Scientology Culture's addictive hooks.

Discussion in 'Evaluating and Criticising Scientology' started by Mike Laws, Dec 15, 2011.

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  1. Mike Laws

    Mike Laws Patron Meritorious

    Many people coming out of Scientology either the organization alone or subject itself have commented on the addictive situation they find themselves in, getting out is like breaking an addition. This goes beyond the fear of disconnection, and the threats. Like an addict coming off drugs, exec can slide into depression and suicidal feelings when they leave. I have noticed this with myself, but had trouble identifying the specific addictive factors. I am starting to feel that rather than a fishing lure with 4 barbs, or a trolling line with a dozen, it is more like Velcro, with hundreds or thousands. Many, including myself, stayed in and connected and self destructively despite blatant abuse.

    I think the addictive nature of Scientology has more to do with the culture than the "tech". How many people do we know that were on staff, having read almost no books, done almost no courses, having gotten little to no auditing that were complete zealots?

    It would be interesting to see and compile the specific addictive factors people have. A few to start off with:

    1. Love bombing, validation, feeling like the most important person in the world.

    2. Esprit de corps. The elite camaraderie of being the chosen ones, the elite, the only ones that can make a difference.

    3. A meaning for life ... the feeling, even if proven false, that we were helping people, making a difference, changing the world, doing something of value.

    4. The feeling like we are always learning or doing something to improve ourselves.

    5. The fear of the outside world, living in our protected island of sanity.

    6. The fear of being denied access, not only ourselves, but others to the only spiritual and sane future for humanity.

    7. The fear of being wrong, that leaving is a catastrophic or life threatening mistake.

    8. Fear of not being enough outside.

    9. Fear of not being loved outside.

    10. Fear of rejection outside, and not being able to come back.

    11. Stockholm syndrome; I believe the emeter can be used, especially in the case of sec checking and FRPD to create rapid onset Stockholm syndrome.

    12. The lies we tell others and ourselves about how much better we are doing since getting in, getting auditing, reading a book, going up the bridge. We even believe our own lies.
  2. Tiger Lily

    Tiger Lily Gold Meritorious Patron

    Good topic :) All of the above to some degree. For me predominantly the idea of helping mankind, and being with like-minded people. Sounds cheesy but that was a huge deal for me to think I was helping make the world a better place.


    I think there is an "addictive" quality to certainty. Knowing that I was on the only true path towards saving the planet was a thrill beyond any other for me; never having to doubt that what I was doing was the best use of my time and abilities. And then, the inabililty to face having been so wrong; that I could believe something as unwaveringly as I believed Scientology and then find out that I was just brainwashed. This realization more than any other threw me into a depression like I'd never experienced. I no longer trusted my judgment, my instincts, my dreams. I lost complete respect for myself. ESMB was where I found that again.

    Escalation of commitment. The more you invest, the more you're unwilling to look objectively at what you are doing. Once you've spent the kids' college fund and maxed out the credit cards and strained your marriage. . . you BETTER have been right about it, so you convince yourself you are in any way you can. Once you hit that point, you are brainwashing yourself.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
  3. the real biggie that's holding many who would otherwise speak up is disconnection
  4. degraded being

    degraded being Sponsor

    Your post has got me thinking. My post here may seem to be missing your point or disagreeing. I'm not really wanting to do that. It's just the thinking that happened by reading your post.

    1 is emotional. Love,connection. Positive
    2 is emotional. Connection. Postive
    3 partly emotional but mostly intellectual? Positive
    4 emotional, personal fulfillment.Postive
    5 emotional. security/safety. Negative-positive
    6. emotional. Security/safety. Negative
    7 emotional. Security/safety , connection negative
    8 emotional. Personal fulfillment, safety/security negative
    9 emotional.Love, connection. Negative
    10 emotional.Love, connection, security, safety. Negative
    11. intellectual. Obedience. Negative
    12. intellectual and emotional, mostly intellectual. Negative.

    I think the auditing/wins apects are emotional. Lots of the interactions outside the course room and tek posts are emotional. But the teck side is intellectual (pseudo intellectual) to pacify the mind. And the "mind" is given negative emotional associations to subvert its roles of protecting it's "owner".

    The emotional aspects do look more addictive to me. I don't see it as a split between culture and teck though. Those that are not exposed to much teck directly have it used on them, and they can become emotionally addicted. Some of the ex SO born-in exes seem not to have even been addicted to scientology much at all. They were just 'addicted' to normal human emotional needs like parental love etc, others may have had a blend of those needs plus the addition of cult "spiritual needs. Overall I read your post as highlighted the emotionally addictive aspects of scientology, which is making me wonder if all of the addiction is emotional. You have used the word "culture", and I am thinking of it as "emotionally addicting culture".
  5. HelluvaHoax!

    HelluvaHoax! Gold Meritorious Sponsor


    I think a great percentage of Scientology's addictive nature is that it offers an "Easy Fix" to everything.

    As humans we experience profound relief from our problems, worries or uncertainties when someone/something comes along and says with great certainty that they have the solution. That's the zealous gleaming grin we see in religious proselytizers, fast-money gurus, weight loss pitchmen, infomercial hucksters and the authorities on everything--Scientologists.

    The relief is an actual psychological and even physiological manifestation that is triggered by hope, whether real or imaginary. Imagine someone that is stranded at sea, exhausted, dehydrated and emaciated with only days or perhaps even hours left to live. If a ship appeared on the horizon and sounded its foghorn, our shipwrecked victim would begin yelling and waving enthusiastically. Their spirits would soar as the ship steered in their direction and grew close. Their weakness and depression would suddenly lift as they began to celebrate their imminent rescue. We are really talking about measurable human bodily and neurological responses when elation & euphoria are experienced.

    And all that just on the hope that they will be rescued.

    If the ship passes them by, unnoticed, their ecstasy would have been self-generated, wouldn't it?

    Scientology is particularly addictive because it offers a certain cure for anything under the sun, moon and stars.

    Scientology (Scientologists say) can "handle everything!" Cancer, criminality, insanity, poverty, depression, losses, inability to achieve one's dreams and mortality itself. It can "fix" all of that and easily.

    Scientology is a quick fix and like heroin, the "fix" feels amazing!

    You don't even have to get auditing to get the release; when you have something that bothers you all you have to do is read the "reference" and the "theta" will start to flood in on you with VGIs.

    It's a lot easier going for those little surges of theta than it is to get out in life and really deal with the oft-times harsh realities.

    Scientologists like the warm and cozy feeling inside that bubble so they are not anxious nor even interested in any other information. They can get that quick-rush and, like a drug addict, that's all they need for right now.
  6. Mike Laws

    Mike Laws Patron Meritorious

    DB, your post is absolutely not a derail, reveals another facet of it.

    I agree it is the emotional aspects that become most addictive, and I believe, if identified can help because we can then find another way to find that emotional satisfaction and stimulation in our lives.

    You comment behind the points pos/neg is a cool perspective ... consider this ....

    1 is emotional. Love,connection. Positive. Positive in a range ... too much, obsessive, compulsive, controlling, not enough, cold. different for different circumstances.

    11. intellectual. Obedience. Negative. Again this falls within a range, Intellectual and obedient creates a tremendous asset for a thoughtful employee who can follow vision completely, obey, but think about how to get the job done. A traditional wife might be the pillar of strength and support behind a good man. The same with a stay at home dad, or one in a traditional marriage obedient to his vows and responsibilities.

    We were drawn in to the subject of Scientology, perhaps because of an intellectual spin on emotional or other gain, then the emotions are built either to self destructive levels ... arrogance ... communication .... control ... self sacrifice ... confession .... aggression/violation of privacy, etc. etc.

    It is an interesting concept.
  7. Mike Laws

    Mike Laws Patron Meritorious


    Completely agree with your thoughts on the certainty of the Scientology solution, any solution, being addictive. I know a few Christians that are just as hard to tolerate.

    It does seem to be a human trait, the need and addiction for certainty in general ... respectfully I might say that the american culture is the most susceptible. Many other countries I have visited, the people I have met, seem much more content to their lot, their problems, their status. Americans tend to want a whole lot more and go balls to the wall to get it. Again, perhaps a good thing in balance and a destructive thing out of whack.
  8. I know why people get stuck in a Scientology culture--

    What's glue for you is glue for you.

    The Anabaptist Jacques
  9. Mike Laws

    Mike Laws Patron Meritorious


    Great post! For me the biggest single achievement in my personal peace since scientology is the ability to say I don't know. To not know, to not be able to "handle" something, to not be "responsible" for a specific thing, and be OK with it. I agree that certainty is addictive, so is winning, check out any gamblers anonymous meeting!

    Self investment to the point of personal deceit on result so don't have to be wrong. great point.
  10. I told you I was trouble

    I told you I was trouble Suspended animation


    People stay in and below the radar for decades (literally) because even though most of any family members (and associated friends) at some stage probably want to get out ... it isn't likely to happen at the same moment, so people that really do want to just leave the cofs and all the nastiness and feeling's of entrapment behind stay quiet, nod and smile and even turn up on occasion to those hideous events and live a complete lie.

    Disconnection when and if it happens is almost a relief ... it's merely the final insult.

    The previous decades (or years) do the real harm, having to watch your beloved children being pushed and sucked into cultic thinking and seeing (and feeling) them observing you as only a scientologist can, is completely shocking and terribly hurtful.

    After leaving the relief at being able to just say 'I have no idea' or ' I don't know' is immense ... sometimes now I say it even when I do know.


    Great thread Mike.


  11. Mike, thank you for starting this's important that sooner or later, everyone who has been involved with a cult or a cult like group, but especially Scientology, think over these things for themselves.

    I agree with all you have said. Everything about Scientology was DESIGNED to hook you and to take your money, effort, time and support, and moreover, make you feel GOOD about giving it, by misleading you into thinking you would be gaining something precious; better abilities to be at cause over life, all the while making your more and more PTS to the group, the vaunted sexy and exciting OT abilities, freedom from the reactive mind and WHATEVER problems you have communicating or getting along with other people, eternal salvation by cognition, etc..

    Back in the 60's and 70's the phrase "Mind Control Groups" was popularized to describe the many cult like groups that briefly, or not so briefly, blossomed here in California. Many of them are still quite active here, and more new ones spring up all the time. Most don't last more than a generation or outlive their creators.

    This is why it's helpful for Exes to read up and learn something about cultish group behaviors in general, so that they then can begin to see clear instances of mental/emotional/physical manipulation and abuse within their own group's experience as it is, for what it is.

    EVERYTHING about the Scientology experience is designed to get you hooked, and keep you in...and eventually make you behave as if you are so mindlessly loyal to the group (even when you have doubts you hide them so as not to run afoul of "ethics" and ''re-treads") and the big guru in charge (Ron), now possibly DM for some who are younger, that you will sacrifice not only your own financial and physical well being to support it, you will also sacrifice the well being of your family members and friends. That's what "Mind Control" cults do with their members. Use them up and spit them out, while CONSTANTLY recruiting new members. It's how they function and survive. And the whole process is disguised in your seeking and attaining something wonderful, the ultimate in experiencing freedom.

    If you only look at Scientology's glossy literature, it all looks pretty wonderful, doesn't it? Who wouldn't want a world with more sanity, less war, etc. etc.? But you can't be naive in this world. You must look at the reality of what the group practices and how it behaves as a cult, not just the shiny ideals and the glossy and glowing PR that they use as bait to lure people in, so that the practices can get them hooked. If you don't think that Scientology practices are hypnotic, then you don't understand hypnotism and how your mind works. Learn.

    Lurkers who are still somehow "fans" of Scientology, I'm especially talking to you!

    :megaphone: WAKE UP DEAR PEOPLE! :megaphone:

    I was very fortunate to have several classes which examined cults and cult like groups while in college in the 70's, at a time when many of my peers were dropping out of school to join cults. Following that, I once was part of a small group of friends who helped physically rescue and then de-program a dear childhood friend who had been sucked out of grad school and into the Moonies for several years, literally held incommunicado at a ranch...shades of Int base. Talk about human trafficking, Moonies were/are the worst! Think of Sea Org "coins" only everybody involved with Scientology is in the Sea Org and is a "coin"! (With armed guards constantly watching and "keeping order".) :omg: So I understand this issue not just from an academic or "book knowledge" sort of level. I understand it in real life, too.

    It's good to think about and talk about these issues, for everyone, to make them more aware and self protective, but especially for those whose lives have already been affected by a cult like Scientology.

    Scientology is a of the nastiest and most abusive ones that has survived (so far) since the 60's. It is a product of California, fertile growing ground for cults and cult like groups because so many seekers and experiencers are drawn to our progressive state, and always have been. California has been seen as the land of opportunity and possibility for the rest of our country for a very long time, and for good reason. That's the good part of living here...on the other hand...we do have cults to deal with. :duh:

    That people "wake up" and realize, gradually or more suddenly, that they have been involved in and supporting a cult for 10, 20, 30 or more years of their lives just shocks those of us who see it clearly for what it is, and it ought to shock all of you who are still somewhere along in the "waking up" process. If it doesn't shock you you haven't quite fully understood the situation yet! :ohmy:

    Here's a reality check for you...:) Try saying it to yourself in your own private space...lurkers, you, too!

    "I'm in a cult"


    "I was in a cult".

    Say it to yourself, then relax and allow a little silence to see what thoughts or voices or pictures or impressions come up for you in your mind's eye. Do this several times and see how you feel after each time. Does anything shift and become clearer or easier for you? Aside from the grief and anger at the losses incurred by supporting the cult. Does it help to understand why and how you got stuck to know that it was actively designed to "stick" you? :) Does it help you to understand more how and why the subject seems "addicting" to some people? It's not to everyone, trust me...and the difference is largely understanding, education about mind control groups and what they do, how they operate. Once you really know all about it, it's very hard for anyone to get you "stuck" into a group again. You are free to pick and choose, come and go, experience things and then leave when it's not serving you and your higher good. You just see things so much more clearly for what they are, coming out from under layers of indoctrination.

    Indoctrinated is happens in social and political groups, too. Sometimes even in business too, where there is a strong "corporate culture".

    But if you learn about indoctrination and how it works on people, how mind control groups work, then you never have to be a victim of it again. In fact, it will be darn difficult to control you! You will be very wary of ever giving up control over yourself and your own independent thoughts and feelings for "group think" of any sort. A very good thing in a free society, when you truly control your own mind and emotions.

    One of the saddest things I ever heard my former dear friend who was an Ex Sea Org member say when I was first getting to know him was...while he was grieving the loss of belonging to the group..."I don't have anybody to help me with my mind..." Scientology teaches and TRAINS you that you NEED to have somebody help you with your mind, that there is something wrong with you, that you have "a reactive mind" and are often ruled by your "case", which is all just a made up story by Ron.

    Your mind is a wonderfully functioning gift from God and unless you have organic or function brain disorders which effect your cognition, there is nothing wrong with your mind as it is. That concept is just an implanted one to allow the cult to control you as you try to "fix" what's wrong with you.

    Much of Scientology practice is hypnotic, meant to more easily and heavily influence you, if you allow it to. It's hard to shake off layers and layers of indoctrination...I know, it's hard work. But it's so worthwhile! :) Having your own free mind is a beautiful thing. :happydance:

    If you were raised in or were in for a while, or if you were on staff or in SO, question everything at first as you are "waking up" from this bad dream called Scientology. Question if your thoughts and attitudes about any given subject or issue are truly your own, or were you taught or influenced to think and feel that way? It's a good practice for everyone to do, even for those of us who weren't raised in a cult.

    For all those who are generational Scientologists...try saying that to yourselves in your own private space: "I was raised in a cult". Say it over several times and just allow for some blank space and time in between, and just listen. Listen to your own mind. What comes up for you to look at? Does it shift anything for you? Does it make it easier to understand some of the bad things that happened to you, or happened to family members or friends who were "in"?

    Try it, all of you guys, and let me know what the experience is like for you. :)

    Yes, Scientology is addictive. You don't have to spend a lot of time trying to figure out how and why as if it is addictive in some magical or mysterious way, or as if Ron was some kind of genius in creating it as a human fly tap. It is DESIGNED to be addictive, always has been from the very start. This is easy to see and understand, once you learn a little bit more about mind control groups and how they operate, and learn more about critical thinking skills (which are now taught in public schools, by the way, but weren't so much back in the 50's and 60's when so much cult activity really bloomed here). This is a subject you can learn about and understand more fully. Doing so might help you all immensely! :thumbsup:

    Big hugs to everyone who is still recovering from their cult experience! :happydance: You can do it! :clap: Go forward and create a wonderful life for yourself! :clap:

    Trust me, in my life experience as a teacher I've seen how learning about subtle and not so subtle forms of indoctrination frees students to "question authority", to use critical thinking skills applied to every situation, and how to control themselves, rather than allow themselves to be manipulated.

    I think having knowledge and understanding of what is or is not cult-like behavior in a group is vitally important knowledge in a free society.

    Keep up the good work, everyone! :happydance:
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2012
  12. DagwoodGum

    DagwoodGum What a long, strange trip it's been!

    Some people bite on it because it get's them off the hook for their aberrations and past embarrassing conduct as they can now assign their aberrated behavior to causal effects of reactive minds and body thetan’s. There goes the "responsibility" that it was all supposedly about at the lower levels. And because it will take them so many years to ever attain the levels of clear and OT8, the $cilons have many years to sink all the other hooks mentioned into their incarcerated carcasses. Truly a living quicksand of souls if there ever was one.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
  13. DagwoodGum

    DagwoodGum What a long, strange trip it's been!

    Another worthwhile endeavor is to read about "The Stockholm Syndrome" and how it turns weak souls into actual worshippers of the captors of their incarceration as slaves and kidnapping victims under a multitude of oppressive circumstances.
    People actually began to worship LRH as a god, possibly convincing him that he actually was one, as the fragile ego he truthfully had underneath under all of his false bravado demanded he buy their crazed adulation.
    Had he treated his serfs as equals over the decades of their subjective incarcerations they would have stormed off in disgust.
    Some people demand to be mistreated and can't respect anyone that treats them humanely.
    I'm sure that if there was an implant that created this condition, LRH wouldn't have exposed it for the sake of handling as he banked upon such bankiness.
    I think Ron knew that his suckass enabler/worshipers secretly craved a shpanking and would never be satisfied till they provoked one.
    So he and his mini-me gave them shpanking after shpanking.
    They became shpanking kings to the shpanking craven.
    Once he died his mesmerizing/stockholm sydrome stranglehold upon them died with him...
    Then as some of their opinion leaders began their oxodus, they found others to follow out of the trap and they now revel in their new freedom. But without these opinion leaders to transfer their Stockholm "followship" to, they would have found someone on the inside to follow and they'd still be hopelessly entrapped. This is a clear cut case of "swallow the leader" and the followers demand leaders no matter how ethically, morally and psychologically flatulent these "leaders" are.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011
  14. Mike Laws

    Mike Laws Patron Meritorious

    Thanks for the link. Many years ago when I was first trying to break my way from the COS, I spent some time going over the mutual desired but elusive exit from the COS with a big name second generation ex. They, having studied several books on the Stockholm Syndrome were convinced that the e-meter and sec checking and severe ethics and justice were intentionally or unintentionally was able to create rapid onset of Stockholm. At the time it sounded far out to me, but I believe it is very true today.
  15. Mike Laws

    Mike Laws Patron Meritorious

    I believe there is a big difference between the use of an recovery from disconnection and other physical threat/damage mechanisms of the COS and the emotional adictiveness of the subject.

    There has to be a reason we want to be in, we want to remain friends with people who are not truly unconditional friends to us. There has to be a reason we bound ourselves so tightly to the people, the organization and the philosophy.

    In reality, it is much easier to manage the physical threats of disconnection or loss of job or customers or whatever, because it is a tangible effect, with tangible results and predictable circumstances, both in effect, and attempts to resolve.

    The emotional is like taffy, sticks to everything and it seems like you can never fully clean it off. I still like the Velcro description, but it could also be like walking in a Velcro suit through a Velcro maze. One misstep and you are stuck. Put your hand up to pry your shoulder off and stuck!
  16. MostlyLurker

    MostlyLurker Patron Meritorious

    I just want to point out that Scientology has been made addictive on purpose.
    That's maybe the biggest disagreemen I have with LRH. He lied.
    He build Scientology in a way that it doesn't really free people, but makes them servant.
    And he did that on purpose. :grouch:
  17. Smilla

    Smilla Ordinary Human

    *Certainty* is a heady drug, and Scientology was built with that in mind. It's not genuine certainty though - it's a collection of fixed ideas that stop thought.

    “Orthodoxy means not thinking--not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”
    George Orwell, 1984
  18. scooter

    scooter Gold Meritorious Patron

    I personally think one of the biggest attractions of $cientology is that it'll make you "different from and superior to" the rest of the planet. Except in scilon terms, we're talking quadrillions of years and you the scilon are one of the few still able to see the mess the world's in. You once were bigger than this universe, remember? All potentials, no mass etc etc.

    It makes you inflate and just want to get in there and use your superior abilities to help. Very addictive combination. You are a God on a rescue mission.

    It's a clever dichotomy set up as it gives you the satisfaction of knowing that anyone who doesn't agree with you is degraded and just can't see what you, with your God abilities still more intact than theirs, can see is wrong with both them and the society in general. And that you are the only person who can help them overcome that degradation.

    And it's all thought out for you too - Ron the Saviour has mapped out the closely-tapped path for all to travel.

    It just appeals to so many primal drives at once and you don't have to put any emotional, intellectual or mental effort into it. Yet it confirms your genius and emotional maturity in comparison to those who aren't on the closely-tapped path.

    It's a vicious trap constructed by a vicious narcissist who found a way of satisfying narcissism tendencies and altruistic concerns at the same time, and making slaves of those who fell into his construct.

    Most cults fall apart when their founder dies. This one was put together far more cleverly than most, and is really only falling apart so rapidly because its founder didn't foretell the age of the Interwebs and instant communication sharing for the bulk of the planet. For all his whole-track recall, he just couldn't come up with a society that is as instantaneously socially connected as ours is.

    Otherwise, I'd still be trying to go OT:omg:
  19. Lavalyte

    Lavalyte Patron with Honors

    That's not the carrot, that's the stick.
  20. Tiger Lily

    Tiger Lily Gold Meritorious Patron

    This post brought tears to my eyes. That's exactly it. Thank you for articulating it so well.