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Old 4th February 2015, 06:20 AM   #1
Filippo Lippi
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Scientology in decline\High noon...

I went to a very interesting and entertaining talk on $cientology at Nottingham Skeptics in the Pub last night*. I couldn't remember much recent conversation on here regarding the "church," and so I did a search on the tags and there's only one thread in the last six months.

Does that reflect a reduction in the threat, or indicate that FredCarr's book and DVD business was a success and all those with doubts have signed up or is the lack of new, nuttier revelations detract from the topic?





*
Create Your Own Cult, the Scientology Way by Martin Poulter
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Old 4th February 2015, 11:44 AM   #2
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Subjects do ebb and flow around here. We don't have nearly as many discussions about libertarianism as we used to.

We haven't seen fredcarr in a long time. I wonder if he himself has jumped ship. Yes, the Church of Scientology appears to be circling the drain. Get your lulz now or you may miss the opportunity, though there will be fireworks in the future. Today brings the news that Leah Remini has been contemplating a lawsuit to get some of her money back. That would be gigantic lulz.
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Old 4th February 2015, 11:56 AM   #3
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I have a facebook friend who is constantly posting links and inviting people to become a scientologist.

I am really torn because I like the guy.. I knew him for years, and didn't even know he was a scientologist until I facebook friended him.

Now everytime he posts something about Scientology I have to sit on my hands and force myself not to say anything.

And then I beat myself up because what if somebody falls into the trap and I could have stopped it?

And then I think who am I to mess with them or stop somebody from doing something?

And then I strongly need alcohol so my brain will shut up.
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Old 4th February 2015, 12:04 PM   #4
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HBO's upcoming "Going Clear" ,a documentary based on Laurence Wright's bestselling book on the COS, is another sign of the church's declining power and clout.
The film,which Wright wrote and produced, was shown at Sundance and pulls no punches. From the reviews, it's like the book, a devastating look at all the damage that the CO$ has done.
A few years ago, I don't think HBO would have had the guts to do the documentary.
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Old 4th February 2015, 12:11 PM   #5
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Scientology is done though it will be awhile until they disappear completely as they have large cash reserves.

Their money comes from a few big donors that have been in the church a long time. Anyone with access to Google steers clear of them. Their churches are empty and the media is no longer scared of them.
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Old 4th February 2015, 12:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Faydra View Post
And then I think who am I to mess with them or stop somebody from doing something?
Giving people information about an organisation that they're part of or thinking of joining doesn't prevent them from making a choice.
I wouldn't worry about it too much either way, but if someone's preaching via Facebook, then I'd feel that they've opened the door to a discussion.
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Old 4th February 2015, 12:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dissolution View Post
Giving people information about an organisation that they're part of or thinking of joining doesn't prevent them from making a choice.
I wouldn't worry about it too much either way, but if someone's preaching via Facebook, then I'd feel that they've opened the door to a discussion.

Good point.. I just don't tend to discuss when it comes to Scientlogy more then I say "Are you OUT of what's left of your mind?? RUN!!!". Which doesn't bode well for future discussion.

The fault is mine.
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Old 4th February 2015, 12:33 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Faydra View Post
Good point.. I just don't tend to discuss when it comes to Scientlogy more then I say "Are you OUT of what's left of your mind?? RUN!!!". Which doesn't bode well for future discussion.

The fault is mine.
You would risk their very lives with knowledge from beyond the wall of fire?
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Old 4th February 2015, 12:35 PM   #9
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I've thought of just posting an article critical of Scientolgy just to see how fast he unfriended me..... Isn't socializing with people critical of the cult forbidden?
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Old 4th February 2015, 12:37 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Faydra View Post
I've thought of just posting an article critical of Scientolgy just to see how fast he unfriended me..... Isn't socializing with people critical of the cult forbidden?
As a surpessive person you very well know it is.
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Old 4th February 2015, 12:42 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
As a surpessive person you very well know it is.

I, for one, welcome myself as suppressive overlord.
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Old 4th February 2015, 12:43 PM   #12
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I saw that they bought a Superb Owl advertisement as discussed in this article.

Quote:
“Now, imagine an age in which the predictability of science and the wisdom of religion combine," the narrator said. "Welcome to the age of answers.” Two title images ended the 30-second spot, “spiritual technology” followed by “scientology.org.”
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Old 4th February 2015, 01:30 PM   #13
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There is a thread about the "Going Clear" documentary over in Movies, TV...
Here's a link:

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...d.php?t=285856
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Old 4th February 2015, 11:20 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Faydra View Post
Good point.. I just don't tend to discuss when it comes to Scientlogy more then I say "Are you OUT of what's left of your mind?? RUN!!!". Which doesn't bode well for future discussion.

The fault is mine.
For the record, I think non-members critical of the church are terrible when it comes to persuading anyone favorable toward Scientology. The extremes on both sides are just too . . . extreme. The critics charge forward metaphorically waving their arms going "Run! It's sinister and evil! Fear the threat! It's a cult where everything in it is just a deliberate scheme of brainwashing!" A critic not writing "Scientology" without replacing the S with a dollar sign makes them sound more bitter than sensible, like someone who must write "crapple" instead of "apple" because they hate apples. They come forward talking only about the most ridiculous aspects of the religion rather than the courses that make up most of a Scientologist's experience, talking endlessly about Hubbard and scandals of the church rather than how pseudoscientific auditing or the content of its courses are. It just. doesn't. come off. as level-headed. It's like the difference between a Libertarian using reasoned arguments to describe how government and various regulations are flawed and an anti-government ranter talking about how the government and various regulations are evil. The inability to refer to Scientology in a neutral way sometimes comes off the same

I'm saying this as someone who grew up in Scientology, is critical of Scientology most of the time and no longer counts himself as a Scientologist. Maybe it's just me but the extreme of negativity critics *need* to describe Scientology with comes off to me the same way as Scientology's need to make Psychiatry as evil as possible; it can't just be wrong and pseudoscientific, etc. It has to be actively evil and menacing and out to get you. It can't just be full of unsubstantiated non-science that can seem effective or legitimate at first like any alternative medicine or pseudo-therapy, but than falls apart on closer inspection, no it has to be so oooobviously retarded that it's genuinely insulting to anybody who might be considering it or taken in, because they must be so duuumb and laughably stupid to be taken in by something sooooo oooobviously outrageous.

But I assure you, like other magic tricks, or just tricks, Scientology DOES seem effective when you first get into it, and that apparent effectiveness is the reason people accept more outrageous claims (It seems to work, Hubbard must know what he's doing), and critics must understand and respect that it seems to work and explain why it seems to work or make sense to be convincing to those who start believing. You don't debunk alternative medicine without explaining the placebo effect, you don't debunk psychics or astrology without explaining the Forer effect, but I get the impression skeptics think they can debunk Scientology by explaining nothing about why people feel it works for them.

Even as an ex-Scientologist, I still find most criticism of Scientology totally unconvincing. It must be convincing to some people, otherwise it wouldn't be made, but I just don't see it. At all.

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Old 5th February 2015, 12:23 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Crocoshark View Post
(much snipped)
Even as an ex-Scientologist, I still find most criticism of Scientology totally unconvincing. It must be convincing to some people, otherwise it wouldn't be made, but I just don't see it. At all.
Could you give a couple examples of criticisms that meet your criteria?
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Old 5th February 2015, 02:20 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Crocoshark View Post
For the record, I think non-members critical of the church are terrible when it comes to persuading anyone favorable toward Scientology. The extremes on both sides are just too . . . extreme. The critics charge forward metaphorically waving their arms going "Run! It's sinister and evil! Fear the threat! It's a cult where everything in it is just a deliberate scheme of brainwashing!" A critic not writing "Scientology" without replacing the S with a dollar sign makes them sound more bitter than sensible, like someone who must write "crapple" instead of "apple" because they hate apples. They come forward talking only about the most ridiculous aspects of the religion rather than the courses that make up most of a Scientologist's experience, talking endlessly about Hubbard and scandals of the church rather than how pseudoscientific auditing or the content of its courses are. It just. doesn't. come off. as level-headed. It's like the difference between a Libertarian using reasoned arguments to describe how government and various regulations are flawed and an anti-government ranter talking about how the government and various regulations are evil. The inability to refer to Scientology in a neutral way sometimes comes off the same

I'm saying this as someone who grew up in Scientology, is critical of Scientology most of the time and no longer counts himself as a Scientologist. Maybe it's just me but the extreme of negativity critics *need* to describe Scientology with comes off to me the same way as Scientology's need to make Psychiatry as evil as possible; it can't just be wrong and pseudoscientific, etc. It has to be actively evil and menacing and out to get you. It can't just be full of unsubstantiated non-science that can seem effective or legitimate at first like any alternative medicine or pseudo-therapy, but than falls apart on closer inspection, no it has to be so oooobviously retarded that it's genuinely insulting to anybody who might be considering it or taken in, because they must be so duuumb and laughably stupid to be taken in by something sooooo oooobviously outrageous.

But I assure you, like other magic tricks, or just tricks, Scientology DOES seem effective when you first get into it, and that apparent effectiveness is the reason people accept more outrageous claims (It seems to work, Hubbard must know what he's doing), and critics must understand and respect that it seems to work and explain why it seems to work or make sense to be convincing to those who start believing. You don't debunk alternative medicine without explaining the placebo effect, you don't debunk psychics or astrology without explaining the Forer effect, but I get the impression skeptics think they can debunk Scientology by explaining nothing about why people feel it works for them.

Even as an ex-Scientologist, I still find most criticism of Scientology totally unconvincing. It must be convincing to some people, otherwise it wouldn't be made, but I just don't see it. At all.

You have highlighted a good point that often the argument descends into sloganeering, which often does not advance the debate. Perhaps you can help by explaining what you think is or seems to be effective in Scientology? Some critics have attempted to deal with this issue e.g John Atack via his own book, A Piece of Blue Sky, and contributions to The Underground Bunker.

Having a modicum of knowledge about Scientology, it seems that the main 'benefit' at the outset comes from the targeting of vulnerable people and them unburdening themselves, a sort of lightening of the load of fears, insecurities and uncertainties i.e. a form of talking therapy. From there on in it descends into the sting where people are trying to sustain or repeat what they perceive as the early gains by having to spend obscene amounts of money on absolute nonsense. Not unlike a cocaine user chasing that first high.

Like any criticism of religion there are a variety of ways of attacking, ranging from ridicule to careful and serious analysis. All have their place at the appropriate time and place e.g. highlighting the facts that Hubbard was a serial fantasist, liar and conman is one approach to undermining the edifice.
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Old 5th February 2015, 04:29 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Could you give a couple examples of criticisms that meet your criteria?
A couple? No. I can't bring myself to be that concise or demonstrate that much restraint.

This is from a document I created in 2013

Criticisms sorted by type. Actually, I DID find a lot of these criticisms online, but mostly on ex-Scientologist websites rather than sites from those who've never been members:

General criticisms

- People get hooked on it for the rest of their life without getting to the point they don't need it anymore. Your capabilities are always in question, life always needing doctoring & further correction. Nobody has reached total freedom or even become fully liberated in life to where they no longer need Scientology, Total Freedom has no evidence and Scientology ensures there never will be by saying OTs are not allowed to prove their abilities to the world. Nor do clears or OTs seem better off based on observation. The treatment never ends and you're never cured.

- The sales pitch of Scientology, or any self help product, seems like it can work the same way psychics and horoscopes do; through the shotgun approach. It describes the “state of Man” or describes its “true if it's true for you” technology and when it strikes a chord with someone, they take it as a hit and perceive a genius and insight in philosophy while the people for whom it strikes a chord with stand and count themselves as Scientologists, the people whom it didn't work for are rendered irrelevant by the phrase “What's true is what's true for you.” as well as by Scientology culture.

- You won't use (or even retain) most of the data you spend thousands of hours going over

Pseudoscientificness

- PCs must report a success story/sees an examiner in the highs of a cognition, testifying before they can test their win, and can't admit they falsely attested (that's an overt) but no one talks about this so it's frequency is masked by the assumption everyone ELSE is doing fine
- Mandatory success stories are institutionalized confirmation bias and may cause cognitive dissonance if the student falsely attested
- The "dating drill" shows the e-meter reads for things with no charge, based on PC's belief, as well as for charge and can't diffrentiate the two
- It's a body of information taught based on source and bought based on source rather than legitimacy, one man treated as functionally infallable and the only wise man despite lip service about personal truth. Inclusion of knowledge in Scientology is based on who provided it, real science is not. It will not update its views of the world based on things that happen after Hubbard's dead, and neither will it's followers.
- While science fights to test and add to old knowledge, with the possibility of discrediting it and strickening it from the books, Scientology fights to preserve it and keep it stagnant, with the possibility of it being altered by official management, like papal decrees.
- Scientology never do scientific studies; of Scientology or its methods. The closest they get is customer testimonials as success stories. No testing for and correcting faulty data or unethecal practices. Just scapegoating of critics which prevents awareness of anything even needing to be corrected
- If you really followed "what's true is what's true for you" you'd experiment with processes and be forced to dismiss all the untestable claims in lectures, but doing either is frowned upon.
- No action or test for if the tech fails, it's just "do it until there's a win"
- As supporting evidence it provides only testimonials, appeal to intuition or personal experience, or bare assertion of untestable claims, all of which mean little.
- No statistics or observations verifying its overall rate of success, and what does exist (statistics and subjective observation) indicates it's getting worse
- Its answers to some questions could be replaced with Freudian psychoanalysis or Yahweh with equal supporting evidence.

The organization

- Scientology cannot be corrected by new imput, and so like any closed system will decay
- LRH designed the church with no way to evaluate or remove bad leaders and no requirements the must meet, but with all power and responsibility, making it as much a magnet for sociopaths as any position of power, and LRH supposedly designed S to succeed after his death? What Would George Washington have done? Better.
- By the church's own logic, it has some mega-overts on psychiatrists, ex-Scientologists and critics
Way To Happiness books are mostly not distributed to people they'll help
- Volunteer Ministers go out as sales recruits and show up at disasters with no food/supplies/medicine

Scientology culture (Warning: May not be true for every Scientology proponent)

- False certainty in Scientology results in followers thinking it should be used for EVERYONE and if it doesn't work on you it just has to be hammered in until it does, that any opposition or doubt is suppression of proven betterment, and that unethical treatment of critics is justified
- Scientology's explanations for things becomes the predetermined answer to every problem without other causes considered. Scientologists can get in the box of waiting for auditing to solve everything without seeking other solutions.
- Missed withholds, reactive mind, etc. - Can be used as an explanation to dismiss problems or criticism without having to think about whether the situation is more complex.
- There's an attitude that exclusively burdens a problem on the one pointing it out without exception; "You pulled it in, nothing happens you didn't agree to, you had overts/with-holds, You have an MU, you're PTS, you misapplied the tech, you have to pay for auditing again if it got messed up, Problem with the org? You should join staff." (This relies on people relating to a negative experience that not everybody's had, so it's shaky and I considered pulling it from my list)
- Scientology's explanations for things becomes the predetermined answer to every problem without other causes considered. Scientologists can get in the box of waiting for auditing to solve everything without seeking other solutions.
- Missed withholds, reactive mind, etc. - Can be used as an explanation to dismiss problems or criticism without having to think about whether the situation is more complex.


Something doesn't work

- Scientology claims to solve and shatter every reason it gives for its failures, it's hyped itself out of any excuse. If only a fraction of its claims were true, it wouldn't be in the trouble it's in
- Clears and OTs don't stand out from regular people. Clears act crazy as anyone, Scientology just claims it's for reasons that require more Scientology
- Tens of millions of people have tried Scientology and stats show 50,000 actual Scientologists (Critical sites do mention small membership numbers but it's more in a sensationalist way ("LIES EXPOSED!") than a way of coldly pointing out a statistic.
- The overuse of the "missaplied tech" excuse gives off that the tech so sensitive the slightest variation makes it invalid, meaning it relies on humans already being perfect (or moreso than they actually are) to work. “People have to be perfect for it to make people more perfect.”
- LRH's failure on the first (health), second (family) and third/fourth dynamic (governments after him)
- Experts in the fields of drugs, education and mental health have not found Scientology’s solutions to be particularly different or effective. Independent, unbiased testing has not been done, and is not authorized by the Church of Scientology. There is no evidence available — and the church is making very sure there never will be any independent testing.


Clearing, OT levels, L rundowns, etc.

- Auditing/going clear is a random, inconsistent lottery drawing of results rather than anything reliable/predictable for a given problem. Some people cure their phobias while others get better in some other way but their phobias are unchanged. Scientology just takes credit for whatever improvement they can latch onto and if auditing doesn't work there's just "other aberrations".
I know of no test to distinguish clears with "other aberrations" from normal people or a problem caused by the reactive mind from one caused by something else
- All these OT results are examples of phenomena, not abilities
If exteriorization with full perception were reliably obtainable, Int Managment would've capitalized on it
- Nobody can demonstrate being stably exterior in any test
- No recalled languages/skills either
- Scientology promotes a sort of faith that what feels real is real, when the mind can, has and does create realistic false memories and perceptions when you mess with it just right
- False memories/perceptions are ruled out on an arbitrary basis
- Past life recollections of other planets seem exclusively very earth-like which has an absurdly slim likelihood
- An engram blowing is used as evidence of the truth of a past life memory but it doesn't prove memories real; other possibilities have not been convincingly ruled out**
- Scientology saying it's unsafe for a PC to see their folders because their engrams might kick back in means even the CoS admits they're never cured of they're ailments

General tech

Assists and drills - No action or test for if the tech fails; they're just supposed to be run until the patient feels better which is bound to either happen eventually or make the patient report a win just to get it over with
TRs – Ex-Scientologists report mixed results, some saying when they use them they're told they're not really “connecting” when they speak, some saying it inhibited their ability to express themselves. Seems ill-equipped for real life situations where you have to actually communicate with and respond to words that upset you, not just sit there and acknowledge them. It seems TRs is not designed to help you outside training to be an auditor, unless you're a scientologist representative speaking to the media. TRs may train people into rote autamaticities when communicating. The “Do Birds Fly” repitition may train automatic responses as circuits, theoretically making Scientologists less likely to question orders.*
Study tech – Does not account for all barriers to study and if taken as dogma may train people to never question that a problem is with the coherense/sense of the material they're reading, but always with their own understanding. Also flawed if you or a supervisor blames every yawn or loss of interest on a misunderstood word. Directing attention to single words to critique text distracts from surreptitious changes in context, strawmen arguments, etc. Explaining poor understanding based on single off-words can be like critiquing a painting based on single brush strokes.
Supppressive persons – Some of the criteria for a suppressive person are extremely subjective and are highly prone confirmation bias. Some of the criteria are either too absolute (“always speaks in generalities”) or too cartoonish (“Supports only destruction”) and the church has reportedly declared more people SP than could actually be true.
- Much of Scientology tech doesn't specify beyond what people try to do anyway. Disconnect from bad people, Communicate with those upset with you, etc.

Alternate sources of efficacy (Why it seems to work)

- LRH's genius may have been the ability to attract smart people to his cause, glean "wisdom of the crowds" and take credit for their imput. As evidence, his admin and ethics tech was his alone, and is never defended by the "But the tech works!" crowd and is described as abusive, paranoid, micromanaging and unworkable.
Freely choosing and putting time and effort into a therapy has alone been shown to get positive reports of effectiveness for any therapy
- Hypnotherapy can produce false memories, some auditing sessions may meet the basic definition of hypnotic induction (this is less sensationalist sounding than "auditors hypnotize you!")
"OT type" stories can be reported from many practices, and only prove people have unexplained experiences and attribute them to whatever they're into. These stories are also carefully cherry picked.
- People have very selective memories about what went right (confirmation bias)
- Lots of people willing for something good to happen will inevitably meet unlikely fortune after they'd willed it and remember hits as closer than they were

Results

- Scientology is VERY hit and miss when you look at families or other predetermined groups that go into it
- Hubbard must've been terrible at handling suppressive tendencies and withholds to get so many people who knew him criticizing him. Or the interviews are true. Or some are true and some are just Hubbard sucking at handling people.
- Scientology's promised results are not predictable and expected, consistent or reliable
- Scientologists mainly report greater happiness, awareness & enlightenment, which you can get from a million places


**Notice that the list admits to and addresses specific arguments and evidence Scientologists use as support for their claims. Overall, the list addresses why Scientology seems to work.

*Notice the difference in tone in the general list and especially in the description of TRs; for example rather than proposing that Scientology is EVIL and EXPLICITELY BRAINWASHING everyone it points out that it is EXTREMELY FLAWED and LIKELY endangers critical thinking.

Notice also the categories; the amount of space devoted to how Scientology is a pseudoscience and to deconstructing various common beliefs or common tech.

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Old 5th February 2015, 05:42 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Dubious Dick View Post
Perhaps you can help by explaining what you think is or seems to be effective in Scientology?
I wrote an incomplete essay from another document of mine (sorry I have so much text ready to go; concise is NOT my middle name):

Reasons Why Scientologists Find Scientology Convincing.

Non-Scientologists see it as an organization and beliefs in aliens. But the media image and sci-fi stuff are far from what a Scientologist thinks of when they think of Scientology; they think of a spiritual self-help philosophy defined by

Workable or common sense “tech”.

For example

One of the most basic concepts in Scientology philosophy is the ARC triangle, which states that affinity, conmon reality and communication are mutually connected (increasing one increases the other) and are the components of understanding something. Of course, if you like someone more you'll naturally focus on things you have in common and also want to communicate with them more, and finding things in common with someone will increase fondness and desire to talk to the person, and talking with someone a lot will bring up things you have in common with or like about someone, or make you decide they're likable and have a lot in common with them because you talk to them a lot.

The training troutines in the communication course (the first course on the bridge) are basically just practicing being quietly aware of current surroundings (similar to meditation), practicing delivering and acknowledging communication (like an acting class) and practicing not reacting while someone tries to get you to react (like a soldier confronting the yelling of a drill seargent).

Most of the useful concepts at the beginning fall into two categories.

The first are things that are good advice, observation or at least legitimate philosophy. Examples; Taking a walk when you feel tired during the day will wake you up and make you feel less tired, Getting an upset person to focus on other things in their surroundings that take their mind off things will help them feel better, When faced with a daunting task or confusion of multiple tasks choose one part of it you can deal with and focus on that first, organize a business using an organzation board, give children the freedom to choose what they like and don't force things on them.

Second, and more prominent in the Scientology basics are things that are explanations or solutions to problems that are legitimate, but not the only explanation or solution.

For example, the concept of a “missed withhold” describes a scientifically observed phenomena. People will leave a group or think less of a person if they do something to them they feel guilty about which they withhold as a secret. This is an example of cognitive dissonance, and the transgression doesn't need to be a secret. And it works both ways to. If you do something nice for a person (or give lots of money to an organization) you will have increased positive feelings toward them. This is known as the Ben Franklin effect for Ben Franklin's observation that having a legislator do a favor for him made that legislator kind and friendly toward him. Of course, a self-justified transgression is not the only way a person may become disaffected with a person or group, but it is a way.

Another concept both backed up and clarified by science is “touching it back”; When you hurt yourself, touching the hurt body part back against the object that hurt it should relieve pain. Studies have shown that touching an injured body part and putting attention on it does reduce pain. This doesn't mean it has to be touched back against the specific object you hurt yourself against, but touching does help. That's why we instinctively grab and hold a hurt area when we get hurt.

Another part truth in Scientology is the eight dynamics, which divides the urge to survive into eight areas (dynamics); survival of one's self, family, group, mankind, life, physical universe, spiritual, and god//infinity. What's right is the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics. This is of cource, fancied up (or if you like, refined) utilitarianism, a legitimate ethical philosophy with a long historical background. But it's not necessarily the ONLY ethical philosophy, has many counter-arguments and thought experiments where the right answer is a bit more troublesome, and is probably best with other ethical philosophies alongside it. For example, it would be utilitarian to have a philosophy based on inaliable human rights.

Then there's the study tech, the doctrine that failure to learn something is caused by the data being too abstract (lack of mass), a skipped gradient of study or misunderstood words. Of course, these aren't the only things that can make someone fail to learn and understand a text and telling people that these are “THE three barriers to study” can lead some people to miss other causes of other failures to learn such as the material being poorly phrased or containing misleading changes in context or contradictions, a person not finding the information they wanted in the material or not being convinced it's correct or applicable.

The common sense, the partly workable and the partly true are mixed in with stuff that may be harder to verify or too complex to fully observe the truth for oneself. From what procedures make auditing work best to tons of LRH lectures, Scientology has far too much data to NOT start taking it on confidence based on the observable parts that do work.

The Tone Scale (a scale of which emotions are most healthy) and chart of human evaluation (A description of what people are like at each level) for example is most likely a mix of common sense and legitimate observation (how people behave in certain emotions, some chronic emotions are probably better for survival than others), even things verified later scientifically (People who responded to 9/11 with anger recovered faster from the shock than those who responded with fear) with things a person can't necessarily see or test for themselves. (people chronically at lower tones get sick more often). {On second thought, that last one is a mix of both what science already knows about stress, and mixing correlation and causation}

A person can't test for themselves whether they have fewer toxins in their body after sweating in a sauna in Scientology's purification rundown. Touch assists or nerve assists may be theraputic to the person experiencing them, but they can't know exactly how quickly their injury would've healed without the assist without some sort of organized study. The criteria for a suppressive person describes real behavior that some people do (Relaying mainly bad news, making things sound worse when they pass it on, worsen the environment and activities around them) and declares that as an identifiable personality type, like a psychiatric diagnosis, with a set list of behaviors.

The reactive mind and auditing also falls into this mix of the true, partly effective and unverifiable. People DO get phobias and other negative reactions to certain things based on past experience. Post traumatic stress disorder is a classic example. And both talking to someone and going over past trauma in therapy is helpful. Treatment of phobias also involves confronting both past memories of and present time exposure to a feared object, and it works. Scientology asserts that all of your own irrational reactions to a situation are based on memories of the past in the subconscious (reactive) mind, including memories of past lives, which I'm about to get to.

Religious beliefs, testimonials and common myths

The defining theological belief in Scientology is the belief in the soul, emphasized the way belief in god is emphasized in the abrahamic religions. Where Christians bemoan and stigmatize declining belief in god, Scientologists do the same for declining belief that a person is a spiritual rather than a physical being. It's of course, not a belief confined to Scientology, nor is a belief in a subconscious mind or that irrationality is caused by being unwittingly reminded of something negative in one's past, or that one's memory is photographic or that you can sweat out toxins in a sauna or that you can recall past lives or have out of body experiences. It of course serves the church to tell Scientologists they're the only ones with these “secrets” and it serves the media to tell everyone else Scientologists are so outlandish with some of these “nutty beliefs”. Both further the myth by novelty by using the convenient Scientology terminology for these beliefs like “thetan”. (spirit).

Of course, most of the western world doesn't believe in past lives or out of body experiences, or for that matter, Scientology auditing. But people get audited and finish with great experiences, and hear other people's testimonials; some people are cured of phobias, others of chronic leg pain, others just get renewed enthusiasm for life. And some of these cures happen when they recall memories of past lives, memories that feel as genuine as any recollection. They feel real and their phobia only vanished when they had the memory. How can that be denied?

There's also the stories of OT experiences. My dad has his own personal experiences for example; one where he feels he telepathically told a woman which fruit to pick up in a supermarket and one where he feels he drove to a Scientology building in an impossibly short time by OT ability. Both my parents also have memories of past lives they feel to be very real.


Originally Posted by Dubious Dick View Post
Having a modicum of knowledge about Scientology, it seems that the main 'benefit' at the outset comes from the targeting of vulnerable people and them unburdening themselves, a sort of lightening of the load of fears, insecurities and uncertainties i.e. a form of talking therapy.
Having been born into it and decided it's not for me, I wouldn't know first hand what draws outsiders into it (my childhood enthusiasm for it came from the idea of recovering past life memories and OT abilities). My dad says he was trying to find answers to religious questions when he got into Scientology, and liked that Scientology didn't tell people what God was supposed to be and said that "What's true is what's true for you." He also thought psychology books on the mind were gibberish but when he looked at Scientology's descriptions it clicked with him. My mom got into it from the book Science of Survival which I've not actually looked at but she said it really impressed her and she found it very insightful. All the Scientologists I know describe how they apply Scientology tech to see if it works, find that it does (for them at least) and keep finding that the tech works for them.

I'm not saying Scientology doesn't play on fears and insecurities; I think my parents, and Scientology, have a very cynical view of the world.

In Scientology, life is a wound, to be spent being treated and doctored. The world is a downward spiraling hell hole and some prevailing mentality seems to prevent its followers celebrating what the world at large gets right. Talking to the examples of Scientologists I know, ways in which the world is getting better are discarded as footnotes or in one way or another not really mattering or being worth celebration. Divisiveness is the word that defines how it treats the boundary between itself and the rest of the world. If any example of ways in which the greater worlds ideas should align with Scientology's they are treated at best as vindications that Scientology was right all along rather than celebrations of the abilities of the world at large and at worst as primitive lucky guesses the lost sheep just happened to get right.

A paraphrase of a quote I know from my mom that I think is from Hubbard goes something like "If aliens were looking for Hell and found Earth, it would suffice"

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Old 5th February 2015, 05:50 AM   #19
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Crocoshark, I didn't want to quote everything, but those posts were very interesting to read.
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Old 5th February 2015, 06:06 AM   #20
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Agree with marplots - thank you for sharing.
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Old 5th February 2015, 06:23 AM   #21
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Of course there are elements of utility in the teachings of the Church of $cientology. And I'm sure there is a pony under that huge pile of manure.

Whatever positive things the Church has done are surely outweighed by the harm is has caused.

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Old 5th February 2015, 06:48 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
Of course there are elements of utility in the teachings of the Church of $cientology. And I'm sure there is a pony under that huge pile of manure.

Whatever positive things the Church has done are surely outweighed by the harm is has caused.

Agreed, it's a "at least he made the trains run on time" type of argument.
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Old 5th February 2015, 06:55 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Filippo Lippi View Post
Agreed, it's a "at least he made the trains run on time" type of argument.
So LRH is Mussolini?
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Old 5th February 2015, 02:34 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
And I'm sure there is a pony under that huge pile of manure.
No, there is none. As a fan of My Little Pony . . . I checked.

Originally Posted by Filippo Lippi View Post
Agreed, it's a "at least he made the trains run on time" type of argument.
No, not really, as it's not meant as an argument in favor of Scientology. It's an explanation of what people get out of Scientology and why they believe it. It's no different than explaining why people find religious experiences or alternative medicine so persuasive.
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Old 5th February 2015, 03:14 PM   #25
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That was quite interesting, thanks. Have you seen "The Master"? It's a film based on LRH with Phillip Seymour Hoffman playing him.
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Old 5th February 2015, 04:46 PM   #26
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Crocoshark - Thanks for posting. In someways Scientology's doctrines aren't any worst than many other churches.
Personally, I don't trust any group that tries to tell me who I can associate with or what I am allowed to read or watch.
What makes many people dislike Scientology more than the Jehovah's Witnesses, for example, is the amount of money they have accumulated and an apparent ruthlessness in going after critics. It makes people think they really do have a lot to hide.
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Old 5th February 2015, 05:29 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by MontagK505 View Post
Crocoshark - Thanks for posting. In someways Scientology's doctrines aren't any worst than many other churches.
Personally, I don't trust any group that tries to tell me who I can associate with or what I am allowed to read or watch.
What makes many people dislike Scientology more than the Jehovah's Witnesses, for example, is the amount of money they have accumulated and an apparent ruthlessness in going after critics. It makes people think they really do have a lot to hide.
This.
The CO$'s core beliefs are no worse then a dozen other nutty UFO cults out there.The Lord Xenu stuff is nutty as hell, but so are quite a few UFO cults basic beliefs.
What makes me hate the CO$ is the incredible way it abuses it members,it ruthlessness toward critics, and the way it has managed to ,by a combinatation of bribery and intimiedation, actually managed to make itself above the law.
The book "Going Clear" documents,with evidence that seems undeinable, that the CO$ was running what amounted to it's own prison system in the California Desert with the local authorities looking the other way. I understand this is in the movie.
Before I read Going Clear, I had a low opinion of the COS but considered it to be a massive fraud.
After reading the book, I think I was being too generous. THe CO$ is like a particularly ruthless Mafia Family. It it much wosre then simply being a fraud.
That the CO$ is launching a major campaign against the film with a full page ad in the New York Times is a sign the Co$ is running scared.
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Old 5th February 2015, 05:40 PM   #28
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One question for you, Crocoshark.

Is there anything you recommend I say or link to or do that would be helpful for my friend?

Like I said, I have said absolutely nothing so far, because I know he'll just unfriend me immediately. Part of me feels its arrogant just to even ask this question, he's a grown man and can make his own decisions - and I don't know him THAT well.

It just kills me to think of this great guy being taken advantage of.
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Old 5th February 2015, 05:50 PM   #29
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The thing to remember is that the CO$'s kooky beliefs and their ripping off of their members is just the tip of the iceberg. That is bad enough but It gets worse.Much worse. I am talking the use of violence against members and critics worse. I am talking about Gestapo level tactics worse. I am talking about setting up a concentration camp and by bribery of local govenrment officials getting away with it worse.

For me, the use of violence is the line between being fraudelent and corrupt and being just plain evil in a big way. the CO$ crossed over that line long ago. Not much to choose between the way they operate and the way a Mafia family operates. That is the real point of Lawrence Wright's "Going Clear".
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Old 5th February 2015, 06:05 PM   #30
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Crocoshark I feel like I have a million questions for you... But I have to go to sleep. Maybe just one. Do you have any of the bad experiences I read about online?
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Old 5th February 2015, 09:25 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Almo View Post
That was quite interesting, thanks. Have you seen "The Master"? It's a film based on LRH with Phillip Seymour Hoffman playing him.
Never heard of it.

Originally Posted by Faydra View Post
One question for you, Crocoshark.

Is there anything you recommend I say or link to or do that would be helpful for my friend?

Like I said, I have said absolutely nothing so far, because I know he'll just unfriend me immediately. Part of me feels its arrogant just to even ask this question, he's a grown man and can make his own decisions - and I don't know him THAT well.

It just kills me to think of this great guy being taken advantage of.

Hmm, not sure. There are a couple things to remember though. One, it's probably not as black and white as being scammed blind and getting nothing from it. It definitely not that way to him. Auditing can probably help people in a "theraputic talking over of problems" kind of way and your friend no doubt feels he's had real experiences and gains from it that won't be countered by pointing out other people's experiences were negative or because Hubbard this and Hubbard that.

Second, every Scientologist is probably in a slightly different place when it comes to why they believe and how much they question the church. Some might be stereotypical sheeple that focus on how everything from Hubbard or the church is right, all the time, while others are reading Lawrence Wright's Going Clear and know the church lies about membership numbers, etc. I'd say get to know your friend and where he's at. What brought him to Scientology? What experiences does he find convincing? What flaws or inconsistencies with the church can he perceive? He'd also trust anything you said about Scientology more if you were willing to try out some techniques from Scientology and report back how they worked for you (you wouldn't need to buy or read anything). Get to know where he's at, come off as open minded, and you'll have a better handle on what actions might be most effective.

Third, the most effective deconversion is the one a person doesn't even realize is happening. The things that most effectively deconverted me from Scientology were not necessarily things that had anything directly to do with Scientology. In many cases, Scientology doesn't fail because it does absolutely nothing, it fails because non-Scientology things are just as good or better. This can be seen in many places in many ways. Understanding how real science works highlights how unscientific Scientology is; other therapies and religions have gains and testimonials to rival Scientology's, acting classes teach better communication than TRs, some online fandoms are more sane, and have better confront than the clears and are more scientifically adept too, etc.

On the flipside; observations, arguments and criticisms against non-Scientology things can be made against Scientology. Certain therapies can produce false memories, etc. Understanding logical fallacies and confirmation bias well not only help him spot it in action but perhaps expand his expectations of what "knowing how to know" means or the amount of "barriers to study" that could exist.

Scientology keeps people in by creating a black and white world where the only thing people think can help them is Scientology and everything else is crap and all non-Scientologists are lost and don't know what they're doing. Shattering this illusion that everything non-Scientology is inferior and in the case of Psychiatry, pure evil, would probably help. Speaking of anti-Psychiatry, getting him to see that Psychiatry isn't as black and white (well, all black) as the church states may help him be more skeptical. See if you can get him to a point where he sees Psychiatry as heavily flawed and pseudoscientific rather than a deliberately malicious industry of death, if he's not already there.

And fourth, remember that the people most able to change someone's belief are people closest to that person's belief in the first place. A Scientologist is much more likely to listen to someone who sees psychiatry as problematic/flawed say psychiatrists aren't evil than someone who believes psychiatry is just awesome. They're also much more likely to listen to a fellow Scientologist (such as a freezoner) voice their criticisms than someone who's never been a Scientologist and sees only the horrible things about it from the outside. If you must link him to anything challenging Scientology I'd go with a freezone website.

That said, I'd go back to my first and second points and work directly with the parts of Scientology that are big in his own eyes. Perhaps try something Scientology-related I'd imagine he'd happily suggest to you and than talk about it with him; employ Socratic questioning and maybe he'll come up with his own observations about the shakiness of what you're discussing. I wouldn't recommend linking anything or going to him with pre-rehearsed talking points. The process must be more intimate and organic.

Originally Posted by Caper View Post
Crocoshark I feel like I have a million questions for you... But I have to go to sleep. Maybe just one. Do you have any of the bad experiences I read about online?
Nope, nor has my family. Though my mom *was* treated like a volunteer and paid very poorly when she tried to work for an org. And my brother gets knowledge reports written up on him and called to see ethics officers for frivolous things. But I've never seen any of the sensationalist stuff.

This is an article posted on Cracked.com; http://www.cracked.com/article_20869...#ixzz3Qw43SOpJ

And this is a response I wrote in the comment section of this article comparing my experience with the author's;

5. Yes, I was in those "Daycare" type rooms as a kid when my parents went to watch an event where Miscavage talked for hours and whatever. There was food and I have no stories of poor childcare, though it wasn't well stocked for child care either. It was just like a grown-up party; a room full of people and some food tables, but with lower tables. Scientology does not teach that misunderstoods are the ONLY thing that can make someone lose interest in studying, although they are rather narrow. They believe there are three barriers to study; Misunderstood word, skipped gradient (skipping to too advanced a level) and lack of mass (it's too abstract/lack of physical demonstration, usually addressed through making a clay demo of a concept).

4. I went to the doctor as a kid (many times) and even got medicine (I was too young to know if it was mainstream or alternative, I just knew it was, for one example, pink goop. Although my mom is still big on alternative medicine, though I did get anti-biotics and we did sterilize wounds. She believes doctors are great for physical things, like surgery and broken bones, but doesn't believe in the use of drugs. I didn't get to many touch assists (or nerve assists) as a kid, Being sick usually entailed rest, cough drops, vitamins, and sunbreeze (a substance put on a tissue or your skin that is actually pretty good at clearing up a stuffy nose).

3. I was never asked to join the sea org or sign a contract by family. Though in having lots of contact with the CoS (either attending courses or getting phone calls) I did get harassed by someone that wanted to recruit me once. My impression of these recruiters is that they are the Scientology version of traveling salesman or telemarketers, annoying sales people that try to corner you and persuade you into something you don't want. It was never something my family was into.

I can't speak for this person's stories about the Sea Org as I've never been a part of it and never will be.

2 & 1. I have little experience here. That said, I think it would be helpful to know the decade this person's dad left. I think the church is doing less of this stuff than it used to to try to get less bad publicity, and due to the coverage of Scientology in general and my own experience I still suspect that this does not represent the average experience of rank and file Scientologists leaving the church. I mean, how many people do you think leave the church every year? That's a lot of burglaries and assaults to not hear about when almost all such stories I've seen are from the 70s and 80s.
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Old 5th February 2015, 09:32 PM   #32
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Crocoshark, have you read 'Going Clear"?
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Old 5th February 2015, 10:29 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Crocoshark View Post
Originally Posted by Almo View Post
That was quite interesting, thanks. Have you seen "The Master"? It's a film based on LRH with Phillip Seymour Hoffman playing him.
Never heard of it.

Really? With you being a former Scientologist, I'm surprised. It was a pretty well-known film a couple of years ago, nominated for a few Oscars and many other awards. But maybe you aren't a film fan.

In any case, that brings up a good point: that I think you can't really separate L. Ron Hubbard from Scientology itself, despite it sounding like an ad-hominem attack in a way. LRH was a fraud, a liar, a manipulator, and a general loon. He may have stumbled on to a few common-sense ideas and suggestions, but simply learning about the man who came up with the religion is reason enough to question virtually everything about it.

Oh, and do read Going Clear (which is not supposed to be fictionalized, like The Master), if you haven't already. I'd love to hear your opinion of it. And thanks for your contributions to this thread.
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Old 5th February 2015, 10:34 PM   #34
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Is your family still involved with the church crockoshark?
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Old 6th February 2015, 12:40 AM   #35
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Faydra: have you considered just sending your friend the link to this thread?
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Old 6th February 2015, 01:37 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Filippo Lippi View Post
I went to a very interesting and entertaining talk on $cientology at Nottingham Skeptics in the Pub last night*. I couldn't remember much recent conversation on here regarding the "church," and so I did a search on the tags and there's only one thread in the last six months.

Does that reflect a reduction in the threat, or indicate that FredCarr's book and DVD business was a success and all those with doubts have signed up or is the lack of new, nuttier revelations detract from the topic?





*
Create Your Own Cult, the Scientology Way by Martin Poulter
I know the church of Scientology is very tiny in Australia.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-06-2...kwards/4101958

Quote:
Figures released to Lateline from the Australian Census show that in 2011, just 2,163 Australians called themselves Scientologists, a decrease of 13.7 per cent from the 2006 census.
2,163 from the 22+million in Australia in 2011 make this a tiny cult.

Even the Australian Women's Weekly (a bestselling monthly magazine that includes psychic readings and astrology columns) publishes articles critical of Scientology.

It's not like the Seventies when everyone was reading "Dianetics" because it was advertised on TV. The careless masses have had time for the research to filter down to them via popular culture.
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Old 6th February 2015, 01:54 AM   #37
Crocoshark
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Crocoshark, have you read 'Going Clear"?
Yes. I even wrote a review documenting my thoughts at the time. Because I felt my parents were the ones most likely to see it and because this was a year ago I included my most pro-Scientology thoughts at the time.

Review of Going Clear

I read (over half of) my first Scientology critical book in the past week. The problem with that is that if I said I wanted to leave the church of Scientology or said I didn’t believe in it anymore after this date, my parents could blame it on that book. “You can’t read that stuff and NOT have it change your beliefs.” So for clarity’s sake, I’m writing this to comment on what impact the book had on my beliefs. But first, background.

A couple weeks ago I was reflecting on the drastically different views from in and out of Scientology. It’s as if you were born in a country that taught you nothing of its history, and you grew up only with a glowing view of the government, leaders and founder, and when you get out? People talk only of the long list of scandals and abuses of your country you have never heard of, of your founder or leaders being pathological liars, nothing but negativity, and while they seem to know nothing about the government education system and services, (which you think is good or at least worth bringing up), they seem to know more about YOUR country’s history than YOU do. It’s as if Americans never learned about slavery, racial segregation, carpet bombing and other military slaughter, abuses in the prison or justice system, extraordinary rendition, and so on. You were raised knowing nothing of anything wrong with your country and outsiders seem to be experts on all your country’s abuses you’d never heard of.

What country does that sound like?

North Korea.

A police state.

No country should be like that.

And no religion should be like that either.

The book Going Clear only reinforced my observations with examples of the church’s PR machine.

Any wrongdoing it is accused of; Mere denial. A simple “Nuh uh!”. Rarely (but not never) any explanation of how these rumors would come about, what these rumors are based on. Never an admission of wrongdoing. What’s worse was the “unperson” style lying about people’s whereabouts. “Word in Scientology was that he had died of cancer.” Says Paul Haggis, after learning someone he knew had actually been out of Scientology for years. “Quentin Hubbard was taken to become a pilot! Oh . . . he was found dead in a car with a hose going from the car’s tail pipe to the window? Encephalitis.” There were other examples; it seemed like the church would send out a PR story whenever it was convenient.

Quentin Hubbard brings me to my next point. I’d learned Hubbard actually had a family when I was 11 and I was genuinely surprised. Before than and for the most part since then I’d heard absolutely nothing about them. Hubbard had been married three times, and with Mary Sue Hubbard had FOUR kids, but it’s almost like they’ve been written out of Scientology history. Why? Quentin Hubbard was found dead; Arthur and Suzette Hubbard both blew, the latter after Hubbard tried to stop every romantic relationship she got into, Mary Sue Hubbard took all the blame for Operation Snow White and went to prison, and the wife and son he had when he came up with Dianetics thought he was a quack and fraud. Not much “making it go right” for the very man who invented the tech; if there was one person able to use the tech to ensure success in family (and physical health and superior handling when dealing with governments) it was Hubbard. If there was one group of people set to be utterly convinced by Hubbard that Scientology works, it was his wives and kids. But no.

Though a lot of the sources in the back were interviews, so there COULD have been a lot of unreliable people reporting slanderous things about Hubbard. (If that is true than, given the number of interviews, that sort of made Hubbard a magnet for people with suppressive tendencies or missed with-holds which he couldn’t spot or handle; and as for governments, I do not buy that “the man” or “psychiatrists” conspired to bring him down because they “knew” Scientology worked. Because it’d be too easy for any psychiatrist to dismiss it for its claims and lack of scientific verification, I don’t think any psychiatrist would resort to such conspiracy.)

In Scientology’s defense you could argue that Hubbard or not, that’s still a small sample size; one man and one family. But still, it’s interesting to note that looking at families dodges the Texas sharpshooter fallacy, named for a hypothetical sharp shooter that fires a bunch of shots and circles targets around the resulting bullet holes. When you focus on Scientologist success stories you’re taking a collection of experiences first (having gains enough to become a Scientologist) and then counting the people that had them, but with a family, you take a set collection of people of differing personalities and seeing who has experiences and how much. And Hubbard’s family combines toward the sample size of my own family and extended family in trying to count Scientology’s hit rate. So far, it’s hit and miss, to be polite.

Another thing I thought about was responsibility. The church says you are total responsibility and cause to the point that LRH says nothing bad happens to you unless you agreed to it in some way, that if someone is smearing others and talking smack they committed crimes against that person. So . . . What are your crimes Scientology? By it’s own logic it committed some TON of overts against psychiatrists, ex-Scientologists and people it smears as suppressive.

Speaking of smears, how immature is that? It gave one example, though from the 80s, where they dealt with a critic by sending letters to the guy’s office saying he was a homosexual. Actual blackmail would've been more honorable, but in their justification that’s the way you discredit someone. It only shows how THEY are immature enough to dismiss someone because they have embarrassing secrets and expect others to be the same way. What sort of mentality is that? That’s a kindergarten mind set. “Jimmy says I punched him in the face, but before you believe him, you should know Jimmy wets the bed and plays with dolls.”

But, on the Scientology favorable side, the book repeatedly points out that it’s unlikely LRH was a con artist; why would a fraud put so much effort into it? It doesn’t explain that or how many people follow and get gains from it. At one point it describes how even when LRH got rich he’d spend weeks alone writing tech. The book basically follows the stories of several Scientologists, so you read about success stories and gains as well as anecdotes of OT phenomena alongside all the failure and abuse. It may not be spotlighted, but it’s there, It also includes a part with a scholar describing how many of the “terrible” things in Scientology are no worse or not even as bad as what’s found in Christian or Jewish religion. The book also gives at least a nod to giving two sides of an issue, including the church’s position on different issues as a footnote on the bottom of the page that discusses it. I enjoyed the interview with Tommy Davis in the last chapter where you actually got to read a little debate between the writer and Davis, as opposed to the church’s usual “Nuh uh, you’re a criminal.”. All the bad RPF and tales of separation stories seem to be from the 70s and 80s, and when you read something you’re skeptical of you can go to the references in the back and see where it came from; usually an interview with someone who’s name you learned reading the book, sometimes a court document, sometimes Bare-Faced Messiah or even a blog. I enjoyed reading interviews describing the origins of the Purification course and Introspection run down, to my knowledge those stories are not in Scientology courses.

This book is critical of Scientology, but at the same time acknowledges nuance and doesn’t paint in black and white. I’d recommend it to Scientologists for this reason.

As for the impact this had on my beliefs; I can better see why people call the church of Scientology a cult. I don’t think LRH was phenomenally OT (beyond existing OT levels today, which don’t seem to grant people much more than the occasional “miracle” or parlor trick). Even if you believe in all the OT stuff is ingenious discovery I don’t see reason to believe he obtained higher levels of the bridge than today’s OTs, even if he “discovered” them. Hell, for all I know, the OT levels just induce false mental experiences and suggestibility. Not saying they do or don’t, but it’s an idea I’ve already presented and commented on earlier in this document (on exteriorization). Or there could be no more reason to resort to the spirit to explain OT powers than there is to explain amazing stories about prayers or psychics; If you have a lot of people willing good things to happen for long enough you’ll inevitably get unlikely things happening shortly after someone willed it to, compounded by personal interpretation of events and misremembering “hits” as closer hits than they actually were. It’s a possibility.

Originally Posted by AdMan View Post
Really? With you being a former Scientologist, I'm surprised. It was a pretty well-known film a couple of years ago, nominated for a few Oscars and many other awards. But maybe you aren't a film fan.
True, I'm not. I may have heard of it but that stuff does not interest me. For the most part, my moving away from Scientology has happened no thanks to critics. I've deconverted *despite* the off-putting nature of Scientology criticism, rather than because of it.

Originally Posted by AdMan View Post
I think you can't really separate L. Ron Hubbard from Scientology itself, despite it sounding like an ad-hominem attack in a way.
Sounds like? In a way?

In one sense you're right in that Scientology is Hubbard's beliefs and hang-ups turned into a set of doctrines, put on a pedestal based on who wrote it.

In another sense . . . Yes. Yes you can separate the two. It doesn't matter how crazy the inventor is if you think you've seen and experienced the work-ability of the invention.

My dad read Going Clear to, and he talked about how hard to figure out it was for him; on the one hand you have stories of Hubbard holed up in an apartment evading police and on the other hand he was in his eyes genius enough to uncover the techniques to clear people of their reactive mind, uncover memories of the past lives and remove the traumatic memories and upsets from other life times, grant OT abilities and make people go exterior to their bodies, create assists and drills that do various things, courses that improve communication, etc. etc. etc. I wouldn't be able to list all the stuff a practicing Scientologist could list that makes them feel certain of Scientology. But statements like this;

Originally Posted by AdMan View Post
He may have stumbled on to a few common-sense ideas and suggestions,
Are VASTLY minimizing what makes Scientologists so convinced of Scientology. We're dealing with the experiences and claims of a religion, alternative medicine, pseudoscience, paranormal phenomena, etc. all rolled up and combined into one with all the spiritual experiences, placebo effect, paranormal experiences, theraputic value, feelings of revelation and guidance or that the text is really profound, time and financial investment, rationalizations, etc. that go into any one of those subjects. It's just not as simple as thinking Scientologists believe Hubbard on pure faith and if you only discredit him everything evaporates. It's like other religions; you can point out that the bible was created by a mess of politics but that doesn't change the fact that Christians believe there's something to their religion for other reasons.

There's also things within the experience of being a Scientologist to counter all these things. Not every Scientologist experiences the bad or interprets it the same way.

Originally Posted by Caper View Post
Is your family still involved with the church crockoshark?
Eeyup. At least my parents are, my brothers are not so into it.

Last edited by Crocoshark; 6th February 2015 at 01:59 AM.
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Old 6th February 2015, 02:18 AM   #38
Caper
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Croc. Is it something want to get your parents out of? Or is it something that isn't that big of a deal?

Do they shovel out any kind of cash... You know for courses and stuff?
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Old 6th February 2015, 02:44 AM   #39
Crocoshark
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Originally Posted by Caper View Post
Croc. Is it something want to get your parents out of? Or is it something that isn't that big of a deal?

Do they shovel out any kind of cash... You know for courses and stuff?
It's not a big deal. Even if it was, they've been in Scientology for well over 30 years (OT7 and OT8) and are in their 60s.

I'm more bothered by their disregard of non-Scientology stuff than their belief directly in Scientology. If I wanted to try to wedge them away from Scientology I'd try to disassemble the monopoly they treat Scientology as having on helping people. The less Scientology is the only stable rock in a downward spiraling world the more they would be willing to question it or decide other options would be better.

That said, it is not an issue on which I'm compelled to action.

Yes, my mom does pay for courses. I'm not sure what my dad's doing, I think he's just listening to lectures.

Last edited by Crocoshark; 6th February 2015 at 02:45 AM.
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Old 6th February 2015, 06:40 AM   #40
Faydra
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
Faydra: have you considered just sending your friend the link to this thread?

I have considered that, but like I said I don't know him all that well. It would seem very creeper/stalkerish I think.
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