Religion and Brainwash

05 Jan

Brainwash is within all religions. Since I am Jewish, I want to briefly mention that, in my opinion, brainwash is so prevalent in the orthodox Jewish community that even I, who was at one point in time a strictly orthodox Jew, cannot see how all orthodox Jews are not gathering together and getting to the root of this problem. And the root of the problem is because it is too easy to turn religion into a money making opportunity.

I am not saying new information here, but I want to talk about an experience I had with The Church of Scientology recently that confirmed that there is no place of refuge against money hungry people (yes, I believe that this phenomenon is limited to just a small percentage of our population) who could and will do anything and everything just to make a dollar – even distort beautiful brilliance and use it as a mind game against you.

If you don’t know anything about Scientology (like me before I went to the church), let me give you a little lesson. A man named Ron Hubbard discovered that there are parts of the brain that he has called the reactive mind that basically, in a nut shell, hold all of our memories like a picture and when anything in any of those pictures take place, we react to it as if the same memory is getting pulled from a file and we are reading what will happen next. The goal of dianetics, which is the first book he wrote before the invention of the religion of Scientology, was to clear ourselves of the reactive mind.

Scientology takes this theory and branches it into a religion. Basically, the religion of Scientology can appeal to anybody of any faith because the goal of the religion is to teach you through a very well thought out, organized method that we are in charge of ourselves – not our reactive mind. There is no conflict with faith in G-d and Scientology. (Of course, some will refuse to explore this religion just because they were taught not to, but that is a personal choice, there is no basis to the conflict).

Sounds interesting right? It was. Since understanding anything I can about what free will is meant to be and how it can be acquired is very interesting to me, I was sold. I spent $50 for my first Scientology course.

The structure of this course was fascinating. The “instructors” were there to guide you if you did not understand the reading material. They were very careful not to confuse you with their own understandings of the material. If there was something that I did not understand, they insisted that I take a dictionary and look up words and then verbalize the understanding. They would not leave me alone until they were confidant that I understood the text.

I was amazed at how thoroughly and effectively they were able to impart Mr. Hubbards thoughts. I felt like everyone who was part of this religion was on mission to fix the world as Mr. Hubbard would have wanted it to be.

Despite the negative things that I heard about Scientology (its a cult, they wear magic underwear, Tom Cruise locks his wife in a room if she doesn’t perform the Scientology rituals….) It actually felt good to know that there was such a devoted group of people dedicated to savings others from the terror of their own mind and introduce them to the concept of true free will.

I actually thought I found a resource of people just like myself who wanted to spread the word that life is ours and we can create it any way that we want – without becoming “sinners” ….But that happiness and excitement came crashing down right after I finished my first $50 course.

As soon as I finished my lesson I was formally escorted into the registrar’s office who so kindly asked me how I liked the lesson. I told her the truth – I loved it and was very impressed with the structure of the lesson and the motivation to help others through the teachings of Mr. Hubbard who seemed to be a very wise person. That was it, they saw a mark.

I was in that office for 2 hours – no joke. I had a great time talking to the lady there, but I was insistent that I did not want to pay for another lesson until I decided – by myself – with my own free will – that I truly needed it. I did not want to be coerced into a sale. She kept saying that she understood me, but I was missing a chance of a lifetime because if the 1st lesson was so good, who could predict how effective the 2nd lesson would be. In my mind I really did want to take that 2nd lesson because the 1st one was very effective, but I told myself that I was sticking to my guns because I did not want to feel at any moment during my time spent at the Church of Scientology that I was affiliated with a “cult”. I even told her this directly.

Eventually, like I said, 2 hours later, she decided that she wasn’t going to convince me and she suggested I talk to another person in another part of the Church. I have to admit that at this point I wasn’t thinking that they were trying to persuade me for the wrong reasons. I did think that they had good things to offer me, but I just was not willing to give them $50 yet.

Finally I went to speak to another man in a different department of the Church. He was an older man (who happened to have a Jewish background) and he sat me down and was not as nice as the registrar. He kind of said the same things that she was saying, but he spoke to in kind of an intimidating (for lack of a better adjective) way. He was not overtly intimidating, I just felt like he was trying to intimidate me. He spoke to me for another hour. To tell you the truth, I was having fun. This was an interesting experience to me and I was enjoying the debate. But here is the clincher….

He used the following argument on me:

I was not agreeing to register for the next lesson even though I agreed that the first one had completely fulfilled all expectations because…..

1) My reactive mind was reading this situation as if I was being controlled which

2) Was causing me to react to that feeling which

3) Inevitably results in not doing something that ultimately will benefit me because

4) My reactive mind prevents me from doing my own will.

When he used this argument on me, it took me a minute to understand what he was trying to say and when I understood…I got mad. I responded to him by saying that that argument is a very scary argument because he can use that on me EVERY TIME I DON’T WANT TO REGISTAR FOR THE NEXT LESSON.

$50 times the amount of lessons (seminars, conventions …..) they offer probably adds up after a while.

Sometimes the ones who have the strongest ability to convince us that they are the ones we should follow if we need guidance are the very ones that really want to destroy us.

With G-d’s help – we should all be able to use our G-d given intuition effectively in order to decipher what (and who) is really trying to bring us closer to finding truth and what is not.

Other posts you might like:

And the Truth Will Set You Free

Peace in the Midst of Terror

Fear vs. Faith – Are They Compatible?

The Root of All Religions – The Awe of Creation

What is a “Good” Jew?

What is Our Purpose?

Have Lies Taken Over?

Greed… The Deadliest Sin of Them All!

The Double Slit Experiment Proving Reality is Relative

Why is Life Unfair?

Life is full of controversy so here is a thought to live by:
Why is life unfair?
Because there’s never going to be a system that is fair to everyone.
Shannon Miller

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9 responses to “Religion and Brainwash

  1. Peaceful Controversy

    January 5, 2012 at 1:39 am

    I just want to clarify that I have no animosity for the religion of Scientology – just the sale tactic

  2. Mike Bigras

    January 5, 2012 at 2:36 am

    Good for you! Great investigative journalism ;-). On top of that, you’ve given me great tools and arguments to help me start my own religion (just kidding!! :-P).


    • Peaceful Controversy

      January 5, 2012 at 3:14 am

      Thanks for the comment – and, yeah, why not? Everybody is doing it these days 🙂

  3. Ken

    January 5, 2012 at 2:59 am

    Thanks Shayna! Ken here…..You are a prolific writer…..thanks.

    I find your last post on Scientology very interesting as I have helped people over the years who get ‘trapped’ or ‘sudduced’ for lack of better terms—those who pay for the next class and the next class and the next…..I agree with you that we can learn much from being open and experimenting at times, but I have met too many that have not only lost most of their finances but also part of their souls and the ability to believe in anything spiritual for many years if ever. A nurse in our apartment complex in St. Louis spent over $7,000.00 of her finances she did not have ‘trying to be ‘cleared’ in her Scientology adventure….and she still didn’t feel any closer.

    I went to a great seminar by an excellent (Jewish) author and presenter, Steve Hassen ( It was amazing, and like you said, “Why doesn’t the Jewish orthodox community rise up and do something collectively??” That’s one of Hassen’s ongoing acitivities. I’m not trying to label Scientology specifically as a cult, but I’m using Robert Lifton’s 8 Stages of Mind Control developed during the Korean War that many such groups use—as you implied the argument that was being used on you by the older, more intimidating gentleman.

    Hassen was brainwashed and caught up in The Moonies, or Reverend Moon’s Unification Church years ago. Hassen made the statement that the two largest groups that are recruited by a variety of various cult like brainwashing groups are
    1) Members of the Jewish community; 2) Lapsed Roman Catholics. His reasoning for this, in part, was that both groups have a form of religion that provides few real answers or spiritual sustenance, and they want to find meaning and purpose in their lives. They are also very bright, often from upper class families and very idealistic…..Sort of ‘set up’ for such groups.

    I could go on and on………..and I’m sure you could also, but it seems that we have both come to the place of ‘taking what works and leaving the rest….’ Of not being so needy or clingy or whatever, but KNOWING what we have and growing in it…….


    • Peaceful Controversy

      January 5, 2012 at 3:15 am

      Why couldn’t I have had the priviledge of getting your advice about this BEFORE I gave them the first $50 dollars..(j.k. – I still did get something out of the course, which makes it worth it :))

  4. Pansy Mcbean

    January 5, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    Asking questions are in fact pleasant thing if you are not understanding anything entirely, except this article offers fastidious understanding yet.

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  6. Catie Eliza

    January 24, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    This is really interesting, but can you clear something up for me, from what I understand about Scientology now that I’ve read this, it seems like it’s basically trying to teach you not to learn from your mistakes, like, if I poke a wasps nest, I will get stung. Now it is very valuable for me to keep my reaction memory so that next time I do not get stung because I will not poke a wasps nest. Stupid example but do you get my point? xx

    • Peaceful Controversy

      January 24, 2012 at 9:37 pm

      Very good point…I didn’t even think about that example. I am not an expert on Scientology from my brief exploration at their Church, however, I do believe that you have a valid question. I have not read the Dianetics book, which I do intend to, but the gist they do try to convince you to “Go Clear” which means (from what I understand) that you clear your reactive mind completely for the sake of healing….but obviously this is just a sale. I love the question and I would love to ask a Scientologist the answer!!!
      Thanks for pushing my thoughts!


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