A Scientologist can have trouble making spiritual progress in his auditing or training if he is connected to someone who is suppressive or who is antagonistic to Scientology or its tenets. A suppressive or antagonistic person can also simply be attacking the individual personally, without bringing Scientology into it. All spiritual advancement gained from Scientology may well be lost because one is continually invalidated by an antagonistic person who wants nothing more than to do harm to the person. In order to resolve this situation, one either “handles” the other person’s antagonism with true data about Scientology and the Church or, as a last resort, when all attempts to handle have failed, one “disconnects” from or stops communicating with the person.
As defined by L. Ron Hubbard:
“The term handle most commonly means to smooth out a situation with another person by applying the technology of communication.
“The term disconnection is defined as a self-determined decision made by an individual that he is not going to be connected to another. It is a severing of a communication line.
“The basic principle of ‘handle or disconnect’ exists in any group and ours is no different.
“It is much like trying to deal with a criminal. If he will not handle, the society resorts to the only other solution: It ‘disconnects’ the criminal from the society. In other words, they remove the guy from society and put him in a prison because he won’t handle his problem or otherwise cease to commit criminal acts against others.”
A person who disconnects is simply exercising their right to communicate or not to communicate with a particular person. This is one of the most fundamental rights of Man. For as Mr. Hubbard pointed out:
“If one has the right to communicate, then one must also have the right to not receive communication from another. It is this latter corollary of the right to communicate that gives us our right to privacy.”
There is no policy in Scientology that requires Church members to disconnect from anyone, let alone family and friends who simply have different beliefs. On the contrary, the Church encourages excellent family relationships, Scientologists or not, and family relations routinely improve with Scientology because the Scientologist learns how to increase communication and resolve any problems and conflicts that may have previously existed.