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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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.


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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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Scientology: It’s All About Threats and Fear

As the implosion of the Church of Scientology continues, I have had more contact with newly-out Scientologists than ever before.  And I have noticed that one of the common characteristics of newly-out Scientologists is fear.

This isn’t just fear of what the church will do to them because they just left, it is the reaction to living for years under the constant threats, explicit and implicit, from the Church of Scientology. After a while, it just becomes normal to live in fear.

Once Scientology has convinced a person that “Scientology has all the answers” and that “Scientology is the only road to ‘Total Freedom'”, the church spends the rest of the time threatening to deny the Scientologist that “only road out”.  This threat hangs over the head of every Scientologist.  This is the basis of the church’s power and control.

(It really is ironic that the Church of Scientology’s power comes from the threat to take away that which it never had the power to give in the first place.)

As a Scientologist, you must follow all of the church’s rules, requirements, demands and dictates or you will be denied Scientology services.  In the “Introduction to Scientology Ethics” book there is a list of “High Crimes” for which a Scientologist will be declared a  “Suppressive Person”, and kicked out.  If you carefully review that list of High Crimes, you will quickly realize that many of these “crimes” are so very, very vague, that anyone could be found guilty of violating them.

And, indeed, many Scientologists are accused and found guilty under these High Crimes when they have done nothing that normal society would consider wrong.

Usually, a Scientologist is “declared suppressive” as a result of something Hubbard made up called a “Committee of Evidence” (or “CommEv”).  A CommEv is an amazing bit of Hubbard-created injustice:

  • The “Convening Authority” who calls for the CommEv is the same person who wants you found guilty.
  • The Convening Authority gets to choose whoever he or she wants for the “members” of the CommEv who will sit in judgement of you.  Anyone.
  • The Convening Authority writes the charges and the Scientologist is, pretty much, presumed guilty unless he or she can produce convincing evidence of innocence on every point.
  • There are no rules of evidence — anything can be used as “evidence” against the accused and it is up to the committee members to accept or reject evidence on whatever basis they choose.  No one is required to verify that the “evidence” is actually valid.
  • The accused may not have a lawyer or any other assistance in defending him or herself.
  • There is no stipulation that the accused can see the evidence or the accusers and challenge them.
  • The accused is not required to be present during testimony against him or her and, in fact, is often deliberately excluded.  These days, the entire CommEv is often held without the accused even being present.

As you can tell from all this, if the Convening Authority wants you declared suppressive, that’s pretty much exactly what’s going to happen.

And the punishments for being found guilty can be severe.  If one is “declared suppressive” and kicked out, all other Scientologists are required to disconnect from the “suppressive”.  This can result in divorce, total separation from family and friends, loss of one’s job and more.  As Scientologists usually associate with, work with and work for other Scientologists, such disconnection can be devastating.

But there is more.  According to Hubbard, someone “declared suppressive” may be “deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed“.  The laws, morals and ethics of normal society no longer protect the declared person from all manner of attacks from other Scientologists.

If one desires to “work oneself back into good standing”, the road is long and degrading and the chances of being declared again are pretty high. 

Under Scientology “Ethics”, all Scientologists are required to spy on all other Scientologists and report any “incorrect” behavior.  If another Scientologist they know is found to be “suppressive”, it is likely that they, too, will be punished for “not reporting the crimes”.  Therefore, many Scientologists do spy and do report on other Scientologists.

Even in the supposedly “confidential” auditing sessions, Scientologists are not safe from the spying eyes of the church.  Everything they say is written down and often recorded, to be reviewed by others.  At any time, the Scientologist could be ordered to a “Security Check” or “SecCheck” where everything they say will be reported to the “Ethics Officer” for evaluation and, perhaps, punishment.  There are few Scientologists who have not felt the dread upon hearing the phrase “Report to Ethics”.

As you can see, if a Scientologist lives in almost constant fear, they have every reason to feel that way.

And don’t doubt for an instant that the church fully understands the power that it holds over all Scientologists.  Scientologists believe that Scientology is the only way to rise to the higher levels of existence and if they are kicked out of the church, they will be doomed to horrible suffering and degradation forever.  With this threat of expulsion and disconnection, the Church of Scientology can and does demand more and more.  More money, more time, more participation, more obedience.  For those who believe the church controls their future salvation forever, there is no choice but to comply.

Luckily, the news that the Church of Scientology’s power has been broken is filtering in to the believers.  The fear is easing and, with it, the church’s power to force obedience is fading.  The church doesn’t know what to do about it.  Without this constant fear, they no longer have the same absolute control over their Scientologists.  Oh, dear!

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Ask a Question

I’m a bit late on a new Ask a Question.  I’ve found that some browsers don’t work too well with Blogger once the comments have gone past 200 and you have to go to another page.  On some browsers, you just can’t get to the next page.  So, here is another Ask a Question thread.

There are some really great questions and discussions in Ask a Question 1, 2, 3, 4 and the one just before this one 5.  I always enjoy going back and reading them.

You want to know something about Scientology or the Church of Scientology?  Ask here!  You have a suggestion?  Put it here.  You want to start an argument or discussion?  Here is the place.  All non-troll, non-spam comments, suggestions, arguments, corrections are greatly appreciated.

Current Scientologist’s contributions are, as always, very welcome.  Trust me, I don’t bite.

As always, I love to hear from you.

Posted in Uncategorized | 344 Comments