N.B.: This document contains no references to "advanced materials", OT levels, etc
This was originally addressed to a person using the nickname 'coccoon' on xenu.net's chatboard
I know you're out there! Listen up.
Some people assumed you were trolling or lying about something, yet nearly everyone believed you right away when you said you'd had enough and were leaving for good.
I have my doubts--you may have meant it when you said it, but I'm betting you haven't looked your last at the OC message board.
You weren't around when I got started posting, so you may have missed how come there are large gaps in my postings. My job prevents me from watching and posting to a.r.s. or the OCMB as regularly as I'd like to. I do try to get back and clean up all loose ends, even if it takes me a week or two--or more.
If you do wish to continue our dialog but not on the MB, you're welcome to contact me via e-mail. I will treat it as private.
However that may be, here's my response to your public message(s):
"First of all, I apologize on my last post where I said "15 years." I don't know if that was a typo or a misread, but 25 years is very, very impressive and your input is most valuable to me. "
No offense taken. Clearly none was intended. Errors occur.
"I'm glad to hear what you said about Messiah or Madman (or whatever,) because I immediately had the same impression. "
How much of it did you read?
"I read your January post. Of all the views I've read and considered from the anti-Scientology angles, yours is the most significant. How does one serve 25 years in the Sea Org and then take an about-face? (That's a rhetorical question.) It fascinates me. I appreciate your account and your patience.
"If I could ask you this. Didn't you find things about Scientology that actually worked? There must have been something that was apparently proof, not just persuasive LRH rhetoric or oppressive pressure of peers to keep you in the SO for 25 years. Personally, I listened to an ex-con's success story at a Criminon event that made me cry. The Way To Happiness makes more sense to me than the Bible. I do the drills in Self-Analysis and I get results. Do you think that there is anything to all of this? What is your biggest beef? I'm starting to gain an understanding of the anti-Scientology viewpoint and you can help a lot with this. "
I said in my first post that, for nearly all my time in the SO, I was a true believer. Let me clarify that here. I meant that, at the time, I *knew* that Scientology worked. I didn't consider I was *believing* anything--I'd seen it, it was proven, end of story. All of it. I *knew* it was true. I had seen or experienced evidence that amply demonstrated this to me. I'd seen success stories that brought tears to my eyes. I'd *had* successes that brought tears to my eyes, and that I would glowingly share with anyone who would listen. I *knew* TWTH was the answer to declining morality in the world. I *knew* Criminon and Narconon were rehabilitating criminals and addicts like no other programs in the world. I had received several hundred hours of auditing, and I *knew* it worked. I'd done the courses, and I *knew* they had the correct tech for whatever they were teaching--because I could apply it myself and see the results.
Cocoon, I was wrong. Nobody convinced me of this, and I know that OSA and other SO members will find this hardest of all to believe: all disaffection must have a "source": people don't have their own ideas, especially unfavorable ones about Scn unless they're SP, PTS, duped, or in the grip of their own O/Ws.
With tongue in cheek, I call myself SP, but they know I'm not, not by their definition casewise: SP's can't make case gain, but they have my folders showing I made lots of case gain (again, by their definition). They also know the very real contributions I made to their cause when I believed in it--an SP, by their "tech," could not have done that.
I'm not duped, because I developed my ideas before I went on the net and looked at critical sites, and in the SO I had no contact with any kind of critics.
"PTS" is a sort of non-falsifiable (i.e., too imprecise to be disproved) fallback, because even if there's no present-time SP around me, there are trillions of years of whole track to hide whatever SP(s) I must have in restimulation now. But that doesn't *really* fit either, because now I've left the SO and Scn, and made friends of Scn's worst enemies, I'm happier, literally healthier, doing better in life, no less able and no more accident prone. You and I both know, *no* MAA or EO is going to tell anybody that "disconnection from Scientology" is an acceptable PTS handling!
And they sec-checked me to their hearts' content before I left the SO, and my auditor knows I cooperated 100%. So either O/Ws are not in play here, or else sec-checking doesn't work, even done FPRD style (to handle my evil purposes), and with the new and improved Golden Age of Tech training and bag of tricks.
To get back to your question--rhetorical or not, I'm going to answer it: "How does one serve 25 years in the Sea Org and then take an about-face?" I think I've covered the first part--how I stayed around so long: it was "true for me." I've spent the last few paragraphs covering the pat Scientology answers that were *not* the actual reason for my about-face. Now I'm going to talk, in more detail than in my first post, about how I could have been so wrong about so much.
Cocoon, we humans--whether we're thetans, God's children, or an accident of chemistry--are prone to mistakes in our thinking. Even Hubbard openly admits this, and wrote the Data Series in an apparent effort to codify a method of thinking clearly. Think of something you *know* is bogus--whether it's astrology, palm reading, phrenology--anything, so long as *you* know it's a pile of crap that other people believe in. Got something? O.K., now consider those other people who believe in it. What's wrong with them? Are they crazy, stupid, irrational, what?
Let me tell you something. Those people are pretty ordinary. They *know* their subject is true and correct, the same way Scientologists *know* Scn is correct. These people have *seen* the proof of it. They know people who went to a fortune teller and it came true. They get their horoscope from the expert, and what do you know, it's right! They know a person who had a short lifeline, and guess what? She died young! And so on. Now, I know Scientologists laugh at those primitive superstitions and know better. Why? Because they have the *real* tech that really works and is proven. Guess what? Those primitive, superstitious people laugh at Scientology and the other superstitions for the same reason: *their* "tech" is the correct one, and these other misguided fools are either ignorant or wouldn't recognize the truth if it bit them on the nose.
What's happening here? Nothing special. People want to think they've got the inside dope, the hot skinny, the edge over their fellows. It's a matter of survival, if you want to think of it in those terms. Humans survive by their wits, by not instinct or force like animals. The man or woman who is cleverer than the rest is able to get by better--more easily, more certainly, more enjoyably.
Unfortunately, *feeling* cleverer is not the same thing as *being* cleverer, and the human psyche--whatever it's composed of--is particularly prone to not recognizing the difference. There may be evolutionary reasons for this, hell, I don't know, and it's not too important for this discussion, it's just a pretty obvious fact. If it weren't so, we wouldn't have half the human-created misery that has existed for at least as long as history has been recorded. Hitler was an evil man, but he wouldn't have gotten anywhere without the support of millions of Germans who thought he had the inside track, the plan that was better than everybody else's, and that supporting him made *them* the smart ones.
The conscious or unconscious desire to believe results in selective cognizance: data that support the belief are remembered, filed away as confirmation for later reference. Data that disagree are ignored or disposed of by various means: "There's something I don't know that explains the seeming discrepancy," "It's a lie from the vested interests," "It's somebody else's reality--I have my own reality, I know what's true for me," "Anybody can find fault with a good idea--it's still a good idea," "He didn't do it right, so of course it didn't work," "O.K., that part doesn't work, but the rest does (i.e., isn't disproved), so it's still good." No doubt you can think of your own examples.
After a while, or perhaps right away, this filtering becomes automatic: Anything that confirms is kept, anything that disproves is discarded, unnoticed. The preponderance of evidence then becomes so great that the truth of the belief, or belief system, becomes "obvious," so much so that it's hard to understand why others can't also see it.
Unscrupulous persons or organizations may recognize this phenomenon and use it to their advantage. It's my belief that Hubbard knew exactly what he was doing and intentionally developed manipulation of belief into an art, if not a science. It may be the closest he ever got to anything scientific.
Once a few basic premises are "confirmed" in this manner, then a whole body of beliefs can be built upon them. These secondary beliefs are quite logically derived from the basics, and require no additional credulity. Once the camel's nose is in the tent, the rest of him is going to follow.
I've written about this in the third person, as if I were some kind of professor (I'm not), explaining the flawed thought patterns of those inferior humans over there. The truth is, this is what *I* was doing, myself, all day, every day, for at least twenty years. I was very good at it. I had to be: I did have a grounding in science and math, and I knew about scientific method. It took a lot of mental work on my part, to maintain my faith--oops, I mean knowingness--but I got by with a little help from my friends.
That was my own experience, and that is the only explanation I can come up with for what others are doing when they continue adhering to Scientology, so I'll use it as a working hypothesis till it's disproved or till something better comes along. Of course, I could be wrong.
That said, I can finally answer your next question: "Didn't you find things about Scientology that actually worked?" The answer is, "I don't know." I know I had certain subjective reactions to what I did and experienced in Scientology, but:
I don't know if my IQ went up, because the only tests I've taken are the Scientology ones, and there are only two that never change no matter how many times you take them, and they only go up to about 160 or 165 or thereabouts, and I don't know if those tests are valid even without those objections.
I don't know if my personality improved, because the only tests I've taken are OCA/APA tests, designed by Hubbard and reflecting *his* patently non-objective view of how people should be. These tests are also literally biased--if you answer one randomly, then instead of showing a fairly straight line right across the middle, they show a characteristic pattern of personality "weaknesses" and "strengths" that aren't so. This is another thing you can test for yourself.
My health has improved, but the evidence is far from conclusive that Scientology or Dianetics had anything to do with it. I came into Scientology pretty young. Since then, my immune system has fought and conquered many illnesses. I no longer get them. On the other hand, in or out of Scientology, since my youth, I would get one or more colds every year. There may have been *one* year I didn't. For the last twelve or thirteen years, I seem to have gotten flu almost every year, until they started forcing flu shots on us. Then I stopped catching flu.
Since leaving, I have had neither cold nor flu (nor any other disease), and I haven't had a flu shot. Should I count this as a "win," proving that leaving Scientology makes you healthier? There might be something to it--less stress and so on. But there's also this: I'm no longer living in close quarters with several hundred other persons, and I've discovered echinacea and Cold-Eeze, and other things that seem to improve the working of *my* immune system--YMMV.
Finally--twenty-some years ago, I did have an extensive audited PTS handling to address chronic bronchitis I was suffering from. Nothing physical I did seemed to improve it at all. Right after the PTS handling, it started getting better, gradually went away and never came back.
*This* is precisely where you have to watch out. How do you or I or anyone else know what effect the PTS handling had? People do recover from illnesses. If a PTS handling is going to be done, it's most likely to be done when you're ill. If you then get better, the PTS handling "worked"? (It didn't stop me getting *other* illnesses later.)
It proves nothing, and there *are* actual valid ways of testing such techniques, and Scientology will *not* subject them to any such tests.
I consider, subjectively, that my ability to deal with life, my composure, my wisdom, my ability have all improved while I was a Scientologist. But, my God, what a loser would I have been if they hadn't, with or without Scientology, in 27 years of living! It may be that some Scientology processing has led me more directly to these improvements, or it may be that they would have occurred anyway, or through some other means, had I eschewed Scientology. We'll never know, because Scientology *will not subject its techniques to scientific testing.* Whose fault is it, then, if those techniques and Scientology's claims are met with skepticism at best? Not mine. My approach is this: any organization or person that will not subject its or his claims to open, free, independent verification and testing has something to hide, and that something is most likely that the claims are completely bogus and would never stand up to real objective testing.
I consider, subjectively, that my "OTness," in the literal sense of being cause over matter, energy, space, and time, without involvement of a body, have not changed at all. There was no evidence of such abilities in me (or anyone else I've ever known) when I started, and there still isn't. There *are* thousands of Scientologists ready to believe in OT phenomena and to disbelieve in coincidence, but coincidences happen a lot, and there has *never* been any verifiable evidence of OT phenomena, exteriorization, mind reading, or past lives, in or out of Scientology. James Randi has a million bucks for the first person who can demonstrate any such things. There have been no successful claimants, but there have been a number of very embarrassed (non-Scientology) pretenders.
O.K. Time to deal with your next question:
"Personally, I listened to an ex-con's success story at a Criminon event that made me cry. The Way To Happiness makes more sense to me than the Bible. I do the drills in Self-Analysis and I get results. Do you think that there is anything to all of this?"
I think that anything that helps criminals reform is good. I also think they have to want to, and if they want to, then most anything would help them. I don't know how Criminon compares to other programs, because I've never heard about it except from Scientology sources, and their data is at best highly suspect. Then again, the mere fact that I've never heard of it from non-Scn sources tells me it isn't making big waves out there in the real world.
I think most anything makes more sense than the Bible. I think TWTH is harmless in itself but superfluous and actually only a tool to popularize Hubbard and eventually Dn/Scn. Again, I have heard of its miracle results only from Scientology sources, and Scientology has used up all its "benefit of the doubt" points long since.
I did the drills in Self Analysis, as a Scientologist, and got nothing out of them. Nothing. Good, bad, indifferent--nothing. Which also proves nothing, except that they don't get results for everybody. Or, if you're a true KSW demon, that I must have done them wrong.
In summary: there *might* be something to all this or to some of it. There also might be something to the many claims that Scn techniques have seriously harmed people. Every last bit of it is in the realm of how people think, feel, and believe, not in what can be demonstrated objectively and convincingly to an unbiased, outside observer. That places Scientology in the class of pseudoscience. That Scientology prefers to remain in that class rather than subject itself to validation, says far more to me than any criticism, expose', or expert analysis ever could.
Next question: "What is your biggest beef?"
I think by now you can see that I wouldn't have beefs, of any size, with something I utterly reject. I do particularly detest some of their organizational abuses, such as disconnection, deceptive selling and recruitment tactics, and fair game, but reforms would not bring me back to the herd. I do believe in exposing the abuses and fighting for reforms, because evil that harms other people is far worse than silly beliefs that people subscribe to of their own free (if misguided) will.
"I'm starting to gain an understanding of the anti-Scientology viewpoint and you can help a lot with this."
I wasn't aware there was "an" anti-Scn viewpoint. So far I have seen several hundred anti-Scn viewpoints, and they're mostly different from each other.
"Dan, I would especially appreciate it if you would answer the specific questions I have posed above. I've found that most of the points/questions that I have raised/asked in my past posts get ignored. I don't pursue them because I'm not very confident in the verity of the source."
Respectfully, that is no excuse, if it's even true. An awful lot of people addressed an awful lot of your questions and points. For the rest, either you want to know or you don't care enough to find out. People aren't perfect, and they don't communicate perfectly. Also, nobody is getting paid to write any of this. Are you so unconcerned about the ultimate truth of life, the universe, and everything?
"As per Forde's article, I don't know enough about science and geography to dispute or tout the existence of volcanoes that long I rarely take anyone's word for anything."
That is exactly what Hubbard would have wanted to hear. However, you don't need to know much about geography (actually it's geology) or any scientific subject to discern the truth here. You do need to understand something about how science works.
I'd like to recommend an excellent book, one I've just started reading and which doesn't mention Dn/Scn/Hubbard at all in the index nor, as far as I've read, in the text. It's by Carl Sagan, and it's called The Demon-Haunted World. It's about science vs. pseudoscience, and why the conclusions of science actually are valid, and *how* valid they are (it isn't 100%), and what's wrong with pseudoscience.
Here's how, if you care even a little, you can verify Forde's article. In it, there's a list of volcanos from the OT III tale by Hubbard. Simply write down the names of them. Then go to an encyclopedia, either hard copy or on the net. If it's the net, you have additional resources besides encyclopedias. Look up those volcanos. Anywhere you can, see how old it says they are. If you miss a few, don't worry. Even a single nonexistent volcano proves Hubbard's story false, but I'm confident you'll find an age for at least half of them.
Why should you believe the encyclopedia instead of Hubbard, and hundreds of satisfied customers? Because the standards are a little different. When a scientific theory is advanced in the real world, it's subjected to peer review. People who know what they're talking about try to find errors or to disprove it entirely. They advance alternative explanations for the same phenomena. They do everything they can to poke holes in the new theory.
If they succeed, it's back to the drawing board, and rightfully so. If the theory had problems or was entirely out to lunch, it shouldn't survive--it was wrong! If the theory actually did illuminate some truth, every attack only strengthens it. One challenge after another fails to find something wrong with it; if it emerges unscathed, it's a pretty damned good theory and will probably serve till something better comes along. What does "serve" mean? It means provide an explanation of otherwise inexplicable phenomena, and, often, provide reliable predictions of future phenomena.
Apollo 13's excerpt from Asimov illustrates this process beautifully.
You may not understand much about plate tectonics or radioactive isotope half-life dating, but the fact they're referred to in encyclopedias indicates (though doesn't guarantee) that these subjects have stood up to the challenges of peer review and passed. If you're still skeptical, look in more encyclopedias. See if there's even a single voice of dissent. If there is, we can talk about whether it's valid. If there isn't, realize that it's because the dissenting voices have already been heard and have been unable to make the slightest dent in the theory being challenged.
I'm going to anticipate an argument that a Scientologist would be expected to make: "Those scientists could be wrong. Scientists have been wrong before. I intend to do the OT III course and see if it's true for me."
Yes, it is absolutely true that scientists have been wrong. Science isn't perfect, and our knowledge of the universe through science will never be perfect. However, science is the *only* thing that has advanced our knowledge and given us (actually) workable technologies to improve the lot of mankind. If geology is a mystery to you, you should see the science behind the technology that makes your computer work. You'll think you fell down the rabbit hole in Alice In Wonderland. Yet, your computer does work (we're not talking about the operating system, now Smile ), and it works because somebody understood and used physics principles that are nearly impossible for brilliant scientists to explain, let alone for, say, the average defensive lineman to understand.
Hubbard, on the other hand, makes claims with nothing at all to back them up, other than the reports of subjects who, after being indoctrinated in what they should find, looked inside themselves and did, indeed, find things that agreed.
How reliable will your own subjective perceptions or "knowingness" be, if and when you attempt to run OT III on yourself, in or out of Scientology? I can best answer that indirectly. Although I do not know, as I explained above, whether the unproven techniques of Scientology actually can reliably and safely produce improvements in people--I *do* know that, under auditing, a PC *can*, without intending to, produce an incident that is entirely false, but that reads, runs, and clears just exactly like a true one. How do I know that? I was that PC, and I had it happen to me. I doubt I'm the only one. I suspect, rather, that this happens all the time and is what's behind most if not all past life incidents.
Finally, here's why you *should* care, a whole lot more than a little, whether the OT III story is true or false, and take the trouble to find out. This is one of two things. It's either your eternal spiritual freedom, if there is such a thing, or it's the rest of your life, if there isn't. If OT III is really valid, well, you need it. You're trillions of years into a dwindling spiral that Self Analysis is not going to get you out of. On the other hand, if OT III is false, you need to *not* be spending the rest of your life getting square with COS, giving them all your money, and auditing out nonexistent body thetans (and that's *all* there is from OT III on up). Don't you think there's something more at stake here than finding out the anti-Scn viewpoint, or whether people are polite to you or answer all your questions in the manner you'd like?
"As per your P.S., I don't know why there hasn't been a bio. I don't have any speculations on it. I do not think that it's because management is trying to get all of its lies in order."
You are perhaps aware that the bio author, Dan Sherman, has been working on it for at least ten years.
Have you read Hubbard's "affirmations" (also referred to as "admissions" ), and are you aware that these exist as an unchallenged court document? They are clearly the product of a psychopathic mind, and reveal the intentions behind Hubbard's later activities and his creation of Scn/Dn and the COS.
I have one more point to address with you. It's something I think you mentioned in response to another person's post. You said, in essence, KSW is a good principle. As I recall, you were defending, perhaps halfheartedly, PTS/SP tech and some aspects of disconnection, or disconnection under some circumstances.
Having been on staff, you must know that KSW is an all-or-nothing proposition. You cannot be in favor of KSW and simultaneously reject some part of Scientology. You can't believe that *all* illness and mistakes are not the result of suppression. You can't believe that blows *ever* stem from anything other than O/Ws. If you don't uphold KSW 100%, you are a squirrel, according to Scn.
If you do reject KSW (as it seems to me you must), in order to pick and choose which parts of Scn *you* are satisfied are valid, then may I suggest that you turn the hairy eyeball on *all* the parts you've been accepting so far, including asking yourself whether your own experiences and observations really constitute objective proof of what's claimed?
Why do this, if it's been satisfactory so far? Because the truth works better. For several months after quitting Scn, every single day I would notice in myself a tendency to think the doctrinaire Scientology explanation of something I'd observe. I made a point of challenging it, each time. Is that really what's happening? Could there be another explanation for it? Have I been selecting only the favorable results and ignoring the unfavorable ones?
That, my friend, is a workable technology. What's the result? A clear, dispassionate understanding of what is and isn't true in Scientology, and of the fact that some truths don't make the rest true, and of just how useful those actual truths are (not particularly, so far).
I hope I've adequately responded to your points and questions. If not, or if clarification is needed, or if you have more, feel free to let me know, publicly or privately. I'll do my best to help.
This has been about Scientology's so-called technology, and I've only mentioned in passing their organizational abuses. That's because they aren't what you were asking about. But they do exist, as others have seen and experienced in far more detail than I. Intrinsic to Scientology is the belief that Scientology's ends justify any means, including lawbreaking and violations of human rights. If and when they refrain, it's only because of the likelihood of not getting away with it and the severe repercussions that would ensue.
P.S. Since this *is* a public message--some readers are probably wondering why I'm talking to a guy who's already said he's blowing from and not returning to this MB, and who may have been a troll anyway. There are two reasons. One, he might look here again, despite what he said, and two, other people will read it, even if he doesn't. Cocoon's not the only one thinking that way.
L Ron Hubbard's complete coroner's report in .pdf form 7.4 Megabytes is available HERE
Dear Scientology Staff member letter #1 by Michael Tilse
Dear Scientology Staff member letter #2
Dear Scientology Staff member letter #3
A 3 page flyer in Miscrosoft WORD format by Volney Mathison is here: DOWNLOAD 1.28 Meg
Dear Scientology Staff member letter #5 Imagine a Letter from L Ron Hubbard
Posters and other handouts are in this directory HERE
Demons of Freedom an Essay
Introduction the The Exit Pages
The Exit Pages
MORE of Dan Garvin's story
Gary Weber's story
Michael Pattinson's story - An OT8
Donna Shannon's story another OT8