Answers for scientology kids
By Tilman Hausherr
Someone said that a scientologist had told him that their children are disturbed because of what they have read on the internet, and started to ask embarassing questions. So here is an attempt to explain scientology with simple words.
- Go here for some advice to youth inside Scientology today (from a former Scientologist)
- I hear the word "cult" all the time. What is a cult?
- Do people hate scientology?
- My parents almost never have time for me. Why?
- I want to get help. What should I do?
- But scientology is the most ethical group on the planet!
- How are other schools different from scientology schools?
- How is life outside of scientology?
- Are psychs evil?
- But it WORKS !
- Do other children have to work?
- A scientologist touches me in a way I don't like. What can I do?
- Has anyone ever died because of scientology?
- Can I trust my fellow scientologists?
- Will scientology use my personal folders against me?
- I was born and educated in scientology. What will happen?
- Is there anything that I am not told by scientology?
- I hear the word "cult" all the time. What is a cult?
Here is a simple test to tell if a group is a cult or not. Ask yourself these questions about the group:
- Does the group use tricks, lies or excuses to get members and to keep them?
- Does the group say that it is "better than all other groups", and is it organised so that people can't complain, discuss, vote, criticize, or change the group?
- Does the group claim that the founder knows all the answers, and tolerates no discussion or questioning of his or her teachings?
- Does the group say that nothing is more important than to get more money, people or anything else into the group, and that this is more important than honesty or friendship or families, maybe because it is such an emergency that the world must be saved right away?
- Is the money collected used only a few "special people instead of for the members or the general population?
If you answered "yes" to all these questions, then the group is definitely a cult.
People who study groups have looked at scientology and answered "yes" everytime. See why:
- it pretends to be a self-help group, and doesn't tell the actual price of the services; the "personality test" is a trick because the result is always that you need help - and of course, "scientology can help you". An honest group would tell you this before the test;
- scientologists say they are superior to the rest of the world, and calls the rest "raw meat" or "wogs" instead of simply "non-scientologists";
- everything must be done exactly as LRH said/wrote. Discussion is "verbal tech" and gets you sent to "ethics", which means you are in trouble;
- to get money, power or revenge scientology creates fake organisations (called "front groups" by critics) that lie about what they really want and do; and LRH said that "suppressive persons" can be "tricked, lied to and destroyed";
- the money that scientology gets is used to attack enemies, through lawsuits, dirty tricks or lies. The staff members live in terrible conditions.
As you see, that makes scientology a "cult".
- Do people hate scientology?
Most people in the world have never heard of scientology. Most people who have heard of it don't hate anything or anyone. And some of the people who are angry about things scientology has done were in scientology themselves, and are angry at themselves for helping to hurt people when they were in scientology. Some people have had their lives destroyed by scientology and have never recovered. Some have recovered, but have lost their families. Many are still suffering. These people don't like scientology, as you might guess. Generally the feelings of ordinary people who have heard of scientology is that:
- "they are weird but funny"
- "they are scaring me"
- "they are the meanest, greediest lying cheating cult in the country"
These feelings are a direct result of scientologists following L. Ron Hubbard's advice about what are good skills to "handle" a non-scientologist. Sooner or later, most people will notice when they are being or have been "handled". That is why most people are not scientologists. Guess what: people do not like to be "handled" (do you?). Everyone is a free person, just like you.
My parents almost never have time for me. Why?
Your parents may be fooling themselves about what is important. Many scientologists believe that unless they devote their time to scientology they will lose all their friends or get sick. Maybe your parents have even been forbidden by scientology to care about you because they are not "upstat" (= having worked very hard). Scientology does not have a concept that children are special in the way that they need love and care. They are just "thetans in small bodies" that have to be turned into small scientologists.
I want to get help. What should I do?
If you know people in your family that are not in scientology (aunt, uncle, grand-parents, or possibly your mom/dad's ex), try to contact them. They will understand you - they probably know about the mess you're in.
If your whole family is in scientology, many other people outside scientology can help you. You should look for an adult you feel good about, who you can talk to easily.
If your school is not part of Scientology, that would be a good place to start. Your teacher, your school's principal or nurse or psychologist -- you can turn to any of them for help.
- a social worker
- the children advocacy center (call 800-4ACHILD or 800-422-4453)
- the state children/family department (in Florida: Department of Children and Families DCF)
- American Family Foundation (AFF)
P.O. Box 2265
Bonita Springs, FL 33959
(212) 249-7693 Message Center
Avoid the "Cult Awareness Network" (CAN). This has been taken over by scientology!
And of course, there is the internet where you can get a lot of helpful information, like this text. Press here and then follow the underlined topics you are interested in.
But scientology is the most ethical group on the planet!
Says who? Scientology itself. If you look in the "ethics" book, you will see that in scientology the word is synonymous to scientology itself, and also means to "getting things done".
Here is an example: the director of the Cult Awareness Network, an organisation that warned the public about Scientology and other groups, was called a "topless dancer" by Scientology. However she never was a topless dancer - a Scientology-paid Private Investigator had paid someone to claim it. Scientology "ethics" allows this, because according to scientology tech, Cynthia Kisser is a "criminal" anyway just because she criticizes scientology, and any lie is OK if it punishes or handles this "criminal." Most people in the world would say it is very bad ethics to cause such a terrible, painful punishment just for saying "I don't agree with you."
A truly ethical behaviour would be to stay honest, even if you dislike someone.
How are other schools different from scientology schools?
You learn a lot of different stuff, like language, science, art, sport, etc. There is no "religion" in all these courses. You do not have to write a success story all the time. Good teachers answer your questions, instead of asking "what word have you not understood, go look it up". You don't write K/Rs ("Knowledge report" - other calls this spying) on other students - this is not cool.
Exams are done so that you have to respond to questions or solve problems. You have only one round to go - and you will get a result depending how many you answered correctly. There is no "pink cheat sheet" so that you can take the exam again and again and again until you have 100%. This way you and the teachers can see how much you know, and if you have to work harder. But you have to learn quite a lot before an exam.
Depending on the school, you have to do more or less homework. If you have difficulties to learn, you can get help from your parents, other students, the teacher or additional hired or volunteer "helpers" (aides and tutors).
In one case reported to me, children from a scientology school who transferred to a public school had to start over again from lower school levels.
In many places there are other kinds of schools also, but almost all of them teach what will help you work and think for yourself and your family, and deal peacefully with many different kinds of people besides scientology members.
How is life outside of scientology?
Life is full of surprises. You have challenges all the time. You have to make your own decisions. You can do a lot, as long as you don't harm anyone else - because other people are also free. And yes, you make mistakes.
Are psychs evil?
"psychs" (Psychologists and Psychiatrists) are no more evil than any other profession. The main difference between an auditor and a psych is that the psych wants you to improve, and will listen and suggest methods for you to improve, while the auditor digs up problems you had solved long ago, restimulates it more and more "go to the beginning of the incident again" and then leaves you alone with it (so that you need even more auditing, which won't solve it either). Also, you don't have to study psychology to go to a psychologist (you don't even have to believe that it works), but you have to learn Hubbard's texts to get auditing.
Lobotomies (destroying parts of the brain by entering a long needle through the eye - yuk!) haven't been used for decades - because of discussions in the "psych profession" itself. Electroshocks have changed strongly - it is now called "Electroconvulsive therapy", is strongly regulated, and not used as a punishment - again, because of discussions in the "psych profession". (Did you ever remember scientologists discussing about changing scientology???). Movies are movies. Some of them (e.g. "Frances") were influenced by scientology itself - so this isn't really a "proof", or is it? Same when scientologist Priscilla Presley does electroshocks on TV with equipment of 1950.
Yes, "psychs" have abused patients. These "psychs" have gone to jail and are forbidden to practice their profession. When did you ever heard of a scientology registrar being told to stop threatening people, or a scientologist excluded because he drove another to suicide? Even some convicted criminals who did crimes for scientology are still in scientology!
Statistics that "psychs abuse 50% of their clients" are pure fantasy. The scientology front group CCHR has never been able to prove such allegations. A similar fantasy is that "psychs" are responsible for the war in Bosnia. Truth is that one of the main bad guys is a psych. But he doesn't use "psych methods" to kill: he uses guns, like all the other evil people there.
Every situation in which one person has power over another gives a possibility of abuse. You will find abuse in nursing homes, in the military, in schools, at the workplace - and it is a known problem, that is cared about and discussed. Ask yourself when an abuse in scientology was discussed, and what was done so that it didn't happen again. I mean more than just finding a scapegoat "XY is an SP, he had been removed". ("Finding a scapegoat" means finding someone to blame, and often leads to further abuse; never does psychology solve abuses by the Scientology method of threatening people so they are afraid to talk about it. Often it is customary or required for the psych to show you in writing what things you should complain about if they happen, and where you can take your complaints.)
Even LRH begged for psychiatric help after world war 2. (Letter available on request)
But it WORKS !
So you have noticed that some methods worked. For example, you felt better after a touch-assist. It is true, sometimes you believe in it and it works. The name for this is "placebo effect" - methods that do nothing, but cure anyway. It works because strong belief releases a drug that your own body produces ("endorphines"). No obscure "technology". But have you noticed how often it has not worked? Then the excuse is "scientology was not properly applied". A rather cheap excuse, if you ask me. Sadly, people die because they try such methods instead of going to the doctor. The doctor cures you, without the need of believing that something works. Why is this so? Because medicine is tested in a way that the first people who take it are separated in two groups: the one who gets the real stuff, and the one who gets a fake one. The experiment is designed so that even the nurse who gives the medicine, and the doctors who check if it works don't know if the patient gets the real or the fake medicine!
That is the difference:
Scientology: "It works because it works"
Medicine: "It works because independant experts have observed it works"
Do other children have to work?
No, of course not (there are certain exemptions for family-run businesses, farms, etc, where children might be allowed to perform a small amount of work). There are strong laws to prohibit child exploitation, limiting number of hours per week and so on even for older teenagers. If you are forced to work in scientology, then scientology ignores these laws. They practice modern slavery under the cover of "religion". Doing this is not different than an indian rug manufacturer or a "sweat shop" operation. And yes, it might be illegal. Write everything down carefully (people, hours, dates, what things you had to do) and then call the sheriff.
A scientologist touches me in a way I don't like. What can I do?
If he touches your genital parts or tells you to touch his, then it is a crime, even if the scientologist is "upstat" or "OT". Please do not report it to scientology because a case at "Flag" has shown they won't do anything! Go right to the police and tell all. If you think you could trust your parents in the past, then discuss the matter with them. You do not have to feel guilty. It is the fault of the other person.
Has anyone ever died because of scientology?
Yes, for example by suicide. In France a scientology org ED was sent to jail for driving another to suicide. The scientologist jumped from the window with the mother and the children watching. In England an ex-scientologist jumped from a bridge. Even after his death, the scientologists were still sending threatening letters. In the US a woman died after the scientologists "cared" for her - she had nothing to drink for several days. She had only $11 left, although her income had been over $100,000 a year. The scientologists change their stories all the time, how she died.
Can I trust my fellow scientologists?
No, usually not. They will put scientology over friendship - you have certainly observed this before. They will tell all you told them in the next session, O/W writeup, or K/R or whatever. People have done so in the past - today they might feel guilty for it. A different case might be your parents. Ask yourself if you could trust them in the past.
Will scientology use my personal folders against me?
Yes, possibly. They have done so in the past, and will do it in the future. They will do everything they can. They have to - LRH policy dictates it. If you leave, you are an SP, so you're fair game. The more you make them trouble, the lower they'll get. But remember also that many threats are pure lies, e.g. "You will go to jail because you have stolen $10 to buy a meal". This is called "blackmail", and they should go to jail for it! So assume from the beginning that they will do it, and prepare your strategy. Even jail is more freedom than scientology - because your thoughts are free!
I was born and educated in scientology. What will happen?
You might have some trouble to adjust to the real world. Scientology's communication methods are rather unsuccessful outside the "safe space", and can only help if your job has somehow to do with "hard sell". Recommendation: start reading newspapers (The St Petersburg Times), magazines (TIME), easy "books" (The Reader's Digest). The three I mentioned are what scientologists fear the most, although these are pretty ordinary writings! Try also meeting ordinary people, e.g. in a sports club, and learn to see how they communicate. Don't try to "handle" them, but be also critical in the way that you don't do something you don't want to do.
Is there anything that I am not told by scientology?
Yes, quite a lot! Here it is:
- Hubbard was not a war hero - he claimed this, and a judge called him a "pathological liar", although scientology had spent lots of $$ in the lawsuit. Hubbard was not a hero - he was a fool, a coward and a cheat.
- Quentin Hubbard, son of LRH, was gay (he preferred men as partners) and committed suicide. Being gay is considered a big no-no in scientology. Hubbard was so ashamed of it that he told scientologists that "Q" had been murdered.
- "Nibbs" Hubbard, son of LRH, left scientology shortly after the beginning and even changed his name - he was too ashamed of his dad.
- Two women, Polly and Sarah, divorced from Hubbard. Hubbard later denied being the father of his child "Alexis". (A lie)
- Mary Sue, his third wife, got in jail for her crimes and was dumped by LRH.
- Hubbard was convicted of fraud in France. He did not appear at trial because he is a coward.
- While scientology claims to have a "study technology" to help people in school and in university, the current Nr. 1, David Miscavige, didn't finish high school.
- OT3 claims that you are possessed by the spirits of aliens murdered 75,000,000 years ago by "Xenu." You have to exorcise these spirits, at a very high cost per alien. Yes, pure science-fiction.
- There aren't 8 million scientologists. There aren't even 100,000 acording to polls.