Re: Why Revoke Scientology's Tax Exempt Status -a response to comments at ESMB on an article by Mike Rinder
Here several issues get brought up and mashed together with people making a basic series of mistakes .
A lot of people when they look at articles by Mike and Marty do not judge the entire article with critical thinking and examine each claim they make one by one and use objective judgment . People look at them like they are little kids learning something and if they move a bit in the direction one wants they go " oh , that article had a good conclusion - never mind that it has false and weak logic to build his case - I like his conclusion " or " it is CLOSER to the truth than his completely wrong position two or five years ago so despite it being technically untrue - because it is closer to truth I will say it is progress" .
Look , that is bad logic - it is succumbing way too much to an appeal to emotion . Mike , in my opinion , takes on some arguments partway and makes false equivalencies and that does him in . The reason Scientology cannot be reformed is not because DM abuses people or is insane - if you brush aside bias and study a few things that are the precedents for this it becomes clear .
Scientology is not a miracle factory or a faulty miracle factory - it is a CULT . A cult is not a religion or a small or new or quirky religion . A cult is a kind of group . Cults are groups that try to take over all or almost all of the decision making of the members . That is it . They can believe any or no religion . That is a red herring .
Margaret Singer was one of the top experts EVER on cults and that follows her line of thought .I agree . Another thing Mike Rinder did was say he is an expert on Scientology . MOST of the "experts" I have seen on Scientology frankly know very little about cults and thought reform - which is the HEART of cults .
I am learning about thought reform but have only a high school level education and know I will likely never know as much as real experts . They have names and most have books . Another problem most "experts" on Scientology have is they got their expertise from being Scientologists !!! Sorry , being duped and exploited does not make you an expert in the way you might hope . I was for 25 years and learned more in the first two months I looked at information by outsiders who studied hypnotism , thought reform and influence than I would have in a hundred years in Scientology .
If you really want to know what Scientology is and does read Rape of the Mind , Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism , True Believer by Eric Hoffer , A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance and When Prophecy Fails by Leon Festinger, Freedom of Mind by Steven Hassan , and Recovery From Cults .
I suggest watching Margaret Singer's YouTube videos and reading her books as well . Because Scientology has so many parts hidden byHubbard study both him and what he used - hypnotism , logical fallacies , rhetoric , ( ethos , pathos , logos , sublime writing ) Crowley's work , Hitler's doctrine and other sources that have been covered by Jon Atack and Arnie Lerma .
Also study narcissists and socipaths systems of abuse and degradation . Hubbard used lots of tools but ultimately his actions were driven by his mind and that was one that combined pathological lying, extreme narcissistic and sociopathic tendencies which together are malignant narcissism or more exactly for a cult leader traumatic narcissism . Those behavior patterns and symptoms are the inner essence of Ron Hubbard mad man , criminal and more than anything else fraud .
If you see him to his inner core and that his doctrine is based on his dark , bent ,broken and twisted mind and that his methods are the same ones which in a one on one relationship that an abuser and enslaver uses to confuse , abuse and exploit their victim . They are all the same . WHY ? Because all abusers use the same weaknesses that make human beings vulnerable and exploitable and able to be dominated by the actions of another .
Some people think will or karma or other fictions play a role . They do not . If a battered woman is abused the man uses many of the same weaknesses Hubbard and all other cult leaders use . If you brush aside bias against psychology and social sciences and study them a little you can see they are far more scientific than Hubbard's pseudoscience . And if you brush aside personal interpretations guided by Hubbard within the cult setting he requires than you can see his cult is a cult like all the others . And has no miracles or true religion as its basis .
Hubbard studied rhetoric and one of the first things you learn in rhetoric is that a story can be used as a covert delivery method for influence . The story can seem relevant to the audience - but it is not and is really a cover . That is a very old trick to control , focus and guide attention . We all follow stories and are familiar with certain patterns in stories and follow those usually without thinking about it and analyzing every statement with great skepticism .
So , really the religious seeming whole track stuff is a delivery method for other stuff . I have discussed that in my threads like
Insidious Enslavement : Study Technologyhttp://mbnest.blogspot.com/2015/01/insidious-enslavement-study-technology.html
Basic Introduction to Hypnosis in Scientologyhttp://mbnest.blogspot.com/2015/01/basic-introduction-to-hypnosis-in.htmland the Secret of Scientology Part 1 http://mbnest.blogspot.com/2015/01/t...gy-part-1.html
A cult - and Scientology epitomizes this the most of any group I know of - is the opposite of any group based on being equal and honest or at least trying to not be abusive and exploitative as routine and continuous activity. That is the relevant issue . A cult MUST abuse people as that is needed to practice totalism - totally controlling emotion , thought and behavior .
To my mind Hubbard so thoroughly made scientology resemble his behavior that it cannot be reformed into anything that is not harmful and actually criminal .
It is like Hubbard- it lies at the beginning with what you want to hear to win you over but all the sweet words cover extremely generous empty promises and counterfeit dreams . Because ultimately he stole all of the ideas from others and upon very close examination NONE of them produced miracles or enlightenment . Some feel good and produce euphoria temporarily . But all that glitters is not gold and everything that feels good is not good for you in the long run . Delusions replacing truth and the ability to see it are what he gives and that leads to mental illness .He is like an extremely abusive and possessive man who lies and pretends to have the answers to all your dreams to win you over and really he is a total fraud and his technology is exactly the same . It relies on inducing confusions then relieving them with lies and misdirection temporarily and that leads to a gradual progressive divorce from knowing and perceiving reality . He uses tricks of language and attention and many things most abusers never learn . And as the creator of a social structure he combines many aspects of weaknesses to social influence to create a group that epitomizes the eight criteria for thought reform being used together .
I will include an excerpt here for anyone unfamiliar with thought reform .
Excerpted from: Thought Reform And The Psychology of Totalism, Chapter 22, (Chapel Hill, 1989) & The Future of Immortality, Chapter 155 (New York 1987).Dr. Robert J. Lifton's Criteria for Thought Reform Any ideology -- that is, any set of emotionally-charged convictions about men and his relationship to the natural or supernatural world -- may be carried by its adherents in a totalistic direction. But this is most likely to occur with those ideologies which are most sweeping in their content and most ambitious or messianic in their claim, whether a religious or political organization. And where totalism exists, a religion, or a political movement becomes little more than an exclusive cult.
Here you will find a set of criteria, eight psychological themes against which any environment may be judged. In combination, they create an atmosphere which may temporarily energize or exhilarate, but which at the same time pose the gravest of human threats.
(a brief outline)
- The most basic feature is the control of human communication within an environment
- If the control is extremely intense, it becomes internalized control -- an attempt to manage an individual's inner communication
- Control over all a person sees, hears, reads, writes (information control) creates conflicts in respect to individual autonomy
- Groups express this in several ways: Group process, isolation from other people, psychological pressure, geographical distance or unavailable transportation, sometimes physical pressure
- Often a sequence of events, such as seminars, lectures, group encounters, which become increasingly intense and increasingly isolated, making it extremely difficult-- both physically and psychologically--for one to leave
- Sets up a sense of antagonism with the outside world; it's "us against them"
- Closely connected to the process of individual change (of personality)
MYSTICAL MANIPULATION (Planned spontaneity)
- Extensive personal manipulation
- Seeks to promote specific patterns of behavior and emotion in such a way that it appears to have arisen spontaneously from within the environment, while it actually has been orchestrated
- Totalist leaders claim to be agents chosen by God, history, or some supernatural force, to carry out the mystical imperative
- The "principles" (God-centered or otherwise) can be put forcibly and claimed exclusively, so that the cult and its beliefs become the only true path to salvation (or enlightenment)
- The individual then develops the psychology of the pawn, and participates actively in the manipulation of others
- The leader who becomes the center of the mystical manipulation (or the person in whose name it is done) can be sometimes more real than an abstract god and therefore attractive to cult members
- Legitimizes the deception used to recruit new members and/or raise funds, and the deception used on the "outside world"
THE DEMAND FOR PURITY
- The world becomes sharply divided into the pure and the impure, the absolutely good (the group/ideology) and the absolutely evil (everything outside the group)
- One must continually change or conform to the group "norm"
- Tendencies towards guilt and shame are used as emotional levers for the group's controlling and manipulative influences
- Once a person has experienced the totalist polarization of good/evil (black/white thinking), he has great difficulty in regaining a more balanced inner sensitivity to the complexities of human morality
- The radical separation of pure/impure is both within the environment (the group) and the individual
- Ties in with the process of confession -- one must confess when one is not conforming
- Cultic confession is carried beyond its ordinary religious, legal and therapeutic expressions to the point of becoming a cult in itself
- Sessions in which one confesses to one's sin are accompanied by patterns of criticism and self-criticism, generally transpiring within small groups with an active and dynamic thrust toward personal change
- Is an act of symbolic self-surrender
- Makes it virtually impossible to attain a reasonable balance between worth and humility
- A person confessing to various sins of pre-cultic existence can both believe in those sins and be covering over other ideas and feelings that s/he is either unaware of or reluctant to discuss
- Often a person will confess to lesser sins while holding on to other secrets (often criticisms/questions/doubts about the group/leaders that may cause them not to advance to a leadership position)
- "The more I accuse myself, the more I have a right to judge you"
- The totalist milieu maintains an aura of sacredness around its basic doctrine or ideology, holding it as an ultimate moral vision for the ordering of human existence
- Questioning or criticizing those basic assumptions is prohibited
- A reverence is demanded for the ideology/doctrine, the originators of the ideology/doctrine, the present bearers of the ideology/doctrine
- Offers considerable security to young people because it greatly simplifies the world and answers a contemporary need to combine a sacred set of dogmatic principles with a claim to a science embodying the truth about human behavior and human psychology
LOADING THE LANGUAGE
- The language of the totalist environment is characterized by the thought-terminating cliche (thought-stoppers)
- Repetitiously centered on all-encompassing jargon
- "The language of non-thought"
- Words are given new meanings -- the outside world does not use the words or phrases in the same way -- it becomes a "group" word or phrase
DOCTRINE OVER PERSON
- Every issue in one's life can be reduced to a single set of principles that have an inner coherence to the point that one can claim the experience of truth and feel it
- The pattern of doctrine over person occurs when there is a conflict between what one feels oneself experiencing and what the doctrine or ideology says one should experience
- If one questions the beliefs of the group or the leaders of the group, one is made to feel that there is something inherently wrong with them to even question -- it is always "turned around" on them and the questioner/criticizer is questioned rather than the questions answered directly
- The underlying assumption is that doctrine/ideology is ultimately more valid, true and real than any aspect of actual human character or human experience and one must subject one's experience to that "truth"
- The experience of contradiction can be immediately associated with guilt
- One is made to feel that doubts are reflections of one's own evil
- When doubt arises, conflicts become intense
DISPENSING OF EXISTENCE
- Since the group has an absolute or totalist vision of truth, those who are not in the group are bound up in evil, are not enlightened, are not saved, and do not have the right to exist
- "Being verses nothingness"
- Impediments to legitimate being must be pushed away or destroyed
- One outside the group may always receive their right of existence by joining the group
- Fear manipulation -- if one leaves this group, one leaves God or loses their transformation, for something bad will happen to them
- The group is the "elite", outsiders are "of the world", "evil", "unenlightened", etc.
Now this is not the only or a perfect model but to me it is the best and most accurate I have seen .
There is other info that has been collected and perhaps in time I will coordinate some against the eight criteria and do my own analysis . But for now I am very very confident in saying Scientology completely fits any good definition for a cult or abusive group . And to the point where the abuse is criminal and continuous and routine for Scientology to in fact exist at all .
To me the conversation on Scientology's tax exemption should begin and end with the true nature of the group and what it does . And it should not only not be recognized as not being a religion or deserving tax exemption but as a bona fide criminal organization and human rights violator and outlawed completely .
It is like for the parallel to a person comparing a sane compassionate person - a normal group or religion - to a narcissist and sociopath who covertly by lies wins over a victim then fools them into believing everything the abuser says more than what they know or see and then drives the victim mad to break them down to control and own them . And covertly makes others continue the cycle of abuse and degradation . It is like a method to raise children that very very nearly 100% of the time produces narcissistic sociopaths who think they are better than everyone else and lie constantly and are delusional and even abusive and criminal .
If we found such a method to raise children we would condemn it and stop it once we knew it resulted in the negative effects for sure . Well Scientology has been very well tested and examined and consistently harms and fools people and persuades them to do the same to others .
The abuse is Scientology - the religious beliefs are window dressing to fool people . Hubbard did not for one second buy into it despite many lies and his ultimate descent into madness . He always hid the truth about no research and plagiarism and lack of results and a million other things that you hide if you are a con man and you know it every second . I know some folks have anecdotes about him saying this or that - he was a pathological liar and you really need to look deep into that to see that he always was lying and saw it as the only way to control people . He prized lying perhaps more than living .
Sorry , none of his technology has ever had any scientific validation - and it never will . It is a con . Notice how freezoners and indies no matter what they claim never get any testing or validation for anything ? They are ruled by hope and faith - false hope and blind faith are all Hubbard ever gave us . I am as sorry as any of you I wasted 25 years on his ride . I suggest any indie or freezoner who is mad at me read Leon Festinger's two books A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance and When Prophecy Fails . Then come back and have an educated discussion with me . And think you likely have spent hundreds or like thousands of hours with Hubbard's doctrine - how could the small time to read two books be so unbearable ? Unless you need faith more than reason .