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.

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348 Responses to Ask a Question

  1. Dave says:

    There are many extraordinary people in the world who are not Clear or OT – Michael Jordon, John Lennon, Bill Gates, and Richard Branson to name a few. How do Scientologists justify non-Scientologists who have super powers?

    • justbill001 says:

      I think it is difficult for people who have never been in a cult to understand how this works.

      Scientologists are intentionally blind to all the inconsistencies and obviously false statements of L. Ron Hubbard.

      When they detect that their thoughts are straying to that kind of awareness, they stop thinking. When they detect that a conversation is going to point out these things, they stop the conversation.

      This “ability” is necessary. They believe that thinking such thoughts or listening to such ideas will doom them to never “getting free”. They must never, ever have contact with such thoughts. If the Scientology organizations find out, the Scientologist will be taken off of any course or auditing action and be required to buy tens of thousands of dollars of “security check” auditing to uncover their “crimes”.

      So they suppress such thoughts and avoid such conversations.

      You ask how they can justify things. They don’t. They just don’t think.

  2. BeeTee says:

    Holiday greetings, Bill. It occurs to me that Scientology is completely dictatorial. Makes me wonder: has there ever been a movement within scientology for some kind of democratic self-governance, i.e., electing leaders and putting limits on their powers? If so, what happened? If not, why not? I’m not affiliated with any religion, but it seems to me that most of them, like most corporations and government entities, have some system of checks, balances and boards of overseers.

    • justbill001 says:

      Yes, Scientology is very dictatorial. No one questions authority. And, no, there has never been a movement within Scientology for some kind of self-governance. Not only would it absolutely not be tolerated by Miscavige (or LRH before him), it wouldn’t even be considered by any loyal Scientologist.
      Interestingly, when a True Believer leaves Scientology and becomes “independent”, they don’t seem to be able to organize or self-govern. They all think they are being “true to Hubbard’s intentions” but are in complete disagreement as to what that was.
      Bill

  3. phoenyxrose says:

    Hello, Bill!

    My name is Spike, and I’m a cult survivor (not $ci), and I am currently writing a few articles for my blog and new website, and I’m looking for a few statistics. I see that the good folks at Ex-Sci kids have their estimate of people in the Sea Org set at 10-20 thousand, but Wikipedia has it at 6000 as of 2009. Now, usually I’d believe the folks at Ex-Sci first, but my understanding is that the Sea Org has been hemorrhaging members as more and more survivors speak out, so I’m puzzled by the discrepancy.

    Could you give a researcher a more up-to-date figure on how many are left under Miscavige’s heel?

    Regards, Spike

    • justbill001 says:

      Hi Spike,
      I’d love to help you but that information just isn’t available. These figures, how many staff, how many Scientologists are some of the most carefully guarded pieces of information – because they would prove that Scientology is lying – the figures would prove that Scientology is dying.
      Now David Miscavige doesn’t much care that we all know that Scientology is dying, but he must keep that information from the True Believers.
      Bill

  4. Dave says:

    Scientologists believe that thought causes a facsimile which alters the density of the body (or the electrical field of the thetan, or the voltage passing through the E-meter) and that it is facsimiles which cause the E-meter to register. Hubbard claims that what the E-meter records is the reaction of the reactive mind, that is, the thetan, which quite independently of any answer which the conscious preclear may give, responds accordingly as it knows what the answer is by referring to the incidents recorded on its time track.

    Most scientists and non-Scientologists, however, believe that the E-meter simply reacts to small changes in grip. Involuntary muscle movements result in a change of contact between the hand and the can. I’m inclined to believe that it is grip and only grip which causes the E-meter to register. Otherwise why not have the cans resting in open hands or on the back of the hands, or instead of cans why not have clips on the fingers. Your thoughts JB.

    • justbill001 says:

      Hi Dave,

      Well, I discussed the emeter earlier in and .

      I pretty much pissed off both sides of the debate there.

      First, let me say up front that I think L. Ron Hubbard’s hypotheses about “facsimilies” and “mental mass” and all that to be highly doubtful and completely unproven.

      I’ve done the training on the emeter and I found that the emeter really does react to thoughts. Exactly how that happens I can’t say and don’t really care. It also reacts to body movement, digestion and who knows what else.

      But the emeter isn’t important even if it does react to thoughts. The times when it does react to a thought, there is no way to determine whether it was imagination or memory – or digestion. This is why the emeter “proves” things happened “four quadrillion years ago”. It “proves” that every second Scientologist really was Ghengis Kahn.

      It only “works” if and when a Scientologist believes it works. And then it only “proves” the things the Scientologist believes are true.

      It’s a perfect gimmick to “validate” Hubbard’s unproven hypotheses.

  5. Dave says:

    So the E-meter would still work if you had the cans resting in open hands, or on the back of the hands, or with clips on the fingers?

    • justbill001 says:

      Yes, to a certain extent. It is common to use wrist bands for anyone with problems holding the cans. Finger clips probably wouldn’t provide enough surface contact, neither would just resting the cans on the hands. Hubbard used to use footplates but those are not used much any more.

  6. Dave says:

    I wouldn’t discount the Ideomotor Effect.

  7. The boot says:

    Hi, Bill. In the church’s responses to critics in the press, they repeatedly claim that all of the ex-member “sources” about Scientology were “dismissed” or “kicked out” or “ex-communicated” by the church for some combination of incompetence and immorality. It seems clear that this is a false claim in the case of the well-known critics, all of whom “blew” (or “routed out”) while active members of the Sea Org, or while church “public” in good standing. The idea that they had been “kicked out” for various crimes was invented only after the fact, once they left the church and became vocal critics.

    My question: does the church ever kick any active member out of the organization on grounds of moral failings or–in the case of the Sea Org–substandard job performance? If so, under what circumstances?

    • justbill001 says:

      Re: Does the church ever kick anyone out of the organization or Sea Org?
      That is a very interesting question. I was trying to recall any time when I saw a staff member or a Sea Org member get fired for moral failings or poor job performance. I was in the Sea Org for 15 years and on staff for several – plus I was around various “orgs” for many more years.

      I can’t ever recall anyone who was kicked out of staff or the Sea Org for poor performance. Not ever. They could always find something for a person to do no matter how incompetent.

      As for moral grounds, the church only seems to act if there is the real chance the law could get involved. Otherwise, they seem to just ignore and sweep under the rug.

      Really, the only real grounds for dismissal or any other expulsion is questioning, doubting, speaking badly about Hubbard, Miscavige and Scientology. Other crimes are not much punished. (Yeah, they will assign the person “lower conditions” and force them to pay for “Sec Checks” but not much else). They will never, ever report crimes to the police.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I’m curious what you think of Marty Rathbun’s concise list of Scintology’s core beliefs at https://markrathbun.wordpress.com/2015/02/03/scientology-beliefs/

    Does that description square with your experience?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for that reply. As an outsider, it looks to me that another central aspect of the scientology beliefs has to do with sales. I’m thinking of the relentless importance attached to “dissemination,” “expansion,” “getting people up the bridge,” “stats,” etc. Do you think selling (perhaps a more polite way to put it would be evangelism) should be included as a core belief, or does it function in a different way? How much of that was put in place by Hubbard?

    PS: Good point about Marty. It seems that both Rathbun and Rinder have been publicly going through a long–and, I imagine, painful at times–process of developing an outside-the-cult perspective on Hubbard and the “tech.”

    • justbill001 says:

      Re: Scientology sales
      Certainly Scientologists are expected to spread the word or “help others” but, back when I was in, sales (or evangelism) was never part of the core beliefs.

      If you were a “Registrar” in a church, that is what you did, with a vengeance, but your public Scientologist was not pressured to sell Scientology.

      Outside of staff policies, there really was no mandate from Hubbard to proselytize.

  10. Lurking in LA says:

    Hello, Bill. I have been following the church’s bizarre “freedom magazine” smear campaign against the “Going Clear” filmmakers and the ex-members who talk to the press. I understand that this PR campaign is aimed at those inside scientology. (For the rest of us, the smears in response to criticism make the church look unethical, childish and guilty as charged.) My question is: are church members actually persuaded or pleased by those “they’re all liars and criminals” campaigns? If so, how does that work? Do they ask themselves why the church never disputes charges directly? Don’t the character attacks raise questions about the value of Scientology itself, if a parade of long time representatives of the church are now revealed to be malicious criminals?

    • keiths says:

      Lurking in LA asks:
      “My question is: are church members actually persuaded or pleased by those “they’re all liars and criminals” campaigns? If so, how does that work? Do they ask themselves why the church never disputes charges directly?”

      Dedicated scientologists aren’t bothered at all by that, because “attack, don’t defend” is official Scientology policy, straight from the infallible L. Ron Hubbard himself:

      “If attacked on some vulnerable point by anyone or anything or any organization, always find or manufacture enough threat against them to cause them to sue for peace. Peace is bought with an exchange of advantage, so make the advantage and then settle. Don’t ever defend. Always attack. Don’t ever do nothing.”

    • justbill001 says:

      Yes, the “Freedom Magazine” is designed solely for internal consumption. Oh, I’m sure David Miscavige thinks it should convince everyone, but it really is to give the Scientologists “evidence” that only the “evil people” oppose Scientology.

      And they do accept it because they want to believe it. If they found that good people opposed Scientology, their foundations of belief would be be seriously undermined. And that would be horrible.

      Scientology is built on a vast foundation of lies – and I contend that almost all Scientologists, deep down, know this, or at least fear this is true. In retrospect, I think that’s why I refused to look outside Scientology for so long.

  11. Lurking in LA says:

    Hello again, Bill. I heard some of the recent “Going Clear” coverage on a Los Angeles radio station, whose reporter went to the Pac Base to ask questions about the film’s impact on the church (he wasn’t allowed in the building, but they answered his questions in writing–the usual smearing of the filmmakers and ex-members in the film). The reporter, presumably speaking from the Pac Base parking lot, said that many people were going from the lot into the building, all carrying blue duffle bags. I assume that anytime a large number of people are entering those buildings these days, they are Sea Org members (right?). But the blue duffle bags are a baffling detail–do those mean anything to you?

    • justbill001 says:

      Re: blue duffel bags
      Heck if I know. We weren’t issued any duffel bags when I was in the Sea Org. One can assume these people were imported from some other Sea Org base to work in PAC. Why? Don’t know.
      This “Going Clear” documentary is obviously considered a major disaster by Miscavige and I’d assume these imports are part of Miscavige’s “handling”. I can’t imagine what that would be but it will, inevitably, turn out to be a huge footbullet. That’s what Miscavige does.

  12. Anonymous says:

    This blog is fantastic! I’m learning a ton. Here’s my question: Does the COS produce musical albums/church music? I’ve seen “We Stand Tall” and videos showing their state of the art recording studio and was interested if there’s any music they produce aside from scoring their videos. Thanks, Mark

  13. Dave says:

    Jon Atack, author of “A Piece of Blue Sky,” recently said that Scientology auditing often results in a state of hypnotic euphoria. Now these states certainly don’t give you any super powers or even better health but to my mind a state of euphoria is nothing to be sneezed at. Putting all the abuses aside, do you think Scientology has at least some value if it can give you a self-generated state of euphoria? Your thoughts JB.

    • justbill001 says:

      I have also talked about the temporary “euphoria” that can happen during Scientology auditing. This is the “proof” that Scientologists rely on that “Scientology works!”

      Of course, no one knows why or how this happens, if it does. Scientologists “know” that it is Hubbard’s “tech” so they won’t ever investigate to find out what is really happening.

      And that is where we get the answer to your question. You can’t just extract the “euphoria” out of Scientology if you don’t know how that happens. Besides the fact that this “euphoria” isn’t predictable, reliable, consistent or stable.

      And if you can’t remove the tons of abusive crap that comes with Scientology, this “euphoria” is truly not worth it.

      • Dave says:

        Wow you certainly did discuss this and extremely well, particularly here: https://therealaskthescientologist.wordpress.com/2011/05/07/the-scientology-soft-landing-place/

        You say that Scientology makes false promises of “miraculous powers and abilities” but only delivers addictive, temporary euphoria. Okay, point made and I agree with you 100%. Scientology auditing only results in a temporary euphoria. There are no Clears or OT powers. Got it! So why not STOP pretending it is case gain and see it for what it is – temporary euphoria. What is wrong with temporary euphoria? We humans love feeling euphoric, ecstatic, and exhilarated. In fact we will do all kinds of destructive things to achieve these states all the way from drugs to compulsive sex to skydiving. Many of us are addicted to harmful emotions like anger which I’m sure produces chemicals in the body we become addicted to.

        So what is wrong with feeling euphoric? Remove the tons of abusive crap that comes with Scientology and tell it like it is. I can see the new advertizing now – “Dianetics and Scientology, delivering tremendous states of temporary euphoria since 1952.”

        • justbill001 says:

          I see your point, but that will never happen. Scientology without the grandiose promises of “miracles” simply cannot exist. “We think we might deliver some very temporary euphoria to a few people, maybe. Pay now and try it.” isn’t a good sales pitch. Better methods already exist for feeling euphoric that don’t involve cult indoctrination.

  14. Dave says:

    Well that’s too bad. I can’t help but think I’m missing out on something. I’d love to be able to laugh maniacally like Tom Cruise did in that famous video.

  15. Lurking in LA says:

    Hello again, Bill. I have read testimonials in scientology publications that feature claims about space in relation to training on the “Bridge.” One I saw today enthusiastically declares that “my space is large and totally under my control.” My space is large? What does this mean?

    • justbill001 says:

      That’s a good question. Basically, it means the Scientologist feels good. You’ve probably felt something like this. If you’re feeling bad, you feel small, closed in, less aware of your surroundings and if you feel good, it’s the opposite. The better you feel, the more you are aware and interact with your surroundings and other people. It’s common with everyone.

      With Scientologists, the belief is that they really are “bigger beings”. They believe that the space they inhabit really is larger — in a spiritual way.

  16. Dave says:

    The CO$ is now cozying up to the Nation of Islam. I wonder if David Miscavige knows that members of the NOI think that white people were created by a mad black scientist called Yakub. Yep, LRH was a devil created in a botched experiment by a evil black man with a big head. I wonder what Ron would think of this. I wonder what Miscavige thinks of this. Your thoughts JB.

    http://www.theafrolounge.com/2014/02/09/yakub-the-black-scientist-responsible-for-creating-white-people/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yakub_(Nation_of_Islam)

  17. Dave says:

    At 15:26 in the video below Jenna Elfman says, “I’d blow a horse to be able to sit around all day and watch Netflix…”

    There are also many photos on the internet of famous $cientologists like OTVIII Kirstie Alley giving the middle finger. So Bill here is my question, have $cientologists always been this vulgar? From what little I know of Hubbard I get the impression that he considered himself and “officer and a gentleman.” I’m sure he would have considered peepee and caca jokes to be the domain of the uncouth lowerclass enlisted men. Was Hubbard a vulgar man? Would Hubbard approve of the lower-class vulgarity displayed by many of today’s top $cientologists?

    I assume Miscavige is okay with it.

    • justbill001 says:

      From what I hear, David Miscavige is extremely obscene and vulgar. This obviously sets the tone for all of Scientology. Certainly his vulgarity doesn’t go directly to the Scientology public, but anyone who works under Miscavige will push that attitude to their contacts so it will show up with the public Scientologist eventually.
      As for Hubbard, I have no personal knowledge but I never heard that he was vulgar. Abusive? Yes. Vindictive? Yes. Vulgar? Probably not.
      However, I suspect he would not disapprove of Miscavige’s vulgarity. Who knows?

  18. Dave says:

    Is the Church of Scientology embracing the “prosperity gospel” of Creflo Dollar, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland and other pastors who promise miracles in exchange for huge donations? Forget auditing, if you sow a seed on good ground, you can expect a harvest. Donating money is now better than receiving Church services. How you ask? Donations are “seeds” that you will one day get to a great harvest. John Oliver explains how it works here.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/08/17/comedian-john-oliver-takes-on-the-prosperity-gospel-by-becoming-a-televangelist/

    • justbill001 says:

      Nope. This was never part of Hubbard’s message. He totally hated the idea of pure donations. He claimed that the rewards of Scientology came from “going up the Bridge”. Whenever someone suggested pure donations – that is, donations with no expectation of a return – he blew his top. His Scientology was all about paying for, and receiving, Scientology.

      Therefore, there is nothing in Scientology that says one gains “prosperity” from pure donations, obviously.

      Of course, once David Miscavige took over, soliciting pure donations became the primary effort in Scientology. But there is nothing in their “scriptures” to support that.

  19. Dave says:

    If there nothing in Scientology scriptures to support “pure donations” replacing “services,” it might be useful for someone to point that out. It seems that the rank and file Scientologists haven’t noticed.

    • justbill001 says:

      It has been pointed out a number of times on a number of blogs. Of course, no Scientologist would be allowed to view those blogs – so that message won’t get to them. And you can bet that any statement by Hubbard that says pure donations are bad will have been “corrected” out of Scientology literature.

  20. Dave says:

    So Scientologists can’t remember that there was nothing in their original scriptures to support “pure donations” over “services?” They can’t remember Hubbard blowing his top and saying that pure donations are bad? Really, they can’t remember this? And I thought Scientology processes were supposed to improve memory.

  21. Dave says:

    In my opinion a lot of the serious damage done to $cientologists (Lisa McPherson for example) is the result of Scientology processes similar to gaslighting. Gaslighting is a sinister form of emotional control where the abuser repeatedly manipulates situations to trick the victim into distrusting their own memory and perceptions.

    The person being gaslighted starts becoming unsure of everything, no longer trusting their own judgment and intuition and even questioning their own sanity. Becoming increasingly insecure they find themselves unable to think for themselves. The whole purpose of gaslighting is to decrease a person’s self-esteem and self-confidence so they are unable to function independently, making them much easier to control. They eventually come to believe everything their abusers tell them regardless of their own experience of the situation. Your thoughts Bill.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting

    • justbill001 says:

      I’d agree that, in some ways, Scientology’s indoctrination is similar to gaslighting – but not exactly. It isn’t a good fit for Scientology’s methods in that no one is enforcing “incidents” onto the person – past lives, space opera, etc.
      Scientology’s power comes from its ability to convince their believers to do it to themselves – the guilt, the isolation, the disconnection.
      Scientology doesn’t much care how the believers control themselves – it just makes sure they do that – the fanatic belief and the disconnection from the real world. It is really very clever in that.

  22. Dave says:

    An excellent book by Chris Shelton, “Scientology: A to Xenu,” I can’t wait to read it.

  23. Dave says:

    I have a fantastic idea for Scientologists! If a Clear has complete recall of everything he has ever studied, and if he can do mental computations which a normal would do in half an hour, in ten or fifteen seconds, why not go on Jeopardy? This way you could make a couple of thousand dollars to pay for your Bridge. As OT VIIIs would even know the questions beforehand I think they would eventually be banned from competing. 🙂

  24. Dave says:

    Yeah, as an “Operating Thetan” is cause over life and able to control the physical universe free of the encumbrance of the body, influencing dice and the tiny little ball of a roulette wheel should be a piece of cake. 🙂

  25. Anonymous says:

    As a never in, this is probably how I would have gotten out of Scientology. It wouldn’t have taken me 25 years though.

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