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A Poll

March 26, 2011

OK, let’s see how this goes.

A few notes:

1. This is not scientific in any way – it is an informal poll of people who read this blog. There is no attempt  to screen participants or collect any information about respondents or cross-tabulate answers.

2. Please don’t try to “game” the system. Feel free to tell your friends about this poll or link to it, but don’t tell them what to say. The system only allows one response per person/ IP address.

3. Try to set aside any bias you have, pro or con. See if you can just honestly answer these questions from your own experience. That is, don’t try to artificially skew your answers high or low to make a point. Just give your honest assessment. My own answers are all over the place.

It should be interesting!

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326 Comments
  1. Lise permalink
    March 27, 2011 12:06 am

    Jeff, I really wanted to participate in your poll but even though I trained to class IV c/s, I only got to Grade 0 on the grade chart and I did do NED DRD. My experience with all my auditing was really good, I can still F/N when I remember my EP on ARC SW, my Grade 0 got far better after I left the Church but I know of people who got nothing from their auditing and I never really understood this and put it down to them having hidden standards.

    The one thing I have had no benefit from is assists, I find them a waste of time and yet others love them, so I’m kind of left with the idea of “each to their own”….At the end of the day it must be a very individual thing for each and every person.

    • Dr. Faust permalink
      March 28, 2011 1:28 pm

      I find that perfectly reasonable. The “power” of touch assists in my experience (yes, I’ve received one) lies next to the repetitive, trance inducing “feel my finger”, mostly in the physical contact.
      You could get the same effect by just tenderly stroking someone on various parts of their body. But I know people who don’t like this form of contact at all. Disregarding the aspect that of course a man doesn’t want to be “tenderly stroked” by some other man, there are several reasons, like someone being very ticklish, or some don’t feel anything at all. On them, the touch assists are completely powerless.

      • March 30, 2011 5:27 pm

        Assists are king! I’ve gotten assists for headache sometimes and it’s a complete miracle. In fact, I personally have to regard assists as the better and most important part of Scientology, especially the touch assist. It creates a flow that works so great for me.

        I will never forget the first time I had a touch assist for a real severe headache. It completely disappeared when it was finished. The headache then immediately started to return after a couple of seconds but after a few touch assists I would say the headache was stably reduced to about 20 % of the original (very severe) pain.

        Nobel prize for the touch assist in my opinion.

        I’ve tried it on others but the results differ greatly. It has something to do with flows so I guess it shatters ridges somehow, at least for me.

      • March 31, 2011 6:17 am

        I think the touch assist works because people want it to work. It’s a placebo effect. I only have the most basic understanding of why Hubbard said the touch assist will work, but what I read doesn’t have any basis in actual human physiology that I can see.

        But I do believe that psychosomatic ills exist. Under some circumstances, you can will a headache into existence and will it away again. Under other circumstances you can’t, and that’s why God created ibuprofen. 🙂

        And yes, by the way, I’ve had touch assists, and was open to them working. I found them very relaxing, but they didn’t cure any actual pain or injury.

        Still, having a very attractive woman with her hands all over my leg saying “feel my finger” was very nice. I imagined other words in place of “finger”…

        ML, CW

  2. Mimsey Borogrove permalink
    March 27, 2011 12:19 am

    All right! It is a little hard to respond to the grades question – some I got were fine, but grade 4, I never really got my service fac despite 4 shots at it. I felt I got the eps of the grades however BUT I have no other life to compare them against, I can not freely recall my last life for instance and say if those grades had enhanced my ability to handle life. This life I was on the bridge as a teen so I didn’t have much life experiance to judge with, though I was a bit shy which got handled.

    There are some gains I have had that I couldn’t put a $ amount on so I have to say it was worth the money – what I got from 7 and Key to life in terms of study, comprehension, and understanding is a good example. However, I wish I had the IAS money back since they are not utilizing the money to clear the planet but pay PI’s and lawyers to clean up their foot-shot bleeding messes. If they actually were “the most ethical group on the planet” and delivered what they promised I’d be fine with it. Sigh.

    MB

  3. Margaret permalink
    March 27, 2011 2:01 am

    Suggestion: Add questions about Scientology Training.

  4. Mike Hobson permalink
    March 27, 2011 2:01 am

    Sadly, I cannot respond to any of these questions, having never received much auditing besides “Sec Checks” (at least not in this life).

  5. Joe Howard permalink
    March 27, 2011 2:07 am

    Hey, how about polls on other actions, like T-R-A-I-N-I-N-G???? The other HALF of
    Scientology? Hello?

    • Jeff permalink*
      March 27, 2011 5:38 pm

      Jeez! I manage to get one poll up and now I’m Gallup Polls! 🙂

      Maybe someone can suggest questions?

      • Margaret permalink
        March 27, 2011 6:49 pm

        It would be nice to cross-correlate the results from auditing, with the training, but either way, here is what I’d suggest:

        Q: “I have done some or all of the Scientology Study/Training to the following level or higher?”
        (Scn Books/lectures, Class 0 – Class V/NED, SHSBC, Class VIII, Class XII)

        Q: “Which of the following best represents your gains from Scientology Training?”

        (use the same criteria as you used for processing, for each level of training)

    • 2ndxmr permalink
      March 30, 2011 1:26 am

      I had just enough auditing prior to starting training to realize I was much more interested in what the auditor was doing than I was in my own case i.e. out-of-session, not getting all the gains available. I contrast that to auditing received after a good deal of training (major case gain from processes run, even reviews, and even with student auditing.) A trained PC is much more able to spot the charge impinging, understand it and know how to deal with it. A trained PC also knows when the auditor has gone off the rails and can help get things sorted out.

  6. March 27, 2011 4:12 am

    As I posted about the grades…. if one is thoughtful, contemplates a subject, looks for understanding, whether in the name of scientology or something else, one can experience “gains,” if that’s what you wish to call them. Having now lived much more of my life in the real world, out of scientology, I cannot say I attribute any of my life’s insights to scientology, but to all my life’s experiences. There was nothing mind-bending, or earth shattering, or any other magnificent result from what I was taught in scientology.

    • April 3, 2011 9:35 pm

      Ditto.

      Shucking “study tech” out the window, blowing caution to the wind, and just READING a lot of good magazines and current books, did MORE than ALL of my almost 4 thousands hours of auditing through my 27 years of the Sea Org.

      I learned MORE from reading and listening and just learning how the world is, OUTSIDE of LRH’s setup.

      On the RPF for almost 7 years, the Encyclopedia and the Oxford Companion to English Literature gave me MORE insights into life, than all of my self examinations from all my years of auditing, and all my years of training.

  7. Ann permalink
    March 27, 2011 4:18 am

    Interesting poll. Thank you. The results were very interesting. I hope you publish them after more people have voted.
    The last question was hard to answer as a “Yes” or “No.” I wish there had been a third choice.
    The wins I had seem invaluable but the time and money invested was also enourous. So it is hard to make a clean “yes” or “no” call. It is more like a “yes but…”
    Said another way, the wins were great–but the negative experiences were devastating and I could not wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone because of the potential for harm.
    It’s a little like the drug NZT in the movie “Limitless.” It takes you for a great trip but you can crash and burn, die, get sick and in the end to maintain the high, you need the drug. I saw very interesting parallels with the movie. I wonder if anyone else did.

    • Margaret permalink
      March 27, 2011 6:51 pm

      I think there might also be a use in making a differentiation between the organization and the subject, and also between whether one was public, staff or SO.

      • Jeff permalink*
        March 27, 2011 7:20 pm

        The difficulty there is, as soon as you start asking people about the results of auditing, you are dealing with organizations, as most people got their auditing in an org, mission, AO, etc. When you are talking about application, you are usually talking about organizations. As to public, staff or SO, well, the results should not be different, should they?

      • Margaret permalink
        March 27, 2011 9:43 pm

        “When you are talking about application, you are usually talking about organizations.”

        I think you’d get a nearly universal opinion, among the Independents, that when you apply auditing privately or in the field — without the suppression/craziness/reg’ing of the current CoM organization — the results of both auditing (and training) are drastically improved.

        “As to public, staff or SO, well, the results should not be different, should they?”

        In my view, the deeper you get into the current organization, the heavier the suppression and the weaker the results of auditing, and the more enforced the “required belief” in both admin and tech becomes.

        From what I’ve seen, I’d guess that most staff and SO who have joined staff or SO over the last 25+ years, did so as a result of crush recruitment (stat pushing), and not based on truly self-determined, well thought-out, fully informed decisions to join. So in addition to the “required belief”, no pay, suppression and craziness that staff and SO have to put up with all day everday, many (if not most) are also not there on their own self-determinism.

        A perfect recipe for little or no results in auditing (letalone life).

        So a “public”, in my view, has a better chance of getting results in auditing than a staff member or SO. Not that the crazy doesn’t affect them too while involved in the CoM, but they can always at least “go home”. I’d predict that if any formal, scientific poll or survey were ever taken, you’d find public in the CoM getting better results in auditing/training than staff and SO, and you’d find the best results of all among the Independents.

      • dora N. permalink
        March 28, 2011 9:37 pm

        I was always treated as though I was receiving welfare when getting auditing as a staff member. It was given to me begrudgingly only because I insisted. The C/S actually told a public that his auditing was something like “the cadillac” of auditing as compared to what I was getting.
        He was my C/S too and we had the same auditor but he was treated completely different, in and out of session.

  8. Marildi permalink
    March 27, 2011 5:19 am

    Jeff, thanks for being willing to do this! You probably will get criticism from various quarters, which you no doubt expect and I admire your confront – you’re a unique asset to the big conversation going on about Scientology.

    Welp, here’s your first criticism 🙂 (intended to be constructive!). There’s one “option” (a very key one) in the poll that I think is ambiguous –

    “I experienced a temporary exhilaration which faded over time.”

    The word “faded” can mean “to lose strength” or it can mean “to disappear or die gradually” (Random House) – big difference! I’m guessing you will get a lot of checks on this one because it is USUAL and expected (per LRH materials) to gradually lose, in part, a fully keyed-out release state – but that doesn’t mean loss or “disappearance” of the actual EP. Again, big differenece.

    Another thing: The wording from poll to poll about what the person “got” varies significantly. One of them asks about whether “the EP” was reached, another whether “what was promoted,” another “what was promoted TO ME[my caps],” and another whether “the published description” was attained (On Clear, that would include not only the stated grade chart ability gained, but statements in the earliest of publications, statements which have long since been retracted). 😦

    • Marildi permalink
      March 27, 2011 6:25 am

      Also, not clear what the slash (virgule) means – “and”? “or”? “and/or”?

      • Jeff permalink*
        March 27, 2011 5:19 pm

        and/or

    • March 27, 2011 5:49 pm

      Well, the problem is that what is promised by the Church of Scientology for Clear and OT is, essentially, nothing. They promise “results” that could mean anything.

      So, how can anyone say they got those “gains”? A better and more accurate question has to be based on what Hubbard claimed and promised for Clear and OT — because that’s really what most people expected.

      The poll questions make a lot of sense in that context.

      • Marildi permalink
        March 28, 2011 5:57 pm

        William, there are specific EP’s stated on the Grade Chart (Bridge) and those are my understanding of what “Hubbard claimed” (ultimately) would be the results.

        The poll should have specifically asked about getting GRADE CHART EPs and in that way it would have done a better job at differentiating between the abuses of “management” (from reg’s on up) and what LRH/Scientology specifically promised.

      • Marildi permalink
        March 28, 2011 6:01 pm

        P.S. It might also be relevant to ask when and where the auditing was done.

      • March 31, 2011 12:35 am

        Marildi,
        By limiting it to just the Grade Chart, you hope to avoid referencing lecture after lecture after lecture where LRH promised incredible, godlike powers as a result of Scientology. Promises that have never been fulfilled.

        Obviously, you also wish to avoid the many pages of very specific promises LRH made about Clear — promises which have also never been fulfilled.

        I can understand that. It’s hard to confront those failures of a technology you believe in.

        But those are the promises that LRH made for his technology and all Scientologists know that.

      • Marildi permalink
        April 1, 2011 7:13 pm

        William, LRH openly admitted at times that additional research he had done required that changes be made in various parts of the tech, including what results could be expected of different Grade Chart actions – and these were specified on the revised Grade Chart. The definition of Clear was one thing that was changed, and thus the ability gained EP.

      • April 2, 2011 8:07 pm

        Marildi,

        LRH “openly admitting” would be more convincing if he had added a prominent disclaimer to DMSMH, his lectures and all of his earlier work saying “The abilities and gains I promise in these books and lectures have never been attained.”

        But, no, he let all these earlier works and promises stand without qualification and without any warning. Today, most Scientologists still think they are “going OT”.

        I don’t buy that LRH “openly admitted” that his promises were bogus.

  9. plainoldthetan permalink
    March 27, 2011 5:25 am

    Curious. I couldn’t take the survey because none of the suggested answers were the answers I wanted to answer. Oh, well.

    • lunamoth permalink
      March 29, 2011 4:25 am

      POT

      Which answers would you have answered?

      • plainoldthetan permalink
        March 31, 2011 4:56 pm

        For example, on the first question, I might have been inclined to answer the survey had I seen answers like this:

        Which of the following statements best represents the results of your Grades auditing?

        * I received some gains, but I needed something else than Grades to address what was really bothering me.

        * I received permission from the Church to get my next level of auditing.

        * I had no expectations that related to the Grades EPs, so I wasn’t disappointed.

        * I already received the EPs from my prior-to-this-lifetime auditing.

        * I didn’t get the Grades EPs newly because of the auditing done this lifetime.

        Had I seen these as possible replies, I would have really had to ponder which one (or ones) to select.

        This is the problem I have with the “pop culture” approach to surveys that I see on web sites. You know:

        Was George Lopez justified in making fun of Kirstie Alley by comparing her to a pig?

        * Yes

        * No

        They never give me options like:

        * I don’t care.

        * I really don’t care.

        * I never watch Dancing With the Stars.

        * I never watch George Lopez.

        * It was tasteless, but the resulting media brouhaha was what was really unjustified.

      • lunamoth permalink
        April 2, 2011 9:35 pm

        LOL Good point!

        Well, I got something from the responses to Jeff’s poll, and it seems others did as well. Thank you, Jeff, for creating it and allowing us to see the results.

        Would an more “scientific” poll have provided more insight and more reliable results? Absolutely, and I believe Jeff would be the first to say so. He indulged his followers here, I think!

        I think the answers YOU came up with, POL, were more in-depth and I certainly would have been hard-pressed to choose just one. However, to do justice to all possible viewpoints your answers would have had to have been just as in-depth and all-encompassing of all possibilities, including perhaps detailed differentiation of HOW individuals might feel they were harmed by their experience (as an example).

        But that is the difference between a poll, which by necessity must limit the possible responses in order to able to fit all into neat and finite categories, and an interview or conversation between two individuals.

  10. Fidelio permalink
    March 27, 2011 9:16 am

    Good and RELEVANT questions!! Thank you!
    Fidelio

  11. Cinnamon permalink
    March 27, 2011 10:42 am

    Is the survey asking only about experience within the CoS? Or do we also include results for auditing reveived outside of the CoS?

    • Jeff permalink*
      March 27, 2011 5:18 pm

      As far as I am concerned, any Scientology experience.

  12. Kingair350 permalink
    March 27, 2011 12:28 pm

    Jeff

    I’m dismayed over the absence of a poll on the subject of training. Auditor training was what kept me going for decades, producing enormous life and character improvements, most of which have been permanent.

    “Abilities gained” from training are not the VFPs the church promotes today. Sadly, what benefits I’ve received in the past would be impossible achieve under GAT (Gastly Auditing Tech).

    To a lesser degree Admin Tech training could warrant it’s own niche in terms of producing positive personal wins.

    I think it would only be fair to LRH to include the above in a future poll.

    I’m the meantime many thanks for providing a sane and human forum for those of us trying to make sense out of decades of nonsense.

    • brendon permalink
      March 29, 2011 5:20 am

      Was never “in” so I didn’t take the poll, but your comment leads me to ask this question: isn’t auditing really about delivering a product? That is, it is a means to an end, not the end itself.

      It is that supposed product that is the focus of the poll.

      To put it in an absurd way, it is like saying: “I really enjoyed the training on how to build and repair speed-of-light spaceships and I gained so much from that training.” But if there aren’t really any speed-of-light spaceships, so what?

      • Marildi permalink
        March 30, 2011 5:09 am

        Actually, Brendon, the training is not just a means to an end but an end in itself as well. In fact, training is, as stated in the written materials, 50% of the wins in Scientology (the other 50% being auditing). It is a discipline and there is a huge gain one gets in the understanding of people and life, in communication skills, handling problems, and so forth. In fact, you’ll notice that some posters here (including myself) state that their training gave them the most gain in Scientology.

      • brendon permalink
        March 30, 2011 7:28 am

        OK Marildi, I’ll take your word for it.

  13. Aeolus permalink
    March 27, 2011 2:35 pm

    Jeff,

    In answering these questions, I realized that most of the stable gains I’ve gotten from Scientology were from training, which I’ve done through interned Class IV. I would also put OT III in this category, because one is auditing rather than being audited by another. That bit of Church promo turned out to be true, at least for me.

    I haven’t done OT VII or VIII though, and don’t plan to even in the Free Zone until I understand why so many who’ve done OT VII have contracted cancer. It could be something inherent in the level or just the stress of all those sec checks, but the other day I counted and came up with 15 OTs that I knew personally, and 12 of these had died from it. That seems way higher than the general population. Maybe you could do a survey on that.

  14. Sugar Plum Fairey permalink
    March 27, 2011 3:05 pm

    I never got beyond Clear and find it somewhat/very frightening to continue on to OT or ‘sudden death’ which has become the norm at the hands of the present regime. I will prefer to do the older OT levels outside the ‘present regime’ and get the gains we all dreamed about in the seventies.

  15. March 27, 2011 3:22 pm

    I would love to meet those who say they got all the promised gains (or more) from their Grades. But I know they can’t communicate with me, it would be a serious problem for them, there would be too much hostility and upset and, of course, they’d have to move out of their fixed condition to even contemplate that, which they cannot do.

    Just sayin’.

    • Quickbeam permalink
      March 28, 2011 3:49 am

      Priceless!!

    • Ann permalink
      March 28, 2011 4:38 am

      Hey William,
      LOL. I know what you mean. I have a friend who is very proud of the wins he got from his communications level. He can now communicate to anyone about anything. Except he can’t. He is one of those people you have to be careful about what you say around him so that he doesn’t close down. It would be funny if it were’t so sad.

    • Newer permalink
      March 29, 2011 1:05 pm

      I’d LOVE to talk to the OT VIII who said that they handled their amnesia on the whole track. I have a few questions to ask. But, I am POSITIVE that the person wouldn’t be able to answer them…

  16. March 27, 2011 5:46 pm

    (pulls up a chair) I ❤ polls! 🙂

    This ought to be interesting! Thks Jeff!

  17. Karen#1 permalink
    March 27, 2011 7:53 pm

    There is a point I would like to pump up and indicate.
    When there is tremendous ABUSE, UNCONSCIONABLE , WICKED AND TRAUMATIC conduct perpetuated by the group taking away all Power of Choice, to smash and pulverize the individual ~~ it really doesn’t matter what earlier gain one had or didn’t have.

    The gains fade in significance.

    An outside example would be a man who gives his wife Diamonds and Fur Coats and nice champagne dinners.
    One day he beats her senseless.

    What does she care about the diamonds and furs in relation to her physical traumas who she discovers she is married to ?

    Another example would be a Felon who pleaded with a Judge in California.
    He said he was a good boy for 364 days and only robbed a bank only ONCE in one year.

    For being so *UPSTAT* for 364 days, he somehow wanted the judge to see what a GOOD boy he was for robbing a bank at gunpoint only ONCE in 365 days……..

    The “Church” seems to think that gains in auditing give them  the RIGHT to BULLY to ABUSE, to dramatize Sadism.

    When I had to run around pole 12 hours a day due to Don Larson and Wendell Reynolds trumped up HOGWASH, and when I had to do this month in and month out. It was torture.
    It was against my power of choice. It was enforced.

    I did not give a hoot in hell whether I got *GAINS* from Grades.
    To be more clear I did not give a give a fig/hoot/darn/damn/rat’s ass
    on what gain I had previously gotten to Class XII CS or 1400 hours on OT VII.

    The gains meant NOTHING to me.
    I was trapped in a sadistic abusive CULT and did not have the sense to walk out. So of course, it happened again. 6 months of HELL on EARTH at INT BASE courtesy of Miscavige the PUNK.

    Not one small IOTA of gain within a suppressive abusive CULT is worth it.
    I believe there are gains, I know there are gains.

    But at what PRICE ?

    The price of those gains is the amount of ABUSIVE OVERWHELMING experiences one has to tolerate from the endurance of being within the cult.

    • Marildi permalink
      March 27, 2011 11:49 pm

      Karen#1 – Amen to everything you said about the abuse and its effects on gains. You may find it strange, though, that I was actually uplifted by your post! Here you are, having experienced some of the worst of the abuse that goes on, and you still said:

      “I believe there are gains, I know there are gains.”

      Wow! That is the viewpoint of a highly trained and experienced auditor, one who KNOWS in spite of anything and everything.

      There is virtually no one outside the Church who doubts the fact that the direction the Church went in with Scientology was about as bad as it gets. But some of us (especially the trained ones) still remember that the “organizational” activities of the Church bear no resemblance to basic Scientology philosophy and technology.

      Thanks for this post!

    • MostlyLurker permalink
      March 28, 2011 9:24 pm

      Karen#1 wrote: “The “Church” seems to think that gains in auditing give them the RIGHT to BULLY to ABUSE, to dramatize Sadism.”

      Someone over at ESMB once made an apt analogy.

      Colgate Company produces and sells toothpaste. Suppose Colgate commits financial irregularities or other crimes. The fact that with its products helps people keep healthy teeth does not mean it should not be investigated, nor it means that people who investigate and expose Colgates behaviour are Suppressive People who wants all mankind to have rotten teeth.

  18. Ingrid smith permalink
    March 27, 2011 11:55 pm

    I have been an auditor for a long time and I believe a very good one. Wins are an interesting subject. Miracles have a life length. Once you have it and go ooooh aaaaah it does settle into being something now normal. I deal with alot of new people and I get a lot of miracles that settle in. One couple I work with had alot of charge on their marriage. With a comm course and a little bit of auditing completely changed their VP on how to have a marriage. It isn’t that they go around in a blissful state all the time, in fact they have their arguments, but the pain pleasure ration went from 80% pain to now 80%pleasure. This is a huge subject and I just wanted to point this one thing out.
    Thanks for listening,
    Ingrid

  19. Kingair350 permalink
    March 28, 2011 2:53 am

    From reading the above comments Jeff’s entry is creating some interesting and thought provoking posts. I’m having to personally rethink some long held viewpoints, much to my benefit.

    I hope y’all keep thinking and posting on this topic.

  20. Quickbeam permalink
    March 28, 2011 3:33 am

    On the last question I had to answer that it was, overall, NOT worth the time and money–considering most of my adult life as staff and sea org, neglected family and other responsibilities, etc., etc., etc.

    That said, however, I must say that my long and thorough experience IN scn has resulted in some very good (fabulous, actually) spiritual experiences as I’ve worked my way free of the box I was in in scn. Hubbard fairly thoroughly lays out the mechanisms of a trap, and then–having gained ones trust by so thoroughly exposing the mechanism–proceeds to use those exact mechanisms.

    So, while it is very hard to say it was WORTH the time and money, I’d also have to say that my spiritual understanding and growth have been greatly enhanced, somewhat by being in but so much more so by the process of disentangling the truths and realities that give scn its workability from the from the subtle twists, unwarranted assumptions and illusions which work to make one a slave to it.

    The more I free myself from the con, the more I bless LRH for having conned me. Sometimes I’ve even wondered whether he did it on purpose as sort of a spiritual puzzle, with enlightenment coming with seeing that (and how) it was a hoax. My personal experience has followed along that line.

    I’m more inclined to think he was simply a very clever super-egotist who used age-old truths to create a cult following.

    But either way, I have no regrets.

    • Tim permalink
      March 28, 2011 11:31 am

      Quickbeam, I really agree with your analysis, I have thought this myself for many years.

      I had many wins in scientology, especially in training, but the process of liberating oneself from the church mindset, the painful understanding of all the lies and actions of LRH and the church, have given me an understanding of brainwashing I don’t think I could get anywhere else.

      I was like a child when I started in Scientology – I believed everything I read, I didn’t look at the people, the organization, the results. I was mesmerized of the purpose, goals and OT- abilities that was promised.

      Very strange that LRH also wrote about all these traps and dangers that exist on the road to enlightenment and still I fell in so many of those traps.

      My point is that the process of getting out of suppression teach you lessons you never ever forget. I positively didn’t want these lessons but stupid as I was I fell for them. I don’t think I will do it again…

      Jeff, I think you site is very good and analytical – keep up the good work.

      • March 29, 2011 9:59 am

        As the saying goes “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” If nothing else I feel the whole life experience (27+ years) made me stronger and wiser. What a ride…..

    • Marildi permalink
      March 28, 2011 6:16 pm

      Quickbeam and Tim, I’ve had some of the same thoughts about the gains in getting free from “Scientology.” I worded it on another post somewhere, something like – I’ve really wondered if LRH has purposely and knowingly put us all through a DRILL on the subject of what he warned about over and over. Another poster (Valkov) put it in terms of an “ethics practical.” And I would add – of magnitude!

      And as a matter of fact, LRH also said something to the effect that Scientology itself would eventually have to be run out!

    • March 29, 2011 4:04 pm

      Quickbeam, I am sure that if you do some research (or even some deep thought) you will find similar solutions available from other sources. Hubbard wasn’t the original thinker he made himself out to be.

      ML,
      Caliwog

      • Quickbeam permalink
        March 29, 2011 5:24 pm

        Of course. I don’t revere Hubbard as a truly enlightened being. He used age-old wisdom to cleverly construct a system which discouraged participants from looking at the sources he used to build upon. Sources which have far more long-range workability than he innovated.

        But that doesn’t keep me from blessing him for being the scoundrel who appeared to take part in my lesson-learning. Whether you think he’s a hero or a villain, you can’t help but admire all the “rondamity” this Loki sort of figure has generated.

      • March 29, 2011 11:40 pm

        >You can’t help but admire the “Rondamity”

        Great word. At the risk of being a stick in the mud… were it not for all the harm Scientology does, that might be true. To me, admiring Hubbard for his following is a bit like admiring Hitler for his efficiency. (Godwin’s Law notwithstanding.)

        ML,
        Caliwog

      • Margaret permalink
        March 30, 2011 4:50 pm

        caliwog wrote: “To me, admiring Hubbard for his following is a bit like admiring Hitler for his efficiency.”

        Or like admiring Thomas Jefferson for his support of freedom, or admiring Jesus for his message of peace and love …

        “…that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — Thomas Jefferson, USA Founding Father, slave owner

        “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s foes will be those of his own household. — Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace (Matt. 10:34-36)

        I admire LRH for his incredible philosophy of life and living, and system for human improvement. And I think “antiquated and didactic laws” and “policies”, as he himself suggested in his organizational- and policy-defining essay “The Structure of Organization: What is Policy?” of 1965, need “periodic sweep-outs” when they are found to be “unreal, unapplicable and impeding” in achieving the basic purposes of the philosophy.

      • SpecialFrog permalink
        March 30, 2011 9:05 pm

        Thomas Jefferson, for all his vision, was not able to rise above the values of his time. He was well aware of these contradictions.

        Jesus was trying to be a disruptive influence. That statement is essentially an acknowledgement of that. This is consistent with the role of prophets in Judaism — to shake people out of their complacency and renew their commitment to the covenant.

        A lot of Hubbard’s policy — fair game, disconnection, a lot of the ethics– was obviously destructive to begin. It’s not like those were a good idea at the time but later became antiquated.

        I feel that his policy, like a lot of his dishonesty, undermines his claim to philosophical authority.

        But that’s just me.

      • Margaret permalink
        March 31, 2011 12:30 am

        Special Frog wrote:
        “[Jefferson] was well aware of these contradictions.”
        “Jesus was trying to be a disruptive influence.”

        SpecialFrog, I could find quotes/context/history from Hubbard and his times that shows he was “aware of the contradictions” and was “trying to be a disruptive influence”.

        We could go in endless circles of reasons, excuses and justifications.

        People aren’t perfect. But despite their imperfections, many people (not all) feel that they have benefited from Jefferson’s and Jesus’ words and actions. And Hubbard’s too.

      • March 31, 2011 6:38 am

        >Or like admiring Thomas Jefferson for his support of freedom, or admiring Jesus for his message of peace and love …

        No, Margaret… I’m going to stick with my Hitler analogy.

        ML,
        Caliwog

      • March 31, 2011 6:42 am

        >I admire LRH for his incredible philosophy of life and living, and system for human improvement.

        Sorry, forgot to add: Which philosophies were those – the ones he claimed as his own (Dianetic auditing) or the ones that really were his own (Xenu and body thetans)?

        And as for his system of human improvement – if he really could improve human conditions, then why did he consistently and repeatedly lie about his own?

        ML,
        Caliwog

      • March 31, 2011 7:12 am

        >many people (not all) feel that they have benefited from Jefferson’s and Jesus’ words and actions. And Hubbard’s too.

        I know a person who feels he benefited from his father repeatedly beating him and locking him in a closet when he was a little boy. But if you look at how his life is going, it’s clear that he didn’t.

        The same thing applies to a lot of the Scientologists I know. They feel that Hubbard’s words and actions have benefited them. But if you look at how their lives are going, it’s clear they didn’t.

        ML, CW

      • SpecialFrog permalink
        March 31, 2011 12:20 pm

        Margaret,

        My point about your quote from Matthew was that you were misunderstanding its overall context, not that it was okay because he was trying to be a disruptive influence.

        Hubbard’s racism, like Jefferson’s slave ownership, can be seen as being a product of his time and partially excused on that basis. Hubbard’s odious policy cannot.

        Imperfections are okay but it’s not like Hubbard started Operation Freakout in a weak moment. It was part of a consistent thread running throughout his policy.

        Additionally, Hubbard saying that policy needed to be refreshed periodically when it became antiquated doesn’t make that kind of thing okay.

      • Margaret permalink
        March 31, 2011 2:58 pm

        caliwog wrote: “But if you look at how their lives are going, it’s clear they didn’t.”

        Oh lord, do you even realize how ridiculous and full of double-standards this statement is?

        Imagine ….

        “They feel that Jesus’ words and actions have benefited them. But if you look at how their lives are going, it’s clear they didn’t.”

        “They feel that Jefferson’s words and actions have benefited them. But if you look at how their lives are going, it’s clear they didn’t.”

      • Margaret permalink
        March 31, 2011 3:24 pm

        caliwog wrote: “if he really could improve human conditions, then why did he consistently and repeatedly lie about his own?”

        Examples of double-standard:

        “If Jefferson really was in favor of life, liberty and justice, then why did he own slaves.”

        “If Jesus really was in favor of peace and love, then why did he tell people that he wasn’t and in fact came with a sword.”

      • April 1, 2011 12:37 am

        >Examples of double-standard

        Nice try, Margaret, but no.

        Jesus, as far as I can tell, was a fictional character, so we can leave him out.

        As for Jefferson – owning slaves was the norm at the time. They weren’t considered people. That’s not right, but that’s the way it was. And Jefferson did not cover up that fact.

        Hubbard sold Dianetics on the basis that he healed himself of his war injuries. Except he didn’t have those war injuries. He lied about healing himself. He lied about what Dianetics and Scientology can do.

        ML, CW

      • Margaret permalink
        April 1, 2011 2:13 am

        SpecialFrog wrote: “Imperfections are okay but it’s not like Hubbard started Operation Freakout in a weak moment….”

        SpecialFrog, Did Jesus pull out that whip and start whipping innocent merchants and turning over their tables in the temple “in a weak moment”? (John 2:13-16) Did he say “Father, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46) just prior to his death in a weak moment?

        My point is: even the most highly admired, the most incredibly able and the most broadly loved, can have their words and actions misrepresented, taken out of context or simply acknowledged as a human flaw and forgiven.

        It’s a double-standard to afford one person that benefit, and not another.

      • April 2, 2011 5:39 am

        >>It’s not like Hubbard started Operation Freakout in a weak moment….”
        >SpecialFrog, Did Jesus pull out that whip and start whipping innocent merchants

        Jesus may or may not have existed, and even believers say the stories about him may or may not be true.

        Paulette Cooper wrote a negative article about Scientology, and Hubbard and his Scientologists took their revenge. They sued her. They made death threats. She was framed for a bomb threat. She had a man pose as a friend to gather information. Someone showed up to her door, put a gun to her face, and pulled the trigger. (Whether it was unloaded or a misfire we do not know.)

        This is not a “human flaw” or a “misinterpretation” of LRH’s words. Hubbard very deliberately tried to ruin her life – and to some degree he succeeded.

        Hubbard was not a kindly old man, Margaret. He wrote policies about taking these sorts of actions, and when Cooper made him mad, he put them into action.

        More on the Cooper story:
        http://caliwog.wordpress.com/2010/06/22/must-read-ithe-scandal-of-scientologyi/

        ML, CW

      • Margaret permalink
        April 3, 2011 7:19 am

        caliwog wrote: “This is not a ‘human flaw’ …”

        It’s not? What makes these actions less a “human flaw” than any other? Seems to me, if we accept your version of the Cooper story at face value, that Hubbard was trying to “protect his baby” and lost his temper. How is that any less a human flaw than engaging in human enslavement “because everyone else is doing it” … or whipping people?

        caliwog, LRH wasn’t perfect. His policies were not perfect. LRH recognized the need for “periodic sweepouts” of old, inapplicable policies and laws in any organization. I think that the last few decades have shown that that’s certainly needed in the Church of Scientology.

        What more do you want?

      • Jeff permalink*
        April 3, 2011 5:59 pm

        Margaret, you state “LRH wasn’t perfect. His policies were not perfect.” Omitted is “His tech was not perfect.”

      • April 4, 2011 1:51 am

        >What makes these actions less a “human flaw” than any other?

        I get grumpy when I am hungry. That’s a human flaw. Ordering your underlings to torture someone because she exposed the truth about your organization goes way beyond a mere “flaw.”

        >if we accept your version of the Cooper story at face value

        That’s not my version, Margaret. It’s Paulette Cooper’s, the FBI’s, and the court system’s. She was convicted of writing a bomb threat that someone else wrote. Everything came out when the FBI uncovered Operation Snow White. It’s all true, Margaret.

        >Hubbard was trying to “protect his baby” and lost his temper.

        Margaret, his actions were based on policies that he wrote independent of Paulette Cooper’s article. When she published, he put them into action.

        Do you consider this type of thing acceptable?

        If you were willing to open your eyes and read the Admin Tech, you’d discover a lot more about who Hubbard really is.

        ML,
        Caliwog

      • SpecialFrog permalink
        April 4, 2011 12:29 pm

        Margaret,

        If it was a matter of “lost temper” he presumably would have cancelled it when he calmed down. Instead, the harassment continued for a period of months with Hubbard aware that it was still going on. Here’s an interview with the person who stole Paulette Cooper’s psychiatric records and reported on her success to Hubbard:
        http://www.knowledgereport-themovie.com/2011/03/08/nancy-many/

        While it is true that this can be attributed to a “human flaw”, at what point do the flaws outstrip any good a person might have done? Most people in jail for murder probably only spent a very small percentage of their life actually killing anyone but in most cases it kind of overshadows any positive contributions they might have made.

      • Margaret permalink
        April 5, 2011 5:12 am

        Jeff wrote: “Omitted is ‘His tech was not perfect.'”

        If I had to score it all on a scale from 1 to 10 (with 10 being perfect), I’d give his auditing tech a 9.9+. I’d give his “admin tech” maybe a 7 or 8, and I’d give the current management a 2 (and it’s only that high, because there are some very good people still on staff and in the SO, but working under DM brings the average down).

        I’d describe the “scientific method” as being imperfect, but workable. I think LRH was bright enough to recognize the same holds truth with auditing Tech. And like the “scientific method”, there’s value in holding to a “standard” in application. And you’ll notice too that both auditing and science are dependent on human integrity and ethics for them to remain “workable”.

      • Margaret permalink
        April 5, 2011 5:54 am

        caliwog and specialfrog,

        At this point, we’re just going in circles.

        My earlier posts above addressed your recent posts. If they weren’t convincing enough, then I doubt repeating them will do much good.

        All the best to you both.

      • SpecialFrog permalink
        April 5, 2011 1:08 pm

        Margaret,

        The scientific method doesn’t really depend on human integrity and ethics. Any attempt at fraud, even if it slips through a peer-review process, eventually gets found out because reproducibility is a key requirement.

        And to clarify, does 9.9+ / 10 mean it “works” in at least 99% of cases? I presume therefore that the fact that this is not remotely demonstrated thus far is due to the prevalence of non-standard tech.

        Even if we assume that it does work 99% of the time under ideal circumstances, isn’t the fact that it is apparently so easy to get wrong kind of a serious issue with it’s workability?

      • April 5, 2011 9:07 pm

        @Margaret: I think you’ve illustrated that even those who support Hubbard’s “tech” cannot excuse his inexcusable behavior.

        To quote Dylan, “How many times can a man turn his head and pretend that he just doesn’t see?”

        ML,
        Caliwog

    • Quickbeam permalink
      April 2, 2011 4:36 am

      This string went some interesting directions. I think some people may have missed my point.

      The point is that it’s all entertainment. Whatever he was actually trying to do, Hubbard (and, yeah, even Hitler) was VERY entertaining. If you can’t start to laugh and appreciate the entertainment value, it’s still got you by the short hairs. TRYING TO BE something that you CAN’T HELP BUT BE (i.e., free), is the greatest con there is. The funny thing is that Hubbard pointed this out clearly quite a few times. He then meticulously laid out a whole procedure (with wonderful bells and whistles, secret passwords and hidden chambers) and said it was something that hadn’t ever been before. Sure takes a leap of faith to accept that last. But accept it many did, me included. Working through the intricate nuances of cognitive dissonance has been (and continues to be) the most rewarding part of the ride.

      Yes. A wild ride. But as much as you might scream on a roller coaster, or be terrified in a good horror picture or thriller, or curse the villain in a melodrama, when you get through it, if it’s well done, you can thank the creator of the entertainment for the experience. Even a really bad movie can have a lot of entertainment value.

      In the end, it’s all entertainment. And Hubbard produced the Rocky Horror Picture Show (or was it Murder on the Orient Express?). Cheer or boo, as you please.

  21. James Anglin permalink
    March 28, 2011 10:18 am

    Not many endeavors other than Scientology promise to make you ‘at cause over matter, energy, space and time’, or anything like that. So questions about whether or not Scientology confers superpowers are unambiguous. But once you’re talking about more moderate ‘gains’ and ‘wins’, it’s not so clear cut. Lots of other activities provide benefits, too. If this poll was trying to be a scientific study (which I realize it isn’t), this would be why it needed to have a control group.

    Anything you put a lot of time into during your early adulthood is likely to be the venue for a lot of personal growth. If you spend five years in your twenties doing a lot of Scientology, then it would be pretty surprising if you didn’t experience some worthwhile things. But people also get ‘wins’ from bowling: increased coordination, improved self-confidence, social skills … Heck, people often report gaining one or two worthwhile things from being in prison.

    A control group isn’t easy to arrange here, but the point can still be borne in mind when interpreting the results of Jeff’s poll. “I got some wins” may not necessarily mean that Scientology works even partially. It may simply mean that Scientologists were young adults once.

    In other words, after you’ve concluded that Scientology does not confer paranormal superpowers, the next question is not whether Scientology works at all. It’s whether it works better than bowling. Or prison! Or whatever alternatives there are.

    • Phil permalink
      March 31, 2011 9:46 am

      I think this is an excellent post. Amazing the things we learn growing up. BTW, I would hate to be 20 again. I really like getting older and wiser. I find my abilities are far greater then they ever been. I can fix a car, build a house, design electronics, bring up children, build a business all with complete confidence. I’ve always been a mere WOG, and always will be.

  22. Scott permalink
    March 28, 2011 3:30 pm

    “Regarding your overall Scientology experience…The wins and gains I received were not worth the time and money I invested. 71.23% ”

    I’m surprised the number is not higher.

    • Newer permalink
      March 29, 2011 1:08 pm

      Well the % is within range. ~20% are PTS 😉

  23. SpecialFrog permalink
    March 28, 2011 3:31 pm

    One of the conclusions from “The Making of a Moonie” was that a lot of people who joined the Unification Church left after a couple of years and were so embarrassed about it they never wanted to talk about it ever again.

    While the book has been criticized for largely dismissing the allegations of brainwashing, it does raise a valid point that it is hard to determine if a group of ex-members is representative. Is the desire to continue to want to talk about Scientology after leaving the organization typical or is it the exception?

    Suppose the official “8 million members” figure (or whatever it is this week) is an accurate representation of everyone who has bought a book or a course at some stage in history. That’s a lot of people who have not spoken up in an obvious way.

    • Margaret permalink
      March 28, 2011 9:08 pm

      I think many of the comments here are indicative of people not being aware of the difference between a “Public Scientologist’s” Scientology experience, a “Staff Member’s” Scientology experience and a “Sea Org Member’s” Scientology experience. These different levels of involvement in the CoS create vastly different Scientology experiences.

      Further, a number of commentators here also don’t seem to be aware of the change in the organizational “thought enforcements” which took place in and around the early- and mid-1980s, which began broadly affecting not only Scientology staff and SO, but also Scientology Public (the much larger group of Scientologists). In 1982/1983, Church management began enforcing a “you’re with us, or you’re against us” mentality on everyone: not just staff and SO, but also the Scientology public. This was done, I believe, in an effort to suppress the external Church reform attempts being largely led by David Mayo’s first “Independent” group (the “Advanced Ability Center”) which he set up in the early 80s.

      Some people point to KSW#1 from 1965 as creating this radical approach on Scientologists. However, during the 1970s, the Scientology organization generally didn’t enforce the “you’re with us, or you’re against us” mentality on Scientology Public and Mission Staff, and KSW was largely seen as only applying to “the Tech” — and not necessarily policy and ethics.

      In fact, in the 1970s, many (if not most) Scientologists didn’t even consider “Church of Scientology” to be a “group” that they particularly belonged to — they just considered Scientology to be a philosophy or path that they were interested in as a means to improve their life or to achieve spiritual awakening/enlightenment. They had very little, or no, interest in the social or “group” aspects of Scientology.

      This all changed in the early and mid-1980s.

      After 1982, the “you’re with us, or you’re against us” mentality started being enforced broadly by Church management on everyone, including Scientology Public and Missions. Evidence of this change can be seen in the “Introduction to Scientology Ethics” (ISE) book, which was the book that had been historically used by Church “Ethics Officers” to enforce the “Scientology rules” on Scientology public: students and preclears.

      Prior to 1982, the ISE book — for example — stated that it was considered to be a “Suppressive Act” to “adhere to a group pronounced a Suppressive Group by [the CoS]”.

      In the Oct-1982 edition (and all editions thereafter) of ISE, that line was changed to “adhere to a person or group pronounced a Suppressive Person or Group by [the CoS].”

      With that change, “enforced disconnection” to a family or friend was made law on Scientology public.

      I believe that that change in that line was perhaps the first broad mechanism that the CoS (RTC) used to enforce the “you’re with us, or you’re against us” mentality on Scientology public. After that change, Scientology public were no longer allowed to remain in communication with the individuals that they wished to.

      Additional changes were made in the mid-1980s, including the broad application of KSW to policy and pretty much anything else LRH ever wrote, said or did.

      So, imo, the “Scientology experience” differs/differed greatly depending on whether one is/was a Public, Staff or Sea Org — and whether one’s Scientology experience(s) were prior to or during the 1970s or later. There are exceptions of course, but I believe on a broad basis, most would agree that those factors play a large role in one’s overall experience with Scientology.

      • Jeff permalink*
        March 28, 2011 9:53 pm

        Margaret, your personal opinions are welcome, however when you make statements like “most would agree that…” it becomes argumentum ad populum.

      • SpecialFrog permalink
        March 28, 2011 10:24 pm

        I really don’t see how any of what you said relates to my question.

        I was asking whether or not the group of people who are inclined to go online and talk about Scientology are at all representative of people who have or have had an involvement with the Church of Scientology.

      • Marildi permalink
        March 28, 2011 10:34 pm

        Margaret, thanks for going to the trouble of writing this post! I really hope it will be illuminating for those who aren’t thinking with those insidious changes.

        Jeff, I’ll preface my opinion with, I THINK “most would agree that… ” and I would also add “most – who were there or who are informed of those factors – would agree that… ” I was public and staff before ’82 and SO after ’82 and the changes were as Margaret described, from my experience.

      • Jeff permalink*
        March 28, 2011 11:12 pm

        Still argumentum ad populum. I was there. In fact, I was there from 1968. I was very aware of all the factors you mention, and I don’t agree with the revisionist history that says everything was great before 82 and then it all went to hell because of Miscavige. I just don’t.

      • Margaret permalink
        March 29, 2011 12:06 am

        SpecialFrog, I had told Jeff that I meant for my comment to be its own comment, and not in response to yours. So please don’t take it as being in response to yours. Apparently, Jeff was not able to move my comment to the main section, as its own comment.

      • Margaret permalink
        March 29, 2011 12:46 am

        Jeff wrote: “I don’t agree with the revisionist history that says everything was great before 82…”

        I never said or even implied that “everything was great before 82”. In fact, the organization was always disorganized, the buildings were horrendous and for the SO, the berthing was absolutely atrocious in the 1970s. One could argue that those things have even improved since then (well, except for “disorganized” … today I’d call it “robotically organized”).

        But the average Scientology public’s freedom to communicate and think freely in and about society? Vastly different between the 1970s and 1980s, imo.

        I can’t speak to what it was like in the Sea Org … but I can tell you that it was starkly different for Scientology public. In an effort to make all Scientology public either “with us or against us”, the changes in the 80s heralded widespread suppression of communication and free thinking, imo.

      • Marildi permalink
        March 29, 2011 12:52 am

        Jeff, you’re right. No way did I mean to imply “everything” was great in earlier years, or that it “all” went to hell, or that the changes for the worse were because of Miscavige alone (and I don’t think Margaret meant this either). I just meant that, from my experience too, there were various factors that took away from the tech being standard and thus not delivering the results it should have.

        There’s really no argument about corruption having occurred, including corruption of the tech – more and more so as the years went on. And putting aside what part LRH had in it, or whoever, for me the significant point of a poll would be to determine if standard tech itself got the EPs – the ones OFFICIALLY stated AT the time of delivery.

        But I guess it’s easier said than done to work out such a poll!

      • March 29, 2011 4:07 pm

        >the change in the organizational “thought enforcements” which took place in and around the early- and mid-1980s,

        Margaret, a lot of the abuses of the Church are codified in policies written long before DM’s rise to power. I think a lot of Scientologists suffer from “Good Old Days” syndrome, but as Billy Joel said, the good ol’ days weren’t always good.

        Look no further than the campaign of terror against Paulette Cooper to see what the Church under Hubbard was capable of. And don’t write off the ex-Scientologists who were complaining about these same sorts of abuses in the years before DM hit puberty.

        ML, CW

      • Newer permalink
        March 29, 2011 5:50 pm

        “I think many of the comments here are indicative of people not being aware of the difference between a “Public Scientologist’s” Scientology experience, a “Staff Member’s” …”

        Nope, I am very aware of the differences. For the last 35+ years.

      • Operatingwog permalink
        March 30, 2011 7:30 pm

        At the risk of going off along a side-route, I’d like to point out (contra Jeff) that Margaret is not advancing an argumentum ad populum.

        An argumentum ad populum is an argument which, overtly or covertly, seeks to establish the truth of some statement by reference to the asserted widespread belief in the truth of that statement. The general character of the error involved in a fallacious argument of this kind is elision of the distinction between belief and truth. Elision of this distinction seems to me (as an outsider) to be a systematic practice within scientology. (That’s the only kind of sense I can make of the “true is true for you” mantra.)

        Margaret is not eliding this distinction. She’s indicating some factors which she thinks affect the experiences of people who’ve have contact with scientology, and arguing that different trajectories through scientology will have produced significantly different experiences of scientology. When she concludes by saying “most would agree that those factors play a large role in one’s overall experience with Scientology” she is not saying “most would agree with me therefore I’m right”. Rather, she’s making a further claim — namely, that most of those who have had involvement with scientology will be aware of the impact of the factors she has pointed to.

    • Margaret permalink
      March 29, 2011 12:03 am

      Jeff,

      I’ve read your story of your personal experiences in Scientology. You were in the Sea Org for practically the entire time. Life in the Sea Org is not representative of the much larger and broader “Scientology experience” as experienced by public or even Scientology Org or Mission staff. They are — as I would think you would know — worlds apart. But perhaps you don’t.

      Regarding the “argumentum ad populum”, I said “I believe” it to be true. I wasn’t stating a known and scientifically tested and surveyed fact.

      • Jeff permalink*
        March 29, 2011 12:35 am

        Margaret, I had, for most of my Scientology career, a bird’s-eye view of what was going on, and I saw many things that the average public Scientologist never saw or was aware of. If things were idyllic for the public Scientologist, IMHO, it was because those at the top were much better at concealing the failures and dysfunction that did exist. Yes, things were better then, but they were never as idyllic as some seem to think.

      • Margaret permalink
        March 29, 2011 1:12 am

        Jeff, the huge problems — even in the 1970s — were obvious to everyone. They spilled over constantly, and believe me, I never ever thought it was idyllic.

        What I am talking about is how closely the organization was hewing to its own Creed of the Church, and actually allowing it’s members — the “public” — to communicate freely and apply the Code of Honor (i.e. “be true to your own goals”, “do not compromise with your own reality”, etc.)

        In the 80s, the “you’re with us, or against us” mentality was actively exported to the Public — the “ALL psychs are evil” was enforced — the “LRH could never do no wrong” was enforced — the “you can’t communicate to someone because we said so” was enforced. Perhaps it was always there to some degree in the Sea Org, but I can tell you that not until the early 80s, was it enforced so broadly to the Orgs and to the Public.

        And it’s that change in the organization’s direction that I was referring to.

      • SpecialFrog permalink
        March 29, 2011 2:44 am

        Margaret,

        I have a relative who was Scientology public in the early 60s in the UK — London and some Saint Hill (he met Hubbard). When he decided to leave the organization, he was told his resignation wasn’t accepted and Scientologists were sent to him posing as patients (he was a doctor) until he threatened to reveal the secret stuff unless they left him alone.

        I’m not going to claim this anecdote is representative (:)) but there is clearly some variety in the experiences of Scientology public even going back that far.

      • March 29, 2011 4:11 pm

        Margaret, I agree the experience of Sea Org vs Public is very different, but I don’t think it’s any less harmful. In fact, in many ways it is worse – the ignorance and misinformation that public Scns have about some of the most basic topics is staggering. (In talking to my Scn friends, I quickly learned not to let my jaw drop.)

        Being “trapped” in Scientology is more than being physically trapped at one of the bases. It’s a trap that exists in the mind. Public Scientologists may walk around in the Wog world, but they are anything but free. They are trapped in Hubbard’s mindset. This is not an opinion, btw; it is fact. And it’s really upsetting to me.

        ML,
        Caliwog

      • Margaret permalink
        March 30, 2011 12:03 am

        caliwog wrote: “Public Scientologists may walk around in the Wog world, but they are anything but free.”

        Your mileage will vary on that one.

      • Marildi permalink
        March 30, 2011 5:55 am

        Jeff, will you please give specifics on what sort of things you saw from your bird’s eye view. Maybe you’ve already posted this data and if so, which post/date. I’m sincerely interested.

      • Jeff permalink*
        March 30, 2011 4:26 pm

        Read my book, Counterfeit Dreams.

      • Fidelio permalink
        March 30, 2011 4:40 pm

        …if that were addressed to me…. bought it twice and read it twice AND I just can highly recommend it!!! 🙂
        Fidelio

      • Tony DePhillips permalink
        April 3, 2011 11:25 pm

        Hi Jeff,

        Would you say that things before 82 were more bad than good?
        If so, I have to ask, why did you stay in so long after that?
        Not as a make wrong, I am really curious.
        ARC,
        Tony

      • Jeff permalink*
        April 4, 2011 3:21 am

        Tony, I could write a book on that subject. In fact, I did – Counterfeit Dreams.

    • April 3, 2011 9:46 pm

      Of the supposed 11 million members who were on board, 10.9 million have quit and aren’t talking about it. THAT’S them speaking with their silence about Scientology! They are simply quiters, silent quiters. And they should NOT be counted as Scientologists, and rather than voice the 11 million members numbers like they are active members, it should be more correctly stated that we had 11 million people try to various degrees beginner looks at Scientology, and 10.9 million stopped looking at Scientology for answers in life.

      11 million members at one time or another, and 10.9 million quiters, is how I answer media and scholars who ask about the inflated numbers.

  24. Debussy permalink
    March 28, 2011 9:25 pm

    As usual great post Jeff !

  25. March 29, 2011 12:58 am

    While cruising over on PollDaddy (who is hosting these polls) I found that you can post a comment to a specific poll there. And some people have.

    And I realized something about that option “The results were more than I expected/more than was promoted to me” because of a comment by Joe Howard. He chose that option for the Grades even though he hadn’t, apparently, received the promised Abilities Gained from the Grades — because he was exterior for two weeks.

    I had been lumping the “results were more” in with “achieved the full EP” group — which is isn’t necessarily so.

  26. Joanne Doe permalink
    March 29, 2011 1:05 am

    I hope not too off topic but Jessie Prince has written his latest installment on his blog and in it contains Hanna Eltringham’s 1994 declaration. She became a Scientologist in 1965 and I’m sure was a friend of yours Jeff. In this declaration she tells of many witnessed atrocities that happened before and after Miscavige. It long but worth the read. But it hits home the point that it didn’t start with Davy!
    Also Jessie doesn’t mince words for Mike Rinder and Marty…

    http://www.princejesse53.blogspot.com/

    • Sid permalink
      March 29, 2011 10:20 pm

      Just read the entire post.

      One word.

      Wow.

  27. James Anglin permalink
    March 29, 2011 6:09 am

    Margaret has raised the point that Scientology has long offered several quite different levels of involvement: public, staff, Sea Org, and (for a few) higher management. This point may be a digression from these polls about Scientology results, but I think it’s an important one, because as an outsider I’ve been really struck by the apparent fact that Scientology has a lot of staff.

    There seems to be a much higher proportion of (badly) paid staff in Scientology orgs, compared to ordinary active members, than in mainstream religious congregations. I mean, a typical small church or synagogue or mosque or temple seems to have roughly as many active members as a thriving Scientology org. And to serve and lead them, there’s usually one highly trained professional religious leader, with something like a Master’s degree. They’re paid a decent middle-class salary. And they might have a part-time secretary to help out with administration. But that’s it for paid staff; anybody else who helps run the joint is just a volunteer spending some of their free time, with some other career of their own.

    I’ve been told that Scientology orgs of comparable size may have a couple of dozen full-time staff, whose training is often lacking even by Scientology’s internal standards, and who are paid peanuts. This is a very different way to run a religious institution.

    I’d like to see Jeff’s comments on this aspect of corporate Scientology. Why the big staff? What’s up with that?

    • Jeff permalink*
      March 29, 2011 6:29 am

      James, interesting question. I think if you consider Scientology a cult rather than a religion, then the large, heavily controlled inner group makes “sense.”

    • Margaret permalink
      March 29, 2011 7:15 am

      Believe it or not, James, the most direct answer to your question is that the organizations are robotically running on dictates to “get the stats up”. They are not being asked to “sit down and calmly plan out how best to grow the organizations”, as one might think. They are literally being forced — on an incessant and daily basis — to “get the stats up”.

      This means that both the leadership of the local organizations, and even the middle- and upper level “management” are constantly being harassed to “hire people/staff” or “recruit Sea Org”, completely independent of (1) whether it makes financial sense, (2) whether there is a need, or (3) whether the new staff are, a priori, familiar with all the conditions of working there (i.e. long hours, no pay, etc.)

      The result is (1) a bloated organization with constant turn-overs, and (2) a bunch of pissed off former staff and Sea Org leaving the organization.

      There is very little rational thinking and planning in the “management” of the Church of Scientology.

      • March 29, 2011 8:30 pm

        Margaret, one of the things that amazed me most about working in Admin Tech organizations was the lack of long-range planning. Strategic plans for the year, battle plans for the week, but that was about it, everything was pretty much based on the previous week’s condition.

        And the idea of doing financial planning weekly, rather than using a yearly budget, always floored me. It made relationships with vendors a nightmare.

        Thursday at 2, Thursday at 2, Thursday at 2.

        It’s part of the reason I don’t worry as much about the corporate Church of Scientology. Any business using Hubbard’s management technology can only expand so far. It’s inherently self-limiting.

        ML,
        Caliwog

      • Margaret permalink
        March 30, 2011 4:58 pm

        Caliwog, generally speaking, “Admin Tech” is useless without good sense and judgement. And even then, the good sense and judgement should always take seniority, imho. There’ve been some successes with “admin tech” … but it’s only been done by those picking and choosing things that they feel might work, not by “following admin” robotically.

      • Jeff permalink*
        March 30, 2011 8:19 pm

        From my own experience, good sense and judgment in the use of Hubbard’s admin tech usually consisted of not using it when it got in the way of production, which was often. When I was running a semi-autonomous unit, I could get away with that, but in a tightly controlled environment like the Int Base, you don’t have the option not to use it.

      • Margaret permalink
        March 30, 2011 5:01 pm

        “And the idea of doing financial planning weekly, rather than using a yearly budget, always floored me. It made relationships with vendors a nightmare.”

        That one floored me too. The ultra-concentration of planning down to a “week” is completely ridiculous.

      • Margaret permalink
        March 30, 2011 11:22 pm

        Jeff wrote: “usually consisted of not using it when it got in the way of production…”

        I suspect that most of the organizational successes of the Church over the years were when people were allowed that kind of freedom.

      • March 31, 2011 6:34 am

        >“Admin Tech” is useless without good sense and judgement

        I agree. But good sense and judgement are largely not allowed in the Admin Tech. Hubbard was very clear – do it MY way.

        Marketing in a secular Admin Tech co. is actually easier. When a product is designed by survey and advertised using survey buttons, it’s easy to write good copy. (It’s honest use of the admin tech – different from the Church, because the product actually was created to solve a ruin – unlike Scientology, where it’s the same product no matter what your ruin is.)

        Still, it was fun to watch people struggle when they knew what they needed to do, but had to find an on-policy way to get there. It often involved some very creative survey writing.

        Luckily, much of the Admin Tech wasn’t really original to Hubbard; it was common sense as used in Wog companies. I was happy that Hubbard re-printed “Positioning,” which is a marketing classic.

        That said, his take on it (HCO PL 30 Jan 79 “Positioning, Philosophic Theory”) is laughable. It has all the great elements of a Hubbard PL: Claims of a great discovery while *completely* missing the point, plus a swipe at psychiatry with no basis in reality. Classic Ron!

        ML,
        Caliwog

      • Margaret permalink
        April 1, 2011 2:56 pm

        caliwog wrote: “good sense and judgement are largely not allowed in the Admin Tech. Hubbard was very clear – do it MY way.”

        Good sense and judgement are definitely “allowed”. But so was fanaticism and “stats are the only thing that matters”. When you say “use good sense and judgement” in one direction, and then allow and create a fanatical, stats-are-more-important-than-God approach … all the advice in world for “good sense” becomes meaningless.

    • Aeolus permalink
      March 29, 2011 2:26 pm

      There are a couple of reasons for the high ratio of staff to public. One is that auditing is a one-on-one activity, as opposed to a preacher who delivers his “tech” to an entire congregation at the same time. But the main reason is found in those 13 big heavy green books. There is just an absurd amount of overhead in the administrative system that Hubbard created.

      In the WISE businesses that use green-on-white, there is also an imbalance of administrative and production personnel, compared to profitable non-WISE companies in the same fields.

    • Jeff permalink*
      March 29, 2011 4:46 pm

      I touched on this in my book. Scientology organizations, particularly management organizations, are insanely top-heavy. For every person actually producing something, there are dozens of Program Operators, Communicators, MAAs and so on “making sure that people produce.” With all of the inspections, musters, interviews, meetings and so on, it is nearly impossible to get anything done. I was amazed, when leaving Scientology, to find out how easy it actually is to get things done. I worked for a weekly magazine with five staff, and we got out 60 pages of content every week on a 9-to-5 schedule, five days a week. At the Int Base, getting out a 16-page catalog required months, working around the clock, with constant meetings, inspections, threats and the rest of the happy horseshit. Pardon my French.

      • Newer permalink
        March 29, 2011 5:55 pm

        Yes Jeff, the LRH authored “management system” is quite non-productive. The “funniest” part is the 14 year old R Messengers running around screeching to get “production” when they haven’t a CLUE as to how the product is produced.

      • freespirit permalink
        March 30, 2011 7:23 pm

        Hey Jeff, I’m with you on that one. When I started working outside I felt I had missed withholds (of nothing actually) because I was able to produce so much without effort and get things done so fast when unencumbered by the constant “dramatizations” of production. I’ve pulled off big products since being out, without the nuisance of “product officers” breathing down my neck; and able go home at decent hours, relax, enjoy a glass of wine with dinner and spend time with friends. It was easy. I had evenings and weekends to myself since. When I was out, and took on my first job, my boss, the Snr VP of a billion dollar company, pulled me into his office. I was flustered. “Oh,oh – what did I do wrong?” I remember my mind scrambling through all my actions to see if I could locate the mistake I made and racing to come up with a solution/handling. I sat down ready to be reprimanded for something. He asked me to close the door so we could talk in private. I thought I was done for. Turns out he needed some advice on some floor plans for a new business venture and he wanted my opinion. After that we had many moments where I was his sounding board. But I recall thinking to myself,”My God, this is where all that got me – to the point where I am afraid to share the same space with a senior person, to talk in a relaxed manner, to just be comfortable with those I work with.?” Took some re-calibration on my part to be able to think straight on the subject again.

        I remember commenting on my route out that had I just been allowed to do my job without the distraction of constantly “getting stats up” I would have easily accomplished a few big goals in my sector by now. That didn’t go over very well.

      • Tony DePhillips permalink
        April 3, 2011 11:28 pm

        Boy, that really sounds insane and believable too.

    • March 29, 2011 7:00 pm

      James,

      Great point! Here is some additional information.

      While there are many organizations which make up this “church”, there is one that accounts for more income and delivery of actual Scientology services than all others combined. That organization is Flag, located in Clearwater, Florida.

      While almost all Scientology “churches” struggle to survive financially, Flag not only supports itself but it supports the Office of Special Affairs (OSA), middle management (L.A.), upper management (Hemet, CA.) and indirectly organizations like the Freewinds.

      While I was the Treasury Secretary at Flag in about 2002, we did a computer print out of every person who had paid the Flag Service Org (FSO), at least $1,000 for Scientology services over a 3 year period. To our amazement there were only about 5,000 names.

      Now consider that Flag has about 1,200 staff and they are financially supporting about another 500 staff outside Flag that “manage” or “keep Scientology safe from attack”. That’s a total of about 1,700 full time staff being financially supported by 5,000 public!

      I would be willing to bet that if you printed out that same list today at least 85% of the names are the same. I would also be willing to bet that those public have made little to no progress up the “Bridge”.

      So what are all these staff working so hard to do? I think that it majorly boils down to controlling information and people (internally and externally) so as to extract their labor and money.

      Most of the money comes from public who are OT V or above and have been being run around in circles, redoing the same Scientology services over and over while being pressured to make additional direct donations for things like the Super Power Building (collecting donations since 1986), Idle Orgs, translations, Preservation of the Tech, IAS, Library Donations, ABLE , etc.

      As an additional note, while Flag is passing out the cash to support this huge amount of staff and overhead, it owes hundreds of millions in undelivered service to parishioners for which it has no money set aside to cover. That situation worsens by hundreds of thousands on a weekly basis. It’s like having a restaurant that has taken in millions of dollars for future meals and than spending the money on overhead. The “direct donations”
      is an unusual solution to try to cover their ass financially for a top heavy, criminal and unviable scene.

      • Jeff permalink*
        March 29, 2011 7:50 pm

        Amazing Mat. Less than 5,000 people supporting the entirety of organized Scientology. And I’ll bet that many of those 1700 staff are busy trying to keep those 5,000 people from finding out the true nature of the parasitic, abusive organization they are bankrolling. Gold only exists these days, for instance, to crank out glossy “events” that camouflage what is really going on.

      • James Anglin permalink
        March 30, 2011 6:59 am

        Wow.

        For a normal business this makes little sense: far fewer staff, better paid and trained and managed, could produce much more profit and growth. It doesn’t make much sense for a religion trying to spread itself to the world, either. The world religions are very low overhead operations in comparison to Scientology.

        But my theory is that inefficiency is self-limiting and cannot long endure, whereas Scientology has endured for some decades now. Therefore, I doubt that Scientology is really inefficient. It must be efficient at what it really does. The question is, What is it really doing? What is its real product?

        One guess I have is that the real product of Scientology might be the Scientology staff. That is, the staff are not really there to produce Scientology. Scientology is there to produce them.

        I don’t necessarily imagine that anyone consciously designed it this way, even Hubbard. And staff members may well think that they are working frantically to further Scientology, and not just to keep themselves busy. But my hypothesis is that the system of organized Scientology works effectively to produce a relatively large core of abused and underpaid devotees, who draw in just enough resources from ‘public’ to sustain themselves (at their minimal standard of living).

        Maybe studies of cults have focused too much on ‘brainwashing’ and controlling people’s beliefs. Maybe what really matters is controlling people’s time. What better way to do this than to hire them?

      • Helmuth, speaking for Boskone permalink
        March 30, 2011 3:05 pm

        The claim is that the Canadian Advanced Org will open within a year or so. Too bad that it will directly subtract from from Flag’s support list.
        http://www.thestar.com/news/article/954048–former-orangeville-area-resort-to-become-scientology-headquarters
        And just think of the amount of staff it will require, spreading the Sea Org even thinner.

      • March 31, 2011 6:09 am

        > Maybe what really matters is controlling people’s time. What better way to do this than to hire them?

        Well, you have to have some control over people’s minds to make them devote so much of their time to advancing a group rather than making a life for themselves.

        ML,
        Caliwog

  28. Samuel C permalink
    March 29, 2011 2:32 pm

    I have had many priceless wins in Scientology. Most of these came from training and coauditing. The cost in time and money was well worth it. However the auditing I bought at Flag and the money I paid to DM programs (IAS, Ideal Orgs, Super Power) were an absolute rip-off.

  29. Advanced Soul permalink
    March 30, 2011 1:34 am

    Thank you for the Poll Jeff.
    As I answered your questions from the experience of having been trained as an auditor having arrived at the step of what is called OT 8.
    I looked without trying to defend or rationalize what subjective ideas I had.
    I saw that it all came down to my own opinion and only that.

    I can say I got good at playing find the incident or the reactive mind that Hubbard “discovered”.
    Whether this enhanced my imagination,made me delusional or just plain made a good liar out of me in this abstract ideology of Scientology remains to be seen.

    In his “Dianetics book Hubbard points out that the ‘ file clerk” is a very obliging fellow or some such words.
    This ” very obliging file clerk” is of interest in that after a few sessions of “run and fetch” were done I started to have to imagine things to present that I began objecting to by voicing my doubts.
    As I look at it now I see that people in general want to particicpate and be helpful.
    My view is that this impulse or inclination is taken very much advantage of in these “auditing procedures” .
    The “Reactive Mind” that is constructed like Hubbard concocted it with a vivid fictional stroke of his pen appears to be a hypnotic suggestion and imposition on all curious newcomers or cats for that matter .

    For myself this is a prime example of ” curiosity that killed the cat”.
    My first awaneress to this was when first I disppeled the urge to “meow” (joke)

    My aspirations were being manipulated by one of the best ideologists in this field ,Hubbard himself.

    Prior to Scientology when I was asked about abilities or a subjective opinion about myself I would say at times “It all depends on what you consider”.

    I now have regained this personal truth of mine as the best way I can determine my own motives and that of others when involved in a dialectic
    with the definition of dialectic as follows:
    ” discussion and reasoning by dialogue as a method of intellectual investigation; specifically : the Socratic techniques of exposing false beliefs and eliciting truth “

  30. Fidelio permalink
    March 30, 2011 9:36 am

    Dear Jeff,

    the discussion shows this post is another DEEP cut to the quick of the maiming subject of SCN. I am lost for words when it comes to express my gratitude to you.

    Fidelio

    • Marildi permalink
      March 30, 2011 9:25 pm

      Fidelio, depends what you mean by the subject of “Scientology” – the organization, or the philosophy and the tech it’s based on. The subject most worth polling and discussing, to my mind, would be whether or not the tech itself (i.e. STANDARD tech) produces gains. As for the products of the organization, I can’t see that posts I’ve read on this or other non-Church blogs disagree in any significant way.

      Unfortunately this poll doesn’t distinquish between those two meanings of “Scientology,” either (not that it would be easy to do, but may be possible). The comments elicited are interesting and maybe even somewhat helpful, but they really only continue the “debate” about “Scientology” with two main groups of debaters – those who are essentially airing their grievances about the organization and those who have in mind the value of the tech itself. It’s not really a debate, it’s a problem in semantics IMO.

      What I think would be a more worthwhile discussion or poll would be one where the posters commented on their experience with the tech, including circumstances such as when and where it was delivered. The overall results of such comments might be pretty illuminating – one way or the other!

      • Jeff permalink*
        March 30, 2011 11:50 pm

        It seems that you are trying to differentiate between the “pure” tech – “untouched by human hands” as it were, and the subject as actually applied in the rough and tumble of the real world. The “subject,” the body of data, doesn’t do anything. It is individuals who apply it, whether in an organization or in the freezone or on their own. It seems that what you are really saying is that people should differentiate between application in the Church and application in the independent field. But it’s ALL application.

      • SpecialFrog permalink
        March 31, 2011 1:32 am

        It’s a bit like hardcore Marxists or devotees of Milton Friedman — the real world examples that have been failures don’t count because they weren’t “pure” Marxism / laissez-faire Capitalism. 🙂

      • Marildi permalink
        March 31, 2011 2:27 am

        Jeff, of course the human factor exists, but the remedy for mis-application is provided for in the tech (buttons, correction lists, etc.). So-called “application” of the tech that doesn’t follow the written procedures of HCOBs is not the same thing as application that does – whether in the Church or otherwise. So, no, that’s not the differentiation I had in mind.

        Even if it’s an abstract ideal to talk about “standard tech,” it’s still a yardstick that has to be applied as well as possible – IF we’re trying to determine whether THE tech is workable and gets results, or not. In this context it’s not true that “all application” is application.

      • Jeff permalink*
        March 31, 2011 5:57 am

        I think that “standard tech” is an abstract ideal, and as such you can’t measure its “results” and compare them to real-world results. According to Scientology theory, “standard tech” always gets results. That’s a theory. It’s theoretical. Then when someone tries to apply it and does not get results, he’s told, “well, you didn’t apply standard tech, because standard tech always gets results.” It’s a circular argument. Compare: “Astrology is always right.” “Well, this astrologer’s prediction was wrong.” “Well then, he wasn’t applying correct astrology, because astrology is always right.” You can’t argue against it because it’s “perfect” circular “logic.”

      • Margaret permalink
        March 31, 2011 3:16 pm

        Jeff wrote: “I think that “standard tech” is an abstract ideal, and as such you can’t measure its “results” and compare them to real-world results.”

        By and large, I think this is true. But I also think things like “IQ” and other measurable personality qualities could be used to determine “results”. And obviously, if someone is saying that they can “exteriorize with full perception at will”, that should be able to be tested.

        Can something like “ability to communicate with anyone on any subject” be tested? Or “freedom from overwhelm”? No, not very conclusively imo.

      • Marildi permalink
        March 31, 2011 3:58 pm

        Totally agreed, Jeff. And I’ve looked at exactly that, which is why I would be interested in having the most reliable survey there could be, of subjective results at least.

        Special Frog, got what you’re saying too. But, really, I’m not so unreal as to be talking about “pure” or perfect tech. Just what would most approach it, relatively standard tech, compared with relatively non-standard.

      • March 31, 2011 4:21 pm

        I was talking to an independent Scientologist a few weeks ago about some of the situations in America. He said something to the affect that the solution was Scientology.

        I pointed out that there was an isolated place where hundreds of long term, dedicated Scientologists live. They are mostly Clears or OTs. They are highly trained. They’ve all done the PTS/SP course, they’ve read the books, most are evaluator trained, ethics trained, etc, etc. That place is in Hemet CA. and its a nut house dedicated to a suppressive nut. There’s your pilot.

      • Marildi permalink
        March 31, 2011 4:42 pm

        Mat – Wow, that’s NOT what I’ve heard about “most” of the hundreds there at Hemet. Where did you get these “statistics”? Have you even been there?

      • Jeff permalink*
        March 31, 2011 7:23 pm

        Yeah, Mat was there, I was there. Were you there?

      • March 31, 2011 5:06 pm

        I have one more point to make. Someone might think that because of the extreme isolation and control at the Hemet compound that it is a bad example to use as a “Scientology pilot”.

        If you look at the top Scientology public you will find that these people mainly started off as intelligent, healthy, successful, family loving people who wanted to improve themselves, their friends, family members, etc. They wanted to become more independent, able to think for themselves, etc.

        Now look at how easily these trained “OTs” have been able to be manipulated and ripped off. Look at how these people can be made to walk away from their own FAMILY and best friends faster then you can say “golden rod”.
        These people became and got the opposite of what they sort. In my opinion a person who will immediately flip and walk away from their own child, parent, brother and sister (without even a word) is a pretty useless human being.

      • Marildi permalink
        March 31, 2011 6:48 pm

        Re the comment about Hemet, this is specious sidetracking at best. It could hardly be called a “pilot” in standard tech where you have a PTS/SP situation going on.

        On the other hand, if we were to survey those who were there, we might have a good example of the results of non-standard tech!

      • Jeff permalink*
        March 31, 2011 7:21 pm

        OK, then one could ask, “how come the top Scientology staff on the planet, ALL of whom have done the PTS/SP Course, most of them several times, many of whom are highly trained and OT, go the effect of an SP?” One could also ask “with all of the technical and adminstrative tools at their command, how would the top staff in Scientology, many of them highly trained and OT, allow ‘nonstandard tech’ take over and dominate the center of Scientology itself?” Any way you slice it, Scientology has failed at the center of Scientology itself.

      • Scott permalink
        March 31, 2011 9:06 pm

        “Any way you slice it, Scientology has failed at the center of Scientology itself.”

        I’m reading A PIECE OF BLUE SKY by Jon Atack, along with Jeff”s book.

        Was Scientology ever successful?

      • Margaret permalink
        April 1, 2011 12:29 am

        Scott wrote: “Was Scientology ever successful?”

        LOL. Now that is a loaded question.

        My opinion only …

        YES, Scientology has been tremendously successful when used on an individual basis — with’s one integrity and good judgement intact — as a tool for improving one’s life.

        As soon as you mix it up with “group-think” (as is commonplace the deeper into the Church of Scientology you get), it becomes progressively less and less successful, and eventually even harmful.

      • April 1, 2011 1:02 am

        >Was Scientology ever successful?

        It was successful at allowing Hubbard to live out his fantasies and make a lot of money.

        ML, CW

      • rhill permalink
        April 1, 2011 5:10 am

        Mat Pesch: “Look at how these people can be made to walk away from their own FAMILY and best friends faster then you can say ‘golden rod’ ”

        That has always been one of the feature I found the most stunning in Scientology, because it happens very early in the process from what I’ve read, after only a few courses. I think it would be worthwhile to find exactly when and why this happens, since this is a key point in Scientology. I’ve never been a Scientologist so I can only offer an opinion: I suspect it has to do with the (in my opinion creepy) SP/PTS concept, a core feature of Scientology, as designed by Hubbard. Hubbard made it so that if one’s relative/friend question’s one’s involvement in Scientology, they are wrong, or even malevolent, and only he was to be completely trusted to look after anyone’s best interest.

      • Fidelio permalink
        April 1, 2011 8:13 am

        Aaaaahhh, Margaret, thank you for pointing me to another thought stopper lasersharply put in place by Hubbard: Exclusively “banky” “GROUPTHINK”.

        So why is it then that the groupthink around people like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Jerry Zukerman – just to name a few – is so highly productive and contributing to mankind? And continues to be so? (Haven’t heard of a “Hemet” around these guys.)

        And was it not the group of genius research auditors around Hubbard who were most probably the REAL source (smashed and fairgamed by Hubbard of course) to all the parts of “the Tech” you rightly defend as being beneficial?
        (just think of the 98% of the original St. Hillers SP-declared where it does not even end….)

        So: “Groupthink” — huh???

        Fidelio

      • Fidelio permalink
        April 1, 2011 1:26 pm

        …sorry I meant Zukerberg… Fidelio

      • Fidelio permalink
        April 1, 2011 2:50 pm

        hahahaha, Margaret – here is a Hubbardian word I wholeheartedly cherish: Dev-T!!

        Sorry now for the Dev-T, Jeff: here comes my last correction – I meant
        Mark Elliot Zuckerberg….

        Fidelio

      • Margaret permalink
        April 1, 2011 6:31 pm

        Fidelio wrote: “just think of the 98% of the original St. Hillers SP-declared …”

        Why LRH chose to equate “someone breaking the rules” with “an SP” is beyond me.

        A “Suppressive Person” was a specific technical thing, as defined by the 12 characteristics. Whether you agree with all those characteristics or not — in a general sense, most of society (and psychology) recognizes the toxic affect from “suppressive” and negative people.

        LRH chose to mix this up with policy and ethics, in such a way that if someone even “broke the rules” they could be “declared SP”. Big mistake, in my book. Most of these policies, early on, only applied to staff. DM/RTC then made it worse by outlawing any Scientologist — even a non-staff, public Scientologist — being able to talk to a “declared SP” in 1982.

        This is one of a handful of things, in my opinion, that needs revamping in policy. Maybe it helped solve an internal organizational problem at the time (or maybe it just made it worse). But either way, I think it was taken wayyy too far.

      • April 2, 2011 5:26 am

        >Why LRH chose to equate “someone breaking the rules” with “an SP” is beyond me.

        The idea behind PTS/SP “tech” was to keep members of the group away from those who might convince them to leave Scientology.

        >DM/RTC then made it worse by outlawing any Scientologist — even a non-staff, public Scientologist — being able to talk to a “declared SP” in 1982.

        I don’t know that DM’s ruling was all that far out of line from LRH policy. This is verbal tech here, but IIRC, Hubbard made it clear that being attached to an SP could damage your “spiritual gain,” and didn’t having an “unhandled PTS condition” make you ineligible for services until it was handled? If DM “outlawed” it, all he did was codify what LRH had already implied.

        ML, CW

      • Margaret permalink
        April 3, 2011 6:19 am

        caliwog wrote: “Hubbard made it clear that being attached to an SP could damage your ‘spiritual gain’, and didn’t having an ‘unhandled PTS condition’ make you ineligible for services until it was handled?”

        Well, that is actually the core concept, and imo makes sense when you’re dealing with an actual SP, as described by the original 12 characteristics. And as mentioned, many people would agree that being connected to a “toxic personality” is not good for a person in various ways.

        No, what I was referring to was the inter-mixing in policy of the actual definition of SP (i.e. someone with those 12 characteristics), with “someone who breaks the Scientology rules”. They are two distinct things, and should not have been inter-mixed imo.

      • Tony DePhillips permalink
        April 3, 2011 11:38 pm

        Jeff said:”I think that “standard tech” is an abstract ideal, and as such you can’t measure its “results” and compare them to real-world results. According to Scientology theory, “standard tech” always gets results. That’s a theory. It’s theoretical. Then when someone tries to apply it and does not get results, he’s told, “well, you didn’t apply standard tech, because standard tech always gets results.” It’s a circular argument. Compare: “Astrology is always right.” “Well, this astrologer’s prediction was wrong.” “Well then, he wasn’t applying correct astrology, because astrology is always right.” You can’t argue against it because it’s “perfect” circular “logic.”

        LOL!! This is very true Jeff and very funny. If when in the hands of “Man” the tech is imperfect, then who amongst man can assure it’s standard use? I do think you can say that some people apply the tech to a better RESULT than others. The tech could be measured and applied for a good result. And I think it would be safe to say that a person who could get a good result would be best able to help/train another to get a good result using the tech.
        The idea of getting trained by someone who cannot or has not gotten good results using the tech is questionable.

    • Margaret permalink
      March 31, 2011 1:24 am

      Fidelio wrote: “this post is another DEEP cut to the quick of the maiming subject of SCN” …

      Funny that you would say that. This anecdotal, non-scientific poll of the readers of this blog shows (so far):

      Positive results* from Grades — about 90%
      Positive results* from Clear — about 80%
      Positive results* from OT III — about 70%
      Positive results* from OT VII — about 60%
      Positive results* from OT VIII — about 50%

      *About a quarter to a third of those experiencing “positive results” (gain, relief, etc.) felt that the results were temporary and faded over time.

      My conclusion? The closer in you get to the Sea Org, the worse your results from auditing.

      My Solution? Reform or disband the Sea Org.

      ———

      Of course, none of this is scientific or formal in any way, but if a poll were done of those who have done OT III, VII and VIII in the Independent Field/Freezone … I suspect that the “positive results” would be in the 80-90% range as well. But that’s just a guess. I’d also guess that the question “was it worth the time / money” would also skew largely in the “yes” direction outside the CoS.

      But that’s the “glass half full” look, isn’t it? 🙂

      • Jeff permalink*
        March 31, 2011 6:33 am

        Look, everyone can look at the results for themselves. They don’t need someone to spin it or interpret it. It’s not rocket science.

        Let’s look at Grades, for instance. As of tonight:

        More than expected: 14.68%
        Got the full EP: 16.97%
        Less than expected: 29.36%
        Temporary exhilaration: 28.44%
        Little or no gain: 7.8%
        Negative: 2.75%

        Of course, one could point out that that’s 68.33% who got less than they expected or less than was promised. One could call that a 68% fail rate.

        But never mind that, it’s 90% “positive!” Because 90% got something out of it, however small. And the fact that 69% felt it wasn’t worth the time and money is glossed over. Margaret’s “conclusion” from the poll – “get rid of the Sea Org. ” Huh? We weren’t even polling about the Sea Org. (I happen to agree that the SO should be disbanded, but not as a result of anything in the poll.)

      • March 31, 2011 8:56 am

        I would interpret the numbers as follows:

        Very pleased: 31.65 % (14.68 + 16.97 %)
        Got something out of it: 57.8 % (29.36 + 28.44 %)
        Wasn’t worth it: 10.55 % (7.8 + 2.75 %)

        Good poll. I have to say though, based on many testimonies I’ve read on the Internet that the numbers from a general point of view was quite expected. Interesting with some sort of unscientific confirmation, getting closer to the truth compared to CoS advertising.

        But it’s interesting that there’s something here that works, that’s what I’m focusing on. Hubbard probably got obsessed with the idea that if we just do the auditing PERFECT and if everybody knows the tech PERFECT” it will work for everybody or at least much more people.

        But I think that personal characteristics are also important. I’ve seen people who are quite “weak” or “hangarounders” and they don’t seem to do as well as strong entrepreneurs for example (not to claim that people who have failed auditing are “dumb” though), so there are personal factors as well involved. Perhaps those with very failed auditing will have to reincarnate a couple of lifetimes to get “more aware” or similair? I don’t know, just guessing.

        One OT VIII wrote that “you have to already be quite aware to benefit from the OT-levels” and I think there could be some truth to that.

        Could you for example take a longtime unemployed alcoholic who beats his wife and his kids and bring him up to full and real OT VIII with the auditing techniques of today? I sincerely doubt that.

        That’s why Hubbard probably stated that “Scientology is to make the able more able”.

      • Jeff permalink*
        March 31, 2011 4:17 pm

        You’re assuming that people who didn’t get what was promised, or who only got a temporary high, all think it “was worth it.” According to the last question, they don’t. Again. it’s a spin on the results and I don’t think anyone needs to have the results “spun.” They are what they are.

      • Fidelio permalink
        March 31, 2011 10:45 am

        …nothing to add! Thanks, Jeff.

        @ Margaret: By SCN I mean the organization, the philosophy and the tech it is based on.

        Fidelio

      • Fidelio permalink
        March 31, 2011 11:06 am

        oh, sorry, my second sentence should have been addressed to Marildi!
        Sorry, Margaret…
        Peace!
        Fidelio

      • rhill permalink
        March 31, 2011 11:29 am

        I wonder what would be the result if one replaced “Scientology” with, say, “Mountain climbing,” or “Cooking class.” (seems like it’s interchangeable since the poll is about “gains,” or “wins”)

      • Margaret permalink
        March 31, 2011 3:10 pm

        Jeff, I was responding to the specific “claim” that “this post is another DEEP cut to the quick of the maiming subject of SCN”.

        Which is a ridiculous statement. The poll is completely non-scientific and frankly meaningless.

        Of course my post was a “spin” on the results. Just as the statement above was a “spin” on the results.

        With all that said, I DO believe that the environment in which one gives and receives auditing plays a major roll in the results. And I also think the Sea Org is a detriment to those results, not an improvement.

      • Marildi permalink
        March 31, 2011 7:52 pm

        Jeff and Mat, I’m just as appalled about what happened as you are. But I see it as the results of Black Dianetics/Scientology. And I’m not unwilling to LOOK at actual Scientology.

      • Jeff permalink*
        March 31, 2011 8:15 pm

        OK, then you have to ask “why are the top staff in Scientology using ‘Black Dianetics/Scientology’?” Or even “Why has ‘Black Dianetics/Scientology’ triumphed over ‘White Dianetics/Scientology’? Is it stronger? More effective?” Or “Why would they be able to effectively practice ‘Black Dianetics/Scientology’ and not be able to effectively practice ‘White Dianetics/Scientology.” And “why would they?”

        Frankly, I think this whole “Black Dianetics/Scientology” thing is a convenient Idie explanation for the utter failure of the Church of Scientology. Unfortunately it doesn’t even quality as a “Why” under Hubbard’s own Data Series criteria as it can be “how comed.”

      • Margaret permalink
        April 1, 2011 12:16 am

        Jeff wrote: “Frankly, I think this whole ‘Black Dianetics/Scientology’ thing is a convenient Indie explanation for the utter failure of the Church of Scientology.”

        Personally, I don’t think “Black Dn/Scn” is the Why. The Why, in my view, is a combination of bad leadership and poor policies. The Who’s are Miscavige and LRH.

        Remove Miscavige, and investigate what in policy allowed it to happen. We can take your “dirty dozen” list, Jeff, and figure out exactly what allowed those things to happen.

        I don’t see what the big deal is. LRH wasn’t perfect. Nor were lots of great people. So what?

        As far as I’m concerned, this whole LRH-must-be-lilly-white-perfect thing is exactly what I’m fighting, right up there with wanting to oust Miscavige.

      • Marildi permalink
        April 1, 2011 3:07 am

        Jeff, I’m not an expert in how and why cults get started and why they triumph, but maybe the Why lies in that area of data. In any case, yes, Scientology as a whole system could be faulted for not having prevented a cult from developing.

        However, the subject of whether or not the admin/management/ethics tech was squirrelled, or already had within it “the seeds of its own destruction” – or even if that particular area of Scn tech was INTENDED to bring about a cult – all of these things are separate issues to the question of the workability of the auditing tech.

        Similar to what Margaret said, we might be throwing out a precious baby with the filthy bath water.

      • Valkov permalink
        April 7, 2011 4:31 am

        I think you guys are debating issues that were thoroughly covered over the centuries in Christian theology.

        They are on the order of “If God is all-powerful and good, Why does evil exist?” You’re just plugging in “If the tech is perfect, why is the CoS so evil?” “Why are highly trained tech terminals squirreling and using or even allowing Black Dianetics?” etc etc.

        The Christian answer has been that God allowed free will, allowed individuals to choose their own courses of action, allowed them to choose to be good or evil.

        This answer is as true today, as in the past. People have free will, and so they can choose. People “sell out”.They can be tempted. Sometimes evil is very banal – people do not want to “rock the boat”, so they do not act against evil. They “go with the flow” and seek some advantage to themselves.

        As far as I’m concerned, the “Why ” is – people have free will, tend to go with the flow, are not naturally that brave, have to have a compelling personal reason to challenge any status quo, etc etc etc.

        Out of all the people posting criticism of the CoS on online, I’d bet most are “armchair warriors”. How many are “activist”? Who has written a letter or sent an email to gov’t or media about it? Less than 50% of the population even votes in any elections. Apathy is endemic.

        “Black Dianetics” or “White Dianetics”, the group will go the way the leadership goes. That’s human nature. People generally trust their leaders, especially in an organization like the CoS. If they disagree, they tend to keep quiet about it in public.

        How is it any different than a country’s leadership telling it’s people “We are going to war to protect democracy”, when it’s really about controlling a countries oil supplies? And many people buy the story. No-one wants to end up on some gov’t list of “terrorist sympathizers”, considered to be promoting the “enemy line” if they disagree….

        Also, there is a little wrinkle to the concept of “suppression” as we have learned it. It’s very definition is “a harmful intention against which one cannot fight back.” Intelligently done suppression uses this principle to create that “no way to fight back” atmosphere. Inevitable as death and taxes, right?

        In any group, when you have a leadership that tells you they are all idealists working for your good, 100%, when they really aren’t, it’s not so easy to call them on it. When they have the authority and the guns.

        Right now Qaddafi is telling the world and his own people what a good guy he is and how much “his people” love him. He has to shoot the dissenters, he says, because they are agents of outside powers.

        Does that line seem familiar?

      • Jeff permalink*
        April 7, 2011 4:10 pm

        So would you say that Scientologists have the same foibles and errors and aberrations and weaknesses that everyone else on the planet has?

      • Margaret permalink
        April 9, 2011 7:09 pm

        Jeff wrote: “So would you say that Scientologists have the same foibles and errors and aberrations and weaknesses that everyone else on the planet has?”

        Yes and no. Scientology does not “re-educate” people, “re-raise” them or instantly turn everyone into Mozarts or Einsteins. But it does, apparently, make them “more able” and “more themselves” — and if the “more themselves” is innately a “Mozart” or “Einstein”, it does theoretically bring this out. There is also evidence that even suggests it is capable of bringing out inherent “OT abilities” in some, to varying degrees.

        Does this mean that Scientology is the best (existing) system for this? Who knows?

        Does this mean that Clears and OTs can’t be led by poor, uneducated and even harmful leadership? Or didactic or anachronistic policies and rules? No, it doesn’t. But one would hope that at least some Scientologists (Clear or not) would recognize the poor leadership and/or policies for what they are. And I think we saw of wave of them do just that in the early 80s, and then again in recent years.

        There’s plenty of historical evidence that “great ideas” do not immediately get adopted by even the smartest and ablest of men. “Democracy” (or at least “equal rights for all”) and the “scientific method” come to mind. There are plenty of others — including the contemporaneous scientific evidence for “mind” as separable and survivable from the “brain” — which is still largely scoffed at or ignored by modern scientists.

        Though interestingly, “Lamarckism” (which was very similar to Hubbard’s theories and model for cellular “behavioral trait” adoption/adaptation in early dianetics) was widely derided just 20 yrs ago, but today is making a comeback amongst scientists. If they’d drop the dogmatic reaction to Stevenson’s and Sheldrake’s work on re-incarnation and telepathy, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Scientology-like model for “survivable mind” (or even “body/mind/thetan”) become adopted.

      • rhill permalink
        April 10, 2011 2:01 pm

        @Margaret

        Lamarckism was an idea proposed over a century before Hubbard was born (and before Darwin’s theory was published), so I find amusing your “Lamarckism was very similar to Hubbard’s theories,” as if someone was inspired by Hubbard’s (invisible) “research.” (Actually, the “Lamarckism” which you say is coming back is actually “Epigenetic inheritance”, which is hard science, and does not require faith into self-serving dictates.)

        “Great ideas” may or may not have had difficulty in being accepted, but a currently unpopular idea doesn’t make it automatically a future “great idea” just because it is unpopular: It is not an argument in itself to gauge ideas. Ideas are great on their own merits. (Lamarckism was not a bad idea, it just got replaced by better ideas, which better matched evidences.)

        Now if we cut to the chase of Scientology ideas, here is what I see: For Scientology to “work”, one is not allowed to have knowledge of the upper levels — which involve exorcising “spirits” using auditing — before having “successfully” undergone lower-levels — which involve rooting out (supposedly harmful) “engrams” –, which training may require years, all the while requiring an abidance to Scientology self-serving dictates demanding an unwaivering faith that “Scientology works!” for it to “work!” (this need for secrecy and unwaivering faith has been confirmed by the Indies, so this is not a feature exclusive to so-called “Miscavige’s Church”.)

        Not a great idea in my opinion, rather an awful one. Scientology seems to give people more things to worry about: “engrams” and “leeching spirits,” whereas none of these worries were present before.

      • April 10, 2011 6:16 pm

        @Margaret:

        > Scientology does not “re-educate” people, “re-raise” them

        Says who?

        > But it does, apparently, make them “more able” and “more themselves”

        Says who?

        Margaret, Scientology takes good-hearted people like yourself and others here and has them defending things like Lisa McPherson’s death and the torture and framing of Paulette Cooper.

        Is that who you really are? Is this an example of you being more yourself?

        ML,
        Caliwog

  31. March 31, 2011 9:17 pm

    Just to clarify. I’m not saying that Scientology doesn’t contain information and tools that one can use to improve themselves and others. I believe that it does. My point is that despite having all the tools of Scientology, both staff and public that should know better, have allowed and contributed to a very non survival and irrational scene.

    Based on the above, I don’t see “Scientology” as the solution to societies problems. It’s whole structure and mind set is that of a cult. That’s true, with or without Miscavige in the equation.

    Step back and study up on what a cult is and then compare it to Scientology policy and practice and I think you will see the point. As a cult, it becomes more of a social problem than a social solution.

    • Margaret permalink
      April 1, 2011 1:39 am

      Mat (and Jeff),

      I do know exactly what you’re saying. And yes, Scientology has failed in the middle of Scientology itself. Who denies it other than those so close in that they’re blind to it?

      Personally, I think it’s foolish to pretend that LRH had no part in “creating the cult”. Give me a break. He wrote the rules. He wrote the policies. If we’re going to give him credit for any of the good … then he’s going to have to take it on the chin for some of the bad too. That’s life.

      No, Miscavige is not the sole reason that things have become as they are.

      So what do we do? Abolish the subject, and burn all the books?

      It’s a baby vs. the bathwater question. We have a nice clean distinction between “tech” and “admin”. They’re even in different colors! 🙂

      Can we at least agree that if “the admin” were tweaked (or altered radically) and the leadership changed, that there might be a better chance of success with “the tech”?

      I don’t know if “Scientology has the solutions to the world’s problems”. Personally, I like study tech … I like the idea of helping drug addicts become drug free without resorting to more drugs … I like the idea of helping to rehabilitate criminals. I don’t know if Scientology has the “best solutions” for these. Put them to the test — honestly and truly independently — and let society decide. And as far as psychiatry … for chrissake, if there’s one thing that should be abolished, it’s that idiotic “Industry of Death museum”. Or maybe keep it as a tomb to remind ourselves how never to become again.

      As far as the Bridge, I say let people choose the spiritual path that they wish. And if they want to radically alter the tech, let them do it! But keep an “officialdom” in place also, if only so there is a “standard” somewhere where people who wish to can go, and also to have a baseline somewhere from which to compare. And as far as that “officialdom” (whatever it’s role), put in place a formal, experienced body that does adjudicate what is “standard tech” and what isn’t.

      Anyway, that’s my view of “Independent Scientology”.

      • Margaret permalink
        April 1, 2011 2:40 am

        p.s. BTW, I’m not suggesting getting rid of “KSW” … I’m basically advocating “The Valkov Approach” as he so eloquently stated here:
        https://leavingscientology.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/the-anecdotal-fallacy/#comment-9043

      • SpecialFrog permalink
        April 1, 2011 11:59 am

        I think you’ll find Narconon has been reasonably well tested at this point. There are lawsuits and human rights investigations going into Narconon in Quebec at the moment initiated by a former staffer.

        At one point he was in charge of doing follow ups of former clients and found the success rate to be extremely low, yet management wouldn’t back away from the unsubstantiated “70% success rate” claim.

        Additionally, the purif rundown can be extremely dangerous to people with liver issues — like many addicts! There have been a number of deaths.

        Otherwise I agree with you. Throw away the bad stuff and try to evaluate what is left.

      • Newer permalink
        April 1, 2011 2:54 pm

        Bottom line: LRH (supposedly the best at applying the “Tech”, Red on white) couldn’t apply the Tone Scale & PTS tech. OR, the “tech” is deficient.

        Choose one.

    • Tony DePhillips permalink
      April 4, 2011 12:05 am

      Hi Matt,

      Let’s go off the assumption that the Scientology philosophy as a whole is geared toward cultish activity and that LRH is guilty of this. Let us say that the tech and admin are flawed to a greater or lesser degree and that dm is just an inevitable product from this.

      I still think it could be argued that some of the tech and admin has value.

      It really seems that you and Jeff are arguing for the banishment of the Scientology philosophy. It doesn’t come across that you or Jeff really think that any of it REALLY has value, although when directly asked, you both say you do.

      I guess I don’t really see what you or Jeff would really like to see? Could you clarify this for me?

      I will use an analogy. Let us say that a madman developed a bomb that was so horrendous that it could wipe out the whole planet. (which I guess has happened) Now, despite the fact the “tech” could be used for destructive purposes it could also be used for constructive purposes too, such as energy and other scientific processes. Should then the whole body of data be condemned and banned?

      Maybe I am missing the boat here, but I really don’t see what you or Jeff are arguing for? What would be your “ideal scene”?
      Jeff, I would like to hear your answer too if you feel like chiming in?

      • April 4, 2011 3:55 am

        @Tony – You didn’t ask me, but I’m going to answer anyway.

        >Let us say that a madman developed a bomb that was so horrendous … could also be used for constructive purposes … Should then the whole body of data be condemned and banned?

        I don’t think that analogy applies, because Hubbard did not make the base discovery that led to Scientology. He took existing techniques and did his own thing with them.

        So, a better analogy: Dr. A finds a way to harness and release the energy of the atom, which has both constructive and destructive uses. Dr. B designs a bomb powered by this technology.

        Hopefully, we embrace Mr. A’s work and turn our back on Mr. B’s.

        Mr. B is sort of like Hubbard.

        If we say that Mr. B also claims that he made all of Dr. A’s discoveries, and that a bomb is the only proper way to use these technologies, and that Mr. A and his group are the true source of evil in the universe, and that anyone who says the bomb is bad is evil and an agent of Mr. A, then Mr. B becomes a lot more like Hubbard.

        ML,
        Caliwog

      • Jeff permalink*
        April 4, 2011 5:25 am

        Tony, I’d love to have the discussion, but unfortunately you started the discussion by misrepresenting my position. You said, “It really seems that you [Mat] and Jeff are arguing for the banishment of the Scientology philosophy.” I never said this. That’s what’s called, in logic, a strawman argument. You start a discussion with a misrepresentation of another person’s opinion, then you argue against that specious opinion. If you want to take something I have actually said, and argue against it, then fine.

      • Tony DePhillips permalink
        April 4, 2011 6:37 am

        Jeff siad:”Tony, I’d love to have the discussion, but unfortunately you started the discussion by misrepresenting my position. You said, “It really seems that you [Mat] and Jeff are arguing for the banishment of the Scientology philosophy.” I never said this. That’s what’s called, in logic, a strawman argument. You start a discussion with a misrepresentation of another person’s opinion, then you argue against that specious opinion. If you want to take something I have actually said, and argue against it, then fine.”

        Jeff,
        Thanks for clearing up what straw man is for me. I have been wondering about that.

        I said “SEEMS” like you want to have it banned or something. I guess I am having trouble figuring out what you really want to occur. I don’t read everything you write so maybe it is “dev-t” of me . 🙂
        I just don’t get what you really want to do. It does seem to me that you want to dissuade people from getting auditing or something.
        I can understand you wanting to say whatever is real to you and I LOVE a lot of what you are saying.
        I guess I will just have to end cycle on you ever saying anything good about the tech or being in the group that I want to be in. I read your e-book and had (have) so much feeling for you and what you went through. It is sort of a loss for me that they ruined you to this degree. I’ll end cycle on it.

      • Jeff permalink*
        April 4, 2011 4:48 pm

        Tony, I appreciate your question and I hope my reply didn’t come across as a total dismissal. I have written and spoken extensively on these things, so I guess I feel like I’m repeating myself!! But to clarify: I have many friends who still consider themselves Scientologists. I have no problem with individuals practicing Scientology as long as they are not abusing anyone or defrauding them or lying to them. Personally I no longer consider myself a Scientologist. Having spent 35 years of my life as a Scientologist I have no further desire to practice it, study it, or be associated with the subject. That is my choice. I reject the idea that I have been “ruined” by the Church and am in need of “repair.” I know the Scientologist viewpoint is that anyone who leaves the Church, or leaves Scientology, does so because of some personal flaw or ruin, and that if they could just get that flaw or ruin repaired, they would be a Scientologist again. I reject that idea. I do not need any fixing, certainly not by Scientology. I am not “ruined” – in fact, I am better, happier, more successful in my life, and more able to think that I ever was in Scientology. “Going back into Scientology” seems, to me, like crawling back into a box. This is not to say that my experience was “all bad.” Ultimately it was not worth the time and effort I put into it. I have, I feel, much more interesting and rewarding things to do with my life. My only interest in Scientology is exposing and bringing to an end any abuses that are being perpetrated, and I feel I have some responsibility to do so.

      • Tony Dephillips permalink
        April 4, 2011 5:26 pm

        Hi Jeff,
        I didn’t really mean that you were ruined personally. Obviosly you are a smart and competent guy. I meant more that they ruined you as a Scientologist.
        Our loss.
        Much love.
        Tony

      • Marildi permalink
        April 4, 2011 6:07 pm

        Jeff,

        I’ve read the first few chapters of your book now (an amazing piece of art) and I have to admit that I too was wishing, just for your sake, that you could handle the charge that I “imagine” is understandably there. But I also honestly feel that it is totally valid for you to choose not to be personally involved in Scientology, and to take other just-as-worthy directions in life.

        You know, that’s a long ways to come from the too-well-indoctrinated Scientologist that I have been! And not to say I don’t still feel, like Tony and others, that Scn done right could yet do the world a lot of good. But my ability to look and change viewpoints I would credit not only to my Scn experience, both good and bad (ironically) – but to people like you!

        As some poster pointed out fairly recently, you in your own way are being of great help to Scientology and Scientologists. And, of course, to the the ex and non-Scientologists too. So yours is a game where “everybody wins.” 😉

      • Fidelio permalink
        April 5, 2011 1:51 pm

        Jeff,

        what a powerful statement! Love the clarity…

        The Human Rights Violations within SCN on all levels need to be deeply understood, exposed and ended once for ever.

        Fidelio

    • Tony DePhillips permalink
      April 4, 2011 12:16 am

      Margaret,
      Well said. I didn’t read your post prior to writing mine.

      Matt,
      I hadn’t read your response to Margaret before posting mine to you. I got your answer thanks.

      I guess I don’t see the reasons for you and Jeff and other ex-scientologists to keep making the argument that it is all so bad. I mean, I UNDERSTAND, you guys were fucked over to a very large degree and that isn’t cool. I guess to some degree, I want you both to be Scientologists again to be perfectly honest. I have imense respect for you both and it sickens me that you both had such bad experiences that you would never wish to pick up the cans again. My true feelings are that if you did, and you used a known high ARC practitioner then you could be rehabbed and actually have some wins.

      You both are very able guys. If you never pick up the cans again, I know you will be fine. I just consider you both friends and from my wat of thinking, auditing COULD help bring some extra peace to you. Peace that you both truly have earned and deserve.

    • Valkov permalink
      April 7, 2011 4:39 am

      Right Matt.

      The solutions are reason and common sense. Scientology or any other discipline are tools that may be used to solve problems, or not. They can be used intelligently and constructively, or not. Tools are not “a solution” in themselves. It’s what people do with them that counts.

  32. April 1, 2011 4:20 am

    Dear Margaret,

    I agree with what you are saying.

    Basically remove the bad and obsessive control. Knock off the “PR” lies. Make the materials broadly available for little to nothing. Let people use what they find useful to help themselves and others as they see fit. Those that find it useful will tell others and the subject will spread.

    Pretty simple concept.

    • Margaret permalink
      April 5, 2011 4:37 am

      Yup, that’s basically it.

  33. James Anglin permalink
    April 1, 2011 7:05 am

    In principle it’s right to try to distinguish between baby and bathwater. “Either all bad or all good” is cult thinking that simply arrests thought. In fact you can sift and sort and pick and choose. If there is anything good in Scientology, then that good thing is good, no matter how bad L. Ron Hubbard was, or David Miscavige is.

    But on the other hand I have to say I’m puzzled about just what the alleged baby may be, here. Just what is it that’s good in the tech? People who defend it are strangely vague about what they’re defending. A lot of people seem to value ‘the Grades’, for example; but they never seem to say just exactly what is good in them.

    Vagueness is weird for this kind of thing. If someone is arguing why their favorite computer OS is good, they start describing specific features they like, almost immediately. Especially if they are also acknowledging that it’s not perfect; in this case they tend to be particularly aware of specific things that are good or bad. Same if it’s a brand of car, or a style of cooking, or a series of novels, or a first aid technique. People aren’t shy about identifying specific, concrete things that work for them.

    If it’s a technically complex topic, they may not be able to put everything in a nutshell for lay people; but they’ll give you a decent idea of what kind of good thing they’re talking about.

    With Scientology it doesn’t seem to be this way. I’m afraid that the way people who defend ‘the tech’ speak about it, even when they are acknowledging that it may be flawed or imperfect, makes me think of a courtier praising the Emperor’s New Clothes. Very sophisticated discussion, sometimes even brilliant. Lots of nuance and sensitivity. But somehow I never hear what color the cloth is.

    • Margaret permalink
      April 1, 2011 7:40 pm

      James, it’s basically a combination of Buddhism and psychotherapy. Are those (and their results) vague? Yeah, I guess they are. But there’s a bit more specificity in Scientology. There’s an actual definition for “soul” (i.e. “thetan” and the Axioms and Factors) … there’s an actual definition for “love” (i.e. ARC) … there’s a general “map” to compare how one’s doing vs. how one was doing or what was expected (i.e. “tone scale”). Is it as exact as the physical sciences? In a weird way, theoretically, yes — because there’s a concept known as “as-isness” and “duplicate”, which, by definition needs to be precise for it work out. In practice, though, the precision might be better than psycho-therapy and Buddhism (under the right conditions), but not nearly as good as physics or the other natural sciences.

      All my opinions of course.

      Scientology auditing is an “applied philosophy” as the scientific method is an “applied philosophy”. Neither systems are perfect, but since in application they are both iterative and self-correcting, one can ultimately find “truth” (in the subjective and objective domains, respectively).

      • James Anglin permalink
        April 1, 2011 8:49 pm

        I’m looking for precision in description of concrete practices and beneficial results, not in details of theoretical doctrine. I’m afraid I can see nothing whatever of value in Hubbard’s Axioms and Tone Scale; to me they are just long-winded gobbledegook, and that’s not what I mean by precision. If there’s any baby in Scientology, I’m pretty sure it’s not there. But I also don’t believe anyone has been attracted to Scientology by the coherent clarity of its theories. That doesn’t seem to be the selling point.

        The claims are always that ‘it works’. So what I want, and find missing, are specific practices that work, and what their ‘working’ concretely amounts to.

        Something like, “I never understood how my car engine worked, even though I’d taken auto mechanics in school, but after making a clay demo as Hubbard told me to do, it all made sense, and I’ve been able to do a lot of basic auto maintenance for myself ever since. And I’ve used Study Tech to learn a lot of things by now: fly fishing, Latin, organic chemistry, bass guitar, tango …. My friends marvel at how amazingly accomplished I am, and I owe it all to Study Tech.”

        That’s the sort of specific and concrete endorsement I’m looking for, but have so far never seen. So I’m still wondering where the baby is.

      • April 2, 2011 3:29 pm

        Margaret,
        There is so much wrong with your statements about what Scientology is. At least you label it all as “opinion”.

        However, I get quite upset when Scientologists blindly equate Scientology to Buddhism. These two belief systems are nothing like each other. There is a very superficial similarity in that Scientology has “past lives” and Buddhism has “reincarnation” — but even Hubbard insists these two concepts are radically different. Beyond that, the two belief systems are completely different.

        This idea that Scientology is “like Buddhism” is a Scientology conceit that has no basis in reality. It is time to retire that lie.

      • April 2, 2011 6:08 pm

        @James:

        >what I want, and find missing, are specific practices that work

        I can tell you that Hubbard’s management tech taught me how to take advantage of people’s natural curiosity about things they can’t understand in order to generate sales.

        ML, CW

      • April 2, 2011 6:12 pm

        @William:

        >This idea that Scientology is “like Buddhism” is a Scientology conceit that has no basis in reality.

        Hubbard *said* it was like Buddhism. In fact, he even said that he was Buddha in a past life. Good grief, William, isn’t that enough for you?!?

        ML, CW

      • Margaret permalink
        April 2, 2011 8:51 pm

        James wrote: “But I also don’t believe anyone has been attracted to Scientology by the coherent clarity of its theories.”

        I would disagree with that statement (particularly considering the realm being studied — the nature of reality and its relationship to the human spirit).

        Regarding similarity to Buddhism (William), I’ve done college studies in eastern philosophy — and there are a number of experts in religion and eastern philosophy who recognize the deep similarities between Scientology and eastern philosophy. There are also experts in philosophy who consider themselves practicing Scientologists. To a one, I’d say they disagree with you.

        But then again, if I had said “eastern philosophy” instead of “Buddhism”, it would have been more accurate.

      • April 2, 2011 11:39 pm

        I’ll agree with Margaret on this one. My impression from reading Dianetics was that a lot of the sensible bits seemed to have been borrowed from Buddhism. 🙂

        Though while I remember having that impression I don’t remember any of the specifics fifteen years on.

      • April 3, 2011 1:23 am

        OK, I’ll bite. What specific parts of Scientology are “like Buddhism”?

        I’ve referenced “past lives” and “reincarnation”, but LRH adamantly refuted that similarity. What else, specifically?

      • Valkov permalink
        April 4, 2011 7:23 am

        A monlithic “Buddhism” is itself a myth. There is no such thing as a uniform teaching called “Buddhism”. There are
        dozens, maybe hundreds, of “Buddhist schools” and “Buddhist teachings” which often disagree, conflict, and contradict each other in many ways. These can be broadly categorized as the Theravadins(Hinayana), the Mahayanists, and the Tibetans are mostly
        Vajrayana. Vajrayana could be considered a kind of Mahayana Buddhism. Within each of these, there are conflicting views also.

        Another major divergent school is Zen.

        What they all have in common is a few core concepts that are considered to be “What Buddha Taught”. The various schools and teachers
        agree on the words, but often interpret them differently and argue about what Buddha really meant.

        These “core concepts” can be written in a few pages.

        1. Suffering exists and is experienced by everyone.

        2. Suffering can be ended, escaped, eliminated.

        3. The basis of suffering is “Ignorance”. It is from Ignorance that the whole chain of Conditioned Genesis, Dependent
        Origination, or whatever you want to call it, stems. All of the “samsaric experience” is based on “ignorance”.

        4. Ignorance is commonly understood as “not to know”. The actual word, “Avidya” is based on “vidya” and literally means “not to see”
        or “not to look”. Ignorance is an act. it is a deliberate not-knowing, not-seeing, or not-looking.

        5. Ignorance is the basis of the 11 other links of the chain of conditioned genesis.

        If you check out the basic materials of scientology, like the expanded Know to Mystery scale and listen to many of the earlylectures of Hubbard, the parallels are obvious unless you have only a “Reader’s Digest” acquaintance with Buddhism.

        Here are some quotes from Dalai Lama. I chose these in particular because it is commonly believed that in Buddhism the “self” does not exist. The truth is not so simple, and here Dalai lets the cat out of the bag:

        “Here we must distinguish between two things. When you refine, develop, and strengthen your mental potential, you are not creating a cosmic consciousness that overpowers all other individuals or other consciousnesses. That is not possible.

        What does happen is that you transform your mind into an omniscient mind.

        The state of omniscience is sometimes described as the mind pervading all phenomena. This does not mean that the fully developed individual mind now controls all phenomena.

        Nor does it mean that each individual consciousness comes from this mind.

        Rather, it means that the mind of an individual is completely enlightened and, therefore, omniscient. You know everything. There is nothing that your mind cannot know.

        Pervading all means knowing all in this context.”

        And finally, from a previous interview:

        “We Buddhists believe in the existence of a self that moves from life to life and from an ordinary state to the goal of Buddhahood.

        This self, therefore, is retained.

        Even a Buddha keeps his self. Buddha Shakyamuni had his own individual identity.

        This self exists, without beginning, without end. We believe that the individual identity – even that of a Buddha – is retained.

        This belief is contrary to the Hindu tradition, which postulates Brahman, the universal soul, that unites during moksha, or liberation, with the individual soul, and through which the individua soul loses it’s identity.”

        And just previously:

        “But the basic,subtle, innermost consciousness will always remain. It has no beginning, and it will have no end. That consciousness will remain.

        When we reach Buddhahood that consciousness becomes enlightened all-knowing (omniscient).

        Still, the consciousness will remain an individual thing. For example, the Buddha Shakyamuni’s consciousness and the Buddha Kashyapa’s consciousness are distinct individual things. This individuality of consciouseness is not lost on the attainment of Buddhahood.

        There is no such thing as cosmic consciousness into which you merge.”

      • April 4, 2011 5:52 pm

        Valkov, Re: Scientology vs. Buddhism

        Pardon me for being a bit slow here. You are still being general, rather than specific. Any religion, self-help technology, school and most philosophies have those exact “fundamental concepts”: You are having difficulties because you are ignorant of certain things — when you become knowledgeable of those things, you will become better. That’s general and not answering my question.

        It is obvious that Hubbard took many ideas from religions, self-help groups and philosophies but he specifically said Scientology came from Buddhism. So, I’m asking what specific parts of Scientology are specifically and uniquely from Buddhism like Hubbard claimed?

        At a very high level, I understand Buddhism is about getting rid of craving and the importance of self — while Scientology is all about self. “My powers”, “my abilities”, “my havingness”. Scientology is only for the “able” (meaning “well-off”). The more money and possessions you have, the more “havingness” you have — and that is good. Scientology is all about making self into a super-being with god-like powers. The goal in Scientology seems the very opposite of the goal of Buddhism which is humbleness, humility, casting aside possessions, craving and the desire to control of others. The Eight-fold Path contradicts much of Scientology’s practice.

      • Valkov permalink
        April 4, 2011 9:13 pm

        OK William, I get what you’re saying. What “organized scientology” has become is as you say,and it is a travesty in my opinion. Similar to those televangelists who slant their pitch towards the wealthier or more successful Republicans. It has become all about money and status, no doubt of that.
        It’s not in accordance with the original ideals of scientology as I came across them in the 1970s in my local area, or in the actual writings and lectures.

        As for Buddhism, I do not believe Hubbard ever said any part of Scientology”came from Buddhism”. He said things like it is “in the same kind of tradition” of knowledge as the Vedas and Buddhism.

        He described Scientology as a “distant cousin of Buddhism”.

        He was pretty critical of Buddhism at times, but he did say he thought Buddha was trying to exteriorize people.

        Being somewhat familiar with both, the parallels I see are my own. I do not think any part or specific practice “came from”or was “taken from” Buddhism.

        Scientology is, in my view, in the spirit of, or in the tradition of, earlier studies.

        So yes, the parallels are general because there are no specific borrowings.

        Hubbard goes into it a bit in the opening chapters of “The Phoenix Lectures” book, where he discusses Scientology’s general background. I think it’s pretty clear in that book, what the relationship is, to the extent there is a relationship.

        Early popularizers of Eastern ideas in the West, like Huxley and Watts I believe, used the term “Perennial Philosophy”. I think of Scientology philosophy as yet another expression of the Perennial Philosophy, so naturally there would be general parallels and similarities, but it doesn’t mean there are any actual specific borrowings.

    • Valkov permalink
      April 4, 2011 7:43 am

      James,

      Here’s one small example. Many years ago when I worked in a psych hospital for teenagers, there was a fellow there who was having a lot of trouble in school because he just couldn’t learn to spell words correctly. He completely believed he couldn’t spell, it was a real fixed idea with him. He had a test coming up and was afraid he would flunk it.

      So we sat down for awhile and I did a Learning Drill with him on two consecutive days I believe it was, on spelling words. He completely got over his problem with spelling and had confidence from then on that he could learn to spell words. He learnned the pattern of the drill and could use it to teach himself new words without me sitting there coaching him.

      This is what I mean when I refer to “tech”. There are hundreds of practical applications like this codified and contained in the body of “the tech” of scientology.

      That’s “the baby” people are referring to. So you tell me, what is the color of that cloth? I call it the color of “real help”.

      Please note, the institution had it’s own in-house school with specially trained teachers. Yet no-one in that school had any awareness of the existence of such a Learning Drill.

      • James Anglin permalink
        April 10, 2011 7:28 am

        Hi Valkov,

        Sorry, I didn’t see this response until now. I find this comment roll hard to follow once it gets this long. Thanks; this is again the sort of concrete detail I had in mind. Even better would have been some indication of exactly what you did for the guy that worked so well. Still I’m happy to hear that it is possible to muster anecdotes like yours; I had been wondering whether there was anything at all here but fantasy, and now it is confirmed that there is at least some contact with reality involved after all.

        Just to be clear, though: a couple of anecdotes, even if they’re good ones, are not enough for me to conclude that Scientology is great stuff. People have spent years, decades even, trying to help people with Scientology. If they had spent all that time trying to help them, using anything else at all no matter what, they would surely have turned up one or two positive anecdotes, just as well. So a few individual anecdotes as the fruit of years of application are much better than none, but not enough to really impress.

  34. VaD permalink
    April 1, 2011 6:32 pm

    Jeff has gone well beyond his initial purpose (see above: “Helping concerned Scientologists to leave David Miscavige’s oppressive church”)

    Now we are talking! – Does Scn have any value for humans or it doesn’t while pretenting it does).

    – Does Scn have anything valuable at its core or is it just a PR?

    • Valkov permalink
      April 4, 2011 7:46 am

      Vad, read my post above, the one to James. Didn’t you learn anything at all in scientology that you could use to help someone in some way?

      • VaD permalink
        April 4, 2011 10:45 pm

        Yes, I read it (your response to James).
        And it’s great that someone has become a better person because of you.

        Yet, I’d scratch your last three paragraphs since there is no meat.
        – You speak about “hundreds applications”. – Huh? Whom/What do you promote?
        – You try to make a point about “Scientology did it all”. – Really? Wasn’t it just you, a person, who cared?

        What makes my head spin now is that eveything a good Scientologist does he attributed to Scientology, not to himself…
        IMHO, it’s like destroying one’s own Life Power and giving it away (for free) to someone else.

      • Valkov permalink
        April 5, 2011 4:44 am

        Vad,

        I don’t care how much a person cares or how hard they try, if that person is, for example, illiterate and has no “skill in means” with which to help others, that person will not be very helpful to others.

        I think I very clearly said that I, myself, applied a drill I knew of, to help that student. It didn’t just jump out of a book and apply itself, ya know? I did it. If I hadn’t known about it, I couldn’t have used it to help him with it. Maybe I could have sat around and “wished” I could help him, or “prayed” for God to help him, but if I didn’t have the knowledge gained through education of HOW to help him, I couldn’ t have done it.

        I exist. Do you exist? I exist, I know I exist, and I know that I know some things I can use and do to help others.

        I have no clue what “Power” you think I am giving away. If I go to school to study medicine and apply a medical procedure to help someone, am I giving away my “Power” somehow because I give “medicine” credit for helping this person? Should I say instead, “I did it myself! Medicine had nothing to do with it! Don’t waste your time and money going to medical school, just use your “Power” to make people well!”

        Or, “You want to be a teacher? Don’t waste your time and money going to school and learning how to teach! Just use your Power and teach! You don’t need to learn any skills to do it!”

      • Fidelio permalink
        April 5, 2011 8:52 am

        VaD,

        this is a major major point in SCN – the leech on people’s love, affection and general humanistic endowment, as you call it one’s Life Power and assigning good results of caring and compassion 100% away to the use of beneficial SCN tech (which in terms of study tech by the way can be found elsewhere and with the correct source for anyone who wants to dig even deeper on it.)

        This is one major glue to that messily rambling subject which then leads into perversion of that Life Power and make people do what they never intended to do in the first place and probably never would have done without SCN. (This is of course then NOT assigned to SCN when a lot has gone wrong and forces one to leave…)

        This rigid identification is one of the ugly sticky glues Hubbard had purposely layed out and which proves to be effective long beyond the official membership to the mob which dubs itself a church. Yuk.

      • VaD permalink
        April 6, 2011 5:09 pm

        Valkov,
        to quote Tom Cruise,
        “Being a Scientologist, when you drive past an accident, it’s not like anyone else. As you drive past, you know you have to do something about it, because you know you’re the only one that can really help. (cut)
        That’s…that’s what drives me, is that I know we have an opportunity, and uh, to really help for the first time effectively change people’s lives, and uh, I’m dedicated to that. I’m gonna, I’m absolutely, uncompromisingly dedicated to that”.

        Sorry, but you advocate Scientology just like any other Scientologist, and like Tom Cruise in his (in)famous interview (which, to remind you, started Anonymous against CoS because CoS tried to remove it from free access in the Internet).

        Fidelio, thanks much for your support! 😉

      • VaD permalink
        April 6, 2011 5:26 pm

        Valkov,
        re: Medicine.
        If one uses his knowledge and skill in medicine, does he go around telling other people, “Look! I helped this person! It’s Medicine that did it!”? – No?
        Then, why on Eath go around telling people that “it’s Scientology that helped that person!”?
        – IMHO, only cult members do that. – Purpose? – to promote their cult.

  35. VaD permalink
    April 1, 2011 6:44 pm

    Do we, human beings, need Scientology or we just don’t rely on our own abilities to think, to decide, to live our own lives (because they are “inappropriate”, “amoral”, “not as good as…”)?

    Are we stupid?

    Do we need a guru who thinks for us and has better thoughts than we do?

    Internet has given everyone an ability to go anywhere they want to go. – Everyone has his choice.

  36. Gary permalink
    April 1, 2011 8:53 pm

    Just thought I’d let you know that the poll does not show up in Firefox 4 but does in IE8

  37. Marildi permalink
    April 2, 2011 2:34 am

    Jeff, getting back to the actual poll results so far. There is an “option” in the poll that I think is key to an overall positive or negative assessment of results – the one that says, “I experienced a temporary exhilaration which faded over time.”

    As I said in an earlier post, it is USUAL and expected (per LRH materials) to gradually lose, in part, a fully keyed-out release state (exhilaration) – but the experience of “fading,” defined as “losing strength,” doesn’t mean complete loss or disappearance of the gains.

    Ingrid Smith, a veteran auditor, supported this principle in her post above, where she said, in part: “I have been an auditor for a long time and I believe a very good one. Wins are an interesting subject. Miracles have a life length. Once you have it and go ooooh aaaaah, it does settle into being something now normal.”

    What she said is another way of describing the experience of having gains that do fade over time. Just the fact of having an initial exhiliration is pretty remarkable in itself, by the way, but the main thing is the fact that the gains only fade away from exhilaration, and don’t disappear.

    The poll options above the one about exhilaration are postitive too, in the sense that gains were had, despite the qualifiers of what was “promoted” or what was “expected,” which get into other considerations than “Did you get gains?” Same thing on the last question – it involves other considerations than just the one of workability of the tech (when expressed as giving gains).

    So now, if you count the percentages of that “exhilaration” option in with the ones above it (which do indicate gains) the result is over 50% attaining gains in all categories except OT VIII, which was still about 46% (and that particular level, by all reports, is the one that most involves grossly non-standard tech).

    So, I was pleasantly surprised by these percentages, even with all those qualifiers and on a blog that seems to attract mainly negative viewpoints about the workability of the tech.

    • Jeff permalink*
      April 2, 2011 5:13 pm

      Marildi, I get it from both sides, by the way. Indies accuse me of being “anti-Scientology” and anti’s accuse me of being a Scientology apologist. I really don’t care. I open this forum up to all kinds of opinions, many I disagree with.

      As for “temporary exhilaration that fades over time” being a product of Scientology, well, I’ll believe that when I see it in their promo: “Scientology auditing will give you a temporary exhilaration that fades over time.” The truth is, you can get that sort of “temporary exhilaration” from a lot of things, many that you don’t have to pay thousands of dollars for.

      As I said before, I don’t think anyone needs to interpret or “spin” the poll results. It takes two minutes to see all the results, and it’s not complex. And as I said at the outset, it’s just an informal poll of people who read this blog, as I got curious.

      If someone is really interested in studying this in depth, they should do an online survey in a format that allows for complex cross-tabulations. Personally, I have no interest in such a project.

      • Marildi permalink
        April 2, 2011 6:39 pm

        Jeff, I don’t see how the response in your first paragraph relates to my simple observation that the majority of posters here have negative opinions about the workability of the tech. You might disagree with that observation (Do you??) but in any case you shouldn’t read into it that I was making a critical comment about you or how you handle your blog. I wasn’t (and don’t feel that way, at all!).

        As for your other comments, it seems you still aren’t understanding (or acknowledging) the point I was trying to make and Ingrid made, regarding the actual significance of “exhilaration that fades.” It’s not at all the negative thing you are making it out to be – and when you do so, with all due respect, you yourself are “interpreting” with a certain slant/bias/spin that doesn’t match with the tech of the matter and the actual experience.

        Again, I was just trying to say something about the results in terms of how the phenomenon is explained in the tech itself, and Ingrid was expressing what she has actually observed in her pcs. The point is that the exhilaration does fade, but that’s not to say the gains do.

      • Jeff permalink*
        April 2, 2011 9:25 pm

        I don’t keep score as to who has positive or negative views. Everyone had a different experience.

        I didn’t say that “temporary exhilaration” is a negative thing. I said that is not what Scientology promises. You can get a “temporary exhilaration” from a lot of things: a hike in the wilderness, spending time with loved ones, playing a good game of golf or poker. The point is that if that’s ALL one got from an auditing level, then Scientology is not delivering what is promised. Yet they charge thousands.

      • Marildi permalink
        April 2, 2011 7:04 pm

        P.S. And anyway, aren’t polls, like statistics, supposed to be interpreted?

      • Marildi permalink
        April 3, 2011 12:06 am

        Jeff, what I was trying to say was that the significance of a check on that option I saw in a different way than how you were looking at it, for the reasons given. I was hoping that referring to the related tech points and quoting Ingrid’s comment as well would help make it clear as to why some might check that option – and at the same time might also feel that they had real gains that were retained even though the exhilaration faded.

        The other possibility, also per LRH, is that often pc’s lose sight of how far they’ve come and might then conclude it was only a “temporary exhilaration.” And I would add – especially if they’ve become disaffected for other (even justifiable) reasons.

        But “temporary exhilaration” wouldn’t be promoted, not only because it would be ridiculous but for the valid reason that it is NOT the actual gain. And when you talk about it as if it were the “total gain” and one which can be had much cheaper, it does sound like a pretty negative take. Obviously, I have a more positive take, having the above in mind.

        (Well, I think I’ve beaten this to death enough, now. 🙂 )

    • April 2, 2011 6:03 pm

      Marildi,

      Your comment makes no sense. “Exhilaration” is not an ability. “Exhilaration” is not a gain.

      • Marildi permalink
        April 2, 2011 6:42 pm

        William, it’s not to say that exhilaration is the gain, just that it occurs along with the gain, and the exhilaration itself does fade. Please re-read my post in that light.

      • April 2, 2011 10:46 pm

        No.

        That is not what the poll asked and that is not what many people experienced.

        You make an assumption about the poll that is contradicted by the poll itself. You assume there “were gains” — that is not what happened for about 30% of the Grades respondents. If they’d got any gains, they would have responded with one of those “I got gains” answers.

        They did not answer in that way. All they got was a temporary exhilaration which faded over time.

        No abilities, no gains.

      • Marildi permalink
        April 3, 2011 12:09 am

        William, the other “I got gains” answers included additional considerations of what was “expected” or what was “promoted” or getting the “full EP.” So for some who did get gains, the “exhilaration that faded” might have been the best choice, as they saw it, even when they felt they got gains.

        Anyway, I was just taking an overall look at the percentages of those who got gains of some kind, with the references I referred to in mind. (Sorry I don’t have them to hand to be able to directly quote.)

      • lunamoth permalink
        April 3, 2011 5:35 pm

        Miraldi,

        The responses you’re referring to include a person’s expectations as an option for evaluating the gains they did or did not receive. EVERYBODY has expectations when
        they plunk down money for the grades, or when they aspire to “go up the bridge,” even when they say they don’t – how many hidden standards have you yourself discovered in auditing? Until you realized you had them, you would have sworn you didn’t.

        The responses Jeff provided allow the person to choose whether their own expectations OR what was promoted to them is their standard of measurement. So your assumption that an answer will become the default reply for all the happy pc’s seems unlikely.

      • Marildi permalink
        April 3, 2011 10:15 pm

        Lunamoth, first let me say I agreed with what you posted yesterday, where you said that you appreciated Jeff’s willingness to even do this poll! And also agreed with you that the poll maybe could have been more scientific and “provided more insight and more reliable results” – but that it’s a lot easier said than done!

        In my own post yesterday I was simply looking at the poll questions and what might have led to some unreliable results/interpretations. I was basically attempting to contribute to that “conversation” you mentioned at the end of your previous post, where it’s easier to differentiate than with a poll, and can be more “in-depth and all-encompassing of all possibilities.”

        You’re right, of course everyone has “expectations,” but that could include not only the actual current EP but (for some people) other things, like hidden standards (as you mentioned) AND other false data – from Church promo, from staff, friends or other public, data from older publications that was later revised, or wherever else false data may come from. So, the way the person interpreted “expectations,” or even what was “promoted” (a similar list of possibilities), might affect the choices made.

        I personally would have liked a poll more specific to gains that related to the EPs themselves and would have showed better the workability of the tech, which was more my interest than circumstances where tech doesn’t work. But obviously, not everyone agrees! 🙂

      • lunamoth permalink
        April 4, 2011 3:24 pm

        Miraldi,

        I understand. It occurs to me that Jeff might be open to posting such a poll if someone were to come up with it. I know Jeff, and he has no self-importance button concerning his blog (or anything else I know of).

        I invite you and some of the other people for whom this informal, little poll doesn’t quite satisfy to write your own, and the rest of us (or at least, those inclined to be critical) can tell you what we think of it. I would happily take any poll you create. I have a feeling it would be good one, but that won’t protect it from being dissected by others, I’m afraid. But that’s not always bad, as you point out, since it leads to discussion and to people seeing other viewpoints, etc.

        lunamoth

      • Marildi permalink
        April 5, 2011 4:48 am

        lunamoth,

        Mocking up a more nuanced poll would be an ambitious project, for sure! If there’s enough interest in doing one, though, I think it would be great to sort of brainstorm it right here in this thread discussion.

        One idea I myself had was to list out ALL the Grade Chart actions (including Objectives and all OT levels) together with their EPs (quoted verbatim) and the poll takers could check the actions they’ve done. For each action checked a series of questions would pop up (or whatever) that would ask questions about whether the EP was attained and whether it was REtained (questions nuanced as practicably as possible). I would also have non- Grade Chart actions on the list, such as Life Repair, PTS/SP Rundown, etc.

        And, of course, there should be questions about training too! For many people this was the side of the Bridge they got the most gains from. Someone like Joe Howard/Dan Koon (who indicated in his post above that there should have been training questions included) and/or other trained and experienced auditors could probably think of great, pertinent questions.

        We’ve already had the suggestion by posters that when and where the service was done would be important to ask. These questions might best be mocked up by veterans who know when and where variations in delivery likely occurred.

        And then everything could be cross-tabulated. Nothing to it. 😉

        Anyway, that’s my 2 cents worth. Thanks for your comm!

      • lunamoth permalink
        April 5, 2011 5:25 am

        Miraldi

        Well, that’s not really what I had in mind. I meant why don’t YOU mock one up and actually put it out there to be taken and critiqued? I mean, actually do it yourself?
        You obviously start out with a little different viewpoint than Jeff, and I think it could bring to light even more nuanced results, as you say. You certainly have something to contribute that has not already been shown/stated here. Why not?

        lunamoth

      • SpecialFrog permalink
        April 5, 2011 1:13 pm

        Marildi,

        There’s a supposed benefit from the PTS / SP course? Really?

      • Marildi permalink
        April 6, 2011 3:38 am

        Lunamoth, thanks for the vote of confidence, but as I admitted from the start – easier said than done! And when I said “nothing to it” (with a wink face), I hope you got that it was said tongue in cheek (as in LOL).

        What I was getting at in my last post was that I do feel a really thorough poll would need to be done by someone who is more highly tech-trained and experienced and knows the references, and ideally also someone (or an additional person) who is knowledgeable about the “track” of tech delivery. I don’t have much training and don’t have those “quals.”

        The ironic thing is that the real techies are probably the people who would have the least interest in mocking up a poll – because they are the ones who have the most certainty! More so even than OTs who aren’t trained. As LRH said, auditors disseminate, pc’s don’t.

        Another thing I wanted to say is that the reason I was very interested in this survey/poll was because I noticed there seemed to be many posters on various threads talking about the lack or harm of tech results – about as many of that type as those of us who feel the tech is extremely valuable. And I really started to wonder if my own “impression” was based too narrowly on my own experience and that of people I know or know of, and on Church “data.”

        Truth to tell, looking at the results of Jeff’s more basic poll has been pretty helpful for me. Especially after a recent look at the results, where I saw that even without the unclear (I thought) question about “exhilaration that faded,” there were a majority of positive answers (with the exception of the two upper OT levels, which isn’t surprising, from what I “hear”). So for the moment the original question I had is fairly well resolved for me, all things considered. And thus, even if I felt “qual’ed” I might not have the necessary ambition (or time, for that matter).

        My last reply to you was based more on YOUR seeming interest than mine at this point, and I originated some ideas as a contribution to a possible discussion to “brainstorm” questions for another poll (assuming you would be interested in such a discussion) – which might then get some qualified persons interested in doing one. At the least, the discussion could be of value in itself – like this discussion (on Jeff’s poll) deserves credit for, I’ll happily concede. 🙂

      • Marildi permalink
        April 6, 2011 3:48 am

        Special Frog, I meant to say the “Suppressed Person Rundown.” But now that you mention it, the PTS/SP Course would be good to include on questions about training. I don’t remember the exact wording but the ability gained, as stated on the checksheet, has to do with the ability to shatter suppression.

      • Marildi permalink
        April 6, 2011 4:34 am

        P.S. to Special Frog. I remember now it was more like “ability to recognize the source of suppression and make it vanish.” Part of what is learned is to know when to get the help of either the Ethics Officer or an auditor. And believe me, many people would tell you how much this course helped them in life.

        By the way, even though you are usually on the other side of the “debate” from me, I want to acknowledge that I’ve noticed you are pretty clear thinking and fair minded – and willing to look and listen. I for one appreciate that!

      • SpecialFrog permalink
        April 6, 2011 12:16 pm

        Marildi,

        Thanks.

        I guess it isn’t clear to me whether the “ethics” aspect of Scientology is considered part of tech or admin by most independents. I kind of see the ethics as part of the system of control rather than as something meant to help people.

        Additionally, with the definition of SP including anyone who is critical of Scientology I am unconvinced that it is meant to deal with real “supression”.

        Finally, the attempts I’ve seen from Scientologists to “shatter suppression” (when they don’t run away from alleged SPs) seems to involve the rapid delivery of juvenile insults.

        If I’ve got the wrong end of the stick on this I’m interested in what the course is actually about.

        Regards

      • April 7, 2011 2:35 am

        SF,

        If memory serves, LRH said (in RJ68) that all tech, including HCOBs and the Administrative Technology, is valid tech.

        A lot of Indies seem reluctant to give credence to the Admin Tech. I don’t know if this is because they are public Scns and aren’t familiar with it, or because so much of the Church’s bad deeds (including many of DM’s actions) are codified in the Admin Tech.

        I have tried to point out on Marty’s site when DM’s actions can be attributed to Admin Tech policies, but these comments almost always get censored.

        Anyway, I *believe* ethics is used on both spiritual and admin sides. SP declares are an ethics issue, and I have heard of people running into trouble with auditing because of “unhandled ethics issues.”

        ML, CW

      • lunamoth permalink
        April 7, 2011 4:10 pm

        Miraldi,

        Believe it or not, I got all that the first time. My post was, I thought, a rather civil way of saying “It’s much easier to criticize than to do oneself.”

      • Marildi permalink
        April 7, 2011 8:27 pm

        Special Frog, your questions seem sincere so I’ll answer them as best I can in a limited “space.”

        Firstly, ethics, tech and admin are each a “tech” in themselves, but ethics tech is also thought of as part of admin tech (the green “admin volumes” include both). Actually, when using any one of the three, the tech of both of the other two come into play, to one degree or another. So I guess you could say that, in practice, they all sort of overlap.

        And yes, the ethics tech is definitely meant to help people – even though it has been used (MIS-used and altered) to “control” people by the Church. Its whole purpose is to achieve optimum survival and a high condition in life, for an individual who uses it as well for as a group. Just as an example, there’s a body of knowledge in ethics tech (and also in auditing tech, by the way) on the subject of “clean hands make a happy life.” This includes a philosophy of what exactly is “ethical” and what to do when a person has gone wrong in that regard (and who hasn’t? in bigger or smaller ways) – i.e. how to redeem oneself (or help someone else do so) and come back up the scale to being capable of honesty, integrity, and self-worth. And people definitely have life-changing gains in this area!

        As for the PTS/SP Course, where you learn how to deal with suppression – well, it’s a pretty big course, but I’ll give you a general idea. “PTS/SP tech” is actually part of the overall ethics tech and, in essence, teaches how to spot and handle not only true SPs or antisocial personalities (who are rare) but people who are “merely” low-toned (“negative” or “toxic,” as they are commonly described). Both of the above types make TROUBLE for others, (who are thus called PTS – potential trouble source ) and keep them from surviving well in life.

        And yes, handling suppression also includes handling people who are antagonistic to Scientology, when they are preventing the Scn’ist from progressing in Scn (or in life, as could be the case with any kind of antagonism). The handling is usually to make Scientology, as a subject, and the concerned PTS person’s interest in it, better understood.

        But there’s a lot more information on the course that helps understand not only antagonistic persons but the above types of suppressives as well, plus a systematic tech for handling situations involving each of these types. And that tech does not include anything like what you have seen – “the rapid delivery of juvenile insults.” However, individuals can be guilty of misapplication (although they don’t usually have ulterior motives, like the Church has been flagrantly guilty of). But aside from its misuse and abuse, there are many success stories of gains from the ethical use of PTS/SP tech.

        This is all my own understanding, of course. The best thing to do would be to study the materials yourself, as always.

      • Jeff permalink*
        April 7, 2011 9:53 pm

        I’m glad that Scientologists learned how to spot and handle SPs and antisocial personalities. Now if they could just start applying that knowledge, they might save their Church.

      • Marildi permalink
        April 7, 2011 9:48 pm

        Lunamoth, not hard to believe at all. I figured that you were probably just trying to make a point, a couple of of your posts back. But honestly now, didn’t you get from my last several replies that I already got your point and agreed with it?

        I think I myself was being pretty civil, by letting it go and just repeating in different ways that, yes, it’s always easier to criticize. But I felt it was okay to express a critical viewpoint here, knowing that Jeff allows a wide latitude of freedom to communicate.

      • rhill permalink
        April 8, 2011 2:34 pm

        Marildi: “handling suppression also includes handling people who are antagonistic to Scientology, when they are preventing the Scn’ist from progressing in Scn”

        I am going to take just one aspect of why people have been “antagonistic” to Scientology: For decades, outsiders have criticized the Church of Scientology because of how much it charges for its courses, with virtually complete disregard for the financial well-being of members.

        However, as history shows, Scientologists not only merely dismissed these criticisms, but did whatever was required to “handle suppression” to neutralize the criticism, instead of actually taking the time to actually inspect the validity of the critical arguments. You see, these outsiders were “antagonistic” to Scientology, and had to be “handled” in order to ensure the Scientologists could freely “progress in Scientology.”

        Today, there are “independents” Scientologists (many formerly good standing members) who completely agree that the Church of Scientology charges too much, to the detriment of its members.

        I ask: Isn’t an obvious case where a Scientology dogma (“handling suppression to protect the progression of Scientologists in Scientology”) actually harmed the Scientologists, by shielding the Scientologists from (now vindicated) outside criticism? (“now vindicated” because now the “independents” agree with these outsiders that the Church of Scientology charges too much for its materials/services.)

      • April 8, 2011 5:25 pm

        Marildi, you said “And yes, the ethics tech is definitely meant to help people”

        There you go making broad pronouncements as if they were actually true. This statement requires qualification to be anywhere near truth.

        The Scientology ethics tech is meant to help people remain in Scientology.

        Scientology ethics tech is, by definition, applied in order to “get Scientology tech in”. It is there to protect and defend Scientology, to keep dissidents out and herd wayward believers back in. Help people? Not so much. Help Scientology? Definitely.

      • Marildi permalink
        April 8, 2011 9:55 pm

        Jeff, William, and rHill,

        First, let me say that I basically agree with each of your posts! However…

        Jeff, the way you say, “if they [Scientologists] could just start applying that knowledge [how to spot and handle SP’s], they might save their Church,” makes it sound like you haven’t noticed that some of them are trying to do just that. Nevertheless, I’m pretty sure you actually have noticed, and that you would acknowledge that they are.

        William, my statement that ethics tech is meant to help people is no more a “broad statement” that “requires qualification” – than your statement that ethics tech is meant to “help Scientology.” But you do seem to concede (qualifying it with “not so much”) that it is also meant to help people, in life. And I in return would concede that there’s been far too much truth to what you point out as well.

        rHill, your comment about the dogma related to handling antagonism (at least the way it has been interpreted and applied) is a foregone conclusion. And, as you already said, even Independents agree. I would go further and say, it seems to me that there are more Independent Scientologists who are willing to admit the dog’s-breakfast aspects of Scientology than there are ex- or non-Scientologists willing to see much – if anything – good in it.

        But be that as it may, there is definitely bias in all quarters, which is probably why the discussion/debate goes on and on. I think it’s great that some of you continue to expose the outpoints and outrages, especially when it’s done in a logical and fair-minded way. The same goes for those of us who continue to express that, in spite of everything, there is too much of tremendous value in Scn to just toss it out with the bitter, and the bitterness.

        For me, there’s nothing quite like a GOOD session, or the beingness (in or out of session) and company of a GOOD auditor. And I can’t help but wonder if many of the ex-Scn naysayers feel that way too, deep down. But the ultimate proof of the unadulterated Scientology philosophy and tech will be in the eventual “taste of the pudding,” whether it’s LRH’s original recipe or one that is changed to eliminate any potential toxins (just to continue the metaphor
        🙂 ). Have a good weekend, gentlemen.

  38. James Anglin permalink
    April 3, 2011 12:35 pm

    Why does no-one seem to point to a specific, concrete benefit from Scientology? All I’m seeing anywhere are vague claims to have had ‘wins’ and ‘gains’. Why does no-one ever happen to mention what those wins are? Don’t people realize how weird and suspicious this vagueness is? What is up with this?

    • Margaret permalink
      April 4, 2011 6:25 pm

      James,
      The specifics are so many, both from people I’ve spoken to, observed, read about and also have experienced personally. Valkov gave one example above. A similar one of mine is a reversal in academic grades. I was heading into C and lower territory, and the use of study tech reversed it to As and Bs (but what the academic record didn’t show was the deeper comprehension and appreciation of what I was learning). Well known actors Travolta and Cruise credit using Study Tech to learn to fly. Cruise credits it for helping him overcome dyslexia (which for decades was considered incurable).
      Other personal specifics are overcoming severe introversion and claustrophobia, being able to “see” other peoples’ universes (i.e. internal worlds) with extreme accuracy, a much broader and deeper enjoyment of life and emotions (someone mentioned elsewhere on this thread that “exhilaration” wasn’t an ability, but I would argue that you truly “enjoying” and “experiencing” exhilaration is very much an ability). There are many, many more of these that I can list, and point to in others.
      I can’t say that there is any “scientific study” to show that Scientology is any better than anything else in bringing about these types of “abilities”. But having studied the underpinnings of what makes Scientology fit together and “work”, I can see the logic of why it might be considered more “workable” than other methods; in some ways, it’s similar to looking at the underpinnings of the scientific method, and understanding how that could be considered more “workable” than other methods (e.g. alchemy or astrology).

      • Marildi permalink
        April 5, 2011 2:44 am

        Margaret, well said – again! Loved your last paragraph, especially. That’s the exact reason some of us still see the baby in the dirty bath water.

      • James Anglin permalink
        April 5, 2011 9:17 am

        Thanks, Margaret. That’s the sort of thing I’ve been looking for.

        None of the things you mention are superpowers, or rigorously testable as ordinary abilities consistently conferred by ‘the tech’. So we’re not talking about benefits that make Scientology an obvious must-have for everyone.

        But fair enough. As I think most here have agreed, if Scientology did offer that kind of unambiguously awesome benefit, it would have the world by storm decades ago, and Jeff’s blog wouldn’t be here. Short of that, the sorts of things you describe are perfectly reasonable and respectable claims for a spiritual discipline or self-improvement program. They’re not necessarily impressive enough to jump Scientology to the front of the line for me, out of all the comparable practices on the market. But if somebody happens to have tried Scientology and found those kinds of benefits, it seems perfectly reasonable for them to feel that they have something of value, and not just a lot of dirty water.

        (Whether the things of value are really unique to Scientology, or were perhaps just repackaged by Hubbard, is a question for people who know both the Scientology versions and whatever comparable non-Scn products may exist. And it may not even be of interest to people who don’t really care about the packaging, but are just happy to have what they have, wherever it came from. I myself have nothing significant to contribute on this issue, apart from the general cynical suspicion that Hubbard liked to inflate his own achievements, to the point where no claim of his to have discovered something should be accepted without careful checking.)

        I remain surprised and concerned that I’ve seen so few concrete and down-to-earth responses as yours on behalf of Scientology. There does seem to be a certain reluctance to get down to brass tacks among Scientologists, perhaps a taste for ‘mystery sandwiches’. I still suspect that in at least some cases this is an Emperor’s New Clothes situation, but I’m prepared to believe that it isn’t necessarily that for everyone who has any faith in Scientology. I’m wondering what the other explanations may be, though.

  39. Tony DePhillips permalink
    April 4, 2011 1:16 am

    Hi Jeff,
    Another analogy I thought of. I realized my Nuclear analogy could be flawed because a good argument could be made to ban nuclear power now, with having seen the Japanese incident.
    My new analogy is this: A man gets his arm burned off in a fire. He was standing too close to the fire and some asshole through him into it. He made it out alive but was in agony for a long time. Others used the fire and warmed themselves, others got a bit burned. For some, the fire saved them from freezing and death from exposure.
    The guy who had his arm burned off makes the strongest case against the fire and others that were burned want the fire extinguished. The others that were warmed and assisted want to keep the fire going with some new safegaurds issued. Of course there is always the chance someone will still be thrown into the fire pit. It isn’t a good reason to put out the fire though IMHO.

    • Marildi permalink
      April 4, 2011 2:47 am

      Tony, I read the series of posts you made today and it felt like you had read my mind! Except that you articulated my ideas and sentiments so much better than I have been able to. And you even expressed some things I coudn’t have put into words at all, and others I would have backed off from even trying. Thanks! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Tony DePhillips permalink
        April 5, 2011 5:22 pm

        Thanks Miraldi,

        I think you are a very good writer and communicator.

    • Jeff permalink*
      April 4, 2011 4:53 pm

      Tony, a better analogy might be Christianity or Islam. People have committed horrible atrocities in the name of these religions. Does that mean these religions should be banned? Of course not. But as I said, you are arguing against a position I never took. What should be banned or eliminated are the atrocities and abuses. As a note, some Catholics who spoke out against abuses by priests were accused of “trying to destroy the Catholic Church.” No, the people who were working to destroy the Church were the abusive priests. The whistleblowers were trying to put an end to the abuses.

      • VaD permalink
        April 4, 2011 10:27 pm

        There are no absolutes. No perfections. No ideals… in this world. And they can’t exist or even happen as long as there is a viewpoint.

        Truth is always individual.

        Reality is always relative (to someone or something, i.e. comparing o sometone or something).

        Reality as the Nature or way things go (independent of humans, like an earthquake in Japan) is not acceptable as some humans are concerned. Some feel some kind of causation about it…

        – Sorry if I sound stupid in this high-brow community.

  40. Tony Dephillips permalink
    April 4, 2011 2:36 am

    It would be an interesting survey question to ask the people who responded negatively if they had been in the Sea Org, staff or public? And see if there is a correlation with bad results and the type of environment they were in.

    • Tony DePhillips permalink
      April 4, 2011 3:29 am

      I would wager to say that the more suppressive the environment while recieving auditing the worse the result.

      Also Jeff, you made an earlier argument about; how could Scientologists have allowed an SP onto the highest post of Scientology and not stop it or the black Scn./Dn from going rampant? How could this be if Scientology was so great? Good point.

      My response would be that the condition of Mankind is one of “follower” to a large extent. The fact that a good number of Scientologist are “waking up” now is somewhat a testimony that people have gotten some gains and are rising out of the sheeple condition. If the time track is a long thing, then a period of about 60 years is still very young in a philosophies life cycle. I have yet to see a philosophy or religion on this planet “do well” from a standard of perfection. I think Scientology has a lot of potential and has done some very good things and some dastardly things too.
      I believe that if the bad is filtered out of the philosophy and the good applied, then Scientology has a chance to make some positive changes still. I would say right now that from a planetary view I would say that as an Organization it is in a lower condition. I guess it would be up to those who still want to try, to make up the damage that we all contributed to, if it will become that or not.
      Any ex-group member could have so “no!! at any time. Yourself included. I recall in 1985 I was about to be declared an SP for blowing from a tour I was sent on. I was trying to “route out” and was told by Reggie Caldwell that if I insisted on routing out that I would be Declared SP. So I just left. I figured it was a no win situation. I ended up getting comm ev’d but I made it out. I made the decision then and there that I would never let myself get into an “effect role” where Scn had any “leverage” over me. I started doing a lot better. My auditing went better after that too. It wasn’t until I “allowed” myself to get onto OT7 that I to a large degree became the “effect” again. My point being is that if people kept themselves in a self determined position while getting auditing they would do better..
      I agree that it is an out-point that you have to fight the organization in order to “do well”. They should be helping you to do well. If a bunch of sheeple allow that to happen then they get that result. It is like the old saying that people get the type of government that they deserve. I guess you could change that to Scientologists get the Scientology that they deserve. If you don’t take responsibility for the way your group is going then you get that result. The Indy movement is made of some Scientologists who have said “enough” of the suppressive cult. We want to recreate it in a new unit of time. It may or not work out well. I guess time will tell, but I would rather be part of that then to say it is all bad or to be stuck with the idea that I am just a meat stick and after I die, I die. Blah!!

      • SpecialFrog permalink
        April 4, 2011 1:27 pm

        Tony,

        I don’t know anyone who thinks they are a “meat stick”. I think you have more choices than just “Scientologist” and “meat stick”.

        Regardless of what does or doesn’t happen after we die, we are part of something and we can have a positive affect on those around us.

        Regards

      • Tony Dephillips permalink
        April 4, 2011 6:46 pm

        Special Frog,

        I know I have more choices and I consider myself many things besides a person interested in the Scientology philosophy. I am a US citizen, fighter of abuses, artist etc. I like being part of a group, but I will not give up my integrity to do so. I have found much in the Scientology philosophy that I still use and feel it has greatly enhanced my life.
        I don’t think I am a meat stick, but I do think some people do. They may not call it that. I think people who feel they just live one life are a potential menace to society. If you just live once then hey, do whatever you want, because after you die it doesn’t really matter. They do have the right to believe that if they want. I think you can sit around and shoot holes in anybodys philosophy of life.
        At the end of the day, I just want to have enjoyed life as much as possible and help others do so also if I can.

      • Jeff permalink*
        April 4, 2011 6:55 pm

        Tony, I don’t think you can make that sort of generalization. It could be that someone who believes they live only once could be inspired by that belief to make it the best life possible and do as much good as possible. Conversely, someone who believes they will live again could have the attitude that “it doesn’t matter what I do, I’ll come back anyway.” I think that the attitude you are describing (“It doesn’t matter what I do”) has to do with individual psychopathy or sociopathy, not their beliefs about reincarnation.

      • SpecialFrog permalink
        April 4, 2011 7:23 pm

        Tony,

        I’m not saying you have to stop being a Scientologist. You said:

        “I would rather be part of that then to say it is all bad or to be stuck with the idea that I am just a meat stick and after I die, I die.”

        I’m just pointing out that that is a false dichotomy. Hubbard liked to use these as it limits the scope of discussion (and thinking if you buy them) but you don’t have to keep doing so.

        Not being a Scientologist doesn’t mean you don’t believe in more than one life. Lack of belief in more than one life doesn’t make you a nihilist.

        If you find Scientology helpful then by all means keep doing it. However, if you are clinging to Scientology as the only alternative to nihilism I might suggest you could benefit by looking beyond it as well.

        Regards

      • Newer permalink
        April 4, 2011 8:09 pm

        Here’s a better one:

        How could the Source of the Tech (Auditing, Tone Scale, PTS/SP tech, etc.) NOT be able to apply it and let low toned SPs surround him and take down the church?

      • VaD permalink
        April 4, 2011 9:43 pm

        I’d say that Tony is right in some ways, and Jeff is right in some ways.

        When one believes he lives forever, he tends to take care of his after-this-life-future (or he might become a cruel criminal, like Rex Fowler)

        When one believes he lives only once he might be a decent citizen who tries to live his short span as good as he can (or he might be a cruel criminal who kills people because he doesn’t care what happens after he dies).

        Both ways contain: one BELIEVES in something.

        Perhaps, HOW he believes in it should be considrered (?)

        – Just a thought.

      • April 5, 2011 1:37 am

        >people who feel they just live one life are a potential menace to society. If you just live once then hey, do whatever you want

        Tony, I think that’s ridiculous (and a bit insulting to us one-lifers). I do the right thing because it’s the right thing, and let’s face it, 85 years is plenty of time for karma to give one the smack-down. One could argue that us single-lifers are more likely to try not to blow it.

        And I actually see the opposite at work: Because Scientologists are sure they are coming back, many seem less concerned about the choices they make in this lifetime (ie raising a family, setting and achieving life goals, treating illnesses, etc). To me, multi-lives give one *less* respect for the value of life, because what the heck, it’s only one of several – so what if you screw this one up?

        Perhaps my notions seem as ridiculous to you as yours do to me. 🙂

        ML,
        Caliwog

      • April 5, 2011 1:40 am

        @Newer:
        >How could the Source of the Tech… let low toned SPs surround him and take down the church?

        Probably because he was off hiding from the law.

        ML, CW

      • Newer permalink
        April 5, 2011 3:59 pm

        @Caliwog “Probably because he was off hiding from the law.”

        Naw, that doesn’t explain him being unable to use his “tech”to spot the SP’s, DM & Pat B. that he worked closely with.

      • Tony DePhillips permalink
        April 6, 2011 12:02 am

        Jeff siad: “Tony, I don’t think you can make that sort of generalization. It could be that someone who believes they live only once could be inspired by that belief to make it the best life possible and do as much good as possible. Conversely, someone who believes they will live again could have the attitude that “it doesn’t matter what I do, I’ll come back anyway.” I think that the attitude you are describing (“It doesn’t matter what I do”) has to do with individual psychopathy or sociopathy, not their beliefs about reincarnation.”

        I agree. Good point.

  41. VaD permalink
    April 4, 2011 9:58 pm

    Claims and Expectations vs. Results

    I’d like to ask and get some answers from Scientologists (OTs of any Level, whether you have done them in CoS, or FZ, or Indie field, or by yourself, or…)

    Is there a human POTENTIAL of a “2 Megawatt being” achieved by you? (to those who went ALL the way up the Bridge, be it in CoS, FZ, or…)
    Can you feel like that?

    Do you feel there is a a human POTENTIAL or a “2 Megawatt being” achievable? (to those who still haen’t gone all the way up the Bridge).
    Do you feel you will be able to feel like that?

    Please be honest.
    Honesty doesn’t hurt.
    It helps (to you, too).

    • VaD permalink
      April 4, 2011 10:05 pm

      Honestly, I believed in that 2 Megawatt (no less) promised to me by Hubbard.
      Well, Hubbard promised much more to me when I become OT… but let’s stick to those 2 Megawatts.

      If he promised to someone else some other things, you are welcome to share (whether you achived thems or feel duped.

      Let’s (everyone) be honest.. what do you say?

    • VaD permalink
      April 4, 2011 10:14 pm

      PLEASE, REPLACE!

      Claims and Expectations vs. Results

      I’d like to ask and get some answers from Scientologists (OTs of any Level, whether you have done them in CoS, or FZ, or Indie field, or by yourself, or…)

      Is there a human POTENTIAL of a *2 Megawatt being* achieved by you? (to those who went ALL the way up the Bridge, be it in CoS, FZ, or…)
      Can you feel like that?

      Do you feel there is a a human POTENTIAL or a *2 Megawatt being* achievable? (to those who still haven’t gone all the way up the Bridge).
      Do you expect to be able to feel like that (once you get to that top Level)?

      Please be honest.
      Honesty doesn’t hurt.
      It helps (to you, too).

  42. VaD permalink
    April 4, 2011 11:11 pm

    Jeff,

    One thing you didn’t include in your poll:

    – someone who has/had never received grades or OT Levels.

    That would be more just.

    Personally, I haven’t (since I only been in SO for just 9 years…;))

    It would also include Anons in this poll. – IMHO

  43. VaD permalink
    April 4, 2011 11:31 pm

    Jeff,
    I hope you will make more of surveys for everyone in the future regarding Scientology.

    After all, you were the one who who been doing it while there.

    Jeff, more power to you.

    I think you help people by doing what you are doing … Please keep doing it.

    (It might be your own way of getting even) 😉

    • lunamoth permalink
      April 5, 2011 11:52 pm

      This is very interesting. Thanks for the link, ML.

  44. Tony DePhillips permalink
    April 6, 2011 12:26 am

    I think that people get out of anything what they take from it and what they put into it.

    Example: The Bible says all sorts of things. Some people have taken the Old testament and justified killing etc. This was individuals taking the bad from a subject and making it worse.

    Example: Some people took things from Scientology and committed abuses and helped or contributed to others committing the abuse. A lot of people did not do these things and for that reason may have had a much better experience with Scientology.

    I can really see that a person is largely responsible for what they get out of life and the experiences they have in life. Some people continually make bad choices and get burned and blame it on others. Some people make better choices when confronting the same factors in life.

    Example: Man cons people out of money. Man is not a good person. Some people allowed themselves to be conned some didn’t. The con-man is bad and the ones that allowed themselves to be conned have out-points also in order to be conned.

    I allowed myself to be conned in some ways by the cult. I do see how they were responsible for committing bad acts and how I was responsible for buying into the bullshit in the firstplace. That being said, I can still see the good that I got from the subject. I can still differentiate the good from the bad. It was not all bad. I feel that if the bad was removed it could still be an excellent subject for personal growth and enhancement.

    Life is a journey and a person can find wisdom from different places. As a person grows he can see more of the traps. It is unfortunate that sometimes a person gets helped by something and then that thing also hurts them. The guy who loves a woman who helps him grow and learn about things. Then she jilts the guy and he caves in and all of a sudden HATES the woman. Even though she hurt him, he still learned from her. It may take a while for the hurt man to see this. He cannot see through the pain of her leaving at first, but eventually he will.

    • Jeff permalink*
      April 6, 2011 1:21 am

      Tony, since I decided to become a whistleblower and expose the crimes and abuses of the Church of Scientology, I’ve heard this argument many times and in many forms. You’ve stated it very politely, even reasonably. But it’s the same basic argument: “You had bad experiences in Scientology? That’s your own fault. You pulled it in. So shut up and stop complaining.” This idea that people are responsible for all of the bad things that happen to them because of “personal outpoints” is, unfortunately, built into the DNA of Scientology. Taken to an extreme, it can easily get into victim blaming. As an extreme example, did the Jews murdered during the Holocaust “pull it in.” Do victims of rape “pull it in”? Did a young boy abused by a priest “pull it in”? No, I’m afraid that if an organization is abusing people, defrauding people, conning them and so on, then that organization should be exposed. People who have been victims of abuse, enslavement, violence and so on are not “ARC broken.” They don’t “need a session to handle the charge.” Abusive organizations need to be brought to justice so these things do not happen again.

      • Tony Dephillips permalink
        April 6, 2011 1:50 am

        Jeff,
        you seem to take my rational statement and make it irrational.
        I never said holocaust victims or people murdered or raped were “responsible” for it. But in some cases they DO have some responsibility in it.
        A guy that decided to sell drugs and then gets murdered had some hand in his own demise. If a person had no influence on what happened to him then we would all be walking around as total effects.

      • Tony Dephillips permalink
        April 6, 2011 1:53 am

        Jeff,

        I think you used the straw man argument that time.
        🙂
        Tony

      • Jeff permalink*
        April 6, 2011 2:37 am

        Technically, it was reductio ad absurdum – “a form of argument in which a proposition is disproven by following its implications logically to an absurd consequence.” I didn’t say you said it, but that your theory, used in an extreme example, results in an absurdity, i.e. “The Jews pulled in the Holocaust.”

      • Tony DePhillips permalink
        April 6, 2011 4:04 am

        Jeff said:”Technically, it was reductio ad absurdum – “a form of argument in which a proposition is disproven by following its implications logically to an absurd consequence.” I didn’t say you said it, but that your theory, used in an extreme example, results in an absurdity, i.e. “The Jews pulled in the Holocaust.”

        I disagree that what you said proved what you concluded that it proved.

        You seem to be saying that if I say someone has responsibility or ownership to a larger or smaller degree to the bad things that happens to them, then it therefore means that ALL THE BAD THAT HAPPENS TO THEM THEY PULLED IN. If you think one proves the other than that is an irrational conclusion IMO.

        A person may not be able to SEE how they created a situation.
        Example: A drug dealer sells drugs to known criminals. Increasing his odds of violent crime. He takes drugs lowering his awareness. Now when he gets beat up and someone asks him to see how he “created this situation”? He cannot see it. But this does not mean that he did not contribute to it’s creation does it? He just can’t see it? I am also not saying that just because you can’t see it that it means it is there either.
        Example: My mom dies in a car crash in Europe and a Scientology staff tells me that I “pulled it in” because I am upset about it. I can’t see that this is true. For me it has no therapeutic value and is a worthless evaluation.
        Example: I am upset with a co-worker and tell someone about it. They ask me if I did anything to this person that could have started the upset? I look and see something that is real to me and I can take ownership or responsibility for the arguement and it helps me to end cycle on it. This has therapeutic value to the degree it is real to me.

        My point is that a person does have some responsibility in what happens to them. It is only helpful to the person if they see how they did contribute to the bad effect that they suffered. If they spot where they could have done things differently then they could have some relief.

        This does not mean a person should not seek righting a wrong or bringing someone to justice. On the contrary, a person who is really taking ownership of something would show a strong willingness to bring others to take ownership of their bad deeds.

      • Operatingwog permalink
        April 6, 2011 6:04 pm

        Just regarding this debate between Jeff and Tony, I wanted to make a couple of points. Although it might not read that way, all of what follows in very much IMHO – quite possibly it’s completely wrong.
        (1) Jeff says victim blaming is built into the DNA of scientology. It does seem to be an essential part of the mind-control, because otherwise people would be much more ready to throw out doctrine which is false and tech which doesn’t work. Hubbard gets people to turn the critical impulse (which might otherwise lead them to reject his teachings and technology) back on themselves. So victim blaming is central to scientology in this way. But it’s also tied to the central ‘positive’ part of scientology, the fantasy of being completely ‘at cause’ (fully recuperating one’s true spiritual nature). This is a fantasy because it overlooks the real conditions which make action possible, keying into an infantile ideal of omnipotence. Communication is in fact possible only in virtue of a given language, social action is possible only in virtue of given social roles and relationships, physical effects are possible only in virtue of a given physical reality of entities and laws. Scientology can be sold through the fantasy that one can become completely at cause, but, paradoxically, the effect of this fantasy can be that one becomes almost completely an effect of the system of cultic control. Attributing at-causeness to individuals enables one to hold them responsible for the faults of their environment. Either they have failed to be the spiritual beings they truly are, and have allowed themselves to become an effect (in which case they are at fault); or they are at cause and are responsible for the faulty situation (in which case they are also at fault). Heads they lose, tails they lose. They are put in a position of permanent liability, even when they are not actually held at fault for some specific wrong. This is a pervasive, systematic violence. It gets expressed in evil absurdities, such as the imposition of ethics conditions on children who have been abused, but focusing on horrendous cases such as these is almost to miss the point – the point being the position of permanent liability affecting all cult members (except the most senior).
        (2) Tony’s obviously right that adopting a victim identity can be a way of hiding from a recognition of one’s own responsibility for events which affect one, and/or for one’s environment. And, of course, recognising this responsibility can be a part of becoming a better, happier, more able person. But what is striking from the outside of scientology is the extent to which scientologists seem peculiarly incapable of accepting responsibility. This is – obviously – a gross generalisation and potentially offensive. It may nevertheless be true as a generalisation. If it is true, then it is no doubt related to the character of scientology ethics (theory and practice). But I would hazard that it is also related to the pervasive condition of permanent liability. If everyone exists in a condition of liability then it becomes crucial for survival to ensure that when potential blame (liability) gets actualised in some concrete instance of blame, the blame gets stuck to someone else. If this is true, then a good scientologist – a scientologist who is good at surviving and ‘doing well’ within the cult – will be a person who is good at dodging blame, and good at making sure that blame is attached to others. (Some of the execration of Miscavige by some senior ex-CoS members seems to me to be attributable to a mechanism along these lines: it wasn’t me, even though I was there, worked with him and did what he told me, it was him, he’s the real evil.)

      • James Anglin permalink
        April 7, 2011 6:45 am

        I don’t think Jeff denies that people are sometimes responsible for their own troubles. Jeff seems to be complaining that Scientologists blame the victim by default, without evidence.

      • rhill permalink
        April 7, 2011 1:01 pm

        Operationgwog: “Hubbard gets people to turn the critical impulse back on themselves.”

        Agreed. That would be the “PTS” part though, which finds its root in an overarching Scientology concept: Hubbard’s doctrines demand that the “critical impulse” from whoever (self, family, friends, et al.) against Scientology (or one of its agents) be turned against them. Hence the SP/PTS doctrine, which permeates the whole of Scientology. (When I say “permeate”, I mean take any Hubbard policy/writing at random, and great chance one will find expressed and/or implied, obviously and/or subtly, the essence of the SP/PTS doctrine in it.)

    • April 6, 2011 4:09 am

      >Some people took things from Scientology and committed abuses and helped or contributed to others committing the abuse.

      I think this happens with a lot of activities, including religions. The Old Testament is a great example: It says that homosexual men must be killed. Most Christians do not interpret it that way, and when a group does (Westboro Baptist and their “God Hates Fags” campaign), the world at large objects.

      In Scientology, because Hubbard wrote so much, it’s much harder to interpret. LRH was clear that _all_ tech is to be followed exactly. And that includes the less savory bits, Fair Game and SP tech.

      When Marty Rathbun first emerged, I had hopes that he would interpret LRH the way many Christians and Jews interpret the Bible: Selectively. But based on all that he has written (and all that he allows not to be posted) I have learned that’s not the case. Marty still believes in disconnection, still believes in the “tech” that killed Lisa McPherson.

      And then we have people like Margaret, who attempt to justify Operation Freakout as Hubbard “losing his temper.”

      My point is that the abuses are hard-coded into Scientology. If you strip away all of the negative, all of the hurt, and all of the restatements of simple common sense, what you are left with is the “technologies” that Hubbard based Scientology on.

      Why not study those instead?

      ML, CW

      • Valkov permalink
        April 6, 2011 5:10 am

        “The tech” did not kill Lisa McPherson. I believe she was killed by David Miscavige’s “executive C/Sing”. He is not a trained C/S, yet he interferes in people’s cases and tells auditors what to do, which he has no business doing.

      • Valkov permalink
        April 6, 2011 5:54 am

        OK, CW:

        So what are the “technologies Hubbard based scientology on”? Could you be, perhaps a wee bit specific? Sounds like you are knowledgeable about these, so expound, lay it on us, don’t leave us in mystery, please!

      • SpecialFrog permalink
        April 6, 2011 12:30 pm

        Valkov,

        While it is possible that whatever Miscavige did to handle her case contributed to her psychotic episode, she was killed by the introspection rundown.

        Whether or not they were applying it right, the people involved continued to try and fix her with Scientology even days after she had stopped eating or drinking.

        Even with the psychotic episode, if she’d been left in hospital at that point or even taken back to hospital when it was clear that what they were doing wasn’t working she would almost certainly have lived.

      • April 6, 2011 8:11 pm

        CW,

        First of all the “tech” is an inanimate object.

        Something that is contained in what are called HCOBs.

        So to say the “tech” killed Lisa McPherson is silly.

        I mean are you implying that the poor girl was beaten to death by a Tech Volume or something?

        SF,

        You seem to be more specific by suggesting it was the “Introspection RD”.

        Again the Introspection RD consists of a series of HCOBs which advice specific steps that were never done in poor Lisa’s case.

        BTW none of them include force feeding the PC through a syringe or locking her in a hotel room under the supervision of inexperienced care takers.

        In fact the correct option of placing Lisa under the care of Health Care professionals at the Morton Plant Hospital was immediately rejected by people calling themselves “Scientologists”.

        The girl should have been fed intravenously if she refused to eat and put on mild sedatives administered by a Doctor. Under a doctors care and supervision in a proper facility that handled catatonic cases.

        Not.

        Heaven forbid.

        The Flag Land Base.

        So the people responsible were in my opinion *criminally negligent* in the extreme to allow Lisa to waste away in a hotel room.

        However this has nothing to do with the RD.

        Of course if you want you can blame the RD like these anti-gun people like to blame guns which again are *inanimate objects* for all the harm caused to society then go right ahead.

        But as far as I’m concerned it is a *wrong target*.

        Just like if get rid of guns people are going to find more primitive ways of killing one another like stone axes and clubs.

        So if you get rid of the rid of the “tech” or the Introspection RD specifically.

        Psychotherapy will just go back to such barbaric methods such as electroshock and lobotomies which have effectively killed more people than Lisa McPherson and in less time.

        But hey if that’s what you want.

        That’s up to you.

        Personally I’d rather stick with the “tech” which is at least 1 to a million less effective in killing people.

      • Jeff permalink*
        April 7, 2011 4:32 pm

        “So to say the “tech” killed Lisa McPherson is silly.

        I mean are you implying that the poor girl was beaten to death by a Tech Volume or something?”

        Haw haw haw. Very funny.

        RJ, personally I find nothing humorous about the Lisa McPherson case. Sure, you made your point. She wasn’t killed by a Tech Volume or an HCOB. They are just inert objects that can’t harm anyone. And as long as they just sit there, untouched by human hands, they don’t harm anyone. In fact, they are theoretically perfect and “always effective.” It’s only when they get into the hands of those pesky human beings who try to apply them that you have problems. But of course when failures occur, or damage, or psychotic breaks, or suicides, or deaths, then of course it “wasn’t Scientology” and the people who got those results “weren’t Scientologists.” And the “tech” remains pure and holy in its pristine red volumes.

        And of course you can always drag out the boogeyman of 1950’s era psychiatry and say “well, you don’t want THAT, do you?”

      • Valkov permalink
        April 6, 2011 8:58 pm

        SF,

        I disagree. She was not “killed by the introspection rundown” I believe she died of a pulmonary embolism. That was not caused by any introspection rundown, even a poorly done or completely inappropriate one. To claim it did, is similar to claiming that “prayer killed the Christian Scientist” who say, died of a stroke or heart attack. It’s false. The lack or withholding of medical care might have killed him, the prayer did not.

        That she needed medical care is undeniable. That she didn’t get it for whatever bent reasons, is undeniable. Why Miscavige would not let her go to a hospital is known only to himself. And she may well have survived with medical care. I don’t know the stats on medical care in cases of pulmonary embolism, but most cases are caused by a blood clot so clot-busting drugs are a possible treatment.

        Posting extreme claims on a public site without fact-checking is not responsible. But I guess this is the Internet, where “the truth is out there” – somewhere. If a person can find it. And identify it.

      • Jeff permalink*
        April 6, 2011 9:12 pm

        She died while in the care of the Church of Scientology and while undergoing Scientology procedures dictated by the Church. The facts of this case ARE out there. The Church spent a lot of time and personnel and money to make it all go away, including an undisclosed cash settlement with her family.

      • VaD permalink
        April 6, 2011 9:44 pm

        Valkov,

        “it’s not the fall that kills a person. It’s that sudden stop at the end”

        Pier Ethier, on his own site, tried to explain how Lisa was incorectl treated, CSed, …. His explanations are so f@^ing complicated that NO human (wog) can understand.

        One thing that NOONE can change is that she died in and because of Scientology. – It’s as simple as that.

        Lisa McPherson died because of how Scentology deals with people.

      • SpecialFrog permalink
        April 6, 2011 9:50 pm

        Valkov,

        Prayer can’t kill you but locking you in a room for seventeen days while you pray over them can do so, particularly if you stop eating and drinking for whatever reason.

        The PE was judged to be caused by dehydration and immobility. According to the ME she had had no liquids for at least five days prior to her death.

        The PE therefore relates directly to her confinement. The confinement was part of the application of the introspection rundown.

        Clearly at some point, someone should have said, “Hey, this isn’t working and she looks terrible. We should get her medical attention.” But that would be a violation of KSW.

        In my view, pushing Scientology tech without a willingness to really face up to Lisa McPherson is irresponsible.

      • VaD permalink
        April 6, 2011 10:00 pm

        Let’s say that people are assigned and obliged to live. By God.

        Lisa was a beautiful person who was assigned and obliged to live.. to be alive… to love… to be loved… to have children.

        Her freedom to have that was taken away. Why? – Scientology. It’s claims and expectations.

        Lisa thoroughly believed in Scientology.

        What did Scientology do to her? – Locked her. Made her wrong for being herself. Ruined her life. Made her feel miserable. Got her to the pont where her own life meant nothing… rest you know.

        – That is Scientology.

      • April 7, 2011 2:20 am

        @Valkov:

        First, Lisa McPherson died because she was locked in a room without eating, drinking or proper medical care. The reason she was locked in that room is because LRH said that is how you handle a psychotic break.

        We can debate how she got there, but if Ms McPh
        erson was not a Scientologist and had stripped off all her clothes and run down the road naked, she would have been taken to a proper hospital and given proper care.

        >Why Miscavige would not let her go to a hospital is known only to himself

        It’s known to anyone who has read HCOB 23 January 1974RB.

        More:
        http://caliwog.wordpress.com/2010/06/08/read-for-yourself-the-lrh-technology-that-killed-lisa-mcpherson/

        Next subject:

        >So what are the “technologies Hubbard based scientology on”?

        Let’s start with Dianetics, which is based on regression therapy, abreaction therapy, and other forms of psychotherapy. The idea of chains of bad memories originated with Freud, as did (I believe) the concept of the subconscious mind acting on the conscious. Some TRs have their basis in hypnosis. On the admin tech side, which I know better… gosh, I don’t know if I have the time to list all of the concepts that Hubbard claimed as his own. Management by statistics is a common practice, although most businesses do actual mathematical statistical analysis rather than Hubbard’s draw-a-line-through-the-graph guesswork. “Survey Tech” is just another word for market research. Hubbard openly borrowed (and them massively misinterpreted) Trout and Reis’ Positioning. The list goes on, and on, and on, and on.

        That said, I’m pretty sure that the Xenu story is original “tech” – from the fertile mind of a mediocre science fiction writer.

        ML, CW

      • Valkov permalink
        April 7, 2011 3:32 am

        Jeff,

        I am not disputing any of that. That is not what my post, or the post I was responding to, was about. The proximate cause of her death was a pulmonary embolism for which she did not receive any medical care. She was denied this care for no good reason. But the introspection rundown, assuming that she really was receiving one, was not the cause of her death. It was clearly a “wrong indication” which kept her from getting the medical care she needed. Having worked quite a lot in hospitals, given her mental/emotional condition, she could have been misdiagnosed in a medical setting as well, and her physical condition could have been overlooked. Especially if she was in a psychiatric setting, because psychiatrists are not prone to looking for physical conditions like that.

        If you read my post, it should be obvious I am not defending the CoS. Please do not dub it in that I am doing that, because I have never done that. Perhaps for controversy’s sake I ought to start doing it, as a “devil’s advocate?” If I am going to be misunderstood or misinterpreted, I may as well be hung for a goat as for a sheep, eh?

      • rhill permalink
        April 7, 2011 12:35 pm

        Jeff: “The facts of this case ARE out there.”

        Not all the facts though. There are the missing logs of last 3 days of her life. These are the last 3 days before her death, we can’t understate the importance of the content of those logs. (The reason given to destroy these logs is not credible in my opinion.)

        Valkov: “I believe she died of a pulmonary embolism. …. Posting extreme claims on a public site without fact-checking is not responsible”

        Are you an expert pathologist?

        “Five doctors agree with examiner in Scientology death …. Five pathologists say it is clear from key lab results that Lisa McPherson was severely dehydrated when she died after a 17-day stay at a Church of Scientology retreat. …. ‘In my opinion, it is highly probable that this death is, indeed, due to dehydration,’ said Dr. Ed Friedlander, chairman of the pathology department at the University of Health Sciences in Kansas City, Mo. …. ‘If my scenario is correct, then anyone, even a lay person who was caring for her, has a lot of explaining to do,’ Friedlander said after reviewing McPherson’s full autopsy report.”
        http://www.lisamcpherson.org/spt3-9.htm

        Is the above one of the “extreme claims” which bother you?

      • April 7, 2011 6:37 pm

        “RJ, personally I find nothing humorous about the Lisa McPherson case.”

        Jeff,

        To quote Carol Burnett -“Comedy is tragedy plus time.”

        Lisa died almost 15 years ago yet the “haters” as Marty calls them wail on and on about her tragic death like a bunch of Banshees.

        Unlike them I prefer humor to ghoulishness any day of the week.

        That and the fact that one incident does not prove anything about the workability or unworkability of the subject or not.

        I mean you were the one who wrote an earlier post about anecdotal “logic”.

      • Jeff permalink*
        April 7, 2011 8:05 pm

        Lisa McPherson is not a joke, or an anecdote. It is the tragic death of a woman under Scientology’s care. It’s something that the Church (and some Indies) would like to sweep under the carpet.

        The term “haters” is an interesting one. Scientologists have to have a dismissive derogatory term for anyone who brings up inconvenient facts that might cause cognitive dissonance in the faithful. The Church has the term “SP.” Anyone who brings up things like Lisa McPherson is an “SP” and therefore not to be listened to. Independents, of course, can’t use the term “SP” so they need their own term, which apparently is “haters.” So anyone bringing up uncomfortable subjects can be easily dismissed as a “hater.” It’s called “thought-stopping.”

      • SpecialFrog permalink
        April 7, 2011 8:37 pm

        RJ,

        Let’s just be clear.

        The Introspection Rundown clearly states that someone experiencing a psychotic break should be isolated.

        They are not allowed to even hear a human voice except during auditing sessions.

        They are not allowed out isolation until the C/S is satisfied that they are able to take responsibility for themselves. This has to be done in writing.

        Flubbing the Introspection Rundown is an ethics violation.

        You can continue to see this as being unrelated to how Lisa McPherson was treated if you like.

        You can continue to see the Introspection Rundown as something as value if you like.

        You can call me a hater if you like.

        I just hope you are never in a position of responsibility for someone in need of serious help.

      • Valkov permalink
        April 7, 2011 8:49 pm

        @ CW, “We can debate how she got there, but if Ms McPherson was not a Scientologist and had stripped off all her clothes and run down the road naked, she would have been taken to a proper hospital and given proper care.”

        CW, I worked in psych hospitals at a leading University teaching hospital for 13 years. There are two things I can tell you:

        1.) The treatment of choice for a person who was very psychotic was often heavy medication PLUS ISOLATION in an ISOLATION ROOM.

        2.) A person who was psychotic, not “oriented to to time, place, and person” and not communicating coherently would be extremely unlikely to be examined and diagnosed with a condition like a pulmonary embolism, because of their lack of ability to participate in the diagnostic process by reporting symptoms, answering questions, etc. For example, a CT scan is often used to confirm the diagnosis, and a person who is psychotic is NOT a candidate for a CT scan!

        Wikipedia:

        “Symptoms of pulmonary embolism include difficulty breathing, chest pain on inspiration, and palpitations. Clinical signs include low blood oxygen saturation and cyanosis, rapid breathing, and a rapid heart rate. Severe cases of PE can lead to collapse, abnormally low blood pressure, and sudden death.[1]
        Diagnosis is based on these clinical findings in combination with laboratory tests (such as the D-dimer test) and imaging studies, usually CT pulmonary angiography. Treatment is typically with anticoagulant medication, including heparin and warfarin. Severe cases may require thrombolysis with drugs such as tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) or may require surgical intervention via pulmonary thrombectomy.[1]”

        Most of the listed symptoms can have a wide variety of causes, including anxiety which is often a component of psychosis.

        In a psych hospital, there would not likely be any reason to even suspect a pulmonary embolism,much less test for one. The primary focus would be on controlling the psychosis.

        None of the above is intended to absolve the CoS from culpability in her death. It is an attempt to focus in on medical facts and realities and keep this discussion grounded in the face of the partisanship that often arises here.

        By the way, the daily records written by the people who were “sitting” with her and directly “minding” Lisa are available online , or were a few years ago. Lisa was not dehydrated because food or drink was withheld from her, that is not part of the Introspection Rundown. The fact is, she simply would not eat or drink very much, in spite of her “sitter’s” attempts to encourage her to do so.

      • April 7, 2011 9:07 pm

        @Valkov:

        >She was denied this care for no good reason. But the introspection rundown… was not the cause of her death

        You’re missing a key point: She most probably would not have developed the condition had she not been locked in a room and restrained. She was apparently refusing food and water, which contributed to her condition – but she had people refusing to talk to her, per LRH’s orders.

        Lisa wasn’t just killed – she was tortured and then killed. She died because she was put on the Introspection Rundown.

        >I am not defending the CoS.

        No, but it looks like you are defending Hubbard’s tech. Do you think the IR was the proper thing to do given Lisa’s condition?

        ML,
        Caliwog

      • April 7, 2011 9:11 pm

        Jeff,

        It is a tragic death that is *used* by those who *hate* the subject as a means of “proving” that the “tech” is somehow dangerous.

        Also it is you that is conflating the word “Hater” with “SP” not I.

        As not everyone who is rabidly opposed to the subject is an “SP” but merely misinformed or more likely *disinformed* by actual SPs like for example David Miscavige and *friends*.

        Since “SPs” are what keeps what is left of his flock isolated and insulated from the fact that his perversions of the tech and his alterations of policy led directly to Lisa McPherson’s death.

        Yet you seem not to want to believe that and constantly assert it *must* be the “tech” in some way that led to Lisa’s death.

        Don’t you think the reason that even Indie Scientologists want to as you say “sweep it under the carpet” is because we are tired of the same old chorus to the same old song.

        You don’t *have* to support our efforts to reform the Church or practice Scientology away from the *suppressive influence* of the Church and I really don’t care if you do or not.

        And I don’t have to be here posting this rebuttal Jeff.

        But here we are by power of choice.

        As far as I’m concerned the “haters” and the “Church” have used Lisa’s tragic death more callously than any of the independents.

        If you can not see the difference Jeff than I’m sorry.

        Marty already gave his mea culpa on the subject even facing possible prosecution by doing so.

        Yet the “haters” continue to go on about this one death as if it were a fricking holocaust.

        One death!

        Yet the medical profession by improperly prescribing medications that cause adverse reactions in their patients cause at least 150,000 deaths a year.

        Yet you don’t see any Scientologists demand that the Medical Profession and that the practice of medicine be outlawed.

        Do you?

        My opinion is that what Lisa received while at the FH was *not* Scientology and what killed her was being delivered by an organization calling itself such but really wasn’t.

        So on that point we can agree to disagree.

      • Valkov permalink
        April 7, 2011 9:22 pm

        Jeff writes: The term “haters” is an interesting one. ….. Independents, of course, can’t use the term “SP” so they need their own term, which apparently is “haters.” So anyone bringing up uncomfortable subjects can be easily dismissed as a “hater.” It’s called “thought-stopping.”

        Jeff, I definitely understand what you are saying here, and in principle agree with the spirit of what you are saying, but I have a couple of disagreements also.

        One is that there are extemists on both sides. There are in fact a few people around who do “hate scientology”. Whether anyone actually correctly identifies one, haters do in fact exist.

        Another is, I question the existence of “Indepenedents” as an identifiable demographic, other than their liking of the auditing tech and their hatred of the CoS. It is an over generalization, and what Marty expresses is his own opinion. I think that 95% of the commenters on Marty’s blog would ever use the term themselves.

        The name “Lisa McPherson” is used as a thought -stopper by some people, in the face of any positive statement about scientology. That happens right here on this blog. All one has to do is post something along the lines of “the tech is good in some ways”, and someone will simply post “Lisa McPherson!” as a rebuttal.

        The fact is, any praise of or report of a good experience with scientology is “an uncomfortable fact that causes cognitive dissonance” in some people who are determined to present a completely negative view of every aspect of scientology, the “prosecuting attorneys” so to speak.

        “The faithful” exist on both sides, pro and con. There are those who claim “Scientology is innocent!”, and those who claim “Scientology is guilty!”

        Neither side is reasoning very much as far as I’m concerned. Hopefully they are trying to at least examine both sides of the evidence.

        The extremists on both sides are folks who appear to have a low tolerance for the ambivalences that I feel are inherent in living in the real world. Much as we would wish it to be, life is not black and white.

        Both sides tend to use similar tactics of thought-stopping.

        Well, I’m sure you get the idea, so back over to you Jeff.

      • April 7, 2011 9:22 pm

        @RJ:
        >this has nothing to do with the RD.

        LRH: “Isolate the person wholly with all attendants completely muzzled (no speech).” No one may communicate with the person undergoing the RD. The C/S may do so only in writing. And the person cannot be released from isolation unless they meet certain criteria, which Lisa was in no fit state to meet.

        >Psychotherapy will just go back to such barbaric methods such as electroshock and lobotomies

        This is one of the reasons I protest Hubbard and Scientology. This is ignorance, RJ, plain and simple – and it’s the most dangerous kind of ignorance, because it’s the kind that leads people like you to make unsafe and unhealthy decisions.

        No one gets a lobotomy for a psychic break. No one gets ECT for a psychotic break. ECT requires informed consent, which Lisa could not give (if the IRD required informed consent, she might be alive today).

        And who says modern-day ECT is barbaric? We do the same basic thing to people’s hearts, and I don’t see any Scientologists protesting defibrillation. (Probably because Hubbard didn’t hold a grudge against cardiologists.)

        >Lisa died almost 15 years ago yet the “haters” as Marty calls them wail on and on about her tragic death like a bunch of Banshees.

        What a truly horrible thing to say. If I wrote what I really want to say to you, RJ, I’m pretty sure Jeff would delete this comment. So I’ll be nice and just say that I’ve lost pretty much all of the respect I had for you.

        We have Marty using Lisa’s death to sell auditing services, and now you joking about it and saying people should just get over it? You know what, you two deserve each other.

        ML, CW

      • Valkov permalink
        April 7, 2011 9:36 pm

        This line in my post above, “I think that 95% of the commenters on Marty’s blog would ever use the term themselves” ought to read “I think that 95% of the commenters on Marty’s blog would NEVER use the term themselves.”

        I’m not sure I have seen anyone other than Marty use the expression. No-one else seems to have picked it up and adopted it.

        If it does have any valid meaning, I would guess it might apply to the “other side” of the “Koolaide drinkers” of the CoS – in other words, the equally irrational opponents who are now drinking the “Koolaide of undiscriminating blanket condemnation” of every aspect of Scientology – tech, philosophy, church organizations, etc.

      • Valkov permalink
        April 7, 2011 10:10 pm

        Jeff wrote in response to RJ:

        “But of course when failures occur, or damage, or psychotic breaks, or suicides, or deaths, then of course it “wasn’t Scientology” and the people who got those results “weren’t Scientologists.” And the “tech” remains pure and holy in its pristine red volumes.”

        Jeff, you have a good point here, I’d like to expand on it inn this way: Replace the word “Scientology” with the words “Psychiatry”or even “Medicine”.

        When people die who are in medical or psychiatric treatment, is it true then, that “Medicine” or “Psychiatry” killed them?

        Why or why not?

        I submit it is not possible to generalize. Each case must ultimately be looked at on it’s own merits. In fact, sometimes “medicine” does kill a person. A person can have a fatal “infusion reaction” to chemotherapy. A commonly used clot-buster drug often administered to a person who is having a stroke, actually makes the stroke worse in 6.5% of the cases and usually causes their death, when they might have survived without it.

        I can name 2 people in my family who could be said to have been “killed by Medical Science”, and a couple others who came within an inch of their lives because of medical treatment.

        You have it right when you said “when failures occur.” Failures occur. Then the people involved look for “whose fault is it!” And sometimes it takes court cases to get even close to the truth of that.

        But it is no more rational to say, as a blanket generality, that “Scientology Kills!” than it is to say “Medicine Kills!”

        Those are nothing but thought-stoppers.

      • Jeff permalink*
        April 7, 2011 10:36 pm

        I’d say that blanket generalities are always wrong (including that one).

        Sure, people die under medical care. But I’d say there is a willingness to change in the face of bad results, learn from mistakes, and evolve procedures to minimize risk. I simply see no such humility on the part of Scientology or willingness to review procedures or change them. The subject is “always right” and cannot change or evolve. Failures are always seen as the failures of individuals and the subject can never be at fault, can never be reviewed, can never change.

      • April 7, 2011 10:59 pm

        “I just hope you are never in a position of responsibility for someone in need of serious help.”

        SpecialFrog,

        I’m surprised that Jeff allowed this comment to “slip by” because it is nothing but pure ad hominem especially since I’ve probably said maybe over a dozen times probably that I’d send someone Lisa McPherson to a proper Health Care Facility like the Morton Plant Hospital if she was in such a desperate state.

        According to the policies on Physical Healing and Treating the Insane.

        Something Flag failed to apply which again I’ve stated many times.

        I can assure you that someone in Lisa’s initial state if turned over to a State “Mental Health” Facility would stuck in what is colloquially called a “rubber room” or “padded cell” either that or held in restraints with no attendants muzzled or not probably monitored by a CCTV until the Thorazine or Lithium they injected her with took effect.

        Or worse placed in a artificial coma the “treatment” recommended by former president of the APA and Mk Ultra alumni Dr Ewen Cameron.

        Ask Valkov if you don’t believe me.

        A man who has some familiarity with handling the insane in institutions.

        Unlike many of the armchair Psychiatrists I see posting here.

      • Jeff permalink*
        April 7, 2011 11:31 pm

        RJ, you always cite the worst practices of psychiatry as if they are the only alternative to Scientology. It’s a boogeyman.

      • Valkov permalink
        April 7, 2011 11:10 pm

        CW writes,

        “No one gets a lobotomy for a psychic break. No one gets ECT for a psychotic break. ECT requires informed consent, which Lisa could not give.”

        Both of your assertions above are false.

        There is a good objective discussion of ECT on Wikipedia, here are a couple of excerpts:

        “Today, ECT is most often recommended for use as a treatment for severe depression which has not responded to other treatment, and is also
        used in the treatment of mania and catatonia.” (Ie, psychosis. – – V.)

        “In one of the few jurisdictions where recent statistics on ECT usage are available, a national audit of ECT by the Scottish ECT Accreditation Network indicated that 77% of patients who received the treatment in 2008 were capable of giving informed consent” (This means that 23% were not, and were involuntary recipients, in Scotland. In the USA, conveniently for the ECT industry, no surveys about it have been done for 20 years so no stats are available. – V.)

        There is also a long section titled “Effects on brain structure” which is worth reading.

      • Valkov permalink
        April 7, 2011 11:31 pm

        Jeff, I do not see it as any different than any other area of human endeavor, as for example, medicine. Medicine has it’s orthodoxy and is extremely reluctant to change. Example, bacteria in the stomach as the cause of ulcers took decades to be accepted.

        Churches are even worse, but public scrutiny will force them to change, just as every other church has changed overtime. It has never happened very quickly, either.

        You wrote: “The subject is “always right” and cannot change or evolve. Failures are always seen as the failures of individuals and the subject can never be at fault, can never be reviewed, can never change.”

        This is the fallacy of reification – treating a belief as a real thing.

        According to who, is the subject “always right”? In whose opinion? What you wrote is only as true as it’s true for you. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. You reinforce it to the extent you believe that and insist on that.

        In the 1960s were people who said “There is a military draft, there will always be a military draft, get used to it.” NO. Enough people disagreed and guess what? There hasn’t been a military draft in several decades.

        Apathetic acceptance of such beliefs is never a good thing, insistence on them is even worse.

      • Valkov permalink
        April 7, 2011 11:44 pm

        Jeff wrote: ” I’d say that blanket generalities are always wrong (including that one).”

        You just made a blanket generality about blanket generalities. 🙂

        If your statement above is true, it invalidates itself. If it is true, then it is untrue, see?

        But that’s beside my point.

        You don’t think slogans like “Scientology Kills!” or “Medicine Kills!” or the infamous “Psychiatry Kills!” are nothing but thought-stopping slogans?

      • April 8, 2011 12:06 am

        Jeff,

        Not true I do not *always* use Psychiatry’s worst case scenarios nor am I against alternative methods of psychotherapy.

        Except on those occasions when critic plays the “Lisa card”.

        I have personal friends who use other *noninvasive* methods of psychotherapy other than Scientology including Psychology and Psychiatry.

      • SpecialFrog permalink
        April 8, 2011 12:33 am

        RJ,

        Sorry, my last statement was overly harsh. In my defense, “hater” is an ad hominem as well.

        Also, you have no idea what anyone’s experience with psychiatry is.

        Finally, every psychiatrist I’ve talked to speaks of Ewan Cameron with disgust.

      • rhill permalink
        April 8, 2011 2:05 pm

        RJ: “Unlike them I prefer humor to ghoulishness any day of the week.”

        What you see as “ghoulishness” I see as “bringing accountability.” Your comment reminds me of David Miscavige’s “She died. People die” re. Lisa McPherson (ref.: http://www.sptimes.com/News/121599/TampaBay/Scientology_leader_na.shtml)

        Full accountability will be reached only when all the facts surrounding her death will be brought to public scrutiny. Also, there are other instances in which Hubbard’s “introspection rundown” has resulted in gross abuse of individuals.

      • April 8, 2011 6:14 pm

        >According to who, is the subject “always right”?

        Hubbard, for one. And just about every Scientologist I’ve ever spoken to or heard from, for another. 🙂

        >You don’t think slogans like “Scientology Kills!” … are nothing but thought-stopping slogans?

        Actually, they aren’t — they invite people to ask why and learn more.

        ML, CW

      • April 8, 2011 7:14 pm

        All I can say rhill if my comment about ghoulishness reminds you of Miscavige’s statement that”people die” then you should on logic before demanding accountability.

    • Valkov permalink
      April 8, 2011 10:35 pm

      This has been a pretty good discussion. Many of you have made good and intelligent points, and have presented them well. I did not mention a number of people, specifically, time not permitting, but you know who you are. rhill, Jeff, RJ, Tony, etc etc many good contributors here.

      @ Operatingwog: “Just regarding this debate between Jeff and Tony, I wanted to make a couple of points.”

      You made a great, reasoned and discriminating post here.

      @SpecialFrog: “In my view, pushing Scientology tech without a willingness to really face up to Lisa McPherson is irresponsible.”

      I agree with you about this. The converse is, however, “attacking Scientology tech without a willingness to really face up to positive results that have been achieved using it is also irresponsible.”
      Focusing exclusively on either the negative or the positive is not rational.

      My point is that attacking or defending a generality such as “Scientology” or “Medicine” or “Psychiatry” or “Religion” or”Science” is nuts, to put it bluntly.

      People who are unable to step back and look at situations more-or-less objectively, look at both sides and sift through both the positive
      and negative events and testimonies, or who don’t even try to, are biased fanatics according to the very definition of the words.

      @ Caliwog: “No, but it looks like you are defending Hubbard’s tech. Do you think the IR was the proper thing to do given Lisa’s condition?”

      CW, I think most of your questions are sufficiently answered in several rather long posts I have already made.

      I have already posted how I thought the course of a psychiatric hospitalization was likely to go. Whether she would have developed an embolism while in a psychiatric Seclusion Room, I don’t know. I would hope that she would have been sedated and given at least intravenous fluids with electrolytes to stave off the dehydration. Whether this would have been done in time to save her life, is anybody’s guess. In medical settings, people’s lives have been saved, and people’s lives have been lost. That’s because it’s not perfect. Doctors today operate on the basis of statistics. They prescribe treatments that have proven to show some efficacy. As Jeff pointed out, medicine tries to improve it’s track record. It is far from perfect, and rather conservative. Doctors won’t try experimental treatments or “unproven” treatments, which means only that a treatment has anecdotally helped some people but has no reliable stats to backup it’s efficacy.

      In case you didn’t notice, the traditional psychiatric approach to treating a psychotic episode is similar to the IR – isolation/seclusion and quiet,
      with confinement to a room in which the person won’t injure themselves or another. It’s done because it works and is usually what a person “needs”. A person having a psychotic experience needs QUIET and TIME in which they can destimulate and recover.

      Am I defending Hubbard’s tech? Of course! I am 100% defending any and all of Hubbard’s tech I have personally used to help another or myself.
      Unquestionably.
      Am I supposed to be ashamed of endorsing methods I have used and have seen to be helpful? Gimme a break!

      Am I somehow blindly defending “the tech” as a vast infallible generality? I think only someone who did not read and think about my posts would think so. Or perhaps my posts are too nuanced and make distinctions that are too fine for some people. If so, I am very sorry, I must be addressing the wrong audience. Please proceed with your blanket lynching of everything scientological without me.

      For my general orientation and approach to this or any subject or debate, please see my comment to SpecialFrog above in this same post.

      Have a nice day, guys. Take a deep breath, go for a walk, try to relax a little. You’re just posting thoughts and opinions on a blog.
      remember?

      • Operatingwog permalink
        April 10, 2011 4:14 am

        Valkov: “In case you didn’t notice, the traditional psychiatric approach to treating a psychotic episode is similar to the IR – isolation/seclusion and quiet,
        with confinement to a room in which the person won’t injure themselves or another. It’s done because it works and is usually what a person “needs”. A person having a psychotic experience needs QUIET and TIME in which they can destimulate and recover.”

        If by ‘traditional psychiatric approach’ you mean standard current psychiatric approach then this is simply false. ‘Destimulation’ is not a psychiatric term, it’s a scientological term. More substantially, the basis of standard psychiatric treatment of psychosis is anti-psychotic medication. This is combined with hospitalisation (often compulsory) during acute psychotic episodes, but hospitalisation is not similar to the isolation of the introspection rundown. Counselling, social support, medical monitoring, together with ongoing anti-psychotic medication are used in the community.

      • Valkov permalink
        April 10, 2011 10:59 am

        Operatingwog,

        My experience in psychiatry was 1964 through part of 1980. Seclusion was a “last resort” usually at the beginningof a hospitalization if other methods like “talking the patient down” didn’t work, and they refused to voluntarily take oral medication; then they could be forcibly restrained, secluded,and given a shot of antipsychotic medication. Did it happen often where I worked? Not too often. The emphasis was on using other methods of calming a person down. Restraint + seclusion was an extreme and unpopular practice even then, but occassionally appeared unavoidable as an emergency measure.

        If you don’t like the word “destimulate”, it’s not necessary to use it. The fact remains that a person who is acutely psychotic has been “stressed” and can’t handle any more stimulation; one of the objectives of hospitalization is to provide a calm, quiet environment in which they can recover from their ‘overstimulated’ condition and focus on therapy. I can’t get too excited about banning the use of words based on their etymology. If it conveys the meaning I have in mind, I use it. De + stimulate might not be in the dictionary (actually it is in the context of autism), but the meaning is pretty self-explanatory as far as I’m concerned. It doesn’t take a scientology dictionary to understand “de+stimulate”. Capiche?

        The American Psychiatric Association’s book of practice guidelines includes guidelines for using seclusion; why would those be in there if seclusion is not used?

        Also, by “seclusion” I do not mean locking a person alone in a room, although this is still practiced in many places, more in some countries than in others. I mean that the person is NOT left alone but has someone there with whom they can interact if they want to.

        It sounds like you’ve more experience with the current scene thanI do; however I would venture to say the standards of handling a person experiencing a psychotic episode can vary widely from hospital to hospital and even from one unit to another within the same hospital.

        Anyway, I am finding this blog format a very clumsy way to try to carry on a discussion, so “I’m outie”.

        Anyone who wishes to continue might try posting on Claire’s “The Scientology Forum” which was started by Geir Isene and turned over to Claire last year. It’s somewhat protech, somewhat anti everything scientology with people like Alanzo posting there, so there are some lively discussions but the threads are easier to follow.

        http://www.scnforum.org/

      • SpecialFrog permalink
        April 10, 2011 1:52 pm

        Valkov,

        I am not unwilling to consider that there are positive elements with Scientology teaching. What I would like to see from people who have left the organized version is the ability to look critically at the “tech”.

        I see Lisa McPherson’s death as a symptom of a problem that still exists within the Church of Scientology. Additionally, it certainly appears as if many independents have this problem.

        Jeff has written a number of posts touching on this subject. Roughly speaking, I’d say it is a willingness to substitute L. Ron Hubbard’s judgement for one’s own.

        Maybe in some contexts, the Introspection Rundown works, though I’m not going to be convinced of the fact just because Hubbard says it does. However, when it is applied within a framework where people believe that failure is a result of misapplication of the tech and therefore any problems can only be deal with by the application of more tech, this is bad.

        Add ethics to the equation and you have problems with the process being a punishable offense for the C/S. This means people are discouraged from stepping back from what they think is the answer and doing what needs to be done to save someone.

        Obviously independents don’t have externally enforced Scientology ethics but many still seem to believe that they should be followed, so I assume a bit of Hubbard tech that says, “this is an ethics violation” still carries some weight.

        You generally seem to take a more reasoned approach to looking at the tech, but you still replied to the notion that the tech killed Lisa with what seems to be Marty’s party-line about Miscavige’s C/Sing failures.

        I’ve said before. I’d like to see something like an independent scientologists wiki that identifies what people see as the tech and lets people share their experiences with it.

        If the page for the Introspection Rundown had comments along the lines of, “try this if you feel very confident but if there is no improvement overnight, take them to a hospital” I would feel somewhat better about the whole subject.

        Clearly the wiki would need to allow people to say that Hubbard was wrong about certain things. If people need practice doing so, suggest All About Radiation as a starting point.

        Regards,

  45. Tony DePhillips permalink
    April 6, 2011 2:22 am

    Here is an example of a guy being largely responsible for his own death. Good movie too! He created the “replicant” that murdered him.

    • lunamoth permalink
      April 6, 2011 6:03 am

      Tony, I agree – you are absolutely correct in the examples you site, that a being can be, to a greater or lesser degree, responsible for the things that happen to him, and that being able to understand that responsibility has therapeutic value.

      But can you agree also that sometimes things just happen to people? That you can experience something for which you are not actually responsible for anything worse than just being there (and sometimes, communicating)? Do you see any randomness to this universe at all?

      And if you were to contemplate this question in a completely new unit of time, and make your evaluation based solely on what you now believe and know since leaving the cult without thinking in habitual ways, does the answer change for you?

      No right or wrong answers, though I have my own opinions here. I don’t even need you to answer, exactly, just think about it if the idea interests you.

      lunamoth

    • Tony DePhillips permalink
      April 6, 2011 10:16 pm

      Hi Lunamoth,
      You asked: “But can you agree also that sometimes things just happen to people? That you can experience something for which you are not actually responsible for anything worse than just being there (and sometimes, communicating)? Do you see any randomness to this universe at all?”

      Sure. Take for example 911. All the people that were killed that day. To say that they were responsible for their own deaths would be pretty insane.

      I guess it is a philisphic theory that a “being” can hypothetically be at cause (or is) over anything that happens to him or her. It is a theory. It has limited workability to me. As you point out with my examples it is real to me that I have been cause (responsible) for many bad/good things that have happened to me. In some degree or another. This theory has some workability. But if an airplane engine fell out of the sky onto my house and killed me, to say that I pulled it in would be a suppressive application of this theory.

      Again, I would say that the workability enters in where a person can SEE ( has reality)or helped to see, that he had ownership or authorship either fully or partially in what occured in his life, both good and bad.

      I would even go as far as saying that the more a person CAN SEE how they caused the good and bad around them for themselves and others would to a large degree indicate thier ability.
      Example: Let’s say Ghandi could see how he had caused his people to protest against suppression and if something he did or said caused a bad backlash for himself and others or positive results, he could SEE how HE caused this. BIG sphere of influence.

      Example: Johhny goes out and kicks the dog and it bites him and then he blames the dog and has it exterminated. SEES no causation on his part. Very small sphere of influence.

      • Jeff permalink*
        April 7, 2011 4:21 pm

        Tony, if a scientist posits a theory and a lot of exceptions are found to the theory, then normally he would revise the theory and see if he could find a better one that covered all examples. If a Scientologist finds an exception to a Scientology theory, then that exception is a “suppressive application”? No, it’s not a “suppressive application,” it’s an exception to that theory, and that CALLS THE THEORY INTO QUESTION. Sure, there are times when people cause their own misfortune, and there are times when they do not. Someone who thinks they are cause over something that they are not cause over may not be “more aware.” They may simply be delusional.

      • Tony DePhillips permalink
        April 7, 2011 5:11 pm

        Jeff said: ” Tony, if a scientist posits a theory and a lot of exceptions are found to the theory, then normally he would revise the theory and see if he could find a better one that covered all examples. If a Scientologist finds an exception to a Scientology theory, then that exception is a “suppressive application”? No, it’s not a “suppressive application,” I’ve never seen someone say that if you didn’t apply this theory in the way you describe that it is a sappressive application. That doesn’t mean it’snever happened but I have never seen it.

        ” it’s an exception to that theory, and that CALLS THE THEORY INTO QUESTION. ” I would agree with you on this.

        ” Sure, there are times when people cause their own misfortune, and there are times when they do not.” Yes, and jspotting where one has been cause and hasn’t previously seen it can have therapeutic results. I have experienced them personally.

        ” Someone who thinks they are cause over something that they are not cause over may not be “more aware.” They may simply be delusional.” This is true in some cases they may be delusional. In other cases a person with higher awarness and a higher responsibility level do much better in life that those that don ‘t. I do think that many Scientology processes if used benevolently can bring about an improved condition.

        Hve a nice weekend Jeff and thanks for the debate.

  46. Tony DePhillips permalink
    April 6, 2011 5:50 am

    On another note.

    This question “The wins and gains I received were not worth the time and money I invested.”

    I answered it with a no.

    But if the question would have been rephrased to : “If you had to do it over again, would you prefer not to have gotten any of the gains in exchange for getting back all the time and money you invested?”

    I would answer no to this.

    It just shows how different a question can be if worded differently.

    I would not trade what I got from Scientology to get back what I gave. But I think what I gave was unnecessary to and contra survival to my own goals and really to the goals of the organization. The current dedication level from Sea Org and public paying the prices of HGC auditing are destructive to the group itself as it inhibits the overall happiness of its staff and public.

  47. Cool Observer permalink
    April 7, 2011 8:10 am

    Hey Jeff,

    your posts seem to daw a lot more comments lately – deservedly so, I might add. This becomes a problem when the current blog format makes you scroll without end. I scan posts trying to determine whether or not I’ve read them, and this becomes a litte bothersome. Unfortunately, unlike most of your audience, I’m not a clear 🙂

    I’m not complaining, it’s just a suggestion. Keep up the good work.

    • rhill permalink
      April 7, 2011 7:21 pm

      Trick: To find newer comments, I search for, say, “April 7” to find today’s comment using the browser search tool, tomorrow I will look for “April 8”, etc.

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