COMMENTS & RESPONSES
Received 4 Apr:
the similarities: a charismatic leader who is considered to be at a god-like level of spiritual attainment.
Every action by the leader is considered to be perfect.
the group propagates the image that the leader is infallible while evidence that would show the opposite is suppressed.
My years in Scientology were filled with stories of Ron (founder) and how he was in complete control of his body and his mind. The image built up of a superman who could increase his body height by his will. He could supposedly go invisible if he wanted to and stories circulated that he had done just that to tour his Organizations in the early '70s.
In the early '80s I met someone who had been a personal assistant to him. She shared stories of his unguarded moments and it began a process that started to unwind the programming I'd been through all those years. (I was a member for 11 years).
I was still a hardcore member working 18 hours a day for almost no pay.
But her stories had the ring of truth to them.
The big guy himself, sitting in front of his mirror on the edge of his bed, staring at his reflection and repeating over and over, "poor Ronnie, poor poor Ronnie...".
Or how he would talk, more and more as he got older, about space aliens and how he was monitoring their secret communications with his mind. He would sometimes talk the way a sportscaster does, giving a play by play description.
Or stories about his temper and his cursing tirades.
And a story, confirmed later when I'd left the group that he'd actually suffered several heart attacks which is something they would never admit had happened as it would contradict the superman image.
Not all of this shows similarities.
The differences are many. Scn. does not believe that everyone comes from one source. They claim that everyone is a spirit and is separate from every other spirit.
Their processing is aimed at separating the individual from all the other stuff/ spirits and bad incidents, that they've identified with over the course of their existence.
The spirit is immortal and the present and past lives are rummaged through to come to terms with and be responsible for past bad actions or inaction.
In the end, they expect to be unencumbered free spirits who can leave the body at will and create with their intention any thing they wish.
I never met any who had come close to achieving this.
But I did run into things that seemed true.
And the truth you take with you, the rest you leave behind.
As an odd end-note here, it's interesting that when he did die, the group portrayed it as his ascension to the next level which cannot be done while in the body.
This implies that to reach his level followers will have to discard their bodies as well.
Something I haven't see news groups focus on in their search for similarities of other cults to the Heavens Gate cult of San Diego.
Thanks for the interesting observations. It seems that when people become deluded, there are similarities in their dysfunction's.
Did you know, that at one time, Scientology and SY shared the same attorneys? I am not sure if they still do.