When I got into Scientology back in 1984, I was a nerd. I couldn’t pick up a girl if my life depended on it. And while my interest in Scientology was initially along the lines of particle physics, it was the communication training that would give me a boost in the right direction.
During my first few months in the Scientology organization in Oslo, I noticed that quite a few of the people frequenting there was “a bit off” – not ordinary or normal. Some were right out wirdoes. Like me I guess, so I didn’t pay much attention to it. The training went great. There was a few strange situations, like grown ups yelling at eachother and behaving like they never had a real upbringing… but these situations were dwarved by my gains from the subject.
As time went on, I had more strange and even crazy experiences. One time the Executive Director started spitting in my face. Another time I was yelled at from point blank distance and with full force by the Depyty Commanding Officer for Europe. And I saw others being treated badly. But again, the gain kept mounting and the “score card” kept going in the positive direction.
In 1996 I was asked by OSA (Office of Special Affairs – the Church of Scientology intelligence arm) to help them out on the Internet. I was to do research and find information on the main enemies of Scientology and report back to OSA. It was like entering the loony bin. The news group alt.religion.scientology was arift with kooks. The place would give any psychitrist a field day. The fact that the kookiest of them all, Koos Nolst Trenite, had gotten the Kook of the Month Award in 1995 seemed to fit all to well into the picture. But the picture was clearly “explained” as this snake pit was the result of Suppressive People gathering to destroy my religion. It never really dawned on me that many of the kooks hanging out at ARS had been in Scientology and that many of the weirdities I saw inside the church could well have been equally kooky had they had the freedom to post freely and anonymously on the Net.
It also never occured to me how it was that the group with supposedly the best communication training in the world could get itself into such a communication mess as I saw on the Net and also in their handeling of media exposure.
As the pressure from Scientology International Management mounted parallelling the contraction of Scientology worldwide, the kookness became ever more present. All the while I was busy justifying that the craziness I saw in Oslo and Copenhagen had to be the lack of training in these lower organizations.
My severe reality adjustment came as I met the Church leader, David Miscavige in 2006. The insanity came from the very top.
I left the church in 2009 and have been posting and discussing Scientology on various forums, mailing lists and other channels since then – like my blogs, the FreeZone and IVY mailing lists, The ESMB and Anon forums, etc. I have also been active in very different arenas such as the EFN (the Norwegian EFF counterpart), the HP calculator Forum, various LinkedIn groups and Facebook groups, etc. When I compare all these arenas with those concerning Scientology (outside or inside the church) there seems to be an overrepresentation of kooks in the world of Scientology. While I remain among the few weird people in those other arenas, I am certainly not in a minority in the Scientology arenas.
But beyond the positive quirks or cute eccentricities, what I am targetting here is the inability to treat others with respect, the inability to resolve situations with good communication.
So, why is this? Is it because weirdoes get attracted to Scientology, or is it because Scientology produce them? In any case, it seems unlikely that Scientology is able to mitigate the kookiness among its ranks. And that puzzles me.
Let an open discussion ensue. No rules. No suspensions. Feel free to pitch in. Al, Dio, Vin, ESMB-ers and normal people alike, let your voice be heard.