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, September 20, 2009

Scientology and Freedom of Religion

It has come to my attention, often and persistently, that the Church of Scientology and Scientologists do not understand the concept of "Freedom of Religion".

Scientologists frequently complain that their freedom of religion is being abridged -- but I know of no incident in the entire history of Scientology where a Scientologist was prevented from believing and practicing Scientology!

So how can Scientologists think their freedom of religion is being abridged?

The answer is obvious. Scientologists do not understand what "freedom of religion" actually means. Let's clarify this for them.

Freedom of religion is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance; the concept is generally recognized also to include the freedom to change religion or not to follow any religion. (From Wikipedia).

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America states:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Pretty simple. So, when a Scientologist says that they have (or should have) the right to follow the religion of their choice, they are correct. But, of course, no one is arguing that. No one is preventing them from doing just that.

But, you see, that isn't what the Church of Scientology and Scientologists mean when they claim "freedom of religion". Not nearly. They want "freedom of religion" to cover so much more than just the right to believe as they choose.

First, Scientology wants to be able to suppress all discussion of their religion, especially negative discussion. They want to be able to stop anyone from saying anything about Scientology that isn't approved by the church.

Get it? As part of their "freedom of religion" they want you to believe exactly as they believe -- in the absolute goodness of Hubbard, Miscavige and Scientology.

No, freedom of religion does not give Scientology the right to suppress free speech.

Further, it certainly is the right of Scientology to lie to its membership. After all, that is part of its belief system. And it is definitely the right of Scientology to withhold any information they want from its membership. Again, this is part of their belief system.

But this right to enforce lies and to suppress information does not extend beyond the Church of Scientology's membership. This means that non-Scientologists do have the right to expose the lies of the Church of Scientology. Non-Scientologists do have every right to read, listen to and discuss the "secrets" of Scientology. There is no law in any country that gives Scientology the "right" to impose its beliefs, its lies, its confidentiality, on people outside of Scientology.

No, freedom of religion does not give Scientology the right to impose their religious dogma on others.

Next, the Church of Scientology wants to be free from investigation into their illegal actions.
  • They run a number of "re-education" prison camps called "RPFs" where they lock up dissidents for years of hard labor and frequent "confessions".
  • Employees in the Sea Org are forced to work long, long days -- often 20-hour days, without breaks, without vacations, without weekends, for years -- and are paid well below the mandated minimum wage, in violation of many labor laws.
  • The Church of Scientology has admitted that Sea Org members have been beaten, but no reports to police were permitted. Sea Org members have been denied decent food or even meal breaks, they have been denied proper sleep and have even been forced to sleep at their desks or worse.
  • Women in the Sea Org are routinely ordered to have abortions or face severe punishments.
  • Married couples in the Sea Org are routinely ordered to divorce.
  • Sea Org members are denied all benefits. They are denied proper medical care. Very little, if any, money is ever paid by the church to Medicare or Social Security for any of its employees, and there are no retirement funds. Older members, who have outlived their usefulness to the Church of Scientology are simply cast out -- to live out the rest of their lives on the streets or depending on family to live.
  • And so much more.
Even when you have a believer's full agreement -- even signed documents, you may not commit crimes against them. No agreements, no waivers, no "contracts" can give you the right to break the law.

No, freedom of religion does not give the Church of Scientology immunity from the law.

When a person decides to leave Scientology, they will get into deep trouble with the church. They will be declared Suppressive. All Scientology friends and family will be required to disconnect from them. If the person leaving Scientology happens to be employed by a Scientologist, they will be fired. In other words, leaving Scientology is considered one of the very worst crimes you can commit.

One very basic part of freedom of religion is the right to leave a religion. And this means the right to leave without any punishment.

No, freedom of religion, in fact, forbids punishing Scientologists who choose to leave the Church of Scientology.

Yes, freedom of religion is a very important right and should not be abridged -- but it emphatically does not mean what the Church of Scientology wishes it to mean.

When Scientologists complain about being "denied their freedom of religion" it means they were denied their "right" to impose their beliefs on everyone else.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Scientologists: Are You Guilty of the New High Crime?

There is a new high crime in the Church of Scientology. You won't find it in any of L. Ron Hubbard's policy letters. You won't find it in the book Introduction to Scientology Ethics.

But, by order of David Miscavige, virtually all of the activities of the Church of Scientology are bent to finding Scientologists who are guilty of this new high crime and punishing and "correcting" them.

Scientologists are being called into Ethics because they have committed this High Crime.

Scientologists are being denied services because they have committed this High Crime.

Scientologists are being declared suppressive and kicked out of Scientology because they continue to commit this new High Crime.

The pressure throughout all of the Church of Scientology is extremely intense to eradicate all traces of this crime.

So what is this new High Crime, so you can avoid it?

This is now the worst crime in Miscavige's Church of Scientology: Following L. Ron Hubbard and doing what he said.

No, that is factually and completely true.

Let's look at one example: In Keeping Scientology Working, Hubbard explicitly stated that his technology was not to be altered by anyone for any reason. All Scientologists were charged with the task of ensuring that Hubbard's technology as it existed when LRH wrote Keeping Scientology Working, remained pure and untouched. Ron said there was no more important policy.

When David Miscavige started changing everything that Hubbard wrote, changing all the training, rewriting Hubbard's books, policy letters, bulletins, there were a number of Scientologists who did exactly what they were supposed to do, they reported the changes as a violation of Keeping Scientology Working. They said it was wrong. They refused to go along with the alterations.

Of course, for following LRH's most important policy, they were all declared Suppressive. Miscavige's church declared these Scientologists Suppressive for doing what L. Ron Hubbard told them they must do. This, apparently, is the worst crime you can commit in Miscavige's Church of Scientology: Following L. Ron Hubbard.

Today, Miscavige's alterations to everything Hubbard said or wrote continue unabated and unchallenged. Miscavige doesn't even bother to pretend the changes are based on "newly discovered writings" any more. These alterations are from the New Source - David Miscavige.

Here is another example: In policy after policy, Hubbard specifically stated that you must never, ever go into debt. This is strict LRH financial policy. Do not ever put yourself into debt.

But in Miscavige's church, all Scientologists are required to borrow the absolute maximum they can possibly borrow, maximize all their credit cards, take out second, third or even fourth mortgages, borrow from family and friends, and give it all to Miscavige's tender care. Scientologists are not given a choice. Going deeply, horribly into debt is mandatory.

But if any Scientologist stops giving and giving and giving to Miscavige's church, it is considered a criminal act. The Scientologist will be threatened, called into Ethics and, if they still "refuse to borrow and give" they will be declared suppressive.

In other words, Scientologists will be punished and even declared Suppressive if they follow standard LRH policy.

And another example: Hubbard wrote about the importance of statistics and how important it was that anyone could walk into the information center where the statistics were displayed to see exactly how the organization was doing. When doing the Doubt Formula, for instance, it is a key step to review the statistics of your group. Also, the organization's Organizing Board is supposed to be prominently displayed in a public area with the names of everyone posted on the board.

Well, don't ask to see the real statistics of Scientology management! Don't look for the names of those in charge of the various parts of the Church of Scientology! Don't try to see how David Miscavige is doing by checking out international Scientology statistics. Just asking for these statistics would get you in trouble, deep trouble.

The top Org Board and all their statistics are secret. Hubbard said these things should be visible for all to see but you would quickly get declared Suppressive if you tried to apply these basic Hubbard policies.

Yes, applying the original Hubbard policies and tech is a crime in Miscavige's church.

Do not, whatever you do, remember this old High Crime:
Falsely attributing or falsely representing oneself or others as source of Scientology or Dianetics technology; or using any position gained with staff and/or public to falsely attribute nonsource material to source or to falsely represent nonsource material as authorized Scientology or Dianetics technology.
Don't notice the lack of pictures of Hubbard in the magazines and the events. Don't compare that with the abundance of pictures of David Miscavige. Don't complain about the disappearance of L. Ron Hubbard from Miscavige's church, or you will be punished.

It is a crime to know that Miscavige has no right to make up "tech" and call it Scientology, has no right to remove LRH and has no right to take credit for Scientology.

Forget LRH, Scientologists will be punished for remembering and following L. Ron Hubbard. No, you must only follow the dictates of your new "Source" -- David Miscavige.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Scientology and "Know"

This word, "know", when used by a Scientologist does not mean what you think it means. When you hear a Scientologist say they know something about Scientology or the Church of Scientology, they are not saying what you think they are saying.

This can be very confusing. Let me clarify this. First, you need some basic Scientology concepts.

When Scientologists speak about knowing something, they are talking about what L. Ron Hubbard called "knowingness". Hubbard defined knowingness as "self-determined knowledge".

To say that more plainly, in Scientology, "knowingness" is what you "know" without any information, facts, evidence from outside yourself. It is what you, yourself, have decided is true.

You will note that this definition of "knowingness" would also be a perfect definition of belief.

This is not some trivial bit of Scientology, this is core Scientology dogma. This is tied to what Hubbard said about "OT" powers of "postulating". According to Hubbard, postulating is creating reality by just deciding that something exists or that something is in a certain state.

According to Hubbard, if you "postulate" something without any doubts or reservations, it must become true. This is what OT powers are all about.

And this is "knowingness". If you self-determinedly "know" something, and hold that "knowingness" without any doubts or reservations, then, according to Scientology, it will be true.

It's like telling people that, if they can hold a wish in their mind for an hour without ever thinking of pink elephants, that wish will come true.

Good luck with that.

But Scientologists believe this. And so they believe, pardon me, know that Scientology works, that everything the church says is true, that David Miscavige is the most wonderful person in the whole universe.

And they must hold this belief knowledge firmly in place without any doubts or the whole thing will fall apart!

And so you have someone who has attested to being "able to talk to anyone on any subject" -- and who obviously can't do that -- still "knowing" that Scientology works.

You have Clears -- who get sick -- who still "know" that Scientology works.

You have Scientologists, who can easily see the "OTs" around them struggling and failing in life -- still "knowing" that Scientology creates "true OTs".

Scientology true believers will put up with the most amazing abuse, broken promises, greed and fraud from the Church of Scientology -- and still "know" that the Church of Scientology is perfect and good.

Because when they say they "know" these things, it means they believe these things and they desperately hope that their belief will make it come true.

Scientology defines itself as "knowing how to know". Using the Scientology definition of "know", we can finally translate that: "Scientology: Learning how to believe".

And now you can understand what a Scientologist is actually saying when they say they "know Scientology works", and why they cannot tolerate any discussion or outside facts. They are trying not to think of pink elephants.