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.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Scientology Warning Signs

Before anyone gets too deeply involved in the Church of Scientology, there are warning signs. Pay attention to the warning signs! Your good sense will tell you something is very wrong.

If you ignore the warning signs, it really is your own damn fault, you know.

Preposterous claims
As part of their sales routine, Scientologists try various tricks to get you to tell them of some major problem you are having. It may be family, health, job, the economy, war--they pry something from you that they can use.

Then, no matter what you've said, they will inevitably utter the magic words, "Scientology can help you with that!"

Think about it. Scientology claims to be able to help you with absolutely anything. They claim to be the ultimate solution to everyone's ills. No matter what those ills might be.

This is a big warning sign. Only the most gullible could believe such extreme claims like that. This screams, "Scam!" more than anything else they could say.
Salesmen/Sales tricks
Church of Scientology salesmen troll the sidewalks trying to get people to take a "stress test" or a "personality test". They're out on the sidewalk, they're in the malls. Doesn't that seem just a little off?

And they use these tricks. They tell you it's a "stress test" and hook you up to a meter. The needle jumps. They say it "indicates stress". Oh yeah? What proof do they have of anything? It's their meter. It's their needle. They can do anything they want with them. What kind of test is that? It's a trick to pull you in, that's what it is. Does it have any validity? I'll let you guess the answer to that one.

The "personality test" is the same thing. You spend a chunk of time answering a whole lot of questions. They take it away and come back with a graph of some kind. What is it? What does it say? Is it valid? Does it mean anything? No, it's another trick. It isn't actually any recognized "personality test" at all. It's a sales gimmick. It says what they want it to say, that's all.

You get tricked into these things because you're curious about yourself. But after all that participation, everyone who does these tests learns only one thing: They're "horribly messed up" and "Scientology can help with that". Every test result from every person results in an identical "analysis".

This is a warning sign. These "tests" are sales gimmicks, they're not valid.
Super slick presentation
Another of the warning signs is the super-slick presentation. You get hit with a big video production, in a special theater. Then you are given a stack of slick promotional materials.

Gee whiz! It must be legitimate, look how slick the presentation is!

None of these things give you any real information. It's all show, no substance.

Just try to get straight answers to your questions. Ask away. Listen to the "answers". You don't actually get real answers, just fancy promotional literature and a big video production. No facts.

You're not supposed to notice there are no facts. It's a big distraction.

Actually, it's a big warning sign.
The Contract
Before starting any "major service" (anything above the introductory services) you will be required to sign The Contract.

If ever there was a warning sign, this is it.

This beast is many pages of small-type legalese. The church does not want you to read it, they just want you to sign it.

You are not allowed to take this contract to your lawyer. You are not allowed to have your own copy of this contract. If you actually read the contract you will find that it attempts to absolve the church from any and all liability for anything they might do to you. You sign away all possible rights you might have.

According to the contract, you pay, but you are promised absolutely nothing.

No lawyer would let you sign such a "contract". The fact that this contract is considered secret, and you can't have a copy, is extremely revealing.

Only a fool would sign such a contract.
Money, money, money
It's all about the money. Their only free services are their sales presentations.

Just try to get out of the Church of Scientology without handing over some money. They are very insistent, you have got to buy something. Buy a book. Buy a course. Buy something. Buy!

It starts out with the cheaper things, but, if you show any interest at all, it soon escalates to the more expensive services. Everything they do is for sale and their job is to get your money.

Now, this really should be ringing warning bells for you.
It is very plain and very simple. The Church of Scientology engages in lots of activities that, in any reasonably intelligent person, should trigger loud alarm bells:
"Warning! These activities are not the actions of an honest organization. This group is trying to pull something. Warning, warning!"
Just pay attention, OK?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Scientologists: What Were Your Goals?

Dear Scientologist,

When you got into Scientology, what did you want to do with it? What did you want to accomplish?

Was it helping people? Did you envision helping others with Scientology?

Was it increased abilities, powers? Did you picture yourself dashing through life with ease and confidence?

Was it flourishing and prospering? Were your dreams of a good life, where you could live as you wished, where you had the life you'd dreamed of? Did you see yourself free from debt and financial troubles?

Was it freedom? Did you desire to be free from guilt and pressure; free to do as you deemed right; free to live the life you chose?

Was it "OT"? Did you want to uncover the upper level mysteries? Did you want to know how to regain OT abilities? Did you want unlimited potential?

So, how's it going with your original goals? Are you there yet? Are you making progress? Are your goals completely different now?

I can imagine your life is considerably different, now that you're a Scientologist, but is it better? Are you, personally, doing better now?

Or are you deeply in debt, far beyond what your better judgment would have allowed?

Are you under tons of pressure and guilt to do more, give more, dedicate more? Do you cringe when the phone rings? Do you get into long conversations about your private finances with Scientology staff members, IAS registrars, desperately trying to justify not going even deeper into debt?

Are you scared? Are you afraid that you will be prevented from moving up the bridge because you just haven't given enough money to the IAS, the Ideal Org. campaign, CCHR? Have you already been stopped? Do you feel threatened by what the Scientology powers-that-be may do to you if you don't do what you're told?

Have your results from Scientology been a disappointment? I know you can't admit it aloud, but have the bright, wonderful promised results not been so bright, not so wonderful? Do you feel just about like you used to feel, many years ago? Are you still hoping your future services will give you the bright, wonderful results you'd wanted?

Do you feel constrained, corralled, herded, controlled by the Church of Scientology? Do you get tired of constantly monitoring what you see, what you hear, what you read to make sure you don't stray from the "allowed areas"? Does the church have a list of things you should be doing? Does this feel like "freedom" to you? When you're around non-Scientologists, do you ever relax, or do you constantly watch what you say, what they say?

Do you miss your friends and family? Do friends and family tense up when you show up, because they know you'll just pressure them to "try Scientology"? Do any of them still want to be around you? Have you been forced to "disconnect" from all of them? Do you ever have any conversations that are not about Scientology? Don't you miss just hanging out?

When was the last time you laughed, really laughed, long and loud? When was the last time you really relaxed?

Do you feel that the Church of Scientology helps you or does it only demand help from you? And is that demand for help pretty much just a demand for lots more money?

Is your future "bright with promise", or is it now "heavy with guilt and responsibilities"?

Do you think the Church of Scientology would consider these questions "unacceptable"? Why would just asking questions be forbidden by any honest organization?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Is Scientology a Cult?

The question as to whether Scientology is a cult or not is the subject of intense debate. Basically, Scientology adamantly insists that it isn't, and many others declare that it is, or that it certainly seems to be.

And, for probably a majority of people, they just don't know and may not even care.

Scientology insists that it is not a cult, primarily because of the negative connotations of the word. The Church of Scientology is very, very careful with its image. It works very hard to present itself as a not-at-all-wacky-very-normal religion.

Critics insist that the Church of Scientology is a cult, because they feel it is an important part of understanding the church, and because it is a key factor in helping people recover from membership in the church.

But why is this open to debate? Isn't there a definition of cult that is authoritative and conclusive?

Yes and no. The definitions for cult range from the benign:
The formal means of expressing religious reverence; religious ceremony and ritual.
through the common:
Obsessive, especially faddish, devotion to or veneration for a person, principle, or thing.
to the extreme:
A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader.
(All definitions from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition.)
It is this last definition that is intended when talking about the Church of Scientology. But it isn't very helpful. What is meant by "sect", "extremist", "unconventional", "charismatic"? The debate gets bogged down in minutiae.

A better description, specific to that last definition of cult, can be found in Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism by well-respected author Robert Jay Lifton, M.D., who studied the psychology of extremism for decades.

In his book, Lifton outlines the "Eight Criteria for Thought Reform":
  1. Milieu Control. This involves the control of information and communication both within the environment and, ultimately, within the individual, resulting in a significant degree of isolation from society at large.
  2. Mystical Manipulation. There is manipulation of experiences that appear spontaneous but in fact were planned and orchestrated by the group or its leaders in order to demonstrate divine authority or spiritual advancement or some special gift or talent that will then allow the leader to reinterpret events, scripture, and experiences as he or she wishes.
  3. Demand for Purity. The world is viewed as black and white and the members are constantly exhorted to conform to the ideology of the group and strive for perfection. The induction of guilt and/or shame is a powerful control device used here.
  4. Confession. Sins, as defined by the group, are to be confessed either to a personal monitor or publicly to the group. There is no confidentiality; members' "sins," "attitudes," and "faults" are discussed and exploited by the leaders.
  5. Sacred Science. The group's doctrine or ideology is considered to be the ultimate Truth, beyond all questioning or dispute. Truth is not to be found outside the group. The leader, as the spokesperson for God or for all humanity, is likewise above criticism.
  6. Loading the Language. The group interprets or uses words and phrases in new ways so that often the outside world does not understand. This jargon consists of thought-terminating clichés, which serve to alter members' thought processes to conform to the group's way of thinking.
  7. Doctrine over person. Member's personal experiences are subordinated to the sacred science and any contrary experiences must be denied or reinterpreted to fit the ideology of the group.
  8. Dispensing of existence. The group has the prerogative to decide who has the right to exist and who does not. This is usually not literal but means that those in the outside world are not saved, unenlightened, unconscious and they must be converted to the group's ideology. If they do not join the group or are critical of the group, then they must be rejected by the members. Thus, the outside world loses all credibility. In conjunction, should any member leave the group, he or she must be rejected also.
Anyone can see how these criteria constitute a good yardstick for evaluating a group or organization. The more criteria a group meets, the more that group is operating as a cult.

So how does the Church of Scientology fare against these criteria?

Milieu Control
This is information control. The Church of Scientology is very strict in attempting to control all information that Scientologists have access to. Internet access is controlled with a Scientology-developed "net-nanny", Scientologists are forbidden from reading, watching, listening to any negative information about the church. They are required to "disconnect" from anyone, including family, even their own children and spouses, if those people express any negative attitudes about the church.
Mystical Manipulation
Everything that happens to you is predicted by Hubbard's discoveries. Whatever happens to you, Hubbard has already determined exactly why it happened and has the exact solution for all your problems.
Demand for Purity
Yup! Got that! Scientologists are homo novis, the superior group. They are "more ethical", "more responsible". More is demanded of them because the "fate of every man, woman and child in this universe" rests on their shoulders.
Everyone must confess in Scientology. Every auditing session begins with questions designed to uncover "overts and witholds" (crimes and secrets). Many sessions are devoted exclusively to such things. If the church determines you've strayed from their narrow path, you can spend a lot of time confessing, for which you will pay big bucks. All crimes and secrets are written down, some are even video-taped. These records are never destroyed.

At the Int. Base of Scientology (top management), staff member's confessions are often read aloud at staff musters.

Those who leave the church and speak out against the church's abuses often have their "confidential" confessional material exposed to the public.
Sacred Science
Hubbard's words and his technologies are considered, by the Church of Scientology and by all Scientologists, as perfect, the ultimate answer to every mystery in the universe.

Whatever Hubbard said is considered complete and unquestionable. The greatest crime you can commit in Scientology is to doubt Hubbard's technology.

If the technology fails, it is the fault of the person applying it or the recipient, never the fault of the technology.
Loading the Language
Hubbard created brand new terms for everything. Scientologists have a very difficult time translating Scientology ideas into real words. The concepts are not that different from ideas expressed many other ways by many other people, but, because of the unique terms used to define these ideas, they seem new and unique.

Scientologists have Hubbard's canned, strongly enforced, verbatim reasons and solutions to all difficulties. For any problem there is a specific remedy from Hubbard. This certainly terminates any thought outside of Hubbard's dogma.
Doctrine over person
Scientologists are never supposed to see any cause and effect outside of what is set out by Hubbard. If a person sees something that disproves Hubbard's assertions, it must be forgotten or reinterpreted so as to agree with Hubbard. Life's difficulties can have no other solution. If, by accident, something else solves a Scientologist's problems, it must be carefully framed in a context of Hubbard's doctrine. No solutions outside of Scientology are valid.
Dispensing of existence
This is so very true of Scientology. Those inside of Scientology are in a special world, with special requirements, special justice. Those outside of Scientology are the focus of much activity. All non-Scientologists must be brought into the church to create a "Scientology World". All non-Scientologists are called "wogs" or "raw meat" by Scientologists, until they are "enlightened".

Those who have left Scientology and, of course, all who criticize Scientology are "fair game". While the actual term "fair game" is now avoided, the attitude and actions are still embraced fully. These "enemies" of Scientology may be literally "deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed."

The Church of Scientology and all Scientologists believe that they have the right to unilaterally destroy anyone they determine is an enemy.
So, those are the criteria that measure if a group is a cult. And that is the analysis of how the Church of Scientology measures up to those criteria.

What do you think? Is Scientology a cult?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Scientology: Faith or Fact?

One of the things that Scientologists will stridently assert, is that Scientology is fact-based. They get upset when anyone says it is only faith-based. But what does it mean, "fact-based"?

It means that there is proof. Something that is fact-based is something where an independent party can look at the facts and will admit, "Yes, based on the data, that is true."

So where are the facts?

When pressed, the Scientologist will begin to present some anecdotal data. "I feel happier", or "My fear of widgets went away." But those are not facts.

Now, I'm real happy that someone feels better, but that's just not factual. There is no clear cause and effect here. It is well known that if you expect something to make you feel better, it is very likely to do just that, no matter what the activity is.

Scientologists also claim that Scientology "raises IQ", but the only tests involved are Scientology's own tests. These tests are not standard tests. These tests are not independently accepted tests and no independent testing has been done. Using a Scientology-developed test to prove that Scientology is effective is a bit self-serving and is certainly not unbiased.

All the "evidence" presented by a Scientologist is unsubstantiated, opinion or anecdotal.

Now, that's called "faith" where I come from. When hard, independent facts are completely unavailable, you can't claim the activity is fact-based, or worse, science-based.

So, what about all these abilities that Scientologists say they have? What about all the "success stories"?

Well, I'll tell you how this goes.

The person, called a "pre-clear" (or "pc"), buys a bunch of "auditing hours". These are hours spent one-on-one with a Scientology "auditor". The auditor asks the pc questions, the pc answers. The questions are all centered around a specific subject, such as "communication", depending on the level being audited. This goes on until the pc has a new realization about themselves or life regarding that subject. When the pc has this new realization, this is usually the end of that session. After these sessions, the pc normally feels pretty good. They've had this nice realization, they're happy.

Then, perhaps the next day, the pc gets another session, on the same subject, but different questions. Many sessions go on until the pc has a major realization about that subject.

At this point, the pc is sent to the "Examiner" (person who does this check) to attest to completion of the level. The examiner asks the pc if they want to attest to completing the level and to having gained the very specific abilities of that level.

Does the pc go out into the world and test out these "new abilities" to see if there has been a change and he or she now definitely has these abilities? Is there any test for these "new abilities"? Absolutely not. It's not about what the pc can actually do, it's about how the pc feels.

For example, the examiner might ask something like, "Do you attest to being able to communicate with anyone on any subject?" And the pc thinks, "Well, I couldn't do that before now, but I'm feeling really good about this, I can picture myself doing that now." And the pc says "Yes!"

The pc then goes and writes a "success story" about how they have this wonderful new ability ... that they haven't actually experienced in the real world. So the success story is about how they imagine having the new ability would be like.

And then they go out into the real world, and they believe they can now talk to anyone. They feel like it should be true, now that they've reached this magical level. It is entirely possible, because of some of the things they realized, or simply because they believe, that they actually might perceive some improvement. But is it the ability to talk to anyone on any subject?

Of course it isn't. It isn't difficult to see this. There are tons of people a Scientologist cannot talk to. There are lots of conversations that Scientologists cannot listen to. They see this and they know this but they cannot admit it. In the flush of the moment, right after session, they attested it was true. It turns out to not be true, but, you see, it's all their fault. They attested. They are told that only bad people falsely attest, and only bad people fail to get gains from auditing. And they don't want to be a bad person, so they keep quiet.

What they don't know, because no one can talk about it, is that everyone experiences the same thing. They think they are flawed. They think everyone else is doing fine. They think that everyone else got all their gains. No one talks about this so no one knows that this is the common result of auditing.
  • Scientologists can't talk to anyone on any subject (Grade 0). That's obvious to anyone trying to have a conversation with a Scientologist.
  • Scientologists have major problems (Grade I). Typically, Scientologists are deeply in debt. Usually, Scientologists are struggling to accomplish their goals. They can't cope with Anonymous, they can't cope with their secrets spilling out, they can't solve their many problems.
  • The Church of Scientology and a number of Scientologists have major "overts and witholds" (crimes and secrets) which were supposed to be handled with Grade II.
  • And so on, straight up their levels. In the real world, they don't have the abilities that they attested to. Clears get sick and don't have "perfect recall". Difficulties persist.
When Scientologists claim they have all these wonderful abilities, it is belief and faith speaking. Usually, it is belief despite obvious evidence to the contrary. There are no facts to back up those claims.

So what? What difference does it make if Scientology claims to be "based on scientific fact"? Who cares?

Everyone should care. When Scientology claims to be fact-based, it means that they believe their techniques will work on you, whether you believe or not. It means that they believe that the techniques should be used on you, for your own good. It means that they believe that, if their techniques don't produce the expected results on you, that all they have to do is hammer it in until it does produce that result. It means that they believe, in their campaign to bring about the conversion of the world into a "Scientology World", that any opposition is supreme evil. They believe that any expression of doubt is evil. They believe that anyone who fights against their conquest of the world is fighting against proven betterment.

Because Scientologists believe all this, they believe they are justified in taking any action to accomplish their world conquest; they believe they are justified in taking any action against their critics.

And this is something we all need to be very concerned about.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bring on the OTs!

If ever the Church of Scientology needed OTs, it is now.

OTs, "Operating Thetans", are superior beings with the power to control, create and/or destroy matter, energy, space and time.

Hubbard and Scientology have been claiming they can produce OTs since 1954. Ever since these early days, Hubbard spoke of some very advanced techniques, and the amazing results to be obtained. This is what the Church of Scientology is selling. According to the church, every step a Scientologist takes on "The Bridge to Total Freedom" makes them "more OT".

Given how many people have spent so much money, time and effort in traveling up "The Bridge", isn't it safe to assume that there are millions of "more OT" people out there? Surely some of them are still in Scientology.

And, OT VIII, announced as the "first true OT level", was released quite a few years ago. Since then, hundreds of people have actually completed that level. I'm sure a number of OT VIIIs are still in Scientology.

So, I'm calling on all OTs to come to the aid of the Church of Scientology!

The church needs you desperately!

It is obvious that the church is not doing well. The veil of secrecy has become quite tattered. The secrets of the church are being exposed to view, not only the secret OT data, but also management screwups, falling numbers, reports of abuses and worse. These are all significant signs of weakness, uncertainty, miscalculation, poor planning, flawed execution and general incompetence.

Obviously, Miscavige must be busy working on his next big event presentation, and cannot pay attention to general church management. And it is equally obvious to all, that no OTs have been involved in church management for years. After all, OTs are described as much more capable than anything exhibited by the church.

So, it looks like all the Scientology OTs have been taking a break. Perhaps they have been out playing with their new abilities.

But, break time is over. Now the Church of Scientology needs you. If you are OT, your super-powers are needed urgently by the church. The incompetence, weakness, errors, abuses, poor planning and flawed execution by the church have got to be fixed.

Since Scientology has long said it can create OTs, and since the church has moved many, many people through these "OT Levels", we know that all these OTs must exist.

It is time for all the OTs to step forward and be recognized. All you OTs need to use your OT powers to help your church. You don't even need to leave your homes. Just patch up the failing parts, shore up the sagging management, smite those who would dare expose the church's faults! Do your OT thing, today!

Just one single OT, being really "OT", could turn the whole thing around. I'm not kidding. That's all it would take, just one. This is what the Church of Scientology is all about, this is what so many people have sacrificed so much for: The making of OTs. So bring them on!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Scientology Carrot and Stick

Another in my series to bring more understanding of what makes Scientologists think and act the way they do.
Every religion has its Big Reward for the faithful. It's "Heaven", "Nirvana", "Paradise", "Valhalla" or something equally wonderful, just for you after you've accomplished what that religion says you're required to do and have "gone to your reward".

That's the carrot. It's what's promised to the faithful for following orders. You follow their instructions now and you'll get the Big Reward, later.

The stick is that they can deny you that reward. They have the power to close the gates, kick you out, mark you as "bad", whatever. The more you believe in the Big Reward, the more power they have over you, because they can take it away.

That's the Big Penalty. Call it "Hell", "Tartarus" or something else. Instead of all the good that will come to you in the Big Reward, it's all pain, torture and suffering. It's a very big stick used to threaten the faithful.

Do the Big Rewards and Big Penalties exist? No one has come back to report, so they are unproven and unprovable, but all the True Believers are betting, big time, that the Big Reward does exist, and that they will get it; they picked the right religion!

Scientology is no different.

The Big Reward in Scientology is "OT", "Operating Thetan". This means being able to operate without the body, able to create and destroy matter, energy, space and time; free of all past pain and upset; at cause.

Now, supposedly, this state is attainable right now. According to Hubbard, you don't have to wait until you die to attain OT. Hubbard claimed you could have it now.

Well, sort of "now". Hubbard announced that it was all within reach in 1954. No one had attained it (except Hubbard hinted that he, himself, was pretty advanced) but it was just around the corner.

And the years passed, and many people paid a lot of money to move up the ever-extending "Bridge to Total Freedom". And, always, the "true" OT was always further away, above the top of "The Bridge", not yet available, but there, oh, yes! It was just there, waiting!

Now, all Scientologists believe this. Devoutly. Absolutely. And they want OT. More than anything.

And this colors what Scientologists do, and it colors everything that the church says and does. The church must always slant things and spin things to keep that dream alive. Obviously, they're not actually delivering "OT", so they have to do everything to make it seem like it is possible.

One of these tricks is that the OT Levels are highly, highly confidential -- well, they used to be. They still are for most Scientologists (since they can't look on the Internet). The story told to Scientologists is that just reading these confidential materials will make your head explode (or something). See? They are that powerful. The fact that millions of "unprepared" people have read these materials without any harmful effects is a fact that must be kept from Scientologists. Scientologists must continue to believe in the sheer, awesome power of these documents.

In addition, those who have completed these OT levels must never talk about them except in the most vague terms. This keeps the mystique alive.

The fact that Hubbard died in hiding, on the run from the law, the fact that the last years of his life were spent sick and in pain, these details must never be known by any Scientologist. The story they were told is that Hubbard was far, far advanced and "dropped the body" to do further research as an OT. The true facts of Hubbard's death completely invalidate the myth that he had mapped out any road to "true OT" and invalidate the myth that he actually was one of the true OTs. These facts must never be known.

The statistics of the Church of Scientology also must never, ever be known by Scientologists. The myth is the the "mighty church, lead by advanced OTs" is booming as never before. It is doing fantastic and very OT things! At least that's what Miscavige says at his events. The facts that the church is collapsing, closing churches, losing money and in trouble all over the world must never be told. You see, the failure of top management clearly says that OT does not exist. If "true OTs" could be made, the church sure could use a few!

The Church of Scientology loves to talk about the Big, Evil, Powerful Conspiracy that fights them at every turn. It's the reason why all the super-powerful OTs don't seem to be able to make much of an impact on the world. They would, of course, but there's this very powerful batch of Kryptonite over here ... Of course, there is no such conspiracy, but, the church needs yet another excuse for all of its failures. If there was no super-powerful conspiracy, then -- where are the OTs?

The church scrambles all the time to suppress anything that shows that Hubbard, Miscavige and the Church of Scientology are just regular, flawed, un-powered folk. It is a tough job, given all the mistakes Hubbard made, and all the goof-ups Miscavige is making.

However, for the True Believers, the myth is alive and real. The carrot is there, dangling a few inches from their fingers. The Church of Scientology keeps them all in line, blind to reality, by wielding their stick, the Big Penalty of Suppressive declare, disconnection, fair game. The Big Penalty is no Scientology, forever!

And Scientologists think:
So what if I have to pay and pay and pay? "True OT" is beyond any price.

So what if the church demands more and more of my time? So what if the church insists that I cut off all connection with friends and family? "True OT" is more important than my immediate concerns. It's my salvation for eternity!

So what if Miscavige beats people, locks people up in RPFs, and makes staff members work 20 hours a day for years? Making "true OT" a reality is worth any sacrifice!
And so it goes: Scientologists giving up everything, tolerating anything, sacrificing all, just so they don't lose their place in line for "true OT" when it becomes available.

And now you know the state of mind of a Scientologist. This is what they believe and this is why they so desperately toe the line, shut their eyes and ears, and pay and pay. They believe that, in the end, they will get the Big Reward: "True OT".

Even when Scientologists finally leave, many feel a terrible loss -- they will never go OT. Even when they know that it was all fake, they still feel the loss. It was a dream.

And, when Scientologists finally leave, they understand the depth of the betrayal by Hubbard and Miscavige. Those at the top of the church know that they can't ever deliver "OT". There is no way that Miscavige can pretend he doesn't know this. He has been faking everything to pretend that there was such a thing as OT so he could stay in charge and keep milking money from the marks.
"OT, it's just out of reach. There! Can't you see it? Trust us, believe us, and keep sending money ... or else!"
And that is why Scientologists are so annoying, and yet they are to be pitied.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Scientology: Study Technology

With recent news stories about Will Smith opening up his own school, there has been a bit of mention of Hubbard's "Study Technology".

This often gets into an analysis and critique of the several remedies in this package of tools, "Is this valid? Does that work?" That is, in my opinion, missing the point.

There is a significant problem with Hubbard's Study Technology. Carefully analyzing parts of the package is like carefully studying a few trees in a forest. You may understand one tree better, but you won't understand the forest.

Let me tell you what the problem is. It's a big one.

First, a better name for Hubbard's Study Technology is "Indoctrination Technology". That may sound like I'm making some snarky comment and taking a dig at Scientology, but I'm perfectly serious. Hubbard's study technology is very specifically designed by Hubbard as a tool for indoctrinating his students into his Scientology writings.

Hubbard assumed, and his "Study Tech" assumes, that the material being studied is 100% perfect and 100% complete. After all, they were studying Scientology.

This is very, very significant as a basis for approaching study. When these are your assumptions, that the material is perfect and complete, then any difficulty the student has must be the fault of the student. And this is, indeed the basis for all the "remedies" of the Study Tech. Every study remedy assumes that it is the student who is wrong.

Hubbard's Study Tech does not allow for the material being studied to be incomplete, wrong, poorly written, confusing, or at fault in any way. (Yes, that is ironic.)

Hubbard's Study Tech does not allow for any fault in the environment or the teacher. The fault is always with the student.

The job of the student, as inculcated by Hubbard's Study Tech, is to duplicate and agree with the materials being studied. Period. Indeed, "disagrees with the material" in Hubbard's Study Tech is an indication of a student study error.

Figure out a better way? Nope. Research and find all the problems with the official material? Nope. Think for yourself? Not a chance. Just read, duplicate and agree.

If the student believes they've found an error in the material, the student must have a misunderstood word. If the student wants to do something differently than the way specified in the material, the student needs to apply Study Tech, find where the student was at fault, and then do it the authorized way.

This is what Hubbard required of his students, and that's what his Study Tech is all about.

Hubbard's Study Tech is a small number of tools which are ideal for indoctrination, but they are woefully inadequate for a robust education.

Students indoctrinated on a subject using Hubbard's Study Tech would definitely not be inclined to "think outside the box". Nor would they be likely to question authority.

Now, maybe that's really great for hard-core religions and government schools, but is it the way you'd want your children taught?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Scientology's New Buildings

You have undoubtedly heard the Church of Scientology bragging about their various "new buildings" around the world. There haven't actually been very many, but the few that there have been get pointed to by the church as "evidence" of Scientology's tremendous expansion.

That's the spin they put on it.

One look inside the new buildings is enough to disprove the "expansion" story. The buildings are empty, or nearly so. The old quarters were empty before all the hoopla, so the new ones were obviously not the result of a demand for more space. So why is the church working so hard, buying all these new, larger buildings?

The obvious explanation is that the church is doing it so they can give the apparency of expansion. Of course this is one reason and is certainly a benefit from the scheme. But, like all things related to the church, the story behind it is much more twisted, much darker. It is actually brilliant, in a dark, twisted way.

It's all about money.

First, of course, is the PR benefit of being able to point to these buildings and say, "See, expansion!"

Second, it is yet another, clever way to suck even more money from their parishioners. These buildings are purchased using only parishioner's donations, no church funds are used. Yet another urgent "project" needing their every last nickel and dime.

Third, as pure donations, no one can ask for their money back. You see, when Scientology services are paid for in advance, the church is supposed to return the money, if asked. With these donations, however, there is no return possible.
Aside: In actual fact, the Church of Scientology spent all the "advance payments"! Yes, indeed, if a majority of Scientologists asked for only their advance payments back, which the church is legally required to return, it wouldn't be able to! It is violating the law, right now, and is in deep trouble. This is the reason they concentrate on "pure donations" for their money now. That's all money in, with none of those pesky legal requirements not to spend it all!

So far so good, as far as the church is concerned, but the "best" is yet to come.

The local parishioners think they are buying the building for their local branch of the church. But they're not. No one tells them this. They think the local church will own the new building and never have to pay rent again.

And they are very, very wrong. They have been intentionally misled.

The building, purchased with parishioner's funds, becomes owned by the International Management, or, essentially, David Miscavige. International Management, in turn, leases the buildings back to the local church at (we assume) inflated rates. And the local church continues to pay rent forever.

You see the beauty of this scam? International Management gets the valuable property for nothing, purchased and fully renovated using parishioner's funds, parishioner's volunteer hours and the church's RPF slave labor and, on top of that, they collect nice fat monthly rent checks on the same property from, essentially, the same people. Double bonus!

[EDIT] I have been informed that this practice of buying the building, transferring ownership to the Int. Landlord who turns around and charges rent has ceased after the big stink at the San Francisco Church of Scientology. Mind you, it was done, it just isn't done now.

Now, the buildings must be paid in full, no mortgage, no lease, no rental, and then fully renovated before the local church is allowed to move in. This may explain why so many "Ideal Orgs" are stalled so badly. It's a massive cost that sucks every penny from the local church's field, but at least they won't have to pay rent after they've bought the building.

Now really, in what universe does sucking all available money from your customers for a building result in the local church having more business? To put it very simply, how does less available money equal more business?

[EDIT-2] It appears that this practice has started back up. With the LRH Birthday Event of 2009, David Miscavige has announced he will be partially funding many of the "new buildings". This is very significant. Never before has Miscavige offered to pay for anything -- once money went into his church's accounts, it never came back. Now this has suddenly changed! Of course, over the coming years, he will get all that back and much more because of the expensive leases, but still, what's up?

This change of fundamental operating procedure means one very significant thing: The "Ideal Org" campaign has been an abysmal failure. We've all seen it, the struggling churches, the huge empty buildings, it has been, as we predicted, a total failure. A very visible total failure. Miscavige hopes, with this infusion of money, to make his plan succeed. Indeed, more buildings will undoubtedly be purchased. Indeed, some of those will open. Then what? Miscavige has the preposterous idea that all he has to do is create this pretty façade, and people will forget what the Church of Scientology really is, forget what the church is really doing.

Too late. A very pretty scam is still a scam. People know that the Church of Scientology is a scam. They won't be fooled by Miscavige's movie-set fakery.
The local parishioners have been conned out of millions of dollars under the misapprehension they were helping their local church. Instead, they've greatly increased Miscavige's wealth, while burdening their local church with more expenses--the new buildings cost substantially more to maintain! The end result of all the parishioner's hard work is that the local church's struggle for survival becomes much harder.

But that's not all! Understand the magnitude of this betrayal: International Management can sell the building right out from under the local church, take the money and run, and the local church, and the parishioners who paid for that building could do nothing to stop them.

And the Church of Scientology has the unmitigated gall to point to this twisted bit of double-dealing as a "sign of expansion"! Yeah, expansion of Miscavige's bank account!

I point to these new buildings as a perfect example of what kind of evil, twisted machinations this "church" goes through to chivvy every last penny from their trusting marks parishioners. Instead of "expansion", these new buildings are just one more nail in the coffin of the Church of Scientology.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Planet Scientology

The Church of Scientology (or Planet Scientology) never, ever allows disagreement. No discussion, no argument, no contrary opinion.


Whatever Miscavige/Hubbard said, well that's that. If you exhibit the slightest hint of disagreement, you will have to go to the Scientology version of confession, the "Security Check" and you will stay there until the last bit of disagreement is rooted out, and all your transgressions have been uncovered and carefully noted for future use (and you pay top dollar for the privilege!). If you can't find any transgressions, you have to keep doing the Security Check until you make some up -- because, if you disagree, you must have transgressions, Miscavige/Hubbard* said so.
*Aside: Since Miscavige is in the process of rewriting all of Hubbard's stuff, it really should be "what Miscavige said and what Miscavige claims that Hubbard said", but that's too long. So, I guess I'll just stick with "Miscavige/Hubbard said".
The Church of Scientology believes that the exact same rules should be applied outside of Scientology as well. No one should be allowed to disagree with Miscavige and Scientology Doctrine. Nobody. It's just not right!

If you disagree, Scientology believes you must be punished. You must be stopped. You must be "corrected" until you agree. If you disagree, you must have horrible crimes (Miscavige/Hubbard said so), and if you don't have any horrible crimes, they will happily make some up for you (they're very good at framing people for bogus crimes!).

After all, it's only right.

And, in this, you find the source of the offensive Scientologist attitude of "I'm so superior and you're scum!" You feel this attitude whenever you deal with a Scientologist. They exude this sneering disdain for you and everything you say. You are wrong and you have "horrible crimes". You are a lower life form. They will not listen or consider what you say, they are only waiting for you to stop talking so they can "correct" and "enlighten" you.

But the whole Scientology Doctrine hangs by the tiniest of threads. Every single thing that Miscavige/Hubbard said must be right at all times! Scientology Doctrine isn't mostly true, or sometimes valid, it is always and only perfectly true.

There is no half way about Scientology. There is no reality, there is no logic, there is no validation or verification. There is only total, complete, blind faith.

Scientologists must pretend that everything that Miscavige/Hubbard ever said or did was absolutely right. When they accidentally see reality, they must quickly close their eyes, plug their ears, sing "LALALALALALA" and pretend, with all their might, that reality is wrong and Scientology Doctrine is still correct.

One little bit of proof slips in, one tiny fact that cannot be denied, one sliver of logic that shows that Miscavige isn't completely tracking in real time ... and the Scientologist is lost! The whole house of cards comes tumbling down.

And there are two significant, and fairly recent changes in the situation that make it much harder for "LALALALALALA" to block it all out.

The first is the metastasizing of the truth about Scientology all over the Internet and mainstream media. It used to be that Scientologists could simply avoid a few web sites and they were safe. No more! The truth is all over, reported on prime time TV and major newspapers. Talked about everywhere. The "safe" places to look for a Scientologist are getting very, very few.
Aside: Scientology trolls used to say, "If Scientology is so bad, why isn't it reported in major media?"

You asked for it, you got it!

The trolls have also used the line, "If Scientology is committing crimes, why hasn't top management gone to jail?"

Well, you asked for it ...
The second factor that makes it hard for Scientologists to hold onto their blind faith is Miscavige himself. As Miscavige's wife was reported to have confided awhile ago, David is losing it! His actions are becoming more and more erratic, his lies wilder and wilder, his attempts to "handle" things are the laughingstock of the world, and he's drinking half a bottle of scotch a day.

It is becoming impossible for the Scientologist to keep ignoring the craziness coming from Miscavige. "This is 'perfection'?" they ask themselves, "This is a 'superior being'?", "This is the best that Scientology can do?"

Of course, not all have given up "LALALALALA". Some Scientologists still cling tightly to the idea that they are totally right because they are Scientologists. But it is hard, and getting harder to blindly believe. One by one they are seeing the flaws and are dropping away from the church. One by one.

We welcome the new immigrants from Planet Scientology. You'll like it here in the real world! You have many friends here who have been waiting for your arrival.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Future of the Church of Scientology

The future of the Church of Scientology is looking very bleak.

Traditionally, Scientology recruits its new members from the gullible, the hopeful, the naive and the not-so-bright.

Except for the last one, these traits are more often found in younger folk.

Scientology requires people with little "real world" experience, people not skeptical, people not hardened by years of scams, lies, tricks and broken promises. They need people who are open to the possibility that something amazing, unusual and world-changing might actually show up in a store-front in their neighborhood.

Anyone else, on hearing the claims of Scientologists, would say, "Yeah, right. Prove it!" But young people, being curious, might just say, "OK, let's try it!"

And so the church could pull young people in and start their indoctrination.

But, because of the Internet, that has changed. Changed a lot.

I hope and think that young people are still as optimistic and curious as they've always been, but they are more skeptical. The wild claims, scams, tricks and ideas that have circulated through the Internet have inoculated them against just accepting anything they see. Now they look for more information. Now they evaluate and think.

And, always, they look to the Internet for more information. Hell, they google someone before going on a date with them.

And there, on the Internet, they find thousands of websites and blogs about Scientology. A few are Church of Scientology sites with their carefully crafted presentations, a few are rabid, off-the-wall sites, and all the rest present the real facts, unfiltered and extensive.

Anyone who is curious about Scientology can find out, literally, all they want from the Internet. Not only the happy-happy stories and carefully crafted presentations, but also the dark underbelly, the bizarre beliefs, the crimes, the abuses, the lies and the fraud.

That's it for the church! Because of the Internet, and all the hard work of those who have fought to put and keep all the information out there, the primary recruitment pool for the Church of Scientology has been shut off.

The only people left who just might be sucked into the church are the not-so-bright--the target of all scams and frauds.

And, to add to the recruitment problem, the church is losing members at an unprecedented rate. Anyone with any intelligence is waking up to the fact that the Church of Scientology is not as it claims, is causing an incredible amount of harm, and it is dying.

So, what is the future of the Church of Scientology? With the smart people leaving and only not-so-bright remaining and coming in, pretty soon all that will be left will be the Church of the Not-So-Bright, lead by the Pope-of-the-Not-So-Bright, David Miscavige.

We've seen that happening, and that will continue. Those in the church will not be able to figure out simple things--like why it all keeps going so wrong, no matter how many well-aimed, Hubbardized footbullets they shoot at it.

It can only get more entertaining.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Scientologists: Was LRH Stupid?

That isn't my opinion, that's David Miscavige's opinion. Is Miscavige right? Was LRH really stupid?

Let me clarify.

LRH declared, in "Keeping Scientology Working", that the technology was complete and was as perfect as it was ever going to get. He said don't mess with it, don't change it, and stop others from altering it.

Hubbard, over the years, personally taught many people how to apply the tech. He trained people on how to audit and supervise. He worked out all the training methods and content. When he trained the Flag auditors and supervisors, he declared their training to be "perfect". He personally developed and approved all the auditor training courses, checksheets, etc.

Yet, only a few years after Hubbard's death, Miscavige completely rewrote the technical training - methods and content, and dubbed it the "Golden Age of Tech". He then canceled all the certificates of everyone trained under Hubbard's methods. Even those who had been personally trained by Ron. Personally trained by Ron!

Is this clear enough for you? Miscavige said that L. Ron Hubbard was wrong! Miscavige said that Hubbard's training methods were wrong! He said that all those personally trained by Ron were so poorly trained by Hubbard that they had to retrain from scratch, using the correct, Miscavige methods.

Was Hubbard so stupid and so unobservant that he couldn't train people competently? That's what Miscavige claims in no uncertain terms. What do you think?

How about another example?

For more than thirty years, Hubbard wrote tons of books. The books were reprinted many, many times. Various people have reported working with LRH on getting the reprints exactly right, under Ron's strict guidance. Others have reported seeing copies of the books, marked up with LRH's notes in preparation for a reprint. LRH took great care with his books and their many reprints. To Hubbard, his books were the most important things he had ever produced.

Yet, for the second time after LRH's death, Miscavige has undertaken an extensive rewrite of Hubbard's books, claiming they were wrong, wrong, wrong! Today, you are not allowed to own the original books printed under LRH's directions, you must own the Miscavige versions.

Was Hubbard so stupid and so unobservant that he missed those massive errors, even as he read his own books and noted down corrections and changes he wanted, year after year, decade after decade? Was he so stupid that he allowed significant errors to continue printing after printing after printing? This is what Miscavige claims. Do you think he's correct?

You can't have it both ways. You can't think that LRH was brilliant, but then, at the same time believe that Hubbard was so stupid and so wrong about his own technology, his own training, and his own statements about the people he trained. You can't have it both ways.

You can't believe that Hubbard was a careful, thorough, brilliant writer, but then, at the same time believe that he never, ever checked his own works as they were being printed. Never cared. Never checked his books again when they were reprinted. This is something even the most inexperienced of authors takes pains to do. Was Ron as careless and stupid as Miscavige claims?

You can't have it both ways. If you believe Miscavige, then you must agree with him that Hubbard was abysmally stupid and careless about the things that Ron said were absolutely, vitally, most important: his all-important tech, and his all-important books.

If you are going to go along with Miscavige's massive alterations then you obviously agree with him that Ron was really, really stupid.

And that's what Miscavige wants you to believe.

Think about it.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Scientologists Say "Goodbye" to L. Ron Hubbard

After nearly six decades of honoring L. Ron Hubbard as Founder and Source of Scientology, Scientologists are finally demoting Hubbard to merely "Founder", to be given an occasional nod, but not much else.

The responsibility of "Source" will now be assumed by David Miscavige, the current leader of the Church of Scientology.

Miscavige took over the Church of Scientology in the mid-80's and has been consolidating his position ever since. Over the last two decades, he has removed anyone else who was in any position of leadership or authority within the church. The extensive executive structure, established by Hubbard before his death to carry on his wishes for the church, has been completely dismantled, leaving Miscavige as the sole "dictator" of Scientology. A few years ago, Miscavige finally removed the last executives in any leadership roles and locked them up in a special, secure compound-within-a-compound at the Scientology "Int. Base" in Hemet, California. That move left Miscavige, and the revered ghost of L. Ron Hubbard, alone as the official authorities of Scientology.

Removing Hubbard is the last step of Miscavige's power consolidation.

In recent years, Hubbard has become somewhat of an embarrassment to the Church of Scientology. Hubbard was well known for his creative story telling, and his stories of his life were no exception. The Church of Scientology had taken Hubbard's tall tales as gospel truth, and had published many biographical articles and booklets that, on closer inspection, were found to contain significant fabrications. The church was put in a position of defending these published accounts, a task which had become increasingly difficult with the advent of the Internet and easy access to the actual documents regarding Hubbard's life.

As a result of these problems, and as part of his power consolidation, Miscavige has been de-emphasizing Hubbard's name and image in the church's events and publications. In the most recent events and publications, Hubbard's name and image have all but disappeared, being replaced with Miscavige's, everywhere.

In addition:
  • Miscavige has been rewriting the technology of Scientology for many years, issuing orders and bulletins that, in many cases, actually go against Hubbard's specific, written instructions.
  • He has had Hubbard's lectures edited to remove statements that the church now finds embarrassing, or claims by Hubbard that the church now realizes were a bit overblown.
  • Miscavige has recently completed the extensive rewrite of Hubbard's books. The "author" of these books (the "Basics") is now, officially, the "LRH Library", but everyone knows that this actually means "David Miscavige".
  • He currently has a complete rewrite of Hubbard's administrative policies in the works. It is rumored that the full set of revised policies will be issued without Hubbard's name being mentioned anywhere.
  • As well, other actions to move away from Hubbard's influence have been taken, such as the recent dictate that Miscavige's orders shall, from now on, take full priority over anything written by Hubbard.
The removal of Hubbard as "Source" is now, essentially, complete. Hubbard will be given a nod, once in awhile, as the beloved (if somewhat "eccentric") Founder, but will otherwise be carefully moved to the far, far background.

The honor of "Source" as well as "Leader" and, perhaps, even "Savior of Scientology" will be Miscavige's self-assigned accolade from now on.

We wish him good luck with that.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Scientology "Control"

The Church of Scientology thinks they're very clever. They lie all the time, but they think they won't get caught. They think they can lie and lie and lie and that people will believe their lies. They break the law all the time, but they don't believe they will ever have to answer for it.

Why not? They're the ***Church of Scientology***! They have been given the Ultimate Technology for Controlling People by L. Ron Hubbard. Using this technology, they can control everyone at any time, without their knowledge or consent.

Hubbard created this technology back in the 50's and "perfected" it over the years. The Church of Scientology believes that this technology actually works, and that they don't have to explain, or be logical, or follow any rules, ethics, laws or other "wog concepts". They have the Ultimate Technology for Controlling People, and they know how to use it!

So, when you are dealing with the church, you are dealing with people who believe deeply that they are controlling you, and that you will follow their orders, you will believe their lies, and that you will, ultimately, become one of them and you will forward their agenda.

Add to this the Scientologist's belief that they are on a Mission to Save the Universe, and that the ends totally justify the means, and you have a bizarre and deadly combination.

The Church of Scientology feels completely justified by their Mission to do anything to forward their agenda, including lying, spying, spurious lawsuits, fake evidence, false witness, false imprisonment, beatings, anything--and they feel protected by their Ultimate Technology so they believe they will never get caught or have to pay for their crimes!

It's all true. This is what the church believes, though they will never admit it to "outsiders".


It isn't working out that way.

Their Ultimate Technology for Controlling People doesn't seem to be working as well as Hubbard said it would. In fact, it doesn't seem to be working at all.

The Church of Scientology continues to do their "control the media" thing but the "media" refuses to "be controlled." The bad news, the secrets, the horror stories just keep coming out. Standard Ultimate Technology of lies and misdirection is being carefully applied but it isn't working! The truth is leaking out, despite all the efforts of the church to "control" it!

Even major news media which, for years, had been scared into obedience by church threats of litigation is starting to stray from the compound. Even they are starting to report the truth!

What is a good, hard-working, people-controlling, universe-saving cult supposed to do?

Why: Lie, deny, litigate, threaten, abuse, imprison, beat and spy some more! That's the Ultimate Technology to Control People, isn't it?

Abusive cults and abusive regimes have been using these "technologies" forever. They do work if you have complete control over people's lives. The poor people trapped in the Scientology compounds in Hemet, Los Angeles and Clearwater are fully controlled. The problem for the church is that they do not control the rest of the world as they wish to. People still have the right to speak freely. People still have the right to listen and to read as they wish. People are still protected from abusive cults by laws. The church would love to replace all those protections with their own, unique set of "rules", but that just hasn't happened yet. As long as people still have those fundamental rights, the Church of Scientology's attempts at "control" will fail.

Abusive cults and abusive regimes have always declared that "the ends justify the means." The Church of Scientology is no exception. These kinds of people always claim a wonderful utopia will emerge after everyone has been completely subjugated to the authorities-who-know-best. But that old adage has never been true. From an abusive, controlling, lying cult can only come abuse, control and lying. They can never produce anything better.

I would change that old, false adage to, "the means define the ends"--meaning, the things you do to accomplish your goals define and shape what you ultimately end up with. And I would bet that no one would like the "Scientology World" that this cult would produce!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What happens next?

Do you think Scientology is more likely to capsize and dissipate into micro-church groups or to reform by moderating its aggressive and illegal behavior?

Thanks for your question. This or something similar, seems to be a recurring question. Basically, what is going to happen to the Church of Scientology?

The core problem with answering this question is that the Church of Scientology is currently being run by a psychotic. Really. So predicting what he'll do is quite difficult. He is capable of random, senseless and strange actions.

However, there are thousands of Scientologists, both inside and outside of the church structure. Predicting their actions is easier.

First, the "Church of Scientology" can, and just may, last a long time--true believers being what they are. I believe that the current troubles will only increase and that the management of the church will be brought to justice. Legal actions, lawsuits and other troubles will cause the collapse of the church.

However, hard-core, true believers will recreate the "church", perhaps under a different name, and will struggle on. It will remain very small. Hopefully, all the abusive policies will be canceled. If they are not canceled, the new "church" will cease to exist rather quickly when all of its members also end up in jail.

Other Scientologists have already created small groups outside of the church under the general Free Zone label and this will continue. Scientologists, newly out of the "church", but still believing, will swell the various Free Zone groups and create new ones. Some Scientologists will continue to practice "Scientology" outside of any group or organization. A few of these groups may even claim to be churches, but most will not. It is doubtful that the various Free Zone groups will consolidate--they will undoubtedly remain rather small, independent and contentious.

This last is easy to predict, because it is already happening, and has been for many years.

But, basically, I think that most Scientologists have, and will continue to, simply quit all such Scientology-like activities. They will go back to their previous beliefs, they will look for a new system of beliefs, or nothing. They will retain anything they've found useful and discard the rest. This is already what happens for most ex-Scientologists.

Now that the truths about Scientology, Hubbard and Miscavige are out there and widely known, I am certain that any version of Scientology, whether reformed or not, will remain quite small. Expansion of Scientology is impossible when the truth is known.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Scientology Fair Game

It is hard to have any meaningful discussion with the Church of Scientology about "Fair Game" because they insist it was "canceled".

This is the typical, standard Scientology masquerade. The masquerade of pretending to tell the truth while actually giving completely false information.

Scientologists say, "Oh, fair game was canceled in 1968!" But there are important missing words there. The truth is: "Oh, [the use of the phrase] fair game was canceled in 1968 [but we still do all those things]!"

They love to play this game and can play it all day long.

So here is a little "howto" for journalists to get the truth.

Question 1 to the Church of Scientology:
Does the church Policy Letter PENALTIES FOR LOWER CONDITIONS list the following "penalties" for someone the church labels "ENEMY"?
SP Order. Fair game. May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed.
Question 2 to the Church of Scientology:
Except for the words "Fair game", is this policy letter applied today? That is, are such "SP Orders" issued on people, like critics of Scientology, today?

The only answers possible are "Yes," and "Yes". The Church of Scientology may pad the answers out with lots and lots of spin, but the answers are, obviously,"Yes" to these questions.

Question 3 to the Church of Scientology:
Why does the church, by its own policy, approve of, and even participate in, illegally depriving people of property, injuring them "by any means", and tricking, lying to or even destroying these people?

If they claim they do not approve of this, ask:
Question 4 to the Church of Scientology:
Then why has this abusive, and obviously illegal, policy not been repudiated and really canceled by the church?

Journalists can bypass that whole "fair game was canceled" dance by asking the above questions. These are the policies followed "religiously" by the Church of Scientology, today. The referenced "Policy Letter" was not canceled. No need to talk about "fair game" to expose the church's destructive and highly illegal policies towards those who it labels "enemy".

The Church of Scientology truly believes that it is "above the law". If they label someone "enemy", they actually believe that they may then do anything they want to that person! They are aware they are breaking the law because they always hide what they do. It isn't ignorance, it is vast hubris.

It is high time we taught them the truth: The law does apply to all they do!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Scientology Works???

People who have never had any experience with Scientology have this idea that it is all a scam and a fraud. They have read of some of the more bizarre bits of Scientology and that conclusion is unavoidable. They assume, because some of the "tech" is fraudulent, all of it is fraudulent.

This is the other side of the coin that Scientologists believe. They have experienced improvement from some of the tech, and they assume that all of the tech is good.

This makes it difficult for critics with no Scientology experience, to understand, let alone talk to, the Scientologist. And I think it is important to be able to talk to Scientologists. How else can you help them escape?

It is important to understand that some of the tech actually works for some people. You can't get anywhere trying to tell a Scientologist that "the tech doesn't work". They "know it does!"

Anyone who was roped into Scientology will tell you that it was the "workable" stuff that got them in. That's part of the trap. Which is workable, and how much, is quite subjective.

But here is one of the conundrums of Scientology: its workability. Using anecdotal evidence, it is clear that some of Scientology techniques work for some people. Further, it is clear that some of the technology is more broadly workable, and other bits have, to put it mildly, less workability.

The mystery is that Hubbard seems to have been able to produce some workable techniques at one time, but seems to wander off into strange, unworkable, bizarre stuff at other times.

Was he a genius? Or a fraud?

He couldn't be both. Or could he?

Here I get into personal opinion, but I think it explains a lot. I think he was both. I see his primary genius as his ability to attract smart people to his cause, allow them to develop techniques that actually worked, and then take credit for it all.

In the early days of Dianetics, and then Scientology, there was a tremendous amount of give-and-take. A ton of trying and failing and trying again. Dozens, maybe hundreds, of people were in contact with Hubbard, trying his techniques, reporting results, altering things, thinking up new things. They said "I tried this, it didn't work. I tried that and it did work. Have you thought about doing ...?"

Hubbard compiled it all. His notes and files are gone, but it seems quite obvious to me that he used all this work, research and inventiveness from all these people, and picked out what was reported to work. It was a "wisdom of crowds" effort. He was the catalyst, but it wasn't, really, his tech although he took full credit for all of it.

And a lot of that early stuff is pretty workable.

You see the same situation cropping up occasionally in the later tech. Other people work out some techniques that seem to work, and Hubbard took the credit and issued it over his name.

On the other hand, you also see bits of technology that seem to be solely Hubbard's case, strange things that don't seem to work on others--but pushed by Hubbard as "very important".

I think this explains why some of the Scientology techniques seem rather grounded and workable for a number of people, and other Scientology techniques are so strange and generally unworkable. Early on, Hubbard was smart enough to use the "wisdom of crowds" and was humbug enough to take all the credit. But later, when he tried to develop stuff on his own, he didn't do so well.

Both genius and fraud. I could be wrong, but that's my theory.

And, of course, this is the problem with Scientology. You can't just take some part that works for you, you have to buy the whole wagon load of stuff--workable mixed in with crap. And you're supposed to pretend it all works.

When you have a wagon load of anything mixed with crap -- it all smells like crap.

I should point out that, to my knowledge, pretty much all of the administrative policies were written solely by Hubbard. All of the "Ethics" policies were Hubbard's alone.

This explains why the administration, especially the management, of Scientology is so abusive, so paranoid, so truly unworkable and, well, horrible. Hubbard was not smart enough to listen to others on these subjects. No "wisdom of crowds" in any of that stuff. And it shows.