Negative attitudes and ‘waiting’ in scientology

Some thoughts that come to mind reflecting on scientology concepts.

1. Negative attitudes

I’ve noticed this particularly in long time ex Sea Org or staff – the attitude that you must not discuss things in detail when challenging events or issues raise their heads. It’s ok to relay what happened in a ‘debrief’ kind of way, but not to experience the emotions that are normal when something awful has happened, like being angry or crying beyond a certain limit. It’s that limit that interests me.

I suppose this is an obvious result of not being able to share normal emotions within scientology and having to ‘wait for a session’ to let it all out etc and it is one of those insidious concepts that can influence normal human interactions without one being aware of it. I have found there can be an almost desperate attempt to ‘make it all positive’ very quickly, a ‘get over it/suck it up’ thing.

Besides the obvious scientology concept of “make it go right’ or you have “pulled in” disaster, it seems to me that a lot of this can be also traced back to the need to be seen to be successful, no matter what is really going on beneath the surface. “Good roads” once practiced is a powerful thought stopper. Is it that once you show compassion for another’s suffering, the door is opened to admit that there are things in one’s own life that really need compassion too? A sign of failure?

There is nothing wrong with being positive and seeking the lessons and wisdoms that can come with such experiences. However there is something wrong with a blanket attitude of “don’t be negative” because that assigns that experience a certain distain and worthlessness, instead of understanding.

I have learned through a lot of experience with many different people that compassion and real interest are incredibly powerful healing tools, if one is prepared to use them. It was a native American medicine woman who first opened my eyes to this many years ago and taught me how to be still and let the wind blow through me to empty the bad energy to make way for the good. To do that you need to see and experience those negatives for what they are and this is true whether it be in yourself or another.

2. “Wait is Enemy”

I can’t remember which policy this comes from, but it was said to me the other day and it reminded me of how often it was used.

I think that concept is another major thought stopper, a powerful kick in the behind for when someone wavered. I see scientologists who plough through any obstacle no matter the consequences, to make something happen NOW. Again it’s the “make it go right” attitude, no matter the costs. If you are not seen to be doing, then your value as a ‘being’ is diminished. The “speed of particle flow and power” thing comes to mind, something that was drilled into us, so your concept of your own ‘power’ is challenged if you wait a bit.

One of the hardest lessons I learned, and still learn, is about patience. Coming out of a drama ridden and chaotic family and scientology life, it was the wisdom of a few marvellous people who trod the road beside me for a while that taught me (and still do) about the need for stillness and the consequent ability to “let go”. If we don’t ‘wait’ for both emotions and events to take their course, then how can they ever be seen for what they are? If you don’t allow time then you short circuit life, and the challenges come back at you in another way to repeat and repeat what you need to become aware of.

“Wait” is not enemy. Only to the scientology mindset which values the future over the present.

A scientology school 1988 – 1990

A strange thing happened to me in late 1988. I had a dream, one that is still burned into my memory to this day, and I am not one for remembering dreams.  I won’t go into details, it concerned me being ‘judged’ by a panel of ‘judges’ that did not seem to have a solid form and they told me that I was “not doing what I should do or using my gifts”. It was very unsettling and I thought about this long and hard and came to the conclusion that somehow I needed to get back to “saving the planet” or something. No other explanation made sense, I didn’t feel that there was much I could do in my life as a wife and mother other than what I was already doing and I had no apparent alternative path in sight. I was enjoying my life and felt a guilty pleasure in it versus working on staff so I let the dream take it’s place in background unconsciousness and laughed off the thought of a dream telling me what to do.

I love gardening and worked hard at it growing wonderful food and flowers. One day a few days after the dream my right knee began to swell and hurt, I thought I had sprained it while gardening. It began to get worse and after seeing different doctors and specialists I had an exploratory operation to check on the cartilage. That wasn’t an answer though and my left knee began to swell as well.

Around this time I was approached to help start a scientology school in Melbourne, something that hadn’t ever been accomplished despite many attempts,. It was to be called the Phoenix school (later renamed Yarralinda).  A school appealed to me as I still believed in the “study tech” and I wanted my kids away from the threat of the drug society in public schools. The woman who was doing the set-up was from scientology standards, unacceptable. (A declared PTS Type III in the past, she had been kidnapped and babysat etc but that is another story.) She wanted a school both for her own daughter and for other scientology kids and knew that she faced enormous challenges in ‘making it go right’.  She knew I was more acceptable to the field, so wanted me to be the public face while she worked behind the scenes doing what was needed. She had recruited enough parents with young children to make it viable and now faced the challenge of making the school “legal” per education authority requirements.

So began one of the nightmare periods of my life. It was so bad that even now I am unable to organise memories into any kind of real sequence or make sense of the insanity that ensued. I also don’t want to name names right now as from where I am sitting years later I also know that the parents involved in the massive dramas and betrayals were acting from a view that they were protecting their children and every parent has that right and duty. The fact that those opinions and viewpoints mostly resulted from insane scientology policies is something many of them still need to understand and I hope one day those that are still “in” have that opportunity.

Long story short, this ‘unacceptable’ person doing the set-up became the focus of the parents and hounding her was more important than combined support for the school. It was inevitable per Hubbard policies and something she had anticipated. Within a short time, and within sight of the final steps to having the school accredited, it became a massive, unbelievable drama. The woman who started it finally took off, as she had always planned to do, and as her chosen replacement as Headmistress would not take on the job, it fell to me. (Later I was told that was exactly why I had been recruited, as the fall guy.)

Trying to do the right thing I asked ABLE (or Applied Scholastics, can’t remember which it was then) to become involved in sorting it all out. Represented by Martin Bentley, he sided with one set of parents, as the school was divided down the middle, approximately 5 families on each side.  Martin sided with the “other” set of parents and the original families (including mine) who started the school were kicked out, so I left and I put my children back in a normal public school. And in so many ways that was a tremendous relief.

During this period I had become very ill. What had started as a swollen knee turned into a raging deterioration of all major joints in my body. I saw many different doctors, specialists, chiropractors, naturopaths and no-one could diagnose or help with what was happening. I lost a great deal of weight and had sometimes unbearable pain in my hips particularly, but also knees, ankles, elbows and jaw. About the only thing I could eat was peanut butter sandwiches, and after about 6 months my legs actually started to turn outwards. I carried a little stool to sit on as I could barely walk, suffered fevers and nausea so badly I thought I was dying. Now this was while I was trying to help set up a school! As long as I was there every day, no-one seemed to care, and being a ‘make-it-go-right” sort of person, I just kept on. I remember taking a walk with Martin late one night, to discuss the school situation, in such agony I thought I would fall down in the street. He didn’t seem to notice, though on reflection I am sure he did and it may have been the deciding factor in which set of parents to support. I was obviously “PTS” and therefore not trustworthy.

After leaving the school I had time to try to find out what was wrong, I think that saved my life. I finally found the right specialist and X-rays showed that my hips had turned in their sockets by 20 degrees. Deterioration of the joints at this speed was unheard of, and the fever and raging illness was dangerous; he arranged for immediate hip replacements and medication to arrest the disease. It took a few years of constant medical attention and medication and almost dying in surgery but I finally recovered enough to walk again. It’s an unclassifiable inflammatory arthritis and it took me many, many years to finally accept that it was not due to “something I had pulled in” per scientology but rather genetics.

The fallout from the school saga continued for some months and the woman who started the school was Comm Evd (a scientology trial) and found guilty of everything under the sun except starting a school! I owe her no favours, but that does not sit well with me and is typical of the scientology “justice system”.

I feel sad that those lovely children I knew back then had to go through the reflected horrors of that time and have their own lives disrupted. I am very glad that my own children survived it ok, though with scars. After leaving the school I found that I had no “friends” anymore, no support or care in any way from any scientologist.

That was my real wake-up call and truly the moment I left scientology. Even though I paid it lip service for another decade and appeared to do the right things, I knew it did not hold the answers for me when basic humanity and compassion were foreign words. So back to my dream – it was in 1989-90 that I began the very slow path of finding my gifts and perhaps doing more of what I ‘should do’ – finding a happier life. I still question the dream’s meaning or wonder if it had any significance at all, yet events since then have led me on a path that does seem more aligned with who I am – I just needed to realise it would never come via scientology.

Family Life 1982 – 1988

Walking away from the scientology organisation in Russell Street, Melbourne is a day I will never forget. The relief was so massive and I felt excited at the immediate future; being a proper mother at last, despite the exhaustion I felt at the time. I was going to be there for my family and not have children as a second priority to whatever disaster scientology was trying to overcome at the time.  This was such a huge decision and required a courage born of desperation.

I can’t remember if we moved out of the shared (scientology staff) house before or after I left, I think it was just before. I can’t even remember what happened to my husband regarding being married to a ‘blown staff member’, somehow we just sank out of sight and out of mind, which is quite unusual. 1982 was the year when management was busily rearranging the Mission Network and goodness knows what else, and was a period where many thousands of people left scientology, so I guess I was just one of the many.

I did get a Freeloader Bill, although I successfully argued that many of the “courses” I was being charged for were not for personal spiritual advancement but rather work related. I’m not sure how I managed that! It ended up only being a few hundred dollars which was paid off over a period of time and thus I once again became a ‘scientologist in good standing’ although an inactive one regarding taking any courses or auditing, I had no intentions of that!

Slowly I felt myself become whole again and not a nervous wreck. Having rest, food and time heals many ills and I had a healthy baby in 1982 and another in 1984, all three babies were wonderful (medically supervised) homebirths. I didn’t really know how to be part of normal society and didn’t understand that there were many organisations and people who were there to help new mothers. The insular attitude of scientologists was still my own…and although I enjoyed motherhood it was also a solitary activity for me. The downside of that was having virtually no support at all, my husband worked very long hours and was almost never there to help with child raising and I didn’t have any real friends until my children went to school. And as he worked night shifts, a lot of these early years were a nightmare of keeping the babies quiet during the day while he slept, an almost impossible task with a lot of ramifications to this day.

After my elder child began school and the other two followed over the next three years, I discovered a whole new world. I became friends with other mothers and instead of finding their conversation trivial and uninteresting as the still ingrained scientologist in me expected (they weren’t trying to save the world were they?) I found wonderful support and unconditional friendship. There was no-one there who was going to report me for disloyal thoughts, or tell me to “get your stats up” or expect impossible physical marathons; they were fellow women who worked through the same mothering issues and understood.

I had a wonderful conversation with two of my kids last night on the subject of education and social morals; they are now successful and capable adults yet it wasn’t always so and I feel that my own internal conflicts about resolving scientology doctrine  about children with what I felt was right caused it’s own problems for them too.

Scientology considers children to be “thetans in small bodies”, in other words adults who need to “regain their (past life) abilities”.  There is a whole book written on this called Child Dianetics and another on ‘The Second Dynamic’. This never sat well with me and I had many internal conflicts on what was the best thing to do in various situations. To me children were just that, children, and deserved to have a happy and carefree childhood. Yet my own indoctrination was the opposite in many ways, and dictated that children be treated as having innate adult understanding!  My husband had a scientology upbringing from a very young age, so when I stepped away from acceptable scientology “handlings” I did so alone.

I negotiated this minefield of conflicting information for many, many years and the most decisive step came in 1988 when I was approached to help start a scientology school.

More stories on children raised in scientiology can be found at Ex Scientology Kids.

 

Recovering

How glad I am that I don’t have to deal with the vast “technology” that scientology has regarding being sick. The weight of blame and guilt it can add, also adds a great deal more stress to the healing process.

My surgery has been successfully completed and while recovering I will get started writing the next part – which funnily enough is about how my medical issues began.