The Demons of Freedom

The Demons of Freedom

by Ken Rose

The other day we were talking to a young man who had recently become a member of the Church of Scientology. This fellow's brother had become concerned when the new scientologist decided to quit his job and devote himself to full time study at the cult's "Technical Mecca" in Clearwater, Florida. We were asked to speak to the young man and help all concerned with the process of making a decision as to whether or not the family's trust fund should be used to finance the considerable expense associated with the training the young man was seeking in scientology.

We spent a couple of hours trying to explain to these two brothers what had become of us during our many years in scientology, and then, slowly, the young scientologist began to ask questions. One which we found compelling was this: was there nothing within the confines of this extraordinary organization that justified the loss and suffering we had endured? Was there not the promised freedom? Was it not somehow true that no matter what the price one had to pay, it was far short of the power and glory of the state of OT...of the state of Total Freedom?

At first we thought this was an easy question to answer. a word. Scientology, in fact, offers no such invaluable freedom. But as we looked into this young man's eyes, it became clear that a further answer was needed. What of people's dreams of freedom? What of the power and glory that is supposed to lie behind each more confidential gateway to OT as one progresses up the "Bridge to Total Freedom?"

We told this fellow that he now found himself at a crossroads in his life. We made it quite clear that scientology is an all or nothing proposition, that one cannot pick and choose from it as if it were a spiritual smorgasbord. We informed him that he had a monumental decision to make. [In order to avoid any sort of climactic value which this story might otherwise possess, we'll tell you right now that this young man made the right choice. He is no longer a member of the Church of Scientology. Now we can proceed.]

How do we deal with the subject of freedom? Should you or someone you know and care about find him or herself in a position of having to decide whether or not to become or remain involved in scientology, consider the following argument. It concerns the First Amendment to the Constitution. Since this is an article of government which is frequently cited by people and institutions on nearly every side of nearly all issues relating to individual freedom, it is a statement of principle with which we should all be familiar.

It states in part:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for the redress of grievances." Thomas Jefferson, who possessed more than a passing familiarity with and passion for such freedom, underscored the importance of this protection saying, "Our most fundamental liberties depend upon the freedom of thought and the freedom of expression; and you cannot limit either one in any way without destroying both." In recent years, scientology has attemped to style itself a champion of the first amendment and of the liberties and freedoms it promises to us all. But beyond its protestations of alleged intrustions against it's own freedom to defraud, coerce and conspire, the cult behaves in a manner which is inimical to freedom. To support this statement, let us examine the behavior of scientologists with regard to the subject of the freedom of speech and belief.

According to scientology policy it is a High Crime and a Suppressive Act for a scientologist in good standing to remain in communication with any person who has been declared to be a "Suppressive Person." What this means, of course, is that a scientologist's right to freedom of speech is least it is limited in that one cannot exercise free speech with respect to declared SP's. Savvy scientologists might argue that they accept this limitation knowingly and willingly and thereby retain full freedom of speech. But Jefferson's caveat stands: one cannot limit this freedom in any way without destroying it. And, in fact, a scientologist who wishes to exercise full freedom of speech, risks the consequences that accompany violation of the above cited HCOPL. One can, of course, be declared a Suppressive Person oneself for continuing communication to another declared Suppressive Person.

The point here is simply this: regardless of the arguments that can be made supporting such a limitation of free speech, it must be recognized that scientology advocates this significant abridgement of this freedom for its members. Though they cite historical, religious precedents for strict codes of conduct, etc., this fact remains. When it comes to talking to people who have been declared Suppressive or discussing the faults of the group, scientologists are simply not free to do so.

To understand the force with which scientology attempts to impose this limitation of the freedom of speech, one need only consider the consequences of being declared a Suppressive Person and expelled from the church. When one is thus declared, one suddenly finds oneself cut off from everyone with whom one has lived, loved, worked, and played.

This is precisely what happens (or what is supposed to happen) to a scientologist who is declared to be suppressive. This is disconnection. Think about it for a minute. Think of it in terms of your own life. Imagine that you live in a community heavily populated by scientologists.

For the sake of argument, let's say that you live in a community that has wholeheartedly embraces the tenets of scientology. After all, it's only a matter of time before there are such scientology communities? Isn't it?

Picture youself living in a world run by scientology. Let's pretend that scientology has achieved it's goal of world domination. The Zone Plan has succeeded. The planet has been "cleared." And while the Sea Org gears up for Target Two (the expansion of scientology to other worlds), the administration of Earth continues according to Hubbard's policy.

Remembering that you are an American, a descendant of Thomas Jefferson, et al, you awaken one morning and decide to test whether or not your most fundamental freedoms have been in any way abridged or limited. Perhaps you are suddenly tired of believing that your are possessed; of auditing entities off your body and off the bodies of everybody else you know and off the furniture and the cars as they go by and so on. Maybe you've decided to change your mind about a few things or you just wake up angry...for no particular reason other than you're just angry. You decide to speak out.

You go to the window and, remembering how effective it was in a movie, you stick your head out and start yelling, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more." What happens next?

By noon, you are reading the Knowledge Reports which your neighbors have written and forwarded to your Ethics File. Of course they sent carbons to their own files as evidence of their adherence to standard policy.

By 12:15 you are being interviewed by your Committee of Evidence. (Remember, this is a scientology world, so everyone is required to be extremely punctual and efficient.) The Bill of Particulars is read out by the Committee Secretary. The witnesses are called and heard. The Committee reviews the evidence and directs some questions towards you.

Seeking to establish the truth, you honestly report that you were simply fed up with the BT's and clusters and just wanted to exercise your first amendment right to tell your friends and neighbors so.

The committee members nod and half-ack as you talk on for a few minutes. By 12:30 the Findings and Recommendations are published along with Ethics Order 12,375,894,995,863...declaring you to be a Psychotic Person, a Suppressive Person, etc. and directing all Scientologists (which, remember, constitute the entire population of Teegeeack, or, as it was briefly known in the late 20th century, Earth) to disconnect from you.

Now it's 12:45. You're hungry. This sort of thing always makes you hungry. So, you step out into the sunlight and head off towards the local McDonalds. There, you figure, you can drown your sorrows in a Big Mac (a Big Ron?), fries, and a chocolate shake.

However, to your chagrin, your ethics order has been published electronically all over the world. It has arrived at the order desk just before you. And the young woman who works there will not talk to you or take your order. Her senior won't talk to you either. No one in the place will talk to you. You head for Kentucky Fried Chicken.

They won't talk to you either. The clerk at the supermarket does speak, but only says that he won't talk to you. The other shoppers seem annoyed.They won't talk to you. You wander home along streets that fall strangelysilent as you pass, and when you finally arrive home, you find that your landlord has thrown your things into the street, including your parrot. Even he won't talk to you.

Your mother's voice on the phone is cold and distant. She tells you, somewhat reluctantly, that she won't talk to you. Your wife is gone with the kids. Or your husband's gone with the kids. The next morning, your boss has ordered the company's Ethic's Officer to inform you that since no one at the office will talk to you, you can't possibly do your job and job.

Your doctor won't talk to you. You definitely don't feel well. The District Attorney won't talk to you. Only the International Justice Chief will talk to you. And all she will say is that you need to do steps A-E of HCOPL blah de blah.

OK. That's enough. But ask yourself does it really matter that this tyranny was perpetrated against you by a "church" rather than an agency of the state? Is there any difference at all?

How do we reconcile scientology's claims of championing the First Amendment with its practice of disconnection and of limiting the right of free speech of its members?

For instance, we were declared to be Suppressive. One day nobody we hadknown for many, many years would talk to us. Were they all simply exercising their individual liberties? Or were they acting out of fear...the fear of being similarly put in Coventry and denied this most fundamental freedom?

The world we woke up to this morning is not one which is dominated by scientology. But it is one in which people have, indeed, become reluctant to exercise the freedom of speech on the subject of scientology. Among those who are most reluctant are former members. For they know the church's actual position on this freedom. They know that declared SP's do, indeed, become Fair Game (meaning that they can be lied to, cheated, embarassed, attacked or even destroyed by other scientologists).

Former members, particularly those who have been declared Suppessive Persons, know what all this is supposed to purchase: the silence of those who would be critics of scientology. Some of us were raised with the notion that "I might not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

So, here we find Rev. Heber Jentzsch, President of the Church of Scientology, International, proclaiming himself and his "church" to be the real champions of the freedoms of the First Amendment. And here we find the workaday scientolgists, the Ethics Officers, the Auditors, the Directors of Processing, The Technical Secretaries, and scientologists in general, engaging in what amounts to wholesale destruction of those very rights.

They say it is designed to "keep a safe space" for the expansion of scientology. And what does scientology do when it expands into some newarea? More of the same.

Will the earth ever enter in a post-"cleared" era like the one described above? We don't intend to wait and see. But if it does, you can be assured that you will no longer have the protection of the First Amendment (or any other amendments or constitutions for that matter). In its place will stand the Substance and First Duty of HCO, as diligent scientologists gather up the copyrights and trademarks of dianetics and scientology and ensure their safety and security against infringement on the infinite numbers of worlds that lie beyond the stars and which, in the days after the earth has been cleared, will fall, one by one, beneath the boots of Sea Org members as they make their way back to the stars from whence they believe they came.

These are the demons of freedom. These are the lads and lasses who threaten us while we sleep with their dedicated service to mankind. Make no mistake about it. If you are a citizen of planet earth, you are represented on the Battle Plan of scientology. If you are still a wog (i.e. a non-scientologist), even if you've never even heard of scientology, it is really only a matter of time before you have your status clarified. If all goes as scientology has planned, sooner or later, you will know.

And if you do wake up one fine morning and begin to realize that no one is talking to you, at least you'll know what's going on.

You probably just voiced the wrong opinion about the wrong "defenders of freedom". Right?

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