Another Surfer wrote:
...Slightly off topic -- I've been looking for (but have not been able to find) any studies of the percentage of suicides in scientologists and ex-scientologists compared to the general population.
If anyone has a link to something like that, please post it.
I'm thinking it may be at least slightly higher than the general population's suicide rate. But I could be wrong...
[Extract from "Information Disease: Have Cults created a New Mental
Illness?" by Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman. Science Digest January 1982
"A very effective thought control technique could also be worked out from
Scientology, which could be used to make individuals into willing slaves."
-L Ron Hubbard
[description of the authors' research into the long term effects of
involvement with various cults]
Two groups in particular showed signs of inflicting the most
severe physical, mental and emotional harm on their members: the Hare
Krishna and the Church of Scientology. Among all groups, Krishna and
Scientology tied with the Unification Church in reports of physical
deprivation. Their members reported getting the least sleep per night and
having the most deficient daily diet.
The rituals of the Church of Scientology bear little resemblance
to those of any other cult. With its extensive program of "training
regimens" and expensive "auditing" counseling, Scientology operates
successfully as both religion and mass-marketed therapy. According to
those who responded to our survey, however, Scientology's may be the most
debilitating set of rituals of any cult in America. Onetime Scientologists
who answered our questionnaire reported that it took them, on the average,
more than two years (26 months) before they felt fully rehabilitated- more
than *twice* the time of those from other major cults [Hare Krishna: 11.1
months, Divine Light Mission: 12.3 months].
Moreover, former Scientologists surpassed all others in reported
incidents of physical punishment while in the group (35 percent) and, upon
departure, they claimed the highest rates of sexual dysfunction (22
percent), violent outbursts (28 percent) [average is 14 percent],
hallucinations and delusions (28 percent) [average is also 14 percent] and
suicidal or self-destructive tendencies (44 percent) [average is 21%]. On
average, former Scientologists surveyed reported more than *twice* the
combined negative effects of all the other cult groups.
Ironically, although claiming the most severe long-term effects,
former Scientologists surveyed reported the *lowest* total of hours
per week spent in ritual and indoctrination. This apparent discrepancy
seems to support opinions we have expressed earlier that, in combination,
Scientology's training regimens and "auditing" counseling sessions
(conducted on an E-meter, a kind of crude lie detector) may have an
intensifying and compounding effect on the nervous system that goes beyond
that of simpler cult rituals. And that, *hour for hour, Scientology's
techniques may be more than twice as damaging as those of any other major
cult in America!* In our view, this could be a vital direction for further
research by scientists working in the field of neurophysiology.
"The overall impact? Devastating!" wrote one ex-member. "I still
tend to view the world in Scientological terms: 'Truth is only an
illusion.' 'People are robots.' 'People are basically insane and dangerous.'"
Another was even more bitter: "The only thing I got out of this scam was
deep suicidal depression coinciding with the fear of death within five
years after separation. We were told that ninety percent of all 'refund
cases' eventually commit suicide."