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One of the presumptions of the modern democratic state is that a majority of people, knowing well what they want, are best left in charge of the broader decisions concerning the general direction of the state. Democratic ideals assume the existence of majorities who are already informed enough, mature enough, and unselfish enough to make the wisest choices, the choices that lead to a long and happy future for more than just the individual.
Clearly, the focus of a democracy lies in pleasing more of the people more of the time. If people know where they want to go, it pleases them to select the means of getting there from a handful of alternative possibilities. But democracies continue to adhere to their ideals only when they govern a population of individuals who are confident in their own ability to discern the good and right from the wrong and bad. Only this kind of individual is happiest when left in control of their destiny. Confident people expect they can make good choices and democratic ideals appeal to them. Democracy attracts those who have learned to trust themselves or, alternately, those who have learned to distrust anyone who would step in and make a choice for them.
Several of the apparent presumptions of the Church of Scientology parallel democratic ideals. The Scientology doctrine agrees that people do know basically what they want. The difference is that Scientology assumes they don't know how to get there. Nor can they discover their own way, all by themselves. The doctrine assumes struggles when it comes to differentiating good from bad. It assumes a population that cannot easily and intentionally make the good choice, particularly if the choice involves their own behavior. In fact, Scientology assumes people to have so little competence in the making, and the carrying out of effective decisions that new criteria for arriving at the best choice must be implanted within them. Only then can they begin to consistently make the "right" or "rational" choice.
Scientologists firmly believe that the majority of people, left to its own devices, would follow an aberrated course, (which means that it would inevitably and repeatedly select the worst choice,) ultimately leading a state into disaster. It's as if the average person were an actor with a lousy script, or a computer with poorly conceived software. At the bottom of their hearts the Scientologist believes that average people are just like computers. Just as a computer cannot be trusted to write or debug its own programs, human beings cannot be trusted to write their own scripts. Therefore, the reasoning goes, the only rational solution is to call in and rely upon the writings of another, properly qualified scriptwriter. In the Scientology view, there's only one. And of course, we all know who that is!
The assumptions of democracy and the assumptions of Scientology lie on the opposite sides of a spectrum of beliefs. One admits that the people do in fact make mistakes. But it asserts that people already have built within them the means of correcting themselves and discerning the best choice. Given enough experience and time to experiment with, or create new alternatives, everyone can find their own way in life. Democratic ideals trust the actors in the grand play of life to write their own script, and they grant them the freedoms they need to do the job. In an idealized democratic state, running on an ineffective script doesn't lead to condemnation. Instead it leads to another chance to reconsider, revise, and try yet another untested alternative. In the world of democratic ideals, everyone is valuable, because anyone can find a new and better way.
On the other side of the spectrum lies Scientology. Scientology instructs us that the fact that people have made mistakes in the past proves there is something inherently wrong with them. An imperfect past means that people are incapable of discerning what is good. The only answer? - the "standard" implantation of a "standard" Scientology script. Scientology values and scripts must be "put into" the individual or no hope is possible. "Standard" scripts are written by the only qualified scriptwriter ever to exist on Earth - L. Ron Hubbard.
L. Ron Hubbard doesn't like competitors. To eliminate them, all of humanity must be stripped of its powers to create. Experimentation must be outlawed. Discussions of anything other than the wonderful benefits of Hubbard's scripts and Scientology values must be stamped out. For its flaws and the mistakes of its past, humanity is harshly condemned. Individuals cannot improve all on their own. There's only one way out - accept Hubbard's script. In the Scientology view, the path to redemption is not creativity, but surrender.
Evidence exists to support both points of view.
"Yes, the people can be trusted," the believer in Democracy would assert. "Yes, of course they make mistakes, but that doesn't prove that they're incapable. Making mistakes is the way people learn. They don't deserve to be condemned for trying. A failed attempt means that they're that much closer to success. Learning by experimentation lets people find a new way when conditions change and the old way stops working. Experimentation is good. Maybe someone will come up with something better. It's true that most of them won't. But maybe one will. Did you ever think of that? Maybe there's a better, smarter script out there somewhere in the land of future possibility just waiting to be found. If you stamp out creativity, that possibility will never be. And besides, if human beings can't be trusted to invent a good script, why would L. Ron Hubbard be the exception? He was a human being wasn't he? Why is he so special?"
"HE JUST IS!!!" the Scientologist would snarl. If pressed, the Scientologist might bring out a carefully contrived list of accolades and awards that their master scriptwriter L. Ron Hubbard had received from poor souls who at some point in their lives didn't trust or believe in themselves. The Scientologist might pull out a list of Hollywood stars, all "in" Scientology, but all of whom fall in the same category. At some point in time, they didn't trust themselves. Perhaps the Scientologist would cite the sheer quantity of books Hubbard has supposedly written. As if quantity were an earmark of quality. But regardless of which script they perform, it's all designed to prove that there exists only one person that can be trusted to write the scripts, while everyone else should do nothing else but obey them.
The Scientologist may not say it in words, but they scream it loudly by implication. "HUMAN BEINGS CANNOT BE TRUSTED!!!! They can't be trusted--- That's IT!--- NOT WITHOUT STANDARDLY APPLIED AUDITING AND TRAINING!!!!" In other words human beings cannot be trusted to discern good from bad without first having their minds filled to bursting with the values and scripts of the somehow very special writer, L. Ron Hubbard. Only then can they be trusted to behave "optimally". It's disturbing to think that the Scientologist wholeheartedly believes that the only right choice a human being is capable of making is to choose to open the doors of their mind to the Church of Scientology and enthusiastically say, "Fill 'r up!", but this is not an exaggeration. Scientologists want people to bow down and admit, "The mistakes of my past prove I don't have the slightest idea how to discern good from bad! I can't be trusted to make my own choices! There's no way I can ever learn on my own! Please. Please--- fill me up with something that works! I'll try anything! Anything that L. Ron Hubbard says. Give it to me--- I'll take it! Please! I surrender!!"
So who's right?
It depends on your faith. Do you believe people can find a better way by making their mistakes, experimenting, and imagining? Do you think that eventually they can find, or even create their own best way? Or, do you believe the best way has already been found, and there simply cannot be anything better? This is a matter of faith. Do you believe choices are best made in the present time by people who are aware of the current situation, or, is it best to rely on the prerogatives and the supposedly 20/20 foresight of a long dead author? Once again, it's a matter of faith. Most people fall somewhere in the middle.
Lessons learned by someone else in the past may be very useful, but not so useful that they should prevent one from learning new and more effective lessons. Not so useful that they should preclude experimentation and creativity. But this is exactly what the Scientologists would prefer. They would like everyone - every single man, woman, and child on the planet to stop learning their own lessons, to stop writing their own script. Why? Supposedly because it's too painful! They don't trust people to handle the pain that comes with learning and creation. They want everyone to admit they are weak. They want them all to willingly bow down and happily join the side of the population that doesn't trust in itself. The side that doesn't believe in itself. The side that believes only in salvation via the allegedly miraculous script writing talents of some grandiose little red haired snipe who thinks he's better than everyone else. Nothing could be more contrary to the ideals of democracy. But it goes even further---
The Scientologist very much prefers to view the society outside of Scientology as being in terrible shape. For the Scientologists, a world that is ripe for the taking is behaving according to cliché - it's "going to hell in a hand basket". Scientologists just love to find non-Scientologists who are failing and miserable. Happy, competent, and especially creative non-Scientologists are very distressing to those in the "Church". This is because Scientology thrives on chaos.
Only when things go terribly wrong can people start distrusting themselves enough to surrender. Scientologists are waiting eagerly for the day when something goes terribly wrong, and society stops trusting itself en masse. What a happy day it will be for them when the world, as a whole, stumbles badly. The more distressing it is to us, the better it will be for them. When it happens, and it eventually will, the Scientologists will ride in triumphantly on their white horse and say, "Look! There's a way out of this! We have your solution!! It's called Scientology." And sure enough many of those who have lost faith in themselves will accept what the Scientologists are offering. When we fail, they win. And they are just waiting for us to slip up. It is only out chaos, that a Scientology scripted planet, standardly cleared of all creativity, standardly cleared of all opposing scripts, can arise.
Isn't it nice to know who your enemies are?
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