In the discussion on my first Bait & Switch post, a major reason for Scientology’s failure became apparent.
L. Ron Hubbard, the founder, the sole Source, the only true originator of Scientology promoted that his religion will give you real, tangible and objective results. This is the Bait. But when you traverse his one-size-fits-all path to spiritual greatness, The Bridge to Total Freedom, gone are the objective, provable results. Instead you attest to subjective results. With very few exceptions, your gains are not measurable and does not compare to the promised objective gains. This is the switch.
This is a major trick, albeit insidious and difficult to catch as you can read from the discussion under the first Bait & Switch blog post.
Here are some examples of the claims Hubbard made for Scientology (the Bait):
- Broken bones heal in two weeks instead of six (by X-ray evidence), withered limbs restore, burns vanish, swellings reduce visibly to nothing, lives wrecked by grief and loss recover, women lose their aging wrinkles, and sought after abilities return. (DnT)
- Chronic, which is to say, long-term illnesses cease when audited by Dianetics and then medical treatment. (DnT)
- The sickness and death rate of persons who are part of Dianetic groups is only a small fraction of that of other groups. (DnT)
- Dianetics raises IQ in addition to usual auditing, at a rate of about one point of IQ per hour of processing. (DnT)
- A Clear can control all his body fluids. (EoaS)
- A Clear can be tested for any and all psychoses, neuroses, compulsions and repressions (all aberrations) and can be examined for any autogenic (self-generated) diseases referred to as psycho-somatic ills. These tests confirm the Clear to be entirely without such ills or aberrations. (DMSMH)
- The common cold, for instance, if it is a virus or not, passes him (the Clear) by; chronic infections are absent. (DMSMH)
- A clear, for instance, has complete recall of everything which has ever happened to him or anything he has ever studied. He does mental computations, such as those of chess, for example, which a normal would do in a half an hour, in ten or fifteen seconds. (DMSMH)
- A Theta Clear is a person who operates exterior to a body without need of a body. (SH Spec 59)
- The state of Operating Thetan is higher than Theta Clear and means that the person does not need a body to communicate or work. (CoHA)
- A good thorough-going Operating Thetan should not take more than fifty hours of auditing. (Ass. Newsl. 1953-04-28)
And here are some results that one actually attests to (the Switch):
- Knows he/she won’t get any worse.
- Relief from the hostilities and sufferings of life.
- Freedom from the upsets of the past and ability to face the future.
- Moving out of fixed conditions and gaining abilities to do new things.
- Freedom from dramatization and return of powers to act on own determinism.
- A Clear: A being who no longer has his reactive mind
While there is no excuse to not revise or apologize for the promised gains when it is not delivered, scientologists continue to justify and explain away this flagrant flaw.
Let’s face the facts; Less than 1% of those that invested time and effort in the subject stayed on in the hope of receiving the promised gain. The failure of Scientology as a subject is massive.
We often hear explanations for Scientology’s downfall like “Scientology is so good that vested interest attacked it from all directions”, “The society was in an dwindling spiral, so Hubbard worked so hard to undercut his method to accommodate for the increasing stupidity and irrationality of the population” or even “Hubbard ran Scientology just perfectly, it was only when David Miscavige took charge that it went south”.
But, applying Occam’s Razor, isn’t the simpler answer that Scientology simply does not deliver on its promises?
It doesn’t much matter that people like me got a lot out of the subject as long as it does not consistently deliver factual, measurable results.