Category Archives: training

Myth, Mysticism and Insight

 

In The Tao Of Physics, Fritjof Capra makes some interesting observations on the subject of myth in mysticism and what those of insight come to understand about such.   I had as much in mind when I wrote of constructs in the book ‘What Is Wrong With Scientology?’,  but clearly did not articulate it nearly as well.

“Indian mysticism, and Hinduism in particular, clothes its statements in the form of myths, using metaphors and symbols, poetic images, similes and allegories.  Mythical language is much less restricted by logic and common sense. It is full of magic and paradoxical situations, rich in suggestive images and never precise, and can thus convey the way in which mystics experience reality much better than factual language.  According to Ananda Coomaraswamy, ‘myth embodies the nearest approach to absolute truth that can be stated in words.’

“The rich Indian imagination has created a vast number of gods and goddesses whose incarnations and exploits are the subject of fantastic tales, collected in epics of huge dimensions.  The Hindu with deep insight knows that all these gods are creations of the mind, mythical images representing the many faces of reality. On the other hand, he or she also knows that they were not merely created to make the stories more attractive, but are essential vehicles to convey the doctrines of a philosophy rooted in mystical experience.”

If there is truth to this, what does one make of the understandings or motivations of those who insist upon literal conceptualizations of imaginative religious mythology?   Are they of deep insight themselves?  Are they actively preventing others from developing or attaining deep insight?   You might have experienced some of the cognitive dissonance (or analytical and/or intuitive enturbulance) that is concomitant with inculcation of fantastic mythologies, not as part of an acknowledged ‘mystical experience’ but instead as cold, hard, unquestionable fact.  Or perhaps you are comfortable with the security that comes with faith and belief in mythology.

Trained To Lie

The following issue was seized from church of Scientology files by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1977.  Since the eighties corporate Scientology has argued that it was unfair to talk about this issue because it was only ever held in practice in the Guardians Office (GO), which David Miscavige allegedly disbanded.

The Guardians Office Issue:

INTELLIGENCE SPECIALIST TRAINING ROUTINE – TR L

Purpose: To train the student to give a false statement with good TR-1. To train the student to outflow false data effectively.

Position: Same as TR-1.

Commands: Part 1 “Tell me a lie”. Command given by coach. Part 2 interview type 2 WC by coach.

Training Stress: In Part 1 coach gives command, student originates a falsehood. Coach flunks for out TR 1 or TR 0. In Part 2 coach asks questions of the student on his background or a subject. Student gives untrue data of a plausible sort that the student backs up with further explanatory data upon the coach asking further questions. The coach flunks for out TR 0 and TR 1, and for student fumbling on question answers. The student should be coached on a gradient until he/she can lie facilely.

Short example:

Coach: Where do you come from?

Student: I come from the Housewives Committee on Drug Abuse.

Coach: But you said earlier that you were single.

Student: Well, actually I was married but am divorced. I have 2 kids in the suburbs where I am a housewife, in fact I’m a member of the P.T.A.

Coach: What town is it that you live in?

Student: West Brighton.

Coach: But there is no public school in West Brighton.

Student: I know, I send my children to school in Brighton, and that’s where I’m a P.T.A. member.

Coach: Oh, and who is the Chairman there?

etc.

Clearly, the drill is intended to produce convincing, professional liars.

Flash forward to 2013.   David Miscavige has stacked the very highest levels of Scientology Inc. with former Guardians Office personnel.

He disappeared his own wife and assistant Shelly, replacing her with Laurisse Henley-Smith Stuckenbrock, trained intelligence case office from Guardian’s Office Australia.

He appointed to President of RTC (Religious Technology Center) Warren McShane, intelligence trained Guardians Office case officer.  He told Warren to his face in my presence on more than one occasion that the only reason he continued to retain Warren was his lying ability; he needed an accomplished liar to front for him when it came to depositions seeking to break the wall of secrecy surrounding Miscavige’s hands on involvement with unlawful operations.

He appointed as head of the Office of Special Affairs (the body purportedly created to replace the GO with something more law-abiding) Linda Hamel, former high-level US Guardians Office intelligence case officer.

He appointed as head of the OSA Intelligence covert operations Neil O’Riley, former Guardians Office intelligence case officer.

He appointed as head of OSA Legal bureau Allan Cartwright, former Guardians Office operative.

There is ample recent indication that Scientology’s third generation – those second and third Scientology generation young people being raised to worship David Miscavige – are being groomed to be liars the likes of which put the old Guardians Office folks to shame.

Given RTC’s and CSI’s record of mendacity and given that virtually everyone on the chain of command between David Miscavige and the outside world are trained Guardians Office operatives, perhaps Training Routine – TR L ought to receive renewed circulation and discussion.

The Scientology ‘Why’ Trap

“We’re in a society that is so psychology-ridden that it’s almost hobbled with ‘why did I do that and this and that?’  Although psychology has a powerful cleansing function, like any method it can become a trap, and it’s trapped many of us in the West. But the more we act from the heart, from that deep intuitional space, the less the spinning of the mind will interfere.  The more awareness with which we do something, the more heart we act on, the more that self-acceptance will allow us to trust those acts.”

-          from A Gradual Awakening by Stephen Levine

That is a very apt and insightful statement that, while not attempting to, precisely describes what might most be wrong with Scientology.  I have in the past noted the ingrained proclivity in Scientologists to practice excessive judgmentalism on others.  For example, see Sitting In Judgment.                           .

Perhaps the ‘why’ trap of the Scientology pop psychology scheme will be more apparent by viewing it on flow 0 – that is, what one does to oneself.  Please take a moment to review this.   Have you been saddled with the habit of asking yourself, or possibly seeking the answer from your auditor or the organization or even Ron,  ‘why did I do that and this and that?’  A valid target of psychology or psychotherapy, but as noted by Levine, up to a point.

If so, I believe it would behoove you to learn a bit about the crippling nature of aristotelian two-valued logic thought.   A great place to start is the first several chapters of a book called The End of Suffering by Russell Targ and J.J. Hurtak.  You will learn the uncredited provenance of Scientology’s purported ‘infinity logic’; which has been with us for millennia prior to Scientology.  For a deeper appreciation of, and thus potentially greater freedom from, the two-valued logic trap, the first few chapters of The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra will give you the history of how we in the West came to take two-valued logic for granted as a way of life.  A review of both books just might help you break that vicious cycle, should you find it present.

Recently, I summed up in one sentence what I have evolved toward doing with former Scientologists, ‘connecting some dots so that they can see that the only thing that is wrong with them is the ingrained belief that there always has to be something wrong with them.’

Scientology: Hypnotism or Persuasion

Jefferson Hawkins began an insightful deconstruction of Scientology ethics in an interview with Tony Ortega at his Scientology Underground Bunker page.   I believe the techniques Jeff exposed had (have) broader application in the process that Scientology employs in implanting its constructs as hard-bound reality.  It is not limited to the indoctrination on ethics. I had noted this myself while spending several months of each day listening to a Hubbard lecture from the fifties and sixties.

In an early chapter of The Tao of Physics, Fritjof Capra gives an accurate and concise history of the evolution of logic and thought in the West and the East.  In doing so, he necessarily mentions virtually every significant philosopher who lived and wrote over the past couple millennia. I read that after the stint of listening to dozens of Hubbard lectures given over a two decade period.   Here is my contemporaneous margin note at the end of the chapter on evolution of thought in The Tao of Physics:

‘By this point (20th Century) in history, Hubbard has invalidated and laid to waste every great thinker who made possible and contributed to his way of thinking.’

One might recognize that Hubbard’s techniques of persuasion are used far and wide in today’s society.  In politics, in business, in advertising, in self-help, in religion, you name it.  Whether one wants to label it ‘hypnotism’ or ‘how to influence people’ or ‘persuasion’, it cannot be gainsaid that the  technique of indoctrination Jeff breaks down for us was employed throughout the history of Dianetics and Scientology.  And L. Ron Hubbard was a master of it application.

My Practice

My practice is grounded in client-centered education techniques.  That is not because I sought to duplicate them.  Instead, I recently came to learn that the way I coach and counsel toward recovery and graduation from Scientology was discovered and written about long before I was born.  Reading of it helped me to improve what I was already doing.  Carl Rogers covered this approach in his book, On Becoming a Person, explaining how educational techniques logically evolve out of client-centered therapy.

That I gravitated in this direction during my own recovery and graduation should be no surprise, given the authoritarian, religious discipline all Scientologists studied under for so many years.  The client-centered approach is tailored to consulting the understanding of the client or student.  In that regard, it radically differs from Hubbard’s training approach that was memorialized as follows:

If you can’t graduate them with their good sense appealed to and their wisdom shining, graduate them in such a state of shock they’ll have nightmares if they contemplate squirreling (defined as departing one iota from the letter of what is taught).  – L. Ron Hubbard, Keeping Scientology Working

That learning philosophy was explained further in Hubbard’s highest level instructions (Class VIII course) wherein he told the most advanced Scientologists that humanity was incapable of being appealed to through understanding; and so, instead, it was their duty to command people and make them ‘obey.’   (See Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior, Amazon Books 2012)

Irrespective of the fact that much of the technology such methods sought to impart was geared towards bringing a person to self-determined understandings, that system of indoctrination ultimately implants fixed, subjective ideas about living, God and ultimate spiritual concerns.  At the end of the day, the methods place a glass ceiling on growth (in fact create regression) by means of enforced belief that curiosity and thirst for continuing education inherently stem from aberration.

It may well be that I was also influenced in the client-centered approach through my own earlier education, some of which was influenced by, or was even attempting to experiment in, Roger’s educational recommendations.  The middle school I attended was a fail-pass (no grade), choice of curriculum, self-scheduling format with emphasis on consulting students’ interests.  I also attended a semester of similar organization at University of California Santa Cruz.  I never knew until I read Rogers where these ideas came from.  Perhaps my Scientology study contributed to this leaning too, since I have noted in the post On Becoming A Person, Scientology’s central practice (auditing) is a modified, structuralized form of Rogerian client-centered therapy.  No matter what led to which along this road, it is interesting to note how what gets around comes around.

Having studied all of Scientology and a great deal on the subjects that led to its development (including their continued evolution while Scientology has remained static), a simple, workable rule of thumb has materialized for me.  That is, the degree to which Scientology departs from its client-centered philosophical and technical roots is proportional to the degree it harms rather than helps.  This in large part has become evident to me in helping people who were disappointed with their Scientology experience over the past five years.  Almost to a one, somewhere along the line each individual’s intent and purpose for engaging in Scientology in the first place were tampered with, rejected and replaced entirely by imposed intents and purposes.

Somewhere along the line in the Scientology experience the magic of the technology – each of its efficacious results marked by its adherence to its client-centered philosophic roots – is replaced by inculcation of the client rather than consultation and service of his or her needs, wants, aspirations and purposes.  Those goals do, and ought to if a positive evolution of awareness and ability is being achieved, change along the road.   But evolution in Scientology is geared solely toward achievement of goals that do not involve the client’s participation in establishing, except to the extent means are employed to obtain the client’s agreement to pursue them.  The attainment of those implanted goals turns out to be purely subjective – no matter how clothed in science its claims and promises are presented.   An objective examination of the result of those who pursue the implanted goals to their ends – no matter how convincing its achievers may be in professing their alleged subjective feelings of happiness, power, ability and bliss of self-actualization – proves their actions often betray their vigorous assertions of equanimity.  For the most part they have turned their own self-determinism (the restoration of which is promised) over lock, stock and barrel to their teacher (See What Is Wrong With Scientology, Amazon Books 2012).  They will lie, steal, and cheat for their religion without a twinge of conscience – all while attempting to exude a vibrant, open, extroverted appearance. Thus, they cannot be trusted by ordinary mortals, not even by their mothers, fathers or even their children. In any values computation, their religion trumps conscience.  And thus the price of the ultimate ring in Scientology is the forfeiture of one’s conscience.

That result is patently evident from counseling a number of people who have completed much of, or all of, the Scientology route both inside and outside of Scientology.  To a one, of those who graduated and moved on, their departures from Scientology were occasioned by their consciences failing to succumb to Scientology demands that they be forfeited.  To a one, of the dozens I have counseled.  The top Scientology achievers who remain, who forfeit their consciences to achieve (or at least assert) the ultimate super human powers Scientology promises, are in the somewhat schizophrenic condition of apparently being as happy as hell but in fact having nowhere to go. The result is continued, slavish adherence to the goals and programs of an organization that – by the time it has ceased delivering client-centered techniques – offers no purpose beyond self-perpetuation and world dominance.  The resultant super-amped adherent’s course is described well by Abraham Maslow, as apparently a common result of many paths that lose sight of client-centered principles:

The better we know which ends we want, the easier it is for us to create truly efficient means to those ends.  If we are not clear about those ends, or deny there are any, then we are doomed to confusion of instruments.  We can’t speak about efficiency unless we know efficiency for what.  (I want to quote again the veritable symbol of our times, the test pilot who radioed back, ‘I’m lost, but I’m making record time.’)

Client-centered education begins with finding out where the interests and purposes of the student (client) lie.  One encourages open communication in that discovery process.  Viktor Frankl’s work Man’s Search For Meaning is helpful in that regard.  Knowing the individual before you proceed is essential in working to recover and strengthen that person’s determinism.  Omitting this step tends to usurp determinism.  One doesn’t rehabilitate and enhance the faculty of determinism by indoctrination that conflicts with the client’s interests and purposes.  For example, one does not force a student who is inspired by, inclined toward – and thus usually gifted in some way – the arts to become an arms manufacturing specialist.  Similarly, one would not attempt to enforce upon a person seeking spiritual awakening the behavior and habits of a para-military religious zealot.

A client-centered educator does not preach and teach as much as find out and only then guide. He puts more emphasis on assisting an individual in finding and following his own purposes and interests.  He then does what he can to help the person move along that chosen path with the best possible chances for success. He acts more as a facilitator than an instructor.  He operates more of a resources center than a rigid curriculum school.

I have been asked, and challenged, to publish the specific route I recommend several times.  I have tried to do that.  But, each time in the process I find myself thinking of particular individual whom I have assisted in the past and recognize that a given reference for that person would not be of interest or applicable to another individual I had worked with.  No two paths are exactly the same.   I have learned through life that to the extent one tries to convince you otherwise that person is trying to lead you to where he wants you to go – irrespective of how eloquently he might convincingly represent otherwise. To the extent one attempts to enforce one way for all, one deviates from the client-centered approach – and some other interest or evaluation is entered into the equation for someone to whom it may not apply or serve any salutary purpose.

There are a number of recommendations I have made in the recommended reading section of the blog that I find myself recommending over and over again to people.   For the most part those are applicable to the Scientology decompression and contextualization process, and lead toward freeing one from Scientology’s injunctions against exercise of conscience and awareness.  Most of them were chosen because of their effectiveness in expanding people’s intellectual and spiritual horizons after years or decades of having those horizons treated as forbidden terrain.

I am working on a book that will make many more recommendations for those seeking to move up the Scientology Bridge in an integral fashion (non-cult, integrated approach), and another for those seeking to move up from and beyond the Scientology Bridge.  In the meantime, I strongly recommend that those embarking on the Scientology path – whether in the church or out – read  What Is Wrong With Scientology?, before doing so.  It will help you avoid the pitfalls inherent in the system.

Dean of Technology

The following is an excerpt from the book Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior.  I am interested to know whether anyone else ever had an encounter with a nut job bestowed with Scientology high priest status.  If so, did you ever wonder how that could be given the representations made in policy letter Keeping Scientology Working?  You think John and his like were not handled ruthlessly enough in their training?  You think ruthlessness was given such a positive emphasis that thugs like him were encouraged?

From Chapter Nine:

I was also to be on training courses five hour a day, in the staff course room.  There I met the head of staff training and auditing, John Colleto.

Colleto was a Class VIII auditor – a very advanced level of auditor training and, presumably, skill. Attaining this level included the right for Colleto to use the title “Dean of Technology.” The fact that Pubs staff were under the care of such a highly trained Scientologist was a big part of Billy Kahn’s recruitment pitch. Despite the hype and his lofty title, John turned out to be a dull, serious, bored, overweight, bespectacled man in his late twenties. For someone who was supposed to have attained the higher levels of training and spirituality in Scientology, he struck me as a pretty troubled individual.

My assigned study period meant I’d be alone for five hours each day under Colleto’s supervision. He showed me no warmth – in fact, what I often got instead was disdain.

The texts for my courses consisted of organizational policy letters and directives, written over a span of many years. They were full of Scientology organizational jargon, which made study a grinding task. Adding to the difficulty was the fact that the jargon itself had evolved over time, so that writings from different periods had different terminology. Sometimes my only hope for making sense of what I read was to ask Colleto for clarifications. But it seemed whenever I asked his help, he would take the opportunity to leave me feeling stupid. I began to withdraw into myself and just try to grind it out alone.

During study time one day, I began dozing off. “Wake up,” snapped Colleto.

“I must have gone by a word I didn’t get,” I said, referring to the principle from Hubbard’s study technology that when someone passes a misunderstood word, they can become foggy or dope off.

Instead of helping me find what word I didn’t understand (as course supervisors are trained to do), Colleto pulled out the Scientology Technical Dictionary.  Opening the book, he showed me the definition of “implant” – a technical term from auditing technology, meaning “a painful and forceful means of overwhelming a being with artificial purposes or false concepts, in a malicious attempt to control and suppress him.”

I thought I understood Colleto’s point. In Scientology auditing, one recalls moments of pain and unconsciousness from his past, reviewing them until they are discharged of the mental energy they contain, and their destructive mental and spiritual effects. By reviewing and relieving enough such incidents, the state of Clear can eventually be reached.

“Yeah, I get it. I suppose these implants can come up during one’s auditing.”

“They do come up. Everybody has them. How many do you think you might have?”

“I don’t know. I haven’t had any auditing. So I suppose I’ll find out I have a few.”

Leaning across the table and fixing me with an icy stare, just inches from my face, Colleto said, “Try a few million.”  At that he got up, went back to his desk, picked up some papers and started reading

On Becoming A Person

To the degree that Scientology – or any other mental/spiritual practice – affords a person the opportunity and ability to safely view his life and mind and communicate his observations and conclusions with no hint or possibility of evaluation, invalidation or repercussion, it is a positive methodology for assisting a person to increase awareness and ability.

To the degree that Scientology – or any other mental/spiritual practice – departs from that formula it is a practice potentially destructive of awareness and ability.

Means by which Scientology adheres to and departs from this workable formula are covered in the books What Is Wrong With Scientology? Healing Through Understanding (Amazon Books, 2012) and Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior (Amazon Books, 2013).

Other means by which Scientology routinely, and as a matter of policy, departs from its own workable formula:

  1. Requiring membership in Scientology accompanied by the label and assumption of the personality traits of Scientologist.
  2. Issuance and enforcement of codes of conduct for Scientologists to guide and control their behavior.
  3. The invalidation of gains that people assert they have attained through practices other than Scientology.
  4. Indoctrinating people in detail what incidents they should address and what events lie on their own experiential tracks.
  5. Appealing to fear in order to persuade or coerce people to engage in or continue Scientology practices.

To the extent any purported Scientology practitioner engages in any of these departures, I recommend people steer clear of them.  To the degree they do participate in them is the degree to which they will ultimately contribute to a decrease in your awareness and ability.   These departures may indicate either of the following in the practitioner: a) a lack of understanding of the mechanics of what makes witnessing (including Scientology auditing) a therapeutic activity, and/or b) their own unhandled subjugation to any or all of 1-5.

The fundamental two-way communication process that all Scientology processing derives its workability from existed before L. Ron Hubbard ever wrote a word on the subject of the mind.  It would behoove Scientology auditors to study of it.  A great place to start would be On Becoming a Person by Carl R. Rogers (Houghton Mifflin, 1961).  One of Ron Hubbard’s greatest contributions to the improvement of  mind and spirit was simplifying the codification of such principles thus opening the process of self-actualization to far more people.  Unfortunately, as his group evolved much of that contribution was lost as Scientology became more mass-production oriented, expensive, exclusive, and cult-like.  The training of practitioners became progressively more assembly-line like.  On the one hand that helped to thoroughly drive home some workable skills while on the other hand it omitted a more contemplative, intellectual appreciation for the mechanics at work and the responsibilities incident to such practice.

Many veteran auditors reacted with some surprise when I noted the vital importance of the First Act (the one paragraph contemplation exercise an auditor is advised to engage in so as to have his own head right in order to audit, from Advance Procedures and Axioms) in What Is Wrong With Scientology?  Some noted that there was next to no emphasis placed on that in their auditor training.  That may well be.  But, the book (AP & A) is part of the auditor training line up.  I would suggest that the fact that a single paragraph is devoted to the issue is a flaw in the Scientology line up.  On Becoming A Person is a four-hundred page treatise on the First Act – relating it to every aspect of the actual auditing (or generic, counseling) process.  I believe that an auditor ought to study the book so that he fully appreciates why and how auditing works; and why and how an auditor must become the being (not simply ‘assume the beingness’) that naturally (not mechanically) duplicates, understands, accepts, and fully acknowledges (not with a mere ‘good’, ‘thank you’, ‘I got that’), all while genuinely – and unreservedly – intending the client to regain his or her genuine self and his or her determinism.

It cannot be gainsaid that Scientology is rife with datums, dictates, rules, and policies that detract from this pure, undiluted intention and being.  It therefore would behoove anyone trained in that discipline to read and contemplate On Becoming a Person so as to orient himself to what actually creates gains for an individual, and how the slightest departure from it spoils the process, any process.

Even if you are not an auditor or training to become one, I recommend On Becoming A Person.  It is all about becoming a better person, more of who one really is.