Tuesday, 22 April 2008


An interview by Jason Beghe, who is apparently famous and has escaped from scientology.


He gives an account of how he got into and back out of the cult, which is interesting listening. There's a lot of it, but it comes in 8 parts.

Edits as I listen to it.

These are some of the disturbing parts so far:

  1. There is a general encouragement not to think, even though one of scientology's slogans is 'think for yourself'.
  2. There is a deliberate holding back to members of data that is held to exist and on which a lot of scientology seems to be based. The example given is about psychology/psychiatry: everyone in scientology says this is bad, but there is nothing at all in any of the scientology writings about this except for a couple of sentences from L Ron Hubbard. It's one of the things you are just supposed to believe, even though this directly contradicts all kinds of other stuff in scientology (such as don't generalise).
  3. Beghe says that as you get drawn into scientology, you feel like you're waking up to reality, but you are really waking up only to scientology. You are getting more and more drawn in to the scientology view.
  4. They use techniques that, in Beghe's words make you "put yourself in jail". This is cult (and standard religion) thinking: make you feel as though you can't survive without it. In Christianity, this is done with guilt and hellfire (as well as drawing people in through the usual religion stuff). In scientology, it is to do with the fallacy of throwing good money after bad alongside (as well as drawing people in through the usual religion stuff).
  5. There is a very sinister thing about 'PTS' people. This stands for Potential Trouble Source and seems to refer to a scientologist who has been infected by the real world: who has doubts. If you become a PTS, you are 'reeducated' or, more accurately, punished, by having to complete more courses, which cost a great deal of money. If you become a PTS, it is supposedly because you are being influenced by someone who is 'covertly hostile'. This is a way of separating members from their friends and family or people who might influence you to stop spending money on scientology. Very sinister.
  6. Some of the paid courses are about how to communicate. Beghe describes some of the lessons, which involve not blinking or moving when talking to make people uncomfortable and replying to questions, challenges or attacks by using neutral phrases rather than answering the questions.
  7. In his time there, he became more unhappy than he had ever been. Scientology wasn't delivering what it promised and just seemed to be designed to keep leading him on and on to spend more and more money.
  8. Relatedly, he says that they don't tell you what the next stage is until you have finished the previous one. So you don't know how much money you are going to have to spend.

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