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, January 24, 2010

The Church of Scientology Loves Disasters

This really is the most disgusting thing I've seen recently about the Church of Scientology: Their reaction to the Haiti earthquake.

The actions of the Church of Scientology are dispicable, in the extreme.

The Church of Scientology provides no money towards the victims in Haiti.  None.  Not one penny.  The church supplies no food, no water, no medicine, no building materials, no personnel, no expertise, nothing for Haiti.

But they claim, in their press releases, that their Volunteer Ministers are "a major relief agency" helping in Haiti.  If they do nothing, how can they claim this?

John Travolta supplied an airplane, not the church.  Individual Scientologists volunteered to go using their own money.  As usual, the Church of Scientology did nothing.

Along with a few untrained Scientology "Volunteer Ministers", Travolta offered a lift to health-care workers from the Association of Haitian Physicians Abroad and from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Those other non-Scientology groups were sending trained medical personnel and the Scientologists were completely untrained.  And yet, in a most disgusting bit of lying, the Church of Scientology is actually claiming they sent the medical personnel!

As is usual, the Church of Scientology volunteers showed up at the disaster without food, without medicine, without supplies, without equipment, without shelter, without expertise -- so they are a burden on resources already stretched very, very thin.  As is usual, the Volunteer Ministers make the situation worse by requiring food and shelter that should be going to the victims!

But they have bright yellow t shirts that show up well for the Church of Scientology photographer!  Yes, while the Volunteer Ministers are useless to real relief agencies, they are very useful to the Church of Scientology's PR department.

But, as disgusting as all this is, the Church of Scientology's response to this disaster is much, much worse.

The Church of Scientology is officially urging all Scientologists to "help Haiti by giving to the IAS (International Association of Scientologists)".  Not to any legitimate relief agency.  No, Scientologists must help Haiti by "giving to the IAS".

And the IAS has not ever given a penny to any disaster relief effort.  The IAS will never give a penny to any disaster relief.  The money goes to David Miscavige.  Period.  Last I checked, David Miscavige wasn't in Haiti and didn't need any assistance.

Yes, the Church of Scientology is using the Haiti disaster to make money!  They are profiting on human suffering!

But wait, there is more!

Bridge Publications, the publisher of Scientology books, is urging Scientologists to buy Scientology books to "send to Haiti"!  Scientologists are not being urged to pay for food or water or medicine or shelter for Haiti.  No, they are being urged to pay for Scientology books to Haiti!

But get this:  Bridge Publications is charging full price for these donated books, meaning Bridge Publications is making full profit on all the books.  They are profiting on human suffering!

Further, judging by how Bridge Publications handles donated books (Library Program, Mission Starter Program), those donated books will never be shipped.  Of course the books are useless to Haitians, but it is highly likely that Bridge Publications will simply keep all the money.  Profit!

Yes, the Church of Scientology has reacted quickly and decisively on the Haitian disaster -- they are making millions of dollars of profit, generating many nice press releases for the church, without having to spend a single penny, nor actually help anyone.

All decent people, including Scientologists, should add their voice to absolutely condemn the Church of Scientology for their disgusting greed in the face of such human suffering.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

What Does Being "Pro-Scientology" Mean?

When I started this blog, my motivation was to clear up much of the misinformation and misunderstandings about Scientology and the Church of Scientology that were rampant at that time.  The bad information came not only from the church itself, but even a lot of the negative information about Scientology was incorrect as well.

I knew a lot, and I was in touch with many Scientologists and ex-Scientologists, so I felt compelled to clear up the confusion.

All I have endeavored to do was get the truth better known and to expose the lies.

Obviously, this would cause the Church of Scientology to consider me an Enemy.  The church is built on lies, misinformation and exaggeration and they didn't appreciate what so many, many people were doing.

Today there are many people who have left the church but who still firmly believe in the Scientology belief system.  One would think that, free from the systemic lies of the Church of Scientology, these people would seek to discover and live with the truth.  One would hope that Scientologists would seek to root out all lies from their lives.  After all, they are on the "Road to Truth".

So it is with considerable surprise that I find that my blog, Ask the Scientologist, is considered, by some true believers, to be "anti-Scientology".  I read that "true" Scientologists are being warned to avoid this blog at all costs.

Let me be very clear about this, I am not anti- the Scientology belief system.  Never have been.

However, I am pro-truth.

All I have asked from believers of Scientology is honesty.  It's a simple request: If a Scientology process, formula or procedure does not deliver what was promised for that process, formula or procedure, then don't claim that "it works"!  That's all.

This isn't about whether "Scientology works".  Whether it does work, or should work, or might work is not the point.  The point is whether or not the explicit promises made for various Grades, Rundowns, Levels, courses are actually delivered.

And, for a large majority of the services delivered by Scientology, the promised results are not delivered.

I experienced some good things in the early days.  But I can see -- anyone can see -- that the grandiose claims of Scientology on its Grade Chart, in its promotions, in conversations with Scientologists, are not happening.  I've listed many of these things before.  The actual results from public school students using the "Hubbard Study Method" have been analyzed and the technology does not detectably improve student results.  The actual results from Narconon show worse results than other methods.  Grade 0 Releases are not able to "talk to anyone on any subject".  Grade I Releases still have problems.  Graduates from the PTS/SP course can't handle antagonistic people or situations.  Clears and OTs do not have the promised abilities and powers. And so on and so on.  Whether Scientology could, possibly, produce those results is not the point.  The point is that it hasn't.

The Church of Scientology does something quite evil about this.  When a Scientologist does not receive the promised results from a Grade, Level, course or Rundown, the church says it is the Scientologist's fault, and has them pay for their own "correction".  When the Scientologist still does not receive the results promised by the church, the church again blames the Scientologist and has them pay to redo everything.  This goes on and on with the church forcing Scientologists to pay and pay and pay and never delivering what was promised.  And all the time blaming the Scientologist for the missing results.

Finally, when it becomes obvious that the church will never deliver what was promised, and the Scientologist has run out of money, the church blames the Scientologist, saying the Scientologist is "too out-ethics" and kicks them out.

This policy of the Church of Scientology of blaming their customers for the church's failures ultimately destroys Scientologists.  Many Scientologists end up firmly believing that they are evil, they are the cause of the failures, they are "degraded beings" and "suppressive".

This is so very wrong.

All I'm asking of the true believers of Scientology who wish to practice and promote the Scientology belief system outside of the church is that they don't do that.

If those who believe in the Scientology technology want to stop destroying people, then they need to promise only results that they can actually, provably and consistently produce.  They need to actually deliver every result promised -- and if they don't deliver it they must not blame the customer.  And they need to stop claiming results for Scientology that Scientology has not delivered.

Believe what you want but only promise what you can, for certain, deliver.  And then always deliver what you promised.

That is living with the truth.  That is honesty.

Now, if that request is "anti-Scientology", then you Scientology true believers have major problems -- because all I'm asking for is honesty and truth.  If that's unacceptable to Scientologists, then that says worse things about Scientology than any real anti-Scientology blog or site ever did.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Hubbard Scale of Formulas and Procedures

(Many Scientologists would take that title seriously and expect this post to be about something called "The Hubbard Scale of Formulas and Procedures".  But it's just a joke.)

L. Ron Hubbard was compulsive about putting everything into some kind of scale.  He developed the Tone Scale, the Communication Scale, the Behavior and Physiology Scale, the Cycle of Action Scale, the Admin Scale, the Scale of Conditions, the Tone Scale of Decisions, the Scale of Whosits and Whatsits, dozens and dozens of scales, lists and codes.

And he was compulsive about creating very exact procedures for everything.  Every condition, problem, situation had an exact Hubbard-written procedure for solving it or changing it.  Thousands and thousands of procedures.

Scientology is all about Hubbard's scales and his procedures, processes and formulas.  And Scientologists are supposed to know and follow all the key Hubbard formulas and procedures.

As a Scientologist, you are not allowed to just "work things out".  You can't ignore things.  You can't think for yourself.  You are always, always, always in a specific "condition" and you are always, always, always supposed to follow Hubbard's "condition formulas" to improve your condition.  Before taking any action, Scientologists must first check these formulas to see what Hubbard said to do.

[sarcasm]That's why you see so many successful Scientologists [/sarcasm]

This is what Hubbard did.  Everything had to be plotted against some kind of scale and every situation had to be solved via one of his procedures.  He just didn't trust "humaniods" to do things the "right" (meaning Hubbard) way, so he wrote procedures to ensure everyone would do everything "correctly".

And they must be followed, even when they don't work, as is often the case.  Even when the formulas don't fit the situation.  Even when those scales don't make any sense.

Of course, public Scientologists are not strictly held to these standards.  They are expected to do all that, but the Church of Scientology doesn't have that kind of absolute control, so many Scientologists go on with their lives mostly ignoring all that stuff.

But on staff, and in the Sea Org, under David Miscavige, all these procedures, checklists, formulas, scales and whatnot must be adhered to religiously (pardon the pun).  As a result, this usually brings everything to a grinding halt.  There are factually more people "ensuring compliance" than there are people doing actual work.  There is absolutely tons of paperwork, requests for authorization, proof of compliance, formula write-ups, programs written, filled out, verified, checked, rejected, redone, and on and on.

It is micro-management gone insane.  You can't do anything in the Sea Org without a massive amount of paperwork, with all the associated time wasted in writing these things up and verifying and authorizing and rejecting.

And this is all because this is the way Hubbard said to do it. 

You can't, according to Hubbard, just go out and get something done.  That is wrong.  You have to work out what condition you are in, what formula to apply, what is your Admin Scale, what policy are you applying, what are the Hubbard-specified procedures? And this must be all analyzed (using Hubbard procedures) and written up in a program, with all the "proper" policies and procedures noted.

And then it must be authorized.

And, of course, it is never, ever authorized.  The people who are supposed to authorize your program never will.  You see, they must forward everything they authorize up to David Miscavige, who is the ultimate approval for everything, and they know that David Miscavige will hate it and he will assign everybody in that hierarchy some low condition for approving such a "horrible, f**ked up program".  So every program gets rejected and rejected and rejected.

Eventually, the program probably will get approved by the middle managers and sent up to Miscavige, who does hate it and does assign everyone some lower condition.  Then Miscavige will "write it himself," which usually means copying the original program as written, with a few insignificant changes.

And then the program must be complied with, exact step by exact step.

Now, you understand this program was written before any work was done and before anything was investigated, so the steps of the program are, invariably, completely bogus and don't fit the actual situation once real work starts.

But the program steps cannot be altered and must be complied with, no matter how ridiculous they become.  It was approved, it was "written by David Miscavige!"

So, as the situation changes, and as the changes multiply, you have the ridiculous situation where people are being forced to comply with steps that have become meaningless and forced to ignore new conditions and problems that have popped up.

You can blame Miscavige for making it so horrible, but, actually, that's what Hubbard created.  That's all strictly according to Hubbard's policy letters and his tech.

That's the inside view as to why pretty much nothing gets done in the Church of Scientology and why, if something ever does get done, it is such a mess.   Hubbard built it that way.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

Just a note to wish everyone a happy New Year.

In the Ask a Question thread, I made a few predictions for 2010, and I'll paraphrase them here, since it is appropriate.

I'm thinking that 2010 will contain a lot more of what we've already seen in 2009: More major media stories around the world exposing more and more of the Church of Scientology's crimes, abuses and fraud. There will be more investigations and legal actions against the church from governments and individuals.  Who knows, there even may be a class action lawsuit.

There will, of course, be a lot more people leaving the Church of Scientology.  It is collapsing and even hard-core Scientologists are well aware of that.

As Miscavige drops farther and farther into insanity, the church's actions, under his close supervision, will make less and less sense, which will only increase the exodus of Scientologists and will engender even more major media stories -- all of which, in turn, will cause Miscavige to go even more insane.

It just isn't going to stop.

Note to David Miscavige:  You know how you really hated 2008 and hoped 2009 would be better?  You know how 2009 was a lot, lot worse?  Are you hoping that 2010 will be better?  It won't be.

I made a few other predictions, such as that we'd see a local Scientology Org declare its independence from the Church of Scientology, and that David Miscavige would run-run-run away in abject fear of prosecution.  Those are more speculative.  We'll see.

In any case, it will be another interesting year in the wacky world of Scientology.