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 9 Subliminal 8

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 8 (In-Groups and Out-Groups) of the book Subliminal Leonard Mlodinow took on the subject of in-group bias and out-group bias.

It's a subject that we all need to understand to function in society and be able to make ethical decisions regarding how to treat people and what traps are easy to fall into in relationships.

Mlodinow described the Robber's cave experiments. These are very famous in social psychology and in fact this book is the fifth one I have read that references the Robber's cave experiments.

In the 1950s twenty two eleven year old boys went to camp. They were in two separate camps and formed teams and chose the names Rattlers and Eagles, they designed their own flags and competed fiercely in sports against each other.

They were kept separate the first week and didn't even know of each other's existence. The second week they met and engaged in a sports tournament featuring baseball, tug of war, tent pitching contests a treasure hunt. Awards were given including trophies, medals and prizes for winners.

On the first day of competition the Eagles lost a tug of war contest and two chose to take the Rattlers flag and burn it then raise it back up. The Rattlers saw this the next morning and plotted revenge.

A mass brawl broke out when the Eagles arrived. At ten thirty the next night the Rattlers raided the Eagles cabins. They rushed in ripping down mosquito nets, yelling insults, and grabbing a pair of jeans. The researchers devised situations that required cooperation like moving a "stalled" truck by working together and several other rigged situations.

Several boys from the two sides became friendly with each other, and hostilities lessened. It's an experiment that is still discussed in social psychology today.

Mlodinow wrote, "Humans have always lived in bands. If competing in a tug-of-war contest generated intergroup hostility, imagine the hostility between bands of humans with too many mouths to feed and too few elephant carcasses to dine on. Today we think of war as being at least in part based on ideology. Long before communism, democracy, or theories of racial superiority were invented, neighboring groups of people regularly fought with and even massacred each other, inspired by the competition for resources. In such an environment, a highly evolved sense of "us versus them" would have been crucial to survival.
   There was also a sense of "us versus them" within bands, for, as in other hominid species, prehistoric humans formed alliances and coalitions within groups"..."So if the ability to pick up cues that signal political allegiances is important in contemporary work, in prehistoric times it was vital, for the equivalent of being fired was being dead." (Page 164)

Mlodinow went on to describe how in-group and out-group are defined in science. In-group means any group a person considers themself a part of and out-group means any group a person considers themself to not belong to. It's not about what is popular as in sometimes means.

What groups we put others in determines how we view them and how we treat them as does what groups we put ourselves in does as well.

Mlodinow described something I have seen strong evidence for in other places. An individual usually sees themself as belonging to many groups based on gender, education, race, religion, philosophy family, immediate family, class or favorite sports teams or hobbies.

Something very interesting that Mlodinow and others have pointed out is a tendency humans have. We like to have a positive self-image usually.

We have different opinions on the groups we are in and our status in them that change over time. We pick the group that gives us the highest or best self-image in our opinion at the moment.

I have met guys that identity by political affiliation or education level or status of military veteran or talk about having played football years ago. Some people talk about the bands that they saw and see themselves as music fans and not their education level or profession.

Of course in Scientology virtually anyone can be an executive or post with a fancy title. They might not get any pay or benefits, but they can claim high status in Scientology very often by simply giving their mind, time, labor and life to Scientology.

It's worth noting that cults use a false high status to keep members in. After all, leaving and becoming a nobody or worse a failure is almost unbearable.

Mlodinow wrote, "Both experimental and field studies have found, in fact, that people will make large financial sacrifices to help establish a feeling of belonging to an in-group they aspire to feel part of." (Page 165)

There are country clubs people pay huge amounts to be members at, in which they never go to the club, but are known as a member.

It's worth noting that many Scientologists pay money to be a high status member of the IAS or other groups that give huge donations.

The man behind the Robber's Cave experiment, Muzafer Sherif, came up with an experiment in which he demonstrated that people in groups will agree to having seen the same thing.

He knew that if a person is in a room that is completely dark except for a dot of light that is still the brain will play a kind of trick that makes the dot seem to move to a person.

Sherif came up with an experiment in which people were put in groups and asked how much the dot moved. The results varied greatly between groups but within groups who were together spoke in response to the perception of motion in front of each other. They settled on agreement within a narrow range of the movement. Then if group members came back to look again individually they stuck with the group agreement on the range. Agreement colored perception.

Mlodinow wrote, "The perception of the subjects' in-group had become their perception." (Page 166)

Studies have found people tend to like people in their own profession more than people in other professions quite often. People also in surveys find people in their in-group to have variation and different individual qualities. It's been supported by studies on race, religion and other qualities.

We see us as a bunch of individuals with great variety and them as pretty much the same, or awfully close to it.

Our emphasis on which in-group we consider as identifying us can have a profound effect on our behavior.

A fascinating study on unconscious priming (getting someone to think about something and be focused on it is priming) demonstrated the reality of priming as powerful and the impact of in-group orientation.

Three Harvard researchers came up with a clever experiment. They had Asian American women take a difficult math test. The subjects belonged to two groups. Asian Americans are thought of as proficient at math and woman are thought of as bad at math.

Before they took the test one group of participants answered a questionnaire about their parents, grandparents and topics related to their identity as Asian Americans and another group of participants answered questions about gender related issues.

The questions were designed to trigger either the identity of being Asian Americans or women, for each group.

A third group was asked questions about their cable service, designed as neutral and a control group.

The women saw no conscious effects of the questions. The women that focused on being Asian Americans did best, the control group did second best and the women that focused on being women did worst. Being unconsciously primed to either be confident or not affected their performance.

We belong to many in-groups and they have conflicting norms. This gives us as individuals contradictions in thought, feelings and behavior.

It's a very worthwhile subject to consider at length and books like Leon Festinger's A Theory Of Cognitive Dissonance cover this in fine detail. I wrote an extensive eleven part series on that book and Scientology here.

Mlodinow described an interesting phenomenon that to me highlighted our tendency to conform with our in-group.

Mlodinow described a study done on public service announcements. One ad denounced littering according to Mlodinow and resulted in less littering and another ad with the phrase "Americans will produce more litter than ever!" resulted in increased litter.

In a related study researchers made a sign discouraging visitors from stealing wood at Petrified Fire Forest National Park. The sign was on a popular path with secretly marked pieces of wood.

They found with no sign about 3 percent of wood was taken in a ten hour period. With the warning it jumped to 8 percent of the wood.

The effect on human beings of telling them a behavior is frequent or normal or what their peers do is to increase their participation in that behavior, even if a warning comes with that information.

This has stunning implications for a variety of history and communication. I could go on at length about the impact but won't take that on in full here. I will say there have been times in places like England in which members of the government said warning the public about Scientology would result in increased membership in Scientology and they were correct. Giving publicity to Scientology when most people never heard of Scientology resulted in some buying Scientology books or services to understand Scientology. Even when that publicity was a warning.

Mlodinow wrote, "It is the simple act of knowing that you belong to a group that triggers your in-group affinity."

Mlodinow described how a lot of research supports the fact that any group membership is sufficient to trigger the bias for an in-group and against an out-group. People in research who have the same color rubber bands display it as do people who like the same paintings or bands or sports teams or are cat people or dog people or prefer Pepsi or Coke.

Significant research by hundreds of researchers has supported this. The book Age Of Propaganda covers this in detail and I similarly wrote a long series of blog posts on this here as well.

Mlodinow described a study that shows a couple things that are extremely important in understanding human behavior. There was a long and complex experiment with over a dozen stages. Members were divided into an in-group and out-group. They were allowed to pick between different options that awarded points. Sometimes they could do different things and sometimes they could pick between different results.

If they had no bias the most logical thing to do would be to award the most points possible for both people. They however showed in-group bias.

When awarding two in-group members people chose to award the most points possible. When awarding out-group members they chose to award far fewer points.

Mlodinow wrote, "And what is really extraordinary is that when the options required awarders to divide points between one in-group member and one out-group, they tended to make choices that maximized the difference between the rewards they gave to the group members, even if that action resulted in a lesser reward for their own group member." (Page 173)

"That's right: as a trend, over dozens of individual reward decisions, subjects sought not to maximize their own group's reward but the difference between the reward their group would receive and that which the other group would be awarded. Remember, this experiment has been replicated many times, with subject pools of all ages and many different nationalities, and all have reached the same conclusion: we are highly invested in feeling different from one another--and superior--no matter how flimsy the grounds for our sense of superiority, and no matter how self-sabotaging that may end up being." (Page 174)

This shows we will accept a penalty to punish the out-group. It's reminding me of the joke about the man who bitterly hated his ex wife who found a magic lamp. He rubbed it and out popped a genie.

The genie informed the man he would grant him three wishes but give his ex wife double whatever the man wished for. The man wished for a million dollars. Poof - a million dollars appears and his ex wife has two million dollars appear. The man wished for a beautiful house. Poof - a beautiful house appears for him and two are there for his ex wife. The man finally made his third wish "I want you to beat me half to death !" He told the genie with grim determination.

He could have asked for more benefits but needed his enemy to suffer more than he wanted to prosper. This is an aspect of human behavior that may damn us. We now have weapons that can certainly destroy the human race completely.

If a group leader feels that not striking can leave too much of a benefit to an enemy he may launch a nuclear strike, despite the inevitable retaliation leading to extinction. That's not hyperbole.

Obviously massive nuclear weapons reduction to a much, much lower quantity - perhaps less than even one or two hundred nuclear weapons worldwide may be the only certain protection against this threat. That's a huge challenge but honestly it won't happen unless it's pointed out as necessary and why first.

A lot of economists and philosophers and psychologists have assumed human beings are rational actors that act for maximum personal or social benefit and this evidence shows that is simply not true. We are not purely rational, not by a long shot.

Back in the Robber's Cave experiment the boys were put in artificially created situations to encourage teamwork. The water for camp was shut off and blocked and the boys had to work together and a truck of supplies was "stalled" and the boys had to work together to pull the truck to free it.

Several other situations were created to require cooperation and they found that the relationships between them had a tremendous change. Some of the boys from the two groups even exchanged souvenirs and became friends.

Similarly when 911 came New Yorkers who never normally would associate banded together to help each other and other people.

Several T.V. shows, comic books and novels have dreamed of the potential of using one huge threat to mankind to end our wars and unite us as one.

It's an interesting and unfortunately in my opinion real situation today. I believe nuclear weapons present such a threat. It may take a unified effort by millions or billions of people to eliminate this threat. Arguably climate change is a threat of the same order of magnitude, or even higher, and similarly requires a huge effort by an equally large number of people.

Other threats to our survival may inspire overcoming in-group and out-group bias not out of pure compassion but cold blooded survival.

Einstein had remarked on humanity overcoming nationality and it's necessity. He was likely correct.

The implications of this information for Scientology is tremendous and vital. Scientology absolutely promotes bias for Scientology and against enemies.

I could pull up dozens of Scientology references from Hubbard that repeat and vary this theme. Both from promoting Scientology and stating Scientologists are saner, smarter and more ethical than everyone else, by a lot and also condemning everyone not in Scientology as degraded, not even trying in life and blinded by a number of factors that renders them dumb animals sleep walking through life in a dim fog of delusions.

The full effects of these biases are difficult to fully understand or communicate. I don't think I or anyone will totally get it. But I can try to understand them and myself as well.

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