By now, some Scientologists might have suspected that I am setting the stage to redirect them from following L. Ron Hubbard to following David R. Hawkins. In fact, while my third recommended reading assignment is Hawkins’ Power vs. Force, I would suggest to people at the outset not to latch onto Hawkins as they once latched onto Hubbard.
While Hawkins simply and eloquently describes states of consciousness above and beyond those contemplated in scientology (i.e. non-duality) a study of his arc of evolution finds him paralleling Hubbard in certain limiting senses. Both found workability in utilizing simple true/false detectors of energy connected with thought. Hubbard’s of course was the e-meter. Hawkins’ was the use of applied kinesiology. Both chartered and described the realms of higher states of awareness and consciousness discoverable by disciplined utilization of those thought-energy tools. On the other hand, both became so enamored with the efficacy of their tools that they lost the plot. First, by buying into the infallibility of their chosen mechanics, they in some ways dragged spirit/life down to the mechanics they used to explore it. Second, by overvaluing the adoration that the workability of their paths engendered, they succumbed to the seduction of guru status and the debilitating judgmentalism such positions breed. In a word, both ultimately eschewed the aforementioned lesson of the Tao that permitted them to discover what made them so popular in the first place. Power vs. Force is a very good read because it betrays little of those ultimate Hawkins failings – aside from the absolutist terms with which he promotes kinesiology.
A signal, critical difference between Hubbard and Hawkins is that the former attempted to force the world to accept his ideas and created a slave cult to accomplish that. Hubbard sought to command whereas Hawkins sought to teach.
Hawkins is recommended as a good first exercise in comparing scientology to data of comparable magnitude. You are likely to see independent validations of some core scientology principles and practices. You are also liable to begin to see the limitations of one’s scientology-controlled thinking. Power vs. Force can at once reinforce what of value one may have gotten from his scientology experience while piquing interest in other potential horizons beyond it. The latter are written about in a modern, mysticism-free manner in Power vs Force.
Another important distinction between Hubbard and Hawkins that makes study of the latter worthwhile for the scientologist is that Hawkins recognized – as does the traditional eastern wisdom I repeatedly suggest people devote some study to – the crippling effects of clinging to personal identity; ego. Power vs. Force also recognizes the value of graduating from constructs, as summarized here:
In overview, we can see that from time immemorial, man has tried to make sense of the enormous complexity and frequent unpredictability of human behavior. A multitude of systems has been constructed to try to make that which is incomprehensible comprehensible. To ‘make sense’ has ordinarily meant to be definable in terms that are linear – logical and rational. But the process, and therefore the experience, of life itself, is organic – that is to say, nonlinear by definition. This is the source of man’s inescapable intellectual frustration.
It is a lesson lost by many who have attempted to bottle and market the magical animation agent called ‘life.’ The most famous warning about that trap was summed up in one now-famous saying by Hubbard’s perhaps most important influence, General Semantics founder Alfred Korzybski, ‘the map is not the territory.’ Eastern wisdom has been communicating that in various ways for millennia. More recently, advanced theoretical physics is validating it as demonstrable. It is my observation that Scientology, applied exclusively as it requires itself to be applied, not only confuses the map for the territory, it has a tendency to convert the territory into the map in the follower’s mind.
In this book I am sharing my own journey toward recognition of the difference between map and territory and how I believe that that recognition can lead to broader spiritual horizons. I am fully cognizant of the fact that there are many people who are more intelligent or more spiritually attuned than me. What I see that I have to contribute to the mix is not necessarily wisdom or enlightenment, but instead the willingness to explore and communicate what a lot of Scientologists and former Scientologists have intuited but haven’t been willing or able to follow through with overtly. Therefore, it is quite likely that at various points along the line you might find my assistance has served its purpose and lose interest in continuing to follow this particular trail of exploration. It is after all only a map thus has served its purpose once someone is out of the ditch and heading in the direction he wants to go.
I think it is possible that by simply reading and contemplating the three recommendations that I have made in this introduction any individual is capable of graduating from Scientology in a positive sense. That is, recognizing its map/construct nature, what one attained from it, and where one might turn to expand on whatever level of consciousness or awareness he or she got from it. It might also occur at any given later juncture along the away. The sooner one finds that point of departure – hopefully with a fresh, curious outlook – the better as far as I am concerned.
Reference: Awakening from scientology
Using scientology parlance, we begin by attempting to help people move above ‘know about’ on the ‘know to mystery scale.’ I have found plenty outside of scientology that explains and validates the sequence of Hubbard’s scale; illuminating the reason for the relatively high position for ‘not know.’ Thus, the Tao Te Ching – a book Hubbard once credited as offering in application all that scientology could hope to attain through its psychotherapeutic methodologies and training – teaches:
The Master leads; by emptying people’s minds
and filling their cores, by weakening their ambition
and toughening their resolve.
He helps people lose everything they know,
everything they desire, and creates confusion
in those who think that they know…
…The ancient Masters
didn’t try to educate the people,
but kindly taught them to not-know.
When they think that they know the answers,
people are difficult to guide.
When they know that they don’t know,
people can find their own way…
…Not-knowing is true knowledge.
Presuming to know is a disease.
First realize that you are sick;
then you can move toward health…
Notwithstanding their seeming alignment with such concepts as the know-to-mystery scale, scientologists are taught to eschew such ideas in pursuing and exuding certainty. And yet it was application of them that led to their own indoctrination or ‘enlightenment’ in and with scientology. Scientologists are plied with a continual diet of tearing down all schools of thought that preceded scientology – even those that led to its creation. These facts necessitate that our first several chapters focus on pointing out the inconsistency, illogic, and even absurdity of some of your core scientology conditionings. Perhaps I haven’t done it as ‘kindly’ as the Tao would prescribe. Nonetheless, I want to make clear the purpose for doing so. I am not doing it in order to replace your faulty stable data in order to become a new director of your destiny, but instead I hope to assist toward ‘when they know that they don’t know, people can find their own way.’ In that regard, the second reading recommendation that I make (the first being The Tao Te Ching – An English Translation by Stephen Mitchell) is a classic novel called Siddhartha by Herman Hesse.
Siddhartha is the quintessential lesson on the virtue – even necessity – of blazing one’s own path. Even if you read it many years ago, I suggest that if you are seriously exploring the idea of moving beyond and above scientology that you read it again. Evaluate your scientology experience against Siddhartha’s experience. Siddhartha sublimely demonstrates that the very act of becoming a follower or belonging is anathema to enlightenment. If in being introduced to new ideas and horizons one in particular seems to be the golden goose that will continue to forever lay you golden eggs, hark back to Siddhartha. Clinging to one-stop enlightenment sources can defeat the entire purpose of the quest. Siddhartha also reminds us that when in doubt or despair it is rejuvenating to turn to and fully enjoy the wonderment of the simple present; the Zen transcendence of doing what one is doing while doing it.
A system of thought purporting to be the ‘science of certainty’, that overtly asserts the goal and product of boiling all of creation down to simplistic blacks and whites, can be seen in the light of the wisdom from the Tao (and even scientology’s know-to-mystery scale) to potentially be the conveyor of a sort of sickness. The resultant awareness myopia – the death of life-promoting curiosity – is held firmly in place by ego and pride. It requires an adopted air of superiority to automatically dismiss any ideas or information beyond one’s own ism or ology. The certainty that one need not continue to look and to search and to find is protected and bolstered by pride in having arrived, having achieved all there is to know.
The disability (or as the Tao puts it, sickness) concomitant with such pride is described in Power vs. Force:
In our discussion of the levels of consciousness, we noted that one of the downsides of Pride is denial. Every mind engages in denial in order to protect its “correctness” – this begets the fixity and resistance to change that prevents the average consciousness from advancing much more than five points in a lifetime. Great leaps in levels of consciousness are always preceded by surrender of the illusion that ‘I know.’ Frequently, the only way one can reach this willingness to change is when one ‘hits bottom’, that is, by running out a course of action to its end in the defeat of a futile belief system. Light can’t enter a closed box; the upside of catastrophe can be an opening to a higher level of awareness. If life is viewed as a teacher, then it becomes just that. But unless we become humble and transform them into gateways of growth and development, the painful life lessons we deal ourselves are wasted.
I have been administering a course in graduating from scientology for the past couple months. While doing so, I have been writing and sharing with students the chapters of an in progress book on the subject. I recently added an introduction to the course/book as I recognized it required a further undercut. I am publishing that introduction in three parts here as it might serve to spark productive thought and discussion.
A course in graduating from scientology
Introduction – Part I
One of the most difficult traps that scientology creates for minds is that of creating an arrogant sense of certainty in the member. It is ultimately the ceiling that keeps people beholden to scientology, afraid to explore outside of it, and thus serves to entrap them within its own limitations. What makes it so binding for scientologists is that they are taught that such an attitude has that effect at the outset of their studies. That is, the first barrier to learning is the student thinking he already knows it. Scientologists apparently never think that the datum might apply once they had learned all there was to know about the subject that taught them that very datum. That type of tricky dichotomy is peppered throughout the subject. It is one thing that makes reasoning, discussion or debate on scientology so confounding. A scientologist is only permitted to view the subject within the parameters of its own nomenclature, constructs and logic. He must never permit the thought to enter his own mind, ‘is there more to life than I have been instructed?’
As we shall see as we progress, scientology is finite. It consists of the words of one man who wrote and lectured on the subject between the years 1950 and 1986. By firm policy scientology enforces the notion that those thirty-six years of observations by one man are all that need be known on the mind and spirit and a host of other subjects. It even instills the idea that to think or explore outside of the box of Hubbard words is dangerous. In the book Power vs. Force David R. Hawkins succinctly described how such mental mechanics generally obtain:
The truth of each level of consciousness is self-verifying in that each level has its native range of perception, which confirms what’s already believed to be true. Thus, everyone feels justified in the viewpoints that underlie his actions and beliefs.
Presumably, the reader has to some degree shaken the scientology tenet that if it isn’t written or spoken by L. Ron Hubbard it is not true nor worth knowing. Otherwise, why would you even pick up a book entitled Graduating from scientology? Nonetheless, in my experience the notion of fully self-contained infallibility is so heavily implanted with scientologists that it tends to come off in stages or layers. It is common for scientologists, and even former scientologists, to continue to weigh any new data they encounter on the mind and spirit against a hidden standard, ‘how does it measure up against what scientology holds?’ Measuring up is not the problem. Our course of exploration is all about comparing and contextualizing scientology indoctrinations. It is a virtual exercise in Hubbard’s Logic 8: a datum can be evaluated only by a datum of comparable magnitude. The problem arises when your mind is trained to work on an automatic default (read thought stopping) where any data, no matter how vital and workable, is discredited and discarded to the degree it does not agree with one’s scientology indoctrination. Scientologists come to know about scientology and in the process are convinced that they know all there is to know.
That is a perfectly normal state of affairs for a monotheistic religious belief system. For those seeking the comfort and security that type of system lends to adherents, you would be well advised to drop this book right about now. This course of exploration is for those who never signed up for such when they embarked on scientology study. This exploration is for those who got involved in scientology from the beginning as part of a search for truth, wisdom, and enlightenment.
Welcome to all the folks from Australia who have apparently been visiting this blog (visit counter just went off the charts) in the minutes since the 60 Minutes piece ran there. If you are interested in learning more about Scientology you may want to visit the right hand column of the home page of this blog. There are links to a number of books, sites, and other informative media pieces that have run in the past couple years. There is also a search feature where you can explore the more than 1,100 articles published on this site. For those not in Australia, I am informed that the show will appear at this link momentarily, 60 Minutes Australia. Contrary to scientology’s published response to this show, like virtually all other media that have interviewed us Sixty Minutes approached us to ask for the interviews.
Attempting to remedy Scientology instilled ignorance is a hazardous venture. It can result in losing your job and having your family and friends harassed into abandoning you, and worse. The resistance to truth can be so intense that in most cases the proponent of light is reduced to adopting the Scientology constructs of opponents, enemies, battle, and war. Before long the seeker of truth becomes a mere ‘attacker’, over time becoming more and more like that which is attacking him and which seemingly by necessity he must attack in order to survive.
Scientologists – even many independent ones – have a habit of collapsing the ideas of a) exposing corruption and lies to the light with b) attacking. There is a reason for this. Scientologists have been indoctrinated with the false idea that a=b when it comes to Scientology. That then justifies the application of Hubbard’s hundreds of pages of war-upon-‘attackers’ technology. Debate, even discussion, becomes impossible. Scientologists are taught that argument is best performed by destroying the messenger of the idea (or truth) they oppose. That is the ‘dead agent caper’ technology where the Scientologist becomes a one trick pony performing only ‘gotcha’ – that is, falsus in unum falsus in omnibus becomes the end all. When ‘successful’ it justifies and perpetuates all manner of falsehood and rotten corruption and abuse.
Part of overcoming the implantation of these falsehoods and the vow to fight to the death to protect the most astounding abuses is some honest contemplation of why such indoctrination is so intense and effective in Scientology. Why was such false indoctrination introduced in the first place? Why does it intensify over time, and intensify exponentially in the face of the most truthful, cathartic whistleblowing? I think such contemplation will lead you to some answers you may at first find uncomfortable but ultimately will find liberating.
To those shining the light upon Scientology abuses, you may find you have better perspective, more equanimity and even credibility if you understand these Scientology games and take care not to fall prey to them.
“Ignorance does not yield to attack, but it dissipates in the light, and nothing dissolves dishonesty faster than the simple act of revealing the truth.” – David R. Hawkins
“Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.” – Louis Brandeis