In Commodore’s Messenger, Book One by Janice Gillham Grady the author tells of a young child being punished by being shut into a small, dark, dirty chain locker on board the Apollo. The little boy sobbed and cried out for his mother for days and although many could hear his pitiable cries no one dared help him.
They were too afraid to intervene.
Like it’s founder L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology is intolerant, angry and lacking in even basic human compassion or empathy and it runs on fear.
Fear and guilt are superior weapons in the cult’s arsenal and are used with subtle finesse to keep its denizens in line.
Woven into the various teachings, bulletins and policies created by Hubbard fear is the warp on the loom. The foundation on which everything else is built.
Fear of being reported, fear of falling behind, fear of being down stat, fear of Ethics, of the RPF.
If one does not understand something one just accepts it and moves on for fear of being accused of crimes against the organization. Members dare not even become ill because it is a sign of fault, of hidden transgressions.
True religions seek positives for Man. There is the desire for peace, for one to find calmness within. Man places himself in the Presence of an Other and in silence finds strength and healing. The community is important in that they come together in praise and prayer. The most important aspects are Hope and Love for each other. Yes Man often falls short of these ideals, but always the message is not that one necessarily succeeds but rather that one tries. There are no deadlines, no one standing over keeping an inventory of one’s faults. There is joy in stillness. Peace in silence.
Rather than suspiciously watching your neighbor for any misstep, people of faith reach out in empathy and generosity to lift each other up.
In dark, stark contrast Scientology is a factory of defiance. Smug, superior with a “get them before they get us” mentality. Not a community but a collective of clones audited into obedience.
People are named enemy simply for questioning their conflicting, confusing dogma.
It’s all about production.
Up stats, fulfilling ones quota and making deadlines. To Scientology outward appearances mean everything so that it can lure more people to produce more product and in the end the financial bottom line is All.
If one questions anything, whether in study or in practice, tables are immediately turned on the questioner; “what crimes are you hiding?”
Many are the tales of those routed to Ethics and forced to endure hours, days, weeks without end of Sec Checking. Hammered upon mercilessly to confess to crimes until finally they break and admit to anything just to stop the ordeal. In this cult one finds relief from mental torture through desperate lies.
Scientology’s policies are padlocks of fear on chains of guilt and the most terrible lock in this chain is that of Disconnection.
COS insists that there is no formal policy however the cult also insists that “Clears” obtain mental Super Powers that can be used to cure illness, raise the IQ and allow one to hear one’s shoelaces.
In fact there IS a policy of Disconnection.
It begins with one being labeled “Suppressive”.
If anyone, whether a member, former member or a Never In, speaks out in a manner displeasing to the Cult, one is labeled an enemy or Suppressive Person (SP).
Once one is named an SP, any family member left behind within Scientology is prohibited from having any contact whatsoever with their wayward loved one.
As Scientology states;
“When someone has been expelled from the religion, that person loses both his or her fellowship with the Church as well as with other Scientologists. The condition lasts until they have been restored to good standing. Once the person has been restored to good standing, the prohibition against fellowship with other Scientologists is lifted. Similar practices have been part of religious communities for thousands of years and have been recognized by courts of law as a fundamental right.”
The important thing to note is that this prohibition of familial or social interaction is not one that has been addressed or recognized in courts of law as a fundamental right.
Imagine taking your family member to court because they won’t speak to you. Can one seriously expect a court of law to order a family to interact?
Scientology claims that Disconnection is something freely chosen by the individuals, that it is not a rule of their “church”. If this is so then it is not in fact a religious practice and is not “part of religious communities for thousands of years and have been recognized by courts of law as a fundamental right.”
There would be no need for this explanation at all if the severing of ties between family and friends were really personal choice. The fact that Scientology feels such need to defend the practice, to provide justification, is proof that it is a hard and fast law.
No, there are no court cases brought before a judge concerning the religious estrangement of personal relationships.
Rather, what has been upheld are the religious policies dealing with the spiritual aspect of the Faith in question. This is ecclesiastical law for each faith and it concerns spiritual matters and faith based issues such as publicly renouncing one’s faith. In such a case the parishioner has made a personal choice.
A Church has the right to withhold such things as burial according to that faith’s particular rites, refusal of the Church’s rituals or sacraments, etc.
In any religion there are those members who, in their devotion and fervent adherence to their spiritual rules, may choose freely to disassociate themselves from a loved one who has placed himself outside of his Church.
Disconnection in Scientology is a prohibition.
While the cult has long looked to the practices of other faiths as a justification for their own actions, they fail to understand the motivations behind those practices. Scientology is basically saying that Disconnection is a religious practice that everybody else does so why not them? Sheesh, it’s been around for thousands of years and even the courts have recognized it.
The problem with Disconnection verses another religion’s excommunication is that unlike Scientology which focuses on extreme social isolation, it is a bottom line, last resort, religious focused discipline for everyone else.
In the Catholic Faith there is excommunication. This practice is one that is levied extremely rarely and only in the most serious of circumstances.
If one does behave in such a way as to find oneself excommunicated the person is still permitted to interact with their Catholic family and friends. There is no denial of love or support. Families do not turn on their excommunicated loved one with angry, scripted videos or hateful letters. Spouses do not divorce one another, children are not torn from their parents.
Excommunication refers to the person’s participating in the sacraments of the Church and the state of his soul. It is a spiritual based practice designed to bring the fallen parishioner back to Grace within the fold. Excommunicated people are still permitted to attend Mass, they are just prohibited from taking Holy Communion until they go to Confession and are reinstated.
In Scientology it is a policy that if a member does not disconnect from an excluded person then that person becomes Suppressive as well. Like the cooties the condition of SP is extremely contagious. Guilt by association can very well lead to another Disconnection.
This is not found in Catholicism.
Beside excommunication in the Catholic Church, the most familiar form of this punishment is Shunning as practiced by the Anabaptist communities like the Amish.
There are several different sects of Amish, each one with it’s own interpretation of Shunning (called Meidung in Pennsylvania Dutch).
From the Old Order Amish which is the strictest down to the more lenient groups like those in Lancaster Shunning is a process with several steps that can take months before anything is permanent and is used only in extreme cases. Normally a person will be placed under a temporary Shunning with the hope that he will see the error of his ways and come back. If this does not produce a return the Shunning will be “permanent” although the door and the hope is always open for a return. For many Amish communities the care and concern for their Brother or Sister’s soul is such that if the recalcitrant person joins a more lenient Church that still follows the Anabaptist belief system the Shunning is lifted. They would rather see their loved one attend a different church than no church at all.
While there is a social isolation amongst the stricter sects, many Amish communities do not agree with this aspect of Shunning and have adopted a symbolic approach which allows them to follow the letter of the Shunning without losing contact with their loved one.
“One mother prepared two separate tables, placed them within several inches of each other, and covered both with one large tablecloth. Each table had separate benches. The children and the excommunicated ate at one table and the members at the other. Only the adults knew what had transpired.” —Amish Society, Hostetler
This highlights the crucial difference between the anger, negativity and finality of Scientology’s Disconnection and the loving desire families and religious communities have for their prodigal to return.
Scientology begins and ends in anger.
Their decision to excommunicate a member is based upon the member’s effect on Scientology not vice versa. For one to question something that doesn’t feel right or something not understood is to be blamed and shamed. If the member has had enough and leaves, renouncing his experiences and choosing to no longer conform he is attacked and denigrated.
Scientology is in no way worried about the spiritual welfare of the former parishioner, rather what is important to the cult is how the former parishioner’s actions reflect upon Scientology.
Yes, religions have the right to form their own ecclesiastical laws and to expect their parishioners to follow them. However true religions use those laws with care for the spiritual welfare of those who adhere to that particular faith. Their ultimate wish is for the person to return for the sake of their soul.
Scientology’s rules are solely for the protection of the cult.
Disconnection is not designed to urge the ex member to reconsider and return. There is nothing encouraging about it. It is an angry rejection not only by the so called “Church” but also an enforced rejection by those supposed to love him.
Excommunication, Shunning or whatever it may be called is designed as a tough love approach to the wayward member. Like sending a child to his room, he can still hear the rest of the family enjoying themselves and wants to be part of that togetherness again.
It is the hope that the person will realize he has placed himself outside his spiritual community and his soul in jeopardy and like the prodigal son, he will return and repent.
When a former member of Scientology leaves and is named an SP, his entire community turns on him in rage and hate. Fair Game can be applied and the former member finds himself the target of malicious harassment. His own family attacks him in order to remain in good standing themselves.
Why would anyone wish to return to an organization that treats them like this?
There is no similarity between Disconnection and the excommunication used by other faiths and there is no court case that upholds a church’s right to sever family ties and Fair Game someone.
Scientology is not a religion and it cares nothing for the individual member, his wellbeing or his soul.
“Make money, make more money, make people make more money.”