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Scientology and The BITE Model

Discussion in 'Evaluating and Criticising Scientology' started by CommunicatorIC, Dec 21, 2018.

  1. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Last edited: Dec 21, 2018
    Type4_PTS likes this.
  2. CaliMule

    CaliMule Work Hard and Bray

    It's this video and associated webpage that show why I've never really credited Mr. Hassan as more than an ambitious detractor with an axe to grind, as opposed to a worthwhile scholar of the groups or belief systems has enjoys having a go at.

    That he does manage to point out numerous abusive practices of the Church of Scientology, its tendencies towards deception and betrayal of trust, and other discreditable points might give some people reason to approve of Mr. Hassan's activities. I cannot, as this is like praising someone for being able to fill a sack with fruit from an orchard of trees with ripe low hanging fruit. You don't even have to work hard to point out what is wrong with the Church of Scientology institutional practices in terms of fundamental decency.

    I sometimes wonder how someone who has had the benefit of close association with minds like Robert Jay Lifton's can manage to practice such astonishing tunnelvision in his own inquisitive and scholarly pursuits. I attribute it as possibly being due to his unfortunate association also with people like Louis Jolyon West, a CIA hatchet-man esconced in a prestigious academic post, and Margaret Singer, a bigot with some smatterings of academic scholarliness to her bigotry. In each of these two cases West and Singer badly mangled interpretation of the source material they use to argue from, especially Chinese brainwashing practices. I suppose that despite being associated with a fine mind like Lifton's that can indeed be cancelled out by friendship with a devious spook and a bigot.

    Anyhow, some points worth noting on the webpage provided:

    Assessing Scientology Using the BITE Model

    Green means does not apply to anyone in the group
    Orange means it partially applies (true for a subsection of members such as Sea Org or RPF)
    Red means it absolutely applies to all members

    Behavior Control

    from the webpage: "Dictate when, how, and with whom the member has sex"

    Again, "Red means it absolutely applies to all members".

    This is obvious bullshit. How Hassan thinks he can get away with claiming this in print is astonishing, and it diminishes his credibility that he let such a stupid claim as this slip through to publication.

    Thought Control

    from the webpage: "Change a person’s name and identity"

    Again, "Green means does not apply to anyone in the group".

    Going from typical self-conceptions as a human to understanding oneself as a "thetan" who resides in a "theta realm" but also "considers" that it can be in contact with external intelligences and creations is possibly the ultimate in alteration of identity. Not even going from typical self-conceptions as a human to understanding oneself to be a highly evolved form of bicycle or such can match how radical the shift in identity involved is.

    Hassan must look at Scientology as merely a selection of points to criticize without any regard for what its underlying philosophy may be to allow this answer to be printed and published. He seems to suffer from a tunnelvision, or perhaps limitation in inquisitive motive, involved in the saying: "if your only tool is a hammer everything starts to look like a nail." In providing this answer in writing he shows zero evidence of bothering to look at Scientology as anything but an array of points to criticize, never as something a rational person might choose to provisionally believe or explore.

    Of course people who never really assimilate or try to grasp the fundamental Scientology world view, which apparently must include Hassan himself, might not be familiar with this extremely profound and implication generating shift in identity that the "human" to "thetan" shift involves. But that would imply he never has had an informant on the belief system who wasn't so cyncial that they denied there was ever anything there to be considered. Considering his close association with Jon Atack, whose book impressed me as being written by someone with a great grasp of the underlying philosophy, this is very surprising.

    from the webpage: "Chanting"

    Again, "Green means does not apply to anyone in the group".

    Is Mr. Hassan so ignorant of routine practices in Scientology that he has never heard of "Chinese School" drills??? Apparently so. Speaks for itself, doesn't it?

    Emotional Control

    from the webpage: "sometimes public confession of sins"
    Again, "Green means does not apply to anyone in the group".

    Mr. Hassan again displays profound ignorance of practices of the Church of Scientology.

    Petitions for upgrade from liability invariabily - INVARIABLY - contain a confession of what was done to become assigned a lower condition. I've never heard of such a petition for readmission to group membership not having some variety of confession.

    In SOME instances a petition to be upgraded from a condition of "liability" can have a "limited" designation for required signatures, such that something less than fully "public" might be applicable. But that is rather slender wiggle room when commonly liability upgrade petitions are NOT limited. Instead they are devised to gather a significant statement of assent from the group to readmit the petitioner, enough to be indicative of the group's sense. This much more plainly "public" nature of confession can be illustrated by a few instances I personally experienced:

    1. While attending a Scientology school one of the girls in Upper School had to circulate and get signatures on her petition for sneaking out of the courseroom to have sexual intercourse with her current paramour in a particular spot where neither of them should have been. In this instance she was allowed to get signatures from a FEW staff, none of the kids from any of the lower divisions (kind of age inappropriate really), but at least a MAJORITY of the Upper School students who share that courseroom. (Naturally she tried to hit up as many girls rather than boys as possible.) I'm not entirely surprised by this because both her and her main squeeze of the moment where known to be "ethics bait", and she was sometimes vocal about her love of the "sex, drugs, and rock and roll" lifestyle outside of any petition process - - but still. I think that qualifies as public as it need to, and again, such petitions INVARIABLY contain a confession. Of course we're talking about a well established ethics particle here, so it isn't surprising that such a broad publicness was involved, but still when you consider the topic matter . . . . Frankly one has to wonder "was this at a Scientology school or at some holy roller fundamentalist church where denunciations from the pulpit or stand up and weep while confessing is common???"

    2. While I was loitering around the front door of AOLA a young woman hit me up to read and sign, if I desired she sheepishly indicated, her liability upgrade petition. She had a weekend off from doing her OT levels there and visited her (wog) sister who she smoked a marijuana joint with. It was all there in extremely legible writing of her own hand. She had nearly a hundred signatures and mentioned she was hoping to get up to around 100 signatures approving her return to full group membership, so she was hopeful to get my signature also. I consider that very much "public", to be hitting up people at the front door of a church with a written confession of behavior that is astonishing for someone on OT levels, and deeply demeaning to have to admit for most Scientologists.

    I'm sure anyone involved in Scientology for any lengthy time knows that "public confessions" in the form of circulating a petition for upgrade from liability is common. WHY then does Mr. Hassan consider himself entitled to hold out as an expert on this religion he is doing a BITE analysis on?

    I do retain SOME small respect for Mr. Hassan's efforts, as he is attempting to survey a vast array of high demand scumball authoritarian groups, not just Scientology alone. But at the same time I can't ever make that respect a weighty one where he is willing to make such bonehead blunders, commited to publication online, as above. I stand by my initial assessment at the outset of this post: "an ambitious detractor with an axe to grind."

    Take his advice and cite him as an authority if you want, but I won't.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2018
  3. CaliMule

    CaliMule Work Hard and Bray

    Assessing Wal-Mart Using the BITE Model

    Behavior Control

    Regulate an individual’s physical reality

    YES! Wal-Mart ruthlessly insists "shoppers" (as members of the Wal-Mart cult are called):
    - walk in places arranged for that in whatever grid it lays out,
    - observe actual limits of grasp when wanting something from a top shelf,
    - accept that the temperature and humidity of the air in the store shall be as it alone provides, and
    - otherwise shoppers must behave according to the laws of physics and human anatomy according to Wal-Mart's nonnegotiable expectations.

    Dictate where, how and with whom the member lives and associates or isolates.

    YES! Wal-Mart imposes:
    - required residency within a geographical range such that one can shop there,
    - associating residentially only with people who are not presently incarcerated and thus free to visit Wal-Mart, and
    - while shoppers are at Wal-Mart they are continuously isolated from the vile temptations of personnel who staff Costco, Target, K-Mart or similar rival establishment and the questionable motives of the staff to be found there.

    Dictate when, how, and with whom the member has sex

    Yes, though I only presume (but upon good principles!) that Wal-Mart will impose its will on me regarding sexual activity while I am within its benign campus of consumption, by rigidly enforced rules designed with my sexual propriety in mind while I am within that excellent palace of purchasing.

    I am too much of a "conformist" or "brainwashed" to dare actually TEST this point when in a Wal-Mart and subject to the intense, but benign, scrutiny of its staff.

    Control types of clothing and hairstyles

    NO, or "not really". YouTube is full of examples of exactly how UNCONTROLLING Wal-Mart can be concerning attire, or near lack of it, towards people within the confines of its unsurpassed mass of choices of things to want and buy.

    Regulate diet -food and drink, hunger and/or fasting

    Wal-mart tries to compel shoppers to adhere to mandatory "no munching in the store" expectations, but this isn't perfect.

    Most shoppers, though, obey their indoctrination which calls for eating ONLY within approved fast food outlets to be found in the store, which Wal-Mart vigorously indicates to the shopper via signage (under its complete control) telling one where an approved "McDonalds" or "Pizza Hut" outlet is to be found.

    Manipulation and deprivation of sleep

    Not really, though many Wal-Marts are open 24 hours. Perhaps that is to give shoppers some hope of not encountering those sweet-Jesus-you-left-the-house-dressed-like-that shoppers who so often appear on YouTube.

    Financial exploitation, manipulation, or dependence

    NOT Wal-Mart, NEVER! They are far, FAR, from attempting to exploit or manipulate my shopping behavior by such tactics! (Though some practices of Wal-Mart are misconstrued by its critics as attempting this very thing.)

    They never deceptively tag their prices to fool me into thinking I am getting the best possible deal any human being could hope for as the base motive for my patronage of their esteemed emporia of everything I could want, if I can afford it.

    (Though they do offer to MATCH the price of a rival store when this is properly proven to them, according to sound evidentiary procedures, should any such event ever actually happen as Wal-Mart's critics allege.)

    Restrict leisure, entertainment, vacation time

    I'll admit Wal-Mart imposes a geographical proximity requirement which could be interpreted to influence these things, though only because Wal-Mart's critics will demand I admit this.

    Major time spent with group indoctrination and rituals and/or self-indoctrination, including the Internet

    Not really. It is totally of my own free will, not Wal-Mart designs, that I spend so much time thinking of what I'd like to purchase today and whether or not I wish to do so at Wal-Mart or some place that demands extreme prices for mediocre products (i.e. everywhere else).

    Permission required for major decisions

    Happily, no, merely ability to pay for what I myself, of my own free will, have chosen to purchase or impulse purchase.

    The claims by rivals of Wal-Mart that it in fact has an astronomical "advertising budget" which seeks to dominate and entirely control my purchasing behavior must be understood as the claims of jealous rivals who can't match Wal-Mart's undeniably best deals to be had!

    Thoughts, feelings, and activities (of self and others) reported to superiors

    It is completely OPTIONAL whether I report my satisfaction with my shopping experience or not to a Wal-Mart staff interrogator!!!

    Financially motivated critics or rivals of Wal-Mart may seek to misinterpret innocent questions about whether I am having a satisfactory shopper experience as actual demands that I either report these sentiments or emotions or else do without the incredible satisfaction that is the due of every Wal-Mart shopper. The experienced Wal-Mart shopper learns to ignore this improper innuendo.

    Rewards and punishments used to modify behaviors, both positive and negative

    Define some terms here please. Is threatening to arrest me shoplifting, which might be punitive, and offering me discounts on particular days or for buying in particular quantity amount to these rewards and punishments seeking to modify behavior that you speak of?

    Discourage individualism, encourage group-think

    I suspect this is confined to staff, not shoppers, but again some questionable parties my try to suggest Wal-Mart's immense advertising budget and use of mass "checkout" (one of the Rites of Tender faithful Wal-Mart shoppers engage in) stalls may have elements of this.

    Impose rigid rules and regulations

    Depends on your point of view. I find them overly liberal, if anything, on who is permitted to use their motor powered shopping carts, for instance.

    Encourage and engage in corporal punishment

    This is always strictly left to parents of children while in Wal-Mart, and the hand, shoe, belt or other implement of their choice.

    Punish disobedience by beating, torture, burning, cutting, rape, or tattooing/branding

    I've never been aware of Wal-Mart being "into it", though I'll admit they have a pet supply and rope selection that might hint at these lifestyle choices.

    Threaten harm to family or friends (by cutting off family/friends)

    On the contrary, they want every last possible consumer in store, pleasing themselves with the always returnable products they stock the shelves with.

    Force individual to rape or be raped

    You seem confused if you believe this, as Wal-Mart is a commercial establishment and not a college fraternity/sorority.

    Instill dependency and obedience

    Lies, ALL FILTHY LIES, by jealous rivals are any claims that Wal-Marts extensive advertising, extensive use of shopping behavior consults, extensive use of on-floor staff scrutiny and other forms of observing and attempting to guide shopping behavior amount to attempting instill this dependency and obedience you speak of.

    It is probably true, though, of rivals of Wal-Mart that their use of all of these things lacks wholesome and benign motives, and is indeed an attempt to instill dependency and obedience for questionable purposes. Just steer clear of places like K-Mart, Costco, Target and the like, and one can be free of such impure and unclean motives.

    Despite formal analysis of the "Information Thought & Emotion" control elements being usual at this point, I believe we can dispense with this in the case of Wal-Mart.

    Instead, in every instance were we might think some unwholesome or nonbenign aspect of Wal-Mart is alleged, we need only look a little deeper and see the desire for financial gain and impure, unclean motives of agents of such rivals as Costo, Target, K-Mart and the like are behind such innuendo.

    Wal-Mart is entirely devoted to allowing shoppers a splendid selection of satisfactions, affordable and available as needed. This fact alone is why Wal-Mart shoppers are faithful adherents of its commercial catechism and vending virtue!!!


    Many people incorrectly think of mind control as an ambiguous, mystical process that cannot be defined in concrete terms. In reality, mind control refers to a specific set of methods and techniques.

    Precisely. Wal-Mart's vindictive rivals use mind control on their shoppers, who are victims of just such specific methods and techniques used to deprive them of free will to shop at Wal-Mart in the totally UNmind controlled manner Sam Walton issued an eternal promise to shoppers as always on offer to them - HIS PERSONAL GAURANTEE!

  4. Gib

    Gib Crusader

    Steve Hassan BITE MODEL is actually what Le Bon discovered, I do know Hubbard read Le Bon.

    Substitute Crowd with Cult.

  5. freethinker

    freethinker Sponsor

    What le Bon wrote about can be used for good or be destructive. Anon DK recommends this book but warns that it has ideas that can result in undesirable results. They say it is an excellent book to read but warns of its dire applications. One has to sort the wheat from the chafe. Use of the knowledge depends on the intent of the reader.

    The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (French: Psychologie des Foules; literally: Psychology of Crowds) is a book authored by Gustave Le Bon that was first published in 1895.[1][2]

    In the book, Le Bon claims that there are several characteristics of crowd psychology: "impulsiveness, irritability, incapacity to reason, the absence of judgement of the critical spirit, the exaggeration of sentiments, and others..."[1] Le Bon claimed that "an individual immersed for some length of time in a crowd soon finds himself – either in consequence of magnetic influence given out by the crowd or from some other cause of which we are ignorant – in a special state, which much resembles the state of fascination in which the hypnotized individual finds himself in the hands of the hypnotizer."[3]

    The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind
  6. CaliMule

    CaliMule Work Hard and Bray

    Something isn't true because if proceeded from the mouth of LeBon - the GREAT Lebon afterall! - any more than something can be assumed to be true as it proceeded from the mouth of Hubbard. LeBon has never really been empirically validated. In fact many scholars noted the failure of antiquated notions of LeBon to explain crowd behaviour during many counterculture crowd events, including the crowd sourced rise of the Berkeley Free Speech movement and other similar events on US college campuses in the 60s.

    One should keep in mind that Hassan, the BITE model advocate, is a follower of Margaret Singer. Singer's brand of bigotry tried to draft upon her prestige as an academic, but that isn't enough to convince other academics that she has an empirically validated teaching we should all cite as truth.

    Same thing with the BITE model. It is an interesting attempt at extending discussion of some more concepts agreed upon by serious scholars of group dynamics in high demand groups. The BITE model is not obviously true as a statement of human beaviour simply because Hassan is called "doctor" and can cite his association with bigots like Margaret Singer and devious clandestine intelligence community operators like Joly West.

    People who are not really educated in empirical inquiry and the literature of human behaviour might be wowwed by Singer or Hassan, but really it is just a feat of hoaxing the less educated that Singer pulled off. Hassan isn't going nearly as far enough as he needs to in distancing himself from her stale notions and those of other knee-jerk anti-cult academics who are sometimes mired in her same self-blinding bigotry. He really should be able to actually grasp the thinking of the groups he seeks to oppress with his "learning", rather than just know enough about them to give a bad odor to them while seeming scholarly in the process.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
  7. freethinker

    freethinker Sponsor

    What other stuff have you read that is better?
  8. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader

    This seems to be your main point of disagreement. The rest of your argument seems peripheral - details that Steve Hassan hasn't included in a paper when Scientology itself has volumes and volumes of details - far too much to include in a single paper.

    Though I prefer Steven Hassan's earlier work to his writings in recent years and I am no fan of Margaret Singer, I think this point is worth discussing.

    There is certainly an identity shift when a person thinks of him or herself as a thetan instead of a human. In fact, it is one of the things some still in the FZ think of as one of the biggest shifts in their lives and what got them into Scientology and kept them in if they hadn't had a spiritual concept of themselves or identity before Scientology.

    Where most religions refer to a person as having a soul or as a soul being an integral part of a human's composite makeup until death, Scientology states you are not a composite at all - you are a thetan. This defines a person as separate from his environment and society in general and can be the underlying cause for dissociation.

    To live a happy life means living in harmony with yourself - your composite HUMAN self, as well as your environment and those around you.

    Do you believe you are a thetan?
  9. CaliMule

    CaliMule Work Hard and Bray

    My main point of disagreement is that Hassan presents himself as having expertise in something that he has largely chosen to cherry pick information upon. He relies upon his ability to practice researcher bias when talking about a topic most of his readers won't really grasp well enough to challenge him upon, with those who are knowledgable often being biased readers not wanting to challenge him as they wish to be empowered by his biases being expressed with academioc credentials.

    My second point of disagreement is that Hassan is among the group of anti-cult scholars who fail to properly compare the spooky "mind control" groups they target to other groups and phenomena of human life to properly understand the scheme. Try BITE analyzing Wal-Mart, Cal-Trans, Google or other massively popular websites, or simply video game makers. They are all in the practice of trying to manipulate and influence people, and their success in doing so rarely has anything to do with mysterious and spooky "mind control" powers, and only slightly to do with generally accepted reasons for why people make decisions as they do. Of course there are typically distinctions of method and degree or intensity of use in methods in these comparisons to high demand religious groups, but still to properly understand the fundamentals is important before we start saying who is where on some spectrum of influencing practices.

    I actually have a lot more points than just the one, but will stop with a third. Hassan is trying to elaborate on concepts other scholars have often agreed on about group dynamics in high demand groups, but he is sloppy in doing so by not examining how feeble and ineffective some of the points or practices he's referencing are. If he wants to hold himself out as having expertise on Scientology he should know and acknowledge that:
    (1) the overwhelming majority of people who start to participate in Scientology drop that activity after some basic courses, showing that any spooky "mind control" practices are rather feeble and ineffective in trapping them even when they are being processed by the system without much knowledge of how it is seeking to keep them;
    (2) the majority of people who complete upper levels also cease being very active in Scientology, even though they've been subjected to MASSIVE amounts of potential mind controlling influence and have a huge investment to defend psychologically by continuing on, again showing that any spooky "mind control" practices are rather feeble and ineffective even after massive exposure to them; and
    (3) the most intensive Scientology control experience of all, Sea Org membership, has the result that the clear majority of people who ever enroll in it depart from it within 2 years. Yes, there are people who spend decades in the Sea Org before deciding to chuck it, but they are a very clear minority. So the same point: where the hell is the potent persuader or "mind control" technology in this when it's most intensive form can barely hold on to people longer than they need to come to a definite conclusion based on their experience that this isn't what they wanted.

    Sorry to be picky and long winded, but I'm hesitant to allow what I argue to be boiled down to something massively narrower than what I actually believe. It can be thrown back at me later.


    Indeed we agree there is a logical claim that Scientology attempts to get a person to undergo a massive identity shift in terms of basic conception of themselves. That Hassan claims NO ONE in Scientology is subject to this (what the green coloration means) really shows he shouldn't try to present himself as having expertise on Scientology.


    Hmmmm . . . well "Thetan plus baggage, which we can help you ditch for the right fee if you don't want it following you around in all incarnations". But anyhow, maybe that's not such a great distinction that needs to be made.

    Interesting enough Hubbard seemed to lift this point directly from C.S. Lewis, and very popular British author and advocate of Christianity. Without looking it up, I think it goes "you don't have a soul, you are a soul."


    Do I believe I am a thetan? I don't prefer that terminology as it is a from a deficient body of thought on defining the fullest scope of reality. Hubbard made an interesting attempt, drafting heavily upon the work of others before him of course, but fell short. I don't feel any need to depend on him for conceptualization of existence in light of this shortcoming.

    I simply consider that I exist in close connection with a human body and seem to be subject to well established biological factors of that joint existence - principles derived from neurology, behavioral sciences, etc. I consider it better to gather the details and keep them in mind than to swing for the fence and commit to some particular all encompassing theory of fullest reality when that doesn't seem to be a useful approach. Ultimately, I do not adhere to materialism as an ultimate truth, and more or less am closer to the "thetan" idea.


    Edited to remove reference to "Ph.D.", as Hassan is claiming credentials of "M.Ed. LMHC, NCC". Perhaps I misrecalled this, though I thought he was arguing before about some Ph.D. thesis of his. Must be a faulty recollection on my part.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2018
  10. CaliMule

    CaliMule Work Hard and Bray

    Please clarify: do you mean better than LeBon? (it isn't hard to be better than him, but . . . ), or do you mean bbetter than the BITE model???
  11. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader

    1) I disagree. I've read Steven Hassan for years. He's extremely knowledgeable about Scientology and several other cults and those that follow his website are normally ex-cult members with far more intensive, personal knowledge in the subject and the intricacies of individual cults than those who have never been in.

    2) I disagree. In fact, I've seen the opposite. IMO, the biggest flaw in Steven Hassan's recent work is over-generalizing various groups and cults to the point where they are seen as equal to Scientology in mind-control and abuse, which is something like comparing North Korea to a local socialist protest. They are not equal or the same. There are some similarities, but groups other than Scientology don't make up fake mental illnesses and then supposedly cure them, other groups don't charge outrageous amounts to do so, other groups don't prey on the naive and uneducated as Scientology does and have an entire technology based on fake science with a ridiculous e-meter instrument to create mental illness and then claim to cure it. Most other groups aren't nearly as aggressive, don't pursue ex-members legally and don't have carte blanche to use unlimited funds to harass others and promote their members do the same. Scientology is a very complicated scam that twists falsities with just enough truth to be convincing and carries group and other threats to continue to keep members in. It has far more in common with North Korea than Walmart.

    This sort of over-generalization which you support is its own form of misdirection. By huge generalization, extremes become normalized in a person's mind and the ability to differentiate between groups and various forms or extremes of abuse is stunted. It is not normal for a cult like Scientology to enslave others and for a government to condone or allow this activity. It is not humane and has nothing to do with Walmart.

    3) As to your statistics of how many people leave and how easily, please provide your sources. Scientology retains contact with anyone who even bought a Dianetics book for decades afterward and is far more aggressive with those who have spent a great deal or seen inside the cult's deeper workings. No matter how hard a person tries to leave, the cult of Scientology finds, chases and harasses individuals. It believes in extreme control and trains its members to do so in order to "save the planet." It has a huge amount of funds to hire and compromise academics, police, politicians and many other authorities and its scriptures clearly encourage this sort of activity to forward the goals of Scientology. It strives to make its cult appear "just like any other religion" and generalities help to do so.

    Scientology is an evil, brainwashing cult. It is not Walmart, not even similar. That is all.
    PirateAndBum and Leland like this.
  12. CaliMule

    CaliMule Work Hard and Bray

    1) We seem to need to define terms.

    Whatever "excellent" knowledge is in Mr. Hassan's case, it allows him to publish claims that public confession never occurs in Scientology. Anyone who's been involved in reveiwing and signing a petition circulated by someone wanting upgrade from liablity assignment knows this is false. Extensive numbers of ex-scientologist experts know this simple fact. Why the hell does Hassan publish something, claiming expertise and wanting people to rely on his statements as those of an expert, and get it this massively wrong, even with reliance on his part on other alleged experts. I don't consider this "excellent" knowledge.
    I suspect it is excellent desire on the part of someone seeking to pad his c.v. with how much he's accomplished, his unassailable list of articles compared to other scholars, confident that he won't really be held accountable for plenty of things he says, perhaps because he knows the paying audience he is seeking doesn't want him challenged and held accountable. ​

    I also see want of excellence in basic regard for the human rights of others, to be free of coercion and duress from others based false information born of bias or animosity. Oh, and perhaps profit motive???. Hassan seeks CLIENTELE who view family members as PROPERTY to be restored to them, rather than as the human being that family member is. It is not disinterested scholarship, clearly. There is as much a failure to show "excellent" knowledge as there is to show basic human decency I think.​

    But really we need to define some terms here to have a meaningful metric scale upon which "excellent" is an available grade.​

    2) "...seen as equal to Scientology in mind-control and abuse..." These are distinguishable concepts.

    There should be no doubt that Scientology is strewn with abusiveness. I rely on that absuviness to explain a lot that other people try to say is the same thing as "mind control."

    - I offer you a deal on something usually costing $20 for only $1 if you deal with me. ​
    - You give me the money and I give you something I say fulfills the deal, but it isn't what was bargained on and may not even have $1 of worth. ​
    - I make clear to you that my depraved and horrifying associates will make you utterly miserable if you don't accept things as they are and refrain from complaining. ​

    This step 1 "cheat" and step two "intimidate" has been going on throughout history, long before any spooky "mind control technology" could be devised. We don't need a word beyond "abuse" for this kind of practice, and the majority of Scientology malevolence follows this basic pattern, not any extra special mysterious or spooky "mind control".

    The concept "mind control" should be compared to antecedents.

    Antecedent 1: Experts assure, so we know with certainty, that witches exist and should be burnt alive as a form of killing them. They are, with great injustice.​

    Antecedent 2: Experts assure, and we should eventually trust they know, that the shape of the skull indicates a persons character traits and probable behavior. Thus science of phrenology allows us to be fair in subjecting people to exclusion from opportunities, exclusion from fundamental regard for them as the person they actually are, inclusion in disfavored categories, etc. People are mistreated because the "science" of phrenology says they should be, as a matter of great injustice.
    Antecedent 3: Experts assure, and many desparately insist they must be right, that homosexuality is a form of psychopathy. People are:​
    - incarcerated,​
    - forcibly subject to neurotoxic drugs that have other health burdens and reasons to cause misery,​
    - vexed and harassed by prestigious doctors that don't tolerate layperson dispute of their views,​
    - subjected to "aversive conditioning" which is a name for torture, often using electric schocks of a painful nature and in some instances electroconvulsive therapy (a panacea some doctors used for a vast array of "mental illnesses" and would not tolerate dispute about),​
    all because a "science" says homosexuality is a form of psychopathy, a severe illness. This was very unjust, and in the case of minors incarcerated in religious sexuality reform operations in the modern era, this sort of electric/other pain inducer "therapy" is still sometimes used because actual doctors who knew "science" once used these methods.​

    The antecedents witch-hunting, phrenology, and malevolence against homosexuals due to scientific psychiatry are just like their descendent, the psuedoscience "mind control" advocates try to push into acceptance. People are subjected to dehumanization and campaigns by family members intended to deprive them of human rights because the "science" regarding "mind control" says it is OKAY to view your dissident family member as less than fully human, as PROPERTY to be recovered to the status YOU would allow him or her to have, you being a fully fledged human being who is therefore entitled to do this to someone of lesser status, as the psuedoscience of "mind control" teaches.​

    These are distinguishable concepts, "mind control" and "abuse". Hurling claims against your target that he or she is subject to "mind control" and therefore should be abused in a manner gratifying to the emotions of another is but one mere subset of abuse, but also it is a form of psuedoscience exploitation. Not all abuse is psuedoscience.​

    I guess though when you combine your scholarship on a psuedoscience of "mind control" with shilling your services to paying customers, as Mr. Hassan does, careful distinctions of terminology aren't important if they aren't biasing things in your favor.​

    3) "As to your statistics of how many people leave and how easily, please provide your sources."

    Like a vast number of people I regard the Kristi Wachter project to document published completions at​

    to be one of the more useful statistical bases to determine things about a career in Scientology. It has obvious sampling flaws, but it is still pretty good compared to other possible approaches to estimate the typical Scientology career.​

    It has been about TWENTY YEARS now that the observation founded upon evidence has been available, from assessing that compilation of completions, that most people who get into Scientology seems to get out promptly. It was originally Wachter herself who pointed this out in an analysis of the database she created. ​

    The inference that this means Scientology isn't very good at trapping the fish it gets into the net, they escape easily often, isn't very popular with the anti-Scientology crowd, so maybe this obvious inference isn't mentioned often. Despite all the claims to be the representatives of rationality, scholarship, etc., the anti-cult set is as prone to cherry picking data and stubbornly declining to evaluate anything that hinders ability to hurl scorn and dehumanization against their enemy.​

    That most upper level completions stray away from the church is an observation in critical books and articles starting from at least the 70s forward, and also is readily confirmable from experience while in the Scientology community, and really needn't be disputed. Many anti-Scientologists have been making the point that people do their OT levels and then wander off, so it isn't really a pro-Scientology bias position. It only becomes challenged as if apologia once it is pointed out that this means people ARE free to wander off and there is no spooky powerful mind control keeping them participating even though immense subjection to this ought to be assumed, if it exists.​

    That only a minority of sea org members last as long as two years is from a Flag Order concerning assessing the promotion in rank and laudatory status's to apply that I do not have a copy of. I read it while in the Sea Org, and it seems to me that this remains true decades later. ​

    I've been playing the "disaffected but not declared" game for decades, haven't been harassed at all. At most I have on rare occassions experienced bureaucratically tepid attempts to invite me back into the fold that eventually petered out as the decades rolled past. I know personally that this paranoic-sounding "the Scientology monster is after me, heeeeeeeelllllllllp!" line is true only for a few. ​

    Also the fact that I've been playing the "disaffected but not declared" game for decades means I've been socially in touch with the Scientology community even while personally having refused to have anything in the slightest to do with entering an actual church premises, giving them money, and no matter what urging or inducements family members have tried to get me reinvolved. I know about what a new OT VIII and the new stuff is like from meeting the products, just as I knew the old time people and products from long ago by being in close contact with it. All of the critical literature from the 70s and 80s, the internet inspired critical literature arising after that, and my own personal observations as a "loitering vaguely insider" tell me that what I stated and sources for statistics you request are basically in harmony with each other. There is always sample error and variations in what region or tribe of Scientology you circulate in, of course, but I've been well connected and traversed many of the very open and elite and secretive realms - I think I can speak with some authority at least.​

    Hell of a lot more authority than Hassan, it seems, who doesn't know what the hell circulating a liability petition or engaging in Chinese School means.​

  13. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader

    "We"? Speak for yourself. You are not my spokesperson. If you feel a desire to provide long definitions and explanations for yourself and add verbose, circular comments in long posts, that's you, not me.
  14. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader

  15. CaliMule

    CaliMule Work Hard and Bray

    "The more things change, the more they stay the same" the French saying goes.

    Decade after decade anti-Scientologists think they are everything rational, humane, and on the right side of history. That entitles them to use the tactics they use against what they see as lesser humans. They are lesser because a psuedoscience of "mind control" tells them this is so. They see themselves as so magnanimous in that they are willing to upgrade the targets of their venom to "restored to fully human" just as soon as the "brainwashing" or "mind control" is erased. Proof that this has happened is when the victims they target now agree with obviously brilliant ideas, being brilliant as proven by the fact that those ideas are rattling around in the mind of the anti-Scientologist.

    Have a nice life, JustSheila, but don't expect me to be duped into wasting time trying to communicate with you again.
  16. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader

    That was far more concise, thanks. See? You can communicate clearly when you try.
  17. Gib

    Gib Crusader

    I found this guys explanation of religion (scientology) quite good. If you trade or invest in stocks, read everything this guy wrote. Hubbard most certainly changed our mental models of how the mind works, and he got us to buy and read and apply his shit.

    an excerpt:

    "The mental models are extremely easy to understand in the context of religion.

    All religions basically manipulate the mental model of followers (followers do not see it that way).

    Once you start "believing" in a religion, world get simplified, because you adopt a mental model.

    So hard core believers in any religion be it Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism or any other "ism" hold many irrational beliefs.

    More than that their behavior flows from their mental model.

    That is why people do extreme things, kill and torture people, punish themselves once they become believers.

    Religious leaders understand this very well and if you study religion very closely and the tools they use, you will see how the religious pyramid scheme is like Amway, designed to indoctrinate and reinforce everyday and every moment a certain mental model.

    Successful leaders also manipulate mental models

    Leaders change followers mental models.

    Followers cannot do it on their own, that is why they follow a leader.

    The entire process involved in leadership is about changing followers mental model through communication.

    That is why you will broadly find two types of leaders, the ordinary leaders and the transformational leaders.

    Ordinary leaders are like marketers, they just study the existing mental models of followers and reinforce certain things in it, or talk about things that followers want to hear. They understand trying to change the mental models significantly is risky and will require tremendous effort.

    The transformational leaders do the difficult task of creating a entirely different mental model in their followers. They bring about radical change. They are real visionary.

    Because people are uncomfortable in making radical or "orbital change" , in most cases they choose safer leaders.

    While we aspire and hope for transformational leadership, when it comes to actually choosing them, we don't want to go through the effort of changing our mental model , and we choose safe leaders.

    Politicians know this very well and so they calibrate their message very carefully to promise enough change but not radical change.

    You need to change your mental model

    From a practical perspective, on individual level, if you want to change your life, you need to change your mental models.

    If you want dramatic change in your life, you need to change your current set of beliefs, assumptions and world view dramatically.

    That is what most people at beginning of new year want to do , so they make resolution .

    Resolution is intention, but to achieve the intention not just one or 10 things need to change but 1000's of things need to change.

    But because our mental models are hard coded and we have built entire structure to reinforce them, change is difficult.

    Once the mental models get hard coded, it is difficult to change it.

    The reason for it is cognitive dissonance.

    Cognitive dissonance is a psychological term describing the uncomfortable tension that may result from having two conflicting thoughts at the same time, or from engaging in behavior that conflicts with one's beliefs.

    In simple terms, it can be the filtering of information that conflicts with what one already believes, in an effort to ignore that information and reinforce one's beliefs. In detailed terms, it is the perception of incompatibility between two cognitions, where "cognition" is defined as any element of knowledge, including attitude, emotion, belief, or behavior. The theory of cognitive dissonance states that contradicting cognitions serve as a driving force that compels the mind to acquire or invent new thoughts or beliefs, or to modify existing beliefs, so as to reduce the amount of dissonance (conflict) between cognitions. Experiments have attempted to quantify this hypothetical drive. Some of these have examined how beliefs often change to match behavior when beliefs and behavior are in conflict.

    Social psychologist Leon Festinger first proposed the theory in 1957 after the publication of his book When Prophecy Fails, observing the counterintuitive belief persistence of members of a UFO doomsday cult and their increased proselytization after the leader's prophecy failed. The failed message of earth's destruction, purportedly sent by aliens to a woman in 1956, became a disconfirmed expectancy that increased dissonance between cognitions, thereby causing most members of the impromptu cult to lessen the dissonance by accepting a new prophecy: that the aliens had instead spared the planet for their sake.[1]

    In popular usage, it can be associated with the tendency for people to resist information that they don't want to think about, because if they did it would create cognitive dissonance, and perhaps require them to act in ways that depart from their comfortable habits. They usually have at least partial awareness of the information, without having moved to full acceptance of it, and are thus in a state of denial about it.
    Self directed orbital change is difficult

    So any significant personal change involves change in your mental model.

    It is difficult because we have invested so much in our existing mental models.

    If it is self directed change, it is even more difficult .

    If you understand this, you will find that most of the time "orbital change" is precipitated by some extraneous event or major change in life situation.

    A divorce leads people to question long held beliefs and assumptions and then they make orbital changes to build better life afterward.

    A death on near or dear one leads to change.

    A disease, surgery, treatment experience leads to change.

    Change in geographical location leads to change (especially true of small town people going in to large towns).

    You fall under the charm of extremely influential person, teacher, mentor or boss.

    You handle a very big assignment, which was beyond your capabilities.

    In trading this can happen if you blow up or make ton of money in a year.

    Now these kind of things are accidental.

    Self directed mental model change is the key

    What you are interested is self directed change in mental models.

    If we want to do it as a self directed process , you need some sort of template.

    It is easier to accomplish some of these things in facilitated encounters.

    Successful people in all walks of life have the capacity to change and reinvent their mental models several times during their lifetime.

    that is why they continuously keep moving in to new orbits

    Mediocre people in most walks of life get stuck with a mental model and spend their entire life in a orbit, never managing to climb to next orbit.

    Time to launch your trading career in to next orbit in 2010.

    Happy new year everyone !"
    programmer_guy likes this.
  18. programmer_guy

    programmer_guy True Ex-Scientologist

    IMO, changing world view is difficult because there are many pieces in that jig-saw puzzle.

    If a person considers changing a central piece then they also have to change other pieces surrounding that piece so that they fit together. This will also be very emotional and not just logic/reason.

    Also, considering cognitive dissonance there are 2 paths to follow:

    1. use confirmation bias to feel better about it (easy),
    2. redo one's world view (difficult).
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
    Gib likes this.
  19. Gib

    Gib Crusader

    no doubt PG changing World View is difficult, but Hubbard tried. But we must not forget he told Sarge he failed and wasn't coming back, LOL. Most in members don't know this, or even ex's.

    No shit Hubbard, you jack ass, you failed, to change World View, or mental model.
  20. freethinker

    freethinker Sponsor

    I think it all boils down to this:

    People accept crowd mentality because they think if that many people believe it, it must be true.

    That is a fatal mistake.

    Hubbard wrapped everything in Total Freedom because that is what people want. He could say anything he wanted and then say that is the way to Total Freedom and people lap it up.

    You will find the goal of freedom in any group think.
    Gib and JustSheila like this.