Thursday, 28th March, 2002 03:24:21pm
Name or Alias:
Training and/or processing level:
Student Hat, Purif, Method-One Co-Audit, many basic courses
Org or location:
Las Vegas, Nevada. Both orgs.
Time involved in the Church of Scientology:
10 years part time, 3 years full time
Recommended Website - The homepage of Tilman Hausherr
- 1. How did you first become acquainted with the Church of
- Word-of-mouth. This lady and I meet, we start dating, she mentions scientology.
- 2. What initially appealed to you about scientology?
- The Tone Scale, I would have to say that it was the Tone Scale that hooked me into going for more. At the time I came along, this would have been around 1984 maybe, they were still using non-Hubbard books in the orgs (churches). There was a book titled, How To Choose Your People. This book was based on the Hubbard Tone Scale. Once you had read the book there was a 'course' to be done. This course cost only $10.00. It took about a week to do, it was fun and educational. From there I went onto other low cost courses.
- 3. Were there problems in your life that you thought
scientology would address?
- For me, no, this does not apply.
- 4. Did you see, experience, or hear about things that didn't
seem right while you were in the Church of Scientology? What were
they, and what convinced you to set aside your feelings?
- They were weird people, that's how I had viewed them for many years, as a bunch of weirdos. They talked one thing and did another. They were constantly Expanding and Growing, yet the membership was always dwindling. They were the most Ethical people on the planet, yet they would lie to each other and to anyone at all with no problems at all. They were members and staff-members because they knew their spiritual freedom required scientology courses and processes, and yet they were rarely taking courses or receiving Auditing. Sometimes a few of them would live in the orgs because they could not afford apartments. Some of them wore old dirty clothes. They had tired faces from lack of proper sleep and lived off of junk-food from the fast-food restaurants. Now this was not all of them, only the majority of them. And you wouldn't learn this unless you got close to them, unless you got among them.
What convinced me to set aside my feelings? Well I wasn't really part of it all. For me most of the years of involvement were a lark, a 'something' I would do once in a while to break the boredom of day to day living. I would go in to see what they were up to, to see what might be new, and to maybe take some small and inexpensive course for a week or so. And this being the case what they did, or the things that were wrong, were of no importance to me. I never did care or worry about that type of stuff one way or the other. And besides, someone like myself, I never did see the 'disconnections' and stuff like that. That type of activity is quite secretive. You must really be part of it all to witness it. As far as something like 'poor living conditions', well that seems to happen to a lot of people at some time or another in life and anyway Poverty and being Pious seem to go together quite often.
- 5. Why did you choose to stay in the Church of
- Well, contrary to what seem to be popular beliefs and convictions, I was in mainly for the tricks I was learning. They have Communication tricks, and tricks for controlling people and situations. I found the tricks quite good and I found that they worked quite well, some of the tricks. It was this that kept me coming back and learning more, these tricks and the chance to practice them. Because we did practice them in what are called Drills. You learned to shut people up or get them to talking, whichever you wanted. You learned to move them around a room, you could distract them or make them focus, whichever you wanted at the time. If I met you in person and decided it would be to my benefit to have you like me, then WHAM, I would do the maneuvers needed and you would like me. You wouldn't know why you liked me, you wouldn't be able to explain it, but you would like me. Now just to clear the air here, does this work 100% of the time? Of course not.
- 6. Were you staff or public? If staff, was it at a mission or
an org? Were you ever in the Sea Org or OSA? Which unit? If not on
staff, did you ever volunteer to 'help out'?
- 3 times on Staff for short periods of time, the longest being maybe 2 months. I was only ever at a local org. Only one trip to Los Angeles while a member, and that was for an Event and not for staff-training or anything else. Never Sea Org or OSA, nothing like that. Never even had a high level of responsibility while a staff member. It was quite common, at least at these Las Vegas orgs, for members to 'help out'. Typically with things like preparing the bulk-mailings for the week, or maybe cleaning, painting, things like this. And of these 'helping out' things, I had done that quite often.
- 7. Why did you leave the Church of Scientology? Was there a
- I have often thought of this question, and have tried to remember what the 'final straw' was. There would have been a final straw, but personally I cannot remember what it might have been. For me there were many things that caused displeasure with it all, lots of little things, each of them alone probably nothing, but the accumulation of these 'straws' is what led to my leaving. And besides, I might be unique here. I was already done with scientology mentally, I knew it was over, that there would be no more Courses or anything for me. There I was just sort of drifting on the fringes, slowly drifting away, and then I opened an internet account, typed 'scientology' into a search engine, found critical pages and ARS, and at that point it was 100% irreversibly over.
- 8. Do you think the Church of Scientology needs to change some
of its practices? If so, what should be changed? How did those
practices affect your life?
- First off there is no Church of Scientology. That whole 'Church' angle is a joke, trust me, I was a member, I know what I'm talking about. So does this Club, Group or Cult need to change some of its practices? I don't know??? I don't care either. They are a bunch of deluded people that have found each other, they are 'happy' together. Should they stop, for example, making each other Disconnect from family and friends? I guess they should, but what's the big deal anyway? They are happy doing it. Death and circumstance separate people all the time, this is nothing new. And except for scientology nobody knows of brothers who never speak to each other, of mothers that will not talk to their children, of children who won't bother with their parents. This is nothing new, it is a fact of life, why all the fuss about it? We carry on as though 'scientology' were some person or monster that does this and that, but no, that is not the situation. When you are in there you are a Player, you are the monster doing these things to yourself and others. A bunch of happy deluded people believing that this and that leads to happiness. 'If you don't go to Church on Sunday you go to Hell forever.' Now that's a nice one, but scientology doesn't have that one, that would be some other group. Scientology has its own little things, and how are you going to change them. I mean you can eat pork in scientology and not suffer some form of damnation. Should we change that? Should we make pork a bad thing in scientology? Scientology charges $100.00 for a dictionary that is poorly constructed. Should we change that? Why? If people want to pay that price, let them be happy. Scientology says to 'ruin an enemy totally'. Now this is a bad one, but the Law will eventually straighten it out. Sure scientology needs to change some of the practices (yawn).
How did these practices affect my life? As much as I let them, just like all of us going down the road of life and constantly bombarded by this and that input allow ourselves to be changed. There is no monster save for the one we make ourselves. In scientology, a good scientologist allows you to make your own 'happiness'. Nothing is ever forced on you, at least not on the local level to the best of my knowledge.
- 9. If the items you listed in the previous question were
changed, would you consider rejoining or staying in the Church of
Scientology? If so, why?
- For me it is over, totally. Several reasons. The main reason is that I was never in for 'improvement', only for the tricks I could learn. As a member I would constantly avoid Auditing Sessions. I would do them to others, but I didn't want them done to me. Early on and almost immediately I thought Hubbard's claims of 'exact processes that give precise results' was pure garbage. People are different. If you truly wanted to help people have a better life, let's say, you would have to work with what was in front of you at the moment. None of this stuff about one shoe size that fits all feet. If one is in scientology and does not want the auditing the only thing left are the courses that teach tricks. There are only so many of these courses, you do them and you are done with it. Kind of like graduating High School, you don't go back and do High School over and over.
The other compelling reason I cannot go back is that I cannot support the fanatical activity that happens at the top of the ladder. Brain-dead fanatics stalking children and terrorizing the elderly in the name of spiritual-freedom. These types of actions cost money to perform, I could never ever donate to that again. And it is a real embarrassment to have learned that at one time I had actually supported that type of activity with my monies.
In this respect scientology is dangerous. But it is only a few individuals capable of this, and the deluded local member is not really guilty of anything. But still, like Keith Henson says, 'a good thing about scientology is that it keeps you out of even more dangerous cults.' Sure they stalk children, but better they do that then join something like The Heaven's Gate.
- 10. Any additional comments you would like to make?
- A study like this, of ex-members, is a study of failure. Ex-members like myself are 'wannabes'. We tried and we failed, we could not make the grade as a cult member. Some of us made it to higher levels of responsibility, some of us lasted longer than others. But the one thing we all have in common is that we are failures as cult members.
For those who would study the 'cult mentality' or subjects like this... go beyond our writings because we are the failures. And we have our excuses and probably some of those excuses are quite elaborate and heartfelt and whatnot, but they are only excuses. The fact is that we failed to make it as a cult member.
And I doubt you'll find many of us willing to apologize for this failure.(smile).
While there are still orgs you people need to visit them. Go among them, spend some time with them, spend some of your time with the Successful cult member.
But do be gentle. Understand the awesome power you have over them, and don't cause them any grief. They are only there for a while, most of them, and they will eventually drift away.
The overwhelming majority of current members are not criminals, and are incapable of criminal acts such as stalking children, planting drugs, getting people fired from their jobs. There are only a few really bad-apples in the basket. On ARS and on web pages we tend to deal only with the extremes of it all, and it would be an error to paint an entire picture based on the actions of a very few people.
I say we put too much emphasis on this whole thing, that we forget just how trivial it all really is, except for those few extreme actions. I say that an entire aspect of membership in scientology is not discussed or covered, that all we dwell on is the sensationalistic.
Consider this, most members that leave and join ARS are higher level members. We don't get many low-level members such as myself. We seem to get only or mainly those people that were near the top of the ladder. And for that small percentage there are a lot of horror stories to be told.
At the local level... well it is nothing like that. You want to talk about child abuse, it never happened here in Las Vegas. Period, end of subject, it never happened. I would not have allowed it, and nobody else who was a member would have allowed it. It is quite the opposite here and I suspect that at all local orgs there is simply no such thing as child abuse. Although to be fair, they will keep children prisoner in an org all day long sometimes if nobody complains. But the children are healthy and happy.
We read of Los Angeles and Clearwater about people being held in a room and badgered until they paid for an OT Level or something. I believe that stuff happens, at those locations, but not at the local level. Nothing like that. Sure you might get badgered, but you never have to fight your way out of a room. And it goes on and on. Life is quite different at the local level, quite different from what we usually find on ARS and web pages.
And once again, do not put too much meaning into writings like mine, the writings of an ex-member. For we are the failures, the ones that couldn't make it as cult members. And while the opportunity exists, while there is still time, go visit a local Org Of Scientology.