“He only says, ‘Good fences make good neighbors.’
“Why do they make good neighbors? Isn’t it
“Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
“Before I built a wall I’d ask to know
“What I was walling in or walling out…”
—From the poem, Mending Wall by Robert Frost
My formative years were spent in Scientology. Perhaps the same goes for you too. Whether we embrace the ideologies anymore or not, many of the Scientology principles we have learned have stuck with us. A lot of my writing is about freedom of thought. Yet, I have been as guilty as anyone else in being judgmental of how people think. It is, after all, up to the individual to decide what they want to believe in. When you leave the church you can embrace other religions or the ideology of L. Ron Hubbard or not; it’s a matter of choice. Informed choice is all I have ever really “preached.”
Independents have the freedom to read books, browse the internet and to study other philosophies and compare whether Scientology spoke the truth. However, freedom of thought does not mean you do not have strong beliefs. It means the opposite. You have the freedom to consider the information and then decide what the truth is as you see fit. A healthy individual strongly commits once they decide. In a cult or a destructive cult you don’t have the luxury to be critical or read what you want and then decide for yourself.
In Scientology you were made to believe the entire tech and policy was to be followed 100%. However, when you left the corporate church, you violated certain policies because you felt the tech or policies being enforced were untenable. Blowing is not being an adherent, it is not following Scientology policy. However, at the point you left the corporate church you exercised free will and freedom of thought. When you became an Independent Scientologist or an ex-Scientologist you decided to discard some or all of the tech and/or policies. Following that logic it is safe to say that you are a freer individual now that you left the confines of the corporate church. That is all well and good. However, my point is that there are certain ideologies that some people who were in Scientology still embrace that they need to forego.
I was tech trained by LRH on the Apollo and at Flag. My peers and I have inherited a role in the Independent field/Freezone as tech arbiters. I do this gladly. I feel it is my responsibility to safeguard people from harm from tech abuse or misapplication. People write me from all around the world with questions, advice, and for help. But, I also hear of the bickering amongst the various individuals and groups in the field and the negative comments about this auditor or that case supervisor. Some of the complaints are warranted due to ethical or technical violations, some are not; but the bickering is never warranted. One good thing about a structured international organization is that it can send out experts to clean up areas that need correction. In the independent field we don’t have that luxury. And by definition the Freezone is free, but with freedom comes responsibility. If you are in the secular world and don’t like a dentist, you are free to chose another. You are also free to bad mouth the dentist to your friends. The same holds true in the independent field. If you are getting bad sessions or don’t like the auditor you are free to leave and find another one. That’s fine; but it is the bad mouthing and resulting splintering that builds the barbed wire fences.
The word love is not in the Scientology Technical Dictionary. Much of what we learned in Scientology had to do with survival, not love. Survival connotes besting opponents and often conquering them, as in the saying “survival of the fittest.” David Miscavige is an example of someone who wants to survive at any cost. Anyone who gets in his way or tries to impede his will gets smashed and run over. It is that type of specific behavior, survival at any cost, that we often saw and learned in Scientology that we need to leave behind. We need to unlearn it and learn to love each other.
There is a loose knit community of people that shared a common bonding experience. The community of Scientologists who left the corporate church is like war survivors who shared something that can’t be put into words. A fellow survivor understands it without speaking. It has made us tough and capable in a lot of ways. That bond can become strained when we run into someone who tried to harm us when they were “in.” When we see each other at get-togethers or planned events, the decision to forgive often comes into play. When someone was in Scientology and was cruel to you back when, it is most likely that they were just copying what they learned. It’s not completely their fault. Unfortunately some of that behavior still goes on currently in the field. It is important to realize that type of behavior may still be manifest in individuals who have not been out of the church very long and have not established new beliefs and new social contracts. Also know that the old behavior may kick in when they are in survival mode; they must win, even if it means cheating, stealing, and lying. That is what a lot of us were taught; especially Sea Org members. David Miscavige, his spokespersons, OSA, their lawyers, and some Scientologists still behave that way; but, we don’t have to.
The inhumanity we learned and perpetrated on each other while in the church does not need to be continued today. Those patterns we learned need to be replaced with something as simple and loving as the golden rule. “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.” Let’s mend the broken fences and then get rid of the fences altogether.