LMT Literati Challenge, Year 2000

From: Bob Minton <bobminton@lisatrust.net>
Subject: LMT Literati Contest Entry - Scientologist: Madeline Paradis
Date: Sun, 17 Dec 2000 19:21:28 -0500
Organization: Lisa McPherson Trust, a Scientology watchdog group
Message-ID: <s3mq3t0sed63krmirnl6i7qpijk3ddr394@4ax.com>

City and State removed for privacy by LMT
Phone number removed for privacy by LMT

A Spiritual Journey
Copyright © 2000 by Madeline Paradis

Scientology: Control, Freedom & Responsibility

Communication between individuals or groups of opposing viewpoints can sometimes become a contest of rhetoric. We seek to exchange ideas, instead we become mired down in verbiage. I have always enjoyed reading parables. Although simply put, these stories, which seek to convey lessons or truths, have stood the test of time. They communicate honestly, without literary or intellectual pretense, for they have but one purpose: to bring about understanding. As I have the same purpose in mind, I have chosen to begin my essay in that style… with apologies to those far more practiced than I.

A long time ago, in a land far far away, lived a beautiful young girl with long golden hair kissed by the sun. Her name was Samaria and she was the niece of a King. Samaria lived in the Royal household, her only duty was to play with the King's son Abdul, and keep him happy and entertained. Abdul was a force to be reckoned with, even though he was only five years of age. When he and Samaria would race off to play hide and seek in the great halls of the King's castle, his black curls would bounce wildly, making Samaria laugh. His midnight blue eyes would sparkle with mischief when Samaria would find him hidden in his special place each time they played. On one dark and stormy afternoon the King's brother entered the castle with a small group of his devoted soldiers leaving muddy footprints on the stone floor leading to the King's chambers. Abdul and Samaria had never seen such large group of angry men and they became afraid. Their fear was increased when the doors to the King's chamber slammed shut, and the shouting drifted down the halls spilling out on the covered patio where they played. They stopped, listening for more.

The King's brother was very angry. The King however, had a peculiar way of handling angry men, and rather than matching anger with anger, he would leave huge gaping holes of great silences in the middle of a conversation, which Abdul's Uncle would quickly fill with his great booming voice.

Abdul and Samaria leaned closer to the open window, but could only make out a few of the cross words that were being carried on the air to their tender ears. The words themselves were not evil, they could do no harm, but the tone in which they were spoken left one cowering in the back of his mind in search of a safe place to hide.

"You must take control of the situation before it is too late… These people run amok, worshipping a God unlike any other, and if we are to maintain control of our lands, of our people, then we must not allow them to practice these barbaric beliefs. The responsibility lies in your hands," the King's brother told him. A long silence.

"Only a coward, a weakling, a feeble minded ass would stand by and let them believe what they want, would let them be lead blindly to the altar, sacrificing all that they have known as normal--it is not the act of a true King," he said. But the King remained silent, and soon a loud bang followed echoed throughout the hall as fist slammed upon a table. "Speak, damn you, speak," commanded the King's brother, "Or I shall have to take drastic measures."

Abdul's concern for his father's honor was in question, why did his father not speak? His Uncle could be locked in the tower and hung for treason for behaving in such a manner towards the King. Abdul regretted that his father was so generous of heart, and so quiet.

Finally, after another long silence, the King said, "You overreact my brother--it is not as bad as it seems."

"And you react not at all--and it is worse than you know," replied his brother.

"I fear not these people or their beliefs. I fear not their faith, nor the organization, which binds them to their beliefs. I fear not, for I am secure in my own beliefs, secure in my own organization. Let them have what happiness they can find, for surely our existence here on earth promises only a hard journey for us all--let them live in peace," the King said. Abdul's round cheeks reddened, and his small fists clenched suddenly at his side, he hated his uncle for bringing his father to such weakness. Samaria, knowing it was her duty to keep Abdul happy and entertained, tried to pull him away from the echo of their voices.

"Come away, Abdul. Please," she pleaded in vain, but he refused to budge. Finally, he turned to her in frustration. "Do you not understand? My father's honor is in question, and all he does is remain silent. My Uncle wishes to force our people into a war--a war from which there is no winner."

Samaria looked at her young cousin, awed at his brilliance, then leaned closer and whispered, "There is no reason to fear, Abdul."

He stared at her for a long moment, unable to make sense of her words, and after a long wait, "How do you know, Samaria?"

"The King is confident in his beliefs, and he knows who he is," and she skipped away singing an old wet nurse lullaby, hoping the distraction would be enough to make Abdul follow her to the indoor wading pool. But Abdul stood there under the open window a few moments longer, his small chest heaving up and down as his Uncle's footsteps stormed down the castle's halls and out the front door.

"Abdul, what are you doing?" asked the King. Abdul stood frozen there, looking up at his father. And suddenly a visible change came over him, and his breathing slowed to normal as he took time answering this important question.

"I am learning to be King," and he ran off to find Samaria to continue their game.

WHAT IS THE MORAL OF THIS STORY?

The King had no doubts about his own beliefs, nor did he have any doubts about who he really is and not just as a King, but also as a spiritual being, and therefore he did not fear the beliefs of others. I believe that if you do not know who you really are, you are incapable of making a proper judgment on any subject--especially relating to the spirit. If you are not secure in your own beliefs and in your own faith, whatever that may be, then your quest will surely be a difficult one. If you are not strong in character, if your values do not show in your acts, then you may never reach your goal of spiritual freedom.

In examining the theme of this essay, Scientology: Control, Freedom and Responsibility, one is hard pressed to remain "objective" unless he or she looks at a higher purpose for analyzing it in the first place. So, what is a higher purpose?

FREEDOM OF RELIGION.

Freedom to choose our own religious beliefs is our God given right. To be able to practice those beliefs without fear is our right as a United States citizen. At this time, on this planet, there is a war going on that threatens to destroy both rights, and I think it's time each one of us get a bigger perspective on exactly what is happening to our freedom to choose. Freedom of religion is a concept that applies to every man, every woman and every child living on this planet-not just to the friend or foe of Scientology. Therefore, in the spirit of this essay in the quest for truth the judges must stand back, they have an obligation to stand back, and be "objective," for it they are not, then they are guilty of challenging both our God given right to choose, and our right as a U.S. citizen to choose our own beliefs. In order to bring a clearer understanding to the subject of this essay, I have included some definitions throughout the essay. If the forum of this contest is not sincerely open for both sides to be heard, then it is not in the name of spiritual freedom. And if this essay is not truly in the name of spiritual freedom, what is the point of the contest? If the judges of the contest honestly want answers to the following questions: How control, freedom and responsibility operate together or clash within the organization?

HOW DOES SCIENTOLOGY INTERFACE WITH THE WORLD?

There are way too many ways to answer this question. But I shall give it a try. Scientology interfaces with the world numerous ways, including ways that I've already discussed in my spiritual journey. But on a bigger level, Scientology offers those individuals who have tried other methods to achieve spiritual freedom, and found them lacking. Scientology offers hope. Scientology offers not only a spiritual perspective of one's life, but it also offers a vast array of knowledge in the field of education, in increasing the literacy level in many countries around the world, in giving the administration and management technology to expanding companies in cities across the planet, and if offers varies self-help tools to help you get control of your life and improve it and help your family and friends improve theirs. Scientology helps to increase your communication skills through exact drills, it also delivers effective programs that cleans and free your body of harmful drugs; it even offers avenues of employment to those individuals who want to do nothing more than help other people go free.

Scientology is not just a symbol of a new age religion; it is a symbol of freedom. Ask any active parishioner of the Church of Scientology what it symbolizes, and I'm sure the majority will tell you, spiritual freedom. Scientology symbolizes freedom because when you honestly, and ethically avail yourself of the pure technology as written by L. Ron Hubbard--you can achieve your goals mentally, physically and spiritually.

No other religion on this planet, and have no doubts, Scientology is a religion, that is certified and recognized by the Internal Revenue Service of the United States Government, is as recognized for what it does, not what it says. No matter what anyone cares to say about Scientology, about Scientologists, about the organization, no matter how much slander those unhappy individuals are with it may be--it will remain so. Scientology is here to stay. Scientology in and of itself can do nothing without its members. But the members see the truth in its axioms and logics, and they have experienced its miracles day after day after day as a result of the workability of its tools. Scientology has nothing to prove to anyone. Those members who have experienced its successes are miracles in themselves, and they know there is no other workable method to achieve true spiritual freedom.

So for those people out there in the world who would wish to do harm to Scientology, they should look at what they would do harm to. They are harming an "idea." And that idea is so essential, so important, so astounding, that if they really understood what they were doing, if they really understand the calamity their soul is in by oppressing spiritual freedom, they would cease their actions instantly and seek to find a way to make amends for their deeds. I know this idea is naive, but I think its time has come. Wouldn't it be an amazing thing to see hate groups interfacing with society by making amends for all the enturbulation they have created, for all the trouble they have caused, for all the untruths they have spoken, in the name of freedom? If the judges really want to know how Scientologists interface with the non-Scientology world, then they must understand what interface really means.

WHAT DOES INTERFACE MEAN? n. 1. A surface forming a common boundary between adjacent regions, bodies, substances, or phases. 2. A point at which independent systems or diverse groups interact: "the interface between crime and politics where much of our reality is to be found" (Jack Kroll). v. tr. 1. To join by means of an interface. 2. To serve as an interface for.v. intr. 1. To serve as an interface or become interfaced. 2. To interact or coordinate smoothly: "Theatergoers were lured out of their seats and interfaced with the scenery" (New York Times). Therefore, I propose that each judge on the panel who will be judging the essays submitted for this contest be prepared to deal with the "truth" as written by the essayist, both pro and con, on a truly objective level.

WHAT IS THE TRUTH?

The only real way to find the truth is to "ask" the many thousands of Scientologists around the world one simple questions. Why are you in Scientology? Factually, it is the only question that will bring forth a real answer for the theme of this essay. But alas, asking thousands of Scientologists around the world why they are in Scientology would take longer than I have available at this time, and I would miss the deadline for this contest. So, I will keep it simple and answer the question myself.

WHY AM I IN SCIENTOLOGY?

Let me begin at the beginning.

When I was a child I went to Church nearly every Sunday. Nobody had to remind me to get up and get dressed; I wanted to go to Church. Church was my secret haven away from the dysfunctional family I was born into, it was a short reprieve from the arguing, fighting and abuse.

I was a member of the Church of Nazarene. I really didn't know the difference between my religion and that of any other, but it didn't really matter at the time. However, when I became a teenager, my Church no longer had the hold over me that it once had, and there was a reason for this. My awareness as a spiritual being had grown and I started asking questions.

One Sunday morning as I sat in the back pew, singing "Old Rugged Cross" for the hundredth time, I looked around at my fellow parishioners, most of them I knew, but some only by sight. I had gone to Church that morning with one of my older sisters and as we held the songbook together singing, I looked over at her suspiciously. Was she going to do it again? The song ended and the preacher took his place at the podium.

There was a long silence for a moment while he gathered his thoughts. Then his booming voice splattered out over us, waking up a few dozers as his words hit their ears. The sermon went on for a while, and I was getting anxious, because I knew it was getting close to the time. He was going to do it again, like he did every Sunday. He started out by calling everyone sinners, and then he asked for someone to come up on the stage, and to get down on their knees and ask God for forgiveness. It was quite a show, and one, which I know he enjoyed because he had a fevered look in his eye the whole time he was doing it. I lowered my head, not wanting anyone to think I might get up there and show such a public display of weakness. Then my sister got up and walked towards the stage. She kneeled down on her hands and knees, and as he put his hand on her head she burst into tears. The tissues started flying into the air as she started begging God to forgive her for her sins. I busied myself within the lyrics the songbook, but it was really hard to avoid my sister's drama, because let's face it, she had done this before. In fact, I think the preacher counted on her to get the ball rolling on Sunday morning, and I often thought she purposely went out and committed those same sins in order to go up on that stage. Soon others began making their way to the stage, got down on their knees, and it wasn't long before it was safe to sneak out of my pew and out the door of the Church.

Now, I adamantly believe that everyone has the right to choose whatever beliefs he wishes, but I was sort of thrown into the Nazarene Church along with my other siblings, and I honestly made a decision that it just wasn't what I was looking for on my spiritual journey.

As I walked the three miles home I started thinking about the ritual that went on every Sunday and I started asking myself questions. Important questions.

I had observed my sister each Sunday asking God to forgive her of her sins, knowing she was going to go right back out of the Church, and commit them all over again. It was hypocrisy. It was crazy. I left Church that day and I didn't go back. I didn't go back because I stopped believing in God, oh no, I didn't go back because their beliefs simply weren't helping me achieve my spiritual goals. I didn't see how dancing or going to the movies would harm me spiritually in any way, and those things were considered sins at that time in our Church. This may be what others wanted to believe, but I didn't, so I left and started my search.

I finished high school and went away to college. College was a mixture of sex, drugs, rock and roll, but I was still searching through all of it. By this time it was early 1973, and I was no more resolved on what I needed to do spiritually than when I started out.

I spent a couple years in college, and then one weekend I met this guy who was traveling to Mexico and he asked me if I wanted to come along. Somehow I felt it was vital to my spiritual growth that I go, so I did. I packed a bag, took what money I had saved, and we headed for sunshine and adventure.

As we traveled across the United States I kept a journal. In it I kept my feelings, and experiences. We came across many different kinds of people, from a commune in the Smokey Mountains, to ice fishermen on the frozen lakes of New Mexico, our journey continued on. As the snow got less, the weather got warmer. I got an itchy feeling in my soul that something was going to happen, so I had to stay alert, otherwise, I might miss it. I was aware that like many post hippie youth, I was confused, unhappy at times with myself, and my great spiritual adventure so far had turned into aimless wandering. I thought that maybe I had made a mistake by taking off from everything "normal" and from everything everyone expected of me. And what was really crazy, I was searching for answers to questions I hadn't even asked yet.

Then one evening my traveling partner and I pulled off the freeway into a large city, we didn't stay in hotels at the time, so we had parked our car in a public park and took off on foot to check out the town. We hadn't been gone long before I noticed a man approaching us.

Having grown cautious in my adventures, the man asked us if we were interested in coming with him and taking a personality test. We had nothing better to do with our time, and time is fairly abundant when you're traveling aimlessly. So I said, sure, and we followed him back to the Church of Scientology.

Upon entering the building I became immediately curious as to what these people, young and old, were doing. They all seemed to be excited, and happy, and confident, I didn't know what they doing, but I wanted some. So, I sat down and filled out hundreds of questions for the Oxford Capacity Analysis test (OCA).

As I waited for the OCA to be graded, I sat in on a lecture being given on something called the ARC Triangle. A=Affinity. R=Reality. C=Communication. When you use ARC in dealing with your fellow human being, and in your communications, you get understanding.

As I sat back in the last row listening to the speaker, I had an epiphany. I realized I had never understood exactly how to communicate what I wanted to communicate before. Sure, I talked. Sure, I said things that were on my mind. But mostly, those unspoken thoughts were creating a bottleneck in my mind. You see, I was functionally illiterate, I was capable of reading, but I didn't understand much of what I was reading. My father couldn't read or write, and my mother went to the fifth grade--I always thought a lack of education meant a lack of an ability to communicate. Not true. I had ideas and thoughts that were already marching to the front of my mind, forcing their way out of my mouth--I got excited. I mean really excited, perhaps for the first time in my lifetime excited. I suddenly had a real genuine urge to communicate with someone.

The lecture soon ended and the man who had taken my OCA test asked me to come over and sit down with him. He showed me a piece of paper that graphed my answers from the OCA questions. It had columns for such things as happy, appreciative, in control, etc., and I was keenly interested in his evaluation of my characteristics and emotions. But when he began to tell me about the ups and down on my graph, mostly downs, I burst into tears. I couldn't control myself.

I intuitively knew there were many things going wrong in my life, but I had no clue what to do about them. I was so unable to verbalize my feelings, that I thought it was all helpless and hopeless. At last I looked up at him with red-rimmed eyes, he was waiting patiently for my tears to end, and I asked, "What can I do about this?" And as I sat there listening to him speak, I knew that I would never be the same again--my real spiritual journey had begun.

My first course in Scientology was the most adventurous thing I've ever done. It was the communications course, and on it I learned the value of being a good listener, as well as how to express myself fully. A skill that has helped me tremendously throughout my life in interfacing with all kinds of people. I grew up very shy, and without these very valuable tools, I might never have been able to overcome it.

No matter where I am, I always seem to be the one person other people tend to open up to. If someone around me is down, I am very aware of it, and I am able to reach out to him or her and lend an ear. When there is a disaster, or emergency, I stay calm. I am a voice of reason. I know this is because of my Scientology training.

I have saved several lives in my lifetime, and I have used the assist technology of Scientology when doing so. One time an old man was crossing the street, he had the right of way, and the person driving the car didn't stop. Just as my friend and I stepped out of the office building nearby, I observed the old man flying over the entire length of the car, and he landed on the street behind the car. I was practically at his side before he hit the ground, while my friend was still standing there on the sidewalk in shock, screaming for help. I made sure the old man was still alive, and then I gave him a physical assist, touching his body on both sides, ensuring he could feel it and respond. Before long, the man looked up at me and smiled. He was going to be okay, I knew it. The ambulance came and took him to the hospital. I made sure I got the location where they were taking him, because I wanted to make sure that he was okay. I called later that night, and sure enough, he was in stable condition. But this is not the only time I've helped someone in need--thus interfacing with non-Scientologists in a very vital and personal way.

I was once involved in a citizen's task force that investigated psychiatric abuses of human rights within State Mental Hospitals for the criminally insane. It was an awesome responsibility, one that at times scared the living daylights out of me. But talk about interfacing with the world outside of Scientology, my group and I were interfacing with the darkest elements of society--crazy criminals. It's a tough job to confront protecting the rights of criminals of any kind, but somebody has to do it, because if someone doesn't do these jobs, your tax dollars are simply floating down the drain. And you'll be happy to know there are groups out there now that continue to work to keep the mental health system ethical.

Another way I have interfaced with the world outside of the Scientology organization is through my work. I have to be in communication with people who know absolutely nothing about Scientology and could care less that my religion is. They simply want to know that I can do a professional job. Again, I use my skills as a communicator to ensure that I find out what is needed and wanted by those who employ me or those who want to purchase my work, and then I make sure I deliver what is needed and wanted. Time after time I am delighted to discover how using these basic communications tools have helped me in my work--it's a tremendous asset.

I feel that because of Scientology I have a much richer and more fulfilling life. I have a wonderful husband, and a stable marriage. My children are happy and healthy and doing what they want to be doing with their life. I have a beautiful home, created with amazing works of art all around it. I love to garden, and spend a great deal of my time in the dirt. I keep active in community projects, interfacing with my peers as I forward my own social goals.

My journey has not been easy, nothing worthwhile ever is, and I have never lost sight of my real goal--spiritual freedom. Individuals within the organization have come and gone, but the group remains steadfast, and dedicated to the purpose of helping others go free. So, I keep my feet planted firmly on the ground, and I just take that next step forward, and do what I can to help. I don't look back. Each step leads me to the next one, and I am never disappointed. It is worth it, the rewards are many.

Now, here I am, nearly twenty-eight years later since that day I walked into the Church of Scientology for the very first time. I have passed many tests since that day when I received my first OCA test. I have never regretted a moment of my life as a Scientologist--never. Even if there were times that were not the best of times, I learned how to make those times count, how to improve myself because of them, how to better myself in the world around me. Scientology actually gave me hope. Scientology gave me back the control, freedom and responsibility for my life.

WHAT IS SCIENTOLOGY?

It is formed from the Latin word scio, which means know or distinguish, being related to the word scindo, which means cleave. It is formed from the Greek word logos, which manes The Word, or outward form by which the inward thought is expressed and made known: also the inward thought or reason itself. Thus, Scientology means KNOWING ABOUT KNOWING.

Scientology has given me the ability to interface with life in many ways, in ways that I would never have dreamed of if I had not gotten into it.

Scientology gave me the tools to educate myself, and with these tools I successfully increased my "Intelligence Quotient" from 85 to 135, and still improving. I haven't gotten older, I've gotten better. Nowhere else can a statement like this be made. Psychiatry will tell you that that's impossible, but believe me my friend, it is possible, and I am living proof of it.

At one time I was once so ill prepared to deal with the problems of the workaday world, that I couldn't hold down a job, and I had little or no hope of a viable career. Now I can proudly say that I have a thriving career, one, which I am very proud of, which I have been able to interface successfully with other professionals on a daily basis who are not Scientologists.

Without Scientology I may have continued to be a victim of my childhood, dealing with the heartbreak of a dysfunctional family. I have been married 27 years and my husband and I have managed to create a sane family environment. Without the tools given in our Scientology library, I suspect we would probably have been just another divorce rate statistic. But we have survived!

My siblings, my aunts and uncles, my nieces and nephews, and my many cousins, are not Scientologists. And yet I am fully capable of interfacing with them on all occasions. In fact there is a growing group of us who keep in touch via cyberspace on a regular basis, and we're planning a very large family reunion in the year 2001. I feel the family unit is the most important unit on this planet, and one to be cherished beyond belief. I have a very large family, and I've yet to disconnect from any of them. That doesn't mean we have all gotten along perfectly over the years, but it does mean that because of our bond we have found ways to resolve our issues amicably for the greater good. It hasn't always been easy, but who always has the perfect family? The truth be known, I am just happy we are all still alive and we are all still in good health--what more could there be?

Because of Scientology I have been able to join, and or start several different community groups over the years. And as a result of these experiences, I have been interfacing with society on a grass roots level for many years. As I have foraged through the vast maze of causes, I have been able to ascertain which causes mostly aligned with my own as a human being. And each time I marched out onto the battlefield of my cause, my Scientology organizations were always there to back me up with manpower, with resources, and with encouragement.

Scientology is not the first religious organization on this planet to be the target of the not so righteous, and the not so bright. Yet our organizations continue to stand firm at the front of the line, despite continual attacks. We are at the forefront of some major causes on this planet; such as drug rehabilitation, criminal reform and education. The staff members of these organizations work hard to help their fellow man for no other reason, than they want to help. In reality, probably more people have died in the name of religion than all of the wars put together. But this wouldn't have had to happen if all human beings were left alone to practice whatever religious beliefs they wish to practice.

Man, as a species, knows what it takes to achieve his goals; he knows how difficult it can be physically, mentally and spiritually. Generally he has a pretty good estimation of the effort it requires to push through the barriers other people create for us, or we create for ourselves, it is more than willpower. That is why man is the superior species--he continues to push through his barriers, rather than giving up.

That's why I feel it is so important for mankind, as a species, to stop fighting each other when it comes to our spiritual beliefs. Stop stopping each other on our spiritual journeys, it only leads to pain for one, or the other, or both.

The amazing thing about man is his unique ability to adapt to his environment, to change with time, to overcome tremendous obstacle towards a known goal. If every man and woman on this planet were to step out of their own small worlds and take a moment to look at and recognize how unique we all are, then take a moment to acknowledge that uniqueness, and if every man and woman on this planet stood together as human beings, and saw that we are all in the same world together, then there would be a lot more understanding of the words control, freedom and responsibility. Things would be very different. We would allow our fellow man to choose his own path to reach spiritual freedom, and we would allow him to do this without fear.

If we all did this, there could be peace on earth.

In the King James Version of the bible, these words are written, "Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets. But I say unto you, which hear, Love your enemies, and do good to them, which hate you. Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven."

It is so painfully simple, isn't it?

If you could simply love your enemies and do good to them which hate you, things would be so much better. Could you love your enemies and do good to them? Is that really possible? I think it is, if we all had the same overall purpose in mind--spiritual freedom. It wouldn't matter if you were Catholic, Baptist, Nazarene, or a Scientologist. It simply wouldn't matter.

If we did not stand in judgment of each other all the time, then there would be no condemning of each other's beliefs, would there? Certainly not. Could you imagine a society where we all lived in peace, where we all lived without fear of our fellow man trying to stop us from practicing our religious beliefs? It would be a veritable Garden of Eden, but without the Serpent.

The bible says, "forgive and ye shall be forgiven." If you knew your were going to die tomorrow, what would you do first? I think of all of the people I have met in my lifetime, all the ups and downs I've had with some of those people. I think of lost loves, lost friendships, forgotten memories of good times which are clouded over by betrayals and hatred. If you were going to die tomorrow perhaps you might think about all those people, and all those memories, and you might want to forgive a few transgressions against you in hopes that you shall too be forgiven. It's a thought, a thought not lacking in form. But to love your enemies, and do good to them despite their hatred of you is nearly an impossible idea. To not judge or condemn your fellow man for his beliefs, well, that's simply out of the question, isn't it? So we may as well leave out the forgive stuff, cause that isn't going to happen. We as human beings must rise above our own ignorance and hatred, and examine our motives for each act that we commit against our fellow man. For if there is a personal judgment day for each of us, it is at hand, and it will not be God who will be dealing out punishment to each of us--it will be ourselves. This brings me back to the theme of this essay-- Scientology: Control, Freedom & Responsibility.

WHAT IS CONTROL?

"Control is the ability and willingness to start, change or stop something at will or determine its fate or future." --L. Ron Hubbard.

CONTROL: 1. To exercise authoritative or dominating influence over; direct. See Synonyms at conduct. 2. To hold in restraint; check: struggled to control my temper; regulations intended to control prices. 3. To verify or regulate (a scientific experiment) by conducting a parallel experiment or by comparing with another standard. To verify (an account, for example) by using a duplicate register for comparison.n. 1. Authority or ability to manage or direct: lost control of the skidding car; the leaders in control of the country. 2. Abbr. cont., contr. One that controls; a controlling agent, device, or organization. Middle English controllen, from Anglo-Norman contreroller, from Medieval Latin contrarotulare, to check by duplicate register, from contrarotulus, duplicate register: Latin contra-,contra- + Latin rotulus, roll, diminutive of rota, wheel.

Without control a person is incapable of starting, changing or stopping things at will. If he is under someone else's control, he is out of control. It does not matter what he is trying to control, without control his motions are wasted. He is incapable of getting anything of value done--he has no products. The streets are filled with these kinds of people; they are the homeless individuals who have for some reason lost control of their life--it is an unhappy ending to many lives. Our newspapers are filled with daily random confusions, people out of control; unfortunately it gives control a bad name. People become too afraid to exert any control over their lives for fear of retaliation by police, gangs, IRS, criminals, even their neighbors. Anyone can exert control--it just depends on what his or her intention in doing so is. Scientology merely wants to help an individual to be more capable of exerting some positive control over their life, enabling people to lead happier lives. There is good control and there is bad control. It is up to the individual if he wishes to be capable of good control or bad control--it is up to the individual.

WHAT IS FREEDOM?

"They can only set free men free… And there is no need of that: Free men set themselves free."--James Oppenheim, The Slave.

No truer words have been written on the subject. Free men set themselves free. It doesn't take a genius to analyze this quote; it doesn't take a brilliant mind to know that men shackle themselves with chains of their own making. We are no longer in the dark ages, we have the freedom to be, do, and have whatever we are willing to work for. We have the freedom to aspire to greater heights, to challenge and defeat any obstacle that might come our way. We travel light years in cyberspace in seconds, sometimes faster. All we have to do is reach out and touch someone. All we have to do is ask questions and find the answers. All we have to do is wake up in the morning, get out of bed, decide what you want to wear for the day, go to your job, or stay home, at no time in history have we ever been so free to communicate and search for answers. A man or woman who can look each other in the eye and not fear seeing the reflection of his own sins--is free.

When a person moves forward on his spiritual quest, freedom is one of the most fundamental concepts he uses to decide what method or faith will enable him to reach his highest potential as a being. If after stepping upon his path towards spiritual enlightenment, a person does not have a clear understanding what his freedoms or barriers are, then he is already in trouble. But he still cannot blame another when he falls off his path, he can only blame himself for not asking the right questions, and not getting the right answers for himself. Only this will allow him to continue his journey, only this helps him seek freedom. Scientology seeks only to help those who choose this path for their own spiritual freedom.

FREEDOM: n. 1. The condition of being free of restraints. 2. Liberty of the person from slavery, detention, or oppression. 3. Political independence. Possession of civil rights; immunity from the arbitrary exercise of authority. 4. Exemption from an unpleasant or onerous condition: freedom from want. 5. The capacity to exercise choice; free will: We have the freedom to do as we please all afternoon. 6. Ease or facility of movement: loose sports clothing, giving the wearer freedom. 7. Frankness or boldness; lack of modesty or reserve: the new freedom in movies and novels. 8. The right to unrestricted use; full access: was given the freedom of their research facilities. The right of enjoying all of the privileges of membership or citizenship: the freedom of the city.[Middle English fredom, from Old English freodom freo, free. See FREE + -dom, -dom.]SYNONYM: freedom, liberty, license. These nouns refer to the power to act, speak, or think without externally imposed restraints. Freedom is the most general term: "In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free" (Abraham Lincoln). "The freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty" (George Mason). Liberty is often used interchangeably with freedom; often, however, it especially stresses the power of free choice: liberty of opinion; liberty of worship; at liberty to choose whatever occupation she wishes; "liberty, perfect liberty, to think, feel, do just as one pleases" (William Hazlitt). License sometimes denotes deliberate deviation from normally applicable rules or practices to achieve a desired effect, as in literature or art: poetic license. "The intolerable license with which the newspapers break ...the rules of decorum." --Edmund Burke

WHAT IS RESPONSIBILITY?

All real or imagined trouble in life begins with a lack of responsibility. You are only asking for trouble if you try to control something without taking full responsibility for it. When you don't use good judgment when you attempt to take control of something in your life, you ultimately lack responsibility for the bad effect that is created. What is responsibility defined as?

RESPONSIBILITY: n.pl. 1. The state, quality, or fact of being responsible. See Synonyms at obligation. 2. Something for which one is responsible; a duty, an obligation, or a burden.

RESPONSIBLE: adj. 1. Liable to be required to give account, as of one's actions or of the discharge of a duty or trust. 2. Involving personal accountability or ability to act without guidance or superior authority: a responsible position within the company. 3. Being a source or cause. 4. Able to make moral or rational decisions on one's own and therefore answerable for one's behavior. 5. Able to be trusted or depended upon; reliable. 6. Based on or characterized by good judgment or sound thinking: responsible journalism. 7. Having the means to pay debts or fulfill obligations. 8. Required to render account; answerable: The cabinet is responsible to the parliament.[Obsolete French, corresponding to, from Latin responsus, past participle of respondere, to respond.]

"No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the Main; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for the whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee." --John Donne. When Hemingway entitled his book, "For Whom The Bell Tolls" he knew what he was doing--he knew that responsibility begets responsibility.

If you really want to know about Scientology, one must discover it without bias, and rumors. If you clearly want see what the goals and purposes and aims of Scientology are, read on.

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"THE AIMS OF SCIENTOLOGY"
by L. Ron Hubbard

"A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights, are the aims of Scientology. Nonpolitical in nature, Scientology welcomes any individual of any creed, race or nation.

We seek no revolution. We seek only evolution to higher states of being for the individual and for society.

We are achieving our aims.

After endless millennia of ignorance about himself, his mind and the universe, a breakthrough has been made for man.

Other efforts man has made have been surpassed. The combined truths of fifty thousand years of thinking men, distilled and amplified by new discoveries about man, have made for this success.

We welcome you to Scientology. We only expect of you your help in achieving our aims and helping others. We expect you to be helped.

Scientology is the most vital movement on Earth today. In a turbulent world, the job is not easy. But then, if it were, we wouldn't have to be doing it.

We respect man and believe he is worthy of help. We respect you and believe you, too, can help.

Scientology does not owe its help. We have done nothing to cause us to propitiate. Had we done so, we would not now be bright enough to do what we are doing.

Man suspects all offers of help. He has often been betrayed, his confidence shattered. Too frequently he has given his trust and been betrayed. We may err, for we build a world of broken straws. But we will never betray your faith in us so long as you are one of us.

The sun never sets on Scientology.

And may a new day dawn for you, for those you love and for man.

Our aims are simple, if great.

And we will succeed, and are succeeding at each new revolution of the Earth.

Your help is acceptable to us.

Our help is yours." -- L. Ron Hubbard

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Looking back, and in the true spirit of this essay, I ask myself one question-- was it worth it?

Madeline Paradis