What’s brewing?

coffee As I sit here in Café Rousso in Spetses, Greece, sipping a double espresso with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, I thought I should write a short post on what’s in the pipeline.

Wednesday the 18th is the big day with the release of my book. But before that, there will be a 4 page article in the biggest Norwegian magazine (Se & Hør) featuring Anette’s story, our relationship and the release of my book. The magazine will be out on Tuesday.

Shortly before that, on Monday I will release the full interview that I did at Karen’s. J. Swift did a great job as an interviewer, asking very pertinent questions. Until now, parts of the interview have been released in shorter videos over at Karen’s Youtube channel. The full 54 minutes of video covers pretty well my currents views on Scientology, the church and its future.

Stay tuned.

greece_panorama

My Scientology book release (September 18th)

The date is set. The venue is booked. Noise will be made.

1984

Yes, the book is in Norwegian (for now).

English translation of the title: “Nineteen eightyfour. My way into Scientology’s inner secrets – and out again.

If you are in Oslo on the 18th of September, you are welcome to join the party (including OSA – The Church of Scientology’s intelligence and dirty tricks arm).

Links:
The book release facebook event
The event at Litteraturhuset
My book at the publisher’s page
(Use Google translate as needed)

Anette

Now that Anette is headline news in both online and printed media, I thought I could serve the media hunger by adding a bit from an insider’s view.

I already did a blog post titled “Amazing person: Anette Iren Johansen“. At that time, we had been a couple for only a few weeks. After another several months, my understanding and love for this amazing girl has deepened considerably.

anette-iren-johansen

She’s a geek in a blonde wrapping. Being a student of chemistry and other natural sciences at the University of Oslo, she recently inspired me to take up a subject there as well. Today I attended the second lecture in Observational Astronomy. Since we are planning to start with astrophotography soon, and since I want to add a spectroscope to my telescope, this course should prove inspirational.

Anette is a multi-talented girl with skills ranging from a performing musician to chemist. Since the Church of Scientology managed to side track her from her university studies, she is now wrapping up the geek education she was coerced to leave many years ago.

Anette is always focusing on helping others, even to the detriment of herself – something the Church of Scientology knew to exploit viciously… as they so often do. But the girl has balls, taking on the church in several different ways. I bet she’s moving up on their harassment list pretty fast.

Most of all, Anette is fun to be with. Light and playful and a great “bonus mother” for my three boys. Although she experienced heavy suppression from her time in the church and an abusive relationship, she is on a path of recovery and life is brighter every day. It’s an honor to be able to help her in this progress.

If you haven’t yet visited her blog, you should. She’s an amazing photographer, and she’s got some interesting stories to tell – not just about her audition to be Tom Cruise’s next wife.

Hubbard on “power”

From a technical bulleting dated 10 August 1982 titled, “OT maxims”, we find:

THE POWER (defined as light-year kilo-tons per microsecond) OF A THETAN IS MEASURED BY NOTHING ELSE THAN THE DISTANCE (defined as spherical spatial length) AROUND HIM IN HIS ENVIRONMENT THAT HE CAN CONTROL.

Now this is one of those quotes that people in the church read, clear every word of and even make a demonstration using colored clay figures, and then end up not understanding what it means. I know I did.

So I have a challenge for you. Try making sense of the above quote and let me know what you end up with.

Did Scientology have a positive impact on their lives?

I want to make a story about the successful people in Scientology. Those people who became truly successful as a result of Scientology.

It was 2005 and I was having a coffee down town with an old school mate of mine that was now a journalist for the national broadcasting corporation of Norway. He looked expectingly at me while I was desperately trying to come up with such people.

I was rummaging my mind while thinking “Crap! I can’t find any 😦 Let me think… let – me – think – – – Damn!“, and then I said “Interesting angle. I’ll think about it and get back to you.

My friend was serious. He wanted to balance the constant negative press by a surprising angle on Scientology where he would portray the really successful scientologists, of which he apparently thought there were quite a few. I couldn’t think of any in Norway. Or Scandinavia. Or any I personally knew anywhere in the world. Sure, there were some with average success here and there, but no one that stood out as remarkable. None.

I never got back to the guy. Until I left the church in 2009 and told him I had a story for him.

This question about the actual success of Scientology bugged me for quite a while. I wrote a blog post three years ago titled, “Where are the amazing people?“. And the usual discussion ensued including justifications of how that is not a relevant question or what one mean by “amazing” and other nitpicking points. But the main point remains: Scientology does not seem to produce anything out of the ordinary in terms of good life or skills or amazingness.

Today I sat down, took a good hard look at the people I have known in Scientology. I decided to make a list of people I have known well in Scientology and how Scientology has impacted their lives. The first 50 people that popped to my mind, only the people I have known for years and where I could clearly see how Scientology has affected them. They come from all walks of life – from house wives and business people to former drug users and average Joe. I put the names into three categories:

  1. Scientology had a positive impact on their lives
  2. Scientology had no significant positive or negative impact on their lives
  3. Scientology had a negative impact on their lives

I was somewhat surprised when I summarized the results.

Scientology-Impact-on-Life

I then looked at categories 1 and 3 to sift out those who had life-changing gains from Scientology and those who had life-ruining crashes from Scientology. The result was pretty grim.

Scientology-Impact-on-Life-Details

A couple of notes about the above:

  • Of those that have had awesome improvements in their lives, 80% came into Scientology with a life in ruins
  • Of those that had their lives ruined through Scientology, 86% had an average life when they got in

Almost all (90%) of the list of people have lived a somewhat sheltered life on the fringe of the Scientology empire here in the Land of Santa.

From my experience, if you become involved with the Church of Scientology, there are some statistics you should be aware of:

  • There is a 20% chance that Scientology will improve your life overall
  • There is a 64% chance that Scientology will negatively affect your life
  • The chance that Scientology will dramatically improve your life is 10%
  • The chance that Scientology will ruin your life is 14%
  • You a have 40% greater chance of having your life ruined than dramatically improved
  • If your life is not already in shambles, your chance of having your life ruined is much greater than having it greatly improved through Scientology

While I do not know how the statistics are for Scientology delivered outside the Church, I suspect it is better. Simply because one does not have the Nazi regime, the thought police and the incessant craving for your time and money. I would be interested in hearing your own honest statistics, both from people you know having gotten Scientology in the Church and independently.

Scientology End Phenomena

Scientology offers a huge breadth of tools, processes and levels aimed at increasing a person’s awareness of himself and his environment.

For every process or level, there is an “End Phenomena” (EP) that defines what that action is supposed to achieve.

The person (“pc” = “pre-clear” = a person on his way up the levels to “Clear”) will exhibit some evidence that the EP has been reached. This is accompanied by some specific reactions on the “E-meter” (the device used to measure the body’s electrical resistance).

END PHENOMENA is defined as “those indicators in the pc and meter which show that a chain or process is ended”.(L. Ron Hubbard)

Most of the EPs in Scientology is fairly easy, subjective and “feel-good”. Others are more “hard core” and objectively verifiable.

These “objective EPs” can be rather tough to verify. Some are plain impossible. Still we see people attest to having achieved these impossible EPs every day – even though the person must know they cannot have achieved such a state. One may wonder why, and this is up for discussion here.

Let us take but a few examples.

PTS Rundown: The EP is a PC who is getting and keeping case gains and never again rollercoasters.

“Case gains” means positive progress in Scientology. “Rollercoaster” means to vacillate in mood, being happy, then sad, etc for no obvious reason. If the above EP was in fact true, it would have cured mankind of one of the most common mental ills forever by the use of that small Scientology action (perhaps 10-50 hours of auditing/processing).

Or how about the EP of “Grade 0, “Communications release”:

Ability to communicate freely with anyone on any subject.

Or how about the professional communications course (the Pro TRs, “TRs” = “Training Routines”):

The PRIMARY VALUABLE FINAL PRODUCT of TRs is:
A Professional auditor who with comm handling alone can keep a pc interested in his own case and willing to talk to the auditor.

The SECONDARY VALUABLE FINAL PRODUCT of TRs is:
A person with the session and social presence of a professional auditor and that presence can be summed up as a being who can handle anyone with communication alone and whose communication can stand up faultlessly to any session or social situation no matter how rough.

The END PHENOMENON of TRs is:
A being who knows he can achieve both of the above flawlessly and from here on out.

I invite here to a discussion of the validity of the above End Phenomena, other similar objective claims in Scientology, and of why people would attest to something that is impossible to honestly claim to have achieved.

Hope

Why does the Scientology mindfuck go so deep?

I believe it is due to the hope that Scientology instills.

A person enters Scientology with a hope of achieving something. For himself or perhaps even for the world.

Scientology promises the person will attain that goal, because there is nothing Scientology cannot ultimately handle according to Hubbard.

With the help of Scientology, the person achieves some gains letting the person believe his goal can be reached with Scientology.

Some more gains are had in the direction of his goal. Hope that Scientology can ultimately deliver his goal is reinforced.

Even if Scientology has not delivered or even cannot deliver on its promise, the person still has a powerful hope that Scientology will deliver his goal, any goal.

This hope can make the person do almost anything to protect Scientology. He may lie, deceive, betray his family, steal, commit fraud or worse. Perhaps much worse.

His hope will make him blind to any fault in Scientology. His hope will make him resort to any and all mental tricks to avoid his hope being blunted. Because losing hope is perhaps the most painful of all.

Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper. (Francis Bacon)

Interestingly, I notice that some of the most fanatical Scientologists I have met are the one’s with little training and/or auditing. Those who have not yet understood that Scientology habitually oversells and underdelivers.

BBC: How Scientology changed the Internet

Interesting overview of the history of Scientology vs. the Internet over at BBC Technology.

The Internet may be the one factor in society where Scientology has had the biggest negative impact. The church is busy moving the arena of free speech into a tightly regulated and controlled venue, smacking of 1984.

Read the BBC article here.

The video that helped spark BBC’s interest:
Church of Scientology and their Internet war

Video on the Wikipedia ban:
Video: Scientology and Wikipedia (Internet war)