Disillusionment – by David Mayo
When I first became interested in Scientology I felt a huge resurgence of hope about the future and what it held. Prior to that I’d had a lot of questions about life, about its meaning and purpose. Questions such as: “Why are we here? Is there an overall purpose to the scheme of things? Is there a god? What happens when you die? Where did we come from?” …the usual questions. It’s not that I got answers to those questions, but I did have the hope it would be possible to attain the answers.
Then, certain things happened that didn’t seem to be consistent with that hope. In other words, I expected a tremendous amount from scientology – I expected the tremendous amount from the people involved with it; I thought they would be ideal or perfect beings. I assumed that anyone involved with this movement would be unaberrated and rational. When the first major divergence from the stated aims and goals of scientology occurred – a disagreement over a policy letter which turned into a bitter feud – I got quite a shock, what we’d call a secondary. My most immediate reaction was: “How could this be happening in scientology?” After such an incident, one could start to question the validity of the tech. I think that’s a natural thing – to question whether it’s so or not and whether one’s aspirations are toward things which may not come about and could end up in a betrayal of expectations. I remember going out then, taking a walk and suddenly realizing that my havingness was down. I started noticing things around me and my havingness came up. This was a rehabilitation of the earlier point when I’d realized that the tech DOES work.
Over the years the organization which was promoting scientology often acted in a manner inconsistent with its goals and purposes. Today I hear in various letters and conversations that some people have decided they don’t want anything further to do with scientology. I wanted to go into the reasons for that.
For some any further involvement with scientology is too emotionally painful. Many people have withdrawn or departed from the subject entirely, having wanted and expected so much and then having been let down. That situation, however, is not optimum. A friend of mine went through such a reaction and I watched it happening. This person felt that the tech didn’t work – that it was all just subjective. He thought that people’s cognitions and gains were simply imaginary. This attitude was quite at variance with what I’d known of this person and what he’d experienced earlier. In listening further and asking questions, what surfaced was this person had wanted more than just the gains he’d received. He had wanted additional gains so much that he had felt betrayed when they did not occur. His solution to this huge reality break was to say, “Well, I didn’t think that the tech worked in the first place.” – an example of rationalization.
Some people who worked in the sea org for many years – 10, 15, 20 years – came to the realization that the sea org was not carrying out the original goals and purposes for which they had joined. Feeling reflected in thoughts such as “What have I done? I’ve wasted those years of my life,” often followed. Some then got into a hectic frenzy of trying to make up for the lost time. It’s very hard to make up for lost time – it tends to park one in the past. The rational reaction would be to simply accept what had happened and go on from there, having gained valuable understanding from these experiences.
So I that one of the reasons people become disillusioned and tend to become inactive due to an ARC break of such magnitude that they feel their only course is to withdraw. They try to hope their experiences didn’t happen and try to show that they were right for doing what they did – even though they now think they shouldn’t have done it, whether it was joining the sea org, or buying auditing, or whatever.
Interestingly enough, another person going through that particular phase told me that he didn’t think that the tech worked. He was, however, using the tech to handle his dilemma by withdrawing in order, as he put it, destimulate.
The way to handle disillusionment with scientology is not to withdraw or rationalize, or try to change the fact, that one has been hurt. The solution is to become more involved and to understand the factors that brought about the situation. That’s the ultimate solution.