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 .

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Cornerstones of Critical Thinking 1 Looking at Both Sides

In leaving Scientology the subject of critical thinking is bound to come up at some point. Lots of ex Scientologists have very strong opinions on it.

Many claim to have never really been fooled by Scientology and to have been sound critical thinkers the entire time they were in Scientology. They often claim that Scientology didn't fool them, despite having given thousands of dollars to Scientology, worked for years for Scientology, disconnected from friends and family for Scientology and committed their lives to Scientology they claim Scientology never fooled then and they are and always have been critical thinkers. Okay.

There's a lot of discussion about critical thinking and the lack of it, the actual inhibition of it and what some would call annihilation of critical and independent thinking in Scientologists that they exhibit after indoctrination in Scientology.

I think the first thing to know about critical thinking is it's not something that is learned by reading a definition or paragraph or even a book. It's definitely not something that anyone has as a natural tendency. It's a subject that needs to be studied to be effectively learned and applied.

I wouldn't expect someone to know math without studying it or psychology or hypnosis or medicine.

Things like evolution and physics and climate change all take a lot of work to have enough understanding to form an educated opinion regarding, even an incorrect one.

And critical thinking is no different.

I think lots of information is required to even begin to dip your toes into critical thinking.

I am going to give some examples, bring up references and make an appeal to support my claim.

First off critical thinking has the simplest definition of thinking about thinking in order to improve thinking. Huh ? It means looking at how thinking is done, how information is treated and looked at in order to do a good or hopefully better job of handling it, to find and use the best habits regarding thinking we can find and see which are poor habits but to reduce those if possible.

I am going to start with a very simple example from life. Years ago on the T.V. show Sixty Minutes a court case was described. A woman coach was the assistant coach at a college for a basketball team.

The head coach retired and the assistant head coach was a candidate to replace him. She had been very successful for many years. A male candidate got the job.

Now the attorney for the woman was smart. He took a dry erase board and at the top wrote the name of each candidate and underneath wrote all the relevant qualifications for each person.

Underneath the woman candidate was perhaps twenty qualifications. She was very successful in several programs, won awards, her teams won tournaments and titles, she had a superb resume. She was probably more than qualified.

Under the name of the man was two years experience as an assistant coach. That's it.

It was a great example of presenting an apples to apples comparison between two things.

The witnesses just couldn't spin it away or use talking points to bury the truth. The female candidate was only not hired because she was a woman. No other reason was plausible.

She won the lawsuit and could have gotten a large settlement but opted to accept the job instead.

But the important point is we should isolate relevant details for comparisons when they are warranted.

The point is made in full far better than I have by John Stuart Mill in his very short and simple book On Liberty.

“There must be discussion to show how experience is to be interpreted. Wrong opinions and practices gradually yield to fact and argument; but facts and arguments, to produce any effect on the mind, must be brought before it. Very few facts are able to tell their own story, without comments to bring out their meaning. The whole strength and value, then, of human judgment depending on the one property, that it can be set right when it is wrong, reliance can be placed on it only when the means of setting it right are kept constantly at hand. In the case of any person whose judgement is really deserving of confidence, how has it become so? Because he has kept his mind open to criticism of his opinions and conduct.”John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, published in 1859

John Stuart Mill makes a persuasive case for hearing the best arguments for and against ideas before being able to properly form an opinion.

It's somewhat against human nature to look for the evidence against what we believe or the best evidence for arguments against our beliefs. But it's a foundation of good critical thinking. 

I recently completed a long series of blog posts on something many of us encourage but rarely actually discuss - critical thinking. It's essential to good reason and in my personal opinion recovery from the harm Scientology and other cults do. Here's the entire series.
Cornerstones of Critical Thinking 1 Looking at Both Sides
Cornerstones of Critical Thinking 2 Logical Fallacies and Biases
Cornerstones of Critical Thinking 3 Paul-Elder Critical Thinking Framework
Cornerstones of Critical Thinking 4 Being A Pain In The Ass
Cornerstones of Critical Thinking 5 Show The Work
Cornerstones of Critical Thinking 6 Propaganda: 7 Most Important Techniques of Propaganda
Cornerstones of Critical Thinking 7 Rhetoric and Sublime Writing
Cornerstones of Critical Thinking 8 We Learn Together

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