WARNING: The Cult Awareness Network was destroyed by the Scientology
crime syndicate in court and, when CAN went bankrupt, the Scientology
criminal enterprise acquired the use and title of the Cult Awareness
network. Now, if you call CAN, you will find yourself talking to
the Scientology crime syndicate! This gross injustice was due to a
massive frame up concocted by Scientology to destroy CAN and it
worked, prompting a Judge to order all of CAN's records handed over
to the very same criminal enterprise that most people contacted the
real CAN to complain about and to acquire help fighting. Spread
the word that the new Cult Awareness Network is now a Scientology
crime syndicate front! - flr, feb 2003
BLAMING THE VICTIM by Monica Pignotti
from: Cult Awarness Network News, Sept. 89, Pg.6
Ex-Cult Member Speaks Out
The term "victim" is not very popular in some circles,
particularly the new age philosophies which are seeping into
universities and other institutions. To admit to being a victim
in such a culture is very difficult and takes a certain amount of
courage, as there is a strong tendency to blame the victim.
Many people equate being a victim with being helpless,
wallowing in self pity and being out of control. This is not
what I am talking about when I say I was a victim of mind control
while involved with Scientology. And I don't believe that this
is what any other victims of cults are saying either.
The basic dichotomy that some cults (particularly new age
ones) set up is that our consciousness created the universe and
that there is no objective reality outside that which we,
ourselves, created. We are God, so this philosophy states, and
therefore we can either take full responsibility for our
creations or we can choose to completely abandon responsibility
and let our creations control us -- in other words, become
victims. From this point of view, victims always choose to be
This premise is very much a part of the Scientology axioms,
which state that all matter, energy, space and time is created by
thetan (the Scientology word for spirit). If this idea is taken
seriously (and believe me, it is!), the implications are
disastrous. For one thing, there can be no such thing as "truth"
or "lies" because if we create all reality, who is to say that
one man's lie isn't another man's truth? This rules out any
possibility of critical thinking.
Reality, according to L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of
Scientology, is what is agreed upon and we, as Scientologists,
created some pretty horrendous realities! After all, if we
create our own reality, all forms of abuse can be justified.
There is no right or wrong because nobody does anything to anyone
that the victim didn't create. Thus, anything goes. A child
getting locked up in a chain locker is not a victim because that
child created the reality of the experience. This concept
justifies inflicting harm on others.
There is an alternative to this false dichotomy that either
you are responsible for everything or nothing at all. This
alternative is recognizing that there is a reality outside of
ourselves and independent of our consciousness. That reality can
be called God, nature, existence.....
Under this alternative, like it or not, we are not always
fully responsible for everything that happens to us. Admitting
that we are not always in control can be scary, a vulnerability
in people that cult leaders take advantage of. It is easy to
want to escape into new age belief systems, but people who do
this must realize that the price to be paid is high.
When we admit that we can be a victim, we have to face the
fact of ur own mortality--that we can, for instance, become
seriously ill, despite all our best efforts to stay healthy. If
subjected to a thought reform program, we can lack knowledge of
mind control, and thus become a victim.
At 18, I became a victim of a cult because I was ignorant on
the subject of mind control. Looking back on my experience, I
can say with great certainty that if I had known from the
beginning what Scientology was really all about, I never would
have gotten involved -- but that is simply not how cults operate.
Scientology, I was deceptively told in the beginning, was anti-
authoritarian and anti-punishment. We were told to look within
ourselves for answers, but the closer I got to the inner sanctum
of the group, the more I discovered a very different reality.
By the time I discovered the truth about Scientology, it was
too late; I was so indoctrinated at that point, it was
unthinkable for me to ever conceive of leaving. Wanting to
leave, I had been told, meant that I had crimes against the
groups and thus, humanity. If I left, I believed I would be
doomed to a spiritual death and stay in the trap of the planet
earth forever -- a fate I thought was worse than anything that
could ever happen to me within the cult. I became an unwitting
prisoner of a totalistic environment. I was a victim.
Even though I was a victim, I would like to make it very
clear that I don't believe that the concept of a reality outside
of ourselves negates the concept of free will. There is much in
our lives that we do have a choice about, and life holds many
exciting possibilities for those who are free to enjoy them. On
the issue of cults, we can take back control of our lives by
educating ourselves and others on the techniques used to control
people's minds, so that if we encounter these techniques again,
we can choose not to get involved. I believe very much in free
will, but free will is precisely what the cults take away from
It has been my experience that once I was able to accept the
fact that I was a victim, I was able to take back control of my
life in a more authentic way. If we are ever to heal ourselves
or feel true compassion for others, we must accept the reality of
what happened to us. In doing so, I let go of years of unearned
guilt, shame, blame and self-condemnation, and I feel like the
joyful, idealistic, youthful person I was when I first got
involved in the cult.
(Monica Pignotti was involved in Scientology for six years.)