Re: Scientology

From: Keith Henson (
Date: Wed Jan 16 2002 - 15:59:05 GMT

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    From: Keith Henson <>
    Subject: Re: Scientology
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    At 10:29 PM 15/01/02 -0800, "Dace" <>
    >I'm responding to this part of your post on the memetics list.
    > > >Do you believe Scientology employs "mind control," and if so, how does
    > > >work?
    > >
    > > Yes. From the abstract of an article I am working on.
    > >
    > > "There are two evolved psychological mechanisms hijacked by cult
    > > memes. One is capture-bonding, also known as the Stockholm
    > > Syndrome. Capture-bonding evolved as a survival mechanism for individuals
    > > captured between tribes. It lies behind social phenomena as diverse as
    > > army basic training and spouse abuse. Cults evoke capture-bonding
    > > responses for both obtaining and retaining members. (Examples, Moonies
    > > isolation recruitment, Scientology RPF.)
    >I don't doubt that victims of kidnapping are liable to bond with their
    >kidnapper. (Of course, this effect would have benefitted "deprogrammers"
    >back when anti-cult activists were kidnapping cult members.) I don't know
    >about Moonies,

    Moonies and EST both used mild forms of capture-bonding. People differ a
    lot in how much it takes to turn on this mechanism. The Moonies would take
    people 40 miles out from the nearest town. Their potential recruits would
    develop considerable anxiety about getting back--enough to turn on the
    mechanism in some people. The EST crew used to keep people all day without
    bathroom breaks to turn it on.

    Not that either group understood what they were doing at the theory level.

    And consider army basic training as turning on capture-bonding. You can
    get people trained to kill others in a few weeks.

    >but at least in the case of Scientologists, only a few are
    >ever subjected to anything like imprisonment, and only after they've
    >demonstrated a lack of properly fervent belief. Even then it's not what you
    >would ordinarily call capture. They go about in their gray T-shirts doing
    >menial labor, jogging more than walking, socializing only with each other,
    >and it's nothing at all like the trauma of being kidnapped. (I see them all
    >the time in the neighborhood where I live in LA). Not only is
    >capture-bonding irrelevant to the recruitment of new members, but the
    >Rehabilitation Project Force doesn't seem to provide any kind of basis for
    >this phenomenon.

    The people who have been in it, and I know a number of them, say that it
    did. Running around a pole and/or working 20 hours a day, eating slop from
    a bucket, being locked up and psychologically and sometimes physically
    abused they say had effects much like those you see in battered wife
    cases. Most of the time they rebonded to scientology where they were
    previously about to leave.

    Being on staff or in the Sea Org in scientology is nearly complete
    isolation from the rest of the world. The people who are in the RPF are
    captives to thinking that they would be lost in the outside world.

    > > "The other and more important psychological mechanism is attention
    > > rewards. Cult (memes) take advantage of this reproductive success related
    > > reward pathway by focusing attention on members (love bombing, auditing
    > > attention intensive "training routines.") Attention is used by social
    > > primates to measure social status, an matter of major importance
    > > for males in determining reproductive success. Attention activates the
    > > reward pathway by causing the release of endorphins and dopamine. This is
    > > the same reward pathway hijacked by addictive drugs."
    >I fail to see how bestowing attention on someone constitutes mind control.

    You should read up on TR-0 and how the people who have been through it
    describe the effects. They do what they are required to do to get more of
    the rewards.

    >Yes, certain vulnerable people will respond very positively to attention, no
    >matter where it comes from, but this doesn't mean they've lost all control
    >over their own beliefs.

    I think there are such people. Some of them recently flew airliners into
    the WTC. I cite Jim Jones' cult, the Heaven'g Gate cult, the Aum Cult, and
    the Solar Temple as just a few such cases. Any time you see people doing
    seriously counter survival acts or neglecting their children for some
    cause, their minds have been parasitized.

    Extreme meme infections remind me of:

    "the parasitic barnacle, Sacculina carcini, that sterilizes male and female
    green crabs.
    The larva of this so-called castrating barnacle, which lives throughout C.
    maenas' native range, bores into the crabs and in the course of several
    months infuses its host with a network of its own tissues. Eventually, the
    parasite forms an egg sac that extends outside the crab, beside its gonads.
    For all practical purposes, Kuris says, an infected C. maenas soon
    constitutes little more than an egg-production facility for the barnacle."

    >Does a wife-beater exert "mind-control" over his
    >wife when he apologizes and showers her with attention and affection?


    >There's a difference between exerting charm and brainwashing.

    Only in degree. We are, every one of us, involved in trying to mind
    control the people around us. For example, both of us are trying to get
    other people to think like us (adopt our memes) right here on this list.

    >The idea of mind control is rendered superfluous by memetics.

    I don't think so, though the "controller" may become a meme rather than
    another person. "Mind control" is an imprecise notion, but what do you call
    what happened to Patty Hearst?

    >You don't
    >need to wield power over people's thoughts when your memes are colonizing
    >their minds. You don't have to be consciously trying to enslave them.

    L. Ron Hubbard was really clear about enslaving people *long* before he
    cooked up dianetics and scientology. The business of responsibility for
    what you do is a tricky one. Some people, such as the John Walker in the
    news, are less responsible than people like bin Laden.

    Keith Henson

    >Rather than the recruiter controlling the mind of the victim, both are under
    >the sway of pathological memes.

    Of course.

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