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 4 Subliminal 3

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.

In the third chapter (Remembering And Forgetting) of his book Subliminal Leonard Mlodinow takes on the issues of how much the unconscious or subconscious mind affects memory.

We usually assume our memories are accurate and reliable. We believe everything we recall happened as we remember. It's unfortunately not true.

I know you may think your memory is good, and I often have myself. But there is a lot of evidence that we can be swayed by factors to be inaccurate, sometimes in the most important situations.

Many people identified by victims of horrific crimes like rape, sexual abuse, robberies, assaults and other crimes have eventually been exonerated due to DNA evidence despite the victims picking suspects out of lineups and testifying against them with strong certainty.

Mlodinow wrote, "About seventy-five thousand police lineups take place each year, and statistics on those show that 20 to 25 percent of the time witnesses make a choice that police know is incorrect." (Page 55)

Mlodinow went on to explain how police use fillers meaning people like other police or people imprisoned in local jails to fill the lineup out. They have assumed a person who was in jail for months or years didn't recently commit a crime outside the jail in person. There have been experimental studies that have suggested more than half the time if there is a lineup and the correct person who committed a crime isn't present people will pick someone out of the lineup. Terrifying for numerous reasons.

Mlodinow wrote, "An organization called the Innocence Project, for example, found that of the hundreds of people exonerated on the basis of postconviction DNA testing, 75 percent had been imprisoned because of inaccurate eyewitness identification."

This gives us several problems with the criminal justice system. A book called Convicting The Innocent by Brandon Garrett takes this up.

I personally don't like the fact that a person can be convicted solely on the basis of eyewitness testimony with no other evidence, despite eyewitnesses being far too unreliable alone. The standard of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, particularly for the most serious crimes, to me should require more proof. We are imprisoning innocent people and letting the guilty walk free to commit more crimes, likely by the tens of thousands each year.

A lot of research and evidence supports the idea that we can have memories that are clear and vivid that we are certain of which are inaccurate or even entirely false. Philip K Dick would love to explore this. He wrote many stories about the nature of memory and reality and himself had serious mental health issues.

Psychologists thought - as most of us do of - that you had memories saved like files of videos and they could be lost or fade if we couldn't find them but that the vividness and completeness of a memory corresponded with its accuracy. Even many very recently believed this. It seems true to us, we consult certainty for certainty.

In 1907 Hugo Munsterberg, a German psychologist who studied under Wilhelm Wundt, realized memories could be vivid and inaccurate.

He had his home burglarized and he examined his home then described it in vivid detail to police in interviews and in court and he got many details completely wrong. He had delivered thousands of lectures relying only on his memory and was stunned by this revelation.

Munsterberg studied memory and tried something original. He studied a staged event. Professor Franz Von Liszt gave a talk on criminology and afterwards a man stood up and got into an argument with another man, soon a gun was pulled and it was fired and people ran around and finally it was revealed to be staged. Witnesses were in different groups asked to write essays or answer questions or report on these events in another way.

People reported details that never occurred, they reported events in entirely different orders from reality and ommisions, alterations and additions were counted as errors. Error rates from 26 to 80 percent were reported.

Staged event became the rage in Europe for a while. People got things wrong consistently. They recalled who did what and who spoke wrong and even who wore or didn't wear a hat.

From all these experiences Munsterberg formed a theory on memory - we don't remember everything, but try to remember the most important things and when needed for consultation our memories are pulled and combined with our efforts to fill in the blanks and we don't consciously know about the creative editing our unconscious minds perform before or while presenting our memories.

Mlodinow wrote, "Munsterberg published his ideas about memory in a book that became a best seller, On the Witness Stand: Essays on Psychology and Crime. In it, he elaborated on a number of key concepts that many researchers now believe correspond to the way memory really does work: first, people have a good memory for the general gist of events but a bad one for the details; second, when pressed for unremembered details, even well-intentioned people making a sincere effort to be accurate will inadvertently fill in the gaps by making things up; and third, people will believe the memories they make up."

These revelations bring us to a crossroads. How do we survive and operate with such poor memories ? Why don't we notice ?

Well, our memories have evolved to select and focus on the most important things in our estimation. If you have to tell your boss one thing from his boss that is a yes or no answer you understand you need to get that right and not the color of his tie or what he had for lunch.

Our minds filter for importance and you can have a boring conversation with a person who you feel has no important information for hours on a long bus or train ride and forget everything that they said upon walking away, and be glad to forget it.

We retain conclusions and not details. We categorize information to help us remember it. Sometimes we remember something in the same category when asked for information, a person similar to another or a description of something instead of the thing or the most vivid idea we associate with a person or thing. When you see someone say "the guy on the show about the thing in the place" they are remembering the ideas they associate with something, sort of.

In memory research people can be given lists of words to recall later. If you have synonyms of words on the list in questions people will recall those as being present when something close was. They recalled the general idea better than the specific words.

Frederic Bartlett researched memory and found we edit and re-edit over and over. If asked about incidents from our childhood we surprisingly give different accounts right after an event, a year later, five years later and ten years later. We change parts, leaving out some adding others and adjusting minor details.

Many, many experiments have verified our changing and incomplete memories. It has been found for us to recall something we have our conscious mind must focus attention on it, a conscious mind only focuses on a few details usually and that guides memory of vision. If it's important enough to look at intently it might be important enough to remember, but if it isn't then that alone can filter out details as irrelevant, even if they are not.

Two psychologists, Daniel Levin and Dan Simons, filmed an experiment to see what details are noticed by people. They had a person outdoors claim to be a researcher and speak with a student for ten to fifteen seconds, then a pair of men rudely carried a door between the researcher and the student, separating them for about a second, the researcher was replaced with a different man. The new man had a different voice and height but most people didn't notice the replacement. Astounding.

This phenomena is called change blindness. Sometimes something that isn't the focus of conscious attention can be changed and we don't even notice.

People that recalled similar words to words actually on a list were certain that the words were there. Mlodinow wrote, "False memories feel no different than memories that are based in reality."

Uh-oh, in Scientology people are taught certainty is knowledge. But in truth certainty is not accuracy, not even close.

This is a particular problem for ex Scientologists that are used to always relying on certainty and put their memories front and center as irrefutable proof Scientology works. They recalled the things Hubbard said they would.

Mlodinow wrote, "As it turns out, planting false memories is not that hard...Memories of events that supposedly happened long ago are particularly easy to implant." (Page 75)

Psychologists have found merely telling a person an event occurred can prompt the manufacturing of a memory to fit the suggestion. And then recall the memory but not the suggestion that prompted it.

This has been described as successful 15 to 50 percent of the time. A recent study was done on people that went to Disneyland. They were asked to think about a fake ad for the park with Bugs Bunny. It had suggestions regarding vivid imagery of Bugs and being with him using suggestive language like imagine, he got bigger the closer you got and so on.

About a quarter of the subjects recalled meeting Bugs and of those 62 percent remembered shaking his hand, 46 percent recalled hugging him.

Now Warner brothers owns Bugs Bunny and Disneyland owns Mickey Mouse and the two don't visit each other. But people can recall meeting Bugs Bunny when they never did - if provided the suggestion.

For Scientologists the hundreds of suggestions they're provided are certainly sometimes effective on some people at prompting false memories. In Scientology indoctrination and auditing hundreds of suggestions are given and repetitive questions certainly serve as suggestions in this context.  And if those people stay in Scientology and agree that the suggestions are real as memories then to them it appears everyone has these memories, because the people that don't have these memories either leave or keep it to themselves.

Mlodinow wrote, "Conscious memory and perception accomplish their miracles with a heavy reliance on the unconscious."

Unfortunately, just as the unconscious is unseen  by conscious mind its errors and efforts to manipulate the unconscious to guide or fool the conscious mind are also unseen and when successful unnoticed.

That's the horrifying vulnerability that makes groups like Scientology capable of deceiving people with false memories and similar techniques.

Our ignorance about the vulnerability of our minds is the deadly glaring weakness that leaves us gullible about our gullibility. We are sure our memories are so reliable when Scientology manipulates them we mistakenly take that as proof and see the matter as settled. We couldn't be more wrong.

I hope this alternative to Scientology serves to show the evidence that Scientology is fraudulent, or if you are not convinced where to look for evidence, and that this is worth learning about to understand yourself, your vulnerabilities and other people.

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