Posted by: shakti ()
Date: April 10, 2015 04:39AM

Rick, I'm shocked that you are backing Dr. Mann up. She is the one who tried to derail this thread and turn it into a discussion of "Zeussors" credential or lack thereof. This happened before with the Anthroposophy discussion, in which you gently pointed out her derailing. I do not blame ANYONE for watching or reading material on Hubbard and positing that he was "crazy". It's strong material and elicits strong reactions, like those of Zeussor.

Personally, I have no opinion on that, maybe he was crazy, maybe not. His work speaks for itself. Hubbard is a public figure, and a DEAD one at that. People should feel free on this board to express strong opinions about him without it being turned into a debate on their own credentials. I appreciate Dr. Manns work in the field, but I would hope that this does not become a forum where board members are considered a little better than other posters. This has not been the case in the past.

And I say this as one of your biggest fans and a longtime supporter.

Posted by: yasmin ()
Date: April 10, 2015 07:21AM

Hi Shakti, yep, kind of agree with you here..While I understand where Dr Mann is coming from, as in terms of academics if you wish to be taken seriously, it does sound much better not to call someone names.But this board is not a board purely for academics, it is also for people who have actually lived in cults or high demand groups, many of whom need a safe place to express their often strong emotions and feelings. And of course saying someone is "evil" is slang, not making a DSM diagnosis.

People don't need to be 'superior" to have an opinion. And people who have lived in groups have their own type of knowledge, the kind that only comes from experience.

Plenty of people here have been in groups where only the "superior" ones were allowed to have an opinion, and personally I really don't have much time for that any more.. . In some groups, of course, any unwanted opinion would be considered the result of a character flaw.

A friend of mine who was a therapist while talking about the 60s mentioned that therapy got really good at breaking people down around that time, not so good at putting them back together afterwards.

Rick imo typically manages to communicate kindly even with those with whom he disagrees. Perhaps Dr Mann could consider similarly being a little gentler in her communications?

DR Mann, I am sure you have a lot of knowledge and training to offer. Just mo, but kindness first, or people won't be able to hear what you say.

Posted by: shakti ()
Date: April 11, 2015 12:01AM

Yes, Yasmin, you got the point across much better than I could. I don't have a PhD, I have no idea if folks like anticult or corboy have ones. I don't care. We've all contributed a lot to these discussion forums over the years.

If this is meant to be a locked-down board where only academics specializing in cult studies can post and have strong opinions, fine, I totally respect that. I'm on an email list in my own professional career (totally unrelated to cults) and it is quite nice to not have to sort through emails from trolls or those with little knowledge of my field.

But that has never been my perception of this board, and it would be a very dull board without us amateurs. A board where people can't use perjorative, emotion -driven descriptors like "crazy", "madman", "tyrant", "megalomaniac", "pervert", "sicko", to describe folks like Hubbard, the Islamic State leaders, Yogi Bhajan, Chris Butler, pedo priests,etc. is going to be a much less interesting and free-flowing board.

As for the topic at hand (sorry, I don't want to derail either!), I've watched about a third of Going Clear and am very impressed so far. It's one thing to read stories about Jason Beghe, for example, it's a totally different thing to hear him in his own words. A huge thank you to the filmmakers and interviewees for their courage against this vengeful cult and business machine.

Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: April 11, 2015 03:33AM

Hi everyone:

It seems to me there may be a misunderstanding here.

This is not a "locked down" board.

Let's sort it out a bit.

First of all, the issue of L. Ron Hubbard and his psychological problems, erratic behavior, etc. is discussed in some depth within "Going Clear" the documentary and also Going Clear the book in detail.

So if your are interested in this subject please catch the documentary, which is excellent, on HBO or read the book by Lawrence Wright.

BTW--I write about this too to some extent in my book Cults Inside Out and specifically cite the fact that the drug Vistaril (hydrooxyzine) was found in L. Ron Hubbard's blood at death, according to the coronner's report. This is within a chapter in my book about Scientology.

See []

"Vistaril is used as a sedative to treat anxiety and tension. It is also used together with other medications given for anesthesia. Vistaril may also be used to control nausea and vomiting."

Of course Scientology insists that Hubbard had no psychological problems and didn't take Vistaril for such problems, despite the fact that this is quite often its common purpose.

All Dr. Mann is trying to do here is set the thread straight about the issue of making definitive sounding statements and/or procnouncements about someone's mental state, without proper credentials and a formal evaluation.

Frankly, zeuszor has a history at this board of causing arguments and killing threads. He basically did this endlessly on the Jesus Christians thread until just about everybody left. He seems to like stirring up trouble.

Dr. Mann on the other hand is a member of the Cult Education Institute Adviory board and has a PhD in forensic psychology. It's part of her job to do psychiological evaluations and she has been qualified and testified as an expert in a number of court cases across the United States.

So on one hand we have Dr. Mann, a licensed professional and court expert helpfully trying to make some distinctions, while zeuszor just appears to be trying to start some argument on this thread, which is sadly his history.

It's OK to say whatever you think, such as in your opinion this or that leader seems crazy, odd, manipulative or whatever. But that's not the same as seeming of render a diagnosis, which is the domain of qualified mental health professionals.

It's OK to say that it wouldn't surprise you if a certain leader was diagnosed as a "psychopath," or point out that according to the Going Clear book and dcoumetary L. Ron Hubbard apparently had psychological problems or behavior issues.

But no one can offer a specific stated diagnosis without the proper time and credentials to do it.

This board will always be open for anyone to share personal experiences and personal opinions, but not as a platform for someone pretending to be an expert.

Let's stay within reasonable parameters and the posted rules.

All the best to everyone.

Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 04/11/2015 03:45AM by rrmoderator.

Posted by: zeuszor ()
Date: April 12, 2015 09:44PM

Going Clear is now available for viewing online. :-)


Posted by: C.A. Mann, PhD ()
Date: April 13, 2015 07:14AM

Jill, anger is good. It motivates many into action. In terms of Hubbard, he may have been the worst of a group of very dangerous cult leaders, such as Applewhite, Prophet, and others, who have been found medically to have brain lesions or epilepsy (Prophet laid in a near coma for the last 9 years of her life due to gross diminishiment of the brain.) The question is not to separate them by labels, but to consider how they create and dominate their followers. Sociologist Richard Ofshe was able to explain that a large part of indoctrination in cult settings came from member to member, a behavior he called coercive persuasion. This helps explain how large groups like Scientology stay large and maintain control, because the members are doing almost all the work. It helps more to look at a group like that, then to spend too much time using (usually wrong) psychological labels on the leader. Calling a cult leader "schizophrenic" is not only inaccurate (Hubbard could not function at all if he was), but does nothing to help Scientologists in terms of getting them out, and hampers any chance of a real dialogue.
Cathleen Mann, PhD

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/13/2015 07:16AM by C.A. Mann, PhD.

Posted by: jill w ()
Date: April 13, 2015 08:55PM

Makes good sense.

After watching "Going Clear" a second time, it seemed like some of those interviewed left because they were angry.

Being told to not have contact with a family member would possibly be the reason to leave.

This message board really opened my eyes to the destruction some of these groups cause in families, including my own.

I'm still thinking one way to lessen the damage to families would be for the IRS to change the status for these groups and for the authorities to get involved.

If I understand correctly, one reason the authorities can't get involved is because these groups are labeled by the IRS a CHURCH.

Web sites like this one are important.

Posted by: zeuszor ()
Date: April 14, 2015 12:21AM

"If you want the IRS to re-examine Scientology’s tax exempt status, it’s time to get real

There's a White House petition going around about Scientology that we keep hearing about every ten minutes. Sorry, but it's garbage. You really want to get the IRS to re-examine its decision to grant tax-exempt status to Scientology? Then follow these instructions researched by our friend Jeffrey Augustine."


Posted by: zeuszor ()
Date: April 14, 2015 12:28AM

A question: as far as we know, did anybody ever die as a result of the practice of "overboarding", as in, when LRH was at sea in the sixties and seventies?

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