Jon Atack: Why it takes so long to recover from Scientology - 2014-03-08
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 on Saturdays he's helping 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.
Jon, you've really been on a roll lately, and this week is no different. You've talked about the difficulties that people face when they leave Scientology, but this week you give us more detail about your own journey, and what convinced you to try to help others.
JON: I came back to the fray because I was concerned at the lack of recovery among so many former members. Conway and Siegelman, in their best-selling text, Snapping, reckoned that where people snap out (sorry) of most cults within months, Scientology remains embedded for about 12.5 years. They based this, so I am fairly reliably informed, on a study of three ex-Scientologists, so it is not a gold standard survey. [Conway and Siegelman respond, below.] Even so, I think they were nearly right. The majority of former Scientologists don't actually recover in 12.5 years, though. They don't recover at all, because they have to participate in their recovery, and Scientology is a self-perpetuating trap.