mir·a·cle (mĭr'ə-kəl) n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- An event that appears inexplicable by the laws of nature and so is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God.
- L. Ron Hubbard referred to the "miracles" produced by Scientology. He claimed that Scientology could produce results that would appear to be miracles to non-Scientologists.
And is this claim made from personal knowledge? Have these Scientologists actually experienced some kind of "miracle"?
What most Scientologists have experienced is times of more happiness, which they have attributed to Scientology. Scientologists will sometimes speak of having an "increased awareness". Obviously those who consider themselves "Scientologists" do so because they got some benefit from Scientology.
But is this unusual? Is this sort of personal improvement unique to Scientology?
Various practices, books, music, teachings have, for millenia, brought people greater happiness, awareness and enlightenment. This is not unusual. In making some people happier, Scientology is doing nothing unusual nor miraculous.
- Scientologists are fond of saying "Scientology works!" Scientologists will claim that what is different about Scientology is that it is "scientific" and that it works 100% of the time -- standardly and without fail on everybody.
According to the Church of Scientology's own statistics, tens of millions of people have "tried Scientology". In its press releases, the church counts all those people as "Scientologists". However, the church's own, internal statistics show that there are less than 50,000 people actually active in Scientology. As with anything, one can assume that those who found Scientology workable, stayed and those who did not get any benefit, left.
Instead of 100% workability, it appears Scientology's actual workability percent is less than 1%.
Given that the "placebo effect" (people who improve, even though an inactive substance or procedure was used, just because they expected to improve) is usually estimated to be above 30% -- this 1% workability percent is a bit shocking.
So, if it isn't this mythical "100% workability", what is it that makes Scientology different, unique, special and important?
- Scientologists will point to various "solutions" to a number of serious problems: Drugs, illiteracy, mental health. These Scientology solutions, the Scientologists would say, are the answer to the world's biggest problems!
If this were so, there would be evidence that these Scientology solutions were actually accomplishing what they claimed. David Miscavige, in his gaudy event presentations, is happy to present a few anecdotal stories concerning the successes of these Scientology solutions, but no evidence.
Experts in the fields of drugs, education and mental health have not found Scientology's solutions to be particularly different or effective. Independent, unbiased testing has not been done, and is not authorized by the Church of Scientology. There is no evidence available -- and the church is making very sure there never will be any independent testing.
- Scientologists will all claim that Scientology makes people better and that nothing else is as effective.
What you hear, from the less than 1% of the people who have actually had benefits from Scientology is not much different from the testimonials of people who have tried any one of the hundreds of other self-help practices: "I'm more aware," "I'm happier," "My life is better."
Do Scientologists report personal gains at all different from stories reported by other people from other self-help practices?
My point is not that Scientology "does nothing." My point is that Scientology does nothing different or miraculous. When it does "cause improvement" it only does so in less than 1% of the people who try it.
So what is it that is so valuable about Scientology?
- Scientologists will say that what makes Scientology different and important is that it is a "bridge" to a higher state of being -- the OT Levels.
The abilities and benefits that Hubbard claimed for Clear and OT were miraculous indeed. But has anyone ever gained or exhibited any of those abilities or those benefits promised by Hubbard?
Of the hundreds of people who have completed OT VIII, none of them have demonstrated anything miraculous or particularly outstanding. In fact, many OT VIIIs have now left Scientology.
David Miscavige drinks half a bottle of scotch a day while presiding over the destruction of the Church of Scientology that, every day, gets worse and worse. That isn't very "OT".
Even L. Ron Hubbard, who supposedly attained some super-high level of OT, died in pain, hiding from the law and betrayed by those he trusted. That isn't what Hubbard claimed that Scientology could produce.
If Scientology is a bridge to a higher state of being, why hasn't anyone attained any "higher state?"
If Scientology is as miraculous as Hubbard claimed, why are the "results" from Scientology so very, very ordinary and happen so very, very rarely?
It turns out that Scientologists are not holding on to Scientology because of their own results, which are rather ordinary, nor because of anything they've actually seen with their own eyes. Scientologists, it turns out, are holding on to Scientology because of the wonderful miracles that Hubbard spoke of (but never produced).
Scientologists are holding onto a dream that Hubbard created only in their minds. Such dreams are very hard to let go of, no matter how nonexistent they are in reality.
I just ran across your blog, and I am very impressed. I was born into Scientology, and was a fairly active member of the Church (certainly so for a kid) until about my mid-teens. At that time I had begun developing what eventually became a strong interest in science; at the same time I started to question my own beliefs. This led me to my transition away from the Church, which was long and painful indeed. Eventually I found a life outside Scientology and I ended up at a prestigious university, where I am today.ReplyDelete
You clearly have an solid grasp of the current state of the Church and the psychological effect that the Church has on its members. Many external observers have plenty of valid criticisms regarding Scientology, but only someone who has actually been through it can understand its full impact. Reading your blog posts has reminded me of the degree of fear that I felt when I was contemplating reading the OT III materials on-line which I had been so vehemently warned to avoid, and of the manner in which the Church shredded the lives and the families of those I knew, especially those who gave the most to the Church.
You are doing a service to the public, and to those Scientologists who at this moment are on the road to salvation from the Church. You understand what they are going through and can help them take a step back and get some much-needed perspective on what Scientology has actually meant to them and done to them. You are helping people to take their lives back. Thank you.
When I was in, I got others into Scientology. Now that I know the truth, I am sorry about that. I figure it's my job to help get them out.
As well, I hope to make sure no one else if fooled into joining Scientology.
I appreciate the feedback!
Thanks JB. This pretty much says it all.ReplyDelete
"Of the hundreds of people who have completed OT VIII, none of them have demonstrated anything miraculous or particularly outstanding. In fact, many OT VIIIs have now left Scientology."