Why do we struggle?

A friend of mine asked me to write a blog post illuminating why so many ex-members of the Church of Scientology struggle in life. And why I seem to better handle the transition to real life from the strict rule-based confinement of toeing the Scientology party-line.

It is well documented that scientologists inside the church is struggling – despite the daily polishing of a PR facade, the following of the supposed-tos and putting on the right attitude, smile and clothing. While the structure and the rules of the church will compensate for individual abilities, when one leaves the crutches, the limping begins.

I have covered this from one angle before. Let me expand.

I have struggled. I have been in pain. Because I compromised with my integrity during my 25 years in the Church of Scientology. And I have struggled with getting back to Me just as much as I compromised with Me.

Fortunately I retained my ability to judge for myself better than most of the scientologists I know. Most of them are still in the church.

Shedding what data I somewhat blindly accepted and regaining Myself more fully has been an interesting exploration. And it continues as a joyful exploration of free will. Love and passion has become stronger and people have become more amazing.

When I left in 2009, I had personal meetings with 25 close scientologist friends to let them know my reasons for departing with the organization. One of them is a business owner. He’s doing quite good and confided in me that he was sick and tired of the church staff telling him how to run his business – because “none of them would be able to run a hot dog stand in the middle of Oslo“. The staff thought they knew how to run his business. In fact they knew how to run any business – even the largest enterprises on the planet. Because they were armed with L. Ron Hubbard’s administrative technology – the ultimate in organizational tools. Never mind that they run a church that would be bankrupt were it not for zero staff pay and pure donations from squeezed parishioners. Never mind that there is not one single example where LRH admin tech has made it as good or better than comparable organizational methodologies. But in the minds of those who blindly accepted the data presented, LRH admin tech is still the greatest. Even as Hubbard himself so rightly points out that one should look for the real results, not the PR or the smooth talk or the words, scientologists continue to buy the PR hook, line and sinker.

Buying some data without you yourself seeing it is actually true is a slippery slope. When it becomes a habit, you’re in for some real trouble. Whereas it can work to acquire robotic views inside a robotic system such as in the military, out in real life society, robotism doesn’t get you very far. That is why so many struggle when they leave the church. They struggle to regain Self – their personal judgment and integrity.

Most ex-scientologists struggle. There is even whole communities built up around the concept of “ex scientologists” where some continue to moan and bitch even a decade after they left. And it seems the higher in the church hierarchy and the longer they were in, the more they struggle. I have seen plenty of top brass within the church struggling to hold a decent job after they left. Well, the closer to the guy at the helm, the more you are coerced or forced to abandon your own critical thinking faculties. And the more work you have cut out for yourself in finding your way back to You.

The more I think about it, the more weird it seems to have a set path to freedom.

Frankly, You have the sole responsibility of finding your own path to your own freedom. Be inspired by others, scientists and gurus, mom and dad. But make sure that you take it as inspiration and not a supplantation of You. And may these words be nothing more than inspirational.

The struggle alone pleases us, not the victory.” (Blaise Pascal)

108 thoughts on “Why do we struggle?

  1. Great post. Really great post. That friend gives you good ideas for blog posts.

    The psychological effect from Corporate Scientology is very powerful. It is sad. We have talked about this many times– I still in my heart see so much great potential in the philosophy of Scientology. Its leadership. It all comes down to leadership.

    And leadership is an entirely different discipline than management. Leadership is inspiration, and HUGE ARC, live communication, compassion, direction, and really an essence. It is an ontological condition that extends into phenomena. Its beautiful to see a REAL leader. The right leadership could turn around the sinking ship of Scientology, and nothing else will.

    With this crew, the ‘struggling’ will continue–exponentially at that. Its sad. I don’t agree with everything in Scientology- but I truly believe that Scientology when applied correctly should never hurt a person- and even if something nasty keyed-in, one could handle it. This is just wrong now.

    But Geir..think about it. Take the SO for example. There are very few able, highly intelligent beings that would even think of joining the SO. Its really, “sheep.” Those guys were ALREADY struggling in life when they joined. Sad- because it should help them be more able, not worse.

    Ahhh– makes you want to cry. Or laugh. 🙂

  2. +1. Good synopsis of what can be a thick book.

    When I left the Sea Org, it was without money or prospects. I just knew I had to get my daughter out of the situation that she was in. In the low economy of 1991 and armed with a few guiding principles and my need to eat and pay rent, I built up a successful reputation and business in Phoenix Arizona.

    I used little to none of any administrative technology which I had to follow in the Sea Org. More importantly, I exchanged in abundance with the people that I came across and I always spent less than I brought in. This was not an instant fix. It took years and in the beginning I had to decide between eating and paying utilities. But it all worked out and that 8 year old girl whom I pulled from the clutches of “the best Scientology child rearing on the planet” who couldn’t read or write? She’s graduating from medical school this coming Spring and at this point in her life will become an anesthesiologist.

    Struggling is not the salient issue of this thread, is it? I always struggled both before, during and since being in Scientology. I think the salient issue if closer to one of knowing one’s purpose than of struggling. Happiness in life is determined by the progress one feels they are making toward their own purpose than by whether their travails are difficult or easy. To progress toward one’s own purpose requires knowing at least a little bit what that purpose is.

    Geir, you said it well on a previous post when you said the answer to what a person’s purpose is whatever they decide it is. Now we just need to empower other’s to understand that the source of their purpose is not outside themselves but within.

  3. “And may these words be nothing more than inspirational.”

    Really well written article and the ending was perfect. 🙂

    This might sound strange, but I think the biggest thing I got out of Scientology was an increased ability to think for myself! The fact of having been slowly taken in so fully but eventually realizing it was the very thing that taught me how it can happen – and how easily it can happen. When I think about it I can’t even imagine a bigger gain that could be had.

    Obviously, that gain was the result of a corrupted Scientology. As I’ve commented before, I think it’s unfortunate that “original” Scientology seems to always, and I guess inevitably, get mixed in with the altered Scn. I agree with Brian’s comment about the great potential of Scn and I think it would be very suitable as a path for many, though not to say their final or only one. I do agree wholeheartedly that different paths suit different people, an insight from after Scn, of course. 🙂

    1. As long as Scientology as taken as inspiration to find one’s own, then Scientology is an great source of inspiration.

    2. Your comment got me thinking about whether Scientology itself (not the Cult it became) is “inspiration to find one’s own,” to think for oneself. That’s another strange irony, I realized. Because, in spite of its relatively heavy structure as a practice, I think it actually does do that.

      There is so much truth in Scn that it resolves confusions and leads to success, and with success come certainty and confidence – including the confidence to think for oneself. “So long as one can create life, he more or less considers himself an orientation point.” (CoHA)

      It’s clear to us now that the Cult took certainty to the level of destructive arrogance, but if certainty had been tempered with other principles of Scn, including being one’s own “orientation point,” all would likely have gone well, IMHO.

      1. That may very well be true but does that point matter as regards the potential of Scientology as it was originally laid out, before the obvious contradictions to it that came later – by whomever. Wouldn’t that be some logical fallacy if it were included as part of an assessment of Scn itself? (I hope that’s just a rhetorical question. ;-))

        1. Of course. I am simply pointing out that there is a distinction in the overall value of Scientology before and after 1965. Pre-65 contains excellent value for life philosophy. Post-65 contains in addition an effort to protect Scientology as “the only path” – in effect the ultimate invalidation of any and all other paths – including that of your own, whatever that may be.

          1. 100% agreed. In fact, “a distinction” in the overall value is putting it mildly, as regards the practice of Scn. 🙂

            That’s interesting, where you mention “your own” path. I guess it depends on one’s level of advancement as to whether that is actually feasible at first, as I see it. I look at any (valid) path as something like training wheels that are needed for “the younger ones” at the not-so-high levels of spiritual growth/expansion. They help us learn and advance without crashing too many times – or without failing altogether.

            For that reason, I don’t know if the idea of going on “one’s own path” is necessarily the best advice – and I’ve debated this point with others at times, who feel strongly about one’s own path being the only truly valid one (but you may not even be saying the same thing). I do agree that there obviously comes a time, just like with training wheels, when a person needs and wants to navigate without following someone else’s worked-out path.

            1. I believe One’s Own Path is in fact a multitude of valid paths and in more or less constant flux. And that is where responsibility comes in; To create such paths, to decide on the paths at hand and to move along one.

          2. OMG, now I see what you mean by “own path.” And I couldn’t agree more! With every single word. Thank you for articulating that so eloquently. I really mean it. 🙂

        2. Marildi I think the potential of KSW Scientology is currently being realized.

          I think groups never have, and never will promote independant thought. I think groups view independant thought as crazy. There must be groups not like this but I don’t know who or where they are. I don’t rub elbows with people like that. I live in and work in the bottom 80% or so who toil for others and operate on orders.

          1. Agreed, Chris, KSW 1 was another unfortunate change that occurred in Scn that seemed to take a whole new approach from the philosophy of earlier years. For example, in 1951 LRH wrote The Credo of a True Group Member, and one point on it was this: “9. A group member must insist upon his right to have initiative.”

            And then there’s the definition of a team: “being an individual and a member of the team at the same time.” (How many times do you think we must have Chinese schooled that, you and I? To no avail, LOL.)

            I do think that if independent thought is part of the system – the rules of the game of the group itself – that’s when it gets promoted.

            And just to let you know, somehow I doubt that you in any meaningful way operate on orders. 😉

        3. One of the policy’s I was made to clay demo at Flag during an ethics cycle was the PL where it goes on and on about being the “only way.” There is a line a woman “looking at rock” and about “taping the path” and not letting other people go down the wrong path. I forget the name of the PL.

          Anyway- the point is this. “There is no need to defend the truth”

          Scientologists spend so much time defending the truth its amazing. The parts of Scientology I know are true, I never defend to any critic or anyone else. Why would I? “the truth does not need defense”

          Its too bad, whether it was LRH or not, who created that sub culture within RCS.

          I personally love what Marty is doing at Moving On Up. Even though I don’t agree with entirely with his philosophical structure– that guy has done more good to the basic philosophy of Scientology…..maybe EVER.

          There are countless contradictions within Scientology. Countless. Which always brings an individual back to the basic Buddhist principal, “Whats true for you is true for you.”

          I maintain a healthy, self determined relationship with Scientology. I think LRH was a genius beyond. Dark side? Your damn right– and scary at that. But….still a genius.

          We often think of Sartre and Heidigger as the great existential thinkers of the 20th century. I would love to see a live debate with LRH and those guys. LRH, with his cowboy tongue against the European intellectuals. I think, LRH speaks about life, most of the time in a plain, simplistic manner. Even the Axioms, drenched in Scientology nomenclature, are quite simple to grasp minus the translation into English.

          Like I told you yesterday, I love this post, and you more than anyone personally seeing my near nervous breakdown after finally “leaving” Scientology over a year after I actually walked out the door– know exactly what I am talking about

          1. It is so “implanty” in Nature– its UNREAL.

            YET– there is an incredible, sweeping truth to some aspects of Scientology. We see people who left the church 20 years ago, posting on blogs either pro or vehemently against. There is, maybe tragically, a transcendent truth to this subject. And that in itself can drive people insane, especially because the way the organization behaves.

            I showed the article of the St Pete Times to my mother. She asked me, “So, was it worth it?”

            The answer was unequivocally- of course. The heaven and hell of Scientology is like no other.

            1. True. I believe the issue at hand is the dichotomy; The ultimate problem – the create/counter-crdeate – can only happen when one is so close to truth and then one succumb to the data believing it is all true. Then one can experience the backlash of betrayal.

          2. Brian, I believe the PL you’re thinking of is “Safeguarding Technology.” You know, I never got that it was defending truth but rather that it was simply trying to get people to stick to proven technology. This isn’t even getting into whether or not there should be continued research on the tech – just expressing the point of applying what has already been proven to be workable. And, actually, if there does come about further research that improves upon the tech, the improvement should be stuck to as well – as it would now be the most workable, proven tech.

            Here I am “defending truth,” perhaps (nothing new, LOL) but I feel about Scn just the way you expressed it in your first comment, and the parts of it that I think are valid I like to stick up for, to help preserve. As you put it, “I still in my heart see so much great potential in the philosophy of Scientology.” 🙂

            It speaks really well for you that you can still appreciate the value of Scn in spite of your awful experience (I’ve read some of your posts on Marty’s blog).

  4. Interesting post. You have my attention. As a former member of the “church’ from 1969 until May, 2010, I found the exact opposite to be true. I have expierenced more freedom and have had many great wins with my business and life since leaving the church. There was an intitial reaction of total shock when I first started reading the facts and a bit of “worry” while I pushed like hell to get my ap’s off account in a refund, which I got in two months, but I had pulled away and been inactive for 5 years, before I formally withdrew, as I was so turned off by the basics and the continuous attempted regging of anything and everything. I love the fact that I do not have to “worry” about how I can possibly get up the bridge as I am stopped at every turn with wrong indications and invalidated wins. It was quite a relief for me as I pretty much was blown out of the water on L11 and many other rundowns I had, many years back. Everything else was kind of like, child’s play after that. I have observed that different rundowns, levels, etc. have different effects on each individual and most of the basic SCN services worked incredibly well on me, quickly which was my nemisis. I had to fight tooth and nail not to be run into the ground on the majority of actions I did get thru in the last 20-25 years.

    Recently I have been reading and listening to Napolean Hill.
    I have had many former wins rehabbed and new realizations in abundance.
    I also learned much from Phil Speckler. Smart guy and the most uptone 80 yr old, I have ever seen.

    I have found that much of the data that NH puts out is actully easier to dublicate than LRH and much more directly stated. I have been reading his books for a few months now, and if you wanted a list of wins, forget it. Too long.
    I love his business recommendations as they work like a charm. I also have done the conditions twice in clay and use them, at my discretion on a regular basis as needed.

    His books were published in the 1930’s the most famous of which is “Think and Grow Rich” which has sold over 130 million copies.
    Here’s a shocker: I have had tremendous cognitions on the 8th dynamic in reading this guy.
    LRH really doesn’t go there, and all the other 7 are great but to have realizations on this dynamic really brings a lot to the table.

    My personal realization was that yes, there is a source of all life, I am a part of it but there is definitly a bigger theta force, needing no worship but only to be “honored’ by my actions.
    Do right and God will be in you, with you, part of you and through you, exponetially. God doesn’t need an ack, just honor the God within you, which is the perfect You!

    Am I there yet?
    No, but on some very good days, getting closer!

    1. I experienced the same regarding a soaring in freedom when I left the church. But I also see that there is indeed a recovery phase for most people as they have to deal with data accepted “over their good judgment”. This time period may be very short or last for life (it seems).

    2. Hi Penny, sorry to use this forum to ask this question, but have seen you post elsewhere, and was curious to know if you have/had any relation to Ken K.? No need to answer if you don’ty want to.

  5. 🙂 Your words were definitely inspirational, Geir, thank you. Brilliant article.

    I have one caveat I have learned over the past 16 years, and that is not to judge others for the amount of time they take through the struggle. I fully agree with your last paragraph, it was in fact that which set me free to continue creating my own path. However, different people have different issues and circumstances, and the grief, mourning and letting go phase can be quick for some, and long for others. I agree some get stuck in the moaning phase, and do not progress further from there, others are scarred for life. Others soar and fly free very quickly.

    At the end of the day everyone who leaves the cult, whether becoming a life-long critic, or a FreeZoner or Indepenent, or simply moving on from it all – all have demonstrated great courage in breaking free from a mind-enslaving trap, courage which people who have never been in a situation like that do not really understand.

    So, I salute the courage of every one of those who have reclaimed their You, and that includes you, Geir.

    Thank you for your continued inspiration. 🙂


  6. Really great, very well analized. This explains also why I find quite difficult to be understood by the only “parishioners” I was linked before (one friend and a relative). They are blind robots and have totally lost the ability to see and think, they are under blackmail.
    I was helping a Milan org staff with clothes for her little twin girls, now she is refusing this help even if it is given indirectly by my daughter (never involved with the church). I did not have to struggle because I never really “got in” the “church” even if I left (officially) the church after 23 years, while on OTVII.
    I had been vaccinated in 1969 when I got in a leftist italian political party, within two months I realized the scam and got out (I had to think with my head),With the church it was different: there was the blackmail of “we are the only ones to have the only route”. So I had to swallow the bad medecine in order to get what I wanted. I perfectly knew that the tech was good, but the church was wrong. So my aim was to get the tech and leave the church. I did not link myself too much or do any business with any scientologist. My wife and kids had the same point of view. Internet saved me: when I came to know that all the tech was available outside, I immediately jumped out of the train. Got myself declared to cut completely all my links.When I received the declare note I got such a release that I went exterior: I was free of them. Before I was struggling, immediately after I started to flourish and prosper, to have plenty on money in my account,really complete OTVII, do OTVIII, complete my L’s cycle which had been quickied at Flag.
    I try to explain sometimes to some scientologist the danger they are in and give them the data, but I find a wall, the wall of fear and robotism. Sad story for a philosophy of freedom and wisdom ….

  7. I would like to add that I believe the ultimate trap to be the referring and relinquishing of one’s responsibility for self and one’s own path to freedom. It is ironic then that there exists so many paths and gurus who function as a take-over of a person’s responsibility for self. This may or may not be intentional from the creator of such a path to freedom, but the effect remains – that the trust in a guru supplants one’s own responsibility – and that responsibility is the most intimate responsibility you have – it is the last responsibility you want to depart with.

    1. +1 Forever.

      Violation of this personal policy toward responsibility is the creeping crud of the whole track. Once “out of valence” in this regard one is in the throes of true delusion. Maybe the root cause of any delusion.

  8. This is a great article, and has applicability well outside the world of Scientology. When you’ve been a member of a high-control group, even a religion that totally dominated your world view for all of your life, and you emerge from that milieu, it can be a real shock. I’ve had to learn to find my own way in the five-plus years since I stopped calling myself a Christian. It’s not been easy. There have been times when I’ve wanted to go back, simply because I didn’t want to make the hard choices, but to have someone else, someone with an alleged hotline to god to make them. But I gutted it out. It’s still a process that I’m going through. I would be a liar if I said there weren’t days that I wished it all was true, but I have to live with the reality.

    Thank you for this article, especially for “The more I think about it, the more weird it seems to have a set path to freedom.” It’s not just Scientology that teaches this, but you get it in lots of places where people are trying to sell their truth to you. But the reality is: There is no set path to freedom, we each have to find our own path.

    1. . . . and please let me add to your good post that we not only have to find our own path, but really walking our own path is all we ever can do. If we truly know that we can never walk another’s path, then we can settle down to the business of working out our own way. This is being “in-valence” and other ideas that another can do this for us – I believe is a pretense.

  9. Perhaps the struggle is a result of alienation / isolation / disconnection.

    As Scn takes up a larger and larger and more important role in the life of an individual, the individual becomes more and more alienated, isolated and disconnected until finally, as in the case of S.O. members they are completely alienated / isolated / disconnected from the world outside of them. When they leave, they have few or no connections that even somewhat approximate the reality they lived in, and find themselves in the world they were alienated from and in some cases regarded with contempt and/or hostility. If they are then declared, they are not only alienated, they become completely isolated. It takes time to build new connections, to create new relationships, to overcome the sense of alienation. The ones who have loving spouses, family and friends outside of the Church generally do better, the ones who do not seem to have a much harder time.

    So it isn’t just a matter of thinking for oneself, it is also a matter of maintaining relationships that are outside of the C of S, even while an active participant.

    I did not particularly struggle upon finally walking away, I had always maintained relationships outside of the Church and I had always expanded my non-Scn knowledge albeit in “acceptable” studies. By the time I was done with the C of S, I had lots of Scn acquaintances, but my friends and family members were mostly not Scn members. The few that remained after I walked away have now also walked away, quietly fading into inactivity in the C of S.

    1. +1

      With the exception of a few thousand inactive members worldwide, millions of people have “done” Scientology and ultimately walked away. This gives me pause about the entire subject. Angry this week about the Church, I am not feeling magnanimous and am not differentiating between the group and the subject. I believe I shall have an ARC break session and sees what falls out as the emotions that I am feeling are not commensurate to the offense of which I am complaining.

  10. Great post. For me, I am going through some stuff but will be through it soon enough. I am of the opinion that getting ALL the missing data (whether totally true or not) that we were allowed to and NOT allowed to see is the way out. At least it is that way for me.

    I will no longer protect the church, LRH’s image, or the subject in general. The truth is the truth. I want to understand all of it and basically, all I am doing, is the due diligence I should have done in the beginning before jumping in and parroting others without examination. This is where you begin to lose yourself.

    There is, most likely, a way to get one’s feet wet and to even take a full bath in the waters of Scientology without losing yourself. It is not easily done and most do not succeed.

    I am stronger for having been duped, I suppose. Now, it will take much more to ever fool me again. I have not lost my faith in other people. I have not lost my trust, my appreciation, my love. I feel stronger than I ever have.

    Thanks for helping me out in the very beginning Geir. Your help was invaluable.

      1. I agree. Obviously Marty and Mike are to be commended and in many ways are so brave and inspiring for what they have done and continue to do. They are providing truly amazing leadership. But, Geir Isene’s doubt formula was a game changer. And I am of the opinion that without his public withdrawal, the movement to reform the most corrupt church in the world would not be where it is today. It was the the perfect gradient of a bit of “Norwegian gasoline” to the fire that the Truth Rundown started.

  11. These words were nothing more than inspirational!

    I had a huge smile on my face reading this post. 🙂

    As I let go of many implanted (and for me uninspected and accepted) stable data I felt more and more free. I’m almost there now. I was severely stressed out and everything felt hopeless–nowhere and no one to turn to basically. Having one foot in and one out was quite a struggle. I took back my integrity a couple of years ago and started my own investigation and search for truth. Or more correctly, I have continued my search for thruth and my spiritual path I was on before my Scn experience. What startled me the most was self-blame. How could I accept it–so blindly? Oh boy the embarrassment. I guess we’re still humans. Spending all of my fortune and more I had to make it right. But it just wasn’t right. I ran out of reasonable justifications.

    As Brian said “The heaven and hell of Scientology is like no other.” SPOT ON! 🙂

    There are still issues but I’m soon heading for the light. There will be sacrifices for sure but they will by far exceed the freedom ahead. Once you’ve tasted that freedom you have reached the point of no return.

    I have reconnected with me.

  12. When a friend of mine said that this blog post was the best he’d seen from me, he added that it would get more than 500 comments. I wasn’t so sure… because if people view it as great (and many here seem to like it), then there will be no discussion. It is controversy that racks up the comments. So, guys; Maybe I should throw out another controversial blog post?

    1. I’m sure you’ll do that with our without our consent ! 🙂

      Personally I’ve left this alone, as I do not have any valid knowledge of this specific subject.
      However I agree with what Mirele is stating above, there are similarities to people who have left other religious groups and/or sects with more or less success and pain.

      Sometimes I wonder if there’s really a separate kind of people that specialize in creating a church from a faith, read : how to manipulate and live from people that do believe sincerely in something … There really some many similarities between what you all describe of CoS with organizations like churches, sects, freemasons’ lodges etc. …

      But what I personally am sure of, people with a sincere faith do not behave that way !

  13. Geir wrote:

    “I believe One’s Own Path is in fact a multitude of valid paths and in more or less constant flux. And that is where responsibility comes in; To create such paths, to decide on the paths at hand and to move along one.”

    Great point.

    Just as everyone has our own unique path, everyone has a purpose to help others in their own unique way. You have done brilliantly in moving on, and in helping others move on, Geir.

    I commend you.

  14. The problem with the admin tech is to some extent, it is trying to fit a square peg in a round, or triangular or other shaped hole. One has to pick and choose what works. Take graphing and stats – in my business – my income fluctuates constantly – it is insane to try and graph it weekly. The only graph that made much sense to me was a yearly graph. The conditions – similar – I had the best results applying them in general – not on a weekly basis – they ceased to apply especially when the money or other stats couldn’t be graphed. But when I look at the fact the phone wasn’t ringing, and I was running out of work – hey better promote. Got some big checks? Pay down some bills. Knowing that, I pretty much ignored originations I needed craming etc. and did what worked for me. Is life better since we parted company? Yes, there is a lot less stress, but there is a refi that I’ll be paying for years for bridge and IAS donos that I bought. So the answer is yes and no.


    1. I agree, I came to the same conclusions. I observed Italian Ice dealer/seller. His stats are moving exactly as weather. Rain and temperatures below 15 degree=almost no sales and from Oktober to end of MArch is no business at all. (Northern Europe) shop closed.
      Handling? Beat the client until he eats ice *loooool

      1. The stats roller-coaster… must be an SP in the organization! What? You’re only one? Gotta be YOU then!!

  15. …………..none of them would be able to run a hot dog stand in the middle of Oslo………..
    If one would establish a PO system in a fully computerized production factory, the factory breaks down right away. Tell the guy assambling cars at the production line: ” You have to find out the prices of the screws you need, and if you order it without approval you pay yourself……….*looooool

    1. You sure hit something over there…

      In recovering from a cult it’s vital to take back responsibility for your own recovery. Blaming self and others will only stick you in there no matter how bad you were treated. Cult recovery counselors are available if needed.

      Bitching & moaning can be an interesting game too. Again power of choice. That you have a choice can be hard to confront but nevertheless true. Don’t underestimate your own abilities.

  16. Geir, the ESMB thing was unnecessary in my opinion especially if you were trying to show you were above it all. I could write a very intelligent, useful, piece and the value of ESMB and you might look at it differently. Possibly I will do that but, in the meantime, I leave it with this remark here.

    1. Well, it certainly wasn’t intended. Now and then I post a link over at ESMB to blog posts here that I think match a larger portion of the ESMB reader’s interests. Just like I do on the IVY and Freezone mailing lists. Usually people seem to find it useful. What was unnecessary was the reaction. And my post here had very, very little to do with any value, perceived or real, of ESMB. The fact that some take a slight mention of some subgroup there so over-the-top personal is quite absurd IMO.

      1. I hear ya. That, too, is unfortunate. I actually have a lot to say on the subject so have decided that I will work on an intelligent piece.

        I do understand what you are trying to say. I would like to say one simple thing here. On ESMB there is the good, the bad and the ugly. I embrace all of it and I would be so much further behind on my route out of the psychic vice grip of the cult of Scientology were it not for the very brilliant posters on ESMB.

        There is a very rich amount of information there not found anywhere else. In addition, I find, the Blue Pill doesn’t really go over very big there.

        There is something to be gotten from every viewpoint if one doesn’t get offended by those who get offended. 😉

        1. Notwithstanding – unproductive response is unproductive.

          And nope, I don’t get offended. But I do blast stupidity if I feel like it.

  17. 🙂 Okay.

    I’m not trying to challenge you Geir. You’re truly one of the smartest guys I have come to know out of this whole thing. I think you’re great.

    Since my maiden name, translated means, “the last word” I feel the compunction the need to one last thing (hopefully ;))

    “Unproductive” is in the heart, mind , soul, eye of the beholder. Peace out.

    1. Yes, “Unproductive” is in the heart, mind , soul, eye of the beholder and is “Unproductive”.

      Btw, please give me an insight into how come some of the ESMB-ers came to be this anal.

  18. :sigh:

    My guess is that most come to be that way by constantly having to show the illogics that persist in the inculcated thinking of most who come out of the cult and continue to perpetuate the fantasies, lies, etc. about the founder, the history of the formation, those who contributed etc.

    This often falls on deaf ears and I think they get frustrated so they needle and push to get people to see that. Do they always use the best way to get that across? No. Are they always right? Absolutely not, however, the revisionist history is always wrong by definition.

    More people should be more outraged by the atrocities that happened in their names while they were in the cult. I will express that anger and outrage, while also taking my responsibility for it, for as long as it takes for me to move on and forget all about the mess. It’s a process. I take issue with those who want to smugly act superior to those who they deem weak and obsessed, moaning and bitching.

    How about find out what their stories are? The lies and betrayals of the organization and its founder are hideous and unconscionable. Those who had no choice to become involved because their parents put them in the cadet org, are the stories I find the most heart wrenching.

    Every person will get through their psychic trauma in their own time and will eventually come out of it and no one that was part of the C of S has any right to sit in judgment. We ALL contributed to each any every person’s experience.

    I will even make the bold statement, here and now, that those who talk about those who just want to bitch and moan and who show little compassion for that, are themselves not out of the mindf@#k that is Scientology.

    If you were calling me anal, I guess I won’t take offense to that seeing as I have a choice.

    1. Well, my ax to grind is with people that in action does more harm than good to the cause they believe they work toward. That is just stupidity. One can try to justify such behavior, but at the end of the day it is still a fail.

      And again, a slight mention works you up?

      1. No, you are failing to miss what is working me up currently or what may be working others up that you think are defensive (as I will not speak for them).

        I am currently worked up about Paulette Cooper, Lisa McPherson, LSD on a pregnant woman’s toothbrush, yada, yada, yada and many, many more things I am finding out ALL AT ONCE about an organization and its founder that I thought were above reproach.

        What’s wrong with anger? Personally I don’t have a problem with it. It’s appropriate sometimes. I’m not afraid of it. It’s just another amongst many of the human emotions.

        I’m not here to argue with you Geir. All you really have to do is acknowledge my communication which, if not in agreement with how you see things, at least is sincere and contributing to your blog. Okay? 🙂

        1. You really do want to have the last word 😉

          Personally I have nothing against anger, sorrow, anxiety or any other feeling that make up the spectrum of human emotions. I love’em all.

          But when stuff gets blown out of proportions or when people starts getting nasty, it’s time to put a foot down. Just like you want to do with the stuff you mention above. Nasty is not cool.

    1. I think you two sing and dance well together.

      Maybe it’s really tomaytoes and tomahtos…..

      1. And here’s what happened one time when Geir went visiting (was it ESMB that time?) and some unkind folks mistreated his mule…..

  19. Geir –

    As you know, Hubbard taught Scientologists to ignore the communication of anyone who criticizes Scientology and to attack the critic personally. They are taught to discredit the critic any and every time they can – and NEVER take up the point they make.

    Being called personally evil, low-toned, insane, criminal, etc, while ignoring and twisting everything you say can make a person a bit touchy. The more years you’ve had this done to you by Scientologist after Scientologist, in a steady stream, the more you have to deal with your own touchiness. And the less shit you feel like taking from brainwashed cult members who are simply dramatizing Scientology teachings on you and not thinking for themselves at all.

    I’m not saying you were doing that with your post, I am answering your question why you felt SOME of the responses there – certainly not all of them – were “nasty”.

    You’ve been out for a couple of years now, and I’m sure you’ve had your share of intentionally misduplicated comm, alter-ised intentions, ignoring what you have to say while attempting to discredit you personally. You have also been out at a time when criticism of Scientology has exploded and there are fewer and fewer Scientologists around to be sent in on you to “handle” you.

    You are right in saying that it is never okay to be “nasty”. You are also right to point out that many long time critics have “buttons” from this onslaught that you can push and get a reaction out of them.

    But if you really care about people recovering from the mindfuck of Scientology, becoming more themselves and finding their own way, why do you criticize the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of those who are in the process of doing that?

    ESMB, with all its faults, is just about the only place on the Internet for people to go to figure out how the mindfuck was constructed so they can undo it and get on with their lives. I know what I am going to get when I go onto Marty’s blog and show LRH references for what David Miscavige is doing. Why don’t you know what you are going to get when you go on ESMB and personally criticize people who are recovering from cult abuse?

    ESMB can be criticized for a lot of things. But you asked why some people there got nasty with you. And so I gave you my answer.

    1. I do find the mindhive of ESMB to be the most fragile, wimpy cry-baby and defensive I have experienced on the web. I find this counter-productive to helping people get back to themselves after relinquishing self-responsibility in Scientology. It didn’t used to be that way and it has clearly degenerated.

          1. Scientology teaches never to miss an opportunity to call someone a “victim” if they mention something that was done to them by Scientology, and to use that label to both invalidate what the person is saying and to discredit them personally.

            It was a tactic that Hubbard used on his own victims. It was an exceptionally cruel and sadistic tactic which taught Scientologists to never be a “victim” because you knew what you would get if you ever admitted it.

            And yet in contradiction, in Scientology tech there is the discussion of the 4 flows, where “done to self” and “others to others” is considered just as valid as “self to self” and “done to others”.

            It is clear that in order to take full responsibility, and to be fully cause, one must be willing to communicate, and to receive communication, on all 4 flows. It was Hubbard himself who contradicted this truth with his vicious “blame the victim” tactic, thus creating an intolerance in Scientologists for 2 of the 4 flows.

            “Responsibility” and “cause” which only recognizes 2 of the 4 flows, and avoids the other 2, is not responsibility or cause at all. It is a compulsion which Scientology instills in Scientologists.

            Compassion is recognizing that we all exist on all four flows, and being able to understand and help out when you can. You at least don’t kick a guy when he is down, if you are trying to be compassionate.

            There is no compassion in Scientology for its victims. In fact, compassion itself, as a concept, is almost non-existent in Scientology. I do not know of one time when Hubbard even used the word.

            Do you?

          2. Compassion is just a word. The same concept is covered by the dynamic principle of existence, whether you consider the original concept – a basic thrust for the “SURVIVAL OF the dynamics” – or the later one of “EXISTENCE AS the dynamics.”

            In other words, the concept of compassion falls under Scientology’s most basic motivating principle.

          3. com·pas·sion   [kuhm-pash-uhn]
            a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.

            Isn’t this in fact why many, perhaps most, people who joined staff and especially the Sea Org, did so join and made the personal sacrifices they did, up to and including signing billion-year contracts?

            Obviously, Hubbard’s teachings resonated with their own compassion for others, and brought out their desire to help others.

            Compassion in it’s derivation means “being able to feel with”(others). That’s just plain ARC.

          4. Tell a Buddhist that “compassion is just a word”.

            This is what I mean when I say that Scientology is a spiritual deception. Teaching compassion is an excellent standard by which to judge any religion or spiritual teaching. When you look at the specific teachings of Scientology, and find specific teachings on the application of compassion entirely missing, then you can conclude that Scientology is simply a facade for a religion.

            It is made to look like a religion, but it’s hollow inside. It is missing this crucial element (among many others) which human beings find valuable in religious and spiritual teachings. It’s basic “ethical” teachings for “upstats and downstats” alone actually teach Scientologists to go against their own natural compassion for someone else’s suffering.

            While you may say that individual Scientologists practice natural compassion, there are no teachings in Scientology which enhance, promote and enlighten people on its importance. There is nothing that overtly teaches Scientologists how to practice it. In fact, in my example above, Scientology teachings exist that teach Scientologists to refrain from compassionate behavior.

            Compare Buddhism’s fundamental teachings on compassion with Scientology’s total void of it, and with its other teachings that teach against practicing compassion.

            You’ll see what I mean.

          5. Good posts, Alanzo and Valkov both. I guess it depends on basic intentions and how Scn is interpreted. Valkov is right that Scn inspired people who have compassion and want to help others. And Alanzo covered the point of how it went in an opposite direction. Intention monitors interpretation and application, IMHO.

          6. Miraldi wrote:

            Intention monitors interpretation and application, IMHO.

            Well Miraldi, that is an interesting point.

            You could say that if a person had an intention to be compassionate, and he found Scientology lacking in that department, he could keep looking for and find a religion like Buddhism or Christianity which did teach why and how to practice compassion and end up there.

            That would be a more civilized intention and people who were higher toned would end up leaving Scientology for a religion that was more genuine.

            Yes – great point.

            I get it!

          7. Alanzo, I wasn’t sure if you were being sarcastic or not, but either way I agree with what you wrote. There seems to be an optimist/pessimist kind of thing here – cup half full/cup half empty difference of viewpoint, depending on individual experience. But sincerely – both viewpoints are valid

            I can see viewing Scientology as the datum of comparable magnitude that opens a person’s eyes to greater truth. Will you meet me at this midway juncture? 😉

          8. Btw, Geir, the nearest reply button here is that post of yours, “WWP is for those standing behind. ESMB is for those bending over – the butt-hurt.” It makes me both laugh out loud and wonder what happened to the gentle Geir I’ve come to know. (And make no puns on that, please! :-D)

            1. When I am gentle, I use a lubricant. (Sorry, I just had to).

              I have a bat shit side, too 😉

          9. Just as I couldn’t resist setting you up and being your straight man. LOL!

            That was a lot of fun but I like the gent-ILITY side of you better – although you excel at both. 🙂

          10. Miraldi –

            There was a time in my life when I used Scientology along my own road to truth, so I will grant you that. And I do understand what you are saying that the dynamics suggest – for you – a compassion for those others on your dynamics.

            But if we stick to the specific concerns I raised about the void of specific teachings on compassion in Scientology, and its specific teachings which observably make Scientologists less compassionate than they naturally would be, then I have to maintain that this is a huge shortcoming in Scientology when compared to its “wog” alternatives.

            How would you explain the total lack of compassion found in Scientology as practiced by Scientologists in the Church if your suggested interpretation was the one that was really supposed to be Hubbard’s correct interpretation?

            Words are important in religious texts. People will apply what they are taught. If Scientology taught compassion, Scientologists would, in the majority, be more compassionate.

            And they’re not.

          11. The GentleGeir will be back, rest ASSured

            GentleGiantGeir? (Can you believe me? I can’t!)

          12. Well, I don’t know if that’s true about the teachings being to blame – there have been so many other factors mixed in and thus evaluations vary a lot.

            But you do make a good point about the importance of words. Interesting thought to contemplate.

          13. Did I out-batshit you, Geir? I need to remember to resist the jokes that are just too gross, no matter how funny they seem!

            (Didn’t I say this is a learning lab we’re in? ;-))

          14. Yes, FunLab too! The latest category of inspiration from you is humor. Plus, I got to flatten that dang post of yours. Every time I had to go to that reply button I was sort of shaking my head (okay, laughing too).

            But as usual, you prove yourself to be what you basically are, a gentleman. 😉

          15. Are we now to parse everyone’s writings in order to count how many times the word “compassion” occurs in them, as though we were writing keyword-dense articles to rank better in the Search Engines?

            Then, do we need to determine how the word is used by each person?

            For example, Alanzo uses the word “compassion” in some of his posts, but it is usually in the context of criticizing LRH for not using it as such in his teachings. Since I doubt Alanzo has listened to even half of LRH’s lectures, or read even half of LRH’s written words, how much validity does this generalization hold? And how much compassion is Al showing for LRH in this context? Is Al actually promoting compassion here? Is he setting a compassionate example for us, or is he just taking a cheap swipe at LRH by using the word in a propagandistic way?

            Granted, my exposure to scientology is limited – I listen to LRH’s lectures and read his written words, and I find no lack of compassion in those materials. In fact, I find that compassion pervades LRH’s original materials.

            The teachings about ARC, granting beingness, and especially the Two Rules for Happy Living. The second rule in particular expresses a standard of behavior of compassion towards others that is easily on a par with Buddha’s standard of Right Speech.

            The fact that LRH is generally not “preachy” about compassion and accepts people as they are is a credit to him as far as I’m concerned.

            On the other hand, I do not read or perceive much compassion in Al’s writings.

            Let us see how one Buddhist writer responds to questions about compassion in Buddhism:

            “So we arrive at compassion. What, according to Buddhism, is compassion?

            Just as wisdom covers the intellectual or comprehending side of our nature, compassion covers the emotional or feeling side of our nature. Like wisdom, compassion is a uniquely human quality. Compassion is made up of two words, ‘co’ meaning together and ‘passion’ meaning a strong feeling. And this is what compassion is. When we see someone in distress and we feel their pain as if it were our own, and strive to eliminate or lessen their pain, then this is compassion. So all the best in human beings, all the Buddha-like qualities like sharing, readiness to give comfort, sympathy, concern and caring – all are manifestations of compassion. You will notice also that in the compassionate person, care and love towards others has its origins in care and love for oneself. We can really understand others when we really understand ourselves. We will know what’s best for others when we know what’s best for ourselves. We can feel for others when we feel for ourselves. So in Buddhism, one’s own spiritual development blossoms quite naturally into concern for the welfare of others. The Buddha’s life illustrates this very well. He spent six years struggling for his own welfare, after which, he was able to be of benefit to the whole of mankind.”

            So you are saying that we are best able to help others after we have helped ourselves. Isn’t that a bit selfish?

            We usually see altruism, concern for others before oneself, as being the opposite of selfishness, concern for oneself before others. Buddhism does not see it as either one or the other but rather as a blending of the two. Genuine self-concern will gradually mature into concern for others as one sees that others are really the same as oneself. This is genuine compassion and it is the most beautiful jewel in the crown of the Buddha’s teaching.”

          16. Good post, Valkov. As I was reading, it occurred to me that a lot of people really do need to have their ruds flown.on Scientology. Wouldn’t that be great? Trying to reason with them over a lot of BPC is pretty tough. The itsa on blogs or wherever may be enough for some people but may not be the handling for everyone.

          17. Al, I think if a person is looking for compasion anywhere but within their own heart, they are looking in the wrong place.

            Compasssion is not in any phoilosophy or religion, it is in how you feel about others and how you act towards them.

  20. Geir –

    I understand your criticisms of ESMB, and I think many of them are valid. There are other ways to overcome cult abuse from Scientology than hanging out at ESMB. There is vital data on the true history of Scientology and the development of the tech there. But once you’ve learned and fully digested all that, after a certain point hanging out there for too long can be detrimental to *moving on down the road*.

    That is the goal of all this – right?

    To move on down the road?

    When that point has been reached – the right time to move on – is a personal decision made by each individual, and part of the recovery of “Myself” that you talk about below.

    You wrote:

    Shedding what data I somewhat blindly accepted and regaining Myself more fully has been an interesting exploration. And it continues as a joyful exploration of free will. Love and passion has become stronger and people have become more amazing.

    Geir, you really have demonstrated a very healthy way to overcome Scientology’s long term effects in one’s life. I think you really are showing many how it should be done. It’s good having you around as one who is doin’ it right.

  21. Hi Geir, I mostly post at ESMB and do get over run on the juvinile name calling and ad hominum of Ron that goes on there, but it is easily ignored. I dunno, you managed to push a button – and, really, so what? I have found some of the threads there to be educational – I’ve enjoyed looking at some very intellegent responses. But there is the chaf as well (which I sometimes contribute to) – how much of that do you eliminate when you moderate your blog?

    The value of the different pages like yours, ESMB, OCMB, Martys page and the others is the divergent viewpoints. It is a bit of a relief after Scientology’s one size fits all philosophy. For me, it is a quest to understand what was it I bought into, what were the lies and the truths, what works and what doesn’t? And that is the liability of not questioning what it consisted of in the first place.

    I recently started a thread there “Attacking the tech” which has some interesting viewpoints by the posters on study tech. You may like it.

    Anyway, the reason I wrote is really to say this: I appreciate when you do post there. I hope you’ll continue doing so.


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