This began as my promised response to Tom Martiniano’s Op Ed that was posted on this blog on January 22. It expanded into a mission statement of sorts given intervening events.
Before I take up particulars of the Op Ed, I want to establish a foundation.
First, I believe that L Ron Hubbard developed a workable spiritual-based psychotherapy that when applied as prescribed – according to its axioms and fundamental laws – routinely produces a well and happy, self-determined, unrepressed being. Since leaving the church of Scientology I have applied that exact path to three individuals – from knowing little to nothing of Hubbard or Scientology to the state of Clear (quite in addition to hundreds of hours of auditing at all levels of the Bridge). Doing so outside structured, policy-controlled Scientology is far less complicated. There is little need for listing and nulling, extensive correction lists and the like because there is none of the sundry evaluation (under the justification of ‘ethics’, ‘pts/sp handling’, ‘justice’, or other organizational concerns) that inevitably enters when the process is complicated by later policies, and even tech, that stray from and contradict the laws and axioms which make auditing, and the Bridge, work. I have objective and subjective reality on the workability of Hubbard’s technology.
Second, by his own admission L. Ron Hubbard could not have, and would not have, discovered that well taped path had it not been for centuries of free thinkers who came before him, most notably Sigmund Freud, Alfred Korzybski, Lao Tzu and Siddhartha Gautama. I believe that Viktor Frankl’s treatment of Freud would have served Scientology’s future far better than the wholesale condemnation (read denial) that was later visited upon him and everyone ever influenced by him. In the early fifties Frankl acknowledged Freud much as Hubbard originally did, noting that he was the first to look into the mind and show us that it could be done. Frankl also acknowledged that Freud – like himself, Hubbard, and the rest of us – are influenced at least in some measure by the times in which we live. Thus, he reasoned, one should not dismiss Freud wholesale because he, growing up in Victorian Vienna, was wrong that everything could be answered by one’s sexual hang ups. By the same token he noted that it is just as shortsighted and stupid for us not to recognize Freud’s limitations. To give credit where credit is due, he concluded that if he (Frankl) were able to see a little bit farther over the horizon than Freud it was because he was a mere midget standing on the shoulders of a giant. If Scientology continued to acknowledge its once acknowledged legacy, there would be far less fuss (read impossibility to the world outside of the Scientology cult) about acknowledging Hubbard’s contributions and legacy. There would also be a far deeper understanding available to students and practitioners of Scientology of that which they study and practice. Further, I agree with Hubbard when he once freely admitted that had he not discovered the path he did, someone else ultimately would have. I believe he limited future discovery beyond his horizons by later claiming his discoveries were not inevitable by the cultural evolution of humankind and his contributions to it, but instead were due to some mythic quality of his own cosmic character.
Third, because I have successfully understood and applied the technology of L. Ron Hubbard to intended result, over and over again, both in the church of Scientology and out while under intense attack by the same entity, I have earned the right to have my own opinions on the subject – as have others. Hubbard himself acknowledged that right in the first lecture he delivered on the subject of how to study, Studying – Introduction, 18 June 1964. If others do not have that same level of certainty of application and result I can understand their steadfast unwillingness to think with and discourse on the subject. But, to attempt to dissuade those who have – and to condemn them with belittling labels and false accusations about their alleged history – signifies a weak certainty on the subject in my opinion, and is anathema to the notion of broadening one’s horizons and is suppressive to the exercise of the one ability Scientology has always promised to deliver, knowing how to know. As will be made clear as we proceed, I would be very wary about putting a loved one’s spiritual destiny into the hands of such folk.
Fourth, with respect to philosophy, I believe that the understanding and level of application of Scientology I have demonstrated, over and over as above, helped to render me – and others – capable of the activity of philosophizing. I happen to believe Hubbard had it right when he stated in the Philadelphia Doctorate Course:
I hope no man ever falls into that trap because it blocked human thought and human progress. Philosophy became completely abandoned as a subject…and even at this moment they still give a Doctor of Philosophy degree in universities which demands only this of the student: that he know what philosophers have said. Now, that is incredible. If you had a Doctor of Philosophy, you would expect that Doctor of Philosophy to be able to philosophize. The professors of those courses would just be shocked beyond shock if you dared come in and infer that the end and goal of their students should be the production of philosophy. No sir, that’s how you keep a society static.
…Scientology will decline, and become useless to man, on the day when it becomes the master of thinking…
I believe that volumes of subsequent technical and policy writings of Hubbard put it into the minds of Scientologists that the above no longer held true. To the extent one believes that he or she is precluded from philosophizing, by the writings of Scientology, Scientology has become no better than what Hubbard accused modern university education (or psychiatry and psychology for that matter) of being for the philosopher. Continued adherence to such fears and beliefs will as Hubbard noted ‘keep a society static.’
Fifth, I believe that the primary reason Hubbard was close to a half-century before his time in discovering his workable psychotherapy was due to his starting with the presumption that beings are spirits, and not physical matter entities subject to scientific reductionism. Today, many people are engaged in ‘integral’ forms of spirituality and psychotherapy and some acknowledge that in order to achieve success in either requires the practice of both. In accordance with Hubbard’s above-noted prophesy, deep study in these fields has convinced me that within years Hubbard’s route will be discovered quite separate and apart from his own discoveries. The reason it will be ‘quite separate and apart’ from Hubbard’s discoveries is that by his own firm policies the entities he created to disseminate his ideas are known for one thing above anything else. That is, that if someone attempts to practice and explore Hubbard’s ideas outside of their narrow-minded control, or criticize them in any forum, that someone is subject to being destroyed utterly if possible. It is a difficult row to hoe getting integral philosophers and practitioners to listen to anything emanating from Hubbard due to the hazards attendant with doing so. My mission to date has been to attempt to accelerate the ability of mankind to better its own lot by recognizing and applying some of the ideas of L. Ron Hubbard. I have held the idea that an “Independent Scientologist” movement might contribute to that effort to raise the world’s collective understanding. I am convinced that to the extent its members preach blind adherence to Hubbard and wholesale dismissal of the ideas of others (particularly of those upon whom L. Ron Hubbard chiefly relied upon in developing his own technology) the Independent Scientologist movement may become more of an impediment than a facilitator.
Having established my foundation, I will specifically address Tom Martiniano’s Op Ed piece, which clearly represents the wholehearted views of a number of Independent Scientologists:
Some say that LRH is not the only technology that there is, nor is his philosophy the only one that works and that following his technology or values only is being blind or being robotic. That’s fair and in theory is a solid viewpoint, but in practice it is fatal.
Fatalism, and the installation of fear, is the demise of any ‘technology.’ In fact, by definition, to claim and instill the idea that there is no other possible route takes one right out of the realms of ‘technology’, science, and even rationality. It goes against the very workable technology – term used advisedly – that L. Ron Hubbard developed on how to study or learn.
Once an injunction is laid down that it is ‘fatal’ or even detrimental to look outside the parameters of what another has said – be it a wise man, Hubbard or God herself – you have stripped a person of self-determinism and freedom to think. To think with, attempt to integrate ideas with evolving thought and technology, and foremost to discourse philosophically in terms evolving thinkers are developing are means by which humankind advances.
Hubbard himself once noted that if something is done in the pursuit of understanding it contains no liability (paraphrased as I don’t feel constrained to have to do lengthy searches to find quotations in order to think and discourse). That axiom has served me well, and hopefully will continue to do so.
Realize that ANY attempt to write against L Ron Hubbard is an attempt to destroy that which frees mankind from their traps.
First, one ought to define what constitutes ‘against’. It implies – and literally means according to at least some of the more hard core supporters of Tom’s position – contrary to any idea of Hubbard. I contend that if you use this as a standard, you have instituted the process of ‘thought-stopping’ and have rendered yourself a less bright, intelligent and enlightened being than you were before you adopted that standard. You are certainly free to do so – but once you have, you have left the realm of the pursuit of truth and entered the ranks of fundamentalist religionists. We have seen as much in recent days on this blog. I asked people to consider where one draws the line on literal compliance to L. Ron Hubbard’s policy writings, and in return I am treated as an enemy. When you go there, there is absolutely no difference between what you have done with your own thought process than what a fundamentalist Christian or radical Muslim has done with his or hers. The only possible counter argument to this is that L. Ron Hubbard is different than Jesus Christ, God of the Old Testament, and Allah. In fact, that is precisely what Tom’s piece promotes. Such an argument will be about as effective in the world as those that the fundamentalist Christian and Muslim advance to one another. Such absolutist thinking ultimately leads to persuasion by force and violence. The best chance for forwarding that position – as destructive as it is – would be by zealous support of the church of Scientology and its supreme leader David Miscavige.
Is Scientology the only route out? Yes. It is the only applied philosophy that has the OT sections (which were removed from the bridge by David Miscavige).
Here is the demarcation point where Scientology bumps into the glass ceiling limitations imposed by firmly held religious belief. But I can’t address this fully in a forum with such a limited attention span as this. I foreshadowed some of it in my book What Is Wrong With Scientology? I invited discourse on it. Those most violently in disagreement with it chose not to discourse, but instead to run a quiet, back channels ‘he’s not with Ron’ campaign. This topic will be explored in far more detail in books coming out later this year. In the meantime, look at the logic of the above statement. It is precisely the same logic repressive clerics and politicians used to suppress the truth that the earth rotated around the sun for centuries. The ‘logic’ went that if the earth were not portrayed as the center of the universe, holy scripture would be invalidated. The ‘only route out’ became continuing ignorance (anyone trained on Grade IV technology knows what that statement constitutes). Incidentally, the parenthetical comment about David Miscavige is about as anti-KSW as they come – L. Ron Hubbard never issued, nor prescribed any OT Level above OT VIII. The group agreement interpretation of what Tom has evidently accepted as the L. Ron Hubbard real OT Levels may well afford some case gain of some sort to followers, but to pass them off as the L. Ron Hubbard OT Levels above VIII is specious. It is rather peculiar for a guy condemning people who don’t march lock step to every word of Hubbard to be adopting and preaching such arbitraries. It is like a kettle accusing the pot of being black.
Yes, you can read the Tao or read Buddha and so forth, but you would have to sort out a lot of wheat from a lot of chaff to get to Nirvana.
This is a straw dog argument contention. I have never suggested, nor even hinted, that anyone should read the Tao or the Buddha in order to reach ‘Nirvana.’ I do contend, however, that remaining beholden, lock step, to the writings of Scientology – exclusive of any study outside of it – condemns an individual to ultimate misery, not only for himself but those he or she is intimately connected to. That is partly because he or she will be denied the one lesson both Lao Tzu and Siddhartha Gautama taught that by omission puts a glass ceiling on Scientology. That lesson can be summed up in two words, though it takes a lot more than mere recital of them to learn it – Let Go.
The Scientologist hallmarks of arrogance, aloofness, meddlesomeness, pedanticism and strained intensity are not an accident. They are inbred by scripture. Ironically, the technology that perhaps better than any other can make the Way of Lao Tzu and the Buddha practically attainable winds up making that attainment impossible, by the implanted spiritual mechanism of ‘clinging’, ‘holding on’, or ‘mocking up’, in short, the inability to ‘let go.’ Lao Tzu and the Buddha and the Dali Lama, for that matter, have important things to say that beautifully complement Scientology. But, one could never see that if he or she vowed to follow the next bit of advice.
Should someone follow L Ron Hubbard blindly? I would say so because it would be better than stumbling around blindly for the rest of your existence.
Be my guest. That is your religious right. I fought for your ability to exercise it for the past thirty-five years. And I’ll likely go on doing so till this vessel returns to the clay.
But, do not attempt to pass it off as anything other than religious belief.
And do not expect that such think and practice will popularize the ideas of L. Ron Hubbard and lead to more broad scale study of them. The world is evolving. Doomsday threats, fear tactics, and commands do not gain much traction in this day and age. At least not in the direction of educating, enlightening and alleviating the problems people face.
I do not wish to unsettle the beliefs that people hold if they wish to remain in the static comfort of their Scientology beliefs. Those beliefs are just as valid, and protected constitutionally, as more traditional, accepted faiths. You may find some level of solace in the validation of those beliefs on this blog. But, the theme of this forum is just as its title says, Moving On Up A Little Higher. So along with the validation will always come questioning and exploring and the attempts to broaden horizons and transcend. So, if you wish to remain in the static comfort of your belief system, I suggest you not visit here. It could be unsettling for you.
I have been accused by at least one ‘Independent Scientologist’ as not being ‘with Ron’ for espousing such views as I have here. I beg to differ. Attempting to command compliance with Ron’s ideas by blind faith, or anything resembling that methodology – whether Ron commanded such a course of action in moments of distemper or supreme, transcendent wisdom – is about the greatest disservice one could do to the propagation of his workable ideas.
I still believe Scientologists (of whatever stripe) have to make these choices: integrate or disintegrate, evolve or dissolve, transcend or descend. Blame, irrespective of how you dress it up and dish it, won’t make those crossroads disappear. Blame will take you nowhere but to victimhood.