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Scientology Events - What Happens Before And After?

Discussion in 'General Scientology Discussion' started by JBWriter, Nov 3, 2013.

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  1. JBWriter

    JBWriter Happy Sapien

    I think it's fair to say that the public well of information about what goes on in an average religious family's home before/after a religious holiday is accurately and amply described. Depictions in music, film, television, literature, and the like are abundant -- and abundantly available -- to say nothing of real-life personal interactions with friends/family/neighbors.

    For example, people of other faiths (and those without faith) understand, generally, that prior to Christmas, an average Christian family decorates their home, purchases/gift wraps their presents, and make their way to church on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day. Catholic families similarly celebrate Christmas with decorations and presents, but might instead go to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.

    An Italian-American Catholic family may only eat fish on Christmas Eve prior to attending Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, whereas a Polish-American Catholic family might place emphasis on specialty desserts served only at this time of year.

    So, with that in mind...

    What's it like for an average family, 'public' members of Co$, before and after an event?

    Are there any traditional foods or activities?

    Do Co$ member-family traditions differ geographically?

    Do Co$ member-families get together with other member-families to celebrate the Co$ New Year's Eve Event - as opposed to regular New Year's Eve?

    If a Co$ member-family lives in, say, St. Louis, and they go to their local org where video is shown of a Flag event, do they get dressed-up? Cook special foods? Host after-parties?

    Would a Co$ member-family invite Co$ staff and/or sea org people to a dinner party?

    JB - Asking because I've never seen anything mentioned here about this. If there's already a link, please let me know and I'll delete this thread. :)
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
  2. HelluvaHoax!

    HelluvaHoax! Platinum Meritorious Sponsor with bells on

    Scientology religious rites and rituals mainly consist of sacrifices (donations) to God (OTs up lines).

    Before and after religious holidays (events/briefings) they prepare religious artifacts (raising charge card limits, establishing overdraft protection on checking accounts, et al) and other ritualistic sacrifices (borrowing money) are undertaken.

    The other more celebratory aspect of the religion mainly worships by holding completion certificates overhead and grinning for photo ops that can be used in spreading the gospel (promo) and spreading the word of God (selling the Basics).

    Scientology is a very happy religion. The fact that Scientologists are generally nervous, overwhelmed, insolvent and unhappy is a testament to their devotion and strict adherence to their ascetic vows.
  3. JBWriter

    JBWriter Happy Sapien

    Yes, HH, I'm aware of the constant/continuous/shameless demands for money made by Co$ to its membership -- and I'm thankful to you for pointing this out, since it honestly can't be said often enough. :thumbsup:

    It's just -- people do like to celebrate.
    It's a perk of being alive -- every inhabited continent, region, county or town has event-based celebrations of one sort or another. Many of the celebrations have roots in religious events, but there are also event-based celebrations for good harvests, sports championships, political elections, etc.
    People party when they're happy. Events that provide and share 'good news' to willing ears/eyes are occasions to be happy about.

  4. Panda Termint

    Panda Termint Cabal Of One

    Thumbnail sketch.

    Before the Event: Call-in, confirm attendance, 20 calls from others to confirm that you're confirmed, re-confirm, 20 calls from others to confirm that you're re-confirmed, re-reconfirmation of the reconfirmation of the confirmation... etc

    (If you didn't confirm attendance at the get-go you get the same (or more calls) seeking to change your mind about that.

    This explains the high proportion of answering machines picking up after 2 rings in scientology households.

    (Event co-ordinators are never actually sure you'll attend until they see you arrive at the Event.)

    After the Event: Post mortem on "how it was for you" plus incessant selling of whatever product was Released during the Event.
  5. Jump

    Jump Operating teatime

    Let me guess... It was so theta and really indicated.

    The celebration is the quiet relaxing of dread when you find there is still enough on your credit card to pay the mortgage.

  6. splog

    splog Patron

    Good question. I don't recall ever seeing a clear answer out there, so here's one:

    You asked if Scientologists have rituals that go before events.

    No, they don't. There is nothing like that. There are no preparations, no happy get-togethers to get things in order, no wind-down part, no gifts, no presents, no giving thanks, no appreciation, no fun, no having friends over for a good time, no celebration. It's the old Scientology trick, trying to make their stuff look normal and in tune with the rest of the world by calling it the same name, when the thing is really nothing like the other thing with a similar name.

    The closest comparison to real life might be the annual presentation your employer does where the CEO lays out the ever-changing strategy or the next year. You don't go because you want to or because there's something to celebrate; you go because it's part of your job description.
  7. Dean Blair

    Dean Blair Silver Meritorious Patron

    I was in the Sea Org from 1979-1991. Whenever we had events, I would leave the org get my wife and kids and go do something fun such as see a new movie. I had absolutely no interest in ever going to these events and used the opportunity to get some free time.

    None of the public ever celebrated the events either before or after that I am aware of. They would go to dinner afterwards or meet up with friends for a cup of coffee but there was no before or after celebration.
  8. WildKat

    WildKat Gold Meritorious Patron

    My mate and I used to just lie and say "Already confirmed - we'll be there" and then we just didn't go. Always got away with it; did that for years. You have to really not care about consequences, sec checks, etc. to take that stance. Not giving a shit "what the church will think" (or EO, etc.) is/was very freeing.
  9. Jquepublic

    Jquepublic Silver Meritorious Patron

    I was staff nearly the entire time I was in, so from my perspective:

    What's it like for an average family, 'public' members of Co$, before and after an event?

    Before the event there's the constant haranguing to attend the event - calls to confirm, calls to reconfirm, calls to remind - I'd estimate that our org made at least a dozen calls to each person in preparation for the event itself. Unlike other religions, Scientology demands a certain number of attendees at its "religious celebrations".

    Are there any traditional foods or activities?

    No to foods. Traditionally the majority of our public would confirm attendance and then blow off the event!:p

    Do Co$ member-family traditions differ geographically? Not to my knowledge.

    Do Co$ member-families get together with other member-families to celebrate the Co$ New Year's Eve Event - as opposed to regular New Year's Eve?


    If a Co$ member-family lives in, say, St. Louis, and they go to their local org where video is shown of a Flag event, do they get dressed-up? Cook special foods? Host after-parties?

    Yes to getting dressed up, no to foods and after-parties. We did clap to the screen and cheer the bronze bust.

    Would a Co$ member-family invite Co$ staff and/or sea org people to a dinner party?

    If they did, chances are the staff/SO would have to decline due to the amount of work required of them after the event, or due to the policy against fraternizing with the public (for SO), or simply due to the fact that they couldn't get the CSW approved.
  10. La La Lou Lou

    La La Lou Lou Crusader

    Scientology events are for a purpose, to sell books or courses, get donations or recruit staff. They have no other purpose. There was a tradition of beer and cheese parties around Christmas, but that only seemed to be when it was tax deductible. A Sea Org member just wouldn't get time off to have a meal with non SO staff. I did once go to non staff, OT person's house for a Christmas meal when I was on Garrison Mission in a lower org. I think the host was declared an SP a couple of weeks later by the other SO member who was invited, out of jealousy, having a nice home and eating good food. Ethnically and geographically scientologists differ, within the UK Anglican Brits have a stuffed bird for Xmas and Jewish ones might eat whatever their tradition is for Passover depending on their ethnic mixture and background, Muslim scientologists will celebrate Eid depending on their traditions Somali ones different to Indonesian ones etc.

    People usually dress up for events, and get fleeced then go home and try to avoid the next one.
  11. Enthetan

    Enthetan Master of Disaster

    As others are pointing out, Scn "events" (Ron's Birthday, anniversary of Dianetics, etc) are NEVER occasions for fellowship or family intimacy. They are always and only occasions for public to be pressured to come into the orgs, be harangued for an hour or two by some execs, and then grabbed by sales people and pressured to buy services, or donate to the IAS, or some such.

    In my entire time in Scn, I mostly avoided them when I could.

    Events of fellowship and family were the conventional holiday get-togethers (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, etc).
  12. Orglodyte

    Orglodyte Patron with Honors

    Hi JB -- I was a scientology public for a long time. The times when my public friends and I did the sort of things you describe are Christmas, Thanksgiving, the Super Bowl ;-) ... same as in the society at large. The CoS' "unreasonable" insistence that stats not go down during holidays interfered some with these celebrations, but they were the usual holidays, minus any Christian overtones.

    Events are promoted by the CoS as religious events or celebrations, but in reality they are a naked swim in a shark tank, to and from a boring pep rally. Not fun. To be avoided.

    Several have mentioned dozens or scores of confirmation calls. They aren't exaggerating. Can you imagine a dentist calling you 20 times to confirm your appointment? That alone gives a good sense of how dreadful these things are. The fact that anyone at all shows up is a testament to the power the CoS has over its members.
  13. Arthur Dent

    Arthur Dent Silver Meritorious Patron

    I can confirm that!
    I had to turn the volume off on my answering machine as well when I had guests as it was just so embarrassing to get 20 calls an hour while entertaining non-scio dinner guests.
    When I did go to events, I'd always arrive late (that way, you're ushered in right away and seated without having any free time to exchange (un)pleasantries with other sea org and staff and public.
    Then, I'd have a pre-arranged escape plan in place depending on the facility. You'd have to keep a watchful eye for where the recruiters / reges were located or trolling the place and then make a B-line to the
    nearest exit at your earliest possible convenience. In case you were intercepted, (50/50 chance), you'd have to have your act together to not be caught off guard. An urgent "my baby sitter is sick and has to leave" works, "my spouse went to get the car and is looking for me", "I have to get up at 4am for work so I have to run", and "Oh, sorry, I'll be out of town next weekend so no I can't come to talk to you." What ever it is you can't have any hesitation whatsoever.

    Before the event there is the anxious household ritual... "so are we going? I don't know, do you want to go? No, but if I don't it will be hell to pay and going is cheaper" and so on. Eating afterwards is definitely celebratory, because you are not longer at the event. If with friends, the conversation rarely is about the event because no one really cares and if you have criticism, we all know, you don't express those much.

    One of the worst parts if having to confirm others. :omg: That really sucks.

    There is little regard for real world holidays. You're on your own. If the cult does anything, it is generally a PR event for the them or another opportunity to get your money or time. If I'm not mistaken, the cult doesn't close for holidays.
  14. JBWriter

    JBWriter Happy Sapien

    Thanks to all who have provided responses so far - I appreciate the time/effort spent to help educate me. :hattip::thankyou:

    On hubbard's birthday, the Co$ "Birthday Game" winners are announced at events held at the larger orgs and the results are passed along to the people in the local orgs...if I understand things correctly.

    For a 'public' Co$ member-family, there is no annual 'hubbard birthday breakfast' or special meal prepared to mark the occasion in the home?
    No special party to celebrate Little Johnny's First Audit? Or Little Mary's First Course Completion?
    No particular songs sung 'round the hearth for any annual Co$-centric event?

    Public members of Co$ send their children to Delphi schools and, I assume, the parents interact with one another at school-related functions -- plays, sports, academic clubs, etc. -- which is one natural avenue of socialization for these folks. Kids' birthday parties would be another avenue.

    any business that public parents might form within this group, because that's a WHOLE other topic, what other avenues exist for public, Co$ member-families to interact with their 'own kind'?

    Those who are on staff or sea org members in Co$ don't have discretionary time -- I understand (and wholly condemn) that awful truth -- they don't have time to celebrate anything, even if it was permitted.

    I'm curious about the public Co$ member-families' reality because there's excellent information available here about how they ('publics') were perceived by the staff/sea org folks, but very, very little about what their ('publics'') daily lives are/were like.
    If Dad's an OT6 and Mom's an OT3, they can't discuss each others' 'case' - ever - (which still blows my mind) but they are still the authoritative decision-makers to, and for, their children.
    And, I know, the children are thought of as 'big beings' in small 'meat bodies'. But does that automatically translate into not celebrating Co$-centric holidays within the family unit? Is it too 'heretical' for a public Co$ member-family to unilaterally create and observe an 'elleraitch birthday surf & turf dinner' each year? Or to invite other Co$ member-families to join in the fun?

  15. Lurker5

    Lurker5 Gold Meritorious Patron

    Fear and dread? Before and during and after . . .

    Ahhh, don't want to forget denial .
  16. BardoThodol

    BardoThodol Silver Meritorious Patron

    From what I understand, the pre- and post-ceremony to any Scientology event is to drop a bunch of quarters into a sock and perform self-flagellation to EP.

    The EP being that you are not worthy of having that money, and that the greatest good for the greatest number is to give all your money to the (gag) church.

    See Scientology believes that you can sooner get a rich man through the eye of a camel (sic) as convince a Scientologist that it's actually Ron's fault rather than their own.
  17. JBWriter

    JBWriter Happy Sapien

    As I'm reading the responses which make mention of public Co$ member-families celebrating non-Co$-centric holidays, I'm reminded of Jenna Elfman's statement about how easy it is to be Christian and a scientologist. Co$ 'spin' is that anyone can be any other religion and still be a scientologist, too.

    For clarity's sake only...

    At the lower levels of scientology (before the whole Jesus-was-an-implant kicks in) is the internal thinking of a Co$ member - whether public, staff, or sea org member - that "Co$/scientology says I can continue to be Jewish* because it's only in this lifetime, with these Jewish meat-body parents, that I'm Jewish"?

    JB (*Or Episcopalian or Muslim or whatever faith-based belief system a person/person's parents practice.)
  18. Orglodyte

    Orglodyte Patron with Honors

    A bunch of great questions.

    Scientology has weddings, and memorial services. I think that's it, for ceremonies that mirror those of religions. There's a christening ceremony, but I never saw it happen. Sunday services are a sham to keep up appearances and I knew it and I bet every Scientologist knows it.

    Privately, I knew it wasn't really a religion, and I was glad of that, because I wasn't really into religion. The religion angle is a protection. We are saving the universe with a technology -- not psychotherapy, not religion, but a brand new thing that the SP society doesn't understand and will attack. So we hide behind the religion label. Clerical collars and such are part of the front. I do know Scientologists who are adamant about it being their religion. Maybe some are sincere.

    I was a public Scientologist. It wasn't as bad as staff or SO, because I could earn a living, and I could see a movie or goof off sometimes. But I felt guilty when I did. The fruits of my labors had already been extracted from me before I could earn them, so I had to spend as much time as possible earning money or planning how to do so. There was very little socializing -- all my friends were Scientologists, and they all had a galaxy to save, too. Pretty much if I wasn't earning money, or working toward earning money, I was on course.

    I remember a friend buying a nice car, and thinking how out-ethics he was. OMG I am still so glad to be out, after all these years.

    Family life included family birthdays and the usual holidays as many have pointed out. The ancient-beings-in-little-bodies thing did affect child rearing. There is a massive blob of confusion called "Child Dianetics" which supposedly spells out how to care for one of these trillion-year-old thetans, and in my experience it leads to an extremely permissive approach, in which active parenting can actually be harmful, since the kid already knows more than you do. In practice it becomes a reductio ad absurdum of Montessori or Benjamin Spock.

    In one of the cruelest passages of this book, LRH says that the adults have rights too, but fails to point out what those rights are. The consequences of LRH advice on raising kids would make an excellent thread topic.

    Never heard of anyone celebrating LRH's birthday at home. Despite all the clapping, which I personally hated (would sit in the Academy, arms folded, while they clapped at the big photo, and when the sup gave me a look I'd ask him to show me the reference, which shut him up), LRH is not worshipped or revered in the same way as Christians revere Jesus and celebrate him. He was just a man, a hopelessly inquisitive man like ourselves, who just happened to be 100% right about everything he said.

    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
  19. Churchill

    Churchill Gold Meritorious Patron

    Here are my answers to your questions in the order you asked them:

    1. nervous excitement, tinged with dread.

    2. no

    3. no

    4. no

    5. no, no, and no

    6. no

    7. no, never.

    Scientology reminds me of the starving snake that thinks it can survive by eating its own tail.
  20. Sindy

    Sindy Crusader

    That's a perfect thumbnail sketch from the public's perspective.

    Here's the lowdown from the staff member side...

    Before the event:

    Go to muster and get handed the "Call-In Patter", memorize it and decide not to use it because it sounds beyond hyperbolic and yet you can't quite figure out how else to get someone to come without saying, "This will be like no other event you've ever seen! You HAVE to be there!" Call the same people that everyone else is calling and don't even bother to coordinate it in anyway. Mark absolutely nothing down so that the next person can "jack the person's TA", yet again, by having to tell yet another person that he or she is going to a wedding that weekend, out of town, only to get another lackluster half-ack of disapproval. Do this everyday for a week or two before the event. Leave a million phone messages begging people to come. Attack every student before course. Ask each person who will actually answer the phone who he or she can bring with them. Go collect your prize of a few pieces of candy or a Starbucks card for being a good little staff member who made the quota.

    A day or two before the event:

    Get assigned hats for the event. Quietly cringe in horror at what you will have to do. Do the "Bag-Drill" where you practice over and over forming a human barricade to then approach people after the event with the robotic phrase, "Cash or credit" while handing them a bag filled with the new release. This assumed close is all the rage in Scientology. It's quite effective.

    Day of the event:

    Go to a special reg meeting where all of you will meticulously go over the confirms list and put each and everyone of these people into a category for which they will get a different color coded sticker adhered to them to denote said category. This way the staff know who to spend time with and who to ignore. Some categories are: 1) Whale about ready to go to Flag. Reg for package of 10 new releases. 2) I/P on current reg cycle for 12 Intensives. Get the balance tonight and tack on new release. 3) Appointment this person to see the Bridge Consultant, in from ASHO (god, I hope they can finally debug this person). 4) DB only comes to events for the food.

    Now, continue to work beyond the point where you have any time to get ready for the event looking anything more than a stressed out 1970's throwback, donned in thrift store formal wear replete with shoulder pads and sequins. Get to the hall or hotel and look for snacks or hors d'oeuvres because you haven't eaten since breakfast and your health and well being were never figured into the event-day formula. Find no food. Go smoke a cigarette instead.

    At the event:

    Watch people stream in, with their kids, and make sure to escort them to the "kids room" where one teenager is watching 20 screaming, crazy kids. Justify this in your head somehow and walk away (you've got targets to meet) and go back to the front taking note of who kept their word on coming and who did not. Tell yourself you are going to write a KR on the people who didn't come but never do that because the org has no paper. Make sure to get people to "sign in" further irritating the shit out of them by asking them to leave their name, address and fucking case level (for the eight-hundredth time) until they become that label in their minds.

    Good thing you told everyone to be there at 6PM SHARP! because it's now 7PM and you're ready to start. "Come on everyone, the events about to start." Heavily corral the stragglers into the event and let her rip.

    After the video starts blaring at a million decibels and you can hear Jeff Pomeranz rumbling through the walls, now is your moment to finally relax by going to another reg meeting where you firm up and adjust your pre-event strategy based on who actually came. Sink down into abject terror when you realize that you will not meet your quota because everyone on your reg line-up bailed and never arrived. Make it through reg meeting and continue to walk around in your high heels (ouch) until you're ornery enough to give any public, who dares leave early, a piece of your mind.

    After the event:

    Perform your human barricade bag-drill realizing it's more difficult than you thought, to control these people who have been sitting in the same uncomfortable seat for 4 or more hours. Do the best you can and hope that you are one of the lucky ones who gets to do "after event surveys" and if you are, make sure to jot down that every single person tells you that the events are way too long. Immediately fax these surveys uplines so these important responses can be entered into the data files and ignored. Even though you think the events are tortuously long yourself, be sure to act surprised when the person tells you the same thing.

    After all public leave:

    Look around the event hall and figure out how to get the hell out of there before 1 am so you can sleep. Lug all the shit back into cars and vans (don't tip over the extremely heavy LRH bust) and go back to the org and report your stats on a right now, right now basis!

    The next day:

    Start call-in for the next event.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013