Enforced Disconnection – The Ultimate Evil
In part 5 of this video series, I described the policy of Fair Game as L. Ron Hubbard’s method of getting even with people who were labelled as enemies of the Church of Scientology including anyone who is declared a suppressive person. I’m going to elaborate now on the most extreme aspect of this fair gaming, which in Scientology is called Disconnection.
Like so many other things in Scientology, what nominally appears to be an honest attempt to help a church member who may be having difficulty with another person has been corrupted into one of the most hideous and awful practices you can imagine, with consequences that are nothing short of tragic.
Since it began, the ruthless application of this policy has broken up countless families and friendships and has even cost some people their jobs and careers. No one who started in Scientology ever imagined that the end result of that decision would be their lives and relationships shattered in pieces, yet that is exactly what this organization gave them. There are no words strong enough to describe how utterly despicable this practice is.
Of all the policies and practices of the Church of Scientology, enforced disconnection is the one that is ensuring the Church’s destruction more so than anything else. And as I’ll show you here, the Church has made it 100% clear that they are never, ever going to cancel or change it.
Let’s take a look at the theory behind disconnection and why Scientologists feel so strongly about it.
The first hints of Hubbard’s inclination to enforce disconnection go all the way back to 1950 in Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. He uses the term “restimulated” to describe how earlier emotional trauma can be reactivated in the present, like if a person had an accident on a bicycle and then later, tended to avoid riding bicycles because of that. There’s a bit more to it but I’m talking about disconnection, not Hubbard’s theories about how the mind works.
Hubbard writes “…making a child stay in a home where he is restimulated is most certainly inhibitive, not only of his happiness, but of his mental and physical development – a child should have many more rights about such things, more places to go.”
Hubbard then goes on for pages detailing how parents can be the single most harmful influence on their child. He actually states that even if the parents are kind and are treating the child well, that the child should still be taken away from the parents if they are the source of the child’s mental “restimulation.”
But Hubbard doesn’t provide any answers as to where a restimulated child is supposed to go. Nor does he say anything about what kind of life the devastated parents would have after their child has been forcibly taken from them.
He also suggested that if your spouse, relative or a friend disagrees with you getting Dianetics counselling, that the reason for it is likely because they have some vested interest in you staying ill or mentally deficient, and that you should remove yourself from the environment where they are.
He describes how such people are afraid of you remembering all the awful things they did to you in the past, such as your mother attempting to abort you before you were even born. Now I’m not saying that such things never happened. I’m sure there are such cases.
But what about those people who don’t want you to do Dianetics because they actually do care about your well-being and don’t want to see you get involved in some pseudo-scientific psychotherapy that has no actual scientific evidence behind its claims? If you want to continue with Dianetics counselling, the price you’ll pay is very high.
Enforced disconnection as Church policy came into being in 1965. Scientologists have compared it to the Catholic practice of ex-communication, but that’s not really accurate since an ex-communicated member is still free to see his Catholic family members and even to still go to Catholic services.
What it actually compares to is called “shunning”, where a church member is expelled and no other church members are permitted to speak with or associate with the shunned member forevermore.
In terms of religious practice, shunning is an archaic, uncommon practice, but it is not unique to Scientology. While it’s a weird and creepy thing for any religion to do, Scientology actually takes it to a level unparalleled by any other religion except perhaps some fundamentalist Amish groups.
The policy works like this: if Joe the Scientologist is connected to a Suppressive Person (SP), no matter who that SP is, then Joe is labelled a Potential Trouble Source (PTS). He is denied any further Scientology services until he “handles or disconnects” from the SP. If Joe wants to continue to be connected with the SP (like say the SP is Joe’s mother), then Joe has to somehow get the SP to recant and stop doing whatever he or she is doing that the Church considers objectionable (such as posting anti-Scientology statements online or telling Joe how bad Scientology is, etc).
The actual policy states “Any PTS who fails to either handle or disconnect from the SP who is making him or her a PTS is, by failing to do so, guilty of a Suppressive Act.”
So if Joe doesn’t disconnect, he is also declared a Suppressive Person. That’s the simplicity of the policy.
What’s so interesting is that up until very recently, Scientology media representatives have vehemently and repeatedly denied that its policies require enforced disconnection. Here is the former international Scientology spokesman, Tommy Davis, on CNN in May 2008.
“There’s no such thing as disconnection as you’re characterizing it….Anything that’s characteriszed as disconnection – it’s just not true. There isn’t any such policy in the church that’s dictating who people should or should not be in communication with, you know? It just doesn’t happen.”
Less than one year later, in February 2009, here is Tommy Davis behind closed doors, talking to actor Larry Anderson, who was leaving Scientology and wanted his money back. Tommy tells him:
“And obviously there’s, you know, ramifications of, of, uh, of doing, you know, what you’re saying, um, you know, which is expulsion from the church and, and, um, uh, so, you know, you’ll no longer be associating with Scientologists and things like that, um, and, I don’t know.”
Here is Tommy Davis again in December 2009, talking this time to Shane Clark, a former Scientologist who at the time of the recording was employed by Marc Headley, who the Church called a Suppressive Person. Tommy makes it clear here that the policies on Suppressive Persons and Disconnection are here to stay forever.
play section starting “There’s a reason groups do this, it’s integral to their survival….” up to “…next week, next month, or ever.”
Because of all the internet and media exposure about the Church’s lies on this subject, they were forced to admit to the fact that disconnection exists in Church policy. The official statement on the Church’s website purposefully associates disconnection with how criminals are dealt with. It says
“It is much like trying to deal with a criminal. If he will not handle, the society resorts to the only other solution: It ‘disconnects’ the criminal from the society.”
The website goes on to cleverly say “There is no policy in Scientology that requires Church members to disconnect from anyone, let alone family and friends who simply have different beliefs.”
Strictly speaking, that’s true. There is no such policy. The policy is actually much worse. It says that you will be declared suppressive for “Failure to handle or disavow and disconnect from a person demonstrably gUilty of Suppressive Acts.”
The whole thing hinges on who the Church calls suppressive. And as I’ve already covered in previous parts of this video series, the Church can and will declare people for anything they want to, especially for openly disagreeing with the Church’s leaders or its policies. There is no such thing as freedom of speech or freedom of thought in Scientology. If you don’t toe the line, you are very forcefully kicked out.
Now make no mistake about what I’m talking about here, because there are certainly cases where disconnection is called for. If someone is truly being brutalized or abused, then disconnection makes sense. You would not expect anyone to force you to remain connected to an abusive husband, a despotic boss or friends who stab you in the back every chance they get.
Such people obviously exist, we’ve all run into them and we have chosen of our own free will to get them out of our lives.
But when the entire basis of the “suppression” is that someone simply disagrees with you regarding your religion and says so, how does that constitute an abusive relationship? How is their free expression of their opinion now a case of personal suppression?
The church claims that family is very important. Their website says
“The Church encourages excellent family relationships, Scientologists or not, and family relations routinely improve with Scientology because the Scientologist learns how to increase communication and resolve any problems that may have previously existed.”
This is probably one of the most blatant lies the Church has ever told. I personally know a great many people who take great exception to this statement. People who have lost sons, daughters, mothers and fathers. People who can no longer talk to friends they had for decades. People who lost everyone who was ever important to them. All because Scientology couldn’t stand to be disagreed with.
When your Church’s “Ethics Officer” tells you that your mother, your son or even your grandmother are psychotic antisocial pesonalities because they express concern over you spending your retirement savings on Scientology for no visible return, that is not religious freedom expressing itself. It is a paranoid organization trying to control every aspect of your life so that nothing interrupts the flow of money coming into the its coffers.
There are countless stories, each one thoroughly documented all over the internet and in the media, of families being ripped apart over this Church policy. This is not some theoretical situation or something that has happened just once or twice. We are talking here about real people who are suffering tragic losses right now.
I’d like to make one last comment on this to any Scientologists who are watching: your non-Scientologist friends and family members are fully aware of the disconnection policies. They don’t tell you about their strong disagreements with the Church because they don’t want to lose you, especialy your closest friends and relatives. If you think everything is wonderful and your friends are all down with you being a Scientologist, think again. If they could honestly communicate to you how they really feel, you would be in for a really big surprise.
One of Scientology’s strongest points is that it contains kernels of goodness and truth in its most fundamental basics. I’ve quoted from these repeatedly in these videos, such as the power of communication, the rights of every man to think and speak and act freely, the rehabilitation of the human spirit and its efforts to achieve immortality. These ideals deserve to be defended.
But in the Church of Scientology, none of these things are a fact. They are merely used as window dressing to make its members feel good. Church members act as though they’ve never even read these basics when they practice things like fair game and disconnection.
The activities of the Church of Scientology are a study in hypocrisy, greed and corruption. The very fundamentals on which Scientology was founded are violated every single day by its highest members and its leader, David Miscavige. While it claims to be striving for an end to war, criminality and insanity, it ironically could not prevent those exact things within its own ranks.
The seeds of its destruction were sown many years before its current leadership was in power, when L. Ron Hubbard wrote policies to “safeguard the Church” against his imagined enemies and set up a flawed justice system and a corrupt legal affairs division, now known as the Office of Special Affairs.
Whether it goes out with a bang or a whimper we have yet to see, but its ultimate demise is assured. By its very nature, the Church of Scientology cannot help but destroy itself.
I started this series by saying that none of this is an attack on the faith of Scientology. People are free to believe whatever they want. They are certainly free to take any parts of Scientology and use them to improve their own life and the lives of others. I’m not standing in their way.
After devoting over half of my life to working for the Church and believing in it with all my heart, it has brought me no pleasure to document any of this. I truly thought that what I and thousands of others were working for all those years was changing the world for the better. The countless sacrifices we made, the endless hours of abuse and hardships we all suffered seemed to be worth it, just the price we had to pay to save the world.
So imagine my surprise and the depths of betrayal I felt when I found out the truth. The Church of Scientology is doing a lot of things, but saving the world is not one of them.
The organization of Scientology is corrupt and rotten to its core. The world will be a better place when it’s gone.
Thank you for listening.