Monthly Archives: April 2013

The Quest: Quixotian or Gandhian?

On his ‘Dean of Technology’ course titled Class VIII, L. Ron Hubbard advises that the ultimate state of consciousness attainable in Scientology (dubbed OT, for Operating Thetan) is simple.  The state is attained when the individual no longer carries any lies with him.  An individual is as OT as he doesn’t walk about with lies.

So it is with Scientology itself.  As a subject it contains a wonderful body of technology for helping to strip a person of the lies through which he filters the universe around him.  The biggest problem with broad dissemination and application of that technology is its self-imposed prohibition on differentiating that technology from the broader body of Scientology work that is chock-full of lies.

Because of the religious cloak with which L. Ron Hubbard chose to enwrap Scientology, the discernment of truth from lies within Scientology is not an easy task.  L. Ron Hubbard wrote a large body of doctrine satanizing anyone who attempts to look at his body of work in a critical fashion.  In fact, the very term ‘criticism’ – at least when directed toward Hubbard or Scientology – has been solidly re-defined in Scientology to be the activity of only sociopaths and criminals.

Thus in 1967 Hubbard published an article in a Scientology journal for all Scientologists to heed and adhere to.  Entitled Critics of Scientology it pronounced the following:

Now, get this as a technical fact, not a hopeful idea.  Every time we have investigated the background of a critic of Scientology, we have found crimes for which that person could be imprisoned under existing law. We do not find critics of Scientology who do not have criminal pasts…

…If you, the criticized, are savage enough and insistent in your demand for the crime, you’ll get the text, meter or no meter.  Never discuss Scientology with the critic.  Just discuss his or her crimes, known and unknown.  And act completely confident that those crimes exist.  Because they do.

Hubbard issued dozens of pages of directives to his church to investigate  – with the aim of destruction of – critics of Scientology.  When the ‘technical fact’ he preached above proved to be utterly false (as determined by the intelligence agency he created to prove it – called the Guardian’s Office), Hubbard advised the agency to skip the investigations, create and plant and then ‘discover’ and expose the evidence of crime.  He was particularly vicious and ruthless in his directives to destroy those who attempted to clarify, refine, or simplify Scientology technology so as to reach more people effectively.

In a 1955 Professional Auditor’s Bulletin Hubbard directed Scientologists on how to deal with Scientologists not toeing the line with the religious cult of Scientology as follows:

Personally, if I were an auditor and found my area being muddied up to that extent, I would have a definite feeling, if I permitted it to go on, that I was not doing all I could do to spread Scientology in my area.  I would have taken such a screwball out of the running so fast he would have thought he had been hit by a Mack truck, and I don’t mean thought-wise.  But then the difference between me and an apathetic auditor is that I fight, and I get things done.

Hubbard advised that such screwballs be sued in the following manner:

The purpose of the suit is to harass and discourage rather than to win. The law can be used very easily to harass, and enough harassment on somebody who is simply on the thin edge anyway, well knowing that he is not authorized, will generally be sufficient to cause his professional decease. If possible, of course, ruin him utterly.

Hubbard dealt with what he called ‘squirrels’ (defined as those who alter Scientology) in such wise to the very end of his life.  In fact, the last person who served as his own auditor in the late seventies and who was the Hubbard-appointed senior-most Scientology technical  supervisor in the world, one David Mayo, was the final target of such Hubbard scorn.  When Mayo started practicing Scientology outside of the control of the cult in the early nineteen-eighties Hubbard directed that the church ‘squash him like a bug.’  Notwithstanding that Mayo’s essential ‘clarification’ concerning Scientology was that the violent, combative aspects were not true L. Ron Hubbard technology.

It is because of the above that the Office of Special Affairs continues to attempt to destroy my wife and me – and anyone else who does stand for truth when it comes to Scientology.  It is not because David Miscavige tells them to.  It is because they are religiously bound to attempt to destroy us by any means necessary.

The violent, reactive attitude toward ‘squirrels’ is so deeply implanted in Scientologists that even the latest ‘independent Scientology’ movement – which the church of Scientology dubs ‘squirrel’ – facily accuses people attempting to differentiate workable Scientology technology from its ample supply of lies as being ‘gestapo’, ‘war criminals’, and ‘Nazis.’

Ironically, this firmly implanted, combative attitude is one-hundred and eighty degrees, diametrically opposed to the attitudes, states of mind, and states of consciousness that sane, understanding application of Scientology processes are capable of bringing about.

My views and aims have not much changed in the past four years.  In sum, to the extent that that which works in Scientology can be differentiated from that which disables, by – among other things – radicalization, L. Ron Hubbard’s ideas have a future.  To the degree that differentiation process is killed, Hubbard’s ideas die.

I am letting it be known that in spite of the ample back stabbing, cur dog yapping, and undermining and severing of all of our sources of support that we’ve encountered in the past four years, we continue to pursue our course.  Whether the quest turns out to be more Quixotian or more Gandhian will likely be apparent by the end of this year in my estimation.

“Too much sanity may be madness.  And maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be.”  – Dale Wasserman, playwright, attributed to Don Quixote author Miguel Cervantes in the play, The Man From La Mancha

“A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Scientology’s Identity Crisis

Scientology auditing technology can be very effective in helping an individual to strip off personality jackets of others that he or she has unwittingly slipped on in life.  Paradoxically, Scientology tends to replace those jackets with synthetic ones of its own manufacture.

Scientology requires as a matter of firm policy that one must be a certain identity before one may or can do and have Scientology.  Scientology requires its supervisors to convert students into Scientologists before they learn or partake of much Scientology.  The supervisors are instructed as follows:

When somebody enrolls, consider he or she has joined up for the duration of the universe – never permit an ‘open-minded’ approach.  If they’re going to quit let them quit fast. If they enrolled, they’re aboard; and if they’re aboard, they’re here on the same terms as the rest of us – win or die in the attempt.  Never let them be half-minded about being Scientologists…The proper instruction attitude is, ‘You’re here so you’re a Scientologist.  Now we’re going to make you into an expert auditor no matter what happens.  We’d rather have you dead than incapable.’

And so one of the first things a Scientologist learns to do is to assume an identity he or she has little to no experiential support for the wisdom of assuming.   Granted, the passage above makes reference to making an ‘expert auditor’.  If the injunction were limited to people training to become professional practitioners in a field, it might make sense – assuming the student had some reason to believe that capability in that field was more important than life itself.  But, it is not limited to professionals.  The beingness/identity of “Scientologist” is imposed – in this wise – on everyone who embarks upon Scientology study of any kind.

This type of uninformed swearing of allegiance to belief, and even to beingness or identity, is not healthy for an individual (as even Scientology technology ultimately generally teaches a professional auditor) nor for those affected by such an individual.  That was made clear by Thomas Paine more than two hundred years ago:

It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society.  When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime.  – from The Age of Reason

Enlightenment

My latest book, an autobiographical narrative, is off to the editor.  I feel out of words at the moment.  So, here’s Van the man with just about all the words (the musical accompaniment contributes mightily to his hitting it right on the sweet spot, imho) that anybody needs:

 

The Story of Scientology Prophesied?

 

L. Ron Hubbard, from Scientology: Milestone One, 3 March 1952:

Science, as it’s been known, has been the collection of data (almost a random collection of data), assembling it into piles of similar data and calling these piles ‘piles of data-ology’…

…You can see how biology, for instance, has dead-ended.  Great study; it was started with a lot of verve way back.  Francis Bacon was quite interested in this.  Lucretius before him was very interested in this. In modern times, it has fallen away from its own definition.  It’s ‘biology’.  It’s sort of a hopeless dead end.  They are not looking toward any source of life, they are just looking toward new kinds and combinations of life that they might discover by happenstance.  The adventure of search has gone out of the field.  Until this day, if you walked into a high school biology class or talked to a high school professor of biology, and you said, ‘How is it that your theories of biology do not carry along with or parallel some of the material in the theory of evolution?  How is that the study of biology does not parallel its companion science, cytology?  Why are these opposite in some respects?’  He would say to you, ‘Oh-huh!  We study out of this text book.’  And you’d say, ‘Well now, do you realize if you went into the laboratory and you picked up a microscope and you started looking at these things – if you did some thinking about this – one of these days you might discover a great big piece of knowledge which would unify all of these fields: evolution, cytology, biology and many others?’  ‘Oh-h-h, no. No.  This is something that is taught in a codified way.’

This is actually the history of any science.  They push out into the unknown, they collect data, they formulate this data around a few theories and then they end.  And they become stultified.  And according to one of the very ancient Greeks, that mixture which is not shaken stagnates.  And they don’t go any further; they stagnate.  And it becomes a codified, specialized subject capable of producing a certain effect in the material universe.  There it stops.

It’s a rather sad story, actually, because it’s the story of pioneers going out into the unknown world of data, phenomena – going so far, blazing a trail to a certain distance, and then one day getting very tired and sitting down and saying, ‘Well all we’ll do now is look at the back track.  And if anybody tells us that all we’re doing is looking at the back track, we’ll protest.  And we’ll say, ‘Well, we have a truth here and you can’t do any more about it, and from here on its all complex and if you went from here on, you’re liable to fall off a cliff.’

Becoming Clear

The communication training routines in Scientology are very much downplayed in my opinion.  Supervised with the requisite attention and emphasis, in and of themselves they are a tremendous advance toward the state of Clear.  Ron Hubbard at one time made that point rather plain.

From L. Ron Hubbard’s lecture Scientology and Effective Knowledge (15 July 1957):

I woke up eventually to discover that these training drills (communication training routines) all by themself, practiced with sufficient rigor and coached well enough and instructed well enough, were steps on the road to Clear, all by themselves, without any further processing…

…And where training and processing processes are successful, they lead toward a straighter communication.  And therefore, the road out is marked by simplicity and direct observation….

…The whole subject opens up at its inception with just this: that the simplicity of observation, the simplicity of communication itself and only itself, is functional and will take Man from the bottom to the top.  And the only thing I am trying to teach you is look.

Provided one approached the training routines with the above in mind, and not as a bait and switch toward dependence on years and years of costly and complex psychotherapy or membership in some true-believer group, one might avoid the pitfalls Ron warned of in the same lecture:

Now, that’s the first thing we must know about Scientology is that by the attainment of a simplicity we accomplish a benefit. By the attainment of a simplicity, we accomplish a benefit.  By the invitation of or involvement in a complexity, we accomplish the unfathomable and create a mystery.  We sink Man into a priesthood, we sink him into a cult.

It is interesting to note that Taoists had a similar philosophical view about becoming clear more than two millenia ago.   From Lieh-Tzu: A Taoist Guide to Practical Living (translations of ancient Taoist texts) by Eva Wong:

Those who are involved are muddled; those who watch are clear.

There was a man who was so intent on avenging his father’s death that he could think of nothing else.  He was so engrossed in making plans for his revenge that he forgot he was holding his walking stick upside down.  He leaned on his staff and the sharp point punctured his cheek.  One of his friends said, ‘He is so deep in his own thoughts that everything around him is a blur.’

There was another man who was obsessed with getting rich.  One day he went into the bank and tried to walk off with several bags of gold.  The guards caught him immediately.  A passerby said, ‘only a fool would think of robbing a bank in the presence of armed guards.’  The man said, ‘my mind was so set on the gold I didn’t see the guards.’

You often see people stumbling into walls or stepping into holes because they are so occupied by their thoughts that they don’t see what’s in front of them.  When we are too involved in a situation, we can’t see straight, and things that are obvious and clear to bystanders are a blur to us.  This is very dangerous.

The training routines that Ron devised, well supervised by those not caught in the rapture/delusion of complex scripture, go a long way in attaining that ability to be clear.  A handy stable datum to help steer one clear of the ‘priesthood’ and ‘cult’ aspects of Scientology is to question anything you encounter that doesn’t seem to contribute to this:  And the only thing I am trying to teach you is look.

Total Certainty – Really?

Reference: What We Are Doing Here

Some people get mixed up in Scientology with its sometimes obsessive attempted attainment toward and assertion of  ‘total certainty.’   It would seem such folk may have jettisoned some basic Scientology axioms and laws in pursuit of later claims and emphases.  Consequently, I find a lot of former and independent Scientologists are mixed up on the Know-to-Mystery scale.  They can’t seem to understand why it is that ‘Not Know’ is the second highest rung on the scale.  This conundrum was addressed in an earlier post, What We Are Doing Here.   Of late, we have been examining the subject of judgmentalism on this blog – most recently its relationship to sociopathy, The Psychopath Test.   In reviewing one of the texts from the recommended reading section of this blog, The Sociopath Next Door, I came across a passage that sheds a little light on this subject of ‘total certainty’ particularly as it relates to judgmentalism.  It gives some idea why it can seem untoward or uncomfortable or even anti-survival to obsess with attainment of  total certainty.

From Chapter Five, why conscience is partially blind:

One of the more striking characteristics of good people is that they are almost never completely sure that they are right.  Good people question themselves constantly, reflexively, and subject their decisions and actions to the exacting scrutiny of an intervening sense of obligation rooted in their attachments to other people.  The self-questioning of conscience seldom admits absolute certainty into the mind, and even when it does, certainty feels treacherous to us, as if it may trick us into punishing someone unjustly, or performing some other unconscionable act.  Even legally, we speak of ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ rather than of complete certainty. 

The Psychopath Test

References:

Judgment

Sitting In Judgment

I am adding The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson to my recommended reading list.   This short excerpt from What Is Wrong With Scientology explains why:

Ironically, perhaps the best way to understand the most fundamental flaw in the Scientology system of dealing with the influence of sociopaths is to read a book that touches on corporate Scientology’s vehement, costly protests against the alleged failure of the field of psychiatry to do the same.  In The Psychopath Test, Ronson chronicles a member of corporate Scientology’s Citizens Commission on Human Rights (a group established to “clean up the field of mental healing”) and his quest to free an allegedly falsely labeled psychopath from a United Kingdom mental institution.

Ronson becomes fascinated with the apparent terrible injustice of “Tony’s” (pseudonym) incarceration.  As Ronson researches the matter in greater depth, he comes to find the Bob Hare psychopath test, or checklist, rather rational and workable.  The more time Ronson spends with Tony, the more he begins to doubt the fellow’s sanity against the psychopath test.  Out of curiosity, Ronson puts the test to use on a businessman who is unrelated to the matter of Tony.  When he completes the analysis, Ronson shares his condemning findings with a fellow journalist.  His colleague points out that Ronson only spent a couple hours with the target, and perhaps his journalistic “skill” of catching a target out on lurid admissions, and his preconceived notions of guilt, played a part in his finding.  Ronson, in his honest and entertaining style, rides the rollercoaster of enthusiastic certainty to self-deprecating doubt in his own and others’ use of the psychopath test.

Ultimately, Ronson causes the reader to consider that while there is a tremendous, accurate compilation of information that helps us detect sociopathy, can any one of us be trusted with the power to judge and sentence anyone else against that information?  Are any of us worthy of the God-like power to condemn another to a life of quarantine and isolation?  Do we, in wielding such a powerful tool of knowledge, tend to take on the characteristics of the sociopath when we sit in judgment?

Ronson seems to wind up in much the same place L. Ron Hubbard did when he published this statement: “I have come to find that man cannot be trusted with justice.”  While Hubbard persevered and constructed an elaborate system of justice intended to overcome that fatal flaw of humankind, for whatever reason, his lack of trust was proved justified by his own creation.

Ultimately, though, L. Ron Hubbard said that the only guarantee that one would not wind up on the receiving end of a sociopath’s club was to understand how to identify one in the first place.  And that conclusion was echoed by Martha Stout.  The founder of Scientology and his long-time nemeses in the field of mental health ended up agreeing on one unifying principle: When it comes to the havoc others can wreak upon one’s life, the best protection is the truth – know it, and it shall set you free.

And so my recommended remedy in dealing with the very real problem of sociopathy, or the suppressive person, is as follows:

  • Learn for oneself how to evaluate the worthiness and value of one’s fellows.
  • Never forfeit your judgment to some authority, no matter how apparently wise and judicious, when it comes to judging the merits of others.
  • Strive to be worthy of the trust of those you care about.