I've found many people say not to confuse "Scientology" with the "Church of Scientology". For the last couple of months I've been doing some research and I find that most of what the CoS does now can be backed up by LRH writings.
Fair Game, declaring, RPF, anti-psychiatry, pay as you go, zenu, etc. are all LRH.
It also seems that the tech doesn't work. From what Ive seen, it appears that it works initially but then the whole "clear" and "OT levels" concept has failed miserably.
Umm... well.. Im fairly sure that Ive done the same readings, and I dont agree.
I would agree, though, that many of the problems in CofS are based on actual written policy. Not all of them are, but many. There are policies that just need to be deleted and not even revised- just ditched. They are inherently problematic.
But that's a far cry from being able to judge the efficacy of the ideology and spiritual belief set.
I appreciate your response. I see alot here I should consider. But to be clear: I did not mean to imply that all the things I listed were abusive.
I disagree, though, that there should be a charge for religious services. I never pay for anything. I donate, but only I know when or how much as it is anonymous. Im sure our friend will point out though that it is not uncommon for religions to charge for certain things.
The thing is, it's a self help group. When someone receives hours and hours and hours and hours and hours of auditing which also requires certain amounts of time of C/Sing (case supervision and programme writing) from a practitioner, then that person should be recompensed. In the FZ, one does that and at a much much much lower rate than in CofS. I wouldn't expect my FZ auditor to go without recompense any more than I would expect that from the masseuse I used to go to or my Mom's psychiatrist she used to go to or the yoga practitioner or anyone else.
It's not a matter of going to Mass or Sunday Service and being told that not only is there a collection plate, but that if one doesn't pony up with the dough, one can't even attend.
Same with the courses.
Now, back to the FZ vs CofS charging money aspect--- the FZ not only charges but charges far far less, but they feel free to waive fees. I've seen them do that many times. They've even done it for me. But I have shelled out some money. Again, it wasn't really all that much, but it certainly was deserved.
However it seems that to be a member of CoS you must either have alot of money or become a seaorg member. How does someone become a scientologiest if they have no money? Just curious.
The way it works is once someone gets into it they usually buy a mini course or something that is not expensive. Or they go to a seminar wherein "Book One" auditing is offered for little or no money. And they buy books. Then they get "regged" for bigger and more expensive courses or blocks of auditing.
Some people do join staff early on, though usually, it's someone who's at least done a few courses. Depends. Anyway, they are told they will receive "Staff enhancement" which is the training courses (which are part of EVERY Scn'ist's training lineup anyway, usually, plus some additional ones that wouldn't be, that are only for purposes of learning that "post" or job.) and maybe even get some auditing. But later they are told they have to come in on their own time for staff enhancement. since this is often on top of working a day or night job to pay the rent, and then putting in many hours on staff, people don't get a chance to, often. Plus CofS has the habit of going back on their word. Person's "stats" weren't good enough, ok, you don't get that course or auditing you were going to get. So most people who sign on staff do not get all the services promised to them.
Sea Org staff same thing. Mainly they work 7 days a week, one day off a year. It's about utilizing people, and making money off them and that's all it is.
Other Scn'ist who aren't on staff- aka "public"- are encouraged and pushed again and again to max out credit cards (against policy as is loan arranging and yet happens all the time. All the time.) cash in IRAs and 401Ks, mortgage or sell their homes or get family members to take out mortgages- and they often end up in bankruptcy.
CofS also really pushes people to prepay (aka "a/p" or "advance pay") for services then they often turn around and tell the person he or she does not qualify to do them, if upper level, as there's some security breach or he or she isn't really clear as previously thought. And they sure as heck don't refund the money. Asking for a refund- which policy says you can do w/o hassle- is a surefire guarantee to get expelled and declared suppressive which means you aren't allowed to ever see any family or friends or business associates in CofS again.
I agree that any religion should be willing to change with new knowledge. But then you have to question the source of the original understanding. Where is a trustworthy source? I believe that no man or group of men have complete and infallible knowledge. Therefore we cannot be sure if anything they say is true unless we can verify it by other means.
I've had a number of people over the years comment about the fallible (and that's putting it mildly given his history) nature and past of Hubbard and then indicate that they felt this meant that all of Scn and Dn are therefore philosophically suspect. All I can say there is it seems like it would be the case, but since I've been able to successfully implement Scn in my life and get some positive results from it, as have others, that I would consider this argument flawed. I would say that it's good to give due consideration to Hubbard's past behavior and actions but that in the end if the theory of, say, the ARC triangle works (which it definitely does) then it does. Maybe it's like some of the major composers like Beethoven and Wagner being really messed up individuals yet producing beautiful music.
I think that theories and tenets have to be viewed on their own. I'd hate to have missed out on some of the most amazing stuff I ever tried just because the guy who created it (in some cases) and collated/collected it (in other cases) had serious integrity and even mental health issues- which Hubbard definitely did.
But that is beside the point.
As points go, it seems pretty relevant, actually. :)
I agree that I am a stranger and do not have personal experience with the practice or efficacy of scientology. I am going purely on the eyewitness testimony of those who do. What I have found--so far--is that people experience "wins" and feel better in the beginning, but that it doesn't last as they go farther up the bridge.
Depends on the person. A lot of people do derive lasting effects from Scn tech. Another factor is that when one is active in CofS, if one is actually getting auditing, taking courses, etc, one is also at the same time experiencing some very toxic and problematic indoctrination, sometimes pressure, sometimes even worse. Those things tend to undo any gains the person is getting from his Scn counselling or studies.
What if, hypothetically, you were involved in some religious group, seemed nice, you were learning things about yourself and others, having fun, etc, and then at the same time you were getting screamed at, even sometimes deprived of food, rest, you were asked to have an abortion, maybe, jeered at whenever you spoke up or censured for so doing, constantly indoctrinated as to what to personally think while being told this was NOT what was happening- now how long do you think you'd hold on to those things you learned and enjoyed and those feelings? And how would you ever know how long they might have lasted if, in fact, they were being undone every day?
This isn't anything you mentioned here- this is an extra comment I'll make:
Some of the critics I've talked to have railed and inveighed against exmembers getting into the Freezone or studying Scn on their own or liking it in any way. They often say that it's a matter of clinging on to this or that or not being able to face up to the truth. Well, when they were studying Scn or getting auditing or any of that, they were also experiencing all the crummy stuff I mention above. Well, outside CofS, none of that crummy stuff happens.
All the accounts you're reading, I'm sure, are by people who were in CofS then left. Of course it sucked and the good feelings didn't last. I'd be surprised if they did.
Admittedly this could be because those who are still OT and in CoS aren't going to post or give testimony online. However I have heard DMs own testimony that it isn't working. He explained in front of a large crowd of scientologists why the need for the new books. When he said that it was the reason they had so many "misunderstoods" and weren't having success the crowd roared.
Yeah, and before that it was Golden Age of Tech and new courses like the Pro Metering course that even seasoned professional auditors found tough sledding. That's CofS' m.o. If they don't get new people in to pay up then they milk the faithful. And if they run out of stuff to sell them, they make new stuff. The day I take Miscavige seriously on matters of tech is the day I start shouting out from the rooftops my extreme love for walnuts and canned peas. (bleah!!!!!):eek: He's the head of a dying group...he's standing on the bow of a sinking ship with members frantically bailing out the back of it with leaky 8 ounce tin cups. So of course he talks a bunch of contradictory crap. He also said he'd eradicate all of psychiatry by 1995. :rolleyes: Oh look. They're still there.
Lots of OTs do write success stories and they are all over the web. Critics like to post them to critical forums then make fun of them. You could google them, I bet. The mag they're in is called Advance- and if you put that in to the search string you could probably ensure that you aren't getting just a bunch of Freezone success stories (not that they're all that much different but if you want to know how CofS members feel about their services, then you'd probably not want to combine the two types.)
Also, it seems that at least in the CoS, I dont know about Scientology in general, that there is a built in safeguard in that if you aren't successful then you aren't doing it right. And if it isn't working it may cost you more money and take alot more of your time. So, you would be very reluctant to give a negative report. In fact, I have been told this very thing from ex CoS members. How does Scientology in general prevent that from happening?
That's because CofS cares only about CofS and not about their members. I saw that first hand as staff then "public". They always look for somebody to blame.
Actually, (to the disgust of many critics- I'm somewhat notorious)- discounting for extreme exaggeration (as I mentioned before) -I do think the "tech" , or the Scn ideology and methodology is helpful and gives at least some results. But it's not perfect. And when people are employing it in a group that constantly violates its own policy and its own precepts (Hubbard has many many choice things to say about using force against others or not letting them speak up etc) and when all they do is look for scapegoats every time something goes wrong, it's obvious to me that it's because they only care about the future of the group and, in my own personal speculation, about certain...ummmm...numbered bank accounts somewhere.
I have health problems and have investigated many different treatment options. I have found many "treatments" offered with glowing testimonials of those who have had success only to find out it doesn't work and is based on false info. and in the end are usually money-making schemes that take advantage of people desiring for a better life. I dont know it that is the case with Scientology, but it shows that there is a placebo effect, and wanting to be better can make you feel better sometimes.
I would never recommend Scn to someone who wanted to address health problems. Hubbard actually prohibits that, as well. He says people should get medical care from a physician.
I would suggest to anyone who's a seeker in any way, that they get their bodies straightened out by going to a good doctor, maybe learning about nutrition, yoga and other things as a supplement but not a substitute and then, once they are somewhat stabilized, that they pursue their spiritual interests. And me being me, just a heretical Scn'ist, well, I'd suggest that they be open to more than one type of thing and that a person may be better off being a Cindy-ologist or a John-ologist (insert first name there) than being a Scientologist.
I keep the label of Scn'ist, myself, as I'm incredibly passionate about freedom of speech (CofS tried to stop mine, that's why I'm not there anymore) and about spreading that message (Freedom of speech) and the message that there's more than one way to study Scn or Dianetics and not just the CofS way, and that now we have, on a much much smaller scale, a sort of Scn Protestant Reformation. So I keep that label- but yeah, probably more a fluffentologist, really. But I want people to know they can do Scn more than one way though if they decide not to do any at all ever, that's jake with me, too. I want people to have freedom of choice. I feel one does not get that in CofS.
You still seem to mix and match things. All religions charge for services. And in Scientology you do not have to be rich to be a scientologist. Youi can be a scientologist for free.
You dont even have to be rich to take the courses. It does take a fair bit of wealth to get to the top levels, but even then its cheaper than most other religions.
I do mix and match things currently. But I was in CofS for years and saw a lot. I've seen a lot of people pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed to max out credit cards, cash in IRAs, and told to mortgage parent's homes. In fact, the "Go OT This Year" AOLA campaign is based on that last.
One doesn't have to be rich to take a course that does not cost a lot. But every Scn'ist in CofS is expected to go up the bridge. That's Pro TRs, M1, the Academy Levels, Clearing Course, Sunshine Rundown, OT preps and OT levels plus various other prerequisites. Doing all of that costs over 400,000.00 USD.
In the interim, the IAS travels from org to org pushing people to donate money - just flat out donate, no services in return- and I've seen them raise 20K USD in a room that had only a few people in it and in rooms in more active orgs, half a million or more.
So you can do stuff cheaply or for free but if you're in CofS you are regged constantly and pressured to max out credit cards and a/p for more services virtually every day.
Any student graduating a course who does not want to start the next one is considered in need of handling.
I knew someone who decided to do all the Ls. The Ls can be done any step of the grade chart and are highly desired by most Scn'ists and are only delivered at Flag. She was phoning friends because she was short the extremely high amount of money being charged for all three.
[QUOTE=Gandalf_Parker;679282]. Youi can be a scientologist for free.
You dont even have to be rich to take the courses. It does take a fair bit of wealth to get to the top levels, but even then its cheaper than most other religions.[/QUOTE]
How exactly can one be a scientologist for free? And do you mean they could be a member of CoS for free? Im really curious how that works.
So you can only be a scientologist up to a certain point then you need to pony up the dough to keep going?
Fleecing the flocks is one of the biggest downfalls of religion in general. But i haven't seen evidence that many beat CoS in the amounts people give in general. But at least this time you did say "most" instead of "all" lol
[QUOTE=fluffygirl;675849]The thing is, it's a self help group. [/QUOTE]
Gosh, fluffygirl. Thank you for posting all of that. I haven't responded earlier because I was traveling and came back with a major headache. I can never remember my password and to look it up just seemed like too much work. lol
You gave me alot to digest, and I am going to think about how I feel about it. Im not sure right now. On the one hand, you're words definately make me think that scientology is not a religion.
paying for it, I dont know. I understand the concept of paying for a service. I get massages often and gladly pay. However I have recently railed about Oprah making tons of money off of a book and philosophy she claims will bring happiness and success. I dont see why on earth she would make people pay to learn this all important knowledge. IDK. Must ponder.
I have a friend who convinced me to try chelation therapy. yes the water changes colors. And different for each person. And they swear they are feeling so much better, some even being cured. So someone decided to study the water left after a treatment and found NO TOXINS. It was rust. It was a hoax and it was proven scientifically. So I guess that is why testimonials have no effect on me. I believe those people felt better after putting their feet in rusty water. It is an interesting phenomenon.
I was thinking about how Jason Beghe said he was given "The congresses" to listen to. He was like OT5 at the time and as miserable as ever. AS he listened to these old tapes of LRH he said he realized something: It never worked. Every few years LRH would say he had figured it out. That "clear" had been figured out.. And after all the misery he had been experiencing for many years he said he realized by listening to those old tapes that it never worked.
So I see the point you are making about the vast differences between CoS and Scientology, but I still think that possibly the entire original basis for the theories was flawed.
but again, I have alot to think about from what you've written. It does make alot of sense.