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Old June 13th 07, 14:27   #41
GKarsEye
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Re: Is JMS a Scientologist?

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After reading all that stuff GKE just posted...how can ANYONE take that "religion" seriously? Granted, people say that about the bible...but come on. DC-8 airplanes in space bringing people to Earth? What a crack-head...
Eh, it still ain't as bad as those folks that cut off their dicks and killed themselves to fly on a comet. Or Jonestown.

One of the hooks w/ Scientology is the near-deification of Hubbard. His cult of personality is one of the foundations of the church. Part of building up this cult is exaggerating or lying about his life. My favorite part is how they call him this great naval war hero, where in fact he was called "mediocre" or something like that by his commander during his very brief service. The church present him as this brilliant renaissance man who traveled the world and did all this research and made all these discoveries about the brain and so forth.

In this sense, Scientology has much in common w/ creationism, in that they take advantage of the laymans' ignorance of science to play on their prejudices and beliefs.

Simpsons fans may remember an episode in which the Simpsons and their friends join a cult. They're at the cult's camp because they were given a free weekend near a lake or smoething. The turning point was when they were shown a movie that spewed the cult's absurd beliefs over and over again. They were told they could leave any time they wanted, but when Lenny got up to leave, the room got quiet, a spotlight appeared on him, and a voice from the PA asked, "We were just wondering where you were going- not that you aren't free to leave..." etc and he just felt guilted into staying. Cut to hours and hours later, still watching the propoganda, and they're all brainwashed.

Though comical, it's a brilliant illustration of how brainwashing works.

Step 1: Hook people in with something seemingly innocent.
With the Simpsons, a free lakeside weekend. With Scientology, it's usually a "personality test." Our egos inspire us to take personality tests (witness the frequency of such things on these boards).

Step 2: Follow-up by playing on fears and weaknesses.
In the Simpsons, it was guilt. "We gave you a free weekend, the least you can do is watch this movie. In Scientology, the personality test will invariable conclude that there's something wrong with you, that your potential isn't unlocked, etc. Everyone has these fears and wants to be shown a way to improve. The Scientology invitiation will offer a free counciling session. It's presented as secular, scientific, and professional. At this point, the victim still doesn't even know it's Scientology, yet.

Step 3: Repetition.
As the sessions proceed with the e-meter and the Dianetics philosophy gets gently but insistently put upon a person, the same nonsense is repeated. It is really amazing how the human brain can buckle under insistent repetition, even if we don't realise it. Successful advertisers, politicians, business managers and religious/cult figures understand this most important aspect to their trade.

Step 4: Break with the outside world.
By the time the victim has embraced Dianetic/Scientology, they are encouraged to break associations with any influence outside the church.

So nobody will be presented with a whole explanation of Scientology like my earlier post and want to get into it. It's a slow, expensive process.

I am personally sympathetic because I went through steps 1-3 with another cult.
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Old June 13th 07, 14:32   #42
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Re: Is JMS a Scientologist?

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Psychology and psychiatry are hardly exact sciences, either, though. At least up to the point I read, Dianetics didn't seem any worse to me than the latest self-help book.

Jan
Your mistake is equating psychiatry/psychology with self-help. Most self-help books have little basis in science, either. (I have written about The Secret here before).

It is also a mistake to equate psychology and psychiatry, because the latter focuses on brain chemistry and is thus closer to biology. That our emotions and mental health are related to the nueral chemistry of our brains is biological reality that scientology denies.

It is of course also true that children in American and probably the UK are over-medicated. But this does not invalidate the proper use of drugs, either. Over-medication is due to lazy doctors and profit-driven pharmaceutical companies, not the very study of psychiatry. The solution isn't to hook people up to an e-meter, but to remove the profit motive from the pharmaceutical industry.
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Old June 13th 07, 15:22   #43
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Re: Is JMS a Scientologist?

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Dianetics has absolutely zero scientific basis.
Which is really ironic given the name of its religion is "Scientology"
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Old June 13th 07, 15:28   #44
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Re: Is JMS a Scientologist?

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Your mistake is equating psychiatry/psychology with self-help.
No, actually, I don't. See? it was two separate sentences. Nor do I equate psychology with psychiatry though your distinction of the focus of phsychiatry being on brain chemistry is useful.

And it's not just children who are overmedicated. I pretty much lost over a year of my life due to taking anti-depressants I never should have been prescribed in the first place. The problem with your brain chemistry being disordered is that you often can't even tell that something's wrong.

Jan
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Old June 13th 07, 15:42   #45
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Re: Is JMS a Scientologist?

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Which is really ironic given the name of its religion is "Scientology"
There's also something called "Christian Science." As you can guess, it also has no science in it (and not much Christian, depending on one's point of view).


So I can accept viewing Dianetics as simply another self-help book, with the context of understanding that pretty much all self-help books are utter garbage (as are diet book, most exercise equipment, herbal supplements, and any other crap that is sold as a shortcut to mental or physical betterment).

The difference is that Dianetics is connected to a rich, large international church that actually claims religious exemption in this country (and is outlawed in a couple of European countries), has a lot of celebrity spokesmen and a sophisticated organisation that practices classic brainwashing techniques.

When The Secret gets its own church, we'll worry about that, too.
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Old June 13th 07, 17:59   #46
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Re: Is JMS a Scientologist?

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When The Secret gets its own church, we'll worry about that, too.
Agreed.
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Old June 14th 07, 08:19   #47
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Re: Is JMS a Scientologist?

Imagine how popular it might have become if Battlefield Earth had been a decent movie ...
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Old June 18th 07, 16:27   #48
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Re: Is JMS a Scientologist?

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Step 1: Hook people in with something seemingly innocent. With the Simpsons, a free lakeside weekend. With Scientology, it's usually a "personality test." Our egos inspire us to take personality tests (witness the frequency of such things on these boards).
Step 0: Pick a soft target. More often than not, cults hungry to spread and make a buck, focus their recruitment effort on people who have recently experienced a personal loss, or other emotional turmoil.
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Old June 18th 07, 20:51   #49
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Re: Is JMS a Scientologist?

I've talked with one of their 'ministers' once, they had this big recruiting tent on the city square here one week. It was weird how fast he 'deduced' that I 1) had severe mental problems, 2) was under medication for this, 3) was taking this medication unneeded, and 4) could help me kick the medication and relieve me of all of my problems without them.

The only question he initially asked is if I used any medicines. The Dutch word he used was a fairly neutral, generic one, and since I did take some stuff to clear up my airways, I said yes. And then he started to spin the whole story above. And I kept replying with "really?", "are you sure?" with each new diagnosis, and he actually was utterly convinced based on just that small answer. Said he could see something in my face, and it was really clear to him I had all these problems (which I didn't). Eventually I asked him about all the weird stuff I heard about them, and he said he never heard of it, but he did sense anger in me now, which he also could help with. (I was pretty much the most demure, soft-spoken kid ever, so this was solely because I asked questions about them after his barrage about my person)

It was a weird experience for my 15 year old self. It actually bothered me for a bit, but I talked to my mom about it, who then told me she also had done one of these tests on a lark in their Amsterdam office when she was 25, and they pretty much told her the same thing.
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Old June 19th 07, 01:50   #50
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Re: Is JMS a Scientologist?

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I've talked with one of their 'ministers' once, they had this big recruiting tent on the city square here one week. It was weird how fast he 'deduced' that I 1) had severe mental problems, 2) was under medication for this, 3) was taking this medication unneeded, and 4) could help me kick the medication and relieve me of all of my problems without them.

The only question he initially asked is if I used any medicines. The Dutch word he used was a fairly neutral, generic one, and since I did take some stuff to clear up my airways, I said yes. And then he started to spin the whole story above. And I kept replying with "really?", "are you sure?" with each new diagnosis, and he actually was utterly convinced based on just that small answer. Said he could see something in my face, and it was really clear to him I had all these problems (which I didn't). Eventually I asked him about all the weird stuff I heard about them, and he said he never heard of it, but he did sense anger in me now, which he also could help with. (I was pretty much the most demure, soft-spoken kid ever, so this was solely because I asked questions about them after his barrage about my person)

It was a weird experience for my 15 year old self. It actually bothered me for a bit, but I talked to my mom about it, who then told me she also had done one of these tests on a lark in their Amsterdam office when she was 25, and they pretty much told her the same thing.
This was in Holland? When? 'Cause IIRC, Scientology is illegel there.
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