Mark Rathbun has stopped calling himself a Scientologist. He explains why in his blog, Moving On Up A Little Higher.
It is eerie how things connect in the universe. I was thinking just yesterday about this very subject.
My first thought was that Scientology could only survive if you removed Ron’s personality and opinions from Scientology. A great example is the PL “Keeping Scientology Working.” The prescription of 1-10 is a great prescription for education of a specific technology. For example, building a bicycle frame. There are right ways and wrong ways to do it, and there is a “correct technology” to do it, etc., and if you own a shop that builds bikes, you want to ensure that your people are not going off in uncharted territory by “knowing best” how to braze a frame when they ought to use the tried and true. This is wisdom.
BUT: Then you have Ron’s opinions. Democracy is bad. Scientology is the sole route out. All the other technologies have ended worsening Man. Etc. These should be stripped out, as, really, adding no value to the basic message of “Learn and teach the technology as it is.” Frankly, I don’t have the same opinions about these things that Ron does.
So, my first thought: Scientology would be great if we strip Ron’s personality from the tech.
But then I realized: Scientology as Scientology does not exist without Ron’s personality embedded. It just isn’t Scientology anymore. Ron pervades the tech, and the development of the tech mirrors his life experiences. He is an incredible person – flawed, but incredible. However, I consider his opinions about “Man” and society that created the Sea Org a colossal mistake and failure. He has, since the first writings of Dianetics, had a “games condition” with the medical, mental health, scientific, and governmental communities. He put Scientology in an “Us and Them” mindset from the beginning. Scientology the subject is imbued with it.
My second thought was: What I personally see as “Scientology” is not Scientology. What I see as “Scientology” is a selected set of things that I found to be true, and in some cases profoundly true, that I took from Ron and my courses during my training. But that is not Scientology. It is a set of workable information that I found to be true.
There is a whole lot of Scientology that I have found NOT to be true – or not worthy of being used, like the Simon Bolivar PL, for example, or “Investigations Tech.” The list is long.
If you put these two observations together – that Scientology is not Scientology without Ron’s opinions and personality, and that the truths I have discovered studying Scientology are merely a subset of the broader subject – then I am a man without a religion – or more correctly, a man with my own observations that are my own “religion.”
Personally, I believe that what I found workable in Scientology should be continued. I myself will continue to use it and teach it, and I hope others do so to.
Speaking of which:
The group “Milestone Two” is starting out today – it is comprised of a set of ex-Church members who decided that Independent Scientology should be organized. One of its stated objectives is to “To preserve and protect and correctly use the original spiritual philosophy and technologies developed by L. Ron Hubbard in order to secure this path to spiritual freedom for all those who wish to walk it.” I truly wish them well, but I have to say that one of the benefits of being “Independent” is not having to subjugate oneself to someone else’s ideas and opinions about “What is Scientology” and are you “doing it right.” If “Doing it right” means declaring someone who disagrees with “Command Intention” or who makes plans to leave staff before they leave staff, or disconnecting from someone who disagrees with some organization or another, then count me out. And, it is not cool to judge someone else on how they are or are not using Scientology, or talk about what their duty is.
From what Marty says in the blog post I linked to above, some of the founding members of this group, well, insulted him and his wife, and stood in accusation. This is not a smart move and of course it is not polite. The concept of KSW (Keeping Scientology Working) cannot be applied in the Independent world – since following KSW means not splintering Scientology and forming non-Church groups.
If you can pick and choose what technologies and policies are “real” Scientology and call that “Standard Tech,” then you MUST allow others to do the same and honor their right to do so.
All Eleven of the people in Milestone Two violated a ton of policy and tech when they left the church. All of them. Not that this is wrong, but it is a fact. THEY chose which policies and technologies to apply.
If there is ever going to be a thriving community called “Independent Scientology,” tolerance must be its keystone. We are all in the same boat, but we are all on our own journeys. We have to respect that.