Mike Rinder on "The Hole," Indoctrination, Confessions, and His Ultimate Escape

Categories: Scientology

For years, Mike Rinder was the Church of Scientology's chief spokesman and executive director of the Office of Special Affairs, its intelligence wing. In 2007, his defection was among the most surprising in an exodus of high-ranking officials from the church. Since then, he's given several interviews, but none as complete as the videotaped discussions we had with him last month in his Florida home. In this first segment, he describes the conditions in "The Hole," Scientology's notorious concentration camp for fallen executives at its California headquarters. In other segments, Rinder also talks about the confessions forced out of prisoners, the constant indoctrination of church members, and much, much, more...

First, some background that we picked up while getting a tour of Scientology's spiritual home.

Rinder was born in 1955 to Ian and Barbara Rinder in Adelaide. (He has two younger siblings, Andrew and Judy.) Ian was an entrepreneur and owned a series of businesses, including a wholesale grocery distributor, an aerosol canning company, a travel agency, a restaurant -- he even raised goats at one time. Barbara kept the books.

Mike went to private schools growing up. "They were Christian but non-denominational. There were a lot of private schools in Adelaide," he says, calling it Australia's version of Omaha or Des Moines.

In 1959 or 1960, Rinder's parents became interested in Scientology -- L. Ron Hubbard had given lectures in Melbourne around that time, and left behind some active groups there and in Adelaide. After moving to Sydney for about a year, the Rinders then made a pilgrimage to Saint Hill Manor in England in 1966 or 1967 that lasted nine months. (Hubbard had just left the manor, which remains to this day Scientology's European headquarters.) After a second trip to Saint Hill a few years later, Rinder had twice been around the world by ship by the time he was 15 years old.

It was about then that Rinder remembers being audited for the first time. It wasn't something the family was public about, that they were Scientologists. The Hubbard books were hidden at home, and his parents weren't pushy about his involvement.

After finishing high school, Rinder joined the Sea Org at 18, turning down a full scholarship to the University of Adelaide. His first assignment: the "Tours Org," which traveled the continent, arriving at individual churches to convince parishioners to sign up for more services -- called "regging." After crisscrossing Australia for several months in the Tours Org, Rinder was then sent for executive training at the center of Scientology's universe -- the yacht Apollo, with Hubbard himself.

But first, he needed to do his formal Sea Org indoctrination, known as Estates Project Force, at Saint Hill. Then, in September 1973, he went to Lisbon to meet the ship. After swabbing decks for a while, he then landed a plum assignment back on land: working PR for the ship in Funchal, Madeira, an island owned by Portugal.

By 1974, the Apollo had been kicked out of several other countries, and Portugal was just about its last safe home in Europe. But having just gone through a coup, the country was becoming suspicious of the Americans and Brits on the odd ship. Rinder and a handful of others were stationed in Funchal to hand out surveys to locals in a bid to convince them that the Apollo was harmless.

"Then the 'rock concert' happened," Rinder says. In October, 1974, rumors had spread through Funchal that the Apollo, which was docked there, was working on behalf of the CIA. An uprising of locals dumped a couple of cars and motorcycles owned by the Scientologists into the water as rocks were thrown at the ship itself. While Hubbard shouted instructions from the deck, the Apollo's crew scrambled to get the yacht out of port. Rinder himself -- all of 19 years old -- was trapped in the house he was staying at in town, and ultimately needed a military escort to get back to the ship. It was that incident that convinced Hubbard to leave for the US -- but Rinder says the boat's agent spotted federal agents waiting for the ship in South Carolina, so instead Hubbard sailed the Caribbean for a while. After another year, he would move operations to land, taking over the downtown area of Clearwater, Florida.

Clearwater is, to this day, the spiritual headquarters of Scientology, and we traveled there in March to spend a couple of days with Rinder, who still lives nearby even though he left the church five years ago.

Today, Rinder and another former high-ranking executive, Marty Rathbun, are leading an exodus of church members who have left official Scientology because of the way it's being led by their former boss, David Miscavige. Both Rinder and Rathbun, as well as others who call themselves "independent Scientologists" still adhere to Hubbard's ideas even as they reject Miscavige's church. We asked him to help explain the difference between the two movements...

Rinder is just one of numerous former executives to go public in the last few years with stories of abuse at the hands of church leader David Miscavige. Like Debbie Cook, who testified to her experience of being held in "the Hole" -- Scientology's notorious office-prison, Rinder explains in the first video, above, some of the conditions there. But we also asked him about the mentality that keeps some executives in Scientology for years even after they've gone through that kind of experience. He says it's a matter of gradual indoctrination...

Rinder says he was held as a virtual prisoner in various places -- tents on a golf course, for example, as well as in "the Hole" itself -- for almost two years between 2004 and 2007, being let out on occasion to make appearances at church events or to handle the BBC's John Sweeney. But we asked him, not for the first time, if he could remember what first caused him to fall from grace in the eyes of Miscavige, and sent him from the highest of executive positions to a prisoner...

Debbie Cook testified that besides the degrading conditions of the Hole -- sleeping on the floor of an ant-infested, sweltering office, eating disgusting "slop" -- that the days consisted of mass confessions that could last hours. Rinder was held in the place far longer than Cook, and we asked him what those confessions were like...

Rinder mentions in that last segment that he and Marty Rathbun, another top former official, had been assigned by Miscavige for four years to handle the fallout of the 1995 death of Lisa McPherson, who perished after being held for 17 days at Scientology's headquarters in Clearwater, the Fort Harrison Hotel. Rinder and Rathbun directed the church's legal strategy as Scientology was indicted criminally for the death (charges were later dropped). McPherson's death and the years of bad publicity it garnered for the church is one of Scientology's biggest headaches in its 60-year history.

Even when he was let out of confinement from the Hole, Rinder says Miscavige could make work assignments feel almost as unpleasant as imprisonment itself. There was the way, for example, he assigned Rinder to do work on what would become The Basics, Miscavige's 2007 re-release of L. Ron Hubbard's most essential Scientology books, which all Scientologists were then required to purchase at up to $3,000 per set...

Another strange aspect of imprisonment at the Hole -- which multiple witnesses tell us went on at least from the beginning of 2004 to the middle of 2010, if not longer -- was that everyone inside were high-ranking executives, all of whom had known and worked with each other for years.

"These were your friends, people you had traveled with," Rinder says. "But then, you get in the Hole? You can't trust anybody."

The forced confessions pitted friends against each other. And the conditions only made it worse. "Everyone sleeping with only about six inches on either side. Above you. Below you. Getting up in the middle of the night, you'd disturb everyone," Rinder says, and more than once compares it to the madness of Lord of the Flies...

Like Cook, Rinder eventually got out of the Hole because, he says, Miscavige needed them elsewhere. For Cook, it was an event in Clearwater. For Rinder, it was to handle John Sweeney and the BBC while they were filming a documentary about Scientology. But even after he was out, Rinder says he continued to be bullied by Miscavige, and began thinking about "blowing" -- Scientology jargon for defecting.

I asked him to describe how he finally broke away in 2007...

So, I asked Rinder, where is this all going?

"I don't think that the demise of Miscavige and the church is going to be a direct result of people abandoning it," he says. "I think there is sort of a snowball effect that happens with people who get influenced by Debbie Cook, or the Tampa Bay Times. Other people who know someone affected by disconnection...

"But I think the ultimate demise is going to be either when there is enough media pressure demanding that Miscavige answer up and stop sending lackeys to make excuses, or when he's forced to testify under oath.

"The minute either of those things happens, he won't be able to maintain the facade any longer. His facade is built primarily on him doing these events -- the New Year's event, March 13 [Hubbard's Birthday], June 6 [Maiden Voyage], the IAS in October -- where he convinces the flock that everything is hunky dory. They believe it, because he's the one saying it. If he can't do that, the whole house of cards will fall to pieces.

"The people in the local orgs, they see that nothing is expanding. But they assume it is everywhere else. They figure they're doing something wrong, and so they don't want to look anywhere else. It's like a whole big incredibly elaborate facade that's been constructed.

"It will just kind of fall to pieces as soon as that source of bullshit is no longer able to convince everybody that the world of Scientology is experiencing its greatest rate of expansion.

"The only thing Miscavige has is a lot of money. So, he is able to create the appearance of expansion with this buying of buildings. Because all you need for that is money."


On a personal note, I wanted to thank Christie Collbran, Mike's girlfriend, for putting up with us over two days so close to her delivery date. She and Mike are expecting a baby boy any day now.


**********
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. 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 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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446 comments
Nonoleclown
Nonoleclown

independant scientology,same shit  differnt smells

Joe_Lynn
Joe_Lynn

Does anybody seriously think Mike Rinder has stopped lying?  It was more than 2 years ago that he said he could put David Miscavige behind bars, but, he had to wait because he had an 'exclusive' with Panorama :)

Um yeah.  Right Mikey

John Anthony Duignan
John Anthony Duignan

I would dearly love to see M&M attempt a reasonable response to that perceptive interrogation by Sid. I imagine that a considerable evasiveness  would be to order of the day.

jensting
jensting

 "So the discourse has been good for me"

this is what life outside a cult is like.

The idea that clams cannot talk to each other about their "cases" is very obviously a control mechanism - obvious to outsiders that is. The idea that no claim of efficacy of $cientology may be questioned (just say no to invalidation!) is very obviously a control mechanism. Well, obvious to anyone who's not in a cult.

In contrast, "Real Life" [tm] contains people constructively disagreeing, discussing and modifying basic tenants of their perceptions, experiences and knowledge. Outside a cult, people learn from discussions where one person makes a claim and the other person calls bullshit. One might phrase it more politely, but make no mistake: what a cult victim calls "invalidation" is one way in which the state of the art is advanced in other fields.

Besides, what were the constant changes of the "tech" as defined by LRH if constant "invalidation" of his own work? LRH keeps going on about results being bad because such and such a group misapplied the "tech" and then he goes and changes the "tech." Maybe, that group had applied the "tech" exactly as LRH dictated, the results were entirely unsatisfactory and LRH blamed the victim an changed the "tech." Again. But, of course, anyone who capitalises The Subject will be able to brush off this question with no second thoughts.

Are_sics
Are_sics

Yeah... "you're not really clear" is supposed to whip people into a frenzy and have them drop more cash so they can be *really* clear, I think.  Make people repeat what they've done, spend more. Make people want that badge, that approval, that ability to claim the status to others.  Spend more.

On the other hand, if he can just say it as a blanket statement, "you're not clear; you thought you were, but you're not" , I'd hope I would question the product I thought I bought already.  NO more money for that guy. He sold me clear, and then told me I didn't have it!  I'm not buying again.

Heroder
Heroder

Hey Elizabeth,

I just wanted to say I enjoy reading your posts.   They're like positive energy.

Thanks!

Are_sics
Are_sics

I think Miscavige was accidentally right, in that I don't think there's anything meaningful added by labeling someone "clear".  Anyone.  But then, what has he been SELLING these people all these years?

I don't know what "playing the SP" means, though.  It seems like ad hominem response.  Come to think of it, LRH's "never defend, always attack" directive leads to ad hominem attacks all the time.  It's a way of insulating the "teachings" from the sort of give-and-take  scrutiny any idea must be subject to in order to survive.

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

Yes they are just words, and the words lay out how I could prove to you that I happen to exist. There's circumstantial evidence you could use as well, which given the mundane request of meeting a person, which you know that people do exist, you could click on the link in my name go to my facebook page and talk to me directly. If you're within distance we could easily meet or share a video chat. These are all pathways we could take to prove the claim that I exist. 

Now please explain the pathway to take to prove that a Clear exists. 

Billy Bob
Billy Bob

Elizabethan, while I sometimes may not agree with you, I do have to say I admire you for continuing to engage in these conversations in a reasonable manner.  I think you are a class act, thank you for sharing your perspective with all of us.

wannabeclear
wannabeclear

The thing is, Elizabethan, Scientology is touted as a "technology" and "scientific," so it's not unreasonable to ask for scientific proof of it's effectiveness when these kinds of claims are made. It was very important for Hubbard to show himself as a scientist and he made many claims (also unproven or shown to be untrue) about his own credentials and research as a way to show the scientific basis for Scientology.  Other religions base their beliefs on faith, not science, but Scientology has always made claims that can supposedly be scientifically proven, so why is it that anytime someone asks for that kind of proof, they get shut down?

Daniel
Daniel

This is freedom: To write what you think and others can read it - uncensured !Thanks Tony for making it possible, discussing Scientology.

Sooner or later the Church with DM on top won't survive.The interesting question is: What will come then?

What would be the Church of Scientology - as laid out by Hubbard - without Miscavage?Would it be something that could save our planet - or putting it more modest: would be pro-survival for our planet?

I have no doubt that all Scientologists have the very best motives and intentions. But the overall concept is totalitarian, it is based upon total control of every human being. It is based upon the idea that the Church is always right.

No doubt: There are lots of smaller and larger jewels in Scientology, e.g. word-clearing as a basis for better understanding, learning, achieving ones goals. Unfortunately such techniques can't be spread individually, independently from Scientology. So many people will resist against allowing this technology in schools - as not to advertise for Scientology.Too bad.

So why don't we start thinking BEYOND the Miscavage era? Who will take over? Will somebody continue? Will the Church be restructured? Will it be dissolved and the property distributed among those who have worked for it for many many years?

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!

Are_sics
Are_sics

Gotta say Noah is dead on, on this one, I think.  The kinds of claims he's asking for evidence for are not just "opinion" claims. They are things that are amenable to evidence.  I like to stick to the "improve IQ by 20 points" claim because there's a quicker turnaround time for before and after than "stop aging" or "no colds".  But they have the same claims on truth, the same amenability to evidence.

Some things are not these sorts of claims, let's grant.  But THOSE things all are. Let's just be honest about what we observe when things are, in fact, observable.

Are_sics
Are_sics

Thank you, Elizabethan... and it reminds me to say THANK YOU TONY! while I remember that Tony is not a "hero"...  lest his feet turn to clay.... 

I'm grateful for this forum for sharing, no heroism required.

Tony, and many participants here, freaking ROCK!

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

Well he got that wrong, as far as scientology, the myriad of dianetics institutes and Hubbard himself have all shown, no one has gone Clear. Ever. 

And calling me an SP, suddenly just asking, simply asking, taking no action, not impeding your life in anyway makes someone a non-person? And you wonder why people don't treat your religious views with undue deference?

But Eliza- Come on, show me one and I'll apologize. Why are you so afraid to back up your claim. Stop arguing about it and do it. I'm repeating myself because you refuse to actually engage in anything but telling me not to criticize at all. I am not letting this go, so long as you claim to be clear I will ask you to prove it. That is our point of divergence, you believe such a think exists and I do not. Yours is the positive claim, so I want you to prove it. It really isn't that hard. But still you refuse and dodge.

Perfect vision, perfect recall, never getting sick, aging slower than those who are not clear. Show me one of those people. Please. I honestly want to meet one. I can't be more sincere with you.

John P.
John P.

Seems to me that a "real" troll has enough understanding of the subject matter and of the hot buttons of the other commenters to get the maximum reaction from the others with minimum effort. In other words, an effective troll knows how to push the buttons of his audience. OTVIIIisGrrr8 does a great job of satirizing such trolls by his over-the-top bombastic rhetoric.  Rush Limbaugh is a great example of a troll in a different medium, by the way.   

The OSA bots seem to put a few cliched attacks in a couple of predictable directions into the text.  Typically nothing new in terms of content, and the language is fairly bland.  They try to fly "under the radar," raising niggling doubts.  That's the strategy, but they're not  very effective at it, since they're easily spotted, but they aren't capable of a sustained discussion... They'd be in their "entheta decompression chamber" for days if they got in a big back-and-forth honest-to-goodness discussion, or so they fear.  The OSA bots would be worth worrying about if they weren't so wooden and predictable.  They're like the uniformed anonymous henchmen in one of the early James Bond flicks.  They're so doomed and ineffective that you're sorry for them (unlike for the big bad guy at the top of the evil criminal organization).  

Marcotai is able to elicit a reaction, though it's difficult to understand whether it's his less-than-perfect ability to impersonate a Scientologist at the source of it, or if it is his persistence or just the non-sequiturs that enrage people who don't realize right off that he's just practicing his English.  

Tye Solaris
Tye Solaris

"It's my own opinion that if people do not understand the mechanics of mind control, they will never understand the true danger of cults, fundamentalist religions and extremist politics. The danger is not that they prey on the stupid and gullible, the danger is that they prey on the intelligent and well-meaning."

- Jefferson Hawkins

Tony should frame your statement Jeff as a sub-heading to all of his articles.

Thank You.

Guest
Guest

I think the oil is separating from the water.   We have the conciliatory folks, and the hateful folks.  Can there be unity amongst the critics?

Victoriapandora
Victoriapandora

Alright. David Miscavige did not kill Lisa.What a completely assinine statement.All the LFBD's going on, on Martys blog are making me feel ill.

"Marty, Marty, thank you for telling me what to think, I feel SO much better now."

I am so done with this. It's that bitter taste that freedom has, when you haven't supped it, in a long time.

I'm DONE.

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

Yes I can provide photos of myself. I can talk with other people. We could meet and have a cup of coffee. I can provide proof of my existence. Please do the same for the claims of Mr. Hubbard. 

One more time, and a hundred times to follow, why are you unable to provide evidence of a clear? 

I'm pretty sure it is because one does not exist. But gosh Elizabethan, I'm not joking if you could prove one exists under scientific test conditions, I'd become a dedicated member of your group.

Jenny
Jenny

I agree! Elizabethan has been a great sport in this interchange, While my opinion (and it is just an opinion) comes down on Noah's side, I have really admired the tone and good will of Elizabethan's responses.  Thanks guys.

Adron
Adron

Word-clearing, it seems to me, is one of the dangerous tenets of Scientology that advances the whole brainwashing mechanism. While it's difficult to argue against the idea of encouraging students to look up words they don't understand, Scientology education in practice uses a student's perceived confusion about a definition as an opportunity to modify and twist the meaning of this word in a person's mind. Step by step, a person can be conditioned in this way to think in a language structured and prescribed by Scientology, and with this vocabulary in place, it becomes more and more difficult to think outside of the Scientology paradigm.

wannabeclear
wannabeclear

Sorry, Daniel.  "Word clearing" isn't a jewel, it's jargon-based bullshit.  Looking up words to make sure you understand them isn't revolutionary, it's common sense.  It's a basic part of reading comprehension and already incorporated in teaching.  Repackaging it as some super special "technology" is disingenuous, that's why it shouldn't be allowed in schools.

John P.
John P.

Why are all those evil scientists picking on Scientology?  

The need for testability and the appropriateness of asking to see independently verifiable tests of the claims of "clear" and of other aspects of the "tech" is inherent in the very name of the belief system.  It is Scientology.  It is not "Fictionology" (the great word coined by The Onion in their parody).  The religion is not called by a completely made-up word like "Frimbleglurp" or a vague phrase like "Possibility Dynamics."  And the subtitle of Dianetics is "The Modern Science of Mental Health."

You can't come out with something that in its very name implies that it is superior to every other type of science out there and expect people who have an understanding of the scientific method to accept that it works without even a tiny shred of scientific proof.  You are waving a big red cape in front of a bull, whose decision to charge the guy annoying it is perfectly understandable.

That is especially true when you make fantastic claims such as perfect recall and an IQ that climbs one point per hour of auditing.  If I do 130 hours of Objectives and my IQ was 120 to start, then thousands of Scientologists would have a 250 IQ, something that's never been recorded before, and probably never will be.  The closest any Scientologist will come to a 250 IQ was John Travolta, when he starred in the movie "Phenomenon" in 1996, and that was, of course, fiction!   

If instead of these wild absolutes under the name of "Scientology" you invented a religion with a different name where you made more modest claims of improved memory, better creativity because inhibitors are removed, and improved feelings of health and vitality, your religion would probably fly under the radar of those trained in science, because those claims are modest and they are attainable with a variety of techniques and they are not on their face amenable to experimental measurement.  

But Scientologists invoke the mantle of science to make claims that are of absolutes and perfection, claims that are extraordinary in the magnitude of the achievement possible, and that are testable.  Then they are surprised when scientists challenge those claims, find them laughably wanting, and when scientists expose the hypocrisy in Scientology's claims for a scientific foundation guaranteeing the superiority of their beliefs but then fighting tooth and nail to keep their beliefs come anywhere near even the simplest controlled trial.  

Scientology has no one to blame but itself for the scorn that it has engendered from the technologically literate.

Are_sics
Are_sics

That's why Jeff Hawkins is my "favorite" of the ex-Scino people.  I don't know if I'm more skeptical than he is -- probably I am. But I have full on recollection of believing unbelievable things, full-on recollection of defending indefensible things; and now, in middle age, I no longer  believe in "more than human" and I no longer believe in a separate state of "enlightenment" or "clear" or "OT" or d"ubermensch".  I believe in wisdom, love, maturity.... I believe extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence (thank you, Carl Sagan -- almost-hero).  And I believe ALL gurus, Teachers, shamans/priests/rabbis... ALL of them, have clay feet, no exceptions. 

We can learn from everyone.  Somebody I'm likely to meet  on any given day is far more wise, loving and understanding than I.  But ALL heroes have clay feet.  NO exceptions.

ALL Krishnas, Jesuses, Gods, Hubbards, Buddhas... etc....

Again.  ALL heroes have clay feet.  No exceptions.  Let's grow up.

wannabeclear
wannabeclear

I hope that doesn't happen on the oiliness table.  That could be messy...

jensting
jensting

what, like being in a cult where discussion is out-something-or-other?

Exceedingly unlikely.

I think that being critical is not the same as being hateful. Your milage may vary...

While critics being critical of critics has always been with us, it is ultimately a strength. Just look at how well David Miscavige is doing out of enforcing complete absence of criticism inside the criminal organisation known as the "church" of $cientology.

Oh, and HELLO!! New law in Arizona :(

Billy Bob
Billy Bob

There need be no division, nor unity.  In fact, the creation of new brilliant thoughts lies in the disorder of this ongoing conversation.

We are all individuals.  There are many voices, and as those come together and clash and agree, just as waves on the beach crash and recede, they wash away the flotsam and muck to reveal the bones of the shipwreck.  And that shipwreck is Scientology.

The more waves, the more is revealed.  I say, keep making waves!

Billy Bob
Billy Bob

OMG, whatdoyoumean you're DONE?That sounds ominous!You're not done HERE are you, VP?I selfishly hope we do not lose your uniquely independent* and reasonable voice here, but on the other hand I understand that people sometimes need to take a break in a struggle like this. 

And while I have no idea what you are going through, have gone through, and yet there were times when I have taken a break from this, used the time for other parts of life.  I often worry that it may not be healthy for some people to spend as much time on this subject as some of us do. I suggest breaks are good for everyone from time to time, and I was glad to see Tony start to pace himself better, as a matter of fact.

Again, I actually hope I am being foolish, and you mean something else entirely.I hope instead you mean you are embracing your freedom, that you are done with Scientology and Marty's Blog, which is a joyful occasion, in my book.  Anyway, just wanted you to know I think you're pretty cool to have around here.  Thanks.

*and I use that word independently from the meaning of the "Independent Scientologists."  It's a good word that I don't care to see being co-opted by any form of Hubbardism, so I will continue to use it as I wish.

Daniel
Daniel

There are not many parents and teachers who are aware of the significance of misunderstood words and the problem of not being aware which they are.I'm afraid you don't really know what you are talking about.

Jonathon Barbera
Jonathon Barbera

"Looking up words to make sure you understand them isn't revolutionary, it's common sense."

I wish it were common sense! I've actually had people argue against using the dictionary in favor of guessing at the meaning based on the context. That's the opposite of common sense.

Olig
Olig

It also doesn't help that the founder of Scientology, Hubbard was a moron.

It is said that sitting in contemplation or meditation gives you perspective.  This Hubbard character is the world-record holder for lack of perspective.  He didn't call any trend or predict any future outcome correctly.  He failed completely.

wannabeclear
wannabeclear

Thank you, John, for stating that so eloquently.  Hubbard was an expert at hyperbole.  He was not, however, a scientist.  The fact that those who follow him won't even concede to that is where a lot of us have trouble.

Stoic-1
Stoic-1

Excellent analysis. Hubbard was at an distinct disadvantage since most of the world's major religions were founded hundreds to thousands of years ago. They all have their own myths that are at odds with logic, but the major religions are so engrained in their respective cultures that most fail to question them with any veracity. I'd like to see proof of a clear too, along with evidence of an ark that could hold all the world's animals, an explanation of how a virgin birth is possible, proof that the black stone in Mecca is sent from heaven etc etc. When it comes down to it most of us guard our own beliefs jealously, while looking at those who think differently as silly, while ignoring and making excuses the parts of our own way that just don't make sense.

Based on the lack of evidence of their beliefs and their tangible results I find that they are more like adherents to "The Secret", the most popular cliff-notes of philosophy of the last decade. "I am a Secretologist, and I'd love to tell you how wonderful it makes my life, but you'll just have to try it for yourself because it's a secret!"

wannabeclear
wannabeclear

Can we continue to repeat that, shout it even?  BEING CRITICAL IS NOT THE SAME AS BEING HATEFUL!  Someone needs to make t-shirts!

Guest
Guest

No, you are correct to point out that it doesn't matter.  None of this does.  As long as we are trying to protect people.

Guest
Guest

Well said.  And agreed 100%

 

N. Graham
N. Graham

Also, just defining words without taking into account the context, that is the words around the word, is what Scio wants.  A good student learns context also.

jensting
jensting

There are people who give other sources for "looking words up in a dictionary" tech. Since I do not have perfect memory, I can't remember to whom this very special technology was ascribed, but I believe that the reference was made here on the VV within the last few days.

But, I agree, I can see the appeal to someone who had not been getting good results with the normal "doing a bit of both" approaches. After a few days of wordclearing, anyone would agree that they were getting good results - since they would have completely lost the ability to distinguish good results from bad...

Guest
Guest

The whole theory of "misunderstood words" was developed by a person who got terrible grades and dropped out of college.  That person was the founder of scientology, L Ron Hubbard.

He wasn't very educated or smart.  The people who are smart and get good educations think he was an idiot.  They also completely disagree with his moronic ideas about education, like "misunderstood words."

wannabeclear
wannabeclear

I'm afraid you have been duped by a cult that uses mind control.  But thanks for playing.

Stoic-1
Stoic-1

Understanding words, increasing one's vocabulary and learning to communicate well are all good things, but none of them require scientology. One can just grab a dictionary, read good books and join toastmasters.

Olig
Olig

ANOTHER awesome post, John!!!!

I'm really enjoying your posts!!

Olig
Olig

Guessing meaning based on context is the NORMAL way that kids learn.  That's why the 5th graders curled up in the corner with Charles Dickens can read a hundred pages a day.  That's why those kids will get awesome grades in college, as opposed to your cult founder who flunked out.  If they jumped up to go to the dictionary when they felt "spinny" then they would read about 3 pages a day.  That Scientologic method is retarded.

John Anthony Duignan
John Anthony Duignan

I think it is a testament to the toughness of the human thetan that before Hubbard came up with the educational revolution of study tek, that people like Thomas Jefferson could pen the wording and the context for The Declaration of Independence, that Hobbs could write 'The Leviathan', or that T.S. Eliot could author 'The Wasteland'. Leaping forward, I find it astounding that Noam Chomsky can write with such perspicuity and elegance about human rights, that Hitchens could debate with the breath taking fluency of Oscar Wilde. That Edward Said, a foreigner no less, could script 'Orientalism', now a staple of the humanities. 

We are truly indebted to L. Ron Hubbard for study tek, I thank you for bringing this to our attention once more.

wannabeclear
wannabeclear

The people who "argue against" using a dictionary (I'm dubious) are just as wrong as those who think ONLY a dictionary is the right answer.  Actually, context based meaning is also part of learning and understanding.  Because many words have more than one meaning, simply looking it up in a dictionary doesn't necessarily provide understanding.  Only context can do that.

Olig
Olig

It's also based on left-hand path magicka which will screw you up, after you get the Mercedes Benz you've been praying for so so hard. 

Stoic-1
Stoic-1

It's like a lot of things, it has some value, but it isn't original and primarily pulls from other sources instead of forming new ideas to contribute. Read primary sources, always.

wannabeclear
wannabeclear

"The Secret" is that it's a rehash of the "law" of attraction, with a dash of of Norman Vincent Peale's "The Power of Positive Thinking" for good measure.  Like some other "applied philosophies," there's a small nugget of common sense in there, with lots of mystical hocum thrown in to make it seem more important!

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