Hello , I am an ex Scientologist , this blog is primarily about that but I may address other topics as the mood hits me to . I was in Scientology for 25 years and spent about 10,000 hours using the indoctrination and thought reform method "study tech " . I also spent time on staff and met hundreds of Scientologists and did hundreds of the cult practices . Many were the "ethics cycles and OW writeups " that really are an attempt to suppress or remove a person's identity and replace it with a mental pseudo clone of Ron Hubbard . To make a fanatical slave for the cult .

I looked outside the cult for answers in about January 2014 and left the cult in about March of 2014 . While in about 99% of members have no idea of the truth .

We are told we are in a mental therapy or spiritual enhancement or religion or science for helping people unlock potential . Or any of several other fronts that all pretend kind and humanitarian goals .

The truth is Scientology is a terrorist mind control cult and this blog is my attempt to understand and expose that . And try to state as clearly as possible the tools that I have found helpful in dealing with this .

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Alternatives To Scientology 11 Subliminal 10

The Alternatives To Scientology series Subliminal is based on the chapters in the book Subliminal by Leonard Mlodinow and should definitely be read in order from number 2 to number 11. If read out of order they definitely won't make sense.

The final chapter of the book Subliminal by Leonard Mlodinow was titled Self. He ended his examination of the unconscious mind with this.

He started with this quote: "The secret of rulership is to combine a belief in one's own infallibility with the power to learn from past mistakes." George Orwell (Page 196)

Mlodinow pointed out how several people have admitted no error or wrongdoing, even if admitting that might lessen punishment or penalties.

Mlodinow wrote, "The stronger the threat to feeling good about yourself, it seems, the greater the tendency to view reality through a distortion lens."  (Page 197)

As compelling examples Mlodinow wrote on how folks like notorious gangsters of the 1930s like Dutch Schultz, Al Capone and notorious murderer "Two Gun" Crowley all saw themselves as public benefactors or hunted men or innocent despite having killed many people.

Mlodinow gave descriptions of how we see ourselves as doing good work even if our business fails when following our plans, we think we did a good job as an attorney even when our client got the death penalty, we preserve an image of competence and good character for ourselves often despite any evidence otherwise.

Mlodinow wrote, "Consider a survey of nearly one million high school high school seniors. When asked to judge their ability to get along with others, 100 percent rated themselves as at least average, 60 percent rated themselves in the top 10 percent, and 25 percent considered themselves in the top 1 percent. And when asked about their leadership skills, only 2 percent rate themselves as below average. Teachers aren't any more realistic: 94 percent of college professors say they do above average work." (Page 198)

Psychologists call this tendency for optimism in self evaluation " the above average effect." Mlodinow gave numerous examples of other professions and surveys that show this is a universal human trait.

He also noted how people can recognize this trait, but of course only in other people. We resist seeing our own overestimating of our abilities. It's called the bias blind spot. One author said biases are like foreheads - it's far easier to see someone else's than my own. If I could see my bias it wouldn't bias me, because it has to be outside conscious direct thought to function as a bias.

Mlodinow wrote, "Normal and healthy individuals-students, professors, engineers, lieutenant colonels, doctors, business executives-tend to think of themselves as not just competent but proficient, even if they aren't." (Page 200)

"As the psychologist Jonathan Haidt put it, there are two ways to get at the truth: the way of the scientist and the way of the lawyer. Scientists gather evidence, look for regularities, form theories explaining their observations, and test them. Attorneys begin with a conclusion they want to convince others of and then seek evidence that supports it, while also attempting to discredit evidence that doesn't. The human mind is designed to be both a scientist and an attorney, both a conscious seeker of objective truth and an unconscious, impassioned advocate for what we want to believe. Together these approaches vie to create our worldview." (Page 200)

Mlodinow went on, "As it turns out, the brain is a decent scientist but an absolutely outstanding lawyer. The result is that in the struggle to fashion a coherent, convincing view of ourselves and the rest of the world, it is the impassioned advocate that usually wins over the truth seeker." (Page 201)

Mlodinow described how we combine parts of perception and filling in blanks with self approving illusions. We give ourselves the benefit of the doubt unconsciously and do it over and over in hundreds of tiny ways without conscious awareness. Then, our conscious mind innocently looks at the distorted final product and sees a seemingly perfect, consistent and logical representation of reality as memories with no clue it's not anything but a pure recording of the past.

Mlodinow described how psychologists call this kind of thought "motivated reasoning." He explained how the way we easily get this is due to ambiguity. Lots of things that we sense aren't perfectly and absolutely clear. We can acknowledge some degree of reality but somewhat reasonably see unclear things in ways that give ourselves every benefit of the doubt. We can do it for allies, particularly in comparison to our enemies. We can see in-group members as good, if it's unclear and out-group members as bad if it's unclear. We can set standards extremely high to accept negative evidence against ourselves and our groups or set standards extremely low to accept negative evidence against out-groups. We can act reasonable about it, but really are using how we feel about beliefs to determine our acceptance of those beliefs, substituting comfort with acceptance for proof being established.

Mlodinow described how ambiguity helps us to understand stereotypes for people we don't know well and be overly positive in looking at ourselves. He described studies and experiments that strongly support the idea we are incorporating bias in our decisions unknowingly.

Crucially Mlodinow added, "Because motivated reasoning is unconscious, people's claims that they are unaffected by bias or self-interest can be sincere, even as they make decisions that are in reality self-serving." (Page 205)

Mlodinow described how recent brain scans show our emotions are tied up in motivated reasoning. The parts of the brain that are active in emotional decisions are used when motivated reasoning occurs, and we can't in any easy way divorce ourselves from that human nature.

Numerous studies have shown we set impossibly high standards to disconfirm our beliefs, particularly deeply held emotional beliefs like religious and political beliefs. We set impossibly low standards for evidence to confirm our beliefs.

We also find fallacies or weaknesses in arguments, claims and sources of information we disagree with while dropping those standards if the information supports our positions. It's so natural we often don't see it in ourselves but sharply see it in people with opposite beliefs. They look biased and frankly dimwitted. But they aren't alone in this.

We see ourselves as being rational and forming conclusions based on patterns of evidence and sound reason, like scientists but really have more lawyer in us as we start with conclusions that favor us and our current beliefs, feelings, attitudes and behaviors and work to find a rational and coherent story to support it.

Mlodinow described research that has shown people who are unrealistically optimistic about themselves tend to be happy, have high hopes for their careers and accomplishments and start companies, create inventions and expect to be treated well and so inspire positive treatment often for themselves and treat others well in turn. More realistic views lead to higher depression and lower lifespan.

In human evolution if a person thousands of years ago was realistic they would have seen a life with lots of suffering, probable losses of children before they grew up and a struggle to simply have a decent life with modest chances of success. But the people that persisted with life and saw their chances optimistically succeeded over generations and so evolution has selected these traits over tens of thousands of years. Modern humans have probably had this behavior selected for at least a hundred thousand years.  Perhaps much longer.

So, it is truly human nature to be overly optimistic about yourself. Life is hard and has lots of suffering but evolution has largely solved the depressing reality of this challenge by ignoring it or having people see themselves as up to the challenge, whatever it may be.

Mlodinow ended his book, "We choose the facts that we want to believe. We also choose our friends, lovers, and spouses not just because of the way we perceive them but because of the way they perceive us. Unlike phenomena in physics, in life, events can often obey one theory or another, and what actually happens can depend largely upon which theory we choose to believe. It is a gift of the human mind to be extraordinarily open to accepting the theory of ourselves that pushes us in the direction of survival, and even happiness." (Page 218)

I want to emphasize that regarding Scientology this chapter is like this entire book extremely relevant. It spotlights the weaknesses and vulnerabilities Scientology or any false doctrine exploits but also answered questions Hubbard claimed to answer in Dianetics and Scientology with far more scientific and in my opinion accurate information.

I also wanted to emphasize that I think the information in alternatives to Scientology is chosen to provide information everyone should have an opportunity to examine. We all won't agree with everything in these books but should at least get to see these ideas so we can form educated opinions on these important subjects.

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