Scientology in Europe: 'A scapegoat always had to be found when something went wrong' - 2018-07-28
We have a real treat this week in our ongoing 'Scientology Lit' series. It's a full chapter from Robert Dam's book The Defector: After 20 years in Scientology. Robert gives us a look inside Scientology's operation in Copenhagen, its headquarters in Europe, where he spent some of his 20 years in Scientology before leaving the organization in 2004. Published in Denmark in 2011, the book was a bestseller there, but is less well known here in the U.S. We hope this intriguing chapter gives you some idea of how much the authoritarian nature of Scientology is consistent around the world...
There was a knock on the door. It was a late afternoon in the beginning of December 1996. Winter was about to set in and it was dark and cold outside. We had moved to a yellow-brick town house in the suburb of Valby. In the summer of 1994 we'd had a daughter and our old flat had become too cramped. Our new home was very roomy and we settled in nicely. There were only a few moving boxes in the cellar that had yet to be unpacked. One of them was not a real moving box, but a large, square box containing 50 Dianetics paperbacks. Some years before New Era Publications - the international Scientology publisher in Copenhagen - had run a campaign to get Dianetics back on the bestseller lists. A persistent Sea Org member had contacted me and said I needed to help support the project by buying a box of 50 copies. He said that if just a certain number of Scientologists did so, the book would once again be a bestseller. Simple math. Then it was up to me to sell the books further to friends and acquaintances I wanted to get interested in Dianetics and Scientology. As it turned out I never got around to selling the books, but New Era succeeded in reinstating Dianetics back on the bestseller lists. Not because the book had had a renaissance as the world was led to believe, but because we - myself and thousands of other loyal Scientologists around the world - had done our duty and bought a whole box each.
We liked our large, three-level townhouse and had used a lot of money and energy to make it livable. I had risen to OT V, the highest level one could attain in Europe, and thus was just as far up The Bridge as VIP Scientologists like John Travolta and Tom Cruise at the time. My auditor was the Dutchman, Caspar de Rijk. Occasionally there were fantastic sessions where I felt I got a real power boost or a sense of great relief, as if a heavy stone had been removed from my mental backpack. But for the most part the sessions were more routine, with no major accomplishments. In the Scientology community I was a walking success story, an OT, a superhuman, and I kept up the facade and played my role. I did my duty, all the time hoping and believing I'd become a proper OT when I advanced to the next level. But as my auditing progressed I was having nightmares more and more often.