ESMB has entered archive mode. All posts and threads that were available to the general public are still readable. The board is still searchable. 

Thank you all for your participation and readership over the last 12 years.

If you want to join in the conversation, please join the new ESMB Redux at

Did Scientology have a positive impact on their lives?

Discussion in 'Evaluating and Criticising Scientology' started by Isene, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. TrevAnon

    TrevAnon Big List researcher

    I don't know the details of what the ESMB-software can and can't do, but could it be done just here with some kind of poll?

    Maybe Isene could post the questions he asked?
  2. Udarnik

    Udarnik Gold Meritorious Patron

    No, TA. What you would get then is called a "self-selecting sample". Those who are comfortable here would answer it, and they have some (perhaps yet undefined) common characteristics that may not be characteristic of the sample of a whole. The issue of sampling is one that will have to be dealt with. Ideally it would contain still-ins, but at the very least it should contain Indies, and my feeling here (correct me if I'm wrong) is that Indies are a minority on ESMB.
  3. Mike Laws

    Mike Laws Patron Meritorious

    Yeah, I have too much going on to have real value trying to gain the expertise or assemble the people to do something like this, and honestly am not sure how to objectively quantify the variables. But saying that, a well done study would be invaluable to people coming out and looking at getting in to understand what has historically happened. What percentage of people doing what type of activity, staff, auditing, training, etc. stay in for what amount of time, how many drift off, how many are declared. There is some excellent raw and slightly processed data out there already, but it hasn't been compiled into a concise form, quite a large project already.

    Your estimates seem to be plausible, but again, they miss concepts personally important to me in what I am looking at today. For example, you credit Scientology with helping you overcome certain fears, such as private speaking. It could well be that Communication drills and/or auditing or grades or whatever actually did help you over come. But did maturity help? or age? or was it a phase? Or simply getting into the business world and gradually building something ... did that gradual increase in scope of influence help too?

    Positive, negative and neutral are too simplistic terms for me to accurately be interested in trying to duplicate. Lets take negative, is it negative because harm was done, and no good, and what type of harm. Or was it neutral in harm, just a waste of time, years and money ... making it negative. Were people less able to function in society after Scientology? Relationships? Children? Family? Again, neutral or positive, was this life itself, or were any gains appropriate to be assigned to participation with the philosophy?

    I have seen people that were financially successful in Scientology because they got lucky or played follow the leader and rode on an economic bubble or anomaly, real estate boom for example, mortgages, title re-conveyance, things like that. When the market changed or crashed some were and others weren't able to find something else to do to make a good living, couldn't learn, couldn't adapt, failed miserably, and wound up out of Scientology because they no longer could pay. Other people manage to make lots of money for the bridge, but have lives in shambles.

    Another factor I find fascinating right now is personal responsibility in success and failure. Does Scientology in fact remove personal responsibility, assigning responsibility to the organization or philosophy, or phenomena like PTS, case, BTs or whatever?

    The whole subject, to me, is so complex as to make embrasive snapshots that are highly accurate or broad reaching very difficult, yet those coming out and society in general wants little snippets to grab onto.
  4. Isene

    Isene Patron with Honors

    Good reply, Michael.

    Snipping much, answering a few points below;

    Of course every factor in life counts. But for me to go from hyperventilating when I was asked to read aloud in class (I was 18) to becoming a famous radio show host two years later... it was a rocket ride with the only real factor in that arena being Comm Course/Pro Trs.

    Nail. Hammer. Hit.

    This is my exact interest at this point. And I believe you are pointing at something fundamentally important.
  5. phenomanon

    phenomanon Canyon

    Thanks, Terrill. See, that's the improvement that I got from Scn. At one time I was a "battered woman". That seems unreal to me now.
    At one time I was "filthy rich" and I became a drunk. ( I adored fine liquors). At one time I was 'hooked' on Cocaine, and now I detest that shit.
    It is impossible for me to think what I would've become had I not been able to get at least something to focus on other than being desirable to powerful men.
    I was a sucky person.
    My physical beauty made it so so easy to have any man that I wanted, and I did have many. Of course now I am old, and the beauty is a whole different thing.
    I married a fine Scn'ist whose ethics are far far above my own, and we are still good friends after living together for more than 30 years.
    Had we not been Scn'ists, we never would have met.
    I had a real good time in Scn. I loved being a student, and I loved being an Auditor, and I enjoyed all the other 'hats' that I wore while in the Mission network.
    The shit didn't hit the fan for me until the Mission Holders' conference where the my dear friends were declared. I was on my way "out" after the
    Happiness R/D craze. Then when the MAA asked me to secretly dose an AOLA PC with Thorazine, I knew that I was no longer participating with the group that I
    had joined, but rather an insane organization being run by madmen., I packed up my meter and materials and was outta there.
    My rush to exit cost me my daughter, who called me a liar and disconnected.
    Although it is obvious to me that Scn rescued me from a destructive lifestyle, I don't think that is for everyone. That is clear from reading this board.
    You're a sweetheart, Terrill, and one of the very few people who are still practicing who will have anything to do with me.
    Times changed. So did I.
    o well.

    phenomanon aka challenge
  6. Idle Morgue

    Idle Morgue Gold Meritorious Patron

    WTF? Thorazine? Maybe they are lacing the food at Flag with the stuff...makes it easier to REGG!! LOL
  7. AnonLover

    AnonLover Patron Meritorious

    We Anons, with the help of several exes from here on ESMB, ran an informal survey project for two years that attempted to do this to the best of our abilities.

    Related Thread (best to jump to the end of it):!

    Published Survey Results (in compiled reporting format):

    One example of the findings relevant to the discussion Geir has raised:

    More individual charts and graphs here:
  8. kate8024

    kate8024 -deleted-

    Not criticizing here just curios, were there any control measures in place to ensure people who responded had direct contact with the church and were not either random supporters or detractors who were attempting to alter the results of the survey? Being an informal survey I would guess not, correct? The numbers are certainly interesting either way.
  9. Isene

    Isene Patron with Honors

    Funny coincidence that I report 64% negative impact :)
  10. kate8024

    kate8024 -deleted-

    Yes they do seem to follow the same basic trend :)
  11. AnonLover

    AnonLover Patron Meritorious

    We used a freebie online survey tool (called Survey Pirate, which shut down in February 2012 thus we had to close the survey) that left us limited on the means for doing a strict control measure properly. We also wanted to protect the anonymity of the survey participants, and that was our number 1 concern that governed both the selected tool (Survey Pirate had no IP tracking nor required email addresses for verification) as well as the level of personal details we asked in the questions (we opted for time spent and bridge progress factors OVER locational and specific date-based factors).

    So the only reasonable control measures we could enforce was these factors:

    A) The first question asked if the participant was a former member:

    B) The total number of questions, and the complexity of the questions asked, was setup to be large enough to discourage bogus submissions. (With the idea being somebody would not sit through it all if they weren't truly interested in being counted.)

    Thus, I call it an "informal" survey because there is an inherent margin for erroneous submissions that we could not prevent without risking respondents right to anonymity.

    I also readily admit it is nothing more than elaborate straw poll, and a straw poll is only as good as the demographics it covers. In our case, the two major demographics were Ex-scientologists and Indie/FZ scientologists, and I was unable to drum up the participation I wanted to get amongst the Indie/FZ ranks so the results are admittedly slanted towards the predominant majority (exes) as shown here:
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013
  12. AnonLover

    AnonLover Patron Meritorious

    YES! Funny indeed. Which is why I have been lavishing you with praise. AFAIC, you pretty much independently validated one of our key findings.
  13. Mimsey Borogrove

    Mimsey Borogrove Crusader

    Geir, I wish I could contribute a response to your question - I am hampered by the fact I don't know enough about other Scientologists lives to do a valid survey or estimation. I didn't hang around Scientologists much when I was in - the ones I knew were on course with me and we seldom discussed their personal lives. I can only really vouch for my self, and say I did get gains, there were things I liked, but on the whole, the founders disingenuousness and duplicity, and his successor's similar traits, have quenched my former ardor.

  14. kate8024

    kate8024 -deleted-

    Thanks! Sounds like you did a more than reasonable job for an informal survey - I'm glad to hear it! :)
  15. Mike Laws

    Mike Laws Patron Meritorious


    In the instances you describe, it is probably accurate that the TRs, being the only significant personal improvement in that specific two year window as being valuable. I also believe I got benefit out of the communication drilling, I was also an introvert when I was younger.

    I am trying to expand my investigation or contemplation beyond merely recovering Scilons, to greater groups of people that have had a rough time or life and are struggling, most is being couched around developing a method of employee education, training, satisfaction, pride, retention, contribution, etc. But many people aren't even up to wanting to learn to be a good employee or business owner, or partner.

    Rock bottom basement level things that seem to have to happen first are 1. retain a sense of purpose or mission or goal for their lives, and 2. Learn to trust (again). If these two don't exist in a person in some form, i don't think they can start moving their lives upward, can't be mentored, educated or trained.