When I left the church a week ago, I published my decision on my web site. The next three days I spend in meetings with my Scientology friends and my closest associates. I personally briefed 33 people in 25 meetings on my decision.
I also briefed the Director of Special Affairs of the Church of Scientology in Oslo before I sent an e-mail to all the relevant Scientology organizations and my friends abroad. Lots of e-mails with the Doubt write-up as attachment.
I have made some interesting observations during my meetings, and I would like to share these with the reader (you)
Most Scientologists I met immediately rejected the data in my write-up. They would say “Oh, this can’t be true!”, “I don’t believe this!” or “No way!” etc. An automatic rejection. I found this rather strange.
Why would someone automatically reject data before evaluating it? Why this auto-reject? I believe the answer to these questions is close to the answer to why someone would automatically accept data without evaluation.
Besides the point that the data on how the church operates is so far from the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, it really boils down to personal integrity. If a person is uncertain of his own observational capacity, he may simply rely on other people’s observations – to get rid of uncomfortable uncertainties. People would like to be certain, and without their own certainty, they may opt to cling to some stable data they are presented. Rocking those stable data makes the person uncomfortably insecure again.
It seems that some people believe that even false stable data is better than uncertainty. Automatic acceptance or rejection of data seems better than being uncertain until you can evaluate the data for yourself. It seems that believing a lie and not rocking the boat is chosen above one’s own personal integrity.
Discarding your personal integrity is tantamount to discarding yourself. This flies straight in the face of the stated purposes of Scientology – which is the regaining of self, of free will, of personal integrity. The practice of auto-acceptance or auto-rejection is contrary to my own gains in Scientology as well. To many church staff’s frustration, my personal integrity has grown constantly with my advancement in Scientology. Especially upon completing OT VIII there is no more auto-accept or auto-reject. Data is honestly looked at, evaluated, opinions are fact-checked. I make up my own mind.
It is worth to remember what L. Ron Hubbard himself wrote on personal integrity:
“What is true for you is what you have observed yourself. And when you lose that you have lost everything. What is personal integrity? Personal integrity is knowing what you know – What you know is what you know – And to have the courage to know and say what you have observed. And that is integrity.”
So L. Ron Hubbard teaches a person to believe in his own observations and to draw his own conclusions and then to have the courage to speak his mind.
The church on the other hand teaches its members not to look at the Internet, to not read any contrary data to Scientology or any criticism. The church decides for its members who they should not listen to and who they can not associate with. This instills in its members personal un-integrity.
Preconceived ideas and auto-accept/reject are synonyms. The world then becomes black and white and the person becomes dumber. It’s mental laziness to rely on the digital black/white, right/wrong, us/them proposition. It serves for a way to sheepdom. And further down the road, when the person really gives up observing and evaluating for himself, life may become the way of the lemming. Lemmings is a great game to play. It’s a lousy way of life.
To be fair, a few of my friends that went on an automatic rejection then started to open their eyes slowly. Some have started their own research. But the church is putting on the pressure and getting one by one of them into meetings and doing their best to discredit me. Not my data much, but me. This is one of the logical fallacies called “argumentum ad hominem“. A few of my friends are opening their eyes further as a result of these actions by the church. It may be a slow process, but the truth will dawn on them, lest they decide to discard some personal integrity.
In closing; “Even if you are in a minority of one, the truth is still the truth“. – Ghandi