Hey new readers! What makes me qualified to write about the signs of a cult? Almost six years ago I was abducted by the cult of Scientology under the pretense of drug rehabilitation at a place called, Narconon Frest Start.
The Leader is the Ultimate Authority
A definitive sign of a cult is having a teacher, leader, or prophet that is held in great reverence. For Narconon, that leader is L. Ron Hubbard, (LRH). Narconon is a front group for Scientology. They allege drug rehab, but they’re actually an indoctrination school for Scientology. The Church of Scientology, (COS) has several front groups alleging they’re one thing when in fact they’re something far more sinister. Preying on the general public’s ignorance about their cult.
Badmouthing the Leader is Punishable
Badmouthing the leader of a cult is forbidden territory that usually results in severe punishment. Narconon’s Scientology front group does not allow you to say anything bad about LRH. Forms called Knowledge Reports (KRs) are filed on anyone who commits this treason. Those forms go into the person’s folder. All people attending and working for Narconon have folders of data stored about them.
Narconon’s forbids you to badmouth LRH. But even more hilarious (and frightening) you’ aren’t allowed to disparage Tom Cruise! One day the movie, Minority Report was playing on the communal TV and I commented on how hot Tom Cruise is. Elaborating it’s too bad he is a Scientologist nutjob. Within a minute an Ethics Officer escorted me to the ethics office. Enforcing my signature on something saying I wouldn’t badmouth Scientology or Tom Cruise. If caught again you’re taken off course and subject to an Ethic’s Cycle. Ethic cycles are detailed later discussing how members are being punished.
Skepticism is Not Permitted
Cults do not allow skepticism of the leader or his/her teachings. Questioning the teachings of the leader is quickly silenced. At Narconon, if you question LRH, you’re lied to. Narconon adamantly expresses they’re a secular entity, individual from the Church of Scientology. But that isn’t true. All eight books students are forced to complete is LRH tech that Scientologists complete in the beginning stages of their indoctrination.
Hierarchy of Power
Cults maintain a hierarchy of power and the leader isn’t held to the same law as its members. People in higher positions are also, often above the law. A Scientology division board hangs at Narconon. Establishing and enforcing the hierarchy. All departments are referred to by those known Scientology divisions. Evidence it is Scientology and not independent from it.
Need an example of being above the law? I stayed to intern after completing my programming. During the program, we are not allowed to take medications or stimulants of any kind. If you have a headache you’re allowed salt and potassium tablets. However, immediately after becoming an intern I was allowed (and encouraged) to take several over the counter drugs.
Interns work 10-12 hours of the day either constantly moving or in a course studying. Interns undergo higher levels of brainwashing during their mandated Course Hats training and certification. Keeping this schedule six days a week is challenging. Add surprise graveyard shifts assigned on top of working those hours and it’s painful. You’re encouraged to use Benadryl to sleep and caffeine pills to stay awake. After 90-days drug-free, my rehab instructed me to take drugs in order to perform the duties required of interns! It’s always advised in a hushed tone with the heeded warning, but you didn’t hear that from me. Multiple staff members advise these methods for surviving the rigorous schedule.
Lying is Allowed and Required
Lying is the unspoken language of a cult. Not only is lying allowed, but it’s also required to keep the deception of the organization hushed. When arriving at Narconon some students warn it’s Scientology under their breath. Others shout it loudly and are reprimanded for it. However, the staff completely denies there being any affiliation to Scientology. Most of them are brainwashed and actually believe the lie they’re telling.
Students are told that LRH is a humanitarian who did many great works before he went nuts with Scientology. Stated and reiterated, daily. When prospective families tour Narconon’s facilities, the staff enforces a complete gag on the word, Scientology. Threatened with a severe ethics cycle. Suggesting that the cycle includes digging holes in the hot California desert for zero purposes. Other than to punish harshly. Afterward, you refill the holes with the dirt that was removed.
Bear in mind that all of the students at Narconon are drug addicts that don’t listen to authority well. But that warning is always obeyed. No-one warns potential victims as they tour the campus.
Members are Required to Tell on Each Other
One of the most ominous signs of a cult is the tattletale factor. A system is in place for reporting on other member’s crimes and members are required to tell on each other. Crimes are anything against the cult’s doctrine and expectations of performance.
Because Narconon is the Church of Scientology, they use a system that involves filling out forms known as Knowledge Reports, (KRs). Student’s learn how to write these and are required to practice them in course. However, most drug addicts aren’t in the business of snitching. It isn’t until they’re interning or COS staff before filing KRs become a mandated expectation of you.
Members Are Punished
Signs of a cult includes a system of punishment. Cults often operate under their own established law with a division that enforces discipline. In Scientology that division is known as, Ethics.
An Ethic’s Cycle is a form of discipline the COS imposes on a person who’s, out of ethics. The cycle consists of hard physical labor. An example at Narconon includes doing all of the dishes for the entire center (100+ people) for all three meals. In addition to cleaning bathrooms, mopping floors, picking up cigarette butts, and other dirty jobs. This punishment is usually a week-long torture cycle. Ten hour days minimum and seven days a week guaranteed until you’re put back on course.
The Group Speaks its Own Language
Many cults have developed languages only the members can understand. For clarification, they make up words. Additionally, the group speaks in generic cliches that don’t hold value or meaning.
The Church of Scientology has an entire glossary of words, terms, and abbreviations. Because Narconon is the COS, they speak the same language. The students at Narconon affectionately reference it as Narconese.
Narconon’s Cliches Include:
The way out is the way through.
It takes as long as it takes.
What turns it on turns it off.
The Group is Elitist
Cults view themselves as elite, enlightened, and the solution to the world’s problems. Through Narconon, the COS manipulates vulnerable minds into believing that they owe their sobriety to the organization. And furthermore, that it’s their duty to apply LRH tech to help others overcome their drug addiction.
Many addicts are surrendering their lives to advance the COS’s front group. Isolated by their captors because they’re afraid if they go home they will relapse. Unfortunately, they don’t understand that they’ve become practicing Scientologists and are being brainwashed by the cult to finance their operation and employ slave labor. Interns make $50 per week. Six day work weeks with a minimum of 10-12 hours each day.
Members Must Ask Permission
Members of a cult are often required to ask permission before going places or doing things outside of the commune. In Scientology, it requires filling out papers known as CSW forms. CSW stands for completed staff work. Forms have a specific manner of completion and won’t be reviewed if not properly completed. They are submitted for approval or denial and whatever the decision, there isn’t an appeal.
Members must also file C.S.W. forms to date, get married, go home for family functions, and other activities that shouldn’t require you to ask permission. Including funerals and court dates.
Members Only Socialize With Other Members
Socialization becomes with members only. Keeping the flow of their elitist attitude and behaviors. The COS intentionally buys real estate in desolate locations to help secure keeping their scam secret. Narconon Fresh Start Warner Springs is in the middle of California desert. Outsiders visit the premises when families tour the campus and on Friday’s graduation nights– when families come to show support.
However, that is rare because Narconon intentionally flies their victims far away from their families and friends. Most people attending Frest Start in California were from the east coast. Most of the time, families do not fly in on graduations. Keeping the COS’s front group under low surveillance.
Former Members Become Enemies
One of the most threatening signs of a cult is their immediate ability to turn on former members. Regardless of how long the member was active in the cult. When staff leaves Narconon they are immediately labeled a Suppressive Person (SP) and declared enemies of the group.
When I called my father to secure my plane ticket home, all of the divisions began scrambling. I’d just completed my Withdrawal Specialist Hat in Huntington Beach and hadn’t been at the center for longer than five minutes. Immediately, I had an ethics officer following me around monitoring my conversations with students.
People that had put me through the program and had been in my daily life for 7 months walked by me. Ignoring me as I asked for goodbyes and hugs. It was one of the most awful experiences of my life. It hurts reliving it, even knowing it wasn’t their faults. That isn’t who they are. It’s who they are forced to be. Their minds have been taken hostage by the COS’s indoctrination program that’s being sanctioned at Narconon.
Members Must Disconnect
Additionally, members are required to disconnect. Disconnecting from shunned members happens unofficially. That’s the natural order. However, even more insidious, members are required to disconnect from their family and friends who are not active members of the cult. This eliminates outside influence. Allowing the cult an optimal environment for keeping whistleblowers (free thinkers) out.
Part of Narconon’s Program is called Handles and Disconnects. Student’s are interviewed by an ethics officer who asks them a series of questions to determine who is suppressive in their life. After the interview, students are instructed to write disconnection letters and mail them off to people who the COS has declared suppressive.
The Group Uses Mind Control Methods
Brainwashing is the process of forcing people into adopting radically different beliefs by using systematic and often forcible means. Cults use this method to weaken a person’s self-identity and suppress their free thought.
The COS’s program implemented at Narconon is deliberate and systematic. Designed for the purpose of controlling minds. Scientology practices including Training Routines TRs, Objectives, Bullbaiting, and the Purification Rundown are the Narconon program who certifies they’re not Scientology. That’s very culty.
The End Justifies the Means
Essentially, members will do whatever it takes to successfully fulfill the group’s mission. Regardless of what the laws of society enforce. Members begin to behave in ways they once found immoral.
Narconon forces you to become a liar immediately by dismissing itself as a secular drug rehab, when in fact it is Scientology school. I attest to the fact that there is not a minute of drug rehabilitation that occurs at Narconon. It’s a brainwashing program that begins by telling their biggest lie, that it’s not Scientology. As a student, you’re fed the lie and then you spread the lie to new students as they come in. Later in the program, you actually are taught the cliche, “the end justifies the means.” Elaborating importance on doing, “the greater good for the greater number of dynamics for the group.” I’m speaking that Narconese I warned you about.
Deceptive Recruitment Tactics
Preying on people when they’re in their weakest moments is how pathetic a cult like the COS is. Knowing that drug addicts are literally dying to be freed from their prisons, they exercise their ability to deceive families out of millions of dollars under the pretense of rehabilitation. Narconon establishes hundreds of fake websites posing as unbiased addiction resources in order to con people into attending their facilities. Unsuspecting victims phone in seeking help for the drug addict in their life and unbeknownst to them they’re on the phone with a scam artist.
A registrar, the reg, has a script and a mission to make a commission off deceiving you into writing a check to the COS. Once the student arrives at the center, they’re informed that there aren’t any refunds and that your family is out the money regardless of whether you complete the program or not.
Membership Requires Almost All of Your Time
Members will spend most, if not all of their time consumed with the organization. When I interned at Narconon, I was required to work 10-12 hour days, 6 days per week for fifty bucks. After course, or work, we were all housed together and were constantly surrounded by each other. Privacy doesn’t exist, with nowhere to spend even a single moment alone.
Membership Cost a Lot of Money
In addition to time, membership costs a lot of money. Narconon costs my parents forty-thousand dollars. Most students report paying $35,000. After you complete the program, you’re required to pay an additional $3000 to stay and become an intern. Despite Narconon taking in millions of dollars, there is never enough to go around. Laundry soap, toiletries, and food run out every week. Basic items including bedding are scarce and students, interns, and staff go without. And just when you think they’ve maxed you out they ask you for more money!
Did I miss any signs? Add them in the comments. Retweet to spread awareness. #NarcononIsScientology #ScientologyIsaCult