern,’ i.e., the maintenance of marriage and family relationship, alienation of affection, and the tortious interference with a business relationship, which the courts of this Commonwealth may have authority to regulate, even in light of the ‘Establishment’ and ‘Free Exercise’ clauses of the First Amendment.” ( Bear v. Reformed Mennonite Church, supra, 341 A.2d at p. 107, italics in original.)

We observe the California Supreme Court has cited with apparent approval the viewpoint on “shunning” expressed in Bear v. Mennonite Church, supra, rather than the one adopted in Paul v. Watchtower Bible & Tract Soc. of New York, supra. (See Molko v. Holy Spirit Assn., supra, 46 Cal.3d 1092, 1114.) But even were Paul v. Watchtower Bible & Tract Soc. of New York the law of this jurisdiction it would not support a constitutional shield for Scientology’s retribution program. In the instant case Scientology went far beyond the social “shunning” of its heretic, Wollersheim. Substantial evidence supports the conclusion Scientology leaders made the deliberate decision to ruin Wollersheim economically and possibly psychologically. Unlike the plaintiff in Paul v. Watchtower Bible & Tract Soc. of New York, Wollersheim did not suffer his economic harm as an unintended byproduct of his former religionists’ practice of refusing to socialize with him any more. Instead he was bankrupted by a campaign his former religionists carefully designed with the specific intent it bankrupt him. Nor was this campaign limited to means which are arguably legal such as refusing to continue working at Wollersheim’s business or to purchase his services or products. Instead the campaign featured a concerted practice of refusing to honor legal obligations Scientologists owed Wollersheim for services and products they already had purchased.

If the Biblical commandment to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to render unto God what is God’s has any meaning in the modern day it is here. Nothing in Paul v. Watchtower Bible & Tract Soc. of New York or any other case we have been able to locate even implies a religion is entitled to constitutional protection for a campaign deliberately designed to financially ruin anyone – whether a member or nonmember of that religion. Nor have we found any cases suggesting the free exercise clause can justify a refusal to honor financial obligations the state considers binding and legally enforceable. One can only imagine the utter chaos that could overtake our economy if people who owed money to others were entitled to assert a freedom of religion defense to repayment of those debts. It is not unlikely the courts would soon be flooded with debtors who claimed their religion prohibited them from paying money they owed to others.

We are not certain a deliberate campaign to financially ruin a former member or the dishonoring of debts owed that member qualify as “religious *891 practices” of Scientology. But if they do, we have no problem concluding the state has a compelling secular interest in discouraging these practices. (See pp. 884-886, supra.) Accordingly, we hold the freedom of religion guaranties of the United States and California Constitutions do not immunize these practices from civil liability for any injuries they cause to “targets” such as Wollersheim.

For further parallels between Miscavige’s Scientology Inc. and the perpetrators of the original Grand Inquisition, see The Scientology Reformation

Graduation from Scientology

An alternate route to graduation from Scientology:

If you want to know what is wrong with Scientology, read What is Wrong With Scientology? (2012, Amazon Books)

If you want to know how that which is wrong with Scientology came about and why, read Memoirs of  a Scientology Warrior (2013, Amazon Books)

If you want to know the result of the what, how and why, read The Scientology Reformation (2012, Amazon Books)

 

 

The Bridge Beyond The Bridge

By Don Jolly in The Revealer: A Review of Religion and Media:

Mark Rathbun’s Search For the Future of Scientology

The Great Decompression

I borrowed, or coined by inspiration, from Viktor Frankl (Man’s Search For Meaning) the idea that decompression was the first and most important step in recovering from the Scientology experience with an upward trajectory.  Frankl – having himself survived years of imprisonment in Nazi concentration camps, and attempted to help others similarly situated upon release – noted that an adjustment period was critical for someone coming out of a strictly controlled environment to a relatively free society.  He likened it to a deep sea diver submerged for several hours far beneath the surface.  One must bring the diver back out from under the tremendous pressure he has adjusted to on a gradient basis or he will suffer from Decompression Sickness, also known as the bends. Similarly, if a person imprisoned – even mentally – in inhumane conditions, conditioned to think and act in super-compliant ways while developing all manner of deceitful (albeit as justifiable as they may be) means to survive, comes out acting like he owns earth he is going to be in for big, ugly and possibly devastating losses.

Over time I have exchanged observations with other counselors about a number of folks that we guided and assisted through the Scientology Underground Railroad – or Decompression Road.  One pattern we all have observed, and taken terrible losses on, is Scientologists entering the family of humanity with the exclusive, arrogant and judgmental attitudes they developed to survive in Scientology culture.  All of us have expended a great deal of resource and effort in helping to clean up messes such attitudes have created, and in getting people who exhibit those attitudes back on their paths after the inevitable smack downs society tends to deliver in response.   For those going through that process now, and who are discomforted absent orientation to L. Ron Hubbard references, everything I have noted thus far in this article is in complete accord with Scientology notions of the efficacy of tackling problems,development and life on a gradient scale; and even the ethics conditions formulas (see Non- Existence condition and formula).

One of the first posts on the Milestone 2/iscientology blog – created largely in protest of my books and this forum – was a piece attempting to discredit this idea of decompression as some psych-based attempt to belittle Operating Thetans and put people at introverted effect.  It reasoned that former Sea Org members and public OTs who bought into the idea they could use a tad of decompression as part of their gradient entry into the community of fellow human beings were victims of an attempt to put them at groveling effect of the psych-indoctrinated ‘wog’ world.  By God, the MS2ers proclaimed, we need to bring society up to our standards, Revenimus! (In keeping perhaps with the Class VIII indoctrination, ‘you are the people who own the planet’ – see Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior).  This mentality of wanting to cling to the inside is understandable (see e.g. the films  The Shawshank Redemption and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest – I know you have all seen them, but watch them again with the Scientology experience in mind).

These thoughts arose when considering a general response to the many inquiries I have received lately asking me which of my three books ought to be read in what sequence.   That includes a lot of non-Scientologists asking what book might appeal to or help a Scientologist family member or friend. My answer is always a question, eliciting information on where the person is at on the decompression process.  When I know something about their circumstances I can recommend the single book that I think might help the person concerned.  They do not necessarily flow one to the next in the order they were written.  And all three of them aren’t for everybody necessarily.

So here is a short generalized guide to whom I believe the three books individually might appeal to, and hopefully help  –  in alignment to degrees of decompression already experienced by the concerned person.

The Scientology Reformation.

This book was written primarily with Scientologists still connected with the church in mind.  It is anchored upon L. Ron Hubbard references and attempts, on a gradient basis, to get a Scientologist to observe for himself or herself just how far adrift Scientology Inc has strayed from the intent and purposes memorialized (at least in some places) by its founder.  It introduces hope that one need not reject all of Scientology, in order to escape and even to take a stand against its abuses.

What Is Wrong With Scientology? Healing Through Understanding

This book would likely be dropped like a radioactive rock by the time a Scientologist in good standing read the first sentence of the introduction.   It is addressed more to people who are already out of the church, and for whom turning back is no option.  It is a detailed presentation and analysis of the features of Scientology that tend toward entrapment.   It describes in some detail the sum and substance of what Scientology’s effective processes are  in order to set the table for analyzing what is wrong with it and how it is ultimately used to entrap.   If one only mindlessly makes a break and declares a wholesale rejection of everything scientology, one tends to become as glued to it as ever, albeit from the opposition vector.  That is because he or she never took the time to understand and come to grips with what salutary aspects of it may have kept one pursuing it in the first place.  If one understands that, one can transcend the experience in a more desirable state than victimhood.

Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior

Because of the personal, autobiographical nature of this book and its consequent gradual, real time and subjective introduction to Scientology this can inform someone never involved in the subject with a perspective they will get nowhere else.  That is, what attracts and keeps one involved in the subject.   Popular books and films have been woefully two-dimensional and inaccurate in that regard.  They only focus on fear factors, which for those involved had next to zero effect in garnering their voluntary, self-determined involvement (the involvement that creates the most lasting effect on someone).  Many who have read it remarked that reading another’s real time experience of getting into, developing into a crusader for, and then transcending out of it prompted them to review their own experience more honestly, fully and rationally.  And that had a liberating effect upon them.

Memoirs is probably akin to a post-doctorate extension of the ‘what is wrong with Scientology’ analysis.  But not with a lot of opinion.  For the most part I let the facts do the talking.

While I still regularly use the term, and the model, of ‘decompression’ I am more often using it with a modifier to better describe what it is I am trying to accomplish: Decompression with an upward trajectory.

Link to all three books:

Mark Rathbun books on scientology

 

Long Cold Winter for Scientology

Beginning sometime around the turn of the new year and through the rest of the winter, the reputations of L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology are going to take perhaps the biggest press shellacking they have ever received.  Some news outlets have reported that Lawrence Wright’s book about Scientology (Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief) is going to have an initial print run of 150,000 copies. That means the unbecoming photo of LRH on the cover will be peering at Americans from virtually every book outlet in the country for several months.   What I expect will appear in the book will make the photo look complimentary.   Wright’s publishers have invested heavily in the production of the book and will have to invest that much more in making it, and its author, omnipresent – or they will lose money.   Wright will appear on virtually every widely viewed television and radio talk show.   And a headline topic will be revelations about less than admirable events in L. Ron Hubbard’s life.  Wright will be followed by the far less influential, but likely as scandalous, book by Jenna Miscavige Hill.  That book too is bankrolled by a large publishing outfit that will roll out the ready-made, full-scale press tour for the author.

If someone you know who cares about the future of Scientology has not read my books I recommend they do before the long, cold winter begins.  It has nothing to do with concern for my book sales.  They are not even in the same universe in terms of distribution and readership the Wright book is headed for.  Instead, the concern is that absent a good gradient on loosening up and reckoning one’s ‘faith’ and ‘belief’ in Scientology (and an increase in one’s independent thinking and contemplation about what he or she actually knows and finds valuable about the subject), the Wright avalanche is likely to create a huge ridge between corporate life and independent life.   Many of those who are under the radar, on the fence, or sitting on the sidelines are liable to get sufficiently disaffected from the subject that they are likely to blow from it entirely.   Those drinking kool aid will no doubt be implanted into some bizarre new world order conspiracy theory to explain the far-flung effects of Wright’s expose.  They will be herded into an even more black and white, us versus them mentality than they already harbor.  Their ears will be shut off to reason entirely.

I wanted to put the issues into complete and full context (understanding philosopher Ken Wilber’s and Quantum Mechanic’s understanding that to get to the most accurate picture requires subjective as well as objective reality).  But, given the cost and diversion time created by corporate Scientology’s four year siege I have yet to complete my extensive volume on the history of Scientology.   Having been resigned to come on the tail end of the Wright storm to do what I can to give the more complete context, I am also resigned to suggest that in the interim to get my existing books into the hands of those whom you care about.  I think those books, What Is Wrong With Scientology? and The Scientology Reformation, will help prepare folks mentally and emotionally for what is coming.

Do Not Support An Evil Government

Excerpt from Chapter nine of The Scientology Reformation: What Every Scientologist Should Know:

The Reformation

      Reformation ends not in contemplation, but in action.

–  George Gillespie

According to L. Ron Hubbard:

Unscrupulous and evil men and groups can usurp the power of government and use it to their own ends. Government organized and conducted solely for self-interested individuals and groups gives society a short life span. This imperils the survival of everyone in the land; it even imperils those who attempt it. History is full of such governmental deaths. Opposition to such governments usually just brings on more violence.

But one can raise his voice in caution when such abuses are abroad. And one need not actively support such a government; doing nothing illegal, it is yet possible, by simply withdrawing one’s cooperation, to bring about an eventual reform. Even as this is being written, there are several governments in the world that are failing only because their people express their silent disagreement by simply not cooperating. These governments are at risk: any untimely wind of mischance could blow them over.

LRH’s words reflect the philosophy of Henry David Thoreau, spelled out a little more than one hundred years earlier in his seminal essay, Civil Disobedience:

It is not a man’s duty as a matter of course, to devote himself to the eradications of any, even the most enormous wrong; he may still properly have other concerns to engage him; but it is his duty, at least, to wash his hands of it, and, if he gives it no thought longer, not to give it practically his support. If I devote myself to other pursuits and contemplations, I must first see, at least, that I do not pursue them sitting upon another man’s shoulders. I must get off him first, that he may pursue his contemplations too.

Sixty years ago Dr. Martin Luther King described the essence of how he helped stem a centuries-old, nationwide pattern of abuse, expanding on Thoreau’s message in Stride toward Freedom:

Something began to say to me, ‘He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it.  He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.’  When oppressed people willingly accept their oppression they only serve to give the oppressor a convenient justification for his acts.  Often the oppressor goes along unaware of the evil involved in his oppression so long as the oppressed accepts it.  So in order to be true to one’s conscience and true to God, a righteous man has no alternative but to refuse to cooperate with an evil system.  This I felt was the nature of our action.  From this moment on I conceived of our movement as an act of massive non-cooperation.

As we have seen, David Miscavige is using the energy of Scientologists, in the form of their dollars, to actively oppress Scientologists. Without the continuing, active support of Scientologists, Miscavige would be powerless to perpetuate his abuses.

David Miscavige himself is acutely aware of the power that each and every Scientologist wields over him. In a 1998 interview with the St. Petersburg Times, he defined “power” as follows: “I’ll tell you what power is. Power in my estimation is if people will listen to you. That’s it.”

So the first thing to do is to cease following and contributing to the anti-Scientology oppressions of David Miscavige, as executed through Scientology Inc.

Some are initially unwilling to so withdraw support from the oppressor. They believe that if they do, they will have forsaken their religion and any chance of higher levels of awareness through application of Scientology. Those who think that way are simply misinformed. Virtually all Scientology technology – from the bottom of the Bridge to its highest reaches, is available outside of Scientology Inc.  There are dozens of independent practitioners of Scientology around the globe. There is a growing movement of Independent Scientologists. You can review a list of hundreds of them, along with their Scientology credentials by going online, visiting scientology-cult.com and clicking on the “Indie 500” link.  Virtually everyone on that list has attempted many remedies, aimed at making Scientology Inc. change its ways. Most have finally concluded that the best way to reform Scientology is to do as Ron said, and break the oppressive monopoly by going right ahead and applying Scientology in the manner they see fit…

Wiki News Interview on The Reformation

Wikinews published an interview concerning the book The Scientology Reformation and related things.