Jon Atack: How Scientology's methods of manipulation stay with you after you leave - 2014-08-23
Jon Atack is the author of A Piece of Blue Sky, one of the very best books on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. He has a new edition of the book for sale, and for more than a year on Saturdays he helped us sift through the legends, myths, and contested facts about Scientology that tend to get hashed and rehashed in books, articles, and especially on the Internet. He was kind enough to send us a new post.
We're fortunate to have two pieces this week from you, Jon. On Thursday, you told us about L. Ron Hubbard's theory that life was a game, with him controlling the pieces. Today, you're talking again about leaving Scientology and recovering from it. Help us understand why it is ex-Scientologists have a hard time leaving the church behind.
JON: To keep the follower trapped in the mindset of the group, it is necessary to erect fences, so that they will not stray. In most groups these fences melt away once the rituals of the group are abandoned. The Krishna stops chanting all day long. The TMer stops repeating the "secret" demonic name, ceaselessly. Away from the rallies and the group euphoria, people come down from the high and integrate back into reality and the mundane. Not so with Scientologists. Scientology is self-reinforcing. We keep on "confronting" with our TRs "in," and we try to inflict the petty, endless rules of L. Ron Hubbard on all who are around. Until we don't, which usually takes some intervention on the part of reality (or from me and others of my independently-minded ilk).