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, October 30, 2011

Ask a Question

I find it inconvenient when the questions go past 200 and I have to click to go to the next page to see the most recent questions and answers.  I'm sure you do too.  So, I'm starting yet another Ask a Question thread.

There are some really great questions and discussions in Ask a Question 1, 2, 3 and the just-retired one, 4.  I always enjoy going back and reading them.

You want to know something about Scientology or the Church of Scientology, ask here!  You have a suggestion?  Put it here.  You want to start an argument or discussion?  Here is the place.  All non-troll, non-spam comments, suggestions, arguments, corrections are greatly appreciated.

Scientologist's contributions are still welcome.  Trust me, I don't bite.

As always, I love to hear from you.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Scientology and the Amazing Psychiatric Conspiracy

My attention was drawn to Scientology's Amazing Psychiatric Conspiracy recently.   As a Scientologist, I had just accepted it.  As an ex-Scientologist, I had simply rejected it -- but I really hadn't thought about it.

Scientologists have been indoctrinated into a complete, fanatic hatred of all psychiatrists.  They have concocted a whole raft of "reasons why" they hate psychiatrists but those reasons don't really explain Scientologists' extreme, compulsive and absolute hatred.

They originally pointed to a number of reported abuses by psychiatrists and even created "Psych Busters" who would go out and dig up proof and have such psychiatrists put in prison.  I've noticed that they've quit that and it appears that, ironically, they quit it because they were cleaning up the profession and giving psychiatry a good name.

Then CCHR started rewriting history so that psychiatry was behind every evil that has ever existed on Earth.  Psychiatrists, in some mysterious way, have been behind every war, every mass murderer and every other horrible event.  Evidence was lacking -- you had to just believe.

That hasn't been persuasive except for the gullible who don't check facts.

The latest "reason" is that psychiatrists are "over-prescribing dangerous drugs for children!"

That's actually a good reason to hate those who over-prescribe dangerous drugs, but doesn't hold up as a reason for extreme hatred of all psychiatrists.  After all, some medical doctors are just as guilty, the psychiatric profession itself has condemned the practice and many doctors in both professions are not guilty of that at all.

And yet, Scientologists condemn ALL psychiatrists, the guilty and the innocent, and demand that the practice of psychiatry be banned.

I've asked Scientologists, "Given that some Scientologists are guilty of crimes and abuses, should we condemn ALL Scientologists and demand the practice of Scientology be banned?"  But they don't get the point.

Why don't they get the point?  Why are they unable to think logically and rationally on this subject?

Well, as you undoubtedly know, Scientologists believe that psychiatrists are the leaders of the Great Evil Galactic Conspiracy against L. Ron Hubbard and the Loyal Officers.

We all know that and we laugh and laugh.  But think about what that actually means for Scientologists.  For such a conspiracy to be true, for all psychiatrists to be part of such a conspiracy, the following must be true:
  • All psychiatrists are in on this Great Evil Galactic Conspiracy.  Every single one.  That's what Hubbard said and that's what Scientologists are required to believe.  There are no good psychiatrists.
  • This means that all psychiatrists can remember their "past lives" when they were battling the Forces of Good all over the galaxy for quadrillions of years.  You can't remember your past life.  Scientologists may pretend but they can't remember their past lives either.  But all psychiatrists must be able to so they know they must grow up and become psychiatrists, right?
  • In addition, obviously, no "normal" person can be allowed to become a psychiatrist.  Apparently there is a review board in every psychiatric school that checks every applicant to ensure they are a card-carrying member of the Great Evil Galactic Conspiracy.  Anyone who isn't a member is rejected and cannot become a psychiatrist.
  • And finally, psychiatrists, apparently, have extremely advanced communication technology so they can discuss their Evil Plans without ever being detected.  Otherwise they would be some evidence somewhere.
Scientologists seem to believe that we already have Evil Alien Beings living among us today.  They have phenomenal memory and technology.  And only Scientologists stand between all these Evil Alien Beings and their conquest of Earth.

This is what Scientologists have to believe or their Evil Galactic Conspiracy led by psychiatrists doesn't stand up to the briefest of thought.

It's another fine example of Scientology Logic™ in action.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"Inside Scientology" by Janet Reitman

I do apologize for coming late to this.  I wanted to read this book when it first came out but I was in the middle of a couple of very large projects.  Now that they are successfully completed, I've finally had time to read this wonderful book.

If anyone has not yet read this book and, if they have any interest at all in Scientology and the Church of Scientology, I highly recommend it.

In her Introduction, Ms. Reitman says:
It has been my goal to write the first objective modern history of the Church of Scientology.
To say that Ms. Reitman succeeded would be an understatement.  I, personally, could not have done that -- as an ex-Scientologist, I am definitely not objective about Scientology.   Most people who have been touched in any way by Scientology cannot be objective about it.  Scientology is a completely black and white belief system -- there is no grey.  You are either completely pro-Scientology or you are an Enemy.  Those who become opposed to the Church of Scientology often, in reaction to Scientology's absolutism, take an opposite, and just as absolute, negative position.  It's hard not to.

Yet, without a doubt, Ms. Reitman has produced an objective book.  Since I know she too was attacked by the Church of Scientology for her earlier piece in The Rolling Stone, my admiration for her journalistic integrity is boundless.

But don't let the term "objective" mislead you.  This is not a dry dissertation, it is not boring and it doesn't indulge in that false "journalistically neutral" rhetoric.  You will get the facts surrounding the real events -- untouched by the Church of Scientology's spin, cover-up and lies.

Scientology is, ultimately, about people and Ms. Reitman brings the story of Scientology alive by bringing alive the people who have been involved in Scientology -- from L. Ron Hubbard, struggling to find his path to fame, to those who have struggled in and out of the church, to the latest wide-eyed, ever-hopeful new Scientologist.  This is a book about how people were changed by Scientology -- and how Scientology has been changed by people.

I found it a bit disturbing to read this long history of Scientology from L. Ron Hubbard's troubled life, through the heady early days of hope and excitement and finally to the logical conclusion of Hubbard's paranoia and greed.  It was disturbing because it was true.  It stirred up memories of my own hopes -- and my own disappointments.

In case you might want to question how very thoroughly and diligently Ms. Reitman has researched and fact-checked the stories in this book, her extensive Notes section detailing the exact sources for each chapter is beyond impressive.  This section alone makes the Church of Scientology's cries of "sloppy journalism" completely laughable.

All-in-all, this book was a great read, enlightening, fascinating, informative and with the ring of truth in every page.  This book is now at the top of my list for anyone interested in Scientology and I would highly recommend this book for anyone currently in or recently out of Scientology.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Scientology "Betrayal"

I was having a conversation with a Scientology troll the other day.  Well, I was trying to have a conversation, but the troll wasn't able to handle that and ended up just ranting insane gibberish.

However, something the troll said struck me.  This Scientologist was insisting that the ex-Scientologist whistle-blowers had "betrayed Scientology".  And, because of this "betrayal" the Church of Scientology was "justified" in its very vicious, unethical and illegal attacks against them.

"Betrayed?" Really? That's pretty harsh.  What, exactly, did the whistle-blowers actually do?

They told the truth.

The fact that stories of abuse and lies are totally true was confirmed by the Church of Scientology itself in the Headley trials.  The significance of the trials was summarized quite nicely in the article on Scientology wins legal victory, loses public image war.

So, in spite of the fact that the whistle-blowers told the truth, they had, according to the Church of Scientology, betrayed the church!

This sounded familiar.  Where had I heard something like that before?

A little research and I found this:
The Blue Code of Silence (also known as the "Blue Shield") is an unwritten rule among police officers in the United States not to report on another colleague's errors, misconducts or crimes.  If questioned about an incident of misconduct involving another officer (e.g. during the course of an official inquiry), while following the Blue Code of Silence, the officer being questioned would claim ignorance of another officer's wrongdoing. [Wikipedia]
That's close, but not exactly it.

Then I found an even closer match:
Omertà is the mafia code of silence and secrecy that forbids mafiosi from betraying their comrades to the authorities. The penalty for transgression is death, and relatives of the turncoat may also be murdered.  For instance, a mafioso will not call the police when he is a victim of a crime. He is expected to take care of the problem himself. [Wikipedia]
There it is!  That's what the Scientology troll was talking about.  That is Scientology's definition of "betrayal".

Compare the above definition of omertà with the following excepts from Introduction to Scientology Ethics under the "High Crimes" section.  ("High Crimes" are the very, very worst crimes in Scientology):
It is a high crime if a Scientologist does:
  • "Public disavowal of Scientology"
  • "Public statements against Scientology or Scientologists"
  • "Testifying hostilely before state or public inquiries into Scientology"
  • "Bringing civil suit against any Scientology organization or Scientologist"
  • "Writing anti-Scientology letters to the press or giving anti-Scientology or anti-Scientologist data to the press."
  • "Delivering up the person of a Scientologist ... to the demands of civil or criminal law."
Note that absolutely none of these "High Crimes" say anything about whether the accusations against Scientology or a Scientologist are true or not.  Scientologists may not report any crimes by other Scientologists to the police.

Scientologists are required to handle it all internally, within the church.

"But," you are asking, "what if the church doesn't handle it?  What if it is the leaders of the Church of Scientology who are committing the crimes and abuse?  What if the Church of Scientology blames you for being a 'victim' and punishes you and lets the perpetrator go unpunished?"

Makes no difference.  Scientologists may not report any crimes by other Scientologists to the police.

Take a look at these ex-Scientologists committing "High Crimes" by reporting Jan Eastgate (Senior Scientologist and President of CCHR) for covering up child abuse.  Yes, according to the Church of Scientology, Jan Eastgate is a "good Scientologist" and those who reported her crimes have "betrayed Scientology".

Does this sound like omertà?  Does this sound like a criminal organization "protecting its own"?

Time and time again, the Church of Scientology protects the criminals within its organization and attacks the whistle-blowers.

No matter how evil and corrupt a Scientologist is, you may not report him or her to the policeEver.  You may not sue them.  You may not speak of their crimes to the press.  You must remain silent or you will "betray" the Church of Scientology and they will viciously attack you and they will try to destroy you.  Just like the Mafia.

This is Scientology.  This is exactly how L. Ron Hubbard designed it.  This is exactly how David Miscavige runs it.  This is "Standard Scientology", straight out of Introduction to Scientology Ethics.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Who Will Lead the "Independents"?

Grown men do not need leaders.
                                                        Edward Abbey
Anyone who has read much in this blog will already know that I'm no longer a True Believer of Scientology.  If they have been paying attention, they would also realize that I am not, in actual fact, anti-Scientology (specifically, the belief system) either.

I think that some of Scientology can provide benefit to some people.  If a person wants to practice Scientology (and if they can avoid the abuses and fraud that Scientology seems to engender), then they should be allowed to do so.

Also, readers of this blog will know that I consider the Church of Scientology, and its leaders, to be criminal and fraudulent.

But now we have the self-named "Independents" who appear to want to reconstitute the Church of Scientology in a "reformed" version.  They want an organization.  They want a leader.

OK, so looking at this from the viewpoint of a Scientologist, how could one go about picking a good leader for Scientology?

Scientologists have a limited but lousy record in their choice of leaders -- specifically David Miscavige.  So far, they've "chosen" their leader by accepting whoever declared themselves leader.  To put it bluntly: They have been sheep.

If we pretend they have a choice and they have the will and power to choose their own leader, what qualifications should they look for in their new leader?

Let's try to be serious here and list what a sane group of Scientologists would see as important qualifications for their leader, shall we?  If I were a True Believer and if I were selecting a leader, I would want:
  1. Someone who was personally trained by L. Ron Hubbard or, if no one was available, then someone who was directly trained by such a person.
  2. Someone who has successfully completed all training and processing with excellent results and who has not been indoctrinated in any of Miscavige's "altered tech".
  3. Someone who has successfully run a mission, an org and a Scientology "Continent" (group of churches/missions in one geographic area).
  4. Someone who has a track record of successfully running a business in the real world.
  5. Someone who has always fought David Miscavige and upheld "Standard Scientology" against Miscavige's rewrites, edits and corruption.
  6. Someone who has never allowed or participated in any of the Church of Scientology's crimes, abuses or corruption.
Even with these qualifications, I see Scientology as doomed unless their new leader also is:
  1. Someone who explicitly repudiates and rejects any and all Scientology policy that promotes the Scientology abuses, crimes, lies and fraud -- including disconnection, "Enemy" lists, "fair game" and all such anti-social policies.
  2. Someone who acknowledges the crimes, abuses, lies and fraud committed previously by Scientology -- even those ordered or condoned by L. Ron Hubbard himself.
Not surprisingly, there do not appear to be any aspirants to leadership in the "Independents" movement who meet the criteria 1-6 and certainly none who meet the last two points.

Of course, these would be my criteria if I were a Scientologist and, before the "Independents" get their knickers in a twist, I would never tell them what to do.  Besides, there is no indication that any of these are actually desirable to the "Independents".

No, this is just an exercise in logical thinking.  I actually expect the "Independents" to use their previous method of choosing their leader: Don't look at a person's track record, don't look at what they've actually done, just accept whoever wants it the most and who says the correct-sounding things.  After all, that worked so well in the past.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Is It Over Yet?

Sometimes, when I am reading a novel or watching a movie, I realize that I simply don't care about any of the characters.  Are they going to succeed?  Are they going to fail?  Who cares?

If I find I don't care, I'll put that book down or walk out of that movie.  Why waste my time?  There are too many excellent books and excellent movies for me to waste my time trudging through a boring one.

And so we get to the Glorious Battle between the mighty Church of Scientology and the bold rebels of the Independent Movement -- with the fate of "every man, woman and child for the next endless trillions of years" at stake.


Really boring.

Really, really boring.

It appears that all the characters in this badly written drama are very excited, worried, angry and whatnot but I don't care -- and I don't see how anyone not directly involved cares one tiniest bit.

Certainly I care about all the victims of the Church of Scientology, but that isn't what they are fighting about.  They are fighting over control of Scientology.

Is it important to "every man, woman and child" on this planet?  No, of course not.

Is the fate of the Church of Scientology hanging in the balance?  Nope.  The church has been destroyed and all you see is the after-image after the implosion.  The old image of the powerful and dangerous Church of Scientology has been shattered by David Miscavige's recent stupid, immature and idiotic orders to his mindless followers.  It's a bad joke.

Is the fate of Scientology itself, hanging in the balance?  Again, nope.  All the facts and all the failures of Hubbard and Scientology are well known.   Scientology doesn't produce "homo novis", it doesn't solve any of the world's problems and it isn't a miraculous solution to anything.  People may still use Scientology but, since Scientology doesn't produce anything significant, its continued existence is of no importance.

So we have people of no particular importance battling over an insignificant "church" and an ineffective "tech" with nothing of any significance hanging in the balance.

I've walked out of better movies than this.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Scientology Has Failed

One of the things a Scientologist must confront and must acknowledge is that Scientology has failed.

That is simply a fact.  Until a Scientologist confronts and acknowledges this, they will not be able to move on.  Even if they believe that "Scientology works", they cannot deny that Scientology has failed.

It could be said with considerable truth that failure actually defines the history and evolution of Scientology.

Scientology came into being when Dianetics failed.  Certainly, Dianetics appeared to have promise and some interesting results were reported, but Hubbard promised miracles and, beyond rare, anecdotal stories, none of his promised miracles ever appeared.  Worse, from Hubbard's point of view, his promised, miraculous state of Clear never appeared.  Dianetics was a failure.

Scientology arose from the ashes of Dianetics and promised even more miracles.  Not only was Scientology going to produce "Releases" with abilities far beyond the human state, not only was Scientology going to finally produce "real Clears", but Scientology was ultimately going to produce a god-like state Hubbard called "Operating Thetan".

And Scientology failed.

Along came "the Grade Chart” to fix those failures.  The problem was, Hubbard explained, “out gradients” and “missing actions”.  The Grade Chart was going to fix all that ... and failed.  Still none of the promised results appeared.

The lack of results, Hubbard justified, was still due to “out gradients”, and so tons of new processes were added to the “lower Bridge”.  And sold.  And still the promised results failed to appear.

The next excuse for failure was “illiteracy” which led to Hubbard’s “Study Technology”.

Another excuse for failure was “drugs” which ended up with the “Purification Rundown” and Narconon.

One continuing excuse for failure was “out ethics” which engendered a whole raft of new products and controls:  Ethics, Security Checks, FPRD, Criminon and so much more.

And still Scientology failed and failed and failed.  Even those “solutions” were failing.  In real-world, independent tests, Hubbard’s “Study Technology” was a failure. Doctors confirmed that the Purification Rundown failed to “detoxify” anyone.  Criminon and Narconon were exposed as ineffective frauds.

And still there are no Releases, no Clears and no OTs.  To this day, Scientology continues to fail to provide any of the results promised.

Each of Scientology’s failures engendered more excuses, more "reasons why", more justifications -- and more “services” to sell to “solve” those failures.  And so Scientology became the “Science of justifications for failure”.

What does a Scientologist do with all these failures when they cannot confront them?
  • Ignore it.  This is a Scientology Standard Tech method of dealing with it.  Pretend you don’t notice the complete lack of results.  Pretend that somewhere, someone is “winning”.  Pretend that the temporary euphoria after a session means “real case gain”.
  • “Fix” it.  That’s what the history of Scientology is all about:  One “solution” to failure after another -- with each “solution”, in turn, failing.
  • Sell it.  This is another Scientology “solution”.  Ignore the failures and keep selling the promised results.  In the real world, we call that “fraud”.
  • Try harder.  Believe it would work if only you could “do it right” and so, Scientologists keep trying the same “solutions” over and over in hopes that some day the promised results will magically appear.
  • Give up.  Accept the ultimate Scientology reason for all its failures: That all Scientology’s failures are your fault.  You are too awful a being for Scientology to ever work on you.
These are all the standard Scientology solutions, they are built into Scientology itself.  Scientologists are very familiar with all these, but may I suggest one additional choice that a Scientologist could make:
  • Reality.  Recognize that Scientology has failed and cannot and will not ever deliver what Hubbard promised.  Recognize that each “solution” just results in more failure.  Take whatever bits you might have found useful and leave the rest.  Step off the Bridge to Total Failure.  Stop wasting your time, your money and your life on such consistent and continual failure.  Start winning by deliberately not using Scientology.
Just because Scientology has failed doesn’t mean you have to.

Friday, June 10, 2011

How to Talk to a Scientologist

I don't have the conceit that I'm an expert in this subject, but I think I can offer some advice and possibly point to other sources for more information.

This is an important subject.  If a family member or friend has become a Scientologist, you can still talk to them, you can help, but you need to be careful.

You need to educate yourself on what is going on with the Scientologist. There are a number of good people with insight and great advice:
The most important thing for you to know about Scientologists is that Hubbard has installed a minefield around them to “protect” them from outside influences. You need to avoid this minefield if you want to help them.

So the very first rule is: Do not say anything that will cause the Scientologist to disconnect from you. This means you should not say anything critical or negative about Scientology at this stage.  This is one of the mines. If you have already moved in that direction you need to stop.

The reason for this is that you can't do them any good if you can't talk to them. That's why Scientology enforces disconnection so vigorously.

That doesn't mean you can't help them. You can help them leave the cult, you just need to avoid the minefield.

This may be difficult if you are aware of how dangerous and destructive the church is, but you must avoid disconnection to have them remain willing to talk to you.

You need to create a safe atmosphere for the Scientologist to talk and for you to listen. At first, that is the best thing. Do not comment or criticize at this point – just be a sympathetic listener. One of the key elements of listening is staying silent. The less you say, the better. Use “Uh huh?”, “Really?”, “I didn't know that” and anything else that is non-committal but encouraging. Allow the conversation to drift to other subjects but encourage them to talk about their experiences and hopes in Scientology.

Once this safe space has been established, you can ask carefully planned questions. You will know what questions, but along the lines of, "What do you want to accomplish?", "What do you hope for?" You don't have to sarcastically ask the obvious, "... and how's that going for you?" – they will automatically think that themselves. Try to be as non-judgemental as possible. The minute you scoff, criticize, roll your eyes or laugh at the wrong point, they will stop opening up to you.

The Scientologist may ask you “What have you heard about Scientology?” or “What do you think about Scientology?” Do not go into what you have heard or any criticism of Scientology. This puts the Scientologist into “handle the Enemy mode", another of the mines, and then you are no longer talking to the Scientologist but to automatic and carefully coached patter.

Say, instead, “Oh, you know, there are lots of rumors and stuff out there. It isn't important – I want to know about you. What have you been doing?” They may try to persist in their “handling” so you will need to persist as well. “Really, I'm not interested in what others say about Scientology. I just want to hear how you're doing.” Whatever happens, do not let them go into “handle the Enemy mode". That will not help them.

Note that you do not say "I want to hear about Scientology".   That would be very, very wrong.  You want to say something like, "I want to hear about your experiences."  You want them to talk about themselves.

They may go into “recruitment mode". This may be inevitable and you may need some patience to get through this stage. This one may be harder to avoid since you have said you want to hear what they are doing. They will usually start talking about how everything is wonderful and Scientology is perfect and solved all their problems. Do not express any negative attitudes but do not express any interest in doing any Scientology. If they try to press you into taking a course or buying a book just say something like, "I'm doing fine, I'm not interested right now" and leave it at that. Be patient. Trust me, it's as boring to them as it is to you. They will soon move on.

What you are waiting for is for them to relax and just start talking. If you are patient and non-judgemental, this will happen.

You need to understand that the Scientologist already does know that something is very wrong with their church. True, they have no idea how wrong things are, and they don't know how corrupt the leadership is, but they are definitely aware that things are not right. You don't have to convince them of this. You are trying to create a safe space for them to talk about those things.

When they start talking about the stuff they have noticed that is wrong with the Church of Scientology, do not be too enthusiastic in your agreement. Be interested. Say things like “I didn't know that!”, "What happened next?"  This is what you've been waiting for so just listening at this point is vital.  If you immediately bring up all the negative things you know about Scientology, you will undoubtedly push them right back into “handle the Enemy mode" – and destroy any progress you've made.

Note that, at this stage, they will start to disagree with the church but will still consider Scientology to be "wonderful". Don't worry, almost all Scientologists go through this stage. For most, this is just a temporary stage.  Note, also, that attacks against the Scientology belief system aren't very useful.  For now, the Scientologist will start to blame everything on David Miscavige.  Don't worry, this is OK at this stage.

After they have expressed some criticism of their own about the Church of Scientology, they might then ask you what you know. This is an entirely different question than the “handle the Enemy mode" earlier. Now, they really do want to know. Be careful. Do not, at that moment, bring up everything you know about the Church of Scientology, David Miscavige and L. Ron Hubbard – this might trigger “handle the Enemy mode". Answer any specific questions with specific answers and direct them to a specific Internet site. In my opinion, Wikipedia may be the best initial site for them. It really is one of the most balanced presentations about Scientology on the Internet – no ranting and each assertion, both pro- and anti-, must be documented.

If you want to know the attitude you should present to the Scientologist at this stage, read how the Wikipedia information is presented.  Nothing extreme, nothing accusative, some acknowledgement of good aspects while calmly presenting the negatives as well.

Other good sites for newly-awakening Scientologists are those that present Scientologists' "Doubt Formulas".  These are true believer Scientologists who are applying Scientology itself to decide about the Church of Scientology.  Examples: Leaving Scientology, Geir Isene, Michael Tilse, Luis Garcia.  As I've said, these people are using "standard Scientology" to determine that David Miscavige and his Church of Scientology are extremely bad and should not be supported.  This may seem silly to you but, to a Scientologist, these are very persuasive arguments.

At this point, they will probably continue to investigate on their own. They will need your help and support. Your best bet is to continue to listen and help them find good sources of information – keeping in mind that they can't go from Scientologist to non-Scientologist in one leap.

It is normal for them to be very, very afraid of what the church will “to do them”. This is no idle fear.  If they work for a Scientologist, they could lose their job.  If they have friends or family who are Scientologists, they could be disconnected.  Often, they need to keep their doubts secret from other Scientologists.  Assure them that this is quite common and is being done by many Scientologists.

As more and more people leave the Church of Scientology, this becomes less important.

Good luck.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Easy There!

I have noticed that some of the more enthusiastic whistle-blowers against the Church of Scientology tend to jump on comments and articles that are not, actually, all that pro-Scientology.

The fact that an article or comment isn't completely negative about Scientology does not warrant an attack.

The fact that a person might say something nice about Scientology or might protest against "attacking a religion" does not necessarily mean they are a Scientologist.   With fewer and fewer actual Scientologists, it is more likely this will be the case as time goes on.

To viciously attack some article or comment when a more reasonable response would be more appropriate, makes us Scientology critics look like the insane fanatics.  To attack a commenter, who really isn't pro-Scientology, looks very bad.  A vicious anti-Scientology attack can invalidate everything a more reasonable whistle-blower might be trying to say.

Err, if you will, on the side of milder, more reasonable responses to articles and comments about Scientology.  You can say the same things, but from the viewpoint that the author is merely misinformed.  This is tremendously effective.  When some Scientology sock-puppet attacks you, you own the high ground.  When a Scientology apologist insults you and makes crazy accusations, you come out far, far above them.

If the author is not a Scientologist, you will get back an intelligent response and will, perhaps, change their mind about the Church of Scientology.   If you attack the author, you will solidify in their mind the idea that critics of Scientology are insane fanatics.

Understand that you cannot change a Scientologist's mindset, but you will influence the lurkers.  Keep that in mind.  Do not engage in a battle with a Scientologist, just expose their lies.

Certainly, every single Scientology lie should be debunked, but it is most effective when done calmly, reasonably and with as much respect as you can muster.

Let the Scientologist froth and foam, insult and accuse.  Let us take the high road, always -- because it makes them look horrible.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Scientology "Soft Landing Place"

Prior to 1800, there was a problem with opium addiction.  In December of 1804,  Friedrich Sertürner extracted a highly potent analgesic from opium, which he called morphine.

It was soon to be touted as a solution to opium addiction.  Unfortunately, soon many people were addicted to morphine.

In 1895, a German drug company marketed diacetylmorphine as an over-the-counter drug under the trademark name Heroin.  It was chiefly developed as a morphine substitute that "did not have morphine's addictive side-effects".

It was touted as a solution to morphine addiction.

However, contrary to the company's advertising as a "non-addictive morphine substitute," heroin would soon have one of the highest rates of dependence amongst its users.

In 1937, another lab developed methadone, a "safe" alternative to heroin.  So the poor addicts could have yet another drug to be addicted to.

The problem with all of this is obvious.  If you substitute one "solution" to addiction with another "solution" that works exactly like the original, you really haven't solved the addiction, have you?  You've just substituted one addiction for another.

And so we get to "Scientology outside of the Church of Scientology".

While I'm not specifically comparing Scientology to a physically addictive drug, I will contend that Scientology, and specifically the temporary euphoria induced at the end of most auditing sessions, can be quite addictive in its own way.

While in this temporary state of euphoria, Scientologists will feel capable of almost anything.  They will actually attest to "having gained" the most amazing abilities, knowledge and powers which, when the euphoria fades in an hour, a day or so, completely fail to materialize.

And most Scientologists crave that wonderful sense of power and ability more than anything else.  They live to go back into session.  They pay tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of dollars to get back into session.

The more consecutive sessions you have, the better it gets.  Up to a point, the more consecutive sessions you have, the longer the subsequent euphoria lasts -- sometimes it can last for days -- but it always fades, leaving the Scientologist without any new abilities or powers, but with a craving for more.

While continuing to get these feelings of euphoria, Scientologists feel that they are "making progress up the Bridge" to OT.  They have hope.  They think it all "works" -- that all the time and money they have spent was worthwhile.

Yes, for many, Scientology is psychologically addictive.

And, despite the assurances of the original manufacturers and distributors of morphine, heroin and methadone, the solution to addiction is not "more of the same".

There are those who laud the providers of Scientology outside of the Church of Scientology because they provide a "soft landing place" for Scientologists who have just left the church.  They provide a version of Scientology that "isn't as abusive" and "isn't quite so strict" -- and, therefore, "isn't as bad".

I do understand that concept, but I do not agree.

They are still delivering the same "drug".  They are still promising the same false promises of "miraculous powers and abilities" but are only delivering the same, addictive, temporary euphoria.

They are still rushing their clients through to write their glowing "Success Stories" about how wonderful it all is -- quickly before the euphoria fades.  They are still publishing these euphoric "Success Stories" as if these were talking about actual, permanent gains.

They are still pushing the same "drug" -- and more of the same is not a solution to that addiction.

My advice to Scientologists who have left the Church of Scientology is that they give it a rest.

There is no hurry.  Scientology outside of the church will still be around in six months or a year.

Take your time.  There is a ton of information that you have not been permitted to see and that you really do need to know.  Don't rush into the arms of another group that dictates which information is acceptable and which is not.  Take your time and read all that "forbidden" information.  It may be upsetting at first -- the truth often is.

Let some time pass and take a look at what actually happened to you in Scientology.  Without the temporary euphoria and without the relentless church propaganda about how "wonderful" and "successful" Scientology is, take an honest look at yourself and your friends.  What were the actual results?

Stop using Scientology terms and concepts for a while and see what happens.  Reframe your thoughts and questions into standard English (or whatever your native language is) and see all the ideas and solutions that have already been developed around those concepts outside of Scientology.

Look around at the world you have been cut off from.  There are many, many people who are living great lives and doing wonderful things outside of Scientology's tiny world.  You can learn a lot from just looking at the real world.

Get in touch with all those old friends and family that you disconnected from (officially or unofficially).  Catch up on the news.

Then, in six months or a year, if you still think you need Scientology, go ahead and find a Scientology practitioner who you can trust -- who is honest and doesn't implement the abusive parts of Scientology -- if you can find one.

I'm betting that, by then, you will enjoy being free too much to exchange it for empty promises and temporary euphoria.

Friday, April 15, 2011

What's Wrong With the Simon Wiesenthal Center Honoring Tom Cruise?

There has been a bit of a fuss about the recent announcement that the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Museum of Tolerance plans to honor Tom Cruise with its prestigious Humanitarian Award.

It is a very controversial decision.  I suspect that the Simon Wiesenthal Center had no idea it would be quite so controversial when they made the decision.

I don't think they fully understand what is wrong with that decision.

It isn't about Tom Cruise.  I don't know Cruise personally, and I certainly don't have any information about what he has done to warrant such an honor as a humanitarian.  Maybe he has done some amazing things that we don't know about.  I'd give him the benefit of the doubt on that.

The fact that Tom Cruise used to be the celebrity face of the Church of Scientology was not, and should not be, a factor in that decision.  After all, the museum has "tolerance" in their name -- and tolerance is a very, very good thing.

The above are not reasons why this award is a bad idea.

The problem with this award is how the Church of Scientology will use this award.  They will trumpet this award as if it means that the Simon Wiesenthal Center:
  • approves of Scientology,
  • endorses Scientology,
  • validates Scientology's claims that they are a "humanitarian group" and
  • confirms that Scientology supports Human Rights.
Of course none of those claims are true, but the Church of Scientology will spin the news of the award for exactly that purpose.  That's what they do.

And that's what's wrong here.  Even if the Simon Wiesenthal Center asks the Church of Scientology to not do that, they will anyway.  Scientologists do not believe that requests by non-Scientologists are binding on them.  They will do whatever they please.

The Church of Scientology is NOT a humanitarian group by any stretch of imagination.  It is arguable that the church is the biggest violator of Human Rights in the United States.  See my article Scientology and the Declaration of Human Rights.

The Church of Scientology does NOT contribute to any humanitarian efforts anywhere in the world.  Individual Scientologists certainly may, and I do recognize and honor that, but the Church of Scientology itself does not contribute anything.  See my article The Church of Scientology Loves Disasters.  This is an excellent example of how the church exploits the good work of others to polish their own image -- exactly as they will with this award.

But worst of all, in relation to this award, is how the Church of Scientology frames the Holocaust in relation to their own dogma.  I don't think the Simon Wiesenthal Center wants to have any association with Scientology because of their beliefs in this area.

The Church of Scientology redefines and exploits the Holocaust to forward their personal vendetta against the psychiatric profession -- they blame psychiatrists, and only psychiatrists, for the Holocaust.  Professor Deborah Lipstadt has termed this "soft-core" Holocaust denial -- although I'd use harsher terms to describe such crass exploitation.  Professor Lipstadt's writings on the church are here.

Second, and by far the worst, L. Ron Hubbard's dogma states that anything that happens to a person is their fault and only their fault.  This is called the "overt-motivator sequence".

The following are direct quotes from Hubbard's Dianetics and Scientology Technical Dictionary.
an intentionally committed harmful act committed in an effort to resolve a problem.
an overt act against oneself by another. In other words, a motivator is a harmful action performed by somebody else against oneself.
if a fellow does an overt, he will then believe he's got to have a motivator or that he has had a motivator.
Hubbard teaches that one cannot be harmed in any way by any action unless one has first committed a similar "overt" against someone else.  To put it simply, one cannot be harmed by a punch unless one has first punched another.  This is in the context that we have all lived thousands of lives and such overts may have been committed in some previous life.

Thus, in Scientology belief, all harm that happens to you is completely and totally your fault, you "pulled it in" because of your prior overt.

If you are paying attention then you will understand what this means in relation to the Holocaust.  According to Scientology, all the victims of the Holocaust were guilty of overts and it was all their fault that this atrocity happened.  Yes, this is straight Scientology dogma.

Understand that this is not some "fringe" belief of Scientology that can be changed or discarded, this is a fundamental teaching of L. Ron Hubbard.  These concepts are core, unchangeable beliefs of Scientology.

I think it's wonderful that the Simon Wiesenthal Center demonstrates tolerance towards Scientology, but I really don't think they want to directly associate themselves with the Church of Scientology in any way.

To any Anonymous who might be reading this, I have some advice:  Do not protest this awards ceremony, it is highly unlikely that such an action would turn out well for Anonymous.  It would be easily misunderstood that Anonymous was protesting the Simon Wiesenthal Center.  The Church of Scientology would have a field day making sure that was the perception.
EDIT: Never mind, I have been convinced that protesting would turn out fine. 

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hubbard's Theory of Past Lives

I've received a number of questions about Hubbard's theory of past lives and a number of requests to explain it.

OK, I'll try to explain what Hubbard's theory was, but it can be confusing, even to Scientologists.

When Hubbard wrote Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, and other early Dianetic books, he did not believe in nor espouse any theory of past lives.

He thought we only lived once.

Part of the Dianetic theory is that a person's mental or physical problems are caused by "chains" of related, harmful events.  If a "preclear" (person getting Dianetic therapy) has, let's say, trouble hearing, it will be found, according to Hubbard, that there is a chain of harmful incidents related to his ears or hearing.  As part of Hubbard's theory, this "chain" is held in place by one "basic" incident: the earliest incident related to ears/hearing.  Once that basic incident was relieved, the person's hearing would be recovered.

I'm not saying this is true, just that's the theory.  I bring up the theory because of this:  As part of Dianetic therapy, the auditor keeps asking for an "earlier, similar incident" until they get to this basic incident.

With the idea that we only live once, the search for "earlier, similar" would often end up with "memories" from the womb.  There is quite a bit from Hubbard about prenatal memories of harmful incidents.

And then a number of preclears, upon being asked for an "earlier, similar incident" started "recovering memories" from before this life.

Initially, Hubbard's reaction to this was to posit a "genetic memory".  He decided that an entity he called a "genetic entity" (or "GE"), was remembering evolutionary information.  Hubbard even wrote a book, A History of Man, about this.  In that book Hubbard claimed that this genetic memory not only went back through evolutionary life forms to the earliest amoeba, but even further back to the earliest formation of atoms.

This book, The History of Man, is where the derogatory term "clam" for Scientologist comes from, although, technically, this is not part of Scientology and is not "whole track" (a thetan's complete life-after-life memory)  or "past lives".

All this didn't last long.  Rather quickly, Hubbard changed his mind and started recognizing and talking about past lives, not "genetic memory" but actual memories from previous incarnations.  This was not a popular decision amongst many Dianeticists, who broke with Hubbard at that time.

But that was OK with Hubbard.  He had discovered the "thetan", the soul, the spirit, the "being himself, not his body or his mind" -- and Scientology was born.

Hubbard's explanation of the life-death-birth cycle goes roughly like this:  Everyone is a thetan. Scientologist or wog, everyone is a thetan, inhabiting a body. As part of arriving on this planet, almost all the people here (the thetans), have been programmed to "report to the implant station" when they die.

When and where did this programming occur? Primarily, that was the OT III "Xenu" incident, 75 million years ago.

So, when anyone dies, they immediately "report to the implant station" for a refresh of their programming.

Hubbard claimed that there were implant stations on the far side of the moon and on Mars. I don't recall him ever saying Venus had an implant station (just trains, apparently).

The implant stations are all automatic, no people there. The thetans receive a refresh of their programming ("implanting") and then are given orders to "go pick up a new body on Earth".

So the thetan just goes to Earth and picks up a body.

Exactly when they inhabit the baby body is not set. They might inhabit the body before or after birth, but they will hover nearby in any case. Thetans will fight each other for a body, since there are more thetans than bodies.

Some thetans will take an adult body that is in a coma or has been seriously injured which, Hubbard said, explained amnesia and drastic personality changes at those times.

That's the dogma, according to Hubbard, as near as I can recall. I may have missed a few minor details.

By the way, Hubbard got quite upset if you called previous lives "reincarnation" since, in his version, the birth-death-rebirth cycle is not tied to spiritual progress towards Nirvana.  In his version, it's all a horrible trap that leads, in a dwindling spiral, down to total degradation. It is a Bad Thing that "Scientology can help you with".

In Scientology's system of belief, people's past lives can contain, literally, anything, including scientifically impossible things.  No "memory" is doubted, all is accepted no matter what.  Some Scientologists are quite enamored with who they were and what they did in all these past lives.

Hubbard, of course, more than anyone else.  For a pulp science fiction and adventure writer, it was perfect.  Here comes the space opera!  For many, many years, Hubbard loved to tell audiences his "whole track" experiences -- usually space opera and usually with himself as the brave, wise, powerful hero.  And his yarns told in private could, apparently, be even wilder.

Unfortunately, Hubbard forgot to take scientific progress into account.  He made up stuff that he thought could never be disproven.  But science does progress and science could discover what was previously unknowable.

I'm sure there are hundreds of statements we could mention, but let's limit ourselves to a few well-known claims.
  • Hubbard claimed that the physical universe was over "four quadrillion years old".  Scientists have estimated the actual age of the universe to be closer to 12 billion years old.
  • Hubbard declared the location of the OT III "Xenu" events "75 million years ago" to be the current major volcanoes of Earth.  He very specifically named them.  The problem is that geologists all know that those volcanoes didn't even exist that long ago.
  • Most, if not all, ancient Earth civilizations used super-advanced technology.
  • The ancient gods and goddesses were real.  They were actually "OTs" visiting Earth -- but have since been "trapped and degraded".
Anything Hubbard could think up, he claimed was a real, true whole track memory.  Scientologists are pretty much obliged to go along with it.

If anyone else is seriously wondering if Hubbard's version of the whole track is true, you really need to stay far, far away from Scientology -- you are just the kind of gullible person they are looking for.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Redefinitions of Scientology

A while ago, I wrote about the false claims of Scientology, especially outside of the Church of Scientology.  One practitioner claimed he was producing "Real live OTs!"  I object to fraud and deception, and this claim certainly lands squarely in that category.

At least, within the Church of Scientology, they've stopped promising the "Clear" as Hubbard described and stopped promising the "OT" that Hubbard defined.  See The Disappearing States of Clear and OT.

In that "Real live OTs!" article I urged Scientology practitioners to stop promising results they could not deliver.   But Scientology practitioners still promise the Grade Chart results that they can't and won't deliver.

Recent discussions amongst Scientologists make me think that this fraud and deception may change and the promises will follow the current trend in Scientology of redefining the expected results until they don't promise anything at all.

We may soon see Scientology practitioners changing the Ability Gained of Grade 0 from "Ability to communicate freely with anyone on any subject" to "A person who feels better about communication."

Grade 1 will change from "Ability to recognize the source of problems and make them vanish" to "A person who feels better about problems."

And so forth.

Why do I think this?  I've been following the raging debates on Leaving Scientology, Marty's blog and Scientology-Cult and I have seen Scientology True Believers come to an interesting consensus.

Scientologists seem to be overwhelmingly in favor of changing the definition of OT from Hubbard's:
A being who is cause over matter, energy, space, time, life, form and thought, subjectively and objectively
A being who does things!
In the discussions and articles, this is the new definition of OT.  You start a new business?  You're an "OT"!  You volunteer down at the local shelter?  You're an "OT"!   It was even mentioned that moving your hand is the act of an "OT"!

What is the difference, then, between a "wog" starting a business and a Scientology OT starting a business?  The Scientology OT is aware that they are being OT!  And they are "being OT" because of Scientology.

They don't do anything particularly exceptional, but they are doing it as an OT!  That makes all the difference -- to a Scientologist.

And there you have it!  That totally solves the problem of Scientology never producing an OT as Hubbard defined it.  It solves the problem of Hubbard's last years, where he was sick, in pain, hiding from the law and betrayed by those he trusted.  It solves the problem for all those OTs that didn't get the powers and abilities promised.

Just redefine "OT" and you're good to go.

Well, I have to admit that does come under the heading of "don't promise what you can't deliver".  If you promise nothing, you're totally covered.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Calling All Scientology OTs!

We have another guest blogger today.  As a service to all Scientologists, I am publishing this Open Letter to all OTs from a Scientology OT.

- Just Bill

An Open Letter to All Scientology OTs
A Call to Action!

Dear OT,

As you are aware (because all of us OTs are fully aware of everything), Scientology is in grave danger.

The Church of Scientology is on the verge of complete destruction.  Even Scientology outside of the church is in serious trouble.  Major media are attacking Scientology, spreading misinformation about our wonderful religion.  Attacks and protests are continuing.  Legal actions are in progress.

It is time to go to battle.  We are OTs.  We are "at cause over matter, energy, space, time, life, form and thought, subjective and objective."  We have the power and we have the will to use it.

Yes, we've withheld our powers because it would be too steep a gradient for mere "wogs" to confront, but we can no longer hold ourselves in check.  The very existence of Scientology is at stake.  This is no time to be gentle.

Here is what you must do.  Go to a location where there are lots of witnesses.  Ensure that newspapers, TV and radio have been called and show up.

Then show your true OT powers!  Levitate your car, or make it disappear.  Grab Osama bin Laden from wherever he is hiding and fly him right to prison.  Create objects out of thin air!  Read people's minds.  Disarm all the criminals in your city without blinking an eye!  Show all these "wogs" the true power of Scientology.

You know that the minute we show all these "wogs" what Scientology really can do, all opposition will cease and everybody would flock to our churches, clamoring for our services.

It's time to stop the pretence that we're normal people with no more powers or any better solutions than these "wogs".

Take off the gloves!  Show your true powers!  It's Scientology's last hope - for us OTs, this will be easy!

A Scientology OT

PS: And would all graduates from the PTS/SP Course please "confront and shatter" all the world's suppression?  Thanks.

Well, that's the letter.  Sounds like a workable idea, don't you think?  If all the Scientology OTs demonstrated their true OT powers, Hubbard would be vindicated and Scientology would be saved -- not just saved, but Scientology would become the most popular religion overnight.

Without some demonstration of Scientology's miraculous results, they haven't much hope.

There, I've published the call.  All we can do now is look for the massive demonstration of truly amazing OT powers, soon to be unleashed.

Isn't this exciting?  I can't wait!

Friday, March 11, 2011

How LRH Destroys Scientologists' Ability to Think

It becomes obvious, while watching Scientologists* try to "think" their way through all their problems, that Scientologists, as a group, have completely lost their ability to think logically and rationally.

Now, I don't want anyone to construe this as a broad insult of Scientologists' intelligence.  This has nothing to do with intelligence, it has everything to do with Scientology indoctrination.  Certainly it makes Scientologists look stupid, but they all recover their original, higher intelligence when they free themselves of Scientology's thought-control.

While we have discussed Scientologists' inability to think logically before, we have never specifically addressed how they lost this important ability.

It is obvious, from the fact that this failing is universal to all Scientologists, that this destruction of the ability to think is built into Scientology.

I think you'll find that Hubbard intentionally created this nightmare.  Let's see how he did it.

1. Hubbard Study Technology

This "technology" is key to destroying a person's ability to think logically and rationally.  Every Scientologist is carefully indoctrinated into this method as the only way to study Scientology.

One of the fundamental assumptions in Hubbard's Study Technology is that the source material is always assumed to be completely and unquestionably correct in every detail.  This flows from Scientology's basic premise that L. Ron Hubbard is always correct.

Therefore, any and all difficulties, confusions and doubts that Scientologists might have are their fault.  The defect is always with the student.

So, when Hubbard's assertions don't match the reality that the student knows, the only solution allowed in Hubbard's Study Tech is for the student to modify their thinking so that they can "make Hubbard's words 'true for them'."

This aligns perfectly with Hubbard's statement that "what is true is what you, yourself, have found true."  This is also called, in Scientology, "making the data your own".

Scientologists cannot use logic or scientific method or rational thinking to do this.  Technically, logic, scientific method and rationality have proven most of Hubbard's assertions to be false.

Instead, Scientologists must alter the way they think, so that they can make whatever Hubbard says "true".  They are actually learning a whole new way of thinking that doesn't use logic, but uses belief, "postulates" and quite a number of logic fallacies.  "Your" opinion must always match what Hubbard said or someone will quote Hubbard to "prove you wrong".  Eventually, Scientologists' "thinking" is reduced to just quoting Hubbard [Leaving Scientology].

After a Scientologist has completed a few Scientology courses, they will have mastered how to do this.  This is not thinking in any normal sense of the word.

2. Redefinition of "true" and "false"

As part of his Scientology ideology, Hubbard coined two new, very unique words:
The word "theta", in the context of information, means positive information about Scientology, Dianetics and Hubbard.  More exactly, it means any information that aligns with Scientology's viewpoint.  For example, negative information about psychiatry would be considered theta by a Scientologist.
The word "entheta" means negative information about Scientology, Dianetics and Hubbard.  Specifically, it means any and all information that contradicts, disproves or disagrees with Hubbard's statements or Scientology's viewpoint.
Note very carefully that this is completely unrelated to whether a particular "fact" is true or false.  If a "fact" aligns with Hubbard's statements, it is theta, even if false.  If a fact contradicts something Hubbard said, it is entheta, even if true.

However, Hubbard and all Scientologists use theta as if it meant "true" and use entheta as if it meant "false".  To Scientologists, "theta" equals "true" and "entheta" equals "false".  They will say things like, "Oh you can't believe that, that's entheta!"

It becomes impossible to think if you don't know what is really true and what is really false.

3. Censoring "other" information

Further, Hubbard expressly forbade all Scientologists from viewing, reading or listening to anything labeled entheta.  It would "enturbulate" them, he claimed, and interfere with their "gains".  There are penalties for Scientologists who access entheta information.

Now to make sure you understand exactly what this means, let me use non-Scientology words.  Scientologists are expressly forbidden from accessing, in any way, information that contradicts anything Hubbard or Scientology says.

How can anyone think logically and rationally about a subject when they are forbidden from seeing or even knowing any differing information?

4. Asking for proof is outlawed

The first thing any normal person would do, when presented with fantastic claims about some subject is to ask for proof.  "Show me the data!"  "Do you have pictures?"  "Can I talk to them?"  "Let's go look!"

This is normal.  This is healthy.  This is good, logical thinking.

Well, Hubbard condemned it.  Demanding proof was bad, it was "suppressive".  He devoted one entire lecture (Flows: Basic Agreement and Prove It!) where he ranted on and on about how horrible it was to demand proof of anything.

In Scientology, asking for proof of anything Hubbard said or anything the church claims is a punishable act.  If you insist on seeing proof, you are a suppressive person!

And, with that, Hubbard yanked one of the most fundamental principles of scientific thought right out of Scientologists' minds.

In Scientology, you can't ask for, and you will never get, any proof of anything.  You can't even notice that you have no proof.  How can anyone possibly think about a subject that they cannot verify any part of?

And that is, in a nutshell, how Hubbard effectively and intentionally destroyed every Scientologists' ability to think logically and rationally about Scientology.

All that is left is belief.  As Hubbard often said, if you believe strongly enough, it will be true.  This is why Scientologists always state their beliefs as if they were proven facts.  Hubbard taught them: this is how you "think".

After leaving Scientology, the most difficult task may be learning how to think again and how to tell what is true and what is a lie.
*EDIT: By “Scientologist” I mean, very specifically, those who believe in Scientology, exactly as Hubbard taught it. I do not mean Freezone or those who only accept some of Scientology. Anyone who rejects some of Hubbard's technology would be called a “squirrel” by true believers. I'm not talking about squirrels.

In my mind, those who are able to disagree with Hubbard and who are willing to reject parts of Scientology's dogma are well on the way to re-learning how to think. I commend them totally and this article is not about them.

Monday, March 7, 2011

What Annoys Me Most About Scientologists

I do not and will never hate Scientologists.  I was one.  I think that most Scientologists are good people who have been trapped by their own desire to do good work and help others.

I will not attack Scientologists for practicing Scientology.  That is their right.  What a person believes is their business and no one else's.  Scientology, the belief system, should not be banned.  Ideas cannot be erased and to try to do so only gives them more importance.

I just want to point out where Scientologists' behavior varies significantly from what they say they advocate, especially Scientologists who have left the Church of Scientology.

First up, responsibility.  Or, to be more precise, Scientologists' universal refusal to take responsibility for what they have done.

Scientologists simply don't take responsibility for their actions, or non-actions, in relation to Scientology.  Ex-churchies inevitably blame David Miscavige for everything.  It is his, and only his, fault that things are bad in the church.

Did they applaud when Miscavige changed everything?  Yes they did.  Did they hop right up and take the now-"corrupted" courses and buy the now-"corrupted" books?  Yes they did.  Did they pay lip-service to the "Keeping Scientology Working" policy while applauding every little thing that Miscavige did to subvert and violate that policy?  Yes they did.  Did they do anything to stop David Miscavige from taking over and destroying their church?  Why, no, they didn't.

I know that some Scientologists did refuse to go along with Miscavige's crimes, lies and abuse but they were kicked out.  And a vast majority of Scientologists whole-heartedly condemned the very people who were taking responsibility.

And now Scientologists blame Miscavige and only Miscavige for everything that they allowed to happen and even applauded.

No responsibility.  None.

But wait, there's more!  We have, in the Independent Scientology community, certain executives who worked directly with and for David Miscavige.  While they were "in favor" they supported, forwarded and emulated Miscavige's corruption, crimes, lies and abuse.  They were part of the machinery that corrupted the Scientology technology.  They were part of the gang that beat up and mentally abused staff.  They were part of the evil.

And, now, they are the biggest supporters of the "It's all Miscavige, it's only Miscavige, I'm not responsible at all!" propaganda.

In other words, those most responsible for supporting Miscavige, those most responsible for forwarding his corruption and his lies, those most responsible for the evil that they now condemn, are saying that, no, they "were not responsible at all!"  Perhaps that's no surprise, but it is very disappointing.  I'd much rather hear, in detail, how they are taking full responsibility for their crimes, their abuse and their lies.

Yes, I know that some of these top executives have "admitted" to some bad acts but they still blame Miscavige for "making them do it".  It's still no responsibility.  They were in positions of power in Scientology and they used their power to help Miscavige do his evil deeds and they used their power to destroy those who tried to stop Miscavige -- for years.  They have much to answer for but, no, it's "not their fault".

It really annoys me that Scientologists emphatically will not take responsibility for what they have done or should have done.  Truly, the dirtiest word in Scientology is "responsibility".

Next up is confront.  Scientologists cannot confront.

And this is also very annoying to me.  Scientologists will brag about their confront.  They have done the TRs Course and, boy, can they now confront!

But they can't and they won't.

If you try to discuss simple facts with a Scientologist, they plug their ears and go "La-la-la-la-la-la", they delete your comments, they compile lists of websites they can't look at, books they can't read, newspapers they must not see, people they must never talk to and they generally run away.

They do not confront.

If you mention the simple fact that Scientology has never produced a single OT, they cannot hear you.  They actually are aware that there are no OTs but they cannot confront that fact.  The same goes for the non-existent abilities of Clear and the promised-but-missing abilities from the Grades.

The same goes for all their world-saving "solutions".  Their "solutions" have all failed in the real world, but those facts cannot, will not, be confronted.

These are simple facts.  Every Scientologist knows these facts are true but they cannot confront them.  Whenever I've mentioned some of these facts to a Scientologist, there is a deafening silence.  No debate, no argument, just run-run away and never confront it.

And finally, justifications.  In Scientology dogma, justifications are Bad.  According to L. Ron Hubbard, when you have done something wrong, you will inevitably try to justify it in some way.  Scientologists are supposed to recognize that, when you hear justifications, look for the harmful actions or neglect that preceeded it.

But all I hear from Scientologists are justifications.  Scientologists are well-equipt with many "reasons why" things didn't work out as promised.  They can give you all the justificatons why those processes didn't work, why these "solutions" never solved things, why those exhalted Scientologists were found to have committed massive fraud and why they ended up with their church destroyed.

And none of their justifications match reality or lead to any resolution.  Here is where Scientologists' refusal to take responsibility and their lack of confront come together to create the justifications why it isn't their fault, it isn't Scientology's fault and it isn't Hubbard's fault.  It is always someone else's fault, someone else's error or someone else's "evil intentions".

Scientologists' solution to Scientology's failings and broken promises is to justify, prevaricate and make up "reasons why" -- but never to simply confront the facts, take responsibility and live with the truth.  It's hard work being a Scientologist.

I have no problem with Scientologists practicing Scientology and getting whatever gains they get from it.  But they pretend to a reality that doesn't exist  because they cannot confront the reality that is.  Yes, they can feel better.  No, they cannot "go OT".

Scientologists' universal lack of responsibility and inability to confront annoys me a lot.  You see, these are things that Scientologists are proud of: their superior responsibility and their powerful confront -- and yet they have none.  They don't even try.

This is Scientology.  Scientology isn't what they say, it's what Scientologists do.  And the above is what Scientologists do.

If I were still a Scientologist, I'd be so ashamed.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Why Is It So Hard to Give Up Scientology?

One of the continuing mysteries about Scientology is the dogged persistence of some Scientologists, both inside and outside of the Church of Scientology, in their devotion to L. Ron Hubbard and to Scientology's technology despite its almost complete lack of success.

It is no secret that there are no Scientology OTs.  Even Scientologists are aware of this, though they prefer not to think of it at all.

It is no secret that today's "Clear" does not match Hubbard's definition of Clear from Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.  Unlike Hubbard's original definition, today's "Clear" doesn't have any more powers or abilities than non-Scientologists ("wogs").

And every Scientologist who has completed one of the Grades is very well aware that they do not have the promised Abilities Gained for their Grades as explicitly promised on Scientology's Grade Chart.

Yet, some Scientologists doggedly maintain that "Scientology works!" despite its consistent lack of results and failed promises.

Why is that?

There are, in my opinion, a number of reasons.  While individual reasons undoubtedly differ, I believe one or more of the following justifications is the primary reason they simply cannot let go.
  • Investment.  This can be a factor.  Scientologists may invest hundreds of thousands of dollars and many years of their lives to Scientology.  They may have sacrificed their family, their job, their property and their friends in support of Scientology.  For some, it is extremely difficult to admit that they wasted so much on a scam.  This leads us to:
  • Reputation.  A number of people have made a big deal about how wonderful Scientology was and how very, very superior they are because they are a Scientologist.  Think of Tom Cruise as a good example of this.  As a result, they cannot confront the massive embarrassment if they had to admit they were wrong.  (It does not appear that Cruise has woken up yet, but this factor might deter him from saying anything when he does.)
  • OT.  Yes, despite the fact that none of Scientology's OT Levels have ever produced a person with any "super powers", some Scientologists still believe that some day, somehow, some Scientology technique will produce a "true OT" and they want to be there when it happens.  Sixty years of failure hasn't convinced them that this isn't going to happen.
  • Having all the answers.  In my mind, this is one of the biggest reasons some Scientologists stick with Scientology despite everything.  Those inside of Scientology have all the answers.  In their minds, this statement isn't hyperbole, it is the bare truth.  According to Scientology they literally have the answers to everything: illness, insanity, war, crime, illiteracy, drug addiction, intelligence, failure, success, life, death, ... any situation, any condition and every problem has been "solved" by L. Ron Hubbard.  There are no more mysteries, there are no more problems that can't be fixed.  It is a feeling of tremendous power, certainty and superiority.  Naturally, Scientologists cannot and must not check these "solutions" to see if they really do what Hubbard claimed, for, of course, they don't.
To any Scientologist clinging to that failed technology because of one of these reasons:  You are not alone.  All of us ex-Scientologists have had to confront the fact that Scientology has not delivered on any of its promises.  All of us had to confront the scary fact that, no, we don't have all the answers.  Many of us believed in Scientology long past the point when it should have been obvious, even to us true believers, that it was a fraud.

It may be difficult to admit you were conned, but that embarrassment passes quickly and, after that, you can live in honesty and truth.  Trust me, the relief is incredible.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The New Yorker Article and All the Reactions

The New Yorker article by Lawrence Wright, The Apostate, and all the follow-up commentary has been quite wonderful.  Not only are whistle-blower sites covering this but major media all around the world.  I can just applaud.

What can I add?  Wonderful coverage and comments.

The information that the FBI is investigating the Church of Scientology and David Miscavige personally has certainly caught the attention of media around the world.  OSA's attempt to "dead agent" that report was incredibly weak, but was spammed on almost every website that reported it.  Here was their attempt:
"A federal law enforcement source told AOL News [that] the investigation has fallen short and no criminal charges are expected to be filed."
This is so typical of the Church of Scientology -- posting information that is lacking everything it needs to be checked.  Let's investigate further.  The full context in the AOL News story has a bit more information:
The author cites two sources in the FBI who "assured me that the case remains open." However, a federal law enforcement source told AOL News [that] the investigation has fallen short and no criminal charges are expected to be filed. Laura Eimiller, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Los Angeles, declined comment.
But wait, even that is still missing some very important information.  What Wright actually said had significant information that AOL clipped off:
"I recently spoke with two sources in the F.B.I. who are close to the investigation.They assured me that the case remains open."
And now we see why AOL clipped it.  Who would you believe more, a vaguely described "federal law enforcement source" or "two sources in the F.B.I. who are close to the investigation"?  Hmmm?

And who do we think this vague "federal law enforcement source" is?  Could it just be the mole that the Church of Scientology infiltrated into the Clearwater FBI office?  Ya' think?

The church used some ally or "inside Scientologist" to get this anonymous quote into the news article published by AOL News and is now flogging that minor snippet for all it's worth -- and it really isn't worth anything.

The church is running scared and botching the job spectacularly, as usual.

But how are Scientologists taking the New Yorker story, not to mention all the other very, very negative press we've been seeing?

They are "shielding" themselves from it.  They are discounting it.  They are using their cult-thought-control to keep from thinking about it.  As Lawrence Wright said in his interview about his article with Fresh Air's Terry Gross on NPR, The Church Of Scientology, Fact-Checked.
Wright said, when asked how his article might affect current members of the church that it "may not matter to people who are involved in it, who may feel they are gaining something from their experience — either because they feel like the truths of Scientology enhance their lives or because the community of Scientologists that they live among is something like their family. So they intentionally shield themselves from knowing these types of things."
Even "independent" Scientologists have this mechanism firmly in place.  Here is Marty's comment:
Whether I agree with some of his views and conclusions or not, I  am fairly certain about two things concerning Larry Wright and his work.  One, he is honestly attempting to understand the phenomena that is Scientology from the outside. Two, he has opened a public debate on Scientology in such a thorough, balanced, newsworthy fashion it will have huge and continuing repercussions.  
I do admire Marty's honesty in linking to and commenting on the article.  This is a good thing.

But it is yet another example of the cult mindset of filtering information, not on what is true or false, but what is, to Scientologists, "theta" or "entheta".  As I've noted before, Scientologists automatically reject entheta (negative information about Hubbard or Scientology) even if true and they accept theta (positive information about Hubbard of Scientology) even if false.  They must do this -- it is what they are trained to do.

Here we have a very well-researched and thoroughly fact-checked article that exposes Hubbard's lies about his life and work.  The article also quotes Paul Haggis regarding the universal lack of any of the "miraculous" results that Hubbard and Scientology promised.

But, as you can see, on Marty's blog, even outside of the church, true believer Scientologists continue to filter out the entheta.  They believe in Hubbard and all of his stories, and no amount of real, verified documentation will change their minds.

The New Yorker article by Lawrence Wright is the way things will be from now on.  The AOL News story is how the Church of Scientology used to control the media.

This nightmare for the church is not going away.

Certainly, major media is still worried about the Church of Scientology's stable of million-dollar lawyers, but how they protect themselves is completely different now.  Instead of ignoring and minimizing Scientology stories of crimes, abuse and fraud, they thoroughly fact-check the information and then write it all up -- big and bold -- front page.

This leaves the Church of Scientology without a whole lot of ground to stand on, and they know it.  There is nothing the lawyers can do about it -- and that is the only thing the church knows how to do.

God forbid the church would admit it and actually stop committing the crimes, lies, abuse and fraud!  They can't even conceive of that route.  And if they continue, as they have, to commit these crimes and fraud, to abuse people and to lie, their problems are just beginning.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Predictions 2011

I really should finish up my predictions before January comes to an end.  

What does David Miscavige predict?  Well, several years ago, he promised, to wild applause, that he would "open 70 new Ideal Orgs" that year.  That didn't happen.  It would have required Miscavige to open up "his" church accounts and pay for it -- everyone knows that wouldn't happen.

Last year, as I recall, he promised to open up an Advanced Org/Saint Hill organization on "every continent".  Tumultuous applause.  Didn't happen.  Not even one new AOSH was established.  Again, it's "his" money and he doesn't want to let it go.

For years Miscavige has been promising that this year they will "eradicate psychiatry" from this planet.  And every single year, nothing happens.

And, this year, Miscavige, once again, is promising he will "complete the Super Power building and start delivering Super Power".

So I'll start with the easy predictions:
  • Still no 70 Ideal Orgs created,
  • Still no new AOSH orgs created on "every continent",
  • Still no effect on psychiatry, and
  • Still no Super Power.
I found out that the official version of the Super Power building "promise", apparently, is that they will start on the Super Power building this year.  Huh? For some of you, this may seem a bit of a WTF.  What is that big, ugly building across the street from the Fort Harrison if it isn't the Super Power building?

That building is actually known as the "Flag Annex" by insiders.  The Super Power section of the building hasn't been built.  Rumor has it that the design for the Super Power part of the building has been "settled", but I doubt it.

However, the most important part of that huge, ugly building is not the Flag Annex part, nor is it the Super Power part.  No, the most important part of that building is David Miscavige's Office.  This started out as part of one of that building's massive floors, then half, and it now takes up almost an entire floor all by itself.  This is one of the main reasons it has taken so long -- designing the largest, most luxurious, most secure single-person office this world has ever seen takes a long time!  Every few weeks, Miscavige rips up the plans for his office and demands a redesign.

It will never get built.  The Super Power building will never get opened -- not the Flag Annex part, not the Super Power part and definitely not Miscavige's office.

Some more obvious predictions:
  • Even more major media exposés of the church's lies, crimes and abuses,
  • More Miscavige insanity and abuse,
  • More government investigations,
  • More Scientologists leaving, and
  • More Scientology celebrities leaving.  It will be fun to watch.
Everyone is wondering when certain mega-celebrities will officially leave.  We've seen Tom Cruise emphatically disassociating himself from the Church of Scientology, but when will he repair the damage by publicly quitting?
  • Miscavige will continue to personally direct the church's "counter-attacks", which will fail miserably and will, instead, make the Church of Scientology look even worse,
  • At which point Miscavige will declare "victory", again.
  • David Miscavige will continue to live the lifestyle of a billionaire, while bankrupting and destroying the lives of the very few Scientologists left in the church.
Local churches will continue to close but, of course, secretly.  Miscavige must keep the façade up.  Since Miscavige has already "consolidated" all the orgs that were close to each other, he will have to find more creative ways to hide his org closings.

You might not know this but each Scientology org can be considered to be two orgs.  One, called "Day", operates Monday through Friday during the day.  The other, called "Foundation", operates evenings and weekends.  These two orgs obviously use the same building but operate separately, with separate staff and separate "stats".

I expect many small orgs are already operating in Foundation-only mode.  All they need is one person to cover reception and the book store to give the appearance of still being open during Day hours.  I expect more and more orgs to go into this form of Foundation-only mode.

I also predict that more local orgs will sell their new, empty "Ideal Org" buildings once they realize they can't afford it.  This will always be justified as "it didn't meet our needs", as Portland Org did recently.  I expect orgs to "expand" into cheaper quarters -- while touting that as an "Ideal Org" move.

More and more orgs will have notices taped to their doors about unpaid utilities and unpaid rent but, since no one goes there any more, few will notice.

However, the main drama will center on the Independent Scientology movement. Tons of drama, but nothing much actually happening.  Newly-out Scientologists may land there, temporarily, with more news of abuse and crimes so it's worth monitoring.

As long as the outside Scientology practitioners don't implement the abusive and fraudulent parts of Scientology, and if they can stop lying about their results -- we wish them well.

So those are my predictions for 2011.  The Church of Scientology will continue to collapse.  Miscavige will cover it up, and continue to make his stupid mistakes.

But, for the most part, the collapse of the Church of Scientology will be boring.  Sorry about that.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ask a Question

Once again, the number of questions on the most recent Ask a Question have gotten unwieldy, so I'll start a new one.

There really are some great questions and discussions in Ask a Question 1, Ask a Question 2 and Ask a Question 3.  I always enjoy going back and reading them.

You want to know something about Scientology or the Church of Scientology, ask here!  You have a suggestion?  Put it here.  You want to start an argument or discussion?  Here is the place.  All non-troll, non-spam comments, suggestions, arguments, corrections are greatly appreciated.

As always, I love to hear from you.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Where Are All the Scientologists? Part 4

We are now past the time when estimating the number of Church of Scientology members was even possible.  The reason for this is that the number of church members for a country simply becomes lost in the margin of error of any poll.  The last ARIS survey simply dumped "Scientology" into "Miscellaneous", with numbers too small to note.  Of course, the numbers would be much worse today.

In addition, it looks like the number of people outside of the church, who might still consider themselves a "Scientologist" (and answer a poll that way) is already larger than the number of people in the Church of Scientology.  Unless a poll specifically asked "inside or outside the church," the numbers would be meaningless.

Another problem in determining who really is a member of the Church of Scientology is that most people who no longer want to have anything to do with the church will pretend they still believe -- so they can talk to their friends and family who are church members.

For clarification, here are the different stages most Scientologists go through when waking up and leaving Scientology:
  1. Scientologist finally admits that the actions of the church towards himself and others are abusive and wrong.  I say "finally admits" because almost all Scientologists already feel the church's actions are wrong, but they just don't admit it at first.
    This results in the Scientologist withdrawing support from the church while pretending they're still loyal.  This means they might still show up for the major events and may still take a course or buy a book, but that's about it.
  2. Next, the Scientologist starts talking with other Scientologists about the problems and abuses they see.  As they learn to trust each other, they share their own stories of abuse and wrongdoing by the church.  At this point they eagerly pass along reports from outside the church, like the ones from Luis Garcia and Geir Isene.
    This results in a fifth column inside of the Church of Scientology.  These Scientologists actually become a conduit from outside Scientology whistle-blowers right into the very heart of the Church of Scientology.  This completely destroys the carefully constructed wall between the church and the real world.  This development is significant.
  3. Then these Scientologists start to read the Internet -- the "forbidden" sites!  Initially, this can be very scary, since they have been assured that all sorts of terrible things will happen to them when they read these sites.  But they do and they are shocked and outraged at what they find about David Miscavige, Scientology and their church.
    This is the point where most stop having anything to do with the Church of Scientology.
  4. Sooner or later they stop pretending they are still loyal to the Church of Scientology.  From there, they may participate in some independent Scientology group, or may cease to have anything to do with Scientology at all.  The latter is most common.
In the past, we have all wondered how to reach and talk to the very loyal, very dedicated believers at the core of Scientology.  The dogma of Scientology has made them virtually impossible to contact in any practical way.

The Scientologists at stage 2 and 3 are the way this inner core can and has been reached.  Reports from outside whistle-blowers like the reports from Luis Garcia and Geir Isene are written by Scientologists for Scientologists.  They speak the language and they frame the crimes and abuse against the "Ideal Scene" that all Scientologists believe in.  Some of these reports are from well-known and trusted Scientologists.

The previously impermeable bubble that protected members of the Church of Scientology from reality has been torn apart.  The crimes and abuses of David Miscavige and other top Scientologists are now known about and discussed widely within the church.  I'm sure the inner core of the most loyal Scientologists are fervently denying these reports, but they know about them.  This shakes them up.

And here David Miscavige comes to help the inner core make up their minds -- and not in the direction he intends.  He is attacking them.

As more and more Scientologists leave, the few remaining, very loyal Scientologists will come under increasing threats and increasing pressure.  Where there used to be thousands of Scientologists buying books and courses and donating to Miscavige's latest money-making scam, now there are just a few -- and Miscavige expects them to take up the slack -- and his pressure on them is beyond intense.

In addition, because Miscavige has gotten the idea that the truth is getting through to his followers, he is suspicious of every Scientologist and he will demand more Conditions, more Ethics and more Sec Checks.

Get the picture?  The increasing pressure, suspicion, Ethics, greed and threats will now hit at the most loyal, most dedicated Scientologists.  Miscavige can't help it, he must demand more and more money while treating people with more and more suspicion.

And his most loyal, dedicated followers, who have now heard of, and dismissed, stories of crimes and abuse will get the full brunt of Miscavige's greed.  They will get abused.  Criminal acts will occur -- illegal charges on their credit cards, for instance.

That inner, unreachable core of dedicated church members is under attack -- by Miscavige -- and now they will get the truth, whether they want it or not.

We are in the final days, but what is going on will be mostly hidden.  We will only hear about it later.