From: XEMU-SP@THETA-GO (Me Again)
Subject: Scientology Discredited II
Date: 21 Nov 90 23:17:27 GMT
What is Scientology?
Basically, Scientology is a philosophy which states that people are spirits
(thetans) which inhabit corporeal bodies. This is just Cartesian dualism,
although no Scientologist whom I have talked to has even heard of DesCartes.
These thetans are immortal and, when the corporeal body dies, the thetan
moves on to another. In _Dianetics_ by L.Ron Hubbard (the founder of the
Church of Scientology), it is claimed that this thetan has been proved
conclusively to be 'good' in nature. Most people would find conclusive
proof of such intangibles as 'thetan' and 'goodness' a difficult thing to
do, but Hubbard never offers any such proof in this book.
What is Dianetics?
Dianetics is a subset of Scientology which addresses the 'mental health'
of the thetan and the physical health of the corporeal body which it inhabits.
The practice or 'technology' of Dianetics is akin to Freudian psychoanalysis.
In fact the entire idea was stolen from Freud, although Freud was never
so pretentious as to claim that his ideas were a 'complete science' which,
by virtue of its completeness, was above questioning or experimental testing.
Hubbard took a few simple concepts and simplified them. The resulting
theory is that your mind has two components: the conscious or 'analytical'
mind and the subconsious or 'reactive' mind. The reactive mind is bad.
The analytical mind is good. The reactive mind remembers everything bad
which happens when you are not conscious. The standard examples all involve
accidents which happen to knock you out, and the things which you observe
while you are unconcious. Later, when you have recovered, if something
happens to remind you of what is locked away in your reactive mind, you
have some sort of reaction (such as an allergy, or arthritis, etc).
Only undergoing 'auditing' can 'blow' these memories or 'engrams'. It
is further claimed that virtually all illnesses are psychosomatic and
can be 'cured' by these techniques (described later).
It is a delightfully simple concept, somewhat akin to Aristotilean physics,
and just as wrong. The mechanisms of arthritis, for example, are now
understood to be an autoimmune disorder, and anything but psychosomatic.
One must remember that, from a scientific standpoint, if a theory is
'complete', then it can admit no counterexamples... here is a counterexample.
Therefore, I have just proven the invalidity of either the assumption of
completeness or, if that is inviolate, the entire theory.
The auditing session.
Auditing is a form of hypnosis (although this is patently denied by
Scientologists; 'you are not being hypnotised' is still a hypnotic suggestion)
wherein the patient is asked to grasp two metal cylinders connected
to the opposite poles of a wheatstone bridge. This contraption is called
an e-meter. It is claimed that it measures the subject's emotions. In
fact it measures their electrical resistance. It is a very remedial
polygraph machine (is a polygraph with only one reading a monograph?).
I have had the opportunity to study these meters first hand and can
verify that this is all there is to it. A child could make a fully
functioning e-meter for about $5.00; my price list of Scientology books
and paraphenalia indicates that the church charges many hundreds, and
sometimes thousands of dollars for this simple circuit.
The auditor the asks the patient questions about its past while monitoring
the meter. Just as with the polygraph, questions which touch upon difficult
(emotional) issues cause fluctuations in the body's resistance (primarily
from muscle contraction and persperation). If the auditor manages to get
the patient to remember what Freud called 'suppressed' memories, then there
is an enormous release of emotions after which (catharsis) the patient feels
mildly euphoric. Without the e-meter, this is just one of many things which
legitimate psychologists do routinely. They have the training, however, to
help the patient deal with this memory which was so painful that the mind had
suppressed it. Dianetics counselors simply collect their money. In this
way also a dependency is formed by the patient. When the euphoria wears
off, they feel the need to return for more auditing.
Because the technique simply releases suppressed memory, and condition not
directly related to such a problem cannot be helped by Dianetics. For
example, they can't begin to help schizophrenics or manic depressives
because these conditions are both caused by chemical imbalances in the
brain. This is one of the reasons that, despite all of the claims about
wanting to improve the mental health of all people, the Church of Scientology
has never opened a mental hospital. The other reason is, of course, that
a sanitarium is rarely a money-making enterprise, and money-making is what
Scientology is REALLY about.
The Church offers the incentive to members that, when all of these
'engrams' are 'blown', they will be 'clear'. This means that they will
have perfect memories and be immune to addictions of all kinds as well
as radiation and virtually all disease. The implications of a right
wing cult which believes its members are immune to atomic radiation
are especially frightening if one remembers that this organization was
founded during the Cold War. Of course, mere auditing is not sufficient.
The 'Pre-Clear' must take extremely expensive courses through the Church
and undergo a battery of exhaustive 'Training Routines'. It is in the
latter that the most effective brain washing is done. The process of
'clearing' an individual appears to be primarily one of biofeedback. The
patient simply learns to control their emotional responses to such a degree
that the e-meter no longer can detect them.
I have not been able to find a complete list of 'TR's. I know that
there are several. My personal favourite is 'Training Routine: LIE'
in which the pre-clear is taught how to lie convincingly for the org.
I do not know the mechanics of this drill, only that it is part of
the routine. Other training routines should be very familiar to those
acquainted with brainwashing and mind control techniques. These include
several lengthy sessions in which the pre-clear is verbally abused while
being challenged to answer simple questions (eg. 'what does a bird do?'
'it flies.')or perform simple tasks (eg. 'touch that wall.'). The same
questions and commands are repeated and the responses must be given without
hesitation. This way the pre-clear learns complete and unthinking obedience.
Perhaps the greatest effort of all is placed on getting money from the
pre-clear. Auditing sessions are exceedingly expensive (anywhere from
$50 to $1000 per session depending upon the resources of the patient).
This, it must be pointed out, is far greater than what is charged by
legitimate analysts. Courses and TR's, which are required, cost many
hundreds of dollars each. Naturally, nobody can be expected to have
this sort of money, so the 'org' supplies the average person with an
alternate method of payment. You can sign a 5 year contract and work
off the money you owe. Of course, if you change your mind and want out
before the 5 years are up, you are subject to the 'freeloading clause'
which requires you to pay off all of your accumulated debt immediately.
Thus the threat of bankruptcy is used as a weapon to keep members working
without pay. Furthermore, since you are working against money which you
owe the 'org', your performance is continually monitored (every 'org'
has walls full of charts and graphs which must be completed and posted
every thursday without fail). If you are not doing your job of attracting
new recruits or selling books or whatever up to your assigned quotas, you
will be called into 'ethics' and interogated under the e-meter (remember
that it is very much like a polygraph). This is called a Security Check
or 'sec check'.
If a pre-clear does successfully leave the 'org', he will be harassed and
often blackmailed using information revealed in 'auditing' sessions (very
careful records are kept of all these sessions for exactly this purpose).
They are automatically designated as Supressive Persons or SP's and, like
all enemies of the 'org', made subject to the 'Doctrine of Fair Game'.
This states that the SP may be 'lied to, tricked, sued or destroyed'. Legal
action is one of the favourite courses of personal destruction. Since the
'org' has the financial resources to keep even the spurious suits tied up
in court for years, they are able to force many of their victims to settle
out of court to avoid bankruptcy (even though the case was usually completely
frivolous). The conditions for settlement usually include forcing the
victim to hand over all evidence of Scientology wrong-doing and and oath
of silence (which is why you don't hear a lot of public complaining from
these poor people).
This 'Fair Game' standing order (with Hubbard's signature) was leaked to
the press several years ago and was quite a source of embarrassment to the
Church. Hubbard publicly announced that the order was no longer in effect.
It was, and it is.
My next posting will include a discussion of some of the well documented
criminal activity of the Church of Scientology.
(NB. This is not my account; please do not send e-mail to this address)