Category Archives: Uncategorized

You May Be Right

The verdict is in from the anti-scientology community (ASC), Marty Rathbun is crazy.

You can read and hear all about it across several ASC forums.

I accept the diagnosis as it pertains to the scientology (pro and anti) universe.  Insanity is loosely defined as not seeing or accepting the world as it is generally seen and accepted by the majority of people.

I noted in one of my books that the most valuable thing I got from my scientology experience was the ability to disagree.  That is, freedom from the automatic subconscious acceptance of the way others might want me to see or think.  Today I value that faculty more than ever. Modern science has come to understand that people think in narratives.  They accept them and create them and then judge new experience and data against them – much of that narrative building occurring sub consciously.  I reject the anti-scientology narrative as being at least as inaccurate, exaggerated, partisan and hysterical as the official scientology narrative.  That rejection of the former in no way implies an endorsement of the latter.

I find ASC’s resort to the ‘he’s crazy’ defense/offense to be apropos for a perhaps-final teaching moment in this milieu. I will share it notwithstanding the wave of ‘he’s nuts’ that doing so will inevitably provoke.

Those who have observed me and my detractors for very long will recall that the church of scientology preceded ASC in invoking the insanity defense/offense against me.  Remember the words of the immortal Tommy Davis: “He’s a f____ing lunatic!” As truth slowly struggles to the surface as it sometimes is forced to do, I believe you will find that there were two reasons for the copycatting.

First, the folks running the ASC agenda and authoring its narrative (including the insanity defense/offense) are OSA (Office of Special Affairs) trained and bred.  They often boast of their OSA expertise.  One of them makes good money plying it; another dishes out good money lording it over people. They liberally use that acumen to attack those whom they brand as the attackers. They most spiritedly – overtly and covertly – attack the credibility of anyone who might spoil their pity party by spreading that horrible disinfectant called truth.

Second, the ASC agenda setters have not had an original thought sprout in their heads as long as I have known them (and that is a very long time).  They are and have been wholly unoriginal creatures of stimulus-response thought. I only say this after making extraordinary efforts with each to coax them to rise above such patterns – and only now that they’ve decided no good deed ought go unpunished.

And so, some of the conspiracy chatter on ESMB and Underground Bunker that OSA has infiltrated and seized the ASC conversation – requiring vigilant censorship measures by Tony Ortega and Madam ESMB – contains a grain of truth.

What remains to be seen is whether it is the old OSA or the new OSA and whether the former more effectively influences the latter or vice versa.  In either event, my guess is that the losers will be those who cling desperately to their rusting firearms (and narratives) failing to recognize that the war has been over for several years now.

Then again, both Scientology and ASC may be right, I may be crazy.

Has Your Mind Become Infected?

The following passage from The Four Agreements by Don Migel Ruiz was first published nearly twenty years ago. Consider the implications with the subsequent widespread proliferation of social media, online life, and “reality” culture.

Looking at everyday human interactions, imagine how many times we cast spells on each other with our word. Over time this interaction has become the worst form of black magic, and we call it gossip.

Gossip is black magic at its very worst because it is pure poison. We learned how to gossip by agreement.  When we were children, we heard the adults gossiping all the time, openly giving their opinions about other people. They even had opinions about people they didn’t know. Emotional poison was transferred along with the opinions, and we learned this as the normal way to communicate.

Gossiping has become the main form of communication in human society. It has become the way we feel close to each other, because it makes us feel better to see someone else feel as badly as we do. There is an old expression that says, ‘Misery likes company’, and people who are suffering in hell don’t want to be all alone. Fear and suffering are an important part of the dream of the planet; they are how the dream of the planet keeps us down.

Using the analogy of the human mind as a computer, gossip can be compared to a computer virus. A computer virus is a piece of computer language written in the same language all the other codes are written in, but with a harmful intent. This code is inserted into the program of your computer when you least expect it and most of the time without your awareness. After this code has been introduced, your computer doesn’t work quite right, or it doesn’t function at all because the codes get so mixed up with so many conflicting messages that it stops producing good results.

Human gossip works exactly the same way. For example, you are beginning a new class with a new teacher and you have looked forward to it for a long time. On the first day of class, you run into someone who took the class before, who tells you, ‘Oh that instructor was such a pompous jerk! He didn’t know what he was talking about, and he was a pervert too, so watch out!’

You are immediately imprinted with the word and the emotional code the person had when saying this, but what you are not aware of is his or her motivation in telling you. This person could be angry for failing the class or simply making an assumption based on fears and prejudices, but because you have learned to ingest information like a child, some part of you believes the gossip, and you go on to the class. As the teacher speaks, you feel the poison come up inside you and you don’t realize you see the teacher through the eyes of the person who gave you that gossip. Then you start talking to other people in the class about this, and they start to see the teacher in the same way: as a jerk and a pervert. You really hate the class, and soon you decide to drop out. You blame the teacher, but it is gossip that is to blame.

All of this mess can be caused by one little computer virus.  One little piece of misinformation can break down communication between people, causing every person it touches to become infected and contagious to others. Imagine that every single time others gossip to you, they insert a computer virus into your mind, causing you to think a little less clearly every time. Then imagine that in an effort to clean up your own confusion and get some relief from the poison, you gossip and spread these viruses to someone else.

Now imagine this pattern going on in a never-ending chain between all the humans of earth. The result is a world full of humans who can only read information through circuits that are clogged with a poisonous, contagious virus. Once again, this poisonous virus is what the Toltecs called the mitote, the chaos of a thousand different voices all trying to talk at once in the mind.

Even worse are the black magicians or ‘computer hackers’ who intentionally spread the virus. Think back to a time when you or someone you know was angry with someone else and desired revenge. In order to seek revenge you said something to or about that person with the intention of spreading poison and making that person feel bad about him- or herself.  As children we do this quite thoughtlessly, but as we grow older we become much more calculated in our efforts to bring other people down. Then we lie to ourselves and say that person received a just punishment for their wrongdoing.

When we see the world through a computer virus, it is easy to justify the cruelest behavior.  What we don’t see is that misuse of our word is putting us deeper into hell.

Scientology Floggers

Within 24 hours of posting Cyber Cults, the anti-scientology cyber-cult came unglued. If you haven’t read Cyber Cults and its links, I suggest you do so before reading on. The links are to three thoroughly unrelated people – also unrelated to me – who independently shared experiences of cult-like behavior from flogger (a blogger who flogs the alleged lives of others for money) Tony Ortega. Immediately, Ortega followers zealously rallied to his defense, characterizing the calmly-stated, fact-filled observations I linked to as evil-motivated “attacks” upon their dear leader. What was remarkable was the almost uniform application of an important characteristic of cult behavior.

That is taken from Steve Hassan whom the Ortega cult itself has promoted as quite the authority on cults.  It is, “Make the person feel that problems are always their own fault, never the leader’s or the group’s fault.”  Like so many hyenas, the anti-scientology cult members reactively rallied to attack in Ortega’s defense (ignoring the substance of the observations about his conduct) and viciously went after me and all three of those sharing independent experiences about their leader. We were accused of being Scientology operatives, mentally ill, and a plethora of derogatory epitaphs not fit for re-publication here.

One of Ortega’s more hysterical devotees called for censorship of myself and the other three, then targeted a facebook group (containing more than 400 members critical of scientology) as being fair game for having had the temerity to discuss the substance of my post Cyber Cults. Those pronunciamentos (and their avid acceptance and support by other cyber cultists) demonstrated most of the elements of the following additional Hassan cult characteristic:

Require members to internalize the group’s doctrine as truth
a. Adopting the group’s ‘map of reality’ as reality
b. Instill black and white thinking
c. Decide between good vs. evil
d. Organize people into us vs. them (insiders vs. outsiders)

For any who doubt these characterizations of the reaction to Cyber Cults, they can verify them by reading the thread themselves (or as much as they can stomach) at ex-scientologist message board.  While you read their treatment of the three I linked to along with me, keep in mind another of Hassan’s critical characteristics of a cult:

Promote feelings of guilt or unworthiness, such as
a. Identity guilt
b. You are not living up to your potential
c. Your family is deficient
d. Your past is suspect
e. Your affiliations are unwise
f. Your thoughts, feelings, actions are irrelevant or selfish
g. Social guilt
h. Historical guilt

This is an interesting study in extremism. As Robert Hughes aptly demonstrated in his book Culture of Complaint opposite extremes always seem to have a way of meeting (becoming almost indistinguishable in behavior). On that score, principal stars of the anti-scientology cult are warning people that it is “dangerous” to communicate with me. That’s right, it is dangerous to be exposed to ideas that don’t march lockstep with the cult’s doctrinal black and white, us vs. them mentality.  These include people being promoted by Ortega for working with him on tv specials on scientology disconnection. They apparently are so appalled by scientology’s notion of disconnect that they are actively advising people to disconnect from me.

What I have witnessed personally on the part of the anti-scientology community’s leading lights recently is behavior that makes the average dedicated scientologist seem extraordinarily open-minded and tolerant by comparison.

As a final side note, I noticed a lot of cyber-cultists characterizing my recent posts as some sort of ‘war’ on Tony Ortega and that I wish to engage him in some public debate.  That is another indication of their cult-like, insular belief that the real universe revolves around their play world.  As far as Ortega is concerned I am only preparing the ground to correct the public record he polluted for four months about my family.  He is merely one of thousands of click bait floggers plying his trade as floggers do. I have no intention of changing that – that is fundamentally who he is.  The vermin he carries water for might be another story.  It depends on how they continue to respond and not respond.

Bunkeroos vs. Scientologists

The cult of Tony Ortega has recently surpassed the church of Scientology in dysfunctionally partisan behavior.  I have obtained documentary evidence that Bunkeroos (slavish believers and followers of the word of The Underground Bunker) have been soliciting donations to hire private investigators.  The Bunkeroos are promoting the fulfillment of Tony Ortega’s published suggestions on behalf of Ray Jeffrey that the home of Monique Rathbun and her two-year-old child be put under surveillance.

What is so surreal about this situation is that had Monique Rathbun not selflessly endured similar treatment in the past, Tony Ortega and Ray Jeffrey would have long ago become Scientology road kill.  The same is true for the cluster of vermin who have partnered in the Ortega/Jeffrey campaign against Monique Rathbun.

 

Regressive Thinking

I covered a Corpus Christi city council proceeding recently for a local newspaper and a grassroots community organization. The experience seemed to me a microcosm for a regressive political trend evident in American politics. The council debated what to do about the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s (TCEQ) finding dangerously low disinfectant levels in the city water mains for the second time in as many years. The mayor and two council members utilized all of their time attempting to target the TCEQ for allegedly overreacting to Corpus’ repeated failures to measure up to state water standards.  A fourth council member began her like-minded comments as follows, “I am not trusting of government.”

Think about that for a moment. In essence, she said to voters, “I, your elected government official do not trust the process you entrusted me to direct on your behalf.”  It is a common sentiment often expressed in myriad, if covert, ways at all levels of politics in Texas and the United States. It got me to thinking about where we are heading collectively and the kind of thinking that is leading the way.

Government is the act of governing.  Govern is defined as follows by Merriam Webster: “to control or guide the actions of (someone or something).”  You obviously govern your own body.  When you share space and resources with another or others, you establish agreements as to how that space and those resources will be shared. Roles, duties and responsibilities are assumed or assigned as means of assuring those agreements are kept. It applies to families. It applies to clans. It applies to tribes. It applies to interaction between tribes that share space and resources.

Quite obviously the more people occupying a given space and sharing a given amount of resources, the more agreements – read, governing – is required in order to maintain peace and order. Any fool – even an inbred hillbilly confined to interacting with his growing clan on an acre of land – understands that natural equation. The more people and the consequent less space and resources, the more agreement is required and the less self-centeredness is afforded. Or, the more people occupying a given space, naturally the less individual freedom of choice to ‘do as thou wilt.’

It has been observed and thoroughly documented clinically that early stages of infantile thinking begin with the assumption that the child is the center of the universe. Developing awareness of others and the fact that they share space and resources – and cooperating with others in that regard – is incident to the process of maturation. The math becomes intuitive as intelligence evolves.

It is an interesting and potentially enlightening exercise to contemplate the above-offered equation against one’s own experience and values. Think about the political ideas you have accepted or synthesized against that equation. Do some of your cherished ideas make an awful lot of sense after all? Think about the role models, ideals, and dreams you look to and harbor and how you came to accept them and where they are leading you. Do they make you – and those you share space and resources with – feel happier or more fulfilled? Were they influenced by interests, factions or ideologues working at odds to the simple, natural math? What were the purposes of those (educators, politicians, film makers, media, employers, mentors, etc.) seeding such ideation?

Think about the firmly-set ideas you may have developed over the years about certain classes of people (political, social, philosophical, religious, national, racial). Are they fair? Or are they expedient? Are they healthy for you and those with whom you share space and resources?  Have they led to evolution or have they had a regressive effect?

This essay is not a promotion for nor condemnation of any particular political faction. If you engage in the suggested exercise above earnestly, and follow up with some objective homework, I think it will become evident that political extremes – on either side of the aisle – fueled by greed are the most abundant feeders of the sort of regressive thinking addressed.

 

Cyber Cults

 

The New York Times recently covered some interesting phenomena that is happening online, see Frank Bruni – How Facebook Warps Our Worlds. Bruni observes that our newfound abilities to facilely pick villains, jump to judgments and duck/cluster with like-opinionated people (all without showing our faces or even necessarily identifying ourselves) has led to some creepy results. You can see how some of that has played out in the world of scientology – where kettles and pots are becoming increasingly indistinguishable – at the following links:

Goodbye to all that…

Alanzo on Ortega and his Underground Bunker

Tony Ortega and Carmen Llywelyn

 

Arrogance and Ignorance

The following passage is taken from the novel Texas Tropics.

When I arrived Amerigo was as relaxed and content as the last time I interrupted his little fisherman’s paradise.  As I pulled Lucille ashore, Amerigo grabbed my pole and turned to his shrimp bucket to bait up my line. He handed back the pole.  He looked at me knowingly and said, “You’ve been busy, no?”

I took the invitation to fill him in on my adventures. Amerigo did not show the kind of surprise or shock or wonderment you would expect any other human to exhibit in reaction to my story. When I finished, his only comment seemed to come randomly out of the blue, “Your father is wise beyond his years.”

I wanted to say, ‘What about me almost getting killed? What about me standing up to Ramos?  What about me being set up like a bowling pin? What about me standing trial with my life in the balance?’  Instead, the thing he found most interesting was the last thing I cared about at the moment. I took a deep breath. I looked out across the cove.  I let my emotions settle and then calmly asked, “Oh, you mean teaching me about Zapata?”

Amerigo smiled and shook his head in the negative.

“Then what?”, I asked.

Amerigo said, “He has discovered the secret of arrogance and ignorance.”

“What do you mean?”, I asked.

“Well, you asked him what drove him to do what you have told me most people characterize as evil, right?”, he asked.

“Right.”

“And his answer was?”

“He was too proud and too stupid”, I said. “Right, okay, too arrogant and too ignorant. And that – well, it does resonate with me.”

“Why?”, he asked.

“Because you can do something with it”, I said. “If he says instead, ‘it was evil’ it is like saying ‘I am evil.’  Where does that lead?”

He asked, “Where do you think?”

I thought out loud, “Isolation, imprisonment…  Hell, I don’t know. It leads to labeling and distancing so you don’t catch any of that disease called ‘evil.’”

“Out of sight and out of mind?”, he asked.

“Maybe out of sight – which, I guess, is ignorance itself…and – come to think of it, arrogance too.  But, I don’t think entirely out of mind.”

Amerigo’s seemed pleased with my working it over.  He continued fishing, his invitation for me to think it through some more.  And I did.

“Ok, Amerigo”, I said.  “So, now I am thinking about judgment – like we talked about last time.  When you judge, you use convenient labels like ‘evil’, hoping to put something or someone you don’t like out of sight and out of mind – or, at least, waaay over there.”  I motioned toward the mainland with my hand for emphasis.

Amerigo smiled.  Then he carried on fishing.

A few minutes later I added, “But the act of judging itself is an exercise in arrogance and ignorance.”

“How so?”, he asked.

“Arrogance…the act of judging gives one a feeling of superiority to whatever, or whoever, is being judged.”

“And ignorance?”, he asked.

“Judging, puts it out of sight”, I said. “Makes it no longer worthy of inspection or consideration.  One makes oneself ignorant.”

Amerigo winked at me.  And in the micro second it took his eyelid to shut and open again it all came to me.  I said, “And all this opens the door to resolution.”

“Of what?”, he asked.

“The vicious circle”, I said. “It is a dwindling process toward, well – really…evil, I guess.  The more ignorance we demonstrate, the more arrogance we produce. The more arrogant we become, the more ignorant too. Finally, the arrogance is so great we feel just fine sitting in judgment of those we consider lesser than ourselves.  And the ignorance is so great we resort to labeling, stereotyping and condemning so that we don’t need to exercise intelligence.  We are unaware of, and – so, we don’t care about the consequences of our judgment.  You know, the consequences to those we judge. “

Amerigo was looking at me with interest.

I said, “And so, judgment tends to create evil…out of arrogance and ignorance.  Do you see, it all becomes a self-feeding circle?”

“Yes”, he said. “And so, the resolution you spoke of?”

“Well, what is the reverse activity of exercising arrogance and ignorance?”, I asked.

Amerigo rolled his eyes and gave an impish smile, indicating he was going to consider the question.  I was pleased. I thought maybe I had earned enough respect to ask deep questions of him and have him answer me for a change.

“Humility and curiosity?”, he asked.

“Right”, I said. “I had the concept but I couldn’t find the words.  But, you are right on the money. And so when we feel compelled to judge, I mean in the judgmental sense – when we feel the compulsion arise to judge, label and reject…instead, maybe we hold off for a moment.  Maybe we gather our wits.  Maybe we exercise a little humility and a little curiosity.”