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, August 29, 2010

Scientology: Selling Invisible Things

There is a marketing phrase, "selling the invisible", used to describe the challenge faced by advertising to sell potential customers on the "sizzle" instead of (or in addition to) the steak.

But that's not what I'm referring to when it comes to Scientology's selling of the invisible.

What I'm referring to is the amazing marketing success of L. Ron Hubbard and his Dianetics/Scientology organization in selling something that may not exist at all.

I don't want to get into an argument about the validity of Scientology, since that is a matter of belief, I only want to point out this amazing fact:  There is, and never has been, any actual, valid evidence that Hubbard's "Reactive Mind" exists.  It cannot be detected by any physical means.  It cannot be measured, weighed or tested.

And yet Hubbard sold it quite lucratively for many, many years and his Church of Scientology continues to sell it to this day.

Hubbard said, "You have this very, very evil, horrible thing attached to you that is the cause of all your problems.  You can't see it.  No one has ever seen it or detected it, but it is there and it is very evil.  Pay my organization a lot of money and we will get rid of it for you."

And then, after tens thousands of dollars and many months, or even years, of "auditing", the Scientology organization declares: "We did it!  Your Reactive Mind is now gone!  Congratulations! You are 'Clear'!"

What is the difference between having something you can't detect at all and not having it?  Apparently, tens of thousands of dollars.

Whether it is true or not, the miraculous thing is, how the heck do they sell that?  This truly is the ultimate in "selling the invisible".

I have spoken to many "Clears" after they have left Scientology and have recovered from the Scientology thought control, and every single one of them has confessed that they felt no significant difference after they were "declared Clear".

And yet, most of them were happy to continue on "up the Bridge".  I know I was.

"But," as they say on TV, "that's not all!"

After Scientology has gotten rid of this invisible, undetectable thing, what else is there?

Amazingly, but not surprisingly, it turns out there are a lot more invisible, undetectable things that you need to get rid of.

Sure, there is no physical evidence that these things exist.  Sure, there is no way to measure, test or validate their existence -- but they are there and only Scientology can get rid of them -- if you give them much more money and spend much more time getting auditing.

And quite a number of people buy that.

And, after much, much money -- now hundreds of thousands of dollars -- and many years, Scientology finally declares, "We did it!  All those bad things are now gone!  Congratulations! You are 'OT VII'!"

And all these "OT VIIs" and "OT VIIIs" look and act just like everyone else.  They aren't demonstrating any amazing successes or powers.  They aren't demonstrating great changes.  Again, I've talked to a number of "OT VIIs" after they have left Scientology and they confess that things aren't that different.

Even current True Believers only claim vague gains, "My life has changed," "I'm better," -- the kind of "improvements" reported by any and all religions and self-improvement technologies.

What do you want to bet that, if David Miscavige decides to create some OT levels above OT VIII, that it involves some newly discovered, undetectable, invisible things that only Miscavige knows about and you just have to get rid of?

Hubbard, and Scientology, do an amazing and, some would say, an impossible job of selling invisible things.  There is no evidence that any of these things exist.  There is no evidence that these things have been removed.  And there is no indication that the "removal" of these things made any noticeable difference.  And yet the Church of Scientology rakes in millions and millions selling these invisible, undetectable "results".

There are, I am sure, many sales people who would love to know how to do that.  It is a truly amazing sales miracle.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Scientology and Control

There is "good control" and "bad control."  The difference between them is certainty and uncertainty.
L. Ron Hubbard
New Slant on Life
Most people are not aware of how much Scientology is about control.

This is not emphasized in their literature, nor broadcast when they are trying to sell you things, but much of their technologies are about control -- how to control others.

You will notice, in the quote from L. Ron Hubbard, above, and in all teachings of Scientology, that nothing is said, and nothing is taught about ethical control.  "Good" control is defined as effectively getting others to carry out your wishes, no matter what those wishes are, no matter what the other person might wish.

Let's look at specific examples.

The "Communications" Course

The Scientology Communications Course, which is one of their introductory courses, is promoted as teaching a person how to "communicate effectively".  This course utilizes Hubbard's "TR Drills" to do this.  These TR Drills are done on many courses as one trains on Scientology technologies.

And what are the goals of these TR Drills?  The TRs are there to specifically and only teach a person how to get their commands complied with or get their questions answered.  Period.  They have no other purpose.

How to have a normal conversation?  Not taught.  How to create a friendly environment where normal conversations can take place?  Not taught.  How to make people feel at ease and draw them out?  Not taught.

No, the Communications Course and all courses that utilize the TRs are only teaching a person how to control others through communication.

Hubbard's Tone Scale

Here is a simplified version of the Tone Scale:
4.0   Enthusiasm
3.5   Cheerfulness
3.0   Conservatism
2.5   Boredom
2.0   Antagonism
1.5   Anger
1.1   Covert hostility
1.0   Fear
0.5   Grief
0.0   Death
Many people have now seen this scale.  The emotions are pretty easy to understand, but what's with all those numbers?

It's all about control.  Hubbard created and taught his tone scale as a method of controlling others.  No more, no less.  Hubbard taught that, if you assumed a "tone level" that was .5 to 1.0 above another's tone, you could control them, and make them do what you want.  Or, you could assume a "tone level" .5 to 1.0 below their tone to drive them "down tone" and make them ineffective.

It's all about control.

The "ARC Triangle"

L. Ron Hubbard taught that Affinity, Reality and Communication were the three corners of this ARC Triangle.  When dealing with others, if you raised one, you would automatically raise the other two.  If you lowered one, you would automatically lower the other two.

In other words, the purpose of this "ARC Triangle" is to control others.

The only way to control people is to lie to them.
L. Ron Hubbard
On Control and Lying
Scientologists are taught, from very early on, not to tell non-Scientologists all about Scientology.  Don't talk about past lives.  Don't talk about "space opera".  Don't talk about OT.  Scientologists are carefully coached as to what to say and how to say it.  And what not to say.

They call this "acceptable truths", "shore stories", "communicating at the proper 'reality level'" and other such euphemisms for lying.

Scientologists are told such lying is necessary because, otherwise, the public wouldn't respond correctly and wouldn't come in.  In other words, Scientologists are taught to tell lies in order to control the public and bring them in.

It's all about control

There are many, many other examples of this in Scientology. Hubbard taught that there were many key phrases to cave a person in -- so you could control them.  Hubbard said that certain images from OT III materials would control people and cause them to be unable to resist buying his books.  Hubbard believed in positioning as a way to secretly control the way people thought about Scientology so that they would react favorably, without facts and without logic.

Control is a major part of Scientology.  Controlling people.  Controlling you.

So, when you are trying to have a conversation with a Scientologist, they are using "communication" to control you.  When you try to be open about your emotions with a Scientologist, they are figuring out which "tone level" to use to control you.  They are working to manipulate your affinity, reality and communication to control you.

And, when you are looking for the truth, Scientologists are trying to figure out which "acceptable truth" to tell you -- to control you.

Hopefully, this will help people understand why talking with Scientologists so often seems artificial, stilted, awkward and non-sequitur.  Scientologists have had all their natural social skills replaced with Scientology techniques for control.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Scientology In Perspective

We're not playing some minor game in Scientology. It isn't cute or something to do for lack of something better.

The whole agonized future of this planet, every Man, Woman and Child on it, and your own destiny for the next endless trillions of years depend on what you do here and now with and in Scientology.

This is a deadly serious activity. And if we miss getting out of the trap now, we may never again have another chance.

Remember, this is our first chance to do so in all the endless trillions of years of the past. Don't muff it now...
L. Ron Hubbard
Keeping Scientology Working Series 1
Scientologists live in a mythical world of titanic, universe-wide, trillion year struggles between Ultimate Good and Ultimate Evil.

The above quote from L. Ron Hubbard has been read by every single Scientologist many times.  They believe it with all their hearts.

Today, they are fighting for their very survival and the survival of "every Man, Woman and Child".  I simply cannot exaggerate how very serious and  crucial everything is to a Scientologist.

Every time David Miscavige announces his fictional "Good News", it is a sign that Ultimate Good is winning.  But every protest, every bad news article, every exposé on TV is a sign that Ultimate Evil is winning.

It is all so very, very, very important.  To them.

And sometimes, with all this importance being artificially imprinted on Scientology by Scientologists, it is difficult to keep things in perspective.

Let's look at reality, shall we?

Scientology doesn't exist.  That is the reality in the rest of the world.  Outside of Scientology and its critics, Scientology really doesn't show up on the radar of most people.  A few might know that Scientology has something to do with Tom Cruise, and that's about it.  To most of the world, Scientology simply does not exist.

Scientology's "solutions" have been tried in a very few places, but were found to be expensive and to not work very well.  So these "solutions" have been, or are being, dropped wherever they were tried.  You look for what effect Scientology is having on the world and the answer is: None.  For all their posturing and bragging, their results are nowhere to be found.  It's like they don't exist.

Psychiatrists are not much aware of Scientology.  They know that, for some reason, Scientology attacks them, but, since the effects of those attacks are negligible, it doesn't matter to psychiatrists what they do.

Politicians are finding out that, as celebrities already know, association with the fraudulent, deceitful Church of Scientology is a huge negative to their careers.  The church has no influence there.

And, actually, Scientology is not very important to Scientology's critics either.  Yes, critics care about the victims.  Yes, they want the abuse, lies, fraud and crimes to be stopped.  Yes, they want the destroyed families to be brought back together.  But criticizing and protesting Scientology is what they do with their spare time.  It isn't their life, it isn't their survival, it isn't some "epic battle".

Outside of Scientology's bubble, Scientology just isn't important

In this struggle, Scientology is fighting a desperate fight for "the whole agonized future of this planet, every Man, Woman and Child on it," while its critics are happily living their lives and, occasionally, when they have some spare time, criticizing and protesting Scientology.