What to do if you are shunned or someone disconnects from you
In dramatic fashion the elderly bearded Jewish man begins to tear and rip apart his clothes* after hearing his son tell that he is going to marry a shiksa, a non-Jewish woman. “You are dead to me!” the father screams. “Papa, please!!” the son pleads upon deaf ears; his father turns his back, walks away and never talks to his son again.
(*Kriah, tearing in Hebrew, refers to the act of tearing one’s clothes upon hearing of a loved one’s death. The above example is not a death, but a Cherem, or disconnection. The father is cutting off his son, now a cursed people for marrying outside the religion. It is practiced in Jewish orthodoxy, not traditional Judaism.)
This sort of scene has taken place for thousands of years in religions and cults around the world. Fast forward to the year 2010 where a young woman who left the Church of Scientology pleads with her father to talk to her in the parking lot of the Scientology hotel in Clearwater. He refuses and speeds away on his motorcycle ignoring her pleas and cries of ”I love you Daddy.” Or another example, a mother e-mails me for advice, her son and daughter won’t talk to her anymore because a church official effectively turned them against her by telling them that she received some sessions from an independent Scientology practitioner. Shunning and disconnection are alive and well in radical Scientology.
Trained to Lie: Scientology has earnestly practiced disconnection since the mid-1960s even though it denies the practice to the press or waters it down to make it sound like it is the member’s choice. On my website, www.scientologyrecovery.com there is a picture of a family being reunited. It is one of the main reasons I do exit counseling of abused members. I am dead set against families and friends being torn apart by a religion. Freedom of religion is part of America’s air, it is what we breathe, live and have died for. Tearing up a family cuts at the cornerstone of a person’s life. It threatens child development as it robs them of the centralizing force which helps springboard them to certainty and maturity.
There is the policy “Cancellation of Disconnection” Hubbard Communication Office Policy Letter of 15 November 1968 which states: “Since we can now handle all types of cases disconnection as a condition is cancelled.” It makes one believe that there is no disconnection in Scientology.
But there is another policy: TR-L, Training Routine Lie: “Purpose: to train the student to give a false statement with good TR-1* “To train the student to outflow false data effectively. “Commands: Part 1. Tell a lie…… “Training Stress: In Part 1 the coach gives a command (i.e. asks a question), student originates a falsehood….” (Ref: http://www.solitarytrees.net/ racism/img/tr-l.gif) (*TR1, training routine 1, is a drill to learn to deliver a command or question effectively.)
I have told ex-OSA and guardian office staff (Scientology’s current and past intelligence units, NB why does a church need an Intelligence branch?) about this policy and they didn’t believe me or didn’t know it existed. But Scientology spokesmen know it well and use it every day. Lying as policy explains why the Scientology church has never been accepted, people know. Also it is proof positive that Scientology is a destructive group. Only a destructive group would espouse its main purpose as “get ethics in on the planet,” then train execs to lie and have a “Fair game policy,” which allows Scientologists to injure, deprive, lie and cheat to its enemies or those declared suppressive. (HCOPL Oct. 18, 1967 Issue IV, Penalties for Lower Conditions, another “cancelled” policy)
Here is an example of a Scientology spokesperson, Tommy Davis using TR-L from a New Yorker magazine article about Academy Award winner, Paul Haggis who recently left the Church of Scientology:
“Online, Haggis came across an appearance that Davis had made on CNN, in May, 2008. The anchor John Roberts asked Davis about the church’s policy of ‘disconnection,’ in which members are encouraged to separate themselves from friends or family members who criticize Scientology. Davis responded, ‘There’s no such thing as disconnection as you’re characterizing it. And certainly we have to understand—‘
‘Well, what is disconnection?’ Roberts interjected.
‘Scientology is a new religion,’ Davis continued. ‘The majority of Scientologists in the world, they’re first generation. So their family members aren’t going to be Scientologists. . . . So, certainly, someone who is a Scientologist is going to respect their family members’ beliefs—‘
‘Well, what is disconnection?’ Roberts said again.
‘—and we consider family to be a building block of any society, so anything that’s characterized as disconnection or this kind of thing, it’s just not true. There isn’t any such policy.’
In his resignation letter, Haggis said, ‘We all know this policy exists. I didn’t have to search for verification—I didn’t have to look any further than my own home.’ Haggis reminded Davis that, a few years earlier, his wife had been ordered to disconnect from her parents ‘because of something absolutely trivial they supposedly did twenty-five years ago when they resigned from the church. . . . Although it caused her terrible personal pain, my wife broke off all contact with them.’ Haggis continued, ‘To see you lie so easily, I am afraid I had to ask myself: what else are you lying about?’ ” (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/02/14/110214fa_fact_wright#ixzz1DPYoVcUK)
Two types of disconnection: In Scientology and other religions there are two types of shunning or disconnection; active and passive. When disconnection stories hit the newsstands in the late 1960s Scientology softened its stance on disconnection due to bad PR. Families were being torn apart by mind controlled members who agreed to cut all ties with their family; there was a lot of pressure on the Guardian’s Office worldwide from district attorney offices who investigated Scientology because of it. Passive disconnection came into being. It allowed communication to supposed hostile family members on a “Fair roads and fair weather” basis. You were allowed to write letters or send birthday presents to your dad or mom, and perhaps visit them. But your communication was muzzled, you were ordered to not talk about Scientology. This policy helped keep parents from going to the authorities and kept up the appearance of kinship. However, with the return of radical Scientology after Hubbard’s death active disconnection is back in full swing.
Active shunning includes actively going out of one’s way to punish the person; “deliver an effective blow to the enemy.” This is over and above the act of excommunication. It actually may extend outside the boundaries of community and legislative law. Per the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal in the US it is damaging and constitutes an “unlawful act.” Disconnection and shunning cannot stand above the law of the country. Also, being declared a suppressive person may be considered defamation of character and make the church libel. (http://the-scientologist.com/anyonetodeclare.shtml) However, entertaining a lawsuit would only serve to alienate your family and friends who are believers and is not the suggested route to reuniting.
How to reunite: Your son or daughter has written you a disconnection letter. Perhaps you have feelings likened to death. You don’t know what to do; you feel abandoned, the pain cuts into your heart. Your self-worth is shot as a parent. You lose self-confidence, trust and trustworthiness. Your first responses are to attack or try to reason with your loved one; don’t do it. They are under the influence of mind control and will not listen to you. They will only listen once some sort of betrayal occurs to them personally by the group. Destructive groups abuse and do not deliver what they promise, a betrayal is imminent. Be patient and follow the guidelines below*:
Keynote: Betrayal by the Group or its leaders will occur, be alert for it and then act.
1. Don’t’ get hysterical or show alarm when you are told about the disconnection. Be kind, patient and understanding.
2. Don’t call names or call him or her weak-minded, brain washed, a robot, a cultist, or any derogatory condescending name. Don’t threaten to disown your child, cut off his trust fund or give demanding ultimatums. Talk in non-threatening loving tones.
3. Take Care of yourself first and the rest of your family. Seek counseling or auditing. Address the shock and loss and gain a sense of stability. Your goal is to seek composure and regain confidence and a sense of your own identity. Don’t ignore your other children or family members. Remain positive that your loved one is going to leave the group; it’s just a matter of time. Above all never give up hope.
4. Undertake the job. If you have not been out of the group for long or are not a Scientologist or in a destructive group, research the group, its leader, study what mind control is, train and inform and meet with the rest of the family, contact ex-members, an exit counselor, and establish a plan. Don’t isolate, or withdraw from people, it will take a team effort.
5. Reestablish any form of communication with love. Your immediate goal is to love them, not get the person out of the group. People in destructive groups’ lives are contolled, especially by enforced reality. Love is not present. Your job is to be accepting and loving, not critical or confrontational. Establish any communication you can and maintain and increase it through acceptance and love.
6. Don’t “beat yourself up” or think you are a bad parent, nor feel guilty or shamed. Realize mind control and the sinister group is the problem, not you.
7. Don’t directly attack the group or the leader or send random negative articles. When you can, talk in person at a place away from the group and its members and when the time is right, share information based on a plan from your auditor, or exit counselor. Information sharing will come later, for now represent safeness and calmness.
8. Don’t argue the person out of the group or cult. Rational discussions and hoping intelligent dialogue will see him or her out of the group does not work. Realize the person is psychologically raped and is the victim of mind control. Aggressiveness backfires, love works.
9. Always be alert for the leader’s or group’s betrayal of the person. Betrayal will eventually occur because all destructive groups and cults do not deliver what they promise and abuse their members. Once the betrayal is found he or she will listen to any negative criticism of the group or its leader, not beforehand. You need to establish warmth and comfort for your loved one to tell you about it. Typical betrayals are; removal from post to menial work, being sent off to a lower org, trying to break up the marriage, ordered abortions, bad auditing, or threats. Be alert for betrayal. Once that occurs sharing of information can occur and reuniting will only be a matter of time.
10. Don’t give up. Repeat steps 1 through 9 as often as needed. Be patient. Your child or friends are exiled in a cold place, if you represent and provide a loving warm atmosphere to whatever degree it will be remembered. Things can get worse at first, but if you remain steady in your love, it will win out. (*The steps are written from the viewpoint of child disconnecting from the parent, but the steps apply either way.)
Part 2 will be presented next week and cover important points; such as how to talk to your loved one once you get ready to share information, overcoming the member’s induced phobias from the group and more.