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, November 20, 2010

Why Scientology Isn't a Future Danger

"Scientology" as practiced within the Church of Scientology is 100% pure cult-control. This "church" is a greedy, dishonest, fraudulent and criminal organization.  However, it is no longer dangerous in a broad sense because it is extremely small and currently in the last throes of collapsing.  It has no future and its danger is primarily to those still trapped inside the cult.

But what about Scientology outside of and disassociated from the Church of Scientology?

Anyone who has read this blog knows I am not an apologist for Scientology and its cultish thought-control, but I do contend that it isn't, and will never again be, as dangerous as some people seem to think it is or could be.

Now, it is true that L. Ron Hubbard created and institutionalized the abuses of the Church of Scientology -- things like the RPF, disconnection, fair game, "enemy" lists and declares and all such abuses.  These abuses are built into the core of Scientology.  Couldn't that happen again?

Certainly, but I believe that any attempt to implement such abuses outside of the church would result in the automatic destruction of any group that attempted it.

You see, the huge difference between Scientology within the Church of Scientology, and Scientology outside of the church is summed up in one word, "monopoly".  The Church of Scientology contends that it and it alone is the proper and only purveyor of "Standard Scientology".  According to the church, there is no "real Scientology" available outside of the church.  If you are expelled from the church, you are doomed -- any "Scientology" you might get outside of the church is so terribly flawed that it would destroy you.

And so, according to the church, you must remain in the church and you must toe the line and you must do everything they tell you to do or you will be condemned to destruction forever.

And this dogma keeps the True Believers trapped inside the church's draconian control.  Or, at least, it used to.

But now, more and more Scientologists are leaving the Church of Scientology and, if they still believe, they are finding Scientology practitioners outside who also claim to deliver "Standard Scientology".  Suddenly, Scientology is available from hundreds (maybe even thousands) of groups and individuals.  Once someone has left the church, they understand that there is no such monopoly.

And this is why outside Scientology cannot institute the exact same abuses as the church.

Imagine some True Believer, part of some independent Scientology Group A, runs afoul with Group A's leader and "gets declared".  Well, so what?  He or she just goes somewhere else.  If Scientology Group A becomes known for their abuse, they will cease to exist.  If Scientology Group A becomes greedy, they won't get any business.

You will, inevitably, see the following comedy played out in the independent Scientology field: "You're a suppressive! You're declared!", "No, you're the suppressive, you're declared!", "No, you are!", "No, you are!".  Any attempts by one group to implement the abusive parts of Scientology will just become comedy.

In addition, without the million-dollar lawyers of the church, any Scientology group will be held responsible for any and all abuse, fraud and criminal behavior.  These parts of Hubbard's technology cannot be implemented if the group wants to survive.  Any attempt to implement Hubbard's more abusive practices will only lose them customers and, possibly, get them into legal trouble.

One of the most powerful tools against Scientology's abuses is all of you on the Internet.  With all of Scientology's "secrets" and all of Scientology's abuses and failures exposed for all to see, any Scientology group is going to be hard-pressed to sell its "solutions" and its "miraculous results".  The watchful eye of the Internet is not going to go away.

But there's even more.  Outside Scientology is not just in competition with other Scientology practitioners -- it is in competition with every other self-help group, every other philosophy, every motivational speaker, every religion -- in short, they are in competition with every other person and group that claims to make you feel better and improve your life.

And, unlike Scientology, some of those other improvement techniques can actually prove their claims.  This is a completely different world from Scientology's "monopoly" of the past.

I'm not saying those practicing Scientology understand this, I don't think they do.  From what I see, they are still attempting to impose the same cult-thought-control on their membership.  While they don't have the power to impose disconnection, they are still designating a lot of people and many websites as "unacceptable to associate with".  They show signs of withdrawing into private, carefully censored, forums where any dissent is quickly shouted down and quashed.

But, without the monopoly, this kind of cult behavior will only repel potential new members and eventually disgust any intelligent, current members.  Scientologists escaping from the Church of Scientology, and seeing just more of the same abuse and attempted thought control occurring in the "Independent" movement will, for the most part, stay far, far away.

No, any group "promising" Scientology's false claims and exhibiting cult behavior simply cannot expand.  If they are any danger at all, it will only be to their small (and inevitably shrinking) group of "faithful followers".

Scientology's fangs have been drawn.  If it wants to continue at all, it will have to become open and honest.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hiding Scientology

While watching the comments of Marty's group, which has declared itself the "Independent Scientology Group", I have been waiting for them to, well, implement Scientology.

I think it's great they are auditing each other and do Scientology training.  Really.  If someone wants Scientology auditing or training, and someone else provides that, well that's the way it should be.  If no one is harmed, it's nobody's business but theirs.

But what about the other Scientology technologies?  You know, the abusive stuff -- all those "enemy" lists, "Suppressive Person" declares, disconnection orders, "PTS" declares, punishments, lower conditions and all that stuff.

After all, these are key parts of L. Ron Hubbard's technology, Hubbard said so.

Is Hubbard's all-important Ethics Tech not being applied by this group?  Did they realize these were primary policies for abuse?  Are they altering Scientology to make it "kinder and gentler"?

Ah, not so much.  Nothing of Hubbard's can be neglected or modified, that's the rules.

However, they do realize it would look bad if they started declaring people suppressive or PTS, so, like Hubbard banning the words "fair game" while at the same time urging its use, so this "Independent Scientology Group" simply doesn't use those words.

The people they have determined to be "suppressives"?  Apparently, they use the label "haters".  Suppressive groups are, therefore, called "hater sites" or "hater blogs".

Gee, isn't this the same code word, and the exact same meaning that the Church of Scientology uses for "suppressives" when they try to hide Scientology's abuse from "wogs" (non-Scientologists)?  Why, yes it is!

If you've been labelled a "hater" by this group, congratulations!  Apparently, you've been declared a suppressive.  No "Independent Scientology Group" member may talk with you.  They are supposed to disconnect from you.

And how about declaring people "PTS" (Potential Trouble Source -- someone "connected to a suppressive")?  Are they implementing that bit of "tech"?

Yes, indeed.  Look at how, and at whom, they direct the word "natterer".   It's a code word for "has overts" (has done "bad" things), and for "PTS".

So you have "natterers" and "natter boards" to indicate those who might still be Scientologists, but who are not considered "pure".  You see, these "natterers" have been corrupted by the "haters" to say bad things about Hubbard and/or Scientology.

Good Scientologists will not associate or communicate to these PTS people or groups, but there is still hope that, if the "natterers" disconnect from the "haters", they might still be recovered to "pure" Scientology.

And so it starts: the suppression of divergent thinking; the suppression of any "negative" information; the suppression of any disagreement, discussion, debate, questions or doubts.  These are key policies for creating and enforcing cult-thought-control.  No group attempting to implement all of Scientology would ever neglect these vital thought control policies. 

But they hide it because, in Scientology, if something you do is considered unacceptable by society, you just change its name and continue doing it.  (Apparently, they think "wogs" are too stupid to figure that out.)

Now don't get me wrong.  Scientologists do have the right to say what they want, make "enemies" lists and declare people "haters" and "natterers".  That is covered under freedom of religion and freedom of speech.

But I sincerely doubt that many Scientologists, escaping from the abuses and cult-thought-control of the Church of Scientology, are looking for someone else to control them.

This group is selling a straitjacket for the mind -- but freedom to think, freedom to look and freedom to disagree is just too precious for any intelligent person to buy that "tech".

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Scientology and the Wrong "Why" Part 2

We have a wonderful opportunity to actually test our various hypotheses, which we discussed on Scientology and the Wrong "Why".

[EDIT: I have been corrected.  When I am referring here to "Independent Scientology", I am specifically referring to the group calling itself that, led by Marty Rathbun and associates.  I do not know about the intentions, activities and plans of any other independent Scientology people or groups.]

With the "Independent Scientology" movement getting themselves all organized and sorting out who are real Scientologists and who aren't, we have an actual, real life test bed for "pure" Scientology and dedicated True Believers.

This will answer the question, quite conclusively, "Is it David Miscavige? Was it a one-time fluke?  Or are the problems displayed by the Church of Scientology actually built into Scientology itself?"

Now, most of us figure we already know the answer to those questions, but it is quite fascinating to see this play out in the real world with real True Believers trying to make it all work.

And, yes, they are doing a bang-up job aren't they?

No, they haven't actually made it to full cult status, but they are making progress.

If you check out their various communications, you will see some very strong indicators of where they are heading.   Disagreements are not tolerated.  If you want to be considered a group member in good standing, you cannot criticize L. Ron Hubbard in any way or find any fault with any bit of Scientology.

The word "hater" is now being used to describe anyone who offers an unacceptable opinion.  And people are being banned for such crimes.

The "Independents" are noting their "enemies" -- those who disagree with them.  Good, upstanding members of the "Independents" must not associate with those "enemies".

There are more and more such indications happening, feel free to add your own observations in the comments.

The "Independent" movement is quite small and it will never grow much, so nothing big will ever happen.  However, it is a fascinating look at how True Believers will implement "pure" Scientology -- even though they have such a clear and immediate example of what will happen if they do not recognize, admit and fix the problems of Scientology.

Scientology is, intrinsically, a cult.  It cannot exist in its "pure" form in a free and open society.  Freedom of speech, freedom of opinion and freedom of thought cannot be tolerated.  Disagreement, dissent, creative ideas, investigation, testing, questions, proof, doubts -- none of that can coexist with "pure" Scientology.

And, because of that, the "Independent Scientology" movement must, inevitably, withdraw from free society and protect itself in its little cave-of-enforced-agreement.

And so we get to watch this drama unfold.  Will this descent into cult-hood continue?  Will some of the members of this "Independent" movement see it and try to stop the descent?  If they try, will anything good happen, or will they just be banned for their "suppressive acts"?  How far will this go before it implodes?

Here is a wonderful example of how "pure" Scientology, applied carefully and rigorously by True Believers, affects an organization -- played out in real time in front of us all.

Who's got the popcorn?