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Scientology "magic"

Discussion in 'Evaluating and Criticising Scientology' started by Kimball Hawkins, Feb 9, 2008.

  1. I was annoyed when I was in, and amused now that I'm out, with Scientologists' belief in "Hubbard magic".

    Not the whole "magic" stuff from Hubbard's early years, I'm talking about how Hubbard had "that OT touch".

    Scientologists believe that all you have to do is get someone to read anything that Hubbard wrote, and they would immediately, and magically, "see the light" and take up Scientology. Even Hubbard's fiction. Even when it wasn't signed by Hubbard. Not only doesn't this make any sense, there is absolutely no evidence this has ever worked. But they still sincerely believe it!

    When I was at AOLA, I remember they used to do "Money Processing" on the staff when income was low. Magic. No reason for it to work. No evidence it ever did anything, but they still believed and did it!

    In the upcoming protest, Scientologists will undoubtedly yell "What are your crimes!" More magic. Is this supposed to do anything? Well Hubbard imbued this command with "magic" so Scientologists know this is a deadly weapon. They believe.
  2. lionheart

    lionheart Gold Meritorious Patron

    It is Scientologist's belief in Hubbard's words that keeps them fixed in his losing ways.
  3. Veda

    Veda Sponsor

    "Your writing has a deep hypnotic effect on people, and they are always pleased with what you write." L. Ron Hubbard, 1946, from the 'Affirmations'.
  4. Hanover Fist

    Hanover Fist Patron with Honors

    As someone mentioned in another thread, I love sci-fi; always have. As a result I read a number of Hubbard's books when I was younger. First one was Battlefield Earth when I was in middle school. I have always been a sucker for post-apocalyptic fiction and that is why I picked up the book. I have always been the type that will finish a book, even if I don't like it, just because. Not finishing a book is like not finishing a sneeze.

    Anyhow, I was shocked at how two dimensional his characters were and how simplistic the plot elements were. How could someone say so little in so MANY pages. It has been about 20 years since I read it, but I remember thinking "How could someone like Terl rise to power when he is so obviously dimwitted and preoccupied with blackmail (leverage)." And I don't remember the name of the clubfooted guy who hated Johnny "Goodboy" Tyler (what a stupid name), but he was a joke of a character. Not only is he twisted in mind, his body is twited TOO! WOW! Now that's what I call writing. :eyeroll:

    I also read the Mission Earth series (I know, I know. It was a complete waste of time. I was a kid; I didn't know any better.). I had the same feeling. Thin characters, thin plot, and it ultimately went nowhere.

    It was not until I got older and learned more about his 'religion' that I realized these were simply thinly veiled attempts to get his 'philosophy' across to an audience that may never set foot in a CoS. That went a long way to explaining why his stories were so bad. I just still don't understand why they had to be so long.

    Then I read Inferno by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. They give Hubbard his own special place in hell with the Sowers of Discord:

    At one end was most of what I took for a trilobite. The head of the trilobite was a gristly primitive fish. Its head was the torso of a bony fish...and so on up the line, [...] finally a true man. None of the beasts had full hindquarters except the trilobite; none had a head except the man. The whole thing crawled along on flopping fish-torsos and forelegs and hands, a tremendous unmatched centipede. The human face seemed quite mad.

    A sword-weilding demon is chopping him up into his evolutionary bits and explaining to the main character:

    He founded a religion that masks as a form of lay psychiatry. Members try to recall previous lives in their presumed animal ancestry. They also recall their own pastives... and that adds an interesting blackmail angle, because those who hear confession are often more dedicated than honorable.

    Good stuff.

    Hanover Fist
  5. Zinjifar

    Zinjifar Silver Meritorious Sponsor

    I read BE and ME long after I was already exposed to Ron's 'non-fiction' and had a pretty good idea of what to expect. I wasn't disappointed :) Ron had no sense of plot at all and character development was about as successful as the 'Dick and Jane' books.

    Just long tiresome deus-ex-machina from page to page with the sometimes frantic scramble to coordinate later absurdities with earlier absurdities offering the only excitement.

    If you'd like Scientology *relevant* SF material try Norman Spinrad's 'The Mind Game' which is a very thinly veiled story about Hubbard and Scientology (before Xenu was known) or, not specifically Scn related, but relevant, try James Gunn's 'The Joy Makers' (which is also a great precursor to the 'Matrix' stuff).

    Naturally, there are more Scientology relevant SF stories than you can shake a neutron ray at :)

    And, you can't beat Heinlein's 'Revolt in 2100' either, as an explanation of the Mind Fuck.

  6. lionheart

    lionheart Gold Meritorious Patron

    A withering condemnation! :ohmy:

    When I was an auditor I used to believe I was honorable and while I was possibly more honorable than some, reading this excerpt ad reviewing my past, I have to shamefully admit that I did become more dedicated than honorable.

    I think this excerpt encapsulates the nub of the insideous danger of scientology.
  7. Voltaire's Child

    Voltaire's Child Fool on the Hill

    If you're reading that decology, I feel for you! It's pretty bad!!

    The ME/BE series is very bad.

    He did write some pretty good stuff, though. Fear isn't a bad one. It's one of his better one. He's not one of my favorite science fiction writers, "Fear" notwithstanding.

    Dianetics (and Scn) is supposed to be an alternative to and better than psychology or psychoanalysis. And in many respects, I think it does do better.

    But, no, the "presumed animal ancestry" is not what we address in session.

    CofS has been known to blackmail people with results of their pc folders. Most rank and file members do not believe this takes place as this is said to be against the auditor's code. (well, it is, but this gets flouted)
  8. Poofy

    Poofy Patron with Honors

    Psychoanalysis is a type of Psychology. I agree with you that it is made of fail. Like many of his contemporaries, Freud was obsessed with sex and dreams and made those an important part of Psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis also required the patient experience training (much like Scientology) to assist the Audi... I mean psychologist.

    In Psychoanalysis the patient would conduct a run down of his active mind in a stream-of-consciousness fashion. The Psychologist would analyze these thoughts and provide insights and conclusions drawn from them. (This differs from Auditors). The patient was made to self-discover his obsessions and work through them. (Similar to Scientology).

    These days psychology therapies, while still nothing more than non-scientific theories of mind, are are far more advanced and helpful. There is no longer the requirement for training of the patient; instead, the psychologist is trained in the many fields of theory (Multitheoretical Psychotherapy) and will adjust the treatment method to match what the patient best responds to.

    In conclusion, LRH had legitimate complaints and issues with the psychology of his time, but they no longer apply.
  9. Hanover Fist

    Hanover Fist Patron with Honors


    I think this bears repeating:

    You have guts and heart! :clap: Most in this world are not capable of that kind of introspection and admission alone. Yet you take it a step further and have returned to help those who are still 'in'. Your strength is an inspiration to me and I would imagine to hundreds, if not thousands more people, that can't or won't be able to tell you so publicly.

    Bravo. It is people like you that renew my faith in humanity. Thank you.

    Hanover Fist
  10. Voltaire's Child

    Voltaire's Child Fool on the Hill

    I think that even back mid twentieth century, psychology had some good points. It wasn't all icepicks. (actually, it wasn't icepicks at all, as that was neurology/psychosurgery and psychiatry. See my book review about The Lobotomist.) It wasn't all neglect and "snake pits". And I think now that there are some psychiatric and maybe even some psychology practices that aren't so good, and some that are.

    That doesn't negate Scn in my eyes at all. Thing is, I think there are many good things out there. I don't like to negate the accomplishments of others. And I don't believe in just sticking to Scn.

    Saying that Scn is effective doesn't take away from the AMA ratified mental health practices and their achievements. Nor does it take anything away from people who've studied and attained much in esoteric and religious disciplines outside Scn.

    But the inverse is also true, IMHO.
  11. Alanzo

    Alanzo Bardo Tulpa

    I commend you for reading that book, Fluffy.

    Way to go.
  12. Free to shine

    Free to shine Shiny & Free

    I second that!

    Lionheart's posts have helped me tremendously, especially how he explains "letting go". He presents reasoned arguments and brings a wealth of experience that helps those still trying to come to grips with the "bigger picture" of Scientology. And always with compassion and humour, despite the baiting. :clap: