Category Archives: the Reformation

Scientology: Hypnotism or Persuasion

Jefferson Hawkins began an insightful deconstruction of Scientology ethics in an interview with Tony Ortega at his Scientology Underground Bunker page.   I believe the techniques Jeff exposed had (have) broader application in the process that Scientology employs in implanting its constructs as hard-bound reality.  It is not limited to the indoctrination on ethics. I had noted this myself while spending several months of each day listening to a Hubbard lecture from the fifties and sixties.

In an early chapter of The Tao of Physics, Fritjof Capra gives an accurate and concise history of the evolution of logic and thought in the West and the East.  In doing so, he necessarily mentions virtually every significant philosopher who lived and wrote over the past couple millennia. I read that after the stint of listening to dozens of Hubbard lectures given over a two decade period.   Here is my contemporaneous margin note at the end of the chapter on evolution of thought in The Tao of Physics:

‘By this point (20th Century) in history, Hubbard has invalidated and laid to waste every great thinker who made possible and contributed to his way of thinking.’

One might recognize that Hubbard’s techniques of persuasion are used far and wide in today’s society.  In politics, in business, in advertising, in self-help, in religion, you name it.  Whether one wants to label it ‘hypnotism’ or ‘how to influence people’ or ‘persuasion’, it cannot be gainsaid that the  technique of indoctrination Jeff breaks down for us was employed throughout the history of Dianetics and Scientology.  And L. Ron Hubbard was a master of it application.

Breaking Free

Breaking free from sophisticated mind control is not easy.  I don’t think I have seen anyone do so in as bold and spectacular a fashion as Leah Remini has.  Tony Ortega breaks it down at the Scientology Underground Bunker.  I hope folks who have been (or are) similarly situated appreciate what Leah is doing for them at considerable personal risk to herself.

Tao Te Ching

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Reference:   Pursuit of Understanding

  1. Tao Te Ching, A New English Version by Stephen Mitchell.

Scientology begins with the Tao.  It works to the extent it parallels the Tao. It ends up going against the Tao.  Scientology departed from attaining toward harmony and equanimity and headed instead toward attempting to conquer the natural balance that is the universe in which we live.  That leads to the creation of ego, mental mass, conflict, individuation, and ultimate misery.  It effectuates that departure by mocking up constructs as reality, complete with imagined or created or adopted nemeses, enemies, fears, paranoias, and delusions of superiority.

In a later recommended reading selection, Ram Dass relates the following in its preface:

When my Guru wanted to complement me, he called me simple; when he wished to chide me, he called me clever.

Somewhere along the line Scientology strayed from assisting toward simplicity and attempted to instill cleverness.

There is no better orientation, or re-orientation, to the power and truth of simplicity than the Tao Te Ching.  Of the many translations I have read, Stephen Mitchell’s best captures that simplicity by not tacking on the cleverness that other interpreters have injected into it.

After faithfully applying all that Scientology has to offer, and after thirty-five years of interacting with and observing the best of those who did likewise, the following passage from the Tao Te Ching struck me like a bolt from the blue:

Do you have the patience to wait

till your mud settles and the water is clear?

Can you remain unmoving

till the right action arises by itself?

I asked myself, ‘have I mastered this ability?’  The answer was ‘no.’  I asked myself whether I had seen other Scientologists who had, including L. Ron Hubbard.  And the answer again was ‘no;  quite the contrary.’ With some work, including following the course of study I have outlined in the recommended reading, I began to learn why the answers to my questions were ‘no’.  Through practice I learned that this ability alone was far more powerful or ‘OT’ than anything Scientology had to offer.  In fact, following Scientology assiduously, and exclusively as it dictates it is to be practiced, barred the door to its attainment.

The first step toward its attainment was to learn a little something about the Tao.

Scientology and the Sea Organization

The report on Laura Decrescenzo’s ordeal filed by Tony Ortega is a must read.

It is sobering. It probably catches the reality of being subjected to Sea Org captivity more authentically than anything I have read to date.

Godspeed to Laura and her team.

Emotions IV: The Top Of The Tone Scale

references:

Real Emotions

Emotions II: Play Acting Scientologists

Emotions III: The Tone Scale

Some Scientologists unaffiliated with the church clearly believe Ron Hubbard had everything completely taped with no need and no room for additional thought or discussion.  They certainly have a First Amendment right to assert their firmly held religious beliefs concerning the only way to proceed along the only road to total freedom; provided they do not commit civil or criminal wrongs while doing so.   By the same guaranteed freedom, I can continue to attempt to free captive minds caught in suspended cognitive dissonance.

Some have posited that the Tone Scale in Full referred to in the posts here about emotions refers to ‘tones’ which don’t qualify as emotions because they occur only with spirits who have transcended bodies, or are experienced by spirits independent of any other physiological phenomena connected with emotions as understood by the rest of the civilized world.  By the way, that assertion is made notwithstanding the fact Hubbard’s last words on the subject were those written in his Tone Scale film script.  In that work he had actors, in bodies, depict (with their bodies) all of those vaunted alleged out-of-body tones.  In either event,  these states are normally associated with the highest levels of consciousness attainment in Scientology.

As religion is religion because it deals with, among other perhaps less important matters, life and death and ultimate concerns, should not the life and death of the author of whose words may not be discussed or questioned be of some relevance?  Scientology demands as much by clothing itself with scientifically guaranteed claims, while adhering to institutional policy that requires the personal destruction of anyone who might attempt to objectively discuss or weigh those claims. By his own firm policy, which has resulted in the destruction of scores of relationships and careers of the curious over decades, Ron demands that the only proofs of Scientology be purely subjective.  That leaves the only available objective measure of workability to be the examination of the lives and conduct of those making subjective claims about the product of the subject.

I am interested in hearing from adherents their take, particularly as it relates to the application of the Tone Scale and emotion as they interpret it, to the ultimate emotional state or tone or consciousness state of Ron.  I have included a passage of a discussion I had with Steve ‘Sarge’ Pfauth – a very dear and loyal friend to L. Ron Hubbard to this day – about Ron’s ultimate states of emotion or tone or consciousness.   I have fully discussed – in an in-depth context – my views about it in my book Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior.  Let’s hear yours.

From Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior:

Sarge (Steve Pfauth):  So, anyway, he (L. Ron Hubbard) wanted to see me.  So I went into the Bluebird and sat down.  And he sat across from me and he said, “Sarge,”…boy I wish I had written it all down because I don’t want to goof it up, because this is kind of important.  Basically he said, “Sarge, I need you to do something.”  He wanted me to build him a machine that would get rid of the bts [body thetans] and kill the body.

Mark (“Marty” Rathbun): Wow.

Sarge: Yeah.  It’s kind of heavy.  It struck me real hard.  He told me a few things.  He said, “Yeah, I’ve done all I can do here and I’m just… I’m not coming back. I’m leaving and I am not coming back.”  He wanted to die, basically.  You know, his body was going to hell and all that stuff.  He was having trouble with bts.

Mark: And you say that was in late ʼ85?

Sarge: Yeah.  Fall of ʼ85.  Yeah, it was right around October.

Mark: Like three months before he died.

Sarge: Yeah, like three or four months.  So, I didn’t want to do it. But I didn’t tell him that.  And I was hoping I could talk to Pat because Annie insisted that I build the machine.  And I said, “Annie, I don’t know that much about building machines that fry people, you know what I mean?”

Mark: Well, did he describe how it should be done?

Sarge: Basically, he wanted to hook it up to the e-meter.  And he wanted enough voltage in there that it would get rid of the bts.  And I asked him about voltages and I asked him some questions…it was so long ago. And, uh, well, I gotta tell ya, it upset me a lot.

Mark: I bet.  So, the idea was that you’d be holding the cans…

Sarge:  Turn the thing on and then, in other words, he was gonna audit the bts away and the body was gonna die.

Mark:  Right. So there would be enough voltage to kill the body?

Sarge:  To do it all.  How he figured I was going to figure that out, I have no idea…

… Sarge:  Yeah.  Earlier on I cooked for LRH.  He thought I was a good cook.  And then he got sick.  Anyway, what happened was I was very upset.  So I got pissy-ass drunk and Annie found me about four o’clock in the morning with beer cans all over the green truck, out at the racetrack.  I had passed out on the seat.  And she was screaming at me, “Oh, you son of a bitch!” Oh man, she laid into me.  And I said, “All right, Annie,” and my head was hurting.  But I was upset, I was very upset.  I was crying and everything.  That was a rough time. Very rough.  Uh, so anyway, then days went by, okay?  And Annie kept saying, “He wants to know about the machine, he wants to know about the machine. What are you doing on the machine?”  Annie says, “If you don’t do anything on this Sarge, he’s going to get the local electrician to build one for him.”  Can you picture that?

Mark: Wow.  That would have been a…

Sarge: I said “No way, man.”  So I had to show some progress. So I went to an electronics place in San Luis Obispo and I bought some Tesla coils and some up-transformer things and I got all sorts of things. I basically built him a battery-operated automotive coil type thing.  This is my reasoning now, Marty.  If he gets zapped by that sucker, it’s gonna shock him but it ain’t gonna kill him.  Okay?

Mark: Okay.

Sarge: It’ll shock him but it ain’t gonna kill him.  It’ll scare him and he won’t want to do it again.

Mark: These are like 12-volt batteries?

Sarge: Yeah.  But the voltage is going to go way up on a transformer.  It’s like an automotive coil sort of thing.

Mark:  So your thought, what you understand is that he is not going to get…

Sarge: I’m not frying him!

Mark: Exactly.  I gotcha.

Sarge:  I didn’t want anything that is going to plug into the wall.  I didn’t want to fry him, but I didn’t want to tell him I didn’t want to fry him.  You know what I mean?

Mark: Yeah, I think about what you are saying right now, and I try to put myself into your position and I…

Sarge:  It was very difficult.  I didn’t want to kill the old man.  So anyway, he used the thing and he fried up my Mark VI [e-meter].  I had a Mark VI that got fried.

Mark:  He used it?

Sarge:  Yeah.

Mark:  LRH actually used it?

Sarge:  Yeah, it was my Mark VI, yeah.  And it fried the Mark VI.  I knew that was going to happen.  Fried it.

Mark:  You mean he actually tried…

Sarge:  Oh, yeah. It had burn marks on it and everything.

Mark:  He didn’t get burnt?

Sarge: He may have.  But after that there was no more mention of any machines.  And that was my intention.  That was my intention.

Mark:  He probably got a good, hard jolt.

Sarge:  I think it scared him, or something.

Mark:  And it burned the plastic?

Sarge:  It was burnt.  It was fried.  The insides were gone.  Because, you know, those things are like a computer.  You can’t put that much power into them without zapping them…I do think people need to know. I just wish at the time when I first blew that I would have written it all down.  But I carried it because I had no terminals [people to talk to].

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.

What’s Going On?

I came across an interesting passage in a book – the passage originally published in 1963 – by a prominent psychologist predicting quantum advancements in human consciousness by the marrying of religious and philosophic wisdom with rapidly evolving science. It is fifty years later and it seems Scientology is only now beginning to go through the throes of differentiating the adults (truth seeking spiritualists and values inspired scientists) from the children (flat earth religionists and reductionist-mechanistic inclined scientists).  Scientology seems, to steal a verse from U2, stuck in a moment that it can’t get out of.  From Religions, Values, and Peak-Experiences, by Abraham H. Maslow:

These two groups (sophisticated theologians and sophisticated scientists) seem to be coming closer and closer together in their conception of the universe as ‘organismic’, as having some kind of unity and integration, as growing and evolving and having direction and, therefore, having some kind of ‘meaning.’ Whether or not to call this integration ‘God’ finally gets to be an arbitrary decision and a personal indulgence determined by one’s personal myths.  John Dewey, an agnostic, decided for strategic and communicative purposes to retain the word ‘God’, defining it in a naturalistic way.  Others have decided against using it also for strategic reasons.  What we wind up with is a new situation in the history of the problem in which a ‘serious’ Buddhist let us say, one who is concerned with ‘ultimate concerns’ and with Tillich’s ‘dimensions of depth’, is more co-religionist to a ‘serious’ agnostic than he is to a conventional, superficial, other-directed Buddhist for whom religion is only habit or custom, i.e., behavior.

Indeed, these ‘serious’ people are coming so close together as to suggest that they are becoming a single party of mankind, the earnest ones, the seeking, the questioning, probing ones, the ones who are not sure, the ones with a ‘tragic sense of life’, the explorers of the depths and of the heights, the ‘saving remnant.’  The other party then is made up of all the superficial, the moment-bound, the herebound ones, those who are totally absorbed with the trivial, those who are ‘plated with piety, not alloyed with it’, those who are reduced to the concrete, to the momentary, and to the immediately selfish.  Almost, we could say, we wind up with adults, on the one hand, and children, on the other.