About Ex-Members

Ok, some people don’t like their religion anymore and leave. That’s ok and I guess it happens daily if not hourly. But some – if you cut through the noise you’ll find it usually is just a handful in each religious group – some seem to have an urge to attack their former friends and claim the most ridiculous or horrible things have been done to them. With some it seems to be completely impossible to have a normal conversation. Others come across as complete fanatics. Here is what I wrote about it some years ago and it still holds true.

So 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
What is Scientology? Book online
Scientology Handbook online

109 Comments

  1. Moving thread to here: https://scientologymyths.wordpress.com/2009/06/30/a-new-round-of-questions-go-ahead/#comments

    Please copy and paste any outstanding questions, thank you.

    – L

  2. # Comment by gilljoer on July 14, 2009 10:39 am
    “No, I don’t think that public criticism are primarily nonsense. I think they are useless and given that those complainants know that too – which they should – it makes their behavior impeachable.”
    I never did reply to this, methinks.
    Criticism, especially public protest, is a very effective tool for raising awareness and visibility on an issue. Note, I’m not arguing the morality of the issue; but it is undeniably effective.”

    So what is the “product” then of “protests” against the Church of Scientology? I have not noted any.

    – L

  3. # Comment by gilljoer on July 13, 2009 7:51 am
    “Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think that the most recent version of the VM handbook claims that you can pull people out of a coma. It’s very verifiable, and would certainly cause controversy if tested in a real-world scenario. Gill”

    Actually the VM Handbook does have a “Unconscious Person Assist” (http://www.scientologyhandbook.org/SH6_9.HTM ). But it is not a mandatory drill anymore in the Volunteer Ministers course to find an unconscious person and revive that person.

    – L

  4. # Comment by FallRoot on July 12, 2009 11:40 pm
    Louanne, I’m very disappointed that you deleted your last comment, when you said “you got that right!” Why did you delete that comment?”

    I did not delete that comment, it’s right there. This thread is way to long already and I am tempted to close it and open a new one (you might have noticed that I closed a bunch today. This is for me to be able to keep track of actual questions).

    On your long list of Hubbard quotes: Sorry, I took those down. In general, none of the Hubbard texts have been canceled and why should they. But if you read them in chronological sequence (which is what part of the Scientology training consists of) you realize that some things he said in the early 50s was modified as research went on and more information got available. So taking a one-sentence-quote from 1954 won’t do any good for the full understanding of the text AND for the viability of that same text in 2009. Give me a question and I will do a little research and try to get you an answer. But don’t bombard me with quotes.

    – L

  5. # Comment by gilljoer on July 10, 2009 11:56 am
    “You are keeping up your misconcepts about how Scientology works which makes me think that your only concern is to promote the “freezone”. That might not be entirely true but I thought I’d voice this concern.”
    Valid concern; I do support freezone, and here’s why.

    Got all that, thanks.

    “Doubt my motives, if you wish- that’s fair. I have been told many times, in person and in chat that “I’m paid by the psychs” or the “german secret service” or “big pharma”- that I’m on some payroll to hurt scientology. All I can do to that is help those folks with their tinfoil hats, because that’s levels of paranoia that I just can’t comprehend. Nope, I care, is all.”

    Yeah, I agree, some people choose the easy way and just assume mysterious money givers behind every attacks. I don’t comprehend that either. It’s simpler than that, usually.

    – L

  6. # Comment by mark tomles on July 10, 2009 11:42 pm
    If I may ask (primarily directed towards Louanne), is HCO PL 15 December 1965R Issue 1 Revised 25.7.87 still in effect? For that matter, are the original HCO PL’s from that period still in effect, or have they been superseded? I’m not sure how that works.
    -Mark”

    I actually went to check last weekend and the answer is: yes to the first question and “most likely yes” to the second (which is not very specific, as you don’t define “that period”).

    – L

  7. “No, I don’t think that public criticism are primarily nonsense. I think they are useless and given that those complainants know that too – which they should – it makes their behavior impeachable.”

    I never did reply to this, methinks.
    Criticism, especially public protest, is a very effective tool for raising awareness and visibility on an issue. Note, I’m not arguing the morality of the issue; but it is undeniably effective.
    As humans, we’re gregarious creatures, by nature. In fact, countless studies have confirmed that the perception and opinions of others naturally color our own, even to a small degree. In fact, the only ones that can not be influenced by others are, in reality, sociopaths, as the only way to avoid such a thing is to care solely about the self, and completely discard the hopes, dreams and beliefs of others. This isn’t to say that one should be completely influenced by others, but normal human sympathy/empathy requires such consideration.
    As such, when we see others protesting an issue, no matter what it is, a normal human will consider why so many people feel so strongly about a particular issue. They will ask if they, themselves, understand the issue. Consider this- if you are to dine at your favorite restaurant, perhaps pizza hut, but outside, there were many people holding signs saying that the kitchen is unclean, they use child labor, and fund the Taliban, would you not consider that you are missing some information? What if you saw the same signs at another pizza hut? and another? Would it not be normal to consider such a thing to be, possibly, true?
    The only real, lasting goal of a protest is to counter a source of information. For example- in this thread, the most common answer (in terms of the number of times that a single answer is repeated) is a variation of “check what the church o’ scientology has to say”. This can be changed to be a book or the website, or a center, but always it refers to that singular point of view. It is reality that the only way to combat such a thing is to maintain a presence at this singular reference point, and to, in reality, force the visitor to be aware that there is more than one perspective. This is also true online- google “scientology” and compare the ratio of pro to con sites.
    I would imagine that anyone here would agree that one’s religious decision can be considered one of the most important decisions in a life, as few decisions will effect one’s life to the same extent, particularly if one believes in an afterlife. if that is true, then it would be a fool who would make such a monumental decision with minimal consideration and thought! Or, with the input of only one perspective. That being said, the protests are a good thing, as they ensure that the believers that do join have done so because they have at least heard more than one perspective, and not because they heard only one source. That man/woman is the only one who can claim an unshakable faith.
    If your message is true, it will win out over opposition. And if you truly want people to join because they BELIEVE, then you must consider that opposition is a necessary catalyst of belief.

  8. Fallroot-

    re: your comments. I have copies of most of these, and can can confirm that they are accurate. I would say that the context of the first is questionable…

    That’s about all that it says, with the addition of claiming that scientology can undo brainwashing faster than psychiatrists- It’s possible (although could not be proven without asking Hubbard) that he meant that it’s possible, not that it’s something they would do. Hard to say, but still an odd thing to mention.

    Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think that the most recent version of the VM handbook claims that you can pull people out of a coma. It’s very verifiable, and would certainly cause controversy if tested in a real-world scenario.

    Gill

  9. Hey, _F, her comments saying that is still up there, a few comments above. Another mistake like that and I WILL find you and completely destroy you.
    no, just kidding, but her comment’s still there.

  10. Louanne, I’m very disappointed that you deleted your last comment, when you said “you got that right!” Why did you delete that comment?

    Anyways, to continue the conversation.

    Would this mean, then, that the following are still considered to be true? (all quotes written by Mr. Hubbard and context provided. But don’t take my word for it- please verify it for yourself in any way you can. Please note that all elements are copywritten, and used in accordance with the “Fair use” clause of US copyright law)

    [unhandy list of quotes deleted. see my other post, 14 July 2009 – L]

    I know that’s a lot to ask- but now that we’ve established that Hubbard’s words are still in effect, I can ask the questions that I have always wanted to ! Thank you :)

    _Fallroot

  11. so it follows that everything that hubbard said is still in place, unless hubbard repealed it?

  12. Mark,
    I believe that everything that Hubbard committed to official policy will be in effect for the lifetime of the ChurSci, unless repealed by Hubbard. I don’t believe that anyone, including the current leadership, can change these things without changing the fundamentals, and I’m sure the ChurSci would stand against that!!!

    Kind of like the pope coming out and saying, “hey, remember those 10 commandments? Here’s a new list. Can you get that in the next printing?”

    : ))

    _FallJoer

    • “I believe that everything that Hubbard committed to official policy will be in effect for the lifetime of the ChurSci, unless repealed by Hubbard. I don’t believe that anyone, including the current leadership, can change these things without changing the fundamentals, and I’m sure the ChurSci would stand against that!!!
      Kind of like the pope coming out and saying, “hey, remember those 10 commandments? Here’s a new list. Can you get that in the next printing?””

      You got that right.

  13. If I may ask (primarily directed towards Louanne), is HCO PL 15 December 1965R Issue 1 Revised 25.7.87 still in effect?
    For that matter, are the original HCO PL’s from that period still in effect, or have they been superseded? I’m not sure how that works.
    -Mark

  14. If I may hop in, Pat, Please define “expected”, as in “Scientologists are expected to and do become fully devoted to Scientology to the exclusion of other faiths”

    Also “exclusion” in the context of “Scientologists are expected to and do become fully devoted to Scientology to the exclusion of other faiths.”

    Similarly, “only” in the sense of “As Scientologists, they are required to look only to
    Scientology Scriptures for the answers to the fundamental questions of
    their existence and to seek enlightenment only from Scientology.”

    Definitions aside, please also reference the Tommy Davis interview, in which he had said “The fundamental belief in
    Scientology is that is man, or the individual, is an immortal
    spiritual being. Like, you are immortal spiritual being, you don’t,
    you don’t have a soul, you don’t have a spirit, you are an immortal
    spiritual being. You’re not your your body. So you lived before and
    you’ll live again. And its a religious belief that’s, um, that really
    goes back to the, the, the oldest and most ancient religious beliefs
    of, of our civilization, going back to India and Asia and the origins
    of much of modern religion in that uh, that belief in past lives, that
    belief that one has lived before and one will live again through the
    endless track of time.”

    This is, unarguably, not compatible with the Judeo-Christian religions.

    In which way, other than what the CoS website says, is the CoS compatible with other religions?

    Please note: I am intentionally leaving out the OT documents that the CoS has enforced their copyright ownership to, but is slightly more telling. Out of respect, I will not discuss those items in a public forum, but please do recall that there are other references.

  15. @ Comment by gilljoer on July 9, 2009 2:40 pm

    I provided the link, L.
    On the CoS website, at these links (-http://www.bonafidescientology.org/Append/02/page59.htm
    – also, page 141 http://theology.scientology.org/eng/pdf/scientology-10-analysis.pdf)
    are those statements. Those aren’t my statements. It’s not my analysis. It’s literally black and white on the CoS website.
    So on one hand, the very public portion of the site says “Scientology is compatible with nearly any other religion.”. but another portion of the same site says “Scientologists regard their faith as a complete religion demanding dedication of its members”.

    My question is, which one is true?

    Both. It is compatible with nearly any other religion and we regard this as a complete religion demanding dedication. Just because we feel it’s complete doesn’t mean it’s not compatible. Is there a word there you may be mis-defining?

    Pat

  16. “You are keeping up your misconcepts about how Scientology works which makes me think that your only concern is to promote the “freezone”. That might not be entirely true but I thought I’d voice this concern.”

    Valid concern; I do support freezone, and here’s why.

    I believe that scientologists have a right to their beliefs. I believe that everyone has a freedom to choose their own religion(s) and to freely practice those beliefs, as long as doing so causes no harm to others.
    I, and those that I know well enough to discuss such matters, are not against “scientology” and certainly don’t perceive this as a religious issue.
    the issues that have been discussed here, including doctrine, commissioned studies, protection of files, expectations of religious exclusivity, are all restricted to within the CoS structure.

    I’m not saying that the CoS needs to be destroyed, dismantled or harmed. Please do not think that I, in any, advocate this.

    have their been reports of abuses within freezone? absolutely. should that be tolerated? In no way.

    So short answer after a long explanation, I support Freezone. I support Scientology. I support a healthy Church of Scientology- but certain things need to change. It’s not a criticism against you, as a member, and it’s not a criticism against the “Sea Org” or any other component. There’s just certain issues that members, such as yourself, deserve to have addressed and remediated, and I’m one of the many that care enough to get involved.

    So yes, I will fight to the death to support Freezone, and Scientology- it’s your right. And I will also fight to the death to protect the members, current and former.

    Doubt my motives, if you wish- that’s fair. I have been told many times, in person and in chat that “I’m paid by the psychs” or the “german secret service” or “big pharma”- that I’m on some payroll to hurt scientology. All I can do to that is help those folks with their tinfoil hats, because that’s levels of paranoia that I just can’t comprehend. Nope, I care, is all.

  17. I provided the link, L.
    On the CoS website, at these links (-http://www.bonafidescientology.org/Append/02/page59.htm
    – also, page 141 http://theology.scientology.org/eng/pdf/scientology-10-analysis.pdf)
    are those statements. Those aren’t my statements. It’s not my analysis. It’s literally black and white on the CoS website.
    So on one hand, the very public portion of the site says “Scientology is compatible with nearly any other religion.”. but another portion of the same site says “Scientologists regard their faith as a complete religion demanding dedication of its members”.
    My question is, which one is true?

  18. Gill,

    “Their charter, at least their expressed beliefs and expectations, is on their website and a matter of public record.”

    Link?

    You are keeping up your misconcepts about how Scientology works which makes me think that your only concern is to promote the “freezone”. That might not be entirely true but I thought I’d voice this concern.

    “So the people that do so are doing so in contrary to the stated beliefs of the church. I’m not trying to press you, but which one is going to win? The way things the CoS says things are, or the way things are done?”

    There is no game here. Church doctrine says: “No one is asked to accept anything as belief or on faith. That which is true for you is what you have observed to be true. Each individual discovers truth for himself through observation, self-awareness, and experience. This is why Scientology is compatible with nearly any other religion.”. Wilson says essentially the same but makes the observation that “as one becomes more involved with Scientology, one inevitably discards one’s prior faith”. I am sure there are people doing so, just as there are others not doing it. It’s not black and white. The lived reality is different and you don’t have to take my word for it. Just talk to some Scientologists. Or Ted.

    – L

  19. Their charter, at least their expressed beliefs and expectations, is on their website and a matter of public record.

    So the people that do so are doing so in contrary to the stated beliefs of the church. I’m not trying to press you, but which one is going to win? The way things the CoS says things are, or the way things are done?

    Furthermore, if this exception or variation occurs, this opens the possibility that other exceptions and variations occur.

    “that while exclusivity is not required, it comes about as a matter of practice” is less telling than “Scientologists are expected to and do become fully devoted to Scientology to the exclusion of other faiths”

    In other words, you cannot “be” a scientologist and keep your faith. And if you’re only applying the tools, as you had mentioned, then that’s essentially freezone.

  20. #Comment by gilljoer on July 9, 2009 10:43 am

    “So it is certainly true, according to the CoS Website, at least. As such, Ted is violating their charter by looking elsewhere than Scientology for his fundamental questions.”

    I wouldn’t know their charter, would you? But I do know about a dozen or so people that do apply tools that Scientology provides in their daily life, without becoming devout Scientologists. Actually one of my best friends considers herself a Christian but has done a lot of Scientology study and application. For me Ted seems to be one of those.

    I however can’t argue “that while exclusivity is not required, it comes about as a matter of practice”, if you choose so.

    – L

  21. bah, you made me go looking :)

    “I have spoken with senior Church officials as well as individual Scientologists on this aspect of Scientology and their response was that while exclusivity is not required, it comes about as a matter of practice. According to them, as one becomes more involved with Scientology, one inevitably discards one’s prior faith. For example, my experience is that a Jew who becomes a Scientologist might remain affiliated with Judaism for cultural reasons and might celebrate Jewish holidays with family and friends, but he or she would not practise and would not believe in Jewish theology. From my view as a scholar this explanation seems correct. Scientologists regard their faith as a complete religion demanding dedication of its members”
    -http://www.bonafidescientology.org/Append/02/page59.htm
    – also, page 141 http://theology.scientology.org/eng/pdf/scientology-10-analysis.pdf

    This is echoed in the “Response to Final Series of IRS Questions Prior to Recognition of Exemption of CST Under Section 501(c)(3) As a Church on October 1,
    1993.” (obtained via FOIA)
    “Footnote 6: Although there is no policy or Scriptural mandate expressly
    requiring Scientologists to renounce other religious beliefs or
    membership in other churches, as a practical matter Scientologists are
    expected to and do become fully devoted to Scientology to the exclusion
    of other faiths. As Scientologists, they are required to look only to
    Scientology Scriptures for the answers to the fundamental questions of
    their existence and to seek enlightenment only from Scientology.”

    So it is certainly true, according to the CoS Website, at least. As such, Ted is violating their charter by looking elsewhere than Scientology for his fundamental questions.

  22. Now, L, I don’t know if you know it, but you’ve taken a few items away from their context, and managed to avoid my entire point in favor of a few small points :)

    So, before engaging in a tangent, I would like to remind you that my entire point, and many before it, are unanswered. I say that as a fact, but with respect.

    You say that complaints are useless, but also acknowledge that they are very effective, but “bad”. Are public complaints an effective tool for change, or useless? And, as you said before, to paraphrase, “if it’s true for you it’s true for you”- wouldn’t that mean that your perceived truth that criticisms are useless is of equal value to those that feel that it is effective and positive?

    Now, we can agree that Calvin was an ex-member that had a justifiable reason for splitting, and that choosing to effect reform to a Church that he loved was more affective than merely leaving quietly when reform from within was not effective.

    Now, I’m not sure which religious wars you’re pinning on Luther. The Crusades were almost 500 years before he was born, and the inquisition was about 100 years earlier. Bear in mind that most major religious have formed denominations, with Christianity alone dating back to (if memory serves) 500 AD. The problems are not with denomination, that’s a matter of beliefs and preference, but with the aspirations of the individuals involved. You surely cannot blame Luther for that.

    We must note the parallels- both of the periods of reformation were in response to alleged corruption, greed and power-hunger, and both were opposed by those that directly benefited from each. What’s more, both had been cited as contributing to the rise of capitalism, individualism, and representative democracy in the West.

    So Church reform does indeed work, and is a necessity. No religion, to include Scientology, has avoided the branching of denominations- it’s natural and beneficial.

    ps- I am rather impressed that you kept this (mostly) as a metaphor for current affairs, and didn’t go the dirty route by talking about Luther and alleged anti-semitism.

  23. #Comment by gilljoer on July 8, 2009 7:21 am

    “L, I can’t find it, but I thought that I had read the quote from Dr Wilson somewhere on the Scientology website before, saying that when joining Scientology, one “inevitably discards one’s prior faith”. Is this still on the site, and if so, does the Church agree with it?”

    The site I am controlling is ScientologyMyths.info and the only Wilson link I have on there is this one about apostates: http://www.scientologymyths.info/apostates/docs/bryan-wilson-apostate-study.pdf
    (worth reading, it’s only 4 pages).

    I can’t imagine that there is a statement of Wilson (Bryan R. Wilson, right?) stating that one would have to give up one’s prior faith when joining Scientology. Because it would not be true (here is an example: http://www.scientology.org/videos/meet-a-scientologist-ted-f.html ).

    – L

  24. #Comment by gilljoer on July 7, 2009 4:12 pm

    “You agree that there are “problems” within the church, but had also said that it’s your preference that such things are handled quietly,and appear to insinuate that any public criticisms are primarily “nonsense” or “exaggerations, vague statements or outright lies”

    No, I don’t think that public criticism are primarily nonsense. I think they are useless and given that those complainants know that too – which they should – it makes their behavior impeachable.

    Calvin was quite an extremist but for the sake of argument I agree with you that he was an ex-member who set up his own little operation. Calvin changed the belief system of the Catholic Church, set up new doctrines and called it a reform.

    Luther was less extremist but what joins him with Calvin is that they both did not manage to sort out their differences (by using the wrong tool, “public protest” and provocation instead of Canon Law). As a result we now have several brands of Christianity and look back to 500 years of religion-motivated wars with many million good people killed in the name of reform. Meanwhile the Catholic Church did not change.

    Thanks for this great historical example how church reform does NOT work.

    – L

  25. L,
    I can’t find it, but I thought that I had read the quote from Dr Wilson somewhere on the Scientology website before, saying that when joining Scientology, one “inevitably discards one’s prior faith”.
    Is this still on the site, and if so, does the Church agree with it?
    Thanks, hope you’re well,
    Gill

  26. She seemed upset, of course, but may have had legitimate reasons. Clearly she was very passionate, although I would agree that the comments were not exactly conducive to conversation.
    But, the point is that she represents the “X Factor”.
    You agree that there are “problems” within the church, but had also said that it’s your preference that such things are handled quietly,and appear to insinuate that any public criticisms are primarily “nonsense” or “exaggerations, vague statements or outright lies”.
    Also, you had stated that they are “things that I know from personal experience and observation are not true”.
    Recall that if it’s true for you, it’s true for you (to paraphrase), which would mean that their ” personal experience(s) and observation(s)” may be different than yours, and you would not be able to validate them if so.
    As Mark mentioned before, the work of Kliever and Wilson has been called into question, at least, and would seem to invalidate their blanket conclusions regarding “all” ex-members. Likewise, you or I cannot judge the intentions of “all” ex-members.
    I would maintain, that it is the responsibility of the ex-member, if they are aware of injustices (should they exist), to bring them to very public attention! Else they leave it in the hands of the very administration that has committed them!
    In other words, while some would prefer that some matters are handled internally, some would believe that they cannot trust the administration, and must enlist the help of a harsh public eye.
    If one alleges corruption within government, do they address it with that office? No. And the law encourages and protects whistleblowers. Because the US government knows that corruption cannot, and shall not, be addressed internally. It does not work. It can not work.
    Recall Martin Luther. As a Catholic Priest, he left the Church and very publicly protested against their wrongs. He, like scientologists that leave the church, did not feel that he could count on the leadership to address it internally, and created a change that the world had not seen before that time.
    Today, he is considered by most to be a hero. With successes and heroes like that, why should ex-scientologists not do the same, and bring reformation with the might of the public?
    Recall John Calvin. He offered reform to the Church. They rejected his reformation, and expelled him from the Church. He was an ex-member. Publicly exposing their wrongs, the Church was reformed and reborn, and he was brought in as a priest.
    Because the public knew.
    This is history again, L, and the public is mobilized. Not to destroy, but to reform. Not to end, but to rebirth. Not to kill- to give life.

  27. #Comment by Gilljoer on July 6, 2009 9:11 pm
    “Regarding the rest- you know very well that you deleted some threads by a Dixie Normous, L, and the responses were to her.”

    Yes, I did delete some “statements” (as if there weren’t enough places online for this type of “pity me, I am victim” stuff). But I missed that you were responding to her/him. Sorry about that.

    – L

  28. # Comment by mark tomles on July 6, 2009 9:30 pm
    re: Comment by Louanne on July 6, 2009 11:35 am
    To put things in perspective, you seem to feel that the criticisms are “noise” and generally invalid. To find common ground and a starting point, do you believe that any of the vocal ex-members are telling the truth AND have a valid point? Mark

    No, I don’t think that criticism is generally invalid. I think that mistakes are being made in the Church of Scientology and have witnessed some myself. Some of them took a while to correct but there was never an unwillingness to do so. “Vocal ex-members” are not interested in correcting mistakes though they might claim that they are. I am reading what they have to say. It is amazing how much nonsense they are able to sell to the unsuspecting public. If there are any valid points in what they say it is usually drowned in exaggerations, vague statements or outright lies, i.e. things that I know from personal experience and observation are not true. I think that these “blown up” stories do more in preventing change and communication than anything the Church might do or not do.

    – L

  29. Much appreciated, Pat!
    I truly hope there are no hard feelings. I feel that it would be more efficient to discuss certain issues in a peer-based format, rather than each of us having to read a book every time we would like to discuss a new issue :) It’s simply more conducive to the exchange of ideas.
    Mark

  30. Very well. Good luck with that

    Pat

  31. Pat:
    With all respect, the scope of this website, per the description is as follows:

    “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 and L. Ron Hubbard. 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!”

    It seems reasonable, that one should be free to ask very direct questions. Unless, of course, the intent is to convince people to read the literature of your choosing. Personally, it feels controlling to refuse to discuss a subject unless I follow your direction.

    Please do be aware that the (perhaps unfair) stereotype is that Scientologists will not answer questions directly, but will direct the “questers” (remember that phrase, Louanne? good times) to the scientology site or literature. I’m quite sure you do not fit that stereotype, but comments such as yours will only serve to enforce it in certain individuals.

    So, I thank you, with much respect, and will direct my questions towards Louanne.

    V/R
    Mark

  32. Pat,
    this confirms my question, and I appreciate it.
    You don’t have an answer, noted and appreciated. Saying “look it up” is learning tech, and I understand that is your focus, but it is not mine. I prefer discourse and conversation.
    Parallel: “Dad, why is the sky blue?”
    “Read this Science book, dear, then we can talk about the sky”

    Do you see the flaw in that exchange?

  33. To answer Mark’s last question:

    Your reference is the book “Introduction to Scientology Ethics”.

    Find out for yourself. All the data is there on the Scientology Ethics point of view. You won’t understand that viewpoint (I didn’t say agree with, but understand) until you read it.

    Hopefully you’ll have some personal integrity and will look for yourself instead of ignoring any answers that don’t agree with your assumptions. The book is the source of the knowledge that leads to the view that ‘criticisms are “noise” and generally invalid’.

    Once you’ve got the data, if you still have an actual question and not trying push the ‘same ole’ then we can talk.

    Pat

  34. “Gill, somehow I tend to mix you up with “Mark Tomles”. Are you close or something? ”

    Are you saying I’m long-winded???? (lol, just kidding Gill, all in good fun)

  35. re: Comment by Louanne on July 6, 2009 11:35 am

    To put things in perspective, you seem to feel that the criticisms are “noise” and generally invalid.

    To find common ground and a starting point, do you believe that any of the vocal ex-members are telling the truth AND have a valid point?

    Mark

  36. “Gill, somehow I tend to mix you up with “Mark Tomles”. Are you close or something? ”
    Not close, although I have met him before. We run in the same circles online.

    Regarding the rest- you know very well that you deleted some threads by a Dixie Normous, L, and the responses were to her. It’s not fair when you control the content, then respond as if it didn’t happen.
    She (?) had left the church, and the questions were for her.
    Other than that, good questions
    Gill

  37. # Comment by gilljoer on July 6, 2009 3:23 pm

    Gill, somehow I tend to mix you up with “Mark Tomles”. Are you close or something?

    “Keeping it related to this thread, do you feel that the findings of Prof Kliever and Dr Wilson apply to your situation?”

    I don’t really know what situation you are talking about. Scientology has its apostates, yes, and those who fanatically attack the Church instead of sorting things out are – well – fanatically attacking the Church instead of sorting things out.

    ” Do their findings accurately account for your current feelings regarding scientology?”

    Calling bullshit here. Explain.

    “Also, do you feel the same way about “scientology” as you do the “church of scientology”?”

    Scientology would not exist without the Church of Scientology.

    – L

  38. Keeping it related to this thread, do you feel that the findings of Prof Kliever and Dr Wilson apply to your situation? Do their findings accurately account for your current feelings regarding scientology? Also, do you feel the same way about “scientology” as you do the “church of scientology”?
    Thank you for the interesting view into your perception.
    Gill

  39. As a supplement to the above, Scientologists are told “Then too, behind much opposition to Scientology one will invariably find the covert work of such anti-religious hate groups as the Cult Awareness Network (CAN), feeding off a false hysteria they themselves create. ” (http://faq.scientology.org/oppose.htm)

    Also, “Although the forty-year assault against Scientology assumed large proportions, the source must be remembered-that small but influential circle of psychiatrists and their government stooges. Nor did the means change over the years: false allegations selectively planted in the media, then seeded into even more federal files as background “fact.” ” (http://opposing.scientology.org/31-behnd.htm)

    “So it goes. Key psychiatric figures, their US government allies and psychiatric colleagues overseas-together they have spent untold millions of dollars around the world to stop Scientology. ” (http://opposing.scientology.org/31-behnd.htm)

    These are but a few examples, but would it not follow that this would, unless demonstratively true, cause unwarranted doubt of all criticism, and serve to convince followers (based on the same site that critics are referred to, and surely members consider to be true) that critics of the Church have a hidden agenda set forth by the “US government”, “psychiatric colleagues”, “anti-religious hate groups” and “government stooges”. This seems a bit like “poisoning the well” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poisoning_the_well) while simultaneously telling people to “decide for themselves”.

  40. To repeat, you said that I “consider the protests as a means to discourage existing members to continue their religion and to discourage others to make up their own mind about Scientology”

    no. that is not the same as what you’re referring to above. In fact, I would say that protests do force people to confront their own beliefs and consider what they really believe. I believe that it’s a benefit to really, truly examine what one believes, and it seems that most members are discouraged from doing so. And this applies to any organized religion.

    Now, I know that you’ll tell me that members are encouraged to examine their beliefs- I would expect that answer and would surely give that answer, in your position. But really truly ask yourself- if an average members, perhaps on staff, really started asking these such probing questions, how would it be received. Please, as I mentioned- we don’t need to discuss this point, as we both know that there is no choice, in this public forum, but to give one singular answer, but at least consider in those quiet moments.

    Now, back to my original point. I believe that it’s important for a member of any religious faith to examine their belief and decide for themselves what and why they believe it. If they are truly “married” to their religious convictions, their minds would not be changed, and they could consider all evidence before them. It is my understanding, however (based on members, both past and current), that there is a common belief that deliberate misinformation is planted by opponents of the Church, and that the only true information is released from the Church. Consider, for instance, this own forum, in which some posters will say only “see for yourself, check out a book or the website”. You would surely agree that this is not unbiased information. And because external sources are rarely, if ever, referenced, it creates a sensation that one should not trust “outsiders”. Add to that the “studies” referenced in this thread. Assuming that members are told the same, they would be told “don’t listen to outside sources” and “don’t listen to former members”. In other words, make up your own mind using the information that we provide.

    Regarding the numbers. Internal Church numbers reflect growth. This is true. Official religious census data all over the world indicate a drop in membership. This can only mean one of two things: the Church numbers are not accurate (perhaps tied to book sales or course attendance, rather than adherents that claim to be such) or members are, for some reason, not admitting their Church affiliation.

    So, please do understand, I (like most critics) support Scientology! I think it’s wonderful that people find a belief system that works for them, whether I believe it or not. This is NOT a religious issue! It is not a criticism of the religion! It is debate over the Church, and that is all that it is. Please don’t miss that point- I have no issues with Scientology- just questions about the Church itself.

    Thanks again, L!
    Gill

  41. No my dear, you are making assumptions about what I’m saying, and loaded ones at that. I never did say that I “consider the protests as a means to discourage existing members to continue their religion and to discourage others to make up their own mind about Scientology”- you said that.

    “official statistics and personal observation over the last couple of years. I do know a growing number of Scientology members and plenty of them joined in the past year. And I know that other members like me make the same observation in other countries.”
    Sadly this is all subjective and cannot be independantly verified- even the official statistics. Why, I could say that I know a number of former members that are leaving, and know many people that feel the same way, and that would have the same weight. I was asking about concrete, objective, verifiable stats.

    “No, but I can see that they have a personal advantage, either by selling stuff, or by feeling important. The Anon guys I saw last weekend really enjoyed being assholes. Another reason why these “protests” won’t change anything. They attracts too many jerks.”
    Opinion, of course, but I have seen jerks in any group. I’ve met some jerk scientologists, and some jerk anons. That’s a matter of the individual, and certainly should not be used against the whole group! If that were true, some poor-acting scientologists could be used as proof against the whole religion, yes?

    thanks for the chat.
    Gill

    • Gill,

      “Anywho, how do you figure that protest methods won’t work? It would certainly seem to me, given official non-Church estimates, that the number of CoS members are shrinking, while evidence indicates that freezone and independent practitioners are growing.”

      is what you said. Reads to me like a measure of the workability for the “protest methods” in your understanding is “the number of CoS members are shrinking”. (Which they are not but that is not the point here)

      – L

  42. #Comment by gilljoer on July 6, 2009 11:47 am

    Drugs don’t compare to beliefs, philosophies etc. One is material, the other one is not. To build an opinion it is very advisable to go see the subject (like: visit a church building), study the theory of the subject (like: reading some books) and finding out about the practice of the subject (as in: talking to real people).

    – L

  43. Gill,

    you might want to repeat the question then ( I must have missed it).

    “Anywho, how do you figure that protest methods won’t work? It would certainly seem to me, given official non-Church estimates, that the number of CoS members are shrinking, while evidence indicates that freezone and independent practitioners are growing. That certainly seems to be having a very real effect.”

    Obviously you consider the protests as a means to discourage existing members to continue their religion and to discourage others to make up their own mind about Scientology (by frightening them enough so that they would not dare to enter a Church building). At least you are honest about it. Anons usually say they “just want reforms” (knowing that this is not a workable way to reform anything).

    How do I know that the Church is growing? Official statistics and personal observation over the last couple of years. I do know a growing number of Scientology members and plenty of them joined in the past year. And I know that other members like me make the same observation in other countries.

    “Do you believe that anyone, or any group, is getting paid to protest Scientology?”

    No, but I can see that they have a personal advantage, either by selling stuff, or by feeling important. The Anon guys I saw last weekend really enjoyed being assholes. Another reason why these “protests” won’t change anything. They attract too many jerks.

    – L

  44. L

    “Group A tends to be “criticized” by Group B to be “too close” to the subject their study. ”

    Scientology sponsors and directs the activities of Narconon, and Hubbard wrote extensively about the effects of drugs.

    By this logic, he should have been required to use these drugs in order to write about them?

    Parallel: one needs to get close to and experience Scientology to have an opinion about it.
    Therefor, if that standard holds true, one must experience drug use in order to have an opinion?

    I know drugs are bad for me, but have never tried them. What must I do, by this belief system, to be able to warn others of the dangers of drugs?

    Gill

  45. L

    I don’t think you actually directly answered any of Mark’s specific questions! :)

    Anywho, how do you figure that protest methods won’t work? It would certainly seem to me, given official non-Church estimates, that the number of CoS members are shrinking, while evidence indicates that freezone and independent practitioners are growing. That certainly seems to be having a very real effect.

    “The only intent I can see in this one is destruction. They want to destroy their former group, that’s all.” I see no rational or any sort of evidence (even anecdotal) for this claim. All that I see is a paper written at the request of the Church that has been discredited by academic peers. I have not seen any objective evidence to support your position.

    Please don’t consider this an attack, but it is an enjoyable debate.

    Also, you say “And it ensures that they have a job until they die.” Do you believe that anyone, or any group, is getting paid to protest Scientology?

    Thanks,
    Gill

  46. #Comment by gilljoer on July 6, 2009 11:34 am
    I’m very interested in the reply to this. I have seen a few experts promote scientology…”

    Gill,

    the catch22 is this: experts/scholars that actually studied Scientology, visited the church and got their questions answered tend to report positively about the Church of Scientology. Experts/scholars that chose to ignore the Church, sit in their Ivory Tower tend to parrot common allegations against the Church of Scientology without even trying to challenge them.

    Group A tends to be “criticized” by Group B to be “too close” to the subject their study.

    I guess the solution for us as bystanders to this discussion is to make up our own mind.

    – L

  47. Mark,

    the Church, it’s organization and members, are not perfect and certainly there are points that can and should be criticized. And they are. Scientology does have a workable system to correct injustices and other mistakes.

    Opposed to this are “apostates”, individuals who have some kind of disappointment and failed to do something effective about it. This minority choses to publicly attack their former friends and colleagues. The only intent I can see in this one is destruction. They want to destroy their former group, that’s all. This might sound strange to you, but they know the system of Scientology and thus they know that their public attack will not change anything. It’s considered noise, and any valid message – if it exists – is drowned is fanatic war howls. Scientology is not a company, government or democratic institution, but a belief system and religious organization. And as such “political protest” methods won’t work. I am going as far as to say that those “protesters” are very much aware of the fact that their actions won’t change anything, because it gives them the opportunity to continue their destructive trips. And it ensures that they have a job until they die.

    Do you understand how pointless this is?

    – L

  48. I’m very interested in the reply to this. I have seen a few experts promote scientology, but it’s really only the ones discussed here. I suppose the question is, do they have credibility, especially when their own peers note that they themselves are not impartial?
    It seems like the very people that defend the Church are either members of it or certainly partial. It’s odd that both of the experts listed wrote at the request of the Church.
    Looking forward to a reply, I believe it will be very revealing.
    Gill

  49. Pat, I can see that you are uncomfortable discussing my other questions. Perhaps I could redirect those questions to Lou, with whom I have had many discussions. I would hope to direct this talking point to you, as it is perhaps more within of field of which you are interested.
    Essentially, the above concept creates a seemingly intentional catch 22 for opponents of Scientology.
    The CoS party line is that if you are critical of Scientology, it is because you don’t have enough information and need to visit a center. Essentially, the implication is that the only critics of Scientology are those that are ignorant.
    Then, in addition, the CoS asked Prof. Kliever (rest in piece) to write the article, referenced in this thread, using such dramatic phrases as “always” and “every”, which itself is used to make the claim that individuals that have “been” Scientologists are not qualified to criticise the group.
    In other words, the church of scientology makes the claim that there is -no- one that is qualified to criticise the church!
    As an aside- note that the criticism is of church leadership and operation- not the beliefs (generally). Consider, for example, the freezone.
    Now, regarding the article itself. Largely due to the verbiage, there have been questions as the the neutrality of the report. For example, M. James Penton, Ph. D., professor emeritus of history at the University of Lethbridge wrote about this paper in 2004:

    “It should be noted that apostates – individuals who have broken from a great variety of religions – come from many ethnic and social backgrounds, different educational levels, and both sexes. So to lump them together and assert that all lack objectivity and honesty, and that what they say is uniformly doubtful, begs credulity, and common sense. Especially is this so since not one of the three academics just has produced any solid ‘scientific data’ to back up such sweeping claims about apostates. Furthernore, it must be asked: Can anyone trust the testimony of men who have given themselves so wholeheartedly and unreservedly to the defence of so-called new religions as have Kliever, Melton, and Wilson? Are their assertions that apostates are necessarily biased perhaps not a case of big pots calling little kettles black?”

    Indeed, Prof kliever was well meaning, but his research was slightly incomplete.
    Dr. Wilson is also an interesting case. While he did make this general statement in his love letter (which incidentally, only referenced CoS sources, and ended up creating the same catch 22 as above) he also spoke critically of the church. Such as:

    “I have spoken with senior Church officials as well as individual Scientologists on the this aspect of Scientology and their response was that while exclusivity is not required, it comes about as a matter of practice. According to them, as one becomes more involved with Scientology, one inevitably discards one’s prior faith. For example, my experience is that a Jew who becomes a Scientologist might remain affiliated with Judaism for cultural reasons and might celebrate Jewish holidays with family and friends, but he or she would not practise and would not believe in Jewish theology. From my view as a scholar this explanation seems correct. Scientologists regard their faith as a complete religion demanding dedication of its members.”

    As he is considered and listed as a reference for the church, this must call into question the church statements that one may practice both religions at the same time.
    Given my comments, under which circumstances do you feel that one is able to justifiably criticize church operations?
    (sorry so long, I guess I’m long winded, lol!)

  50. Hey, Anon!
    I believe I had asked a follow up question to this one as well that had not yet been answered. I’m sure it will be answered in good time, however, by Pat or Lou.
    In the mean time, I believe it’s important to, and will continue to, discuss these matters in a respectful and civil manner, and I’m sure that these issues will be addressed fully.
    To save time, I believe that my question was about protection for non-auditing files. Are any other files considered confidential, especially those with personal information attached? What about personality tests, which are not analyzed by a priest, as is my understanting, but a staff member- are those files confidential?
    Thank you for considering my questions!
    Mark

  51. “Ethics files are not secret files. Whoever is feeding you that is deliberately trying to create conflict. That’s the bottom line on this rhetoric of yours. Auditing IS confidential. A person’s own written confessions are actionable. ”

    OK, thanks for clearing that up. Ethics files are not secret files. Good to know!

  52. side point-
    what I am asking is within the context of the thread. The thread is about apostates in general, and ties it to Scientology. The sourced article was written at the request of the church, and discusses scientology, as well as Christianity and other religions.
    I am asking only questions within the context of both the post AND the original opinion piece.
    Also, I am not asking you to judge another religion, but asking about parallels.
    Thank you for what I anticipate to be an interesting and fruitful exchange,
    Mark

  53. Pat,
    If you are not able to answer that, I will happily rephrase.
    Do you feel that -any- member that has left Scientology has a justifiable reason for doing so AND a justifiable reason for speaking out against the church, or does this opinion (referring to the original author of the postition) apply to all former memebrs?
    I’m not making a statement, but asking a question, and it remains unanswered. If you cannot answer it, please just let me know and I will stop asking.
    msrk

  54. No, Mark, I only see that you keep trying to get me to judge another’s religion. Not gonna do that. That’s not the purpose of this forum, nor are your questions appropriate to this forum. You’re trying to make a statement and that’s in violation of the rules here.

    Pat

  55. Thanks, CS, but I think that Pat is close to be able to answer this one.
    Pat- do you hold other religions to the same standard to which you hold Scientology?
    Mark

  56. oh, I see my other questions were not posted. censored? oh, well, I have to agree with Mark on this one…

  57. Pat,
    you are evading. You know where my question is leading, and that’s why you can’t answer any of my questions.
    Very simple question, and if you would like, I will frame it within the confines you have imposed.
    Does this concept, above ONLY apply to scientology?

  58. This forum is not about other religions. That’s why it’s not getting answered. If you want to question the morals of Catholics, this isn’t the place for it. This forum is about answering questions about Scientology, which you’re not asking.

    Pat

  59. context:
    This forum addressed a general concept, in a way that would bolster the claims against ex-members. My question is would you apply this same general concept (which, itself does not address Scientology) to another Religious groups and legal/ethical charges?
    Mark

  60. @Pat-
    this avoids and does not answer my question. Are you unable to answer my question?
    I know the difference between Scientology and Catholicism- I am asking a very simple question that you have not yet addressed, other than tell me to buy/check out books.
    What is the point of this forum?
    Mark

  61. Maybe your only frame of reference is the Catholic church, but we aren’t Catholics. We are Scientology. There are 18 books in every library called the basic texts. These are for the most part now in 50 languages. All over the world. Read at least the book “Introduction to Scientology Ethics” to understand our code of ethics. Scientology is not Catholicism so quit trying to run that as a comparison. You want to understand? Read the books.

    Pat

  62. Since I’m about ready to hit the hay, perhaps a thought to chew on that we can talk about later.
    According to the Cos website (www.oca.scientology.org/perstest.pdf) personality test results are said to be confidential, and only revealed when one has to visit in person to discuss them.
    However, it’s my understanding that the test evaluators (and, of course, test proctors) are not ministers. Is this information considered confidential? If so, why are ethics files not?
    You see, in my real world job, I find myself very concerned with document protection, so I am very curious about CoS policies which are related.
    Have a good night,
    Mark

  63. addition to last,
    for the sake of argument (and given the Pope’s acknowledgement of the abuses), let us please assume that the sexual abuse alligations were legitimate, and most-to-all that left were actually affected.

  64. @Comment by Louanne on July 4, 2009 11:53 pm

    Given your comment, would you say that the facts and opnions that you presented in the article do not necessarily apply to all Scientologists that have left the church?

    My question was, if one left the Catholic Church because they were affected by sexual abuse, would you say that their public criticism is justified?

  65. @Pat-
    I’m not singling you out, but asking a legitimate question.
    That question was how, if at all, shall ethics files be protected? This is assuming that it contains personally identifiable information, or PII, which is addressed in the US Privacy act, which would not apply as a regulation, but most large organizations have similar internal regs.
    In other words, when a member provides personal information, which even includes name, how is this information protected by rule and regulation?
    I realize it may be a difficult question, but I’m sure that it is one that many people are asking at this time.
    Mark

  66. # Comment by mark tomles on July 4, 2009 11:45 pm
    A sincere question:
    Following the logic set forth in this article, would the authors feel that those that leftthe Catholic Church after the alleged (and the proven) sexual abuses have “claim(ed) the most ridiculous or horrible things have been done to them”? In this specific example, is their leaving and criticism justified?

    Leaving a religious community – in my understanding – is always a personal decision that cannot be measured by objective arguments. Personally I think to leave a group because of individual disagreements is the wrong way. But what do you mean with “this specific example”? The ex-Scientologists or the hypothetical sexual abuse victims of the Catholic Church (and I have no doubts in my mind that such cases do exist because I have followed the related litigation).

    – L

  67. Ethics files are not nor have they ever been confessionals. O/W write ups are not confessionals. A confessional is auditing with an auditor where the session is started with “This is the session”. Harmful acts disclosed during those auditing sessions are not actionable. You have to understand that whatever you’re getting to the contrary is deliberately trying to push your buttons and make the Church look bad. Even in the Catholic Church, priests can be disciplined for actions contrary to the tenets if disclosed outside of the confessional. Why are we singled out for doing the same?

    Pat

  68. # Comment by mark tomles on July 4, 2009 11:42 pm
    Hi, Lou! Been here before, jsut been a while.
    The man that filmed wasn’t my question- I was talking about the fact that he and at least one other, was allowed unrestricted (and seemingly unsecured) access to files that would require “trust’ (so seemingly sensitive in some way).
    How are such files normally protected?”

    Depends. There are different types of PC folders what require higher security than others but as a minimum standard they are stored in locked rooms and only bonded staff can access it, and also only those whose job it is to either transport them or work with them (that would be the auditor). I am sure this guy is currently facing a $30,000 bill for breach of trust.

    – L

  69. A sincere question:
    Following the logic set forth in this article, would the authors feel that those that leftthe Catholic Church after the alleged (and the proven) sexual abuses have “claim(ed) the most ridiculous or horrible things have been done to them”? In this specific example, is their leaving and criticism justified?

  70. Hi, Lou! Been here before, jsut been a while.
    The man that filmed wasn’t my question- I was talking about the fact that he and at least one other, was allowed unrestricted (and seemingly unsecured) access to files that would require “trust’ (so seemingly sensitive in some way).
    How are such files normally protected?

  71. @ Comment by rob on July 4, 2009 9:52 pm

    Hi,

    If a person decides they no longer wish to pursue Scientology and wants his or her confessional files destroyed, why won’t the church do that? Having one’s private confessions in the hands of a group one no longer feels should have them can be really troubling to their psyche. Can you see my point of view?

    Thank You

    Read the Ethics book. See my earlier post

    Pat

  72. Mark,

    Hi! I see you found my blog. On your discussion above: you seem to mix up PC folders and others. But I agree, that kid with the cell phone cam should be pulled in front of a court and slapped for breach of trust.

    – L

  73. # Comment by Anonymous on July 4, 2009 7:46 pm
    #From the list I am reading in the article these are communications, like letters and #dispatches, by the apostates or about them.
    You know very well, that these are his O/W writeups from his ethics file.”

    Nope, I do not know that and neither do you. This looks more like a personal letter to me: “I did want you to know that I have never regretted anything as deeply as I regret having betrayed you.'” (Rathbun) And this is classified as “Public Announcement”:

    Sept. 28, 2003: Public Announcement: Rathbun wrote: “I have developed a slick false PR technique of positioning myself as having been integral in handling threats during and after the fact, when they are actually terminatedly handled by COB. By calculation I have lost the Church 43 million dollars on losses and expenses that could have been avoided….

    Same with the others:
    “Dear Sir, I owe you something way beyond and, in addition to an apology, my gratitude for saving my life. Your insistence for months and years that I get straight is the only thing that has actually brought me to my senses. Several times in the past I pretended to myself, you and others that I had confronted my out ethics and gotten myself handled. It was not true.” Again, more likely a letter.

    And so on. But the bottom line here is that these guys have an axe to grind and they sound like it.

    – L

  74. @Pat
    Why is it that you are unable to tell me, without simply directing me to a book? That’s not tongue in cheek, but it does serve to benefit the CoS (I believe we all know, here, that library checkouts are a factor) and makes things more difficult for the questioner.
    Isn’t the point of this forum to answer Scientology questions?
    And, Pat, your question is enigmatic- do you mean it’s “okay” to expose the truth about private individuals?

    note- my local library does not carry any Scientology books. nor do any nearby libraries.

  75. # Comment by Anonymous on July 4, 2009 8:23 pm
    So tell me why do you believe David Miscavige more than Mary Rathbun, Mike Rinder, Amy Scobee, Tom de Vocht, Marc Headly and Jeff Hawkins? What is the objective evidence that lead you to the conclusion that DM is right and the other 6 are liars?”

    David Miscavige has not said anything about these guys. He was prevented to do so, at least in a fair setting. But as for their reliability and background: Experience and years of personal observation. Plus I do know a couple of “ex-Scientologists” personally and can attest that the description for “Apostates” that I posted is fully applicable. I do believe in evidence though. Where is it?

    – L

  76. Every question you ask, Mark, can be answered in the book “Introduction to Scientology Ethics” You read that, then tell me. The book is available in every library now in at least 25 languages. The data is so easy to find out that it hurts. There is no hidden data line.

    Scientology means “knowing in the fullest sense of the word” from Latin Scio “to know” or truth, which is also the derivation for the word science. Knowledge is only true for you if you have observed it to be true, personally. If you want the knowledge that Scientologists REALLY use, read the book.

    Since when did it become wrong to expose the truth?

    Pat

  77. restating my last question:
    Pat-
    Under what circumstances would you consider it “okay” to release or otherwise allow a member or former member’s ethics file to be utilized for OTHER than internal CoS operation?
    Furthermore, in the video that I posted, and to which you replied, would you feel that this is justifiable?
    Mark

  78. @Pat-
    It is your position that there is some sort of consipiracy to spread information, saying that files which -should- be kept private are supposed to be kept private, when in reality, they are not confidential files?

    I would say that there is not a “conspiracy” regarding this infromation, but that it is related to the lack of information coming from the CoS on these types of matters.

    Mark

  79. Another question……

    Scientology says to “Think for Yourself”

    Why then do registrars use high pressure sales tactics to try to get a public to sign up for a service (often costing many thousands of dollars)?

    If I went into a car dealership and their motto was to “Think for Yourself” – I wouldn’t expect to be subjected to HARD SELLING & tag team pressure from the salespeople. They wouldn’t try to keep me there for 5 hours trying to sell me this car.

  80. To put it another way…

    What is the Church’s justification for retaining confessionals on former members who never wish to pursue Scientology again?

  81. Hi,

    If a person decides they no longer wish to pursue Scientology and wants his or her confessional files destroyed, why won’t the church do that? Having one’s private confessions in the hands of a group one no longer feels should have them can be really troubling to their psyche. Can you see my point of view?

    Thank You

  82. Ethics files are not secret files. Whoever is feeding you that is deliberately trying to create conflict. That’s the bottom line on this rhetoric of yours. Auditing IS confidential. A person’s own written confessions are actionable. When these allegations came out, those confessions (called *O/W write-ups and not secret and they are actionable) were made known so that the false reports could be seen for what they were. Yes, if someone fully came clean on what harmful actions he had done there is a wonderful sense of relief and a great increase in responsibility for others and self. If there are harmful actions against the group or others withheld, then we have Rathburns. You see, this action of coming clean is for the individual. If he was really taking responsibility for what he’d done and disclosed all of it then he wouldn’t have any problem with taking steps to making things right (amends). Obviously, that didn’t happen. He was allowed to leave.

    As LRH said “Clean Hands makes a Happy Life”.

    Pat

    *O/W – see defintions on scientologymyths.info

  83. “But I guess you have made up your mind already so the little word “Why?” has no space in it. ”

    No, i haven’t made my mind up, yet.
    There is no objective evidence for neither side. But you seem to have alredy made up your mind yourself.

    So tell me why do you believe David Miscavige more than Mary Rathbun, Mike Rinder, Amy Scobee, Tom de Vocht, Marc Headly and Jeff Hawkins?
    What is the objective evidence that lead you to the conclusion that DM is right and the other 6 are liars?
    Merely quoting the definition of an “apostate” is no objective evidence.

  84. #From the list I am reading in the article these are communications, like letters and #dispatches, by the apostates or about them.

    You know very well, that these are his O/W writeups from his ethics file.

  85. Must also note that there is a big difference between dissatisfied ex-members and those that left for a good reason.
    For example, since the situation has been brought up, the child that has been molested by a Catholic priest may have left the church, but I would say that their complaints are justified, and their reports helped keep other current members safer.

  86. On a similar note, what do you think about this thread here:
    http://forums.whyweprotest.net/123-leaks-legal/breaking-scientology-confidential-files-48512/
    Although it was certainly not intentional, the videos leaked surely do show that there is at least a lack of security regarding the confidential files, and the names are now exposed to millions of people.
    Surely you would agree that this is a problem?

  87. #“He did. For four years and more. The Church did not attack any of those apostates and let them leave when they wanted to.”
    Oh wow, he ignored them as long as they kept quiet. Except that he sent his lawyer to Mike Rinder to tell him, that he may not talk about anything that he has ever witnessed in the CoS., which is of course ludicrous.

    Mike Rinder was over legal affairs and I can imagine that there is stuff he is legally bound not to talk about. For example purchase contracts or future expansion plans. The point is you don’t know and I don’t have specifics either.

    #“And they present it to journalists that carefully prevent any opportunity to counter these accusations.”
    Why? They printed everything, what David Miscavige told them in order to discredit the defectors.”

    How do you know? All I can see is David Miscavige criticizes them for not taking the opportunity to talk to him personally – also about all those allegations – even when he agreed to an interview. And that is rather the contrary to what you say.

    – L

  88. #If a newspaper made a story about child abuse in the catholic church by interviewing children, who had been abused, do you think that the common catholic would react like you and suspect a big conspiracy against the pope?”

    Not against the Pope, why should they. But certainly those allegations come under scrutiny.

    ” Do you think the priests would pull out the confessions of the children in order to discredit their testimonies?”

    I don’t know.

    I believe in objective evidence. Someone who disagrees with his former boss, leaves and then complains about him many years later (to get some personal advantage) is not objective evidence. Photos of black eyes, court proof documentation and testimonies under oath come closer to objective evidence. They all had a chance to produce such but did not.

    But I guess you have made up your mind already so the little word “Why?” has no space in it.

    – L

  89. See my response above yours.

    – L

  90. # Comment by Anonymous on July 4, 2009 10:49 am
    Instead of a quote i will post a link.
    http://www.tampabay.com/news/article1012138.ece
    Scroll down to “Catalog of confessions”.
    Do you still deny that the confidential confessional data has been disclosed?”

    Yes, but I do understand now why you think that this is “confidential confessional data”.
    It says: “The church prepared binders of indexed material that included confessions the defectors wrote during their time in Scientology.”

    From the list I am reading in the article these are communications, like letters and dispatches, by the apostates or about them. Like this one about Rathbun: “April 19, 1994: Communication. “While I didn’t spread any lies about you directly, it did become manifest to me that my actions over the past year have potentially created black PR on you. … To me, worse than all the shortcomings and overt acts and their effects, is the potential effect they had of tarnishing your image and presence and power. I say ‘potential’ only because I think it would be presumptuous of me to suggest I could do any real harm to you. … I did want you to know that I have never regretted anything as deeply as I regret having betrayed you.””

    He apologized at one point for things he now says were ok to do. This is relevant information to get a balanced picture and it is not auditing/confessional data.

    Or this one: “2001: Statement: Rathbun confesses to physical and degrading attacks. “In May 2001 I grabbed Yager by the shirt and lifted him into a wall when he got caught out on outright false reporting to COB as I recall. … In April or May 2001, Guillaume gave me some 1.1 backflash and I threw him across a table. … On about 25 occasions I severely ripped into (name blacked out). … I called her a ‘f—— c—‘ and a “suppressive b—-,” and a “black PR infested criminal. …

    Now, these letters are is rife with “Scientologese”, so I’d like to clear up a couple of words here:

    – overt acts: transgressions against an agreed upon moral/ethics code.
    (more here: http://www.scientologymyths.info/definitions/)

    – 1.1: covert hostility (e.g. a snide remark). This is part of the Tone Scale (see link above).

    And so on. Nothing of this ” Catalog of confessions” you linked to stems from confidential priest-pertinent files.

    – L

  91. #Comment by Anonymous on July 4, 2009 10:16 am
    Excuse me, where did i assume that what these ex-members say is true?
    Did you even read the article i am talking about?

    Yes, I read the article(s) and could not find anything new or remarkable. The reputation of David Miscavige is not at stake – not where it counts – and has never been, so what are you talking about?

    – L

    • Well, if David Miscavige doesn’t care about his reputation, then why did he disclose the confidential, confessional data of the apostates in order to discredit them?
      It would have been absolutely unnecessary and actually he did not accomplish much by doing this anyway. It only made him look more insane and unconscionable.
      He could have just ignored them.

      • #Comment by Anonymous on July 4, 2009 10:35 am

        “Well, if David Miscavige doesn’t care about his reputation, then why did he disclose the confidential, confessional data of the apostates in order to discredit them?”

        Maybe you should read those articles. Or come up with specifics. Otherwise I get the idea that you are just lying for the sake of throwing mud.

        “He could have just ignored them.”

        He did. For four years and more. The Church did not attack any of those apostates and let them leave when they wanted to. They walked away, got some money to build up a new existence and that was it. Or could have been it, but they decided, several years later, to present a list of carefully worded allegations. And they present it to journalists that carefully prevent any opportunity to counter these accusations. A PR spin piece by the textbook. Maybe they needed the money? Maybe they want to set up their own Church of Scientology? I don’t know but my interest in their personal reason is very low in view of the shady and disgusting methods used to smear the Church.

        – L

      • “Maybe you should read those articles. Or come up with specifics.”

        Alright then here are the specifics:
        http://www.tampabay.com/news/article1012138.ece
        ” The church prepared binders of indexed material that included confessions the defectors wrote during their time in Scientology.

        A key tenet of Scientology is that an individual who admits and takes responsibility for his bad thoughts and acts feels unburdened and joyful. Church members write confessions, which go into “ethics files” that are supposed to remain secret. But to rebut the defectors’ allegations about David Miscavige, church officials took the extraordinary step of releasing excerpts from the files. In them, the defectors admit transgressions and praise the leader. The church says the files undercut the credibility of those attacking Miscavige. The defectors say the “confessions” are given under pressure, and writing them is the only way to survive inside Scientology.

        Following are some of the church’s assertions about its former leaders. […]”

        “He did. For four years and more. The Church did not attack any of those apostates and let them leave when they wanted to.”

        Oh wow, he ignored them as long as they kept quiet. Except that he sent his lawyer to Mike Rinder to tell him, that he may not talk about anything that he has ever witnessed in the CoS., which is of course ludicrous.

        “And they present it to journalists that carefully prevent any opportunity to counter these accusations. ”
        Why? They printed everything, what David Miscavige told them in order to discredit the defectors.
        They asked DM for an interview over telephone, but he declined.
        They did an interview with Tommy Davis. You should watch it. It’s funny. Tommy is making a complete fool out of himself and losing his temper.

        “Maybe they needed the money? Maybe they want to set up their own Church of Scientology?”

        Maybe they just wanted to expose abuse in the leadership of CoS?

        If a newspaper made a story about child abuse in the catholic church by interviewing children, who had been abused, do you think that the common catholic would react like you and suspect a big conspiracy against the pope?

        Do you think the priests would pull out the confessions of the children in order to discredit their testimonies?

        You are completely and utterly brainwashed, Louanne.

  92. Anon, no confessional data is used for anything but helping the person to come clean. That is a hard-bound rule in Scientology and has not changed. The purpose is to help the person to put his/her attention forward and not introvert in past, bad deeds.

    If you carefully read the PR spins you might call “news” you might find that none of those apostates claims anything else.

    – L

    • Louanne, the apostates did not claim that confessional data had been used. David Miscavige himself gave the SP times confessional data from the ethics files of these apostates and he openly admitted it and said that it would be an exception, because it would be necessary in this particular case.
      Read the articles again.

      • Not at all. I read very carefully what everyone has to say and there is none of that in the articles. To the contrary, Rathbun is coming out with crimes he committed on his own volition that should have gone in his ethics files and handled at the time, e.g. by going to prosecutor and fessing up. But he chose to sit on it for 14(!) years and now tries to use it to in a promotional campaign for his fanatic fight against a former friend.

        – L

      • Are you really that stupid? Do you want me to quote the relevant part of the article or will you then delete my posting again?

      • Comment by Louanne on July 4, 2009 10:49 am

        # Comment by Anonymous on July 4, 2009 10:42 am
        “Are you really that stupid? Do you want me to quote the relevant part of the article or will you then delete my posting again?”

        Personal attacks = out of arguments.

        Yes, quote to relevant part of the article. I won’t delete it. But don’t forget to state why you are posting it.

        – L

      • Instead of a quote i will post a link.
        http://www.tampabay.com/news/article1012138.ece

        Scroll down to “Catalog of confessions”.
        Do you still deny that the confidential confessional data has been disclosed?

  93. Didn’t you post that already?
    Is Mike Rinder an apostate? 2 years ago he still was Scientology’s spokesperson.

    • Yeah, but it didn’t sink in yet with my German friends… And sure, I guess Rinder is what you call an apostate. They come from all walks of life, just like Scientology members.

      – L

      • Maybe in a couple of years you’ll be an apostate too and then you’re current friends will pull out your ethics folder to “annihilate” your credibility,too
        lol

      • Your intention for that to happen is pretty clear. You seem to have this very strange idea that other people are responsible for your condition. Like you never made a decision to leave on your own determinism. The “too” is very telling.

        Classic apostate point of view.

        Pat

      • You shouldn’t be so assumptive, Pat.
        The “too” just means, that it has happened before. To Mike Rinder, Marty Rathbun and the other two “apostates”, who spoke with the SP times. Shouldn’t a church be morally obliged to keep the confessions of its members confidential for all time and not use them in an effort “annihilate” the credibility of its apostates?

        On Scientology’s own website you can read this:

        ” Is information divulged during auditing sessions always kept confidential?

        A Absolutely and without exception.

        […] The confidences given in trust during an auditing session are considered sacrosanct by the Church, and are never divulged. In fact, the Church would invoke all legal protections under its priest-penitent privilege to safeguard this confidentiality.

        The reputation of David Miscavige is more “sacrosanct” to Scientologists then than the principles of Scientology itself.

      • You are very quick to assume that what these ex-Scientologists say is true. Didn’t you read the studies?

        Pat

      • Excuse me, where did i assume that what these ex-members say is true?
        Did you even read the article i am talking about?


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