Scientologists: How to Stay “Under the Radar”

When a Scientologist realizes that the Church of Scientology is no longer something they want to be involved with, they will be confronted with a significant problem: How to distance themselves without being declared a “Suppressive Person”.

If the church detects that the Scientologist is no longer a happy, active, compliant member of the Church of Scientology, the church will usually declare the Scientologist a “Suppressive Person”. This means that all other Scientologists must “disconnect” from that Scientologist.  Family, friends, employers, clients — they will all be forced to disconnect.  This is unacceptable.

It is much, much easier for such a Scientologist to just “fly under the radar”. That is, pretend to still be a happy, compliant Scientologist but avoid, as much as possible, having to spend much time or money in the church.

Church of Scientology registrars (sales people) are trained to be extremely persistent and aggressive in getting money for the church and just about all Scientologists become deeply mired in debt.  This is often one of the primary factors in a Scientologist wishing to distance themselves from further involvement.  Today, the constant push for money by the church can be extremely disturbing.

Most Scientologists learn to screen their phone calls to avoid talking directly to church registrars. While this works to a degree, it can be annoying to clients, friends and family.  Scientologists need some better tools for defusing the power of the registrars without raising any alarms.

  • First, read my post on A Scientologist’s Golden Age of Integrity Drills.  For fun, I wrote this like a “Golden Age” drill, but the information, suggestions and LRH policy references are very valuable and completely valid.  I used a few of these when I was in Scientology and registrars simply cannot contradict or ignore these references.  Registrars have been trained to argue about them, but the article covers that as well.  These references really do stop the registrars cold and I tell you how to accomplish that while remaining “100% on source”.

This won’t necessarily stop the phone calls or physical visits, it merely gives you tools to handle them.  Here are some further suggestions which will help you eliminate, or at least minimize, phone calls and visits.

  • When you realize a registrar is calling, always say “I’m sorry, I only have a few minutes.  I’m [expecting a phone call|walking out the door|meeting someone].”  This sets up the phone call so that you can, after a minute, say, “Hey, thanks for calling!  I’ve really got to run, but it was good talking to you!” and hang up. Note that you do not wait for some response (or their agreement), you just hang up.  Yes, this may seem a bit rude, but you need to do it that way.  Registrars know that if they can just keep you talking they will eventually wear you down and get your money.
  • Use a similar technique if they show up, unannounced, at your door.  First, do not let them in.  They won’t leave without prying some money from you.  Say, “Oh! You’ve come at a very bad time. Sorry. Call me later.” Then shut the door.  They will start talking and you must simply say “I’m real sorry!” and shut the door. Yes, this is, again, slightly rude.  But then, showing up at your door, unannounced, to demand you give them money is quite rude.
  • Optionally, if you want to be creative, you can make up a story about how you are working on a “startup business idea” that will make you a ton of money in a “few months”.  This explains why you can’t give them any money now and also appeals to their greed at the prospect of a “ton of money in a few months”.  If asked for details, you can always say you signed a “NDA” (Non-Disclosure Agreement).  “Call me in six months! I’ll have more news then!”  This works well and, if they do call in six months you simply say, “Things are going very well! Call me in six months!”
  • An important tip when talking to a registrar: Do not get into a discussion of your finances with a registrar.  Not ever.  Do not answer questions about how much you make, what you spend money on, what are your debts, etc.  Don’t ever, ever, ever do that.  You don’t have to explain yourself, but if you feel compelled, simply say “That’s personal.”  Nothing good ever comes from discussing your finances with a registrar.
  • When someone calls from the church to “confirm you for the event”, always say “Sure! Put me down!”  It does not matter whether you actually are going, they won’t do a roll call.  Certain events you do want to avoid, of course.  Any event billed as a “briefing” should be avoided at all cost, they’ll just demand money.  If you don’t go and are asked about that, just say, “I’m really sorry I missed it, something came up.”
  • There was a rumor that the church was threatening to declare a person simply because they weren’t active.  That’s pretty insane, but if that happens to you, there are always the Scientology “correspondence courses”. They are cheap and don’t require you to go into the org.  Buy one of those and be “working on it”. That should handle it for a while.

Note that, with all these techniques, you can smile, be polite and positive and still arrange it so that you don’t end up talking with the registrar.  As far as the church knows, you are not antagonistic, just very, very busy.  “Sorry, gotta go!”

These techniques, over time, will reduce the number of phone calls and visits. No registrar wants to waste time calling when no money is forthcoming. It is important that you never give them money just to “get rid of them”. Giving money, no matter the amount, just encourages more phone calls and more visits.

As you distance yourself from the church, you may want to know more about what others think and say.  Other articles on this site may interest you.  I’ve also some suggestions over on the right side of this page under “More Info:“. Check those out if you are interested.  But, if you are flying under the radar, do take some precautions.

  • While I think that communicating with other inactive (or ex-) Scientologists is very helpful and therapeutic, if you are under the radar, be very careful.  When visiting forums like Ex-Scientology Message Board or Operation Clambake, do not post any personally identifiable information, history or stories.  The church is constantly monitoring these forums, looking for people to punish.

Hopefully, these suggestions will allow you to stay under the radar and avoid being declared.  Good luck.

 

 

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Scientology, the placebo of personal betterment

placebo noun

  1. a substance having no pharmacological effect but given merely to satisfy a patient who supposes it to be medicine.
  2. a substance having no pharmacological effect but administered as a control in testing experimentally or clinically the efficacy of a biologically active preparation.

placebo effect noun

  1. a reaction to a placebo manifested by a lessening of symptoms or the production of anticipated side effects.

While it may be difficult to show that any one individual Scientologist has not “gotten gains” from his or her participation in Scientology, it is trivial to determine that Scientology does not and never has produced the benefits promised by L. Ron Hubbard.

Scientology promises to produce homo novis: A significantly superior being, far superior to current homo sapiens.  This isn’t just implied, this is explicitly promised many, many times by Hubbard.

If Scientologists were routinely becoming such superior beings, it would be obvious in the real world.  The leaders of science, academia, industry, politics and more would proudly declare that they were Scientologists, products of Hubbard’s amazing “tech”.

The truth is that there are no Scientologists of any note except those few who were already famous or successful prior to Scientology.

There is that joke: How do you make a Scientology millionaire?  First you find a billionaire and then get them to join Scientology.

Given that it is true and self-evident that Scientology’s “tech” does not produce the wonderful results promised, why do some believers insist that they “got gains” from Scientology?

Enter the “placebo effect”.  And here is where Hubbard really pulled off a good one.  The capabilities and attributes of this mythical homo novis are largely undefined.  In general, the attributes are virtually godlike. Anything could potentially be a homo novis ability.

And here is why it is so very effective in convincing a believer that Hubbard’s homo novis is not just possible but is actually happening:

Anything unusual that happens to a Scientologist can and is considered “proof” of progress towards this homo novis.

– Found some money you forgot you had?  It’s Scientology!
– Your favorite team wins? It’s Scientology!
– Feel especially good for a day or two? It’s Scientology!
– Had a bit of luck doing some task? It’s Scientology!
– Unexplained tingling in your hands? It’s Scientology!
… and so on.

You, of course, understand that all these things are perfectly normal things that happen to almost everyone at one time or another but, to a true believer in Scientology, anything out of the ordinary is proof that Scientology is working.

It is the placebo effect in personal betterment.  Because Scientologists still believe Hubbard’s wild promises, they will grasp at any straw that appears to validate their beliefs.  After all that money, all that fuss and bother, there must be some benefit.

Yes, it is sad. No, you can’t reason with them.

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Going Clear – The Obvious Question that Scientologists Cannot Even Think

With the release of the new HBO documentary, “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief”, it becomes even more difficult for Scientologists to avoid a most obvious question.

The question had became increasingly obvious with the recent publication of several major books about Scientology: Inside Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion by Janet Reitman and Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright.

The release of the HBO documentary makes the question even more unavoidable.

The Church of Scientology claims that these books and now the film are filled with lies, libel and slander.  In legal terms, these are all, according to the church, defamatory to the Church of Scientology.

Defamation is the communication of a false statement that harms the reputation of an individual person, business, product, group, government, religion, or nation.

Without a doubt, the reputation of the Church of Scientology has been harmed greatly in the last few years.  These books and this film have just added to this problem.

The Church of Scientology has a large stable of aggressive attorneys paid quite well to attack all those who criticize and defame the church.

If these books and this film are, as the church  claims, filled with lies, libel and slander – the law would be very much on the church’s side.  The law allows the church to sue  publishers, authors, filmmakers to completely shut down “lies, libel and slander”.  Certainly, an injunction could have given the church almost immediate relief from such defamation.

So the obvious question that Scientologists must not even think is:

Why didn’t the Church of Scientology stop the books?  Why doesn’t the church stop the film?  The church makes lots of noise and accusations of their own but takes no action.  Why?

The question is obvious but Scientologists must not even think this.  They must not think the question because the only answer then becomes unavoidable.

The primary defence against a charge of defamation is truth.  Generally speaking to prove defamation, the alleged victim must show that the “defamatory” statements are, in fact, false.

More than anyone, Scientologists know that the Church of Scientology would do anything to ban these books and this film if they could.  The fact that the church does not means that they cannot.

Are all these “defamatory” facts in the documentary true?

By the Church of Scientology’s own actions – and inaction – it is obvious that the Church of Scientology believes the documentary to be totally true.

And that is a thought that Scientologists must never think.

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The Big Bad Church of Scientology

Recently, I received a private message from a reader.  Unfortunately, the return email they provided wasn’t valid so I could not respond privately.

However, since I occasionally get similar messages from others, I felt it would be worthwhile to respond publicly.

I promise I won’t provide any identifying information about anyone who writes to me privately but, since these messages are similar, I won’t give anything away by providing a fictitious message that is similar to others I have received:

Please advise me what to do

I have been living in fear for many years.  The Church of Scientology continues to hurt me and my family but, because the harm cannot be seen, no one believes me.  I’ve written to others but they think I’m crazy.

Even now, the church is probably reading what I am typing and I will be punished.  I’m even afraid you will be punished for reading this message.

I guess there isn’t much you can do.  Thanks for listening.

An ex-Scientologist

Here is what I think:  I do understand this attitude.  This isn’t crazy, this is what Scientologists are supposed to believe because it keeps them fearful and in line when they are in Scientology and it keeps them fearful and quiet when they leave.  I have observed this before: Scientology is a religion of fear.

When I left Scientology, I felt much the same way.  Here was my response to this reader:

I’m truly sorry that you have having such a difficult time. Scientology does serious harm to people.  It really doesn’t help that most of that harm is mental (and therefore “invisible”).  When people claim that Scientology does do some good, it must be balanced against the harm and that harm is far, far more than any benefit from Scientology.

One of the tricks Scientology plays is what you refer to: The concept that Scientology and Scientologists are super-powerful people who have secret powers and can see everything.

Here is the truth: They aren’t and they don’t. Scientologists are just normal people with absolutely no special powers. They cannot tap your phone. They cannot see your (or my) computer and email. They do not know where you are or what you are doing.

This is absolutely true. They want you to believe the lies because it forces you to give them control over your life, but it just isn’t true. You will have noticed that, to spy on Marty (for example) they had to hire non-Scientology PIs – and even those guys were pretty limited in what they were able to do.

Scientologists have no more powers than the average person on the street. In fact, Scientology brainwashing makes them more prone to errors.

The Church of Scientology’s only real “power” comes from their total willingness to break the law.  But that is actually their biggest weakness, which is now coming back to haunt them.

Things are so rough for the church that all their attention is on desperate defense.  They have no time for you.  They are not interested in you at all.  Even many of those who are actively speaking out about Scientology’s abuses are being ignored by the church.

I want you to try to forget about Scientology as much as possible. The more you think about it, the more it will screw with you.  Understand that, by thinking about the church, you are giving Scientology the power over you that they, in fact, do not have.

I also urge you to find someone to talk to about this. Preferably someone who understands cults and cult brainwashing who can understand what you are talking about.

Trust me, things are much, much better than you think.

Please note that this advice does not apply where the Church of Scientology is actually doing something harmful, such as talking to neighbors, contacting employers and so on.  This doesn’t happen often but we all know it does happen to some of the more prominent “enemies” of the church.

Those things are actual actions that can be documented and reported to the police.  This isn’t what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about the belief that Scientology and Scientologists have secret, super powers and abilities and are using these powers to attack everyone, even those who have never spoken out.  I’m talking about the idea that the Church of Scientology has the time, the resources and the interest in attacking everyone who has ever been in Scientology.  They just don’t.  The church is almost gone and any resources they still have are very thinly stretched covering only the biggest flaps, news stories and court cases.

If you are not part of the biggest flaps, news stories or court cases, the church is not paying you any attention.

Bill

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The Missing Foundations of Scientology

It is interesting to me that some people who recognize the evil of the Church of Scientology, still believe that Scientology, itself, is good.

I see some folks talking about “rehabilitating Scientology’s and L. Ron Hubbard’s image”.  I see some wannabe Hubbards going on about which parts “Hubbard got right” and how they have “fixed” the mistakes made by Hubbard.

As if Scientology worked.  As if the promises made by Hubbard were real.  As if Scientology wasn’t just a long, long history of failed promises and successful fraud.

But in all this effort to “rehabilitate Scientology’s image” and “make Scientology work”, no one has given the slightest glance at the most important aspects of Scientology.

I am speaking of the foundations of Dianetics and Scientology.  The absolute basic and extremely key assumptions that all the Dianetic and Scientology “tech” is built on.

Let’s take “engrams”, for example.  Sure everyone has had “traumatic experiences” in their lives, that’s a given. But do those events match the very specific and detailed criteria for “engrams” as defined by Hubbard?  That is, does the “mind” make a full and accurate recording of everything that happens during unconsciousness? People running Dianetics believe they have “recalled” the content of such incidents, but has it ever been verified against the actual event?

The only time it was tested, it was a complete failure.  In 1958, a very scientific attempt was made to validate Hubbard’s assertion that “engrams” did exist and did contain a complete record of everything that went on.  A volunteer was rendered unconscious, pain was applied and text was read.  Then Dianeticists tried for months to recover the text — and failed completely and utterly.  They were unable to recover even one tiny part of the text that was read to the unconscious person.  According to that test, “engrams” do not exist.

Validating Hubbard’s basic assertions is absolutely the most important thing any Scientologist could do to “rehabilitate Scientology’s image” or to “improve Scientology’s tech.”  This is the foundation of all of Scientology.

Without “engrams”, there is no “Reactive Mind”. Without the “Reactive Mind” there is no “Clear” and much of the rest of Scientology “technology” falls apart as well.

The concept of “erasing engrams” permeates all of Scientology from the very lowest processes to the most “advanced” levels.  And engrams do not exist according to the only actual, scientific testing ever done.

It is astounding that no True Believer is working to revisit this information.  Despite the obvious importance, no True Believer is even considering testing and validating any of Hubbard’s foundational assertions.  There is nothing more important if one believes in Scientology.

Some believers might ask, “If people are being helped, what difference does it make?”

All the difference in the world. If someone is only imagining they are being helped, that isn’t much actual help, is it?  Also, if you don’t know how Dianetics and Scientology actually help (when it does), you won’t know why it doesn’t work, you won’t know how to make it more effective and you won’t have a clue where to go next.

What is the goal of Scientology processing when there is no “Reactive Mind” and there is no “State of Clear”?  What is the need for “engram processing” when there are no engrams?  What value is there in Scientology when its very foundations have been disproven?

For Scientologists, Dianetics and Scientology “tech” is just a black box, you crank the handle, you repeat the rote words and sometimes, something happens and, once in a while, that “something” is good.

Without “engrams” it is likely Dianetics and Scientology work like Visualization Therapy, self-hypnosis or Guided Imagery, people imagine they are “erasing” a bad incident and obtain some relief.  But no one knows what is going on with Scientology processing because no one looks at Hubbard’s unproven assertions about the basics of Scientology.

This is exactly why it is so accurate to call Scientology a “belief system”.  It is founded solely on a belief that certain assertions are true despite the fact that the only tests ever done showed those assertions to be false.

Bill

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Scientology Hides in Portland

[Guest post from Arthur who was in Portland for the “Grand Opening”.]

I dropped by the “Grand Opening” of Scientology’s latest “Ideal Org” in Portland, Oregon.  It was nothing much.  I guess that’s typical of these events.  Only a couple of hundred Scientologists showed up.

As much as it was nothing much, a few things struck me about the event and how Scientology “welcomed itself” into the community.

The overwhelming image and attitude of Scientology in that neighborhood and in that community was,  “We don’t like you, we don’t trust you.  Keep out.”  There were tons of security all over the place plus rented off-duty police.  The police were polite, the Scientologists were most definitely not.  At one point I saw one Scientology “security” person hassling a non-uniformed Scientology security person because he didn’t recognize him.  That was funny.

If you were not a known Scientologist, you were most unwelcome.  Even if you were just curious and only wanted to know what was going on — you were not welcome.

As Bill likes to say, compare Scientology with how a normal organization or a normal church would carry out their Grand Opening.  The whole community would be invited.  Everyone would be welcome.  A normal organization or church would want everyone to show up, participate and feel welcome.

Scientology demands that “All you people stay the hell out of our building.”

And that is why these “Grand Openings”, and all the empty days following them, are such failures.  If you welcome yourself “into the community” by erecting barricades, keeping the community out and harassing those who are curious, you are sending a message that the community is not welcome at the Church of Scientology.  And it’s true!  Go to any Scientology organization and see what their attitude is.   It is, “We don’t like you, we don’t trust you.  If you try hard, you might be welcome here, but we doubt it.”

It’s called a “Bunker Mentality”.  (It has nothing to do with Mark Bunker — a “bunker” is a fortified place to hide.)  That’s Scientology in a nutshell.

You could blame it all on Anonymous, making the problems of Scientology so visible — and that’s true in a superficial way.  Certainly Anonymous was there at Portland’s Grand Opening, but they were small in number and pretty polite, considering.

Anonymous was the spark, but the fuel was there in abundance.  The endless Scientology tricks and lies, the horrible abuses and the crimes were all there.  The Scientology survivors and the witnesses were all there in large numbers.  The continuing crimes, so carefully covered up, were all there.

Scientology has been creating their victims and, consequently, their enemies for over 60 years.  Thanks to Anonymous, it finally became safe to talk about it, document it and finally, finally, bring Scientology to the attention of the law and the courts.

The Church of Scientology is very, very frightened.  That was never more apparent than today, at Scientology’s small “grand” opening of their latest fortress against justice, truth and the very community they claim they want to help.

Arthur

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Scientologists: What, exactly, “works”?

One of the things that Scientologists do that is so very confusing, is their insistence that “Scientology works!”

Even after leaving the Church of Scientology in disgust, a few people continue to believe and insist that Scientology works.  This results in such movements as the “Independent Scientologists”, the “Freezone”, “Ron’s Orgs” and such.

Yet, if you can convince these people to talk openly about it, they must all admit that “Clear”, as promised by L. Ron Hubbard, has never been achieved.  Instead, they may redefine “Clear” from “no longer has a Reactive Mind” to “I once felt really, really good for a short time and attributed it to Scientology”.

If they are being honest, they also will admit that “OT”, as promised by Hubbard, has also never been achieved.  They may redefine “OT” from “cause over matter, energy, space and time” to “I once felt really, really good for a short time and attributed it to an ‘OT’ level”.

In other words, they know that Scientology does not deliver what was explicitly promised by Hubbard — and yet they will insist that “Scientology works!”  How can they say this?

As I see it, these people are confusing “It does something” with “It works”.  It is obvious that, for some people, Scientology processes definitely do something.  Some temporary effect has been created on them.

But that doesn’t mean “Scientology works“.

Let’s use an example outside of Scientology to see the difference between “it works” and “it does something”.  I’ve lived in a number of old houses, and there seems to always be that one light switch you can’t figure out what it does.  Let’s say the switch is labelled “backyard light”, but it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with that.  It doesn’t work.

But what if, sometimes, when you flip that switch, the kitchen faucet started to drip badly?  What if, at other times, you flip that switch and your cell phone reception in the house gets a lot better?  Well, it sure seems that the switch “does something” — but it still doesn’t work.

These are the kind of “results” that Scientology provides — mostly nothing, sometimes something nice and sometimes something not nice.  It is the “sometimes something nice” that Scientologists remember when they say “It works!”

But, what does “it works” actually mean in the real world?  It means something does what it is supposed to do when it’s supposed to.

Scientology is supposed to bring you up “levels” of greater and greater abilities and powers until you reach “OT”, the “Upper End of The Bridge”.  But it doesn’t.  Scientologists at the “Upper End of The Bridge” have no more abilities or powers than non-Scientologists.

Scientologists hate it when this is pointed out but they can’t deny it.  According to Scientology’s mythos, Scientologists will all be leaders in their fields.  The truth is that none of them are.  The irony is that some of those who may have been leaders in their field before Scientology, no longer are.

In the real world, “it works” means that it, whatever “it” is, produces the intended effect reliably, consistently and predictably.

Predictable: The expected results are known. In Scientology, Scientology’s expected results are enshrined in Hubbard’s “Grade Chart”.  It is in this document that Hubbard makes his miraculous promises for Scientology.  This is what Scientology is supposed to do, although, you’d be hard-pressed to say these promised results are expected by Scientologists today.

Consistent: The expected results happens every time it is run.  In Scientology, this doesn’t happen, ever.  The abilities promised by Hubbard simply don’t happen.  The fact that, for some people, something else happens, does not have any meaning here.  In Scientology, the expected, promised results don’t happen.

Reliable: Unwanted effects don’t happen.  While not talked about much, unwanted effects do happen in Scientology.  In Scientology, it could be said that the unexpected “nice” results and the unwanted “bad” results are equally likely to happen. But the most likely result from any Scientology process is: Nothing much.

So, when a Scientologist says “Scientology works!” they are really only saying “I had something nice happen to me once or twice in Scientology.”  Using Hubbard’s definitions, there are no “Releases”, no “Clears” and no “OTs”.  Scientology often “does something” but — it doesn’t work.

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Happy New Year 2013

I thought I’d follow tradition and make a few predictions for the new year. Here are a couple of things I see happening.

We are all seeing the tremendous flood of articles, programs and books about the Church of Scientology that have come out or will be out shortly. This is quite wonderful — the truth is finally rather broadly and clearly exposed for all to see. It really seems like all the stops are off. While some timid publishing houses are caving to the church’s empty threats, the rest pay the church no mind at all. While I think it’s kind of funny how all the abuses and crimes of the Church of Scientology are now new news when so many people have been screaming about them for decades, still the attention and exposure is all good.

There will be much more coverage this year, including newspaper exposés, more books, more TV reports — and I fully expect the “Corrupt Cult of Scientology” will become a part of TV’s standard plot devices this year.

Nothing issued from the Church of Scientology is getting much coverage. Their “responses” are tired, lame and predictable — filled with all the usual false accusations, lies and disgusting, discreditable extracts from confidential confessional folders.

As a matter of fact, have you noticed that the Church of Scientology really doesn’t seem to be working very hard on their responses? They seem to be going through the rote procedures, sending their standard ton of paperwork, without putting much effort into it. I’ve noticed a trend there. Where the only time they do seem to get energetic is when David Miscavige has been personally accused of crimes and abuses. When it looks to reflect badly on Miscavige, the responses from the church are vicious and ugly. When just the church is accused, the response is more pro-forma without much effort behind it.

Interesting.

I’m sure this trend will continue. I think Miscavige has pretty much given up on “protecting the Church of Scientology”. I think all he cares about is “protecting the image of David Miscavige”. Mind you, he isn’t having much luck with that, but that does seem to be his only real concern.

On a related note, I’ve seen a trend in “Ideal Orgs”. First, that fund-raising engine has lost all its steam. Miscavige has taken just about every penny that Scientologists can beg, borrow or steal and there just ain’t no more. The Ideal Org scam has ground to a virtual halt with many of their “new buildings” sitting vacant, idle and slowly decomposing.

Now, you might think this trend will continue to grow worse and worse — but here is what I see. These abandoned and neglected “Ideal Orgs” will damage Miscavige’s image. He loves to show himself in front of these new buildings at every one of his Big Bogus Events, six times a year. Without that, what does he have to show “unprecedented expansion”?

These events will force Miscavige to open up Scientology’s bank account to prop up the failing orgs and complete some of these failed “Ideal Orgs”. That’s my prediction — probably no more orgs will close and some new Ideal Orgs will open, but only because Miscavige provides the funds from Scientology’s reserves (which he thinks of as “his” money). This will accelerate the inevitable collapse of the church, but Scientology’s façade must be propped up at all costs to protect Miscavige’s image.

While I am tempted to use the same logic to assume that Miscavige will release money to complete and then open the “Super Power building”, I really don’t see that happening. I predict it won’t open this year — or ever. Here is my reasoning: First, he can’t afford it. It will take tons and tons of money to create all that specialized equipment. In addition, just running the building for one day would bankrupt Flag. More, the insurance, permits, et.al. for all those bizarre machines would be exorbitant.

But the main reason Miscavige won’t open the Super Power Building is this: As long as it remains “under construction”, he can continue to exhort money from all the true believers to “complete the Super Power building”. However, if he opened it, that money flow will stop. But what’s worse, from his point of view, is that he’d then have to start delivering the promised services to hundreds of people who have already paid for it. This will cost Miscavige another huge fortune. Given all these negatives, why would he ever open it?

Beyond these simple predictions, I’m sure we will see more exposés, more whistle-blowers, more people leaving and, just maybe, more Scientology organizations declaring “independence” from the church.

As for the “Indie” movement, I’m already seeing that fall apart. I expect more of that in the coming year. Without the ability to “declare people suppressive” and force them out of Scientology, there is no power to enforce agreement and compliance. As time goes on, there will just be more and more disagreements.

The problem with independent Scientology is, ultimately, the same problem with the original Scientology: It doesn’t deliver what is promised — it can’t. It will continue to decline, just as the church will continue to decline.

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We Have Moved!

You have found the new home for Ask the Scientologist!

The blog isn’t fully set up the way I want it to be but it will be soon.  In the meantime, you can post questions, comments and suggestions here or at the old site.

Bill

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Scientology Logic™

I have often sarcastically referred to “Scientology Logic™” when discussing various statements and arguments made by the Church of Scientology and Scientology’s true believers.  It is very true that Scientology’s version of “logic” is very, very strange, but what you might not know is that Scientology Logic is deliberately built into the Scientology belief system itself by L. Ron Hubbard.

Note that I am not talking here about how logical or illogical Hubbard’s actual “technology” is.  I am talking about the actual “logic” mechanisms themselves that exist and are used throughout Scientology.

Note, also, that this “logic” exists inside Scientology and only rarely shows up on the outside.  This is why discussing Scientology with a Scientologist can be so weird.

Technically, Scientology Logic is made up of a number of logical fallacies which Hubbard used extensively in his lectures and writings.
Here is a partial list:

Appeal to Authority
An appeal to authority is the argument that a person judged to be an authority verifies that the statement is true — therefore it must be true.

In Scientology’s case, the authority is, of course, L. Ron Hubbard.  Scientology claims that all their “solutions” are “highly effective”.  What is the basis of their claims?  “Ron said so“.

When the raw facts show their “solutions” are failures, it is quickly agreed by all Scientologists involved to cover the failures up, because “Ron said his solutions were highly effective”.

They won’t look any further for any facts or hard evidence because “they don’t need to, Ron said it, so it’s true”.  This is the absolute, bedrock foundation of Scientology:  If L. Ron Hubbard said it, then it is completely true.

While this theme of “Hubbard’s Infallibility” crops up in Hubbard’s teachings from the very beginning, it became cast in stone with his infamous “Keeping Scientology Working” (KSW) policy letter.  In that policy, Hubbard denied that anyone else had contributed anything of value to Scientology and that he, and he alone, had created this “miraculous tech” that was “100% workable”.  From then on, it became a High Crime for any Scientologist to deny Hubbard’s perfection.

In any disagreement between Scientologists, the one who can find the best L. Ron Hubbard quote to support their side is automatically the winner.  No logic is ever applied.

As non-church Scientologists discover how many of Ron’s statements have been irrefutably debunked, they struggle to fit that into Scientology’s Absolutism.  The most popular approach is to label all of Ron’s lies as “allegories, not to be taken literally.” This, however, puts them on very shaky ground as more and more of Scientology’s “truths” become “allegories”.

In an odd and completely bizarre twist to this illogic, some Scientologists will insist that, if L. Ron Hubbard didn’t say something, it isn’t true.  So, for instance, because Hubbard never talked about the dangers and effects of asbestos, there is no danger or bad effects from breathing asbestos.

Ad Hominem
This logical fallacy attempts to use personal attacks to discredit the source of contrary evidence.

This was, by far, Hubbard’s favorite and most effective logical fallacy and has become woven throughout Scientology’s belief system.

In Scientology, anyone possessing and disseminating any facts that are contrary to Hubbard’s words is automatically “evil”.  This is one “truth” that is hammered into Scientologists again and again throughout their studies.

Even in its press releases, the Church of Scientology carefully refers to the Scientology whistle-blowers as “apostates” — and they do intend all the negative connotations of that word: “traitor”, “heretic”, “untrustworthy”, etc.  The outside Scientologists aren’t much better, refering to critics as “haters” and worse.

Because they are labelled “evil” by Scientology, any source of contrary information is automatically “invalid” and any statements coming from that source must be automatically and quickly discarded lest one become “contaminated” by it.

This automatic, built-in ad hominem attack is marvellous to behold.  One “bad” word and the Scientologist immediately shuts down and runs away, never to accept any data from that source again.

Genetic Fallacy
The genetic fallacy is committed when an idea is either accepted or rejected because of its source, rather than its merit.

In Scientology, this follows directly from both the ad hominem and the appeal to authority fallacies, above.

Hubbard has assured his faithful followers that anyone who dares to criticize him or Scientology is guilty of horrendous crimes “for which they could be arrested.” Hubbard even instructed his secret police to dig up or manufacture evidence of crimes on every critic — and they have done so with enthusiasm.  The church’s attempts to frame their critics for crimes they did not commit are quite well documented.

Scientologists completely believe this characterization of Scientology critics.  Given the allegations of such crimes, Scientologists automatically reject all criticisms of Hubbard and Scientology from any source.  No logic required.

In a more generic form, Scientologists pretty much distrust any source that isn’t L. Ron Hubbard (or, in the church, David Miscavige).

Straw Man Fallacy
A straw man argument is one that misrepresents a position in order to make it appear weaker than it actually is, refutes this misrepresentation of the position, and then concludes that the real position has been refuted

Scientologists work very hard to pervert and obfuscate the very simple and clear messages that the Scientology critics and whistle-blowers present.

Any criticism of one of Scientology’s “solutions” is misrepresented by Scientology as an attempt to halt all efforts to help anyone.  You will often find Scientologists claiming that critics’ messages are “No one can be helped” and “All help is bad” — but no serious Scientology critic ever said that.

Red Herring
The fallacy gets its name from fox hunting, specifically from the practice of sabotaging a fox hunt by using smoked herrings, which are red, to distract hounds from the scent of their quarry.  It is simply an attempt to distract one from the current subject.

Hubbard famously said, regarding attacks against himself or Scientology, “Make enough threat or clamor to cause the enemy to quail. Always find or manufacture enough threat against them to cause them to sue for peace. Don’t ever defend. Always attack.”

Because of this policy, Scientologists work very hard to distract any discussion away from the lies, crimes and abuses of the Church of Scientology and onto anything else.  “Look over there!  Look how bad those other people are, over there!”

This is the primary motivation for the creation of many of Scientology’s front groups such as CCHR, “Youth for Human Rights”, etc.

As a bonus for Scientology, the general public tends to think that any organization “promoting Human Rights”, for instance, is unlikely to be violating those exact same Human Rights.

Hasty Generalization Fallacy
A hasty generalisation draws a general rule from a single, perhaps atypical, case.

This is the most common response by a Scientologist when confronted with Scientology’s consistent failure to deliver any of its promised results.  Scientologists will inevitably say, “I got wonderful gains from Scientology!” This ignores the primary point that none of these “wonderful gains” were what was actually promised — or even expected.

This also ignores all the other times when Scientology didn’t deliver any “gains” at all to the Scientologist.  It is very much like the compulsive gambler who remembers every time they won some money but ignores the huge amount of money they’ve lost.

After all that time, all that effort and all that money, instead of the promised miraculous results, the Scientologist once or twice got “wonderful gains” that are only a memory now.  From those few, fleeting moments, the Scientologist makes the very general statement that “Scientology works!”


The situation isn’t necessarily that illogical people are drawn to Scientology.   The situation is that bad logic is intrinsic to the core teachings of Scientology and that not enough people are educated so as to recognize this when they run into it.  Once someone has accepted the core teachings of Scientology, they have automatically accepted all of Hubbard’s illogics as well.

(Yes, such an education would help people as consumers and as voters.)

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