I am a creature of habit.
In the morning, I turn on the shower, go downstairs, fire-up the coffee machine, go back upstairs, shower, brush my teeth, get dressed for work using clothes laid out the night before. Monday through Friday I execute this routine with military precision.
It is my morning ritual.
It’s mine. I created it. I tweaked it, honed it, optimized it, to serve me. It has value to me, that’s why I do it. I have quite a few of these routines.
A scientologist may want to call this a circuit. But, I prefer ritual. A scientologist should know something about rituals, they’re everywhere in Scientology. The Model Session is pure ritual. Clearing a word, The Comm Formula, The Ethics Conditions…all behavior regularly and invariably followed. Standard Tech and KSW are all about how to properly perform the rituals of Scientology.
Thanks to my Catholic upbringing, I had some experience with rituals. My complaint with the Catholic church was that their rituals did not have an acceptable foundation. Scientology was very clever about its rituals. They all had a pseudo-scientific rationale behind them; making them seem less ritualistic and more technical.
So, after 10-20-30 years of heavy ritualistic living, you are shown the door (or you ran for the exit), either way – you’re out! Many found their way onto Anti-Scientology Community (ASC) blogs and forums, where they were greeted with open arms. Personally, I don’t know if I would have left, if it hadn’t been for Marty’s blog, Rinder’s blog, AlanzosBlog, Friends of LRH, Wise Old Goat, to name a few.
Reading these blogs became a daily ritual. No, it was more than that – it was an obsession. All of my free time was spent on the internet to read/listen/watch anything and everything that existed about Scientology.
Soon after leaving I was a regular on Mike and Marty’s blog. My new ritual.
Consider this: this ASC congregates around a web site(s), devotes attention, consumes the news and comments of the day, offers up their contribution to the virtual community with hope and anticipation that someone will respond to their posting. If one were lucky, the site host would respond = elation.
So why do all of this? Short answer, I got something out it. It had value to me.
Leaving the church can be unsettling. Things look very grim; some lose their family or their job. Instinctively you know you made the right decision, but a little encouragement doesn’t hurt. Daily revelations of tales of church abuse and wrongdoings was just what the doctor ordered.
So, this became my new ritual…and it was great.
Four years on and there is still value, but less of an appetite.
How many times can I relay my personal experience with IAS reges, or staff abuses, or illness, death and bankruptcy? Occasionally I will have an epiphany and put together a thoughtful post. But it has been less and less. I still find the need to expose the church for what it is, but it is less consuming.
Incidentally, all this recent brouhaha about Marty Rathbun…to me, the ASC expected, or maybe demanded, that he be the High Priest of the ASC. And for a time, it appeared he was. But, now he’s changed, just as I’ve changed. There is less need. It is difficult to justify the expenditure for the potential gain. Life can be hard enough.
I am eternally grateful to Mark Rathbun and Mike Rinder for what they’ve done. On a personal level, they have paid their “debt” to me for any wrongdoing. Just realize what their life must have been like. I would not trade places. Would you?
At the moment, I still perform the ASC ritual. What is different, is I know why.