How gullible can some Ex-Scientologists get?
Jon Atack wrote a post on Tony Ortega’s blog, accusing everyone who was ever involved in Scientology of being gullible. I commented about Jon’s broad-brushed generality of anyone who ever called themselves a Scientologist. It gave me the chance to use the word “hootenanny” (twice), and I have been extremely prideful of myself ever since.
I made the point that you can be gullible in at least two ways: you can be too credulous in the direction of a positive interpretation of Scientology, and you can be too credulous in the direction of a negative interpretation, as well.
Here’s a great example of an Ex-Scientologist being too gullible in the direction of a negative interpretation – not only of Scientology, but of himself as a Scientologist.
I’ve written about Pete Griffiths before. He posted a comment in response to a post by “Terra Cognita” on Mike Rinder’s blog today where he has one of the worst possible realizations about himself and his past as a Scientologist. And from the little I do know about Pete Griffiths, I’m pretty sure his realization about himself is not true.
Here’s Pete’s “realization” about himself as a Scientologist:
I’m sorry. In just the few personal interactions I’ve had with Pete Griffiths, I do not believe this. I know Scientologists and I know Ex-Scientologists, and they do not engage in Scientology OR Ex-Scientology because they have no humanity. Quite the opposite. Pete Griffiths is not an inhumane person now, and I strongly disbelieve that he ever was inhumane as a Scientologist.
Pete Griffiths is a good person.
It’s as if he is going through some kind of a nightmare about himself and he doesn’t know he is dreaming. He is just accepting what the nightmare is telling him.
Pete! Wake up! There is no way that you were inhumane as a Scientologist! The fact that you got out of Scientology and are doing what you are doing now is evidence that you never accepted any inhumanity in Scientology, and did not yourself become inhumane.
I think Pete’s behavior here shows two of the phases of Ex-Scientology I wrote about a few weeks ago.
The Re-education/Re-interpretation Phase – You begin to see your experiences in Scientology completely differently than when you were a Scientologist. Practicing TRs becomes practicing hypnotism. You interpret the wins and benefits you experienced in Scientology as you simply being brainwashed and delusional. Hubbard’s lies and contradictions in Scientology tech and policy are totally clear to you now and you are learning more and more about how much of a “scam” the whole thing was each and every day. You start to use “scam” and “con” to describe Scientology now.
The Self-Humiliation Phase – You begin to berate yourself for being so stupid and so gullible. All you can see are the lies now. And how stupid you were for having ever gotten yourself involved in Scientology. Your self-confidence and self-esteem are at an all time low.
This is the result of years of dwelling in the daily toxic frustration of the Post-Scientology Internet with so much negativity and with so little hope of justice: You start creating distorted re-interpretations of yourself and your own experiences in Scientology that are so over-the-top negative that they are completely false.
If these distortions were true, that would be one thing. They would be the “hard lessons” you would need to confront about yourself to finally change for the better. But in almost all cases of Exes that I know who go through this phase of Ex-Scientology, their cognitive distortions about themselves and who they were when they were in Scientology are FALSE.
Why tell such destructive lies to yourself?
Who are you helping by this self-hatred and self-denigration?
No one. Least of all yourself.
Stop it. Catch yourself the next time you lie to yourself like this. Ask yourself, “Is that really true?” And work out the actual intimate reality of who you were and what you experienced as a Scientologist – without any distortions or lies.
Take care, and be careful with the stories you tell yourself.
Cognitive Distortions are an Ex-Scientologist’s deadliest disease.
14 thoughts on “Thinking the Worst of Yourself as a Scientologist”
This is just speculation, but, could this be a type of self-flagellation, done in an effort to make Scn worse than it was?
I’ve done the Pro TRs and Upper Indoc TRs Course, and I can’t recall feeling like a inhumane automaton, then or now. I remember feeling like I really accomplished something; tough courses. And feeling acutely aware of the mechanics of communication.
A critic could respond, “Ah, yes, you WOULD feel that way. This proves how evil Hubbard’s brainwashing techniques really are.”
No, that doesn’t prove anything. In fact, you are going to have to prove to me your assertions.
In response to Pete’s posting…sorry, Pete, you’re going to have to prove to me that your humanity was destroyed by the TRs Course.
“This is just speculation, but, could this be a type of self-flagellation, done in an effort to make Scn worse than it was?”
It’s part of the process of turning having been a Scientologist into some kind of a disease.
The self-flagellation is mandatory.
Very good point Alanzo. You reminded me of my recent experience watching the Leah Remini A&E series with my never-in girl friend. First of all my girl friend is a very kind, caring, intelligent person. We’ve been together for over a decade but she has zero experience with Scientology, we never talked much about it, and we met after I was out. We watched a couple of the shows together. She asks me “is this all true?” Being unable to believe I was ever involved with something so awful. I said to her, “yes it’s all true as far as I know, but it isn’t telling you the whole story.” She didn’t get the weight of my statement, as it’s hard to understand things you have no experience with.
I still believe I gained something from Scientology, and of course lost something. And I don’t doubt that it involved hypnosis, black magic, eastern mysticism and psychoanalysis.
I think people sometimes go into a kind of post mortem mode where they’re trying to go back and try to reconstruct wtf happened. It’s like any other situation where you’re trying to figure out something that’s in your head- you’re not objective, you’re possibly upset and you end up guessing and speculating.
well of course we were “gullible”
even the smartest men in the rooms were gullible, for example Bob Duggan, a billionaire, and how many others, of that caliber of making money? Feshbacks?
What’s the missing ingredient to trap those folks? How did that happen?
Obviously the missing ingredient that traps them is what is working for them in scientology.
yep, and what is working for them?
Whatever was working for them, just like it was working for you and just like it was working for me.
A gullible person does something for nothing in return.
so how is it Bob Duggan has donated millions to the COS? He donated w/o an exchange?
What’s the exchange in his mind that he donates to the COS, or more specifically the IAS?
I don’t know.
When it comes to emotions, it gets subjective. It’s not like having a structural thing fixed, like heart surgery. If a person thinks he feels better then he does.
So a better benchmark might be -can the person function better in life? Unfortunately, most Scientologists I’ve met seemed to not necessarily function better. Particularly CofS ones cuz they get messed with all the time. Outside of the cult, they have more freedom and leeway to live their own lives and to try things.
Spirituality is tough. I think that trying to progress as a spiritual being is a lot like being a one year old trying to walk and the difference in scope between that and an Olympic gymnast. It’s not a cakewalk.
In the end, it’s up to the individual what spiritual or mental disciplines he or she wishes to follow. It’s a matter of choice.
“So a better benchmark might be -can the person function better in life? Unfortunately, most Scientologists I’ve met seemed to not necessarily function better. Particularly CofS ones cuz they get messed with all the time. ”
This is where the over-generalizations by a core group of critics who were mostly in the craziest parts of the Sea Org become damaging to the truth about Scientology.
I, personally, functioned much better in life beginning almost immediately after getting myself involved in Scientology. It taught me to drop all kinds of self-destructive habits and dramatically improved my life.
I know one guy who went to the Olympics, and what he learned in Scientology played a huge part in his getting there. And how do I know that? I was there.
So no – this is the problem with Jon Atack’s over-generalizations: he doesn’t know every person who ever became a Scientologist and what their situations were. And accepting his statements without question leads to the kinds of self-destructive lies that Pete Griffiths and many other Exes are telling themselves on the Post-Scientology Internet.
You have to work out these things for yourself. And I submit that belonging to a group of people who will not accept anything positive about Scientology is damaging to your personal evolution after Scientology.
I agree. Even Leah Remini stated more than once, Scientology was good for her and helped her in many ways.
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