Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass was considered by many to be American history’s most effective advocate for the abolition of slavery. Having been raised a slave and having discovered for himself as a child and young adult the very mechanics by which slave-holders were able to hold others in bondage Douglass imparts an important message. For those who have worked under Miscavige the relevance is quite obvious.
“It would astonish one, unaccustomed to a slaveholding life, to see with what wonderful ease a slaveholder can find things of which to make occasion to whip a slave. A mere look, word, or motion, — a mistake, accident, or want of power, — are all matters for which a slave may be whipped at any time. Does a slave look dissatisfied? It is said, he has the devil in him, and it must be whipped out. Does he speak loudly when spoken to by his master? Then he is getting high-minded, and should be taken down a button-hole lower. Does he forget to pull off his hat at the approach of a white person? Then he is wanting in reverence, and should be whipped for it. Does he ever venture to suggest a different mode of doing things from that pointed out by his master? He is indeed presumptuous, and getting above himself; and nothing less than a flogging will do for him.”
Those who have received or witnessed Miscavige’s serial beatings and physical and mental hazings will recognize that his tortures are prompted by precisely the same uppity types of conduct Douglass witnessed the slaveholders similarly reacting to.
But Douglass goes further. He figured out why slaveholders must treat their slaves in such fashion. And why, like Miscavige, slaveholders must also commit such atrocities in the presence of the friends and co-workers of slaves, why slaveholders must continually threaten and execute the dividing of families of slaves, and finally, why slaveholders must severely limit the slaves’ access to information, particularly information that might empower one to think and act for his or her self.
The complete mechanics of how slavery is accomplished and perpetuated can have a remarkably powerful and liberating effect on those once subjected to slavery.
The Autobiography of MALCOLM X
What has Malcolm X got to do with Scientology? Here is a man’s brutally honest moral and intellectual struggle as he comes to grips with abuses in a religious movement that he continued to credit with converting himself from a thug to a religious scholar and human rights leader. The account is candid and personal. Malcolm and Alex Haley detail his criminal young adulthood, his self education in prison, his conversion to Islam and personal reform, his years as Nation of Islam’s greatest proponent and defender, the betrayal at the hands of an egostical, unethical religious leader, and his search for the true meaning of Islam. His evolution from a divisive figure in an aggressive and intmidating group to a dedicated practitioner of a religion he found his own meaning for can provide one with guidance on how to learn to be true to oneself.