Because of various problems with Blogger, I've copied everything as of November 26, 2012 over to WordPress. The new location is Ask the Scientologist. I am not deleting this blog and will still accept comments and answer questions here too, but any new articles will appear at the WordPress location. I apologize if this causes any problems.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Who is in charge of the church of Scientology?

Is there somebody in charge of this group? I heard that a guy named Heber Jentzsch was the President.

Originally, of course, L. Ron Hubbard was in charge. There is a long convoluted story about how he wasn't supposed to be running the church, but he pretty much ran things until just before he died.

Officially, there are multiple levels of organization, with multiple groups of people "in charge" of the church. There was the "Watch Dog Committee", and "Exec Strata", and "CMO Int" and "RTC" (I'll have to post a glossary now), and there was even a "President of the Church of Scientology" (a figurehead position of no power) who was Heber Jentzsch . Supposedly, all these organizations and groups were supposed to watch each other and the church and keep things running well.

However, none of these organizations or groups of individuals have any power any more. In the 1980s, while Hubbard was in hiding, and then died, one person, David Miscavige, took control of the church in a coup d'etat, that eventually gutted all of the upper organizations and groups and left him in sole control.

The staff who were originally in positions of management have all been removed, most are locked up in a pseudo-prison in the church's compound in Hemet, California. Heber Jentzsch is locked up there. Some executives were kicked out or escaped, and many have told their stories.

Oddly enough, although Miscavige has been solely in charge and has been directing things for more than 20 years, he continues to blame all the church's troubles and failures on others. As he gets more desperate, the actions he takes get more grandiose, expensive and ... strange. Except for the poor souls who still believe in him, it could be an entertaining show as the church goes down.

Friday, November 23, 2007

What is "disconnection" and why is it used?

I saw an article in the newspaper about the Church of Scientology forcing members to "disconnect" from their families. I know there are other religions that do this. Do you know anything about this?

The Church of Scientology claims that disconnection is used voluntarily by Scientologists when a person in their environment is upsetting them and serious attempts to handle the upset have failed. When this is the case, according to the church, the person needs to temporarily "disconnect" while getting Scientology training or auditing.

If this were the actual use of disconnection, there is little to argue with.

However, while disconnection might be used in this way, this is not the primary way the church uses disconnection.

The Church of Scientology has created and enforces a bubble around all Scientologists. They are forbidden from getting any negative information about the church - even when completely true. More to the point, the negative information is forbidden especially when it is true.

When a Scientologist finds out about the crimes and abuses of the Church of Scientology, and they speak up about it, they are immediately "declared suppressive" by the church. By church policy, no Scientologist may have any contact with someone who has been "declared". All Scientologists are required to immediately disconnect from anyone so declared. In this way the church can effectively cut all communication to the "declared" person so that the bubble is preserved.

Those who have been executives at the top levels of the church, and who have witnessed the crimes and abuses first-hand, are automatically "declared suppressive" if they are kicked out of that environment, once again to protect the bubble and keep other Scientologists from learning the truth.

The original definition of what constitutes a "suppressive" was quite specific, but has been redefined over the years so that, now, pretty much anyone can be declared suppressive at the whim of the church.

So, instead of being temporary, voluntary disconnection from those who are upsetting a Scientologist, most disconnections are mandatory. It must be done even if the Scientologist is not upset; even if the Scientologist doesn't want to disconnect; even if the connection was beneficial and desired.

Instead of reducing upset, the church's disconnection policy tears apart families and causes upset where none existed. There is no attempt to "handle" first, as that would risk the Scientologist hearing the truth. Disconnection is enforced by the church only to protect the bubble it has created around its parishioners.

However, because the truth is out there, the information does leak in. Those still in the church either witness (or experience) the crimes and abuses first-hand, or learn about it from leaks through the bubble - and they are, in turn declared suppressive. The bubble shrinks.

Undoubtedly, the church will eventually end up a small group of not very bright people, living in their protected, fantasy bubble, and still claiming to be "the fastest growing religion in the world!"

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Why is the Church of Scientology so, so, ...

Why is Scientology so aggressive? They make a huge deal out of the littlest things.
It seems that the church can't learn from its mistakes, it keeps making the same mistakes over and over. Why is that?
Are the people who run the Church of Scientology as stupid as they seem?

The answer to all these questions is pretty much the same. The Church of Scientology is very, very authoritarian. Everything it does and has done was laid out very thoroughly in policy letters written by L. Ron Hubbard. Not only must all of these policy letters be followed to the letter, but staff members are not supposed to do anything but what is in these policies.

The policy letters reflect Hubbard's personality and his methods and are considered, by most Scientologists, perfect. So there is no need to ever change them. The aggression and quirky way of doing things comes totally from Hubbard.

As Hubbard died many years ago, and hasn't come back to rewrite these policies, the church is stuck. This means the church cannot change, cannot learn from its mistakes, cannot alter its course, no matter how obvious it is that the policies don't work.

This has led to the Internet pastime of baiting the church -- you say certain things, the church must always react the same way, no matter how stupid it looks and no matter how painful it is to shoot themselves in the foot yet again.

A recent BBC program by Panorama set out to specifically show that the church's methods and reactions hadn't changed over the years. They baited the church and the church reacted exactly as predicted, and shot themselves in the foot.

The question as to why Scientologists still consider Hubbard's policies to be perfect in light of its long history of failure and the subsequent decline of the church is another question -- for another day.

Do Scientologists really believe in that alien stuff?

That really weird stuff on South Park and on some sites on the Internet about Scientology and aliens, is that really what Scientologists believe?

Some probably do. But most don't. Well, the amazing thing is that most Scientologists don't even know about that "alien stuff".

The truth is, to Scientologists, that "alien stuff" is part of the upper levels, which are confidential. Only a minority of Scientologists have reached those upper levels. The other Scientologists are not allowed to see or know about that stuff, and just about all of them comply with that rule. They are told that reading this material before one is "ready" will make you very ill or even kill you.

This means that they avoid South Park and many sites on the Internet. Also many magazines, news media and so forth. It's kind of tough trying to avoid all this stuff that's out there.

This has led to the very strange situation where more non-Scientologists have read the upper level materials than Scientologists.

If you attempt to talk to a Scientologist about this material, they will either give you a blank look, or get upset because they think you are trying to kill them. It's only amusing the first few times you try this.

Just Bill

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