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Author Topic: Scientology?
Xavier
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quote:
Much of the "meat" of Scientology practice and doctrine involves self-deception and indoctrination.
To what extent do you think this is different from any other highly organized religion?
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TomDavidson
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Well, for one, Scientology actually uses isolation, lights, and lie detector tests on emotionally vulnerable recruits. Even the Mormons, who send groups to visit the other members of the community regularly to make sure everyone's part of the same playing field, don't sit their recruits down and ask them about their childhood memories while hooked up to a polygraph.
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Bean Counter
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Interesting method of finding truth, bringing shame directly to bear in this manner is as course as clubbing baby seals, still there must be consent in this at some point or it would be illegal?

Many religions consider Catholic Confession to be too humiliating and to give Priest too much power.

The description of the recruits as 'Emotionally Vulnerable' is null, all but defective people are 'Emotionally Vulnerable' which is the same thing as saying emotionally accessible. It is hardly logic that creates a flock of the faithful.

If you want to convince me of harm, then show me individuals that are harmed not people that got there feelings bruised.

BC

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fred
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quote:
I'm also interested, as Shigosei asked, how you became a Scientologist? I understand that there are things you may not be able to tell us, but it's quite interesting to outsiders.
This is one of my favorite questions to answer. I had a very cool sixth grade teacher. He wasn't a Scientologist but was very willing to listen to anything I had to say and encouraged me to really find out things for myself. One of the books he had was Sidarttha by Herman Hesse.

Reading that book blew my mind. The idea that one was a spiritual being as opposed to the idea that one 'had' a soul made total sense to me. And as a spirit one could be free from the body...well, needless to say this wasn't what your typical sixth grader was concerned with.

For me the problem became how do you attain the ability to do this without starving to death as the gurus were doing in the book.

One book led to the next and before I knew it I had gotten my hands on some books by L. Ron Hubbard. Some of the things he had to say were WILD! But he did say something that I thought was very important. He mentioned that one was free to believe what he choose to and nothing in Scientology is true for you unless you have observed it for oneself.

This struck me as a statement full of self-confidence. He was giving me permission to disbelieve anything he wrote or said. And telling me to find out for myself if the things he discovered were in fact true.

That was the beginning. Thirty years later I'm still discovering things.

To answer another question: I had a lot of trouble reconciling my christian beliefs with Scientology at first as I had been taught that I would go to hell for following false religions. Pretty scary when your only twelve.

That isn't a problem now. Scientology makes it easier for me to be a Christian in what I consider to be the true meaning of what Christ taught.

Sincerely,

Fred

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fred
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Here is the article I was talking about:

http://www.aboutlronhubbard.org/eng/wis3_4.htm

Sincerely,

Fred

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TomDavidson
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quote:
What is personal integrity?
Personal integrity is knowing what you know–
What you know is what you know–
And to have the courage to know and say what you have observed.
And that is integrity.
And there is no other integrity.

To this short list, I would add "refusing to embezzle, threaten other people with physical harm, etc." It's a shame Hubbard disagreed.

It's worth noting, by the way, that Hubbard here equates "truth" with "observation." That's at the core of the Scientology recruitment approach, which after all attempts to distort your observations and then offer you possible explanations for those observations. But something Hubbard doesn't touch on, and something that's certainly true in my observation, is that observations frequently can't be trusted.

quote:
If you want to convince me of harm, then show me individuals that are harmed not people that got there feelings bruised.

Even if your only definition is physical or financial harm, Scientology's been at the root of more than its share of that, too. Do a quick Google and you'll see what I mean. There was a period in the 60's and 70's, especially, when the "church" appeared to be mainly run by thugs.
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fred
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Strange, I don't remember reading in Scientology doctrine that embezzling was okay.

And I would only threaten someone with physical harm if I or my loved ones were in danger of being hurt. In which case all bets would be off. I don't think my perspective is unique in this regard though.

Of course you are certainly free to view these matters as you wish.

Fred

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I don't remember reading in Scientology doctrine that embezzling was okay.
While it's not in the manual, you'll find frequent mention of it in Hubbard's personal letters.

In fact, an investigation into the storied life of the scumbag that was L. Ron Hubbard is probably a worthwhile expedition for anyone who'd consider Scientology.

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fred
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Sounds like you got the inside skinny! lol!

Fred

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Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy
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quote:
Thank god the IRS lost it's lawsuit that claimed Scientology wasn't a religion, huh?
There hasn't been such a lawsuit yet. The Church of Scientology bullied the IRS into creating an agreement regarding tax exemption for Scientologists. This agreement violates the Establishment clause by giving preference to one religion over all others, so it will be history if it is ever challenged in court.
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fred
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lmao @ the idea of anyone bullying the IRS. I've heard this before and I sure wish it was true as it would have saved us decades of harrasment if we had this "superpower" to bully the IRS.

I'm curious if there is any other individual or group in America that has this special ability?

The poor IRS having to endure being bullied by the mighty Church of Scientology. lol!

Fred

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Stephan
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I have mixed emotions, I guess I just don't know enough about it. I am glad Fred that you have given us some input from your perspective.

Every religion has had reports of those who try to force their beliefs on others, or useng high pressure tactics.

As for the beliefs, even if Xenu is accepted as history by the majority, is there really a difference between that and virgin births and talking flaming bushes?

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fred
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quote:
I have mixed emotions, I guess I just don't know enough about it. I am glad Fred that you have given us some input from your perspective.
My pleasure. There is certainly a lot of conflicting statements/ideas/opinions on the subject which can make it hard to sort out what it is really all about. I think it takes a wise person to be able to say they just "don't know."

Fred

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TomDavidson
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Fred, I really would look into a third-party book on the life of Hubbard, if you haven't already. There are many aspects of Scientology as a "faith" and the Church as an organization that are deeply troubling. I won't discuss them at any length here, but you should consider investigating them on your own. Many Scientologists, for example, frequently cite Hubbard's past experience, not realizing that most of his official biography is fraudulent.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by fred:
Scientology makes it easier for me to be a Christian in what I consider to be the true meaning of what Christ taught.

I'm no Christian, but I don't understand how you can say this. Is it not a central tenet of Scientology that Christianity and all other religions are lies that early thetans were forced to absorb?
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fred
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quote:
Can someone explain why they seem to hate Psychology? Is it because through Psychology their ideals can be analized as false? What do they have against medications that help people? I can understand their views that some forms of medication can make things bad, but very rarely do they make things worse.

And why do they insist on being paid? Any cristian church I ever attended "asked" for you to make a donation if you could, but they did not require it.

I don't think Scientologists as a whole hate psychologists (or psychiatrists) for that matter. (I really can't speak for all Scientologists on this point.)

We are diametrically opposed however. Psychology and Psychiatry proceed from a fundamental point that there is no spiritual side to man and Scientology starts with the assumption that man is basically a spiritual being. There are many ramifications of either viewpoint which I don't have the space nor disire to get into here.

Medications is a whole subject in and of itself that other authors have tackled far more competently than myself.

Here is a short list of recommended reading on this subject:

Books by Peter Breggin.

Books by Thomas Szasz

Mad in America by Robert Whitaker

Truth about the Drug Companies by Marcia Angell

Trust us, We're Experts by Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber.

This is a good start.

It is true that our tithing system is set up differently than say the LDS church.

There is a bit about this here:

http://www.scientology.org/html/opencms/cos/scientology/en_US/religion/catechism/pg028.html

I donate less to my church than my wife has in the past. (She is LDS.) I wish I could donate far more. It's not really a problem for us and in any case nobody else's business but mine and my family.

Sincerely,

Fred


PS "I should add that I have been upset at specific activities of various Psychologists and Psychiatrists in my area. But I no more dislike them than I would the neighborhood bully that picks on my son."

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fred
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Tom - What makes you assume that I haven't done what you suggest? I am aware of most if not all that material. (Well, probably not all.)

My question would be how much of his 45 million words have you studied? There are 3,000 lectures comprising about 35 million words alone. There are another 10 million in print.

There are approx 20 basic books on the subject and several hundred basic lectures. I think it is safe to say until one has studied all of those one won't even have a good idea what Scientology is about.

rivka - I already mentioned one of the central tenets of Scientology above. "What is true for you is what you have observed for yourself." There are no enforced beliefs in Scientology. I certainly don't have that one you mentioned.

Fred

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MrSquicky
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quote:
Psychology and Psychiatry proceed from a fundamental point that there is no spiritual side to man
That's not true. There are many schools of psychology that are strictly determinisitc and materialistic, but there are plenty of others that are not.

I don't know all of the people in your list, but both Peter Breggin and Thomas Szasz are themselves psychiatrists. I think they both go way too far, but at least historically, there's been plenty of value in what they say.

I'm a psychology student in the humanstic tradition and I, nor many of my teachers and predescessors, don't deny the spiritual side of man.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
My question would be how much of his 45 million words have you studied?
Please don't make me read Battlefield: Earth again. *shudder* [Wink]

Seriously, I think Hubbard made some decent points over the course of his life. Some of his observations are hilarious; others often seem quite pointed and wise. He was very much a writer of his time. But like you said, the man's output was prodigious, and trying to winnow out the chaff is a lifetime of work. And when you realize how lacking in moral character he actually was, despite what he wrote at great length about the importance of moral character, it calls into question both how seriously he meant what he was writing and how valuable his words were in the first place. If you draw value from them, that's fine. But if you're giving money to the Church of Scientology, you really should make yourself aware of some of the extra-legal activities of its recent past.

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fred
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Tom - Well I don't realize "how lacking in moral character" he really was.

I wasn't referring to his fiction works when I mentioned the 45 million words. I was solely refering to his works on Scientology.

He has a great paper called "My only defense for having lived." which covers the value of his discoveries.

http://www.ronthephilosopher.org/Page75.htm

It is a pretty good read.

Fred

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TomDavidson
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It's a pretty good read, but -- and I encourage you to do the research on this -- most of the specifics are either completely fictional or highly exaggerated. Consider his "expedition" to "study other races;" you'll find that the facts do not quite support that description.

Hubbard was an accomplished braggart and middling liar. It's worth noting that he goes on to write his autobiography while "modestly" insisting that he doesn't need one, and attempts to deflect disbelief of his claims by saying that he has attempted to downplay some of his more egregious lies to avoid shocking people.

Almost no one who knew Hubbard during his life would corroborate this particular claim; the man was known as a big-mouth from the day he was born. He basically bragged his way into the Explorer's Club, for example.

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fred
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Tom - You sound like you were a personal acquaintance of his. Did you used to work with him?

And how many of those 45 million words that I mentioned have you studied?

Fred

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Bean Counter
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quote:
I'm a psychology student in the humanstic tradition and I, nor many of my teachers and predescessors, don't deny the spiritual side of man.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Plenty of room for bugbears and poltergeists in a pseudo-science.

BC

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El JT de Spang
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fred, you seem to be missing the issue. No one's doubting that the guy might've said some important or deep or wise things. Hell, in 45 million words you'd be hard pressed not to say something, just through the law of averages.

The point is that if the guy's entire biography is paper mache, you might take a hard look at the values his 'faith' espouses.

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King of Men
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Hey, in all fairness to fred, both sides in the debate have been making assertions. "Hubbard was a known liar. - No he wasn't! Yes he was!" And so on.
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MrSquicky
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Tom hasn't established any reason for thinking that Hubbard was a bad guy or that his biography was false other than Tom saying so.

I know very little about Scientology and what I do know isn't flattering, but I think fred can reasonably expect some sort of substantiation before being expected to take what Tom's saying as true.

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fred
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Spang - I really did get the point. I've heard it before and I am very familiar with the various issues regarding his history.

I'm just curious how familiar people are with his work and what he did say. Seems to me that would be the important thing and not what his detractors have to say about the man himself.

Ron doesn't need me to defend him or his past from the media etc. As a result I don't waste my time. I find it mildly amusing when it is insinuated that if I "knew" what the "real story" was I would think twice about my participation with the Church of Scientology. That somehow I have been lied to, deluded or somehow brainwashed for the last thirty years as a Scientologist. Doesn't say much for my own abilities as an individual to think for myself to be accused of these things.

Does anybody have any questions or is this just going to be more semi-veiled references of how I'm ignorant to the "truth."


Sincerely,

Fred

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fred
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MrSquicky - Good points. I probably have read all the very same things Tom has read (unless of course he has copies of all of Ron's personal papers and letters - which is a LOT of correspondence. Yes, I have seen it myself though I must admit I didn't have time to go through and read it all.) so I seriously doubt he can bring anything new to the table. I've been to all the anti-scientology sites and read what is on them as well as all the books published on the subject.

I have read as well most of Ron's works and writings by impartial scholars on Scientology. Plus of course I have my own experience as a Scientologist in applying his discoveries as well as working with the church for decades now.


It would seem to me an excellent opportunity to ask questions about the perspective of a Scientologist on various issues. Of course asking me "What do you think about Ron being a liar and a fraud?" isn't going to go far as I certainly don't think so. You might ask instead in what light do I view Mr. Hubbard? A common question I get asked in face to face discussions is do I worship Ron?

I really have no time to discuss what detractors think of him as I am far to busy applying various truths he discovered to myself and those around me to better our respective lives.

Sincerely,

Fred

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vonk
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I have a question. All of the "information" regarding Scientology that I have come across has been, as you say, "what his detractors have to say about the man." I don't really know anything about the faith, or belief system. From your statements I have gathered, and correct me if I'm wrong, that there is not a set belief system or faith. To me this means that there isn't anything in particular, or in general, that one has to believe in order to be a Scientologist.

Which leads to my question. If neither belief in a particular faith, nor trust of the founder of the church is required (again, this is what I've gleened from what you've thus far said), what does it take to be a Scientologist? What do you have to do, and what does it mean, to belong to the church?

I appreciate your attitude and willingness to answer questions in what could be percieved as a (semi)hostile environment.

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MightyCow
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Fred, I'm interested in the secret nature of Scientology. There seems to be a lot of hidden knowledge, secret information that a follower must earn through achieving status within the church? Is this correct, or is it a bunch of rumors?

If there is a tiered approach to this secret information, I'm curious what the stated reason within the church is for this. In my experience, many religions are more than happy to try and enlighten the unbelievers with as much of their theology as possible.

If Scientology actually has a great deal of hidden information, as I've been lead to believe, does it tell its practitioners why they are only entitled to so much knowledge at a time, and why this knowledge must be kept away from non-Scientologists?

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fred
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vonk - Good question. I'm a little suprised as usually no matter how many times I mention the "no faith or belief" point I usually then get asked so do you believe in (________).

It is very simple. One usually reads one of Ron's books and learns one of the principles of the religion. Then he applies it to see if it works.

This is why Scientology is called an applied religious philosophy. He has referred to it as a 'practical' religion in a couple lectures I have listened to.

The person applying the principle (of which there are many) find it works or doesn't work according to his own observation. There is of course the factor of understanding what the principle really was in the first place. A misunderstanding could prevent succesful application.

I well remember try to apply one of the fundamentals to an area of life and thinking it didn't work for years! Imagine my chagrin when I found out I was not applying it correctly and in fact not applying it at all. After that I had no problem with that particular fundametal:

http://www.scientology.org/html/opencms/cos/scientology/en_US/religion/description/scientology/pg006.html

A Scientologist is someone who is using principles of Scientology to better his own life and the life of others. He doesn't have to believe in the principles he simply applies them correctly and gets the expected results.

There is a Code of a Scientologist if one wishes to be a member of the church. I don't remember ever having to agree to follow it though. Being a Scientologist is a self-determined decision that I have made and am proud of doing so. There are many things I am proud of but this is at the top of the list.

http://www.scientology.org/p_jpg/wis/wiseng/33/33-scn.htm


There is a creed as well which I guess you would call our "beliefs" but I don't really look at it that way.

http://www.ultimatescientology.org/

There are rules that I must follow as a member of the Church of Scientology. One of them is to not do anything illegal, pay my taxes, etc. You get the idea.

I don't think being a Scientologist is an easy thing but then I don't find this to be an easy world to live in. It needs a lot of help. And that is probably what best describes a Scientologist: One who helps his feloow man to attain higher levels of awareness and ability. And believes that man deserves to be helped.

I could go on and on but I think that answers the question. I hope.

Fred

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fred
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MightyCow - Well if its secret then I can't talk about it:)


Yes - some of it is confidential. Factually it is a very small percentage. Easily less than one percent of all Ron's works on the subject of Scientology are deemed confidential.

http://www.scientology.org/html/opencms/cos/scientology/en_US/religion/catechism/pg027.html

This link discusses the reasons for the confidentiality.

All the fundamental tenets, philosophy and basics of the religion are fully available. We go to a lot of trouble and expense to make them as available as possible without going broke.

For example all the basic axioms of the religion can be found on-line at www.scientology.org. It is a LOT of work to study those and understand them. Plus it doesn't make for a very sensational story. (Though what one could discover in those axioms are the secrets to life but I'm digresssing.)

My viewpoint is we try to enlighten the parishoners as much as possible. One need only take a look at all the work in the past ten years that has been to done make many previously unavailable lectures available to Scientologists and non-Scientologists alike. (This is a whole story on how does one recover decades old lectures recorded on obsolote equipment and restore the sound quality so one can even hear the lecture.)

One must meet many requirements to be allowed to study the higher/advanced scriptures. I can understand how this may seem to be strange to some but that is the way it is.

I have often searched for a good analogy but have failed to come up with something I find satisfactory. I guess something similar is you don't teach a brand student pilot how to do stalls with a 747 on his first day. Better to make sure he understands and can apply the fundamentals. (I know there are holes in this example.)

If a Scientologist is dishonest and can not apply any the simplest of principles then we certainly aren't going to then say here try this instead. I guess that is the only way I know how to explain it.

What is amusing to me is how much of what is not confidential is TOTALLY WILD information. I don't get that thrown in my face as what I "believe" in though.

Hope this answered your question.

Fred

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Nighthawk
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Why do I have the strangest feeling that, in real life, you're John Travolta? [Wink]
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fred
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Nighthawk - Sorry, I'm just Fred. (My real name.)

(Took me a second to figure out why you would think that.)

Fred

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Primal Curve
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<strums his guitar>

Let's see. Thetans. Thetans...

Thetans rhymes with "Cretans" and I could probably make it rhyme with "martians." Heck, I could make it rhyme with any work ending in "an."

Like "scientology is crazy." I like that line.

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Amanecer
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Fred- I am intrigued by vonk's question of what exactly it means to be a Scientologist. However I didn't really get much out of the links you posted other than a dislike of the mental health field, a desire to be good people, and striving to make the place a better world. While the last two are unquestionably good goals, it doesn't give me great insight into what it is to be a Scientologist. Could you give any examples of Scientologist principles and how applying them to your life differs from a non-Scientologist trying to do good?

I also appreciate your willingness to answer questions in such a calm and respectful manner. [Smile]

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fred
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Amanecer - I don't think there is a difference between a Scientologist and a non-Scientologist trying to do good. I find it hard to conceive of the idea that I am different in some way. I just don't look at it that way.

You may find a lot of examples/answers to your question at www.scientologyhandbook.org

I also recommend reading a book or two. Two that I recommend are 'Scientology: A New Slant on Life' and 'Scientology: Fundamentals of Thought'

I suppose to have real insight you would need to put some time into it. I recommend listening to the Congress lectures that cover a lot of the fundamentals as well. (There are about 150 lectures.)

I suppose a difference might be that the tools I use have proven to be effective in helping others do better. Whether its my repairing a marriage, helping people get off of drugs, sorting out a stuck student so they can learn, to helping a person regain an understanding of their true spiritual nature.

Problems that my neighbors find difficult to handle I barely notice as being issues to spend any time on. As they go "I don't think anything can be done about that." I go ahead and handle it. Using simple fundamentals as referenced above.

I have many people that credit me with saving their life. It is a good feeling to be able to give effective help to my fellow man. (What's humorous is most all of them are LDS and have remained so after I have counseled them.)

Sincerely,

Fred

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Bean Counter
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Well, since it lacks any aspect that encourages Faith, (you have said) it cannot be, for me, classified as a religion.

A series of principles that work to the betterment of human life, vitality and vigor are great. However if they work, they do not require Faith they just are. You gain nothing from Scientology that you (Theoretically) could not have discovered in a lifetime of research in the subject. It is a short cut to that information and essentially it elevates expert technicians in a body of practices to the level of a Priesthood.

All this is derived from your comments Fred and my ongoing thesis on what makes a religion "Real" but if you have no aspect of the church taken on faith then you are not of a Faith.

Presumably the inner circle or whatever views the incontrovertible evidence of the Thetan's and their influence, probably revealed on golden plates with magic spectacles and so top to bottom you have a secret science, but not a Faith, and not a Religion.

BC

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fred
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BC - I don't completely disagree with you. When you look at it from the view point that religion has faith as an essential element then who would argue against what you say.

I think the essential element of all religions is 'spirit - the non-physical thinking part of man' (Source Oxford English Dictionary)

I look at it that Scientology is a way to find out the true nature of ones own spiritual nature without needing faith. So to me it is religious in a very deep and old sense of the word. (Took me years to come to that understanding.)

But I find simple communication to be a religious experience in that it fundamentally involves the exchanging of ideas between spiritual beings. That it currently occurs via the medium of the physical universe makes it no less of a spiritual activity. Especially taken in light of the fundamental axioms of Scientology that cover the origin of all things physical.

http://www.ronthephilosopher.org/page42.htm

"Yet the philosophic root of Dianetics and Scientology, the core truth upon which all is based, could hardly be simpler: “The spirit is the source of all,” Ron tells us, “You are a spirit.” "

The goal of scintology's principles isn't just the betterment of human life. It is the improvement of your own native and inherent spiritual abilities. When you improve the spiritual being he then is able to better his own circumstances.

I certainly agree it is a short cut. I'd hate to have had to develop one percent of what I have learned from others. I'd have died stupid. lol!


Sincerely,

Fred

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Bean Counter
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Calling the material spiritual is animism, as you say, it is a return to tree, rock and shrub worship.

Germs are invisible, until science and technology showed them to us. So once sickness lay in the realm of mystery and was part of the divine role.

To call man Spirit and speak of his energy is a simple intuition, after all we know matter is energy, Ron knew this, it is borrowing the language of mystics and packaging the revelations of science. Not a placebo, instead a cuckoo in the nest of religions. It is not an evil thing, but it is not an honest one either.

BC

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Tom hasn't established any reason for thinking that Hubbard was a bad guy or that his biography was false other than Tom saying so.
Part of that is my concern that it would be directly contrary to the user's agreement of the forum to start specifically refuting elements of a given religious founder's backstory.

This is why I instead strongly encourage people to do their own research on this. There's plenty of data out there on what Hubbard says he did and what he actually spent his life doing (just as an example of one "discrepancy.")

If Fred is dissatisfied with either the reliability of those sources or the importance of those specific challenges, that's entirely his right. But I would never recommend that anyone look into Scientology based on what Hubbard said about himself without first looking at what other sources have to say about Hubbard.

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fred
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BC - What your saying isn't exactly what Ron said. Sounds close but there are fundamental differences. Have you studied Ron's works?

Tom - I would never recommend anyone to look into Scientology based on what Ron said about himself either. Ron himself says as much in different places.

I would only recommend what I have already said in earlier posts.

Fred

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Samprimary
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quote:
Ron doesn't need me to defend him or his past from the media etc. As a result I don't waste my time. I find it mildly amusing when it is insinuated that if I "knew" what the "real story" was I would think twice about my participation with the Church of Scientology. That somehow I have been lied to, deluded or somehow brainwashed for the last thirty years as a Scientologist. Doesn't say much for my own abilities as an individual to think for myself to be accused of these things.

Does anybody have any questions or is this just going to be more semi-veiled references of how I'm ignorant to the "truth."

I had a response to this, but I've edited it out according to this quote:

quote:
Part of that is my concern that it would be directly contrary to the user's agreement of the forum to start specifically refuting elements of a given religious founder's backstory.
If that's true, then I'm mysteriously not allowed to parley on the issue. I'll wait for permission to come, otherwise it will simply be against the rules (... bizzzzarrrrrely and troublingly ...) to address the issue you wish addressed on this forum!

[ July 27, 2006, 02:21 AM: Message edited by: Samprimary ]

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Bean Counter
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I have read a good portion of his Science Fiction, (all of Mission Earth and Battlefield and several of his short stories) and Dianetics.

I have used several of the things he noticed in with considerable success, the Law of Affinity and the recognition that Aberration is recognizable because it creates predictable rather then the intuitive "unpredictable" behavior you expect in madmen. He was noticing some great things, but I found the Teachings of Don Juan, insights from an even bigger fraud, (God love him) to have greater utility.

I have never read Scientology simply because it never occurred to me to pursue enlightenment in a large group that includes many silly people.

BC

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Bean Counter
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quote:
If that's true, then I'm mysteriously not allowed to parley on the issue. I'll wait for permission to come, otherwise it will simply be against the rules (... bizzzzarrrrrely and troublingly ...) to address the issue you wish addressed on this forum!

I have seen Joseph Smith called into question here, and I myself have pointed to speculation that Mary Magdalene and Jesus were, like Simon Magus and his companion likely Priest and Priestess trained in Alexandria and belonging to a sect that was headed up by John the Baptist.

I was laughed at, but hardly censured, so fire away, they have not booted me yet!

BC

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fred
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"I have never read Scientology simply because it never occurred to me to pursue enlightenment in a large group that includes many silly people."

Hmmm...I guess that says it all.

Fred

PS "What did you think of Final Blackout? I'm of the opinion that it would make for a great movie."

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Bean Counter
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I believe that was another bleak apocalyptic story? I looked at it once and never read it, having grown hopeful of an optimistic future at some point...

BC

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Samprimary
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quote:
I was laughed at, but hardly censured, so fire away, they have not booted me yet!
Well, seeing as you just managed to get yet another one of your threads torpedoed, you're not exactly the guy I want to be taking my cues on hatrack ethics from.

:)

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Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy
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quote:
lmao @ the idea of anyone bullying the IRS. I've heard this before and I sure wish it was true as it would have saved us decades of harrasment if we had this "superpower" to bully the IRS.
I thought the Super Power building wasn't finished yet?

quote:
I'm curious if there is any other individual or group in America that has this special ability?

The poor IRS having to endure being bullied by the mighty Church of Scientology. lol!

That's what got me so interested in the Church of Scientology. Say you're in 3rd grade, and some big kid is bullying everyone. Then one day, some little kid shows up and starts pushing the big kid around and getting away with it. Wouldn't you want to know what the little kid knew that you didn't?
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fred
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"I believe that was another bleak apocalyptic story? I looked at it once and never read it, having grown hopeful of an optimistic future at some point..."

Sounds like the lead character in the novel.

Fred

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