Interview with scientologists today

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bluegray (January 30, 2008, 06:30:03 AM):
Auditing South Africa’s Scientology movement
Mefiante (January 30, 2008, 10:47:59 AM):
Very interesting, indeed!

Personally, I was almost caught by scientology some years back after reading L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics. At first, the book seemed to make sense. After some reflection, I decided that it seemed to oversimplify too far the human psyche, which prompted further investigation. In turn, this led me to reject scientology, after reading about some of the horrors and abuses allegedly perpetrated during "auditing" and also the enormous cost of their "training courses" and books. Later, I found a Dutch website where one was able to download the complete scientology training material up to and including OT VIII (Tom Cruise apparently is one). For an 8-hour period, a dedicated link was made available after an e-mail request for the training materials. Suffice it to say that Hubbard's ravings in said training matter are indistinguishable from a coked-up, richly amphetamined, sleep-deprived and lobotomised Hunter S. Thompson.

On a different note, perhaps we as sceptics can select a saviour, say Carl Sagan, and bill ourselves as a religion for critical thought. We might label ourselves "Critians" or "Sagians," all for the purpose of obtaining tax exempt status from SARS…

It's just a thought, though. ;)

'Luthon64
mdg (January 30, 2008, 14:27:02 PM):
I wouldn't mind being called a "Sagian" - he inspired my love of science and astronomy. ;D

'Luthon64: Like you I was given a book by Ron L. Hubbard by a scientologist who cornered me in an elevator at a shopping centre about 25 years ago. He had my attention until he started telling me that the reason that children stutter is because we parents interrupt them while they're talking and that only scientologists were able to give the child "real" help. He was given his book back very quickly. But what I'd like to know 'Luthon64 is what was in that auditing literature you read that makes Tom Cruise "the" expert on drug rehab, etc, etc. and better than the rest of us mere "mortals" or should that be PCs? ;)

mdg
Mefiante (January 30, 2008, 15:38:21 PM):
But what I'd like to know 'Luthon64 is what was in that auditing literature you read that makes Tom Cruise "the" expert on drug rehab, etc, etc. and better than the rest of us mere "mortals" or should that be PCs? ;)
As I recall, the course material didn't cover auditing in any kind of great or useful detail. All it did was outline the basic ideas (and very basic they are indeed) behind the practice, and that its purpose was to clear away those dreaded "engrams." I think the auditors make most of it up as they go along, depending on gut feel (because brains have little to do with it). I suspect that the main difference with higher-level Operating Thetans (like Cruise) is that they are supposedly sharper at recognising engrams and what produces them since these OTs have been "trained" in the complete history of humanity, including our psychological one. This increased knowledge leaves them better equipped to do the auditing.

I'll have a look on our old PC for the archive. It was almost a decade ago, but we might still have it. What I do remember is that the material was written mostly in curt numbered-point layout in a clipped, automaton-like grammar with many acronyms and abbreviations, which all together made little apparent sense - no doubt because of our unfamiliarity with more basic CoS concepts and jargon. Another thing I remember is that CoS tried to suppress the free availability of those materials as "work papers" (read "trade secrets"). They also admonished the public that to study them out of sequence and/or without the guidance of a trainer (read "paying for them") would probably kill the student. I make no joke! It must irk the CoS apostles no end that, ten years on, we have not yet died.

'Luthon64
scienceteacheragain (January 31, 2008, 12:43:17 PM):
Hi all,
I return from my year end/beginning with some time to spend here.
Over the year end I was working up to 18 hours/day, and I worked every day except Christmas from Dec 21 until the weekend before last. :'(OK enough pity-whining.

I wish I had not missed this, and had been able to call in.

It is a bad idea to label ourselves. In the culture wars in the US especially in Texas and Florida currently, the religious kooks are trying to argue that "Darwinism" is a religion.
The argument is to get their religion into the public schools, or if that fails to get evolution out of the curriculum. Other times the religious kooks argue that atheism is a religion. I don't know where I first heard this expression, but I like it: "Atheism is not a religion, just like bald is not a hair color".
I am about to visit my family back in Texas, and believe me, I will be on my soapbox about the recent happenings there with regard to education standards and textbook selection.

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