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, April 1, 2012

Scientology in the Real World

Recently, I've just been watching.  Scientology watching has become one of my entertainments.  There's David Miscavige and the Church of Scientology, there's all the secrets, lies, crimes, abuses and fraud getting almost daily exposure and then there is the "Independent Scientology movement".

I find the Independent Scientologists to be the most fascinating.  Here we have a perfect test of Scientology's workability unfolding right before our eyes.  How can Scientology exist outside of the tightly controlled environment of the cult?

Enough time has passed for us to be able to see what Scientology is going to be like in a free and open environment.

Inside the Church of Scientology, the environment is very, very tightly controlled -- exactly as L. Ron Hubbard designed it to be.  Anything negative about Hubbard or Scientology is condemned as "entheta" and is off limits.   As a "good Scientologist", one cannot and will not talk to people who speak entheta.  One cannot read entheta articles or listen to any entheta.  That is thought control and is one of the cult's mechanisms for keeping the True Believers from straying from the approved path.

But now we have the Independent Scientology movement.  They have much, much less control.  If you talk to the "wrong people" according to one Scientology practitioner -- who then refuses to audit you (because you are a "bad person") -- why you can just go elsewhere.

The leaders of the Independent movement do not have enough control to stop a Scientologist from talking to anyone or reading anything.

And now we can see what happens to Scientology when the cultic thought control has been removed and when the standard threats have no weight.  Can Scientology survive in a free environment?

Well, what is happening?

If you've perused the various Independent Scientology blogs, you will see Scientologists desperately attempting to enforce the old thought control.  Any disagreement or entheta posted on one of their blogs gets shouted down or simply blocked.  Many posts and comments on ESMB and Censored by Marty attest to the censoring that goes on at that blog.

The people running the blogs try to keep the movement clean of such entheta but, as I said earlier, they simply don't have the power to enforce it.

Scientologists outside of the church can read and can talk without fear of any meaningful punishment.  Any normal person will absolutely hate and rebel against the kind of totalitarian thought-control as practiced by Scientology.  You can't stop people from wanting to know more, to know the truth.  And so people will look.

The more the leading voices of the Independent Scientology movement try to suppress other voices and dissenting opinions, the more people will resist.  And rebel.  And look.

That is happening more and more.

What has happened as a result of all this?  How is the Independent Scientology movement doing without the ability to control believer's thoughts, communication and actions?

As near as I can tell, back in very early 2010, Marty Rathbun and Steve Hall had this "bright idea".  They called it the "Indie 500".  The idea was to get 500 Independent Scientologists to "come out" and declare their independence from the Church of Scientology.  The website's definition of exactly who was an "Independent Scientologist" was extremely broad: "Anyone who uses any part of Scientology Tech, even if other parts are not true for you."

Now, over two years later, the list stands at a little over 300.  It is obvious to me that someone created the original few hundred entries without getting approval from the people they were listing: In reading through the list, I see a number who do not now consider themselves "Scientologists" in any way.  In addition, I know of more who's names appeared on the list and asked them to be removed.

After two years, even with those false entries, the Independent Scientology movement can't find 500 people who use "any part of Scientology Tech" who want to be associated with the movement.  Why?  Certainly many, many more than 500 people have left the Church of Scientology.

The reason that Scientology outside of the totalitarian control of the Church of Scientology cannot and will never thrive is because Scientology cannot coexist with open communication.  Scientology cannot coexist with full access to all the information.  Scientology cannot exist without its cultic thought-control.

My only question is: Can any part of Scientology exist in an open and free environment?  I certainly don't know, only time will tell.

What do you think?  If you are out of the church, what is your experience with the Independent Movement?


  1. Bill, what do you think of Marty R's recent posts where he seems to agree that Hubbard lied about his past, or at least that Hubbard's storytelling does not need to be taken literally? Is this his attempt to salvage the "tech," while jettisoning the extreme dogmatism and thought control?

    1. Everyone who leaves the Church of Scientology has to go through certain stages -- or reject the Real World entirely. This is one of the stages and a very early one. "Yes, apparently Hubbard didn't always tell the truth about his life but..."

      And following that "but ..." are all the reasons why the Scientologist is still clinging to the rest of the whole belief structure: "but it was meant as a metaphor", "but he was joking", "but his technology still works", and so on.

      It's an early step away from "Ron was perfect and created a perfect technology". There are more steps to go before the Scientologist accepts the truth of it all.

    2. Marty has never written that Hubard lied about his past. Marty has said that others misunderstood Hubbard and took him literally. This is the same thing that the Church of Scientology has been saying for decades. Now, Marty is saying that incident 2 of OT 3 is an allegory and, once again, he is mimicking the Church of Scientology's "It's an allegory" line, a line that has been used, when convenient, for many years.

      Scientology can't survive without lying about Scientology. that applies to "Independent Scientology" too.

  2. “Independent Scientologist” is an oxymoron. Because anyone exercising any independent thinking – anyone willing to say, “Show me the controlled, peer-reviewed scientific studies that support Scientology’s claims of success” – will quickly see how empty all those claims are.

    1. Well, of course, but that isn't what they mean by "Independent". They only mean they are not under the control of the church not that they are free to think independent thoughts.

  3. The process of leaving scientology is an individual one. It is a path, and each individual will have their own route out. But one can get too focused on the Scientology part of that person's path. Scientology is really just a powerful eddy on their paths that people get caught in. Some make it out, some do not.

    The purpose, "to expand scientology" is actually a completely bogus one. People who have been in scientology for a while have their original purpose of "self improvement" usurped by this "expand scientology" purpose. Practically every scientologist can be heard parroting this phrase at one time or another. But this false purpose is actually a close cousin to what drives internet viruses, email hoaxes, or the Star Trek BORG. Something that exists only to further its own existence will eventually become parasitic, and this is what we've been seeing for a few decades in scientology. All manner of atrocities have been visited upon scientologists using this hegemonistic tactic. There would be little need to put a lot of effort and focus on "expanding scientology" if it worked the way it is promoted. Indeed, the effort would be how to manage the hordes of people breaking down the doors demanding more scientology. This seems self-evident to me now, but it sure wasn't when I was in the eddy.

    That said, I actually am rooting for the independent scientology movement. Personally, I've found many parts of scientology to be valuable. I'd like to see some of the good parts of scientology persist, after so many people have invested so much of their blood and treasure in it for so many decades. The free market will ultimately decide what remains.

    While I have no interest in pursuing the subject further, I am open to the idea that one day I may meet a practitioner who might interest me in a session or two.

    From the independent scientology camp, there is a lot of folks suggesting, encouraging, demanding that everyone stand up and declare their independence and only then will Miscavige be defeated. To me it is just another bullshit bit of control someone else is trying to run on me. Way done with that, thank you.

    Thanks for your smart, smart blog Just Bill. It has helped me on my path, and I hope my comments have helped others on theirs.

    1. Just Bruce,

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I agree with what you say.

      If there is good in Scientology, I'm sure it will persist -- but only if it is divorced from the abusive and fraudulent parts.


  4. I think you're giving Marty less credit here than he deserves. He allows a certain number of LRH critical comments to go through. Of course they're being shouted down. What do you expect? Picture hordes of Scientologists coming over to WWP or ESMB and being in people's face about how the tech is good and that it works and it helps people? Would they not be shouted down also? And if the established userbase was reasonably pissed off, wouldn't you expect these users to be banned after a while as well?

    Have you noticed, how Marty continues to link to Tony Ortega's articles, and even to ones where Ortega is not too polite towards Hubbard? At least I see a willingness on his behalf to accept and interact with people who do not share his views on Hubbard.
    Right, I'm 100% with you about how Scientology essentially is a con and how Hubbard was a conman. But for a Scientologist like Marty, this is huge. I am surprised you didn't notice that yet.

    1. I don't know Marty, but I do know people who know him. The consensus is that Marty can be open to the real world but has to walk a thin line between reality and keeping true believers with him.

      Scientologists coming over to ESMB to sell Scientology do get taken to task but, as a rule, the debate, as long as it is kept reasonably civil, does not get censored. All sides get to have their say.

      Yes, on Marty's blog, a little criticism is allowed through, but any follow up is cut off, censored, no matter how civil. This is not the same thing at all. If you bring up some logical fallacy or bad data, Marty or one of his followers will make some smart, insulting remark in response -- and then any response you might wish to make (like they didn't actually address your points), no matter how politely stated, is censored. If you politely persist, you will be banned.

      Debate is not permitted there. I'd make the point that this is essential Scientology communication tech right there: Restrict communication to protect the belief system.

    2. On the most part, the number of Scientologists trying to argue their case on ESMB and WWP is extremely limited. It's generally restricted to a few threads, and you really don't have users that are there constantly extolling the virtues of the tech. With the exception maybe to Terril Park, who has been told by Emma to GTFO with his Freezone shit.

      What has happened since Marty has opened his Blog is that hundreds of anons, critics and ex-Scientologists have come to the comment section and told those people to wake up and basically that Hubbard built up a giant con. While you and I may agree with this view, one cannot force-feed this into these independents.
      Sometimes, you are debating with some die-hard Scientologist here about what you're writing. That's cool. But can you imagine what you would do if 30 different active Scientologists had set it to their mind to troll your blog and keep writing about how you're wrong and how the tech is good and Scientifically proven? Or what would happen on ESMB for that same matter.

      You say debate is not permitted there. You could have that view if you would regard a singular blog post and its own separate comment section. Fact of the matter is, many of those debates have already been had and are just rehashing the old ones from much earlier blog postings.

      I say that all groups, are engaged in some restrictions on freedom of speech, some voluntarily laid on ourselves by silent common consent. I could hardly imagine some member of the Republican party getting a forum for discussion when he is advocating abortion and social securities. I believe this censorship that Marty exerts is not as bad yet as you say, for the stated reasons. But you're right, he may at any time fall back "to the dark side". I just don't see that happening yet.

    3. @Ackerland

      Do not misunderstand me. I am not saying that Marty's censoring is "bad", it's his blog and he can do what he wants. What I'm saying is that censoring on any Scientology blog is necessary -- not just abusive comments, as you point out, but even polite but critical comments, as I point out.

      I'm just observing Scientology when freed of the strictures of the church. Censorship just naturally occurs because it must to protect Scientologist's beliefs.

      The difference outside of the church is that it cannot be effective because the are no punishments for looking at unapproved data.


    4. You have assumed I referred only to the abusive trollbait comments. Don't let that keep you from imagining 30 well-spoken and civil Scientologist commenters adding their stuff all over your replies in the comment section, playing by all the rules but drowning out all other content and discussion. What would you do?

    5. @Ackerland

      I can't say what I'd do, I haven't had to deal with that here. In other venues, I've seen threads get swamped with posters with one viewpoint or another in an attempt to overwhelm the opposing view. It happens. How blogs and forums deal with it is up to them, there is no wrong way or right way, in my opinion.

      I'm not arguing with you because That. Isn't. My. Point. You keep trying to make me defend a position I do not hold. You can argue all you want but you are not arguing with me.

  5. Hey Ackerland: 30 well-spoken, civil Scientologists crowding out the comments section?

    Some of us dream about that kind of traffic!


  6. With Ackerland's arguments as an example, I'm afraid the point of my article might have been too subtle.

    My point was not that Marty and other pro-Scientology blog owners moderate their blogs, we all do to some degree or another, and my point was not that he shouldn't or there was something wrong with it -- my point was to observe how Scientology outside of the church is evolving. Is it evolving towards or away from its totalitarian cult roots? Is it evolving towards more or less control over its Scientology membership?

    And I would suggest, ever so gently that, to remain "pure" Scientology as Hubbard intended, they must control and restrict what information is allowed into their group; They must restrict debate because Hubbard himself forbid debate; They must censor conflicting information because Hubbard himself forbid the entry of any conflicting information into Scientology.

    The horrible conflict for the Independent Scientologists is that they must know they cannot survive in the real world unless they open up and allow the free flow of information. Scientology forbids it but their survival demands it.

    And that is what makes watching the Independent Scientology movement evolve so fascinating.

    1. I'm betting they go the totalitarian cult route - they don't know any other way to do Scientology and have lost the ability to innovate and create.

  7. Hi Just Bill,
    I am glad to see that you addressed the Indie 500 list. I had wondered about it--wondered why it didn't quickly grow to beyond 500.

    I know now I was conned, but I still hold onto some bits of Tech as useful. I will give you an example. A non-Scientologist friend was angry at someone and said she wanted to punch them. I said, "Great. What else would you like to do to them" and I kept that up until she laughed. She thanked me afterwards, clearly relieved.

    I may have been conned in a big, horrible, horrific way. Still I did learn a few useful tools.

    I'm just saying...

    1. Bill will correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think he's arguing that part of outgrowing Scientology is rejecting everything you learned there. There is a lot of good stuff in there, no doubt: but often Hubbard claimed it as his own when he had borrowed it from elsewhere. You might be surprised when you read the likes of Atack's Blue Sky and elsewhere just how much material he plundered. And it strikes me that a lot of what he offered as original thinking was just common sense in fancy dress.

      An earlier reviewer once said of Dianetics that what was good about it wasn't new; and that what was new about it wasn't good. I think you could probably apply the same yardstick to Scientology.

      I'm speaking as an outside observer rather than an ex-member, but another thing that a lot of people really seem to miss -- from what they have told me -- is the camaraderie. This is perhaps why boards such as the Exscn forum and Marty's blog (though admittedly serving a different clientele) are/were so important. But it seems to me that when you miss this camaraderie, this sense of common cause, of solidarity, to some extent what you are missing is the best thing that people bring to the movement -- not what they get from it -- which is to say their idealism.

      That was there before they became Scientologists: it just got focussed on the movement. It is not something Hubbard or Miscavige can take credit for; in fact it could be argued that the movement betrayed that idealism. The question now is whether the independent Scientology movement is going to do a better job of serving that idealism -- however misplaced I might think their beliefs -- or whether they are going to betray it.

    2. Jonny,

      Very well said. I think you have an exceptional understanding of what Scientology was all about for most Scientologists.

      Many movements, philosophies and even religions borrow heavily from what came before. The fact that Hubbard did so for Scientology isn't what he should be condemned for. Even the fact that he claimed sole authorship for simple common sense and other people's ideas is, while contemptible, not that harmful. It is his blatant fraud, exhorting money from his true believers for "miraculous" results that were completely bogus, that makes him a criminal and a detestable con man.

      What will the outside Scientologists do about the fraud? Can they support the idealism and camaraderie of the group without committing more fraud? We can only watch and see.

  8. True Believers are always on a Crusade of some sort. And so the Infidels must be stopped. Period.

    I think Marty has loosened up quite a lot but his "Choir" still demand the Crusade be kept pure. Mike Rinder said the fatal flaw for Scientology was it created followers, not leaders. This was posted on Marty's blog by Mike Laws and not denied by Rinder. That's a pretty accurate summation of The Bridge to Total Freedom for mine.

    That just says to me that the Faithful will DEMAND censorship to protect themselves from their cognitive dissonance. As they individually live more and more outside the bubble, they'll decompress (or not) and stop censoring themselves. Then maybe they'll stop demanding others censor for them.

    1. @Learning to Fly

      I think this is a very significant point for the Independent movement. When all you have is followers, who will lead? The really horrible thing about Scientology is, the answer to that question has been "pretty much anyone".

  9. The "tech" seems to work best when one surrounds oneself with people who believe it works. It also seems necessary that one only tell one's auditor or c/s when it doesn't work. Another important practice is that if the "win" wears off after a few weeks, one should suffer quietly until there is enough money or credit built up to go back and try to handle it.

    The independent movement serves an important purpose. Some people are are enslaved by what they think the tech offers them. What could be more liberating that to experience how impotent the tech is outside of the Church control?

  10. @Scnethics

    LOL! However, I would word it as "It is easier to believe that the 'tech' works when one surrounds oneself with people who also believe it works."

    Your statement about how liberating it is to experience the tech's impotence is more true than one might think. Here you have Scientology practitioners free to apply the most "standard" version of the tech, and the results are no different than the most Miscavige-corrupted tech. What can a Scientologist conclude from that??

  11. As someone who has already been through this scenario once - in the 80's, I can assuredly say the scientolgy doesn't exist without strict control. All the scn groups that existed in the 80's went out of business not because of legal threats from C of S but because there was not enough business to sustain them. Sheeple turned into people and merely wondered off and got on with their lives. Gradually it dawned on most of them that scientology was for the most part absurd nonsense.

    1. I understand what you're saying, and I, myself, think that Scientology is going to continue to shrink, inside or outside of the church structure.

      However, the "mission" collapse in the 1980's was actually not because of lack of business. It was more complicated. This was before the Internet and before Scientology's secrets (and lack of results) became spread all over the place. The missions were actually doing quite well and the church destroyed them out of greed.

      Well, after the church destroyed their missions, yes, there was a lack of business. As you said, those people who left at that time did, for the most part, wake up to the truth.

      Today, such "missions" and Scientology groups would not survive because they can no longer fool people into thinking that Scientology is some wonderful "Bridge to OT" like they did in the 1980's.

  12. Rathbun himself has recently described a rant by Hubbard against the FBI as showing 'excessive rancor'. While that's not a very damning criticism of Hubbard, a criticism it certainly is. Apparently that drew Rathbun some outraged comments from Hubbard fans, but in an edit he stands by his criticism, and mentions 'kool-aid' in referring to the outraged commenters.

    I was surprised. I, too, wonder seriously whether Scientology can ever survive in an environment of mental freedom. But maybe Rathbun will end up giving it a try, after all. One paragraph of 'excessive rancor' is a small point, but it's a precedent that opens the way toward possibly finding fault with anything Hubbard ever wrote.

  13. I read the "excessive rancor" comment Rathbun made and was surprised too. But Rathbun missed the big point: LRH's rant to me indicated that LRH was suppressive, by his own Tech. I believe accusing others of things you are doing is a characteristic of an anti-social person and there is no doubt that LRH was accusing the FBI of doing what he and his organization were doing.
    But I give Rathbun props for going as far as he did. It was his life for a long time and right now he is earning his living delivering the Tech. So he's not going to look too closely.
    I also find it amusing that Rathbun takes such pride in not caving to the Squirrel Busters. Don't get me wrong, that is good. But come on, he's the guy, if I am not mistaken, who developed a lot of the dirty tricks that were being used on him. He knows how the game is played. He ought to know how to stay one step ahead. Still, good for him.
    I like to give credit where credit is due and here is something that LRH said that is true: If you know the Tech of something, you can not be the adverse effect of it.
    I guess a lot of people have said that in a lot of different ways like: knowledge is power. But in that particular instance, LRH nailed it. Sometimes he was brilliant. I'm just saying. Evil genius perhaps, but sometimes brilliant.

    1. @Squash Lady

      Good observations. We can't say what's going on in Marty's head but I'm sure he's not stupid. He really does know the facts. His problem is that he's got followers and he certainly can't be honest and still keep his followers. Perhaps he's just trying to find a way for Scientology to exist outside of the bubble -- a task I doubt he'll succeed at.

      It could be said that Hubbard was a genius in his own way. There are those who want to paint Hubbard as totally incompetent but look at what he accomplished: Perhaps 100,000 followers at one time, billions in the bank. Evil, yes. But to carry it off, he really had to fool a lot of people. His ability to mix true facts and insights with his unique mythology and pseudo-technical procedures was quite amazing when you think about it. It had to all fall apart eventually because, at the core, it was all lies.

  14. Have been researching, God knows why, how LRH died. The first time I read the Coroner's Report and accompanying documents, I was shocked.

    But I am over being shocked about the fact he was a sick old man being treated with an anti-psychotic. But am puzzled about why he was not medivac'd to a hospital after his stroke? He lived for another 8 days. Strokes are a medical emergency.

    The Broekers and Dr. Denk just stood around and watched him die? Do you have any information about this?

    1. Dr. Dent did not stand around and watch Hubbard die. The doctor was in Las Vegas when Hubbard died. Go figure.

  15. I remember reading the Dianetics and being thoroughly impressed by Hubbard’s claims:

    - Who wouldn’t want to have complete recall of everything which has ever happened to him or anything he has ever studied.
    - Who wouldn’t want to be able to make computations, such as those of chess, which a normal person would do in a half an hour, in ten or fifteen seconds?
    - Who wouldn’t want to be able to do a swift study of anything within his inherent intellectual capacity, and the study would be the equivalent to him of a year or two of training when he was “normal.”
    - Who wouldn't want to never again catch a cold or have an accident?

    Surely in the "real world" Clears would stick out like a sore thumb. They would quickly become superstars and rise to positions of influence in business, sports, academia and politics, making the world a better place for us all. But where were these people? Where were all the Clear chess and golf champions? Where were all the Clear Nobel Peace Prize winners and Jeopardy contestants? Where were they? Where was the "real world" evidence to support Hubbard’s spectacular claims?

    Sadly (and I do mean sadly) there was none. And as there was no proof to confirm these claims they had to be false. Hubbard had to be making it all up. That was the logic that stopped me from getting into Scientology.

    1. I was unfit because I approached it scientifically?

    2. LOL! Yes. If you can think logically and if you insist on operating on verifiable facts, then you are definitely unfit to be a Scientologist. Only the gullible need apply.

  16. How much Science is in Scientology?

    The Oxford English Dictionary defines the scientific method as, "a method or procedure consisting of systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses."

    The chief characteristic which distinguishes a scientific method of inquiry from other methods of acquiring knowledge is that scientists seek to let reality speak for itself, and change their theories about it when those theories are found to be incorrect. Scientific inquiry is generally intended to be as objective as possible, to reduce the biased interpretations of results.

    Another basic principle of the scientific method is to document, archive and share all data and methodology so they are available for careful scrutiny by other scientists, giving them the opportunity to verify results by attempting to reproduce them. This practice, called full disclosure, also allows statistical measures of the reliability of the data to be established.

    To discover if there is anything scientific about Scientology, you would need to do numerous controlled studies — randomly assigning people to Scientology or a control group (or a different therapy) for the same problem. To my knowledge, no such studies have been done.

    Or have such studies been done and the results found wanting?

    1. As far as Dianetics and Scientology are concerned, there is absolutely no science involved. While Hubbard claimed that he did "lots of research", no evidence has been found that he did any. Understand that Hubbard was a man who never threw out anything. If he had done any research, those notes would still exist.

      With real science, theories would be carefully tested and, perhaps, modified based on those tests. In Scientology, scientific testing is absolutely forbidden and even discussing results is not allowed. There is no science in Scientology.

      Some years ago, the Church of Scientology did conduct independent tests of their "Detoxification" and "Study" technologies. They figured they would prove those technologies were vastly superior which would open the door for getting those technologies out into the real world. Those independent tests were completed but the church suppressed the reports for obvious reasons.

      Scientology will never again allow scientific testing of any of their technologies. You're just going to have to take their word that they are vastly superior to all other systems.

  17. I have read about Scientology since 2009 because I find religion and philosophy in general to be a interesting subject.
    You asked: Can any part of Scientology exist in an open and free environment?
    I personally believe so. I think Scientology will proceed to exist in the free world, just in another shape and form. Because all religions undergoes changes after time. I do not think Scientology is any exception.
    If you look at how Christianity was in the beginning, and how it is now, you see that their religion has changed multiply times through history. From a small cult to a massive religion. I think Scientology will do the same. The abusive control-system Hubbard developed will cease to matter and people will start to interpret and practice Scientology how they want. think of it like Christianity splinter-groups like Catholics and protestants. I think people will stop taking Hubbard literally and instead start combining their own ideas into the mix. I think the abusive part will vanish and the philosophy will change drastically.
    I read that Marty Rathbun said that OT 3 shouldn' t be taken literally. Quote from the article 'Marty Rathbun is Big in the U.K., Still Waiting for Major U.S. Treatment' where Marty said "Marty would prefer to see that story as allegorical, in the same way many Christians view the Old Testament." That is a big change from earlier. It also show that Scientology have a chance to change. I saw someone on Martys blog who had his own definition of a Clear. He didn't agree that a Clear have perfect recall and never get sick. So, people have already started to interpret Scientology in a more non-brainwashed way.
    And remember, many religions started out as a small, sect-like scam but then turned out to be a more open-minded religion.

    That is my thoughts about the subject.

    1. Thank you for your thoughts. I also find the subject quite interesting, but from a more personal point of view.

      You could be right, certainly. We'll only really know when it happens, as it happens. However, when someone mentions that "many" small cults became major religions, I also remember, it really isn't that many that have done so and there are probably millions of tiny cults down through history that completely disappeared, leaving little or no trace.

      The bottom line is some bits of Scientology will only persist if they provide some benefit to some segment of society. With Scientologists dropping their claims of miraculous gains, as you point out, one wonders if they will end up with a "religion" that promises nothing at all -- not even paradise after you're dead.

      Well, it's a show and it will play out as it plays out.

    2. You are totally right about the fact that many, many small cults have disappeared through history. Cults often cease to exist when their leader dies. But Scientology have not vanished. I see that as a sign that the movement will continue to exist in the future too. If the independent movement succeed in their reform, then Scientology have a good chance to survive. Only time will tell, like you say. But the first thing they have to do is to stop with the ridiculous claims about super powers.

      Many people say that Scientology will vanish because their "therapy" isn't scientifically proven. But I personally don't know about that. People believe in many things that is not proven with science. For example Astrology and Crystal healing. Many people think "Well, It works for me, therefore it is valid". This goes for Scientologists to.

      There is something I really don't understand about Hubbard and Scientology. If you want to build a scam and earn profit and power, why on earth create a weird story about Xenu and souls dropped in volcanoes and all that? Didn't Hubbard realize that people would have a hard time believe in that? Didn't he realize that OT 3 would eventually leak out to the public sometimes? That bit confuses me a lot.

    3. Firstly I see know reason why scientology should be required to drop it's claims about super powers in order to survive. As the saying goes religion is true to the ordinary man, false to the wise and useful to the powerful. The catholic church has no problems continuing it's existence in spite curing diseases after death being a necessary prerequisite to sainthood. The simple fact is these ideas actually contribute to popularity with certain audiences.

      The issue about Xenu is slightly different but not by much. The Xenu incident was probably never intended as a promotional tool. It was after all meant to be secret. There would still be a small audience that this idea appealed to. The concern that it would repel other would simply not have been thought about.

    4. @Snuff
      There is a huge difference between Scientology and your standard religions -- mainly: Scientology claims it is science-based, that its "solutions" work on this life, not after death, that its results are guaranteed (you will get the results explicitly promised on the Grade Chart). Scientology promises that, when you "reach Grade X" you will have specific abilities and powers.

      That's different from any standard religion. The fact that Scientology charges money for its services and promises specific results means they must produce those results or they are committing fraud.

      I understand that, as a "recognized religion" they have a legal loophole to commit all the fraud they want without legal consequences, but that isn't the point. The point is that, ethically and morally, they are committing fraud and, via the Internet, pretty much everybody knows this.

      Their only ethical and moral solution is to be honest about what results Scientology actually and consistently produces: A temporary feeling of well-being.

      I know that isn't likely, but that is their only ethical solution.


    5. @xero
      I can't believe I didn't respond to your comment when you posted it. I doubt you'll come back to visit this post but, if you do, I'm sorry about that.

      When Hubbard created his Xenu story, the Internet did not exist. While the OT 3 material did leak occasionally, his people were able to suppress it and simply deny it fairly successfully.

      Hubbard never envisioned a time when all the people abused and defrauded by him would be able to get together in safety and expose all his lies. He simply couldn't predict the Internet and all that has meant.


  18. Independent scientology is challenging but not impossible. It is unavoidable that anyone predisposed towards an interest in scientology is liable to become involved in corporate scientology. Therefore the natural audience of the independent scientologist is prohibited from communicating. Add to the that the express policy per KSW of attempting to drive anyone who leaves mad (have nightmares if he contemplates squirelling) and you have some high hurdles to climb. Nonetheless more than a few are now making progress in the endeavour.

    1. @Snuff,
      I'd very sincerely doubt that "more than a few are now making progress" in Scientology outside of the CoS.

      First, there just aren't that many in "Independent Scientology". If there are more than a few dozen actually active in the Indies I'd be very surprised.

      Second, nobody "makes progress" in any Scientology endeavor. Seriously. There are no "OTs". There are no "Clears". There are no Scientologists who gained the promised "Abilities" for any of the Release levels.

      I certainly would believe that there are dozens, outside of the CoS who are getting Scientology processing. But that's pretty meaningless.

      The day that Scientology actually produces their promised "miracles" will be the day people get interested in doing Scientology. Don't hold your breath.



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