Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard developed a complicated knack for sucking all who defied him or failed to comply with his dictates into a vortex of hate. Virtually all of his closest associates who expressed the slightest doubt or disagreement with him were driven by Hubbard to wind up hating him with a vengeance. A careful study of Hubbard’s history suggests the cycle was intended. It garnered him all manner of hysterical calumny that he deftly turned into exhibits in demonstrating hate-filled ‘bias’ against him and his creation, scientology. And so it goes with his brainchild scientology and his successor David Miscavige.
In the early fifties Hubbard lectured to his followers that he considered that no group could survive for long absent a well-defined, hate-filled enemy. He candidly admitted that he ‘chose’ psychiatry (generalized as ‘psychs’ to rope in virtually all mental healing arts and sciences) as scientology’s enemy out of convenience. It worked well for a while. Several prominent psychiatric and psychological societies worked feverishly to check or stop scientology in its tracks. While the psychs were hard at it, scientology saw its greatest expansion, drawing close ranks to energetically fight off real (albeit largely self-created) threats to its survival. Ironically, fifty years later scientologists came to believe as an article of religious faith that psychs are inherently evil, while psychs came to consider scientology little more than a harmless fringe cult. Scientology sought refuge in the guise of religion and achieved a sort of immunity from the consequences of its crimes. But it came at a cost, parking itself in time as a mid 20th Century anachronism.
As society itself evolved and hating lost its social acceptability, scientology lost its expansion-driving underdog, under-siege appeal and cohesiveness. Its numbers have been gradually declining since the mid nineties when the last serious threat to its continued existence was overcome. I use the term ‘last’ decidedly, notwithstanding the scientology infotainment blogs’ End of Days prophesying with the airing of ‘Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief.’ While the documentary will have an effect on the size of future potential new membership it will do little to change or alter scientology’s course. (For more on that score, see Vice.com interview.)
Over time Hubbard and scientology fine-tuned their ethics system and organizational pattern to replicate its policies of hatred creation toward anyone who doubted or questioned any aspect of Hubbard or scientology. The cycle seemed to go: a) someone exposed scientology abuses or criticized its practices, b) scientology harassed the person to the point of driving him into a rage causing the whistleblower to become a crusader, c) as scientology’s smears and attacks escalated in their audacity and dishonesty, the crusader naturally clustered with others similarly situated folks for support, (scientology all the while encouraged such clustering pursuant to principals set forth in Hubbard’s recommended text The Art of War) d) as the cluster was then attacked as an ‘anti-scientology’ group, its members developed a hate-filled culture, take scientology’s bait and start responding in kind, d) scientology then pointed to the character of hate-filled counter attacks as proof the attackers were haters. Ultimately, haters hate, they wind up hating each other and the groups having no purpose beyond scientology’s demise accomplish little beyond steeling up scientologists to fight yet more battles.
You can see that same cycle playing out today. Scientology forums read more and more like scientology’s propaganda sheet ‘Freedom.’ They are replete with name calling, expressing glee at every enemy faux pas, assigning evil motives to any and every enemy utterance or move, pronouncing hyperbolic end of days scenarios for the enemy, even targeting for distrust and enmity anyone who does not exhibit its own culturally devolved standards of ridicule and hate. Their heaping praise and kudos on those mostly closely adhering to the company line verge on cult-like. The tone, intelligence and tolerance levels are no different than scientology’s itself. Their leaders have become as obsessed with scientology as scientology’s leading lights are. Their sense of right and wrong becomes nearly identical (albeit reversed in vector) to scientology’s.
Scientology’s instilled ‘ethical’ values can be summed up in two clauses: Whatever or whoever supports and forwards scientology is good; whatever or whoever detracts from scientology is evil.
Similarly, the anti-scientologists’ creed could read: Whatever or whoever supports and forwards scientology (or, in extreme cases, is even neutral on the subject) is evil; whatever or whoever detracts from or attacks scientology is good.
Sadly, what apparently few of the former friends of Ron and ex-scientologists grasp is that when scientology successfully sucks one into its vortex of hate, one has lost and scientology has achieved its objective.
It is relatively easy to get former scientologists to go this route since they developed such simplistic denialist thinking patterns as scientologists. They simply reverse the target and carry on as before in the comfort of a new group of like-minded pack members.
It is a regressive cycle. It involves segregation, devolution, and descent. It may give one an outlet for a cheap, temporary sense of relief, purpose or importance but at the end of the day it does not achieve its purported aims. Paradoxically, it often has the reverse effect than that intended. It winds up fueling scientology’s drive to expand numbers, resources and influence. That perhaps is not surprising given the fact that that was scientology’s purpose for creating the vortex of hate in the first place. Ultimately, scientology’s gloating, self-professed conquerors in fact wind up as unwitting agents of scientology itself.
Conversely, the only effective route to individual healing and growth is greater understanding. Not surprisingly, it is the practitioners of that process that scientology attacks with the most resources and vigor.