Title: ANNOUNCE: Kaufman's "Inside Scientology/Dianetics" (1995)
Author: Dean Benjamin <drb@cs.cmu.edu>
Date: 28 Nov 1997 04:05:29 -0500

Zipfiles of Robert Kaufman's 1995 revision of his book"Inside
Scientology" (1972) are available at



Included are the three WordPerfect files from Kaufman himself that
constitute the manuscript.  The unzipped HTML has also been installed at
the site.


                       Inside Scientology/Dianetics

                    How I Joined Dianetics/Scientology
                           and Became Superhuman

                              Robert Kaufman

                      The first work ever to disclose
                     the secret Scientology materials.

Robert Kaufman died of cancer on 29 July 1996.  During the final years of
his life, Robert Kaufman revised the manuscript of his book, Inside
Scientology (published in 1972), but could not sell it to a publisher.  In
late 1995, with his health failing, he gave a copy of the WordPerfect files
to Keith Spurgeon <spurgeon@is2.nyu.edu> for distribution on the Internet.
In August 1996, Keith emailed the files (which are in somewhat haphazard
form) to Dean Benjamin <drb@cs.cmu.edu>, who edited the manuscript and
formatted it for the World Wide Web in November 1997.


                       Foreword: Son of Scientology
           (Life May Get Even Stranger When You Write an Expose)

  This is my account of my several years immediately following breaking
with a cult group, focusing especially on events about the time of and
subsequent to my publishing a book about my experiences in the group.

  Definitions of "cult" abound.  The word began to undergo some change in
usage several decades ago.  At one time it suggested a rather innocuous
interest in or adherence to some subject or belief (though even then there
was, typically, a charismatic leader on the scene).  Nowadays, "cult"
implies something onerous, sinister and threatening.  Anti-cult factions
sometimes use the epithet "destructive" with "cult," just to make sure that
it isn't the old relatively easy-going groups under consideration.

  The anti- (counter-) cult associations of the past few years have
identified many signs and symptoms of "cultishness."  Organization such as
C.A.N., the Cult Awareness Network, often refer to the revealing list of
cultish qualities drawn up by Professor Robert J. Lifton, in his *Thought
Reform and the Psychology of Totalism, a Study of Brainwashing in China,*
such as a propensity to distort language and to limit probative thinking.

  For me, the word "predatory" says a lot about destructive cults; the
organization, or guru in charge, exacts money, administrative services and
sometimes sex from its members.

  An all-influencing leader (guru) is practically a requisite of these
groups.  As good a short definition as any is framed in *The Guru Papers*
by Joel Kramer and Diana Alstad (Frog, Ltd., Berkeley, California, 1995):
"(cults are) authoritarian groups with a leader who has few constraints ...
is unchallengeable and considered infallible."

  Around the early summer of 1968 I flew to England to take the so-called
Scientology secret processes.  I had just turned age 35, what may seem like
an advanced age for such a dubious adventure, and my course from being
totally ignorant of Scientology to pursuing it's founder and leader L. Ron
Hubbard's "stratosphere" was wayward.  I had first heard of Scientology
from friends in the mid-'60s, and later befriended and came under the
influence of "franchise owners," who ran their own auditing establishment,
though still affiliated with the central organization, who guided me
through Hubbard's elementary courses while seeking to avoid the excesses of
what they freely acknowledged was a fanatic group.  Somewhere along the way
I got "hooked."

  The Lower Grades, the Scientology pathway I traversed in '67-'68 in New
York, are rather innocuous, dealing with earthly fodder, such as problems,
guilt and communication.  It was only after I'd passed through all five
Grades, and was taught to draw other people to the Franchise and audit them
myself (act as a Scientology practitioner), that the cultist's bug bit me,
and I was persuaded by my "in" friends that I should seek the Golden
Fleece, specifically the "Clearing Process," then available only at a
training school not far from London.

  My experience with the Scientologists, both in England and later in
Edinburgh, Scotland, was a disaster.  (I've described it in detail in my
book *Inside Scientology/Dianetics*, also available on The Internet.)  The
powerful suggestions I was given via Hubbard's tapes and bulletins advising
me that Scientology was my only hope for happiness were at odds with the
frightening things I observed around me.  After just two weeks in England,
a violent struggle ensued within me that I kept submerged out of my
awareness, causing me sleepless nights, bad nerves, and a touch of paranoia
(which runs strongly in Scientology and I suspect other cults as well).
When my better senses, or guardian angel, warned me I was wasting away, I
managed to break from the group and return to New York ("escape" would not
be inappropriate, since my return flight ticket was being held as
"security" and I had to pass through a gauntlet to get away).

  I did not recover once away from the group; my symptoms persisted
unabated.  My New York Scientology friends tried to help me, but their
efforts, consisting largely of more auditing, only had the effect of
keeping me stuck to Scientology concepts -- like using a poison as an
antidote to itself.  After a few weeks back in New York, I became so
scared, depressed and suicidal that I presented at a psychiatric ward,
where I stayed for five more weeks.

  Out of the ward, I took up with the same nonsense once again, letting my
friends audit me on the latest techniques they'd picked up while I was
institutionalized.  Just when I was about ready for more incarceration, I
visited an M.D., a regular internist, who I hoped would give me a sleeping
potion.  Unbeknownst to me, he happened to be a "Doctor Feelgood," who
solved all of his patients' problems with injections of methamphetamine
(liquid speed) and vitamins, a highly addictive and dangerous concoction.
The doctor stayed open seven days a week, and had a nurse on duty most of
the time to administer the shots.  He would never inform me what precisely
he was giving me.  When I did find out about a year later, from a magazine
article about "fashionable doctors," it took me no great leap of reasoning
to conclude that my doctor was about as wicked as L. Ron Hubbard himself.
However, my drug addiction did pull me away from Scientology.  With the
relief from the injections, I lost interest in auditing, and my mind was
free to scrutinize it.

  My big jump towards a measure of freedom occurred when two friends, not
in any group, convinced me to write up my Scientology story from beginning
to end.  I embarked on this task with fervor, since it seemed a way to
exorcise the demons that were lurking just below my drug-induced feeling of
security.  As my friends put it, "There's a lot there hiding beneath the
surface and you've got to get it out of your system."  At first I didn't
think I had enough material for more than an article; once I'd made an
outline, however, I knew I had the makings of a book.  I was soon carried
away with the compulsion to speak my mind, for I felt that my right to free
speech and thought had been denied me for the three months I had spent at
Scientology headquarters in Britain.

  I barely started the text, using a kind of speedwriting system, when it
was announced that the ballet company I played piano for was going on their
summer tour.  Terrified, I pleaded with the doctor to give me a syringe and
injection ingredients to take with me on my travels.  He steadfastly lied,
insisting there was nothing wrong with the injections, and that I didn't
need them.

  I'd discovered that if I went without a shot for one day I had withdrawal
symptoms that probably made heroin seem like cottage-cheese.  As the ballet
company flight descended to the Vienna airport, demons sprang in my mind
and body.  I spent the next ten days in that lovely town with nothing on my
mind so much as getting a flight back to the States and visiting the
doctor's. What kept me going was my job and writing my book.  I'd awaken
each morning unable to go back to sleep, so I'd take my manuscript to a
coffeehouse and work on it.  Several times I fell asleep during the day;
our orchestra conductor told me later he'd been quite worried about me,
though somehow I was able to get through the performances.  At night the
withdrawal generally lessened, allowing me fond memories of the Viennese
cuisine and the amazing roller-coaster at the amusement park.

  The last day of that stay, I started feeling human again, both because
the drug was wearing off and, conflictingly, because I knew I'd soon be
back in New York for more shots!

  In retrospect I believe that my tribulations were no more due to the
dosage I was receiving than to the unresolved Scientology-induced conflicts
that the drug masked.

  I went to the doctor's four times before the troupe was to leave for
their major stint out West.  The handwriting was on the wall then, because
we would be out of New York for ten weeks.  I went through another
withdrawal, this time mostly at a summer rehearsal facility near Tacoma,
Washington.  Performances began for fair in Seattle.  I will never forget
waking up in my hotel room with the symptoms -- fear, depression, and a
great gaping urge throughout my whole body for the injections -- *gone*.

  Throughout these drug ramifications I kept plugging away at *Inside
Scientology*.  I must have decided at the start to tell my story as a
straightforward narrative, that the strength of the story lay in an
unadorned account with very little interpretive elaboration.  I also
realized that I was paranoid about the manuscript itself.  (Of course,
Scientology taught us to be paranoid about their "confidential materials"
and in Great Britain ordered members to carry them around in locked
briefcases.)  It seemed inevitable, integral to my project, that I divulge
these "secrets" for the first time.  Whenever I would leave a hotel room on
tour, to eat or perform or whatever, I *hid* my notebook behind the drapery
or a chair.  I had no reason to believe that the Scientology organization
knew anything about my book; nor did I have any inkling of what they might
do to critical authors.  (Had I known about the latter, I would never have
applied the pejorative "paranoid" to myself, since the risks were real, not
imaginary.)  Paranoia was engendered by the organization; fear was a
significant element of the atmosphere.  At that time it was still too early
for me to stop holding the cult in awe.  It wouldn't have occurred to me
that Scientology wasn't capable of achieving its goal of world conquest.
The group was to loom for a further period of my life like a ubiquitous
voodoo threat.

  I typed up a manuscript from my speedwriting notes, and hired
professional typists to clean up the job (you can imagine the terror of
carrying that stuff around on the subway).  It was now fall of '69.  The
whole writing project had taken only a few months.

  Now I needed a publisher, since I felt that revealing what I knew about
Scientology was vital to the world at large.  A friend of mine brought me
into contact with a big person in publishing, who told me he liked the book
and thought it important, but couldn't get his sales department to accept
it.  However, his wife, a literary agent, agreed to take the book under her

  While she was trying to sell my manuscript, I went directly into
rewriting.  My instincts told me that the first time around I'd packed the
book with unnecessary detail, including an over-abundance of Scientology
terminology, and I should cut it down and, in particular, dejargonize,
since much of the Hubbard gobbledygook was not directly germane to the

  Each time I returned to the book my memory sharpened.  Allowing what I
"knew" inside to come out on paper was cumulatively a revelation.  Seeing
my auditing sessions before my very eyes gave me ever-increasing
acquaintance with how I'd gone along with things, accepted flagrantly
erroneous suggestions and got myself pulled in.

  My agent failed to sell the book, and after a year and a half returned it
to me.  I quickly found another agent.  During this rather long period with
the agents several authors beat me to the punch publishing books about
Scientology.  All of them were negative about the group.  None of them
contained much about the "secret materials," so I didn't feel their books
and mine were competitive.  In fact, the appearance of these other books
was good for me, and I was happy to see their publication.  That more than
one person was willing to take on a powerful organization (powerful, if not
omnipotent, to a recent defector such as myself) had a very supporting
effect, and took some of the pressure, real or imagined, off myself.

  The first book I saw was George Malko's *Scientology:  The Now Religion*
(Delacorte, New York, 1970), an outsider's journalistic account of
Scientology.  Next came Cyril Vosper's *The Mind-Benders* (published in
England around 1970).  Vosper had been a member for many years.  His
account includes friction within his own family caused by Scientology.

  I corresponded with Vosper, and he told me that something was "out to get
him," and since he knew of no alternative, apparently Scientology was
making reprisal against him for publishing his book.  The incident I recall
-- by all odds the most memorable one -- occurred when Vosper was
vacationing in Spain.  Person or persons sent the local police a trick
photograph purportedly made by Vosper showing Generalissimo Franco sitting
on the toilet.  Vosper had some trouble staying out of a Spanish jail.

  This was perhaps the first time I heard of the real possibility of
Scientology's committing vengeful acts against critics.  This, and the
similar stories I was to hear later, proved to be a favor from the
organization to me: physical acts in the real world whittled down the
voodoo threat and fear of paranoia, and put the matter on a simple physical
level.  If the organization had to resort to dirty tricks "in the real
world," its members surely possessed no special, or occult powers.

  Around that time, '71, I met Paulette Cooper, a New York writer, who was
also the victim of dirty tricks, including nuisance lawsuits, because of a
magazine article she'd published unfavorable to Scientology.  She was
working on a book, *Scandal of Scientology*, and we gave each other our
manuscripts to look at.  Hers was more direct and hard-hitting in its
criticism than the previously published books, and she also got my
permission to insert one of the most chilling incidents from my own book.
So caustic was Cooper's book to the organization that for years she
suffered more of their enmity than just about anyone else.

  When my second agent told me she'd done her best, I decided to sell the
manuscript myself.  Within a few months I found a publisher, Olympia Press.
This firm had a long and thorny history in the business.  Its head was
Maurice Girodias, a man of Greek, Jewish and French background.  Olympia
had its beginnings in France, where it was first known as Basilisk Press.
Those readers who go back to the age of censorship may remember books with
olive-green covers, by literary forces such as Henry Miller, Vladimir
Nabakov, Samuel Beckett, W.S. Burroughs and the dual authors of *Candy,*
Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg, being smuggled into the U.S., where
one couldn't publish a dirty word at that time.  Maurice Girodias/Olympia
Press was reputed to have been sued by most of these great figures,
presumably for non-payment of advances and royalties.

  Girodias was a neat, not very large man of great Continental charm and
persuasion.  It didn't take a stretch of my imagination to view him as a
person who could get people into deals they regretted later.  Girodias had
had to leave France, perhaps for the controversial-at-the-time works he
published, and by the time we met maintained Olympia offices in London as
well as New York.  He was then publishing high-toned erotic literature -- I
read some of the stuff, and what I saw was written by talented people, and
too good to be called "smut" or "pornography."  Girodias confided in me
that he was making a comeback from erotica by publishing two new books,
mine, and the memoirs of a speed-freak.  I always enjoyed visiting his
offices, because he peopled it with engagingly bohemian-type characters
just at the time when bohemianism was becoming scarcely a faded memory.

  I was living in one of the large residence hotels that used to flourish
on the West Side of Manhattan -- several corridors, or "units," to a floor,
with eight or ten roomers on each sharing kitchens and bathrooms.  One
afternoon the hall phone rang, and I found myself talking to a James
Meisler, who called himself a "Reverend in the Church of Scientology."  The
organization had apparently spotted an announcement of my forthcoming book
in a trade paper such as *Publishers' Weekly*.  Meisler demanded a copy of
my manuscript so that "corrections" could be sent to my publisher by his
"Church."  When I replied that I refused to hand over my manuscript, he
said, "It's your neck," and, "We've got you covered on all fronts."

  This was my first encounter of that sort; afterwards, I felt shocked and
lame, and wished I'd just told him to go fuck himself.

  One evening around that time, I was nursing a pina at a Broadway taco
place when I was approached by a short, chunky blue-eyed fellow with a
mustache who introduced himself as Larry Tepper, and told me he somehow
knew who I was and that he, Tepper, was going through a rough period trying
to decide whether to stay in Scientology or not, a phenomenon known in
Scientology as "Condition of Doubt."  I learned eventually to suspect
anyone who approached me of being a Scientology agent, or spy, but at the
time was so freshly out of the group, and also single-minded about getting
my book out, as well as preparing to give a piano recital at Carnegie
Recital Hall (now called Weill Hall) that dangers facing me, such as
agents, weren't on my mind, and I was shamefully defenseless against them.
As another demonstration of this, I played my recital for Tepper, naively
supposing the performance might impress on him that a dissident who could
create something artistic was not "evil," and thereby ingratiate him into
leaving the group once and for all.

  Tepper said he needed to know something about Scientology from an
"outsider's" point of view, and if I had written anything on the subject it
would help him a lot.  I was unwilling to give him my entire manuscript,
but I did lend him a copy of the first hundred pages or so, which related
the beginnings of my involvement in Scientology, stopping short of any

  I had dinner with Tepper one night at a Spanish restaurant, a meal that I
wound up paying for, in keeping with my obfuscated state of mind.  As we
were eating, a salamander-like individual dressed in clerical garb
confronted me at the table and ranted for several minutes.  It was the
"Reverend" James Meisler.  Typically, it was only later that I wished I had
called the police on him for harassment.

  A photocopy of the section I'd given Tepper arrived at Olympia Press a
few days later from Scientology's Los Angeles headquarters, making proposed
"corrections" to my text.  Again, I never got around to telling off Tepper,
or worse; I was still too much in a fog.

  Shortly afterward, Maurice Girodias called me excitedly to tell me that
proofs of the sections I had withheld from Tepper had been stolen from
Girodias' printer in Connecticut.  A man had come to the plant late at
night, told the watchman that he was an Olympia editor from New York, and
got away with the juicy part of the book.  These pages also came back
shortly with "corrections."

  During the warm spring of '72, as my piano recital drew near I began to
consider the possibility that Scientology might try to abort it.  For no
logical reason, I focused mainly on the possibility that an agent would do
something to the hall's sound system, creating enough temporary disturbance
to ruin the concert.  I asked several friends to keep their eye out for
this type of dirty trick.

  The night of the concert, I walked down Broadway to Little Carnegie,
stopping on the way to enjoy an expresso.  The scene when I arrived at the
hall was mad.  Dozens of people milled about on the sidewalk in front of
the hall, many of them frantically rushing over to me when I appeared.  My
father was among them, weeping because he thought I'd been kidnapped when
the hall doors were found to be locked, with no one at the ticket window.

  I got the night manager of the large Carnegie Hall next door to open the
doors, and I gave the recital.  The next day I got the story from Little
Carnegie staff.  The afternoon before the recital, a man had telephoned the
hall, identified himself as "Robert Kaufman," and canceled the concert
because he "had to leave town to attend a relative's funeral."  When my
audience found the hall locked, many left.  The *New York Times* review of
the recital had it right, noting objectively that the performer had played
the first half of his program somewhat aggressively.

  (Several years later the FBI raided Scientology centers on both coasts
and confiscated thousands of documents allegedly stolen by agents of the
Guardian's Office -- Scientology's "enforcing arm" -- from government and
law enforcement offices around the country.  Two of my anti-cult friends
spent several hours in a Washington, DC office xeroxing documents under the
Freedom of Information Act.  In one of the cartons was an empty folder
labeled "Carnegie Hall Incident."  I'll have more to say later about some
of the other documents.)

  It was reasonable to me and my publisher that the organization would seek
to enjoin my book in court.  Girodias' aide-de-camp for this contingency
was a Brooklyn attorney named Lawrence Cohen.  One may think of Brooklyn's
"Court Street lawyers" in connection with slip-and-fall, or negligence,
litigations -- not your super-smooth corporate Wall Street lawyer type; but
Lawrence Cohen was competent and knowledgeable about literary matters, and
I felt confident having our cause in his hands.  Cohen asked me intelligent
questions, for example how to deal with the Scientology allegation that I
had stolen their confidential materials.  After a little thought, I wrote
him a few paragraphs about these materials: "Secrets" that I had paid the
organization for were essentially contained in Hubbard's early Scientology
writings, such as *History of Man*, and later renamed, repackaged and sold
at astronomical prices as "OT Levels."

  I visited Cohen's office on Joralemon Street, near the Brooklyn
courthouses, to give the lawyer what additional help I could.  Cohen
flipped through the proofs and said, "Some of this is pretty far out.  What
exactly are these `GUPPEMS'?"

  "For crissake, Larry, it's not `GUPPEMS,' it's `GPMs.'"

  "Well, what's that?

  "`GPMs' stands for `Goals-Problems-Mass,' which is part of Ron Hubbard's
old line-plots for the construction of the `reactive mind,' which he
claimed is the ruination of anyone who hasn't attained Scientology `clear.'
But really, now that you brought it up, I don't have the goddamnedest idea
what it means!"

  Scientology did in fact attempt to enjoin my book, in New York, Boston
and London.  All these attempts were dismissed, Cohen handling the U.S.
part of the motions, and we were ready to publish.

  Girodias and I were also alert to stories of Scientology stealing
critical books and articles from stores and libraries; but we didn't think
we could do much about that.

  Once the book was published I set about trying to collect money Girodias
owed me for my advance.  He had a financial manager or accountant at the
time, an Englishman named Henry Baker-Carr, who had a habit of looking up
at me from his desk and saying dryly, "Well, we don't quite have the funds
to pay you just yet."

  Once I entered the Olympia lobby and was flummoxed to see a
smashing-looking young lady wearing purplish mod clothes at the
receptionist's. I bustled in to Maurice exclaiming, "That new receptionist:
A friend of mine and I saw her on Broadway the other night, and he said she
was a Scientologist but now claimed not to be.  This is no coincidence.
She's got to be one of their spies."

  Girodias said, "Don't you know, Kowfman, that any self-respecting place
of business has to have at least one Scientology spy?"  The man had a way
about him.

  Some weeks later, the young lady disappeared, and along with her,
Girodias' file on my book and several hundred book jackets.

  Girodias didn't owe me a lot of money -- after all, advances were not
terribly large to begin with -- but as a matter of principle, or curiosity,
I continued to ask for it.  Once I got Girodias on the line and thought it
would be novel to hypnotize him into cutting the check: "You're arm is
heavy, Maurice.  Your hand is drifting over to your checkbook.  You are
going to take pen in hand, and I believe the amount is still $300."

  I don't know if it was my powers that did it, but within a week I did
receive the money.

  I still worked away at rewrites, because Girodias had told me he wanted
to put out a softcover edition, and I thought I could make further
improvements.  I actually got paid for the softcover version (this may've
been the time I tried hypnosis), and was sorry that it never came out, but
also proud that I had accomplished something the literary giants had not,
by collecting what Olympia owed me and then some.  I felt no remorse about
the "and then some," since Girodias, as I had expected, never gave me any
sales reports and perpetually maintained that *Inside Scientology* was not
selling and making us any money.

  To this day, I don't know if that was the truth.  I don't think the book
sold a lot of copies, that there was adequate written fanfare or
distribution.  Looking ahead a year or so, the book was quickly to become
defunct (as Olympia itself would).  I have been pleasantly surprised at the
number of people who have read or heard about *Inside Scientology*.  People
have told me, "Why, I spotted your book in the Achefalecha Library."
Reviews were favorable, and lengthy articles were written about it.  It's
well-known among counter-cultists and probably attained the status of a hot
underground item in certain circles.  I am delighted to put it on The
Internet, where I believe it will be widely read.  I have always wanted to
republish the book.  It is a blunt fact in the publishing industry that
rarely will a cult expose make it to the shelves, especially if the cult is
Scientology.  There's no margin in it; a certain amount of money must be
apportioned for legal defense against the inevitable Scientology
litigation.  Nonetheless, I persisted through perhaps nine rewrites, on the
assumption that someday Scientology would achieve such newsworthiness that
publication of my book would come about regardless all obstacles.

  As always, rewriting brought about fresh insights on the cult experience.
Oddly, again, although memory often tends to distort, my memory got sharper
each time I took up the subject.  The transactions between a cult group and
its enthusiast are, after all, not so very complicated, but I wanted to get
my story as accurate as possible, both for my own internal housecleaning
and as an aid to ex- or potential members needing information.  We all have
our own leanings and capacities -- not everyone, for instance, is the
"writing type"; but I recommend to people who've undergone traumatic
phases, notably ex-cultists, that they clean out cobwebs by getting it all
down on paper, or computer -- preferably more than once.  I know of several
ex's who have done just that -- most notably, accounts available on The
Internet by Margery Wakefield and Monica Pignotti -- and believe the
project always of benefit to its author, even one who is already
sufficiently definite about their condemnation of cult methods or policies.

  Girodias was sued for publishing *Inside Scientology,* and I was named
co-defendant.  This enabled me to countersue for damages I sustained in
Great Britain.  I was not so avid to win a lawsuit (more and more
ex-members have become so over the years, however); I was more interested
in keeping the organization at bay.  This the countersuit accomplished.  I
know of no other consequences of my countersuit, and after a given time it
may have been removed from the court calender.

  But Girodias was having more serious troubles.  A monstrous sneak attack
against Olympia was waged in England.  Hundreds of Olympia letter-head
stationery were stolen from the London office, and phoney letters went out
to Olympia dealers and distributors throughout the British Isles that the
publishing house had gone bankrupt and to send all Olympia books back to
the warehouse.  Then, hundreds of letters, likewise phoney, from "enraged
citizens" complaining about Olympia's "pornography" were sent to Scotland
Yard and the Home Office.  The Olympia goods -- which I've heard comprised
200,000 volumes -- were thereupon seized by the authorities and sequestered
at another warehouse.  Olympia took court action to get back their books,
and won their plea.  However, in Britain in such a case the *winner* has to
pay a desequestration fee to have whatever was seized returned.  Olympia
London couldn't afford the fee, so it lost the books and was totally wiped
out.  (I believe Girodias chronicled these happenings in a magazine article
to the effect of "Someone or Something is Out to Get Olympia.")

  Even more bizarre developments were in store for Girodias.  Maurice had
moved his New York office, and I dropped by.  First he looked up at me with
his wry little smile and said, "You know, Kowfman, with all due respect and
no wish to offend, I must tell you in all sincerity that since the day I
met you I've been roo-eened."  The man had style.  He then told me the
story in detail.

  An exotically gorgeous woman, very tall, about six one in heels, paid him
a call at his office.  They got chummy, and she said they could have
dinner, but first he should accompany her on an errand to her uncle's boat
at the "Newark Boatyard."  (Maurice claimed he checked for such a place
later and found it didn't exist.)  He found himself in a scruffy field with
her, somewhere in the Jersey meadows.  Suddenly she grabbed him in a
violent embrace.  His suspicions aroused, he tried to break it, but she was
too strong for him.  At that moment a man with a walkie-talkie in some type
of uniform stepped up out of nowhere, frisked Girodias and found an ounce
or two of marijuana that had been planted in his overcoat pocket.

  Girodias managed to avoid jail, but first, he told me ruefully, as a
requisite in local drug cases, he had to spend three days sitting in Family
Court, for him below any level of Hell described by Dante.

  Though Girodias harbored no doubt that the British attack on Olympia was
engineered by Scientology, he couldn't be that certain about the female
agent and dope frameup.

  I liked Girodias (deceased for several years) enormously; he was a lot of
fun and, in his own way, impeccable.  With all his faults (he had creditors
up to here), he did a lot for Literature; he was an excellent judge of
writing (I sometimes felt, self-disparagingly, that he had chosen my book
not for any great literary merit but for its potential as a money-making
expose); when I used to visit him in his office he would sit at his desk
almost unconsciously proofing a manuscript.  But he was constantly under
some siege or other.  Of course, usually over money.  But he told me that
one reason he felt that not *all* of the strange things that were happening
to him -- notably the "Newark Boatyard" incident -- were the work of
Scientology was that he must have made some enemies emblazoning the cover
of one of his books with a trick photo of Henry Kissinger in jockey shorts
in a cheesecake pose.

  Interspersed with these Girodias foibles, I received a letter from
Sterling, Scotland from a Roy Wallis, a Professor of Sociology at the local
university.  Wallis (deceased late '80s) said he had published an article
about Scientology (no doubt a scholarly sociologic study) that had brought
down the Church's wrath.  Strange things had been happening to him, and he
wished to compare notes with me, whom he knew to be an author on

  By now I was wary of people popping in on me, but Wallis soon convinced
me he was not a Scientology spy.  He sent me a copy of a letter left
somewhere conspicuous on his campus.  The typescript was a replica of the
sharply individualistic one Wallis used.  The letter purported to be from
Wallis to a male lover, containing intimate homosexual sentiments and
reference to a drug cache on the campus.  The letter was forged with an
excellent likeness of Wallis' signature.

  I became good friends with Wallis over the years.  Scientology was only
one of his interests; he was an expert on several groups, which he called
"new religions," and I read many pages of Wallis' splendid material.  In
1977, Wallis published a book exclusively about Scientology, *The Road to
Total Freedom*, (Columbia University Press, New York), which remains one of
the deepest-probing and best-balanced books on the subject.

  In 1973, Dr. Christopher Evans, an English scientist and fine
anthologist, now deceased, published an entertaining account of Scientology
in his *Cults of Unreason* (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 1973).
Counter-cultists have not placed Evans' account in their "Hall of Fame" of
Scientology exposes, because Evans found some mitigating factors about the
group.  But I consider his account a good, temperate, and in places quite
funny word on the subject.

  More recent books on Scientology are Bent Corydon and L. Ron Hubbard,
Jr.'s *L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman* (Lyle Stuart, Secaucus, New
Jersey, 1987); Russell Miller's *Bare-Faced Messiah* (Key Porter Books,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1987); and Jon Atack's *A Piece of Blue Sky*
(Carol Publishing Group, Secaucus, New Jersey, 1990) -- all informative and
worth reading, of these books the Atack carrying the more recent data on
Scientology enormities.

  Getting back to the early 1970s, as with Roy Wallis, some chickens were
coming home to roost for Paulette Cooper, author of *Scandal of
Scientology*.  I'm afraid I may've had something to do with this.  Girodias
had received a long letter from L. Ron Hubbard's eldest son, L. Ron
Hubbard, Jr., called "Nibs," castigating his father and the organization,
and offering to help Olympia promote my book.  Nibs showed up in New York,
and we had dinner together.  He was a homey, affable man, red-headed and
beefy but other wise not resembling his father physically.

  In time, I introduced Nibs to Paulette Cooper, and over a period of
several weeks he visited her apartment several times and made use of her
typewriter.  Cooper and I found out later that over the years Nibs had
ping-ponged back and forth between loyalty and disloyalty to his father,
always needed money, and could not be trusted.  But it was too late.
Things exploded.  One morning, FBI investigators came to my rented room and
interrogated me.  Reverend James Meisler had received three anonymous bomb
threat letters.  Each was written to suggest the work of one of the group's
top New York enemies: Paulette Cooper, myself, and a dissident franchise
holder named Bernard Green.  I was summoned before a grand jury, where I
averred that Meisler had written the letters to himself to frame the
Church's enemies.  The questioning was predominantly about Paulette Cooper.
Her fingerprints had been traced on the particular anonymous letter phrased
to most resemble her style.  Cooper could ascertain only one way the
organization could have got her fingerprints on that piece of paper: Nibs
Hubbard, acting as a double agent, had snitched it from her apartment.

  Cooper had to spend vast sums on lawyers and take lie-detector tests to
avoid imprisonment.  Altogether, she went through years of torment from
"strange happenings."  Word was spread around her building that she had
venereal disease; she got threatening phone calls; a threatening stranger
posing as a messenger showed up at her apartment door.  Later, again
through the Freedom of Information Act, Scientology documents were found
that referred to a plot called "PC (Paulette Cooper) Freakout," the plot's
object to get Cooper incarcerated in either a jail or a mental institution.

  Scientology is known to abuse the court system, instigating meritless
lawsuits to harass enemies.  Cooper was hit with many, something around
twenty lawsuits, it seemed from every localized Scientology church in
America.  She countersued, and eventually received a cash settlement from
the organization.

  Maurice Girodias hired a woman named Betty Marks to help promote my book
(I cannot provide an accurate chronology for these events).  She did her
job well, and got me on the radio, mostly noontime talk shows, about a
dozen times and on TV once.  When it came to presenting my side on the
media I was extremely inept.

  The TV presentation was a debate between myself and, of all people, the
Reverend James Meisler, who was the org's public relations person at the
time.  Meisler used Hubbard's prescribed technique for media encounters;
each time I opened my mouth he cut in with a diatribe about "those who
oppose freedom of religion."  The technique is called "jamming."  While
Meisler was keeping me muzzled, a cadre of Scientologists in the studio
audience chortled every time I did get in a word.  (Years afterward, a
defector told me that during the program the Scinos in the audience
visualized me with my mouth full of stones; they believed this kept me from

  Confronted by Meisler, after my initial shock, I decided that it would be
best for my cause to just let him bulldoze on and dig his own grave.
Apparently this strategy worked; after the show several people told me that
I had impressed them as a well-mannered sincere guy while my opponent was
an obstreperous bully.

  Life is strange, but it can get even stranger.  I was telling the world
about Scientology on a mid-day talk show; the MC said it was time for
call-ins.  One of the callers said, "I was a male nurse at the mental
institution where Mr. Kaufman spent some time.  I happened to see his
diagnosis, and it was `paranoid schizophrenic with homosexual tendencies.'"
To be honest, I had to conclude that, since the organization had known
about my institutionalization from the book *Inside Scientology*, and
correctly named the hospital over the radio, the caller or a confederate
had traveled Upstate to the hospital, strolled, or snuck, into the hospital
records room, got my actual diagnosis and aired it on the talk-show -- a
diagnosis that either paints me as a severe mental case, or the
mental-medical profession as total nincompoops in assessing a patient.

  As Paulette Cooper was showing strong signs of proving her innocence in
sending anonymous bomb threat scares, the heat must have been growing for
the Reverend James Meisler, whom Cooper and myself felt had masterminded
the frameup.  We heard that Meisler was being shipped to a Scientology org
in Australia, to get him away from the scene.  I immediately wrote him a
letter, care of the New York Org, congratulating him on his forthcoming
trip to Down Under, where he would be the proud auditor of the World's
First Kangaroo Clear.  I also sketched in a music staff, with the words
"I'm going to sit right down and write myself a letter."

  Such is Scientology's high dropout rate that I haven't been able to find
out whether or not James Meisler is still in the group.  I spent my brief
time in Scientology in 1968; I have heard of only a couple members from
that period -- practically nil -- who stayed on.  Perhaps someday I will
learn of Meisler's defection.  Whether we have a beer and a chuckle over
"the old days" is another matter.

  A Ghanian fellow rented a room down the corridor from mine.  He
frequently had countrymen over for gatherings, and one afternoon, when
there was a bunch in the hallway, I was introduced to a young American
Black named Jerry.  Jerry was neat, good-looking, pleasant, and played jazz
drums, very well, as I was to find out.  He visited the Africans
periodically, and stopped by my place several times to chat.  He needed a
cheap room, and three weeks or so after we met I introduced Jerry to the
landlord, who rented a room to him.

  From that time forward, Jerry and I often breakfasted together; he would
knock on my door around nine a.m. and we usually went to a Cuban place
where they served fresh orange or grapefruit juice and cafe con leche.  We
went to jazz joints two or three times.  I was still steamed up over
Scientology, and read Jerry articles I wrote about it.  He listened
impassively.  For some inexplicable reason, I never let my guard down with
Jerry enough to mention Paulette Cooper and her legal battles with the

  One week I rented a small biofeedback device that worked on finger
temperature, not so dissimilar to the Scientology E-meter, which works on
the principle of galvanic skin response.  I let Jerry try it.  He was
marvelously adept at getting the device to read favorably, and I had to
adjust the "start again at a new level" button repeatedly.  This could have
made me somewhat suspicious of Jerry, for the somewhat vacuous mental state
which may bring about alpha readings or other favorable signs in
conventional biofeedback training is just what the Scientologist learns to
achieve at will, over the course of time, to "pass" the various processes
and "gain" the various abilities touted by the organization.

  I took Jerry to my swimming pool on a guest pass.  He started coming to
the health club with me regularly, though after our initial visit he had to
pay a fee each time.  I suspected this was a hardship for him, for he told
me he was pulling in barely enough money driving a cab to make do.  He told
me he had a girl friend across town, and for her or other reasons, he
occasionally left our building for several days.  Then he would appear
again, and we'd have breakfast and go swimming together.

  After several pool visits with me, Jerry showed me two combination locks
which he said he'd got for us because he didn't trust the locks supplied at
the pool.  I found mine a bit cumbersome, but, in deference to my friend's
thoughtfulness, memorized the combination and began using it.  On one of
our swims, Jerry mentioned a girl he knew he used to see, but now they were
platonic.  He felt that she and I might have something in common, and that
I should take her along to the pool.

  Rosalyn was a superbly built, very attractive light-skinned Black or
Latino young lady.  We all swam, and had dinner near the club.  Jerry told
me a few days later that he thought Rosalyn was interested in me and would
go out on a date if I asked her.

  She picked me up in her car one night, and I went with her on the
strangest date of my life.  We sat watching a movie; I took her hand, and
there was neither resistance nor positive response.  We didn't talk much
before and after the film, but talking to her was like holding her hand:
nothing wrong and nothing very right, a lack of communication of any sort.
Rosalyn wanted to visit some friends who worked in a disco, and I hung
around the joint, which was located on Times Square, for the better part of
an hour while she talked to people running the records and the lighting.
It was still fairly early in the evening when she drove up Riverside Drive
and let me off near my building.

  Not long after the date with Rosalyn, Jerry said he had to go out of town
for a week or two, was letting a different young lady stay in his room
while he was gone, and he'd be grateful if I'd go up and introduce myself
to her and help her in any way I could.  I didn't visit Jerry's room; I was
probably miffed at any further of his suggestions about his lady friends
because of my weird experience with Rosalyn.  In the course of a couple of
weeks, the young lady left two notes on my door, asking me if we could
meet.  I paid no attention.

  A few more days passed, I got bored and curious, had a change of heart
and went up to the eighth floor to make her acquaintance.  To visit someone
in those old residential hotels, one usually went to their unit, or
corridor, and rang the front bell a number of times corresponding to their
room number inside.  No one answered my rings.  I persisted, and one of the
other lodgers in the unit opened the unit door and let me take a look at
Jerry's room and leave a note if I wished.

  Jerry's door was open a few inches.  I entered, starting to get an eerie
feeling.  The room looked like someone had left it in a hurry.  A window
was open, and the weather, which had turned significantly colder within the
last two days, sent a chilly breeze into the room.  The record player was
on; the turntable drifted slowly around, but no sound issued from the
speakers.  I saw no man's or woman's clothing lying about, and the place
appeared to have been cleared out.  I don't remember whether Jerry's drum
set was still there, but it looked like whoever had been tenanting the room
had left it on the run.

  I shut off the record player, closed the window and turned to leave.
Something took a hold of me and drew me to the corner closet, my flesh
creeping.  It, too, had been cleaned out, except for a couple sports
jackets, but there was an object in a corner at the back of the closet.  It
was a brown valise.  I reached inside; there was only a small notebook in
it, which I pulled out and opened randomly.  The first thing I saw was the
combination of the lock Jerry had given me for the safety of my possessions
at the swimming pool.  I flipped the pages and read, "Twigs still doesn't
know I'm a Scientologist."  Simple enough.  Paulette Cooper, Scientology's
arch enemy, was ultra petite, hence "Twiggy."  I was also an enemy of
Scientology and a friend of hers, hence "Twigs."  I left the room,
clutching the spy log-book, and back in my own lodgings read with chilling
fascination how I'd been followed and tracked for the past few weeks, and
how difficult it was for Jerry to conduct this "mission" (as an espionage
or sabotage assignment is called in Scientology's Guardian's Office) while
he was driving a hack around New York trying to pay for his room rent and
visits to the health club with me.

  Weeks passed.  One morning there was a knock on my door.  Jerry had shown
up again.  As we sat at the counter having a Spanish breakfast, I said,
"Man, I know all about you; I know you're a Scientology spy."

  Jerry's air of innocence was superb.  I learned later that Guardian's
Office people are given special training to lie while keeping a straight
face.  Jerry wanted to know what made me think he was a Scientologist.  Of
course, he'd found his spy log-book gone, had had to relate that fact to
his superiors, possibly during a "security check," and was under pressure
over giving himself away with me.  He had probably suffered Ethics Penalty,
such as three days' work around the org with no sleep.

  I steadfastly refrained from mentioning the log-book; and I must have
increased Jerry's discomfort by telling him that I knew a spy was coming to
my building long before he'd ever arrived there in the first place.

  The patience, planning and elaborateness of the Guardian Office's
snooping freaked me out.  Agents had had to scrutinize my unit -- I've
never found out how they accomplished that -- and contrive a way to get
Jerry and me together through the friendly Africans.  Another agent would
then have had to join my health club (no mean amount to pay for dues!), and
used my combination to get into my locker and make impressions of the keys
in my pants pocket.  This would enable Guardian's Office personnel to enter
my room and examine my address book and writings-in-progress.  That must
have been the reason for Rosalyn; my three or four hour date with her would
be a sure time when I'd be away from my room long enough for the break-in
and search.

  Again, my education came later: I was shown Hubbard documents claiming
that anyone who attacks Scientology will be found to have a criminal record
-- and if a search, which could include scanning of any existing
"confidential" auditing rerorts, fails to turn up a criminal record, the
Guardian's Office will create one for the enemy!  Looking back on the Jerry
episode, I can't conceive why so much trouble was taken with me.  I was by
then far down on the "Enemies list," not much had happened with my book,
and I was no great threat to the Scientology organization.  I can only view
these events as hinting at the extent of Hubbard's paranoia.

  I was to discover in books on Scientology years later that at the time of
this espionage, Hubbard himself was in hiding in a modest apartment in the
New York City borough of Queens, disguising himself in a wig and killing
time by fiddling with his cameras and presumably plotting "missions" for
his Guardian staff.

  I never saw Jerry after our confrontation in the restaurant.  He took off
again, this time not to return.

  Some of the documents my friends brought back from Washington, DC,
courtesy of the Freedom of Information Act, had bearing on the "Twigs"
plot.  Included was a file on Twigs.  My haunts and habits were described
in burdensome detail, down to the way I twirled my pipe-cleaning tool.
There were lists of friends of mine going back two decades.  Obviously
Hubbard's stooges would go to bizarre lengths to gather and store
information about those who criticized Scientology or its leader.  Hubbard
predicated that getting into someone's personal papers, keeping a tail on
them, and scrupulously examining their private auditing reports (if the
person happened to have been a member), for example, would provide the
desired knowledge of the enemy's weaknesses and foibles, good material for
blackmail, extortion or besmirching of reputation.  I have heard that this
obsessiveness about offenders also involves their "whole track," the
totality of an individual's history *including "past lives."* And again, I
must wonder what all this is in aid of, what it accomplishes.

  As time went by, I recognized that I was getting over my own obsessions
about Scientology.  A kind of breakthrough for an ex-cultist, not
necessarily a pleasant one, occurs when he/she is sorely vexed by something
other than their former group.  Perhaps trouble on the job; a medical bill;
a dunning notice from the IRS; unruly neighbors; something in their
personal life -- whatever it happens to be, the "ex" might think, "Well, I
haven't felt this for a while, but such-and-such is about as much a pain as
Scientology."  The "ex" is then putting the cult in a bit more perspective,
part of the entire world and not so unique and separate from everything
else.  I believe this type of insight is not uncommon among ex-members, but
a natural development in their weaning away from the group.

  There was still the odd incident.  This one I'll never figure out.  I was
playing piano for ballet performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington,
DC, and didn't have much to cover in the orchestra score, so on my frequent
days/nights off I'd take train or bus back to New York City.  Once,
entering my rented room, my eye caught something rustling in the breeze on
the windowsill.  It was the stub of a Metroliner ticket to Washington --
and I had never taken the Metroliner so it couldn't have been my stub!

  Every so often during the '70s I got a letter from a total stranger
expressing their concern about a family member who had joined Scientology,
and asking me what to do about it.  Or sometimes the letter-writer had left
the movement and was undergoing problems.  Paulette Cooper's disasters with
spies and my own encounter with Jerry made me increasingly wary of messages
dropping in on me from out of nowhere.  There were also pleasant instances,
where the correspondent checked out and I could help another soul in their
defection from the group.

  I've also contacted several people I met in Scientology for whom I felt
special warmth (I've never felt anything but that the majority of
Scientologists are as decent and law-abiding as most non-members, and often
exceptionally nice.)  This has had mixed results.  There have been some
non-replies -- which could simply mean poor mail delivery.  Some people had
quit the movement; one individual had stayed in but had nothing against me
for my negative opinions and writings, and we enjoyed discussions about
Hubbard's theories.  Three of those I contacted slammed the door.  Two --
one of them an old friend -- wrote "disconnect letters;" the third gave me
hell over the telephone (this happened to be the very person who had first
introduced me to Scientology!)  For the most part their message to me was
that I'd attacked something that had saved their lives -- mankind's only
hope for survival -- and I was a naughty, or evil, person.

  Several years after publication of *Inside Scientology*, two members of
the New York org invited me to meet them at a Bagel Nosh to talk about
selling the Church the rights to my book.  They waved a check for five
thousand dollars in front of me.  I told them it would take a lot more than
that, if I'd even agree to it with any kind of inducement.

  A while later I was sent a letter from Scientology lawyers in California
claiming that the organization had obtained the rights to my book.  I knew
this to be a lie.  However, sometime later the matter of who had the rights
became academic, because of newer-vintage exposes of Scientology appearing
in the media.

  *Inside Scientology* has been out of the bookstores now for many years.
However, I, and many others, believe that the book has qualities above and
beyond an expose, and will live on.

  Negative comment on Scientology has been wide-ranged and intense.  But
perhaps the best way to know what's wrong with Scientology is to read
Hubbard himself (a good fount of information *about* Hubbard is
(aforementioned) Russell Miller's *Bare-Faced Messiah* -- a neat play on
"Liar" -- if you can obtain the book.)

  Hubbard was a prodigy; I am always amazed by him.  Some years after his
death I became aware that, with all his con-man-ship, perhaps his greatest
hoax is the use of the "E-meter" in Scientology auditing.  The point about
the E-meter is so obvious that it's befuddling why more people (including
myself) didn't seem to "get it" during their first auditing session, or
certainly soon after leaving the group.

  Simply stated, the E-meter is a biofeedback device; that is, it furnishes
moment-to-moment information about a physiologic process, in this case
response/resistance of the subject's skin to an electric circuit.
Hubbard's program was that skin reaction indicates "charge from the
reactive mind."  The fact is that responses, and consequent reads on the
electric device, occur because one hooked up to biofeedback apparatus
*quickly forms a relationship with the equipment*, an inner "biofeedback
sense," based on motivation, or system of rewards (such as the wish to
succeed in auditing and justify the advance payment), the general
environment and one's emotional state, including rapport or lack of it with
the "trainer" (auditor).

  To suggest to a Scientologist that working with an E-meter actually
constitutes biofeedback training would be heresy; *yet the "preclear," once
on the machine, soon learns subliminally how to get reads in his or her
favor to achieve their objective, Hubbard-driven incentives*.  We may talk
about punishments, extortion of monies and services, the Sea Org, the
Guardian's Office (now called thw Office of Special Affairs).  But for me
the essence of hoax and folly begins right with Day One of auditing, when
the "preclear" is "put on the cans."

  I wish to emphasize to defectors that they may not be able to turn
feelings about Scientology, or whatever cult, on and off at will after
leaving the group.  It would not be unnatural for them to remain "in the
experience," perhaps for what seems an inordinate length of time, referred
to as the "twilight zone," an element of which is to hold the entity that
attained such control over them in considerable awe.  One's reasons for
joining the group in the first place may require working out.  Then, too,
indoctrination may be sly and insidious, or mercilessly brutal and
intimidating, or both.  It doesn't necessarily follow that upon leaving a
group one's image of it as something inexorably vast and powerful
immediately loses its grip.  The defector may feel, "Anyone or anything who
did this to me is a force to be reckoned with and a threat to the world."

  It took me quite a while to restore my sense of balance and bring
Scientology down to size: as a fairly well-peopled and very well-monied
organization that would like to take over the world but doesn't have the
slightest chance.

  I've written in the preface to *Inside Scientology/Dianetics* that I
"deprogrammed" myself writing the book.  This isn't entirely accurate,
though the effort of going over and over the events through several
rewrites, doubtlessly benefited me, and again, I would recommend this to
ex-members of any group.

  It's struck me forcibly over the years how many people leave Scientology
because of Hubbard's fierce policies and the organization's application of
them, but still retain faith in Hubbard's so-called "technology."  (Many of
these individuals, still believing Hubbard a genius, and continue to
practice some form of auditing.  The organization calls them "squirrels.")
These worthies insist that they actually use the "tech" in their daily
living.  I have yet to elicit from any of them just how, precisely, they
are able to!

  The investment in Scientology is so great, in funds, time and emotion,
that it may well happen that an ex-member will not give up his or her
vested interest, but continue to entertain a nebulous concept of having
gained something valuable from their experience -- and I'm referring mostly
to the training.  Again, the exact nature of such would be difficult, if
not impossible, to elicit.

  One may, of course, gain some backbone *getting over* the experience.

  "Dis-" or "reindoctrination," "deprogramming," if you will (or call it
acquiring good sense), is not such a fixed commodity that we can refer to
an individual as "deprogrammed once and for all."  The person may reject
Guru X and his teachings, but reindoctrination can never be said to reach a
final conclusion, but to continue always.  This is both because there is
never any end to what one may learn about one's experiences, and also
because indoctrination reigns in our world, everywhere, in countless and
varied ways, whether or not one would ever join a group, in the form of
authoritarianism, bureaucracy, muzzy thinking, superstition.  (Read *The
Guru Papers*, by Joel Kramer and Diana Alstad, Frog, Ltd., Berkeley,
California, 1993).  It might be fair to say that to be human is to be
immersed in dogma of one sort or another.

  Re cults specifically, if we help an ex-member to say, "I hate Guru X,
his teachings are clap-trap and I was brainwashed," we are still, in a
sense, fomenting dogma, just different-sounding dogma.  The "ex" is
returning to the rest of the world's, our world's, dogma, the dogma outside
the cult.  Exit counselors (the current term for "deprogrammers") like to
think they truly help people.  I don't disagree with them; yet it's also
true that they are reasonably likely to ease passage for a borderline
member from one set of dogma to another.  (Gregory Bateson wrote in *Steps
to an Ecology of the Mind*, (Ballantine Books, New York, 1972, page 269):
"We social scientists would do well to hold back our eagerness to control
that world which we so imperfectly understand.")  Ironically, the "joiner"
originally chose to abandon "our world" for the cult, *the other side of*
switching from one set of dogma to another.  Perhaps we need new words for
this phenomenon, such as "trans-" or "cross-indoctrination."

  To complicate matters, as it's also well-known, a "deprogrammed"
individual may choose to return to the group -- obviously to the great
consternation of the exit counselor(s); but, then, we are simply viewing
the interactions between those two sets of dogma, the cult's and our
world's. And are we so convinced as to the superiority of our realities to
those of the cult that returning an individual to the latter is by its very
nature an act of grace?

  Although I use the terms "deprogramming" and "indoctrination," and will
continue to use them, the game of cultists vs. counter-cultists of
necessity embodies "We Against Them."  Counter-cultism may display as much
intolerance as cultism, for example by imputing cultism -- viz., in this
setting, evil -- to an innocuous group because of differing beliefs.  It
might be closer to the truth that the cult is simply a part of our world,
that cult and non-cult are not opposites, uniquely separate and distinct,
but related elements in the same machine (as Kurt Vonnegut wrote to a
Calypso beat in his *Cat's Cradle*:

    Nice, nice, velly nice,
    So many different creatures in de same device.

  *SHALL we try to understand each other?*

  Robert Kaufman (1995)

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