Monthly Archives: July 2013

Real Emotions

Somewhere along the way emotion was converted into equating with states or levels of consciousness in Scientology.  In the process emotion became a negative humanoid attribute, e.g. writing off any feeling or expression of emotion off as ‘human emotion and reaction’ or ‘h, e and r.’

Emotion and grades of awareness or consciousness are not the same thing.

Wikipedia gives a good definition for emotion that was no doubt contributed to by a number of interested people from a variety of religious, philosophical, scientific and educational backgrounds.  It is as follows:

In psychology and philosophy, emotion is a subjective, conscious experience that is characterized primarily by psychophysiological expressions, biological reactions, and mental states. Emotion is often associated and considered reciprocally influential with mood, temperament, personality, disposition, and motivation,as well as influenced by hormones and neurotransmitters such as dopamine, noradrenaline, serotonin, oxytocin, cortisol and GABA. Emotion is often the driving force behind motivation, positive or negative.

That definition is not inconsistent with Scientology definitions, even if it is far more comprehensive.

The last sentence bears some thought, ‘Emotion is often the driving force behind motivation, positive or negative.’    Carl Rogers has noted that emotion can serve as an important referent to deriving meaning.  For example, an issue that confronts you causes sadness.   In processing that emotion, it might inform your conscience and influence you to decide to do something worthy about the situation.  That in turn could result in your feeling some more pleasurable emotions.

If instead you used a mental trick to lift you out of sadness, you may well simply feel comfortable – in the short run – in forgetting that which made you sad.  Your conscience is bypassed in the equation; and the situation that perhaps legitimately engendered feelings of sadness remains unaddressed.   Would that be ethical?  Would that be pro-survival?  You’d have to think of examples of real situations and work it out for yourself.

Imagine habitually utilizing exercises that rose you from genuine emotions caused by real situations that confronted you.   What would ultimately happen to your conscience?   How real and worthy and meaningful a life would you wind up living?

Perhaps because emotion is mistaken for a level, grade, or state of consciousness in Scientology the culture tends to frown on having, demonstrating or processing emotions per se.  They certainly are not recognized as anything worthy of serving as a referent to deriving meaningful meaning.  Emotion instead becomes something to get out of, something to rise above, or something to manipulate in others.  Techniques abound in Scientology for achieving that.  Nothing wrong with such tools provided they are used wisely.  When I say wisely, I mean not done so habitually and consistently that one becomes emotionless.  In Scientology cultures, folks can become downright anti-emotional to the point where conscience is effectively forfeited.  That would seem to be a factor in Scientologists’ facile ability to turn their backs on loved ones, associates, family, and  friends; and even to proudly avow to never fear to hurt another in a just cause.

If you’ve been in Scientology culture for very long, I invite you to have and process for yourself some real emotion.  Don’t try to repress it, suppress it, avoid it, evade it, escape it, conquer it or ‘causatively’ rise above it.  Instead, feel it for all it is worth.  See for yourself whether sometimes emotion can inform your conscience and your decisions and lead to more rewarding and meaningful activity on your part.

What We Do, Part One

For some orientation to what I would like to over in this essay I begin with a passage from Chapter 25 Epilogue from Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior (Amazon Books, 2013):

     As has been ably reported by Janet Reitman in her book Inside Scientology (Houghton Mifflin, 2011) and by Lawrence Wright in his book Going Clear (Alfred A. Knopf, 2013), L. Ron Hubbard was a very capable marketing man. What they did not acknowledge as much, but did not totally discount, was Ron’s ability to solve problems – including those of the mind and spirit. Ron had a knack for finding out what was bothering people, putting together methods to address those things, and then selling those methods as services – the end-all that people just had to get their hands on.

     The Reitman and Wright books detailed how Ron was continually creating new rundowns, new levels and new packaging to keep the Scientology public enthused over the latest in the mind and spirit.  It was the formula that created continuing expansion of the Scientology empire during L. Ron Hubbard’s life.  A strong customer base was established and continually kept interested and buying as new, essential route-to-total-freedom items were rolled out.

     Because Ron so unequivocally mandated that only Ron could discover, create and memorialize mental and spiritual technology (the only stock-in-trade of the church of Scientology) upon Ron’s death the church’s expansion pattern also died.

     Consequently, David Miscavige took on an unenviable task when he was handed the reins of Scientology Inc.  And those reins were handed to him, whether begrudgingly or not, by Annie Tidman Broeker (Loyal Officer 2) when she sided with Miscavige against her then-husband (Loyal Officer 1) Pat Broeker. Miscavige had no choice but to radically change Scientology’s forty-year expansion pattern.

     The movement had been built and held together primarily through the promise and continual roll-out of new technology. Now Miscavige had to keep that movement going, but with no possibility of introducing new technology. For a while he seemed to have somewhat of a grasp of marketing, but all the marketing in the world could not keep an organization thriving when it had nothing new to sell. At least not an organization whose viability depended on continual emanation of new technology to sell. And by firm religious belief and church doctrine, he was powerless to create any new technology.

These facts – recognized by credible, outside observers and by insiders like myself – are at the heart of why Scientology (the whole package) is as dead as a door nail.  The promises are infinite while the delivery of them is impossible.

The first thing that probably distinguishes us from all others we are aware of who utilize some of the discoveries of Ron Hubbard is that we do not play – in any way, shape, fashion, or form – the baiting evaluation game that comes part and parcel with Scientology.  That is the incessant, overt and covert, game of continuous evaluations along the line of ‘the next roll out will really get you there’, ‘the next level will handle your problem’, ‘you need to act in this fashion so that you see the wisdom of taking your next step’, ‘you’ll understand that when you get to ______’, or any other of the pitches that were memorialized in unalterable, firm Scientology policy and mental technology throughout the years.

That most decidedly includes the insidious safety valve, bait-and-switch line ‘the reason it didn’t work for you was that it was corrupted by someone else, and now we’re going to give you the real thing’ as is so regularly chanted by the church and the shadow it casts, Scientology practitioners outside of the church.  The real thing is precisely what is described in the book passage above: the never-ending promises to the stairway to Heaven that demonstrably does not lead to Heaven.  It more often leads instead to the perfect cognitive storm: holding these two conflicting ideas counterpoised,  a) I have done everything Ron prescribed, so I know everything there is to know, and can never improve because I am already perfect – b) all the while colliding with the deep-down, suppressed self-recognition that the individual has become intolerant, arrogant, callous and miserable.

This find-the-ruin, bait-and-switch mentality is woven into the woof and warp of Scientology.  It gets played from initial marketing to the highest reaches of the bridge. It has always been, both inside the church and without, that those who play it best are sainted with being the most ‘On Source’ (with L. Ron Hubbard) Scientologists.

It also happens to be Ron’s first,  greatest  – and ultimately most fatal – departure from the technology he primarily borrowed from in creating Dianetics and Scientology: Rogerian client-centered psychotherapy.  The second the client is played – in any way, shape, fashion or form – by definition the process is no longer client centered.  Instead, it by definition becomes practitioner – or organization – centered. The road to restoration of self-determinism becomes paved with enforcement of obedient following.

Do I mean to say that Ron was a con?   Do I mean to say that everything he discovered or purported to discover was fraudulent?   No; as you shall see in further installments.  But, I am defining what it is we do and the first thing we do is stay true to the client-centered philosophy that is at the heart of – in fact, is the sine qua non of – all that is workable in Scientology.

Ishmael

 

Some folks have found my repeated reference to the Tao Te Ching to be puzzling.  Some Scientologists have simply used it to write me off as being lost. The Tao is such a radical departure from the ‘philosophy’ Scientologists learn and abide by – even while denying to themselves such adherence exists – that some dismiss it as philosophical gobbledygook.  I have commented on the polar nature of those philosophies (Scientology and the Tao) and noted it as an important reason to become acquainted with the Tao, e.g. The Tao of Scientology.

The fact of the matter is that a consistent construct in Scientology requires the adherent to mock up and act out the identity of conquerer.  For example, a Scientologist is taught to view the universe as an epic struggle of the spirit’s sole mission as the conquest of the physical universe.  Such a view can and often does, if not mitigated by deeper understandings, result in destruction of that which one programs oneself to conquest; not to mention the weakening or destruction of the ‘conquerer’ himself.

Many have recognized this on some level and have departed the church because of the dangerous environment such a philosophy ultimately creates.  Many of them spend years then applying an harmonic of this same warlike philosophy toward the church, ‘it is the church or current management that needs to be conquered.’  Others facilely write off the ‘conquest’ attitude as an attribute of church management and go off to apply what they call ‘real Scientology’ independently.   Inevitably, to the degree they avow to remain loyal to Scientology ‘philosophy’, those independents wind up playing the conquest game against one another.  It happened with the first independent movement in the eighties and the second one more recently.

To the extent one recognizes this mentality in himself he objectivizes it and can thus let it go.  An increase in equanimity and personal peace can ensue.  That which was useful and survival for someone in his or her Scientology experience can more easily and naturally be recognized and reinforced.  That which was of negative worth and non-survival can be recognized and let go of.

The continuing recommendation of the Tao as integral reading and understanding was meant to set this salutary evolution in progress.

But, I understand how ‘left field’ this recommendation can seem to those living the Scientology construct of ‘conquest of matter, energy, space and time’, ‘conquering the reactive mind’, ‘putting ethics in on the planet’, ‘gaining territory for Scientology’, etc.

I just read a book that may help to bridge the gap between the necessity-of-conquest think and learning to let go or living and letting live.  It communicates the essence of the Tao (without ever making any reference to it) in more modern terms.  It does so in an entertaining and currently-relevant fashion.   That book is Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit by Daniel Quinn.  It is a novel that tells a story in a creative, unique and interesting setting  – a story that is captivating in and of itself.  It explores some scientific, philosophic and religious constructs that Scientologists are taught early-on to discard in their entirety – the Bible and Evolution of Species.  In that regard, those who have bought into and scrupulously adhered to Hubbard’s wholesale rejection of such fields will learn a little something about perhaps the two most common poles of thought on this planet.  You don’t have to buy into either of those poles, but I bet you will never look at them (or those who believe in them) the same way.  You might recognize the parallels of both with Scientology philosophy and thus be more able to put Scientology and your experience with it in a sane and nurturing context. Maybe more importantly, you might begin to take a more realistic, informed view of the planet, humanity, and civilization and your participation in it.

My Practice

My practice is grounded in client-centered education techniques.  That is not because I sought to duplicate them.  Instead, I recently came to learn that the way I coach and counsel toward recovery and graduation from Scientology was discovered and written about long before I was born.  Reading of it helped me to improve what I was already doing.  Carl Rogers covered this approach in his book, On Becoming a Person, explaining how educational techniques logically evolve out of client-centered therapy.

That I gravitated in this direction during my own recovery and graduation should be no surprise, given the authoritarian, religious discipline all Scientologists studied under for so many years.  The client-centered approach is tailored to consulting the understanding of the client or student.  In that regard, it radically differs from Hubbard’s training approach that was memorialized as follows:

If you can’t graduate them with their good sense appealed to and their wisdom shining, graduate them in such a state of shock they’ll have nightmares if they contemplate squirreling (defined as departing one iota from the letter of what is taught).  – L. Ron Hubbard, Keeping Scientology Working

That learning philosophy was explained further in Hubbard’s highest level instructions (Class VIII course) wherein he told the most advanced Scientologists that humanity was incapable of being appealed to through understanding; and so, instead, it was their duty to command people and make them ‘obey.’   (See Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior, Amazon Books 2012)

Irrespective of the fact that much of the technology such methods sought to impart was geared towards bringing a person to self-determined understandings, that system of indoctrination ultimately implants fixed, subjective ideas about living, God and ultimate spiritual concerns.  At the end of the day, the methods place a glass ceiling on growth (in fact create regression) by means of enforced belief that curiosity and thirst for continuing education inherently stem from aberration.

It may well be that I was also influenced in the client-centered approach through my own earlier education, some of which was influenced by, or was even attempting to experiment in, Roger’s educational recommendations.  The middle school I attended was a fail-pass (no grade), choice of curriculum, self-scheduling format with emphasis on consulting students’ interests.  I also attended a semester of similar organization at University of California Santa Cruz.  I never knew until I read Rogers where these ideas came from.  Perhaps my Scientology study contributed to this leaning too, since I have noted in the post On Becoming A Person, Scientology’s central practice (auditing) is a modified, structuralized form of Rogerian client-centered therapy.  No matter what led to which along this road, it is interesting to note how what gets around comes around.

Having studied all of Scientology and a great deal on the subjects that led to its development (including their continued evolution while Scientology has remained static), a simple, workable rule of thumb has materialized for me.  That is, the degree to which Scientology departs from its client-centered philosophical and technical roots is proportional to the degree it harms rather than helps.  This in large part has become evident to me in helping people who were disappointed with their Scientology experience over the past five years.  Almost to a one, somewhere along the line each individual’s intent and purpose for engaging in Scientology in the first place were tampered with, rejected and replaced entirely by imposed intents and purposes.

Somewhere along the line in the Scientology experience the magic of the technology – each of its efficacious results marked by its adherence to its client-centered philosophic roots – is replaced by inculcation of the client rather than consultation and service of his or her needs, wants, aspirations and purposes.  Those goals do, and ought to if a positive evolution of awareness and ability is being achieved, change along the road.   But evolution in Scientology is geared solely toward achievement of goals that do not involve the client’s participation in establishing, except to the extent means are employed to obtain the client’s agreement to pursue them.  The attainment of those implanted goals turns out to be purely subjective – no matter how clothed in science its claims and promises are presented.   An objective examination of the result of those who pursue the implanted goals to their ends – no matter how convincing its achievers may be in professing their alleged subjective feelings of happiness, power, ability and bliss of self-actualization – proves their actions often betray their vigorous assertions of equanimity.  For the most part they have turned their own self-determinism (the restoration of which is promised) over lock, stock and barrel to their teacher (See What Is Wrong With Scientology, Amazon Books 2012).  They will lie, steal, and cheat for their religion without a twinge of conscience – all while attempting to exude a vibrant, open, extroverted appearance. Thus, they cannot be trusted by ordinary mortals, not even by their mothers, fathers or even their children. In any values computation, their religion trumps conscience.  And thus the price of the ultimate ring in Scientology is the forfeiture of one’s conscience.

That result is patently evident from counseling a number of people who have completed much of, or all of, the Scientology route both inside and outside of Scientology.  To a one, of those who graduated and moved on, their departures from Scientology were occasioned by their consciences failing to succumb to Scientology demands that they be forfeited.  To a one, of the dozens I have counseled.  The top Scientology achievers who remain, who forfeit their consciences to achieve (or at least assert) the ultimate super human powers Scientology promises, are in the somewhat schizophrenic condition of apparently being as happy as hell but in fact having nowhere to go. The result is continued, slavish adherence to the goals and programs of an organization that – by the time it has ceased delivering client-centered techniques – offers no purpose beyond self-perpetuation and world dominance.  The resultant super-amped adherent’s course is described well by Abraham Maslow, as apparently a common result of many paths that lose sight of client-centered principles:

The better we know which ends we want, the easier it is for us to create truly efficient means to those ends.  If we are not clear about those ends, or deny there are any, then we are doomed to confusion of instruments.  We can’t speak about efficiency unless we know efficiency for what.  (I want to quote again the veritable symbol of our times, the test pilot who radioed back, ‘I’m lost, but I’m making record time.’)

Client-centered education begins with finding out where the interests and purposes of the student (client) lie.  One encourages open communication in that discovery process.  Viktor Frankl’s work Man’s Search For Meaning is helpful in that regard.  Knowing the individual before you proceed is essential in working to recover and strengthen that person’s determinism.  Omitting this step tends to usurp determinism.  One doesn’t rehabilitate and enhance the faculty of determinism by indoctrination that conflicts with the client’s interests and purposes.  For example, one does not force a student who is inspired by, inclined toward – and thus usually gifted in some way – the arts to become an arms manufacturing specialist.  Similarly, one would not attempt to enforce upon a person seeking spiritual awakening the behavior and habits of a para-military religious zealot.

A client-centered educator does not preach and teach as much as find out and only then guide. He puts more emphasis on assisting an individual in finding and following his own purposes and interests.  He then does what he can to help the person move along that chosen path with the best possible chances for success. He acts more as a facilitator than an instructor.  He operates more of a resources center than a rigid curriculum school.

I have been asked, and challenged, to publish the specific route I recommend several times.  I have tried to do that.  But, each time in the process I find myself thinking of particular individual whom I have assisted in the past and recognize that a given reference for that person would not be of interest or applicable to another individual I had worked with.  No two paths are exactly the same.   I have learned through life that to the extent one tries to convince you otherwise that person is trying to lead you to where he wants you to go – irrespective of how eloquently he might convincingly represent otherwise. To the extent one attempts to enforce one way for all, one deviates from the client-centered approach – and some other interest or evaluation is entered into the equation for someone to whom it may not apply or serve any salutary purpose.

There are a number of recommendations I have made in the recommended reading section of the blog that I find myself recommending over and over again to people.   For the most part those are applicable to the Scientology decompression and contextualization process, and lead toward freeing one from Scientology’s injunctions against exercise of conscience and awareness.  Most of them were chosen because of their effectiveness in expanding people’s intellectual and spiritual horizons after years or decades of having those horizons treated as forbidden terrain.

I am working on a book that will make many more recommendations for those seeking to move up the Scientology Bridge in an integral fashion (non-cult, integrated approach), and another for those seeking to move up from and beyond the Scientology Bridge.  In the meantime, I strongly recommend that those embarking on the Scientology path – whether in the church or out – read  What Is Wrong With Scientology?, before doing so.  It will help you avoid the pitfalls inherent in the system.

1. Body, Mind and Soul

Spirit is the invisible-to-the-eye animating agent that brings vitality to otherwise lifeless matter.

A soul is an individual unit of sentient life.  It is the spiritual being.

Souls, so far as we can tell, are of the same quality as spirit. Souls seem to be distinguishable from spirit by carrying the notion of individuality or demonstrating it through operation of, and identifying with, an organism and exercising some measure of sentience.

Thoughts are those considerations, ideas, intentions, and similar units of mental creation of other descriptions that are produced by souls.

Mind is the combination of, or repository of, thoughts generated by souls, including mental mechanisms and systems devised by individual souls to satisfy interest, curiosity, and convenience.

Physical matter reality consists of the observable, measurable components and combinations of energy and matter in space and time.

The body is the physical human organism that is distinguishable from soul or spirit, but which is animated and operated by spirit or soul.  When imbued with soul or spirit the body is alive.

Spirit, soul and thought can only be measured indirectly.  That is because they do not apparently consist of energy and matter located in space and time.  However, they can be observed to create effects in physical matter reality. They can only be objectively evaluated against those effects that they create in the physical matter reality universe.  Because soul and spirit cannot be observed directly through the five senses nor measured by physical matter reality instruments, they have largely been ignored or denied by many sciences.  That ignorance is more recently being challenged by modern thinkers conversant in both advances in science and traditions of spirit.

Whether souls are actually separate units or individual manifestations of a greater, all-encompassing body of spirit is a philosophical question that has been argued through the ages.  Since neither can be measured and directly scientifically evaluated nor described precisely by words, ultimately that question is answered by each individual in accordance with his or her own perceptions, awareness, experiences, knowledge, beliefs, and conscience.

This work is designed to assist an individual become more acquainted with soul and spirit.  It is based upon the idea that increasing such familiarity can lead to more spiritually fulfilling states of awareness or consciousness and more meaningful lives.

A soul is capable of the creation of effects on other souls and physical matter reality.  It does so through animation, the as yet scientifically inexplicable process of bestowing life.  It also apparently does so through thought.  A being’s considerations are so effective that they seem to dictate how others and the world itself appear and how they affect the individual.  Wayne Dyer has said, ‘when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.’   That would serve as a fine exercise to test for yourself to determine whether the ideas conveyed here have any validity or appeal for you.   Before you continue reading try it for yourself.   Alter your own viewpoint in any fashion you choose, then go out and take a walk or a ride or a drive and see how the world appears from that new viewpoint.   If you are undecided on how to change your viewpoint, try to assume a more optimistic, positive outlook; then take your walk or your ride with that attitude.  From this new point of view talk to people you have talked to before from an earlier viewpoint or outlook.  See whether your change of viewpoint and outlook creates an effect upon others and whether it changes the way things look to you; even if only ever so slightly.

If and when you see that your considerations can change the world and even the people in it, you may wish to continue reading.

When The Shoe Fits

From The Way of Chuang Tzu by Thomas Merton:

 

Ch’ui the draftsman

Could draw more perfect circles freehand

Than with a compass.

 

His fingers brought forth

Spontaneous forms from nowhere. His mind

Was meanwhile free and without concern

With what he was doing

 

No application was needed

His mind was perfectly simple

And knew no obstacle.

 

So, when the shoe fits

The foot is forgotten,

When the belt fits

The belly is forgotten,

When the heart is right

“For” and “against” are forgotten.

 

No drives, no compulsions,

No needs, no attractions:

Then your affairs

Are under control.

You are a free man.

 

Easy is right.  Begin right

And you are easy.

Continue easy and you are right.

The right way to go easy

Is to forget the right way

And forget that the going is easy.

Time and Space

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Studies in science and consciousness (e.g. Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra, Biocentrism by Robert Lanza, The Field by Lynne McTaggart, My Big T.O.E by Thomas Campbell, etc.) have demonstrated through a variety of means that time and space are constructs of  human and animal minds.  They have no independent, observed or tangible reality in and of themselves.  We create them in order to establish dimensions within which to survive amongst and with other organisms and to play games.

Transcendent experiences, such as enlightenments, peak-experiences, even Scientology releases, are instances where the automaticity of creating time/space constructs are ceased – even if for the briefest of spans.  At those moments we experience more of the true nature of the universe and its interconnectedness. Here is the realm where psi (psychic phenomena – or theta perceptics – such as clairvoyance, precognition, psychokinesis, and telepathy) activities are observed and exercised. That reality only appears perceivable and achievable outside of our mental time and space constructs, which by their very purpose and definitions create the apparency of separateness.  Those transcendent experiences are often far and few between for folks because they have so permanently implanted upon themselves – and begun to mistake for ultimate reality – the reality of the time and space constructs they create. But, the more frequent a practice makes their experience possible, the more chance we have of, as Ken Wilber put it, converting temporary states more toward more permanent traits.

L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics and Scientology processes are exercises in restoring the ability to cease the automaticity of creation of time and space.  Understood in this context, it is very easy to run processes, to run groups of them (grades/levels), or even the complete program (or Bridge), to their fullest potential gain.  Not a lot of duress and dogma designed to instill unswerving devotion and surrender is required to bring about ability when that simple, if all-encompassing, framework is kept in mind. When viewed against this scientific/consciousness field of evolving, tested context Hubbard processes can become as natural and simple to deliver as driving an automobile.

I think the more a practitioner appreciates these facts, and our increasing objective (scientific) understandings and how they relate to consciousness, the more proficient, effective, and empowering his or her practice becomes.

This ability can become unachievable in Scientology; much in the way it has in many other practices.  There are a number of reasons for this.  However, all of those factors can be recognized and understood to one degree or another as invitations or commands to build further time/space constructs, and to believe so implicitly in them that one – once again – puts the process on automatic.  Whatever titillating or inviting backdrops against, or foundations upon, which one presents such enticements to build new mental constructs, they still have the same regressive effect ultimately.  They send one back down the rabbit hole of time/space construction, which after enough practice ultimately to one degree or another goes back onto automatic.

Consequently, a simple axiom evolved for me that I have found useful in studying and applying any work in the fields of spirit, philosophy and psychotherapy.  To those cemented into the permanent constructs some paths tends to embed one in, this will sound like the most rank heresy.  To those not so embedded, it might help keep you from falling into the wet concrete looming along certain paths.  It is simply this, to the degree data assists with relieving additives to the mind that enforce automatic time/space construction it is valuable; conversely, to the degree data invites introduction of additives that further automatic time/space construction it is destructive of higher awareness and states of consciousness.