You are one of the more clearheaded and well spoken folks here. I want to feel you out and see if you agree with me about this. The reason I approach you is that you post references and links to resources which are intended to assist people remove themselves from damaging thought reform / control groups. Your choices are always thoughtful as are your posts.
As I pointed out earlier in the Fred Durks ebay thread, my elevator doesn't go to the top floor, especially when I am tired, and I'm pretty tired now. So please forgive me if this is rambly.
Here's what I'd like to pick your brain on:http://www.robertdam-cos.dk/Meeting%20Caspar.html
This site also has a section on the GAT:http://www.robertdam-cos.dk/GAT.html
Now, Smitty and I have given this a lot of consideration. How do you get out of Scientology while holding onto ANY of it's tenets, systems, lingo, tech, goals, ideas?
Many of the people who come onto this board claim to be ex Scientologists. As Smitty pointed out, they might be mutinous to DM while remaining faithful to Scientology. They are still Scientologists as far as I can tell.
Since Scientology's source demanded stats, and condoned lying, what is to prevent them from mining as many venues as they can to direct people to a place where they SAY there are no Scientologists, but where people are actually still practicing Scientology?
How do I know these people are still practicing Scientology? Well, look at their behaviour. They are directing people to Scientology friendly venues, where the tech is being shilled as useful as long as it's used the way the Source intended it. Some of the folk say that they pick and choose which parts are worth keeping, but still facilitate the movement to direct folks to Scientology friendly venues. Some people bullbait this board relentlessly while directing ex Scientologists to their Scientology friendly venue. Some people claim that the FZ is a good way out of the cult.
Well, frankly I don't see how going to any splinter group of a cult is getting out of a cult. Also, I have read some of the materials you present in your posts, Wieber, and I haven't found one of them yet that says you can remove yourself from a cult by continuing to apply it's principals, bathe yourself in it's culture. How does it help anybody exit Scientology to listen to testimonials about how great it can be if you are a Fundamentalist Scientologist instead of a Reformed Scientologist or buy your auditing at cut rates from the "black market" Scientologist who STILL buys his emeter and study materials from CoS?
This, to me, is simply a repackaging and reselling of the same stuff. It's like some Scientologists got together and decided to apply the Dissemination Drill: "Uh, oh! Looks like we have some unhappy campers here. How can we handle their objections? I know! Let's start some splinter groups. You know, like Werner Ehrhart did! This one will focus on the Galactic Federation, this one will focus on vilifying DM, this one will go to market, this one will stay home, this one is gonna eat roast beef, this one will have none, and this one will go on all the message boards saying 'weeeee weeeeee- 2 legs bad, 4 legs good' and sending it's dogs off on anybody who notices that pigs are worse than humans."http://perso.orange.fr/eldon.braun/awareness/
Maybe I am being an insensitive @hole, but I do not see how a person gets out of a ponji pit by whittling on the pointy sticks and claiming that they are no longer trapped because the sticks look different. This is NOT a first step out, IMO. This is denial. And you cannot fix a problem if you do not acknowledge it's existence.
On the other hand, I really believe that "IN" Scientologists are finding people on the cusp of leaving, and cull them out of genuine support networks and divert them back into the fold with the offer of a kinder and gentler version Scientology. This is where the major problem is for me. There IS no such thing as good intention in the tech as designed by L. Ron Hubbard. The individuals who join into this have good intention, but Scientology itself is designed to predate upon and parasitize it's members, to use their energy to propogate itself exponentially so that a few people on the top can be filthy rich. All of it should be discarded for that reason alone because the foundation of it is rotten.
If all of it isn't discarded, then recovery cannot begin. To me, that's just a "No Brainer". How do you recover from an abusive marriage? By divorcing your husband and marrying your equally but subtly abusive brother in law? How do you recover from alcoholism? By drinking beer instead of tequila?
Do you feel this way too? Or am I just over reacting to the what I perceive to be very real dangers of continuing to expose one's self to any cultic influence?
I went to read your links and I find them very long so I am going to attempt to deal with your questions without referring to them. I'll go look at the links later and if there is anything more I find there that I think I should comment on I will.
Please, keep in mind, that what I will say here is the expression of my opinion and that other people may disagree with me. That's fine. If we ever reach a judgment day I won't be the one judging you and as far as I'm concerned you are entitled to have whatever opinion you decide to have.
For a period of time I was away from scientology. I had the opinion that the 'tech' worked, that L. Ron Hubbard was mankind's greatest friend, and that if there were problems in scientology they stemmed mainly from 'out tech,' 'unapplied tech,' the presence of SPs and from 'green' staff and public that had only been exposed to some of the 'tech'. I haven't really touched on that period of time in the "My Stories" section or even really looked into how that period of time has affected me but I think it may be of value to do that.
The one real problem I see to being in that situation is that you run the risk of going back to the so called church, which I did. I'm letting some time roll by before I tell that story. In a way, scientology did not disappoint. The organization began to take me for a ride again. I was lucky enough to get out and really get 'out' this time before it had the opportunity to ruin me completely. I avoided this, I think, by a matter of weeks. That is still another story and I am still figuring out whether I am going to tell that one and how best to do that.
So I believe in God. How else would I be rescued from such an evil fate? I digress.
In Take Back Your Life there is a section that deals with cult members looking at things and thinking about things in black and white. In other words they tend to think in terms of extremes without intermediate shades. Things are hot or cold and never warm. We have day and night but not twilight. There is red and yellow, but not orange. I am saying this as a preamble to how I have defined my situation.
As far as I am concerned I am 'out' of scientology. What I mean by being 'out' is that I have come to the opinion that all the troubles in scientolgoy stem directly from the way L. Ron Hubbard constructed the various aspects of that organizatin; that overall the 'tech' doesn't really do anything of benefit to anyone except by accident; if there is anything worthwhile in scientology it also exists outside scientology (and for less money); and if there is a way to spiritual enlightenment scientology is not it. That's what I mean when I say I'm 'out' and this time I will not be going back.
Then there are the people who are 'in.' They are on staff, or taking courses. They hand over their money. They buy books and on and on.
The third category I call 'away.' People who are not exactly 'in' but still have some love for Hubbard or use the 'tech' or one day hope to become clear/OT/a higher level auditor and so on are 'away.'
Those are my definitions and there is a slight problem with them. They add only one shade of gray to the black and white way of looking at this. I may be uncomfortable and feel anxiety when someone says they are 'out' and in the same breath describe the incredible wins they had while they were 'in' or when someone says they are 'out' but they set aside two hours a day for TRs. (The second statement there is hypothetical. I never heard anyone claim that.) Part of recovering from having been in a cult is learning to tolerate and live with the shades of gray in life.
That leaves a paradox in a way. Getting completely 'out' of the cult and recovering completely requires being able to be comfortable with those who say they are 'out' but manifest behavior and opinions that indicate otherwise.
As to people being on the message board being agents from scientology working for the office of special affairs and carrying out whatever program the office of special affairs has set for them, my opinion is this: People are people and if they come here with such a hidden agenda they run a very high risk of my running an intervention on them and getting them 'out.' We know that this kind of thing can and does happen. It happened with Tory and it happened with me. I was 'in' when I first visited Operation Clambake.