I am presenting this piece of writing which appeared on ESMB recently as an example of what I believe to be a pathological state of mind for an Ex-Scientologist to develop.
This particular Ex-Scientologist has been out of Scientology for a long time and has had many opportunities to reconcile with his old self as a Scientologist, to dispute his own cognitive distortions, to forgive those things that can not be fixed, and to build a life without bitterness and rancor over his own past decision-making.
I have a lot of respect for this man, but he presents here a cautionary tale – a caution to other Exes in his present attitudes and his present inability to heal himself as a person who spent time in Scientology.
Maybe I shouldn’t make an example of him. But maybe making an example of him would turn this waste of words into something useful for other people.
It is an understatement that I was dismayed and distressed by Pete Griffiths’ statements in the Irish High Court last October. There is a sense of personal betrayal and a sense of a sullied friendship. I have refrained from making any statement on this to date; giving him time to come out and clarify what he actually meant by those statements. He has not done so, so here I go.
Statements made in the High Court become public record and carry the full weight of Irish jurisprudence. Recorded statements made therein are entered into permanent record and are referred to by legal experts for the purpose of legal precedence as similar cases come up in the future and they are studied by students of law who will form tomorrow’s legal community.
Pete Griffiths’ stark public avowal “I have no problem with Scientology or Scientologists’ were a stab in the back for those in the ex Scientology community who have not only suffered unconscionable levels of abuse and personal loss while active within the cult but have gone on to speak out and been subjected to hate campaigns and disconnection from family and former friends.
It is a slap in the face for bereaved mothers such as Victoria Britton whose child’s murderer was protected and hidden away by Scientology’s highest level officials. It is a kick in the guts to the fourteen year old girl cast out by the cult with her mother and father’s collusion to walk the cruel streets of London because she was ‘a source of enturbulation’ and a block on their progress as ‘good, dedicated Sea Org functionaries.’
For those in the ex community that might get nervous at the thought of dissension in the ranks here in the ex community, let me just say that this was one of the nasty little tricks the cult played on us when we were all good little Hubbardites. We used to suppress our individual needs, cast out lovers, family and friend’s ‘for the greater good’ of the Third and Fourth dynamics.
During the dark days of World War II French and Italian partisan groups were made up of bitterly opposed factions. The Italians had both Trotskyist and Stalinist Communists. They fought on the same terms as Catholic priests and Italian Royalists. The French had a similar make up of very diverse political views united for the purpose of defeating the NAZI. What briefly united them at the end of the war was a universal condemnation of collaborators and in particular, those that betrayed the movement from the inside. In our state of permanent war with this monstrous cult we have to be sharper than that, we know how the cult operates. So we must call out betrayal for what it is when it raises its ugly head.
We were all sickened when the turncoat Marty Rathbun betrayed us to Miscavige. I am sure he scuttled off with his thirty pieces of silver grinning from ear to ear. He was always conflicted. We could see in the insightful 2016 Louis Theroux documentary. Marty never stopped admiring his bloated guru. He could never face up to being reduced to the status of a common wog. He found it painful to lose his position of power in Miscavige’s pretend navy.
Not many of us liked Marty Rathbun while he was with us, but we tolerated him in the hope that he would help us bring the sick cult and its perverted leader down. What we all missed was that he was a narcissist, an egotist running the ‘Marty Rathbun Show.’ It was all about him and the slights that he suffered. We let him lash out when any of us dared to criticise his mind-numbing ramblings. We gave him space and supported him and in return he burned us.
Observing Pete Griffiths over the eight odd years that I have known him, I see aspects of the Marty Rathbun phenomena. In fact he displays many of the traits of the Narcissist. Check out this link if you doubt my observation.
Pete had a relatively gentle time of it in his rather brief few years as an active Scientologist. His biggest loss was £2000 for a venue he rented out for a local IAS fund raiser or a Hubbard Birthday event in Kendall and the impoverished Scientologists from Sunderland got out as soon as possible with the megre contents of their stressed wallets intact.
To borrow Gore Vidal’s description of Ezra Pound, There is something of the ‘Strutting Peacock’ about Pete Griffiths. One who uses you to shine the spotlight on himself, one who uses your notoriety or public recognition to further his own ends. Pete admitted to me that he was tooling along in life, still considering himself, at at least conceptually, a Scientologist, until he heard me speaking on one of the highest rated Irish national radio shows shortly before publication of my book in 2008 and the massive attention it garnered – here in Ireland at least. From that moment on I could not shake him off of my coat tails.
The narcissist will use you to boost his profile and standing in the community. I have been less prolific over the past few years, struggling with illness and stress related exhaustion, I have noted that Pete has subtly turned on me. Not a big loss, but noteworthy based on the linked narcissistic personality exegesis above.
Friends have told me how Pete has betrayed my own confidences to him in an effort to undermine me. Now I don’t really care about my profile and standing, but I do care when the trust that I give is turned against me. I do care if people that I care about deeply are lied to about me and as result drop me as a friend. He saw fit in the courtroom context to toss the courageous, brutally honest and beyond generous and giving John Magee under the bus. What might he do with you if it suits him?
I remember inviting him to dinner with my then partner. A highly educated, refined and caring executive in a national State agency. He saw fit to reduce the table conversation to his regaling us, in nauseating detail, with a listing of seedy sexual encounters and a graphic description of the first time he had sex with his partner, Tony. Now I am an enlightened and open minded man, but this does not comprise polite dinner conversation and my partner was left wondering what the hell am I doing hanging around with this person, and perhaps questioned what she was doing living with me if this was the kind of company I keep.
A friend of mine asked him once to forward a gift to a bereaved mother. Pete forwarded it alright, but sent as a gift from himself.
Let me just unequivocally state my position: I HAVE a problem with Scientology and I HAVE a problem with Scientologists. A Scientologist condones every single abuse of human rights, every covered up abuse of children – from the awful neglect children suffered in the Cadet Org to the sexual abuse suffered by the likes of Miriam Francis – by merit of their fanatical allegiance to the cult doctrine and its ‘justice’ system.
Scientologists are not inherently evil. The wonderful Ramina Nunnelly is a case in point. She took me under her wing when I started working with her at Central Marketing, an Int level operation captained by Ronnie Miscavige junior. I have never felt a stronger friendship, nor have I admired anyone in my life more than Ramina. Her incandescence stayed with me long after I had rejected Hubbard and his darkness.
The cult redirected her fierce and protective love of her wonderful children and harnessed her power to the Scientology Marketing machine. She was good. She was dedicated. She was a brilliant administrator and the kindest and most caring of people managers I have ever encountered in or out of Scientology. But I had a problem with her as a Scientologist and it was only as she began to wake up to the injury and damage she had caused her children as a result of her misplaced trust that I began to rebuild my own friendship with her. You can bet that until that moment she had a problem with me as well.
The ex and anti Scientology movement attracts low functioning narcissists like flies to the proverbial. The ridiculous Steve Mango being a case in point. There are plenty of others who are not as proficient at self promotion, but are equally manipulative and equally skilled at forming their own little bands of sycophantic followers. I will call them out where I see them impinging on people I know and care about. But you are going to have to protect yourselves one way or the other. Learn about the sociopath, learn about Narcissistic Personality disorder and cut such people loose from your world the moment you spot them.
We are all imperfect creatures. Malformed by abuse, neglect and permanently damaged in ways that we cannot fathom by our association with Hubbard’s Scientology cult. Indeed, our vulnerabilities are what attracted us to the seductive Scientology promise of perfection and healing by way of The Bridge to Clear and beyond in the first place. We are wiser now, but we are also maybe too trusting of anyone that claims to be a fellow traveller. Thus we are the arbiters of our own demise. This has proved true again and again in the ten years or so that I have been acting to highlight the abusive practices of this cult.
I had to laugh there at the Scientology Ideal Org opening in Dublin in October. Pete Griffiths was notable in his absence. There we were, a small, disparate, ragtag band of misfits. Four gay guys, an alcoholic pirate from Devon, me – a rapidly aging Scientology burnout with barely enough health and resilience to get out of the house in the morning – an autistic mother of five kids, two of them equally afflicted, a wild and unruly undertaker and a few struggling waifs from the local community blighted by unemployment. All of us facing off to a multinational cult with billions stashed away in tax havens and its leader swishing in and out by way of a private Gulfstream jet and blacked out Mercedes Benz and surrounded by ex special forces security guards like some East European dictator.
The contrast could not have been more stark. Indeed, the illustration of the reality of our ex and anti Scientology communities efforts could not have been better stated
“I do not have a problem with Scientology or Scientologists,” he said.
“I hold my hand up and regret my role and I think it was terrible,” he said.
looking back now at the video, he felt the two CoS members, Zabrina Collins and Michael O’Donnell, “are due an apology for what went went on” “actually appalled” looking at a video played in the High Court of him following two church members distributing booklets in Dublin.
It was not his intention to harass or intimidate anyone, and he always wanted to act lawfully
Way too many Ex-Scientologists are living in a toxic and highly distorted ideological mindset about Scientology, Scientologists, and their own pasts in it. If this toxic Ex/Anti ideology were true, that would be one thing. But it is certainly not. These Exes are living distorted lives of unexamined hatred and vengeance.
There is WAY too much unnecessary pain and suffering in the Ex-Community, caused by nihilistic and distorted thinking about Scientology and religion and “cults” in general. If this whole “cult recovery” paradigm were true, shouldn’t there be more Exes who have recovered by now?
These Exes need to read this, among other things, and think about it:
…”If you are a victim who comes forward and resolution through the court provides a conviction, it will not undo what happened to you. You will still have to heal. If you come forward and there is insufficient evidence for a conviction, that is a reality you will have to face, and you can find a way to begin recovering in spite of that. If you are given the choice to not prosecute and spare yourself the trauma of a trial, highly publicized or not, you can make your choice, go forward with your life, and begin to heal. If you never come forward to the authorities, tell no one or only someone close to you, you can begin to recover and overcome what has happened to you. Under any of these circumstances, there will always be those who doubt you and nothing will erase what has happened to you. That does not have to stop you from healing.’
“The most important thing is to try to begin recovering from within. I don’t think you can heal from outside events happening. Waiting for the actions of others— be it the courts, your family, the opinions of those you care about, or the words of strangers—places you in a situation that you cannot control. And despite what was done to you, you do still have control.”
– Samantha Gelmer, “The Girl“
There’s much more where that came from.