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.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ask a Question

I find it inconvenient when the questions go past 200 and I have to click to go to the next page to see the most recent questions and answers.  I'm sure you do too.  So, I'm starting yet another Ask a Question thread.

There are some really great questions and discussions in Ask a Question 1, 2, 3 and the just-retired one, 4.  I always enjoy going back and reading them.

You want to know something about Scientology or the Church of Scientology, ask here!  You have a suggestion?  Put it here.  You want to start an argument or discussion?  Here is the place.  All non-troll, non-spam comments, suggestions, arguments, corrections are greatly appreciated.

Scientologist's contributions are still welcome.  Trust me, I don't bite.

As always, I love to hear from you.
-

239 comments:

  1. Dear Just Bill:
    Have you ever known about the Brazilian who went almost broke then at the Freewinds did the Competence and Leadership Course, increased 6X his company sales and returned seven times to the ship? Is that true?

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  2. Re: Brazilian "Success Story"

    No, I haven't heard that story and I wouldn't believe anything published by the Church of Scientology, ever.

    If I cared and if I investigated this "success story", here's what I'd find:

    1. Scientologist has a going business, doing fairly well but "went almost broke" because of the super-heavy pressure from the Church of Scientology for more and more money.

    2. Scientologist goes to Freewinds and learns "Hubbard's Admin Tech".

    3. Scientologist goes back to his company and using this new knowledge forces staff to sell far beyond what the company can support, using very questionable methods.

    4. This results in a few months of exceptional "stats" followed by ...

    5. ... the inevitable and complete destruction of his once-functioning company because of lies, horrible customer service and failure to deliver.

    The "success story" would have been written step 4, just before he destroyed his company for good.

    Go ahead and check it out. I know that's exactly what you'll find.

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  3. If there was just one OT this site wouldn't exist.

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    Replies
    1. No - that's false. We have the freedom of speech.

      Delete
    2. Not in Scientology you don't. Scientology vehemently suppresses freedom of speech whenever and wherever it can. Can Scientologists say anything they want? No, only what is approved by the church. Can Scientologists read anything they want? No, only what is approved by the church. There is no freedom of speech within Scientology.

      The only reason my blog continues to exist is because the Church of Scientology doesn't have the power to destroy it.

      Delete
  4. Please explain to me how its "abuse" if you voluntary chose to do something?

    A scientologist, with full knowledge of scieno policy, decides to get an abortion so she can stay in sea org. She eventually gets out of scientology, and finds herself broke with no friends, family, or job. She begins to get angry and bitter, and re-characterizes her past bad choices to have an abortion and to give her money to scientology as "abuses".

    But something doesn't become "abuse" simply because you regret it later on. We are all responsible for our choices, even scientologists.

    This is why anti-scientology requires you to accept brainwashing theory, which can be summarized as “It’s not my fault! I was brainwashed and dumb!”

    It's complete crap. Scientology is a terrible religion, but ex-scienos need to start taking full accountability for their past choices. Claiming to be "brainwashed" isn't some get out of jail free card nor is it a legal defense. There are real victims of abuse out there who had no say-so in getting abused. And for ex-scienos to re-characterize their past stupid choices as “abuse” is offensive to real victims of abuse.

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  5. Re: How it's "abuse"

    It all depends on what you're talking about when you say "abuse".

    I'd say, when the leader of the Church of Scientology, David Miscavige, backed by a dozen bodyguards and sycophants, starts beating up someone, that's abuse. But, of course, you appear to be talking only about the forced abortions in the Sea Org.

    From your post, I assume you don't understand how cults do use thought control to attain absolute control over their followers. You should read up on the subject because it is more prevalent than you might imagine and it is quite real.

    In Scientology, its followers totally believe that Scientology offers the only road to ultimate salvation. You know it doesn't and I know it doesn't, but they really do believe it.

    Therefore, Scientology, by threatening to "take away" a Scientologist's only road to Total Freedom, can actually have total control over the Scientologist's behavior and even their thoughts. This threat can be very powerful to a believer.

    Understand, also, that the threat of "disconnection" means that her husband would be forced to divorce her (assuming the husband is a true believer as well). This would, of course, be devastating.

    While the Sea Org woman is being pressured to have an abortion, she is put on heavy physical labor, little sleep and poor food. You can easily see how this also would affect her ability to think.

    I'm sure you can't understand how this is even possible but you should read up on cults.

    A pregnant woman, who is very much a believer, can be made to have an abortion that she doesn't want by these kind of threats and physical duress.

    It sure sounds like abuse to me. That isn't how any decent group would treat a pregnant woman: Physical duress, no sleep, bad food, threatened divorce -- plus a lot of yelling.

    This is real abuse, not imagined abuse.

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  6. Can an auditor bring me back to my childhood to find out what happened to my favorite toy?

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  7. What could happen if an NOI member recalls being a slave owner? Have other past "recalls" been cross-racial?

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  8. Re: Childhood toy

    LOL! That would be interesting! There is no Hubbard approved process for that.

    But this kind of thing is more a factor of how much you believe.

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  9. Re: NOI

    According to Hubbard's theories, this would be highly likely, in actual fact.

    According to the theory, when one has hurt another, you "switch valences" with that person and become the victim.

    In other words, you would expect the slave owner to show up as a slave in his next life.

    Now, what a member of NOI would do if they recalled a past life as a white slave owner I cannot predict. I imagine they'd stop believing in past lives.

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  10. If one was to liken the "The church of Scientology" vs it`s opponents to a war, and you were the General of the opponents....
    What would your orders be to your army ?
    What strategies would you implement to force Scientology to close its doors for business as soon as possible ?

    There is no right or wrong answer...

    Just want someone with your obvious intellect and experience to give some guidance to the masses.

    Randomx

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  11. @Randomx

    Re: Closing the doors of Scientology

    In a very real way, we've all done that already. I understand some of their doors are still open, but they really are no longer in business.

    They are only "making money" by feeding off their most loyal (and wealthy) members. They are not expanding, they have virtually no new members, all their "thousands" of groups and missions have disappeared and even their "ideal orgs" are being foreclosed on.

    No business can survive in these self-imposed conditions.

    What is and has been done to bring the crimes, abuse, lies and fraud of the Church of Scientology to an end have been extremely effective. I'd tell anyone who cares to listen: Continue what you're doing.

    If Australia mandates fair wages for Scientology staff, if the IRS takes an honest new look at Scientology's "religious activities", if Great Britain and other countries take a look at the tax fraud scam linked to the Australian Church of Scientology... if those things come to fruition, we will see Church of Scientology doors closing quickly.

    But, even without that, the Church of Scientology is done, toast, defunct. Zombie. It's just a matter of time before David Miscavige takes all the money and escapes to a country with no extradition.

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  12. I was wondering what the e.p. is for objective 2?

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  13. @ezmny29

    Re: "Objective two"

    I'm not entirely sure what you are asking. There are the "Objectives" which are lower level processes dealing with the physical universe. I forget what the "end phenomena" for any of those are.

    Then there are the two Objectives of Scientology laid out by David Miscavige in a speech in 1995 in which he said, in part:
    "Objective One - place Scientology at the absolute forefront of Society. Objective Two - eliminate psychiatry in all its forms."

    If you are asking about that "Objective Two", then the "EP" would be no more psychiatrists.

    As I said elsewhere, every year the Church of Scientology promises that this year they will eliminate psychiatry. And every year, psychiatrists don't notice they've "been eliminated".

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  14. Why is an SP one hundred times more powerful that an OT8?

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  15. @Dave

    Because our hearts are pure?

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  16. LOL. Okay Bill, let me rephrase the question. Why do Scientologists think that an SP is one hundred times more powerful that an OT8?

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  17. @Dave

    Re: Why Scientologists think SPs are so powerful.

    Seriously, Scientologists cannot and will not think like that. The fact that the slightest association with an SP will ruin a Scientologist, even an OT8, is accepted but not evaluated by Scientologists.

    Scientology has the "answer" to SPs, of course: Simply run away and hide (disconnection).

    Belief in Scientology requires a lot of such "thinking". Believe what Hubbard says but never use logic to evaluate what it all means.

    Hubbard's "solution" to SPs was to "dispose of them quietly and without sorrow." SPs are, according to Scientologists, "low toned" people. "The sudden and abrupt deletion of all individuals occupying the lower bands of the tone scale from the social order would result in an almost instant rise in the cultural tone...".

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  18. Hi Bill -

    For the sake all those who have served in the REAL Navy with quiet heroism:

    Re the "tone scale": long before psychological testing was common, the pre WWII Navy had a rule of thumb; 10% of a group are leaders; 5% will be trouble; of the 5%, 3% will be incorrigible. This worked out to be pretty accurate. I learned this from my dad, a career officer.

    I'm convinced this is where LRH got his tone scale ideas. He also mentioned percentages. That, and his toy navy, are an insult to a proud Service . LRH and my dad were in the same area but I don't think their paths crossed or my dad would have mentioned decking some blowhard who'd torpedoed Mexico....

    Sheepherder

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  19. Oh dear. ' IS an insult', not 'are'. Dang. I do know better.

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  20. Hello, Bill. I see that the St Petersburg Times has come out with another series of articles about the CoS, this time focused on the church's unethical fundraising techniques. As usual, the church supplies an official response, smearing the character of apostate sources and attacking the religious bigotry of the reporters. The difference, though, is that Tommy Davis is nowhere in evidence, and Karen Pouw is now listed as Scientology's "Public Affairs Director," complete with publicity headshot. What's your educated guess about what's going on with Tommy Davis? Did he "blow"? Is he shackled beneath a desk in Hemet? Do you think the fact that his mother is a celebrity lends him a measure of protection against the sort of abuse some other execs have evidently undergone?

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  21. Re: Tommy Davis

    Yes, Tommy was somewhat protected by his mother's status as a celebrity. I believe he has been punished by Miscavige quite a number of times but was spared the RPF until now.

    Given that he has simply disappeared and hasn't been seen for quite some time, it appears that his mother's influence wasn't enough this time. Looks like he's on the RPF for good now.

    Eventually, anyone doing work for Miscavige must be blamed for Miscavige's inevitable and total failures. It was just Tommy's turn.

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  22. I would like to know about specific persuasion and propaganda techniques used by scientologists. If you are familiar with the book "Age of Propaganda" by Anthony Pratkanis and Elliot Aronson, and some propaganda tactics they mention such as 'words of influence' 'granfalloon technique' and 'repetition,' it would be helpful if you can give examples of how these relate to scientology. Also, Ive read that certain types of mind control or hypnotizing would be used in "TR" trials. Are these claims valid?

    Its difficult to do extensive research. Everything seems very repetitive and non formative. I would appreciate any information you can supply me with.

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  23. Re: Scientology persuasion techniques

    I am certainly no expert on such techniques of mental manipulation -- other than having been the victim of it and talking with other victims.

    Hubbard was said to have been a very skilled hypnotist and he very much felt that you had to secretly manipulate people to do what you wanted them to do.

    Obviously, Scientology's promotion and dissemination was designed to do that.

    However, despite all that, I'd say that Scientology's structure and method of mental manipulation is much more aligned with the cult pattern.

    Key to Hubbard's teachings are the them-against-us mentality, super-powerful secrets known only to the elite, an all-knowing guru leader and so on. I wrote about the cult aspects of Scientology in Is Scientology a Cult? and other articles.

    The subtle persuasion and propaganda techniques are incidental to the deep mental conditioning that Scientology engages in. Of course, all methods may be used to bring people in and keep them.

    Speaking of the TRs, I'm not convinced that the TR drills are hypnotic in themselves. I, personally, did not find them so, but others have. It depends on the person -- which would make them very ineffective tools for that purpose.

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  24. Bill, I've been reading through the questions above (yours is a great site), and the one about SPs being more powerful than OTs raised another, more basic, question in my mind. Do Scientologists believe that those at the top of the "bridge" actually have extraordinary powers? If so, why? (I'm not aware of any evidence to support that idea, beyond pointing toward members who are wealthy or famous.)

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  25. Re: Extraordinary powers

    Great question. The answer, however, isn't so easy. Short answer is: Some do, some don't.

    Most Scientologists do believe that each and every OT level confers more and more super-human powers. They believe that the only reason they never see any powers is that all the OTs hide those powers to keep from upsetting the non-OTs. They think that, maybe, OTs play with their OT Powers when they are alone or with other OTs.

    Hubbard has warned, in a number of early lectures, that OTs shouldn't go around upsetting "the locals". Let's face it, that's a pretty impressive warning and certainly could be used to "explain" why OTs don't demonstrate any powers at all.

    However, once a Scientologist has started on the OT levels, they start to realize that the OT levels (at least the ones they have done so far) do not result in any super-human powers. The higher they go, the more they begin to suspect that OT 8 is not going to result in any "OT Powers" either. Once they finally reach OT 8, they are usually not surprised at the lack of "OT Powers.

    However, if they remain True Believers after OT 8, they will believe that the yet unreleased "higher OT levels", will finally, for reals this time, give them the promised powers. Such believers will adamantly refuse to accept the fact that there are no "higher OT levels".

    That's the long answer.

    Your mention of wealthy Scientologists reminds me of a joke: How does Scientology produce millionaires? Well, first, you start with a billionaire...

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  26. I've encountered several anecdotes now of how a "contact assist" alleviated pain, most recently in the SP Times where Hy Levy claims a contact assist stopped the bleeding from a hand injury. Since these anecdotes are from exes and critics (such as Levy, Larry Anderson and Jeff Hawkins), I don't simply dismiss them as Scientology propaganda. Can you provide any insight? Is this simply the placebo effect?

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  27. What is likely to happen when (and if) an Ideal Org starts falling behind on their bills, and the local public run out of money/patience to keep it afloat?

    Will CoS reallocate funds from elsewhere (against policy) for the sake of appearance, or admit failure and let it close?

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  28. Re: Contact Assists

    This is one of those lower level things in Scientology that actually appears to work. Not for everybody, of course, but more than just a few.

    It does not appear to be a placebo effect, since it has worked on non-believers and people who haven't even been told what to expect.

    Why it works, when it does, I can't explain. If the rest of Scientology worked like this, we'd all be OTs.

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  29. Re: Failing orgs.

    We know that many orgs have failed or are failing already. Previously, nearby orgs were consolidated but that "solution" can't be done any more.

    It appears that Miscavige is perfectly willing to let orgs fail -- up to a point. Buildings purchased for "Ideal Orgs" are being foreclosed or sold and Miscavige appears willing to let that happen. There are fewer and fewer staff and less and less services -- and Miscavige appears willing to let that happen as well. He also ignores that fact that the orgs are deeply in debt and falling quite far behind on their bills.

    Almost all of the Scientology groups and missions have already disappeared and Miscavige hasn't lifted a finger.

    However, I'm guessing that he will step in if the org is in danger of actually closing its doors. What that action might be is the question. He has partially funded some of the "Ideal Orgs" to have something to show at his Big Bogus Events and that might be how he'd handle the orgs most in danger. He'd grudgingly fund them and claim it was the Next Big Thing.

    But he sure hates to give out any of "his" money. As more and more orgs and "Ideal Orgs" fail, I believe Miscavige will just give up and let them fail. That will be the point when he gives up the whole charade and heads for his pre-chosen safe country -- all the while blaming the failures on everyone else.

    That's how I see it, anyway.

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  30. Someone (I think it was you, actually) once commented that David Miscavige is the EP of Scientology - As in, if you follow Hubbard to the letter, that's the sort of unethical totalitarian you become.

    But that makes me wonder - Is it possible that Tiny Dave really *is* a True Believer? That he really believes he has to save Scientology? There's evidence that Ron had some kind of breakdown and wound up believing his own hype by the end; Could COB have gone the same way?

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  31. @David J Mudkips

    Yes, it might have been me. I see someone like Miscavige as inevitable. The organizational structure of the church, the amount of money involved, the very, very faithful followers and the lack of transparency inevitably make the leadership of Scientology someone exactly like Miscavige.

    I see no evidence that Miscavige is a follower of Hubbard. It sure looks like he hates Hubbard. He keeps rewriting everything Hubbard wrote; he doesn't audit and hasn't for decades; he failed his Scientology training and he has issued orders that his pronouncements take precedence over anything Hubbard said or wrote.

    But he is, in my opinion, very much a believer. He believes that he is Source. He believes he can "fix" Scientology. He believes that Hubbard was a fool but that he can figure out all the mysteries of the Universe and rewrite Scientology so that it works.

    Yes, he is quite insane.

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  32. Just Bill, have you heard about the future San Diego Ideal Org? The setup goes like this: San Diego Scientology already has a three-storey office in downtown San Diego, but it's on a narrow street, so it does not look commanding enough. To alleviate this, they bought a property overlooking a freeway in La Mesa, a town just east of San Diego. The trick is, unlike the Pasadena Org, they want to demolish the two buildings on site and construct some sort of collection of buildings or a huge monolith. To make it more complicated, they want to sell their downtown offices and rent them out during the construction.

    That was in 2008.

    Nothing has happened on the La Mesa site at all except for painting over graffiti, grass trimming, and running the lights 24 hours a day in the building closest to the street. The downtown building still has a for sale sign*.

    My question is: can they possibly finish this project? They've been raising money but I think the mother church has been sitting on it. Things are very confused; if you go on Loopnet.com (a real estate website), the La Mesa property is up for sale.

    ***

    If you want to look at the properties, Google Map:

    7380 Parkway Drive, La Mesa, CA.
    1330 4th Avenue, San Diego, CA. (their HQ)
    _________________________

    * They can get away with this because their realtor is a Scientologist, Jon Ben Gerson. He used to run an Applied Scholastics outfit in San Marcos. It went belly up this summer.

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  33. I have been reading some of the background and coourt documents in Victoria Britton's lawsuit for the wrongful death of her son, 20-year-old Catholic college student from Charlottesville, VA.

    It got me thinking how pernicious the doctrine of the Suppressive Person is, and how little anyone writes about it in depth. Usually the focus is on fair game and not on the doctrine which does far more damage through disconnection than fair gaming.

    So I have started to read Intro to Scientology Ethics. It strikes me as having very little to do with ethics as understood in philsophy from Aristotle through Thomas Aquinas to Kant and contemporary philosophy.

    In the book Scientology Ethics appears to be several different things: A Penal Code; a manual of criminal rehabilitation; and a self-help routine to improve your performance in life.

    So much of it has to do with internal Scientology admin and judicial procedure it appears to have little relevance for the wog world whom Hubbard is trying to dazzle with his his brilliance in having replaced the entire western history of ethical reflection in philosophy.

    I would appreciate hearing about what people who are beginning to read the book should be aware of.

    Thanks!

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  34. @Strelnikov
    Re: San Diego "Ideal Org"

    Thanks for the update on San Diego. The only orgs that have been able to make any progress on their "Ideal Org" programs are those with one or more wealthy suckers (I mean "parishioners"). San Diego certainly has those in the Listigs, who have donated millions.

    But how much more will they donate before they realize they have been totally duped? Any further work on San Diego's "Ideal Org" depends completely on how gullible the Listigs are. The needed funds are not coming from the dwindling pool of their other parishioners -- they were tapped completely out years ago.

    From the complete lack of progress over such a long time, I'm thinking the Listigs' gullibility reached its limit some time ago. We'll see, they must be under tremendous pressure.

    I wouldn't be surprised at San Diego's new property being put up for sale. It wouldn't be the first time that's happened in Scientology and it won't be the last.

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  35. @Athanasius Kircher
    Re: Introduction to Scientology Ethics

    I have given your question a lot of thought. Perhaps I should do a "book review" on the book. It is really a piece of work in so many ways.

    One very interesting aspect of the book is that it has a built-in defense mechanism: Hubbard describes this totally evil type of person, the "Anti-Social Personality", the "Suppressive Person" and then says, multiple times, that if you disagree in any way with what Hubbard says about all this, you are a Suppressive Person.

    It's quite clever, really. No one wants to "admit" to being such an evil person, so a person would be reluctant to criticize any of Hubbard's pronouncements.

    The book is filled with a combination of Hubbard's ponderous absolutes and his classic paint-by-numbers, one-size-fits-all "solutions" to everything.

    Threaded throughout is the presumption that Hubbard is always right and that "good Scientologists" will never lie or cheat. If a "good Scientologist" reports a transgression, it is true. If a "good Scientologist" sits in judgement, it is just. If someone follows all the steps, "it worked!"

    And, therefore, the book describes a "technology" that is idealistic and highly corruptible. And, therefore, in actual practice, totally useless.

    Reading Introduction to Scientology Ethics will explain many of the failings of the Church of Scientology.

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  36. "I wouldn't be surprised at San Diego's new property being put up for sale. It wouldn't be the first time that's happened in Scientology and it won't be the last."

    The problem I have with them selling Coleman College is that they are still fundraising for the renovation-demolition-construction of that property at the same time. Anonymous "member" Xenubarb has called this fraud and I agree.

    I did not hear about the Listigs; I have heard about a similar wealthy couple, the Duggins, who paid for 7380's back property taxes....I think the whole "Ideal Org" project is insane. Through the fictitous business names website I have discovered that Scientology in San Diego has had three different buildings since the mid 1970s; that the first Scientology mission was in La Jolla (a beach community north of SD) during 1971. There may have been earlier missions, but the records seem to start in 1969-70 for SD Scientology. What I find interesting is that there are no mentions of the mission Co$ was running on Adams Avenue in San Diego in the mid 1970s. My point in bringing all this up is that I feel Scientology would be better off working out of a converted house than wasting all this money on huge empty buildings.

    Related to all of this is the fate of David A. Meyer, the head of the SD-Co$ "church." He was the guy who jumped in with the Mormons to support Prop 8, before that he tried to ram-rod an anti-hate speech propostion on to the La Mesa City Council and was rebuffed. Now he has this La Mesa albatross around his neck AND he is a WISE member (he runs a guitar factory.) I haven't heard or seen much of him since the Prop 8 debacle; I'm guessing he's in a lot of trouble with Miscavage. Do you know anything about him?

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  37. Addendum:
    I forgot to add that Scientology is still claiming the Chula Vista mission is open, when it shut down sometime in the last two years. The only survivor of all these churches, Orgs, and Missions is the downtown office on 4th ave. Scientology is nearly defunct in San Diego county.

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  38. "Scientology is nearly defunct in San Diego county."

    And yet they had money to donate to Proposition 8?

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  39. Re: Proposition 8

    That is a very good point. Not only didn't they have the money but they are forbidden by policy from "wasting" money on such non-essentials. The donation wouldn't have been paid by the San Diego.

    It must have been paid for personally by David Meyer who, apparently, made the donation in the church's name. Extremely bad move on his part.

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  40. Re: San Diego's "Ideal Org"

    They have to keep fund-raising for their "Ideal Org". Even as they are forced to sell the new property, they cannot "give up". They have no choice, they are not allowed to stop trying.

    I haven't heard anything about David Meyer for long time. He isn't the head of the San Diego church, he is the "President" -- a fake title meaning OSA spokesperson. Geri Fischman is the actual head of the church.

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  41. Thanks for the comments on Ethics. I think it would be great if you did a review on the book. I haven't been able to find anything resembling a critical analysis anywhere.

    I have another question. I noticed the scilons in the Amazon reviews as well as Greta Van Susteren saying how much they like Ethics.

    Do scilons practice Ethics in private as sort of a problem solving/self help technique using the Conditions etc. or is it mostly done with an Ethics Officer breathing down your neck.

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  42. @Athanasius Kircher
    Re: Reviews by Scientologists

    A Scientologist must proclaim how much they love Scientology Ethics. After all, "Good people" love Scientology Ethics, bad people hate it."

    Do Scientologists practice Ethics in private? They certainly are supposed to. Every interaction with another person requires the application of the correct "Conditions Formula". Every endeavor has its own condition and requires the application of the correct formula. This means, literally, hundreds of different "conditions" with each requiring application of the appropriate "formula".

    Of course Scientologists don't do this. Some might occasionally "apply a conditions formula" in their private life for one or two activities but, because it's a procedure without any particular benefit, it isn't done much.

    As a result, being "assigned a condition" and having to "apply a conditions formula" is synonymous in Scientology with the lower conditions, Liability, Doubt, Enemy, Treason and Confusion. These are done under the strict "guidance" of the Ethics Officer.

    Normally, these are the only times when a Scientologist "applies condition formulas".

    If you want to understand the emphasis of Scientology Ethics, note that there are three conditions above "Normal" and eight conditions below it. The negative is much more important than the positive. With each of the "lower conditions" there comes specific punishments. In contrast, there are no rewards for the upper conditions -- other than Ethics isn't looking at you quite so much.

    In practice, above the condition of "Liability" no one much cares whether you are "correctly applying the formula". The attention, in Scientology, is all on the negative. When on service, Scientologists are constantly watched and checked for crimes, transgressions and "bad thoughts". You are assumed guilty of something until you have proven yourself "clean" via the E-Meter.

    This is pretty bizarre coming from Hubbard who claimed to believe that "all men are basically good". Sorry, Ron, your "technology" says you believe quite the opposite.

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  43. Re: David Meyer
    Funny, any time the media mentioned him*, he was "the leader"; I guess they took his title at face value. The way I heard it from one of the anti-Scientology message boards was that Meyer had taken his position from a woman - I assumed it was Gerri Fischman. Looking Mrs. Fischman up however dispelled all those notions; like Jon Ben Gerson she's been high-end OT since the 1980s. Meyer was rushjobbed to his present OT level in the mid-2000s. Also, my understanding on Prop 8 was that the SD church supported the measure in print, but not by sending cash.

    ___________

    * There was a puff-piece in the North County Times with his photo back in 2007 or so. Through the fictitous business listings I found out he was the person who signed for the San Diego church when they moved to 4th Avenue in 1994, so he's been their catspaw for years. It's a wonderful way of shielding the true leadership, calling your spokesperson the "president."

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  44. Quick note about contact assists. I wouldn't rule out placebo-like reasons. If the person giving it believes it will work the recipient can pick up on that whether they believe it or not.

    Studies on placebos have shown that they are more effective if the doctor administering them doesn't know that they are placebos.

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  45. Re: Contact Assists

    Well, I'll not argue with you. I have no vested interest either way.

    Not saying this is your intention, but some people are dedicated to proving that nothing in Scientology actually works. I think that's similar to those who insist that all of Scientology works.

    In my opinion, some of it works for some people. Whether that's placebo or stolen from someone else or really developed by Hubbard isn't that important to me. I use a ton of stuff from many, many sources that seems to work for me and I'm perfectly happy with that.

    I would love to see Scientology tech scientifically studied but Scientologists inside and outside of the church work very hard to avoid that. Can you guess why?

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  46. IMO Touch Assists are similar to “kiss it and make it better,” Therapeutic Touch, Reiki and the “laying on of hands.” They all work the same way--through the placebo effect. Putting a curse on someone is the nocebo effect. Belief, motivation, and expectation are essential to both effects.

    The critical factor is our belief about what's going to happen. Our beliefs and confidence in a treatment, combined with our level of suggestibility can even create significant biochemical effects. Positive expectation is the key to our physical well-being and recovery from injury or illness.

    http://www.skepdic.com/placebo.html
    http://www.skepdic.com/nocebo.html

    ReplyDelete
  47. Re: Placebo

    Like I said, I won't argue with you. We're all just making guesses.

    I would love to see some of these things studied scientifically but there is tremendous resistance from Scientologists which makes that nearly impossible. Such an investigation would require some cooperation from Scientologists and they won't do that.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Re: Scientific testing

    Scientologists claim that all of Scientology "works" but if they truly believed that, they would be anxious to have it all proven in any way possible.

    Their consistent and unyielding refusal to cooperate with any true, independent testing of their claims reveals their actual belief: Even they don't really think Scientology works.

    ReplyDelete
  49. (Anon who posted 10:40AM comment but _not_ 12:14PM comment here)

    Wasn't trying to argue everything Scientology touches is inherently wrong. More that, like placebo research, a lot of Scientology indicates that the human brain is pretty impressive.

    Exactly what else it indicates is up for debate.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Bill, have you ever seen “The Secret” DVD by Rhonda Byrne? http://thesecret.tv/

    It claims that you can manifest anything you need or want simply by believing that you will receive it, by repeatedly thinking about it, and by maintaining a positive emotional state to “attract” it. Our feelings and thoughts can attract wealth, positive relationships and happiness. . Apparently many wogs have used the “secret” to create great health, wealth, and happiness all without taking expensive Scientology courses. How would Scientologists rationalize this?

    ReplyDelete
  51. I have been in Scientology for many years in Clearwater FL and I have a question. Why are so many people leaving the church of Scientology?

    ReplyDelete
  52. I posted the following question earlier. "I have been in Scientology for many years in Clearwater FL and I have a question. Why are so many people leaving the church of Scientology?" I really need an answer as I'm about to "Blow" and leave the Fort Harrison hotel here in Clearwater Fl. I have seen so much abuse and people are leaving daily. Please help me understand this. It's a violation to even be on the internet for me and I have dedicated so much time and energy to the church. Desperately seeking the truth!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Re: Why are Scientologists leaving?

    I will assume you really are a Scientologist and you really want to know. There are many fakes out here.

    The reasons so many Scientologists are leaving are, I am sure, many. But there are common themes that I can list.

    Most Scientologists have seen a disconnect between what they believe Scientology is supposed to be like and what they actually experience within the church. This is not minor, the disconnect is major. The church appears to be quite greedy, controlling and abusive.

    The demands for money never stop. If you give them money, the demands just get worse.

    The church assigns arbitrary punishments and seemingly random demands to "re-do" actions. People are regularly pulled off of courses and actions and forced to do "something else".

    Also, the lack of the promised results eventually becomes too obvious to be ignored. This includes not only each Scientologist's lack of significant progress but also their friends and their Scientology community. Things are not only not getting better but the church appears to be actually making things worse for everybody. The standard excuse for lack of progress is "you're out ethics!" but when everybody is experiencing lack of progress, that excuse grows pretty thin.

    In a larger sense, the church keeps talking about fantastic "wins" throughout the world but nothing ever actually happens in the real world. Eventually, you start to notice that.

    Some Scientologists are just "backing off" and waiting for better days. Some are quietly practicing Scientology outside of the church. More have simply become disillusioned with Scientology in general and no longer have any interest in the subject.

    And, in all this, the vast majority of Scientologist who have left express great satisfaction with their decision.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Re: Why Scientologists are leaving - part 2.

    I see that you really are a Scientologist and really need answers.

    The very, very first thing you need to do is stop thinking with Church of Scientology thoughts and concepts. You deserve a good life, without abuse, without people trying to control you, stop you and make you do things you think are wrong.

    You deserve better. You will enjoy your freedom. Trust me, anything you want is available outside of the church. Nothing of value will be lost when you leave.

    Go!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Scientologist: You have dedicated so much time and energy to Scientology. Stop supporting the oppressive organization that no longer practices Scientology.

    Your support only makes the oppression continue. Stop helping a bad organization continue being bad.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Hi Bill,
    Do you think Shelly Miscavige is still alive?

    ReplyDelete
  57. Re: Shelly Miscavige

    Yes. Barring a natural death, I'd say it's almost certain she is alive.

    David Miscavige won't murder humans because there isn't enough enjoyment in it. He gets off on abuse. He likes suffering: Causing it and watching it.

    No, Shelly is somewhere where Miscavige can make her suffer but far enough away so he can pretend he isn't married.

    ReplyDelete
  58. "....Shelly is somewhere where Miscavige can make her suffer but far enough away so he can pretend he isn't married."

    Twin Peaks? When the Angry Gay Pope went up to the Church of Spiritual Technology in 2010, he thought she might be up there, but of course, there was no sign of her. It is a large property, full of hotel-like "cabins" with the windowshades down.

    I think she's in an outbuilding in Clearwater, being watched by a series of young female Sea Org members who don't know her name and aren't allowed to talk to her, and they switch guards constantly. Like Heber Jentzsch, Shelly Miscavage is probably on the knife-edge of sanity; if either or both are rescued, they're going to need years of therapy.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Re: Shelly Miscavige

    Heck, I'd guess something like Trementina Base. Far, far away and well-guarded.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Have you heard back from the $CN that was thinking about leaving?

    ReplyDelete
  61. Re: Flag staff leaving

    Nope. I hope he/she lets us know what happened.

    ReplyDelete
  62. If you really wanted to leave it should be easy--you just postulate it. Unless of course Scientology doesn't work.

    ReplyDelete
  63. @Dave

    I know you're just making a joke (and commentary on Scientology) but seriously, unless you've actually been in a cult, you'll never know how difficult it is to leave.

    It's just "change your mind", but that is exactly what the cult indoctrination is designed to prevent and Scientology is exceptionally good at that.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Hello, Bill. Many years worth of Miscavige's speeches and Scientology PR videos seem to be narrated in the same "voice." I'm told the man writing all of this stuff is Dan Sherman. My question: with virtually every Scientologist who is involved with public relations having been consigned to the RPF, the "hole," or some severe demotion (or having left the CoS), what is it about Dan Sherman or his position that allows him to remain unscathed?

    ReplyDelete
  65. Re: Dan Sherman

    From an insider:

    Dan Sherman isn't a Sea Org Member, he is a hired hack, paid six figures to write Miscavige's speeches and little else.

    He was originally hired to write the "LRH Biography" (which will, of course, never be completed as Hubbard's false biography has been outed). He did a series of "Ron" magazines, and these days does only speechwriting for Miscavige.

    He lives in a house next to the Int Base in Hemet, purchased for him by Scientology, and kisses ass from dawn to dusk. Miscavige likes his style as he can create speeches that go on and on grandly without ever saying anything.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Hi Bill,

    Re: Shelly Miscavige. I don't think David would have outright murdered Shelly with his own hands, but could she have passed from other causes such as malnutrition? Certainly people of Shelly's and Heber's age would be highly susceptible to wasting diseases, pneumonia and a host of other medical complications due to their treatment & neglect while on the RPF. It seems impossible to me that someone has not yet died while on the RPF. If these bodies were being dealt with properly, don't you think the authorities involved would have noticed the severe conditions of their bodies, and we would have heard about an investigation by now?

    So, what do they do with people who die on the RPF? I'm sure they wouldn't want a coroner examining an obviously malnourished corpse that originated from a $cino property. What do they do with the bodies? Do they drag them out back and bury them on the land? Do they drive by a hospital and dump them outside the emergency room door? Dump them in an alley in a bad part of town?

    I'm totally serious about this. Isn't it possible that they're hiding corpses and Shelly could be dead?

    Thanks so much for answering, Bill. I've lurked for several years on the usual Anti-Scino sites, but your's is the only one I feel comfortable posting on. I think that you are very erudite and always treat people respectfully.

    Signed,
    MeLurkLongTime

    P.S. I became interested in anti-scino information after they set up shop at the bus stop on Canal Street in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. We all had nothing and were all scraping by by the skin of our teeth....and they were trying to sell us books...wow, just, wow.

    ReplyDelete
  67. @MeLurkLongTime

    Thanks for your kind compliments.

    You bring up some very good questions -- which I don't have definite answers for.

    I doubt that the church is hiding bodies anywhere. Quite a number of people have died under questionable circumstances at various Sea Org installations and, while they definitely do try to cover up the cause of death, they have not tried to hide the bodies.

    You'd think the police would make special note of the malnutrition of some of these people. Of course, the church figures it can get away with anything. Just look at what they did to Lisa McPherson in just 17 days -- and they did get away with it -- all it took was a lot of money.

    While I sincerely doubt they have secretly buried bodies, when someone like Shelly Miscavige is just gone (and she isn't the only one), one has to wonder.

    I don't know if we'll ever get the truth on that. I certainly hope we do.

    On your P.S.: It's true! They actually believe that trying to sell books to the victims in Haiti, New Orleans and other disasters is "helping". They are nuts.

    ReplyDelete
  68. I wanted to get back on the matter of contact assists:

    > Why it works, when it does, I can't explain. If the
    > rest of Scientology worked like this, we'd all be
    > OTs.

    and

    > most recently in the SP Times where Hy Levy claims a
    > contact assist stopped the bleeding from a hand
    > injury.

    I find the tendency to attribute natural self-healing properties of your body to some "technique" is fallacious. Except for if you are a bleeder, any wound will eventually stop bleeding. There's no way of knowing after the fact, whether the bleeding would have taken longer to stop had the touch assist not been applied.

    As to the pain relieving properties:
    I experienced a touch assist myself, though I was not in pain at that time. The effect was basically the same as if someone would fondle me. I quite enjoyed it. I was just pissed off because I'd have to keep replying with "yes" to "feel my finger?".
    I'd be willing to bet you could get the effect of the "touch assist" by tenderly stroking someone.

    ReplyDelete
  69. @Ackerland
    Re: Contact assist

    Note that a "Contact Assist" is not the same as a "Touch Assist".

    A Touch Assist is that "feel my finger" routine.
    A Contact Assist is putting the injured body part back in the exact same position/motion/location where it was injured (except, of course, without causing any further injury).

    I won't argue with you because, without any scientific testing and research on this stuff, you might be as correct as anyone on the subject.

    I have my own experiences with this stuff and, therefore, have my own opinion, which I am not trying to sell anyone on.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Hello dear Just Bill:
    Do you know anything about Valeska Paris, imprisoned in the engine room of the Freewinds?

    ReplyDelete
  71. Re: Valeska Paris

    All I know is what you undoubtedly know from the Village Voice and other media. I have heard of a number of other cases where children were hidden from a parent to keep the parent from removing their child from the Sea Org.

    This story deserves all the exposure it can get. This demonstrates the Church of Scientology's incredible disregard of laws and common decency.

    ReplyDelete
  72. The mystery behind “Contact Assists” is to de-stimulate the event by getting comfortable with it. You could get the same outcome by visiting the scene of an accident or by repeatedly handling or looking at something disturbing over and over or by talk therapy.

    If, for example, you picked the most horrifying movie you had ever seen (The Exorcist for example) and watched it 50 times, you would wear it out. It would start to become boring. By the 35th viewing you would be trying to figure how they did the special effects, what the actor must have been thinking, details in the background, was that background actor smirking etc.

    When Hamlet and Horatio arrive upon the scene of gravediggers or "clowns" digging up skulls and bones in a graveyard, Hamlet opens his appearance in the scene saying:
    HAMLET Has this fellow no feeling of his business that he sings at grave-making?
    HORATIO: Custom hath made it in him a property of easiness.

    You get used to it.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Re: "... unless you've actually been in a cult, you'll never know how difficult it is to leave."

    Some religions are like revolving doors, permitting members to enter and leave voluntarily; others are like lobster traps, rigged to permit movement only one way—entry permitted, but exit prohibited.

    www.internationalbulletin.org/system/files/2011-04-185-bonk.html
    (sign in first at www.internationalbulletin.org)

    ReplyDelete
  74. This is one of the defining characteristics of a cult as opposed to a religion. Cults do not permit people to leave easily. Scientology operates as a cult.

    ReplyDelete
  75. Hello, Bill. Watching videos of Miscavige speak for hours at the various Scientology events, I am impressed by his ability to talk publicly at such length with very few errors or interruptions of speech. This isn't easy, especially if he is reading his script "cold." (Not to say that I'm impressed by the content of his talks!) Do you know whether he spends a lot of time rehearsing those presentations? Does he work with a stage director? Basically, I'm just curious about the process by which the "big events" are staged. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Re: Miscavige speeches

    David Miscavige's Big Bogus Events have the very highest priorities in his universe. Barring disasters like Lisa McPherson and big media exposés like the Saint Petersburg Times, New Yorker et. al., his events are what Miscavige works on all year long.

    Yes, I am sure Miscavige goes over and over and over his speech to get the biggest impact on Scientologists. His speeches are very contrived, with "rolling thunder" presentations and carefully built up sections with pauses for applause.

    His ability to milk a crowd while avoiding facts or definite, verifiable statements is rather good.

    He is the defacto stage director for every facet of his events. His taste in graphics and stage setting is truly horrible and always has been.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Dear Bill:
    Is it possible that Scientology always has been a placebo-like effect?

    ReplyDelete
  78. Re: Placebo effect

    I believe that much, but probably not all, of the results that Scientologists see from Scientology are from the placebo effect.

    The results from Scientology are never what were promised and are quite mild -- comparable to known placebo effects from other "therapies". No super-human powers or abilities have been observed.

    If any results from Scientology were real, the exact same results would appear consistently for every Scientologist run on a particular process. In Scientology, this simply doesn't happen.

    That doesn't mean that Scientology isn't beneficial for some people and it doesn't mean that all of Scientology is useless. Without scientific evaluation, that is still an open question.

    ReplyDelete
  79. I just can't get over the idea put for by the band The Eagles... "You can check out any time you like, but you just can't ever leave." Seem appropriate for Scientology.

    ReplyDelete
  80. @les: interestingly, there was a staff dorm in Clearwater in the early 80s that was nicknamed by the staff, Hotel California...

    ReplyDelete
  81. To Anonymous snd Just Bill re: David Miscavige and his abilities for long winded speeches with no mistakes or interruptions....

    It's called a Teleprompter! He is fed the entire speech by reading the teleprompters. They are usually arranged on either side and in the middle facing him. I'm sure he initially goes over his speeches before hand, the actual speech requires only an ability to speak and to read aloud. It isn't from memory.

    ReplyDelete
  82. RE: Miscavige Speeches & Teleprompters

    Marc Headley mentions in "Blown for Good" that extensive editing went into Miscavige's performances before they went out to the orgs.

    There was also the snafu during his "The War is Over" speech, where a stage hand ruined one of Miscavige's teleprompters, by eating an apple next to it.

    Needless to say, there was hell to pay afterwards.

    ReplyDelete
  83. What is your view on the new IAS video?

    It doesn't seem like it's from the Church.

    I'm just curious.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Re: Scientology IAS event

    I haven't had time to sit through the entire three hour event (nor the desire) but, from what I've seen, it's legitimate -- gaudy, ugly, over-the-top sets, focus on David Miscavige and no one else, Dan Sherman's words, lies, hype and grandstanding ... oh, it's pure Church of Scientology and recent.

    Why do you think it's not from the church?

    ReplyDelete
  85. Not the event, but the video that's all over the internet for Dauntless, Defiant, Resolute.

    It just strikes me as odd.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Re: Dauntless, Defiant, Resolute

    Ah! As I understand it, that is not an official church video. It seems to have been done by individual Scientologists not by the official Gold video production facilities. So, you are right, it isn't an official church video.

    ReplyDelete
  87. "This is one of the defining characteristics of a cult as opposed to a religion. Cults do not permit people to leave easily."

    'Lapsed' Catholic friends of mine might disagree with you on that one Bill. The Jesuits used to boast that they'd got you for life if they could have you for the first seven years and- viewing it as an outsider- it certainly looks extremely difficult as an adult to completely shake off the brainwashing.

    To my mind the only difference between a cult and a religion is the passage of time (Say a hundred years?). If it survives the death of its founder and the next generation then manages to establish myths about the founding process which they manage to sell to enough people then it's successfully transitioned from cult to religion.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Dauntless, Defiant, Resolute--yeah right! One protestor shows up and they all scurry away.

    ReplyDelete
  89. Survival for a hundred years might be a good test for whether a movement should be called a religion, but to just leave this as a definition is to beg the whole question. It's not easy for a movement to survive the death of its founder, and then endure through several generations of cultural change. What makes some movements last, while most don't?

    Presumably having The Truth would help with that. But even if a long-lived religion doesn't have The Truth, whatever it has that has made it last is probably worth something.

    ReplyDelete
  90. @Graham
    Re: Cults

    Well, yes and no. The problem is that there are a number of quite different definitions for "cult". I discuss this a bit in my article, Is Scientology a Cult?.

    By intentional design, cult members are isolated from the rest of society. Cult members are superior to and isolated from everyone else because of their membership.

    While some mainstream religious adherents may feel superior and isolated, this is not a characteristic of the religion itself.

    Certainly, if a cult can last long enough and can lose most of its cult characteristics, it can become accepted as another religion.

    But if it doesn't change, if it doesn't lose those characteristics, it will never be anything but a cult.

    Because the cult characteristics are built into Scientology's core technologies and because Scientologists are forbidden from altering anything that Hubbard wrote, it is highly unlikely Scientology will ever be anything but a cult, no matter how long it hangs in there.

    That's my take on it, anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  91. @James Anglin

    I don't think having "The Truth" could be used as a criteria -- if that were true, all long-lived religions would agree on what that was.

    I think a hundred years is enough time for cults to self-destruct (or reform). Maybe that's it.

    ReplyDelete
  92. @Just Bill - religions may differ in the minutia of the afterlife and ritual and so forth, but the basic notions of treating other people the way you want to be treated, helping others who are in need and the surrender of the ego to the infinite are pretty consistent. (People who focus on the minutia tend to be the worst examples of what a given spiritual path has to offer.)

    Note that Scientology pretty much flunks all of those. If I recall correctly, helping those in need with no expectation of return is "out-ethics", is it not? And the ultimate goal (power over MEST) seems to come down to the surrender of the infinite to the ego--a spiritual path in reverse.

    Anything--religions, nations, institutions--endures by changing as the world changes. As you've pointed out, Scientology cannot change and thus cannot endure.

    ReplyDelete
  93. Not to take away from Marty's safe haven for believers but, so many of them still refuse to look further into why Co$ is what it is. It's ALL DM, right? I understand the need for the demise of the current state and I still have hope that Marty and friends are doing something behind the blog that we all want to see. But, with regards to Psychiatry attacks I think they are missing a very important point...

    "What would Ron do?" ...should be... "What did Ron do?"

    ReplyDelete
  94. My friend recently took a job at (what seemed to be) a GREAT company. She referred ME, they interviewed me and loved me, and hired me also. I just found out that most (if not all) of the workers there are Scientologists, and they're using some Scientology programs but haven't labelled them as "Scientologist". The workplace is somewhat oppressive, with everyone working late hours and working their tails off constantly. I'll start looking for another job right away, of course, but my friend is thinking of staying. What are your thoughts about this? What should we look for? What should we expect?

    ReplyDelete
  95. Re: Scientology company

    I don't recommend working for a company that uses Scientology "Admin Tech". The "tech" is, inevitably, quite destructive.

    Take a look at Scientology's Admin Tech for a bit longer explanation.

    I have seen many "Scientology" companies come and go. They may, in the short term, make the owners of the company a lot of money (which, of course, flows right into the Church of Scientology) but the end result is destruction.

    Such companies are big on promises of fantastic riches for the employees but never, ever deliver that.

    The "tech" puts a tremendous pressure on all employees to work and work and work to "keep the stats up" with very little reward. The environment is, as you noted, always oppressive and accusative. Punishments are frequent, rewards are rare.

    Inevitably, Scientology's Admin Tech ruins the company quite thoroughly. Any employees who have invested their hard work, their time and, sometimes, their own money will suffer.

    Leave that company as soon as you can. There is no future for that company and you will put way too much effort into work that will only enrich the owner's pockets, not yours.

    ReplyDelete
  96. Just Bill, thank you so much for your answer to my question (just above). Your service is totally invaluable, and I'm sure I'm just one of many who are grateful that you can maintain this blog/question & answer session.

    You know, after I read the link you posted, I think I've realized why so many people at the company are talking about "Hats", as in the concept of someone wearing different hats at different times in the company. It's rather simplistic, at best. In the real world, we simply call it a "job description". In fact, much of their policies seem downright childish, as if an amateur had taught them basic business skills. And, of course, an amateur DID.

    I am sick of their tally sheets, and see it as being mostly a bunch of busy work that gets in the way of REAL work. The time I devote to busy work and silly stuff (like cleaning my workspace when they have a janitor that cleans the office) is time I COULD be spending on being productive for them.

    They sure are a friendly and upbeat bunch, though! For the most part, that is.

    The other day, we were all told that envisioning success will make it happen, basically. It's not a concept that is limited to Scientology by any means, but if I were allowed to do my job instead of waste it with paperwork, meetings, and busywork, I wouldn't HAVE to envision it.

    ReplyDelete
  97. You are welcome!

    Yes, most Scientologists are friendly and upbeat as well as caring and helpful. That confuses many who have heard how "awful Scientology is".

    I try to explain that there is a world of difference between Scientology and the Church of Scientology.

    The church is truly horrible.

    Scientology as a belief system can be good or bad depending on who is using it and how they use it.

    Scientologists can be quite nice as long as you don't ever discuss Scientology with them or, heaven forbid, criticize Scientology.

    And that would be my advice to you if you stay at this company: Never discuss Scientology and never agree to "try" it. Just politely avoid it entirely and they won't turn on you.

    However, my best advice is to look for another position elsewhere.

    ReplyDelete
  98. R.E. Envisioning success will make it happen.

    Bill you never answered my above question on “The Secret” DVD and books by Rhonda Byrne? http://thesecret.tv/

    Our mental pictures can attract wealth, positive relationships and happiness. Many wogs have been using this “secret” for years to create great health, wealth, and happiness all without taking expensive Scientology courses. How would Scientologists rationalize this?

    ReplyDelete
  99. @Dave
    Re: Envisioning success will make it happen

    Thanks for the nudge.

    Scientologists love such stories. You see, the Hubbard theory is that everyone had all those amazing powers and abilities four quadrillion years ago at the beginning of the universe but they have lost them over the years.

    He pointed to such sporadic and rare "super-human" manifestations as "proof" of this. His sales pitch was that Scientology could rehabilitate these amazing abilities so that everyone (who had enough money) could have all these and more under their personal control.

    Scientology just uses such stories as part of their own sales pitch.

    ReplyDelete
  100. I honestly don’t see how Scientologists would love such stories because all the people in The Secret have these amazing abilities and they haven’t taken expensive Scientology courses. They also don’t need to be constantly security checked or to disconnect from anyone and they can read and think whatever they want.

    If they tried to use The Secret in their sales pitch with me I would say, “Hey, why do I need Scientology? The people in The Secret seem to be doing okay without it.”

    ReplyDelete
  101. @Dave

    Yeah, but are the people in The Secret cause over matter, energy, space, time, life, form and thought?

    LOL! Well, neither are Scientologists!

    ReplyDelete
  102. Hello Bill, and thank you for another enlightening year. I'm hoping we'll get your predictions for Scientology in 2012 soon. In the meantime, I'm wondering about the numbers of people who are "Members" of the Church of Scientology, which I gather would mean "Sea Org," "Staff" and "public." I know the church doesn't make membership figures known, but based on your research, when do you think peak membership occurred, and what were those numbers? And what's your best guess of the total current membership? I was just looking at the religious affiliation info from the last US Census, and I see that within the US Scientology didn't chalk up the minimum number (75,000) to make the list.

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  103. @Dave - given that "the people in The Secret" include such fine specimens as James Arthur Ray (recently convicted of negligent homicide in the deaths of three people and served with a wrongful death suit in the death of a fourth individual) and David Schirmer (banned for life from providing financial services by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission), I'm not sure it's that much of an improvement over what Scientology has to offer. Just saying.

    ReplyDelete
  104. Re: Scientology's heyday

    From various sources, especially Jeff Hawkins' Counterfeit Dreams (and he would know), the heyday was in the early 1980s. That would be the maximum members. It's been all downhill since then.

    As for what those numbers would have been, there is no data. Not even the church knows how many real members there were or there are.

    However, I can make a guess, based on things like IAS membership numbers and event attendance, that the number of active Scientologists must have been between 100,000 and 200,000 world wide in the early 1980s.

    ReplyDelete
  105. IMO "The Secret" is a huge improvement over Scientology. There is no fair gaming, no disconnection, no infiltrating government offices, no made up science fiction stories, no exorbitant fees for services that don’t deliver promised states, no harmful medical practices, no Rehabilitation Project Force, no OSA – need I go on?

    To follow “The Secret” all you do is buy a $20 DVD and maybe a book or two. You then put yourself into a positive state [where you feel confident loving, centred, connected, relaxed] and you visualize and affirm what you want, seeing it as already accomplished. Many people attract good things doing this.

    In “The Secret” there is no church or organization to belong to, no meetings, no dues, no fundraising – just ordinary people imaging and affirming what they want, in accordance with the law of karma. It all seems pretty harmless to me.

    As for James Arthur Ray, he had no intention of killing anyone; it was simply a horrible accident.

    ReplyDelete
  106. Hi Just Bill,
    I don't know if you follow Marty's Blog, but he had a posting the other day about LRH and how LRH said Scientology should never become a monopoly.

    In the comments, I asked Marty the following:


    Marty, I am in complele agreement with LRH when he says in the lecture “Formative States of Scientology”, that monopolizing the Tech would not be a good thing.
    But I am a bit baffled. As I understand it, the copyrights to LRH’s work were assigned to RTC by LRH and per bulletins I have read, using the Tech without RTC’s permission is a suppressive act. Even making a photocopy is considered a suppressive act. This seems to me to be in total contradiction to “Formative States of Scientoloyg.” LRH seems to have put this monopoly into play.
    What am I missing?

    Marty's answer was just one work: "evolution".

    What???? Evolution???

    I was wondering if you have any insight as to what Marty might have meant by "evolution".
    I should of course ask Marty, but I have a feeling his anwer would be obtuse.

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  107. Dear Bill:
    May it be a great new:
    David Miscavige has recruited top narco boss in Colombia. The undisclosed name boss is having great time doing the Purif....
    No worry for payment for his services as the money was certified to be clean...

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  108. Re: Marty and "evolution"

    You are asking me to explain what goes on in Marty's head? Woah! I don't know if that's a good thing or bad - LOL!

    Unfortunately, I think I do know what he means. He is saying that, over time, things change as they must to survive. He would say that, back then, such tight control was necessary to "protect the tech" but that now is it necessary to free the tech from the church's control.

    Which, of course, doesn't really answer the point you made about LRH's contradictions. It is pretty obvious to those of us outside of the mindf*ck of Scientology that what LRH said doesn't often match what he did and, if you look at what LRH did, it's all about the money and control.

    But Marty and other true believers can't see that and can't say that. They must believe LRH's motives were only about goodness, kindness and helping. So they only listen to what he said and ignore the consequences of what he did. It's hard work!

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  109. Re: Top narco boss in Colombia

    Fascinating. Is anyone else noticing the type of "leaders" who are attracted to the totalitarian, Übermensch organization of Scientology? Louis Farrakhan? A Colombian drug lord?

    These are not folks who want to help others. These are people who are attracted to the absolute control of people by a self-proclaimed group of homo novi.

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  110. Just Bill,
    Thank you so much for your answer. It actually does make sense. I had to read it twice but then I got it.
    That "Talking out of the side of your mouth" school of thought is baffling till you know what it is. Thanks.
    And Marty does seem to truly believe that LRH's motives were always about goodness and helping. That is weird to me. Oh well.
    Happy Holiday and glad I could give you a laugh.

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  111. Hi Bill,
    FYI, I also post as "over.the.hill.lately".
    I asked a question as "over.the.hill.lately" and answered as "lady.sqush.10". That would confuse me, so I thought I'd clarify. Sorry for the dev-t. Joking....

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  112. RE: The Secret.

    I was at Flag when The Secret was hot. A notice went around that we weren't to watch it. So The Secret was a secret. Pretty funny really.
    The theory was that watching a video even with workable ideas isn't going to work if you have case in the way. ONLY SCN can handle that case.
    I guess Flag didn't want to loose customers who thought they might just wing it.

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  113. A notice went around that we weren't to watch it. So "The Secret" was a secret.

    Thanks for confirming that Squash lady. I didn't think they would love "The Secret."

    Sorry Bill, but I just couldn't see Scientology using such low cost "squirrel" material as part of their own sales pitch. No, it's not a cult! lol

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  114. Do you think miscavige will eventually remove Xenu and other hubbard fantasies from the "scriptures"?

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  115. This is a comment about SPs and low toned people.
    It is true that Hubbard said that low toned people should be disposed of quietly and without sorrow but I don't recall that he thought all low toned people were SPs.
    LRH defined an SP as a special breed that was stuck in some incident from long ago and who saw everyone as a an enemy to be destroyed. And that's why they were dangerous.
    If I was sick, I was supposed to find one of these people in my life. If I wasn't prospering or if my personal relationships weren't going well, I was suppose to find one of these SPs in my life. What a waste of time!!! It was such a non-productive and destructive way to try and solve problems. Like going on your own private witch hunt every time something wasn't going well.
    Interestingly enough, society (without the wisdom of SCN) has already figured out how to figure out who the really bad guys are. They are sociopaths and society locks them up. And if you truly are around a sociopath you should leave as quietly and quickly as you can.
    Interesting that the main characteristic of a sociopath is their lack of empathy. And this is a characteristic that many Scientologists start to manifest. It is creepy.
    And LRH's list of 10 Characteristics of an Anti-Social Person (or SP) is useless, at best. Most of those characteristics such as "can't complete a cycle of action" is not something you can know most of the time. And I especially love the characteristics that really add up to: if someone doesn't like SCN they are an SP. How self-serving is that?
    And the one thing that would be useful--identifying a toxic person--someone who simply isn't supportive and puts you down--is not mentioned.
    I can't believe I believed all that crap.
    Oh well.

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  116. @Dave
    Re: The Secret

    Well, no. Obviously The Secret would be banned. They would never accept some "other technology".

    What the question I was answering was what are Scientologists' reactions to such stories and how they rationalize such phenomena.

    And that is as I said. They love the fact that such phenomena exits and they react by saying, "That's random phenomena -- but we have the correct technology to produce that result all the time!"

    Of course, they don't, but they want to think they do.

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  117. How much similarity is there between "manifestation" in The Secret and "postulating" in Scientology? Just curious.

    (Oh, and Dave? Just because James Arthur Ray wasn't intending to kill people with his bogus sweat lodge doesn't mean he wasn't responsible for their deaths. I'm pretty sure the folks in Clearwater weren't intending to kill Lisa McPherson, either.)

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  118. Re: The Secret and Scientology "postulates"

    Same basic principle. It's not a new concept by any means and predates all this "New Wave" stuff by millenia.

    Just Google "The power of positive thinking" for an idea of how pervasive and not-new the concept is.

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  119. Re: The Secret

    "That's random phenomena -- but we have the correct technology to produce that result all the time!"

    But JB, the people in The Secret also claim to produce positive results all the time -- so who are you going to believe? ;-)

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  120. Erm, neither of them? It's all bullshit, just wrapped in a different kind of paper to the outside.

    ReplyDelete
  121. @Squash Lady
    Re: Low-toned vs. SPs

    You are quite correct. Hubbard never said that low-toned people were the equivalent of SPs. At times, he seemed to infer that SPs were all at 1.1 (Covert Hostility) but I don't recall that he ever made that an absolute statement.

    Of course, he did famously say that the world would be a better place if all "low-toned" people were either handled or simply eliminated. Hubbard was never known for his compassion.

    As for figuring out who the bad guys are -- yes, Scientology doesn't do that very well for all their scales, formulas and characteristics. If that "tech" worked, Miscavige wouldn't be in charge. (Come to think of it, Hubbard wouldn't have been in charge either.)

    Thanks, as always, for your comment.

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  122. @ Anonymous

    I wouldn’t say it is all bullshit. It’s good to have goals, to think positively and to have a good self-image. As for positive results all the time—well that is Pollyanna nonsense.

    ReplyDelete
  123. "Pollyanna nonsense"???

    When you ruin people financially, break-up families and mess with people's heads it is more than Pollyanna nonsense.

    I'm just saying...

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  124. Expecting 100% positive results from visualization, prayer and affirmation is Pollyanna nonsense. Ruining people financially, breaking up families, and messing with people's heads is something else altogether.

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  125. Re: Pollyanna nonsense

    OK. This is the kind of argument that I really hate. Time to stop it.

    Certainly, an absolute position that all you have to do is have positive thoughts to get anything you want is silly -- but Dave isn't espousing that position.

    In other words, you're both right, now stop making an argument out of it.

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  126. as it is apparently now in the can, we are beginning to see stirrings of promotional material for the new GVZ project "The Master"...do you foresee another big flap over this one? hard to argue with Phillip Seymour Hoffmann playing the old man, but how much of it do you think the church might respond to?

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  127. Re: P.T.Anderson's "The Master"

    No, I don't foresee another flap. I recall that Anderson denied that it actually was about Hubbard, there has been tremendous pressure to change the film, and the word is that the script actually has been under a fairly drastic rewrite.

    I think the final product will have very little resemblance to Scientology or to Hubbard.

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  128. Bill, do you expect that Debbie Cook addressing the faithful from within will embolden some others to do the same? Any chance that Heber Jentsch or Tommy Davis might come forward in this way? Do you think there are any celebrity Scientologists (e.g., Travolta) who are distressed by the current state of affairs and who might be bold enough to let others know?

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  129. Re: Debbie Cook

    Yes. Each Scientologist who openly speaks out against the abuses of the church emboldens other Scientologists. Debbie demonstrates this because she was inspired by those Scientologists who spoke out before her.

    It would be interesting to see Tommy Davis speak out and repudiate his previous, "official", statements. Likewise Heber -- but I'd just like to see Heber out of the church's "prison" and cared for.

    Is there a chance Tommy and/or Heber will speak out? I'm kind of doubtful right now. It requires a lot of guts and bravery is not encouraged or nurtured in Scientology.

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  130. The SP Times says that Debbie Cook was "far better known among average parishioners" than Rathbun or Rinder. Is that true? How is it possible she was better known than Rinder, the chief public spokesperson for the church?

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  131. Re: "far better known"

    I'd say that's probably right. Rinder spoke to the outside world and Scientologists are firmly discouraged from communication with that world. Cook was shoved in the face of all True Believers. Yes, I'd agree that Scientologists were much more aware of Cook than Rinder.

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  132. Hi Bill,

    Would you consider doing a piece on the scientology "orientation" film?

    Made several years ago, it is so colossally bad that it seems like a parody of itself, and might yield enough "stuff" -- all by itself -- to justify an article from you.

    Thanks

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  133. Bill, you seem to have retained some contacts in Scientologist circles. Any news yet on fallout from the Debbie Cook email? Do you anticipate a visible wave of defectors?

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  134. Re: "Orientation" film

    I haven't seen that film in a long, long time. Come to think of it, didn't they have to re-shoot it because the narrator left Scientology?

    I really don't remember enough to comment on it. All the Scientology films are pretty cheesy. Some day I hope that the secret training films get leaked, they are hilarious and oh so pretentious!

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  135. Re: Inside connections

    Actually, I don't have any direct inside connections but I know people who know people. No word yet from the inside.

    ReplyDelete
  136. Thanks, Bill. Another Debbie Cook question: supposedly her email went out to 12,000 Scientologists. I assume that includes most all of the "public" who visited Flag. My question is, which Scientologists didn't get this email? Would Sea Orgers have gotten it? Would the glamorous celebrity set see this? The folks in "the hole"?

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  137. Re: Who were the 12,000?

    Interesting question. Obviously, I don't know the details but I can add some insight.

    It probably would not have included any Sea Org members -- they do not have access to the Internet and they are closely watched.

    Certainly those in "the hole" would not. Their access to the outside world is shut off.

    Celebrities? Maybe, but the top celebrities such as Tom Cruise have Scientology handlers who filter everything they see -- so it wouldn't have gotten through.

    I'd assume these were mostly Scientologists who took services at Flag.

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  138. Bill, have you seen the architect's renderings of the Super Power building that were leaked on the Village Voice blog? Is this "super power" stuff--which features sci-fi artifacts like a "time machine," "pain station," and "oiliness tables"--something newly cooked up by Miscavige, or are these things you heard about while "in" Scientology? Any thoughts about this building or "super power"?

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  139. Re: "Super Power"

    Yes, I've seen the various renderings of the Super Power building. Very, very interesting stuff. They make it all seem legitimate ... sort of. As someone quoted Miscavige "Super Power is 95% marketing" and this building certainly shows it. Most of it is quite silly stuff, wrapped in whizbang sci-fi pretend science. "You will pay tens of thousands for this because ... just look at it!"

    Apparently, Hubbard left a bunch of notes but it was up to Miscavige to invent all the machines to implement those ideas.

    So, you smell things. So what? You run around a pole for hour after hour. You feel oil. You get turned upside down. You taste things. So freaking what? Will this produce any more "amazing results" than the rest of Scientology? No.

    Miscavige knows that this "tech" doesn't do anything. He's seen all the results from the prototype and testing phases. Think about it, did he run around a pole for week after week? No. Never. This is all hype to keep the faithful believing in the "tech". This is all stage-dressing to keep the money flowing. "Just look at it!"

    Originally, Hubbard declared this was for executives and government officials. Yes, that's true. Under Miscavige it has become just another way to keep Scientologists paying and paying and never thinking about the "Release" that never happened, "Clear" that never happened, "OT" that never happened. "Surely, this will deliver all the promised, miraculous powers and abilities!"

    It's designed solely to fool Scientologists. If Scientologists see these renderings, I'm afraid they will get all excited and give even more money to Miscavige.

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  140. Thank you for that reply (about "super power"). Do I correctly infer that you believe Miscavige is entirely cynical in his promotion of Scientology? Do you think he's a true believer in any part of it, or does he see it all as a con he can use to gain fame, power and wealth?

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  141. Hello, Bill. I just read an interview with Mike Rinder, in which he says that the majority of current scientologists secretly share Debbie Cook's criticisms of the fund-raising mania, etc., in the CoS. Do you think that is so?

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  142. Re: Miscavige

    Oh, yes. You can definitely infer that Miscavige doesn't believe in any of this Scientology stuff.

    He doesn't do any auditing. Not on himself and not on anyone else. He knows it doesn't work. He's seen the results. He ordered independent validation of Hubbard's Study Tech and he saw the results -- it doesn't work. He ordered independent validation of Hubbard's Purification Tech and he saw the results -- it doesn't work. He knows that Narconon works very hard to cover up its actual results. He gets all the data and he certainly knows that there are no Clears and no OTs.

    So why does he cover up all the real results and keep on flogging Scientology's "solutions" and Scientology's technology?

    Because it makes him rich and gives him lots and lots of slaves.

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  143. Re: Scientologists secretly agree with Cook

    The constant, horrible pressure to pay and pay never stops. The more you give, the higher the pressure to give more.

    Scientologists on the whole, dread the inevitable phone calls or, worse, the house visits. They can't say "No" but they have to say that to survive. Scientologists don't answer the phone and don't answer the doorbell. It's a miserable situation.

    However, I wouldn't say they exactly agree with Cook. I'd say they were ready to agree. They know something is very, very wrong but are afraid to give it a name.

    Debbie's email is effective because it speaks directly to Scientologists about what they secretly feel and makes it OK to name it. It's a good message.

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  144. Dear Just Bill, I have two related questions, based on reading the Rathbun/Rinder accounts of Scientology history, in which it seems that the extremely cruel stuff in Scientology--beatings, the hole, family disconnection, bankrupting people--is entirely due to Miscavige. Hubbard, in this version of events, is a basically great man who exhibited the occasional human failing. My two questions: Do you agree with this characterization of the history? How does one go about separating the Hubbard "tech" from the Miscavige "tech"?

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  145. They say that history is written by the winners -- which means that the Rathbun/Rinder rewrite of history won't be what goes in the books. Neither would Miscavige's nor Hubbard's.

    Yes, Rathbun/Rinder and all the rest of the True Believers desperately want to rewrite the history of Scientology so that L. Ron Hubbard comes out as a kind, caring and brilliant guru. That isn't even close to the truth. David Miscavige is the inevitable result of Hubbard's policies. Certainly, Miscavige has gone far beyond Hubbard's crimes and abuses but that is only a matter of degree not of basic intentions.

    Every single crime, abuse and lie perpetrated by Miscavige is based firmly on Hubbard's crimes, abuses and lies. Miscavige can easily quote the exact policy from Hubbard that completely justifies all his actions.

    History will tell the truth on this and that won't be good for Hubbard's image.

    As for separating the "pure" tech from the "corrupted" tech ... that can't be done. Oh, sure, there are alterations that were obviously done by Miscavige but there have been lots of alterations over the years. When did it start? Who did it? No one knows for sure.

    The trick is that the "pure" tech is the tech that works and delivers what was promised. Since the tech has never delivered what was promised, EVER, even back when Hubbard was directly on the lines, there is no workable validation test for "pure" tech.

    This factor alone guarantees that, without the Church of Scientology dictating what is "pure" and what is "corrupted", the practice of Scientology will shatter into hundreds of different versions of the "pure" tech. And there it goes.

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  146. Sorry if this question's been asked before. There are lots of claims on the web (eg the Angry Gay Pope) that the Miscavage Mob has one or more prison compounds in which people are held against their will. I suppose, in the context of a cult, “against their will” is a bit of a grey area. Once you fall under the spell of an abusive belief system your judgement can be distorted and you may seem to voluntarily put your fate in the hands of the leader. Leaving that aside, I've the following questions: Has anybody 'escaped' and sued for wrongful imprisonment? If not, does this not weaken considerably all these claims about prison camps? If they have, what has been the reaction of the authorities? If a dodgy organisation builds a sealed off compound and there are rumours of imprisonment and disappearances what does it take to get them to get a court order to go in and check the place out?

    ReplyDelete
  147. @Graham

    Hi. I don't think anyone has specifically asked that question here. The Church of Scientology "prison camps" are quite real and well documented. They are called the "Rehabilitation Project Force" and are run along the lines of the old Chinese/Korean "re-education camps": Hard labor, very little food, indefinite but very long incarceration, long sessions of indoctrination in dogma, daily intense confessions and complete isolation from the world.

    Obviously, the longer one is subject to this kind of brainwashing (and, yes, this is brainwashing, by definition), the more one "loves Scientology". These people are guarded 24 hours a day, 7 days a week but, after a while, the guards really aren't necessary.

    Escape is possible but unlikely. These prisoners are stripped of every possession, all money, all identification. They have no way of contacting outside friends or family to arrange an escape. Besides, they "love Scientology", remember? It's "for their own good". They believe and, the longer they are in, the more they believe.

    This really isn't anything that the authorities can deal with. This is brainwashing in a very pure form. If you interviewed every single prisoner they would all insist they were there "voluntarily", were "well treated" and were happy as clams. The authorities are aware of this and that effectively ties their hands. Brainwashing doesn't seem to be against the law.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Bill. Your response makes complete sense. Religions do have a history of meting out punishments to the willing faithful (for their own good of course), such as making long pilgrimages on foot, donating cash, flailing oneself with whips or being beaten by one's Master in order to increase 'awareness'. However, I can't think of any organisation (certainly in recent times) that's formalised that to the extent of creating its own prison system (Tho perhaps exposing my naivety there).

      Despite what you say, I can't help wondering whether this is a potential bomb waiting to blow up in their faces. Presumably it would only take one person out of the many who have deserted Scientology to see their treatment in a new light and decide to sue? For example, am I right in remembering that there's at least one ex cult member who's suing for back pay, or something along those lines?

      Delete
  148. @Graham

    You have a very good point but...

    Like the Headley lawsuit for back pay (which is what you were referring to) there are a number of problems with this kind of action.
    1) Scientology is, legally, a religion. There are a ton of things that "religions" can do that are explicitly against the law if done by a regular corporation. Even if technically against the law, the antipathy in the U.S. against attacking any religion makes authorities very reluctant to take action against any "religious group".
    2) The brainwashing itself. It takes time to overcome the Scientology indoctrination. This is even more true with the RPF brainwashing. Even if one person overcomes these things, there will be many, many "witnesses" who have not yet overcome the Scientology indoctrination and who will gladly lie under oath to "protect the church".
    3) Statute of Limitations. Because it takes time, often a long time, to overcome the indoctrination, many of these instances of abuse and even criminal activity have occurred too far in the past to be prosecuted.

    I know this personally and I've met many ex-Scientologists who have verified these things. I wish all these abuses and crimes could be prosecuted but the very nature of Scientology as a very effective cult makes this quite difficult.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks again. Your point 1 is the missing piece of my jigsaw. Living in the UK I certainly experience religion as over-privileged. I believe the UK and Iran are the only countries in the world where unelected religious leaders have seats in parliament, and our government seems hell-bent on turning the state school system over to the Church of England despite church attendance declining to critical levels. Nevertheless I get the feeling that American culture privileges anything "religious" in ways which would be unimaginable over here. Scientology's certainly never thrived, despite being home to Saint Hill Manor. It's interesting to see how different cultures and legal systems round the world have reacted to the vileness that is Scientology (Germany, France, Russia and Australia spring to mind).

      Just to let you know where I'm coming from Bill: back in the seventies there were a lot of cults and New Age movements touting their wares. I was generally aware of Scientology but was more drawn to the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh movement, which I thankfully managed to stay on the edge of despite committed friends deriding me for my inability to let go and commit. My wife also got a bit involved in est, but again common sense prevailed. As with Scientology, both these movements used valid, workable concepts which could sucker you in on the assumption that the whole package was going to be as valid and workable as the little bit you'd originally experienced. And they also created a tremendous feeling of family and being within the loving company of an 'in' crowd. Almost all these cults imploded, exploded or just plain fizzled out. Scientology seems to be the only one still soldiering on. It fascinates me for that reason, and also because of the uniquely poisonous vehemence with which it hounded those who dared to criticise. So good to see the boot now being on the other foot, with the critics starting to overwhelm their bullying resources.

      Delete
  149. Bill, I keep coming across news stories that talk about Scientology defectors like Marty Rathbun, Mike Rinder and Jeff Hawkins. I understand that Scintologists are educated to avoid the media, but it seems hard to believe that any Scientologist in the US --with the possible exception of those locked down in the Sea Org -- wouldn't brush up against these stories somehow. Am I naive? What and how do Scintologists who are currently in the organization think about characters like those I named above? Thank you.

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    1. I really don't know. When I got out, just about every still-in Scientologist would obediently stay completely clear of the Internet and all major media. They just didn't look. One of the defining characteristics of a Scientologist was obedience.

      Now that is, I am very sure, changed. I just don't know to what degree. The Church of Scientology is losing its grip on its parishioners and they are looking -- they are talking.

      But they are not talking to me -- yet. So I don't know to what degree those well known names are having an impact on them. I'd like to know as well.

      Delete
  150. Dear Bill, I trust you've seen the latest report of how "Flag" is suing Debbie Cook and her husband for violating the (bizarre, to me) agreement they signed when leaving the Sea Org. (This included waiving their first amendment rights, among other things.) The church has publicly presented those contracts and presumably opened the door to all sorts of legal scrutiny about their internal procedures (I'm no lawyer--I'm just guessing about that). Any thoughts on the implications of this? Is this a turning point, a final straw, a camel's nose under the tent... or just more of the same?

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    Replies
    1. Re: Suing Debbie Cook

      I think this is a huge mistake for Miscavige. Huge. Debbie took great pains with her initial email and all subsequent communication. She is no fool and she had good advice.

      The way Debbie carefully presented this is as a very polite discussion amongst Scientologists about some internal problems with church management. She made pains to make her love of Scientology and support of L. Ron Hubbard very, very clear.

      The courts cannot take sides in a purely internal doctrinal discussion amongst members of a religion. This isn't a matter of law or even contracts. She is discussing doctrine and how current doctrine is at odds with official doctrine from Hubbard.

      Oh, she's a smart one and Miscavige fell right into the trap. This will make it official that she (and, therefore, all Scientologists) can argue about how Miscavige is running the church and there will be nothing that Miscavige can legally do about it.

      Sure, he can "declare everyone suppressive" but that simply plays further into the argument that he has gone way too far.

      Big mistake on Miscavige's part. He should have ignored her and hoped it would all die down. As long as Debbie has enough money to keep in the legal game, she's got his number for sure.

      This has the potential for being quite big if Debbie sticks with it.

      Delete
  151. Does scn have two (or more) sides of the EP? From what I've been reading some effects can be harmful (possibly on purpose) and the possible benefit just kind of gets you high for a while and seems to be addictive. Who administers the bad and why?

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    1. Re: EP

      According to Hubbard, none of the "end phenomena" of Scientology are, or can be, harmful. Per Hubbard, only the misapplication of Scientology can result in harm -- and exactly what that is is undefined.

      I actually have heard of people getting sick after Scientology processing. The original OT 8 from Miscavige was pretty well-known for making people sick and upset.

      But, like the Scientology "gains", any bad results are mild and temporary.

      I suspect you've been reading Marty who goes on and on about "reverse Scientology". According to Marty, this is when some evil person "runs Scientology backwards" and makes a person upset. Exactly what that means isn't clear.

      The whole idea of "reverse Scientology" is, "since Scientology is so powerful, its 'reverse' must be just as powerful, in a negative way". Oooh, scary!

      Delete
    2. Can you explain what happened to Nancy Many, Lisa McPherson and others like them?

      Delete
    3. I assume you mean why did bad things happen to Scientologists when Scientology was, allegedly, applied "correctly".

      Bad things happen to Scientologists because Scientology is a cult that practices absolute control over all of its believers. No one even thinks of questioning what they are told. More importantly, no one questions what they are ordered to do.

      The abusers will call it "Scientology" because that's how they get absolute submission -- but it's just abuse.

      Lisa McPherson was starved to death because her "handlers" did not question their orders. They saw she was comatose and not eating and never gave it a thought.

      Sea Org members are ordered to the RPF and no one even thinks about it.

      No one asks "Is this helping or harming?"

      The Church of Scientology harms people because it can and that has nothing to do with the application (or misapplication) of Scientology -- it has to do with control and the desire to hurt people.

      Hubbard created a cult that requires absolute obedience and that kind of organization will inevitably attract leaders at all levels who love to abuse and harm people.

      Nancy Many, Lisa McPherson and others were harmed simply because the leaders wanted to.

      Delete
    4. Were their psychotic breaks caused by an application? If so, which ones and how?

      Delete
    5. I sincerely doubt their psychotic breaks were caused by some specific Scientology process. As a Scientologist one is under heavy pressure to be a "good Scientologist" enforced with the threat of being "declared suppressive" and forbidden from ever going up the Bridge.

      What constitutes being a "good Scientologist" is a lot -- more money, more hours, more sacrifices, more dedication, more commitment, on and on. And at any time their children could be "declared suppressive" and they'd be forced to disconnect -- or their spouse, their parents, their friends...

      Is it any wonder that more Scientologists don't have psychotic breaks?

      It's Scientology itself that drives people crazy.

      Delete
  152. Why the Charch suing her husband?

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    1. Are they? I haven't seen the court documents but, as far as I know, her husband hasn't done anything.

      Delete
  153. from VV: "​Monday evening, the Tampa Bay Times reported that the Church of Scientology filed a lawsuit Friday in San Antonio against Debbie Cook and her husband Wayne Baumgarten. The lawsuit, which accuses Cook of violating the terms of a non-disclosure agreement when she dared to criticize the leadership of her church, should draw major media attention to various issues that have been splitting Scientology apart, as we've been reporting over the last few years here at the Voice"

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  154. Any chance the Debbie Cook lawsuit is going to mean that Miscavige is summoned to testify? How do you think he'd handle that?

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    1. I doubt it. The Church of Scientology is going to be very careful in how they frame this lawsuit so that it does not involve Miscavige. Debbie could attempt to involve Miscavige but, legally, there isn't any reason to as it stands now.

      If this were to involve Miscavige, requiring his personal appearance, I imagine Miscavige would do anything he could to get out of it. I get the impression that Miscavige is deathly afraid of the courtroom. But that's not going to happen in this case.

      Delete
  155. The French appeals court has just confirmed the 2009 fraud judgement http://www.voanews.com/english/news/europe/French-Court-Convicts-Church-of-Scientology-for-Fraud-138560384.html
    Do you think this adds anything to what we knew back in 2009 or is it 'old news'? The Scientologists are reported as planning to take it to the European Court of Human Rights, which is surely just going to result in more bad publicity?

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    1. @Graham

      This is old news but it remains good news.

      This is significant because it does not find Scientology and Scientologists guilty of some exceptional crimes (that the church then can say "we didn't authorize this!"). No, it finds the church's normal operating procedures to be fraudulent and criminal. Scientology's super-heavy sales pressure, its mental manipulation and its bogus promises have been clearly labeled criminal and fraudulent.

      The church must appeal this as far as they can. How could they stay in business without their criminal and fraudulent practices? They know that, if forced to be honest and decent, they would cease to exist.

      Delete
  156. Hello again, Bill, and thank you once again for your service to the curious Scientology-watcher. I just read a Village Voice article about the secret CST bases where they have catastrophe-proof underground vaults to store the LRH materials and houses for raising the reincarnated baby LRH to adulthood upon his return to earth. Did you have any awareness of these projects when you were "in"? Was the idea for these remote vaults something that came from Hubbard, or Miscavige, or what? Any thoughts about this bizarre undertaking would be welcome.

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    1. Oh, we definitely heard about this. The locations were secret and exactly what was happening was secret, but all the stuff about titanium plates and protecting "LRH's tech" through Armageddon was talked about quite a bit -- because they were always fund-raising to pay for it all.

      I even got a personal tour of the special display at Author's Services that showed some titanium plates, special cylinders and even special disks for LRH lectures that would play on a special record player, designed to work on solar power.

      The existence and plans were not secret at all, just the locations and progress.

      Delete
  157. The latest Scientology TV ad claims it is based on "50,000 years of wisdom, mathematics and nuclear physics." 50,000 years? What are they saying?

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    1. LOL! Oh, my! I love the idea of Hubbard drawing on 50,000 years of nuclear physics. What a guy, right? Scientology isn't shy about their claims, are they?

      I have absolutely no idea where they get their claims. We do know that L. Ron Hubbard made some of the most egregious and outrageous claims during his life and he certainly might have claimed he had personal knowledge from 50,000 years but ... really?

      Your reaction is exactly right: WTF? Nothing they say in that ad makes any sense at all and we all know it. Who, exactly, do they think they are fooling?

      According to some in the know, the ads are actually directed at Scientologists, to "prove" that Scientology is becoming "mainstream".

      Delete
  158. Bill, here's a two part question, calling for speculation on your part, but I figure your speculation is much better informed than most. Based on the adventures of Scientology in the press recently, it seems to me that we may be getting close to a severe crisis for Miscavige--arrest or mutiny. My questions are, #1: do you agree that Miscavige is about to experience a cave-in of some sort? #2.: As the pressure mounts, what sort of move do you think he might make? Grab the money and run to South America? Announce that reincarnated LRH is at Int base running the show? Order the troops into some act of destruction, or self-destruction?

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    1. Re: Two-parter

      In my opinion, David Miscavige had his breakdown some time ago. He is insane. He is battling everybody both inside and outside Scientology, he is surrounded by enemies. I can't imagine him having even more of a breakdown than he has already had.

      That being said, his insanity will become more and more exposed as his protections disappear. So it may appear that he is getting worse. It will get pretty ugly.

      Miscavige is a runner in my opinion. He is a coward. He only confronts people when he is surrounded by his bodyguards and sycophants. He will run. Near as I can tell, he's already in hiding. He's already got a billionaire private compound in some country with no extradition, he'll take as many True Believers with him because he craves abusing others. "His" money is already safely out of the country.

      He'll run and we'll all hear the horror stories from his compound years from now.

      Delete
  159. Bill, now that Debbie Cook seems to have very publicly allied herself with the Rathbun/Rinder "Independent" movement, I wonder what is left to keep the faithful "inside." If I understand correctly, those three, plus others like Michael Fairman, were widely known and respected among active scientologists. On the other hand, it looks like Miscavige stands alone as a leadership figure in the church structure--all the other execs have disappeared, whether dead, into "the hole" or having quietly left the organization. Even Tommy Davis seems to have become a non-person; as far as I can tell, there is no one left to go before the cameras to defend the church. The big celebs such as Cruise and Travolta are still in, I guess, but have been quiet about Scientology for a long while now. Do you think we've reached a tipping point where the true believers will rush to the independent side, or is their something holding them in place? If the latter, what is it that keeps them there in the face of all of these leaders having left and professed their belief in LRH and their condemnation of DM?

    An additional related question, if I may: do you anticipate that one of the big name actors will throw in with the Rinder-ites or otherwise publicly "blow"?

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    1. People have been leaving Scientology in large numbers for years. Even before Anonymous, before Marty.

      I'd say Debbie's email increased the numbers but that's not quite correct. Debbie's email made it more acceptable to "come out" for many who no longer considered themselves part of the church.

      As for her alliance with the Independents, that's different. That action confirms what the Church of Scientology has been saying about her, that she's a squirrel, she's an "SP", she's an "apostate". If a Scientologist is a Very True Believer of Miscavige, her alignment would "prove" the church right.

      That won't stop the outflow from the church because there are so many other reasons to leave. It's just not something that will necessarily convince True Believers to leave.

      Eventually, I think we have to see one of the big name actors come out. They might not do a Jason Beghe, they might just do it very quietly -- depends partly on what kind of blackmail the church has and how concerned they are about that.

      Delete
  160. Do you know why LRH chose the name "squirrels" to describe distorters of his "tech"?

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    1. I believe it originally comes from:
      squirrely adjective Slang eccentric; flighty.

      Delete
  161. Dear Just Bill,

    It seems that the Church of Scientology has pretty much always had a public spokesman that they throw out before the cameras and to "handle" reporters: Robert Vaughan Young, Heber J., Mike Rinder, Tommy Davis. But in the last year or two, it seems like they've stopped making anyone available, instead just sending long letters and signed testimonials to the press. From my perspective, that makes them seem creepier and even more unsympathetic. But Miscavige must have a reason: what do you think the logic is for eliminating the public spokespeople?

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    1. Re: No spokespeople

      Well, that one is easy. David Miscavige believes that they all "betrayed him" in one way or another. He tells them what to say and they say it. Then, at some point, what he told them to say is laughed at or debunked or held up to ridicule and Miscavige "has been betrayed". They "said it wrong" or some other excuse. So, there they go! Next!

      There's no one left who Miscavige trusts to do it "right" (whatever that means in his little mind).

      Delete
  162. Bill,

    Thanks for this blog, and all the time and information you put in it ! I learned a lot of things about scientology reading it, but I still have a few questions... Let's begin with this one

    The great majority of 'I was a scientologist' books/stories I read have been written by people who joined this movement when they were young adults, who after a few years signed a billion years contract and then, after ten to twenty-five years working 24/7 in the sea org, came back to a 'wog world' they already knew, even if they had the time to forget a little about it.

    It seems that more and more of today sea-orgers are not in this case : they were born in a scientologist family, maybe were educated (?) in a study-tech school and then joined sea org when they were teenagers. In fact, they may have never met a single wog in their life !

    I know that when you were a scientologist this was not the case, and that you left a few years ago, but do you know how this closed subculture sees the world outside ? Are they mostly afraid of the wogs (criminals manipulated by the psychs), or are they more contemptuous (we are the elite, and they are not) ? Are there horror stories/urban legends about wogs, and all the bad things happening outside of the movement ?

    Having never used Internet, never seen TV or read a paper, are they aware _even only by name_ of the general popular culture (TV shows, sports, movie actors not named Tom Cruise or John Travolta, ..., and even wars or elections) surrounding them ?

    And, when it happens that such a 'lifer' quits the movement, are there problems such as realizing that most people don't use (or understand) word like 'enturbulate', have never heard about Mr Hubbard, work only 5 days/week and 8 hours/day but somehow can be productive even without any 'administrative tech' and yelling at/knocking people down ?

    So is it completely a surprise for them to find themselves in a less militaristic world ? I suppose it's easier when some family members or friends are already out, but even when they are not completely alone in the wog world there has to be a severe culture shock !

    Thanks in advance, and have a nice day,

    Thierry D

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    1. I recommend you check out Ex-Scientology Kids which was started by just such kids. The site is no longer kept up (because the Church of Scientology is very effective in blackmail) but, thankfully, it still exists for now.

      You are quite correct, the culture shock is incredible for such born-in-Scientology people. It can take a long time for them to recover and many never completely recover.

      Also, all long-term Sea Org members are told boogie-man stories about how horrible, criminal and dirty the "wog" world is. Scientology has to make the "wog" world much worse than what they experience within the Sea Org.

      This is one of the biggest shocks for ex-Sea Org members: The real world is not only not that bad, it is, in most ways, much better, more ethical and certainly more sane than Scientology's Sea Org.

      Bill

      Delete
    2. Thank you, Bill !

      I went to Ex-Scientology Kids, and read a lot of very sad stories. Well, some of them have a happy ending (if you can call "My life is wonderful, even with my parents and siblings refusing to speak to me" a happy ending), but, well, it's scary...

      Another question : LRH had a very high opinion of himself, and Commander L. D. Causey, the US Naval Attaché to Australia in 1942, made an early and on-target statement when he wrote that "He is garrulous and tries to give impressions of his importance. He also seems to think that he has unusual ability in most lines".

      Unusual abilities in most lines... That's an understatement !

      I've read that he wrote policy letters about many things, including "A PC's guide to car cleaning". Do you remember any other policy letters about such trivial matters ?

      As I understand it, LRH policies are holy church scriptures, and nobody is allowed to change a word of it (or to make any exegesis of it, that would be "verbal tech", and strictly forbidden). What happens when Hubbard's policy mentions a technology, and this technology becomes obsolete ? An example : if LHR has written something like "The org will send a telex and record the order on a cassette tape", are the scientologists bound to 1970 technology, or can they, somehow, pretend LRH meant "telex or email or ..." or "cassette tape or CD or ...", and use newer tech ?

      Thanks,

      Thierry D

      Delete
    3. Thierry D,

      Regarding "trivial matters". Yeah, sprinkled throughout Hubbard's admin policies are a number of quite trivial pronouncements that must be followed like all the rest of his policies, without question. You will get in real trouble if you don't clean windows with newspaper. I'm afraid I've forgotten most of these -- maybe others can recall some. Sorry.

      You bring up an interesting subject regarding technology. For the most part, Scientology under Miscavige has embraced many of the newer technologies. I assume that Hubbard would have approved -- he wasn't a Luddite. You see Scientology creating websites and producing DVDs -- pretty much because they have to. They don't use telexes any more, for instance.

      But they really are technology hicks and that won't change. Miscavige is terrified of the Internet, so he won't use it as it could be used. Miscavige cannot confront e-books and so there are no Scientology e-books. Any technology that empowers users is going to be avoided by Scientology for sure.

      Delete
  163. I discovered the following site only a few weeks ago: http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/scientology/
    they were very active, producing daily updates on Scientology (eg the progress on Debbie Cook). Suddenly their blog seems to have disappeared (about 3 or 4 days ago). Any idea what that might be about?

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    1. Thanks for confirming that. A friend, who lives in a different part of the UK, also confirms that it's working for her, so presumably it's something to do with my computer- which is persistently refusing to access. Struggles for many seconds, then comes up with an error message. Very strange, as I'm not having any problems with any other sites. I need to consult a techie friend on this.

      Delete
    2. Your computer or your ISP or DNS (which is probably your ISP).

      Delete
  164. Exactly what did you do to become an ex-scientologist?

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    1. It was easy. I finally decided to stop fooling myself and face the reality that it all was a lie. Nothing but lies. It was difficult but it got easier over time. Try it.

      Delete
  165. What is your motivation to put out so much false data and suppress others from helping themselves? Revenge? Simple efforts to destroy?

    You speak very generally of the crimes with no definite context or specific examples, but only give reference to who is in basic agreement with you. I can verify from my own personal experience that the ugliness you tell is entirely groundless, devoid of context, and actually quite the opposite in truth; all of what you are doing appears nothing more than an effort to suppress others from betterment or experiencing and thinking for one's self.

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    1. You know, we laugh at message like this from Scientologists. They haven't read anything in my blog, but they "know" it's "bad". Anyone not familiar with this kind of Scientology "communication" may be a bit baffled. Such nastyness! Why are they so nasty?

      This Scientologist thinks they are literally destroying my mind. Yes, I mean "literally". They have been told by L. Ron Hubbard that accusing me of horrible crimes will "cave me in" -- meaning destroy my mind. They believe it. They carefully don't notice that this "tech" has never worked and inevitably causes laughter instead of mind-destruction.

      I like most Scientologists. I'd probably like this person if I had a chance to know them. This comment reminds me why my blog is important. Someday this person will start to wake up and they'll want to know what happened and how it happened. Maybe then they'll come back to actually read stuff.

      We can only hope.

      Delete
  166. RE: the "What is your motivation..." note above. What do you think the motivation of the author of that is? Is he or she OSA, posting here on orders? If not, isn't it against the rules for them to interact with you (or read the material on your site) at all? I am always a bit mystified at Scientologists who post online, both because of the clumsiness of their approach (as above) and because of the prohibitions, as I understand it, against coming into contact with "entheta" or "SPs". If you can shed any light on the mentality at work here, please do.

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    1. Re: "What is your motivation"

      Not OSA. An OSA poster would be nastier, more trollish. Naw, this was a Scientologist in a "lower condition" who was "striking a blow" at the enemies of Scientology. They would not be coming back unless the Ethics Officer rejects their Liability petition.

      (Explanation for those who got lost there: Google "Scientology Ethics Conditions". Hubbard created a whole lot of "lower conditions" and a couple of "higher conditions", each with a very specific formula that must be followed for the Scientologist to graduate to the next higher condition. The "Liability formula" contains the requirement for the True Believer to "strike a blow at the enemy", so they do. Sometimes they come here. Then they have to petition "the group" to be allowed out of the condition.)

      Delete
  167. QUESTION: How many scientists are Scientologists?

    I did an initial Web search, but did not find anything. I realize there are some issues in posing the question. Scientology membership data is not readily available. What constitutes a "Scientologist"? What constitutes a "scientist"? Etc.

    Ultimately, a demographic breakdown would be most interesting. What type of scientist? What part of the world? Scientists that were, but are not longer (and why?)?

    My underlying interest is: "In what sense is Scientology 'science'?", and "How do scientists relate to this?"

    If Scientology is in some sense legitimate science, then perhaps a significant number of scientists would accept it. Of course, this is not necessarily true, but at least it attempts to get at the relationship between Scientology and scientists.

    In summary, the question: "How many scientists are Scientologists?" is a simply formed question to start an inquiry into the relationship between Scientology and scientists, which is a much broader and perhaps more difficult question to answer. Underlying this inquiry is the question: "In what sense is Scientology 'science'?"

    TIA.

    Swami

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    1. @Swami

      Simple answer: I don't know and have no way of finding out.

      Longer answer: There is pretty much zero science in Scientology. Hubbard completely rejected all scientific method and all scientific level research and testing. He vehemently rejected the concept of "proof" and considered anyone to demanded any proof to be one of the Evil People. Seriously, he even spent one whole lecture ranting about it.

      No, science and Scientology are on opposite sides on this.

      While I seriously doubt that any scientist could stomach Hubbard's "technology", I have no way of proving that.

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    2. Just Bill,

      Tnx for the prompt and level reply.

      So, in what sense did Hubbard coin the word "Scientology"?: science (knowledge) + ology (study of) = study of knowledge? If so, then by what epistemic approach?

      Tnx, again,

      Swami

      Delete

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