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.

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.