From: Bob Minton <email@example.com>
Subject: LMT Literati Contest Entry - Scientologist: Steve Jasmine
Date: Sun, 17 Dec 2000 19:21:59 -0500
Organization: Lisa McPherson Trust, a Scientology watchdog group
Street address removed for privacy by LMT
Copyright © 2000 by Steve Jasmine
As we finally put to rest this most gruesome of centuries, putting away these nightmares of Bethmann-Hollwegs(2), and Hitlers, Stalins, Nixons and Pol Pots, we visit the future with discussions about directing the movement of people as if that were as easy as directing the whimsy of a butterfly. Experience has given us the year 2000 as a test or a false start to this century. But it actually wasn’t all negative. It showed that the next hundred years might contain some potential for positive growth in civilization.
Every new era seems too fast, too many notes. Some of the mullahs got caught this year in Turkey, Hezbollah mortars in the mosques. One state of 50 in America has voted doctors the right to assist the terminally ill with their suicides. The aboriginal tribes in Australia got out part of their message but were otherwise quite co-opted by the Olympics Committees and their sponsors.
Not enough has been made of the rapprochements between Turkey and Greece, and other countries in a similar position throughout the world. For sparkling moments it even seemed as if the vile destruction in the Middle East might even tend toward solution. But control bought itself a bad name again when the Machiavelians of both sides swayed the peacemakers back to the Horse Latitudes and the violence to the innocents that such historic and figurative areas imply.
If we were Dickins, how would we portray the next Best of Times? Will we need to do much to make that happen? How much of history will we drag along with us as we try?
The agrarian age for society is over, along with its maze of dependencies and responsibilities. Family orientation is no longer able to keep pace with the exigencies of an economy that requires multiple paychecks to keep family economics working. Faith-based religious platitudes have, for a long time since, stopped challenging the majority of people. Nationalism is having trouble holding sway as well. "Good riddance," some say, striking even more fear into those who don’t agree with that at all.
What is the paradigm that will give us the dream of a future that we would all like to enjoy? Theoretically, on might say that we have gone from one type of grouping, the family, to a wider group based of similar beliefs, then based upon locale and nations, to a time when they all were holding sway. Then there is an apparent collapse of all of them. The Viet Nam War, the abortion platform of the Pope, the inability of major religions to allow women in positions of clergy, Time Magazine pronouncing a corruption of N ietzsche’s claim (100 years previous) that God is Dead, the world wars and the economic collapses and manipulations which thereafter slowly changed from allowing women in the workplace to forcing women into the workplace to predominance of women in the workplace, while they, the average woman also has to hold all the standard family raising and household chores.
Perhaps there is no paradigm that we would all like to enjoy. Perhaps there is no way to get to a defined Best of All Possible Worlds. Or perhaps there is but it just takes a great deal of work and clean hands. Perhaps it takes Control, a desire for Freedom and an ever widening sphere of Responsibility.
The Scientologists believe that they have an answer for themselves and for others which party in these regions. They study a group of concepts that they believe explain people and life experience well enough to give them a step up on their future decisions. The concepts are written in several books and collections of letters and bulletins that are amassed in various categories or by time. The ideas were developed or aligned or derived or brought into the mix by one Lafeyette Ronald Hubbard, known to many friends or advocates as L. Ron Hubbard, Ron or LRH, and by his enemies by perhaps, more vivacious names.
There has been much discussion about where these concepts were derived and why. LRH makes no claim that they were all derived by him, only that were brought together and codified by him. In a.r.s., points can be scored by putting importance on scurrilous meetings with unsavory characters. Parts of the Hubbard Management studies are taken out and used to prove that the object of the philosophical studies are money-driven. Issues are made of the secrecy of studies not given until lower level studies are fully completed. Mockery is made of people who have joined the religious order, the uniforms they wear and the food they allegedly eat.
And, not so often, the battle cry is softened by some a.r.s. brother who asserts that there is a person in the average Scientologist, perhaps misguided, but a person just the same. Treat him with respect. It is not him who we are after. The cry is finished with an attack on the management of the organization, often with visceral visions of their virtue. It is the management that needs to be attacked, they say.
Where can they be best attacked is the question of the day. Can there be found a shiv that will separate the laity from their protectors?
Or do they need to be? Is there freedom or is there ain’t? How do some of the basics of the philosophy (that is, Control, Freedom and Responsibility) operate or clash within the organization and how do these interface with the non-Scientology world. These are the words used to govern the writing of this essay in this contest of philosophical worlds.
Of course, the Scientologist would say that there is nothing in the world that isn’t part of the Scientology world. This premise would be based upon the definition and concept of a game; composed of freedoms, barriers and purposes, and somewhere, the decision to be part of the game.
So from the first, the person who works within the realm of the Scientology philosophy acknowledges that there will be barriers to their goal attainment, and that there may as well be included a group that sets itself up to oppose them; whether the opposition is directed at themselves, their beliefs, the belief system, those who monitor the technology and provide a space for the belief system to thrive. And that is the Church of Scientology in a nutshell The group that studies the texts along with the group who is protecting it from erosion and the conflicts other religions have gone through as the direct words and meaning of the originator of a doctrine get distorted over time and distance.
The opposition doesn’t seem confused about any of this. Over the years they have decided that whichever angle one of the group wants to attack, that is fine since the rest of the group can act like they are not participating. They have no responsibility for the attack, the attempt at control or anything that the attack causes. For example, when a Christian who feels that Scientology is anti-Jesus, the Christian can make his or her claims while Tilman Hausherr can elect to keep silent - even though his old web site, in the recent past, used to disclaim Christianity as well, going so far as to rag on Mother Theresa. (Perhaps that is OK in the ethos of the a.r.s. This author isn’t going to make comment on it except to say that it happens.) They will also snigger when people are killed by virtue of their rants as happened in Scientology Missions from Oregon to Portugal. They take no responsibility so, of course, they would have to disavow all control. There is probably some logic that would say that they therefore have no freedom. But these connections are part of the purpose of this article.
The point is (as described in the rules of this game) that if: "The essay should analyze how control, freedom and responsibility operate together or clash within the organization and how these interface with the non-Scientology world," then we have to wrap the responsibility, control and freedoms of the opposition as being part of the Scientology world.
As everyone reading this should know, the top triangle of the Scientology symbol is said to be the most important triangle. In its symbology the Scientologist uses the triangle for its traditional value of stability and emphasizes that by strengthening one part of the triangle, the other two sides tend to be strengthened. Two of the components of this "top" triangle happen to be part of the conversation for this article, that is, Responsibility and Control. The third component is Knowledge (an interesting part to leave out of the equation and perhaps an interesting one to replace with Freedom.)
Attempts at control of religion, and a religion’s proponents, is not uncommon throughout history. From a modern perspective we see the Mormons having a tough time of it from their beginnings in the 1820’s. In fact, some would say that the United States was built substantially on the results of persecuted religions, people who wanted to get away from the attempted control of others. Not often is it so civilized and contrived as the spectacle of this essay contest.
For example, an example paragraph given with the rules of this self proclaimed Literati says:
The organization and many of its adherents claim that they have complete freedom. There is even a "Grade Zero" where members can attain the ability to communicate "with anyone on any subject." But rather than seeing greater communication with family members who are not Scientologists, we find "disconnection" and PTS handling. While this is certainly their right, what should non-members do in response and for what purpose?
How many clever half truths are there in this one paragraph? It starts in the first sentence with the alleged claim of complete freedom. While this is close enough for believability, it claims a twist on the truth of the matter Does any adherent claim that they have complete freedom? No; no one claims that they have complete freedom. People may claim that they are working toward complete freedom. But this is a typical setup for a straw man argument.
Half-truth two, the claim that there is not greater communication with family member who are not Scientologists, but rather there is "disconnection" and PTS handling. While it would be foolish to deny that there is never "disconnection" or PTS handling, the twist on the truth makes one believe that there is no one with better communication with their family. Another attempt at a straw man, though it seems like a red herring to divert us to some greater invasion.
Then the silly statement, given in the tone of noblesse oblige, "What should non-members do in response and for what purpose?"
On the simple face of it, given a pure innocent view, they are asking what is a non-Scientologist family member supposed to do if they are subject to a "disconnection" or PTS handling. (Of course, the answer is "Communicate.")
The first part of that statement is innocuous, as long as it isn’t a mantra used to incite others to an unknown response. But why would the writer of that sentence use the term, "…and for what purpose?"
Are they trying to give away that their game is a lie, that they have to come up with a purpose so late in the game to justify or hide their malevolence? Or is there another reason, a reason that they would like someone else to point to before these opponents to Scientology’s game of life continue in their grab for control? Cute that they would go looking for such validation though.
Perhaps they think that they have the responsibility to grab for control? But so many of their non-group have shown that they despise every aspect of the Scientology group, many others absolutely hate the data and methodology of Scientology, many others hate the protectors, the Sea Org, many wickedly mock the laity. They also mock the court system that has gotten involved in the dispute, they have scurrilously attacked the judges involved, they have made up and repeated fabricated stories so often that they become part of their urban legend. (Glug glug.)
Are they in a position to control if they could establish a legitimacy? What makes a person a legitimate critic? Is there a legitimacy in moving from being a critic, a person on the outside looking in, into working their meanings into a methodology of control (some would say manipulating for the purpose of disruption), and finally, is it possible for this a.r.s. group and its spin-offs to fashion a methodology than can possibly blend responsibility and control of what they are alleged critics of?
The word "critic" derives from the Greek word that had inflections of what we understand as "to judge," "to separate (in the sense of being able to discern and with an ability to perceive)," and ultimately, "to explain." All the definitions limit themselves to "forms and expresses judgments" or "specializes, especially professionally, in the evaluation and appreciation of literary or artistic works" or stretched for our cruder time, "tends to make harsh or carping judgments." (All these taken from American Heritage Dictionary.)
With these criteria of being a critic, it is clear that asking "…what should non-members do in response…" must be a limited question, not asking for what further action should the critic be taking. Entering a more debatable area, is the a.r.s. critic set able to be so separate from their gut feelings that they can be observant, to perceive with enough understanding as to have anything valuable to say.
Understanding, by Scientological methodology and observance, is that condition, or measurement of perception and comprehension, of an idea or item which moves up and down with the manner of a trigonometric function, the components being the amounts of affinity, reality and communication, communication having somewhat of an nth root function.
Definitions of "Understanding" in other dictionaries don’t contradict or add to that definition, though none attempt to be so precise. Critics don’t seem to complain about this definition. But do they care to have an understanding of the subject of Scientology so as to be able to perceive without bias or do they stop at the level of being able only to mock?
And can one who specializes in mockery by trusted to define control or responsibility or even set the boundaries for such a debate? No; mockery doesn’t allow for any affinity.
What are the claims made by the critics that bring us to ask these questions A) about Control, Freedom and Responsibility, B) should it be taken and C) why. How do they relate to the Church organization and to the adherents? The following is a brief examination of the most garishly teased points taken from the internet search engines.
First among their list is fraud, that the entire concept and delivery of Scientology is based upon false premises and delivered in a manner that brings a loss of control to the adherent. Many posts are written that liken the Scientology auditing session to hypnotism (at best) and brainwashing (perhaps at worst, though there are post equating the religion and practices of Scientology to Satanism and beyond.) On the other hand, the Scientologist practitioner, the auditor, would say that communication is maintained at all times between the two participants which puts a lie to the concept of either hypnotism or brainwashing, those two actions which rely upon complete control of the betrayer over the subject. In contrast, the auditor requires the participant to be actively involved since the session requires that the participant is researching an otherwise hidden or unexamined area of their life. Without that awareness there is no possibility of the participant achieving the required step of what is termed as the cognition, that moment of "Oh, yeah! Now I understand." It is possible that a session can be done wrong wherein that step is not taken, but that would be caught by the Case Supervisor whose oversight job it is to review each session and approve the steps of the next session. If these are not being done, then it is not a Scientology session, but that is not the claim made by the critics.
Their claims of fraud also involve that Scientology is not a religion, was not set up as a religion, but was rather set up strictly as a money venture and remains that way to this day. There are many routes in the chat rooms and postings set up to probe and prove this line of thought. Each one takes a leap of faith to follow the logic, or lack thereof.
The first that comes to most people‘s mind is likely that Mr. Hubbard made a statement along the lines of, "Anyone can make up a religion and make money f rom it." Though the stories often involve people of literary skill and repute, no story ever tracks down to a final, this is what happened, this is when it happened, these are the people who heard it. There are several trails that allege to point to a possibility, but each one is a reach and each one claims something different, some even claiming authorship to other people.
While it is very difficult to prove a negative, the reasonable man approach says that it didn’t happen. For if it had, then it should be easy enough to find an attributable source that doesn’t equivocate. Of course, the fair minded critic in a.r.s. (an oxymoron if there ever was one) doesn’t point this out when it comes up in some specious claim rant. Mr. Newman, designated sheriff and purveyor of arbitration…will speak up on the easy ones, when he feels like it. But it is a rare moment when he will weigh in Scientology’s defense, even on an easy one. This shows that either 1) Scientology is always wrong (which has not proved out in an enormous number of court cases), or 2) he is yet one more irresponsible critic.
The critics will also point to early statements by Mr. Hubbard which point out that the earlier science of Dianetics and its application is not a religion. Of course, at some point in the early 1950’s it became apparent that the effects of application had crossed over from being strictly a mental/physical confluence to being a series of spiritual manifestations that ripple through a persons life. At that point even Mr. Hubbard acknowledged that he was working in the sphere of religion. Perhaps it wasn’t the western view of religion which usually relies upon a God who is integral to every aspect of a persons life.
"Here was the subject of life. Here was a rather unexpected end and goal to find the actual entity of existence, the actual creator and motivator of life and this universe standing there, ready to be examined, simply by walking up a channel of reason and logic as developed in the sciences," says L. Ron Hubbard in the lecture "Exteriorization" in The Game of OT (Operating Thetan), Exteriorization & Havingness lecture series.
Perhaps it was more of the eastern varieties of religion which usually acknowledge an ultimate spiritual being but works more in the sphere of the individual reaching a point of enlightenment (though often toward a supreme being. To be clear, Mr. Hubbard has made the point very early in the 50’s that there is a supreme being in the Scientology religion but that it was not the purpose of the group to enforce a belief system on that issue. Rather it was something that one grew toward.)
The eastern orientation is not so odd in this day and age, though in the 50’s it was a bit more of an oddity. Not that it needed to be overcome, because there were plenty of people who had an affinity for that line of reasoning and were looking for an opportunity to follow it. Does it fit into our glimpse into Freedom? Of course. In nearly all religions there is a being who is the person, who is to some degree, made in the image and likeness of the Supreme Being and endowed with a high degree of freedom, certainly to a much higher degree than any physical being. That the endowment might be "given" rather than equipped by nature isn’t important to the exposition of this paper’s argument. What is important to this discussion is whether the Scientology adherent is gaining more and more freedom through Scientology practice or not.
The critic would say that the answer is no, that the adherent is a dupe of the worst kind. Again, it is difficult to prove a negative and since the domain of the spirit is replete with problems of objective proof, then it comes down to whether the person involved feels they have made a positive or negative move in their spiritual quest. Does the individual feel that they have approached a better state for controlling their life and being able to give back something in return.
These criterion are the same that other religions or religious philosophies have had to reach in their pasts and are being held as a standard for their adherents. The standard a.r.s. critic, with a few exceptions, really protests all religions. The facts behind this can be found by searching the internet and following traces of the "leading" a.r.s. adherents through other web sites. There it can be found that several of these people also attack Mormons and Catholics and other religious institutions and their people.
It is an "everyone knows" that religious persecution has been a continuous staple of the ignoble throughout recorded history and probably before. It may be the rare instance that something which everyone knows is also true. It may also do no good to repeat the obvious cases. It doesn’t denigrate the ones who have suffered any of this persecution in the past to point out that there was often an economic fundamental behind many of the torturings, and that this also has occurred throughout history. Was it a case of majority over minority behavior or was it a case of the "powers that be" exercising dominance for nefarious reasons? If the former, then it would be silly to discuss whether the minority religion should lose control to the majority masters. If it was the latter, then it would be criminal.
Perhaps a logical look though the freedom/responsibility/control looking glass at that case of the majority masters who are allowed to be in control of the minority religion before we revert back to the other elements in the critics arguments.
Whether it be a Pharaoh or Queen Isabella I, what right, much less, what long term positive gain can come of an attacker taking control of the lives or organizations of that which they are trying to demolish? Is there any logic there at all? Has some inspiration of any all-gentle government ever been proven correct when it asserts a right to decide what beliefs to promote? Rather, the one shining light during the Dark Ages were the lands surrounding Cordoba, where the ruling Moors allowed people freedom to choose and practice their religion. So freedom and control have some relationship in this part of the story. That is especially true when we look at the dark side of that equation, at those who took the responsibility for creating the very end of that legendary era, a time ended by the era of the complete control, a time of the auto-da-fe.
Speaking of governments, is it time for a quotation? Let’s guess, "Who said this?"
"And this is the case here because auditing, per the statutes, is understood as ‘spiritual counseling,’ and the seminars and courses intended ‘to achieve a higher level of existence’ are based on the commonly held convictions of members, without which they would have no value for the recipients."
That shouldn’t be too hard to guess, since it aligns with the principles put forth above and since a point is trying to be made. It is of course an excerpt from the translation of the official Press Release by the Federal Administrative Supreme Court concerning its ruling in No. 41/1997, November 6, 1997, in Scientology Neue Br¸cke v. Bundesver- waltungsgericht.
"The delivery of Scientology services is part of a religious and life- philosophical character and based on the principle of free religious practice." (Regional Court of Frankfurt/Main, No. 2/4 0 235/92, February 24, 1993, Koch v. Church of Scientology of Frankfurt.)
For those with no historical perspective, who like to waltz through the little troubles that the Church of Scientology is having in some parts of Germany, it should be pointed out that there was persecution of the Church by the powers that be in the United States of America. The Church had a series of similar wins among the loses that got more widely publicized. Ultimately the rogues couldn’t maintain their protection and the honest sectors of such groups as the Internal Revenue Service of the United States were able to see the truth that had been presented for decades.
"There is no evidence of profiteering by the Church and the value of the services cannot be measured by market value as they are spiritual services intended by the plaintiffs to fulfill their own personal spiritual needs." (Regional Court of Frankfurt, No. 2/4 0 76/92, 27 May 1992, Gebauer v. Church of Scientology of Frankfurt.)
Before then, there had been many local and Circuit Courts who sided with the Church as a Church and many who decided the opposite. There was a lot of chaff to separate from the wheat, but finally it got done. And that is what is happening, and will happen, in Germany. And that is what is happening, and will happen, in France. How can such a statement be made with such certainty?
"The Church of Scientology fulfills the requirements of a religious and ideological association; thus, the promotion, dissemination and propagation of the Scientology religion is protected by the Constitution." (Administrative Court of Frankfurt/Main, No. IV/2 E 2234/86, September 4, 1990, Scientology Mission of Frankfurt v. City of Frankfurt.)
There are plenty of parishioners who can tell you why they are sure that the Church of Scientology and all of its good will are sure that they will ultimately prevail in the wonderfully set up and dramatized events that are being masqueraded as a legal fight. Is it because they have fun with Scientology data? Yes, lot’s of fun learning and looking at data and correlating it with life lessons and life future.
"If gifts or voluntary contributions are paid by the members, on the occasion of the concrete use of ecclesiastical services as is the case with Scientology, this is only one imaginable form of financing of a religious community, which can possibly be regarded as fairer than the demand of a flat-rate percentage of the member's income (as is practiced by the Catholic and Lutheran Churches). It is quite obvious that the aims of the defendant can only be achieved by a financially strong organization, the way and manner of financing of a religious community being again part of the self-administration of a church. Small religious/philosophical communities, such as the defendant, which contrary to the great established churches, do not have considerable tax receipts, have to arrange for a different financing. (Regional Court of Frankfurt, No 2/4 0 471/88, June 7, 1989, Emiliano Padin v. [Scientology] Mission of Frankfurt.)
Is it because the parishioners have respect for the management? Yes; that and because they have had quite a high level of success. And it is not because the management of the Church of Scientology live or play in some type of Pantheon issuing orders from afar and with no experience. These are people who often make themselves accessible, who have been in the auditor‘s and Case Supervisor’s chair and have worked with the data that changes peoples life. Contrary to the sibilance in a.r.s. and the hall of Arnie, the men and women of the Sea Org, and in particular the upper management, have been able to chart a course that gradiently handles the various opportunities which have advanced over time. It’s what they would call taking responsibility and putting control into an environment.
Do the critics think that the they, who seem at their most adept when calling people names, could put in better control? Certainly the laity doesn’t thinks so. There have been monumental successes against nearly impossible odds which were brought about with the finesse of an organization twice its years.
Much natter is devoted to some specious argument about money and the people not knowing how much something is going to cost. But the reality is something completely different. Calls go our to assist with an interesting social betterment cause and people respond. People respond with time and people respond with money. The people at the lofty institution of a.r.s. pretend to disdain these admirable persons by printing their names in their little news and blues lists. The bottom line is that the people who spend time studying the religious philosophy of Scientology are very aware of the responsibility that they need to take, being pioneers of an adventure that is simultaneously working with people toward betterment and as well, building a platform that many people will be able to rely upon in the future as well as, protect the institution throughout the world.
In the end, the people involved with the natter are the definition of no responsibility, while the people involved with learning to help themselves plus learning to assist other people are the definition of responsibility. To the many people who are being helped daily, it is the Scientologists who are taking control of situations needing assistance, being in control when it is required and preparing for more control as time goes on. The amount of control that they have taken individually and jointly is just creating more responsibility for themselves, but as it happens, the group has grown better able to handle the responsibility and, as well, they outside world the authors of this contest mention is joining in at a faster and more able pace
Attempts to create hype have recently centered on finding apostates and telling their stories of woe, attaching great significance to some part of the struggle to stay in the group, when everything they know to be wrong, is going on. The drama in this game can take different forms, one person saying that there is no joy anymore, another saying that they had trouble keeping up with the requirements of training. Whatever the reason, they have found that this course of study in their quest for a religious philosophy didn’t follow the track that they were previously on or want to follow in the future.
This is not so odd in the annuls of earth history. Some of the greats of many a religion are even those apostates who came back. The Church of Scientology has a policy of always keeping the door open to those who wish to return and like many religions, the requirement is to make sure that the person makes up the damage that they might have done while they were away as well as handling the problem that led them astray. (3)
Many of the a.r.s.'ers will immediately knee-jerk a cynical response that the whole area of control typified as "disconnection" is some kind of mind control aberration in need of examination by some Uber-sympathetic and more "reasonable" external force which could tell an organization which rules that they must have about who a member can associate with. The fact is that nearly every religious and many non-religious groups have similar rules, some of which have been examined by court systems who have acknowledged their rights to do so.
Many of these critics, if not all of them, have also been willing to be apologists for people who enforce association, those being the kidnappers who take a person who has decided to follow a path disliked by the kidnappers, then do actual brainwashing and torture. Such audacious behavior should be looked upon by any reasonable person as criminal and to the great chagrin of the a.r.s. crowd, one of their hate groups which promulgated such activity had responsibility and control put in on them by a court of law because of such a forcibly imposed action.
It reminds one to mention that Saint Thomas Aquinas was even kidnapped by his parents when he joined Dominican Order. Of course, he eventually went on to write the Summa Theologiae, which set the course of the Catholic Church for centuries, putting to bed the argument between the schools of thought that would falsely pit faith and reason against each other. Ironically, it would seem that there is a bit of a stretch going on as the a.r.s. crowd tries to get this argument going at their virtual temple. They mock people who are studying the religious philosophy of Scientology, or participate in its many social betterment activities, where the mockery tries to attribute some adoration and faith-based orientation of L. Ron Hubbard.
But, as he L. Ron Hubbard says in the lecture "Differences Between Scientology and Other Studies",
"Now, compare that with this idea: If it is true for you, it’s true. And if it’s not true for you, it’s just not true, that’s all.
As to the other point, of adoration, let’s be clear. If the word adoration has the sense of "beyond strong admiration," then the word adoration is much to strong - there is no Scientologist who gets involved with adoring Mr. L. Ron Hubbard. Certainly there is no idolization, which is the implication that could be derived from the derogatory remarks of many a.r.s. posts. There is appreciation to a high degree. Perhaps that appreciation is what is confusing the a.r.s. crowd as appreciation is part of the adoration definition.
Is one not free to appreciate, to whatever degree they want, without someone else busting into their consciousness, telling them that they are involved on the wrong side of a freedom of choice issue? Alas, it may be a trumped up charge, but since the task of adjudicating a freedom ‘issue’ is part of the task of this essay, does the a.r.s. group mean to be asking for the right to tell people how to think? Let’s face it, what right would any critic have, to give or take, any other person’s right to like or dislike any other person, regardless of where on the scale that degree of like or dislike may lay?
Perhaps dilution of freedom, as a person's right, could be the subject of discussion for next years LMT PR campaign, but it isn’t this year's. This year we speak to: Whether there is even the remotest need for intervention in the Church of Scientology due to some freedom aspect of the individual’s relationship to the Church or the Church’s relationship to the individual.
How absurd this is, even from the viewpoint of the critic. It is a trap of enormous proportions for the critic since it opens a real Pandora’s box for them which, as obvious from the implication, once opened is impossible to close. And the full implications of taking away a minority’s rights of association, or decisions of thought, ripple quickly in both directions. And regardless of how The Church of Scientology is still a minority organization, the critics are an extremely small handful. In fact, perhaps next years "Spie l-icus" can be Dissertations Concerning The Similarities in Needs of the Church and Her Critics - Lost Opportunities for Affinity.
There is actually more to the issue of how a person, who is studying or receiving the benefits of Scientology’s applied religious philosophy, could, should and would associate with others. The a.r.s. critic wants to take away someone freedom of choice in this matter. The Scientologist, who is often unfairly castigated for undue proselytism, (a proper practice that every religion and many non-religious groups work hard to accomplish), follows guidelines in their search for a better world by following the words of L. Ron Hubbard-from the same lecture quoted above:
"In the final analysis all you can get anybody to do is inspect himself, his environment, life, and find out what’s true for him. And those things that are true for him, they’ll be pretty true. And you’ll find out that if he does it all the way then we all agree on what’s true.
Not too nefarious, this friendly concern for other people. In fact, it sounds like Mr. L. Ron Hubbard is suggesting that Scientologist, those studying as well as those who are practicing as professionals, should be taking responsibility for other people. That is the type of control that Scientologists are interested in, the kind that gets people helped.
If this were interpreted as saying that we all have to follow some party line all the time, read on.
"But the second we all agree on what’s true, and that these things are truths, then we can get very lazy, and we never have to think of it again, and Ron can write it down in a book, and the next generation that comes along only has to memorize this so they will know what the truth is. Well, that I don’t think any of us want to have happen."
With these words and the structure of the organization, there is already a feedback loop installed in the Church of Scientology for corrections. The basic nature of the Quality Control Division, which is found in every organization, lends it the ability to correct errors in the personnel and the organization itself. Even though it is possible that every a.r.s.’er knows the truth of this matter before they decide to twist it, we will review some of the basics before we answer.
Qual, which is the abbreviated name the Quality Control Division, is designed to work independently to insure that the products that the group delivers in exchange for its viability is up to standard. It also is set up to insure that the people who deliver the exchangeable items are correct and up to date as they move the work in process through the different parts of the organization, from the idea stage to production and promotion.
While the critics postulate that there are a bunch of organization heavies surrounded by a flock of ninnies who just get their pockets picked and then get out of the way, it is the Qual Division that actually gives us the security. Since many of us have grown through the many years of expansion of the Church, we have the security of knowing that as the organization grows and delivers more service to more people it will keep gaining experience and maturity.
Besides the absurd premise that the critics have set up or implied, it is also this self-regulating mechanism which makes the colloquy originated by this topic, so illegitimate and without foundation. Since we are all aware that we are surrounded by people of good intention it is easy to overlook some misapplied technology of some persons misadventure with their own ethics. We know that in short order we will all be on the right path again, and that no matter what the problem was, or its manifestations, we are much better off together in this group than where we would be if alone (or with the a.r.s. group in-charge.)
Another of the LMT suggestions for shaping this treatise was: "Are there other models, systems or techniques that can be used to understand and better interface and reach members? These are people who fervently believe that they have some "universal solvent"; yet they feel they must withdraw from interaction with those who disagree with them and even attack critics."
I don’t know if any of us Scientologists feel that we "must" withdraw from interaction with those who disagree, but lets face it, there are so many other things to do than to sit around writing 7500 word missives. There is quite a bit of fun to be had out there in the world. There is a lot to accomplish, both in and out of the sphere of Scientology. But notwithstanding the adventures and the game, (and the funny conundrum of the language in the sentence of "must withdraw from... " and "... even attack"), there is also the rest of the innocently placed sentence.
(Did the writer of these little softball questions think that the press, or whoever’s attention they are going to try to get attention from, will not recognize the duplicity of the set ups as they are laid out in this contest? They must deal with some really lame and desperate journalists. The authentic searchers for mystery and imagination have all left this arena since they found out the types of traps that get laid for them when they rely upon the critics of the Church of Scientology. A few years ago, when the internet was young and the medium was the message, the a.r.s.’ers had their 15 minutes of fame. Since then, the messengers of importance are all finding that they have much more in common with the Church of Scientology and their members.
In addition to not liking the idea of what Germany and France are doing, they can also see how it will turn out. Stupidly laid out law that discriminates and denies due process will always (eventually) get thrown out by the courts and more gains in freedom will be made by minorities. It is a never ending trend and process with a few kinks in the road.
As long as we are in a parenthetical, it would be best to begin dispelling the notion of Mr. L. Ron Hubbard being a right wing yahoo like Mr. Lerma. There are hundreds of progressive statements that have been ignored by the critics. But then again, perhaps that is just more ammunition for next years article on Why the Critics, If They Are Going To Choose a Side, Should Be Siding with Scientology Instead of Against It. So, we will de-parentheticate.)
Let’s go back to the well-baited question above – "Are there other models, systems or techniques that can be used to understand and better interface and reach members?" If one presumes the implication that something else is needed besides Affinity, Reality and Communication, and if someone presumes that there is a desire in many more students of the religious philosophy that they love, to engage in the time wasting "parler de la pluie et du beau temp(4) " when there are so many more productive things to do and if one presumes that there is a message that is valid, and that it is needed, and if one presumes that people have to agree to needing critics in order to define own their game, then of course there are other methods besides the illegal and enforced measures that the a.r.s.’ers have been associated with in the past.
But none of those presumptions are valid. There is no need for their interference in the game that Scientologists are playing. There is no validity to their arguments of guns and torture and fraud and all the other imagined and dramatized nonsense that the a.r.s. zone spins. There isn’t the state of "plenty of time" to sit and "chew the fat" with derogatory and destructive messengers of doom while we are working to make things better for ourselves and family and groups and the world in general.
But, besides all of these things, Affinity, Reality and Communication would win out. But the ersatz critics are incapable of any of those ingredients without getting slimy a few seconds later. They have sunk to the lowest common denominator of people – those who hate the establishment of good, and love the destruction of good. Why they want to bring things down to their level is not interesting for this subject of freedom, control and responsibility of Scientologists and Scientology. Suffice to say that it would prevent any natural affinity and any manufactured affinity would ring false. They cannot share any realities with a group of builders since the dichotomy of views is, by definition, mutually exclusive.
And attempting to really communicate reminds me of the two characters in the Peralandra Trilogy wherein C.S. Lewis had the two protagonists interfacing with only one learning anything. The one character was so stuck on his destruction and so stuck on proving the other wrong that he was never able to learn. Meanwhile the other character, who was in the state of self and outward inspection and discovery, was constantly distracted from his path by the abuse and treachery of his "critic." A lot of excuses later, including being told that the treachery was ennobling for his soul, the destructive one destroyed himself. We don’t need to speculate how much further down the "critic" group needs to go before they justify taking their ultimate solid form as rocks for a few thousand years.
Needless to say, they were and are continuously offered the control required to improve themselves and help others. They decided to play with others in a game that they use to hide their fear and the vast networks of misfortune that they create. Oh well. We work with the able now so that these destructive people will lose their influence. To some degree it is starting to happen. Perhaps some day the last suppressive person will be able to prove himself right by saying that Mr. L. Ron Hubbard was wrong, that there aren’t 2.5% Suppressive Persons, only that last lonely being; that there aren’t another 10-20% under the influence of suppressives, because everyone else is having such a blast creating and having such fun interacting freely with everyone else.
Interacting presumes some give and take of control, some give and take of responsibility plus give and take of freedom. As the critics are merely takers, and so afraid of having anyone asserting anything on them, they are doomed to failure. Regardless of all the clever framing of arguments equating the Church, or the parishioners who are studying the applied religious philosophy of Scientology, with "dedicated communists in the former Soviet Union" and attempting to create some dichotomization toward disharmony due to arguments concerning "free choice," it won’t fly.
It won’t get off the ground, if for no other reason, than it flies in the face of the experience of those who keep clean hands. Which is good enough reason for us all. To revert to the original statement, "... what should be done to reach individual members and for what purpose?", which the critics purpose, is after the fact and false. It is the obvious statement of those without clean hands.
Which brings us back to the failing of their methods. Outside of no Affinity, no shared Reality and the complete incapability of the "critic" to Communicate for dozens of reasons, there is another ignored overriding reason for continued failure.
So, thanks for the offer of putting another barrier in front of our eventual freedom. But you are not needed.
1) Anschluss (AN-shloos) is a noun of the German language which denotes a political union, especially the one unifying Nazi Germany and Austria in 1938. It has the German root, annexation, from anschliessen, to enclose, annex : an, on (from Middle High German ane, from Old High German ana.) + schliessen, to close, from Middle High German sliezen, from Old High German sliozan.]
There is a more common understanding, in the German vernacular, is the straight forward meaning of `having connection to', e.g., by knowing a certain contact person one has the Anschluss to an organization. In the Aug 8, 2000 Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Lenora Fulani used it in her article Will Reform Party Survive Splits? as in "I am hopeful that we can get beyond the divisiveness of the last year without a return to the factionalism that made Reform such an easy target for Buchanan's Anschluss."
2) Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg was appointed Imperial Chancellor in 1909 by Kaiser Wilhelm II. Inexperienced in foreign affairs, he was unable to achieve conciliation with England and France. Due to the public discontent from the economic strain of expansion and rearmament, and the continued gains of the socialist parties in the 1912 elections, Bethmann-Hollweg decided that only a successful war could divert opposition to his economic policies. He hoped and expected a short, limited war. He encouraged Austro-Hungarian aggression after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Although he perhaps changed his mind after it became clear that it might escalate into a world war, he lacked the political authority to halt the destruction that he had encouraged and made possible.
3) For an interesting list of actions taking upon apostates in the past, see http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01624b.htm
4) parler de la pluie et du beau temps [FR expr.]
(to) chew the fat