It will be at the moment of Scientology's defeat that the inherent weakness of their totalitarian propaganda will becomes visible. Without the force of their movement, its members will cease at once to believe in the dogma for which yesterday they still were ready to sacrifice their lives. The moment that Scientology, that is, the fictitious world which shelters them, is destroyed, its adherents will revert to their former status of isolated individuals who either happily accept a new function in a changed world or sink back into their old desperate superfluousness.
The members of Scientology's totalitarian movement, utterly fanatical as long as their movement exists, will not follow the example of religious fanatics at the demise of Scientology and die the death of martyrs (even though they were only too willing to die the death of robots). Rather they will quietly give up the movement as a bad bet and look around for another promising fiction or wait until the former fiction regains enough strength to establish another mass movement. Alternatively, they will come to the Lisa McPherson Trust for help.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeff Jacobsen)
Subject: Re: Scientology's moment of defeat
Date: Sat, 04 Nov 2000 23:19:52 GMT
This is like the story of the emperor's new clothes. No one dared say that the king was naked until an innocent child loudly proclaimed the obvious. Then everybody had a good laugh except the king and his tailors.
The description below of what ex-members will be like is a tad condescending to me. Most ex cult members do not "sink back into their old desperate superfluousness." Nor do most "look around for another promising fiction" to fill the void left when they left a cult. Cult members are not weaklings. I dare say that most people would not survive very long in the Sea Org or in the rigors and sacrifices that many cults demand.
Most cult members and ex-cult members I know are idealists, looking to make the world a better place and improve themselves. They prove their idealism by great sacrifice. The horrid thing is that they are sacrificing to a false cause, a charade, an emperor with no clothes. And the idealism and devotion of so many is wasted on a pipe dream. That happened to me for 6 years. I wish I could get those years back. But when I left I did not "sink back" into anything, and I certainly didn't want to go through such an experience again. In fact, I would say that ex-cult members are much more able to spot a scam when they see it than most people.
When a Scientology staffer used a syringe to force a mixture of aspirin, Benadryl and orange juice into McPherson's throat while others held her down, it was "spiritual sustenance," the church argues.