ESMB has entered archive mode. All posts and threads that were available to the general public are still readable. The board is still searchable. 

Thank you all for your participation and readership over the last 12 years.

If you want to join in the conversation, please join the new ESMB Redux at

Religion Black and White

Discussion in 'General Scientology Discussion' started by Queenmab321, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. DoneDeal

    DoneDeal Patron Meritorious

    Well, I and others may be that which you said above.

    But see, it's in my personal best interests to watch scn fail. And it's fun to make fun of it etc.
    As you've seen people can get pretty hot about the subject.

    I used to say horrible things to anyone I felt was slightly promoting the subject. That was because there is nothing to promote except some cloudy "dream" that sounds good to confused people.

    I think Veda does a really good job dispensing info that can be used by people who are a bit lost in all the promises of scn while they also (cause who dosen't) see the contradictions.

    Unlike you I clearly remember when I was young reading lrh material and materials about lrh, and feeling the squeeze of "something isn't right here" yet "I've got to do my part". It was a very bad time for me. And from reading in here I've found I wasn't alone. But there was no way to find out I wasn't alone in my thoughts while inside the church. church ha.

    Scn is just crummy. and it needs to die on it's own so those dang diehards are simply left with imaginary enemies to blame.

    You should have sat in a room full of diehards and listened to some of the attitudes. It's very unfriendly.

    I don't subscribe to the concept that lrh was evil. I consider he was a man caught up in the "make a hell of alot of money" thing we americans were doing in the years after the war. And he put to work the skills he had to get that done. lrh was sort of in the "right place at the right time". I think the group found him and he ran with it.
    I simply see it that way these days. Like any of the massive amount of companies who need "end users" to make cash. Pop companies, junk food restaurants, shitty tennis shoe companies. Paint stores. Software companies. Book publishers. Red dye #2. etc etc.

    People lie all the time, especially when in a group think. I'm pretty fair, I figure everyone is full of shit. Especially anyone wearing religious clothing. lol. I'd never fall for another church situation, ever. I think the human race needs to move on past religions. It just doesn't make any sense. I think we can measure ourselves better now. Could be a few hundred years. The human clock is a long one. Sort of.

  2. Gadfly

    Gadfly Crusader

    I have found that TRUTH is rarely discovered through "argument". In the end argument is all about convincing by gaining agreement.

    As I see it the ONLY way to discover the truth about anything is to LOOK and OBSERVE the relevant (physical) realities.

    All the arguing in the world won't determine anything about Scientology, because in the end it is just THINKINGNESS playing with THOUGHTS.

    When I explain aspects of Hubbard or Scientology, I am not trying to win an argument, I am simply trying my best to explain, using words, what I have OBSERVED, based on experience.

    There is no way to "argue" whether Scientology makes the able more able. Just LOOK at the results. There is no way to "argue" whether Scientology creates advanced aware beings. Just LOOK at the people who have gone to the top of the Bridge.

    Again truth is rarely arrived at by "argument". You don't become conscious of behavior and learn about behavior by thinking thoughts, you do so by taking the time to LOOK at the relevant realities. That may be what HH means Queenmab - he was there, and he looked long and hard using a sharp intelligence (just as I did). You just think thoughts based on second or third hand information (or worse).

    Yeah, in intensely abstract subjects like MATH, sure, arguments rule the day. MATH is a game of made-up and agreed-upon definitions. It is basically a THOUGHT game. So is logic really. But, when talking about things that exist in physical reality, one deals with specifics and tries best to stay far down from the realm of the general and the abstract.

    The word "religion" is one of the most abstract, vague and lacking-in-specifics words in the language. It embraces so much (and so little). It exists so very high up the ladder of abstraction. And because it is so abstract is why it can and does mean so many different things to so many different people. Abstract terms such as these have no actual correlate in physical reality. You can point to specific examples, but when you do so, there will always be differences from one to the next. You cannot point at "religion". It is only an idea. You can only point at specific and unique examples of a "religion" (and they will differ from each other in many ways and in many regards).

    I prefer to talk about what we can SEE based on observation and actual reports of the behavior of real people who work with the Church of Scientology. Once you get into the realm of abstract ideas, then Hubbard takes over with his trickery and deceptions of agreement.

    1. Scientology has parts of it that can be seen by many as a form of religion.

    2. Scientology USES those parts to manipulate, deceive and gain incredible unfair advantages in the political and economic spheres.

    I wish some of you could grasp that there is no actual "religion" anywhere in observable reality. IT is only a mental idea that gets associated with various DIFFERING behaviors and activities. In the end the meaning of words between and among people IS all about "agreement". There is no "meaning" out there anywhere separate from a thinking mind. Granted, many or most people confuse between ideas and the things they claim to represent. I see that routinely throughout this thread.

    This discussion of religion and Scientology with NEVER be black or white, because when it comes to "meaning", in the end it is ALL "subjective". When people share meanings, and seem to see the same thing for definitions, it is solely through "agreement". Simply, ideas do not ever exist "out there". "Out there" exists out there, and we each have ideas about out there - in here.

    In a sense what we agree upon is a sort of shared subjectivity. Hubbard knew about that and used it to manipulate others very well.

    Talking about abstractions, in the end, leads nowhere (as can be seen by the evolution of this thread).

    Is Scientology a "religion"? Is it not a "religion"? It is both, in different ways (to different people).

    In the end the aspect that matters involves the "to different people". The US government has accepted it as a qualifying religion and as a non-profit organization. As a few others have commented on this and other threads, the REAL problem is that the US law and system is setup in such a way that enables scumbags like Hubbard (and all other religions) to benefit unfairly when they should not.

    If Scientology had no way to gain a benefit from being viewed and accepted as a religion, who would give a flying fuck whether they were a "religion" or not? I sure wouldn't.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2013
  3. DoneDeal

    DoneDeal Patron Meritorious

    A thought of the anti group.

  4. Queenmab321

    Queenmab321 Patron Meritorious

    Gadfly, wouldn't you agree that the above post consists of little more than a series of arguments? It may be possible to observe without arguments, but I'm not sure it's possible to reason without them.

    Also, as an abstract idea, is religion really as unique or indefinite as you suggest? Government is an abstraction, so are family, school, game, job, hobby, gang, romance, art, etc. Each of these entities has its own accoutrements, but wouldn't you agree that each is essentially no more or less than a recognizable pattern of human behavior? One can visit a Courthouse, but the Court itself consists of all the roles played by all the parties involved, together with their overarching purpose, i.e., to discover the truth, to exonerate the innocent, to punish the guilty, to avenge the victim, etc. Is a show trial still a court? What about a kangaroo court? Perhaps Scientology could be thought of as a kangaroo religion.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2013
  5. lost

    lost Patron with Honors

    Yeah, for shits snd giggles. Erudition will get me to pull my pants down anytime of the day or night.
  6. Alle G

    Alle G Patron with Honors

    In Moscow, Mosgorsud (Moscow City Court) made a decision not to allow CO$ to spread until the two investigations are completed:
    - whether scientology is a religion conducted by the State Institute of Religion Studies (must be OSA’s dupes :biggrin: )
    - and ‘non-goal oriented’ spending of money by ‘Scientological Church of Moscow’ conducted by Ministry of Justice.

    Most scientology in Russia is crazy freezone stuff (Clear harmonics (?) etc) which of course has nothing to do with co$. I don’t know how big it is.

    According to Russian constitution the name of a religion can’t be trademarked, as religion should be accessible to all. Similar to the word ‘Christianity’, which can’t be trademarked as it is the name of the faith. Russian Orthodox Church or Ukrainian Orthodox Church are churches not religions. Christianity can be practiced outside of any church.

    The head of the Institute of Religion Studies is a famous scientology critic Alexander Dvorkin who in the past organized Gerry Armstrong to speak to Russian journalists.

    I expect a full disclosure of scientology doctrine including the ‘confidential’ parts. Lots of lulz. After all ‘secret doctrine’ is a necessary part of any cult, to prevent premature exposure to stupidity and lunacy, before adherents are sufficiently conditioned to accept it uncritically.

    I hope the Institute will broadly publish their findings. Why? Because I have seen Russian freezoners claim to have achieved control of their mind and reached a higher state of consciousness called OT. It will be good to broadcast that an OT is a person without BTs, disembodied spirits produced as a result of Xenu’s activities trillions years ago. By the way some say that Hubbard got this part wrong and they found better ways to achieve OT states. I don’t think they worship Hubbard either.
  7. DoneDeal

    DoneDeal Patron Meritorious

    Pardon the laziness of my not pulling out a part of your post.

    I'm an american. And when I was growing up you commies were supposed to be our enemies. Told that at the dinner table and in the newspaper.

    What a bunch of crap that was.

    Nowadays your country gives us rides to the space station.
    Our right wingers are ashamed I assume.

    ahh...why do you guy's land back on the land? lol. Our astronauts say it's a rough landing. :) Thanks for helping us continue the space thing. Pretty cool.

    Humans Rock. You guy's got great Rock and Roll. Plus the great Ekranoplane experiments.

    Our aircraft carriers are happy you only built one capable of an attack. I'm not sure, but it was a giant. They woulda been a good weapon. 300 mph I think they sailed. Under the radar.
  8. Gadfly

    Gadfly Crusader

    Yes, but what I do is string together a series of ideas, where each idea aims to get the reader to LOOK at the SAME aspect of reality that links to the idea. An honest person strives to get others to LOOK at the things the idea claims to define or represent. Others, not so honest, or not so bright, remain mired in the realm of vague ideas and thought and are happy to sever the link with observation and experience.

    The problem comes down to what Korzybski and others have talked about. The realm of observation involves specifics - always and only. There are no abstractions in observation. Observing provides the most reliable link to the behavior or any aspect of reality. This is as true for science as it is for any person striving to understand life.

    Hubbard talks about some of this too, but he alters the ideas of General Semantics to serve his own creation. Many or most conceptual ideas are ideas linked to observations. I am talking about the part of the mind that thinks in terms of words and concepts. But as Korzybski well-explained, and few grasp, the model of ideas contained in the mind is NOT the things and relationships it claims to define and describe. In other words, the MAP is NOT the TERRAIN. The "map" is the inner world of ideas, and the "terrain" is the physical or mental reality being modeled. One should never lose sight of the fact that concepts, ideas and even words are MODELS. They function as a sort of blueprint. And, while useful, they are NEVER exact.

    In fact, all ideas are MODELS of some aspect of reality. Too often people confuse their ideas with reality. It is common for people at this stage of human evolution. And people like Hubbard who understand such things can and do take great advantage of this fact.

    What is fairly easy to see with fanatics is the degree to which IDEAS overcome and take precedence over observations. That is easy to see in Scientology and Scientologists where the beliefs exist as fixed ideas. They actually REFUSE to look at any aspect of reality that may disrupt the belief system. In fact, they are carefully trained to do so.

    One needs to study semantics and understand how words exist as general labels. Words ONLY take on a more specific meaning when linking them together in contexts in sentences. Abstractions and generalities, while necessary to conceptual thinking, require modifiers for there to be any sort of communication. For example, "man walks dog" makes no sense. Each of the terms is a vague generality. Each word is an abstraction and NOT a specific. Until things are brought down to the realm of observable reality, as a specific, it is nonsense. To make this useful, it can become:

    This man here walked the dog. or

    My father walked his dog Spot.

    Abstract ideas exist as general categories that embrace a great many possible specifics. Now, for something like a dog, or a house, or a car, where there is a tangible physical referent, this is fairly straight-forward. But, when we get to terms like "humanity", "religion" or "civilization", things get very murky, wispy and not so clear. A problem here is that the descriptions and definitions change over time. And they can and do mean different things to different people. Academics who get into all of this to a great degree of detail often end up arguing about definitions, because when one looks into this far enough and deeply enough, one can't help but see that we have differing meanings and definitions for just about everything.

    Let me give another example. Science makes up words to define and describe things it observes or studies, Take the "atom". It was once described as "electrons spinning around a nucleus". That MODEL worked in a great many ways. But as science now has shown us there are NO little balls spinning around some central ball. It was ONLY an IDEA, and while that idea was somewhat close, as an approximation, the map (idea model) did NOT accurately describe the terrain (what was actually occurring in the atom). In fact, over the years the model has changed into the notion of electron clouds, and to where now physicists pretty much admit that they have no idea what is there, or how it is there, and they only use the mathematical equations of Quantum Physics to explain and predict atomic and sub-atomic behavior.

    In a sense the meanings, definitions and descriptions of word and things have a probability of being accurate or not. Too many people think and feel that there is a direct connection and a one-to-one relation between their ideas the the things these ideas claim to define and represent. In a sense this is the same problem as with "certainty". Certainty is an illusion, and again, I tend to view all things in terms of probabilities. It is all a matter of degree, but most people don't see this matter of degree at all - they see a clear and simple YES or NO. The mind likes to think in terms of absolutes, but reality is nothing but shades of grey.

    This matters from a psychological perspective, and also from the perspective of becoming fully self-aware. A person who never comes to see just HOW their mind functions in this way cannot ever become truly self-aware. But of course, the world of legalities, lawyers and courts doesn't care about such things. They care about serving the people who set up the legal system in the first place - the rich and powerful.

    The law system, just like Scientology, is often not concerned with truth. It is concerned with what can be convinced through argument and depends on agreement. In a certain sense, it is like a debating team, where each side takes turns arguing each others' position. They don't care about "truth", just being able to convince a jury into believing what they want them to believe. I am sure a good lawyer could convince a jury that the atom exists as spinning balls around a central condensed ball - except it doesn't.

    Deception is easy on humankind partially because people function with this conceptual mind that is made up of many vague and general abstractions that somehow link together to represent specific events, relationships and "truth". Hubbard was right when he said that truth is the "exact time, place, form and event". Because THAT involves a SPECIFIC. People who are unaware of the degree to which words and ideas function in this regard can appear as "word clowns" at times.

    Also, the inner feeling or imagery that reacts to any sentence differs form person to person. People have this delusion that the same words mean the same things to different people. Take this sentence:

    My cat is so cute in the morning.

    The mental images and relationships, based on ones own personal experiences, will greatly color what that means to any person. The sentence elicits different imagery for different people. This imagery is generally below consciousnesses yet goes on all of the time about ALL IDEAS. No two people connect words and ideas like any other, not in the same exact way.

    It is amazing that communication is possible at all! :biggrin:
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2013
  9. Gadfly

    Gadfly Crusader

    Boy, as far as Scientology is concerned, isn't THAT the truth! :thumbsup:

    I love how you portray this:

    "premature exposure to stupidity and lunacy" :hysterical:
  10. Queenmab321

    Queenmab321 Patron Meritorious

    Setting aside the topic of abstract thought for a moment, I'd like to reflect on what each of us means when we say that a proposition is true and what we mean by the word "argument." Take for example the proposition, "My house is flammable." I think we can agree that this statement is either true or false. It is, in actual fact, possible for my house to burn down, or it isn't. Now, if I say, "My house is flammable because it's made of wood," this is an argument. This argument contains an unstated premise and a stated premise:

    Unstated premise: Wood is flammable.

    Stated premise: My house is made of wood.

    Conclusion: My house is flammable.

    This example of a simple argument is also an example of reasoning, and, as such, it may occur internally, that is to say, within my own mind, whether or not I ever find myself inclined to persuade another person that my house is flammable. What's more, if I am to communicate intelligently, I must be persuaded by my own reasoning.

    In order to be persuasive, arguments must begin with premises that are uncontroversial, or, at the very least, with premises that are recognized as true or very likely to be true by those toward whom the argument is directed. For example:

    Premise: Edward Gibbon wrote a fairly reliable history about Ancient Romans.

    Premise: Edward Gibbon was not an Ancient Roman.

    Conclusion: A person who was not an Ancient Roman wrote a fairly reliable history about Ancient Romans.

    It might not be obvious that an Englishman living in the 18th century could write a reliable history of a people who lived 1700 to 1200 years earlier. And, of course, the argument will only be compelling to one who accepts all the premises as true. So, if, for example, I happen to believe Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is a big, steaming load of horse shit, then it's unlikely I'll be persuaded of the truth of the conclusion. But, if I do believe both premises are true, then I am compelled to accept the conclusion as true because it logically follows from the premises.

    I don't know what you mean by "THINKINGNESS playing with THOUGHTS, but I don't see why Scientology, insofar as it is, like Ancient Rome, a real phenomenon, may not be observed, understood and classified in light of everything else we know or believe to be true about human behavior.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013
  11. Gib

    Gib Crusader

    Scientology is a study of a big long winded con job. Religion has nothing to do with it.
  12. Gadfly

    Gadfly Crusader

    :duh: :duh: :duh: :duh: :duh: :duh:

    What do you think many of us DO HERE? :confused2:

    What I mean by "thinkingness playing with thoughts" is the tendency of people to to have ideas and believe ideas that are poorly connected to real things, events, observations and facts. I will give an example.

    People in Scientology cannot look at the facts of what their "church" did to Paulette Cooper. First, they aren't allowed to read and talk to anybody who will explain the facts of the matter. Second, due to the intense fixed ideas and strange concatenations of logic that exist in the minds of dedicated card-carrying corporate Scientologists, they view a strange reality about it all that simply asserts "Paulette is an SP and had to be stopped". In this case, and many many others, the Scientologist wallows in THOUGHT, and this ream of thought is very disconnected from FACTS, HONEST OBSERVATIONS AND ACTUAL EVENTS. In their minds, quite disconnected from what REALLY HAPPENED, they are happily mired in "thinkingness playing with thoughts". Simply, the ideas they hold about Paulette, and which they are quite certain of, have little or nothing to do with REALITY. The 1) realm of the mind and the 2) realm of careful honest observation have been cut-off from each other. That is not good. For example, in science the two are quite well connected.

    The Scientology indoctrination system and the constant PR perpetuates this disconnection. Another example?

    They have this nutty idea that there is such a thing as an "operating thetan". It is just an empty idea, without substance, without any correlating reality, because NONE have ever existed. Not outside of their imaginations. If they just honestly looked around at those people who have ascended the Grade Chart to the highest levels of OT, they would notice that these people are no different (and sometimes worse) than everybody else. Again, there is a disconnect between the thoughts and ideas about certain things, and the ACTUAL THINGS. That is what I mean by THOUGHT takes seniority over LOOKING and OBSERVATION. Ideas take precedence over facts. Beliefs are senior to observable reality.

    Scientology creates and perpetuates such a state in the minds of its followers.

    There, I just did it again. I discussed a real phenomenon, that has been observed, understood and classified in light of everything else I know or believe to be true about human behavior.

    Most of us here talk about what we have observed and understood while THERE involved with and experiencing Scientology up close and personal. Haven't you read any of my posts?

    Note: The problem with logic is that it always hinges upon the ASSUMPTIONS. Too often they are wrong. Or, too often people disagree on the basic assumptions making all related arguments pointless or absurd.
  13. Queenmab321

    Queenmab321 Patron Meritorious

    I apologize for my delayed posts, Gadfly. I'm back in school, so my time is limited.

    You appear to raise several, somewhat distinct points.

    One has to do with the willful, often delusional errors in thinking characteristic of "true believers," i.e., persons whose devotion to a a given cause is blind and unquestioning. You take this up in your last post.

    However, in the two preceding posts you appear to address perceived errors, my own included, having to do with what you characterize as a failure to adequately observe what actually goes on in Scientology, on the ground so to speak. You discuss challenges in evaluating Scientology, and you express a preference for empirical observation over reasoned analysis (argument). Aren't these errors different in kind from those common within the cult? They may result, for example, from inadequate evidence or from faulty reasoning, and when they do, they may be challenged with better evidence or more compelling reasoning, but do these errors manifest an absolute reliance on some incontrovertible authority which has become for those who make them an object of unquestioning devotion?

    Lastly, you've made several statements that appear to express doubt on your part about whether anything can be known about Scientology or, for that matter, anything else. You disparage the use of arguments as well as the use of abstractions. Furthermore, you appear to make the case that we are, each of us, locked within our own subjective understanding of the world, and that meaningful communication is therefore impossible. These statements strike me as a retreat into obscurantism. Without abstract thought language would be impossible. As I pointed out in an earlier post, we use countless words that are no less abstract than "religion" all the time. The word "science" is an abstraction. Would you be willing to say that, since "science" is a higher level abstraction and talking about such abstractions leads nowhere, there's no way to determine whether or not Hubbard was actually a scientist? Moreover, I fail to see how any meaningful discussion could be possible in the absence of reason, which, after all, is what arguments represent. It is one thing to say that Scientology is or is not a religion, and still another to observe that it may fall somewhere between religion and some other recognizable pattern of human behavior, but it's quite another thing to claim that the question itself is unanswerable, and that all arguments on either side of the issue are misguided and futile.
  14. Queenmab321

    Queenmab321 Patron Meritorious

    I'm counting on it. :coolwink:
  15. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    I just had a simple answer to "Is Scientology a religion?" and glanced through the 99 threads here with "religion" in the title to find somewhere to stick it. It's not worth making up a new thread.

    My simple answer is yes it is at the outer layers of the Scientological Onion (see but no it isn't at the inner layers.


    But I got to reading some of Gadfly's posts just on this page. Wow. I feel humbled.

  16. spbill

    spbill Patron with Honors

    Thanks Paul for attracting me to this discussion. Gadfly's insights are a delightful read, always nice to find stuff I agree with. I'm not big on humility, but this makes me feel a certain kinship.
    Dulloldfart likes this.
  17. Mike Holland

    Mike Holland Patron

    The problem is not that Scientology claims to be a religion just to get the resulting perks and tax breaks. It is that religions get any perks ands tax breaks.The moment they start dealing in money they are businesses, and should be treated the same. I read some time ago that the Catholic Church was the largest land owner in the USA. Maybe China or Scientology have taken over this title, but why should they have concessions? I think the SPCA is more deserving of concessions if there are going to be any.
  18. PirateAndBum

    PirateAndBum Gold Meritorious Patron

    I miss Gadfly's postings.
  19. F.Bullbait

    F.Bullbait Oh, a wise guy,eh?

    Organized religion in a nutshell...

    Enthetan and Dulloldfart like this.