Scientology Recovery

Counseling aimed at countering the effects of
Scientology’s misapplications & abuses


Characteristics of an Abused Person:

Abuse is built into our power oriented culture. Powerful commandeering people are revered, yet they leave a trail of abuse wherever they go. Their damage is justified in the name of getting things done for "the greatest good."

The Power Over Principle is how an abuser operates. Power over is control, domination, and nullification. In Western society, governments, the military, and a high percentage of leaders use that principle. It may seem workable for the military and for misguided harsh leaders, but in the long run it invalidates cohesiveness in the group, spurns the individual, and blocks success for one and all. The leader of a group is often copied, and the abuse spreads down through the rank and file of the organization. Verbal abuse is rampant and becomes the acceptable means of communication. This is often followed by physical abuse, because this type of leader eventually loses the cooperation of his subordinates.

In power over scenarios the victim feels nullified, unprotected, and fearful.    Faith and trust is lost in his or her fellow man. The lack of faith and trust is directed at the abuser at first, but then generalizes to all people with resultant paranoia. The Sea Org and other destructive cults emphasize total compliance to an unquestioned authority. The unquestioning compliance serves to make it all too easy for abuse to occur.

Verbal and physical abuse leave the victim with the following symptoms:

01. Feeling disconnected, confused, and disoriented.
02. Illogical fear of people, chronic fear.
03. Feeling off balance, not grounded.
04. Not knowing where to turn, aimless.
05. An internalized critical voice, hyper self-criticism.
06. Fearful to ask for clarifications.
07. Second guessing one's own evaluations, perceptions and viewpoint.
08. Unable to make decisions on their own accord for their own best interest.
09. Loss due to broken promises or unfulfilled expectations.
10. Shattered dreams.
11. Does not trust goodwill, only ill will.
12. Not in control of one’s own life.
13. Repeating and redundant spinning circles of thoughts.
14. Muddled thoughts.
15. An uneasy feeling of emptiness.
16. A strong feeling of wanting to get away, but unable to do so, as if frozen.
17. Not able to attack the correct problem. (Example: self-mutilation)
18. A chronic feeling that something is wrong. Feelings of dread and doom.
19. One’s own mind, feelings, and certainty are chaotic.
20. Fear of being crazy (or going crazy).
21. Time has passed, something is missing and a feeling it cannot come back.
22. A distrust of future relationships.
23. A need to live in the future, "Everything will be great when…"
24. Paranoia.

An abused person feels hurt, diminished, ridiculed, nullified, and shut down by repeated verbal and physical attacks. They are thrown off balance and introverted into uncertainty by people who are overwhelming, explosive, sullen, jealous, and quick with come-backs and puts downs. An abusive person is manipulative, unpredictable, and hostile.

When dealing with an ex-cult member or an abused person, it is vital that you don't display abusive characteristics yourself as they are easily triggered due to past trauma. In working with your loved one, whether they are still in or out of a cult, it is important to teach them to recognize the symptoms of abuse and how to fend it off.

The basic tool for an abused person to learn is assertiveness. Assertive means to be positive and confident. It is different than being confrontational and hostile in return. Assertiveness diffuses anger and hostility. A simple directly spoken “Stop it!” usually works.

It is hard to give someone the exact words to say in return because verbal abuse comes in many forms: Joking, put downs, tit for tat, nullifying and evaluating statements, accusation and blame, hyper-criticalness, undermining and demeaning name calling, abusive orders and control, threats and physical violence.

Generally speaking, "Stop" works well for an opener. In most cases it needs to be followed by telling the abuser what he just did, and saying you won’t accept it or take it. The other key tool is to leave, or if you’re on the phone, give a warning and then hang up.

  • "Stop accusing me and blaming me right now. Stop it!"
  • "I don’t accept that criticism. Stop it"
  • "Hold it. I'm leaving right now."
  • "If you continue to talk like that I will hang up," Then hang up.
  • "Stop right there. What you are asking me to do is not in policy."

Recovery from abuse is not easy and it takes a lot of love and encouragement and precise counseling to get the person to realize they are worthwhile and valuable. It takes the abused person some time to gain the ability to trust their own perceptions again, and to be assertive. However, if they learn how to understand and handle abuse they won’t fall into being victimized again.

Inspiration can come from peaceful leaders like Jesus, Gandhi and Martin Luther King. They were mocked and abused. They were assertive, but they also knew when to walk away and leave. When confronted by superior forces and threats of violence, their responses were not violent, they were truthful and assertive. It takes courage to speak calmly and tell the truth in the face of abuse. Ultimately, if a cult member speaks up honestly, he or she will be expelled.   That takes courage and conviction and may not be possible until critical thinking is returned. In the meantime, if they are still in a cult, teach assertiveness and how to know when to walk away from the abuser.