Scientology - Through the Door

Interviews

Thursday, 23rd November, 2006 08:23:26am

Name or Alias: Tony G
Training and/or processing level: Comm course, HQS, Life repair, PTS rundown
Org or location: Celebrity Center, LA
Time involved in the Church of Scientology: 3 years
Recommended Website - wikipedia
1. How did you first become acquainted with the Church of Scientology?
TV commercial for Dianetics that advertised answers to various questions about life.

2. What initially appealed to you about scientology?
I was gay and didn‘t fit in with the world. It sounds silly to say that now, but that was a real stigma for a teen age guy in the 60's and 70's. Dianetics seemed to explain why I was gay and offer a way to change. I had formed the opinion that traditional psychology was bull (they would have previously classified me as mentally ill. I’m sorry, I’m not a nut!). Ron was disgusted by gay people too, but at least he seemed to offer something you could do about it. I also really wanted to believe the was a wise, benevolent person who discovered something new and wanted to make the world a better place.

3. Were there problems in your life that you thought scientology would address?
Being gay was unacceptable. However, I was also intrigued with their promises about the abilities of a clear and OT: Energy, perfect health, genus IQ, perfect memory, increased life span, never get frazzled, ESP, leaving the body, paranormal powers, past lives, immortality . . .


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?
Their fees are absurd:
I assumed the money went to the auditors and supervisors who were compensated as experienced professionals (later, that I learned that most staff work for slave wages and auditors were actually students that were paying to audit me!).

Before COS, I had attended EST:
I went to COS to do book one Dianetics. Dianetics claimed that aberration was caused by engrams and how someone can remove those negative effects. However, COS didn’t give me Dianetics. Instead, they put me in the communications course and had the ethics officer tell me what a bad person I was for participating in EST. They were completely wrong, but I didn’t argue, otherwise I wouldn’t get the total freedom that was being promised. From day one, I felt like I was trying to go clear in spite of Scientology - not because of it.


5. Why did you choose to stay in the Church of Scientology?
After feeling some temporary relief in auditing from talking to someone about my problems, I held hope that all that was needed was more processing for a breakthrough: A PTS rundown, a search and discovery, an FES, one more intensive, a repair, retread, or one more rundown and the 'real' gains would happen. I had made a time consuming, expensive investment - I can't quit now when amazing abilities are around the corner! I was also taken with the Celebrity Center in Hollywood. It is a very impressive, beautiful building. I really felt comfort that the people who created this amazing place were genuinely concerned about me and improving my condition.


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'?
Public

7. Why did you leave the Church of Scientology? Was there a "final straw"?
I didn‘t leave COS - COS wasn’t interested in me after the money ran out:
In 1983, after a few courses and 100 hours of auditing in the HGC (with a FES by the RTC), I was told that I needed two more intensives for a breakthrough and to let them know when I have more money. I left bankrupt, with the opinion that there may be helpful stuff here for some people, but it clearly doesn’t work for everyone - despite their claims of 'workability.'

Over the following 25 years I went on with my life. If I did happen to look back and wonder if one more intensive would have made a difference, I reconciled that it ultimately didn’t matter. I'm a good person, there's nothing wrong with being gay, and I don't need theta perceptions to enjoy a satisfying life with my partner of 14 years. (As opposed to Ron's three failed marriages, estranged or suicidal children, strokes and dying alone in Creston, CA with a butt filled with an anti-neurotic psych drug). I wouldn't trade places with the ultimate OT for anything!


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?
Any religion that attaches a cash register to salvation is false.

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?
No, please see below.

10. Any additional comments you would like to make?
Until recently, COS was very successful in stamping out communications that didn‘t help COS sell its services. There was no internet where people could speak to each other about their experiences or ask questions. Unless you can compare notes, anything may seem to work - Magnetic belts, Magic healing crystals, Astrology, People’s temple, Psychics, Heaven’s gate . . . If you have realized benefits from COS, then I am sincerely happy for you and wish that everyone had something that helps make life better. However, manipulation should not be used to sell COS:

1. Don’t tell people that “Scientology is a science“ - there is nothing in Scientology that will stand up to empirical testing, peer review and the scientific method. At best it’s a belief system (and there's nothing wrong with a belief system).

2. Don‘t suggest that it “works for everyone“ - read some of these stories, it doesn‘t always work! (It has actually ruined some people mentally and financially. I had to file bankruptcy).

3. Don‘t invite people to find out “It it is true for you“ when you don‘t intend to allow them the viewpoint that it doesn‘t work.

4. Don’t dismiss critique about COS because “other religions have bad points too” - COS advertises that it is the only religion that works. It holds itself above other religions and maintains that all other religions are false, unworkable implants. If auditing always works, only does good, and even bad auditing is better than no auditing, there would only be good stories. Why would Seaorg people wind up in the RPF when they have the best training and processing in a pure theta environment?

5. Recognize that Scientology processing and training costs virtually nothing to deliver. COS would have you believe it’s goal is a “world without war, crime and insanity” or “a clear planet.” If that were true, COS would focus on getting the maximum amount of processing and training to as many people as possible. SCI was a “gift given freely by Ron“. The reality is that the goal of COS is to take as much money from you as possible. To wit:

Training uses books, bulletins, clay and recordings. All of these materials can be used indefinitely by unlimited numbers of people. It takes place in a building that is often paid for, and supervised by staff that works for a pittance. The cost of training is next to nothing. Why would money be an obstacle to receiving as much training as wanted?

Processing in the HGC is done by students who are paying to be there, or the aforementioned staff on slave wages. An e-meter can be used for unlimited amounts of time. Paper is cheap. The building is paid for. What church would turn away people seeking help because of money?

In summary, Scientology uses bait and switch to take your money. It sells abilities and immortality, but delivers “wins” and “cognitions“. Unfortunately, unethical telemarketers and COS use the same cognitive biases to take your money and cause you to believe it was your idea. For contrast. look how problematic the internet has been. Yet it has actually transformed the planet in the last 10-15 years because, even in spite of its problems, it does actually work!

For more information, search Wikipedia.com for “List of cognitive biases” and in particular, read: Bandwagon effect, Congruence bias, Selective bias, Anchoring, Anthropic Bias, Availability heuristic, Illusory correlation, Myside bias, Observer-expectancy bias, Optimism bias, Forer effect, False memory. Better yet, read L. Ron Hubbard Jr’s interview in Penthouse magazine.


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