The Controversy of Scientology

Hubbard as Buddha

Reference: Scientology and Suppression

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Underlying the controversy of Scientology lie the following assertions:

The Scientologists seems to be arguing that Scientology is 100% workable, and that failures occur only when it is not applied correctly. To them Scientology is the end of all earlier searches and that its scriptures are not open to being questioned in any way. The individual scientologist believes this because, for him or her, Scientology has opened doors to new realizations in a short amount of time. A Scientologist, therefore, defends his faith against all critics very aggressively.

The critics of Scientology, who are mostly ex-Scientologists, seems to be arguing that Scientology is not so perfect as it is made to appear, and that there are deceptions built into it. They warn that one should better be very careful of these deceptions. They say that Scientology has hounded and intimidated it critics into silence until the Internet came along. But Internet is now revealing the harmful influence of Scientology in terms of conditioning of its members and the breakup of their families.

There is some truth that underlies both the beneficial and harmful aspects of Scientology. I have intimately experienced both aspects. This essay points to an ideological underpinning of Scientology that may be the source of both beneficial and harmful aspects that are presenting Scientology in a controversial light.

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There is no doubt in my mind about the beneficial aspects of Scientology. I don’t have to go into any more details than to relate my earlier experience that pulled me out of a very desperate situation. I have documented that experience here in My Introduction to America.

But I ended up leaving Scientology after an intimate experience with its behind-the-scene operations. I did spend about 3 years from 1972 to 1975 working closely with L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, on his Flagship Apollo that sailed international waters. I was involved directly with the international management of Scientology for a while.

What did not make sense to me was the inconsistency between the technology of Scientology and its administration; the presentation of a façade of scientific research that hid untested assumptions; the sweeping of its failures under a carpet of massive public relations; and the intimidation of its critics into submission and silence. What is there for Scientology to hide if it is producing such wonderful results on a daily basis? What underlies those hidden failures of its technology that Scientology is trying to hide so desperately?

The secretive aspect of Scientology is easy to understand from a business perspective. Scientology is an American phenomenon and it functions the way corporate America functions. Scientology is so very successful in the American way that it has amassed billions of dollars in a very short time. It may be compared to the Catholic Church in terms of that success with real estate acquisitions. But to my Eastern way of thinking this is not a success that can be aligned with spiritual enlightenment that a religion supposedly promises.

This whole blog has been a search for inconsistency that seems to be the key to the understanding of this controversy highlighted by Scientology, and which somehow has danced around the periphery of my consciousness. That inconsistency seems to represent something much bigger than Scientology. Scientology just happens to be the latest “religion” that highlights it.

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Any philosophy is based on some starting postulate. The starting postulate of Scientology is Axiom #1, which puts words to something that has been taken as an absolute truth in the Abrahamic religions.

AXIOM # 1: LIFE IS BASICALLY A STATIC.

Definition: a Life Static has no mass, no motion, no wavelength, no location in space or in time. It has the ability to postulate and to perceive.

In other words, the basis of all life and this universe is an unmoved Mover, or uncaused Cause that is self-aware. Scientology brings this postulate down from the level of God to a personal level.

My reading is that Scientology contains many brilliant advances. Its starting postulate as above is, however, deceptively attractive to the ego while it does not lead to enlightenment.

So a very potent topic of discussion surfaces as,

Does Scientology Axiom #1 enlighten or does it set up a deep trap?

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The most recent thoughts that I have on this topic are expressed here.

The Ground State of the Universe

An earlier analysis of Axiom #1 is available here.

An Analysis of Scientology Axiom # 1

 

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Comments

  • vinaire  On July 21, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    I believe that Axiom #1 shall be used to reduce the ego to the simplest self, instead of building it up to some humongous ego..Auditing is doing just that. Power of self is boosted up by removing the additives and not by new additives of considerations of power.

    Once the ego has been reduced to the simplest self, even that self should be let go to complete the process of liberation. That is Nirvana.

  • David Cooke  On July 21, 2014 at 9:30 PM

    I think Axiom#1 refers to a truth (validated by experience and intuition), and it’s the closest thing to a statement of that truth that I’ve seen in English. In other languages there are useful words like tathatā and śūnyatā. I’m not entirely happy with the word ‘life’ in this axiom, it almost makes it a tautology, but English is short of better words: spirit, soul, psyche etc are all grown weak through misuse. If there is a trap in the axiom, I don’t believe LRH intended it. More likely due to the inadequacy of language, and the eternal willingness of students to find and follow attractive false roads.

    If you mean that an individual can confuse the static with the ego identity they happen to have at the moment, I would agree. So gratifying to imagine that “I” am Source, Static, the Jewel in the Lotus, the 8th Dynamic etc! That road leads to anxiety about personal immortality, personal guilts, personal grievances and all the states of woe. It would be better to understand the static as the whole, self plus not-self.

    • vinaire  On July 22, 2014 at 7:42 AM

      I see Axiom #1 as a restatement of Aristotle’s Unmoved Mover. Axiom #1 boils down to “that which moves without being moved”. Is that how it appears to you, David?

      • David Cooke  On July 22, 2014 at 8:45 AM

        Yes, that’s right. A static that is the source of everything dynamic.

      • vinaire  On July 22, 2014 at 9:24 AM

        I see that as an inconsistency because, by definition, static and dynamic are relative to each other. Any violation of that is arbitrary.

      • vinaire  On July 22, 2014 at 9:26 AM

        Whenever there is an inconsistency there is an assumption underlying it. Unmoved mover is an arbitrary assumption.

    • vinaire  On July 22, 2014 at 9:42 AM

      I would like keep LRH and his intentions out of this discussion because that route is unproductive of new realizations. I would look at Axiom #1 for what it is.

      Axiom #1, as I see, puts individuality on the pedestal as absolute and as the ultimate reality. This is weak because individuality is a gradient of ego, and it easily develops into an ego. This we have observed again and again. By making individuality the ultimate reality we fix it as the stable datum.

      The concept of ‘nirvana’ in Buddhism is to relinquish any and all attachment to individuality. That doesn’t mean that the individuality is no longer there. It means that one is not attached to individuality anymore.

      That ‘one’ is something very dynamic. It is not fixed to anything. It is not using individuality as the stable datum.

  • vinaire  On July 22, 2014 at 8:02 AM

    From Wikipedia (Unmoved Mover):

    “The unmoved mover (Ancient Greek: ὃ οὐ κινούμενον κινεῖ,[1] ho ou kinoúmenon kineî, “that which moves without being moved”) or prime mover (Latin: primum movens) is a philosophical concept described by Aristotle as a primary cause or “mover” of all the motion in the universe.[2] As is implicit in the name, the “unmoved mover” moves other things, but is not itself moved by any prior action. In Book 12 (Greek “Λ”) of his Metaphysics, Aristotle describes the unmoved mover as being perfectly beautiful, indivisible, and contemplating only the perfect contemplation: itself contemplating. He equates this concept also with the Active Intellect. This Aristotelian concept had its roots in cosmological speculations of the earliest Greek “Pre-Socratic” philosophers and became highly influential and widely drawn upon in medieval philosophy and theology. St. Thomas Aquinas, for example, elaborated on the Unmoved Mover in the quinque viae.”

    This concept is similar to the concept of Ground State, which is “absence of awareness”. However, one can be aware of unmoved mover as Active Intellect.

    https://vinaire.me/2014/07/13/the-ground-state-of-the-universe/

    In my opinion, Active Intellect has awareness associated with it. Therefore, it will be relative to the Ground State. It will not be absolute.

    “Unmoved Mover” and, therefore, Axiom #1 of Scientology, refers to a relative concept and not to something absolute.
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    • vinaire  On July 22, 2014 at 8:14 AM

      The “individualty” is treated as an absolute reality in Scientology in the form of a “Thetan”. But, in my view, this is an apparency (or appearance) only because

      (1) When an individual is aware of himself as individuality, it is only under the condition that he is aware.

      (2) When an individual is not aware then he is not aware that he is not aware.

      (3) Therefore, it would appear to the individual that he is always aware and that the individuality is always there, or that it is immortal..

      (4) He would not be aware of the condition when there is no individuality.

      Any awareness is referenced from the fact of “non-awareness”, but that reference point of “non-awareness” is not accessible.

  • vinaire  On July 30, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    Dianetics is at best a hypothesis.
    Auditing is a process based on looking.
    Unwanted condition is a lack of harmony in the system.
    Charge is the amount of disharmony or inconsistency in the system.
    Restimulation is a disharmonious response to stimuli
    Engram is an inconsistency held down in place.
    Bank is a reference to all inconsistencies collectively.
    Unconsciousness is the inability to respond to stimuli.
    Preclear is a person unable to handle personal unwanted conditions.
    Clear is a person able to handle personal unwanted conditions.
    Case is a system of inconsistencies peculiar to the preclear.
    Aberration is an obvous inconsistency.
    A clear may not display a case but that does mean he cannot develop a case.

    Hubbard made it his mission to clear the planet according to his idea of ideal scene. He developed the Church of Scientology as a means to accomplish that. Something seems to have gone terribly went wrong with the Church.

    Apparently Hubbard assumed that to handle individual cases completely the overall case of this planet needed to be handled first. He saw certain powers on the planet to be clandestine and suppressive and comprising the “reactive mind” of the planet. Thus, to him the group became more important than the individual.

    He stopped looking from the individual’s viewpoint.

    • vinaire  On July 30, 2014 at 10:57 AM

      It seems like that Hubbard was primarily interested in handling his own case. He wanted to clear the planet to handle his own case.

      It didn’t matter to him if others got helped or did not get helped.

  • vinaire  On July 30, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    Hubbard’s Hypothesis: All physical and spiritual phenomena derives from thought.

    Actual Observation: Thought has a physical form and a spiritual essence.

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    Hubbard’s Hypothesis: Life derives from thought and not matter.

    Actual Observation: Life is observed to be composed of both thought and matter.

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    Hubbard’s Hypothesis: A life organism is animated by theta.

    Actual Observation: Animation is inherent characteristic of life organism. Animation is not brought about by something else. Theta and MEST are simply two aspects of life.

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    Hubbard’s Hypothesis: Human being is essentially an immortal “theta being”.

    Actual Observation: Any beingness is constructed out of theta and MEST. Life is changing at all levels of beingness. There is no absolute level of beingness. There is no immortal or permanent core of life.

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