Disconnection is 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. Among Scientologists, disconnection is viewed as an important method of removing obstacles to one's spiritual growth. In some circumstances, disconnection has ended marriages and separated children from their parents. The Church of Scientology has repeatedly denied that such a policy exists, though as of February 2012 its website acknowledged the practice and described it as a human right. In the United States, the Church has tried to argue in court that disconnection is a constitutionally protected religious practice. However, this argument was rejected because the pressure put on individual Scientologists to disconnect means it is not voluntary.
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.
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.
Hubbard 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. Hubbard also wrote that Scientology Ethics Officers should recommend handling rather than disconnection when the antagonistic individual is a close relative. He also stated that failure, or refusal, to disconnect from a Suppressive Person is a Suppressive Act by itself. In one case cited by the UK Government, a six-year-old girl was declared Suppressive for failing to disconnect from her mother. 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.
According to Church statements, disconnection is used as a "last resort," only to be employed if the people antagonistic to Scientology do not cease their antagonism — even after being provided with "true data" about Scientology, since it is taught that usually only people with false data are antagonistic to the Church.
Originally, disconnection involved not only ending communication with someone but also declaring it publicly. The Scientology publication The Auditor included notices of disconnection from named individuals. It was also common for Scientologists to send short letters to the suppressive person, to warn them that they were disconnected. Roy Wallis interviewed a number of people who had been declared suppressive, some of whom had received hundreds of these letters.: The Scientologist was also required to take "any required civil action such as disavowal, separation or divorce" to cut off contact with the suppressive.
The policy was introduced in 1965 in a policy letter written by Hubbard. The "Code of Reform" introduced by Hubbard in 1968 discontinued Fair Game and Security Checks, and cancelled "disconnection as a relief to those suffering from familial suppression." In reality, these practices were never discontinued; however, the words "Fair Game," "Disconnection," and "Security Checking" were discontinued, as the use of these words caused bad public relations. When the New Zealand Government set up a Commission of Inquiry into Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard wrote to them saying that disconnection had been cancelled and that there was no intention to bring it back. The Commission welcomed the letter, but noted Hubbard did not promise never to re-introduce the practice of disconnection.
In his book A Piece of Blue Sky, Jon Atack cites an internal document dated August 1982 that, he alleges, re-introduced the disconnection policy. A belief that disconnection was being used again, and not as a last resort, led a group of British Scientologists to resign from the Church in 1984, while keeping their allegiance to the beliefs of Scientology. Their interpretation was that the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard "encourage the unity of the family" and therefore that the disconnection policy was "a misrepresentation or misapplication".
In 1966, UK newspaper the Daily Mail quoted a disconnection letter from Scientologist Karen Henslow to her mother:
Dear Mother, I am hereby disconnecting from you because you are suppressive to me. You evaluate for me, invalidate me, interrupt me and remove all my gains. And you are destroying me.
I [unreadable] from this time consider myself disconnected from you and I do not want to see you or hear from you again. From now you don't exist in my life.
Henslow, a thirty-year-old sufferer from manic depression, had been a Scientology staff member for two weeks when she disconnected. The message was accompanied by a second letter apologising for the first and saying that it had been mailed without her permission.
Raymond Buckingham, a singer who ran a voice school in Manhattan, was recruited into Scientology by one of his pupils. He was asked to disconnect from a business associate who had been labelled suppressive. When he spoke out publicly against Scientology, his Scientologist pupils disconnected from him and refused to pay him. One of these was a famous singer for whom he had arranged a series of performances.
Roy Wallis reproduced a "Disconnection Order" from 1965 which orders a Scientologist to disconnect from the publications of the Food and Drug Administration. It states, "The FDA literature he comes in contact with is not to be read by him at all.":147
Disconnection was the subject of a 1970 court case in which the Church of Scientology unsuccessfully attempted to sue Geoffrey Johnson-Smith MP over negative comments he had made on BBC television. To defend his claims that families were being alienated, he produced evidence of specific cases in court. The judge described it as "astonishing" that the Scientologists did not contest these allegations.
In 1969, the New Zealand government set up an official inquiry into the Church of Scientology. The ensuing Dumbleton-Powles Report quoted from a number of disconnection letters and also reproduced some "Ethics Orders" which identified Suppressive Persons who were "not to be communicated with in any way." Teenage Scientologist Erin O'Donnell had written to her non-Scientologist aunt, "If you try to ring me I will not answer, I will not read any mail you send, and I refuse to have anything to do with you in any way whatsoever. All communication is cut completely." The Commission concluded that Scientologists had been required to choose between family relationships and continued involvement in Scientology.
The 1971 UK government investigation into Scientology and ensuing Foster Report reproduced a number of internal "Ethics Orders". One of these, dating from November 1967, concerns a member who had asked for a refund. It declares him to be a Suppressive Person and continues, "Any and all persons connected [to him] are declared Potential Trouble Sources and are not to be Trained or Processed before they have presented evidence in writing (...) of handling or disconnecting."
Joe Boyd, the manager of the Incredible String Band, was a Scientologist for a time in the early 1970s. He left when he was told that friends who were hostile to Scientology were interfering with his progress and he must disassociate from them.
Cyril Vosper received a "Declaration of Enemy" in response to his violations of Scientology "ethics". It is reproduced in his book The Mind Benders and states, "Anyone connected to him is not to be processed or trained until he or she has disconnected from him in writing."
In 1982, David Mayo and other former Church of Scientology executives were subjected to an internal "Committee of Evidence" for alleged transgressions. The committee issued a permanent writ of Disconnection, forbidding all other Scientologists from having contact with the accused.
In his 1984 High Court judgment, which considered many aspects of Scientology, English judge Justice Latey wrote that "many examples [of disconnection] have been given and proved in evidence." As examples, he reproduced two disconnection letters. One is written by a Scientologist to his fiancée. In the other, a man writes to his business partner and former friend, "What you are now doing in setting yourself against the Church is not only very suppressive but also non-survival for you, your family and any group you are associated with."
That year, the Daily Mail brought up further examples of disconnection, including a 13-year-old boy who disconnected from his father and a woman who said her fiancé was forced to abandon her. The fiancé concerned said "it was a personal decision" and a Church of Scientology spokesman was quoted denying that there is a policy to split up relationships.
Also in 1984, The Mail on Sunday interviewed Gulliver Smithers, a former Scientologist who had left the group's base at Saint Hill Manor when he was 14 years old. Smithers explained that disconnection was an everyday part of life in Saint Hill, "It goes round by word of mouth when someone is an outcast. He or she is just ignored and shunned. It was what we were brought up to do."
In a lengthy court case in the 1980s, ex-member Lawrence Wollersheim successfully argued that he had been coerced into disconnecting from his wife, parents, and other family members. Since the disconnection was not voluntary, it did not count as protected religious practice.
In 1995, the UK local paper Kent Today talked to Pauline Day, whose Scientologist daughter Helen had sent a disconnection letter and then dropped all contact, even changing her phone number. A spokeswoman for the Church of Scientology denied that this decision had anything to do with the Church.
A Buffalo News investigation in 2005 spoke to the sisters and brother of Fred Lennox, a Scientologist who, according to them, was being manipulated and exploited financially by the group. The paper also quoted an internal so-called "Ethics Order" instructing him to "handle or disconnect" from his sister Tanya because of anti-Scientology comments she had made online. Lennox himself and Church of Scientology spokesmen denied this.
In January 2008, Jenna Miscavige Hill, niece of David Miscavige, spoke out about the policy's effect on her family. She revealed that, once her parents left the Church while she remained, she had been forbidden to answer the telephone in case she spoke to them and that her parents only restored occasional access to her by threatening legal action. Another second-generation Scientologist, Astra Woodcraft, told ABC's Nightline that she had been forbidden any contact with her father once he left the Church and she was still a member. She used her weekly laundry time to secretly meet up with him.
To make the television documentary Scientology and Me, the BBC Panorama team spoke to two mothers whose daughters had disconnected, one for nearly seven years. Mike Henderson, an ex-Scientologist, told Panorama how he had not spoken to his father during his time as a member. When Henderson left Scientology, he re-established communication with his father, but most of the rest of the family disconnected from Henderson as a result.
In 2009, a man named Shane Clark was about to be declared a suppressive person for being employed by Marc Headley, author of Blown for Good: Behind the Iron Curtain of Scientology. Clark secretly recorded a meeting between himself and Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis and his wife Jessica Feshbach. In the tape, Davis is heard not only threatening Clark with suppressive person declaration, but telling him he will be the subject of disconnection. Clark was later declared, and his family disconnected from him. Despite the direct evidence to the contrary, Davis denied the existence of the disconnection policy in a television interview on CNN. Paul Haggis, a film director, disputed this in his 2009 resignation letter from Scientology. Haggis wrote, "We all know this policy exists", and said his wife had been ordered to disconnect from her ex-Scientologist parents, "although it caused her terrible personal pain. For a year-and-a-half, [she] didn't speak to her parents and they had limited access to their grandchild. It was a terrible time." In response, Davis reiterated that there is no Church policy of disconnection.
When actress Leah Remini publicly left the Church in 2013, Remini's sister, Nicole, revealed that she and the rest of Remini's family did as well to avoid being split up by the Church's disconnection policy.
The St. Petersburg Times consulted three religious scholars about disconnection in Scientology, two of whom had been recommended by the organization itself. One, F. K. Flinn of Washington University in St. Louis, said that shunning practices such as disconnection are common to young religions. He drew parallels with the dis-fellowship practiced by Jehovah's Witnesses.
This view is not shared by all religious scholars. J. Gordon Melton, of the Institute for the Study of American Religion, said that disconnection goes much further than the policies of most modern religions. Newton Maloney of Fuller Theological Seminary also described the policy as "too extreme." The Buffalo News report consulted Stephen A. Kent of the University of Alberta, who said that hostility towards critics, including the member's own family, is an ingrained part of Scientology Ethics, according to which the survival of the Church is all-important.
William S. Burroughs, who briefly dabbled with Scientology, wrote extensively about it during the late 1960s, weaving some of its jargon into his fictional works, as well as authoring nonfiction essays about it. He uses the term "Disconnect" in a Scientological context in Ali's Smile: Naked Scientology and other works. In the end, however, he abandoned Scientology and publicly criticized it in an editorial for the Los Angeles Free Press in 1970.
There had been much evidence as to how Scientology broke up marriages and alienated children from their parents.
Alien hand syndrome (AHS) or Dr. Strangelove syndrome is a condition in which a person experiences their limbs acting seemingly on their own, without control over the actions. The term is used for a variety of clinical conditions and most commonly affects the left hand. There are many similar names used to describe the various forms of the condition but they are often used inappropriately. The afflicted person may sometimes reach for objects and manipulate them without wanting to do so, even to the point of having to use the controllable hand to restrain the alien hand. While under normal circumstances, thought, as intent, and action can be assumed to be deeply mutually entangled, the occurrence of alien hand syndrome can be usefully conceptualized as a phenomenon reflecting a functional "disentanglement" between thought and action.Alien hand syndrome is best documented in cases where a person has had the two hemispheres of their brain surgically separated, a procedure sometimes used to relieve the symptoms of extreme cases of epilepsy and epileptic psychosis, e.g., temporal lobe epilepsy. It also occurs in some cases after brain surgery, stroke, infection, tumor, aneurysm, migraine and specific degenerative brain conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease. Other areas of the brain that are associated with alien hand syndrome are the frontal, occipital, and parietal lobes.Comet
A comet is an icy, small Solar System body that, when passing close to the Sun, warms and begins to release gases, a process called outgassing. This produces a visible atmosphere or coma, and sometimes also a tail. These phenomena are due to the effects of solar radiation and the solar wind acting upon the nucleus of the comet. Comet nuclei range from a few hundred metres to tens of kilometres across and are composed of loose collections of ice, dust, and small rocky particles. The coma may be up to 15 times the Earth's diameter, while the tail may stretch one astronomical unit. If sufficiently bright, a comet may be seen from the Earth without the aid of a telescope and may subtend an arc of 30° (60 Moons) across the sky. Comets have been observed and recorded since ancient times by many cultures.
Comets usually have highly eccentric elliptical orbits, and they have a wide range of orbital periods, ranging from several years to potentially several millions of years. Short-period comets originate in the Kuiper belt or its associated scattered disc, which lie beyond the orbit of Neptune. Long-period comets are thought to originate in the Oort cloud, a spherical cloud of icy bodies extending from outside the Kuiper belt to halfway to the nearest star. Long-period comets are set in motion towards the Sun from the Oort cloud by gravitational perturbations caused by passing stars and the galactic tide. Hyperbolic comets may pass once through the inner Solar System before being flung to interstellar space. The appearance of a comet is called an apparition.
Comets are distinguished from asteroids by the presence of an extended, gravitationally unbound atmosphere surrounding their central nucleus. This atmosphere has parts termed the coma (the central part immediately surrounding the nucleus) and the tail (a typically linear section consisting of dust or gas blown out from the coma by the Sun's light pressure or outstreaming solar wind plasma). However, extinct comets that have passed close to the Sun many times have lost nearly all of their volatile ices and dust and may come to resemble small asteroids. Asteroids are thought to have a different origin from comets, having formed inside the orbit of Jupiter rather than in the outer Solar System. The discovery of main-belt comets and active centaur minor planets has blurred the distinction between asteroids and comets. In the early 21st century, the discovery of some minor bodies with long-period comet orbits, but characteristics of inner solar system asteroids, were called Manx comets. They are still classified as comets, such as C/2014 S3 (PANSTARRS). 27 Manx comets were found from 2013 to 2017.As of July 2018 there are 6,339 known comets, a number that is steadily increasing as they are discovered. However, this represents only a tiny fraction of the total potential comet population, as the reservoir of comet-like bodies in the outer Solar System (in the Oort cloud) is estimated to be one trillion. Roughly one comet per year is visible to the naked eye, though many of those are faint and unspectacular. Particularly bright examples are called "great comets". Comets have been visited by unmanned probes such as the European Space Agency's Rosetta, which became the first ever to land a robotic spacecraft on a comet, and NASA's Deep Impact, which blasted a crater on Comet Tempel 1 to study its interior.Disconnected youth
Disconnected youth is a label in United States public policy debate for NEETs, young people "Not in Education, Employment, or Training". Measure of America's March 2017 report says disconnected youth (defined as aged 16 to 24) number 4.9 million in the United States, about one in eight of the age cohort. Disconnected youth are sometimes referred to as Opportunity Youth.Emphasis is placed upon this group because the years between the late teens and the mid-twenties are believed to be a critical period during which young people form adult identities and move toward independence. The effects of youth disconnection—limited education, social exclusion, lack of work experience, and fewer opportunities to develop mentors and valuable work connections—can have long-term consequences that snowball across the life course, eventually influencing everything from earnings and self-sufficiency to physical and mental health and marital prospects. Much discussion has been focused on how to reach these young people and connect them with broader social institutions in order to prevent these negative consequences.
Analysis has also examined the economic impact of youth disconnection. According to the Measure of America report, the average disconnected youth costs $37,450 a year in government services.Disconnection (album)
Disconnection is the debut album of Strange Parcels, released on August 16, 1994 by On-U Sound Records. Bill Tilland of the music journal Option said gave the album a positive review, saying "There's enough ear candy here to satiate even the sweetest audio sweet tooth, and it's served up with a combination of outrageous musical humor and impeccable taste."Disconnection (song)
"Disconnection" is a song and single from Music for Pleasure and was released in 1984.Disconnection Notice
Disconnection Notice is the fifth official album by Goldfinger. This was the last album to feature former Ünloco guitarist, Brian Arthur, since he left the band after the release. Original guitarist, Charlie Paulson, returned to the band after his departure.Disconnection syndrome
Disconnection syndrome is a general term for a number of neurological symptoms caused by damage to the white matter axons of communication pathways—via lesions to association fibers or commissural fibers—in the cerebrum, independent of any lesions to the cortex. The behavioral effects of such disconnections are relatively predictable in adults. Disconnection syndromes usually reflect circumstances where regions A and B still have their functional specializations except in domains that depend on the interconnections between the two regions.Callosal syndrome, or split-brain, is an example of a disconnection syndrome from damage to the corpus callosum between the two hemispheres of the brain. Disconnection syndrome can also lead to aphasia, left-sided apraxia, and tactile aphasia, among other symptoms. Other types of disconnection syndrome include conduction aphasia (lesion of the association tract connecting Broca’s area and Wernicke’s), agnosia, apraxia, pure alexia, etc.Distal splenorenal shunt procedure
In medicine, a distal splenorenal shunt procedure (DSRS), also splenorenal shunt procedure and Warren shunt, is a surgical procedure in which the distal splenic vein (a part of the portal venous system) is attached to the left renal vein (a part of the systemic venous system). It is used to treat portal hypertension and its main complication (esophageal varices). It was developed by W. Dean Warren.Functional disconnection
Functional disconnection is the disintegrated function in the brain in the absence of anatomical damage, in distinction to physical disconnection of the cerebral hemispheres by surgical resection, trauma or lesion. The concept was first coined by Leisman; and Sroka, Solsi, and Bornstein Applications have included alexia without agraphia dyslexia, persistent vegetative state and minimally conscious state as well as autistic spectrum disorders.Functional disconnection is not a medically recognized condition.Goldfinger (band)
Goldfinger is an American punk rock band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 1994. In their early years the band is widely considered to have been a contributor to the movement of third-wave ska, a mid-1990s revitalization in the popularity of ska. However, the releases of Open Your Eyes and Disconnection Notice saw the band shed most of the ska influence, and they have been more commonly placed in the punk rock genre in later years. Apart from the band's music, Goldfinger is also noted for their political activism, particularly in the area of animal rights.Netsplit
In computer networking, specifically Internet Relay Chat (IRC), netsplit is a disconnection between two servers. A split between any two servers splits the entire network into two pieces.Power-system protection
Power-system protection is a branch of electrical power engineering that deals with the protection of electrical power systems from faults through the disconnection of faulted parts from the rest of the electrical network. The objective of a protection scheme is to keep the power system stable by isolating only the components that are under fault, whilst leaving as much of the network as possible still in operation. Thus, protection schemes must apply a very pragmatic and pessimistic approach to clearing system faults. The devices that are used to protect the power systems from faults are called protection devices.Practical theology
Practical theology is an academic discipline that examines and reflects on religious practices in order to understand the theology that is enacted in those practices and in order to consider how theological theory and theological practices can be more fully aligned, changed, or improved. Practical theology has often sought to address a perceived disconnection between theology as an academic discipline or dogmatics on the one hand, and the life and practice of the Church on the other.As articulated by Richard Osmer, the four key questions and tasks in practical theology are:
What is going on? (descriptive-empirical task)
Why is this going on? (interpretative task)
What ought to be going on? (normative task)
How might we respond? (pragmatic task)Practical theology was first introduced by Friedrich Schleiermacher as an academic discipline encompassing the practice of Church leadership in his Brief Outline of the Study of Theology.Practical theology consists of several related sub-fields: applied theology (such as missions, evangelism, religious education, pastoral psychology or the psychology of religion), church growth, administration, homiletics, spiritual formation, pastoral theology, spiritual direction, spiritual theology (or ascetical theology), political theology, theology of justice and peace and similar areas. It also includes advocacy theology, such as the various theologies of liberation (of the oppressed in general, of the disenfranchised, of women, of immigrants, of children, and black theology). The theology of relational care, which concerns ministering to the personal needs of others, may also be discussed as a field of practical theology."Convergent practical theology" has emerged from the combined studies and practice of missiology with organizational development since the publication of Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America. This new perspective is described by Christian Boyd as "living our theology (primary and secondary) and practicing social science theologically, [so that] our minds are renewed and the community formed nurtures a new imagination for being and doing church."Shunning
Shunning can be the act of social rejection, or emotional distance. In a religious context, shunning is a formal decision by a denomination or a congregation to cease interaction with an individual or a group, and follows a particular set of rules. It differs from, but may be associated with, excommunication.
Social rejection occurs when a person or group deliberately avoids association with, and habitually keeps away from an individual or group. This can be a formal decision by a group, or a less formal group action which will spread to all members of the group as a form of solidarity. It is a sanction against association, often associated with religious groups and other tightly knit organizations and communities. Targets of shunning can include persons who have been labeled as apostates, whistleblowers, dissidents, strikebreakers, or anyone the group perceives as a threat or source of conflict. Social rejection has been established to cause psychological damage and has been categorized as torture or punishment. Mental rejection is a more individual action, where a person subconsciously or willfully ignores an idea, or a set of information related to a particular viewpoint. Some groups are made up of people who shun the same ideas.Social rejection has been and is a punishment used by many customary legal systems. Such sanctions include the ostracism of ancient Athens and the still-used kasepekang in Balinese society.Strange Parcels
Strange Parcels was an industrial hip-hop group, formed in 1991. The nucleus was guitarist Skip McDonald, drummer Keith LeBlanc and bassist Doug Wimbish. The group also enlisted the aid of numerous guest musicians, including Mark Stewart, Bim Sherman, Jesse Rae, Talvin Singh and Basil Clarke.Structural cohesion
Structural cohesion is the sociological conception of a useful formal definition and measure of cohesion in social groups. It is defined as the minimal number of actors in a social network that need to be removed to disconnect the group. It is thus identical to the question of the node connectivity of a given graph. The vertex-cut version of Menger's theorem also proves that the disconnection number is equivalent to a maximally sized group with a network in which every pair of persons has at least this number of separate paths between them. It is also useful to know that k-cohesive graphs (or k-components) are always a subgraph of a k-core, although a k-core is not always k-cohesive. A k-core is simply a subgraph in which all nodes have at least k neighbors but it need not even be connected. The boundaries of structural endogamy in a kinship group are a special case of structural cohesion.Suppressive Person
Suppressive Person, often abbreviated SP, is a term used in Scientology to describe the "antisocial personalities" who, according to Scientology's founder L. Ron Hubbard, make up about 2.5% of the population. A statement on a Church of Scientology website describes this group as including notorious historic figures such as Adolf Hitler.The term is often applied to those whom the Church perceives as its enemies, such as those whose "disastrous" and "suppressive" acts are said to impede the progress of individual Scientologists or the Scientology movement.One of the reasons Scientology doctrines portray Suppressive Persons as such a danger is that they are supposed to make people around them become Potential Trouble Sources (abbreviated PTS). Scientology defines a PTS as "a person who is in some way connected to and being adversely affected by a suppressive person. Such a person is called a potential trouble source because he can be a lot of trouble to himself and to others." Hubbard suggested that Potential Trouble Sources make up 17.5% of the population.The Disconnection
The Disconnection is the second album by Carina Round. It was released in October 2003. The album was released in the UK with a cover shot by Anoushka Fisz (wife of Dave Stewart from the Eurythmics who supported her since), then released in 2004 with a different, less disturbing cover photo, on Interscope in the US. The album garnished comparisons to Björk, Jeff Buckley and Robert Plant.