Monthly Archives: February 2013

Dissociation and Denialism

Disconnection in the church of Scientology is as blatantly applied as ever; even while it is vehemently denied.  It is denialism, and a sort of dissociation, playing out in real time before our eyes.  If you haven’t seen it already, please read this story concerning the great pianist Mario Feninger and the wonderful soul Allen Barton, Mario Feninger Disconnects From Help.  It demonstrates denialism and dissociation in living color.

I have been closely following this matter for some time.  I came very close to initiating fundraising for Mario on this blog.  The only reason I did not was because Mario made it very clear to Allen that he would prefer not to receive the inevitable blowback of being associated with our types.  The story is very competently told by Ortega and it speaks for itself, so I will not focus on the details of Mario’s plight.

Instead, I will focus on the journey of Allen Barton (for related earlier post see,  Beverly Hills Playhouse.)   Look at what his simple act of kindness and care has wrought.   Examine the responses he received – disconnections, while denying ‘disconnection’ is an active policy – from Scientologists.  Consider their ‘rationale.’   Consider the factors that resulted in such obvious denialism.

Is that denialism, and the perpetuation of dissociated behaviors that it justifies, limited solely to the ‘Disconnect Policy’?   Consider that, before you knee-jerk a respone that the immediate impulsive response  itself may in some measure  be influenced by a form of denialism.

Also consider this description of denialism that I once posted on this blog under the title Denialism:

[From] Michael Specter, Denialism, Penguin Books 2009:

We have all been in denial at some point in our lives; faced with truths too painful to accept, rejection often seems the only way to cope. Under those circumstances, facts, no matter how detailed or irrefutable, rarely make a difference.  Denialism is denial writ large — when an entire segment of society, often struggling with the trauma of change, turns away from reality in favor of a more comfortable lie…

Unless data fits neatly into an already formed theory, a denialist doesn’t really see it as data at all.  That enables him to dismiss even the most compelling evidence as just another point of view.

OT VIII – Hallucinatory Cause?

Here is a reality check on where the Scientology Bridge leads, at least within corporate Scientology.   The following is a published ‘success story’ of a recently minted OT VIII.   With all you have read on Super Power and the Super Power building on this blog – use the search feature in the right hand column if you haven’t read much – please consider just how hard this OT VIII is working on creating delusory reality after expending God knows how many years and how much money attaining the supposed state of not having to continually do such.  Really take some time to think about this.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel for the guy.  But, look at what’s what here.  He’s apparently been listing incessantly why, after completing the highest pinnacle of the Scientology Bridge, he caved to ruthless regging not only for more rundowns (Super Power) but no doubt status-raising donations for completing the grounded space ship that is going to take the planet by storm (the $200 million plus Super Power building).

If it is even possible that a person could spend decades and hundreds of thousands to achieve the state of ’cause over matter, energy, space, time and life’ and wind up in such a delusory, perhaps even hallucinatory, state don’t you think it might behoove you to take a little time to evaluate this path against some standards not instilled along that path?


Dear Theta Buddies,

While trying to wrap my wits around a particular item  on the BC Level F checksheet, I decided this was a good time to see Rebecca, the word clearer. In the process of sorting out my confusion, I was reading a couple  of the pages from the transcript for the lecture I was listening to, and lo and  behold… I had a HUGE cognition on how Super Power was going to work!

This particular lecture is called “Routine 3A.” It was a modification to
the existing Clearing Procedure, Routine 3. But this theory behind this “little”
modification was the reason why thetans hold onto aberrations for eons:
counter-intentions; counter postulates. In other words, problems, created by
oneself, or other intentions agreed to by the thetan. What does this have to do
with Super Power? LRH had lectured in the mid 50s about how he didn’t really
know why it worked, but when a person who was having trouble with his spouse,
received problems processes auditing on the spouse, the spouse ceased to be
trouble. The EP of the modern day Suppressed Person rundown is that the terminal  antagonistic to the PC originates a friendly communication to the PC! The reason  for this is that when you have two terminals (or even the PC himself with a postulate/counter-postulate) with equal force holding a problem in place, when one side of the problem is unbalanced through auditing, there’s nothing (or much less) force to keep the problem in suspension. This results in the terminal(s) on the other end of the problem feeling compelled to communicate to the PC.
All of a sudden, I got how Super Power was going to work its magic for World
Clearing. Many of the rundowns on Super Power address third dynamic areas:
Ethics, Justice, Consequences, etc. Based on the above, I see how when one does
Super Power, he removes his side of the problem. The result should be, that “the
government” in the form of the individuals holding posts in it, will originate
to those who have completed the rundowns, asking for help! And this is how I see Super Power as “auditing the government”! Our solutions, with our National
Affairs Office right down the street from the White House, will replace the
false solutions the government has been using, with true solutions. Truth
as-ises lies. Entheta becomes theta.

The missing step has always been,  getting the government (PC) interested in its own case (the problems of the representatives themselves and the nation as a whole) and willing to talk to the auditor (Scientologists with the true solutions). Super Power IS that step!

Needless to say, I got WAY MORE from that word clearing cycle than
I expected!

I highly recommend you stop by ASHO (or any Qual Library  with a full set of BC tapes) and pull the binder numbered Lectures 77 – 88.  Pages 64-65 of the transcript is where LRH covers this piece of  technology.

The above also explains why ANY auditing, especially the NOTs  band, results in unbalancing the problem of theta vs entheta which has been going on for eons. Maybe that’s why LRH said it’s the faintest chance this universe has…


Faith Healing

In the book The Intention Experiment author Lynne Mctaggart details scientific studies conducted on the effectiveness of various forms of faith healing.  Faith healing encompasses all forms of spiritual assist utilizing intention to aid in the recovery of physically ill people.   The healers use various forms – from the direct laying on of hands, to prayer, to long-distance intention direction practice.

The results determined  by statistics that a certain type of healer had a higher rate of success than another type.  The distinction was that group “A” healed by supplicating to or conjuring a higher level of intention or spirit beyond their own, individual spirit potential – be it God, the Tao, or whatever word various intention practitioners used to describe a higher level, available pool of life force – to channel it into the healing process.  Healers in group “B” asserted they were directing solely their own life force to effectuate healing.   Extensive testing determined that group “A” had a significantly higher success rate than group “B.”

Knowing what you know about Thetans, theta, the 7th Dynamic, the 8th dynamic, spirituality and God – and assuming all other factors were equal, which they seldom are – what are your thoughts concerning the reason for the higher success rate of group “A?”

The Road I Must Travel

L. Ron Hubbard was a great observer and describer of phenomena.  He once noted that the universe abhors a vacuum.   He also noted that when confronted with a vacuum of data, people tend to invent data to fill it.

I have intentionally not shared a lot of personal information over the past several months; and I don’t intend to start regularly doing so in the near future.  However, I have observed that Ron’s description of the information vacuum has apparently created a field day for those intent on reading tea leaves and those who harbor intentions inimical to my own.   And that has apparently upset some folks.  So, I am going to attempt to fill in the vacuum in the hopes it might set some people at ease.

Monique and I worked hard throughout 2011 to create some time for me to write some books that I believe will help Scientologists and former Scientologists heal and move on up a little higher with their lives.   Things did not go as planned.  2012 presented some issues that I thought, right or wrong, deserved my attention.

We wound up spending the bulk of the year assisting with battles (Battle of San Antonio, mop up of Headley affair,  expose of the Pat Broeker affair, etc.).   We with forethought entered them and exited them without a single penny in compensation; not even for the not insubstantial personal costs involved.   Fundraising for them diverted much of our income for the year.  This was the case much to the frustration of Debbie, Wayne, Marc, Claire, and others who demanded I be compensated.   We did not do so because the road I feel I must travel requires absolute independence of thought and obligation.  The pursuit of truth can, and has through history – including with Scientology- , been compromised by financial considerations.

We decided to move at the end of the year and Monique decided to go back to work in the health care field for two reasons.  First, it was necessary in order to obtain the type of premises that would afford us our life back from an intelligence apparatus the likes of which have been unknown to the world since the infamous East German STASI.  Second, it was necessary to afford me the time and space to get done the books I am in progress on.  Monique knows what I have to say – and what I have been trying to find the time to complete in the full context I have always asserted it deserves in books form.   She felt it so important to be said that she gave up – temporarily – the joy and fulfillment of auditing in order to make it happen.  We also forfeited our only assets, $35,000 in equity from a lease/purchase option, in order to effectuate this change.

Thanks to great research and planning on our part, we are moving forward on our plans while also rebuilding our lives from the intrusion.  It is not that the STASI (OSA, Scientology Inc.’s Office of Special Affairs) has gone away.  It is that they are buffered.   Thanks to the good people in our community, and the rather ethical and uncorrupted law enforcement agencies in our vicinity, we know more about their rather extensive and expensive surveillance operation than it can divine about us.   Their absurd black PR campaign being run directly at virtually everyone we have known or met (including everyone who has visited us and all of Monique’s family) is indication of the level of frustration of not having 24/7 access to our every movement.  It also doesn’t hurt having Sugar Ray Jeffrey as a neighbor and friend – the only man in history who has kicked Scientology Inc.’s ass two times in one year and who is fully motivated and prepared to do so again if they get too adventrous.

As far as what I have to say in my books, I am previewing some of it on the blog of late – but those are simply snippets.   I will say the following.   I believe I will demonstrate that perhaps the most powerfully destructive fault with Scientology is its promise and authoritative insistence that only it, to the explicit and must-be-agreed-upon exclusion of examination of any other data or technology, with scientific precision delivers ultimate truth.   Understanding that, in my view, opens one to potential heights that Scientologists wind up insisting they have achieved, but in reality are not even aware of.

Where ultimately does that go?   I don’t purport to know.  I do believe, though, that the moment one is certain he has arrived, he in fact has died spiritually.

To borrow a line from Tom Morello, ‘the road I must travel, its end I cannot see.’

Integration, Evolution, and Transcendence

Learning the art and honing the skills of differentiation, identification and association increases accuracy of observation. It increases intelligence. It increases ability.  L. Ron Hubbard aptly defined the application of those skills as sanity.

When one observes while exercising differentiation, identification and association one has assumed and assigned identity, differentiated himself from and made associations between himself and those phenomena and things that he observes.  By doing so, one is experiencing duality in the mode of causation.

Continued practice in these skills can reduce complexities and systems to simplicity and create a heightened sense and certainty of oneself and his place and role in the cosmos.  It can bring about an unrepressed, self-determined, well and happy state of being.  Scientology technology, sans cultish policy/group think indoctrination, is well equipped to bring about that state (the means and reasons why are covered in some detail in the book What Is Wrong With Scientology? – along with vital data on how to steer clear of the policy/group think cult indoctrination).

Once attained, one can trade on those skills to bring about higher intelligence and power of observation in others and/or more profit and power to oneself.  Some, though they would be the last to admit it, obtain and exercise a feeling of superiority and a comfortable identity for having accomplished a high degree of competence in the skills of identification, association and differentiation.  If the exercise of one’s skills are of sufficient value by way of their scarcity, more penetrating observation beyond them might seem a threat to the value of those skills of differentiation, identification and association and all that they garner. One can very easily find a contentment level where further observation of higher truths and unexplored realms might be seen to upset the comfort of the help, profit and power zones one is experiencing or operating in.  Some have even bought into the idea that to transcend or move on from that which increased one’s ability to identify, associate and differentiate would be tantamount to eschewing those skills and constitute the most heinous form of treason.  The act of continued observation beyond the constructs provided apparently threatens the very identity the skilled one carved out and created for himself as a master of identification, association and differentiation.

On the other hand, one could also value curiosity, sense of adventure, and thirst for higher truths above comfort and power – and possess the courage to explore them – and one could thus seek to view larger and more complex systems and the interactions between them.  Over time, one might begin to observe entire universes and their interactions.  One might even transcend identity and the differentiation, identification and association that defines it and catch a glimpse of all of existence and the synchronicity with which all elements within it seem to interact.  Contrary to the fears announced by those profiting and comforting by expertise in the skills my personal experience is that further exploration only sharpens those skills.

When one observes the whole of existence with no differentiation, identification and association in mind – simply observes the whole of existence as it is – one does not differentiate, identify or associate himself.  One is not separate and apart from the whole of existence.  One is experiencing nonduality.

If one also studied advancements in science, he might find that the higher reality of nonduality is being validated in the laboratory.  And if he continued to observe, beyond differentiation-association-identification, he might find that the universe can be seen to behave as quantum mechanics is beginning to demonstrate. That is, the behavior of the universe is dependent upon the character of the observer; that there is a synchronicity and interconnectedness across the cosmos that is largely invisible and undetectable to the five traditional human senses which are all bound up in identity, and its dependence for survival upon differentiation and association.  Planet earth’s greatest scientific minds – historically, the most skilled at differentiation, identification and association – tend to say of quantum mechanics, ‘if you think you understand it, then I know that you don’t.’

They might more accurately have stated that ‘if you think you can explain it in words, then you haven’t witnessed it.’  As Lao Tzu noted: The tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.  The name that can be named is no the eternal Name.  The unnamable is the eternally real.  Naming is the origin of all particular things.  Free from desire, you realize the mystery.  Caught in desire you see only the manifestations. Einstein called it ‘spooky’ phenomena, as phenomena observed potentially could turn our entire concepts of all of existence, our very identities and the definition of God, upside down.  For decades hence science agreed to steer clear of examining how quantum phenomena might impact or shed light upon the nature of the soul, spirit and consciousness. For the past five decades, however, scientists have increasingly explored consciousness and contemplative philosophers have begun to explore science. And in this meeting of minds more clarity is arising.

The heightened abilities to differentiate, associate and identify are demonstrating with greater accuracy how we can better predict the manner in which the universe responds to stimuli.  The universe can be more causatively manipulated. It can be more thoroughly controlled.  It can be caused to bring about more comfort, profit, and power to the identities exercising identification, association and differentiation on a more causative level.

However, it seems that only when one transcends identity and the need for comfort, wealth, and power and the need to differentiate, identify and associate in order to collect and maintain them, that the higher truths of the universe can be directly experienced and perceived.  Not with the five traditional senses.  Instead, with the sixth sense and beyond – referred to in Scientology as theta perceptics, referred to in Eastern traditions as nondual consciousness or awareness.

It seems that if one can learn to let go of an avid craving and drive for the ultimate, everlasting state of ‘causation’ he or she might get a taste of it.  Ironically, contemplative teachers increasingly refer to such tastes as ‘causal consciousness.’ It might just be an activity that one cannot do, but instead a state one must actually be in order to realize.

In that experience, the universe does not respond to one’s causation. It is not something separate, apart, or even associated with you.  There is no association or differentiation between you and it. It is you and you are it.  It and you simply is.

Is one then a separate, distinct identity or a part of a single infinity?

It would appear that it all depends upon how one is viewing himself and the universe.

Can one have it both ways?


Sitting In Judgment


In December 2012 I posted an essay on this blog suggesting that  judgmentalism is a negative  trait that Scientologists ought take care to curb.  This blog is frequented in the main by former members of the church of Scientology who still consider themselves Scientologists.  These are people that have been out of the organization for years and who profess that Scientology ought not be used to control and dominate the lives of others.  Nonetheless, a popular counter-position posted in response to my essay was that ‘labeling, and judgmentalism, is just fine in and of itself – the only problem with such practice is inaccuracy of the labeling.’   Even years after their participation in the organization, many Scientologists considered a judgmental attitude a positive virtue provided it is done in keeping with their own standards of accuracy.  The most zealous proponents of that idea resorted to ad hominem attacks on me for raising such issues, and ultimately disconnected from me.

I do not contend that the labels Scientology promotes usage of are inaccurate or harmful provided they are used in a professional manner as initially intended upon creation.   Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard created numerous constructs against which the mind, spirit and human condition could be understood and improved.   He observed and recorded gradient scales ranging from horrendous, painful conditions all the way up to beautiful, joyous conditions.   The scales are invaluable when used by professionally trained Scientologists to help move people up those conditions.  But, just like any other field of the mind and spirit – including psychiatry, psychoanalysis, and other religions and systems of spirituality – the moment one takes the diagnosis and treatment or practice scheme out of the hands of trained, responsible practitioners and applies it casually and inexpertly in the field of day to day human relations, disaster is close to inevitable.

Imagine a friend telling you that you are an obsessive compulsive disorder case – in all seriousness – , and thereafter treating you as leprous until you conformed with that friend’s standard of acceptable behavior.  How long would you tolerate that friend in your proximity?  Not for long I suspect.   Scientologists – regardless of levels of training – are encouraged to apply their own, equally judgmental, labels to others and apply them in life.

Scientology has a substantial lexicon of judgmental labels that rivals the scope and complexity of the American Psychological Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM).   Its organizations promote their facile use in day to day life.  Despite that, Scientology organizations spend millions of dollars a year condemning the DSM and its misuse or even professional use.  Their argument is that such labeling is judgmental and as such it does not promote improvement but instead categorization and stigmatization.

Perhaps the most commonly used stigmatizing terms in Scientology are “suppressive person” or SP and “potential trouble source” or PTS.   An SP is defined in Scientology as one of those roughly 2 ½ percent (Scientology founder  L. Ron Hubbard estimation) of any population who exhibit the characteristics of a sociopath or psychopath.  Scientology’s diagnostic scheme for identifying an SP is nearly identical to psychology’s and psychiatry’s diagnostic standard for identifying the sociopath or psychopath.   A PTS is a supposed  member of approximately 20% of the population who are intimately connected with an SP and consequently are mistake-prone or act ill or cowed.

Scientologists are encouraged to take a three week course of study in order to achieve the purported professional  ability and  license to identify and handle an SP and the target of his effects, the PTS.  All Scientologists are required to take this course and are expected to apply it with an attitude of certainty regardless of lack of any other professional credential.   The result, bluntly, can denigrate into a community  of untrained, arrogant, Monday morning shrinks passing the most condemnatory judgments upon one another at the drop of a hat.

To make matters worse, there is a distinct SP characteristic in Scientology writings that takes precedence over the other dozens that align with the psychology field’s similar diagnostic characteristics checklist.  That is, if someone exhibits an ‘anti-Scientology’ leaning he or she is sure to be diagnosed as being an SP.  To qualify one only need question the wisdom of any Scientology writing.  This fact alone is probably more responsible for Scientology taking on the character of an insular cult than all others combined.

L. Ron Hubbard once quipped that it is futile to get into an argument with a psychiatrist.  The problem, he noted, was that the minute you get a leg up on the psychiatrist he definitively ends the debate with the evaluation, ‘you are crazy.’   Ironically, this ad absurdum joke could almost describe the modern day Scientologist.  If you attempt to even discuss a shortcoming of Scientology the debate decisively ends with the evaluation, ‘you are an SP.’  Per Scientology policy all Scientologists must disconnect from an SP.  That is, the Scientologist must refrain from any type of communication with the SP, directly or indirectly.  That policy holds whether the declared SP is one’s spouse, child, parent, business partner or best friend.   The SP is entitled no civil or human rights as far as any Scientologist is concerned.

By way of comparison, the psychiatrists’ condemnatory label ‘crazy’ is a rather mild evaluation.

Nonetheless, Scientologists – even those who have disaffiliated from its organizations because of its alleged proclivity for judgmental evaluation, trying and sentencing of followers and the population at large – believe ‘judgmentalism’ is not a problem with Scientology.   They are so dead serious about that that they are prepared to prove it by disconnecting from anyone who says otherwise.

Decompression is important in any cult recovery effort.

Re-education is probably even more important.

Buddha’s Brain


I have added Buddha’s Brain, (Hanson/Mendius – New Harbinger Publications, Inc, 2009) to the recommended reading list.  The following is my review.


Buddha’s Brain is authored by neuropsychologist Rick Hanson and neurologist Richard Mendius. Hanson is also a meditation teacher, and Mendius is also cofounder of Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom.   These fellows give a relatively easy to follow sum up of what developments in science have taught us about the function of the brain.  They also, through work with Buddhist contemplative practice masters tested for neurological and hormonal/chemical patterns created by decisions of the being, detail how the brain – and thus the body – is affected by thought.  

Buddha’s Brain provides great food for thought and correlation to those trained in Dianetics and Scientology.  The authors’ description of science’s 2009 understanding of the human brain is remarkably consistent with L. Ron Hubbard’s 1950 description of the reactive mind in Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.   They describe the brain as being hardwired for avoiding danger, taking precedence over behavior/action patterns that seek pleasure or reward.   They describe how transcendent states attained through contemplative practice – their main frame of reference being Buddhism – erase reactive neuron channels and create new, more analytical, intelligent and rational ones.

Just as Scientology was somewhat vague in differentiating between the Thetan (spirit) and the mind and nearly mute on the subject of the brain, the authors of Buddha’s Brain are somewhat vague on differentiating between brain and mind, and never label that which is making the decisions that are creating a better functioning mind/brain.  To get hung up on such difficulties with constructs describing that which is invisible to the eye and physical measures would be to miss the forest for the trees.

Hard core Scientologists, if they could muster the curiosity or courage to read the book, would likely heavily tune out somewhere in the last 2/3rds of it.  That is because the material for the most part prescribes contemplative practice that the authors claim demonstrably reforms the brain/mind.  To react in such wise would be a mistake in my view.  To read it, for example, might lead to some insights into why running pleasure moments, as in Self Analysis by L. Ron Hubbard, is so therapeutic.  Could it be that Scientology processes do far more good than L. Ron Hubbard even knew given the relatively archaic state of science in his day?   One thing is for sure, those who are afraid to look will never know.

The Simplicity of Scientology


What I Learned From Ray Lewis


I recently had a very important life lesson validated courtesy of Ray Lewis.

Lewis is somewhat of an enigma.  He was said to be the heart and soul of the Baltimore Ravens team that recently won the Super Bowl.   Ray has played linebacker for the Ravens for 17 years. That is remarkable longevity given the constant, high velocity collisions that go with the position.  He has been selected to the Pro Bowl (NFL all star game) thirteen times.


Ray was a sensation the minute he hit the league in 1996.  By 2000 he was an established super star.  Apparently, it went to his head.  He hung around with an expensive, outlandish outlaw posse.   He was convicted for obstruction of justice in a case involving two murders that occurred in a club he and his crew frequented in Atlanta.  Ever since Lewis has carried the stigma of the ill-intentioned, ghetto-grown hoodlum who got away with it because of the wheelbarrows of money he made as a pro athlete.

A good friend I watched the super bowl with told me that he would root for the 49ers because he couldn’t stomach Ray Lewis’ act.   That was ok with me since I’ve followed the Niners since shortly after birth, being a Bay Area native, and besides, who wanted to see a gang banger glorified.

Last night I happened to come across a documentary on Lewis on a cable station.

Had I seen it before the game, I might have bet on the Ravens if I were a gambling man.  I think I would have been pulling for Ray in any event.

Lewis it seems had found religion back in 2000 when his life hit a nadir.  He has chaired bible study meetings with his teammates ever since.

But, that isn’t the lesson Lewis re-enforced for me.

The documentary gathered six former defensive coordinators for the Ravens who had coached Lewis.  Each of them, because of their success with the Ravens, were promoted to be head coaches of other teams.  Each of them attributed their success to their pupil Lewis.

Mike Singletary, hall of fame linebacker with the Chicago Bears, almost didn’t take the defensive coordinator job in Baltimore.  He too only knew of Ray what he had read in the press and heard on the grapevine – an arrogant, spoiled all pro who would be impossible to coach.   When he met Lewis for the first time, he was shocked.

Mike Singletary

Mike Singletary

Lewis made Singletary promise him that he would teach him everything he knew about the linebacker position, how to be a good teammate, how to be a leader and how to be a better man.  Singletary said Lewis set an example for every other player by continuously listening, asking questions, learning and applying what he learned.

All five of the other coaches who were promoted because of Ray had similar things to say about Ray.

What I believe the Ray Lewis story teaches is that if you really want to become the best you can be, you don’t hitch your wagon to one teacher and attempt to emulate him, worship, comply and obey and tune out the rest.  Instead, you remain ever curious, ever reaching for new understandings and new heights. I believe the minute you agree to willfully ignore any other teacher but for a chosen one you have in effect made yourself a little more blind, a little more deaf, and ultimately a lot less bright, intelligent and capable.

Is there any reason this does not apply to philosophy, religion, psychotherapy and one’s search for greater spiritual heights?

Colbert Report on Scientology

Like it or not, justified or not, the following segment on the popular Colbert Report (see both segments, second the interview with Lawrence Wright) pretty well sums up the public image of Scientology.  Not the church of Scientology in the eyes of the world at large, but Scientology.   A whacky religious cult with bizarre beliefs, violent practices and a threatening way of dealing with criticism.

The Colbert Report on Scientology

Do you believe this public image can change?   How?  How long will it take to change significantly?