Hi there msdiver and woofy! Glad to see my foray into the deep thought abyss vaccum that is otherwise known as Scientology has provided a few insights. It truly was a very special experience.
[quote author=“woofy”]Hey Noggin’ —
I came across this thread for the first time today, even though it has been around for several weeks. I like how you relate your story. You have a way of writing that makes me able to envision very clearly what you are describing. I noticed that several people who responded to your posts thought that the whole thing was very funny. I didn’t see it that way at all. Disturbing maybe. Troubling, weird, intriguing even. But not funny to me. I don’t think there’s anything funny about people who are trying to find a way to deal with their fears and problems and confusion. Isn’t that what we are all trying to do? Trying to get through our lives… make the pieces fit… connect with eachother? help eachother?
woofy, if you were to go into the Scientologists meetings, you would definitely feel disturbed. I hope that what I wrote about my experience showed how quirky the whole deal is. I have to say this though:
It’s so disturbing that your time spent “finding your chair” and doing the “hollah back” drills as I called them, start to leave you feeling other worldly… it becomes surreal… there is a certain amount of odd disconnect going on. I am fairly positive that this is counted on or a part of the Scientology experience in order to get the new recruits sucked in.
For me, the experience, when it reached the truly bizzare points, became low level humorous. The way they looked so intently at me, tried to look into my “soul”... it was like they were spiritually feeling me up! Those piercing eye gazes…I almost felt violated! It’s just that they were so serious about something so unintelligable… kind of like Mormonism.
Yeah, about that… I guess also, the humor for me was seeing myself in them. I had vivid flashes of all the non Mormon friends I used to take to church with me here and there. I used to be the fanatical one. I used to try to talk people into seeing why Mormonism was god’s only true church on earth. I used to be the zealot. At the scientology meetings I attended, I recoiled somewhat at how I viewed them. I then saw how these friends of mine must have seen me as some oddball nutty Mormon fanatic. I kick myself now for trying to convert them to what I believed. I am now amazed that so many of them remained friends with me.
I have no doubt that Scientology is a flawed system, like so many others. But the man who asked you “what are you expecting to get out of this experience?” asked a good question. What is your answer? (I am looking deeply into your eyes, mesmer-style, and am completely in earnest, and would save your soul if I knew how, and the only toxin I have in my system right now is cherry coke…)
The reason I want to know your answer is because I don’t think I have a grip on what is motivating you.
The first year after I denounced Mormonism to my family and friends, telling them that I no longer believed in it, was very hard. Probably the first 18 months. Now they just look at me with pity and “know” I am deceived and that is that… but for the first little while they all tried to reconcile my doubts and denouncements.
What motivates me to attend wacky bizarre cults is plain. The more people I can see giving their entire existence to a cult I know to be invented, the more secure I began to feel about Mormonism.
I could write a library on that reason/ motivation so don’t get me started (actually, if you seriously are interested, DO get me started because I love to talk about it—but only if you are interested).
No one really knows how fanatically polarized a human brain can get unless theirs has been there. There is just no way one can appreciate the levels of conviction found in the head of a fundy zealot unless they have been one.
It seems to me from what I’ve read so far, that you just wanted to have the experience of walking away from another brain-washing cult organization. That seems like a strange motivation to me. It seems like the actions of a bitter and angry person, who was intent on lashing out at organizations similar to the one that had caused him pain. Is that your only motivation Noggin’? There’s more to it, isn’t there? What am I missing? Why are you doing this?
Seeing Scientology in all of its glory, peeking up underneath its skirt to see the stubby nubblies and then calling a spade a spade felt like it helped me gain some ground over to normalcy.
ee, I’ve never been normal and that is that. I have always been a polarized brainwashed idiot spouting ridiculous nonsense and I spent 3 decades of my life believing unbelievable beliefs. You are talking to a guy who used to stand on the steps of the Basillicas in Spain preaching “the word of God” to crowds of people heckling me. I used to shout out small sermons to the Spaniards trying to get a few to listen to the Mormon message. I was very proactive. Most Mormon missionaries did not go to that extreme. I was 19-21 years old when I did that level of polarization. That is how convinced I was that Mormonism was god’s truth. I was a hook line and sinker Mormon.
Again, seeing something else bizarre and being able to see it as utter bullshit helped me see that I was really not much different than the Scientologist standing in front of me… quizzing me with those steely x ray eyes of his…
When he looked at me like that I wanted to say “I know you… I USED TO BE YOU”
Yes. I used that experience to galvanize how other people also believed in the most fantastic things all day long. For me, I could not just take someone elses word for it about how Scientologists believe X, Y and Z. I had to go and touch it. It helped me conclude how just because millions believe in Scientology or Mormonism or Jehovah’s Witnesses or Prem Rawat Maharaji does not make that belief a true or accurate belief grounded in what is real.
For me, it took interacting with Scientologists and JW’s, shaking their hands, talking to them, witnessing the convictions in their eyes, speech, and whatnot.. I was constantly testing them to see if they were as convicted as I was as a Mormon. I needed to see how convicted they were so that I could feel safer about truly leaving Mormonism finally behind me.
I hope that helped. You know, I don’t think anyone actually ever asked me why I did this. I did not need anyone to ask as my reasons were my own… but I am glad you did ask, woofy.