One thing that works remarkably well in Scientology…

… the suspension of shit.

Most people are able to curtail their issues if they are motivated to do so.

You can suppress your compulsions, suspend your anger, curtail your depression and put your mental anguish on hold… if you know there is a solution up the road. Just keep walking a bit further and it will get handled. Just a mile up the road. Across that Bridge. Over on the other side. A bit further. Almost there. Just hold on for a tad longer. Etc.

I have met scores of Scientologists who have had this going, and remarkably well – for years. They have this big issue in life that they want to have handled. And they believe Scientology can handle it. They start out on the Communication course, and while they get good gains on the exercises, that pressing issue is not gone. They do the Grades. Excellent gains, but the problem remains. They become Clear. Issue still there. They embark upon the OT levels. Cool gains, but that mental burden, while thoroughly covered by hope of some future resolution, is still there. Nagging.

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This suspension of shit is a real gain in the person’s life. While it is indeed temporary, it is nevertheless real. The person’s life quality can be substantially increased for years. And that is one great thing that Scientology can do for people.

But for this to work, the person must believe that the issue can be solved by Scientology. And for the person to believe, the solution must be at least as complex as the problem he is facing. Brushing the problem off with “just don’t create it” or “learn to not give a flying fuck about it” just won’t cut it – if the person cherish his problem too much. He will need a complex, substantial and “real” solution. Something scientific looking, something complex like Scientology. With steps and levels and processes, procedures, frameworks, methodology and terminology and organizations and graphs and charts, expensive and exclusive, and with lots of neat looking marketing. Yeah, that should cut it.

It’s only when the person completes or quits Scientology – and still have that issue – that the bear wakes up from hibernation and charges ferociously back into his life. This is why some people experience a great loss when they quit Scientology or when they complete the Bridge (to “Total Freedom”).

The flip side of this coin is really that suspending the mental issue with hope of resolution is an abandonment of responsibility. Instead of taking full responsibility for the problem, he assigns the resolution over to “future Scientology”. And then he’s stuck with the issue even though it is suspended.

The denial of facts

Anyone holding a strong belief be can be subject to confirmation bias – the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs or theories.

It can be seen in many discussions on Scientology here on my blog. Scientolgists faced with facts or iron-clad arguments against Scientology will defend their belief even to the point of the ridiculous.

But it takes on a more serious shade when the consequences affects every man, woman and child on this planet. Or more precisely all life on Earth. Climate change deniers continue to hold their beliefs strong in the face of avalanches of facts telling us we must do something Now in order to not wreck our world. When even the possible future President of the most powerful nation on Earth remain among the deniers of science, we could be heading for serious trouble.

climate

An article in The Guardian titled, “How climate science deniers can accept so many ‘impossible things’ all at once” highlights confirmation bias and its siblings, “conspiracist ideation” and “identity-protective cognition”. It’s worth a read. Also to help understand discussions regarding religion or belief.

Scientology ethics: Justifying genocide

Inspired by a discussion under my previous blog post, I came to realize a possible root cause for the unethical behavior of the Church of Scientology and within its ranks.

The unethical conduct of the Church of Scientology is well documented in books, articles and films. The unethical conduct of individual members has also gotten some attention in the media. Scientologists would have personal knowledge of falsifying statistics, embezzlement, undue pressure and duress, disregard of health, sordid treatment of children or other unsavoury acts in the name of “The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number of Dynamics”.

The self-centric world view

The self-centric world view

Let’s take a look at this central concept in L. Ron Hubbard’s “Ethics system”. First we need to understand what the “dynamics” are:

“There could be said to be eight urges (drives, impulses) in life. These we call dynamics. These are motives or motivations. We call them the eight dynamics.

The first dynamic is the urge toward existence as one’s self. Here we have individuality expressed fully. This can be called the self dynamic.

The second dynamic is the urge toward existence as a sexual or bisexual activity. This dynamic actually has two divisions. Second dynamic (a) is the sexual act itself and the second dynamic (b) is the family unit, including the rearing of children. This can be called the sex dynamic.

The third dynamic is the urge toward existence in groups of individuals. Any group or part of an entire class could be considered to be a part of the third dynamic. The school, the society, the town, the nation are each part of the third dynamic, and each one is a third dynamic. This can be called the group dynamic.

The fourth dynamic is the urge toward existence as mankind. Whereas the white race would be considered a third dynamic, all the races would be considered the fourth dynamic. This can be called the mankind dynamic.

The fifth dynamic is the urge toward existence of the animal kingdom. This includes all living things whether vegetable or animal. The fish in the sea, the beasts of the field or of the forest, grass, trees, flowers, or anything directly and intimately motivated by life. This could be called the animal dynamic.

The sixth dynamic is the urge toward existence as the physical universe. The physical universe is composed of matter, energy, space and time. In Scn we take the first letter of each of these words and coin a word, MEST. This can be called the universe dynamic.

The seventh dynamic is the urge toward existence as or of spirits. Anything spiritual, with or without identity, would come under the heading of the seventh dynamic. This can be called the spiritual dynamic.

The eighth dynamic is the urge toward existence as infinity. This is also identified as the Supreme Being. It is carefully observed here that the science of Scn does not intrude into the dynamic of the Supreme Being. This is called the eighth dynamic because the symbol of infinity “∞” stood upright makes the numeral “8 .” This can be called the infinity or God dynamic.” (Fundamentals of Thought)

Then we need to understand what Hubbard would label the most ethical action or the “optimum solution”:

“the solution which brings the greatest benefit to the greatest number of dynamics.” (Notes on the lectures)

According to Hubbard, the optimum solution in any given situation is determined not by the greatest good for the greatest number of people involved but for the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics. In one fell swoop he puts every dynamic at equal value. Your first dynamic is equally important as your family. Your family is of equal value as the whole of Mankind. Your school is as important as all life. And God is of the same value as yourself. Right there you can see a serious incompatibility with several major religions.

Most non-scientologist would balk at this and go “Objection your honor!” Most scientologists would buy into this hook, line and sinker. Because it is uttered by L. Ron Hubbard.

Putting the first dynamic on par with your family, your country, Mankind, all of life, the physical universe, all spirituality or God himself makes for a rather egotistical religion. But watch for the scientologists pitch in with comments on this blog post with “but, it’s all about you BEING your dynamics” and other esoterics to justify how this somehow, in some way could possibly be justified as sane. It should make for interesting discussions.

When Hubbard would refer to The Third Dynamic, he wouldn’t normally be talking about your soccer team, your astronomy club or your country. He would refer to Scientology. To him, Scientology was the only real Third Dynamic – on par with Mankind and God. And Scientologists are led to believe that it is so all-pervasive in its goodness that it empowered all the dynamics. This is why we see so many scientologists sacrifice their families and themselves to the greater cause of this “über-third dynamic”.

But without philosophizing too much, let’s simply put this “optimum solution” to test. In determining if some action is beneficial or harmful to a dynamic, we’ll give the action a -100% to +100% impact on that dynamic. A score of -100% would be the destruction of that dynamic, while a +100% would be a maximum positive effect (such as escaping death in gruelling situation). For any minor effect, we will use ±0.1% for convenience. The numbers are rough estimates that I am prepared to defend quite easily. In the examples below, you are in a family of 4, so you are 25% of your 2nd Dynamic.

Action 1D 2D 3D 4D 5D 6D 7D 8D Total effect
1: As a Scientology Executive, should I exploit my work force? +20 +10 +50 -0.1 ~+80% = Yup!
2: Should you protect Scientology by infiltrating the US Government? +10 +5 +50 -0.1 ~+65% = Of course you should.
3: Risk losing your job by reporting non-critical embezlement in the company? -5 -1 +1 ~-5% = Turn the blind eye.
4: You own a whaling company. Should you hunt down and kill all blue whales? +20 +10 +50 -0.1 -1 -0.1 -0.1 ~+79% = Kill-spree!
5: Risking your life (10% chance) to save a stranger from certain death? -10 -2.5 +0.1 +0.1 +0.1 +0.1 +0.1 ~-12.5% = Walk away.
6: Letting half your sailing crew die to save yourself +100 +25 -50 -0.1 -0.1 -0.1 -0.1 ~+75% = Go for it!
7: Letting your whole sailing crew die to save yourself +100 +25 -100 -0.1 -0.1 -0.1 -0.1 ~+25% = Still good. Jump the ship!
8: As a Nazi concentration camp guard, should you kill jews? +100 +25 +0.1 -0.1 -0.1 -0.1 -33 ~+92% = Nothing should stop you 😦

Every Nazi could make use of Hubbard’s “optimum solution” to justify genocide.

I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Scientology ethics is self-centric and egotistical and totally off-balance.

Before someone start objecting that some of my examples are in fact against some law, I should point out that according to Hubbard those laws would simply be contrary to the optimum solution. The laws should be removed or amended to comply with the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics.

It’s not that I would argue against the concept of the dynamics themselves, but to put them at equal value is nothing short of insane.

We’re not talking about some fringe part of Scientology, like Xenu, the OCA test, David Miscavige beating his staff or false marketing here. We are talking about the very core of Scientology – its very ethics – upon which all of auditing, study and administration hinges. We are looking at Hubbard’s “optimum solution“. In fact I think we are looking at a root cause to much of the evil perpetrated in the name of Scientology.

Calling BS on Hubbard’s “The role of Earth”

For anyone outside of Scientology this will sound pretty crazy. For Scientologists, this is gospel, this is real, this is the truth. Here’s Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard from the lecture “The role of Earth“:

The space stations exist out here in the solar system. They use the asteroids. It’s a very peculiar system. This solar system has a planet which is broken up, the asteroid belt. It gives a low-gravity platform for takeoff and so on, and that broken planet is of considerable interest as a space station, that is to say a galactic jump.

Now, there aren’t any planets up at this end of the galaxy which form a good galactic entering spot for incoming transport and other ships. But this beautiful, broken-up planet here with a light-gravity sun and so on, makes a very ideal spot.

And as a result, this area of the solar system got into prominence. It got into a little bit of prominence, and it’s slightly a bone of contention.

And there was – the Fourth Invader Force was here. The Fifth Invader Force came in to use this area, and the name of this solar system is Space Station 33. They started to use this area without suspecting that the Fourth Invader Force had been there for God knows how many skillion years, had been sitting down, and they have their installations up on Mars, and they have a tremendous, screened operation.

asteroid-belt

This isn’t from one of his sci-fi novels. This is part of Scientology proper. Hubbard is serious about this. He is also dead wrong. Scientologists would normally swallow everything Hubbard says without question (questioning anything he says will get a Scientologist in trouble with the Church). And who could blame them? Hubbard is known to present theories as fact – theories that cannot be disproven, and as such one may as well go ahead and believe them.

But this one is hereby blown to bits. By the magazine, “Universe Today” in an article titled, “Why isn’t the asteroid belt a planet?“. And I quote:

If you were to take the entire asteroid belt and form it into a single mass, it would only be about 4% of the mass of our Moon.

And then:

There’s a popular idea that perhaps there was a planet between Mars and Jupiter that exploded, or even collided with another planet. What if most of the debris was thrown out of the solar system, and the asteroid belt is what remains?

We know this isn’t the case for a few of reasons. First, any explosion or collision wouldn’t be powerful enough to throw material out of the Solar System. So if it were a former planet we’d actually see more debris.

Second, if all the asteroid belt bits came from a single planetary body, they would all be chemically similar. The chemical composition of Earth, Mars, Venus, etc are all unique because they formed in different regions of the solar system. Likewise, different asteroids have different chemical compositions, which means they must have formed in different regions of the asteroid belt.

So there you have it. Hubbard’s assertion that the asteroid belt is a “broken-up planet” is BS. So does this put the rest of that lecture into question?

What is Scientology, really?

Scientology is a trick to make you believe that you need Scientology to finally let go.

Specifically it takes you on a ride where you are led to believe that a “Rective Mind” is responsible for your ills – until you are rid of it. Then it is the fault of tormented souls infesting your body. And when those are exorcized your ills can be attributed to ARCX, PTPs, O/Ws, W/Hs, MW/Hs, PTSness, Out List, BPC or yet unreleased OT levels. All instead of just letting go. It will cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars until you finally believe you deserve to let go and simply do just that. The “smarter” you are, the more it will take for you to believe you can simply “let go“. The “smarter” people will crave a more complex solution to “become free”.

letgo

Building The Bridge (norske artikler om Scientologi)

English: The Norwegian students I did a two hour lecture on Scientology for has compiled their studies into a series of blog posts. The blog is publicly available (in Norwegian).

Norsk: Den 16. mars hold jeg et to timers foredrag om Scientologi ved Menighetsfakultetet, Universitetet i Oslo. Studentene har nå samlet informasjon fra et bredt spekter av kilder og skrevet en rekke bloggposter om ulike aspekter ved Scientologi. Resultatet kan du se her: http://buildingthebridge.blogg.no/

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Hva er Scientologi?

Også i år holdt jeg en forelesning ved Menighetsfakultetet ved UiO. En gruppe studenter skulle skrive artikler om Scientologi, og jeg ble invitert som en kilde for deres arbeide. Studentene hadde allerede besøkt Scientologikirken i Oslo. De stilte med åpent sinn og flere gode spørsmål. Det ble en to timers forelesning som dekket alle nivåene i Scientologi med detaljer fra hele “Broen til Total Frihet” – fra Diantetikk og engrammer til Purification Rundown, Clear, OT-nivåene, Xenu, eksorsisme og OT 8. De fikk høre min historie, om hvordan jeg kom inn i Scientologi og hvorfor jeg gikk ut. Flere andre viktige elementer ble dekket i løpet av de to timene. Du kan se hele forelesningen her: