Category Archives: People

Commentary on or about people

The Anti-Scientology Cult vs. Truth

(This is an extension/edit of a comment I made on Mark Rathbun’s excellent “Moving On Up a Little Higher” blog.)

I have been “out” of official Scientology for 6 years – I made my first public post on Mark’s blog and announced my name to the world here about a year or two later. It has been interesting seeing the morphing of the Scientology “universe” over these years. I have lost friends who are still woefully on the “inside.” It was painful; now less so. But I have made new friends.

I think it is important that Mark is calling out the “ASC” (Anti-Scientology Cult) because over these several years, actions, truths, activities, events, and happenstances have piled up, and a group of people have been digesting these things and talking amongst themselves, and then editing the subset of reality they see into a sheen of group agreement about what is “going on.” Much of it is driven by hate – hate for Hubbard, hate for having “wasted” their youth, hate for being so gullible, hate for trusting someone and then having it betrayed – who knows? But the overall conclusions of the ASC are pretty straightforward: Scientology is pure evil, L. Ron Hubbard is pure evil, and Scientology should be eradicated. And therefore, any point of view or comment or conjecture by anyone that does not align with these conclusions is jumped on and disregarded – condemned, derided, mocked, etc. And facts are bent to support the conclusions.

The problem is that that reality of Scientology is broader than the conclusions of the ASC. Neither Scientology nor Hubbard are “pure evil.” They just aren’t. Scientology may be very low for some on the cost/benefit scale, but there is still a benefit. If someone has been in the SO for 20 or 30 years, there is a reason why the person stayed, and there is good that was done even if in the event it may seem the bad outweighed the good overall in their estimation.

Truth matters, even if it is inconvenient. We can’t tolerate lies, even if they support our agenda. Real truths that you can be sure of are those that you have actually seen. Not heard. So, for me, for instance, The Hole at the International Headquarters is not a truth, even though I know it existed. I trust the people who mentioned it, but I have personally not seen the hole, so it is not 100% truth to me.

However, I have seen the RPF (“Rehabilitation Project Force” – Scientology’s staff correctional program) and RPF’s RPF, in multiple places, and I know what goes on there. I have seen crazy stuff in Scientology – I beautiful blond 20-something Supercargo at ASHO-F recruiting SO members from Skid Row in LA (because, they said they never took LSD), and having to put down mini-riots when these new recruits clamored for liquor and got into fights. So I base what I know on Scientology for sure on what I have seen with my own eyes, and what I have done my own self. And at the end of the day that is the only way to do it, because everything else has to be taken on faith, and then when you get guys like Chris Shelton conjecturing, then you start morphing reality. I don’t have anything against Chris, except that his conclusions are wrong even though he calls himself a “critical thinker.” Yeah – arrogant, but whatever.

And, I’ll tell you what else I saw: Church members harassing in the most egregious way Mark and Mosey Rathbun, Mike Rinder, and a number of others. This is real – no need to have faith in anyone, the videos are clear. I saw the hate-sites the church has put up – again – no need to take anything on faith. I saw church members acting like complete jerks to non-Scientologists. I have had people disconnect from me for just having certain friends on Facebook. This is the reality – no need to have it filtered by the lens of ASC people – or OSA (“Office of Special Affairs,” or the church’s gestapo) for that matter. The truth of Scientology that is available unfiltered for the world to see is plenty to condemn it.

HOWEVER – I have also seen the incredibly positive side of Scientology. To me, there is a positive side to my involvement in Scientology. I cannot deny that. I am not just going to go along with someone else’s opinion just because that seems to be the thing to do, and just because someone shows me salacious details about Hubbard or the church. I don’t need to go into details about the benefits, but they exist, for me. I’ve outlined some on this blog.

In the final analysis, all that matters is what I perceived and experienced myself. I can augment these truths with information from others, but the information from others does not supplant what I saw and experienced first hand. And that is true for all of us. The never-ins (people who never practiced Scientology) will have a hard time with the truth of Scientology because everything they think they know is filtered.

One thing I have learned in my years as a Scientologist regarding the subject and its people is to keep your own counsel on it and make up your own mind – this is true inside and outside the church. People will lie to you to forward their agenda. People will distort the truth to fit their world-view – they might even reject their own experiences if it conflicts with their current opinion and circumstances. That is sad.

There is no real “ex-Scientology Community” really. There are a number of people who are out of the church, and they run the gamut of being still fully into the technology and philosophy of Scientology to rejecting all and everything about the subject – even to the point of wanting to edit out completely that portion of their life. There is no common set of beliefs in the ex-Scientology community. There are only degrees of belief. All attempts to “standardize” an Independent Scientology has failed, because their is no authority that says “yay” or “nay” on particular ideas, concepts, and procedures. But that is okay, to me.

Despite the dictates of the ASC, the correct answer is not “Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard are evil!” Just like any agenda from an Independent Scientologist that tries to label people “standard” or “not standard” is BS, the agenda to reject all of Scientology as evil and then enforce that point of view is BS as well. There is no correct answer, except for what you see and perceive yourself, and you owe it to yourself to look clearly at the real facts and reject conjectures based on flimsy data and cast-in-iron agendas. Try to get around confirmation bias. And avoid the Dunning-Kruger effect – if you want to have an opinion on Scientology, learn enough about it to be informed before drawing your conclusions.

I say all this because this needs to be called out – Mark Rathbun is right. There is too much stuff being invented out of whole cloth, too much conjecture and speculation and just crap being manufactured out of very few facts. Too much “us” vs “them.” And when some people claim to know “facts” that are in some vault, hidden from the world, well I call BS on that. And, any “facts” that guys like Tony Ortega have – even if they are in the light of day – are still filtered though their particular lens, and are hearsay from other people. For people to get all uppity on invented or distorted conjectures is pretty crazy. And for anyone to accuse people, like Mosey or Mark, of duplicity or being a sell-out or whatever based on half-digested morsels of speculation is just cussing wrong. Don’t light the cussing torches based on BS.

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Post-Scientology

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.

Bishop Carlton Pearson on This American Life

Bishop Carlton Pearson on This American Life

This is a fantastic story about a man who was a very popular Evangelical pastor, with a very large “mega church,” who went to Oral Roberts University and was mentored by Oral Roberts himself, who had a crisis of faith, and who realized that his God would love us enough to never send us to Hell – and who realized that Hell is on Earth. He has been ostracized by the evangelical community, and even today, eight years later, evangelicals still post damning comments on his Facebook page. There are a number of parallels between his story and the stories of many Independent Scientologists.

Bishop Pearson preaches what he calls The Gospel of Inclusion (from his Facebook page):

The Gospel of Inclusion explores the exclusionary doctrines in mainstream religion and concludes that according to the evidence of the Bible and irrefutable logic, they cannot be true. Bishop Pearson argues that the controlling dogmas of religion are the source of much of the world’s ills and that we should turn our backs on proselytizing and holy wars and focus on the real good news: that we are all bound for glory, everybody is saved, and if we believe God loves all mankind, then we have no choice but to have the same attitude ourselves.

The Gospel of Inclusion also tells the story of a powerful religious figure who watched everything he had crumble due to a scandal. Why? He didn’t steal money nor did he have inappropriate sexual relationships. Following a revelation from God, he began to preach that a loving God would not condemn most of the human race to hell because they are not Christian. Hepreaches that God belongs to no religion. The Gospel of Inclusion is the journey of one man’s quest to preach a new truth.

I find his story very inspirational, and Bishop Pearson is a great example of following your own integrity rather than caving into what is expected. Since hearing this story a few weeks ago, I have looked him up a listened to his interviews and messages. I feel a kinship to this man, and I hope to meet him someday.

Want to Know About Scientology?

Check out Scientology Reviews (http://scientologyreviews.com) and see for yourself what others think about the books, the courses, and Scientology itself. It was put together by Steve Hall, an Independent Scientologist who was a key player in the successful promotions of Scientology “back in the day.” It is an excellent work, and really should be your first stop in finding out about what Scientology is and has to offer, and what people think about it.

To find out more about Independent Scientology, visit http://iScientology.org.

And have fun! If it ain’t fun, it ain’t Scientology. That is a fact.

Secrets and the Scientology Auditor’s Code

The Auditor’s Code is the code of ethics that all Scientology auditors must read, understand, and adhere to when conducting auditing sessions. It is a remarkable piece of work, and it is fundamental to all of Scientology counseling. The first version of it came out in 1950. As part of my training I memorized it – twice. Once on Level 4, and once on Level F of the St. Hill Special Briefing Course. As an auditor, you sign it, and it is witnessed, before you graduate. Auditors who violate the code even once are worked with to find out why, and if they habitually violate the Auditor’s Code, they are drummed out.

In the interest of contrasting real Scientology with whatever it is that Mr. David Miscavige and his enablers are doing, I give you an excerpt from The Auditor’s Code:

22. I promise never to use the secrets of a preclear divulged in session for punishment or personal gain.

This is fundamental to Scientology. It is inviolate.

The Vanity Fair reports that Mr. David Miscavige joked about PC data from people like Tom Cruise, Kirstie Alley, and “The King’s” daughter Lisa Marie Presley. This is hideous. It is beyond the pale. The fact that he fed Nazanin Boniadi session data of her then-boyfriend is vicious.

However, it is important to know that a real Scientologist would never do this.