Monthly Archives: February 2014

Scientology Literacy and Blackmail

Scientologists take a great deal of arrogant pride for allegedly possessing the only effective technology for producing super literacy.  But is it super literacy or super literalness that it ultimately produces?  Try asking a dedicated Scientologist a simple question under oath where the honest answer might not make David Miscavige and Scientology out to be infallible, and you will understand the question I pose.  I have spoken to many journalists who have been driven around the bend dealing with Scientology’s form of super literalness.  Honestly review the  arumentation you have received, or even used yourself, from Scientology staff and field staff members, registrars, public and officials at mass events.  It is even omnipresent in the never-ending streams of publications spit out by Scientology organizations.

Here is an example of how this super literalness plays out in institutional behavior of Scientology organizations and how they interact with the world at large, from Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior:

“By way of example, until I just recently re-read the following Hubbard Guardian’s Office Order, I would have vehemently argued that Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard never countenanced blackmail.  Sure, they promote aggression, intimidation and fighting fire with fire, but just as surely not the commission of felonies as serious as blackmail. L. Ron Hubbard uttered the following on July 1, 1968, in a briefing to Mary Sue Hubbard about how her Guardian’s Office ought to be conducting itself:

We try to isolate who is creating the unrest and giving the orders. But even while we’re doing that, we try to collect “protective materials.” Archaeological and scientific and social studies might very well result in disclosing Mr. De Gaulle’s peculiar liaison with Hitler. That’s protective material.

All of a sudden somebody is jumping all over us in “Wango-bingo” and all it would take would be a quiet phone call. That’s one way to keep order. That is an intelligence method of handling things. It’s not blackmail, because blackmail is demanding money and that has nothing to do with it. “You jump on us, you’re dead”— that type of material…

…So, Mr. Big decides to knock us flat in Bongville. All of a sudden it cools by the simple reason that we already know that the head of the public health service at Bongville has three wives. What you normally do is leak it to him. Somebody goes out and has dinner with his daughter as a perfect stranger and says, “You know, I would be awfully careful of jumping on those Scientologists in Bongville if I were you. You know somebody ought to tell your daddy that there’s some wild rumor—of course, we don’t know what the truth of it is—that actually you have three mothers. And they know that over there.”

In the context of protecting the power of Simon Bolivar (read: L. Ron Hubbard) I understood this just as Hubbard said: “It’s not blackmail, because blackmail is demanding money and that has nothing to do with it.””

 

Scientology and Obsessive Causation

But for the first and last paragraphs, provided here only for context, the following is a newly included passage to venture seven of a course in graduating from Scientology:

How did the 14th Dalai Lama, Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King attain such world-transforming power? Certainly, not by coveting it. They more likely manifested the following passage from the Tao:

The Master doesn’t try to be powerful; thus he is truly powerful.

The ordinary man keeps reaching for power; thus he never has enough.

By their philosophies and actions their extraordinary pacifist powers were consistent with James Allen’s universe view as articulated in As A Man Thinketh:

A man only begins to be a man when he ceases to whine and revile, and commences to search for the hidden justice which regulates his life.  And as he adapts his mind to that regulating factor, he ceases to accuse others as the cause of his condition, and builds himself up in strong and noble thoughts; ceases to kick against circumstances, but begins to use them as aids to his more rapid progress, and as a means of discovering the hidden powers and possibilities within himself.

Law, not confusion, is the dominating principle in the universe; justice, not injustice, is the soul and substance of life; and righteousness, not corruption, is the molding and moving force in the spiritual governance of the world.  This being so, man has but to right himself to find that the universe is right; and during the process of putting himself right he will find that as he alters his thoughts towards things and other people, things and other people will alter towards him.

In contrast, given its emphasis on – even obsession with – power and causation attainment, is it any wonder that all the most ‘powerful’ in Scientology, including Hubbard himself, wound up so powerless and miserable?

Scientology, Science and Squirreling

But for the first and last paragraphs, included for the purpose of establishing context, the following is a new passage added to venture three of a course on graduating from Scientology.

The further Scientologists proceed in their study, the more they are precluded from comparing their learning to any other discipline.  They are trained to treat any independent, evolved learning about the mind and spirit with disdain. The greater the degree of arrogant certainty with which the Scientologist identifies and authoritatively rejects incursion of data originated by someone other than Ron, is the degree to which an individual is considered valuable and is validated and promoted within the ranks of Scientology.  There is no more important standard of credibility within Scientology than this.

I began the search that lead to this course by attempting to do what L. Ron Hubbard proclaimed Scientology sought to do.  That is to reconcile science with spirit.  Quite evidently somewhere along the line Scientology divorced itself entirely from science and became a full-fledged religious belief system.   My journey gave me a much deeper appreciation for where and how that departure came about – some of which has already been summarized in books and blog essays.

For decades I was of the belief that there was good reason for Hubbard becoming so defensive of his creation.  After all, I had been thoroughly indoctrinated in Hubbard’s version of the war that the medical monopoly and psychiatry declared and waged against him.  Even as late as 2013 (Memoirs)  I was defending Hubbard on that basis.  But, in researching deeper into the philosophical seeds from which Dianetics and Scientology sprang I came to doubt the primary cause of Hubbard’s travails.

There are ample references in Hubbard issues and lectures to Dr. Joseph Winter as the original ‘squirrel.’  I became convinced of the fitness of that sobriquet given Hubbard’s oft-expressed revulsion for Winters.  That condemnation included Hubbard gloating over the fact of Winter’s death many years after he had departed the original Dianetics foundations.  Incidentally, his was not the only death Hubbard celebrated. He similarly implied another untimely death, that of John F. Kennedy, was somehow proof of divine retribution being in store for those who defy Hubbard and his ideas (even though Hubbard had not one shred of evidence that Kennedy even knew of Hubbard and Scientology, let alone opposed them).

After twenty years of directing attacks against squirrels, then another five fending off attacks against me and my wife for my purveying allegedly heretical views, I decided to read the book that the original granddaddy of squirrels had written.  That is, Winter’s 1951 publication Dianetics: A Doctor’s Report.  Hubbard characterized it as one of the first  American Medical Association and American Psychiatric Association backed assaults on mankind’s only hope.

I found Winter’s book to reflect much the same advice I suggested in What Is Wrong With Scientology?   From well before the publication of Dianetics Winter beseeched Hubbard to integrate, evolve and thus attain the ability to transcend.  A Doctor’s Report is not an attack on Dianetics.  Instead, the book is one of the most rational and authoritative endorsements of Dianetics ever published.  Winter’s scholarly validation of Hubbard’s ideas and general approach were eschewed wholesale by Hubbard because apparently the latter could not tolerate even polite, respectful, and wise counsel.  What apparently rankled Hubbard was Winter’s lament that Hubbard violently rejected Winter’s advices for making Dianetics less absolutist, bombastic, and individuated from related fields.   Winter made recommendations for making Dianetics more effective and potentially more capable of dissemination.   Winter’s book serves as the finest advice Hubbard could have received in 1949 when the two first met, or at any subsequent time up until the latter’s death. 

Winter noted that Hubbard’s invented, eminently disprovable claims of 100% invariable success were put in writing by Ron a year before he had even published the first handbook on the subject:

‘A very exhaustive research has located no exception to any axiom and broad application to types has discovered no exception to treatment technique – anything surrenders.’   – 1949 letter from Hubbard to Winter 

Ultimately Winter discovered no such research existed beyond Hubbard’s claims of one-hundred percent success. Hubbard originally approached Winter hoping to use him to infiltrate Dianetics into the medical/psychiatric field.  Winter attempted to do so.  He reported initial receptivity:

‘The professional people evidenced an interest in the philosophy of dianetics; their interest was repelled, however, by the manner of presentation of the subject, especially the unwarranted implication that it was necessary to repudiate one’s previous beliefs before accepting dianetics.’

In this short passage from A Doctor’s Report Winter accurately summed up what was wrong with Dianetics in 1950 and what remains wrong with Scientology to this day:

‘Insofar as the dangers of dianetic therapy are concerned, they are no greater than those inherent in many other therapies; in my opinion, the effectiveness of dianetics far outweighs its possible dangers. However, there is one danger which lurks in all forms of healing, no matter whether the efforts are directed at the psyche or the soma:  we should beware of overenthusiasm, especially when the enthusiast is unskilled and uncritical.  If one regards any hypothesis as a perfect, closed system, one which gives an invariably correct answer to every question, he is asking for trouble.  A persistent scientific skepticism and an ethical regard for the rights of one’s patients must be maintained in the practice of dianetics as it should be in any other form of therapy; in the absence of that attitude any therapeutic method is apt to be dangerous.’

As anyone knows who has engaged in Scientology in the decades since, no skepticism (scientific or otherwise) is permitted, and no rights are afforded the participants (not even its highly touted unconditional right to refund for bad results).  The two dangers Winter noted were inherent in all forms of healing have been systematically reinforced in Dianetics and Scientology for six and one half decades, while Hubbard’s designated bogeymen the psychs (psychiatrists, psychologists and psychotherapists) -have all that while been evolving – however haltingly and slightly – on both scores. Ironically, that evolution has been prodded by Scientologists while their ‘science’ continues to degrade for lack of evolution on either count.

Winter goes on to chronicle how the absolute prohibition against putting Dianetics to any objective test was fully in force from the earliest days, a policy that sealed the fate of Hubbard’s creation becoming a system grounded not in science but instead upon assiduously policed religious belief.

The result is that today to Scientologists, their discipline reigns supreme in all respects irrespective of any evidence to the contrary.  If another idea conflicts with Scientology it is energetically rejected and discredited, with no inspection or test for worth.  The most common method of discrediting is done by assignment of guilt by association to its originator.  The most common and convenient association ‘found’ by the Scientologist to discredit such ideas is some link, real or imagined, to psychiatry (actually ‘psychs’, which includes psychologists, psychotherapists or any other established mental practitioners).

 

War on “Scientologists at War”

David Miscavige and his Scientology Inc picked yet another losing war against freedom of the press and of speech.  This one was an official complaint and proceeding launched against UK Channel Four and Roast Beef Productions for their documentary Scientologists at War.  Of course, only the finest and most expensive lawyers that could be bought in London took up the Scientology cudgel.  The results were published in the official publication of England’s official agency (Ofcom) tasked with upholding standards of fairness in media.   The Scientology case can be found at page 43 of OfComm’s latest journal.  It is an informative read.

The Scientology Inquisition

David Miscavige and his Scientology Inc. have of late  taken to waving the flags of the American Nazi Party and the  Westboro Baptist Church.   They are spending huge sums in order to convince some that their own activity belongs in the same category as those august institutions.  They don’t even try to argue that their conduct is not outrageous or unconscionable in a civilized society. Instead, they claim it is their Constitutional right to practice retribution, terrorism and ruination upon those who refuse to relinquish their own First Amendment rights to speak and worship as they choose.

Regardless of their individual failures or successes in this expensive positioning endeavor, there is legal precedent that protects you should you ever be targeted by the Scientology Inquisition.  It is the decision of the California Court of Appeals in the original Wollersheim vs. Church of Scientology of California case.

The following is a reprint of the particular section of that decision that deals with Scientology heretics and their treatment at the hands of the Scientology Inquisition:

B. Even Assuming the Retributive Conduct Sometimes Called “Fair Game” Is a Core Practice of Scientology It Does Not Qualify for Constitutional Protection

As we have seen, not every religious expression is worthy of constitutional protection. To illustrate, centuries ago the inquisition was one of the core religious practices of the Christian religion in Europe. This religious practice involved torture and execution of heretics and miscreants. (See generally Peters, Inquisition (1988); Lea, The Inquisition of the Middle Ages (1961).) Yet should any church seek to resurrect the inquisition in this country under a claim of free religious expression, can anyone doubt the constitutional authority of an American government to halt the torture and executions? And can anyone seriously question the right of the victims of our hypothetical modern day inquisition to sue their tormentors for any injuries – physical or psychological – they sustained?

We do not mean to suggest Scientology’s retributive program as described in the evidence of this case represented a full-scale modern day “inquisition.” Nevertheless, there are some parallels in purpose and effect. “Fair game” like the “inquisition” targeted “heretics” who threatened the dogma and institutional integrity of the mother church. Once “proven” to be a “heretic,” an individual was to be neutralized. In medieval times neutralization often meant incarceration, torture, and death. (Peters, Inquisition, supra, pp. 57, 65-67, 87, 92-94, 98, 117-118, 133-134; Lea, The Inquisition of the Middle Ages, supra, pp. 181, 193-202, 232-236, 250-264, 828-829.) As described in the evidence at this trial the “fair game” policy neutralized the “heretic” by stripping this person of his or her economic, political and psychological power. (See, e.g., *889 Allard v. Church of Scientology (1976) 58 Cal.App.3d 439, 444 [129 Cal.Rptr. 797] [former church member falsely accused by Church of grand theft as part of “fair game” policy, subjecting member to arrest and imprisonment].)

In the instant case, at least, the prime focus of the “fair game” campaign was against the “heretic” Wollersheim’s economic interests. Substantial evidence supports the inference Scientology set out to ruin Wollersheim’s photography enterprise. Scientologists who worked in the business were instructed to resign immediately. Scientologists who were customers were told to stop placing orders with the business. Most significantly, those who owed money for previous orders were instructed to renege on their payments. Although these payments actually were going to a factor not Wollersheim, the effect was to deprive Wollersheim of the line of credit he needed to continue in business.

Appellant argues these “fair game” practices are protected religious expression. They cite to a recent Ninth Circuit case upholding the constitutional right of the Jehovah’s Witness Church and its members to “shun” heretics from that religion even though the heretics suffer emotional injury as a result. ( Paul v. Watchtower Bible & Tract Soc. of New York, supra, 819 F.2d 875.) In this case a former Jehovah’s Witness sued the church and certain church leaders for injuries she claimed to have suffered when the church ordered all other church members to “shun” her. In the Jehovah Witness religion, “shunning” means church members are prohibited from having any contact whatsoever with the former member. They are not to greet them or conduct any business with them or socialize with them in any manner. Thus, there was a clear connection between the religious practice of “shunning” and Ms. Paul’s emotional injuries. Nonetheless, the trial court dismissed her case. The Ninth Circuit affirmed in an opinion which expressly held “shunning” is a constitutionally protected religious practice. “[T]he defendants, … possess an affirmative defense of privilege – a defense that permits them to engage in the practice of shunning pursuant to their religious beliefs without incurring tort liability.” ( Id. at p. 879.)

We first note another appellate court has taken the opposite view on the constitutionality of “shunning.” ( Bear v. Reformed Mennonite Church (1975) 462 Pa. 330 [341 A.2d 105].) In this case the Pennsylvania Supreme Court confronted a situation similar to Paul v. Watchtower Bible & Tract Soc. of New York. The plaintiff was a former member of the Mennonite Church. He was excommunicated for criticizing the church. Church leaders ordered that all members must “shun” the plaintiff. As a result, both his business and family collapsed. The appellate court reversed the trial court’s dismissal of the action, holding: “In our opinion, the complaint, … raises issues that the ‘shunning’ practice of appellee church and the conduct of the *890 individuals may be an excessive interference within areas of ‘paramount state concern,’ i.e., the maintenance of marriage and family relationship, alienation of affection, and the tortious interference with a business relationship, which the courts of this Commonwealth may have authority to regulate, even in light of the ‘Establishment’ and ‘Free Exercise’ clauses of the First Amendment.” ( Bear v. Reformed Mennonite Church, supra, 341 A.2d at p. 107, italics in original.)

We observe the California Supreme Court has cited with apparent approval the viewpoint on “shunning” expressed in Bear v. Mennonite Church, supra, rather than the one adopted in Paul v. Watchtower Bible & Tract Soc. of New York, supra. (See Molko v. Holy Spirit Assn., supra, 46 Cal.3d 1092, 1114.) But even were Paul v. Watchtower Bible & Tract Soc. of New York the law of this jurisdiction it would not support a constitutional shield for Scientology’s retribution program. In the instant case Scientology went far beyond the social “shunning” of its heretic, Wollersheim. Substantial evidence supports the conclusion Scientology leaders made the deliberate decision to ruin Wollersheim economically and possibly psychologically. Unlike the plaintiff in Paul v. Watchtower Bible & Tract Soc. of New York, Wollersheim did not suffer his economic harm as an unintended byproduct of his former religionists’ practice of refusing to socialize with him any more. Instead he was bankrupted by a campaign his former religionists carefully designed with the specific intent it bankrupt him. Nor was this campaign limited to means which are arguably legal such as refusing to continue working at Wollersheim’s business or to purchase his services or products. Instead the campaign featured a concerted practice of refusing to honor legal obligations Scientologists owed Wollersheim for services and products they already had purchased.

If the Biblical commandment to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to render unto God what is God’s has any meaning in the modern day it is here. Nothing in Paul v. Watchtower Bible & Tract Soc. of New York or any other case we have been able to locate even implies a religion is entitled to constitutional protection for a campaign deliberately designed to financially ruin anyone – whether a member or nonmember of that religion. Nor have we found any cases suggesting the free exercise clause can justify a refusal to honor financial obligations the state considers binding and legally enforceable. One can only imagine the utter chaos that could overtake our economy if people who owed money to others were entitled to assert a freedom of religion defense to repayment of those debts. It is not unlikely the courts would soon be flooded with debtors who claimed their religion prohibited them from paying money they owed to others.

We are not certain a deliberate campaign to financially ruin a former member or the dishonoring of debts owed that member qualify as “religious *891 practices” of Scientology. But if they do, we have no problem concluding the state has a compelling secular interest in discouraging these practices. (See pp. 884-886, supra.) Accordingly, we hold the freedom of religion guaranties of the United States and California Constitutions do not immunize these practices from civil liability for any injuries they cause to “targets” such as Wollersheim.

For further parallels between Miscavige’s Scientology Inc. and the perpetrators of the original Grand Inquisition, see The Scientology Reformation

rathbunmark57@gmail.com

That’s my new primary email address.  As some folks noted in the comments, my yahoo account was compromised.   Yahoo has proven incapable or unwilling to restore the account – including its 9 year history – to its original, operational status. So, I have abandoned it and switched to gmail – the address is above.  If you have sent me a message in the past week and receive no response you now know why.  

Miscavige’s Obsession with the Rathbuns

Many have speculated why the Miscavige obsession with our family is so intense and seemingly inexorable.  Miscavige has spent millions in a variety of forums attempting to explain or justify it.  The writings on that score in his publications, legal threats to media, and legal pleadings and utterances from his PR hacks and agents – including the deep ranks of expensive attorneys – are so far-ranging, self-contradictory and red herring in nature, that they are unhelpful in discerning the answer to the question: why such an obsession?  Yet, the answer is apparent, by the repeated expression of our objectives right here on this blog as well as in  a number of media interviews. Below are several excerpts and links to support the ideat that the motivation for Miscavige’s mania lies in his need to resurrect the effectiveness of Scientology’s domestic terror apparatus.

The record:

September 25 2009, Winds of Change:

To stand and communicate one’s convictions and defend the rights of other friends to do the same is the remedy for Miscavige’s brand of terrorism.  It can make one feel healthier and more whole. If enough people follow your lead, it will lead to the end of the Scientology reign of terror.

September 26 2009, Independent Scientologists Community:

People who have simply exercised their abilities to be there and comfortably confront when faced with Church intimidation tactics – and not allowed themselves to be drawn into flash fights and the resultant creation of ridges – have as-is’d the invaders. That has happened most frequently when the person being targeted by the Church has the comfort of knowing he has people who are behind him or her with unconditional love. It is quite remarkable.

I am fairly certain that if a decent percentage of independent Scientologists stand up, identify themselves, and freely associate with like-minded friends in the light of day at least three things will happen:

a. Many individual lives will regain meaning. Many more lives still will reap the gains from each of us who independently and freely use Scientology with no other motivation than to help others reach higher states of beingness.

b. Scientology (the subject and community) will experience a renaissance within society at large.

c. Miscavige’s church will be forced to either radically reform by reversing its suppressive operating basis or face its inevitable demise (note the intransitive is used; it is not because of anything that you or I will do to it that will cause it other than being their comfortably – it will be a self-inflicted fate).

February 1 2010, The Underground Railroad Goes Overland:

One primary purpose behind encouraging people to overtly declare their independence was to break the back of the mafia-like protection racket run by the C of M. That is, to help people get out from under the black cloud of intimidation and threatened execution of forced disconnection for purposes of breaking Scientologists’ wills and independent thought processes.  The idea has proven workable. Each person who overtly straightens his back demonstrates to many more how incapable the  C of M is to ride straight backs. For each who does so overtly, dozens more begin to straighten their own by witnessing it can be done without serious repercussion and seeing tall walking people blossoming.

January 21 2011, Confront of Evil:

The pathetic and empty nature of their threats serves as confirmation of my oft-repeated analysis: AS INDEPENDENTS BECOME MORE NUMEROUS AND COURAGEOUS, RADICAL SCIENTOLOGY’S RESOURCES TO HARASS WILL BECOME MORE DISSIPATED AND THEIR “ATTACKS” WILL BECOME LESS AND LESS EFFECTIVE. And so it has played itself out in that fashion.

August 18 2011, Why The Obsession?:

People who have been following this blog for some time understand that this is a message I have often repeated: when enough real Scientologists stand up and be heard as Independents, Miscavige’s resources will be spread so thin trying to intimidate them that his actions will be so ineffectual that the world will see there is nothing to fear from Radical Corporate Scientology. 

It apparently has come to pass that from Miscavige’s perspective too many people have stood up and been counted so that Scientology has lost its terror-control factor.  There are not enough resources to re-corral or make examples of all those who have stood and are continuing to do so, nor even a significant portion of them.  Apparently, in the mind of Miscavige the only way to discredit the notion that Scientology can no longer hunt you to the grave if you dissent is to very visibly and thoroughly destroy the guy who widely and repeatedly asserted that there was nothing to fear – and the current state of affairs to gain – by standing up.