Daily Archives: October 10, 2011

Sociopathic behavior

I originally intended this blog entry as a quickie, a simple prediction of how the Church would react to Marty Rathbun’s latest blog entry, the sociopath next door (a review of a book of that title, by the way, and not just another assessment of Church leader David Miscavige). Easy prediction: This Church-run site will accuse Marty of not only using non-LRH tech, but relying on a source written by – *gasp* – a psychiatrist. (Author Martha Stout is actually a psychologist, but to most Scientologists, it’s all the same.)

Understand that in Scientology, this is a Huge Deal – equivalent to a devout Christian saying that it might have been better if Jesus loosened up and got himself laid now and then.

Besides what I expected from the article – Marty saying that Dr. Stout’s findings validate the writings of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, which they don’t quite, and I’ll talk about that in a minute – Marty does make an interesting point that is useful for protesters.

He talks about the period of “decompression,” when people have just left Scientology, and how he says it’s common to turn away from Scientology altogether – something, I was surprised to learn, that even he did — although his reasons came back to Church management rather than LRH:

“During my own decompression period I did not want to read or hear anything about Scientology. That included reading Hubbard books or listening to his lectures. While I never doubted any gains I had achieved and used my training in living life, delving back into the subject brought about depressing emotions with the recognition that the entity that ‘owned’ the technology was for all intents and purposes destroying it. I have found that many people shared that resistance during their decompressions.”

Interesting. Other Scientologists have talked about this “waking up” period, although I don’t know if the idea that the frustration has to do with current management is universal – perhaps it’s Marty just trying to plant a seed in the minds of potential customers. Or perhaps that’s really how he felt. Regardless, it’s an interesting insight into the mindset of someone leaving the Church – and something we can all keep in mind as we talk to people who are leaving, or thinking of leaving.

Thanks for the data, Marty.

Let’s talk about Marty’s conclusions about Stout’s book and Scientology “tech.” We’re used to hearing Scientologists say that some modern-day work validates the findings of L. Ron Hubbard (although few would dare to say that about the writings of an “evil psych”). Marty writes:

“Her observations are remarkably parallel to Hubbard’s description of the Suppressive Person. Note, modern accepted characteristics of the sociopath very closely align with Hubbard’s descriptions of the emotional tone level of Covert Hostility and of the Suppressive Person. This is so much the case that I have taken to using the terms ‘suppressive person’ and ‘sociopath’ interchangeably.

“But, Stout’s first and foremost marker for the sociopath is more complementary of Hubbard’s work than it is duplicative. Per Stout, the sociopath first and foremost lacks conscience. It is a very useful and workable observation she shares.”

Interesting, and I’m impressed that Marty differentiates between “complimentary” and “duplicative”. But Marty did leave out one huge, glaring fact.

A sociopath is generally defined by the “Wog world” as someone who has no conscience, no concerns about right and wrong, and feels no remorse. It is considered a form of antisocial personality disorder.

Hubbard used several definitions for Supressive Person, and many of them conformed to the definitions used by mental health experts; he even used the term “anti-social personality” as a synonym. (No, the mental health experts did not get this from Hubbard; according to Webster’s dictionary, the term “sociopath” was first coined in 1930.)

But among his long list of definitions, Hubbard has this one: “[O]ne that actively seeks to suppress or damage Scn or a Scientologist by suppressive acts.” (Source: Technical Dictionary of Dianetics and Scientology.)

And what are suppressive acts? “1. acts calculated to impede or destroy Scn or a Scientologist. 2. actions or omissions undertaken to knowingly suppress, reduce or impede Scn or Scientologists” (ibid).

So, you see, according to Hubbard, one could be a sociopath by displaying conscience-free antisocial behavior…or by speaking out against Scientology. (So, per Hubbard’s definition, I am a sociopath, and if you’re reading this, chances are you are, too.)

More significant and ominous is the implication that impeding Scientology is just as bad as acting with no conscience or remorse.

And let’s face it, to die-hard Scientologists – from Rathbun to Miscavige – that’s true. (Eternal spiritual freedom, dontcha know.)

Of course, Marty seems unwilling to accept Dr. Stout’s conclusions that don’t jibe with Hubbard’s:

“…the last 1/3 or so of Stout’s book meanders down a sometimes painful path of speculations about possible genetic sources for sociopathy… I was able to recognize that despite Stout’s wonderful contributions (and clearly unintended validation of Hubbard’s work) modern mental health practitioners, regardless of their evolutionary progress over the past four decades, are still shackled by their inability to perceive or unwillingness to credit the spirit or soul.”

Translation: Hubbard: 1, Mental Heath Profession: 0.

The ironic thing is that I have read opinions that L. Ron Hubbard may well have been a sociopath, as demonstrated by his willingness to lie to all and sundry, behavior that indicated he felt he was exempt from consequences, and his alleged lack of remorse after tragic events like the jailing of his wife and the suicide of his son Quentin. (Hubbard’s alleged response: “That stupid fucking kid! Look what he’s done to me!”)

We’ll wait to see if the Churchies condemn Marty’s latest as I expect they will. And I think Marty’s article is an excellent illustration of how Scientology affects one’s perception of the outside world. Scientologists are trained to recognize information that parallels Hubbard’s writings and give him credit, and reject anything that doesn’t agree with Hubbard (“what’s true for you is true”).

Question for Marty: If you think I’m wrong about that, would you be willing to say that Hubbard was wrong about labeling people who were antagonistic towards Scientology as sociopaths?

The comments section is open, Marty – remember, around here, dissenting viewpoints are never censored.

You can find Marty’s original blog entry here.