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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Scientology's Turning Point

Something has happened in the Church of Scientology that is quite significant. It has taken several years, but the change is now complete.

It hasn't been acknowledged, or even mentioned within Scientology, but the change is radical and comprehensive.

It first became obvious when David Miscavige created and released his so-called "Golden Age of Tech". With this release, Miscavige completely changed L. Ron Hubbard's training methods, courses and checksheets.

One very key element of this change was Miscavige's declaration that everyone's training had been "horribly flawed", even including those trained directly by L. Ron Hubbard.

This is very important. With this release, Miscavige was saying, in no uncertain terms, that Hubbard was wrong, Hubbard had goofed, and that he, Miscavige, had fixed Hubbard's mistakes.

Lest anyone think that Hubbard thought his training might need improvement, here is what Hubbard said about his training.
With what we know now, there is no student we enroll who cannot be properly trained.
L. Ron Hubbard, Keeping Scientology Working Series 1
But what Miscavige says about Hubbard's training is quite different. It was flawed, it was wrong, it didn't work. People who had been trained using Hubbard's methods were improperly trained. And he, Miscavige, the "Savior of Scientology", fixed it.

And only a very, very few Scientologists objected. Of course, any that did object were quickly expelled. They were supporting Hubbard, and that had now become a crime in Miscavige's new Church of Scientology.

Hubbard explicitly said in Keeping Scientology Working that his technology must never be altered by anyone. His instructions, in Keeping Scientology Working, are that every Scientologist must work hard to keep the technology exactly as it was written by Hubbard.

But Scientologists, in the main, didn't do that. The vast majority of Scientologists just let Miscavige make all his changes. They even applauded.

This event was the watershed event for Scientology.

The silence of all the remaining Scientologists gave David Miscavige a blank check to do anything he wanted to with the technology, the administration, with anything in Scientology.

And, believe me, that's exactly what he's done. From that moment on, he knew then that no one would object, no matter what he did.

With Miscavige's next major alteration, his so-called "Golden Age of Knowledge", Miscavige savagely edited Ron's lectures, cutting and splicing to "fix" them. He even had a voice actor who could imitate LRH's voice fill in the words "Hubbard should have said". It was open season on Hubbard's technology.

In all his announcements and releases, Miscavige keeps promoting this concept: Hubbard's training was flawed. Hubbard's lectures were wrong. Hubbard was stupid. Hubbard needs correction -- and Miscavige is the "Savior of Scientology" who is "fixing Hubbard's terrible mistakes".

And, with each step down this road, Scientologists applaud.

Not long ago, David Miscavige issued a commandment from his office: From now on, Miscavige's orders were senior to anything written by Hubbard. No one at International Management objected. This is now the law in Scientology. Most Scientologists don't know this, but if they did, would they object? Or would they applaud?

More recently, with the release of "The Basics" Miscavige has made his message clearer than ever. With "The Basics" Miscavige made significant alterations to Hubbard's books. With these alterations, Miscavige's message is unequivocal: Hubbard was too stupid to see these "major mistakes" in his own books, year after year, reprint after reprint, revision after revision, for over thirty years.

And when Scientologists burned their old LRH-written books, and bought the "new improved" Miscavige books, they were implicitly agreeing: Ron was stupid and Miscavige, the "Savior of Scientology", had "fixed" Ron's work.

Again, most Scientologists applauded. While Scientologists today might not explicitly say the words "Hubbard was stupid and careless", they are agreeing with Miscavige, they are abandoning Hubbard's tech and embracing Miscavige's tech. Hubbard was stupid and Miscavige is smart. Hubbard was flawed and Miscavige will fix everything.

Miscavige didn't get his authority to rewrite Scientology from his accomplishments, which are truly horrible, he got his authority simply because Scientologists didn't object. Scientologists let him do it. Scientologists applauded!

Miscavige has almost no tech training. He studied at Saint Hill but did not complete the Briefing Course. Miscavige has virtually no admin training, none. Miscavige can't audit -- he was stuck on OT VII for many, many years and simply gave up. He has no qualifications for doing anything with Scientology tech. Yet, he continues to make massive changes -- and Scientologists continue to applaud.

Step by step, change by change, Miscavige is erasing Hubbard from Scientology and is creating his own version of the church.

Now, one might argue that his extensive alterations to Scientology might be justified if things got better as a result, but that is definitely not the case. After Miscavige's training "improvements", the number of auditors, and the quality of auditing, deteriorated drastically. Under Miscavige's leadership, the Church of Scientology is collapsing. Under Miscavige's technical "guidance", most Scientologists' progress has slowed, stopped, or even gone backwards while they retread, retrain, and repeat endlessly. Under Miscavige's direction, the Church of Scientology has become a dark organization, full of threats, intense pressure, grinding guilt and frequent abuses.

With their silence, their applause, their purchases, Scientologists have agreed and supported Miscavige's elimination and defamation of Hubbard and Miscavige's extensive revision of Scientology.

The turning point has been passed. Scientologists let it happen. It would be cruel to say that they now have the church they deserve -- but it would be the unfortunate truth.
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22 comments:

  1. Well spotted. It's almost like 9 May 1996 was Scientology's 9/11. Except the violence was behind the scenes as the dissenters were eliminated one after the other.

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  2. Scientology has had its share of socio-paths running the show in its history, but DM is the first since the death of LRH. Without Hubbard to put DM in check, the parishioners should have put him in check by DEMANDING answers to the questions you laid out in your post from a few days ago. But the thought control is SO well done, that never happened and will not happen in the future unless some act of God takes place, like DM suddenly choking on his ham sandwich. But as you said in many other posts, the demise of the cult was laid into its very fabric by LRH himself anyway. Between the cult members laying down supinely and accepting DM's word as Source, and the internet making the cult's abuses known broadly, their days are numbered. For Scientology, the clock is ticking.....

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  3. I believe there was a time when Scientology could have made the transition to a better organization. There have always been pockets of Scientology where the better aspects were emphasized and the bad parts were ignored or, at least, curtailed. If these pockets had been allowed to grow, the Church of Scientology would have been different today.

    With Scientologists agreement to let Miscavige do what he wanted with the church, the possibility of such a thing coming to pass was completely destroyed. Miscavige loves the control, the punishments -- all the bad parts -- and hates anything that even hints at a kinder, gentler Scientology.

    There still may be some small pockets where individual Scientologist still resist the control, abuse, threats and punishment coming from Scientology management, but they are losing.

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  4. This is fascinating to an outsider -- wait, what's the word? Oh, yeah, wog.

    We got a promotional DVD for The Golden Age of Knowledge and The Basics - sent to someone on their mailing list who had apparently moved, and we got bored one weekend and popped it in.

    It was amazing. DM spends over two hours spreading the most glorious news: the materials you've been working with this entire time were wrong! It was all the fault of copy editors! Evil copy editors and transcriptionists with the brains of shellfish! Apparently entire sections of LHR (although the way he said it sounded more like a name than initials - Elarache) has been omitted, placed out of order, or had been written down wrong! In every book! The well-dressed audience was applauding every "correction", but in Wog-World we were asking "why didn't anyone see these errors before?"

    Thus finding this blog - and finding out that yes, this was a transparent money-grab, and finding out that this kind of revision work had been done once before - explained a LOT.

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  5. It certainly makes you wonder how much DM revered LRH in the first place. Probably not too much. And later, when he was trying to get the LRH Biography done as part of keeping the cult in line, he must have had his own realization about what a fake LRH was. Ever notice that after 23 years of trying the bio never came out? That's because it CAN'T come out. They can't prove LRH's flowery claims about his background. All they can do is bring out the "LRH Biographer" Danny Sherman on a stage safely in front of the clapping gleeful Scientologists and feed them a big line of crap. If Sherman put all that fiction in a PUBLISHED BOOK, it would be torn to shreds in book review after book review. Miscavige KNOWS that LRH was a fake which I am sure emboldens him to just dismiss his crap and replace it with DM's own.

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  6. Re: DM's opinion of Hubbard

    I believe this is very true. I'm sure that Miscavige knows that Hubbard was a total fake, a con man, a fraud.

    This is his plan: To shove Hubbard into the background as fast as possible; To prepare Scientologists by implying Hubbard was stupid and incompetent; To "correct" all of Hubbard's work.

    Then, as the true details of Hubbard's lies finally becomes obvious to Scientologists, Miscavige can say, "Yes, but I, the 'great Savior of Scientology', have fixed it all! Hubbard was a fraud, but Scientology is 'good' now."

    The only problem with all of that is that Scientology itself is as much of a fake, con and fraud as Hubbard, and Miscavige's "improvements" are only making it worse. Much worse.

    This is why Scientology's thought control is more important than ever. Without that, no one would go along with Miscavige's plans. As it is, however, he seems to be pulling it off. The few Scientologists still remaining are actually falling for it!

    Sad, and amazing.

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  7. I'm not so sure Hubbard or Miscavige are shams. Seems to me they've doing a fine job of reminding us we don't need them or any system to be free. I was enthralled in the dream called scientology for many years 'til one day a woke up and realized it was a dream. "That was fun and sometimes painful... time to dream something else."

    I was checking your blog to see what's up as I left the church in 1997 and am going to give a talk about my experiences in it.

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  8. Re: Shams.

    Almost everything Hubbard claimed for his life was a lie. Just about everything Hubbard claimed for Dianetics and Scientology has proven to be false.

    Virtually everything Miscavige says is false.

    I call all of that a sham, a con, a fraud. What else would you call it?

    I don't doubt that people have some good experiences in Scientology, I did myself. But the good I found was minor. The lies, false promises, failed results were, and are, huge.

    Those in charge, who can see the big picture, who can see the failures, who are aware of the crimes, the abuses, the fraud -- and are covering all of that up -- are total frauds at best, and, more accurately, criminals.

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  9. General Public AYSMarch 24, 2009 at 2:57 AM

    What an ODD post from 'Maxim'.
    If he is not sure LRuinH and DM are shams what did he wake up from?

    “Seems to me they've doing a fine job of reminding us we don't need them or any system to be free.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong, Just Bill, but doesn’t Hubbard say or imply somewhere that you don’t need his rubbish if you already have OT powers, and that you don’t need them if you don’t want them but consequently damn yourself for that decision ?

    This above sentence by Maxim is a message systems often state, appearing self-effacing, but is only meant as a subtle lure to help you believe you will be able to maintain your independence within those systems.

    It is true, we don’t need “any system to be free” but only partly. We don’t need, meaning: we should not accept, a system which tells us continually what to do. However, we need social, economic and political systems to help and maintain our freedoms.

    The statement by Maxim reduces itself to the level of a common cliche, and, without further elaboration on it’s content’s meaning, appears to be an abuse of words.

    The third odd portion of this post is:

    "That was fun and sometimes painful... time to dream something else."

    Who would leave anything; system, group or activity, if the pleasure outweighs the pain?
    Who but a fool would wake up from one dream and, disregarding reality, step willingly into another delusive and vapourous cloud.

    Lastly, what we are meant to believe is that Maxim left the ‘church’ in 1997. But which one Maxim? Can you give details of your experiences and when and where you will be giving your talk?

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  10. @General Public AYS

    I don't know what's going on with Maxim, but it seems only that Maxim is out of touch with all the information that is now available on Hubbard, Miscavige, Dianetics and Scientology. It happens. People leave Scientology and just get on with their lives -- and don't bother to figure out what happened or what the truth of it all was. So they are left with a lot of strange Scientology-information mixed with reality.

    The good thing is that Maxim is now looking.

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  11. This all seems so...insane. Really, really insane. Radioactively insane.

    I feel like I've stumbled upon a sad little club of not-very-smart people debating the cultural and spiritual ramifications of "Pinocchio". The significance of "The Silver Surfer". Or the teachings of Thommy James and the Shondells. But with the fervor and paranoia one tyoically expects from a terrorist cell.

    It would be amusing, except for such a history of truly scary behavior.

    How is this not dangerous?

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  12. Dear "Just Bill",
    We seem to have some points of disagreement about LRH and SCN. Not the Church, but the Tech.
    I'll just say it up front: I love the Tech.
    I know that LRH told some tall tales about his life. That used to bother me but doesn't any more. SCN is not about LRH, it is about the Tech. He was a writer and I can cut him some slack on his tall tales. It is the cover-up that disgusts me.
    It is dishonest. People get over stuff like that. People have more or less gotten over Bill Clinton's antics. In the big picture, it is no big deal.
    I am not sure where I am going with this. Just a little disappointed that you think the Tech is a sham. I would not call it that. I would say that LRH overstated the claims. And I think he tended to exaggerate. I will go that far.
    That said, some of the result I have gotten with the Tech have been amazing and am grateful for it. I respect that.
    I don't feel fooled by LRH, but I do feel fooled by the Church.
    Regarding the Basics: I did find it quite unbelievable that no one, including LRH, noticed all the out-points in the books for so long. How is that possible? That said, I love The Basics. Go figure.

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  13. @Ann

    Oh, don't get me wrong about the tech. I, too, had some amazing results. I acknowledge that. But they were not what was promised!

    Most often, they were temporary, fading over time -- often quite rapidly. This was not what I expected. After years and years of Scientology, when I looked at how I was doing compared to before, the answer was "somewhat better". And was that from all that Scientology, or just life and learning? "Somewhat better" was a far cry from what Scientology promised. I looked around at other Scientologists and saw pretty much the same thing. Some were doing somewhat better and some were doing worse. But no one was showing the spectacular gains promised.

    The big results, Release, Clear and OT, never appeared. And that makes me mad.

    I have no problem with people applying Scientology and delivering "I fee better" gains. But when they explicitly promise spectacular, permanent gains, Release, Clear and OT -- and never deliver that -- that is fraud and that is wrong and I will take them to task for that.

    Hope that better explains my position.

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  14. Dear Just Bill,
    Thank you for the clarification. As I read your answer, I experienced an unsettling view point shift. I feel a little schitzo. This is because on the one hand I am grateful for the Tech because I have been in situations where I could apply the Tech and the results were very satisfying. Made me feel 10' tall and were awe inspiring.
    That said, looking at the big picture, I would have to admit that I am not really all that happy with my life and this is inspite of having invested a lot of time and money in this activity and I guess I expected something different. And now that you mention it, it does feel a bit like a bait and switch. I got benefits, but not the benefits that were promised. I am beginning to see your point.
    Thank you for your honesty. You have proven to me that it is okay to disagree with you. I had wondered if you would respond.

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  15. @Ann

    Thanks. It is always okay to disagree with me -- that's how I, personally, learn new things. My ideas and attitudes has changed considerably over the years for exactly that reason.

    I appreciate your feedback and comments, as always.

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  16. I just reread my Post of a few weeks ago. That seems like a life time ago. So much is changing for me as I read these sites. So many beliefs, now gone. And yet, I really do believe some of his stuff was genius. The Comm Course for example. That was life changing. He developed/invented/discovered/imagined that, right? That's not a con. And I have blown charge in sessions and experienced permanent changes in view point. No one else that I know of has develped or invented such a thing. It is not just talk, but there are drills and practicals. This seems new to me and sometimes fantastically workable. I had to learn the Supervisor's Code by heart. It is 3 pages long and I to memorize it and know it cold. It took me 3 weeks and I was in tears. But once I got it, something change inside me. My memory improved. And that was GOT. That was not a con.
    But I agree that the end phenomena promised are cons. And I agree, it would have been better if LRH could have been honest. But apparently he couldn't be.
    I just can't wrap my wits around the fact that he was genius in some ways and apparently an incurable liar.
    And I have even begun to wonder about his motivation. Did he really want all men to be his slaves? Because it is actually staring to seem to me like that might have been the case.
    Did he start out wanting to help mankind and then realize he was looking at a real money maker.
    And the autobiography. You are right, it can't be written.
    But what do you think about his motivations. Did you know him?

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  17. @Ann

    It is a hard thing to do, so separate out the fraud from the facts. To make it even harder is a person's tendency to "have wins" when they expect to have wins. Was it the process or was it your expectation?

    It does get all muddied up.

    As for LRH, I never personally met him, but I do know a number of people who did work with him. Their opinions are similar, LRH could be a wonderful person, or a really horrible person. He wasn't all level-headed and serene. As time went on, he became worse.

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  18. Fair enough and thank you for answering. That summation does seem to fit the facts. However, I don't think I have known anyone who could be both wonderful and horrible. I've known horrible people who were sometimes fun and funny. And various other combinations but not wonderful and horrible. It reminds me of the poem about the little girl with the curl in the middle of her forhead. When she was good, she was really, really good and when she was horrible, she was really, really horrible.

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  19. @Ann

    What you probably don't know is that Hubbard was in a lot of pain the last few years of his life. He had broken his arm in a motorcycle accident in the Mediterranean, and had refused to see a doctor about it. This, as you can imagine, left him in considerable pain every day and may explain why he was so horrible.

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  20. Your answer raises even more questions, such as: Why wouldn't a sane person see a doctor for a broken arm? And Why would the Church hide from it parishioners the true condition of its Founder? You don't really have to answer these questions. The answers are pretty obvious. They are not the answers that I wish were true, but wishful thinking has not really ever gotten me anywhere. Thank you for your willingness to be in comm about these matters.

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  21. I've been thinking about the reference "Two Types of People" and wondering if LRH could be the cyclic type person. "There is also a cyclic or combine type who is alternately constructive and disastrous". To me it kind of fits. Your thoughts.

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  22. @Squash Lady

    I have thought about the many faces of LRH for some time -- I think he was much more complex than just a simple dichotomy. He was a genius, a conman, a huckster, a leader, a tyrant, kind, cruel and quite a bit more.

    Crazy? Undoubtedly, but only in some ways at some times. He was a conman that fooled a lot of people but also came up with some very intriguing theories and techniques that, from what I saw, even convinced himself were workable. And some of it does seem to have a beneficial effect.

    In the end, his own life proved that he, at least, hadn't been able to make it work in the ways that mattered.

    Very complex. I would hope that all his personal papers would some day be available for some kind of analysis -- but that seems unlikely.

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