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 6 Subliminal 5

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 chapter five (Reading People) of his book Subliminal Leonard Mlodinow took on the issue of human body language and how it's primarily generated on a subconscious or unconscious basis and also equally important to understand is that we primarily perceive body language in an unconscious manner.

Mlodinow started this chapter with an interesting story of nonhuman recognition of human understanding. In 1904 a stallion, known as Clever Hans, was trained by his owner Herr Wilhelm von Osten. He taught Hans to stomp his foot in response to questions. He stamped for colors, once for gold, twice for silver and three times for copper. He identified coins. He similarly identified colors of hats and performed division and identified the date and month. Hans was rewarded with sugar and carrots for his answers.

He became a celebrity and was examined by the Kaiser at a command performance. He also was examined by a commission and the director of the Prussian Natural History Museum felt he had succeeded in his studies.

A psychologist, Oskar Pfungst, investigated the claims of profound equine education. He discovered Hans could answer questions from other people too, if they knew the answers to the question as well.

Oskar Pfungst realized that Hans noticed subtle movements that were cues of when to start stomping his hoof and crucially when he had stomped enough times. When the question was asked  the person asking would slightly bend forward and when the correct stomping occurred they would slightly move. The horse learned to perceive the tiny movements to earn his carrots and sugar.

Oskar had twenty five people question him and found that twenty three of the participants made subtle movements he could detect.

Mlodinow wrote, "Scientists attach a great importance to the human capacity for spoken language. But we also have a parallel track of nonverbal communication, and those messages may reveal more than our carefully chosen words and sometimes be at odds with them. Since much, if not most, of the nonverbal signaling and reading of signals is automatic and performed outside our conscious awareness and control, through our nonverbal cues we unwittingly communicate a great deal of information about ourselves and our state of mind. The gestures we make, the position in which we hold our bodies, the expressions we wear on our faces, and the nonverbal qualities of our speech--all contribute to how others view us." (Page 109)

Mlodinow commented on something close to my heart. In studies the animal that is best at recognizing human body language is one my wife instantly knew but many primatologists were surprised to discover, and they are generally a pretty smart bunch. It wasn't the chimpanzee or gorilla or any monkey. It was as the saying goes man's best friend, the dog.

We have been dealing with dogs as friends and pets probably tens of thousands of years. Scientists suspect that several tens of thousands of years ago humans sitting around the fire eating would offer bits of food to wild wolves. The wolves most willing to approach humans and not attack or threaten were offered food, in theory.

The idea goes that the friendly wolves were selected for feeding and their pups were similarly selected for friendliness, cuteness and obedience. Over time humans through selecting the most desirable wolves got to the point of having actually domesticated dogs and could breed them and train them as dogs similar to our pets today. And wolves and later dogs more capable of reacting to human body language were treated better than those that couldn't. They may not understand our words perfectly but they can react to our movements and tone of voice and behavior. And that was the difference between getting fed or not fed thousands of years ago. A difference between starving and living well for a pup. So nature rapidly selected winners in good listeners and rejected the poor listeners.

A researcher named Robert Rosenthal did numerous experiments, several of which Mlodinow described, to illustrate that we reveal expectations via body language, even if we are unaware of it.

One excellent one involved teachers in eighteen classrooms. They had students given IQ tests and were told the results. The teachers were given the results, but not the students. The teachers rated the high IQ students as more curious and better workers than normal IQ students. They actually were told regular IQ students were high IQ and the students grades after the teachers were told that paralleled this. The ones the teachers thought were bright did better than the others, with only a perception of excellence in their teachers' minds.

Eight months later the kids IQs were tested again. The kids labeled high IQ initially (who were normal) had a much better increase in general and a much, much greater increase in several cases than the other children in general, and keep in mind this was eighteen classrooms of children. Not just a few.

Rosenthal was careful to never label children as below average. But other people do. And of more concern is the fact that studies have found minorities and females often get less attention and lower expectations from teachers.

The fact that expectations and attention often contribute to achievement and grades creates a self fulfilling prophecy. Educators expect less from some students based on racial and gender prejudice then neglect those students and see their failure as proof it was inevitable. I don't know the solution to this problem, but know it's worth mentioning.

Mlodinow wrote of our nonverbal communication and that of other primates.

This portion is of particular relevance to ex Scientologists, Scientologists and people that study Scientology and cults. I must mention something familiar to every Scientologist. The training routines in Scientology. In various drills Scientologists are taught to alter their communication from that of well frankly normal human beings. I am not exaggerating.

Scientologists are trained to stare at people without looking away when communicating. They are trained to receive communication without reacting or flinching or looking away. They routinely do dozens or hundreds of hours of drills to improve their ability to listen and talk without flinching, turning away or reacting in any way.

If you were in Scientology and did the training routines as indoctrination then you know exactly what I am referring to. Their verbal communication is also determined by Scientology indoctrination. They learn and practice forceful communication and exact means of response. They practice acknowledgements as proper responses to communication in Scientology and a variety of other aspects of communication like half acknowledgements which are statements used to encourage someone to continue or finish a statement. The Scientology communication system is strange and uncanny to normal people.

Scientologists come across as aggressive, assertive and above all supremely confident to normal people. They stare without looking away, speak with unflinching certainty and answer in ways that are artificial and their body language is robotic.

What that means is something we didn't consider while in Scientology. It's given a whole new look with the information in this chapter.

As humans we share some of the body language with our primate cousins. And understanding the origins of these communications helps us understand ourselves. Mlodinow described how we feel good often if we notice someone looking and smile at them and they smile back. If I smile at someone and they don't smile back it doesn't feel good.

Of extreme interest here is something Mlodinow asserts, "In the society of nonhuman primates, a direct stare is an aggressive signal. It often precedes an attack--and therefore, can precipitate one."

Mlodinow described how in primate society a smile can be disarming. It says, "pardon my staring, I meant no offense", from a submissive monkey and in response can mean, "Don't worry, I am not attacking you."

A smile can be faked to a degree by humans, but only imperfectly. In a smile the zygomatic major muscles in our faces pull the corners of our mouths up toward our cheekbones as a voluntary movement. We easily can fake that. But a genuine smile includes an involuntary movement we do as an involuntary reaction. The orbicularis oculi muscles pull skin surrounding the eye toward the eyeball. It's subtle and slight but noticeable and people that study smiles can easily detect it with practice.

French neurologist Duchenne de Bologne noticed this and was an influence on Charles Darwin. He gave Darwin photos of people smiling and Darwin realized people could tell fake smiles from genuine and not know exactly how they could tell. They said fake smiles are sleezy, certainly a cousin to uncanny, lifelike but not quite right, unnatural.

Darwin felt human expressions were possibly universal and research by him and several others supports this hypothesis. Many expressions are understood as having the same meaning regardless of what people are making them, a smile or frown by any name or no name is a smile or frown.

Studies have shown very young infants display almost all the facial expressions of adults and even blind children do as well. It's unlikely they are imitating anyone.

Mlodinow wrote, "Our catalog of facial expressions seems to be standard equipment--it comes with the basic model. And because it is a largely innate, unconscious part of our being, communicating our feelings comes naturally, while hiding them requires great effort." (Page 118)

Mlodinow went on, "IN HUMANS, BODY language and nonverbal communication are not limited to simple gestures and expressions. We have a highly complex system of nonverbal language, and we routinely participate in elaborate nonverbal exchanges, even when we are not consciously aware of doing so." (Page 119)

The Scientology cult has training in numerous ways that alters normal body language. They practice reading without flinching or hesitation and answer the same way to pass checkouts and spot checks on materials in indoctrination. If they are spotted moving or scratching or yawning while studying in Scientology they are instructed to stop and explore for misunderstood words in their materials. They rapidly learn to not move in these ways or they don't ever get through courses. Over time the cumulative effect of the training routines and further training routines at more advanced courses and the indoctrination to study, read and respond to questions on study all add up to a conditioned behavior that suppresses a significant portion of human body language. It makes Scientologists somewhat inscrutable and disconnected from normal people. They come across as not quite right and difficult to understand.

Nonhuman primates have well established social hierarchies. Dominant primates pound their chests and submissive ones can smile to signal submission.

In modern humans two kinds of dominance exist. Physical dominance is shown by carrying weapons or showing off bulging muscles or wearing the right clothes. Even certain tattoos are signs of dominance.

We also have social dominance. In normal humans this exists and can be seen by watching our gaze. The contrast between Scientologists and normal people couldn't be more extreme.

As I described earlier Scientologists are taught to maintain unflinching direct eye contact with any person they are communicating with in person. Simple, they look at the other person when speaking or listening. That's conditioned behavior, altered over hundreds of hours in Scientology training drills and other activities.

Some people tend to always look at someone else when talking while others seem to always look around.

Leonard Mlodinow wrote a very precise description of how social dominance is expressed, "It is not your overall tendency to look at someone that is telling but the way in which you adjust your behavior when you switch between the roles of listener and speaker. Psychologists have been able to characterize that behavior with a single quantitative measure, and the data they produce using that measure is striking.
  Here is how it works: take the percentage of time you spend looking into someone's eyes while you are speaking and divide it by the percentage spent looking at that same person's eyes while you are listening. For example, if, no matter which of you is talking, you spend the same amount of time looking away, your ratio would be 1.0. But if you tend to look away more often while you are speaking than when you are listening, your ratio will be less than 1.0. If you tend to look away less often when you are speaking than when you are listening, you have a ratio higher than 1.0. That quotient, psychologists discovered, is a revealing statistic. It is called the "visual dominance ratio," and it reflects your position on the social dominance hierarchy relative to your conversational partner. A visual dominance ratio near 1.0, or larger, is characteristic of people with relatively high social dominance. A visual dominance ratio less than 1.0 is indicative of being lower on the dominance hierarchy. In other words, if your visual dominance ratio is around 1.0 or higher, you are probably the boss; if it is around 0.6, you are probably the bossed.
     The unconscious mind provides us with many wonderful services and performs many awesome feats, but I can't help being impressed by this one. What is so striking about the data is not just that we subliminally adjust our gazing behavior to match our place on the hierarchy but that we do it so consistently, and with numerical precision. Here is a sample of the data: when speaking to each other,  ROTC officers exhibited ratios 1.06, while ROTC cadets speaking to officers had ratios of 0.61, undergraduates in an introductory psychology course scored 0.92 when talking to a person they believed to be a high school senior who did not plan to go to college but 0.59 when talking to a person they believed to be a college chemistry honor student accepted into a prestigious medical school, expert men speaking to women about a subject in their own field scored 0.98, while men taking to expert women about the women's field, 0.61; expert women speaking to nonexpert men scored 1.04, and nonexpert women speaking to expert men scored 0.54. These studies were all performed on Americans." (Page 121)

I quoted this long section of the book because it's so important to understand that normal people signal dominance by looking an equal amount while speaking or listening to the same person and submission by looking away more when listening than talking. Important people expect to be watched when talking and can look away when less important people are talking.

Scientologists that have been indoctrinated in the communication course or training routines tend to look constantly both when listening or speaking, which is the behavior of socially dominant people. It's persuasive when dealing with some people and puts off others.

Of definite worth is noting that this makes Scientologists have a mimicry of the communication style of each other and are increasingly socially isolated from normal people by these behaviors.

Additionally factors like space between people and other aspects of body language and communication become controlled and different from normal people, further creating social isolation and strengthening the bonds between Scientologists.

It's worth noting the studies these statistics are derived from, for anyone with a serious interest.

R.V. Exline et al.,  "Visual Behavior as an Aspect of Power Relationships" in Advances in the Study of Communication and Affect, vol 2

R.V. Exline et al., "Visual Dominance Behavior in Female Dyads: Situational and Personality Factors," Social Psychology Quarterly 43, no. 3

John F. Dovidio et al., "The Relationship of Social Power to Visual Displays of Dominance Between Men and Women," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 54, no. 2

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