Scientology 451: Commenters of the Week!

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"I hear you have a copy of Dianetics."
We used the news from Russia this week as an excuse to mix up a shaker of vodka martinis. After quite a few glasses garnished with olives, we got a bit lightheaded, but we never felt the desire to ban L. Ron Hubbard's books.

This was a strange week of Scientology news around the world, but we kept plodding along getting it all down into the blog and watched your reactions with wonder and glee.

On Saturday afternoon -- which happened to be St. Patrick's Day -- we had a report from Ireland, the only country in the world that forces Scientology to open its books. We also had an interview with Pete Griffiths, a former Scientologist who helps others leave the church in Dublin.

Then, the next day, one of the best Sunday Funnies ever: we broke the news of the latest book scam -- er, fundraising opportunity -- no, that's not it -- an unparalleled achievement in the history of publishing, RON the Biographical Encyclopedia!

On Monday, we posted the week's big investigative story: we revealed stunning new details about the FBI's plans to raid Scientology's California headquarters in the summer of 2010, and how the federal investigation subsequently fell apart.

Tuesday, we marked the third anniversary of "Infinite Complacency" by interviewing its author, Europe's premier Scientology blogger, Jonny Jacobsen.

The next day, something silly on Canadian television had us waxing nostalgic for the 2000 opening of Battlefield Earth, and we unveiled our own movie, an interview with the John Travolta action figure.

Thursday, we expressed our dismay that Russian authorities are still pursuing the extremely unwise and counterproductive measure of banning L. Ron Hubbard's books in that country. No one loves to play the martyr like Scientology leader David Miscavige, and he will milk this opportunity for everything it is worth.

And yesterday, we returned to the high seas to learn that L. Ron Hubbard was also an expert on dog health. Or something.

So let's get to the awards!

On St. Patrick's Day, we looked at the unique situation in Ireland, the only country in the world that requires Scientology to report its revenues -- and those records show a sharp and continuing drop since the Anonymous movement started up in 2008. That prompted this response from MarkStark...

It shows how stuck they are, that in the one country that records their remarkable nosedive in membership, they don't bother having Cruise, Cartwright or an anonymous rich Scilon dump some millions on the Dublin "Org" to prop it up. They probably can't do that because it would be an admission to that member that they aren't exploding in membership all over. Protest works. People are using the Internet as a source of information about EVERYTHING more each year.

That story also featured an interview with ex-Scientologist Pete Griffiths, who donned an appropriate (and hilarious) costume for the occasion, resulting in this comment by Xique...

I get a kick out of Pete's get up, his picture really made me smile. I've been in Pete's shoes, and I know that same feeling of realizing your worst fear, discovering you've been conned and feeling utterly floored. It's been a year of clarity for me and I love that, and yet this residual ill feeling I have , at the moment, is a bit of sadness. It's a total and complete disappointment in myself for having allowed this to happen to me. Ever onward!

In our Sunday Funnies feature, we brought you an announcement of the mighty new biographical L. Ron Hubbard encyclopedia, made up of sixteen volumes! But MissCabbage was nonplussed...

Most likely the only truth in these books is his name.

We were fairly stunned to learn that one volume in the series is about Ron's facility with plants, in particular his giant tomatoes. And of course, we couldn't help thinking of the legendary photo of him using an e-meter to test (audit? communicate with?) a tomato after he'd stuck a nail in it. But BroekerBroekerBroeker made it all clear for us...

The problem is that the tomato did so well on TR 0 -- flunking only once for movement -- that Ron tried to rocket it up the bridge. That's a Grade VIII auditor tomato self-auditing, there. Ron's just C/Sing. What Ron later discovered was that tomatoes ALWAYS breeze through TR 0, due to their high level of confront. Or that they're not sentient. Either one.

I tell you, that one brought us tears, BBB. If the lingo is holding you back from seeing the hilarity of this joke, please don't hesitate to send me an e-mail. I'll be glad to translate.

But we're also grateful that Jefferson Hawkins helped us put these volumes in some perspective...

These "volumes" are just the old "Ron Mags," in hard covers, part of the Church's longstanding practice of getting their captive flock to pay for the same materials over and over again. The backstory is this: There has been a longstanding project to write and publish Hubbard's biography. Most people know the early history of this - Gerry Armstrong was tasked with research, and Omar Garrison was supposed to write it. In fact, we presented this at the 1982 American Bookseller's Association Convention as one of Bridge Publications "upcoming titles." We had a cover mockup and everything. We were even taking orders. Then...nothing. I found out what has happened after I left Scientology. Gerry had, of course, found that much of the supposed history of Hubbard was out-and-out lies. The Garrison biography had to be suppressed, as Larry Brennan has written about elsewhere. Years later, the project was revived and a new writer assigned to it: Scientologist Dan Sherman. Sherman was brought to the Base in San Jacinto, set up with a nice house right next to the Base, and started working. Well, again, years go by and no bio. To fill in, he started writing a series of glossy magazines about various parts of Ron's life - "Ron the Photographer," "Ron the Master Mariner," "Ron the Horticulturalist," and so on. These magazines carefully cherry-picked factlets about Hubbard's life and strung them together in a narrative, adding in far-fetched connections and coincidences to show how he was a leader in this or that field and influenced all later thought. It was all the purest of invented spun-sugar PR. In fact, Danny's assistant at the time got into trouble for confessing, in one of those group confession sessions, that he had put lies in the Ron mags. He was shut up fast. Meanwhile Dan Sherman got increasingly involved in writing Miscavige's speeches, which is pretty much his full-time occupation these days. Miscavige likes his style - he can spin out virtually nothing into hours of high-sounding generalities and cliched platitudes. The biography? Never happened. And, in my opinion, never could happen. They can never tell the truth about Hubbard, so any "official" biography would have to be a string of lies and omissions about his military record, his supposed research, his marriages and so on - all easily fact-checked by anyone with a computer. Plus, most of the key players in early Scientology have become non-persons. So how would you write any sort of narrative without mentioning people like Otto Roos, Bill Robertson, David Mayo or, for that matter, Mary Sue Hubbard or Quentin Hubbard? Impossible. So there never will be an official biography. The solution - rehash all of those glossy puff-piece "Ron Mags" in hard covers and claim it's something new. And you can bet that the faithful will be pressured to "donate" for multiple sets.

On Monday, we revealed what we'd learned about the FBI investigation that was first made public in Lawrence Wright's monster profile of Paul Haggis in the New Yorker last year. We talked to informants who told us how close the FBI seemed to raiding the Int Base, but by October 2010 had scuttled the probe. Again, MarkStark jumped in with something we found interesting...

Even though Amy, Mike, Marty and the rest feel disappointed and frustrated that the FBI shut down or dropped the case, it's still important that they gave them the information they did. If Miscavige doesn't settle quickly, it's possible the Cook case will re-open the investigation as public concern and interest grows. The Wright book could have a similar effect. Human trafficking was a concern of Paul Haggis, and Wright may expose that it a way that alerts people to this serious problem in the cult.

This observation by NCSP also had us nodding...

While this is disappointing, just recall the last time Scientology was raided by the FBI. Embarrassing documents were uncovered, people (including Mary Sue) went to prison, and...the CoS continued to operate more-or-less unimpeded for the next 30-plus years. They got their tax exemption AFTER Snow White was uncovered. Even the GO continued under a new name. There is a limit to what federal law enforcement can do against an organization like Scientology. Don't get me wrong -- it would be an utter delight to see David Miscavige do a perp walk. But that is NOT what's going to bring down the CoS and end its abusive practices. It's going to be (and has been) a long, slow process of encouraging defection, exposing its activities to the light, and thereby drying up its potential pool of converts.

And then AlexM surprised many with the feeling in this response...

I've been out of the Church for almost 4 years. When I first left, I was able to do a video interview on YouTube and three TV interviews for German TV. Only one aired. I was pretty gung ho back then and thought that these interviews would mean that other reporters would be tearing down my door asking me for more interviews. My story is filled with human trafficking, illegal immigration, taking a large sum of money across an international border, earning slave wages, participating in forced labour, being unable to leave the job and disillusionment. However, I was being naive. The honest truth is that no one cares. By no one I mean the media and the government. I even spent months e-mailing my story to people in the media, local, national and international. I got very little responces from doing this. I thought that putting my story on the net would generate media attention also, but in the end, it generated the support and admiration I needed from the ex-Scientologist community. In retrospect, that's been more important to me.

Tuesday, we celebrated Paris blogger Jonny Jacobsen, and couldn't help enjoying this observation by anne...

Jonny Jacobsen makes me think of Clark Kent

You have that going for you, Jonny.

The next day, we indulged in a day of nostalgia for the spectacular failure of Battlefield Earth, which opened in 2000. And look who was first with a comment, our friend Paulette Cooper!

On the funny side, one newspaper (I think it was the Providence Journal) said the film had a strange yellow hue, as if someone had urinated on it. Then they added, "which, come to think of it, isn't a bad idea." On the serious side, the producer was Jonathan Krane who had been a highly respected figure in the film world and after that....

Mat Pesch once again brought his personal experiences to deepen our understanding...

There were Sea Org members on the set every day and they were being run by David Miscavige who had his fingers all over that film. Before the release Miscavige was bragging about how he had helped make the best film ever. When the film was released the Sea Org members were bused to the theaters where the "church" paid for us to watch it over and over. Sea Org members loved it because the theater was dark and cool and it allowed them to get hours and hours of sleep.... Battlefield Earth, only $10 for two hours of sleep. That movie was a Sea Org members dream...

And Jefferson Hawkins provided even more background...

Battlefield Earth was a typical David Miscavige fiasco writ large. He's so narcissistic that he believes he is far smarter and more talented than the peons he is surrounded by, so he micromanages everything. He is the only genius around, everyone else is just messing things up. Of course he micromanaged Battlefield Earth, going over every line of the script, making every decision, receiving daily rushes and making detailed critiques. I was one of the Sea Org Members who was rushed out to local theaters again and again to try to pad the opening week numbers. And, as Mat said, it was two hours of badly needed sleep in a dark theater. And of course when you got back to the Base you were supposed to say how much you liked it - anyone criticizing Dave's movie would have been rushed into Security Checking to find their crimes. Miscavige was crowing about "his" movie right up to the point where it bombed. Then of course, as with everything he does, it was someone else's fault. It was that SP Travolta. It was the SPs who produced it. And there was no further mention of the film within the Church. It was just dropped as a topic of conversation.

Patty Moher's experience may have been best of all...

I saw Battlefield Earth with another Scientologist and we were both speechless as to how bad it was. A week later I was sitting in the OSA offices on the 5th floor of the Boston Org where I did "volunteer" work. Mary Francis Newey, the Dir of Invest for OSA Boston told me that since I was OT III, I had permission to go onto certain internet sites that were discussing the movie and asked if I would please go and say something nice about the movie because the SP's were really attacking it. I clearly remember looking at her and saying " Are you fucking kidding me! That movie completely sucked and there is no way I could say anything nice about it". She laughed and said, "I know, but you can blame me for at least trying".

But it was this comment by Michael Leonard Tilse that I found most helpful. This was a great explanation for how the Scientology mindset works...

I remember seeing it and was appalled by how bad it was. Then my cognitive dissonance response kicked in and I searched for ways to explain it, to try to adjust my reaction to it to be positive. Because of course, nothing connected with Hubbard must ever be bad if you are a Scientologist. What I came up with was this: It's a cartoon! It's SUPPOSED to be over the top! People didn't understand! So, it could be bad, over-the-top, cartoonish, horrible production values and basalt-like acting, (wooden just does not describe it), and be a GOOD thing. You just have to look at it in the right way.... That is the internal Scientological response to conflicting ideas like "Scientology is good' and "Scientology movie is BAD", you adjust your internal values and viewpoint to reduce the conflict in some way. It's an ongoing, trained in and familiar process that starts at the very beginning of the Scientology experience and results in the self-censorship and seeming inability to see the horrors that are all too evident to the wogs. It takes a long time to turn it off. It is why you have a hard time getting a Scientologist to even perceive its problems.

On Thursday, we criticized Russian authorities for banning Hubbard's books. But many readers took issue with our stand, saying that they understood why that country would be sensitive about Scientology's methods. InTheNameOfXenu was one who understood where the Russians were coming from...

Tony, I am glad to see that the Russians are reacting to the destructive cult of Scientology without hesitation. Communism and Fascism is still fresh in the European mind. Scientology is another extension of those totalitarian systems. The GO and OSA did terrible things to many people and continue harrassing people to this day. The Russians are not about to let an extremist group like Scientology to get a foot-hold in Russian society. The cult is getting exactly what is deserves...no mercy. God bless the Russians for taking a stand against a totalitarian cult like Scientology.

Our Thursday press roundup also included an alarming bit of academic apologism from a Baylor university post-doc, Bernard Doherty, which appeared on an Australian website. That prompted this skillful comeback by Damian DeWitt, which we figured we'd reproduce in total...

While the week may have sucked for Scientology news your singling out of Bernard Doherty's gob-smacking apologia pro Scientologia is a great public service.

Our work is cut out for us. Still in March 2012 we have an academic plugging the hoary arguments. I feel embarrassed for Doherty, apparently he didn't get the memo from James Lewis and others that the party line is changing because scholars have realized that promoting it simply further beclowns academics and renders them laughable and irrelevant. Has a reputable reporter even bothered to seek comment from any of these academics in the last three years?

Doherty writes: . But before joining in a media or political witch hunt, we should at least try to get our facts straight and give due consideration to the other parties involved.

The one "party involved" neither Doherty nor the apologists ever mention are Victims of Scientology though we now have nearly 1800 first person accounts of abuse. On the plus side Doherty has apparently gotten the memo about dropping the academic libel that Scientology's victims are all bitter apostates whose accounts of abuse are not to be believed. He at least admits these accounts are "ever expanding and quite damning" without making anything of these facts.

One of the main questions if not the central question is whether the Church of Scientology s an inherently abusive organization. Doherty completely begs the question. He writes: "just as we should not judge all Catholics, laity or clergy, for the actions of a few child abusers and those who protect them, nor can we nor should we judge all Scientologists for the alleged abuses of the RPF (Rehabilitation Program Force) or in the Sea Org."

Catholics know quite well that child abuse is a ghastly sin as well as a civil crime and utterly contrary to the moral teachings of Catholicism. Some of us have relatives and friends among the victims and know the abuse is the work of individuals who are either sexual psychpaths or utterly depraved human beings.

The RPF was a prison system invented by Hubbard an essential feature of Scientology Ethics for the Sea Org. Its policies and procedures are laid down in fine detail and set in concrete in the unalterable Scientology "sacred scriptures." All of Scientology's abuses are systemic.

Doherty's curriculum vitae at the Baylor website reveals some interesting information. Doherty is not a specialist in New Religious Movements (NRM). His field is early Christianity and his speciality the late second-century Montanist heresy - a subject of irresistible fascination to at least a few of us.

He was born in 1984 and will turn 28 in October. He appears to be or have been a Catholic since he assisted a Roman Catholic Chaplaincy in a prison, volunteered with a Catholic refugee service organization, and taught at a Catholic girls school. He gives two Jesuit priests as references. He cites Ignatius of Loyola's great work, the Spiritual Exercises, and contributions Jesuits have made to Australian society.

He does not appear to be aware that the Vatican has condemned Scientology through the momentous statements of Cardinal Marc Ouellet in Canada and Archbishop Robert Rivas in St. Lucia.

Doherty fails to understand that Scientology is not a religion but a system of pseudo-psychotherapy for which the Church of Scientology denies any religious character in most of the countries in which it operates and in all the front groups which covertly disseminate 100% Scientology doctrine and practice.

Scientology is a totalitarian organization, and Doherty treads the time-worn paths of totalitarian apologist hacks everywhere: Mussolini made the trains run on time so Fascism isn't all bad.

It is of course precisely because Scientology is a totalitarian system delivering pseudo-psychotherapy services and training that it is an endemically abusive organization and a threat not only to individuals but society.

Any organization engaged in a war to destroy the mental health and social welfare professions and replace them with lethal quackery is a threat to society and particularly its children, whether it makes claims to religious legitimacy or not or makes every train in Australia run on time.

Doherty is young, and I hope savvy enough to see the handwriting on the wall and undergo conversion to a more critical "hermeneutics of suspicion" in regard to Scientology, to use Hugh Urban's phrase.

One hopes he will soon realize that he has shackled himself to the sinking ship of David Miscavige's Church of Scientology.

Things are only going to get worse for Doherty and the academic apologists. The rise of Independent Scientology as a high profile alternative to Miscavige appears to be the beginning of a permanent schism among Scientology believers.

This is an historic event of the greatest significance that academics studying Scientology cannot ignore while laying claim to intellectual integrity. Of necessity it demands serious investigation of the experience of Scientology victims contained in the 1800 reports publicly available.

Things are also going to get worse for Doherty and his colleagues as teachers of undergraduate students. These kids are the age-peers of Anonymous and aren't easily fooled.

I challenge Brian Doherty to make it a requirement of any course he teaches touching on Scientology that students write to Tony Ortega and have him put them on his email list for alerts on new Scientology articles in the Village Voice.

I will end this with a shout out to Chuck Beatty. Among Scientology critics there are few who can match his profound respect and love for excellence in scholarship. Ever-believing that knowing truth leads to the light he has long engaged in a respectful and friendly dialogue with Scientology-apologists that is leading them into the paths of righteousness and common sense.

Fridays we return to the yacht Apollo with L. Ron Hubbard, and we're always on the lookout for fun anecdotes from the Commodore. This week, he related a story about healing the ship's dog, Vixie, with a "touch assist," that thing Scientologists do where they run their fingers over you and fill you with theta. That prompted this memory from our favorite Apollo crewmate, Kate Bornstein...

The myth on board was that Vixie could tell whenever you committed a crime. If she barked at you, people would investigate. I'M SERIOUS.

And since Hubbard mentioned that Vixie had "come up to growl tone," scnethics really stole the show by producing this Tone Scale for dogs...

Canine Tone Scale - 20 March 1970

0.0 - Road kill
0.5 - Whining
0.8 - Begging
1.1 - Chewing on your stuff when you are not around
1.5 - Chewing on you when you are around
2.0 - Growl
2.5 - Lazing
2.8 - Chewing or licking themselves...for a long time
3.5 - Wagging
4.0 - Freaking the fuck out when you get home
20.0 - Peeing somewhere...with a purpose
22.0 - Throw it again! Throw it again! THROW IT AGAIN!!!
40.0 - Belly full, on couch, in master's lap or head resting on master's leg, master is gently and rhythmically scratching just behind the ear. Serenity of dogginess.

Genius.

And of course, there were many more great posts this week, with John P. once again going long with his deep analyses, some interesting fights (and some weirdness) showing up in the FBI piece, and a whole heck of a lot of great humor. If the news this week generally sucked, the comments were amazing.

Make sure you come back tomorrow morning for Sunday Funnies. Once again, we have something pretty great lined up.



**********
Tony Ortega has been the editor in chief of the Village Voice since March, 2007. He started writing about Scientology in 1995. You can reach him by e-mail at tortega@villagevoice.com, and if you ask nicely he'll put you on his mailing list for notifications of new stories, which tend to come out each and every morning at 8 am, but can suddenly appear at any time of the day. You can also catch his alerts at Twitter (@VoiceTonyO), at his Facebook author page, on Pinterest, a Tumblr, and even this new Google Plus doohickey.

New readers might want to check out our primer, "What is Scientology?" Another good overview is our series from last summer, "Top 25 People Crippling Scientology." At the top of every story, you'll see the "Scientology" category which, if you click on it, will bring up all of our most recent stories. As for our regular features, on Thursdays we do a roundup of world press, on Fridays we visit L. Ron Hubbard on the yacht Apollo circa 1969-1971, on Saturdays we celebrate the week's best comments, and on Sundays we publish Scientology's wacky and tacky advertising mailers that people send us.

As for hot subjects we've covered here, you may have heard about Debbie Cook, the former church official who rebelled and is now being sued by Scientology. You might have also heard about the Super Power Building, Scientology's "Mecca," whose secrets were revealed here. We also reported how Scientology spied on its own most precious object, Tom Cruise. (We wrote Tom an open letter that he has yet to respond to.) Have you seen a Scientology ad on TV lately? We debunked some of the claims in that 2-minute commercial you might have seen while watching Glee or American Idol.

Other stories have looked at Scientology's policy of "disconnection" that is tearing families apart. You may also have heard something about the Sea Org experiences of the Paris sisters, Valeska and Melissa, and their friend Ramana Dienes-Browning. We've also featured Paulette Cooper, who wrote about Scientology back in the day, and Janet Reitman, Hugh Urban, and the team at the Tampa Bay Times, who write about it today. And there's plenty more coming.


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Payton_vege
Payton_vege

Amazing write-up! This could aid plenty of people find out more about this particular issue. Are you keen to integrate video clips coupled with these? It would absolutely help out. Your conclusion was spot on and thanks to you; I probably won’t have to describe everything to my pals. I can simply direct them here!

DodoTheLaser
DodoTheLaser

Tony, check this out:

"Hubbard’s books contain instructions to build a mind-controlling cult, which would set its members against every other social institution including the state.

As soon as the ruling takes effect, these books will join the federal index of outlawed literature. This means that Russia will finally join Germany and France in classifying the scientologist propaganda material as extremist and unconstitutional. Law expert of the Russian Anti-Cult Association Dr Alexander Korelev describes the development as very welcome and timely.

He was speaking in an interview with The Voice of Russia:

"Hubbard’s books form the ideological arsenal of one of the most virulent mind-controlling cults that continue to operate in the Russian Federation. This cult uses brainwashing techniques to drive the members insane and rob them of their property. It is absolutely destructive, andits ideology must be outlawed. Accordingly, all Hubbard’s books must beout of circulation."

Link: http://englishDOTruvrDOTru/2012_03_24/69501465/

The Voice Of Russia.

P.S. Hubbard's effing books can't be really banned because of the Internet.

But the legal message is important enough. And tell me how the statement above is not true.

Give Russians a break, Tony.

P.S. Putin's pic is awesome, btw. I laugh every time I see it!

P.P.S. Also, I am really fucking angry, bitter defrocked apostate me. And so "SP".Very PTSD too. Thank you all. Love and humor are my only "anchor points".

InTheNameOfXenu
InTheNameOfXenu

Great article and it's exactly the same way I feel. America is too liberal and that is why the Scientology cult has become immune there. Could you imagine the scilons having an 'SP Hall' in Moscow? The Russian military would mobilize and crack down on that place so fast it would make Miscavige's head spin off his midget body!

bobx
bobx

Russia isn't so much banning the books (they do not firewall the Internet) as banning the *sale* of the books, which hits Scientology where it lives.

scnethics
scnethics

Love the title, image and caption today.  Looking forward to tomorrow as always.

Someone posted in the comments on Marty's blog that Vincent Magni, a respected member in Paris, has sent out an email declaring his independence from the CO$.  He sites Debbie Cook's email as having confirmed much of what he was feeling himself.  Oh the times, they are a-changin'!

InTheNameOfXenu
InTheNameOfXenu

This current purge and disconnection is reminiscent of what happened in 1982. The difference here is that the exudus won't stop because of the internet. Scilons know deep down inside that their 'church' is dead and will be more than happy to get their auditing fix with the indies at a way cheaper price. If Miscavige was smart, he would drop prices to make Hubbard's snake-oil more affordable in hard times like these. Luckily, he's dumber than a two by four and follows Hubbard's policies to a 'T', which of course doesn't work anyway.  R.I.P. cult of Scientology.

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

I stated it on New Years, "This will be the year of the Golden Rod."

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

Now this made my week! Hahahaha!

Tampa Bay Times:

Parents, teachers blast management of Life Force Arts and Technology Academy

"Y'all don't know what we've got on you," Konica Ritchie, a mother of two Life Force students who also helps with school lunches, told Muhammad. "You've messed with the wrong parents."

Too Much
Too Much

Paulette Cooper for the win! It is *awesome* seeing Mdm Cooper comment! 

Stevie
Stevie

According to "Voice of Russia"

"Hubbard’s books form the ideological arsenal of one of the most virulent mind-controlling cults that continue to operate in the Russian Federation. This cult uses brainwashing techniques to drive the members insane and rob them of their property. It is absolutely destructive, and its ideology must be outlawed"

Llama
Llama

Which has "mass" according to Hubbard, engrams or body thetans, or both?

Jgg
Jgg

  Neither of those has mass.  It is your "meat body" that has mass.

Llama
Llama

I'm quite sure Hubbard said something ridiculous had mass, maybe it was "thoughts"

I think he even went on record about how much they weigh

N. Graham
N. Graham

Do the animals have body thetans?  Do the animal's body thetans have a tone scale?

Jgg
Jgg

  N., given the robotic, humorless nature of scibots, I have to conclude that cats and dogs have more soul than they do.  I am not sure about clams or squirrels.

Jgg
Jgg

  Do squirrels get a tone scale?  How about clams?

TheHoleDoesNotExist
TheHoleDoesNotExist

I'm glad to see the Scientology 452 reference was picked up.  It's so funny/odd when I look back and remember the First book many pick up is Not Dianetics, but Alice in Wonderland.  I remember how I thought it was strange to have that particular book used to verbalize some of the drills in the Communication Course, or whatever it's called now.

Turns out it was the perfect book.  Everything in ScientologyLand is inside out and backwards, shrinking and jutting out making it quite the  mystery tour.  There are so many quotes from Fahrenheit 451 that relate to the scientological mindset of burning any book (or fact) that is not Hubbard's, that so blinds and numbs, a mother doesn't see her child, she sees an IAS patron or labor recruit;  that so hardens the heart that a human being does not see The Hole, he sees Nothing at all.  Here's just a few quotes for any lurkers out there.  If you're wondering if it's just you, it's not.  I replaced the word "war" with scientology.  You can replace book with internet if that works for you.  Hope this might help jar some memories out there.

“We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against."

“Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man?”

”Cram them full of non-combustible data, chock them so damned full of 'facts' they feel stuffed, but absolutely 'brilliant' with information. Then they'll feel they're thinking, they'll get a sense of motion without moving.”

“We're going to meet a lot of lonely people in the next week and the next month and the next year. And when they ask us what we're doing, you can say, We're remembering. That's where we'll win out in the long run. And some day we'll remember so much that we'll build the biggest goddamn steam-shovel in history and dig the biggest grave of all time and shove scientology in and cover it up."

Jgg
Jgg

Here is a tone scale for cats:

Canine Tone Scale - 20 March 1970 0.0 -  In heat0.1 -  Whining0.5 -  Running away0.8 -  Back arched1.1 -  Hiding under something1.5 -  Trying to come inside with a dead mouse2.0 -  Meowing2.5 -  Scratching furniture2.8 -  Chewing or licking themselves3.5 -  Sitting calmly, ignoring you4.0 -  Sleeping20.0 - Rubbing its body against you22.0 - Purring40.0 - Belly full, on couch, purring and stretching, asking owner to rub its belly.

DeckardCain
DeckardCain

You just gave me quite a mental image of Tom Cruise acting Tone 40 on Oprah's couch using the cat scale.

Jgg
Jgg

Forgot to add:

10.0  Chasing, hunting or playing15.0  Eating

bobx
bobx

-1.0 Coughing up hairball

Jgg
Jgg

  As for the dog tone scale, I have observed, when buying liverwurst ar a grocery store and then walking home, that all dogs in the area are instantly at 0.8.  Giving a dog a piece of liver brings them to 22.0 in about 2 seconds (and it costs about a dollar), much faster and cheaper than Scientology's tech.

NOTseriously
NOTseriously

KDW = Keeping Doganetics Working, one liverwurst at a time :D

MarkStark
MarkStark

I was thinking of some things to compare to people's search for meaning and information in the age of the web. When I've watched a movie and it is something I liked, whether there were a few things I didn't quite understand or whether because I want more information on it, I go to the wiki on the film and read about the plot and other details of the film. Some of the time, I find I missed something very basic. I don't go to the movie's website, because they don't give the plot away.

I think many people starting out in Scientology will have similar questions, maybe about Hubbard. Did he really accomplish all the things he said he did? Or, does spending all this money produce miraculous results in EVERYONE who does this and sticks with it for years? They get powerz? Let's see some of the powerz. They are good communicators? Let's see them communicate some complex ideas that don't involve selling or promoting Scientology.

Obscure film? Find information on the web. A group or method you don't know much about? Same thing.

Scientology can put as many videos of people hyperventilating with enthusiasm about expanding their space etc., but most people should still be more interested in wiki and what wiki says about Scientology or Hubbard.

Wiki gives away the whole plot.

Guest
Guest

My girlfriend called me one day to say her best friend was going to take her to a Landmark forum meeting, but she didn't know anything about it, other than the meeting seemed a little long.  But her friend said it was great!

It took me all of 20 seconds on the internet to figure that one out.  I told her to stay away. 

Dennis Leen
Dennis Leen

Scientology has been banned in China (PRC).  Somehow they managed to publish Dianetics in Chinese in 1983(?).  It was sort of sold out.  If you keep it from the people for far too long, they will think it must be good.  The side effect is that, Dianetics is published under psychology / therapy  because they can't do it in religion.  This became the official Taiwanese category too.  When Scientology came to Taiwan in the 00's, the original Dianetics is official categorised as new religion, just as any other proper libraries in the world.  The national library responsible won't do anything about it as nobody really cares.  I wrote to the RTC about insulting their religion.  But obviously RTC is happy that you can find Chinese Dianetics in the psychology / therapy section.  Because of scn's library campaign, I would think most, if not all, libraries in elementary / primary and high  / secondary schools have one.  Because of the non-religion category, Dianetics even find it's way into where it shouldn't belong, such as libraries attached to the labour department where people look for jobs.  I'm sure all universities have it.  The though of a clueless new student, under stress of being new, casually walked past the psychology / therapy shelves and spotted a volcano ...

N. Graham
N. Graham

 I don't think there are too many elementary school librarians that have Dianetics, or any school above university level, who have it like they also have info on dead religions.  Just because a library gets a book doesn't mean they will shelf it, most of the time not.  And schools only put out things geared to the grade level of their patrons which doesn't include Scio pablum. 

N. Graham
N. Graham

 You should have read the librarian article a couple of weeks ago here in the Voice!

AnotherSP
AnotherSP

 Yeah, it was good.  I sent the link to a few librarians I know.

MarkStark
MarkStark

It has worked to the cult's advantage for Scientology to be everything (all the answers), anything (whatever is true for you, finding "ruin.") and nothing (just simple "tools"). As it disintegrates under the information exposed on the web, the strongest thing that binds them together is that they are an elite club.

A small percentage of wealthy foreigners -- the ones  who want to feel part of an off-center American club of wealth and celebrity -- will still be attracted to the the cult of Tom Cruise. In increasing numbers though, their children are going to be exploring these issues on the web in an effort to understand what their parents are spending so much time and money on. When the Cruise video was released, it put a big dent in their plan to be secretive.

No matter what they do, how will they be able to hide that their core story involves Xenu blasting souls out of volcanoes 75 million years ago? It is too preposterous to be considered legitimate or even sane, given the amount of money they expect an adherent to pay before they learn that secret. They can't legitimately pretend it is metaphorical when Hubbard keeps talking about his trips to Venus being "factual" and his research scientific. It just doesn't add up. The younger generation is going to see this, whether they are from China, the U.S., Latin America or Africa.

Are_sics
Are_sics

I think the simple "everything", "anything", and "nothing" taxonomy is brilliant!

Jgg
Jgg

  It's like pinning jello to a tree.

MarkStark
MarkStark

Well, thank you. It just came to me as I was thinking about Scientology straddling or fluctuating between religion and self-help therapy. The "nothing" part is probably the hardest to justify, but that's what they tell you if your questions are probing at all. They want you to believe that it is nothing that can be explained, but that it is something you have to buy into and experience for yourself to understand.

Then they pull the switch on you and lay the Xenu story out in Hubbard's own handwriting! That's not nothing. It's lurid and deceptive. You are supposed to pay a large sum of money, respect the crock, and even after you've read it, not really say too much about it if you don't know what to make of it.

RadioPaul1
RadioPaul1

Dennis, nothing could be further from the truth. As I pointed out above it is illegal in Germany to promote fascist ideology and people are not beating down the doors to get their hands on Hitlers Story. I have heard this argument before and it simply is not true. No matter if a society allows it or not there will always be a nut fringe that will believe anything. Even here in the US where Scientology is free to do what ever they want including forced abortions, beatings, blackmail and worse they still scream persicution and demand even more rights than the rest of us.

Again, I am not aware of Russia banning personal copies of any of the books nor limiting academic study. What they are banning is the targeting of the population. The idea that stopping fascism breads resistance is false. The US is the stronghold (though dying) of Scientology because they can do what ever they want without consequences. No organizations should not be allowed to promote hate speech as policy. Yes what Scientology preaches is hate speech towards, minorities, gays, and non believers (WOGS). Furthermore Scientology has attempted repeatedly and falsely to cure illnesses and tried to usurp the medical community. Again I don't agree with banning ligature for individuals, academia and the press but I whole hardily agree legal action must be taken when Scientology puts out literature made to look like legitimate Medical Pamphlets meant to confuse the person in need. People have died from this abuse. It is no different than any other confidence con and we would never allow say the Irish Travelers to print up flyers to fix roofs then rip people off. All they would have to do is scream persecution and people would just say well it must be a good roofing job because the government keeps cracking down on them.

Remember, we are not talking about a religion but a internationally criminally convicted fascist mafia cult.

Chuck Beatty
Chuck Beatty

One point worthy of note, long brought up during the 1990s, Prof Dave Touretzky brought it up repeatedly, is that Scientology/Hubbard are anti intellectual.

The Hubbard rules preclude internal discussion and no  class of  theologians has yet come into being internally in official Scientology.,

The Freezone (splinter group) Scientologists  and the ex member critics, and outside hobbyist and interested smart observers and readers of the books so far written about Scientology are wearing the bits of the theologian hat for Scientology.

The admin details are boring, and laying out the Catch 22 and 1984isms of Hubbard's rules, isn't fun research, writing nor fun reading.   It's claustrophobic and frustrating to hear it all laid out.

But it truly is Hubbard's key penalty administrative church rules and regulations and church administrative  operational writings, which spread out over 35 years (from Dianetics days in 1950, to his final traffic to Author Services Int and to Int Management at Gilman Hot Springs/Hemet, CA) that are so hard to address and reform.

If I had to pick a single book containing the most Catch 22 and 1984isms it is  the 2007 edition of the  "Introduction to Scientology Ethics".

Only a fine fine small number of loopholes exist even in this book, to undo the last 3 decades of damage.

Anyone wanting to be more expert, read "The Road to Total Freedom" by Roy Wallis, and read "Renunciation and Reformation" by Harriet Whitehead.

And if Harriet Whitehead is alive and could be interested to summarize Scientology today, I'd very much like to hear her views.

And the big ongoing problem, is the one Jim Lewis blurted out, which is it is NOT new religion scholars' jobs to be any of the new religions' theologians.

Loved the Mussolini made the trains run on time analogy.   

One thing I've pushed and wished scholars would note, is that the freezone/independent Scientologists DROP almost uniformly excommunication, and they drop just loads of the Hubbard Catch 22 penalty control rules.  

They keep the therapy and exorcism, but drop the control setups.  

The tenacious setups, are Hubbard's fault.   

The whole discussion internally how to limit the totalitarian setups, that could be done internally, all they'd have to do is put a couple nerdy admin type Sea Org members onto onto a multi-year project to sort it out, and then post the nerds in the Exec Strata.

In fact, I'd put multiple project missions (Action Bureau CMO Int run) on each of the points of "business" that the Exec Strata members are supposed to deal with, and put about 20-30 people, in pairs, on the projects, and have them execute an internal in depth review of the whole history of Hubbard's church admin writings, and sort it all out.

Period. The movement technically COULD do this, and since Hubbard left them this option, it will depend on the quality of personnel attracted to the top ranks of the movement to engage in these policy review project missions, and thus build and create their future Exec Strata (their "think tank" which is the biggest loophole they have to reform themselves internally)..

Jgg
Jgg

  The anti-intellectual thing is common to cults.  Look at the Tea Party:  no acceptance of scientific evidence re evolution; no acceptance of scientific evidence re global warming.  But they are SURE Obama is a Muslim, born in Kenya. 

sketto
sketto

Not just cults - all religions. The Catholic church has fought everything from Galileo's discoveries to the use of contraception. Pursuit of knowledge through science is seen as - hell, actually IS - a threat to those who need stories about the supernatural in order to keep their BS alive.

Mimi The Great
Mimi The Great

It makes my heart sing (off tune) any time there's a caption under the photo! So funny!

DeckardCain
DeckardCain

Scientology is a form of behavioral modification therapy that serves to strip down the individual's sense of self and critical thinking skills through several gradient steps of repetitive motions, speech, and hours of meditative focus.  That's it, folks.  

The TRs and auditing peel back the ego and personality while reinforcing the cult identity.  Learning the hard sell techniques prepare the individual to become an attack dog in their work life to make money to give the cult more money.

Independent Scientology has the same retched stench.  I really wish that the US Gov't would figure out that Scientology is a bastard form of therapy and require it to only be dispensed by a licensed therapist.  Seeing how that is a major conflict of interest to Scientology, I would hope it to die on the vine.  

Llama
Llama

I'm not sure the word "meditation" is the best fit.  I think that term has been co-opted for processes which bring about a relaxation, so to speak.  Perhaps "mesmerizing" would work better. 

DeckardCain
DeckardCain

When I say 'meditation' I mean a concentrated and unbroken focus on an idea, word, phrase, event or emotion.  Scientology tech asks the end user to relive past pain experiences for long periods of time, which is like poking a dirty finger in an open infected wound over and over and over and over again.  

Once you stop, you'll feel a sense of relief and an endorphin rush.  You may give yourself a staph infection that can kill you, but for the short term you will feel a rush.  You are reprogramming a neural pathway to be associated with the rush.  

The TRs teach you not to question authority.  The auditing creates dangerous neural pathways.  Both processes involve a meditative state.  

DeckardCain
DeckardCain

Yes, in my opinion the e-meter acts as the gauge to measure whether the end user is able to properly receive the 'malignant' message.  It is a crude machine that really only measures tension in your body.  You can make the needle float by breathing and relaxation techniques (as Marc Headley attested to in his book) and you can make it jump  through light squeezes or other manifestations of tension.    

As for the most nefarious TR, I would read the post that Chuck Beatty posted.  

DeckardCain
DeckardCain

Thanks for the deeper insight, Chuck.  I've often wondered about how the roots of the systematic physical restraint were implemented.  It is a basic mammal instinct to resist physical restraint unless certain factors are met.  Scientology not only figured out how to meet those factors but how to cut off that natural instinct.

I think a paper about this is most needed and deserves consideration.

grundoon
grundoon

+1 nomination for Comment of the Week!

me
me

Would love to read that paper, if you ever write it.Do eeeeeeeeeet!

Chuck Beatty
Chuck Beatty

There is a very important aspect of the TRs which indoctrinate Scientologists into accepting physical control.

Because the TRs are done both as the practitioner "therapist" and as the coach "patient", all Scientologists doing the TRs will learn another key point.

They all learn to give and receive physical control.

First on TR 3 the practitioner "therapist" will be flunked if he lets the coach "patient" leave the session.    

On TR 7, the practitioner "therapist" will be flunked by the coach "patient" if the coach "patient" escapes the physical control of the practitioner "therapist."

You basically are indoctrinated to expect that during the Scientology therapy practice, the patient will occassionally attempt to escape, and that you are obligated absoolutely without question to physcially restrain the patient from escaping.

And as the TR drills are performed as both the therapist and play act as the patient, you thus are trained to accept, when you later become the patient, that your therapist WILL physically restrain you from escaping the therapy session.

This is conditioning that goes on to all members who do the TRs training, and it's so indoctrinated that no one even thinks twice that this physical restraining is wrong in any way!

The TRs condition Scientologists to accept physical restraint of themselves, unknowingly, and under the justification that preventing escaping patients or preventing escaping students is a justified action.

This is one of the religious technical points which I find borderline illegal in Scientology, and it IS one area that when legal experts study Scientology spiritual therapy theory, I hope they understand this, look for abuse of this physical retraining, as for sure, us Scientologists KNOW we are justified in physically restraining our fellow members in certain instances.

Lawyers looking for WHY Scientology emits this illegal attitude in the area of restraining its members who are 'blowy'.

I've thought that I should do a paper and pull together ALL of the long older critics comments on this area.

Also the "Liability Formula" states people in Liability need to be "watched" which is why at the Int Base, one of the reasons guards were posted outside the Hole was because everyone in the Hole was in Liability condition or lower, and thus technically per Hubbard's rules, they all deserved to be watched (guarded from escaping and creating some backlash against those higher in the Int Base who put them in the Hole).

Llama
Llama

Fascinating.  Is it safe to say the E-meter gives the auditor a sense of when the subject is most vulnerable to be "programmed?"

What is the most obvious nefarious TR?

DeckardCain
DeckardCain

Typically, yes, most people define the term as a the state of mind which creates the outcomes you state.  The act of meditation creates physiological side effects (relaxation, slowed breathing, alpha brain waves), which are needed for the end user to be open to suggestion and/or instruction.  To meditate is a verb and mental well being is one potential outcome.

Malignant meditation is a good way of defining the tech.  The outcomes of the tech are the opposite of well being although the neural pathways created give the end user a sense that it is well being.  This is one reason why it is so psychologically damaging and requires a lot of repairing therapy.

Llama
Llama

I guess it's like "malignant meditation."  Typically, the term refers to attention which brings about relaxation, improved perspective, mental well being, and can be blissful. But I see your point. 

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