Demented LRH wrote:
Vow! I thought EST died long time ago without giving birth to another Scientology branch.
Indeed, Werner Erhard left the U.S. in 1991 after which EST was transformed into Landmark Education.
Landmark Education is different from Scientology though in that it does not claim to be a religion, but a secular "personal development" program.
The experiential leverage (the strong experiences they create) into which their hard-sell salesmanship is glued mostly emerges from digging up all of your life and deconstructing your being with a toolkit of repackaged sledgehammers of existential philosophy and the San Francisco interpretation of Zen.
In the Advanced Course though (the second major course people in Landmark take), there were quite a few elements that I later recognized as being a part of Scientology TRs, for example sitting in front of each other, knees touching and going through exercises, or standing facing each other staring into each other's eyes, etc.
Erhard was purportedly declared an S.P. and harassed with lawsuits for squirreling the tech
- but I don't think it was so much a copyright issue than an effort to destroy Erhards competition in the market of "mind-reform self-improvement" programs (L.E. likes to call this transformation
There is some interesting if abrasive philosophy in the Forum, and I don't doubt people have benefits of doing it, but you do absolutely need some strong grains of salt if you don't want to end up letting their rhetoric steer your interpersonal communication strategies into euphorically proselytizing Landmark to your friends and family in order to "enroll them" into the $Forum.
If you don't, you're definitely not playing the game! I mean, if you don't want an extraordinary life, fine! Run your Rackets on Landmark! You are just a Meaning Making Machine! lol.
I don't want to hijack the thread though, it was about how people believe who are in Scientology - I didn't really hear a good reply to that but I'd also like to hear one.
How do Scientologists actually deal with all the obvious deception, damage and outright evil that seems to emanate from the policies of their organization?
First I have a comment on how the TRs have migrated over to Dr. Phil's repertoire. On one episode of Oprah, Dr. Phil said that he had amalgamated a wide variety of techniques and he included EST on his list of sources. In another episode of Oprah, two people were put in a TRs position - seated facing each other with knees touching. Oprah called that a "dyad."
Now, "How do Scientologists actually deal with all the obvious deception, damage and outright evil that seems to emanate from the policies of their organization?"
Hubbard put a lot of things into scientology's materials to deal with this and make it happen. One of the things he did was to assign a variety of false reasons for things that are observed. An example of this is that people leave scientology because they have "overts and withholds." In another thread there was a revelation that Hubbard had written a confidential communication to someone telling them that one real reason why people leave scientology is financial difficulties.
Steven Hassan talks about thought stopping techniques that cults use. The techniques may vary but the intention is the same. Thought stopping techniques stop a cult member from looking at, considering or even thinking about the bad things they see their cult doing. Of course everyone of them has the equivalent of "the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics."
Looking at what I've been writing and where my thoughts are going on this I can see there is no simple brief answer to the question. Books on cults have information in them that will provide clues to this.
People have an inner voice that throws up red flags on things. Cult members learn to ignore those red flags.
An example: When I was in scientology two staff members from scientology came to my house for a visit. My first thought was, "They're here to estimate what they can get from me." My immediate response to that was, "no, that's not right."
Cult members have multiple personality disorder. The dominant personality that they take on is the cult persona that is foisted on them. They also take on the personality of the cult leader. Steven Hassan suggests this in his books. I think experimentation would prove it to be correct. Anyway I have experienced this.
Along with having multiple personality disorder cult members get very good at compartmentalizing their experiences. It's like having a mind full of boxes and different things that are experienced get put into different boxes. Some of those boxes have "don't look at this again" on them. Then there are boxes that are only accessible by the appropriate personality within the cult member's collection of personalities.
Any cult member to whom the above is suggested will immediately gainsay it. Many ex cult members will also deny any of it. I put it to you that it is the way I say it is, but feel free to have your own opinion on the matter.
At any rate there's a partial answer for you, sconetale.