This one deserves a rerun (link to original post by Jeff Hawkins)
Non-Scientologist: So, tell me about Scientology.
Scientologist: Well, it’s a religious philosophy which contains tools that anyone can use to improve their life. These are workable tools that have been proven to be uniformly successful if they are applied correctly.
Non-Scientologist: OK, but forgive me if I question your statement about being uniformly successful. I’ve seen some disturbing things online. Apparently the head of Scientology is a sociopath who is physically and verbally abusive to his staff, many staff are treated no better than slaves, the organizations put incredible pressure on their members to come up with more and more money, people are forced to disconnect from their families, the Scientology organizations are failing, emptying out, and there are a lot of defections, including top level OTs. There have even been OT suicides. That doesn’t seem to indicate uniform success.
Scientologist: Well, you have to understand that people running the Church are not correctly applying Scientology. They’ve altered the technology. What they are doing is not Scientology.
Non-Scientologist: I’m sorry, you’re saying that Scientology doesn’t apply Scientology?
Scientologist: No. the official Church doesn’t apply Scientology.
Non-Scientologist: I see. Well, if alteration of the technology is such a major problem, maybe Hubbard should have warned people about it. Maybe he should have written an issue alerting them to the dangers of altering the technology, and had every Scientologist read it at the beginning of every course. And maybe he should have set up a part of the organization as a sort of Quality Control to police this sort of thing.
Scientologist: Well, actually, he did those things.
Non-Scientologist: Oh. Well, then, why didn’t that work?
Scientologist: Well, that’s because people have misunderstoods. They can’t duplicate what they are reading. They even have something called Crashing Misunderstoods.
Non-Scientologist: I see. That sounds like a serious block. Maybe Hubbard should have written something warning people about the importance of understanding words. Maybe he should have developed a technology of how to study, and how to handle these “Crashing Misunderstoods.”
Scientologist: Well, actually, he did. It’s called Study Tech.
Non-Scientologist: OK. Well, why didn’t that work?
Scientologist: Well, people don’t apply it! They don’t clear their words. They’re out-ethics! They are just blinded by their own overts –transgressions – and they have withholds.
Non-Scientologist: Well, I can understand that could be a problem. Hubbard should have invented a technology of ethics to help people be more ethical and disciplined. And maybe he should have directed some of his counseling techniques to help people become more honest and ethical.
Scientologist: Well, actually, he did. There’s a whole book on Ethics and a lot of auditing procedures to address that.
Non-Scientologist: OK, well, why don’t people apply that?
Scientologist: It’s hard to get anything standard done in orgs these days! The Orgs are a mess! They are off-purpose, more interested in money than really helping people. They are understaffed and harassed and insolvent and desperate!
Non-Scientologist: Sure, I can see how that would be a problem. Well, maybe Hubbard should have developed a technology of organization; how to keep organizations on-purpose and functioning properly. Maybe he should have written up all of their duties in detail so they know exactly what they should be doing.
Scientologist: Well, actually, he did do that. It’s been published in ten big volumes.
Non-Scientologist: Well, then, why doesn’t that work?
Scientologist: Staff don’t have time to study it. There’s too few of them and they are desperate. They can’t make enough on staff so they have to moonlight. There are just not enough public in the orgs!
Non-Scientologist: Oh, I see. Well, then, maybe Hubbard should have developed a technology of how to promote and market Scientology. Maybe he should have provided drills telling people how to effectively disseminate Scientology.
Scientologist: Well, actually he did do that.
Non-Scientologist: Ok, why isn’t that used?
Scientologist: You don’t understand! Scientology has terrible PR. It’s hard to disseminate to people because Scientology is so disliked in society.
Non-Scientologist: That is definitely a problem! Maybe Hubbard should have developed a technology of Public Relations so staff could learn how to create a good public image and good relations with the public.
Scientologist: Well, actually, he did that.
Non-Scientologist: Then why is there a problem?
Scientologist: Nothing standard can get done in the Church! The whole of the Church of Scientology has been taken over by Suppressive Persons. They are perverting the tech! They are destroying the Church! Everyone is PTS to them!
Non-Scientologist: Goodness, that sounds serious! Well, maybe Hubbard should have developed a technology to show people how to spot Suppressive Persons, and how to handle them once you’ve spotted them, so you don’t go PTS.
Scientologist: Well, actually, he did that too.
Non-Scientologist: Oh! Well, then, why doesn’t that work?
Scientologist: There are so many other factors I haven’t even mentioned! These Suppressives overwhelm people! They use implant technology!
Non-Scientologist: Well, why didn’t Hubbard develop some advanced techniques to give people freedom from being overwhelmed and proof them up against the effects of these implants?
Scientologist: He did! He did! But you don’t understand! This is Planet Earth. It’s a crazy place! You can’t get technology correctly applied when you have people who are not rational, who are stupid, who are not sane, who are low on the Tone Scale, who are aberrated…
Non-Scientologist: Well, maybe Hubbard should have developed a technology to make people rational, sane and intelligent, to raise them on the Tone Scale, to get rid of aberration…
Oh wait. Isn’t that what Scientology is supposed to do?
OK, this is a fictional, contrived conversation. But how many of these explanations have you heard in real life? And how often have you seen this kind of circular logic?
In my opinion, the most basic of Scientology’s system flaws is that Scientologists are trained not to see system flaws. Even when failure is obvious to everyone else, fundamentalist Scientologists will refuse to inspect the system. They will interpret all failure as individual failure. They become experts in explaining away failure.
Doctrinaire Scientologists can neither see nor correct systemic flaws, and thus Scientology is incapable of correcting itself.
And maybe we’re getting closer to a real Why.