The Blowback of Disconnection Used Wrongly

The policy of forced disconnection not only destroys families; it harms Scientology.

Sara (Lister) Goldberg

Another story about disconnection is making national news. Long-time Scientologist and OT VIII Sara (Lister) Goldberg was declared to be a suppressive person (“declared”) for refusing to disconnect from her son who had been declared for going on the Internet and connecting with former Church members who are critical of Church management. Sara’s daughter, a Scientologist and mother of a child, then disconnected from her mother and brother.

Once again, the Church denied publicly that the policy exists, falsely claiming that the policy is voluntary, the choice of its members.

All Scientologists know the truth.

There are serious consequences for members who do not disconnect from persons who have been declared: those members can be declared themselves, just as Sara was declared for her refusal to disconnect from her declared son.

Gun to HeadSo the decision to disconnect is voluntary only in the sense that a person voluntarily decides to turn over his wallet to a man who holds a gun to his head.

Lies and withholds (i.e., secrets) cause people to withdraw and individuate. See, e.g., Scientology Handbook, Integrity and Honesty, Moral Codes.

In lying about the policy of forced disconnection, the Church further individuates from a society it wishes to enter and become an integral part of. Members who forward or defend the Church’s position are “put on a withhold” from their friends, families, and acquaintances; and they, too, withdraw and individuate.

Scientologists who have been trained in Scientology’s basic principles know this mechanism. Those who have received auditing (i.e., Scientology counseling) based on this technical subject have personal awareness of it.

Besides, PR Series 2 requires the Church to “NEVER USE LIES IN PR” because “[a]ll lies will dead end some day.”

That day has come. Sara Goldberg is just one of many who have recently gone to the media with her tale of family oppression wreaked by the policy of forced disconnection.

Disconnection Was The Wrong Action

The basic principle is not disconnection, but rather “handle or disconnect.” LRH cancelled the condition of disconnection [in 1968 – read here and listen here] because it had been abused by persons who failed to handle situations which could have been handled, either due to laziness or irresponsibility, “thereby creating situations even worse than the original ones because it was the wrong action.”[1]

Disconnection was the wrong action for both Sara’s son, Nick Lister, and for her.Neither of them were “antagonistic to Scientology or its tenets.” The actual policy calls for a person to handle “the other person’s antagonism” or, “when all attempts to handle have failed,” to then and only then disconnect.[2]

The Church could have “handled” Sara by simply allowing her to maintain a connection to her son. Sara could have “handled” her son merely by obtaining his agreement to keep his opinions to himself when in her presence.

Delving deeper into the situation, the Church could have handled Nick by addressing his concerns about the allegations of former high-ranking Sea Org members.

The disconnections ordered in Sara’s case created “situations even worse than the original.” At first Sara ordered her son out of the house, which resulted in him threatening to take his own life. Sara wisely reconsidered and averted a tragedy. After Sara was declared for not disconnecting she went on the Internet herself, was appalled at what she saw, and then went to the media with her story.

All this because the Church irresponsibly failed to properly “handle” accusations of internal wrongdoing by former high-ranking Sea Org members.

And this gets to the root of the problem we discuss on this website. The Church needs to conduct internal investigations independent of David Miscavige, the person accused of wrongdoing. As we point out, Miscavige has usurped all the checks and balances intended by LRH, including, but not limited to: (1) the jurisdiction of ED International as the convening authority for all worldwide matters – which includes Miscavige and staff of RTC, and (2) the independence of the trustees and general directors of CST to whom LRH entrusted the power to investigate or eliminate RTC if it abused its power. Therefore, it is first necessary for those terminals, and others, to put their hats on and fulfill their duties.

Attacking and declaring members and former members who speak out against internal corruption is a wrong action. The practice has created a situation far worse than the original. The correct actions are to implement LRH checks and balances, cancel again the policy of disconnection, investigate the accusations of internal corruption and abuses, and then handle what is found.

Honesty and transparency will win out, not secret policies and practices, lies, and attacks on Scientologists who seek to stamp out internal corruption.

_______________________________________

[1] L. Ron Hubbard, Introduction to Scientology Ethics, p. 206-207

[2] Ibid.

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