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.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Scientology's Demise

There have been a number of debates about what will happen next for the Church of Scientology and for the belief system of Scientology itself.

Some contend that, after David Miscavige has gone (in whatever manner that happens), someone or some group can take over and reform the church, getting rid of its abusive, criminal and fraudulent policies. Some merely hope for a reversion to "pure L. Ron Hubbard" Scientology. Some declare they will not rest until the Church of Scientology has ceased to exist.

But all these debates miss one very vital piece of information: Scientology has been destroyed -- not the organization, the belief system.

Let me explain why, in my opinion, this is so.

When L. Ron Hubbard created Scientology, he used two very powerful, and related, mechanisms to create and sell it: Secrecy and mystery.

Secrecy was important, because truth was an enemy to Hubbard's goals. Hubbard told many lies about his life, about his accomplishments and about his actual work. It was important that the truth about his life and work remain secret. In this way, he could pass himself off as "master of all knowledge and disciplines". Later, his location and the actual location of church management had to be secret. The church's statistics, and just about everything else, are secret.

Of course, this culture of secrecy allowed tremendous abuses to take place that are only now being revealed.

More importantly, mystery was very key to selling Scientology. As time went on, more and more of Scientology needed to be "kept confidential". The Power Processes, the Clearing Course, the OT Levels, the Ls, and more.

Most non-Scientologists believe these levels were kept confidential because they were actually bogus, which isn't entirely true. Certainly these levels are bogus, no one actually gets the results promised, but the primary reason so much of Scientology is confidential is because "mystery sells". Hubbard was very well aware of this, he actually said so many times. Mystery sells. If you refuse to tell people exactly what you are selling, but drop various hints about how "absolutely amazing" it is, you can sell anything.

True Believers of Scientology firmly believe that, somewhere within these mysterious Upper Levels of Scientology, amazing and wonderful things will happen. They have bought the mystery. Because all details are hidden, because those who have, supposedly, reached these upper levels are pledged to secrecy, because the vague promises are so amazing, they believe. Mystery is very, very attractive.

Secrecy and mystery -- the two primary tools to ensure Scientology's success.

But no more. The only people who are still in the dark are the True Believers. Everyone else knows the full facts about Hubbard's life, his real accomplishments, and all his failures. Everyone else knows exactly what is on all the Upper Levels, and they know the real results and failures of Scientology.

How can you sell people on the concept of Hubbard being "master of all knowledge and disciplines" when they know what a consistent failure he was?

How can you sell people on the mysterious OT III "Wall of Fire" when they all know how absurd, illogical and stupid that "dangerous" story really is?

How can you sell people on how powerful the OT information is -- that it will kill you if you're not properly prepared -- when anybody can read the damn stuff without even a sniffle?

How can you sell people on the amazing "abilities gained" from Scientology, when everybody can see, quite clearly, that no Scientologist has ever demonstrated those promised gains, no matter what level they've attained?

How can you sell people on the wonderful solutions and results from Scientology when they can all see the actual failures, and only failures, from these "solutions"?

The Internet, the critics and Anonymous have ripped the curtain away from Scientology's "Great and Powerful Oz", revealing fraud, scam, failure and lies.

The curtain cannot be repaired. There is no more secrecy. There is no more mystery. And Scientology simply cannot sell itself without those things.

Scientology: Stick a fork in it, it is done.
-

17 comments:

  1. Just Bill,
    One of the most hideous things that this "church" has to answer for is all the careers, youth, art, relationships ad infinitum that were cut short or put on hold in pursuit of the spell woven by that master stage hypnotist and supreme loser [Hubbard]. If there is a hell, I hope the bastard is in the hottest darkest corner of it--other than that I think he was basically good.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes I agree.
    The sheer waste of life is horrible. Lives of good people who wanted to help the world and help people.
    Their skill and generosity could have helped people in many ways.

    ReplyDelete
  3. General Public AYSJuly 5, 2009 at 5:49 AM

    Yes, the taking away of secrecy and mystery is a blow to the cult.
    It's power to con is reduced automatically and will continue to fade but it's reputation is still alive.

    It will remain supported by the likes of Rathbun. I can't quite grasp, with all the severe revelations about his cult, how he can still be a 100% Hubbard acolyte.

    It makes me believe that destroying the secrecy and mystery by exposure is not enough.

    Rathbun is enjoying the spotlight for a while, gaining admirers along the way, but I am not one of them. Leaving a totalitarian system because you don't like the way it's run, but continuing it's life
    elsewhere is no occasion for praise.

    His allegiance is clear even though the curtains have been ripped apart. He left his position highlighting the physical abuse of Miscavige; his misappropriation of funds; his lying to scientologists -not his lying to the 'wogs' which every single cult-member is a party to.

    But how many people see that a more revealing complaint of Rathbun's is Miscaviges 'squirrelling of the tech'?

    Rathbun saw the slow inevitable sinking of the ship with 'Slappy' at it's helm. He jumped into a lifeboat to save himself and LRon Hubbard's reputation. This is a scandal. When punches are no longer thrown and money no longer extorted there still remains the abuse within the ideology.

    ReplyDelete
  4. If whoever tries to breathe life into a fallen Scientology shifted the focus exclusively towards the lower bridge, how would do you think that work out for them?

    ReplyDelete
  5. @General Public AYS

    I agree with you, except I will not condemn someone for what they might do. I'll wait to see what Rathbun actually does.

    I agree that what Hubbard created has a lot of abuse and fraud built right in, maybe that can be weeded out. Personally, I don't see that happening -- those who believe are unlikely to remove anything.

    However, without the secrecy and mystery, I really don't see very many new people being recruited. Without new people coming in, and with True Believers waking up, Scientology, in whatever form, will continue to shrink dramatically.

    So, whoever takes over and whatever they do isn't really important. As long as the truth is out there, the cult will just get smaller and smaller.

    But, we'll see, won't we?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Re: Just the lower Bridge.

    Would abandoning the bogus OT Levels and just focusing on the lower Bridge be a solution for Scientology?

    Nope.

    First, no True Believer is going to abandon the OT levels. In truth, that is what all Scientologists hope for. That's the big carrot.

    But second, the lower Bridge doesn't work either. Grade 0, one of the first, is supposed to produce a person who can "talk to anyone on any subject". That ability has never, ever been produced in anyone.

    In other words, even if it only focused on the lower Bridge, it would still be a complete fraud and scam. It isn't OK.

    If someone, in the Freezone perhaps, worked with all of Scientology's techniques and pulled out anything that provably worked and provably produced permanent gains, then that would be acceptable. If they then promised only what they really could deliver -- and then did deliver that, that would be just fine.

    But seriously, who is going to do something like that? Those who believe in Hubbard and Scientology automatically believe "it works" and are blind to the fact that very little actually does. That's a shame, because there are undoubtedly some workable things hidden in there, lost in the wilderness of false claims and bogus promises.

    ReplyDelete
  7. If only the corrupt "Church" of Scientology was closer to financial demise...
    The CoS is losing members and new PCs are staying away in droves of course, but the sheer amount of money, real estate, duped celebritards and other assets are still formidable. The recent flood of vague, creepy Scientology TV ads only confirms this.
    I wonder how long it will be before Miscavige's PR spending actually starts to do damage to CoS assets.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you for some great posts. You seem to always hit the nail on the head. Being involved with Scientology in the past I can tell you that reform is not in the Scientology dictionary. The David Miscavige takeover was put into place to stop a reform movement. No matter what you feel about Hubbard, you have to see that the current management is working off of “pure tech.”
    I feel the best thing that can happen to Scientology is that people see them for what they truly are and simply stop going or never go in the first place. Shining the light of truth on them is something they can’t handle and it will be their ultimate downfall.

    ReplyDelete
  9. @Les J.

    I do agree with you -- the church has no defense against the truth, and that will be its ultimate destruction.

    However, if I may correct a couple of points. It isn't Miscavige that has and is suppressing reform, Hubbard was always against, and actively fought, any reform. In fact, "attempting to save Scientology" was explicitly listed by Hubbard as a Suppressive act.

    I'd also take exception to your statement that current church management is working off of "pure tech". Now, certainly the application of pure Hubbard tech would result in the eventual destruction of the church, but Miscavige has explicitly ordered that whatever Miscavige says is senior to anything written or said by Hubbard. And he really does order a lot of off-policy actions now.

    So, 1) upper management is no longer operating on pure Hubbard tech and 2) this has greatly accelerated the destruction of the church.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I don't at all understand the "Ron is good, Slappy is bad" inference. Surely Ron was simply a MONSTER and a horrible monster at that. Just look at him on YouTube's "The Shrinking World of L Ron Hubbard". How ANYBODY could EVER have been conned by L Ron remains a mystery to me unless it's just the 'so many people are desperate for help and will believe in ANYTHING' idea - which is probably how it is.... which explains, I suppose Slappy=violent and awful Miss Cabbage.

    ReplyDelete
  11. @Charlie

    It's pretty inevitable: The Church of Scientology is failing, abusive, fraudulent -- it's all Miscavige's fault, "Ron was good and Miscavige corrupted it".

    Not entirely true, but inevitable. Yes, Miscavige corrupted it, but, as you said, Ron was not good.

    But they are different beasts.

    David Miscavige is cunning, but not very smart, and he is a sociopath through and through. Miscavige has no interest in helping people. He only wants to control and hurt. And rake in the money.

    Ron was a con man and actually pretty smart. Of course, he was quite paranoid and vindictive, he stole virtually all "his" ideas and he did create the whole structure of thought control built into Scientology.

    But Ron wasn't a sociopath, he was pleased when something good happened to someone, and he wanted more good things to happen. He may have been a con man and, in his later years, pretty crazy, but he wasn't particularly evil like Miscavige.

    Understand, I agree with you, conning people is a bad thing, Hubbard certainly wasn't a "friend to mankind".

    I think most people were conned into Scientology by the promise that here were "proven tools" that would help others. In my experience, Scientologists are not, as a rule, stupid. Gullible? Hell, yes!

    Luring people in because they really wanted to help others -- promising they would with Scientology may be Hubbard's greatest crime. Scientology didn't, couldn't deliver that help. Using people's own good intentions to con them, what a betrayal!

    ReplyDelete
  12. General Public AYSJuly 7, 2009 at 4:10 AM

    Bill, it may annoy you but I would like to contest the paragraph of yours which includes these words:

    "........... but he wasn't particularly evil like Miscavige."

    Perhaps 'contest' is too strong a word. It appears to be a minor point but I think this opinion must be given a good shaking. It is nothing but the width of a cigarette paper between us Bill, but out of regard and respect for you I feel obliged in commenting on it:

    The true depth of a person lies in the hidden character not in some of their supposedly benign actions.
    Post war interviews of Hitler secretaries have all attested to his kind and gentlemanly regard for them.

    Does this mean Hitler had a good side to him? No, because the 'good' side must be more than superficial to be called anything as substantial as a 'side'.

    Clever evil men always have good manners, are able to smile and to release the odd joke.

    The great difference between Hubbard and Miscavige is STYLE not depth of evil. The latter is clumsy with it, therefore easier to spot.

    It is a QUESTION OF TASTE on our part which one we condemn as more evil than the other.
    This, interestingly, helps to reveal to ourselves how our mind works, and this is as important as how we use it.

    If I had a choice between Hubbard and Miscavige as my main adversary I would choose the latter. His physical brutality does not frighten me as much as the former's 'gentle' ways.

    Hubbard had the potential to be a mass murderer to surpass the number of lives ruined by Hitler (22 m) Stalin (64 m) Mao (71 m) and even the 270 million by the political system of Islam inspired by Mohammed over 1400 years. (all figures give or take a few and open to debate)

    Could Miscavige match any of that? Given the power, perhaps. But he lacks imagination. No self-respecting tyrant would lower themselves with the indulgence in fisticuffs on his scale.

    But back to the point: rather than numbers of deaths or punches thrown, it is INTENT which determines the evil in a person not opportunities carried out. And also not the way they are carried out. Miscavige would be evil even if he was missing both arms. He is an unconvertible wretch. We do not differ on our approach -only on our measurement of him.

    ReplyDelete
  13. @General Public AYS

    I'm never annoyed or upset by disagreement or debate. Love the conversation.

    While I didn't know Hubbard personally, I do know many who did, over many years. These aren't secretaries who were "treated nicely", but top people who worked with Hubbard, saw his good and bad sides and what he accomplished or tried to accomplish. I trust their judgement.

    I sincerely doubt your contention that Hubbard "had the potential to be a mass murderer to surpass the number of lives ruined by Hitler". I think I know the one quote where that idea comes from, but it does not, from what I know, reflect Hubbard's true intentions. I'm willing to take another look if you can come up with other quotes from Hubbard that promote mass killings -- but one quote does not make a mass murderer. Since he never had the power (thank God!) we'll never know what he would have done.

    I am not defending Hubbard. What he created in his con has ultimately damaged and even destroyed thousands of lives. Hubbard laid the foundation for massive abuse and Miscavige took it to its near-ultimate level. In the final analysis, they are two con men who just didn't care who suffered as long as they got what they wanted.

    Who is more evil? There is an interesting debate. You may be correct in calling Hubbard more evil, but not, as you contend, for what he said or what he might have intended, but for what he actually did. He laid the foundation for massive abuse and fraud - it is built into Scientology, he created the super-high-pressure sales machine, he created the RPF, he installed the thought control, he created the ideas of "homo novis", "saving the universe" and embedded paranoia into the very fabric of Scientology. Miscavige, as evil as he is, only has power because of the foundation Hubbard created, without that, he would only be a small-time con man.

    It will be interesting to see how history finally judges Hubbard. I suspect it will be quite harsh.

    ReplyDelete
  14. hey are you still doing the ask the scientologist or did they send a sort of C&D?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Still here, and still doing Ask the Scientologist. I'm just real busy with a few other projects right now, so I haven't had as much time for new articles.

    More soon.

    ReplyDelete
  16. By the way, although I haven't posted an article for a few days, I'm answering many questions on quite a number of older articles.

    Apparently, I'm getting a lot more readers these days.

    I am still pretty busy on Ask the Scientologist, just not always on the front page.

    ReplyDelete

Comments will be moderated. Have patience, I get around to it pretty quick. As a rule of thumb, I won't approve spam, off-topic, trolling or abusive stuff. The rest is usually OK. Yes, you can disagree with me.