One opened, more to go... Operation Clambake presents:

Scientology vs. Orwell's 1984

There are disturbing parallels between the book "1984" by George Orwell and Scientology. Try to substitute "Sea Org/Dept 20" for "Party".

Text compiled by Andreas Heldal-Lund from different posts by Robert Vaughn Young (RVY). Robert Vaughn Young, was a member of the Sea Organization for twenty years, during which time he worked almost exclusively for the Office of Special Affairs. Both he and his wife were highly placed personalities, Stacy Young was the chief editor of the Scientology Freedom magazine and Vaughn Young had made a name for himself in the inner circles of Scientology. Both broke out of the cult in 1989 and started speaking out against it in 1993.

On accepting unreality

From George Orwell's "1984" published in 1949:

"In a way, the world-view of the Party imposed itself most successfully on people incapable of understanding it. They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening. By lack of understanding they remained sane. They simply swallowed everything, and what they swallowed did them no harm, because it left no residue behind, just as a grain of corn will pass undigested through the body of a bird."

RVY commentary:
This degree of naivete will be found in other movements and groups, not merely in Scientology. A difference is that in Scientology, they enforce the lack of interest in public events and they continue to increase the amount of unreality that one is to accept. It is dosed out, which is one of the reasons the "upper levels" were kept confidential. The matter of "swallowing everything" can be found in Hubbard's study methods, where there is no possibility of critical thought or disagreement. Disagreement means you have a "misunderstood word" or some other flaw in you. You look up words until you "duplicate" it, which means the grain of corn slides on through. The difference is that there is harm in that lack of use of the faculty of analytical criticism lessens the persons ability to exercise it. This can be shown by finding a long-term SO/Dept 20 member and asking them questions about issues that have been front page on the New York Times or on the evening news. They don't know because they don't read the papers, especially the NYTimes. They don't care because they have withdrawn and are living off the prescribed diet. They feel that L. Ron Hubbard has told them how to find truth, so what else do they need? Hence the same gullibility as in "1984."

On Lack of Privacy

From George Orwell's "1984":

"In principle a Party member had no spare time and was never alone except in bed. It was assumed that when he was not working, eating or sleeping he would be taking part in some communal recreations; to do anything that suggested a taste for solitude, even to go for a walk by yourself, was always slightly dangerous. There was a word for it in Newspeak: ownlife, it was called, meaning individualism and eccentricity."

RVY commentary:
Lack of spare time and never alone is characteristic of life in the Sea Org/Dept 20. Solitude is highly suspected. One is expected to be a "team member." If one wants to be alone, the Scientology Newspeak that is thrown at a person is that they are being "first dynamically oriented." To understand this, one must understand there are "eight dynamics" in Scientology:

  1. self
  2. sex and family
  3. group
  4. mankind
  5. life
  6. universe
  7. theta or life force
  8. infinity

While the public posture is that one is to "balance" these, the truth is that one lives in the group and if one wants to take a day off, that is being "first dynamically oriented" and means one is being unethical, selfish and probably a sign of criminality.

From George Orwell's "1984":

"A Party member lives from birth to death under the eye of the Thought Police. Even when he is alone he can never be sure that he is alone. Wherever he may be, asleep or awake, working or resting, in his bath or in bed, he can be inspected without warning and without knowing that he is being inspected His friendship, his relaxations, his behavior toward his wife and children, the expression of his face when he is alone, the words he mutters in sleep, even the characteristic movements of his body, are all jealously scrutinized. Not only any actual misdemeanor, but any eccentricity, however small, any change of habits, any nervous mannerism that could possibly be the symptom of an inner struggle is certain to be detected."

RVY commentary:
In the Sea Org, private "berthing" (meaning where one lives) is subject to inspection at any time, and these are done, often under the guise of a "white glove." Rooms are allowed to be locked, providing their authorities have a set of keys. Inspectors watch for anything unusual that might be suspicious, e.g., a suspicious magazine, a letter from a strange person, notes that indicate anything suspicious. Everything else Orwell describes are inspected and watched and reports made. If suspicious, the person is called into "Ethics" which is Scientology's "Thought Police." One might undergo a "Security Check" which is an interrogation on Scientology's lie detector, to get at any thoughts that the person might be hiding from the organization. Under this type of scrutiny, one learns to simply not think certain thoughts and to adhere to the "straight and narrow."

On Scientology "expansion"

From George Orwell's "1984":

"Day and night the telescreens bruised your ears with statistics proving that people today had more food, more clothes, better houses, better recreations -- that they lived longer, worked shorter hours, were bigger, healthier, stronger, happier, more intelligent, better educated, than the people of fifty years ago. Not a word of it could ever be proved or disproved."

RVY commentary:
L. Ron Hubbard loved statistics and he insisted that Scientology will only expand, it cannot do otherwise. So at events the "up stat[istic]s" are shown, with big graphs. The "expansion" news is given. Nothing else. They will announce a new country where LRH books are being sold, but fail to tell them the countries where they were kicked out or closed down or simply failed. In the eyes of Scientologists, every org is booming, every continent is expanding, every book is selling like mad. To Scientologists they are happier and better off than ever before and International Management has the statistics to prove it. (If you can't make one of their events, look at their literature, such as "Scientology Today" or "KSW News" or one of the other propaganda sheets.) Then again, no Scientologist has anything to the contrary, which is one of the reasons the Internet is hated. It is hated the same way the old Soviet Union hated Radio Free Europe: it is an uncontrolled source of information to people under control. That is dangerous.

On Big Brother

From George Orwell's "1984":

"At the apex of the pyramid comes Big Brother. Big Brother is infallible and all-powerful. Every success, every achievement, every victory, every scientific discovery, all knowledge, all wisdom, all happiness, all virtue, are held to issue directly from his leadership and inspiration. Nobody has ever seen Big Brother. He is a face on the hoardings, a voice on the telescreen. We may be reasonable sure that he will never die, and there is already considerable uncertainty as to where he was born. Big Brother is the guise in which the Party choose to exhibit itself to the world. His function is to act as a focusing point for love, fear, and reverence, emotions which are more easily felt toward an individual than toward an organization."

RVY commentary:
Hubbard gets the same praise. Every success is due to his methods and every mistake or failure is due to someone or something else. His face is everywhere in Scientology organizations, just as one finds the leader in other dictatorships: Cuba, Iran, Iraq, China, the old USSR and Nazi Germany, and for the exact reasons Orwell gives. Orwell's remark about Big Brother not dying even applies to Hubbard for he didn't "die." His death was unthinkable as it would have meant the tech did not work. So he merely went to his "next level of research."

On "doublethink"

From George Orwell's "1984":

"To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which canceled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself -- that was the ultimate subtlety; consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word 'doublethink' involved the use of doublethink."

RVY commentary:
After nearly 22 years in the cult, I came away puzzled how I could know the truth and think otherwise. Many people asked me how it worked but it wasn't until I read "1984" that I read a description that fit the mindset to move up the command ladder in Scientology.

This is what one is encountering with Sea Org/Dept 20 personnel. One wonders, can they believe this? Don't they know the truth? Yes and no. It is doublethink, right out of "1984." And if you tell them this, they will doublethink their way out of it as self-protection. As one moves up the Scientology ladder of command, this is how one begins to think and if one doesn't think this way, one does not move up the ladder. One begins to learn that there are facts being withheld but there are reasons and so one begins to hold both facts in one's mind while learning to think with Scientology's "logic." Then one does what Orwell says, the process is applied to the process so that one if finally deluding oneself that up is down or black is white. For example, one of Scientology's favorite come ons is, "What is true for you, is true for you," as if a person can believe what they want. It doesn't take long to learn that this is true only as long as what you want to believe is what L. Ron Hubbard wants you to believe. To do otherwise sends you to their "thought police." Further trouble and - if you are Sea Org - you are sent to a camp for "rehabilitation," a word and a concept that Orwell would have loved. In the meantim, the staff member also believes the original promise: that what is true for him is true for him. This is doublethink. It is also what one is astounded to see, when one steps out of it and says, "I was believing WHAT?"

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Operation Clambake