Tag Archives: What Is Wrong With Scientology?

Graduation from Scientology

An alternate route to graduation from Scientology:

If you want to know what is wrong with Scientology, read What is Wrong With Scientology? (2012, Amazon Books)

If you want to know how that which is wrong with Scientology came about and why, read Memoirs of  a Scientology Warrior (2013, Amazon Books)

If you want to know the result of the what, how and why, read The Scientology Reformation (2012, Amazon Books)

 

 

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.

The Great Decompression

I borrowed, or coined by inspiration, from Viktor Frankl (Man’s Search For Meaning) the idea that decompression was the first and most important step in recovering from the Scientology experience with an upward trajectory.  Frankl – having himself survived years of imprisonment in Nazi concentration camps, and attempted to help others similarly situated upon release – noted that an adjustment period was critical for someone coming out of a strictly controlled environment to a relatively free society.  He likened it to a deep sea diver submerged for several hours far beneath the surface.  One must bring the diver back out from under the tremendous pressure he has adjusted to on a gradient basis or he will suffer from Decompression Sickness, also known as the bends. Similarly, if a person imprisoned – even mentally – in inhumane conditions, conditioned to think and act in super-compliant ways while developing all manner of deceitful (albeit as justifiable as they may be) means to survive, comes out acting like he owns earth he is going to be in for big, ugly and possibly devastating losses.

Over time I have exchanged observations with other counselors about a number of folks that we guided and assisted through the Scientology Underground Railroad – or Decompression Road.  One pattern we all have observed, and taken terrible losses on, is Scientologists entering the family of humanity with the exclusive, arrogant and judgmental attitudes they developed to survive in Scientology culture.  All of us have expended a great deal of resource and effort in helping to clean up messes such attitudes have created, and in getting people who exhibit those attitudes back on their paths after the inevitable smack downs society tends to deliver in response.   For those going through that process now, and who are discomforted absent orientation to L. Ron Hubbard references, everything I have noted thus far in this article is in complete accord with Scientology notions of the efficacy of tackling problems,development and life on a gradient scale; and even the ethics conditions formulas (see Non- Existence condition and formula).

One of the first posts on the Milestone 2/iscientology blog – created largely in protest of my books and this forum – was a piece attempting to discredit this idea of decompression as some psych-based attempt to belittle Operating Thetans and put people at introverted effect.  It reasoned that former Sea Org members and public OTs who bought into the idea they could use a tad of decompression as part of their gradient entry into the community of fellow human beings were victims of an attempt to put them at groveling effect of the psych-indoctrinated ‘wog’ world.  By God, the MS2ers proclaimed, we need to bring society up to our standards, Revenimus! (In keeping perhaps with the Class VIII indoctrination, ‘you are the people who own the planet’ – see Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior).  This mentality of wanting to cling to the inside is understandable (see e.g. the films  The Shawshank Redemption and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest – I know you have all seen them, but watch them again with the Scientology experience in mind).

These thoughts arose when considering a general response to the many inquiries I have received lately asking me which of my three books ought to be read in what sequence.   That includes a lot of non-Scientologists asking what book might appeal to or help a Scientologist family member or friend. My answer is always a question, eliciting information on where the person is at on the decompression process.  When I know something about their circumstances I can recommend the single book that I think might help the person concerned.  They do not necessarily flow one to the next in the order they were written.  And all three of them aren’t for everybody necessarily.

So here is a short generalized guide to whom I believe the three books individually might appeal to, and hopefully help  –  in alignment to degrees of decompression already experienced by the concerned person.

The Scientology Reformation.

This book was written primarily with Scientologists still connected with the church in mind.  It is anchored upon L. Ron Hubbard references and attempts, on a gradient basis, to get a Scientologist to observe for himself or herself just how far adrift Scientology Inc has strayed from the intent and purposes memorialized (at least in some places) by its founder.  It introduces hope that one need not reject all of Scientology, in order to escape and even to take a stand against its abuses.

What Is Wrong With Scientology? Healing Through Understanding

This book would likely be dropped like a radioactive rock by the time a Scientologist in good standing read the first sentence of the introduction.   It is addressed more to people who are already out of the church, and for whom turning back is no option.  It is a detailed presentation and analysis of the features of Scientology that tend toward entrapment.   It describes in some detail the sum and substance of what Scientology’s effective processes are  in order to set the table for analyzing what is wrong with it and how it is ultimately used to entrap.   If one only mindlessly makes a break and declares a wholesale rejection of everything scientology, one tends to become as glued to it as ever, albeit from the opposition vector.  That is because he or she never took the time to understand and come to grips with what salutary aspects of it may have kept one pursuing it in the first place.  If one understands that, one can transcend the experience in a more desirable state than victimhood.

Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior

Because of the personal, autobiographical nature of this book and its consequent gradual, real time and subjective introduction to Scientology this can inform someone never involved in the subject with a perspective they will get nowhere else.  That is, what attracts and keeps one involved in the subject.   Popular books and films have been woefully two-dimensional and inaccurate in that regard.  They only focus on fear factors, which for those involved had next to zero effect in garnering their voluntary, self-determined involvement (the involvement that creates the most lasting effect on someone).  Many who have read it remarked that reading another’s real time experience of getting into, developing into a crusader for, and then transcending out of it prompted them to review their own experience more honestly, fully and rationally.  And that had a liberating effect upon them.

Memoirs is probably akin to a post-doctorate extension of the ‘what is wrong with Scientology’ analysis.  But not with a lot of opinion.  For the most part I let the facts do the talking.

While I still regularly use the term, and the model, of ‘decompression’ I am more often using it with a modifier to better describe what it is I am trying to accomplish: Decompression with an upward trajectory.

Link to all three books:

Mark Rathbun books on scientology

 

On Becoming A Person

To the degree that Scientology – or any other mental/spiritual practice – affords a person the opportunity and ability to safely view his life and mind and communicate his observations and conclusions with no hint or possibility of evaluation, invalidation or repercussion, it is a positive methodology for assisting a person to increase awareness and ability.

To the degree that Scientology – or any other mental/spiritual practice – departs from that formula it is a practice potentially destructive of awareness and ability.

Means by which Scientology adheres to and departs from this workable formula are covered in the books What Is Wrong With Scientology? Healing Through Understanding (Amazon Books, 2012) and Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior (Amazon Books, 2013).

Other means by which Scientology routinely, and as a matter of policy, departs from its own workable formula:

  1. Requiring membership in Scientology accompanied by the label and assumption of the personality traits of Scientologist.
  2. Issuance and enforcement of codes of conduct for Scientologists to guide and control their behavior.
  3. The invalidation of gains that people assert they have attained through practices other than Scientology.
  4. Indoctrinating people in detail what incidents they should address and what events lie on their own experiential tracks.
  5. Appealing to fear in order to persuade or coerce people to engage in or continue Scientology practices.

To the extent any purported Scientology practitioner engages in any of these departures, I recommend people steer clear of them.  To the degree they do participate in them is the degree to which they will ultimately contribute to a decrease in your awareness and ability.   These departures may indicate either of the following in the practitioner: a) a lack of understanding of the mechanics of what makes witnessing (including Scientology auditing) a therapeutic activity, and/or b) their own unhandled subjugation to any or all of 1-5.

The fundamental two-way communication process that all Scientology processing derives its workability from existed before L. Ron Hubbard ever wrote a word on the subject of the mind.  It would behoove Scientology auditors to study of it.  A great place to start would be On Becoming a Person by Carl R. Rogers (Houghton Mifflin, 1961).  One of Ron Hubbard’s greatest contributions to the improvement of  mind and spirit was simplifying the codification of such principles thus opening the process of self-actualization to far more people.  Unfortunately, as his group evolved much of that contribution was lost as Scientology became more mass-production oriented, expensive, exclusive, and cult-like.  The training of practitioners became progressively more assembly-line like.  On the one hand that helped to thoroughly drive home some workable skills while on the other hand it omitted a more contemplative, intellectual appreciation for the mechanics at work and the responsibilities incident to such practice.

Many veteran auditors reacted with some surprise when I noted the vital importance of the First Act (the one paragraph contemplation exercise an auditor is advised to engage in so as to have his own head right in order to audit, from Advance Procedures and Axioms) in What Is Wrong With Scientology?  Some noted that there was next to no emphasis placed on that in their auditor training.  That may well be.  But, the book (AP & A) is part of the auditor training line up.  I would suggest that the fact that a single paragraph is devoted to the issue is a flaw in the Scientology line up.  On Becoming A Person is a four-hundred page treatise on the First Act – relating it to every aspect of the actual auditing (or generic, counseling) process.  I believe that an auditor ought to study the book so that he fully appreciates why and how auditing works; and why and how an auditor must become the being (not simply ‘assume the beingness’) that naturally (not mechanically) duplicates, understands, accepts, and fully acknowledges (not with a mere ‘good’, ‘thank you’, ‘I got that’), all while genuinely – and unreservedly – intending the client to regain his or her genuine self and his or her determinism.

It cannot be gainsaid that Scientology is rife with datums, dictates, rules, and policies that detract from this pure, undiluted intention and being.  It therefore would behoove anyone trained in that discipline to read and contemplate On Becoming a Person so as to orient himself to what actually creates gains for an individual, and how the slightest departure from it spoils the process, any process.

Even if you are not an auditor or training to become one, I recommend On Becoming A Person.  It is all about becoming a better person, more of who one really is.

Ripple In Still Water

We have been pretty much closed to folk visiting Casablanca over the past few months while I wrapped up Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior.  Now that the book is done and available I am scheduling people again for consultation.

I am in progress on the follow up book to Memoirs which will spell out in some detail how it is that I believe certain principles codified by L. Ron Hubbard can be sensibly practiced; that is, how they can be integrated, how they can evolve, and how people can learn from that to transcend.  One of the purposes of Memoirs was to set the factual foundation for that presentation.  It is difficult to communicate to closed minds that are implanted and conditioned to not dare think along those lines.  I have been labeled by some Scientologists as being like a ‘Nazi War Criminal’, ‘Gestapo’, and worse for attempting to have that conversation.  The reasons for such a reaction are pretty well spelled out in Memoirs.  Rather than waste time attempting to debate with such a mindset, I decided it made more sense for me to spell out the facts that led me to consider that people need to graduate from that frame of mind in order to get anywhere meaningful.  Hopefully Memoirs will help to accomplish that.  Certainly, the follow up book will be all about how to do that.

I am no longer wasting time with the necessarily interminable argumentation on what constitutes ‘standard technology’, ‘standard admin’, and such . You might come to understand through Memoirs how it is that Scientology is hardwired to create that perpetual state of conflict and how it will continue to manifest  down through the ages (to no possible substantive conclusions) if anyone in the future continues to find that activity worthwhile.  In either event, I don’t find that rancorous debate productive.  Most of the people who want to argue (or disconnect) on that subject don’t have much of a production record anyway, so it is like fighting with a gossamer of theory based on a patchwork of quotations.

Based on my several years of Scientology training/practice and based on my several more years of outside-of-Scientology study and practice, I deal with people one on one to try to help them move on up a little higher.   My view is that certain Hubbard principles integrated into and used in such wise brings about lasting results. Conversely,  robotically-applied, wholesale reliance on those principles leads to capture, captivity and ultimately to anguish. Those principles that don’t lead one any higher, or worse lead him or her lower, don’t figure into a program seeking transcendence from frightened, delusory states.  Incidentally, I am convinced that such principles won’t become any more popular either, no matter how much marketing, commanding and fighting one wants to apply to them.

I suggest I can help with a) repair Reverse-Scientology application people may have experienced, b)  repair/rehab any grade or level that might be incomplete or ‘out’, c) put one’s Scientology experience into perspective from which growth is possible,  d) graduate people from the cult and any lingering cult think, or fixation with the cult experience people might be walking around with, e) guide people toward a meaningful transcendence from their Scientology-inflicted obsessions, and f) help OTs transcend the captive, glass ceiling dimension they’ve been led into.

By popular consensus among independent Scientologists, communicated in various ways, the core ideas I propose and what I do cannot be accepted under the title ‘Scientology.’  I accept that.  So, there is no more reason to discuss the chapter of trying to win folk over to my ideas to the contrary.  It is history.

I do not go by any labels and I am not a member of, nor am I affiliated with, any groups.

So as to avoid any conflict or possibility for misunderstanding, I ask anyone interested in my services to first read Memoirs and What Is Wrong With Scientology?   That will give you a good sense of my philosophy about the subject of Scientology and those subjects it overlaps with.  A number of people have told me that by simply reading and thinking with either or both of those books helped them to resolve that which they would have come to me for help to remedy.  So, you might save yourself time and cheddar by simply reading what I have already had to say.  On the other side of the spectrum, I want people to know what I am about in advance so that we don’t waste your time or mine scheduling you for an activity that will offend you by conflicting with your religious beliefs.

 

The Psychopath Test

References:

Judgment

Sitting In Judgment

I am adding The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson to my recommended reading list.   This short excerpt from What Is Wrong With Scientology explains why:

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.

 

Transcend

 

The following is the third piece of advice I shared with Scientologists in What Is Wrong With Scientology?    I would love to hear what Independent Scientologists have to say about this.

Transcend or Descend

At the January, 1986 L. Ron Hubbard funeral event we touched on in Chapter 12, Pat Broeker announced that OT 9 and OT 10 were fully written up by Hubbard and ready for release.  That was a blatant lie.

Twenty years later, David Miscavige told a collection of elite Scientology contributors that L. Ron Hubbard had written up OT 9, OT 10, OT 11, OT 12, OT 13, OT 14 and OT 15.  That was a whopping lie.  The last OT level L. Ron Hubbard ever wrote up was OT 8.  Then he died.

Pat Broeker used the threat of never turning over the alleged OT 9 and OT 10 in an effort to get Miscavige to allow him to exercise control in Scientology Inc. I was a part of three separate forcible search-and-seizures Miscavige directed in order to get at the alleged OT 9 and 10 at Broeker hideouts.  Each time we came up empty-handed, and finally concluded there were no such things.  This was validated by the senior technical officer of Scientology since L Ron Hubbard’s death, one Ray Mithoff. Mithoff audited Hubbard during his final week of life. Mithoff acknowledged in my presence that Hubbard had nothing intelligible to say about any levels that might exist above OT 8, let alone gave any indication that anything had been written up about them.

These horrendous big lies, growing in magnitude as years rolled by, are the continuing creation of the religious con played out through the ages, so well described in Paine’s Age of Reason.

For those who have honestly accomplished OT 8, it makes perfect sense.  After all, at OT 8 Hubbard seeks to guide an individual toward a state or condition of no longer having the slightest attention devoted to past identities, any aspect of the past, introversion or regression.  At that level, there wouldn’t be even a remote desire for or inclination toward introspective processes or practices of any kind.

A number of people who had completed OT 8 have come to me, hoping that I could give some inside scoop on where Hubbard said it went from there.  My response is usually along the lines of: “Please do not invalidate yourself and Hubbard so.  Do you think he was cruel enough to build the Bridge to a place where, when you’ve reached the apex, you are so ill-equipped to move on that you must cling to the guard rail , waiting for some priest to prescribe your every step?  Do you feel so vulnerable and weak that you cannot step out on your own and begin to walk your own walk toward higher plateaus?”

I sometimes share the following account of a Zen Buddhist practitioner’s colloquy with Zen master Xuedou:

Someone asked Xuedou, “As it is said, ‘the road beyond is not transmitted by any of the sages.’ Where did you get it?” Xuedou said, “I thought you were a Zen practitioner.”

Some express disbelief that Hubbard would not have published something that explicitly let the world know that OT 8 was the end.  First, this is not surprising to me.  Hubbard was perpetually exploring and prolifically publishing the results of his findings, throughout his life.  I would have expected him to be exploring to the end, and if he died before he found anything worthy of publication during his elderly ventures, then the last thing he published would be the last thing he found worthy of publication.  Second, if one thinks that OT 8 is the end simply because it is the ultimate attainment on the Scientology Bridge, then from the very beginning one wasn’t pursuing the same ends Hubbard was.

To feel or act as if one needed to be the recipient of more knowledge or more effect, then one would have fallen into the trap Hubbard himself warned that formal education had created to sabotage the entire field of philosophy:

I hope no man ever falls into that trap because it blocked human thought and human progress. Philosophy became completely abandoned as a subject…and even at this moment they still give a Doctor of Philosophy degree in universities which demands only this of the student: that he know what philosophers have said. Now, that is incredible. If you had a Doctor of Philosophy, you would expect that Doctor of Philosophy to be able to philosophize. The professors of those courses would just be shocked beyond shock if you dared come in and infer that the end and goal of their students should be the production of philosophy. No sir, that’s how you keep a society static.

I have seen subjectively and objectively that this is precisely the product produced by corporate Scientology.  They create people who have devoted their entire adult lives to studying and auditing to achieve the ability of ‘knowing how to know’ (the very definition of Scientology), only to wind up feeling lost, abandoned, and powerless to do anything except to slavishly kowtow to a fascist regime, in hopes it will dispense the next carrot of wisdom.

And so the corporate Scientologist never learns to walk the walk. Instead, he learns to stand compliantly in leg shackles and talk the Scientology Inc. talk.

One who has reached the top in Scientology has two choices: transcend or descend.  One can descend down into the mire that corporate Scientology has become.  That entails adopting the sickly ‘victim’ jacket, since the hallmark of a corporate Scientologist is the certainty that until certain people, ideas and even fields of study are exterminated, Scientology can never achieve its aims.  It means covertly being a victim while asserting with great energy that you are quite the opposite, the totally-certain superhero who is part of the elite group with the only answer, and thus possess carte blanche with which to forward that group by any means necessary.  It includes behaving in a compliant, other-determined fashion, so as to avoid getting into trouble and tarnishing one’s image and status.  Because in Miscavige’s world, image and status have become everything.

Or one can choose to transcend.  Transcend with your developed insight and ability to observe and think for yourself.  Maybe even use what you know to help others ascend and transcend.  For me, that has included using Scientology to help others remove those jackets that keep them weighted to serious, painful lives.  Each auditing session I deliver – at whatever level of the Bridge – not only results in cognitions (enlightenments) for the preclear, it also results in cognitions on my part. I continue to study and find and use many other writings, from various sources, that might work more directly to move a particular individual on up a little higher from where he or she might stand.  That study also brings about a greater appreciation of what is right and workable and recognition of what is wrong and unworkable about Scientology.   But I am not saying that is your calling, purpose, or path to greater heights.  Only you can determine what that is.