Here’s the text of her post:
“Hi- Rachel Bernstein here. None of that is true. If you ever have questions about anyway that I practice, or what I charge, or if I take insurance, just contact me. I have been doing this work for 26 years and there is no way that I would have had so many clients and people coming to me for help if I didn’t work with them and make it possible. My professional reputation means so much to me, so i am happy to have an opportunity to clear up any misconceptions or flat-out lies about me floating around the internet. This group in particular, I assume, would be quite sensitive about people making up stories about them which somehow get codified as the truth. I am happy to give you an invoice that you can submit to your insurance, and you don’t have to pay cash to see me. I know there was also some talk about me that said it was cold-hearted of me to charge for my services at all. It is an odd accusation, as I’m sure if you went to the doctor, dentist, or even car repair man, you wouldn’t find them cold-hearted if they charged for their services. Again, if you hear anything about me that you think does not fit with the fact that people have been coming to me for years and getting help and trust me, then just be in touch and let me know and I will explain how I really do things. Take care, and best to you all,
Chris Shelton started the thread on ESMB to market Rachel’s services to all her potential prospects on ESMB who have been “mentally damaged” by Scientology and need to pay Rachel to recover.
So what prompted Rachel to wade into ESMB and handle all the narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths on the Internet?
Well, everything was going swimmingly for Rachel’s practice in that thread, with all kinds of her promotional marketing materials being supplied to ESMBers, until this:
LongTime ESMBer “This is NOT okay!!” posted:
“I heard that she does not take insurance, that is to say that even if you have health insurance through your employer, you have to pay cash and not just a co-pay, but upward of $100.00 per hour.
Is this true?
I’m sorry, but this rubs me the wrong way (on many levels).
And then long-time ESMBer “Knows” posted something that really questioned the whole idea of Ex-Scientologists paying therapists to help them to “recover”.
Default Re: Rachel Bernstein support group
I understand that everyone needs to make a living but my friend contacted Rachel to see if she would help an Ex Sea Org – in really really bad shape.
Rachel basically wanted to know how the person could pay and if they could not pay – she was not interested.
The person just left the Sea Org and Rachel is wondering how they are going to pay???? Sea Org people have nothing….no money, no job and in many cases no family or support.
That rubbed me the wrong way – it really pissed my friend off.
He was willing to pay Rachel but so totally insulted by her “no empathy” response – he found someone else to help the poor Ex Sea Org person – who is helping the ex Sea Org member get back on their feet at no charge.
I am not saying don’t use Rachel – but what Ex Cult members need more than anything is
TALK….TEARS …..and TIME
Plus empathy and compassion.
Also – to not get ripped off by therapists who only care about money – I would do some research up front on cults so you don’t waste money on unnecessary “therapy”
Margaret Singer has some great you tube videos out there.
Margaret Singer says that “therapists” who are not trained in “CULT RECOVERY” can do more damage by focusing on “why the cult member got into the cult” – which is not good to do….the cult found us…we did not find the cult….we were victims and were exploited by the cult.
She says ex cult members should stay away from “therapists” because they will make it about “what drove them into the cult” instead of helping the cult member focus on recovering and figuring out how the cult used mind control tactics etc…
We need people who care about human beings…
Another Ex Sea Org HORROR story – Karen posted on social media (thank you Karen – for exposing these stories that need to be told).
Talking about Sea org Youngsters being *DUMPED* and discarded like trash or pieces of furniture reminded me of Kirsi’s story.
Other people’s horrific RPF stories always impact me.
It might be that I have never quite gotten over the CRUELTY and DOMINATION of my bogus fraudulent and unwarranted RPF.
Mark Headley so eloquently expressed it “Another Day in Hell.” So I resonate and duplicate other’s RPF stories.
I was very happy to meet Kirsi in person. A Finnish girl recruited in Denmark and sent to Flag another 20 year Sea Org member who spent some 8 years in OSA Flag, Office of Special Affairs, Flag from where she was sent to a sadistic RPF for 2+ years.
Kirsi posted on Marty’s blog.
in front of the group by a senior executive, spouses sent to work in different continents, disconnection in full use, veteran staff who had worked with LRH were separated for years.
During my final stages of routing out of The Sea Org in Clearwater four years ago, I was scraping off the O block exterior walls (home for us RPFers) day in, day out, thinking…. what happened to that dedication. Here I am, routing out after 20 years and on a ‘scrape those walls’- assignment. It was a very odd combination of mixed feelings and confused questions and had no one to talk to – talking to anyone is forbidden in the RPF and when you’re in the RPFs RPF you just have you. Now even the fellow RPFers condemn you – save 2 or 3 who did try to talk to me. But their talk was about changing my mind and staying. Staying wasn’t an option, I needed to understand what is the real reason for sayonara my friends, my group and the once burning purpose. I had seen spiritual rape of fellow staff; humiliation in front of the group by a senior executive, spouses sent to work in different continents, disconnection in full use, veteran staff who had worked with LRH had been routed off or RPFed, and the reasons for my questionning and disagreements went on like this. I had done my share of actions I regret.
Kirsi told me she was dropped off at Tampa Airport penniless.
After serving 20 years, and knowing she was a Finnish national with NO $$$ (RPF for 2 years is virtually penniless for 60 hour weeks of slave labor ~~ human trafficking) Kirsi was dropped off at Tampa airport without a cent to purchase a meal or drink, leave alone air fare. This was some 7 years ago. But look at the pattern of conduct over the years.
Imagine the GREED of an entitiy sitting with $1 billion in reserves in the IAS account, spitting a staff member out with NOTHING as punishment for asking to leave the group. The Church gives no pension, no 401K, nothing absolutely nothing to veteran staff and gets away with slave labor for cents an hour under the guise of “MINISTERIAL EXEMPTION”.
She did a collect call to a friend who paid her ticket back to Europe and she now lives in Europe. She made it through and survived.
So Rachel has waded into the fray. So far, as of this morning, the post above is her only post to ESMB. It was basically a plea to all her prospects there on ESMB to call her practice so she can explain her pricing structure to them. It reminds me of the time when Marty Rathbun was starting an Independent Scientology practice to help Ex-Scientologists and he posted once to ESMB to announce it to any of his possible prospects there, as well.
Look how well that turned out.
The question is, will Rachel Bernstein Cult Counselor stick around ESMB and actually post something that is not in her own commercial interests?
She does know that all those narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths on the Internet just want to discuss things openly and honestly – all the pros and all the cons – doesn’t she? And maybe openly discuss and challenge and test information that they might be able to use for themselves and others?
If Rachel Bernstein starts posting to ESMB and becomes a valuable contributor there, I’m all for it. But can a psychologist’s business interests survive in that kind of an environment?
I’m fascinated by this on many levels.
I’ll be watching closely.
58 thoughts on “Rachel Bernstein is Pissed!”
Are you insinuating that ESMB is full of narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths? If so I think that’s over-the-top. There are a few people there that I don’t particularly like, but I don’t think there are any sociopaths or psychopaths. Narcissists? Well most of us have a little narcissism in us. But there are not any horrible, pathological narcissists on ESMB.
No. My quote was “So what prompted Rachel to wade into ESMB and handle all the narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths on the Internet?”
And it referred to Rachel’s belief in those labels as concrete things which I’ve written about before.
Who else but those types of people would need to be handled?
I somehow completely overlooked that post and thread.
As for Ms. Bernstein….not impressed. I wouldn’t seek therapy from her even if it were free.
here you guys go labeling people in a general way. shame on you all.
You mean you are not a narcissist, a sociopath, a psychopath, an SP, or a witch?
Hard to know what really happened since I wasn’t present. I’ll give Ms. Bernstein tge benefit of the doubt.
If she really cares about helping people “recover” from cults, she could become a great contributor to ESMB.
She says she has been practicing for 26 years. ESMB has been around for 10. Why has she not contributed before?
And can we really say that this one post she has made so far is a contribution to ESMB?
good point, but maybe she never heard of scientology until recently?
My memory is that in a video she said that she has dealt with scientology since the 90’s. My memory could be wrong.
She’s on esmb now. You should ask her.
Not sure where to jump in here, as I don’t want to be fodder for harassment over and over, and I know there are those who will once again scrutinize every word I write and make assumptions and accusations on some or all that I write here because it serves a purpose for them.
I have been working with people who have been hurt by Scientology for about 26 years now. I found out about how it operates by having some very frightened, confused, shaking and tearful Sci members come to me in the early 90’s knowing that they needed to address what was happening to them. They were asking for help and needing to understand what was being done to them. They were thin and pale, constantly looking behind them and jumping at every sound they heard. They were just kids, but already had the beginning signs of PTSD. It was very hard to see how much those who were tremendously hurt by this group were then being systematically harassed by the same group, which was cruel, and how brave they needed to be just to make it through the day and remain strong.
I have never sought to offensively attack anything or any group, yet for some reason working with former Scientologists has put a target on my back and has left me open for the kind of talk and harassment that is even taking place right here.
There need to be more therapists out there working with former cult members, yet many I have spoken to who could really help many people are afraid of doing this work for this reason – that it seems to invite attack. I have been told over and over to stop helping former Scientologists because those in it or recently out of it can sometimes take their anger out on those trying to help them.
I once asked a client of mine (who had years ago harassed me as part of an organized effort by Sci. but then came to me for help when she left) what she got from harassing me. She said she had no choice, but additionally, it made her feel strong and powerful and was an outlet for the anger she was REALLY feeling towards others in the group who had made her life miserable but who she couldn’t direct any of her very understandable and negative emotions to. So basically, she said, she harassed me because she could. She knew I wouldn’t harass her back, she had access to me, and it made her feel better at the time. She then told me she was greatly relieved I hadn’t cut and run due to the harassment, because 8 years later she needed my help. and I welcomed her into my office and we put it all behind us.
If, for whatsoever reason or reasons, you feel the need to consult with a professional to get help, it certainly doesn’t have to be with me. Just find someone who is in your area or who is a good match for you, and get the support you need and get your questions answered.
As before, I wish you all well, and the best always.
Rachel Bernstein – welcome to AlanzosBlog!
Much respect for you coming here and posting your thoughts!
You used a form of the word “harass” – regarding your personal experience – 6 times in your post. Do you feel that people discussing you or what you write on the Internet is harassment?
I think that your coming here and speaking up is a good first step in being able to better tolerate and understand ex-scientologists.
I hope you participate more than just one comment – both here and on ESMB. I have so much I want to talk to you about and I think you could be a valuable contributor.
I don’t follow ESMB, but checked it out yesterday after Alanzo’s post. I was very impressed with several of the stories people told about the invaluable help they received from therapists. So, your thread has triggered an important discussion over there.
It was ironic to see people talk about the excellent help they received, but still wish that they could have seen a cult-recovery specialist.
Personally, I have come to believe in a “trauma care” model (except for issues like addictions, pediatrics etc). I think Scientology experiences are like tiny concussions that impact processing, and shape perception. As you know, the impact of small repeated concussion can be great.
A suggestion: If I were you I would ask the ESMB moderator to retitle the thread. Instead of Rachael Bernstein perhaps something like “Psychotherapy after Scientology” Takes the target off your back. The Internet is a wild place.
Alanzo moderates every posting here, so you won’t be harassed, although you may be challenged. -Eileen
Dear god, what is she thinking? This will not end well.
Alanzo, you stay out of this! Don’t make me send my orange cat out there!
I’m just an innocent outside observer, scarfing down the popcorn like the rest of us.
Pass the popcorn
OMG pass the popcorn!
Now Tony Ortega’s Science Officer, Chris Shelton, has weighed in:
After all the hours of free marketing that Chris has given to Rachel, you would think she would work out some kind of barter deal with him. When I look at the videos he has done promoting her practice for her, I estimate that he has spent around at least 20 hours. At least. The going low-end rate for video editing is around $60-75 per hour US. That appears to be at least $1200 to $1500 of free marketing that Chris has done for Rachel Bernstein’s practice over the last few years.
But no barter deal of therapy in exchange for free marketing?
I think that Chris does not fully understand the Internet.
No one is deriding her for her efforts. And no one is asking for free service.
This kind of arrogance is not a good look.
Sad. This made me feel badly for Chris Shelton. He strikes me as someone who would gain a lot of benefit from 8-10 sessions with a kind and competent therapist. He would probably move 5 years along in his healing. He works so hard to do it alone.
There is a huge shortage of competent psychiatric and psychological help in this country. In spite of Alanzo’s speculation that therapists need to shill to build their practice, the fact is that it is often difficult to find a psych clinician who can take a referral. People with major psychiatric disorders, who need specialized care (and medication) kill themselves, or end up “boarding” in the hallway of an Emergency Room. Addicts are left to die untreated while they sit on waiting lists for underfunded treatment centers. And it is getting worse. Enough about that.
About Rachel Bornstein: Now I want to report her to the licensing board!! (Joking). She’s probably a sociologist.
Thanks for that. It appears to put things into their proper perspective.
What does “boarding” in the hallway of an emergency room mean?
A person is brought into an Emergency Room of a hospital, either psychotic or actively suicidal. An attempt is made to find a bed in a psychiatric hospital, no success. Maybe in a couple of days a bed will be available. They can’t be released, they are a danger to themselves or others.
ERs find a spot at the end of the hall, or in a cubicle, and do the best they can to provide care while car accidents and heart attack patients walk through the door. The psych patients are “boarders” in a kind of limbo. Imagine being agitated and hallucinating, and having ER agitation going on around you. Terrifying.
Sometimes they are ultimately released back into the community, no ongoing help provided, to await the next crisis.
Another phenomenon is the number of patients on medical units who also have significant mental health disorders. It is like a landslide, makes provision of care incredibly difficult.
And this is in Massachusetts, which has relatively good access to excellent care. I wonder what is happening elsaewhere?
Found one answer to my question about whether it is worse in rural areas.
From the Joint Commission (2015)
For rural hospitals, the lack of available mental health services and the scarcity of qualified professionals to treat psychiatric patients are even worse. In November 2014, the Oregon Office of Rural Health organized a listening tour of 27 rural hospitals to learn about their challenges during the period of health reform. All of the rural hospitals reported significant difficulty in finding inpatient beds for mental health patients, with stays in EDs reportedly lasting up to 18 days.6
The practice of boarding psychiatric patients:7
Increases psychological stress on patients who may already be in depressed or psychotic states
Delays mental health treatment that could mitigate the need for a mental health inpatient stay
Consumes scarce ED resources
Worsens ED crowding
Delays treatment for other ED patients – some of whom may have life-threatening conditions
Has a significant financial impact on ED reimbursement
A persistent problem, boarding of psychiatric patients has become so widespread that one state in the U.S. has taken action through legislation. In 2014, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that psychiatric boarding is unconstitutional; that involuntarily committed personuj had a right to timely and appropriate treatment.8
“She’s probably a sociologist”.
Thanks Lone Star!
I’m not quite sure why you think he, Chris Shelton, needs healing?
He said that he wanted professional therapy in his post.
yep, I know, but could mean he wanted another viewpoint but could’t afford it.
Just conjecture on my part.
Myself, I never thought of healing or recovery from scientology but simply learning the truth of no clears or OT’s. That was enough for me, the Truth.
Same with me. The whole “recovery” thing is an odd way of looking at it.
I think of recovery as something you do after having a disease. It’s a very odd way of looking at it when you really think about it.
It adds so many extra burdens to an already difficult task.
Those are better words
I get the point, but taking recovery and healing completely out of the conversation about cultism might be a bit of political correctness. The idea would be not to label or classify an ex cultist as damaged goods under repair. On the other hand, some people would need to admit to themselves that they need some help.
Here’s a partial list of terms relating to Life After Scientology:
deprogram, decompress, sort out, demystify, recover, heal, adjust, reorient, rehabilitate, come to grips with, let go, and so on
That’s a good list.
I think we might add EMBRACE in there, too.
I think that it is very important to embrace yourself and who you were as a Scientologist.
There is a mine filled with gold there.
I shouldn’t have used the word “healing” it’s not what I really meant. People vary greatly in how they cope with experiences. You needed the truth, that was the essential peice and enough.
Chris strikes me (I don’t know him, only seen a couple of his videos) as the kind of person who wants to take a “deep dive” and use leaving Scientology as a chance to learn many things about himself, and also to learn about a whole new field (logic, critical thinking). I think he is consciously constructing his path forward.
Having an hour a week that is devoted solely to reflection, focused only on your own experience, can make the construction job move more quickly.
Gib – I’m a Cleared Wog.
When I look at Chris’ postings, I see a guy who’s enjoying being out of the cult and exploring life. I don’t like everything he says, but in general I like him.
The directions people take, post CofS, are so varied.
When I look at Chris’ videos I see a man who is using teaching other people as a way to try to teach himself. It is kind of working backwards, but I admire the attempt, and it seems to be working out. That is why the Andy Nolch thing was irritating to me.
I’ve often thought that exscientologists (especially people who were talented auditors) would make skilled therapists. any takers?
nope, you’d have to really deprogam them from Hubbard’s bullshit. It’s a hard thing to do. The more one is trained in scientology auditing, the more one has to remove Hubbard’s line of thinking and get one to think with other lines of thought,
thought being a key word.
No way! Not after all the horror stories you’ve told us about the lack of funding, boarding patients in hallways, and the monstrous war against sociologists!
Yes I do think that talented auditors can make for skilled therapists. But the reason I think this has nothing to do with the auditor training. The common thread I’ve noticed whenever Scientologists talk about this or that great auditor was the auditor’s ability to make the auditees feel comfortable. (I don’t like using the term “PC”). The best auditors who have the widest good reputations have a natural knack for listening with genuine warm interest during the session. Making the one being audited feel safe, which leads to feeling comfortable in really opening up on personal subjects and events that are usually very difficult to share. I don’t think the training gave them this ability. It was an ability and trait already possessed before doing the training, or even joining scientology. Now sure, people with this talent probably took to the training well and became skilled at giving the auditing commands with little or no flubs. Usually people with a high EQ also have a pretty high IQ. But it’s still the warm personality and genuine empathy that makes the best auditors. It makes the best therapists too.
Lone Star, I think you are exactly right. They say that great therapists are born, not made. Education and experience can strengthen, but not create the ability to relate.
When Alanzo starts his squirrel mission somewhere in the cornfields of Illinois, I’ll sign up to be one of his auditors. $100/hour and I’m all in. Andy Nolch can get a visa from Australia and join the group. The Oracle can lead Sunday services.
The Oracle would be fantastic at Sunday services.
I wanted to give a shout out to The Oracle. She had a chance at times to espouse her philosophy on Marty’s blog, but now that’s history. She is quite inspirational at times. Lone Star is a no bullshit kind of guy who would make a good Master At Arms as you continue to fill out your Org Board. Others will surely fill out worthwhile positions.
The Church of: Holy Zenu in A Pumpkin Patch!
Yes! Eliminate Holy and we have ZAPP! as an acronym.
Advertising theme: Do you have a problem? ZAPP IT!!!
Yes again Eileen! laughter
Claire, your posts are always so thoughtful and balanced.
I’ve known Claire on the Internet since around 1999. I’ve seen her take a LOT of flack over the years for those exact same thoughtful and balanced views. (There was a time in the early 2000’s when I joined in on that flack). In my recent reading on Apostasy, giving people like Claire flack for being TOO thoughtful and balanced is a very common trait in anti-cult circles.
“Thoughtful and balanced” is too “reasonable” with outpoints and “theety-wheetie”. Not militant enough. It’s messaging that won’t support recruitment against the cult by whipping up outrage and fervor against it.
I remember once many years ago when Claire described herself as a “cafeteria Scientologist”. OMG The place BLEW UP at her!
I was listening to the radio the other day and heard an author describe herself as a “cafeteria Catholic”, where she picks and chooses what she likes and leaves the rest off her plate.
There’s nothing you can attack there. It’s too reasonable. Too balanced.
AntiScientologists hate that. Oh, and by the way, did you read Tony Ortega’s blog today? Talk about hating “thoughtful and balanced”.
Thanks! When I first found alt.religion.scientology, I was still involved in CofS. People kept telling me that the only real issue was my adherence to a criminal cult and that I should consider doing Scn outside CofS. Which I did. I kept finding bad LRH policies that obviously seemed ditch-worthy. And sometimes I didn’t agree with various other things in Scn. And so it went.
When I was in my teens -experimenting with different political views- and in my 20s and beyond as a Scientologist, I was pretty sure that things were all one way and that was that. Certain things and people were bad. Bam! The more I started looking around, the more I could see that not only do issues have more than one side- it’s more that they have many *parts*. Politics does! Academic fields do. I found that one generally has to look at individual issues.
Inevitably, Nazism and raisins in turds were brought up- like six million times. Also, “fence sitting” (Michele Sterling). Well, when a forum/site owner publicly labels someone like that, it sends a message and sets the tone. And it’s what she thought and still does, possibly.
A fence sitter is someone who doesn’t commit to one side or another. The implication is that such a person does not make a moral stand. I’m against ALL human trafficking, slavery, embezzlement, theft, sexual assault, bad labor practices and a host of other things. I’ve said so, I’ve picketed, leafletted and was even on the radio once. I think CofS should GO. I don’t need to see a reformed CofS; no two people would agree on which policies to ditch. I think DM is a criminal and LRH, too, since he harmed many in his actions and his policies.But if you’re asking me what I think of a body of assorted ideas and practices, I’m not going to dump it all in one basket. That’s what CofS members have to do. I’m free of CodS and I don’t have to do what they do.
Critics and exes often point out that Hubbard made a mix of all sorts of things when he came up with Dianetics and Scn. So those things are all different. So I look at them individually. We are not talking about a mid century totalitarian government whose philosophy was probably a cover for a massive land grab and to settle some WWI grudges.
I find that people-like Ms. Bernstein, like Chris Shelton, like anyone here or at ESMB or anywhere else are mixed bags. Unless you’re dealing with American Psycho dude, a sociopath like DM, or someone like that (a DSA would have to be included because their thinking is so turned and they do nothing but commit and cover up crimes) , people are complex and worth listening to on various topics. They may be unfair or ill informed on Subject X but not on Subject Y. They may be filled with snark toward Republicans or Democrats or Pastafarians, but still be funny, kind and great parents and grandparents.
OMG ! F**K those Pastafarians!!!
Extreme vetting for Pastafarians!!
You have been officially appointed as the “Voice of Reason” of Alanzo’s blog. Your Door plaque should arrive in the mail next week.
Chris was staff at AOLA. He was a hardliner. A friend of mine had (very tough) dealings with him back in the day, then later saw Chris at a party (I was there,too) and went ballistic. Both of them were out of CofS.
Chris subsequently reached out to my friend and was very decent and classy.
I think it must be a helluva switch being a hardline staff member to being a non Scio.
I didn’t know that he was staff at AOLA. He told me that he was an Org Manager at CLO WUS. Which is as hardline as you can get. Your job is to enforce Scientology on all people running orgs on the “cont”. And so his job was to look for their “out-ethics” when their stats were down and pull them into the CLO for Maoist reconditiong so that they could go back and BOOM their orgs.
That is the Chief Inquisitor and High Priest of Scientology – all in one – for org staff members.
I think that he is still doing that to some degree with his videos. He is still pushing the philosophy on people, now it is just switched to be the opposite of the one he was enforcing on others before.
I’m sure that Chris will wake up from even that someday.
Joke of the day goes to Eileen calling Rachel Bernstein a sociologist.
Once upon a time I had a goal of becoming a field auditor. I would hang out a shingle and make a good living. I was quite confident that I could produce better results than any psych. But then someone decided to jack up the prices to hundreds of dollars an hour and I decided my services wouldn’t be worth that much money. The basic economic laws of supply and demand would cause people to look for a cheaper way to enlightenment first. Alanzo probably thought he’d get rich as a Mission Director. It didn’t work out. We both blew. 🙁
Comments are closed.