Introuduction

Hello , I am an ex Scientologist , this blog is primarily about that but I may address other topics as the mood hits me to . I was in Scientology for 25 years and spent about 10,000 hours using the indoctrination and thought reform method "study tech " . I also spent time on staff and met hundreds of Scientologists and did hundreds of the cult practices . Many were the "ethics cycles and OW writeups " that really are an attempt to suppress or remove a person's identity and replace it with a mental pseudo clone of Ron Hubbard . To make a fanatical slave for the cult .

I looked outside the cult for answers in about January 2014 and left the cult in about March of 2014 . While in about 99% of members have no idea of the truth .

We are told we are in a mental therapy or spiritual enhancement or religion or science for helping people unlock potential . Or any of several other fronts that all pretend kind and humanitarian goals .

The truth is Scientology is a terrorist mind control cult and this blog is my attempt to understand and expose that . And try to state as clearly as possible the tools that I have found helpful in dealing with this .

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Ten Stages of Genocide

By Gregory H. Stanton, President, Genocide Watch

Copyright 1986 Gregory H. Stanton
 _________________________________________________________________________________________________
The Ten Stages of Genocide
By Dr. Gregory H. Stanton[1]
© 2016 Gregory H. Stanton

Genocide is a process that develops in ten stages that are predictable but not inexorable. At each stage, preventive measures can stop it. The process is not linear. Stages may occur simultaneously. Logically, later stages must be preceded by earlier stages. But all stages continue to operate throughout the process.

➔ 1. CLASSIFICATION: All cultures have categories to distinguish people into “us and them” by ethnicity, race, religion, or nationality: German and Jew, Hutu and Tutsi. Bipolar societies that lack mixed categories, such as Rwanda and Burundi, are the most likely to have genocide.
     The main preventive measure at this early stage is to develop universalistic institutions that transcend ethnic or racial divisions, that actively promote tolerance and understanding, and that promote classifications that transcend the divisions. The Roman Catholic Church could have played this role in Rwanda, had it not been riven by the same ethnic cleavages as Rwandan society. Promotion of a common language in countries like Tanzania has also promoted transcendent national identity. This search for common ground is vital to early prevention of genocide.

➔ 2. SYMBOLIZATION: We give names or other symbols to the classifications. We name people “Jews” or “Gypsies,” or distinguish them by colors or dress; and apply the symbols to members of groups. Classification and symbolization are universally human and do not necessarily result in genocide unless they lead to dehumanization. When combined with hatred, symbols may be forced upon unwilling members of pariah groups: the yellow star for Jews under Nazi rule, the blue scarf for people from the Eastern Zone in Khmer Rouge Cambodia.
     To combat symbolization, hate symbols can be legally forbidden (swastikas in Germany) as can hate speech. Group marking like gang clothing or tribal scarring can be outlawed, as well. The problem is that legal limitations will fail if unsupported by popular cultural enforcement. Though Hutu and Tutsi were forbidden words in Burundi until the 1980’s, code words replaced them. If widely supported, however, denial of symbolization can be powerful, as it was in Bulgaria, where the government refused to supply enough yellow badges and at least eighty percent of Jews did not wear them, depriving the yellow star of its significance as a Nazi symbol for Jews.

➔ 3. DISCRIMINATION: A dominant group uses law, custom, and political power to deny the rights of other groups. The powerless group may not be accorded full civil rights, voting rights, or even citizenship. The dominant group is driven by an exclusionary ideology that would deprive less powerful groups of their rights. The ideology advocates monopolization or expansion of power by the dominant group. It legitimizes the victimization of weaker groups. Advocates of exclusionary ideologies are often charismatic, expressing resentments of their followers, attracting support from the masses. Examples include the Nuremberg Laws of 1935 in Nazi Germany, which stripped Jews of their German citizenship, and prohibited their employment by the government and by universities. Denial of citizenship to the Rohingya Muslim minority in Burma is a current example.
     Prevention against discrimination means full political empowerment and citizenship rights for all groups in a society. Discrimination on the basis of nationality, ethnicity, race or religion should be outlawed. Individuals should have the right to sue the state, corporations, and other individuals if their rights are violated.

➔ 4. DEHUMANIZATION: One group denies the humanity of the other group. Members of it are equated with animals, vermin, insects or diseases. Dehumanization overcomes the normal human revulsion against murder. At this stage, hate propaganda in print and on hate radios is used to vilify the victim group. The majority group is taught to regard the other group as less than human, and even alien to their society. They are indoctrinated to believe that “We are better off without them.” The powerless group can become so depersonalized that they are actually given numbers rather than names, as Jews were in the death camps. They are equated with filth, impurity, and immorality. Hate speech fills the propaganda of official radio, newspapers, and speeches.
   To combat dehumanization, incitement to genocide should not be confused with protected speech. Genocidal societies lack constitutional protection for countervailing speech, and should be treated differently than democracies. Local and international leaders should condemn the use of hate speech and make it culturally unacceptable. Leaders who incite genocide should be banned from international travel and have their foreign finances frozen. Hate radio stations should be jammed or shut down, and hate propaganda banned. Hate crimes and atrocities should be promptly punished.

➔ 5. ORGANIZATION: Genocide is always organized, usually by the state, often using militias to provide deniability of state responsibility. (An example is the Sudanese government’s support and arming of the Janjaweed in Darfur.) Sometimes organization is informal (Hindu mobs led by local RSS militants during Indian partition) or decentralized (jihadist terrorist groups.) Special army units or militias are often trained and armed. Arms are purchased by states and militias, often in violation of UN Arms Embargos, to facilitate acts of genocide. States organize secret police to spy on, arrest, torture, and murder people suspected of opposition to political leaders. Special training is given to murderous militias and special army killing units.
     To combat this stage, membership in genocidal militias should be outlawed. Their leaders should be denied visas for foreign travel and their foreign assets frozen. The UN should impose arms embargoes on governments and citizens of countries involved in genocidal massacres, and create commissions to investigate violations, as was done in post-genocide Rwanda, and use national legal systems to prosecute those who violate such embargos.

  1. POLARIZATION: Extremists drive the groups apart. Hate groups broadcast polarizing propaganda. Motivations for targeting a group are indoctrinated through mass media. Laws may forbid intermarriage or social interaction. Extremist terrorism targets moderates, intimidating and silencing the center. Moderates from the perpetrators’ own group are most able to stop genocide, so are the first to be arrested and killed. Leaders in targeted groups are the next to be arrested and murdered. The dominant group passes emergency laws or decrees that grants them total power over the targeted group. The laws erode fundamental civil rights and liberties. Targeted groups are disarmed to make them incapable of self-defense, and to ensure that the dominant group has total control.
     Prevention may mean security protection for moderate leaders or assistance to human rights groups. Assets of extremists may be seized, and visas for international travel denied to them. Coups d’état by extremists should be opposed by international sanctions. Vigorous objections should be raised to disarmament of opposition groups. If necessary they should be armed to defend themselves.

➔ 7. PREPARATION: Plans are made for genocidal killings. National or perpetrator group leaders plan the “Final Solution” to the Jewish, Armenian, Tutsi or other targeted group “question.” They often use euphemisms to cloak their intentions, such as referring to their goals as “ethnic cleansing,” “purification,” or “counter-terrorism.” They build armies, buy weapons and train their troops and militias. They indoctrinate the populace with fear of the victim group. Leaders often claim that “if we don’t kill them, they will kill us,” disguising genocide as self-defense. Acts of genocide are disguised as counter-insurgency if there is an ongoing armed conflict or civil war. There is a sudden increase in inflammatory rhetoric and hate propaganda with the objective of creating fear of the other group. Political processes such as peace accords that threaten the total dominance of the genocidal group or upcoming elections that may cost them their grip on total power may actually trigger genocide.
     Prevention of preparation may include arms embargos and commissions to enforce them. It should include prosecution of incitement and conspiracy to commit genocide, both crimes under Article 3 of the Genocide Convention.

➔ 8. PERSECUTION: Victims are identified and separated out because of their ethnic or religious identity. Death lists are drawn up. In state sponsored genocide, members of victim groups may be forced to wear identifying symbols. Their property is often expropriated. Sometimes they are even segregated into ghettoes, deported into concentration camps, or confined to a famine-struck region and starved. They are deliberately deprived of resources such as water or food in order to slowly destroy them. Programs are implemented to prevent procreation through forced sterilization or abortions. Children are forcibly taken from their parents.  The victim group’s basic human rights become systematically abused through extrajudicial killings, torture and forced displacement.  Genocidal massacres begin. They are acts of genocide because they intentionally destroy part of a group. The perpetrators watch for whether such massacres meet any international reaction. If not, they realize that that the international community will again be bystanders and permit another genocide.
     At this stage, a Genocide Emergency must be declared. If the political will of the great powers, regional alliances, or U.N. Security Council or the U.N. General Assembly can be mobilized, armed international intervention should be prepared, or heavy assistance provided to the victim group to prepare for its self-defense. Humanitarian assistance should be organized by the U.N. and private relief groups for the inevitable tide of refugees to come.

➔ 9. EXTERMINATION begins, and quickly becomes the mass killing legally called “genocide.” It is “extermination” to the killers because they do not believe their victims to be fully human. When it is sponsored by the state, the armed forces often work with militias to do the killing. Sometimes the genocide results in revenge killings by groups against each other, creating the downward whirlpool-like cycle of bilateral genocide (as in Burundi). Acts of genocide demonstrate how dehumanized the victims have become. Already dead bodies are dismembered; rape is used as a tool of war to genetically alter and eradicate the other group. Destruction of cultural and religious property is employed to annihilate the group’s existence from history. The era of “total war” began in World War II. Firebombing did not differentiate civilians from non-combatants. The civil wars that broke out after the end of the Cold War have also not differentiated civilians and combatants. They result in widespread war crimes. Mass rapes of women and girls have become a characteristic of all modern genocides. All men of fighting age are murdered in some genocides. In total genocides all the members of the targeted group are exterminated.
     At this stage, only rapid and overwhelming armed intervention can stop genocide. Real safe areas or refugee escape corridors should be established with heavily armed international protection. (An unsafe “safe” area is worse than none at all.) The U.N. Standing High Readiness Brigade, EU Rapid Response Force, or regional forces — should be authorized to act by the U.N. Security Council if the genocide is small. For larger interventions, a multilateral force authorized by the U.N. should intervene. If the U.N. Security Council is paralyzed, regional alliances must act anyway under Chapter VIII of the U.N. Charter or the UN General Assembly should authorize action under the Uniting for Peace Resolution GARes. 330 (1950), which has been used 13 times for such armed intervention. Since 2005, the international responsibility to protect transcends the narrow interests of individual nation states. If strong nations will not provide troops to intervene directly, they should provide the airlift, equipment, and financial means necessary for regional states to intervene.

➔ 10. DENIAL is the final stage that lasts throughout and always follows genocide. It is among the surest indicators of further genocidal massacres. The perpetrators of genocide dig up the mass graves, burn the bodies, try to cover up the evidence and intimidate the witnesses. They deny that they committed any crimes, and often blame what happened on the victims. They block investigations of the crimes, and continue to govern until driven from power by force, when they flee into exile. There they remain with impunity, like Pol Pot or Idi Amin, unless they are captured and a tribunal is established to try them.
     The best response to denial is punishment by an international tribunal or national courts. There the evidence can be heard, and the perpetrators punished. Tribunals like the Yugoslav, Rwanda or Sierra Leone Tribunals, the tribunal to try the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, or the International Criminal Court may not deter the worst genocidal killers. But with the political will to arrest and prosecute them, some may be brought to justice.  When possible, local proceedings should provide forums for hearings of the evidence against perpetrators who were not the main leaders and planners of a genocide, with opportunities for restitution and reconciliation. The Rwandan gaçaça trials are one example. Justice should be accompanied by education in schools and the media about the facts of a genocide, the suffering it caused its victims, the motivations of its perpetrators, and the need for restoration of the rights of its victims.

© 2016 Gregory H. Stanton

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Defeating Trump - Operation Snowflake

Millions of Americans have protested Trump and his policies within the first ten days of his inauguration. The Women's March reportedly turned out over two million Americans in the US and at least a million more people around the world.

Trump's immigration ban drew thousands and thousands of protesters to airports and to cities. The total may never be known.

Great news for people that oppose Trump comes in certain facts and past trends. It has been reported that Trump got only eighteen percent of Americans to vote for him. Just twenty five percent of eligible voters. Hillary Clinton defeated him soundly in terms of the popular vote and got around two point eight million more votes.

His approval rating is historically low for a new president and plummeting. Far below fifty percent of Americans want him as president.


There is a crucial question for Trump opposition. Should we use peaceful resistance or more extreme and radical tactics ?

I have personal experience with being a zealous fanatic and radicalized in a mass movement. I am extremely reluctant to return to such a position again. There are several distinct liabilities to such a position. You are quite likely to use brutal or ruthless means in such a position. I have found evil means often never lead to just ends and so your means in truth are your ends. You do evil today to get to good tomorrow and that tomorrow never comes.

But I have very good reason to encourage nonviolent resistance continues and in fact grows now. Erica Chenoweth studied many cases of nonviolent resistance and concluded it is far more likely to overcome a regime than violence. And that often only three and a half percent of the population resisting is enough to win.

Here's a Tedtalk video that is only twelve minutes long describing her research.


Here's a quote from the book 
WhyCivil Resistance Works The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict

"Conclusions and Implications The central contention of this study is that nonviolent resistance methods are likely to be more successful than violent methods in achieving strategic objectives. We have compared the outcomes of 323 nonviolent and violent resistance campaigns from 1900 to 2006, and we have compared these large-n ªndings with comparative case studies of nonviolent campaigns in Southeast Asia. Based on the combined statistical and qualitative research, we can make several claims. First, resistance campaigns that compel loyalty shifts among security forces and civilian bureaucrats are likely to succeed. Such operational successes occur among violent campaigns occasionally, but nonviolent campaigns are more likely to produce loyalty shifts. Although in the quantitative study these findings are qualified by data constraints, our case studies reveal that three violent campaigns were unable to produce meaningful loyalty shifts among opponent elites, whereas such shifts did occur as a result of nonviolent action in the Philippines and East Timor. In addition, repression against nonviolent campaigns in the Philippines and East Timor resulted in well-timed international sanctions against the opponent regime, which proved instrumental in the success of these nonviolent campaigns. The domestic and international political costs of repressing nonviolent campaigns are higher than for repressing violent campaigns. Our case studies also suggest that violent and nonviolent campaigns that fail to achieve widespread, cross-cutting, and decentralized mobilization are unlikely to compel defection or evoke international sanctions in the firstst place. Broad-based campaigns are more likely to call into question the legitimacy of the opponent. The political costs of repressing one or two dozen activists, easily labeled “extremists,” are much lower than repressing hundreds or thousands of activists who represent the entire population." End quote



Here's another quote from the Guardian article:

It may only take 3.5% of the population to topple a dictator – with civil resistance


The Women’s March on Washington and its affiliated marches – which may have been the largest single-day demonstration in US history – show a population eager and willing to show up to defend their rights. 
Of course, nonviolent resistance often evokes brutality by the government, especially as campaigns escalate their demands and use more disruptive techniques. But historical data shows that when campaigns are able to prepare, train, and remain resilient, they often succeed regardless of whether the government uses violence against them.
Historical studies suggest that it takes 3.5% of a population engaged in sustained nonviolent resistance to topple brutal dictatorships. If that can be true in Chile under Gen Pinochet and Serbia under Milosevic, a few million Americans could prevent their elected government from adopting inhumane, unfair, destructive or oppressive policies – should such drastic measures ever be needed.
Erica Chenoweth is the co-author of Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict
If this information is accurate and the millions and millions of Americans that are in extreme danger from Trump's actions and words stand together we may far exceed the threshold to overcome him. 

If the women, gay and bi and trans people, Muslims, black folks, immigrants and a variety of others slated for a severe loss of rights all stand together then our victory is possible. The US military at some point will have to choose to disobey orders to arrest, detain and possibly even shoot or even execute peaceful protesters.

We must remain peaceful in this model of resistance. That's absolutely essential to avoid abandoning our likely best chance for success. 

It won't be effortless and sadly without casualty. American people will get arrested, assaulted and likely killed. That's unfortunately the nature of clashes with power. 

But outright violence against Trump and his administration will play right into his hands. The use of force and disproportionate retaliation gives the regime the excuse to crack down brutally and kill dissidents. They can simply say they were violent or threatened violence and the associated violence that others did will be good enough to justify the new violence.

Asymmetric warfare would be extremely difficult. The training and experience needed is not easy to find. And it is in my opinion very nearly an absolute last resort. 

It's almost suicidal and quite likely to fail more often than suceed. People would throw away their lives to fail and give Trump justification for martial law.

If protest is allowed, dissent isn't censored, the press continues to report on Trump's lies, abuses and crimes and tens of millions of Americans still passionately oppose him then nonviolent resistance is in my opinion our best option. 

In nonviolent resistance you are not killing innocent people. That matters. In nonviolent resistance you can make a mistake and have far less dire consequences.

I loathe the white supremacy and fascist values Trump embodies and inspires. But I don't want us to destroy ourselves to stop him. And fortunately good reason may show our best option for winning is to use nonviolence. And that brings me peace of mind. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Trump American Fascist 1 Fascism Really ?

 

 
 

In looking at Trump and his reign over America as president it is often said he is a fascist in the mold of Hitler and follows his playbook.

First a very basic definition of fascism is essential.

Here's a short description of fascism:

Fourteen Defining
Characteristics Of Fascism
By Dr. Lawrence Britt

Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each:

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread
domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

End quote

We are now witnessing a fascist regime. I believe Trump has been moving the US from a less than perfect representative democracy aka a republic with democratic elements toward fascism.

It's never been a perfect country certainly, but is rapidly becoming far more in alignment with the description of a fascist regime than it has been certainly in my lifetime. It's a very startling and radical shift towards a totalitarian state.

Trump unlike president Barack Obama doesn't moderate his praise of America and place it as a country in a world that needs to respect the sovereignty and value of other countries. Under president Barack Obama human rights took huge hits as NDAA 2012 expanded the powers the Patriot act created for human rights violations and it was strongly objected to by human rights groups.

But Trump has shown a far greater disdain and disregard for human rights on torture and many other issues. He has repeatedly openly advocated multiple war crimes.

As for scapegoating Trump is in the category with totalitarian regimes that use ethnic cleansing and genocide. He is setting the stage for those acts now. It's not even remotely an exaggeration to say his rhetoric is comparable to Hitler's speeches and shows no signs of diminishing.

Trump identifies strength with the military and has emphasized strengthening it and using it brutally as a diplomatic solution to a variety of foreign policy issues.

Trump epitomizes sexism and chauvinism to an almost unimaginable level. His vulgar remarks about women, appointments of only anti gay candidates, work to revoke funding for programs to help women and support of revoking rights to abortion and other women's rights is as radical as possible.

Trump is attempting to control the media through a system of penalties and rewards. He threatens the media, has said he is in a war with them and grants access to outlets like Fox news, Breitbart and others that only report information favorable to him.

Trump justifies his wall plan, his indefinite detention of immigrants and others, his racist stop and frisk and plans to pack for profit prisons with minorities, his plan to block immigrants and many other acts on national security despite the statistics that don't support his claims even remotely.

He has promised expanded political influence to Christian groups and appointed many people that strongly support Christian doctrine over the constitution and want separation of church and state to be eased in their favor.

He has merged corporate and state power in what many are calling a corporate coup. He has a cabinet with candidates for consideration that has more wealth than a third of American families combined.

Many Goldman Sachs executives, CEOs of Exxon Mobil and other large multinational corporations now are ready to merge corporations with the government. It's an almost naked kleptocracy and kakistocracy (government by the worst men possible.)

Trump has a labor secretary appointee that worked in fast food as a CEO dedicated to wage suppression, violations of worker's rights and depriving workers pay and breaks. Trump openly has said wages are too high and advocates tactics to further reduce pay. Trump has acted to withhold pay for many people in his own business ventures. Trump has been firmly anti union for decades and openly advocates right to work laws that weaken and ultimately break unions in many states.

Trump is amazingly anti science. He advocates anti science conspiracy theories on many issues including climate change and vaccines. He has defunded multiple scientific efforts by the government and acted to muzzle and stifle the efforts of many scientists in the government. He has acted to defund the National Endowment for the Arts and PBS. He is extremely anti arts and sciences.

Trump wants the police to brutally and viciously crack down on people with no repercussions for racism or brutality. That's something I can't stress enough. He has grand designs in this area he often refers to. He wants protesting to be squashed with extreme prejudice. He wants civil rights obliterated.

In just the beginning of his regime nepotism and naked corruption abound. His family and corporations are already taking in money and his business conflicts are tremendous.

He has claimed rigged elections even before they occurred. He persists in this so he can suppress the vote and it actually opens the door to special extreme voter suppression, disregarding election results of he loses or even the eventual suspension of elections if he claims they are being rigged long enough. That's the eventual final result of invalidating the election results. You can just throw them out and claim rigging.

Trump has moved America so radically and so rapidly towards fascism that most people can't comprehend it. But it is here nevertheless. We should identity what fascism is, compare America to it personally and when we see it have the intellectual and moral courage to call it what it is and make it clear fascism isn't just a synonym for bad or bully or totalitarian. It's a specific kind of government with specific characteristics. And it's what Trump is fighting to create in America.

Friday, January 27, 2017

A HELPFUL GUIDE FOR INTERPRETING THE LANGUAGE OF FASCISTS

A HELPFUL GUIDE FOR INTERPRETING THE LANGUAGE OF FASCISTS

Via Elliot Lusztig in this Twitter essay:
Hannah Arendt in her book The Origins of Totalitarianism provides a helpful guide for interpreting the language of fascists.
She noted how decent liberals of 1930s Germany would “fact check” the Nazis’ bizarre claims about Jews like they were meant to be factual.
What they failed to understand, Arendt suggests, is that the Nazi Jew hating was not a statement of fact but a declaration of intent.
So when someone would blame the Jews for Germany’s defeat in WW1, naive people would counter by saying there’s no evidence of that.
What the Nazis were doing was not describing what was true, but what would have to be true to justify what they planned to do next.
This is how we need to treat accusations and threats from Trump and his deeply immoral team.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Traumatic Narcissism part 2: The Relationships in Scientology

This series references the book Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation by Doctor Daniel Shaw. All quotes referenced are from that book unless otherwise noted. I recommend reading the posts in order if possible.

It is intended to address the concept Shaw introduces of the traumatic narcissist as it relates to Ron Hubbard's mind and cult Scientology. It explores aspects of the relationship between the cult leader and members and the roles both can assume as well as what the relationship is like in a one on one relationship or family as well. Other groups and organizations have the same dynamics in play.

I ended the last post with this quote and remark:

Perhaps the following quote sums up Ron Hubbard's character and details of his cult and personal life as well as any I have ever seen:

"The overinflated narcissist is often someone much more like the original Narcissus of Ovid's Metamorphoses, as I understand the Narcissus myth: reveling in being wanted and adored by others, contemptuously deeming no one good enough, reinforcing his grandiose overvaluation of himself by sadistically negating the value and worth of others; and ultimately trapped and destroyed by his delusional obsession with what he perceives to be his own perfection. This narcissist in real life, a myth in his own mind, is so well defended against his developmental trauma, so skillful a disavower of the dependency and inadequacy that is so shameful to him, that he creates a delusional world in which he is a superior being in need of nothing he cannot provide for himself. To remain persuaded of his own perfection, he uses significant others whom he can subjugate. These spouses, siblings, children, or followers of the inflated narcissist strive anxiously to be what the narcissist wants them to be, for fear of being banished from his exalted presence. He is compelled to use those who depend on him to serve as hosts for his own disavowed and projected dependency, which for him signifies profound inadequacy and is laden with shame and humiliation. To the extent that he succeeds in keeping inadequacy and dependency external, he can sustain in his internal world his delusions of shame-free, self-sufficient superiority."
Daniel Shaw

Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation Page 11



Shaw went on to describe his opinion on the key difference between a psychopath and  traumatizing narcissist in his concepts. 

"When we say "pathological," what do we really mean ? When this term is used by psychoanalysts, it seems to me that some level of psychopathy is what is really being implied. However, the narcissist who seduces others in order to control and exploit them, who attacks and negates other's subjectivity in order to create hegemony for his own, and who does so while being firmly convinced of his unquestionable entitlement and righteousness, does not fit the meaning of psychopath as I understand it. The difference is the psychopath knows he breaks the law and behaves with no regard or empathy for others. The narcissist I am describing is very firmly convinced of his righteousness. This kind of narcissism involves a delusional sense of omnipotence, buttressed by the paranoid belief that all who question the narcissist's perfection are merely envious and malicious (paranoid in the sense that the malice and envy are disavowed and projected). The terms "pathological narcissist," often used to describe this set of character structures, is also used, problematically, to label and describe the people he typically exploits and victimizes, whose sense of self-esteem he has traumatically destabilized." Daniel Shaw


Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation Page 11

He sees the psychopath as knowing the difference between what others see as right and wrong and the psychopath knows he violates the standards of acceptable conduct and breaks the law and doesn't care, doesn't care about hurting people or breaking rules or what anyone thinks about it or him. The ultimate no fucks given attitude.

While in contrast the traumatic narcissist is deeply wounded and has tremendous unresolved trauma motivating him. He has to avoid it by erecting manic defenses. He perpetually uses denial of negative qualities regarding himself including behavior. This in my opinion is the genesis of profound hypocrisy. A traumatizing narcissist can do anything and find justification for it in his self-righteousness while condemning anything in others, particularly those who criticize him.

This is completely obvious with Hubbard who said his critics always had crimes in their pasts and to always meet criticism with attacks against the attacker and to ruthlessly and relentlessly ask "what are your crimes ?" of any critic.

It's also obvious in the behaviour of Trump. He has a long history of attacking any critics often with profoundly immature and petulant remarks like WRONG, OVERRATED, LOW ENERGY and FAILING. These are so belligerent in an emotionally immature way that it simply screams manic projection of disavowed shame and undesirable qualities onto others which Trump must, must, must deny in himself. He can't face his flaws at all.

Shaw goes on:
"Since, for the traumatizing narcissist, insufficiency is equated with mortifying dependency and the ensuing sense of impotence and inferiority, it is crucial for him to keep the destabilizing shame of these repudiated aspects of self from being released into consciousness."
Daniel Shaw

Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation Page 35

"Externalization of shame. Rather than feel self-loathing and the helplessness of unrequited dependency needs, the traumatizing narcissist arranges for dependency and its accompanying shame to be kept external, assigned to belong only to others, so as to protect himself from self-loathing and ultimately from decompensation-literally, mortification, or (psychic) death by shame."
Daniel Shaw

Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation Page 35

These aspects of the traumatizing narcissist show a very unhealthy mind. Hubbard's choice to position himself as a messianic figure in the Scientology cult was to gain attention off his unknowing victims. He craved power over others to bolster his self image. He wanted to escape the one person he never could - himself. He always wanted wealth certainly, but he persisted in turning out millions of words of cult doctrine probably long after he had millions of dollars stashed away. And back in the sixties and seventies that was truly a fortune.

He in my opinion needed to act like Scientology was far more successful than it ever was. It didn't really give beneficial results like the miracles he promised, but he couldn't face that head on because it reflected on his weaknesses and limitations. He had a terrible burden of inadequacy to avoid. He couldn't admit he failed to help people.

It's been speculated that he may have become a collapsed narcissist by the later stages of his life. There's an often repeated story of Hubbard admitting failure with Scientology and requesting a special E meter be built to electrocute his body thetans away and help him die. It may or may not be true. The Sarge special E meter story has a place in Scientology legend. I don't have enough evidence to comfortably support or oppose it.

Many stories about Hubbard have a tremendous amount of supporting evidence including newspaper stories, court records, documents, eyewitness accounts and of course Hubbard's own words and my own twenty five years in Scientology too. So, I can afford to be persnickety about which claims about the past of Scientology and Hubbard I accept. That's no guarantee I will get it all right or avoid every false claim.

Many narcissists do become collapsed over time, particularly if they fail spectacularly or lose their status. So, it is not out of the realm of possibility for Hubbard to have been so disappointed with his many failures that he collapsed and changed from the boastful supremely arrogant cult leader of Scientology to the depressed recluse seeking sympathy some have described. It's consistent with the path many narcissists' lives take.

In Scientology the traumatic narcissism as a relational system of subjugation hypothesis has Shaw's concepts regarding the victim of the narcissist as well. It is quite relevant to the effects that can occur for cult members and children raised by narcissistic parents as examples.

"This is of course a perfect double bind (Bateson et al., 1956). Unable to be anything but dependant, yet still attempting independence, the child of the traumatizing narcissist parent is condemned either way. She comes to associate dependency with shame and humiliation, and independence with rejection and abandonment. Unless she can adopt the counter-dependent, shameless stance of the traumatizing narcissist, she lives instead in a post-traumatic state in which her sense of inescapable badness is cemented."
Daniel Shaw

Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation Page 35

So the cult member can take on Hubbard's worst qualities and act narcissistic in turn. They could for example like Hubbard before them pretend godlike infallibility and perfection. They can become narcissistic and sociopathic to a greatly varying degree. They can have deep shame and self-loathing buried and hidden by manic denial of vulnerabilities and projection of undesirable qualities onto others. Externalization of shame and weaknesses can result in a sense of self-righteousness and harsh condemnation of others, particularly critics. They can become a sort of mental pseudo clone of Hubbard to survive through a cult identity. It's not desirable or pleasant but for some members it happens.

Some others in Shaw's description take on a state feeling absolutely worthless and irredeemable. I went through a period in which the Scientology fair gamed me and attempted to use Hubbard's attempts at brainwashing techniques and interiorizing me by getting me to just look inwardly too much . Part of the results of this method was a feeling of inescapable badness as Shaw says and a feeling I couldn't do anything right, and always was, was now and always would be both deeply ashamed and hurt and simultaneously undeserving of any compassion and wrong for wanting any. A nearly inescapable double bind as Shaw said. It took months to recover even slightly from. The technique used on me was designed to push a person to madness or suicide, certainly to inactivity regarding criticism of Scientology.

 Eventually years later I ended up very gradually getting to where I could look outside Scientology with enough independent thought and confidence to throw off my blind fanaticism for Hubbard and utter lack of confidence in myself and my own judgment enough to carefully look without overwhelming confirmation bias and see flaws in Scientology leadership and eventually the technology, doctrine and Hubbard himself. I ended up at the Underground Bunker and over several months researched Scientology enough to utterly reject it.

I can't stress strongly enough how unpleasant and deeply hurtful the state of inescapable badness is. It's a terrible drop from denying and projecting negative aspects of self to being totally trapped by them. It's completely overwhelming and confusing. It's like suffocating in amber and having no escape or hope of escape. It's entirely destabilizing as everything you relied on for confidence and stability is obliterated. The certainty that you understand life, yourself and your place in life all being entirely snatched away at once with the realization you somehow aren't good enough and your knowledge and efforts that you thought were special and elite were in fact entirely different is crushing.

I had a feeling of badness, worthlessness and shame that made me feel like climbing under the surface of the earth and hiding forever. It felt like that would provide tiny relief and as I failed and it was entirely my own fault for being evil that I didn't deserve that smidgen of relief. That's exactly what a person subjected to Scientology introversion technology is supposed to feel.

I obviously went through a several year process of recovery and continue to study to gain more understanding of my Scientology experience.

I will close with a quote from Doctor Shaw on why people who leave cults don't admit they were abused or open up about the feelings they had in the cult or have after leaving. It's extremely difficult to face and often the "I wasn't fooled, I was in control and I got good things out of Scientology" claims are all a person has to hold off similar feelings to my own from when I was fair gamed and when I left Scientology. That's a terrible burden to bear, either hanging onto a false reality that Scientology was beneficial and not harmful or face severe post traumatic stress and anxiety all at once.


For your consideration from Shaw:
"One of the reasons why many of the people who leave cultic groups choose not to identify their own experience as abusive is because to do so would mean acknowledging an extraordinary degree of grief over the loss of a cherished idealized attachment, connected to their most cherished hopes about themselves and about life. This is in addition to the unleashing of an extraordinary degree of shame about their own self-deception and gullibility, and shame and rage about the manner of abuse they were willing to endure for the sake of maintaining their tie to the leader. Eventually, the realization that their devotion and labor in the group led to no real personal growth, and to no significant contribution to society, will also become a source of deep shame and regret."

Daniel Shaw

Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation Page 51


Monday, January 9, 2017

Traumatic Narcissism: part 1 Scientology and Hubbard

I have seen the extraordinary cult expert Doctor Daniel Shaw in several YouTube videos and read several online articles by him including an extraordinary paper on Traumatic Narcissism.

Here is a description from Factnet.org regarding Daniel Shaw:

Dan Shaw, C.S.W.
Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis
850 Seventh Avenue, Suite 906
New York, New York 10019
Tel./ Fax.: (212) 581-6658
152 Main Street, Nyack, New York 10960
Tel.: (845) 548-2561

shawdan@aol.com

www.danielshawlcsw.com

Works with former members of cults and cultic groups, and friends and families of cult members.

His work in this area is connected to theories of malignant or pathological narcissism, and he has a special interest in working with those who have exited or who are exiting from destructive relationships with abusive teachers, partners, and significant others.

He is an allied professional member of the Division of Psychoanalysis (39) of the American Psychological Association; faculty and clinical supervisor at and certified in adult psychoanalysis and psychotherapy by The National Institute for the Psychotherapies (NIP) in New York City; co-chair of the Education Committee of the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (IARPP).

Read his essay, “Traumatic Abuse in Cults” completely free. (Reference)

Daniel Shaw received his Masters Degree in Social Work from Yeshiva University, New York, in 1996. He was certified as a Psychoanalyst in 2000 after completing the four year training program at The National Institute for the Psychotherapies (NIP), in New York City. Dan Shaw worked as a professional actor before joining the Siddha Yoga movement and is currently an ex-devotee of Gurumayi Chidvilasananda. Daniel Shaw was active in the SYDA movement from 1981 - 1994, taking on the spiritual name of “Sureshwar”. Daniel Shaw is the webmaster and registrant for the leavingsiddhayoga.net domain:

He uses that term to describe a specific type of person that abuses and exploits others in relationships. It's in my opinion quite fitting to describe Scientology leader Ron Hubbard. I have spent hundreds of hours researching the mind and life of Hubbard in the last three years after leaving the Scientology cult myself. I had been a member for twenty five years and sought to understand what Hubbard had done and what my own experience in the cult had truly been and why such a relationship was even possible.

I can never claim a perfect understanding or infallible knowledge or wisdom but sincerely hope my efforts to learn the truth have borne fruit and at least thrown off any insidious influence or pernicious effects Scientology may have left with me or encouraged the persistence of.

I feel the ideas presented by Doctor Shaw in his book Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation are at times profound and poignant. They have simple themes from traditional academic views on cults such as those of Robert Jay Lifton and Margaret Singer integrated with ideas on abusive relationships and the ideas on malignant narcissism from Fromm and many others along with a tremendous amount of information and interpretation regarding various schools of psychoanalysis.

If a deep study of psychoanalysis is not something you want to undertake this book still has a wealth of information that is more than worth the time and effort to read it regarding narcissism, abusive relationships, and cults. The second half heavily focuses on therapy but honestly if you aren't interested in that then just reading the first half is a tremendous education in itself.

I must give this book my highest possible recommendations. It's vocabulary particularly regarding psychoanalysis isn't the easiest to decipher but looking up a couple dozen words if you never studied the subject is well worth it.

Shaw is exacting in his choice of themes, phrases and terms that are precise and relevant to his subject. I must encourage all ex Scientologists and ex cult members to read this book. Anyone seeking to understand cult leaders, totalitarian regimes, authoritarian regimes, or abusive relationships can benefit tremendously from a fraction of the information collected here.

I am going to discuss the traumatizing narcissist concept as it in my opinion fits several cult leaders and abusive narcissistic people extremely well.

I sincerely believe after hundreds and hundreds of hours of examining two individuals in particular that this description is the best I have yet seen for them and the behavior they have conducted for their entire lives: Scientology cult leader Ron Hubbard and Donald Trump.

I will focus in this post on statements Shaw made that are particularly relevant to Hubbard and Scientology.

Here's a quote to describe how Shaw went from the more usual terms of narcissist or malignant narcissist to his own of traumatic narcissist.

"I had used the example of a narcissist guru as someone who needed to believe that he was completely free, dependent on no one-the kind of narcissist who exploits and controls others, inflating himself by deflating those he surrounds himself with. I was arguing in this paper that he needs others desperately, but that he disavows dependency, which he views as weak and shameful."
Daniel Shaw
 Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation Preface

I have examined among many hundreds of other writings and tapes by Hubbard his perhaps most honest creations: the affirmations. For anyone unfamiliar I have a copy available on this blog and they were private commands Hubbard used to attempt to influence his own mind.

Shaw wrote something giving his impression of aspects of how trauma is intergenerational - meaning transferred from caregivers to children- and which trauma manifests in which ways most often. If you aren't extremely interested in psychoanalytic theory then just understand that is what he is talking about here and set it aside for the moment.

"If one's own attachment trauma is dissociated, the chances of passing along insecure or disorganized attachment experience was traumatic but is not dissociated, one is much less likely to pass along insecure attachment to the next generation."
Daniel Shaw

 Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation page 4

Shaw gives a great description of his concept of a victim of abuse from a traumatizing narcissist like a child or cult member reacting to the abuse by taking on the abusive characteristics of the abuser. That's the essence of how it's a relational system. It is transmitted from abuser to victim who in turn may become abusive also. It certainly doesn't happen one hundred percent of the time. Many victims of abuse as children and in cults do not become abusive.

"There is a different route taken by some children of traumatizing narcissists-involving externalization, rather than internalization, of the hostile projections of the narcissist parents. People in this group, the "externalizers," might come to disdain needs altogether, and imagine that they themselves have no needs, that only others are weak and needy. This sort of person could become fixed in a subjective orientation, paving the way toward manic grandiosity and contempt for others, with a sense of entitlement and self-justification. The same cumulative traumatizion to the sense of subjectivity as with the objectified child has taken place, but this child, rather than succumbing to a sense of helplessness and despairing of being able to feel recognized, instead develops as an adult into someone who arranges to wield the power to bestow, or not bestow, recognition upon others. He has defended against depression by use of the manic reversal-as if to say, "it doesn't matter that you don't recognize me; you are not important, and I don't recognize you." Another way to think about this is to posit that the traumatized, thwarted subjective self of this child morphs into a protector self, which succeeds in preventing the internalization of shame and badness. Instead, this super-defended self locates badness only in others-never in the self. Rather than persecute the self, this dissociated protector is quick to detect inferiority in others, and able to maintain the sense of superiority quite consistently." Daniel Shaw

Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation Page 8

This is a bit to take on but I will crudely translate it in my own terms. Some children of traumatizing narcissists put all negative feelings onto people outside themselves, in other words other people. They are so hurt by having been treated with narcissistic abuse that they have deep trauma and pain regarding being dependent or unloved. They were either treated as only objects of the projected desires of narcissistic people or subjects of abuse or neglect. They were either loved as someone they actually weren't and only seen as extensions of abusers like the child that must be perfect. The perfect student, the perfect star or musician or athlete or church member. In any manifestation it denies the frailties and needs of the child as the genuine individual he or she is and serves to just fit the selfish fantasies of the caregiver as a way to assert the superiority of the caregiver or fulfill the needs for attention or something to their advantage but not in the interests of the child. Or if not loved and approved of as the idealized golden child put on a pedestal then the child was denied love by being abused in any manner possible including physical, emotional, sexual and neglect in which love is completely withheld.

When Shaw speaks of subjective orientation he is referring to a person who must be in charge in relationships and can't be vulnerable, admit to needs or weaknesses particularly faults and flaws. They must dominate others.

Obviously another route children in this position can take is to succumb to a sense of hopelessness regarding being recognized it is a route many victims of abuse including cult members take. Their can be a feeling of being incapable of being loved or ever deserving love.

The other route (but in my opinion more than these two undesirable results can occur, everyone subject to this extreme abuse, idealization or neglect doesn't end up as only either the victim or victimizer) Shaw describes is to become the abuser yourself.

As the abuser took on manic defenses to escape pain and extremely negative feelings of worthlessness, impotence, incompetence and being unloved and undeserving of love or even life itself so to can the victim take on the same defense for the same trauma in their own turn and so continue tje trauma across generations. In families it's obviously passed down from parents or grandparents or caregivers to children who then may keep it going in perpetuity. In groups like cults it may be passed along from leaders and may be passed down by cult practices and doctrine. It can go on indefinitely this way.

Of particular note in Scientology is Hubbard's pathological need to assert his infallible perfection and authority as superior to God. I recall a tape lecture in which Hubbard said the closest he ever came to quitting in Scientology was admitting that his job in Scientology was one God himself couldn't do. Meaning in taking it on and succeeding Hubbard had surpassed God. A number of Scientologists have interpreted that the physical universe was created by either a thetan, meaning spirit, long ago who could be called God, or a group of spirits and that it was a place that became degraded and unpleasant for spirits so God, or the gods who were merely old and mighty spirits, abandoned their creation and like a absentee slum lord gave up the responsibility.

Hubbard painted himself as taking on the salvaging of the abandoned universe single handedly and all the inhabitants of it as well. He asserted his sense of superiority to a unique level, well above everyone else.

Shaw explains further:

"From my perspective, rigid orientation to either the subjective or objective position is best understood as the result of cumulative developmental trauma of unrecognition. The trauma of unrecognition could lead one to desperately seek connection through subjugation, and self-objectification; or unrecognition could lead one to hyper-idealize oneself and hold others in contempt." Daniel Shaw

 Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation Page 9

It's clear the subjective position is being in charge and unchanging and infallible, a master and abuser. Being objective is being dominated and controlled, being a victim and slave.

Shaw asserts that not being recognized - as in being unloved in the form of abuse, neglect or being used to be a creation that pleases the abuser without recognition of the actual person - can result in a person that seeks to continue being a victim or to reverse roles and in turn be the abuser.

Perhaps the following quote sums up Ron Hubbard's character and details of his cult and personal life as well as any I have ever seen:

"The overinflated narcissist is often someone much more like the original Narcissus of Ovid's Metamorphoses, as I understand the Narcissus myth: reveling in being wanted and adored by others, contemptuously deeming no one good enough, reinforcing his grandiose overvaluation of himself by sadistically negating the value and worth of others; and ultimately trapped and destroyed by his delusional obsession with what he perceives to be his own perfection. This narcissist in real life, a myth in his own mind, is so well defended against his developmental trauma, so skillful a disavower of the dependency and inadequacy that is so shameful to him, that he creates a delusional world in which he is a superior being in need of nothing he cannot provide for himself. To remain persuaded of his own perfection, he uses significant others whom he can subjugate. These spouses, siblings, children, or followers of the inflated narcissist strive anxiously to be what the narcissist wants them to be, for fear of being banished from his exalted presence. He is compelled to use those who depend on him to serve as hosts for his own disavowed and projected dependency, which for him signifies profound inadequacy and is laden with shame and humiliation. To the extent that he succeeds in keeping inadequacy and dependency external, he can sustain in his internal world his delusions of shame-free, self-sufficient superiority."
Daniel Shaw

Traumatic Narcissism: Relational Systems of Subjugation Page 11

I plan to write far on this and to refer back to Shaw's work again for other posts and even subjects like Trump as well. I invite everyone who reads this to read all forthcoming posts in this series.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Unlocking The Scientology Prison Of The Mind Part 1

 


 



In getting into Scientology a very specific process of conversion and indoctrination occurs. And certain key experiences and ideas and emotions and behaviours together act as the individual bars of the prison of the mind.

It's like a person enters Scientology with a room. The room has open doorways and the person can come or go at will. Imagine the person puts a bar across one doorway limiting, but not completely stopping movements. Then they add more bars until over much time one doorway is completely blocked enough that the person can't pass through that one with the bars remaining in place. If the person recognized the bars as bars and blocking them they could remove them. They have the ability, but can't use it without understanding. The more they know about how they put the prison together and what holds it together the better they will be at taking it apart. It's like they have better tools and know which ones will work best on which bars.

The bars aren't identical. Their links to each other aren't identical. They are unique to each person.

I will give several examples from my own twenty five year journey into and ultimately out of Scientology. I had several key experiences that made me interested in Scientology and then open to it then convinced it was valid and then convinced that all criticism of it must be invalid, Hubbard's authority and doctrine were infallible and any doubts about it were always wrong.

Hubbard intentionally designed it to operate exactly as it did with me.

I had key experiences that operated as cornerstones of my close minded fanaticism and zealous support.
I met a Scientologist and was initially very antagonistic and skeptical towards Scientology. All I had heard about it was the Scientologists think you are responsible for everything that has happened to you forever, no exceptions.

It seemed to totally lack empathy or compassion. After all victims of horrific crimes including little children surely can't be responsible for the suffering they experience ? So, the first thing that was explained to me was that Scientology has a kind of eternal return to life doctrine that has a billion past lives before now and an unknown but possibly eternal amount of future lives in its belief system.

That's something that in theory could account for present injustice by saying there is a hidden past that can influence it. A person may have made their own choices that somehow led to present circumstances.  It has no proof, but that wasn't the point. The idea just opened the door to a hypothetical situation that in a belief system could be internally logical, or so it seems.

That was one thing. I felt I couldn't be fooled. I didn't understand what makes influence or persuasion possible or effective. I thought that influence or hypnosis would not work on a skeptical person or an intelligent person or someone with street smarts.

I thought figuring out if Scientology was a fraud or true would be simple. I had been laying down the first bars across my own prison with those assumptions.

But just a few bars would not make an effective prison. That's part of why people who are in a short time often don't have anywhere near as hard a time getting out of Scientology or as negative an experience. They didn't build a full prison cell. They may have got halfway done and walked out before the bars completely sealed them in. So they didn't even need to remove any bars sometimes.

What does that mean ? Let me proceed with the story and I will get back to it.

So I had become overconfident, saw myself as above influence, saw Scientology basic ideas as possible if not proven then had a profound key experience - I gave over my power of choice regarding Scientology and it being merely possible and separate from me and my beliefs.

I was on staff and doing a course required for Scientology staff. It was either staff status I or staff status II. I was trying to pass a drill on course that requires verbatim instant recitation of all the departments in order on a Scientology organizing board that also includes corresponding awareness characteristics for each department. The org board had over twenty departments. They have an exact sequence that has to of course be known in perfect order.

Normally in Scientology study tech indoctrination it's set up this way on purpose. A student has to learn hundreds of definitions on most courses. Any word in a course can be spot checked.

A supervisor or another student on a checkout can ask for the definition of ANY word in a student's materials. The materials will usually have a course pack with many pages of writing. They often include taped lectures and books too.

It's not unusual for a course to have hundreds and hundreds of pages of materials. In a spot check a student is asked to define a word from their materials as it is used in the materials and will flunk for not giving the correct definition, for not giving it without hesitation or doubt, for giving no definition or for not giving it exactly as it appears in the materials.

Then the student is flunked and told to clear that word fully, then go back to where it first appears in their materials. So a word can be on the first page of a course and the student can be hundreds of pages past that. The word is asked and flunked on. The student must go all the way back and restudy EVERYTHING from that point. And use study technology including word clearing everything they come across again. It can set you back months.

So you get extremely anxious about learning every definition for every word you encounter. And being able to instantly repeat the definition forever.

Now a key thing to understand is that people usually have their own ideas, ideas they consider and ideas they know but are skeptical of.

In Scientology study a student has their own beliefs, and two other distinct sets of information too. They get hundreds and thousands of ideas in Scientology study. They learn definitions and derivations and idioms for thousands of regular English language words. They also learn thousands of definitions for Scientology terms and Scientology phrases and slogans.

Over time a key experience can occur, it certainly did for me. As a shortcut when getting information overload, being overwhelmed with too much information I took a shortcut. A fatal error in reasoning.

I stopped keeping separate the three bodies of information. It all became one. I thought the retention of all the exact ideas in Scientology doctrine and all the phrases were the important part. I thought it would be okay to lump together the new English language I learned and the new Scientology words, phrases and ideas and my own beliefs and ideas all together as one body of equally accepted information.

In attempting to memorize the long list and exact details needed I swept aside any remaining independent judgment and critical thinking regarding Scientology. I treated it like my own beliefs and values.

It was just easier and made focusing on memorization easy. I thought it was a profound experience which proved the validity of Scientology and the technology. I thought I couldn't be fooled because I was too smart, too skeptical.

Really it was a response to stress, the stress of too much information, too fast, with too many categories to easily separate. That made extreme mental discomfort in the form if cognitive dissonance. And a way to reduce or try to reduce and escape cognitive dissonance is cognitive distortions. You change your thinking to escape something - something inconsistent or undesirable in your beliefs, feelings, behaviors or information coming to you from the world around you. I gave up the tremendous anxiety of juggling hundreds and hundreds of ideas and keeping them all apart.

Imagine juggling dozens of balls at once AND simultaneously mentally keeping track of each one to see if it is one you brought, one juggler A tossed to you or one juggler B tossed to you. The balls look similar enough that they can be mistaken for each other - especially when they are moving fast and there are several being juggled at once.  But if yiu just juggle them without a care where they came from or who owns them it is much more relaxed.

The moment I stopped keeping track of my beliefs, the English language I learned in clearing regular English and the thousands and thousands of ideas I learned in Scientology indoctrination and word clearing it was a tremendous relief. It felt euphoric to have so much stress gone. And how did the stress leave ? By accepting the authority Hubbard claimed as valid ! So the relief felt like the brightening up Hubbard described for his word clearing ! It's really an abandonment of understanding, but feels like a load is off your mind as it is because you don't think about it anymore. When in doubt you just let Hubbard decide.

Besides I had sat on course and considered the question of if Hubbard could have been lying all along for a con and thought it wouldn't make sense if he just wanted money, as he worked for decades long after he could have taken the money and run. He also convinced thousands and thousands of Scientologists that past lives, engrams, auditing, study technology and a hundred other things were in fact completely true. I couldn't see a conspiracy of this size as holding up. Especially since all the Scientologists I knew were not getting rich or pulling a con. They sincerely believed Scientology was valid. I mistakenly set aside everything I knew about pathological liars and scam artists but felt I couldn't be conned too. That conclusion was another thought resulting in being close minded and another bar in the prison.

I couldn't fathom Scientology being a con or Hubbard being a liar.

I remember thinking the specific thoughts I just described. Those thoughts let my guard down and put up the prison, bar by bar.

Then the prison grew stronger and stronger over decades. I had a series of events happen that filed down a bar here and there. I wasn't knowingly looking for or removing the bars.

I was doing other things that led to letting in enough light for me to finally see some of the bars.

I had been thinking in Scientology terms for many years- over twenty - and got a job that required rapid communication. I realized my translation of everything everyone said into Scientology terms then translating my thoughts into English slowed me down. I didn't realize something was lost in translation. A lot is lost really as the terms in Scientology frame everything in Scientology concepts without clearly openly affirming it. It's unconscious and unexamined. You think in Scientology so you believe in Scientology and bolster it by merely thinking.

So I started thinking in English to speed my interactions at work. I thought, after all, if I knew French and Spanish thinking in Spanish wouldn't change who I am.

So I started thinking in English all the time and that eased up the tight constriction of thought my mind was subject to. That's like taking off a straight jacket and ankle irons.

Previously I had felt being able to think in Scientology terms and fluently use them was very important. I countered that idea with the one on translation and undid that one idea myself. I made it, held it in place and years later countered it.

Over time I was opened up to other counter ideas to the ones that closed my mind and welded it shut.

I saw a TV show called Heroes. On the show people have superpowers. In one episode a hero had his mind trapped in the mind of a villain. The two had a little shared world of imagination in one mind together. They experienced years together.

The villain convinced the hero he had changed his ways and was genuinely remorseful for his many crimes.

I realized given enough access and opportunity a person could be influenced by another even if they didn't want to be through sheer repetition alone. Someone could get in a tiny bit through a crack in your defenses over time then a bit more. It could influence you to some degree then more.

That thought about a fictional and impossible situation made me feel different. It made a feeling of panic come over me but I didn't know why. Only years later did I realize it countered a cognitive distortion I had during Scientology indoctrination.

I was still too deep into the Scientology mindset to consciously face the danger it exposed in Scientology. I knew it made me uneasy about something real though.

With the combination of lessened reinforcement of Scientology through my thinking in English terms and being far away from other Scientologists and my realization that extreme repetition over time could create profound influence even on a mind in opposition to it and my realization that everyone is ultimately responsible for their own decisions and should be taught that. Assuming free will exists - we all have teachers and leaders but should face and hold the final responsibility for our decisions and actions. That idea came to me and I felt an odd shift.

I had been thinking of the political arguments people have and how some justify choices by assigning responsibility to a religion or God or religious doctrine. It was simple to me that if you see yourself as the source of your conduct then religion can be left out.

I realized slightly that it was a change in my mind regarding Scientology. I realized Hubbard and Scientology weren't the final source of my actions and choices.

I soon after that had odd feelings, they led to doubts about how I led my life, but I still dared not face Scientology itself. I ended up reading neutral then finally critical information on Scientology.

The Posse of Lunatics story at Freedom really blew things open.

I realized recently that the bars are made of assumptions and conclusions that limit or end facing the possibility I could be fooled or influenced in particular ways or my euphoric feeling in Scientology indoctrination could be something that isn't beneficial or exactly what Hubbard claimed or other specific thoughts and ideas that I had adopted.

The thoughts functioned as logical fallacies or thought stopping cliches that stopped critical and independent thinking regarding Scientology being false or Hubbard being undeserving of blind faith and obedient unquestioning obedience. They together made nearly unshakable confidence and confirmation bias regarding my ideas on Scientology.

I feel when they were well established as deeply held values it made overcoming them extremely difficult.

I feel like the long held  confidence boosting ideas almost had to be countered in the sequence they actually were. It's almost like one became vulnerable to being doubted or countered by another idea and that in turn made the next in line vulnerable to doubts and so on.

The ideas that built the prison had the common denominator of boosting overconfidence and prejudices that supported shutting out criticism. The ideas that undid this were all admissions if only ever so slight that my opinion could be wrong, even slightly. By countering first the constant reinforcement of Scientology terms and phrases then I could realize influence was possible then I could see a person is responsible for their own actions then see that the idea to assume my choice to be a Scientologist could be in error. That ultimately meant Scientology and Hubbard could be wrong too. The ideas that opened my mind to the possibility Scientology could be less than perfect were all counters to specific ideas that closed my mind.

I hope this is of some use in examination of how people get in and out of cults.