Because of various problems with Blogger, I've copied everything as of November 26, 2012 over to WordPress. The new location is Ask the Scientologist. I am not deleting this blog and will still accept comments and answer questions here too, but any new articles will appear at the WordPress location. I apologize if this causes any problems.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Scientologists: Do you approve?

Which of these actions by the Church of Scientology do you approve of?
  • Denying church staff the right to go home and sleep in their own beds, forcing them to sleep under their desks.
  • Forcing church staff to stay awake and on post for over 18 hours a day, every day.
  • Denying church staff any days off, not weekends, not vacations, not holidays, not any days off, year after year after year.
  • Keeping church staff from leaving church property to have time away. No dining out, no movies, no shopping, no walks in the park. They cannot leave the property.
  • Denying church staff the "privilege" of seeing their spouse.
  • Denying church staff the "privilege" of seeing their children. Denying children the "privilege" of seeing their parents.
  • Opening and reading all private mail to church staff. Blocking and discarding private mail to church staff.
  • Forbidding church staff from owning a cell phone, a television, a radio. Confiscating all of these.
  • Denying church staff the "privilege" of eating dinner, forcing them to eat scraps of leftovers.
  • Denying church staff the "privilege" of speaking to non-staff family members.
  • Denying church staff any Scientology auditing or training.
  • Allowing church executives to lay hands on staff members, hitting, shoving, slapping, for any reason.
  • Reading aloud, confidential case information about church staff members before the entire staff.
  • Illegally locking up church staff members in virtual prisons with 24 hour guards, physical punishment, barbed wire fences and locked doors -- for years, without any "due process" or recourse.
Scientologist: By your support of Scientology management, you do, implicitly, approve and support all these things. Because all of these have been done and are currently being done at the Scientology International Base at Hemet California, known as "Gold".

This is your church and this is what your church is doing to its own staff members. If you don't know this, you need to become informed. This is what you are supporting!

If you do not approve of these actions, you must take action. It is your church and it is your responsibility to stop these abuses.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Scientology Definitions

The Church of Scientology's official press releases don't seem to make any sense at all. It's like they are speaking a foreign language. What is happening in the real world simply doesn't match up with those releases.

Well, it's true, they are speaking a foreign language. It's the language they speak in Scientology-land, and everyone needs a Scientology-to-reality translation dictionary. No, I'm not talking about Scientology's technical jargon, I'm talking about "new, improved" Scientology definitions for regular, real-world words.

In the normal world, a "terrorist" is one who utilizes intense fear as a method of coercion.
In Scientology-speak, a "terrorist" is someone who protests against Scientology's crimes, abuses, lies and fraud.
Do you think that caused "intense fear" in Scientology? Hmmm...

In the real world, "hate-speak" is saying hateful things about a class of people--as determined by skin color, ethnicity, etc.

In Scientology-speak, "hate-speak" is saying bad things about Scientology management. Bad things like daring to mention management's criminal behavior.
Gee, I guess "psychotic management people" might be a "class of people", eh? Does that count?

In the real world, "anti-religious" means being against all religion and religious activity.

In Scientology-speak, "anti-religious" means attacking Scientology management.
Now, really! In what universe is Scientology management associated with religious activity in any way, shape or form?

In the real world, religion means providing for the spiritual needs of people, whether they have money or not--especially if not.

In Scientology-speak, religion is selling "religious" services to people, if they have enough money to pay for it. Those without enough money are not worthy of being "helped"--shut up.
In the real world, a volunteer is someone who, of their own volition, offers to participate in some activity, but who can cease participation whenever they wish.

Scientology-speak definition 1: A volunteer is someone who has been successfully coerced and tricked into starting something, and who now is forceably being prevented from leaving. Example: "RPF participation is voluntary."

Scientology-speak definition 2: A volunteer is a salesman. Example: "Our volunteer ministers are visiting every country in Europe."

Scientology-speak definition 3: A volunteer is one person who counts as 1000 people. Example: "We have 100,000 volunteer ministers around the world."
Religious Freedom:
In the real world, "religious freedom" is about people having the freedom to join the religion of their choice, to leave a religion or to choose no religion.

In Scientology-speak, it means the "freedom" to join Scientology. Nothing else is allowed. You may not leave.
Other religions can just get out of the way, OK?

Freedom of Speech:
In the real world, "freedom of speech" means the people are free to express their opinions without punishment or harm.

In Scientology-speak, "freedom of speech" means Scientology is free to express their opinion without punishment or harm. You are also free to express Scientology's opinion, and should. All other opinions are forbidden.
With these proper definitions, you can now read the Church of Scientology's press releases and understand what the heck they are talking about.

Scientology Justice

You may have heard that the Church of Scientology wants to create a "Scientology World", which they call "A Cleared Planet". This is their goal and they are quite clear about it.

And you may be wondering what kind of a world that would be.

We've already seen how Freedom of Religion would be handled, how the church handles Freedom of Speech. And I mentioned the church's handling of Truth. Now let's see how Justice would be handled under the Benevolent Scientology World Order.

In a Scientology World, they would do away with "wog" justice. Oh, no, that kind of justice just won't do.

Serious crimes would be handled by a Scientology "Committee of Evidence" or "Comm Ev". This is Scientology Justice.

There are no lawyers, no rules of evidence and no judges or juries. You are not allowed to confront your accusers. You are not allowed to hear or question witnesses, no cross-examination. Evidence is whatever the Committee decides is evidence, truth is whatever the Committee decides it true.

Your accuser, the person who calls the Committee of Evidence, gets to choose the members of the Committee.

Imagine a Scientology World.

And don't get upset about it. If your emotional "tone level" drops too low, you're in trouble. Hubbard said that the low-toned people should be "disposed of without regret".

Happily imagine a Scientology World.

Ah! And if you are found "guilty" of whatever, happily think about how you will be "rehabilitated" in the "Rehabilitation Project Force".

You'll get a generous four hours of sleep, delicious meals composed of whatever is left over when your betters have eaten, hard labor, a small bunk with many other happy prisoners and the chance to confess and confess and confess. For an undetermined number of years. And, if you get sick or have any body problems, you will be able to "work through it".

Don't we all want that kind of justice? That's the "vastly superior" justice that the Church of Scientology has now and wants everyone to have.

Welcome to the Scientology World.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Scientology: Tricks and Lies

I am completely disgusted with dealing with the Church of Scientology's tricks and lies.

It is so tiresome and continually annoying when you have any contact with the church. They can never speak simply and truthfully. They "speak in tongues". They never say the simple truth, but only what they've determined is "an acceptable truth", a "shore story".

They can't say, "Yep, we sent people around to harass people we thought were 'Anonymous'". No, they say "Our lawyers have never visited anyone to harass them" hoping everyone will mistake that for a real answer. It's "truth" but it is fake truth. It's slimy and twisty. You see, they did send people to harass those folks, it just "wasn't lawyers". It's a trick, see? They make it sound like they're denying it, but all they're doing is avoiding the question. They actually get trained to do that!

They talk about the Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF) as a mild, gentle, voluntary project. "Voluntary"--with 24 hour guards! And, they can point to various bits of paper that make it seem like that's "true". But the actual implementation of the RPF is an abusive, draconian, and worse-than-prison environment. It's tricky! It's a lie, but a twisty lie, pretending to be truth.

They pretend to tell the truth, but all the time they're twisting and manipulating, hiding and covering up. Tricks and lies.

Scientologists know this. They are told "how to speak to non-Scientologists", how to withhold certain information, how to present other information in an "acceptable way". They are given "shore stories" of what to say outside of the church. Specially trained people are designated at the "public contact point" because the regular Scientologist might goof and tell the real truth. Regular Scientologists have actually done exactly that, disclosed the truth to the wrong person, and the church treats it as a disaster, and sends out emergency teams to "handle" the situation--with carefully manipulated "almost-but-not-quite-truth", of course.

The leaked videos were a disaster. Those were special presentations, twisted and manipulated for Scientologists. The public was never supposed to see those! A video for the public is twisted and manipulated in a completely different way. But, understand this: neither type of video is actually truthful! The Church of Scientology twists everything it shows to Scientologists as well. Nobody sees the real truth.

The church isn't open, it isn't clean, it isn't honest. It's slimy and twisty. It lies as a matter of policy. It covers up as a matter of policy. It twists everything as a matter of policy.

But, at the same time, Scientologists "know" they are "superior beings", 'way above all those "wogs" (non-Scientologists). And while they lie and twist the truth, they have the air of great superiority. They must lie to all these "wogs" because the "wogs" just wouldn't understand, couldn't understand. But Scientologists, oh! Scientologists are so superior, so ethical, so honest, so perfect--they can lie to the "wogs" because "wogs" don't matter!

And crimes? Well, the Church of Scientology is "saving the planet"! What are a few lies, a few crimes, a bit of abuse here and there when compared with saving the planet? Why should the great Church of Scientology have to worry about a few "wog" laws and "wog" ethical standards when they have a whole planet to save? How could lowly "wog" societies have any business telling the great Church of Scientology what it can and can't do?

And so Scientology lies, twists the truth, covers up crimes, hides abuses. Slimes and screws everyone who isn't in the church--and quite a few people who are in the church as well. And they are so damn righteous about it all. "How dare you attack us?!"

And I've just gotten fed up with all that hypocritical Church of Scientology crap. I know many non-Scientologists. I know many Scientologists. When it comes to picking people I can trust, I always choose a non-Scientologist. Non-Scientologists are not trained to lie. Non-Scientologists think that laws do apply to themselves. Non-Scientologists think that society's rules and moral codes do apply and should be followed. Time has proven that's the best choice.

I have got to take a break.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Scientology vs. Freedom of Speech

What does the Church of Scientology believe about Freedom of Speech?

The Creed of the Church of Scientology says, in part:
We of the Church believe:
That all men have inalienable rights to think freely, to talk freely, to write freely their own opinions and to counter or utter or write upon the opinions of others;
The Church of Scientology strongly supports the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948.

The Declaration says, in part:
Article 19.

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Scientologists, naturally, agree with the Church of Scientology in its support of this Declaration and the principle of Freedom of Speech.

Hubbard often made quite critical remarks about other religions. He had a very low opinion of most religions and was not shy about expressing this. Many members of those religions have been extremely insulted by Hubbard's comments, but it cannot be denied that it was his right to have those opinions and to express them.

Anyone who supports Freedom of Speech would agree that people should not be punished for having and expressing opinions, whatever they are. Even if those opinions do not agree with the Church of Scientology. Even if those opinions are critical of Scientology.

Is this not reasonable and proper?

Is this not Freedom of Speech?

Is this not what the Church of Scientology and all Scientologists say, in no uncertain terms, that they believe?

So, why does the Church of Scientology declare everyone who dares to criticize the church an "enemy" of the church, a "suppressive person" who may be "lied to, tricked, injured, or destroyed."

Why does the Church of Scientology carry out a systematic plan to silence and, ultimately, destroy its critics? Why does it secretly try to frame its critics for crimes they did not commit? Why does it work hard to sue them to bankruptcy on questionable grounds? Why is the church's biggest expenditure, by far, for lawyers and private investigators--who are assigned the job of tracking down and silencing critics?

The church's Creed "to think freely, to talk freely, to write freely" is equivalent to the Declaration's "without interference". And that concept is exactly the opposite of what the church does. The Church of Scientology seriously interferes with these freedoms as a matter of policy!

No, the Church of Scientology does not support Freedom of Speech. The Church of Scientology attacks Freedom of Speech every single day!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Scientology vs. Freedom of Religion

What does the Church of Scientology believe about Freedom of Religion?

The Creed of the Church of Scientology says, in part:
We of the Church believe:
That all men have inalienable rights to their own religious practices and their performance;
The Church of Scientology strongly supports the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948.

The Declaration says, in part:
Article 18.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
Scientologists, naturally, agree with the Church of Scientology in its support of this Declaration and the principle of Freedom of Religion.

And anyone who agrees with the above principles must, therefore, agree that, just as someone should be free to choose to become a Scientologist without punishment or harm, so should a person be free to leave the Church of Scientology without punishment or harm.

Is this not reasonable and proper?

Is this not Freedom of Religion?

Is this not what the Church of Scientology and all Scientologists say they believe?

So why, in the Church of Scientology, is "leaving Scientology" considered a "crime"? Why do they declare the person who leaves an "enemy" of the church, a "suppressive person", who may be "lied to, tricked, injured, or destroyed".

Why does the Church of Scientology require that all current parishioners "disconnect" (cut all contact) from anyone who has left the church?

Why does the Church of Scientology permanently separate a family when one family member leaves, or when a family member refuses to join the church?

Why do members who no longer wish to belong to the Church of Scientology have to hide that decision to avoid being attacked and separated from friends and family who still belong?

No, the Church of Scientology does not support Freedom of Religion. The Church of Scientology attacks Freedom of Religion every single day.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Scientology Disconnection: Control Those Scientologists!

From the official Scientology web site:
What is "Disconnection?"

If an individual attempting to improve his life through Scientology is encountering persistent opposition from a close associate, his spiritual advancement is impeded.

In the vast majority of cases, the antagonism is rooted in false information about Scientology and providing the true data ends the matter. As a last resort, when all attempts to sort out such situations have failed, the Scientologist may decide to disconnect from the person until the antagonism ceases.

A person who disconnects is simply exercising his right to communicate or not to communicate with a particular person. This is one of the most fundamental rights of man. Members of other religions have exercised it down the ages when confronted by those who persistently opposed the practice of their faiths. Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Amish practice “shunning"—a form of disconnection—and their right to do so has been upheld by courts across the country. Certain Orthodox Jewish congregations practice an extreme form of disconnection in which a mock funeral is held for apostate members. Disconnection in Scientology is neither new nor strange in the annals of religion.
Gee! They make it sound so “reasonable” don't they? It is “neither new nor strange”? Well, it may not necessarily be "new", but it certainly is strange.

Tell me, at what point does someone say “Shunning? Wow, that's a great idea! Let's do that!” At what point did shunning become something desirable for a group to do? What kind of church takes that as a policy to emulate? Guys, just because you found a similar practice somewhere else does not make it, like, a good idea!
“As a last resort, when all attempts to sort out such situations have failed, the Scientologist may decide to disconnect from the person until the antagonism ceases.”

“The person who disconnects is simply exercising his right to communicate or not to communicate with a particular person.”
You see how the Church of Scientology positions it? It isn't the church that is doing this, it is the person himself, voluntarily deciding to disconnect.

Um... no. It doesn't happen like that. Not nearly.

Here is a first-person story, a story that is all too common:
I have this very close friend, Jack. I'd mostly lost contact with Jack for a number of years. While we still wanted to stay in close contact, he couldn't. He worked at the “secret” Scientology compound in Hemet, California, and was carefully discouraged from any contacts outside of the compound. When he did call, he couldn't talk much, because (I found out later) every call was being monitored. In addition, every letter incoming and outgoing, is opened and read.

When the oppression at the Scientology compound got to be too much, Jack left.

That made him an “enemy” of the Church of Scientology.

After he left that environment, he could finally, freely speak with me again, and that was great! I'd missed him a lot and it was wonderful to talk with him again.

Now, understand this very carefully. Jack did not object to my still being active in Scientology. He did not “impede my advancement”. He did not upset me or cause me any problems. I was totally happy! I had no reason at all to want to disconnect from Jack.

It is very clear, from the official Scientology definition of "disconnection", and the church's official statements, that I would never have to disconnect from Jack. Since disconnection is completely voluntary, I'm fine, everything was fine.


Everything was not fine. When the Church of Scientology found out I was in touch with Jack, they demanded that I disconnect from Jack immediately.

Now wait a single-cotton-picking-moment! Wasn't I “exercising my right to communicate”? Isn't it my right, according to the church, to “communicate or not communicate” as I wish, based on how I'm doing? Isn't that what the church says? If the communication made me happy, where was the harm to me?

Nope, in Scientology, what the church says does not align with what the church does. What the church spins for the media and the public is not what it actually believes. The church lies. I did not have a choice. The church gave me an ultimatum: disconnect from Jack or be declared an “enemy” myself and lose my other friends, lose my job (with a company run by Scientologists), and be barred from any further church activities.

This is Church of Scientology extortion, the whip that keeps the parishioners in line and safely uninformed of the truth about the church.

But I said “No”.
The Church of Scientology can wave their hands and try to spin this and spin this, but the bottom line is that “disconnection” is not for the parishioner's benefit at all. Disconnections are not "voluntary". Disconnection is an abusive tool, used by the Church of Scientology to keep their parishioners ignorant and obedient.

Just say "No".

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Scientology: Business or Church?

I was talking with a Scientologist the other day, about whether the Church of Scientology was, really, a business or a church. I was talking about the idea of "set donations" as an example of business-not-religion and the Scientologist said, "No, that's just a 'new concept' in church donations."

"New concept?" WTF? Let's see, you provide a service that you think people will want. You convince people to take that service. But before they can take the service, they have to give you a specific amount of money.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that one of the oldest concepts in the world? But, of course, that's a business concept.

This question can get muddied up with the question of whether the subject of Scientology (as opposed to the Church of Scientology) is religious/spiritual. Scientology especially likes to muddy the discussion.

But I'm going to avoid these subjective arguments. I'm going to simply be objective about it.

Whether it is a religion or not, it is acknowledged by almost all that Scientology can be classified as a self-improvement group (not saying it is effective in that way, just that it's classified that way).

So, lets compare the Church of Scientology to your standard church and to your standard self-improvement business (of which there are many).

For the purposes of this comparison, we will define the "primary service" as that service in which the majority of the clientèle/parishioners participate.

Here we go:

Primary service is held Sunday (or whatever day of the week is considered holy)?
  • Church? Yes
  • Self-improvement business? No
  • Church of Scientology? No
Primary services are delivered every day of the week?
  • Church? No
  • Self-improvement business? Yes
  • Church of Scientology? Yes
Primary services are free, donations asked for but never required?
  • Church? Yes
  • Self-improvement business? No
  • Church of Scientology? No
All services, except for introductory services cost money and are fixed, required price?
  • Church? No
  • Self-improvement business? Yes
  • Church of Scientology? Yes
Assistance to the needy in the community is there and is free?
  • Church? Yes
  • Self-improvement business? No
  • Church of Scientology? No
You can visit the place and participate in the primary service without being required to talk to staff?
  • Church? Certainly!
  • Self-improvement business? No
  • Church of Scientology? No
You must sign a contract before participating in primary services?
  • Church? Of course not!
  • Self-improvement business? Yes
  • Church of Scientology? Yes
Are you seeing a trend here? The Church of Scientology operates exactly like any other business selling self-improvement techniques. It never operates like a church.

"But," I hear someone say, "you're ignoring that the Church of Scientology does have Sunday services! It has a cross!"

OK, let's imagine. Go to any real church and remove all the crosses, and stop all the Sunday services. What happens to the church? It would, in large part, stop being able to operate as a church. Now let's go to any Church of Scientology - remove all the crosses and stop the little "Sunday service". What happens to the Church of Scientology? I doubt anyone would notice those things had disappeared, the business would continue exactly as before. This tells us that the cross and Sunday services of a real church are core to its existence and that those things, in the Church of Scientology are tacked-on window-dressing.

Why doesn't the Church of Scientology just admit it's a business selling the Scientology self-improvement technology and it's not a church?

Well, being a church not only gives you nice tax breaks, but it helps protect you from a lot of potential legal problems. You can get away with a lot more as a church, things that a business just couldn't pull off.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

If Scientology Worked...

If Scientology worked as well as the Church of Scientology claims, what would the church be like?

If Scientology worked, the citizens of Clearwater, Florida, would, by now, be extremely happy to have "Flag, the Mecca of Scientology" in their fair city. After all, the vast benefits and good community work would have won them over completely. But, excluding Scientologists themselves, the people of Clearwater are still very upset with how the church "snuck" into town and would be very pleased if the church just snuck right back out.

If Scientology worked, their superior public-relations technology would ensure that the public image of the Church of Scientology was overwhelmingly positive, all over the world.

If Scientology worked, the church would never be embarrassed when their videos are leaked (and found to contain bogus claims by bogus "officials").

If Scientology worked, their powerful OT-8s would make everything go right, not only for Scientology but for the whole world. They are, after all, cause over life, form, matter, energy, space and time ... aren't they?

If Scientology worked, there would be no accusations of abuse, crimes or fraud. Their superior technology would quickly clear up everyone's difficulties, and would effectively "shatter" any suppression so that there would be no victims and no enemies.

If Scientology worked, there would be world-wide acclaim at the Church's effective solutions in disaster areas, war zones and poverty regions. The demand for Scientology solutions would be overwhelming. People outside of Scientology would actually be aware of these "solutions".

If Scientology worked, the huge news announced in the big Scientology events would actually be true and would be reported by regular news sources outside of the events.

If Scientology worked, no one would ever want to leave the church. All promises would have been kept, all promised benefits would have been true and the number of Scientologists, world-wide, really would be in the tens of millions (instead of the actual figure of less than 50,000 and falling).

If Scientology worked, the Church would not be desperately hammering the few remaining Scientologists for money, more money and even more money.

If Scientology worked, all the top executives of the Church would still be there, on post, instead of only David Miscavige.

If Scientology worked, they would not have to lock disaffected staff up in pseudo-prison camps to keep them from leaving and telling their stories.

If Scientology worked, I wouldn't be writing this post.