Scientology: allegations and the truth

A little reminder from ScientologyMyths.info :

What is an Apostate, or “ex-member”?

From the American Heritage Dictionary: One who has abandoned one’s religious faith, a political party, one’s principles, or a cause.

Usually apostates are called ex-members or former members.

Lonnie Kliever, Professor of Religious Studies at the Southern Methodist University, says about apostates:

“There is no denying that these (apostates) present a distorted view of the new religions to the public, the academy, and the courts by virtue of their ready availability and eagerness to testify against their former religious associations and activities.”

The full Study: The Reliability of Apostate Testimony About New Religious Movements

Why are ex-members poor sources of true information on Scientology?

Ex-members, called apostates, are an acknowledged phenomenon with known, predictable patterns, as documented by sociologists and religious scholars. To quote just one, Bryan Wilson, Ph.D. of Oxford University in the United Kingdom:

“The apostate is generally in need of self-justification. He seeks to reconstruct his own past, to excuse his former affiliations, and to blame those who were formerly his closest associates. Not uncommonly the apostate learnt to rehearse an “atrocity story” to explain how, by manipulation, trickery, coercion, or deceit, he was induced to join or remain within an organization that he now forswears and condemns. Apostates, sensationalized by the press, have sometimes sought to make a profit from accounts of their experiences in stories sold to newspapers….”

“Academics have come to recognize the ‘atrocity story’ as a distinctive genre of the apostate and have even come to regard it as a recognizable category of phenomena.”

This happens with other groups as well and even in marriages or broken friendships. The one who leaves sometimes goes a long way to explain how bad the relationship was or tries to justify that he abandoned his friends. This is a social mechanism and sometimes quite fantastic to listen to, but not a good measure to find the truth.

Some former members might complain about “bad experiences” they had or claim to have had. So, obviously they decided not to do something about it and left the organization. Maybe it was not the right thing for them. Just as most other religious organizations Scientology does not hold members who do not want to be members. Scientology practices do not work properly if done under pressure or false premises. So who wants to go, should leave or help to remedy perceived wrongs. Ex-members who try to make a living as “experts” on the faith they abandoned are clearly not neutral and not a good source for anything related.

An unbeatable way to find out something about Scientology is to go to a local church or mission and look around, get a tour and get informed. You can also go to a library and get a Scientology book. A pretty comprehensive book is one called “What is Scientology?” which tells about the Scientology belief and the organization structure (the book is also online since more than 10 years here).

There are also 18 basic books of L. Ron Hubbard in which he describes his findings and works in chronological order. Last but not least there are plenty of websites with free books or excerpts of Scientology material which the Church has put out over the last years.

If you are more interested what the Church of Scientology, the organization, does and supports, you should have a look at the Statistics page on this website.

DOCUMENTATION:
Bryan Wilson: Apostates and New Religious Movements
Kliever: The Reliability of Apostate Testimony About New Religious Movements

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27 Comments

  1. Could this have been stated any better? Don’t just listen to the critics
    Until you look at BOTH SIDES, you will not know what it is all about.
    Looking at only the critical side is just as bad as looking at only the pro
    Truth will only be revealed if you see both sides. So look at both.

  2. Funny that Truth”s “prediction” came true: a recent release of changed materials, claiming that it’s now “complete”.

    Does that mean that no new books, corrected editions or re-releases will be released? I suppose time will tell.

    But, I must echo this question: How are scientologists supposed to know that the “new” material is actually source? How can you be sure that it’s not a forgery… or a lie?

  3. No answers on these questions?

  4. I copied my question over here because I know you have a hard time justifying the books. Please have a go at it.

    So you say by comparing the old books to the new books makes it so you know that the current set of books is correct? That doesn’t answer the question of HOW you know thay are correct?
    Did DM release copies of the recordings. any transcripts? No, just books. And everything he said was verbally accepted by every Scientologists that the current set of books is correct, even though the books had been fixed once before.

    Hubbard wrote KSW for a reason. So either Hubbard never fixed his own books or DM has squirreled them. If it was Hubbard not fixing his own incorrect books then Scientology has been nonexistant till 2007 if you factor in what KSW says. Either way you look at it, you now have to simply have faith that the books are correct. There’s no “knowingness” that they are correct. And either way you look at it there’s something fundamentally wrong with what’s gone on with the books. I’m happy you have faith that the books are correct. But that is all you have.
    Hubbard never fixed his own books then writes KSW….interesting. Why is that?
    I’m counting the days to the next release of changed materials.

  5. You can come up with all the justifications about why there are so many people now coming out to tell others about their experiences about Sxcientology but if Scientology were so great this wouldn’t be happening would it? If the tech really worked as good as you think it does these people wouldn’t want out of Scientology.

  6. I moved it up, I thought…. sorry, here it is:

    http://scientologymyths.wordpress.com/2009/08/19/a-new-round-of-questions-go-ahead/

  7. Louanne,

    What happened to the “A new round of questions …” thread?

    Lake

  8. Found the source:

    The long, and rather disturbing, LA Times article is available on their site:

    http://articles.latimes.com/1991-12-29/news/mn-2102_1_werner-erhard

  9. Very perceptive, ladynyo- they are indeed very similar.

    Werner Erhard, the founder of est and the landmark forum, once studied scientology and counted Hubbard as a strong influence. Thus the incredible similarities between the two. Also, much like scientololgy, est pulls components from other belief systems and philosophies to accomplish its formation.

    Erhard and others of the est movement broke off ties with scientology claiming that the CoS ran a campaign to deiscredit and ruin them through lawsuits and incest alligations, as supported by a period LA times article.

  10. methinks I was delted. are links no longer aloud? it was only 1.

  11. I’m new to all of this, but is Scientology much like Landmark Forum?

    Lady Nyo….just asking.

  12. [there was long quote here. Sorry Anon, I plan to keep this blog up and violations of those simple rules (check: FAQ) work against it. - L]

    • hahaha
      But you’re right. We should delete all words that L. Ron Hubbard ever wrote, because they are so embarassing to Scientologists.
      Scientology doesn’t have anything to do with L. Ron Hubbard anymore anyway, it has turned from the cult of L. Ron Hubbard into the cult of David Miscavige.

      • Rules is rules. You broke them and now you try to blame someone else? I remember using that as a child. It didn’t work then and it won’t work now.

        Pat

      • Actually worse. The half page quote included typos and was overall very positive in the sense of that Scientology teaches only liars use bad control and vice versa (out of the Technique 88 Lectures). I can fully stand to this. Anon just didn’t get the point that this place was set up for dialog.

        – L

      • Yes it was positive and i specifically quoted it because it perfectly fits the situation of CoS itself.
        L. Ron Hubbard was talking about organized religions and how they use lies to control people.

  13. You’re already presuming that an apostate’s statements are true.

    Considering the unprecedented expansion of Scientology under his watch, there is no question in my mind who the bad guy is here, and it isn’t DM.

    See Louanne’s link regarding apostates.

    Pat

    • Under Hitler Germany had unprecedented expansion, yet the guy wasn’t exactly a good guy.

      • Germany became a country of killers and it seems like they have not learned yet that tolerance and understanding make up a successful group.

        So, what expansion are you talking about?

        – L

      • Read this again:
        “Considering the unprecedented expansion of Scientology under his watch, there is no question in my mind who the bad guy is here, and it isn’t DM.”

        Then read again what i wrote. Maybe you’ll understand then what i meant.

      • So, you agree that the Church of Scientology is experiencing unprecedented expansion? Wow, finally someone who can look at facts! And f**k your Nazi comparison.

        Read this!

      • *sigh*
        You missed the point.

      • O RLY?

      • Good reference, Louanne!

        Pat

    • I’m not assuming anything – I’m simply curious as to the procedure.

  14. What happened to innocent until proven guilty? Allegations are just that. The accuser has to prove it now. You’re already having DM removed based on an apostate’s statements, which are part of a civil suit. There is just so much reactive mind dramatics that can be stomached from this person, before the justice system sees his true motive.

    Throughout the ages, this kind of behaviour from apostates is common in any religion, even the ones that have been established for centuries.

    See the link to a studies about this from a non-scientologist

    The study on apostates

    http://www.neuereligion.de/ENG/Kliever/

    Pat

  15. Is there a procedure in place for replacing COB?

    Who does DM answer to? If, for example, these recent allegations have merit, who has the power/authority to replace him?

    If DM is replaced – who is next in line to replace him?

    Is there a more formal online forum for questions like this?


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    I am running a website, ScientologyMyths.info which deals with critical questions about Scientology.
    So naturally I am into finding answers to the questions that are constantly being asked all over the internet about Scientology, Scientologists, the Church, L. Ron Hubbard and the Church's leader, David Miscavige. I want to find answers from independent sources, not only Church of Scientology owned sites or anti-Scientology hate sites. So what's left? Court documents, photos and other reliable sources. Help me find stuff and ask whatever you want. Thanks!

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