Many people coming out of Scientology, either the organization alone or subject itself, have commented on the addictive situation they find themselves in: getting out is like breaking an addiction.
This goes beyond the fear of disconnection, and the threats. Like an addict coming off drugs, exes can slide into depression and suicidal feelings when they leave. I have noticed this with myself, but had trouble identifying the specific addictive factors. I am starting to feel that rather than a fishing lure with 4 barbs, or a trolling line with a dozen, it is more like Velcro, with hundreds or thousands of hooks. Many, including myself, stayed in and connected despite blatant abuse and self destruction.
I think the addictive nature of Scientology has more to do with the culture than the “tech”. How many people do we know that were on staff, having read almost no books, done almost no courses, having gotten little to no auditing that were complete zealots?
It would be interesting to see and compile the specific addictive factors people have. A few to start off with:
1. Love bombing, validation, feeling like the most important person in the world.
2. Esprit de corps. The elite camaraderie of being the chosen ones, the elite, the only ones that can make a difference.
3. A meaning for life … the feeling, even if proven false, that we were helping people, making a difference, changing the world, doing something of value.
4. The feeling like we are always learning or doing something to improve ourselves.
5. The fear of the outside world, living in our protected island of sanity.
6. The fear of being denied access, not only ourselves, but others to the only spiritual and sane future for humanity.
7. The fear of being wrong, that leaving is a catastrophic or life threatening mistake.
8. Fear of not being enough outside.
9. Fear of not being loved outside.
10. Fear of rejection outside, and not being able to come back.
11. Stockholm syndrome. This is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and have positive feelings towards their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them. I believe the emeter can be used, especially in the case of sec checking and FRPD, to create rapid onset Stockholm syndrome.
12. The lies we tell others and ourselves about how much better we are doing since getting in, getting auditing, reading a book, going up the bridge. We even believe our own lies.