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Scientology explained

Discussion in 'General Scientology Discussion' started by Leon-2, Jan 1, 2015.

  1. Cat's Squirrel

    Cat's Squirrel Gold Meritorious Patron

    Well then, no one would be able to play it. But that isn't the situation here. The situation here is a group of people who insist that the piano's imaginary, i.e. that in reality there's no piano and no music to be produced from it, all trying to tell someone who insists that there actually is a piano and he's able to produce music from it, that at best he's deluding himself.

    Don't know about you, but I can't see the results of that being anything but frustration for everyone involved (not to mention those reading the discussion).
  2. Anonycat

    Anonycat Crusader

    In the first half of the '70's I went to an introductory lecture at the mission, before I started my first class. The lecturer/staff person started by saying: If we all agree there's a white horse standing there (he points across the room), then there is. I later came to know that this mindset is huge in the cult. Agreement, creating, having OT powers to make it so. So, yes. A true scientologist would agree with that, although such talk has all but vanished these days. Now they sell "beingness", or something either insanely vague, or typically, a made up word like havingness, that would be really hard to sue them about. But, judge, they promised me beingness! LOL! Yes, being told to be deluded is the foundation of the cult. It's almost over, and they know it. 2015 is going grind it further into the dirt. It's a global laughingstock, and worsening every day.
  3. Cat's Squirrel

    Cat's Squirrel Gold Meritorious Patron

    True, and the Catholics do much the same thing by telling their parishioners that the communion wafer and wine are in reality the body and blood of Christ, even though all anyone can see are a communion cup with wine in it and a wafer of bread.

    But there's another example I'd give, which might be illuminating in this context; some children have imaginary "friends" who are real to them but not to the adults around them, who typically tell them to "stop that nonsense" when said children try and talk to them about it. Who's right; the children who claim they can see these friends, or the adults who insist that because they can't see them no such beings exist? Or people who believe they have guardian angels who guide them - are those real or not?

    Not easy questions IMO.
  4. Cat's Squirrel

    Cat's Squirrel Gold Meritorious Patron

    To be clear about this Anonycat; I'm on your side here to some extent, i.e. I think that mission instructor who claimed there was a white horse if everyone believed there was, should have been told in no uncertain terms that there wasn't ("OK, try and ride it then!"). My point is simply that there are situations where this doesn't necessarily apply, because there may be (and I believe are) more subtle realities that some of us are privy to and others of us for some reason aren't.

    People who believe they can see nature spirits (like the Irish leprechauns) may be another case in point.
  5. oneonewasaracecar

    oneonewasaracecar Gold Meritorious Patron

    So I won't worry about internal consistency.

    That means at the same time I can worry about internal consistency.

    So if I can worry about internal consistency, shouldn't I worry about not worrying about internal consistency?

    Only If I don't worry about internal consistency.

    Is that it? Can I do my success story now?
  6. degraded being

    degraded being Sponsor

    Another case in point of what?
  7. oneonewasaracecar

    oneonewasaracecar Gold Meritorious Patron

    Thank you.
    You are conflating two things here and this is illustrative of our discrepancy regarding scientology.

    The two things are
    1) The piano
    2) The teaching method/learning ability.

    We can both criticize the method of teaching and still think the piano is both beautiful and real. We can know this because we can see and hear people play it and make beautiful music.

    If we then separate out the teaching method/learning ability and assess the teacher and/or the student, we are able to do this by assessing the results of the teaching. We listen to the student play.

    Where the analogy falls down is that scientology does not produce results that we can objectively judge externally. When you talked about the CCHs, your result was gaining a perceptual feeling. That is internal. As an outsider, I cannot evaluate your experience in the same way as you can evaluate it yourself.

    Most of the argument on this thread has been over this point. What we are after is some sort of claim that scientology (as you see it) can make that can be observed and tested.

    If it makes you more able, then exactly how does it make you more able? That can then be tested.
  8. Cat's Squirrel

    Cat's Squirrel Gold Meritorious Patron

    Of realities that some people are privy to but others aren't (maybe I should put "realities" in inverted commas as their veracity hasn't been established).
  9. oneonewasaracecar

    oneonewasaracecar Gold Meritorious Patron

    ..or you could just not refer to them as realities but perceptions.
  10. Cat's Squirrel

    Cat's Squirrel Gold Meritorious Patron

    Sure, but it doesn't dispense of the problem of whether or not the perception corresponds to anything which exists independently from the person perceiving it. It's possible (though extremely unlikely) that I'm sleeping right now and only dreaming that I'm typing this post. If click on "Submit reply" and you see it as well, then you know I'm not dreaming that I'm posting - because there's a shared reality that our perceptions are reflecting.

    It's much harder to do that with the kind of perceptions we're discussing in this thread. The best way I know to do it is to see how well people's independent perceptions line up with each other.
  11. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader

    The piano scenario is silly. Anyone with a decent teacher, ten fingers that work properly and who isn't mentally or physically disabled can learn to play the piano well enough to make pretty music.

    Or fly a plane. Or learn to do just about anything, even draw well, if they want to learn it.


    There are techniques for these things. With experience, practice and education, anybody (not handicapped) can learn the techniques and repeat them well enough for anything that takes average intelligence if they have average intelligence.

    So it's a make-believe scenario.

    Sure, some people are more skilled or have more of an interest or a knack for something. In many cases, though, that doesn't mean a safer or better pilot. Someone more skilled might take more risks and someone less skilled might give it all his focus.

    So what's the point of this again, Leon?
  12. Cat's Squirrel

    Cat's Squirrel Gold Meritorious Patron

    No it isn't Sheila, because to continue the analogy there really was a time when people believed that flying a plane was impossible because planes were (obviously) heavier than air, and no one at the time could conceive of an engine sufficiently powerful to overcome this.

    It's now part of our shared reality that powered flight is possible, so much so that anyone who tried to deny it now would be laughed out of court.

    Similarly, Leon claims that he gets beneficial results with people by using a set of procedures closely related (though apparently not identical) to those invented by L. Ron Hubbard and his associates. Others here are convinced that this is at best very unlikely to be the case. So there's a paradigm clash here, similar to the one we had in the early days of flying except that we don't know for sure which is right - Leon, who claims that "Leonology" works, or those who claim that it doesn't and he's kidding himself.
  13. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader

    Well, okay, Cat, except we all actually did fly the plane, so aren't skeptical about the effects a person believes he or she experienced.

    I believe that Scientologists and Leonologists actually believe what they say, or at least are convincingly emphatic about stating they believe it because promoting Scientology or Leonology with rave success stories has always been part of the cult or guru thing. It has to be outstandingly fabulous wow and Scientologists always use too many CAPS and exclamation points and are always stating these sorts of things to each other until they change their minds and leave - and 99% (or more) of people who get into Scientology leave it completely behind and forgotten as a silly, useless (and often also damaging and bad) experience afterward.

    Just a weird head trip.

    So the bottom line is, Leon says it's not a head trip when it's his version. Those of us who disagree say we've been there, done that and it was just a crazy, stupid head trip, no matter how you cut it and it looks pretty much the same, anyway.

    It's always the same discussion, isn't it? Ah well.
  14. HelluvaHoax!

    HelluvaHoax! Platinum Meritorious Sponsor with bells on

    Another case in point where "nobody really knows what is real."

    And if anyone thinks something might be real "in their universe" you should not invalidate them.

    Because "nobody really knows what is real".

    Little kids with imaginary friends might be real friends, right. Oh wait, I'm so sorry, I just evaluated by saying they are "imaginary". So, sorry, they might be real!

    Persons in mental institutions in a full blown psychotic episode talking to voices in their head might be real, right?

    Hey nobody really can say.

    Cult members sitting in a locked bedroom of their home searching for 75M year old aliens that are causing them problems might be real, right? Because nobody can really say.

    People on drugs hallucinating that they are surfing a billion foot wave made of chocolate sponges, well that could be real too, who are we to say?

    Anyways we should not invalidate people's realities.

    Then again, nobody really knows if we should invalidate people's realities.

    Okay, I have made myself sufficiently insane posting this, I think I'll return to the earth after briefly visiting the delusional "anything could be real" mindset of Scientology.

    Jeez, that was a fun post going insane and returning within a couples minutes! LOL
  15. Cat's Squirrel

    Cat's Squirrel Gold Meritorious Patron

    Well, maybe you're right so let's try a different approach.

    As I once said on here, I had a Catholic housemate at university who had what Scientologists would call a big "win" on going to confession; I can't recall his exact words, but he felt as though he'd been completely cleaned and his "sins" forgiven or erased as though they weren't there any more. Almost like a rebirth.

    If he was right about that (and I believe he was), that doesn't by any means say that Catholicism as a whole is a good thing, or work for everyone; it does however strongly suggest to me that that particular priest did something right that other priests who don't get similarly good results with their parishioners don't or didn't do, and it would be very instructive to look at similar positive stories about Catholic confessions to see whether or not there's a common denominator to them and we can learn from them (whether we're Catholic or not).

    What happens here, on the other hand, and why I find these discussions so frustrating ultimately, is analogous to telling my former housemate that because Catholicism is a load of rubbish, confession didn't work and he was kidding himself.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2015
  16. HelluvaHoax!

    HelluvaHoax! Platinum Meritorious Sponsor with bells on

    That was a incredibly bad analogy for Scientology. Now I see why you didn't answer the simple analogy I gave and, instead, went into something completely irrelevant.

    Let's break it down.

    Your analogy doesn't work because it would have to be a SCIENTOLOGY PIANO TEACHER who collects a fortune after guaranteeing the 2 students that they will become pop stars.

    Your analogy is all bogged down in about 10,000 pounds of Scientology crazy glue where the piano students are the focus of whether the piano teacher's "TECH" did or didn't work. Of course, being a Scientology based example (and condemned to Hubbard's childishly over simplistic "OT vs DB" paradigm) one guy is "cause" and "winning" because his "ethics" are in. And the guy who can't play piano is a "nattering", "no responsibility" case who is total "effect".

    The analogy should have been a piano teacher who couldn't teach nor even play piano--but incessantly bragged about their amazing musical prowess.

    Jesus, it can be really exhausting trying to explain simple things to people who know how to know. LOL
  17. degraded being

    degraded being Sponsor

    Instead of putting the "realities" of the leprechauns in inverted commas, why not just hitch them up to the horse and ride them all into Texas yelling "we're looking for veracity!".
  18. Student of Trinity

    Student of Trinity Silver Meritorious Patron

    Hard Scientology, which promises objectively testable powers that it cannot deliver, is crap.

    But maybe soft Scientology, as a vaguely defined discipline beyond Hubbard and his cult, is something like abstract art or free jazz. Many people will occasionally see or hear something nice in it, but most people find that so much of it just seems like an unpleasant mess, that the rare good bits are probably accidental. A few people are fans, or practitioners. They claim that there is very definitely good abstract art, or free jazz, as opposed to bad; that the good stuff is very good; that it just takes talent and years of practice to learn to appreciate the good stuff, or produce it. Heck, maybe it's like cigars, or certain liquors; an acquired taste.

    Let's just face it. There are no objectively testable Scientology results; any benefits are subjective. So it's like art, or jazz, or cigars. Maybe some people are sophisticated experts who have worked their way to appreciate a glorious world that the rest of us miss. Or maybe those few are really just pitiful snobs who have pretended to see the Emperor's clothes for so long that they have successfully warped their own tastes, by learning to associate certain unpleasant sensations with a warm glow of superiority.

    Who can even say which is which, you know? Almost everyone agrees that espresso and whiskey taste awful at first. Keep trying good examples, though, and you can really get to like them. Is it just because the side-effects of the caffeine and alcohol give the unpleasant tastes positive associations that compensate?

    Most people find ancient Greek poetry baffling. It's all Greek. But some people learn Greek, and find some beautiful poems. On the other hand there are the guys who peer at grainy photos of the lunar surface until they can see alien artifacts. The only skill they've acquired is self-delusion.

    As long as the objective superpowers promised by hard Scientology are off the table, every discussion I've ever heard about soft Scientology has been futile. For every argument of the form, "Soft Scientology must be crap because it has property X," I can think of something else which has property X, but is not crap at all. And for every argument of the form, "Soft Scientology must be great because it has property Y", I can think of something else which has property Y, but is crap.

    If the topic is hard Scientology, then the argument was over at, "Show me a motherfucking Clear." If the topic is soft Scientology, there is no argument, either way. I know how I feel. But there is no disputing about tastes. Let's just give up, already.
  19. oneonewasaracecar

    oneonewasaracecar Gold Meritorious Patron

    The problem I have with this is that I have seen the same pattern before.

    The Catholics claimed that the stars were peepholes into heaven so that we could be watched. Then Giordano Bruno came along and said these stars might be distant suns. He was burned at the stake. Later, as this became impossible to deny this anymore, the claims of catholicism got more and more vague.

    Hubbard made grand claims, was proven wrong and attacked his enemies. The claims became vague.

    The history of scientific progress is replete with stories of dialogues such as these.

    People really only care about religion when it can affect their life here. It has to wander into territory that is testable by science. The more vague and nebulous it becomes, the less useful, the less meaningful it becomes.

    Religious people don't really believe vague nebulous things. In my experience, the religious believe things that are tangible and testable but they argue about things that are vague and intangible because the things they truly believe in are indefensible and deep down they know it.

    That is certainly the case with Leon. He has not explained scientology at all. He has not made a single tangible claim on it's behalf. He surely believes scientology can do tangible things, otherwise, why would he care so much about it?
  20. Student of Trinity

    Student of Trinity Silver Meritorious Patron

    Frankly, I think your general assertions about religion and religious people are nonsense. Billions of human beings are religious. They're of all kinds. I'm a pretty traditional Christian myself — not a young-Earth-creationist Biblical literalist by any means, but a pretty average Anglican. I don't believe I fit the pattern you describe, and I don't believe I'm so unusual. In particular, my experience from knowing a lot of religious people quite well is that their beliefs about objectively tangible things are not really very relevant to them. Not infrequently they believe silly things about the actual world, or have poor understandings of their own faith's actual doctrines, because those things really don't matter that much in most people's lives. It's the outwardly intangible but inwardly real and important things, like courage versus depression or risk versus security, that make up most of people's religious experience.

    Except in the literal sense of 'physically touchable', 'tangible' is not itself an objective property. Free jazz aficionados can be really passionate about something that I just don't get at all, and a mathematician can talk for hours about stuff that means nothing at all to most people. To the insiders, the experiences that others miss completely can be very real.