What can I do if I recently found out my son/daughter has joined Scientology?
Call us as soon as you can and we will be able to help and advise you
What is a destructive cult?
1) A cult is usually characterized by a leader who claims divinity or a special mission delegated to him or her by God.
2) The leader or founders [usually living] demand absolute and unquestioning obedience and are the sole judges of the member's faith and commitment.
3) Established members are often guarded, vague, deceptive or secretive about beliefs, goals, demands and activities until the recruit is hooked.
4) A cult often encourages exclusivity and isolation using the excuse that all outside the cult are totally evil or satanic.
5) Meaningful communication with family and former friends is sharply curtailed and the cult becomes the convert's new family. In most cults ever attempt is made to blur or eliminate the convert's conscious memories or his or her former way of life.
6) Cults systematically employ sophisticated techniques designed to effect ego-destruction, thought reform and dependence on the cult..
7) Indoctrinated members put goals of the cult ahead of individual concerns, interests, education plans, career, health and well-being.
8) The cult may maintain members in a state of heightened suggestibility through lack of sleep, engineered diet, intense spiritual exercise, constant indoctrination, controlled group experiences and manipulation "spiritual" encounters.
9) Converts may display symptoms of extreme tension and stress, fear, guilt, lack of humor, regression in communication skills/critical judgement/logic skills and reality testing.
10) Members are pre-occupied with fund-raising, recruiting and workshop activities.
11) The cult may be found to be exploiting member's finances.
12) Some groups exploit members through unpaid employment and poor working conditions.
**Not every cult shows all these characteristics, but an organisation that shows any of them should be treated with some suspicion.
Why do people join?
In general terms, to simply, 'join' any organisation would infer that an individual has made a decision to do so. Ordinarily this would involve an individuals free-will. Generally 'free-will' can be an expression describing, an individuals will, free from outside influence or duress of any kind. It would more applicable, in the case of Scientology, to shift the emphasis from a rather passive sounding word such as 'join' to the more relevant and aggressive word, 'recruit.'
Therefore the question should be: 'Are individuals actively recruited?' and as a sub-heading: 'And does the process involve deceptive techniques?' If you try and reason through why people join Scientology you will be heading off in the wrong direction. In order to discover why people join you must first appreciate the process that led up to joining. It must be said that we know of nobody that willingly and wittingly joined Scientology that has not been subjected to the recruitment process.
This is a combination of four deliberate and structured techniques by trained personnel. The structure is such that scientology personnel around the world apply them more or less in the same order as set out by the late founder L.Ron Hubbard. This is enshrined now in internal policy and diligently adhered to. Since Hubbard’s death in 1986, they are known as part of the scripture of Scientology.
The way in which the techniques are undertaken illustrate the levels in which we believe Hubbard deliberately set out to entrap and enslave.
The order may vary in the first instance and I have shown this by a forward slash:
1) [deceptive] survey questions/ 1a) personality test/introduction by a friend
2) high pressure selling techniques
3) undue influence
4) coercive and manipulative mind-control techniques
[Deceptive] survey techniques: Without first identifying themselves, a scientology recruiter is trained to stop certain people in the street, who he has already targeted, by age appearance and circumstance, and approaches to ask whether they would complete a simple survey.
This always entails asking the same 3 questions; these are: If you had the opportunity, who would you want to be?… what would you want to do?… and lastly,… what would you want to have?
Once the survey is completed the Scientology recruiter asks the unwitting member of the public,… “would like to come with me to find how you can do this?” This is quickly followed by another well trained technique known in Scientology, as 8C. This is simply moving a person, usually the recruiter turns in the direction of the organisation’s office which is always nearby, and asks the person to follow them.
The whole process is simply designed to attract a persons attention just long enough to get them to return with the recruiter to their offices.
1a) Personality test: [described by Scientology as the Oxford Capacity Analyst (OCA) any relationship to the seat of learning in the UK is fictitious and deliberately misleading] Is a list of 200 questions with multi-choice answers. This test is not approved or recognized by any testing authority in the field of psychometric testing. Reputedly, it was designed by a Scientologist formerly a merchant seaman, with no psychological background or training. We consider this a tool to hook the person, rather than a genuine evaluation.The results are invariably designed to highlight an area of emotional or psychological stress that Scientology promises to handle. This is no more than a springboard or cataylist to persuade the person to purchase a Scientology course or counselling to overcome their alleged ‘problems’ as portrayed by the test evaluator.
1c) Introduction by a friend: Statistically the most effective form of recruitment obviously enacted, in the most part, by well-meaning friends trying to help those who perhaps were experiencing difficulties in their life. This could only be effective if the unwitting prospective member was ignorant of Scientology and it’s reputation. The blind leading the blind. However, the blindness turns into high pressure selling techniques and undue influence the moment the person is introduced to a Scientology organisation. This process then begins with the personality test and evaluationis the same as highlighted above and begins with the personality test.
2) High pressure selling techniques: These techniques are various.Starting with the person being asked to fill out a personality test. The test is described as a free service ‘and doesn’t take long to complete.’ Once the person has completed the test he is asked to wait and have it evaluated The test evaluator who’s training is usually brief and involves memorizing a script which teaches him
to emphasize alleged weaknesses in the answers given by a test applicant. The preferred outcome is to hand the applicant over to a registrar [a trained salesman] who will sell the applicant a course to deal with the alleged problems highlighted by the evaluator. It is emphasised that the course should start immediately if possible
and that a fee is secured for the course in advance; therefore committing the
applicant and not allowing any time for reflection.
3) undue influence: Has all but died out in most commercial organisations because of the law allowing a ‘customer’ to have a cooling-off period in order to reflect upon their purchase. However in Scientology this forms the basis of the initial recruiting tactic and is very effective. Scientologists undertake hundreds of hours of ‘counselling’ paying as much as £500 per hour. The counselling actually heightens suggestibility, and undermines the critical faculties. Indeed, in a 1955 letter, Hubbard offered his '‘rainwashing'’techniques to the FBI. While being promised that through Scientology individuals will regain their ‘self-determinism' Scientology actually leads to unquestioning acceptance of Hubbard’s belief sustem and the erosion of independent thought. To complete the elaborate and lengthy steps of Hubbards "Bridge To Total Freedom" takes years and costs in the region of £200,000. Some Scientologists have lost their homes and businesses to pay for increasingly expensive courses. [excerpt from ‘Deceived’ book-on-line]
4) coercive and manipulative mind-control techniques: We have attempted to deal with this issue under the sub-heading of ‘Why do they stay?
Why do they stay?
To explain this aspect in it’s fullest sense would involve a great deal of
time and explanation and there have been many qualified writers who
have looked at this in depth. Notwithstanding, we summerize with the salient points :-
We start with the 4th category listed above:-
coercive and manipulative mind-control: [hypnosis]
When an individual takes the first ‘small’ and elementary course they will be exposed to a built-in foundational program by Hubbard, called ‘training routines.’ [TR’s for short]. The individual understands from the coursework, their ability to deal better with their problems.
The TR`s are trance inducing techniques. If the person carries out these routines or drills properly, and a course supervisor is at hand to ensure this is done, they will not only put themselves into a trance but they will also put the person they are having to share the drill with into a similar state. As the drills progress the trance is reinforced while objectivity and critical thinking diminishes. Thus becoming highly suggestive. To understand the significance of this you would have to have a good grasp of hypnosis and the power of post hypnotic suggestion. I suggest reading chapt.19 of Anderson’s ‘Inquiry into Scientology’ of 1965 [link here]to add to this perspective.
However, in keeping with this, the individual while oblivious to what has changed within himself, immediately associates this ‘good feeling’ [eupthoria is a common sign of hypnosis] to the introduction of scientology. Hubbard strengthens this falsity by writing in the coursework, that they have not experienced hypnosis, but only ‘reverie.’ The individual is highly suggestive and simply believes what they have been told. [or read].
Also in the initial courses another primary or foundational concept is introduced. This is the existence of ‘anti-social’ forces [SP’s -Suppressive Persons] They are described by Hubbard as actively trying to ‘suppress’ [restrain or subdue] the innate ability of an individual to exist on a higher spiritual level. Also anyone connected to a suppressive person will be a ‘potential trouble source’ Thereby setting the foundational principle on which Hubbard later relies upon if the individual receieves any trouble from their family or loved one when seeking to continue further with Scientology.
A person is asked to note down as part of their course work any person[s] who has stopped them [suppressed them] in the past from doing what they wanted to do. If the recruiter has done their job correctly most of the individuals will be of such an age that the only people in the past who have supposedly prevented them from achieving more than they believed they could, would have been their own parents. This realisation is not discouraged. [This thought process is considered basic ‘thought reform’ and of course can only be installed while under duress, or in a heightened state of suggestibility caused by a trance-like condition.]
This concept ordinarily would be totally unnacceptable, and discarded out of hand, even if the individual was on bad terms with their family. However, when an individual excepts this concept under duress it then forms part of their memory or thinking process. [this has recently termed circa. 1994/5, as ‘false memory syndrome’] Unfortunately, when the unwitting individual is out of this highly suggestive state the false memory remains as current or present memory.
The character and personality of the individual begin to change. They have become almost overnight, a Scientologist. Often the new member will keep their membership a secret for some time.However the effect of this particular transition becomes evident when the family or loved ones who have noticed the change, question the individual. If Scientology is mentioned in any negative way the response initially will be defensive, if the comments continue this will turn into into irrational [anger, shouting]or further out of character behaviour. The scientologist will begin to believe they are in the presence of a ‘suppressive person’ and mentally disregards the opinion of that person. If the family member persists even in a reasoned and rational way the scientologist may again resort to anger, aggression, or simply just walk away ending any further conversation, therefore ending any attempt, futile as it may be, of reasoning.
This is the use of thought reform to alienate the scientologist from their loved ones. It also has the added advantage of being used on the member when anyone attempts to reach them or if they inadverantly read a negative article or see any negative reaction to Scientology.
What can I do?
Contact us. Let us know what has happened.We can advise and in many cases help you through this difficult period in very constructive and positive ways.
If you have called us before but have since given up, for whatever reason, get in touch again. Together we will try to pick up where you left off. What has happened to you, has happened to hundreds maybe thousands of other parents in almost identical ways throughout the world.You, as a whole family, are the victims, not just the member and you have a voice that should be heard too.
“So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time”
Never give up, love never fails. Be encouraged, for despite how you may feel, there can never be a situation where hope is entirely lost. We know from experience that most families have tried to reason with a loved one entrapped in this organisation and have failed; sometimes miserably and sometimes with great suffering. In fact anger and sometimes bitterness are exchanged by both parties, leading so often to an agreement not to talk about the subject ever again. Whereupon the conversation and any visitation is subsequently reduced to almost a simple level. This is of course invidious and is effectively, emotional blackmail. In many cases also the member has already disconnected from the family altogether.. We encourage you to not accept what has happened in the past and to look at what this is doing to your relationship. It doesn’t have to be this way.
This organisation, like all destructive cults, seeks to control it’s members. However It can’t do this so if there remains someone outside who loves the member and still may have some positive influence over them.