Thought stopping is one of the basic abuses that occur in a cult mind control environment. It is precipitated by behavioral modification, influences of conformity fueled by a threatening leader who demands unquestioning obedience to his orders and doctrine. Blind obedience is accomplished through abuse, threats and by inducing phobias that threaten eternity.
In books about mind control, freedom of thought is called critical thinking; it could also be called logical conclusive thinking, i.e. thinking things through to the obvious and truthful conclusion. In Scientology one is taught that critical thought automatically means you have an overt or withhold. It is a mind control tool which causes introversion and guilt. Some criticalness is healthy and some is not. If you are in tune with your own mind it is easy to know which leads to positive construction and which one leads to a tear down. One is a healthy look at some problem or disturbance with resolution in mind, the other is being in discord or disturbed about a person or thing. For the purposes of this exercise, we use the term freedom of thought. Critical thinking is healthy in itself but it is a button or trigger in Scientology used to nullify and dominate individuals who want to conclude their own thought process.
Dissonance is the mental conflict that happens when thoughts, feelings and behavior are in contradiction and conflict with one’s own belief system and identity. The person justifies the conflict mentally often under the heading of “greatest good.” It can eventually splinter your mind and soul.
An example of mental dissonance occurred in 1956 when a cult leader prophesized the end of the world by alien attack. True believers sold their houses, gave away their money and belongings and then stood at the appointed place and time for the attack. It did not come. The leader sold the idea that the aliens saw their vigil from their space ships so turned away, earth was spared. Fringe members who invested little time or money were very angry, but those who were faithful became even more committed even though it meant public humiliation. To admit the leader was wrong would destroy the member’s self-image, values and meaning to their lives so they changed them to make things match and fit. There is dissonance everywhere in life, a cult leader deliberately creates it to exploit and control the group. It is important to think of examples like this in your own life where you were misled by false promises by an insidious leader and then changed your internal perceptions and reality.
The true believer’s mind tries to make the nonunderstandable understood and minimalize violations by compartmentalizing them with justified thought. But sadly, one day there isn’t enough room in storage for all the compartments to fit, then the mind reads “TILT” and breaks down. Freedom of thought and healthy thinking begins when the dam of pent up encysted overloads the mind’s ability to block them out. Reason finally prevails in a rapid steam of free thoughts ending up in sudden clarity. At once you wake up as if in a bad dream and ask, “What the hell am I doing here?”
You leave the group, but there is a toll to pay. Your psyche splits, in other words you go out of valence from the stress and burden of trying to make justice just, the bad good, and the illogical logical. It takes time and proper counsel to heal. The exercise given below is a step in the right direction to reintegrate yourself and regain an integrity of the spirit.
This exercise begins to tackle the components of behavioral modification:
2. Control of emotions
3. Control of behavior
If you change the first, the other two change. Thought is near and dear to a being, it precedes the other two. Changing someone’s thoughts by guile or force creates an emotional response followed by a behavioral change for the worse. That in turn leads to a new false identity.
Thought control starts with indoctrinating members so thoroughly that they replace their own thoughts with the group and the leader’s doctrine. If the job is done thoroughly the person completely loses their own sense of identity and ability to think for themselves. Thought control incorporates a new language system and the use of thought stopping techniques to help keep the mind “centered.” When there is harshness, cruelty, and hypocrisy it is natural to want to speak out and correct it. But to do so is often dangerous, so to remain member in good standing a person must learn to manipulate and stop his thoughts and actions.
Thought stopping is the process of blocking any critical or negative thought you have against the group or leader. It obliterates personal reality and free thinking. If one is coerced into only thinking positive thoughts about the leader or group then one is forced into believing anything that they think negatively about them is their fault! You learn to ask yourself for missed withholds whenever you have a negative thought which serves to reinforce your guilt and at the same time your esteem for the inerrant leader. The insistence on the rightness and infallibility of the leader disrupts the mind’s balance because the being finds it very difficult to keep ignoring inhumane acts, lies, and cruelty.
Another thought stopping technique is to replace a problem with a simple motto or saying that explains away the complexity. Thought stopping critical thoughts and problems short circuits and stunts the mind’s growth by not letting it follow a sequential pattern to its conclusion and see the truth. One example in Scientology is when a good friend and beloved family member is declared SP. The person meets every criteria of an ethical and loving person, but he blew the Sea Org therefore he is automatically declared. You begin to look for all the “bad” things the person has done to make it add up. It doesn’t so you stop thinking*; you override your true feelings and replace them with the induced belief that says anyone who blows in a SP with heinous acts. You don’t know what your friend did, but since he blew he had to have done those things (you dub in crimes), he left therefore he is an SP. It’s as simple as that. You don’t ever think the thought that the policy is wrong in his case or the leader is wrong, that can’t be. If you think it through to the actual truth your belief system would shake to the core. In order to be in comm with your loved one you would have to leave the group thus risking your eternity. No one wants to do that, so you park thoughts and suppress your feelings, write a disconnect letter to your loved one then die a little bit inside. This little pocket of entheta stacks and lays atop other similar piles until your mind is stuffed full of it. There is very little room left for free theta; happiness, love, and freedom. The road to hell has begun. *Reports I have received that a direct command is given to some OT 7 students to “not think.” As one advances in auditing their ability to think and see out points increases, in order to stay on lines they have t shut that down and stop thinking.
Simple solutions to complex issues are another form of mind control. An example is calling a person you are having a problem with PTS. Instead of resolving the problem with the person in life you block it in your mind with a motto or name to explain away the problem. This form of thought stopping is called “Reductivism,* ” reducing a complex issue to a simple phrase or saying. It halts understanding in its tracks. It is the reason religious people and cult members are considered narrow minded.
The reason a person is “PTS” can be a hundred-fold; child abuse by multiple abusers, probs with different antagonistic people throughout a lifetime, losses, drug history, poor diet and sleep, their own transgressions and evil purposes, advanced level material causes, etc. etc. To just say, “Oh, he’s PTS” stops you from taking a complete view of the person, handling things with in the real worls and shows no compassion for his or her plight in life. By not getting down to the bottom of issues you don’t allow yourself to think freely nor research information on your own. You rob yourself of knowledge and of learning how to successfully deal with real issues in your life.
(Can be done in session under CS direction or a journal style write up)
- Break down the areas of your life where your thoughts may have been controlled, stopped or blocked; staff/sea org, sessions (especially sec checks), ethics interviews and handlings, registrar cycles, donation cycles, early Scientology study and indoctrinations, your job, other groups or practices you were involved in, school, etc.
- If done in session use a meter for best read, if done as an exercise write down the areas and rate them on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the worst or most charged area.
- Take a subject, for example “While on staff…”
- Was there a time that:
- Write down the occurrence, time, place form and event, what thought was stopped, what you said to yourself to negate the thought (e.g. “you must have a withhold if you think that way), what was the truth of the situation and what you should have thought, said or done.
- How did this instance affect what you thought of yourself, how did affect your emotional state and subsequent behavior.
- On each occurrence look for earlier times along the same stream of thought or chain of thought to the earliest you can easily recall.
- End on a win on that type.
- Take the next area of thought stopping and repeat the steps.
A. You were told to do something that didn’t make sense, was cruel or wrong and you stopped the thought and response and did it anyway?
B. You altered your true thoughts or feelings and communicated something acceptable?
C. You saw or heard something the leader did that was unjust and began to wonder if it was correct, but stopped the thought and replaced it with a false positive thought?
D. You thought something was wrong with the leader or group, felt guilt then stopped thinking and asked yourself for overt and withholds?
E. You solved a complex issue with someone or something with reductive reasoning, used a simple motto or name to solve it? (e.g. “I can’t seem to get ahead, it’s because I work a WOG job and am PTS to the middle class.”)
F. You blocked a negative comment about the leader or group from someone else or something you read, yet it resonated with you as the truth and you
should have thought about it?
There is no set of rote questions for this, the idea behind this is that something is accord out of accord with truth and you stopped the thought, replaced it with guilt, and a false reason followed by misemotions and changed your behavior. You did or didn’t do what was right and violated your own morals and ethical standards. You stopped the thought and didn’t say it, or you never thought it through and felt bad about yourself thereafter.
Do the steps of the exercise until you feel significant relief and gain in the subject of thought, emotions and behavior. A feeling of cohesiveness should occur along with an influx of original ideas and thoughts that have been suppressed. This is part of the Mind Control program I have written for my clients who have been abused by dangerous groups.
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