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The Science of Explanations

December 12, 2010

You’ll never convince anyone that something works by explaining away its failures.

Imagine a scientist demonstrating his new invention – an anti-gravity device – in front of an auditorium of his peers. He tries to make it work, and it fails again and again. And each time it fails, he has another explanation: “the temperature isn’t right in here,” “there’s too much humidity,” “the planets aren’t aligned properly,” or even “there are too many negative vibes in here.” Well, you’d see people walking out, disgusted. The man is obviously a charlatan.

Well, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he did get it to work in his temperature- and humidity-controlled lab. But then he should have demonstrated it in his lab and explained its limitations.

You’ll never convince anyone that something works by explaining away its failures.

Unfortunately this is a lesson that organized Scientology – and many Scientologists – have yet to learn.

Even Scientologists who have left the Church sometimes get into this. The failures of organized Scientology are explained away as “it’s all David Miscavige.” Sure, the man is a highly destructive sociopath. But, as I’ve stated before, this doesn’t even fit Hubbard’s own Data Series criteria for a real Why. A Who is not a Why. And this statement can be “how-comed.” How come a single SP can take over and corrupt an entire organization that claims to have the technology to handle SPs?

There are many Independent Scientologists who are genuinely interested in learning from the mistakes and failures of organized Scientology, really digging in and finding why the Church went bad and working to prevent it from happening again. But there are a few, what we might call fundamentalist or doctrinaire Scientologists, who refuse to consider systemic factors. And certainly the Church would never admit to any systemic flaws.

The Good Barrel

After my recent posting of what I consider to be the twelve systemic factors that make Scientology organizations toxic and abusive, we had a few of these explanations. To go back to our bad apple/bad barrel analogy, they claim the barrel, the Scientology system, is perfect, but it’s been corrupted and misapplied by imperfect people – “bad apples.”

“People are stupid,” I was told. “They are too stupid to correctly apply Scientology.” Well, outside of being arrogant, this statement doesn’t hold water. Isn’t Scientology supposed to raise intelligence?

“People are evil,” I was also told. “They will always corrupt a system like Scientology to evil ends.” Again, that makes no sense. Scientology has Ethics tech, FPRD and other things that are supposed to handle evil purposes and out-Ethics.

Someone even said, “What do you expect? We’re on Planet Earth!” I’m sorry, my understanding is that Scientology is supposed to handle Planet Earth. Wasn’t the whole point to “Clear the Planet”? If the majority of people are too stupid or too evil or too aberrated to correctly apply Scientology, then I’m sorry, how can you call it workable in any sense of that term?

To go back to the “bad apple/bad barrel” analogy, Scientology claims to be the ultimate “good barrel.” Put any sort of apple in the bottom and it emerges at the top not just a good apple, but a golden apple. Then when the whole barrel of organized Scientology goes bad, we are told it’s due to “bad apples.” Well, people would be justified in asking, “isn’t that exactly what you claim to handle? Bad apples?”

Whenever there is a discussion about the “workability of Scientology,” Scientologists tend to focus on the microcosm of specific individual wins and gains. “I had wins,” “My PCs had wins,” “As a C/S, I saw many people getting wins.” All very valid testimony, and that’s great that people get individual results from studying or applying Scientology. Seriously, that’s a good thing.

But when outsiders question the workability of Scientology, they are usually looking at the macrocosm of Scientology – the big picture. Where are the thousands of successful, booming organizations? Where are the tens of thousands of Clears and OTs visibly demonstrating the traits and abilities Hubbard said they would gain? Where is the tangible evidence of Scientology’s benign influence on society (outside of their own event puffery)? Where is the visible, solid, big-picture success of Scientology that anyone can see?

Scientology has had over 50 years to create the “islands of sanity” it claims to be able to create. Well, where are they?

But when you try to take this up with a Scientology fundamentalist to get some answers, you tend to get a litany of explanations. To demonstrate what I mean, here’s something I wrote a while back but never published here – a fictional discussion between a Scientologist and a non-Scientologist.

Conversation with a Scientologist

Non-Scientologist: So, tell me about Scientology.

Scientologist: Well, it’s a religious philosophy which contains tools that anyone can use to improve their life. These are workable tools that have been proven to be uniformly successful if they are applied correctly.

Non-Scientologist: OK, but forgive me if I question your statement about being uniformly successful. I’ve seen some disturbing things online. Apparently the head of Scientology is a sociopath who is physically and verbally abusive to his staff, many staff are treated no better than slaves, the organizations put incredible pressure on their members to come up with more and more money, people are forced to disconnect from their families, the Scientology organizations are failing, emptying out, and there are a lot of defections, including top level OTs. There have even been OT suicides. That doesn’t seem to indicate uniform success.

Scientologist: Well, you have to understand that people running the Church are not correctly applying Scientology. They’ve altered the technology. What they are doing is not Scientology.

Non-Scientologist: I’m sorry, you’re saying that Scientology doesn’t apply Scientology?

Scientologist: No. the official Church doesn’t apply Scientology.

Non-Scientologist: I see. Well, if alteration of the technology is such a major problem, maybe Hubbard should have warned people about it. Maybe he should have written an issue alerting them to the dangers of altering the technology, and had every Scientologist read it at the beginning of every course. And maybe he should have set up a part of the organization as a sort of Quality Control to police this sort of thing.

Scientologist: Well, actually, he did those things.

Non-Scientologist: Oh. Well, then, why didn’t that work?

Scientologist: Well, that’s because people have misunderstoods. They can’t duplicate what they are reading. They even have something called Crashing Misunderstoods.

Non-Scientologist: I see. That sounds like a serious block. Maybe Hubbard should have written something warning people about the importance of understanding words. Maybe he should have developed a technology of how to study, and how to handle these “Crashing Misunderstoods.”

Scientologist: Well, actually, he did. It’s called Study Tech.

Non-Scientologist: OK. Well, why didn’t that work?

Scientologist: Well, people don’t apply it! They don’t clear their words. They’re out-ethics! They are just blinded by their own overts –transgressions – and they have withholds.

Non-Scientologist: Well, I can understand that could be a problem. Hubbard should have invented a technology of ethics to help people be more ethical and disciplined. And maybe he should have directed some of his counseling techniques to help people become more honest and ethical.

Scientologist: Well, actually, he did. There’s a whole book on Ethics and a lot of auditing procedures to address that.

Non-Scientologist: OK, well, why don’t people apply that?

Scientologist: It’s hard to get anything standard done in orgs these days! The Orgs are a mess! They are off-purpose, more interested in money than really helping people. They are understaffed and harassed and insolvent and desperate!

Non-Scientologist: Sure, I can see how that would be a problem. Well, maybe Hubbard should have developed a technology of organization; how to keep organizations on-purpose and functioning properly. Maybe he should have written up all of their duties in detail so they know exactly what they should be doing.

Scientologist: Well, actually, he did do that. It’s been published in ten big volumes.

Non-Scientologist: Well, then, why doesn’t that work?

Scientologist: Staff don’t have time to study it. There’s too few of them and they are desperate. They can’t make enough on staff so they have to moonlight. There are just not enough public in the orgs!

Non-Scientologist: Oh, I see. Well, then, maybe Hubbard should have developed a technology of how to promote and market Scientology. Maybe he should have provided drills telling people how to effectively disseminate Scientology.

Scientologist: Well, actually he did do that.

Non-Scientologist: Ok, why isn’t that used?

Scientologist: You don’t understand! Scientology has terrible PR. It’s hard to disseminate to people because Scientology is so disliked in society.

Non-Scientologist: That is definitely a problem! Maybe Hubbard should have developed a technology of Public Relations so staff could learn how to create a good public image and good relations with the public.

Scientologist: Well, actually, he did that.

Non-Scientologist: Then why is there a problem?

Scientologist: Nothing standard can get done in the Church! The whole of the Church of Scientology has been taken over by Suppressive Persons. They are perverting the tech! They are destroying the Church! Everyone is PTS to them!

Non-Scientologist: Goodness, that sounds serious! Well, maybe Hubbard should have developed a technology to show people how to spot Suppressive Persons, and how to handle them once you’ve spotted them, so you don’t go PTS.

Scientologist: Well, actually, he did that too.

Non-Scientologist: Oh! Well, then, why doesn’t that work?

Scientologist: There are so many other factors I haven’t even mentioned! These Suppressives overwhelm people! They use implant technology!

Non-Scientologist: Well, why didn’t Hubbard develop some advanced techniques to give people freedom from being overwhelmed and proof them up against the effects of these implants?

Scientologist: He did! He did! But you don’t understand! This is Planet Earth. It’s a crazy place! You can’t get technology correctly applied when you have people who are not rational, who are stupid, who are not sane, who are low on the Tone Scale, who are aberrated…

Non-Scientologist: Well, maybe Hubbard should have developed a technology to make people rational, sane and intelligent, to raise them on the Tone Scale, to get rid of aberration…

Oh wait. Isn’t that what Scientology is supposed to do?


OK, this is a fictional, contrived conversation. But how many of these explanations have you heard in real life? And how often have you seen this kind of circular logic?

In my opinion, the most basic of Scientology’s system flaws is that Scientologists are trained not to see system flaws. Even when failure is obvious to everyone else, fundamentalist Scientologists will refuse to inspect the system. They will interpret all failure as individual failure. They become experts in explaining away failure.

Doctrinaire Scientologists can neither see nor correct systemic flaws, and thus Scientology is incapable of correcting itself.

And maybe we’re getting closer to a real Why.

  1. December 12, 2010 9:10 pm

    The Ron Hubbard who wrote the Creed of the Church of Scientology was not in the same state of mind as the personality who wrote KSW#1, created the paramilitary Sea Org, and started the church on it’s downward slide.

    • Sid permalink
      December 13, 2010 3:18 pm

      Hi David

      I’ve heard this a lot recently. I’ve been reading about and listening to Scientologists who were with LRH in the 50s and 60s. There seems to have been a marked change in his personality during this period. Some of the descriptions of his behaviour are absolutely terrible.

      But this brings me back to Jeff”s point – if Scientology is workable, then how could it be that the master of the subject fell so far personally from the goals he claimed could be obtained?

      I’m guessing we could go through the same cyclic argument.

  2. December 12, 2010 10:59 pm

    Before someone else mentions this, yes, Arthur, over at Ask the Scientologists, did publish an earlier version of this — with Jeff’s full permission. And, no, “Arthur” is not Jeff Hawkins.

  3. Aeolus permalink
    December 12, 2010 11:28 pm


    You are right of course about fundamentalist Scientologists refusing to inspect the system, and we’ve all probably seen that in action many times. I think there is a flaw more basic than that, which is to consider Scientology as a single system with a single “why”.

    Here is what I have observed: Almost everyone seems to have blow-out wins in their first encounters with the subject. Life repair, dianetic auditing, a Div-6 course aimed at whatever topic is troubling you the most, your first steps on the Bridge are unique to YOU. Let’s call this “personal Scientology”. On the upper part of the Bridge, everyone runs not only the same processes, but the same whole-track incidents. Maybe we can call this “group Scientology”. I do hear wins from people on the upper Bridge, but mostly what I see are people in distress. They have financial problems, they get cancer at alarmingly high rates, and they seem to have lost some of their analytical abilities, especially in dealing with things that appear to contradict the Scientology paradigm. What I don’t see are the superior, total-freedom, cause-over-life beings that Hubbard’s writings and lectures would lead us to expect.

    Next we have several areas of specialized tech, such as admin tech, study tech, ethics tech, PTS-SP tech, etc. Study tech seems to work fairly well in the academies, not so well applied to grade-school children. PTS-SP and ethics tech gives mixed results, from my experience, and admin tech is an abject failure. Slave labor enables the Orgs to function in spite of admin tech. A gradient of that applies to the WISE companies, where the dedicated staff of true believers typically work harder for less money than they would in a corresponding “wog” job.

    So Scientology has not only over-sold itself regarding what we can expect, but a number of different elements, each of which probably has its own unique “why”, have been lumped into a single elephant.

    That said, I would definitely recommend some parts of it, especially the beginning Bridge, if my “selectee” didn’t have to go within a mile of the current church to get it.

    • Aeolus permalink
      December 14, 2010 1:03 am

      Just to clarify, I know many OT VIIs and OT VIIIs who are delightful people, and very able. In fact, considering what it takes to overcome the time, finances and other barriers to reaching those goals, you would have to start out fairly able in order to complete the journey at all.

      Which reminds me of the old saying about the best way to leave Las Vegas with $1000 in your pocket: take $2000 with you when you go there.

    • Quicksilver permalink
      December 21, 2010 11:58 pm


      “Next we have several areas of specialized tech, such as admin tech, study tech, ethics tech, PTS-SP tech, etc. Study tech seems to work fairly well in the academies, not so well applied to grade-school children. PTS-SP and ethics tech gives mixed results, from my experience, and admin tech is an abject failure. Slave labor enables the Orgs to function in spite of admin tech. A gradient of that applies to the WISE companies, where the dedicated staff of true believers typically work harder for less money than they would in a corresponding “wog” job.

      Good comments …

      I’ve used study tech extensively on children – I found it quite helpful as long as the person knew what he was doing. Unfortunately, a number of teacher is schools who were using it had very basic training – some not even with a MCSC under their belt. But, when applied, I can’t see any difference when used in Academies, at school or at home.

      Yes, PTS/SP & Ethics/Justice tech did and does have varying degrees of results. I think the big problem is the Intention of the individual applying these to oneself or another. There are reams of reports on mis-application and some real nasty results. As with any tech, it can be used to harm or help.
      I did work with Wise companies for quite awhile. In the city I was in, most tried a proportionate or percentage pay system which in most cases worked quite well. I don’t think there are a disproportionate number of Scientology company owners that take advantage of their employees anymore than non-scientology companies. There’s bad eggs in both groups.

      As I mentioned earlier, it has everything to do with the intent of the person applying the tech.

  4. December 12, 2010 11:53 pm

    Great article, Jeff. I consider your blog to be the best of independent blogs on scientology.

    • Sharon permalink
      December 13, 2010 6:52 pm

      I agree 100% Vit. Jeff’s post are absolutely brilliant. Thank you for yet another amazing post Jeff.

  5. December 13, 2010 12:38 am


    Actually I’m in total agreement with you!

    As you know I never ascribed to the “lone Miscavige Theory”.

    You and I don’t agree on some “vAsT GoBeRmiNt KoRnSpiRacY” . So we we’ll skip that.

    We’ll just go for the jugular and ignore most of the players involved including His Satanic Majesty who is more like Anton LeVay than the “Pope of Scientology” AKA “Department 21” AKA “Religious Leader” AKA “The Man Behind Scientology” AKA “Scientology” by one of his adulating water carriers.

    The reason the entity which has been sanctified by full 501Ciii status and Government certified is the way it is is because of its authoritarian power structure.

    A structure it shifted towards after the FBI’s chainsaw massacre of the GO in mid ’77.

    A danger condition was assigned for “circumstances beyond our control” as they say in the media when a system failure occurs.

    I mean who woulda thunk that a couplea chuckle heads one with badly forged Federal Employee ID and the other who decided that a Government owned photocopy machine (one that kept a record of copies made on it) was more convenient than using an untraceable Minox would bring down the wrath of God or the Government (though to some these words are interchangeable) upon ’em!

    The GO instead of saying “Meisner and Wolfe who?” and create some kind of plausible denial they went into total Watergate mode and tried unsuccessfully to cover up their espionage activities ala Plumbers (an organization that had more leaks than a HUD housing project) by using a hand grenade to fix the leaky faucet and adding “kidnapping” and “harboring a fugitive” to the Government’s Alex Tribeckian “Stipulation of ‘Evidence'” (I mean sometimes the DOJ likes to play Double Jeopardy just like everyone else) along with a conspiracy (there’s that word again! Seems when the Government uses it it’s fine when an individual does their labeled a “crackpot” or “conspiracy theorist”. Just like it’s okay to illegally spy on law abiding Americans but when law… well in this case somewhat law abiding Americans do it just like Mr. Miscavige they harangue them with do as I say followed by the tacit not as I do) involving espionage against the US Government.

    After this episode (of the X-Files with Mulder and Scully armed with mallets and chainsaws) we have a bunch of chicken littles (one of them littler than the rest that actually turns out to be a big cock) running around proclaiming that the sky is falling or that the orgs have been “infiltrated” and the purge begins!

    And the Scientology public is treated to endless reams of Goldenrod proclaiming that so and so a formerly close associate of Ron’s is in fact a dastardly SP.

    So after the saturation point of the “2 1/2%” hits somewhere around 80% of all upper org staff the “clean team” from CMOI moves in and like their new SO Motto says “takes over”.

    They take over World Wide, they take over the Advisory Council, they take over the Exec Councils, they take over the Franchise Network, they take over the GO and give it an even more sinister name like the ‘Office of Special Affairs’ which is sorta like the ‘Special Activities Directorate’ of the CIA which is similar to the one run by their counterparts in the KGB under their ‘First Directorate’ and it only took us a while to find out how “special” as the Church Lady say these “affairs” really are!

    After this “command intention” has nothing to do with doing your post to the best of your ability like it says in the policy any more but now means simple Simon blind obedience to whatever moron happens be in “command”.

    Talk about redefining words!

    Followed by “Standard Tech” meaning robotically following some holy ritual bequeathed by RTC an entity that isn’t mentioned in any Policy Letter yet has the power to unScientology any Scientology entity it doesn’t happen to like run by a fully deputized IRS agent who happens to be the moron in command.

    But I digress….

    You could say the organization never made it out of danger.

    In fact it went the other way toward confusion!

    I’d say my little diatribe sums it up from my POV.

    • Margaret permalink
      December 28, 2010 1:58 am

      I’d say this sums it pretty well also RJ. Big picture, the organization went into “danger” in the late 70s/early 80s and never made it out. Instead, it fell all the way into confusion and has been percolating in the lower conditions ever since.

  6. December 13, 2010 1:11 am

    You lay out your argument with devastating clarity.

    But, may I ask, what is your conclusion?

    Does Scientology work, or not?

    • Jeff permalink*
      December 13, 2010 2:12 am

      Alanzo, I’m not sure one can make a blanket statement in either direction. Personally, I’ve experienced results from auditing, particularly lower-level auditing and simple processes. I’ve also had auditing that did nothing for me. I’ve seen bits of the “tech” that seem to work well, and other bits that fail miserably in practice. I think this is something that former Scientologists have to sort out for themselves. I think that if none of it worked, you’d never get anyone to join in the first place. Even a mousetrap needs some actual cheese. And if all of it worked as advertised, you’d have huge booming orgs and millions of Scientologists. So it’s somewhere in between.

      • December 13, 2010 3:47 pm

        All right.

        For me, because Scientology ultimately did not work, being a Scientologist became a very unsustainable way to live.

        And since there is so much lying and deception built into the tech itself, and because the endless explanations (as you so beautifully laid out in your post) are, in fact, the ONLY standard way for Scientologists to view its problems, Scientology ends up being more destructive and unworkable than constructive and workable.

        That is why the general public should be warned about Scientology, so that its destructive effects can harm fewer and fewer people, until finally, no one can ever be harmed by Scientology again.

        That’s how I see it.

        Your most recent blog posts are extremely useful in pointing out the parts of Scientology which need to be eliminated for the safety of the public. I am very grateful to you for the very thoughtful work you have done.

        You are an inspiration.

      • Fidelio permalink
        December 13, 2010 5:04 pm


        again thanx big time for another VERY fine article!!

        Here is what helped me to sort in Hubbard’s work:

        and looking from there, it helped me to sort out for myself what had worked and where SCN went to its limit in my thrive for enlightenment.

        May it help others, too…


      • Jeff permalink*
        December 13, 2010 7:42 pm

        With all due respect, Osho is a cult leader himself, so it may be a case of pot and kettle.

      • Cowboy Poet permalink
        December 16, 2010 11:12 pm

        “Even a mouse trap needs some cheese.”
        I loved that one!

    • December 13, 2010 3:13 am

      If Scientology was one process, or even many variations to one technique, the answer could be “yes” or “no”, but Scientology embraces so many different things, from a “touch assist” to some complex L&N multi-part procedure. Not to mention Ethics, Admin and all of Hubbard’s many “solutions for the world’s problems”.

      Scientology is all about simple answers. There is no simple answer here.

      The answer is some “yes”, a lot “no” and there is some “it depends” and “maybe” in there.

      • December 13, 2010 10:29 am

        I agree Bill.

        Also some procedures take a greater degree of skill to apply than others and the results can depend a lot on the practitioner.

        I do know one thing for sure that the results were better in the past than they are in the present Squirrelly “Golden Age” in the Orgs.

        Besides no one’s forcing Scientology down any one’s throat.

        Especially in the independent field,

        Also the most important thing is to get results instead of explaining away failures.

      • December 14, 2010 4:05 am


        Unfortunately, I don’t agree with your statement that “results were better in the past”. We never had any Releases. We never had any Clears. We never had any OTs. There has been no time in the entire history of Scientology when the promised results were delivered.

        In my personal experience, I did have good results from a bit of the lower level processes and courses. But I’ve never seen anyone who got any of the Grade Chart “Abilities Gained”.


      • December 22, 2010 12:47 am

        Hey Bill, this is in answer to your comment below: ‘But I’ve never seen anyone who got any of the Grade Chart “Abilities Gained”.’

        I have. Each and every grade I attested to, up to and including OT IV.

    • Sid permalink
      December 13, 2010 3:50 pm


      The $64M question. Here is my assessment:-

      I once attended a 3-day personal empowerment workshop, organised by the company I worked for at the time. It was excellent. I came away feeling empowered, enlightened and motivated.

      I learnt some really good techniques for handling life, for attaining the goals I wanted, for communicating with people. for handling problems, for making the most out of certain situations.

      I had one particularly big win. We were encouraged to draw a life picture of what we wanted to achieve in life, take it home, look at it and concentrate on it. The idea was that our mind/brain would find a way to deliver this for us.

      I drew a picture of a nice house, with me and my wife standing outside, holding hands with two children; a girl and a boy. Lo and behold, two years later we have moved house to one that looked like the one in my picture, and we have a girl and a boy.

      One of the techniques we practiced I was not so comfortable with. I didn’t like it, it didn’t work for me. I haven’t thought much about it since. The only comment I would make about this one technique, was that the instructor called me out to the front of the class and used it on me. To my everlasting shame, I went along with it, and said yes it’s a great technique, to the applause of the class.

      At the end of the three days, the guy running it simply said goodbye, hoped we enjoyed the course, gave us his email in case we subsequently had any problems or issues arising from some of the intense self-discovery that happened during the course.

      He did not stand at the front and tell us that the fate of humanity was in his hands.

      He did not tell us that he had the only workable technology for the human spirit and mind.

      He did not tell us that by attending further courses he could give us special powers, or heal our ailments.

      I wonder if he had indeed made such statements, how many in the class might have asked for further information? An interesting thought. Anyway…

      Scientology does not contain the ONLY WORKABLE TECHNOLOGY, it contains SOME useful TECHNIQUES for SOME PEOPLE.

      These useful techniques are IMHO the cheese in the trap.

    • Fidelio permalink
      December 13, 2010 6:16 pm


      may I link you to another quote from Osho on SCN?

      To me, the catastrophic failure of (organized) SCN finds some answer in those remarks.


      • Jeff permalink*
        December 13, 2010 7:44 pm

        How about the catastrophic failure of Osho’s own commune experiment in Oregon? Pot. Kettle.

      • Fidelio permalink
        December 13, 2010 10:22 pm

        Well, Jeff,

        won’t argue here, but disagree. No comparison.


  7. December 13, 2010 3:44 am

    Jeff, you certainly are on one helluva roll! From where I’m looking, it appears to be an condition of Action Affluence. If you’ve buried the forumla, I do think I can locate mine. Be more than happey to email it to ya…Ha, ha You must have had a blast composing the contrived conversation. Personally, I think it could be converted to a video enactment without losing a bit of impingment (might even gain some). Indeed, I would love to see this conversation being acted out on youtube. And not just for my humor either, but because IMO, it does an amazing job of illuminating the absurdities of the defending arguments.

    You know, Scn, as other cults, was really good at making itself appealing to a great many intelligent folks. In fact, just last night I was watching a video clip of a conversation between exscios Karen Pressley and Paul Grosswald and exMoonie, Steve Hassan. It was very good BTW and, as I was listening to them talking, I was noticing how intelligent they all were. Yeah, lots of very intelligent people get caught in the snares of cults. If anyone is interested in watching this vid here’s the link:

    Jeff, as a side note, as Scn fades in the distance as does my interest in it, I find your blogs very much applicable to the world outside of Scn. You’re much appreciated and many thanks.

  8. Tony DePhillips permalink
    December 13, 2010 4:04 am

    Hi Jeff,

    I love your logic.

    I enjoyed this article very much.

    I think one of the major out-points of the Scientology writings and organization is that it oversold itself. What I mean by that is if you promise that you will go exterior or that you will be able to go to a library in Moscow while you are sleeping in Seattle and absorb all the knowledge in the books there , then that is a big order to fill. On the pro-metering course you were supposed to be PERFECT after finishing it. There are many examples of this kind of hype.

    LRH did say that it is a workable system and not a perfect one. I personally only think it is a workable system if it is being ran by an uptone individual who has some intelligence.

    Absolutes are unobtainable.

    Nothing is perfect.

    Stats show a relative degree of survival if the stat being used is a true index of the survival of the thing.

    I think you could argue that when LRH was running the group the stats were increasing. That showed some workability. I think there are some good stats of people enjoying and winning from auditing. This again shows some workability.

    After dm took over I think it is safe to say that the stats started to deteriorate. That it took so long for them to get this bad shows that there was some resistance to the bad ideas but obviously not enough.

    If Scientology from the git go said that this tech usually works and it has helped quite a few people and we will charge a reasonable price for the help then I think things could have worked out a lot different than they did.

    I personally think that the auditing tech is very valuable and is worth salvaging.

    You will get no argument from me that the organization has been a failure since dm took over. Is it all his fault?? No. But if you are going to revert the stats you would have to do an analysis of where did the stats start going down? I don’t have the stats, (another out-point of the church) but I would wager that they started to go down with dm. Let us get rid of him and make any other adjustments that we need to and still use the parts that we have has benefits from. That is my evaluation of the scene.

    • Aeolus permalink
      December 13, 2010 2:58 pm

      What if the stats had gone up, way up, under Dm’s management but then we discovered he did it by beating and starving his staff and extorting money from the public? Would we still get rid of him?

      • Tony DePhillips permalink
        December 13, 2010 9:34 pm

        Of course we would still get rid of him.

        This is what I said above:

        “Stats show a relative degree of survival if the stat being used is a true index of the survival of the thing.”

        If you had stats that monitored a true Ideal scene then you would be getting somewhere. Such as:
        Number of winning people
        gross income
        happy and well paid staff
        Auditors still auditing after one year of completing their training
        The stats could be worked out as to which ones were really showing a good scene.

        I am not advocating an “organized Scientology”. I think free market Scientology would be best. Those who delivered a valuable product would do well and those that didn’t would die off, as is the current cult of savage.

        Jeff said above that he had some benefit from auditing and when Alonzo asked him if it worked or didn’t he said probaly somewhere in between.

        I agree with that. I think it would be fruitful to determine what parts are valuable and seperate those parts from the destructive parts.

        I would like to know from Jeff what he got out of auditing?

        I got a lot from auditing:

        Helped me rise on the tone scale. (most of it did, not the sec checking. Although at first I even had wins from the sec checking.)
        Made me feel that I was more than just a body.
        Increased my awareness of communicating with others.
        Handled large areas of mass and enturbulation within my own mind.
        Helped me in my ability to deal with other people.
        That is just some of it.

        I do feel that someone who wants to do away with it all is probably on the suppressive side. I am not talking about those who want to stop the abuses. I am doing that and I also am a declared SP.
        But someone who cannot see that there is value to the tech either has not had any good tech delivered to them, or they are on the SP side of things, of they lost their gains somehow. People don’t need to get auditing if they don’t want it. But to try to stop others from getting it and working towards that goal is suppressive in my opinion.

      • Aeolus permalink
        December 14, 2010 1:07 am

        Well, I agree with what you have said here, pretty much verbatim.

      • Tara permalink
        December 16, 2010 3:14 pm

        Tony, I agree completely and feel the same way. Thanks for sharing some of your wins from auditing. I have those too and amazing, cloud lifting, fog-busting gains from Key To Life and Life Orientation courses. I have also used my auditor training to help dig a person or two or 100 out from the depths of despair, say from the death of a loved one, to being able to cope and exist with some happiness. (I bring this up because the father of my teenagers died last week.)
        I want to see LRH on the free market just like you suggested, offered by practitioners at reasonable prices/exchange in whatever way they can offer it, big or small. 🙂

  9. Michael permalink
    December 13, 2010 7:28 am

    Yeah, I’ve been that Scientologist. Once again you’ve nailed it! Now if only the rest of our freinds could wake up. I know I would sleep much better.

  10. Cool Observer permalink
    December 13, 2010 1:34 pm

    You wrote:

    “A structure [authoritarian power structure] it shifted towards after the FBI’s chainsaw massacre of the GO in mid ’77.”

    Is the term “chainsaw massacre” ironic hyperbole or do you really think the FBI overreacted and butchered the GO when a slap on the wrist would have sufficed? (Maybe that’s a silly question, but please keep in mind that I’m German, which means that I have no sense of humor)

    Are you implying that this (allegedly) heavy-handed approach by the FBI pushed the entire organisation towards authoritarianism?

    Remember that previous post where I took issue with your praise of the GO staff during the FBI raids? (“You did great and we’re proud of you etc.”) I get the impression that you think of the GO with some kind of romantic nostalgia, yet it was established to stifle criticism by any means possible. If a courageous journalist would have written a book called “The Dirty Dozen”, the GO would have done anything to shut that person up. Anything.

    The last few posts on this blog have shifted from exposing the glaring outpoints in the current organisation to systemic faults that cannot be explained away with “it’s all Miscavige’s fault.” I’m in no position to lecture you about the good, the bad and the ugly of Scientology, but it should be a no-brainer that something is not automatically great just because Hubbard created it.

    In my opinion the GO is one of the essential problems that cemented the authoritarian structure of Scientology, because it was obviously created to suppress criticism. If Hubbard would have been able (and willing) to take criticism seriously, Scientology might have turned out completely different and ex-Scientologists would not tell heart-wrenching stories.

    • Cool Observer permalink
      December 13, 2010 5:45 pm

      Sorry, this was supposed to be a reply to the post of RJ further up.

    • December 13, 2010 7:44 pm

      Cool Observer,

      The US Government at the time was trying to repress any group it considered “unAmerican” as in HUAC and what they considered to be a “threat to National Security” using covert programs such as COINTELPRO and MH/CHAOS.

      The latter a domestic spying program directed against vocal critics of the Vietnam war which included the Church of Scientology that was illegal initiated by the CIA’s Clandestine Services and the former an illegal program originally initiated by Hoover under HUAC to go after Communists which expanded to going after any dissenters involved in civil rights or who were antiwar.

      The Church Committee uncovered many these programs in the mid 70’s.

      Many of them very similar to the current actions taken against Assange and Wikileaks.

      So yeah as far as that aspect of going against a repressive government that had over stepped the boundaries of decency.

      I say YEAH TEAM!!!

      And yes I do think that the FBI overreacted.

      They overstepped their warrant which was restricted to the GO’s offices and files.

      Using mallets, crow bars and chainsaws on doors and file cabinets that could have easily been unlocked using a key.

      Having a team of over a 150 armed agents converging on a Church in the early hours of the morning in a residential neighborhood as if they were an armed group of terrorists was I would say a bit of an overkill and went beyond a mere ” slap on the wrist”.

      • Jeff permalink*
        December 13, 2010 8:19 pm

        I don’t recall the Church ever taking a vocal stand on the Vietnam War. Unless you know something I don’t.

      • Cool Observer permalink
        December 13, 2010 10:28 pm

        Operation Snow White was the biggest domestic espionage campaign in the history of the US, the GO easily outdid the KGB. I don’t think the Feds overreacted. We’re talking about a group staffed with people who held “wog law” in utter contempt, who were trained in TR-L and Fair Game, who had been instructed to study and internalize Sun Tsu’s “The Art of War”, and who had adopted a ruthless mindset to ensure KSW at all costs. I think that many other governments would have been even tougher. No offence, but I don’t buy the claims that the GO uncovered unethical government practices. If that was actually the case, they would’ve done it to exploit it for personal gain, not to preserve democracy.

      • December 13, 2010 10:38 pm


        As you know Ron always took a stand against war in general and most of the public was antiwar and civil rights.

        Many Scientologists I knew were involved in the peace movement and civil rights and against Government oppression.

        A stand the GO took through Freedom before it became Miscavige’s personal organ.

        (Yes pun intended 🙂 )

      • Sapere Aude permalink
        December 15, 2010 3:28 am

        The stand was more in the Freedom articles on the drug BZ, testing in subways in NY of chemical/biological agents and the use of PDH for creating agents. There was a lady (name I don’t remember presently) who was PDH’d and used during the war by OSS as a courier – this was exposed by Freedom. I don’t think it was a specific anti Vietnam thing.

        There were also articles on police spying, Cointelpro, etc in Freedom. The church had never made friends with the FBI. If you read the original Snow White eval it is not subversive nor irrational. Somewhere along the line additional activities were associated with it and these went off the rails. I don’t know who did this, but they are not in the LRH eval and program.

        I believe most of the GO, just as most of the SO, think they were doing their job to support the purpose of Scientology. This good intention can be steered off to the side and we get non optimum results.

        To COOL OBSERVER – I never held wog law in contempt, not trained in fair game, and was not of a ruthless mindset on KSW, etc. That is painting a lot of people with a broad brush. Neither am I here to argue the sainthood of the GO. Just some facts regarding Snow White at that time and my opinion as to the purpose of many GO staff. Most GO staff were not in the Dept’s related to the FBI raids.

  11. GetTheConcept permalink
    December 13, 2010 2:59 pm

    Possibly in narrowing it down to the why, a statement could be made as follows: There is a tech that was needed to be accomplished, which if accomplished would have made the Church of Scientology a success in clearing the planet or creating a sane civilization. This tech was never developed. A lot of, or some, tech was developed which did produce some great successes on individuals and groups. However, without having accomplished the development of the missing tech that would have made the overall long-range, planet-wide success, there was a failure to produce the result of a clear, sane group and civilization.

    That’s just something that sort of came to me after reading this article. I’d like to get all your viewpoints on my idea.

    • Jeff permalink*
      December 13, 2010 8:20 pm

      Well, it’s a bit vague as a Why. What was the missing tech?

      • GetTheConcept permalink
        December 14, 2010 10:14 pm

        Yes, of course, it is not a why, it was just an idea I had that I thought might go further in the direction of a why. (I can see how the way I worded my point, how you could have interpreted it that I was intending to state a why there, but I wasn’t.) I really didn’t put much thought behind it but when I thought of it, it seemed like it could be a route to take in looking for a why.

        Would you agree that there might be a missing tech?

      • Ackerland permalink
        December 16, 2010 4:40 pm

        “Missing tech” is only one of the two possible reasons for the current state of affairs in the “church of scientology”. In my view it only serves as an excuse to cling to the last shreds of Hubbard’s writings.
        The second possible reason is that Hubbard’s model of the human mind is incorrect, like him saying we have an “analytical mind” and a “reactive mind”, and that the promises made for clears, releases and OTs have never been attainable. I like to go with the second reason, because Hubbard’s claims about clears sound too good to be true, and the fact that Hubbard claimed in Dianetics already that numerous clears have been produced without a shred of evidence thereof.

      • December 19, 2010 2:41 pm

        I’d say (not my original idea), tech with the objective:

        * to recognize cognitive dissonance
        * to recognize morphogenic fields
        * to drop polarity

  12. Xavier permalink
    December 13, 2010 3:18 pm

    This is another great article from you, Jeff. You nailed
    the matter quite well. And also, as per usual, your sense
    of humor came right through, as that contrived conversation
    had me chuckling all the way along!

    Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, most of the top
    popular names in the “Indie” or Independent Scientoly
    movement are acting in a fundamentalist fashion. Hopefully
    this and other articles by you will help them, and many
    others, broaden their horizons.

    Thanks and Happy Holidays!

  13. plainoldthetan permalink
    December 13, 2010 9:08 pm

    Jeff: I’ve reviewed my Data series issues and can’t find the LRH reference that says “A Who can’t be a Why”. I did find that a Why = that basic outness found which will lead to a recovery of stats” (Data Series 19, p.62, 1982 MS1); “WHY: (The real reason found by the investigation)” (Data Series 24R, p.77, 1982 MS1); “5. Locate the read WHY that will move the existing toward ideal.” (Data Series 25, p. 83, 1982 MS1)’ “A Why is the real basic reason for the situation which, being found, opens the door to a handling.” (Data Series 28R-1, p. 92, 1982 MS1); “A REAL WHY OPENS THE DOOR TO A HANDLING” (Data Series 37, p.113, 1982 MS1); “A Why is just this: It is the reason there has been a departure or closer approach to or an exceeding of the ideal scene.” (Data Series 41R, p.122, 1982 MS1).

    The closest thing I can find to the assertion that “A who can’t be a why” is in Data Series 39, p. 116, 1982 MS1): “AN ‘EVAL’ THAT ONLY HAS A WHO OR A WHERE IS INCOMPLETE.”

    It doesn’t say a Who can’t be a Why. It says what it says.

    So I have two questions.

    1. What Situation or Situations did you find by your outpoint summary?

    2. What Why was found in your Eval?

    • Jeff permalink*
      December 13, 2010 9:29 pm

      I have no Data Series issues to hand. From memory, a Who was never acceptable as a Why and would get an immediate reject. I believe, again from memory, that there was an evaluation checklist used by AVC that covered this and many other points.

      I use the term “Why” advisedly, as I am dealing with people who are familiar with that terminology. But I could just as well use the term “reason” as in “the real reason.”

      I am not doing a full formal Data Series evaluation, nor do I have any interest in doing so. I am simply pointing out errors in logic, playing devil’s advocate and generally shaking the tree to see what falls out.

      But if someone proffers a reason, a Why if you will, for the Church’s demise which violates Hubbard’s own logical criteria, well, I am certainly going to comment on it.

      • Sapere Aude permalink
        December 16, 2010 5:18 am

        The references are Data Series 23 Proper Format and Correct Action – “…the WHY must be something which YOU CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF FROM YOUR LEVEL OF AUTHORITY OR INITIATIVE that will lead to THE IMPROVEMENT OF A POOR EXISTING SCENE TOWARD THE IDEAL SCENE. The WHY is a special thing then. It is a key that opens the door to effective improvement.”

        Continuing in Data Series 39 WHO-WHERE FINDING – “AN ‘EVAL’ THAT ONLY HAS A WHO OR A WHERE AS ITS WHY IS INCOMPLETE. … Having gotten the Who or Whee you NOW do a full readout, lift the rocks, pry into the cracks and find the Why.”

        I agree with you that in this case a WHY, or a reason, suffices to answer the question. If your reason opens the door to a handling and changes the scene then it is correct. The data series is a great way to think – but I feel, as you do, that the terminology isn’t the key point. If your reason fits the data and situation and works, then, in my opinion it is valid. And it only need be valid to you – it is then true for you.

  14. December 13, 2010 11:31 pm

    A Why is that a human being is NOT what it is thought to be (by philosophers, religions, do-gooders).
    No philosophy, religion or practice has a “handling” to *Errare Humanum Est* (Latin).

    Imperfections of every single human being is the Why of Scinetology’s ultimate failure.

    • VaD permalink
      December 14, 2010 4:12 pm

      The problem of Scientology and the Why it has never achieved what it has claimed to achieve is sitting right in the Book One (Dianetics). (I post it without concern about whether or not it will “open the door to a handling”)
      I’m sure Hubbard thoroughly believed in that himself (and tried to make/made many others believe in it as well).

      It’s that idea that mistakes are made because there is a “reactive bank” thing that gets one act crazy, weird, unethically.
      Later, he offered other “scriptural” ideas about why people made mistakes (O/Ws, MUs, PTSness to SPs in vicinity or in one’s memories, BTs…). None of that changed that people (who have received all the services that were supposed to fix all that) were still imperfect and made mistakes (errors, misdemeanors, crimes, high crimes). Rex Fowler, anyone?

      *Errare Humanum Est*
      – and NO belief in one’s “OTness” can change that. None of beings either (no matter how “advanced” they are in their spiritual quests).

      Human beings (and “OT Homo Novis” for that matter) won’t ever become perfect. We have to deal with ourselves as we are. And admit to ourselves that we can’t be perfect (“no overts, no withholds, no MUs, no SPs, no engrams, no nothing” …”and “it’s all sweetness and light and love and compassion”). It ain’t gonna happen. This fixed and firm unwillingness and inability to admit that “I *can’t* become perfect” is what keeps people stuck to Scn (inside and outside CoS).
      Willingness and ability to admit that you have made and will keep making mistakes and will never be perfect (but keep going for being better than before – to yourself and others) DOES make the difference. At least, for you. Minimally, you get disentangled from searching the teachings that will help you become just Perfect. Minimally, you get more aware at who, what, where you Really are (without and beyond anyone’s hints and ideas about that).

      The world won’t ever be perfect. It won’t just give you what you want “without any efforts” on your part. This world just won’t work in compliance with your “postulates”. One has to deal with the world on ITS terms (and not on self-established/established by others terms). This world doesn’t owe you anything. Make no mistakes about “the world loves me”. In fact, it doesn’t care.

      Perhaps, people here and there are concerned about Scientology because it has some serious *claims* about one’s ability to reach some State of Perfection (read definitions of Clear and OT) where one is always right, he doesn’t make any mistakes, and everything around him is just perfect.
      Some people (who still believe that Scn, in some version of it *can* make them perfect) are with it in their mind because of such *claims*. Such claims can’t help but breed some serious *expectations* about their further participation in services developed by Hubbard.

      EXPECTATIONS is what keeps people holding the fort, towing the line and doing weird things that the rest of humanity considers as “crazy stuff”.

      To those still believing in Scn’s ultimate success: Why has Hubbard claimed that The *ONLY* Reason was 1) Engrams in Reactive Bank, then later 2) O/Ws, then later, 3) PTS to an SP, 4) MU. – WTF? I think he just mocked up some dreams for himself about having it all perfect, and then, having failed at one dream come true, tackled another “reason” (“The Why”).

      I don’t blame LRH. He tried to figure it all out about how is it possible to be perfect and God-like.
      The only thing to add here is that he *failed* (died with unkempt hair and nails and with drug Vistaril in his blood). It should tell something, wouldn’t it?

      *Errare Humanum Est*

      • Tara permalink
        December 16, 2010 3:25 pm

        Vad, I think you’re quite right in your analysis. But some people, myself included, weren’t and aren’t looking for perfection. I was and still am looking for improvement.

  15. brendon permalink
    December 14, 2010 12:18 am


    As someone in this thread said, you are really on a roll lately. Amazing how at this point what you have to say and how you say it just keeps getting better. Congrats.

    I’d love to see you turn all you know about this topic to this question: What should one say to a “still in” COS Scientologist to help them see what’s going on? Say one you meet walking down the street who asks you to take a personality test. They’ve started a conversation — what should I say next?

    It might sound as if what I’m suggesting is something arrogant and totally inappropriate, in the sense of saying, “What you believe is wrong and let me therefore help you!” I’m not trying to say that at all. But since we’ve seen so many go from being true believers to being either independent or out, helping others “still in” engage in their own analysis of the situation (when of course they have walls about engaging in such analysis) strikes me as being OK. If at the end of things they chose to be DMbots, let ’em.

    I’m thinking along the lines of statements like “It’s OK to have doubts” that I think has been mentioned here as having an impact.

    Anyway, that’s an imaginary conversation with a Scientologist I’d welcome reading.

  16. Maria permalink
    December 14, 2010 1:18 am

    At the risk of sounding trite, I believe the problem is nicely summed up in “you can bring the horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”

    In my experience, becoming very proficient in the skills and knowledge of Scientology is a great deal of work, requiring a great deal of personal discipline, patience and practice. It is also quite demanding to persist on doing all the auditing and doing it very thoroughly, with integrity.

    IMHO this is more work, effort and discipline than many of the people I have known are prepared to invest. They want to go in, get a quick fix and have it all be “magically” alright. Just as they are looking for magic pills from the MD to cure them when in reality it is their diet, bad exercise habits and other causes which will require WORK to fix up. I haven’t seen good health or Scientology work that way. It has taken me years to really work my way through the materials, thoroughly and with due attention to comparing / testing / practicing and re-training myself.

    If we only pay lip service to what we are learning, then we never learn to walk that walk and of course we never get the changes we are seeking.

    My personal “why” could be summed up as looking for magic outside myself when the magic comes from oneself and what one DOES with what one learns.

    And that could be summed up by “be the change you want to see.”

    Or have a little patience while learning how to completely change the way you handle people, interact, etc. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

    I’m sure this could all be blamed on LRH for putting the bridge in place and making it seem that’s all you have to do but my studies have taught me that it isn’t really all just about clearing or auditing, its about getting in there and really applying the principles day in and day out. Not very convenient, not very easy, but it has been very worthwhile for me. Not that I get a lot of agreement from others around me LOL.

    p.s. I call this the magic pill syndrome.

    • Tony DePhillips permalink
      December 14, 2010 1:32 am

      I always love your thoughts Maria!

    • December 14, 2010 1:38 am

      So the why for Scientology’s failures is because people are too lazy to really work hard enough to make it work?

      • Anna permalink
        December 14, 2010 3:17 pm

        I don’t think that laziness could be described as a why for the various failures — I really didn’t get that out of what Maria has written.

        IMO there is a really good point here though, as an example the hunt for the singular right why that explains everything and magically all is well — the hunt for the big bad guy, the who that is suppressing everything and if you just remove him then everything will be magically better — the process that can be run on everyone and presto, everything is magically better. And so on. At the bottom of all of these ideas is the idea that if you just get the “right” thought, the “right” this, the “right” that, then all will be magically better.

        But reality check here — a “right” why only OPENS the door to handling. A “right” who only offers a resurgence of tone level or ability or willingness. A “right” process offers a gain in a particular area of action, thinking or tone level.

        Once the door is open, the real work begins. Once the suppression is lifted, the real work begins. Once the process is run, the real work begins. And so on. The work may have a lot of steps to it, it probably won’t be accomplished in the blink of an eye.

        Very probably the real or right why overall has already been found. I think I would summarize it as violating the principles of ARC/KRC i.e. suppressing information under the mistaken idea of making things better because the information is entheta and entheta lowers tone level. But is it entheta? Or is it simply data or events that aren’t pretty? Is the truth always pretty? Does it actually raise tone level to suppress truths that are not pretty? Does it actually lower tone level to express truths that are not pretty?

        From what I have observed, this process of releasing the “entheta,” confronting it and examining it has quite a good effect on people.

        Even so, beyond that open door is a whole LOT of work to do to sort things out and decide, each one of us, just what to do on all this and what can and should be done.

        Probably at the bottom end, the beginning course materials would need to be reviewed. Which materials should have focus? The Essay on Management? The article What is Greatness? The materials from Notes on the Lectures? The Creed? The Codes? The Way to Happiness?

        What are the critical materials? How should they be organized? Can you really expect an someone to have perfect TRs after one course? Even before he/she actually audits anyone? Can you really expect perfect metering and auditing presence because someone did a whole bunch of drills? Can you expect someone to think with the philosophical materials before they have worked with them somewhat? I don’t think so. I think that’s “magic pill” territory and I think that is what Maria was talking about.

      • Quicksilver permalink
        December 15, 2010 9:51 pm

        Some great comments here – great article Jeff.

        Anna … I did like this bit from your post:

        “What are the critical materials? How should they be organized? Can you really expect an someone to have perfect TRs after one course? Even before he/she actually audits anyone? Can you really expect perfect metering and auditing presence because someone did a whole bunch of drills? Can you expect someone to think with the philosophical materials before they have worked with them somewhat? I don’t think so.”

        I’ve always looked at everything I did in Scientology, or life itself, as an evolution.

        Books, HCOBs, novels, etc that I read years ago appear differently when I read them now. Same words, but my understanding, viewpoint, theta/entheta, whatever … has changed. It evolves – hopefully for the better as that is my intent for not only myself but others too.

        I think we all have our own ‘whys’ for what we see … and I think they are ‘right’ from the present time viewpoint of that person. And, as you mention, if that perceived why works for oneself at that instant in time, great.

        Now what I also realize is that I can believe that I know something – say a cog from a session … so true, so certain. Then shortly after another session, my view or concept of the previous cog changes. To me, if it is towards greater ability/survival potential, then all is good. That’s what I’m after anyways … greater understanding and greater ability to play the game (for myself & others).

        Obviously, others may disagree with ‘my’ observations/cog at that time … but it is mine, right or wrong, and I am willing to change it in the future as I evolve, cognite, experience … I look for change & expansion.

        I think it would be difficult to sum up the ‘whys’ for the demise of the church and have these whys be exactly right for all. We may have similar whys, or agree on certain whys, but others may have different ones … no magic bullet.

        So, I strive for greater ‘freedom’ for myself & others(and each has his/her own concept of what that freedom is), and look at this as a road … many paths – some good, some not, but that’s the game.

    • Fidelio permalink
      December 15, 2010 10:46 am


      a quote from Dionysios the Bishop of Athens during the 1. Century comes to my mind:

      Nobody goes to heaven – those who go to heaven, they have to carry the heaven in their heart.
      Nobody goes to hell – those who go to hell, they have to carry the hell in their heart.

      Only politicians and high priests claim otherwise and Hubbard was certainly both.


    • Tara permalink
      December 16, 2010 3:41 pm

      Maria~Just as an example, the most life changing course for me on a personal level was Key To Life. Never mind what it took to get from LA to L.A. to do it full time… I spent literally 11 hours a day, 7 days a week for approximately 28 days on it. That’s 308+/- hours. That was in 1991 and I am STILL realizing changes in my perceptions and understandings in life from it.

  17. idle org permalink
    December 14, 2010 3:03 am

    Great article Jeff,

    I find it interesting that LRH said a person would perish reading the OT 3 materials before they’re ready. Obviously it’s not true. I’m still alive as are all the folks who watched South Park.

    I recall reading something by LRH that called anyone dissing on Clear or OT, a “Criminal Psychotic”. Was he just covering his tracks in the event that the upper levels didn’t actually deliver?

    I really liked the LRH who gave the State of Man lectures or Route to Infinity. I cannot understand the LRH who later created some of the heavy, downtone, authoritarian items listed in the article and comments above.

    I don’t bother doing much explaining away of Scientology’s failures anymore. Because I don’t really know what’s true or not.

    Old OT levels protected nobody from the likes of a flawed system or an actual SP (DM).

    New OT levels protect nobody from the current mess.

    I’m stuck in a maybe on the whole thing, I suppose.

  18. Jeff permalink*
    December 14, 2010 4:47 am

    Two easy ways to get your comments canned:

    1. Insult other posters.

    2. Insult me.

    Unfortunately some people only know one way to deal with differences in opinion. Attack. Insult. Belittle. Be Arrogant. Put other people down.

    It’s not what you say. It’s how you say it.

    And by the way, I do this for both sides of the fence.


    • idle org permalink
      December 14, 2010 10:06 pm

      I think people throw out insults as a substitute for an open mind and a lack of confront.

    • December 15, 2010 3:13 am

      Was it Marty again?

      I knew it.

      We can’t take that guy anywhere.

      • Jeff permalink*
        December 15, 2010 5:02 am

        Ha, ha. No.

  19. glh permalink
    December 14, 2010 6:03 am

    Really great Jeff! You take no prisoners. lol

  20. Skydog permalink
    December 14, 2010 2:22 pm

    Jeff, once again you make some very excellent points. As I understand the structure of scientology, there is tech, admin, and ethics. My thought is that the organization of scientology is roughly set up along the lines of the federal system of the United States where each branch (executive, legislative, and judicial) have specific functions and provide checks and balances against the other two branches. Even in a constitutional democracy, a dictator can emerge (as in Germany in 1936) and take control of the different branches. While I don’t know what solutions are viable, it has certainly given me food for thought.

    • Ackerland permalink
      December 16, 2010 4:45 pm

      He came to power in 1933 with the help of the other parties, who voted for the “Ermächtigungsgesetz”. Only then Hitler was legally a dictator.

  21. Skydog permalink
    December 14, 2010 4:49 pm

    As a follow-up to my previous post, Ian Kershaw, in his treatise on Hitler (Norton Press, 2001) tries to answer the question of how people of a highly cultured, economically advanced, modern state could allow into power a political outsider with few, if any, special talents beyond his undoubted skills as a demagogue and propagandist?

    In a nutshell, he concludes that it was the result of the “intrigues” of a number of influential individuals close to the the Reich President von Hindenburg which led to the creation of his chancellorship. Although almost two thirds of the electorate did not vote for him, one third, while violently opposed, were in disarray internally and unable to remove him from power; the other third, while skeptical, were eventually won over by the scale of rebuilding and external reassertion of strength.

  22. December 14, 2010 6:22 pm

    Dump the whole thing.

    Look at it from outside (like you have never been in).

    Become aware of what you are doing now (as opposed to what you are doing according to Hubbard).

    Stay aware of what you are doing now (being aware of how Hubbard’s stuff kicks in).

    Stay aware (beyond seeing what “Hubbard said” as something that kicks in, without your willingness)

    Stay aware, and see what is the world is and you are.

    • December 14, 2010 6:45 pm

      Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    • Fidelio permalink
      December 15, 2010 11:05 am

      Yeah, Vadim,

      going beyond the Hubbardian mindset made me realize that it is a self serving, self defending card house which tumbles down the moment one recognizes The Dirty Dozen and the plethora of justifications in that Science of Explanations in their entirety (thanks to Jeff
      -; )

      Fortunately, speeded up by the truth exposed, it undoes itself quite beautifully.

  23. Soderqvist1 permalink
    December 15, 2010 9:06 am

    Maria: At the risk of sounding trite, I believe the problem is nicely summed up in “you can bring the horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”

    Soderqvist1: But how is it possible to drink something, which doesn’t exist? Some other esoterica may exist, but the reactive mind is not one of them. Hubbard claim that in his book ‘The Modern Science of Mental Health’ that he has investigated Scientifically 273 cases, and some of these reached the state of Clear. There are no references in his book to his scientific papers so other scientist can duplicate his experiment and see if the result is invariant, or same. Why? Because these case histories are only figments of his imagination.

    But he claim anyway that these Clears are above the average Man, as normal humans are above the mentally insane, and invariantly so. And he claim further that their engrams are erased, and their life force is restored, and redirected to survival, in example the ex-aberare doesn’t need his glasses anymore, because his sight is optimum, and he gets no colds, and is close to immune against viruses, and bacteria, etc, and the basic reason Man is aberrated is because of attempted abortions, thirty of said engrams is normal in average cases.

    You shall not evaluate for the PC is a dictum, but isn’t it an evaluation to claim that you are aberrated because your mother has attempted to abort you thirty times? This is lot of claims by Hubbard, but no evidence; pulp fiction comes to my mind, but anyway is it possible to get some kind of wins from Dianetics? Sure, it was called ‘the poor Man’s therapy in layman hands’ in the beginning of the fifties, the methods are not new, but Hubbard’s extraordinary claims are! Senior C/S Int David May has said that the claims for the State of Clear is too absolute, there are no absolutes!

    David Mayo Clear

    • Anna permalink
      December 15, 2010 8:27 pm

      @ Soderqvist1

      Perhaps the reactive mind doesn’t exist as a physical ‘THING” beyond a model or analogy but there is no doubt that there are painful memories from the past. Ask any regressionist, any Dianetic auditor or anyone who has had Dianetic auditing that helped them sort things out in their life or anyone who cries and feels the hurt when they think about the loss of a loved one, or have imaginary pains from legs that are no longer there. There’s no shortage of those people. Perhaps there is no such thing as a “CLEAR” but there is certainly relief to be gained from sorting through past traumatic incidents unless you subscribe to the view that EVERY single person who has ever had any Dianetic auditing or form of regression therapy is a blatant liar. I find it hard to believe that EVERY single person who has reported some kind of relief was lying and making up their statements that they now feel better.

      The Clear definitions you have chosen are from the 1950s book, and there were revisions as the subject was under development for many years after that. It was a good model. People got lots out of it and the idea was that pretty much anyone could learn the techniques. And lots of people did with varying success.

      But beyond that, I think you missed Maria’s point. That being that if you have had the bad habit of screaming people all your life as a means to make your way in life, it might take some practice and discipline to learn not to do that. It might not happen in an instant, especially if it is something you have learned to do. You might look for good excuses as to why you continued. You might decide that screaming is a good idea after all. Or possibly you might be all thumbs learning how to audit someone. Or maybe it might take some time to read several books. None of these kinds of changes are “magic pills” you can swallow and presto, instant mind, knowledge and skills!

      As well, the old phrase about leading the horse to drink simply means that people do have the power to choose what they do and do not want to do. Example: most people are very familiar with what it means to have good manners. They know it, they agree with it and then they CHOOSE not do use good manners. YOU CAN’T MAKE THE HORSE DRINK, but you can certainly show him where the water is. You can dispute whether there is water there all day long but that’s what that phrase means.

  24. December 15, 2010 10:30 am

    I’ve found lots of “evidence” for reincarnation though.

    Children 2-5 years with memories from past lives (even the great sceptic and astronomer Carl Sagan was impressed by this). Many tests have been done that shows too many details to be true.

    Near-death-experiences (NDE) very often contain the same pattern: Out-of-body-experience, tunnel with light, calm place, meeting relatives, light figures, life review with pictures etc (All of this could be some kind of implant). I’ve found a scientific study that shows that brain function (EEG) is down within 8 seconds after the hearts stops beating, absent within 11 seconds and totally flatline within 18 seconds in the entire brain. Still these NDE’s have occured when the brain was down.

    Out-of-body-experiences have occurred during brain damage, lack of oxygen, accidents, during auditing, when an accident almost has occurred etc. Sceptics try to explain this with several types of explanations: Temporoparietal junction area in the brain, lack of oxygen, during repetitive patterns that creates a condition of trance… (ad hocs building up?)

    Also some mediums can tell details from spirits they hardly could have known in any other way than telepathy.

    My guess is that reincarnation is at least a fact. 🙂

  25. December 15, 2010 9:16 pm

    Scientology is weird.
    It makes people keep on thinking about validity of its claims. Isn’t that weird?

    When one sees pure facts he can easily decide and make conclusons about it.
    Scientology doesn’t give one opportunity to do so (at least for those who have been involved).

    Scientology is like chewing gum for those who try to get over it. They can’t.
    It doesn’t let you go (with its extraordinary claims you can’t stop believing, and those bred expectations you can’t stop having).

    • December 15, 2010 10:03 pm

      The post above would not be accepted by any pro-Scientology blogger (including Marty Rathbun).
      It would make me banned and Persona Non Grata in any pro-Scientology Forum as well.

      I’m grateful that this space (Jeff’s blog) exists, to accomodate my needs to vent.
      Not that I care much about Scn and its past, present and future… but! I care about people who care about their own life (rather than fighting for right”ness” of Scn and wrong”ness” of those who “don’t understand!”

  26. December 15, 2010 10:35 pm

    Does Scientology work? – Yes, it does.
    Does it produce good results? – Yes, it does.
    Do people feel happier and more able? – Yes, they do.
    Does life become better for them? – Yes, it does (for some, but not a general rule)

    Do Scientologists generally feel better? – Yes, they do.
    Do they create an effect in their vicinity (amongst their contacts)? – Yes, they do.
    Do they care about what’s going on in the world? – Yes, they do.
    Do they make a differene in the world? – Hardly so.

    Does Scientology work? – Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t.
    Does it produce good results? – Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t.
    Does it help people feel more able? – Yes, it does.
    Does it produce Clears and OT (Superpowerful beings “above what humans have imagined”)? – No, It doesn’t.
    Does life (of those following Scientology) become a breeze? – No, it doesn’t.

    Scientology is full of *claims* (which create nothing but *expectatons* in gullible ones).
    Scientology has created an impact. It was *the solution* for many in 20th century… to escape, to adore, to make it into new religion… it was a good temporary solution for those who wanted “something better than it was before”.
    It has been *temporary*. – Scientology is not a solution for “every man, woman and child…”


    • December 16, 2010 1:11 am

      There’s something really good about Plato.

      He believes deeply that philosophy should provide meaning to human beings. Any philosophy that purely describes mechanics is a lifeless thing to have inside you. And it does you no good.

      So in that way, Plato is like Scientology.

      But reading and studying Plato actually does make you smarter and more aware. It does not end up shutting you off to the world and other human beings.

      Go to and download “The Republic” and get through it in audio, like you are a little boy being told a story at bedtime. It’s got everything a Scientologist always wanted out of Scientology.

      I’m here on Jeff’s blog to tell you that Plato will change your life.

      • glh permalink
        December 16, 2010 5:51 am

        Alonzo that is an outstanding site! In addition to Plato there are many others. I combined the audio with net library ebooks so that I could read along and in the outside chance you run across a word…, ahem, you can double click and it brings up a definition and pronunciation. Squirrel tech I know but what’s a guy gonna do. Thanks for the link.

  27. December 15, 2010 11:35 pm

    • December 16, 2010 1:03 am

      That was great.

      I love George Carlin.

      But I’m an idealist. I’m not a cynic yet.

      And I don’t want to be.

    • December 16, 2010 6:31 am

      He said in the end there that “if you scratch cynic you will find disappointed idealist”. I think it’s a correct statement.
      As to being a cynic, I don’t think it’s that bad. It includes ability to be dispassionate in matters where others are so passionate (like Scientology). It’s, like George said, “having a front row seat in a freak show with a notebook”.

      Being a cynic lets one have a better perspective, a broader view, or, as Hubbard stated, “pan-determinism”. Anonymous of 4chan have that, Julian Assange and Wikileaks have that, hackers have that, Jesus Christ had that. Even Hubbard hisself had that.
      Being a cynic is not about being a freak in a freak show but about having enough wisdom to be “divorced from it”, “seeing it from a distance” and being dispassionate about the whole thing. Note: I didn’t imply that it means one has to close his eyes and turn away from that show. My viewpoint is that a “cynic” has his eyes and mind open wider than those around him, and he sees more/aware of more things than those around him. Why? – Because they are passionate about it, and he isn’t.

      To me, being a cynic is not in contradiction with being an idealist at the same time. It’s just that cynic’s ideals are different from those around him.
      And, I think, George meant that, too.

  28. Seeking permalink
    December 16, 2010 6:31 am

    Outside the church in an atmosphere reminiscent of early scientology I have had enormous wins. 

    These wins can be seen in my personal stats (business, 2D, allergies have gone down, etc.)

    Properly applied Scientology works as far as I can tell as someone currently on XDN. I have not seen it all or tried it all, but what I have observed with the people I trust, I like.

    In a world truly in decline, feeling like one is getting better (and actually proving it) is almost a miracle.

    One spends all their life giving second chances to fail governments and politics and banking systems and school systems that time and time again don’t work.

    If anything is worth trying twice it’s Scientology. 

    Get a good auditor, take your time researching, and go. 

  29. Soderqvist1 permalink
    December 16, 2010 7:47 am


    Soderqvist1: the feeling I get when I see your reply is that it is unnecessary!

    Anna: Perhaps the reactive mind doesn’t exist as a physical ‘THING” beyond a model or analogy.

    Soderqvist1: I agree!

    Anna: but there is no doubt that there are painful memories from the past.

    Soderqvisst1: granted!

    Anna: Ask any regressionist, any Dianetic auditor or anyone who has had Dianetic auditing that helped them sort things out in their life or anyone who cries and feels the hurt when they think about the loss of a loved one, or have imaginary pains from legs that are no longer there. There’s no shortage of those people.

    Soderqvist1: I have read both the Dianetics book, Science of Survival, Dianetics 55, and I also have done basic Dianetics Auditing course, and taken part in Dianetic seminars, and audited lot of Dianetics, and have seen its “workability”, and I have even attested to the state of clear back in the eighties. I have also stated so in my message; ‘sure wins is possible with poor man’s therapy in layman hands”, with the implicit notion that it is abreaction/regression therapy mixed with the Freudian chain of earlier similar incidents.

    Anna: Perhaps there is no such thing as a “CLEAR” but there is certainly relief to be gained from sorting through past traumatic incidents unless you subscribe to the view that EVERY single person who has ever had any Dianetic auditing or form of regression therapy is a blatant liar. I find it hard to believe that EVERY single person who has reported some kind of relief was lying and making up their statements that they now feel better.

    Soderqvist1: Yes, relief is possible!
    But I was honestly mistaken that my attest to the State of Clear was real!

    Anna: The Clear definitions you have chosen are from the 1950s book, and there were revisions.

    Soderqvist1: why revision when Hubbard has said that some of 273 cases reached the state of Clear, and showed invariant properties?

    Anna: as the subject was under development for many years after that. It was a good model.

    Soderqvist1: Have you read the definition of Clear in the Tech Dictionary?
    Every earlier definition of clear has been found to be correct! Have you read the link to Senior C/S David Mayo’s account about how much problems there have been with the definition of Clear?

    Anna: People got lots out of it and the idea was that pretty much anyone could learn the techniques. And lots of people did with varying success.

    Soderqvist1: it is some truth to it!
    But Book 1 auditing faded away here in Sweden; I was one of the last voluntary auditors at the Org who got tired to auditing people. For all practical means the seminars, and book 1 auditing is gone. And it did so because it has only a limited application as time has testified to here in Sweden!

    Anna: But beyond that, I think you missed Maria’s point. That being that if you have had the bad habit of screaming people all your life as a means to make your way in life, it might take some practice and discipline to learn not to do that. It might not happen in an instant, especially if it is something you have learned to do. You might look for good excuses as to why you continued. You might decide that screaming is a good idea after all. Or possibly you might be all thumbs learning how to audit someone. Or maybe it might take some time to read several books. None of these kinds of changes are “magic pills” you can swallow and presto, instant mind, knowledge and skills! As well, the old phrase about leading the horse to drink simply means that people do have the power to choose what they do and do not want to do. Example: most people are very familiar with what it means to have good manners. They know it, they agree with it and then they CHOOSE not do use good manners. YOU CAN’T MAKE THE HORSE DRINK, but you can certainly show him where the water is. You can dispute whether there is water there all day long but that’s what that phrase means.

    Soderqvist1: Yes, to be on purpose, or in a word; dedication!
    But Jeff Hawking essay was about explaining away failures, not lack of dedication! It has always been the aim of humans with the psychoanalytical bent to; “make the unconscious conscious!” In example: a husband has problems with his wife because he has her unconsciously mixed up with his sadistic mother, and so release him by make him conscious about it. The reactive mind is a flawed notion. Hubbard claims that it can only compute in identities A=A, but how come that his wife can restimulate his late mother but not everything else in the reactive mind? It should do that if this mind is unable to differentiate, everything should key in so to speak!

    • Anna permalink
      December 17, 2010 4:35 pm

      @ Peter

      Thanks for all the additional info and acknowledgments. That really helps me to understand your earlier communication.

      As far as the A=A=A and everything should be restimulated, I don’t have an answer for you except to say that according to that model unless the individual is completely overwhelmed by the reactive mind (model) the analytical mind (model) continues to function to a greater or lesser extent. My personal experience is that it became easier and easier to function analytically (model) as I progressed through the auditing I did. What the exact “things” that went out of focus (model) were made of or how constructed were not particularly important to me. It wasn’t difficult for me to see how past incidents that I held in place caused me to A=A on events in my life especially once I had examined them and sort through. But that’s me.

      As far as explaining away failures goes, Jeff makes a good stab at trying to sort through that on the basis that it was unworkable in the first place but I have to wonder about this concept that there would be a process or series of processes that would make someone “unable” to act badly, especially as “badly” is so much a matter of opinion and culture. Bad behavior for me might not be bad behavior for you. Frankly I am very, very glad that the Church’s efforts to become the sole arbiter and judge of good and bad behavior has failed miserably. I never wanted a Church (or anyone else for that matter) telling me how it all should be or having the power over my life to make it impossible for me to act freely, right or wrong. I like independence. I like having the power of choice, the power to make mistakes and yes, even do things that are totally wrong. I may face retribution for it but that the risk I take for choosing to do things that are not in agreement or judged wrong. Bottom line, if a person is not doing things based on their own evaluation and decision then no matter how “fine” a person they are if they cannot choose and are being hounded and corralled then I’m out. And notice — I am out.

      I think the exact moment I decided I was done was the day I went to an event and DM started going on about how we were going to “take over the world.” My response? NO WAY. I don’t want a Church to have power.

      Sometimes I laugh at the Church as I watch them try to control their people — to my mind it looks like someone trying to herd cats. Oh, you might get those cats to go in the direction you want for a little while but they never ever give up on asserting their independence. So it is humorous for me to watch the Church put people through their auditing and then attempt to herd them. Not going to work. And here we are.

  30. December 17, 2010 11:41 pm

    “Doctrinaire Scientologists can neither see nor correct systemic flaws, and thus Scientology is incapable of correcting itself.

    And maybe we’re getting closer to a real Why.”

    The Why? IMO: KSW #1 – and the infallibility, arrogance and stuckness thereof. Of course the attitude carried by that policy letter did not suddenly pop up when it was first written, but it is that attitude that I believe is the Why.

    And Jeff, you just came to occupy the top spot on my list of writers in this sphere. Thanks.

    • December 22, 2010 1:36 am

      KSW #1 is not the why. If it was, it would have solved the issue years ago. The why is that we do not discuss the subject. That is rapidly changing, as Scientologists are shedding their hesitancy to openly discuss what does and does not work. Actually, openly discussing the subject does not violate KSW #1. If anything, it contributes to people knowing the technology and knowing it is correct (or not, as the case may be). Without discussion and analysis, how can you know what is true? On the other hand, how can you reject the subject or try to better it if you do not know it?

  31. Margaret permalink
    December 18, 2010 2:14 am

    Jeff wrote: “In my opinion, the most basic of Scientology’s system flaws is that Scientologists are trained not to see system flaws. …
    And maybe we’re getting closer to a real Why.”

    I think this is a great observation Jeff. One thing I noticed while on staff, is that the truths of the O/W tech (i.e. O/Ws can create undue criticism) is taken to extremes in the CoS, such that ANY criticism is seen as the result of O/Ws.

    The result of this extremism, imho, is that Scientologists are not allowed to openly criticize the system, and thus the systemic flaws continue to exist.

    Since most (if not all) of your “dirty dozen” are the result of CoS policy as opposed to the tech, I believe the correct solution would be to simply fix/modify Church policy (perhaps 10-20% of it, imho).

    Once done, the CoS would have a pretty good foundation from which to grow.

    • Quicksilver permalink
      December 22, 2010 12:12 am

      Good points Margaret,

      Ron never wanted us to blindly accept anything … I always tried to make sure I understood what I was reading and then started questioning if I still had questions. Later on, you ‘knew’ it was best not to ask certain questions – unfortunately that’s where I fell down. I tried it a few times but my arse was getting a bit sore.

      Additionally, spotting an outpoint as per the data series is now verboten. This is regarded immediately as being ‘critical’. Well, it is critical in one definition of the word. But this is generalized into ‘must have overts’ if one voices an outpoint. Makes me wonder where these guys think the data series is supposed to be used. Did Ron just whip this up because he had some free time? Sheesh!

      How some of these clowns got into these positions really boggles the mind. I especially noticed the popping of any body who showed fog on a mirror onto a post ramp up in the ’80s. Almost anything that moved qualified for a post.

      • Margaret permalink
        December 22, 2010 1:19 pm

        Quicksilver wrote: “I especially noticed the popping of any body who showed fog on a mirror onto a post ramp up in the ’80s.”

        I noticed this too Quicksilver. My personal take is that this was more a function of the heavy weekly stat-pushing (i.e. the “new staff recruited” stat) than anything else. Also, since the Orgs put “staff pay” pretty low on the priority list in the weekly financial planning, there is no hesitancy on hiring anyone and everyone … even if it is not financially sound or needed.

        A lot of the whole organizational approach needs to be re-thought through, imho.

      • Anna permalink
        December 22, 2010 4:28 pm

        Quicksilver: When I first began in Scientology long ago, there was an entire group of us that hung out after course time, over dinner and on our course breaks. We discussed Scientology ENDLESSLY pro and con, speculatively, shared our points of view, expressed our wins and losses, discussed the ramifications of what we were reading and so on. It was fun, it was a learning experience, it was insightful, it was helpful to us all. We never lost sight of the idea that discussions were one thing but learning how to apply exact processes was another. We were very lucky people for we had many people around who had trained under LRH personally — these people had no problem discussing their experiences, what they observed of LRH, and pointing up important elements of the tech bulletins and books. Discussion was the norm.

        At some point, and I am not even sure quite when, we learned that it was NOT OKAY to discuss the technology at all, then it was NOT OKAY to discuss our “CASES” and then it was NOT OKAY to discuss outpoints or things that shouldn’t be. And then it was NOT OKAY to disagree or express doubt or any kind of reservations. And then it was NOT OKAY to discuss Scientology with anyone at all, including non-Scientologists. The introductory lecture used at the Mission for many years, which was very successful, and very insightful was CANCELLED and no such lectures were allowed any more. From there on out the only allowed lectures were reading verbatim from LRH books. Then the only allowed materials were training or dissemination movies. Then talking about non-Scientology philosophers was NOT OKAY. Then reading OTHER materials on the subject of the mind, philosophy, religion was NOT OKAY. As an example, the book “The Secret” was labeled “squirrel” and reading it was bad. On and on and on.

        My tone level dropped like a stone. I never spoke to anyone about Scientology at all unless I had my Scientology materials to hand. I didn’t even mention simple concepts like ARC triangle any more or communication formula or KRC, to name a few.

        I pointed out that this was an outpoint, but this was unacceptable and I must have withholds. Yep. I had withholds alright. Withholding knowledge that would have helped.

        I remember pointing out to an MAA that the second or third ethics gradient is speaking derogatorily — how did this line up with all criticism is a withhold? I asked him when he planned to get his withholds off as he was extremely critical of me. EXTREMELY. Needless to say, that interview didn’t go well. Clearly, he was allowed – no – expected – to be critical. But public Scientologists? Absolutely not.

        So hell yes, that why works for me.

  32. December 22, 2010 1:29 am

    Hey Jeff, from my perspective, the real why is that we cannot openly talk about the tech, what it means to us, and what we may find is workable or not. This includes the confidentiality of the upper bridge.

    This was set up by LRH. I don’t think it was for any dark purpose. But, the result was closed communication on the subject. The irony is that the subject is about open communications. I think LRH expect that people would do the right thing and not exploit the system – but he was wrong.

    Scientology as a subject has a lot of workability to it – “cheese” to borrow your metaphor. I think that detractors are setting the bar rather high – as perhaps you should, considering that Scn claims to have answers to all these areas. But that said, every subject and group has its flaws and issues, from Christianity in all its forms to Islam to Judaism to the Sciences. While religion may have invented the Inquisition and martyrdom, it was Science that invented the atom bomb, gene modification, and communism.

    To me, the one thing that is great about Mr. David Miscavige is that he has, at every turn, exploited the gaps in the system. To me, he is a case study in how to take a reasonable policy and turn it on its heel, and do it over and over and over again until you see what the Church has become. In addition, because he has done this, we have an opportunity to jettison ALL the crap that comes along with him, such as the closed-mouth policies (“verbal tech!”), the incredible focus on money, the insanity of the SO structure, and just move to what works. We need to be able to move up to trusting ourselves with the technology – to really review it and research it, rather than accept it as gospel. This was the original intention, and what I have done since I have started.

    It was a mistake to think that LRH made no mistakes and that we are stuck with what he has written forever. Scientology was a work in progress until the day he died – so why should it stop there? Ron’s mistake was that he did not put in place a mechanism to continue research and call it Scientology, and that he in fact encouraged that it stayed as is. He also did not allow others to contribute to how this should work, and did not put in place a real governing body accountable to the public – to the members.

    From my perspective, LRH has been dead for 25 years. The subject is mine and it is ours, and it is ours to do with what we want, since the system that was in place has failed. LRH, I love you man, but I am taking what works, and leaving the rest.

    This post implies that the subject in its whole is corrupt, and that it inevitably leads to corruption and failure. The flaws are systemic, and destruction follows as the day follows the dawn. I disagree. Or, I should say, that I agree if we are defining Scientology only as what LRH has written and no more. And you have a point there. Scientology is not complete, and LRH is not around to complete it. If we leave it at that, then I agree the subject is doomed to fail. Personally, I am not leaving it at that, and I have “extended” the subject in my own way over the years, making Scientology very alive and workable for me. This is, of course, heresy, but what the hell? It is only through heresy that we will prevail.

    • Margaret permalink
      December 22, 2010 5:34 am

      I think the broad application of KSW to every. single. thing. that LRH ever wrote (every policy, advice, etc.) is more the culprit in this whole thing, than KSW in and of itself. KSW’s original intent was to standardize auditing processes and training ONLY, not to turn every single word that LRH ever wrote into some edict from above. Yet, KSW started being applied to LRH policy, advices, opinions, etc. And that’s when things went off the rails, imho.
      There is value, consistency and predictability in having a “standard” in the tech — but it needs to be applied sanely. Imho, the general spirit of “maintaining a standard” is a pretty good one.
      Secondly, the “no verbal tech” rule also has its basis in a desire to “keep the comm line pure” and not allow interpretations to corrupt the message. The idea is a rational one. But I agree with you that its implementation has been taken to such an extreme that it has stultified any real communication about the subject by Scientologists. A sane organization would either modify the policy, or provide additional policy to keep this rule in proper context, imho.

      • December 22, 2010 7:51 pm

        Margaret – Oh, I agree. It is easy to label KSW as a problem because it sounds so extreme. The problem KSW is trying to solve is wishy-washiness – I know that if you miss the End Phenomena of a process, the PC will get upset, and yet I let the auditor do it because it is unpleasant to be confrontational.

        The answer to this is not to go to the other extreme and become a Nazi. “You violated what I believe it real LRH-brand tech! You must be put in chains!” This, of course, is what the current regime has done, because some people, DM especially (but not solely – there were Nazis prior to DM), have fun being Nazis and they maneuvered themselves into a place of power.

        The proof of whether the policy was correct or was applied correctly is in the result – Scientology in its “official” form certainly is not working.

      • Margaret permalink
        December 23, 2010 4:59 am

        Your characterization of KSW as a solution to wishy-washiness is even more precise. Thank you. That was also, I believe, the reason for LRH’s dislike of “democracy” — not because it wasn’t a good governing method, but because it often led to cow-towing to “political correctness” at the expense of common sense and/or workability.
        I guess I responded to your message as I did, because I feel that LRH had valid goals/intentions with KSW and the “no verbal tech” rule, and that any attempt to “reform” Scientology would be remiss if it did not keep those goals/intentions in mind.

  33. Margaret permalink
    December 28, 2010 5:46 am

    I did want to make one additional comment to this article by Jeff. Jeff, you wrote: “You’ll never convince anyone that something works by explaining away its failures.”

    Let’s do keep in mind that this is in fact precisely how science and the scientific method work.

    When a core scientific model has been developed and become widely accepted as workable and “true”, scientists do, in fact, look for ways to “explain away” the failures of the model (and rightly so). They quite often “tweak the model” or come up with “exception theories” and try to find reasons why some particular result or observation does not fit in with the widely accepted model or approach.

    One finds this throughout the sciences, from astronomy and physics, to biology and chemistry. It’s a good thing. It would be ludicrous to throw away an entire model, just because a small percentage of cases don’t seem to fit within a tried and true model. Instead, the smarter approach is to better study and understand the “exception” and either (a) recognize why/how the exception, upon closer examination, does in fact fit within the model, or (b) if after very careful examination, tweak the overall model to allow for the exception. It is extraordinarily rare for the entire model to be completely abandoned.

    I’d argue that The Bridge and the underlying Codes, Axioms and Creed are the “core model” and that things like MUs, PTSness, ethics, etc. are simply tools to handle the “exceptions”. The admin/policies were put there to build, support, defend and prolong the organization.

    Somehow, the policies (even some of the less workable ones) became more senior than the “core model” and we now have an organization that has lost its way.

    Solution: strip things back to the “core model”, determine which policies created the mess, make the necessary changes and go from there.

    • Jeff permalink*
      December 28, 2010 8:16 pm

      Margaret, I would have to dispute your description of the scientific method. Science is not about hewing to or defending some “core model,” or explaining away variances to it. Science is about developing theories that seem to explain observed phenomena, and then rigorously testing to validate the hypothesis. If observed data does not fit the hypothesis, then the hypothesis is revised. The data is not explained away or rationalized in order to preserve some sacred cow of a theory. If that were the case, then science would make little progress. Core theories and hypotheses are being revised and re-examined all the time – sub-atomic physics, DNA, you name it. A subject which does not allow re-examination of its core theories will soon stultify.

      • December 28, 2010 8:56 pm


        What you say is true to an extent.

        However before one reexamines a subject and decides to throw the baby out with the bath water.

        They should first ask themselves if they applied the subject exactly in order to get the expected result or if they did something else instead and that their explanation of “failure” is not based on their failure to apply it exactly or doing something else instead.

        Also Scientology is pretty much accepted these days as a Religion not a Science since what is called “Science” these days excludes the possibility of the influence of the spirit.

        There may have been a slight paradigm shift in the ’70’s and ’80’s when the Intelligence Community became interested in Psychic phenomenon but now a days there seems to be a shift back to complete materiality and a refusal to fund studies in what is called the “Paranormal”.

        Moving from the sublime to the field of alternative energy.

        We find that many oil companies and those involved in the production of electricity have attempted to suppress any technology that may cut into their profits.

        So there may be another factor in many of these “failures” which is to “prove” that the technology doesn’t work so that a status quo of some kind is maintained.

      • Jeff permalink*
        December 28, 2010 9:29 pm

        Real science, as opposed to pseudo-science or fake science (such as that funded by oil companies), includes an element of transparency. The experiments are carefully documented as to methodology, variables, conditions and so on. This makes it possible for others to inspect the experimental data (peer review) and try the experiment themselves (replication). If an experiment can be easily replicated by others, who then get the same result, then it is considered valid science. Sure, someone could do the experiment wrong and then claim it didn’t work, but then that would be transparently visible in his documentation. By keeping everything open and well documented, everyone is kept honest.

      • December 28, 2010 10:39 pm

        Well Jeff I’m pretty much in agreement with you here.

        Except on the point of “peer review” which to a greater or lesser extent has become politicized by factors others than the concern for pure Science.

        Leaving replication and transparency.

        Replication done by a competent scientist or technician who is familiar with the protocols involved.

        Transparent by making all raw data available.

        For example CSICOP’s efforts to “debunk” remote viewing were based on their claim that they “replicated” SRI’s experiments when it was obvious that they never adhered to any of SRI’s protocols.

        Also they never made all raw data available especially those that proved any statistically significant result while also claiming to be “transparent”.

        Even so this became evident later.

        So I agree full with full replication and transparency.

        So maliciousness and/or ignorance can be a factor in replication especially when the procedures and protocols involved have been altered (though I won’t mention any names) or ignored and all the transparency in the world will not necessarily expose this factor unless the raw original research were made available.

        So Jeff I’m saying I agree with the exception of “peer review” adding the above caveat.

      • Margaret permalink
        December 30, 2010 7:53 am

        Jeff, First, I do agree with all that you say. And perhaps my analogy to a “core model” was not the best. So let me change the paradigm a bit here to more accurately portray what I’m getting at. Consider the following.

        The “scientific method” is itself an applied philosophy which scientists use to uncover truth in the objective world.

        The “scientology method” (or “auditing”) is an applied philosophy which scientologists use to uncover truth in the subjective world.

        – You won’t find scientists questioning the workability of the scientific method. They’ve been trained in it, they recognize that it hangs together logically as a system, and they use it in the spirit of being an “imperfect system, but workable”.

        – It’s based on a set of axioms and principles that creates an iterative approach to “measuring/testing” and “looking” which ultimately uncovers truth.

        – The scientific method gets applied extremely standardly. But if one doesn’t apply it standardly while in training (i.e. if one insists on applying alchemy or somesuch, or mix other practices), one gets an “F” and ousted from the group.

        – If one doesn’t apply it standardly in the real world, one ends up with unrepeatable, tainted and/or imprecise results.

        Recognize any parallels?

        So the proper way of looking at this, imho — the proper analogy if you will — is to recognize the parallels between the scientific method (as a system) to scientology (as a system).

        What I (and you) did above was compare the scientology system itself to the outcome of the scientific method, as opposed to comparing the scientology system itself to the scientific method/system itself. (That may take some chewing, but hopefully it conveys.)

        If you think about this at some length, you will recognize that the scientific method and scientology/auditing are each self-contained systems which use results to determine their workability.

        One (the scientific method) attempts to uncover truth in the objective world for society, and one (scientology/auditing) attempts to uncover truth in the subjective world for the individual. Each attempts to control the variables. Each attempts to keep outside influences to a minimum. Each has an iterative approach to replication (duplication). When replication/duplication is achieved in each, Truth could be said to have been achieved. Much more could be said about the parallels, but I think I made the point.

        Now I realize that science and the scientific method are really the world’s “applied philosophy”. And personally, I have no problem with this. I love the scientific method. The scientific method is a wonderful tool for uncovering the truth in the objective world.

        However, it falls short when it comes to discovering truth in the subjective world. I think that most scientists would agree.

        In my view, this is where psychology and psychiatry went wrong. They felt it was necessary to work within and be validated by the scientific method, as opposed to keeping the replication/duplication internal to the individual being helped. The result, in the mainstream, has been a fear/reluctance of recognizing past lives as real, and a focus on the brain as the seat of consciousness, instead of the being.

        So, bringing this full-circle to where we started … “the science of explanations” …

        When the scientific method produces poor or no results — or when the scientific method fails — we don’t immediately blame scientists for trying to “explain away” the workability of the scientific method itself. We are with them in recognizing that it’s an imperfect system, and that looking for the “failure in application” or some other human error as an explanation is perfectly acceptable.

        Why? Because it’s a system that we all agree hangs together logically and has done a pretty good job at achieving a “consensus truth”.

        Of course, a few centuries ago, when the scientific method was 50 or 60 years old and just taking root, and alchemists and priests were the ruling class which defined Truth, do you think the “scientific method” was held in such high regard? Not too likely.

        And today, when the brain is thought of as the source of consciousness and the evidence for past lives is negated for irrational reasons, do you think that a subject which is organized around the fact that each of us is an immortal spiritual being is going to be held in such high regard? Not too likely.

        With all that said, I make no excuses for the Church of Scientology. Today, they are making their own enemies, their leader is sociopathic and quite a few policies need to be retired or amended. But in terms of the big picture, I do think that “the science of explanations” has another side to the coin when looked at from a different perspective.

  34. Lady Lancelot permalink
    January 27, 2011 7:14 am

    Dear Jeff,
    Brilliant article.
    Do you know of any OT’s who have gone psychotic?
    Just wondering.


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