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When a Scientologist realizes that the Church of Scientology is no longer something they want to be involved with, they will be confronted with a significant problem: How to distance themselves without being declared a “Suppressive Person”.
If the church detects that the Scientologist is no longer a happy, active, compliant member of the Church of Scientology, the church will usually declare the Scientologist a “Suppressive Person”. This means that all other Scientologists must “disconnect” from that Scientologist. Family, friends, employers, clients — they will all be forced to disconnect. This is unacceptable.
It is much, much easier for such a Scientologist to just “fly under the radar”. That is, pretend to still be a happy, compliant Scientologist but avoid, as much as possible, having to spend much time or money in the church.
Church of Scientology registrars (sales people) are trained to be extremely persistent and aggressive in getting money for the church and just about all Scientologists become deeply mired in debt. This is often one of the primary factors in a Scientologist wishing to distance themselves from further involvement. Today, the constant push for money by the church can be extremely disturbing.
Most Scientologists learn to screen their phone calls to avoid talking directly to church registrars. While this works to a degree, it can be annoying to clients, friends and family. Scientologists need some better tools for defusing the power of the registrars without raising any alarms.
First, read my post on A Scientologist’s Golden Age of Integrity Drills. For fun, I wrote this like a “Golden Age” drill, but the information, suggestions and LRH policy references are very valuable and completely valid. I used a few of these when I was in Scientology and registrars simply cannot contradict or ignore these references. Registrars have been trained to argue about them, but the article covers that as well. These references really do stop the registrars cold and I tell you how to accomplish that while remaining “100% on source”.
This won’t necessarily stop the phone calls or physical visits, it merely gives you tools to handle them. Here are some further suggestions which will help you eliminate, or at least minimize, phone calls and visits.
When you realize a registrar is calling, always say “I’m sorry, I only have a few minutes. I’m [expecting a phone call|walking out the door|meeting someone].” This sets up the phone call so that you can, after a minute, say, “Hey, thanks for calling! I’ve really got to run, but it was good talking to you!” and hang up. Note that you do not wait for some response (or their agreement), you just hang up. Yes, this may seem a bit rude, but you need to do it that way. Registrars know that if they can just keep you talking they will eventually wear you down and get your money.
Use a similar technique if they show up, unannounced, at your door. First, do not let them in. They won’t leave without prying some money from you. Say, “Oh! You’ve come at a very bad time. Sorry. Call me later.” Then shut the door. They will start talking and you must simply say “I’m real sorry!” and shut the door. Yes, this is, again, slightly rude. But then, showing up at your door, unannounced, to demand you give them money is quite rude.
Optionally, if you want to be creative, you can make up a story about how you are working on a “startup business idea” that will make you a ton of money in a “few months”. This explains why you can’t give them any money now and also appeals to their greed at the prospect of a “ton of money in a few months”. If asked for details, you can always say you signed a “NDA” (Non-Disclosure Agreement). “Call me in six months! I’ll have more news then!” This works well and, if they do call in six months you simply say, “Things are going very well! Call me in six months!”
An important tip when talking to a registrar: Do not get into a discussion of your finances with a registrar. Not ever. Do not answer questions about how much you make, what you spend money on, what are your debts, etc. Don’t ever, ever, ever do that. You don’t have to explain yourself, but if you feel compelled, simply say “That’s personal.” Nothing good ever comes from discussing your finances with a registrar.
When someone calls from the church to “confirm you for the event”, always say “Sure! Put me down!” It does not matter whether you actually are going, they won’t do a roll call. Certain events you do want to avoid, of course. Any event billed as a “briefing” should be avoided at all cost, they’ll just demand money. If you don’t go and are asked about that, just say, “I’m really sorry I missed it, something came up.”
There was a rumor that the church was threatening to declare a person simply because they weren’t active. That’s pretty insane, but if that happens to you, there are always the Scientology “correspondence courses”. They are cheap and don’t require you to go into the org. Buy one of those and be “working on it”. That should handle it for a while.
Note that, with all these techniques, you can smile, be polite and positive and still arrange it so that you don’t end up talking with the registrar. As far as the church knows, you are not antagonistic, just very, very busy. “Sorry, gotta go!”
These techniques, over time, will reduce the number of phone calls and visits. No registrar wants to waste time calling when no money is forthcoming. It is important that you never give them money just to “get rid of them”. Giving money, no matter the amount, just encourages more phone calls and more visits.
As you distance yourself from the church, you may want to know more about what others think and say. Other articles on this site may interest you. I’ve also some suggestions over on the right side of this page under “More Info:“. Check those out if you are interested. But, if you are flying under the radar, do take some precautions.
While I think that communicating with other inactive (or ex-) Scientologists is very helpful and therapeutic, if you are under the radar, be very careful. When visiting forums like Ex-Scientology Message Board or Operation Clambake, do not post any personally identifiable information, history or stories. The church is constantly monitoring these forums, looking for people to punish.
Hopefully, these suggestions will allow you to stay under the radar and avoid being declared. Good luck.
a substance having no pharmacological effect but given merely to satisfy a patient who supposes it to be medicine.
a substance having no pharmacological effect but administered as a control in testing experimentally or clinically the efficacy of a biologically active preparation.
placebo effect noun
a reaction to a placebo manifested by a lessening of symptoms or the production of anticipated side effects.
While it may be difficult to show that any one individual Scientologist has not “gotten gains” from his or her participation in Scientology, it is trivial to determine that Scientology does not and never has produced the benefits promised by L. Ron Hubbard.
Scientology promises to produce homo novis: A significantly superior being, far superior to current homo sapiens. This isn’t just implied, this is explicitly promised many, many times by Hubbard.
If Scientologists were routinely becoming such superior beings, it would be obvious in the real world. The leaders of science, academia, industry, politics and more would proudly declare that they were Scientologists, products of Hubbard’s amazing “tech”.
The truth is that there are no Scientologists of any note except those few who were already famous or successful prior to Scientology.
There is that joke: How do you make a Scientology millionaire? First you find a billionaire and then get them to join Scientology.
Given that it is true and self-evident that Scientology’s “tech” does not produce the wonderful results promised, why do some believers insist that they “got gains” from Scientology?
Enter the “placebo effect”. And here is where Hubbard really pulled off a good one. The capabilities and attributes of this mythical homo novis are largely undefined. In general, the attributes are virtually godlike. Anything could potentially be a homo novis ability.
And here is why it is so very effective in convincing a believer that Hubbard’s homo novis is not just possible but is actually happening:
Anything unusual that happens to a Scientologist can and is considered “proof” of progress towards this homo novis.
– Found some money you forgot you had? It’s Scientology!
– Your favorite team wins? It’s Scientology!
– Feel especially good for a day or two? It’s Scientology!
– Had a bit of luck doing some task? It’s Scientology!
– Unexplained tingling in your hands? It’s Scientology!
… and so on.
You, of course, understand that all these things are perfectly normal things that happen to almost everyone at one time or another but, to a true believer in Scientology, anything out of the ordinary is proof that Scientology is working.
It is the placebo effect in personal betterment. Because Scientologists still believe Hubbard’s wild promises, they will grasp at any straw that appears to validate their beliefs. After all that money, all that fuss and bother, there must be some benefit.
The release of the HBO documentary makes the question even more unavoidable.
The Church of Scientology claims that these books and now the film are filled with lies, libel and slander. In legal terms, these are all, according to the church, defamatory to the Church of Scientology.
Defamation is the communication of a false statement that harms the reputation of an individual person, business, product, group, government, religion, or nation.
Without a doubt, the reputation of the Church of Scientology has been harmed greatly in the last few years. These books and this film have just added to this problem.
The Church of Scientology has a large stable of aggressive attorneys paid quite well to attack all those who criticize and defame the church.
If these books and this film are, as the church claims, filled with lies, libel and slander – the law would be very much on the church’s side. The law allows the church to sue publishers, authors, filmmakers to completely shut down “lies, libel and slander”. Certainly, an injunction could have given the church almost immediate relief from such defamation.
So the obvious question that Scientologists must not even think is:
Why didn’t the Church of Scientology stop the books? Why doesn’t the church stop the film? The church makes lots of noise and accusations of their own but takes no action. Why?
The question is obvious but Scientologists must not even think this. They must not think the question because the only answer then becomes unavoidable.
The primary defence against a charge of defamation is truth. Generally speaking to prove defamation, the alleged victim must show that the “defamatory” statements are, in fact, false.
More than anyone, Scientologists know that the Church of Scientology would do anything to ban these books and this film if they could. The fact that the church does not means that they cannot.
Are all these “defamatory” facts in the documentary true?
By the Church of Scientology’s own actions – and inaction – it is obvious that the Church of Scientology believes the documentary to be totally true.
And that is a thought that Scientologists must never think.
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