Disconnection

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Disconnection, when used in Scientology, is a term used to describe the severance of all ties between a Scientologist and a friend, colleague, or family member deemed to be antagonistic towards Scientology. The practice of disconnection is a form of shunning.[1] Among Scientologists, disconnection is viewed as an important method of removing obstacles to one's spiritual growth. Disconnection is considered controversial, however, since it can end marriages and separate children from their parents.[2][3][4][5][6] Scientology spokesmen currently deny that such a policy exists.[4][7]

Contents

Policy

Antagonists to the Church of Scientology are declared by the Church to be antisocial personalities, Potential Trouble Sources (PTS), or Suppressive Persons (SPs). The Church teaches that association with these people impedes a member's progress along the Bridge to Total Freedom.[citation needed]

In Introduction to Scientology Ethics, L. Ron Hubbard sets out the doctrine that by being connected to Suppressive Persons, a Scientologist could become a Potential Trouble Source (PTS):

A Scientologist can become PTS by reason of being connected to someone that is antagonistic to Scientology or its tenets. In order to resolve the PTS condition, he either HANDLES the other person's antagonism (as covered in the materials on PTS handling) or, as a last resort when all attempts to handle have failed, he disconnects from the person. He is simply exercising his right to communicate or not to communicate with a particular person.[8]

He defined handling as an action to lessen a situation towards an antagonistic individual by means of communication, and disconnection as a decision to cut communication with another individual.[8] Hubbard also wrote that Scientology Ethics Officers should recommend handling rather than disconnection when the antagonistic individual is a close relative.[9] He also stated that failure, or refusal, to disconnect from a Suppressive Person is a Suppressive Act by itself.[10] Sociologist Roy Wallis reports that Scientologists connected to a suppressive would usually be required to handle or disconnect, although he found some "Ethics Orders" which ordered unconditional disconnection.[1]

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