Description: The first critical treatment of Scientology that seeks to identify and correct what is wrong with it rather than to merely expose or advocate against the subject. A handbook for former, current and prospective members. The book can help to heal any damage done by misuse while rehabilitating any positives derived from Scientology. The book also serves to proof up an individual against being harmed by misapplication of Scientology in the future. As the first simple, accurate description of the philosophy from its introductory to its most advanced levels, the book will inform those interested in Scientology as no other available work has.
For more information, see The Great Decompression
Order from Amazon Books at: What Is Wrong With Scientology?
The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism by Fritjof Capra
Scientology technology is powerful in lifting an individual from being effect up to being more at cause.
In accomplishing that Scientology focuses heavily on, and makes great use of, Newtonian classic physics principles. Unfortunately, ultimately that world view tends to lock a Scientologist under a glass ceiling of sorts to further transcendence of awareness and qualities of equanimity.
Evaluated against the very axioms (including The Factors and Logics) Scientology is predicated upon one could easily reckon that to be the case. Paradoxically, Scientology contains laws of interpretation that make one of its own Logics, critical to growth and transcendence, forbidden practice:
Logic 8: A Datum can be evaluated only by a datum of comparable magnitude.
Thus, the first comprehensive fusion of Eastern thought with Western science ultimately disallowed study of either in the continuing search for truth and higher levels of consciousness.
A very good primer for a) evaluating what is valuable about one’s Scientology experience and what about Scientology makes it so effective, and b) beginning the process of transcending from where Scientology might leave one in terms of consciousness, is the book The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra (recommended to me by the irrepressible Scott Campbell).
Even though the book was first published in 1975, and it has been followed by dozens of authors treading similar ground of analyzing breakthroughs in sub atomic physics to Eastern wisdom and consciousness, I have found it to be the most thorough, layman-friendly piece on the subject to date.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has experienced Scientology. Most particularly to those who have completed the Scientology OT Levels, started the Scientology OT Levels, or who have any intention of pursuing them in the future. It will provide vital context for your experience. It might help prevent you from becoming fixated, and set up for a big lose, on the quest for total causation. And it might help to take you to higher levels of consciousness not contemplated or permitted in Scientology (even through consequent practice of Scientology techniques).
As I have noted before, I believe that it is essential to the transcendence of Scientology to rise above the fixation on attaining to the permanent state of causation. The fixation can ultimately result in a painful state of effect or an arrogant state of hallucinatory cause. In either event, it parks one in any quest for continuing transcendence to higher states of being.
Here is an excerpt from the Tao of Physics that gives a brief description how the confluence of Eastern wisdom and Western science supports that view:
Many of the Eastern teachers emphasize that thought must take place in time, but that vision can transcend it. ‘Vision’, says Govinda, ‘is bound up with a space of a higher dimension, and therefore timeless.’ The space-time of relativistic physics is a similar timeless space of a higher dimension. All events in it are interconnected, but the connections are not causal. Particle interactions can be interpreted in terms of cause and effect only when the space-time diagrams are read in a definite direction, e.g. from the bottom to the top (note: space-time diagrams are explained earlier in the book). When they are taken as four-dimensional patterns without any definite direction of time attached to them, there is no ‘before’ and no ‘after’, and thus no causation.
Similarly, the Eastern mystics assert that in transcending time, they also transcend the world of cause and effect. Like our ordinary notions of space and time, causation is an idea which is limited to a certain experience of the world and has to be abandoned when this experience is extended. In the words of Swami Vivekananda,
Time, space and causation are like the glass through which the Absolute is seen…In the Absolute there is neither time, space nor causation.
The Eastern spiritual traditions show their followers various ways of going beyond the ordinary experience of time and of freeing themselves from the chain of cause and effect – from the bondage of karma, as the Hindus and Buddhists say. It has therefore been said that Eastern mysticism is a liberation from time. In a way the same may be said of relativistic physics.
Buddha’s Brain by Rick Hanson with Richard Mendius
Buddha’s Brain is authored by neuropsychologist Rick Hanson and neurologist Richard Mendius. Hanson is also a meditation teacher, and Mendius is also cofounder of Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom. These fellows give a relatively easy to follow sum up of what developments in science have taught us about the function of the brain. They also, through work with Buddhist contemplative practice masters tested for neurological and hormonal/chemical patterns created by decisions of the being, detail how the brain – and thus the body – is affected by thought.
Buddha’s Brain provides great food for thought and correlation to those trained in Dianetics and Scientology. The authors’ description of science’s 2009 understanding of the human brain is remarkably consistent with L. Ron Hubbard’s 1950 description of the reactive mind in Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. They describe the brain as being hardwired for avoiding danger, taking precedence over behavior/action patterns that seek pleasure or reward. They describe how transcendent states attained through contemplative practice – their main frame of reference being Buddhism – erase reactive neuron channels and create new, more analytical, intelligent and rational ones.
Just as Scientology was somewhat vague in differentiating between the Thetan (spirit) and the mind and nearly mute on the subject of the brain, the authors of Buddha’s Brain are somewhat vague on differentiating between brain and mind, and never label that which is making the decisions that are creating a better functioning mind/brain. To get hung up on such difficulties with constructs describing that which is invisible to the eye and physical measures would be to miss the forest for the trees.
Hard core Scientologists, if they could muster the curiosity or courage to read the book, would likely heavily tune out somewhere in the last 2/3rds of it. That is because the material for the most part prescribes contemplative practice that the authors claim demonstrably reforms the brain/mind. To react in such wise would be a mistake in my view. To read it, for example, might lead to some insights into why running pleasure moments, as in Self Analysis by L. Ron Hubbard, is so therapeutic. Could it be that Scientology processes do far more good than L. Ron Hubbard even knew given the relatively archaic state of science in his day? One thing is for sure, those who are afraid to look will never know.
The Shack by William P. Young
THE PSYCHOPATH TEST by Jon Ronson
Ironically, perhaps the best way to understand the most fundamental flaw in the Scientology system of dealing with the influence of sociopaths is to read a book that touches on corporate Scientology’s vehement, costly protests against the alleged failure of the field of psychiatry to do the same. In The Psychopath Test, Ronson chronicles a member of corporate Scientology’s Citizens Commission on Human Rights (a group established to “clean up the field of mental healing”) and his quest to free an allegedly falsely labeled psychopath from a United Kingdom mental institution.
Ronson becomes fascinated with the apparent terrible injustice of “Tony’s” (pseudonym) incarceration. As Ronson researches the matter in greater depth, he comes to find the Bob Hare psychopath test, or checklist, rather rational and workable. The more time Ronson spends with Tony, the more he begins to doubt the fellow’s sanity against the psychopath test. Out of curiosity, Ronson puts the test to use on a businessman who is unrelated to the matter of Tony. When he completes the analysis, Ronson shares his condemning findings with a fellow journalist. His colleague points out that Ronson only spent a couple hours with the target, and perhaps his journalistic “skill” of catching a target out on lurid admissions, and his preconceived notions of guilt, played a part in his finding. Ronson, in his honest and entertaining style, rides the rollercoaster of enthusiastic certainty to self-deprecating doubt in his own and others’ use of the psychopath test.
Ultimately, Ronson causes the reader to consider that while there is a tremendous, accurate compilation of information that helps us detect sociopathy, can any one of us be trusted with the power to judge and sentence anyone else against that information? Are any of us worthy of the God-like power to condemn another to a life of quarantine and isolation? Do we, in wielding such a powerful tool of knowledge, tend to take on the characteristics of the sociopath when we sit in judgment?
Ronson seems to wind up in much the same place L. Ron Hubbard did when he published this statement: “I have come to find that man cannot be trusted with justice.” While Hubbard persevered and constructed an elaborate system of justice intended to overcome that fatal flaw of humankind, for whatever reason, his lack of trust was proved justified by his own creation.
Ultimately, though, L. Ron Hubbard said that the only guarantee that one would not wind up on the receiving end of a sociopath’s club was to understand how to identify one in the first place. And that conclusion was echoed by Martha Stout. The founder of Scientology and his long-time nemeses in the field of mental health ended up agreeing on one unifying principle: When it comes to the havoc others can wreak upon one’s life, the best protection is the truth – know it, and it shall set you free.
And so my recommended remedy in dealing with the very real problem of sociopathy, or the suppressive person, is as follows:
- Learn for oneself how to evaluate the worthiness and value of one’s fellows.
- Never forfeit your judgment to some authority, no matter how apparently wise and judicious, when it comes to judging the merits of others.
- Strive to be worthy of the trust of those you care about.
LIFE IS SO GOOD by George Dawson and Richard Glaubman
Dawson was 101 years old when he worked with author Glaubman to chronicle his life which touched on three centuries. Dawson had become somewhat famous after having checked into Elementary school at 98 years old to learn to read.
This book will be of particular interest to those who bought into Dianetics or Scientology out of concerns for health and longevity – two things the subjects have consistently promised to better. In a way the book validates the core reasons the subjects posit as the primary causation of ill health and early expiration. On the other hand, it might help free one from the misconceptions the Corporate Scientology culture hammers into one about the alleged importance of becoming superman and lording over people and things.
It is a wonderful exercise in ‘problems of comparable magnitude’ (a Scientology concept that if you view a problem you are having against ones of greater magnitude than your own, your problem won’t look so nasty any more). Worried about starting a new life outside of the cult in your forties, fifties, sixties or seventies? Read George Dawson’s story.
In either event, it is a simple, enjoyable, and educational read. It is a view of the 2oth Century from eyes that simply observed with no jaundice, no agenda, no disappointment, no justifying.
It also a great study in the Tao. Though Dawson never references it and presumably was never aware of the writing Tao Te Ching, he certainly understood and lived in accordance with the Tao.
The Sociopath next door by Martha Stout
I am adding to that list a remarkable book that I just finished, The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout. I am adding it because I think it might do quite a lot of good for a lot of people who left the church of Scientology.
Stout is a clinical psychologist who specialized for twenty-five years in helping the victims of sociopaths. The first half of her book shares her real life observations about sociopaths and the effects they have upon social personalities. Her observations are remarkably parallel to Hubbard’s description of the Suppressive Person. Note, modern accepted characteristics of the sociopath very closely align with Hubbard’s descriptions of the emotional tone level of Covert Hostility and of the Suppressive Person. This is so much the case that I have taken to using the terms “suppressive person” and “sociopath” interchangeably.
But, Stout’s first and foremost marker for the sociopath is more complementary of Hubbard’s work than it is duplicative. Per Stout, the sociopath first and foremost lacks conscience. It is a very useful and workable observation she shares.
Perhaps most importantly, Stout describes how good, intelligent people wind up doing the bidding of a sociopath.
Why are conscience-bound human beings so blind? And why are they so hesitant to defend themselves, and the ideals and people they care about, from the minority of human beings who possess no conscience at all? A large part of the answer has to do with the emotion and thought processes that occur in us when we are confronted with sociopathy. We are afraid, and our sense of reality suffers. We think we are imagining things, or exaggerating, or that we ourselves are somehow responsible for the sociopath’s behavior.
While the last 1/3 or so of Stout’s book meanders down a sometimes painful path of speculations about possible genetic sources for sociopathy, it still manages to impart useful observations. It was useful for me in this respect, I was able to recognize that despite Stout’s wonderful contributions (and clearly unintended validation of Hubbard’s work) modern mental health practitioners, regardless of their evolutionary progress over the past four decades, are still shackled by their inability to perceive or unwillingness to credit the spirit or soul.
Stout, as Hubbard did forty-five years ago, recognizes that our inability to properly identify sociopaths and prevent the havoc they wreak is one of the greatest threats to humankind.
Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl
Viktor Fankl survived several Nazi concentration camps, including Auschwitz.
Only one out of twenty-eight so imprisoned survived the ordeal. Frankl closely observed for the common denominator of those few who did survive. He did not find a single physical, physiological, cultural, or religious factor in common.
Instead, he discovered that those with a strong enough purpose (he calls it a meaning) to carry out were the ones who made it. There was no common purpose shared among them all. There was not even a predominant commonality of purpose. Some simply had a purpose to see a loved one again. Some felt work they had begun prior to incarceration was so important they found a way to endure what for others was certain death. Frankl himself fell into the latter category, and it so happened that the work he wanted to complete paralleled the observations he wrote about.
I recommend the book for anyone who survived long-term oppressive conditions or anyone feeling he or she lacks a driving, meaningful purpose in life.
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave
The complete mechanics of how slavery is accomplished and perpetuated can have a remarkably powerful and liberating effect on those who may have been subjected to them. I have never met anyone who has not experienced one or more of them.
The Autobiography of MALCOLM X
Here is a man’s brutally honest moral and intellectual struggle as he comes to grips with abuses in a religious movement that he continued to credit with converting himself from a thug to a religious scholar and human rights leader. The account is candid and personal. Malcolm and Alex Haley detail his criminal young adulthood, his self education in prison, his conversion to Islam and personal reform, his years as Nation of Islam’s greatest proponent and defender, the betrayal at the hands of an egostical, unethical religious leader, and his search for the true meaning of Islam. His evolution from a divisive figure in an aggressive and intmidating group to a dedicated practitioner of a religion he found his own meaning for can provide one with guidance on how to learn to be true to oneself.
The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine
Abraham Lincoln has been quoted as saying “I never tire of reading Tom Paine.”
Neither do I. Paine’s The Age of Reason was of tremendous help to me in moving beyond fixed, negative patterns of thought.
Tao Te Ching
There is a particularly good translation by Stephen Mitchell currently on the market and available at major bookstores or on Amazon.
It is a book one can read over and over and get something new and useful from each time. It is a pleasant read. In a simple and poetic manner it captures the fundamental truths upon which Scientology is based. The Factors and Axioms and basic truths of Scientology stem from the Tao. LRH made that clear in the “Scientology, Its General Background” lectures – part of the Phoenix lectures series. He said there, “…who knows but what if we took the Tao just as written and knowing what we know already about Scientology, we simply set out to practice the Tao, I don’t know but what we wouldn’t get a Theta Clear.”
I believe that statement is true. That organizationally things did not go in that direction does not make the statement untrue. How Scientology diverted from the Tao is a major theme of a long-term investigation of mine; the results of which I’ll share when I’m there.
One thing I believe the Tao can do for you is to help distinguish the positive you may have gotten out of Scientology from the negative. It might help you to validate and reinforce the positive, while jettisoning the negative.
On Becoming A Person by Carl R. Rogers
see recommendation for On Becoming A Person