This listing is about Jackie Wolff, veteran Scientologist and member of the paramilitary Sea Org.
I am not the first person to draw on the similarities of Scientology and George Orwell’s book 1984, I think that honor goes to the late R. V. Young. Nonetheless such a comparison is apt and very much on target.
In his depiction of the ultimate authoritarian dictatorship Orwell describes a daily ritual in which party members assemble to scream abuse at pictures of their enemies. They do this with great enthusiasm knowing of course, that any slackness on their part will be noted. All aspects of their life are watched; informers are everywhere, even in the same family. Welcome to life in the Sea Org.
The following is from the St. Petersburg Times, Sunday, August 2, 2009. Jackie Wolff wept as she recalled the chaotic night she was ordered to stand at a microphone in the mess hall and confess her “crimes” in front of 300 fellow workers, many jeering and heckling her. . .
Wolff’s staff had been cut down to four from about 10 the year before, and E-meter production was down. She didn’t see how she could make up the backlog, but supervisors disagreed. The crowd turned on her, screaming:
Why is this happening?
What are your crimes?
You’re hurting Scientology!
Wolff says she tried to answer:
There are only four of us on the assembly line.
If we speed it up, the quality will suffer.
Such group hate sessions are a common occurence in the closed world of Scientology. Do such things work? It does in the short-term. People can be intimidated into to doing more than they thought they could if you browbeat them enough. But in the long-term I doubt it. Too many of the most devoted believers will run like Jackie Wolff did. After over 20 years in the Sea Org. she got out; others have too. Some went over the wall, others pushed their way out the front gate, but nonetheless they fled. Some of them have paused long enough to tell us their story.
To read the rest of the St. Petersburg Times story go here: http://www.tampabay.com/news/scientology/article1023717.ece
For the video interview go here: http://www.tampabay.com/specials/2009/reports/project/wolff.shtml
To read what RV Young (a high ranking Sea Org defector) had to say about the cult vs. 1984, go here: http://www.holysmoke.org/cos/scientology-1984-orwell.htm