Repeatedly people ask the same question over and over again in my work.
"How can someone get involved in something like Scientology"?
The implication being that there must be something wrong with those taken in by Scientology since the organization, its founder and his teachings have been exposed through the press.
Well, thanks for helping everyone to understand how and/or why that happens.
You say that you have "investigated" and supposedly "researched Scientology, yet as you have demonstrated here through your posts you actually know very little about the organization, its founder and history.
You have not even reached "clear," let alone an OT level. You only know what you have paid to find out thus far, and it's not much.
The chronology of your enlightenment is rather revealing. You seem to be someone who wants to believe, and you cite supposed proof of things that cannot be proven demonstrating this.
It seems you were predisposed to believe whatever Scientology would tell you, as long as what they said made you feel good.
Combine that with their process of indoctrination, which many say is little more than "brainwashing" and you end up where you are now, which seems to be willing to accept virtually anything they say or any apology they might offer regarding their history, bad press, etc.
One example is the Scientology response to why people oppose them, which is a transparently self-serving response of an organization that refuses to accept responsibility for its behavior.
The more obvious answer is that people oppose Scientology because of its bad behavior, policies and that its teachings don't work.
Scientology is ranked lower than Islam as one of the most, unpopular religions in America. Even Islam, despite “Muslim terrorists” and rioting radicals making headlines, is seen better.
Specifically, Americans are twice as likely to view Islam favorably than Scientology.
The poll conducted by CBS News was actually focused on measuring the perception of Islam amongst Americans and not Scientology, but other religions were named and came up and also were measured in poll results.
CBS found that amongst Americans 45% said they have an unfavorable view of Islam, a rise from 36% in February reports Daily Times in Pakistan.
Only 19% of had a favorable view of Islam, compared to 30% in 2002.
But only 8% of the American public view Scientology favvorably according to the CBS poll, which is less than one in ten.
Other faiths ranked are also follows; 58% had a favorable impression of Protestantism, 48% of Catholicism, 47% of the Jewish religion, 31% of Christian fundamentalist religions and 20% of the Mormon religion.
Scientology's explanation, which you have accepted, not only doesn't make sense, it demonstrates again why the church is so unpopular. There is no dialog about its mistakes, but rather only denial and a complete refusal to even address issues about its behavior.
For example, L. Ron Hubbard's bio.
You seem to think that there is another "version" of his recorded life. As if his military record, court records, school records are subjective. And he is somehow his "genius" was "obvious" despite the records that objectively demonstrate otherwise and the first hand accounts of his own son, former wives and associates.
Again, beleiving in Hubbard for Scientologists appears to be a matter of faith, not something based upon facts.
Anyone that seriously investigates and does research about the man can easily establish that, as numerous press articles demonstrate.
I don't get angry or upset about stuff if I don't want to. It's a nice way to be - things feel much more serene and exciting than they used to be
This is how many cult members respond. There is a certain serenity in surrender to the group and its mindset, which makes cult members feel good. The group has all the answers and there is no more need to struggle, "it's a nice way to be" and increasingly it's about how they "feel" not what they think.
This can be seen in part as an inate desire by many to seek something that makes them feel good regardless of the consequences. Much like a drug addict or an alcoholic. In addition cult members experience the group process of persuasion or indoctrination, which is often called brainwashing.
The psychologist Margaret Singer broke this down to six conditions that follow in succession.
1. Keep the person unaware of what is going on and the changes taking place (e.g. Scientology doesn't allow people to know their entire program or teachings until they pay to reach each level therefore an initiate cannot make a fully informed decision about joing the religion, since they don't actually know what it is all about).
2. Control the person's time and, if possible, physical environment. (e.g. in Scientology this is done by taking up the person's time with courses, auditing, programs, etc. and increasingly they tend to associate more and more with other Scientologists.
3. Create a sense of powerlessness, covert fear, and dependency.(e.g. in Scientology this is accomplished through teachings about the negative reactive mind, suppression, suppresive people, engrams, auditing etc. Eventually the Scientologist will also fear the influence of body thetans).
4. Suppress much of the person's old behavior and attitudes. (e.g. in Scientology this is accomplished through its course work and auditing. Scientologists are taught to label anything they think or feel that is contrary to Scientology's preferred way of thinking and feeling as negative, suppresive etc.).
5. Instill new behavior and attitudes. (e.g. in Scientology this is accomplished also through course work and auditting, conversely to number four above. That is, whatever Scientology says is a good behavior or attitude is acceptable and adopted by the Scientologist).
6. Put forth a closed system of logic; allow no real input or criticism. (e.g. in Scinetology Hubbard's teachings are absolute. He is always right and if you disagree you are wrong. Hubbards teachings are what noted psychiatrist and thought reform expert Robert Jay Lifton called a "Sacred Science."
Liftons says that this Sacred Science becomes "an ultimate moral vision for the ordering of human existence. This sacredness is evident in the prohibition (whether or not explicit) against the questioning of basic assumptions, and in the reverence which is demanded for the originators of the Word, the present bearers of the Word, and the Word itself. While thus transcending ordinary concerns of logic, however, the milieu at the same time makes an exaggerated claim of airtight logic, of absolute "scientific" precision. Thus the ultimate moral vision becomes an ultimate science; and the man who dares to criticize it, or to harbor even unspoken alternative ideas, becomes not only immoral and irreverent, but also "unscientific." In this way, the philosopher kings of modern ideological totalism reinforce their authority by claiming to share in the rich and respected heritage of natural science."
This is the most obvious facet of Scientology that corresponds to what can be seen easily as thought reform or "brainwashing."
This is a complete description of the eight criteria Lifton used to establish if a group or organization is using "thought reform."
This chart by Singer demonstrates the gradations of influence from education through advertising to thought reform.
At the bottom of the chart is a list of Singer's six conditions along with Lifton's eight criteria and how they correspond with each other.