By Jeffrey Jay, AKA Mockingbird
I recommend reading these posts sequentially.
Scarred used the term “…elevate our consciousness...” [page 6]
This is similar to “increasing awareness” or “increasing spiritual awareness,” which is used to describe the promised results of Dianetics and Scientology.
“spiritual exercise” (Scarred page 9)
Again, similar to phrasing and concepts regarding Scientology.
And just like what we’ve learned for years through NXIVM’S Executive Success Program (ESP) curriculum, we will feel uncomfortable. She will push us, but if we stick with it, we will grow in ways we can’t even imagine yet.” (Scarred page 9)
This has parallels in Scientology.
Scientology is well known for having L. Ron Hubbard’s mottoes, such as “The way out is the way through.”
I have seen this interpreted to mean that when auditing creates discomfort, pain, fear, or trauma, it means it is “working.”
(Auditing is a purported Sceintology therapy that’s repackaged hypnosis and is intended to covertly enslave people.)
If these negative experiences happen through auditing, the auditing almost always continues despite adverse reactions it might cause.
Similarly, Hubbard’s “What turns it on will turn it off,” and other slogans Scientology uses to get people to surrender their power of choice over when to start and end things in Scientology, including auditing actions and sessions.
Lots of cults share the feature of “one size fits all.”
If a technique makes some people euphoric and happy, but others uncomfortable, bored, or terrified, the technique is not changed or stopped.
Instead, the client is told to continue doing the techniques, as if we all have identical minds, emotions and reactions to specific stimuli.
An enjoyable technique, or at least not harmful or traumatic for some, may be extremely unpleasant or downright destructive to the mental well-being or even the sanity of others.
Scientology and other cults don’t acknowledge this. I believe NXIVM has this trait.
This obedience is not surprising: for years, they’ve coached us that if we feel the ‘urge to bolt,’ as they’ve called it, that’s our evidence the program is working. We have been trained to ignore our discomfort. (Scarred page 14)
In Scientology, unpleasant emotions or a desire to stop auditing mean the techniques are working and should continue.
This attitude extends to the indoctrination in Scientology training.
L. Ron Hubbard, (HCOB June 25, 1971, “Barriers to Study”
A misunderstood definition, a not-comprehended definition, or an undefined word can even cause a person to abandon studying a subject and leave a course or class. Leaving in this way is called a blow.
We have all known people who enthusiastically started a course of study only to find later that the person dropped the study because it was “boring” or “it wasn’t what they thought it would be.”
They were going to learn a skill or go to night school and get their degree but never followed through. No matter how reasonable their excuses, the fact is they dropped the subject or left the course. This is a blow. A person blows for only one primary reason – the misunderstood word.
In Scientology, if you don’t enjoy a course and do not want to finish it, or you do not want to continue training after finishing a course -no matter how reasonable your reasons are, if you drop the course or stop training, this is a “blow.”
Scientology has many, many courses, and encourages members to redo courses many times. It is a never-ending hamster wheel.
It is routine to act as though YOU must have passed words you did not understand in the course! Scientology doctrine requires you to go back and look for the word[s] and study their definitions!
Did you want to leave Scientology or had a bad experience with the organization or leaders? Did you want goals different than the group? Were you not paid despite working for Scientology for weeks, months, or years?
According to Scientology doctrine, it’s YOUR FAULT.
HCOB December 31, 1959, L Ron Hubbard, Blow-Offs
Scientology technology recently has been extended to include the factual explanation of departures, sudden and relatively unexplained, from sessions, posts, jobs, locations and areas.
(HCOB December 31, 1959; L. Ron Hubbard, Blow-Offs)
This is one of the things man thought he knew all about and therefore never bothered to investigate. Yet this amongst all other things gave him the most trouble. Man had it all explained to his own satisfaction and yet his explanation did not cut down the amount of trouble which came from the feeling of “having to leave.”
HCOB December 31, 1959; L Ron Hubbard, Blow-Offs
In Scientology we have the phenomenon of preclears in session or students on courses deciding to leave and never coming back. And that gives us more trouble than most other things all combined.
HCOB December 31, 1959; L. Ronald Hubbard, Blow-Offs
People leave because of their own overts and withholds. That is the factual fact and the hard-bound rule. A man with a clean heart can’t be hurt. The man or woman who must must must become a victim and depart is departing because of his or her own overts and withholds. It doesn’t matter whether the person is departing from a town or a job or a session. The cause is the same.
I could say a lot about “overts” and “withholds.”
For now, I will say that in Scientology “overts” translates roughly to “evil acts. This includes something a person did which they should not have done, or something they should have done but failed to do.
“Withholds” means roughly that someone failed to reveal they did an “overt.” A withhold is like a secret evil act or a secret failure to do an act, which failure is evil.
There are other definitions in Scientology, and they tie into a complex belief system. I do not believe in overts or withholds because they assert other Scientology ideas are true by their definitions and usage.
I believe human beings can do evil things, and can have secrets or undisclosed crimes. But overts and witholds in Scientology are not real.
As an example, say I am with Roger and we find a white hair on the ground while walking down a street.
I pick it up and say, “it is a tiny white hair.”
Roger says, “It’s a unicorn hair!”
Which proves to Roger that unicorns exist!
I am unwilling to call it unicorn hair, though I believe the hair exists and that we found a hair.
The Scientology doctrine has overts and withholds linked to departures, illness, accidents, and things that I don’t believe are evil or are keeping an evil deed a secret.
Scientology has “magic doorways”!
If you want to leave the course, you “misunderstood words.”
If you want to leave auditing or don’t enjoy an auditing action, it means “the auditing is working and you must continue”!
If you want to leave Scientology or don’t want to work there anymore, you “must have been doing something evil and hiding it”!
Depending on which room you were in when you decided to leave, decides the reason!
Scientology considers leaving NEVER a morally acceptable option!
Similarly, in NXIVM, members who made it sufficiently far enough into the organization were pressured to stay and commit themselves more and more to “personal growth.”
NXIVM offered members “personal growth.” Who would want to leave that?
NXIVM members dance before Keith Raniere to demonstrate their personal growth.
In NXIVM, “personal growth” means giving more and more of your time, money, and life to NXIVM.
But personal growth is amorphous! It has no form to be seen! It has no statistics to measure! It is entirely subjective!
This brings me back to an idea that resonated with me in my recovery from Scientology.
NXIVM members and ex-members might wish to consider this regarding the “growth” NXIVM provides!
“If a doctrine is not unintelligible, it has to be vague; and if neither unintelligible nor vague, it has to be unverifiable.”
― Eric Hoffer, The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements
The True Believer by Eric Hoffer is a classic on extremism and has helped ex-embers of cults reframe and reconsider their cult experiences. I highly recommend it.
To read more of Jeffrey Jay’s work, visit Mockingbird’s Nest
Stay tuned for part 4.