Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Some Magic Boxes - #3 Bioresonance Therapy

The 30 Second Skinny BRT is a treatment invented by Scientologist Franz Morell. It is based on the idea that all matter has a vibration, and that the BRT box is capable of recreating this vibration and as a result have the same effect on the human body as whatever generated the vibration. In other words, one could create the vibration of insulin, and it would have an insulin-like effect on the body. It is most commonly used today as a treatment for nicotine dependence, despite no clinical evidence or plausible theory behind it.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

ARS-Watch

From amongst the defamation and the anti-psych spam of alt.religion.scientology appear the rumours regarding the revised Scientology books were true. Scientology critic Chuck Beatty received information from a contact in attendance at the 14th July, LA org event at which the new editions were launched.

The whole event was a video of the Clearwater event the big event, and the whole event was DM talking about the 18 new books, in sequence, book by book the changes, why the changes and details.
It started about 8:20pm and went till 11pm. Saturday, 14 July, 2007. LA org parking lot, covered in astroturf, normal vinyl curtain fence around the whole block cutting off outside views into the seating area. Only exit was the LA org driveway leading to LRH Way which had booths of all the PAC orgs setup, and all staff waiting to all hands sell the books to their org's public.
...
Almost 3 hours of DM telling how the books were messed up and how they were messed up.
It was estimated that 2500 attended, so the sales was well over a million bucks, just the LA Orgs namely LAD, LAF, AOLA, ASHOD and ASHOF and CC Int, together, and all the other LA and valley orgs held their own events, at their own orgs.


This is the earth-shattering, history-making event, that virtually everything that Scientology has been teaching since its inception has been flawed, despite previous attempts to ensure that the texts available match the original words of Hubbard. A failure on the part of the Church twice running, then...

Only DMSMH and maybe one or two other books were typed by LRH. All other books were dictated onto diskettes or tape.
So that's how the screwups occurred, the sluggards who originally transcribed LRH's diskettes or tapes, messed up. And then the people splicing together the sections of the transcripts messed up in the splicing of the transcripts into books! Paragraphs were transposed, misplaced in wrong chapters, and just a whole slew of mis-splicing. LRH didn't notice it, he read the transcripts, and noted things in the margins of the transcripts, so then the splicers who spliced the transcripts into the books, messed it up.
LRH must have not ever read the final books, and noticed the splicing errors, etc. DM didn't explain LRH's goof of not proofreading the full final books by reading them, that is just obvious.
This dangerous complacency is at the heart of the organisation. It remains to this day impossible to fathom exactly what Hubbard truly believed. I suppose the believer will think Hubbard assumed the transcribers would be clears and not prone to error, and the non-believer that it didn't really matter what was in the final work, so long as the money kept coming in. Keeping Scientology Working, after all, need not have been a Quality Assurance measure. Instead it can be seen as an assurance, at least as far as the copyrighted scriptures are concerned, that ownership and use of such texts remain entirely within the Church's influence.
DM apparantly didn't say during the event that all the old books are to be destroyed. That is the case though. Public asking staff what to do with their old books are told to bring their old books to the D/ FBO MORE of their orgs, and the books will be destroyed.
Posters on ARS have quite rightly questioned how this fits into the Doctrine of Exchange, the notion that goods and services should indeed be exchanged for money or kind. The DoE is something of a doctrine of convenience for the church - they certainly don't mind forgoing paying the state for the services it provides, usually citing the work of the Volunteer Ministry as a means of evading these payments within its own dogma (as if benefiting the illiterate of India somehow will be seen as a payment in kind by the IRS). Even shakier is that the Church are now admitting that their products have always been flawed, perhaps in the all or nothing world of KSW actually worthless. Thus the Church ought to be indebted to its followers, some of whom have already payed more than once for the CoS product. Not so, it would seem, as members are asked to pay up for the unrevised texts, and to destroy (or go out ethics and sell on ebay) the corrupted work.

Donation sets of books for libraries were also sold. My contact only bought the books, and next day, Sunday, got 4 phone calls, over and over, to buy the tapes.
Entrance to this event was tighter, people had to register to get into event, give phone number. There were electronic entry stations, getting everyone's info before letting them in. (Getting those phone number for the next day's flogging for those that hadn't bought all that could be bought.)
All staff on sales, after event. Very hard sale afterwards. But considering these books are in effect almost the Scientology bible, this was an easy sell to these public at this event.
...
This was an easy release sale, all public pretty much were resigned and knew they couldn't dodge not getting their new set of books! Bridge staff might get some libs this coming weekend.

The earth-shattering news, it would appear, is that Miscavige has realised it has become virtually impossible for Scientology to pull out of its decline, and so has tapped existing members, may of who have already spent a fortune on texts and courses, for further finance. The news that these texts were "squirreled" from the start poses more questions than it claims to answer. Church staff were quick to compile a list of positive quotes to back up the notion that their actions have been benefitial.

"In the past I would never read Dianetics because I thought it was too hard and would not confront it! After the event I could not wait to read all these 'new' books and so I began reading DMSMH. While reading it I am having lots of wins. I thought I knew quite a bit about the mind, instead I found out my knowledge was just approximate. It is wonderful how LRH studied and experimented everything down to the finer details. I noticed this book flows really well and the glossary is awesome. I thank LRH for the data he is giving me, RTC and COB for their relentless procurement of pure tech, just like LRH gave it. Thank you." F.A.

"Dianetics is so much more understood now than it was before! In the past I used to have a fear of this book and of reading it. It seemed so difficult. Not only was it easier to read this time, but it was easier to look at too! I had more cognitions than ever and it was another basic book like the rest, not a scary book that was hard to confront. My thanks go out to COB and the Sea Org, without whom we would not have these beautiful, readable, standard products. Thank you very much." R.M.

"There are so many things about this book that I finally get, whereas when I read this book before, I was practically in the clouds. Specifically, there is one paragraph in the beginning of the book I couldn't understand for the life of me. This time I just checked out a word or so in the back and that was it-complete understanding!"


Many of these smack of relief, of a confusion long-suffered and finally lifted, which again poses the question of how such a confusion in Scientologists has been tolerated for so long? Because there is no room in the organization to question the writings of L Ron Hubbard. Keeping Scientology Working has, in effect, ensured (and this just according to Miscavige's current belief) that Scientology remained hobbled by incorrect teachings for half a century.

The critic posting as Piltdown Man offers up a fantastic idea that the new-old versions of Hubbard's books are nothing more than the first drafts. It's a lengthy post but is a meaty enough supposition to cast a long shadow on the July releases.

So we start with Hubbard dictating one of those books, and a secretary then typing out a transcript of his dictation. Let's call that Revision 1. Authors who work that way (and Hubbard, while a crappy one, was a professional writer) normally treat such a transcript as a rough first draft, to which they then start making handwritten corrections, revisions and additions, or perhaps dictating such changes. Let's call the combination of the transcript with the handwritten edits Revision 2. Once things become too complicated to decipher, they might have a secretary make another typed version, Revision 3, start editing that one, etc. But at some stage, of course, a clean typescript for publication has to emerge. Let's call that the Final Revision.

...

So here's my hypothetical idea: what if what was printed at the time, and was reprinted until these 'new' versions emerged, was indeed Hubbard's Final Revision, as he edited and approved it himself, but that the typescript has been lost somewhere in the process of publication, as often happened? That all those what DM apparently calls "splices", according to Chuck Beatty's account of his speech, are in fact real, but they're Hubbard's *own* edits? Maybe, just maybe, DM or someone else noticed that what is in the printed versions does indeed differ from what they have in the vault where Hubbard's manuscripts are stored, but that's because all they've got is what I called Revision 2 above, not the Final Revision as Hubbard wanted it. Maybe he's managed to strip Hubbard's own final editorial revisions from the books, and is now presenting an intermediate draft version which Hubbard never intended to see published.
This is just a supposition of course, but it's one well worth exploring. Such an exploration cannot take place within the totalitarian structure of the Church; the emergence of the new releases themselves are testament to that.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Scientology Cited in Australian Murders

The daughter of a Scientologist couple is currently on trial for the murder of her father, her fifteen-year-old sister, and the attempted murder of her mother. She was diagnosed as psychotic in late-2006 and it is alleged that her parents, being good Scientologists, refused her medical treatment. Scientology has painted psychiatry as the villain in the history of the human race, even in being co-conspirators (along, tellingly, with the tax man) of Xenu in the Teegeack genocide, the so-called Incident II. One of the key pursuits of scientology is the defamation and destruction of the field of psychiatry. The Church used their 2007 New Year celebration to push their desire of the global obliteration of the field, complete with the same kind of metaphorical calls to arms that put critic Keith Henson in prison. Ironically many of the criticisms CoS have of psychiatry, Scientology itself is guilty of. They claim psychiatry is not an evidence-based science, that it has inhumane practices, that it denies individuals their human rights, that it is criminal but manages to evade justice on a meaningful scale due to a conspiratorial web of power.

Yet Scientology states it has evidence to back up its own scientific claims, from the supposed benefits of Dianetics, through to its rehab programs and even the more outlandish claims of past lives and the powers said to open up to a scientologist when he reaches the top of the bridge to freedom - this evidence is often cited but never seen. Scientologists have been guilty of crimes as seen in Operations Snow White and Freakout. In the "treatment" of Lisa McPherson she was confined against her will, as documented by the watch logs. Scientology has a long history of out-of-court settlements and a habit of offloading its crimes onto its followers so that the Church itself never appears in the dock (despite the fact that when a psychiatrist breaks the law, he is seen by Scientology as committing a crime on behalf of psychiatry itself).

The case in Australia is not unique; in fact it parallels closely the Elli Perkins murder. She, too, tried to treat her psychotic child, Jeremy, with vitamins. She too was stabbed to death for her troubles. That Scientology's attitude to psychiatry and psychiatric illness seems clearly irresponsible (Lisa McPherson, once taken out of the "evil" care of psychiatry was then looked after by Flag staff members clearly unable to deal with her illness) goes almost without saying. Even if their criticisms of psychiatry stand up, Scientology does not satisfactorily provide a replacement. The big mistake is that Scientology relies on standard procedure - Hubbard praised himself for establishing rundowns that worked for everyone so long as they are followed to the letter. One of the things that psychiatry realises, and struggles with, is that the various conditions they encounter are fantastically difficult to categorise, and, as a result, treat effectively. Scientology, from what this blogger has seen, finds it even difficult to recognise the difference between clinical depression and a case of the doldrums.

The tragedy in Australia is not as clear-cut as the death of Elli Perkins, however. The daughter had been allowed back onto her medication for the last three weeks as it helped her sleep. If we attempt to find a cause, or apportion blame, how are we to tell whether it was the deprivation of medication, or the medication itself. In a sense, that the waters are muddied like this will only serve to invite debate, which I suspect will be detrimental to the Church's position. There are few critical thinkers out there who cannot see the lack of logic in the following: a psychotic person is put on medication; the psychotic person then commits murder; the murder occured due to the medication. This is what Scientology believes. They also believe this: a depressive person is put on anti-depressants; the depressive person commits suicide; the medication caused the suicide. It is an oft-repeated observation, but the Church's position is akin to blaming cancer deaths on chemotherapy. The Church has long since withdrawn its support for Hubbard's statement that Dianetics can cure leukemia. I suspect it is about time that they withdraw their claims regarding serious psychological disorders.

http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2007/07/10/1183833478287.html

Monday, July 09, 2007

There is an interesting post on the Ex-Scientologist website. It would appear that the rumours regarding new/corrected versions of Hubbard's work are beginning to be substantiated. It seems the books that LRH "wrote" he actually dictated, and all sorts of errors crept in despite subsequent claims to the contrary. LRH, of course, never noticed any of this...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Suppressed Kipling

Hello there.
Oh! I didn't see you there.
No, not down here. I blend in nicely don't I.
Yes sir, you do. You... you're a crocodile, aren't you?
At your service. I would doth my hat to you, but I came out without it this morning.
I see.
...
Might I be allowed to make an observation?
I... I guess so.
You look awfully tired.
I do?
Awfully tired. Dead on your feet, I'd say.
Well, I am a little sleepy, I suppose.
Come closer, boy.
I'd rather not, thank you.
Oh. Oh really. Whyever not?
You're a crocodile.
Ah yes, I am. Do you like my tail? I can swing it around rather well. Watch.
Yes. That's very impressive.
Thank you. I bet you wish you had a big strong tail like mine, don't you?
Not particularly no.
No? So you could do this? Look at it there, swishing about.
I ought to be going.
Oh please don't. Please don't go. You see... I've something else to show you.
You do?
Yes. It might wake you up a bit. You see these ridges on my back?
Yes.
Rub them and see what happens.
I'd rather not.
Whyever not?
You're a crocodile.
You said that before.
Crocodiles are dangerous.
Are they now? Have you ever met a crocodile before?
No.
Well then.
I've heard tell of crocodiles. They eat people.
Ho ho ho. Eat people? The things folk say! I don't think I've ever eaten anyone. I can state that categorically.
Well...
And anyway, if I were interested in eating you, I'd have some trouble reaching you back there, now wouldn't I?
I suppose so.
And it would be a shame if all you knew of crocodiles was what you'd heard from other people.
...
So what do you say?
Okay ... There.
How do your hands feel now.
They tingle a little.
That's the magic, you see. Very magical beasts us crocodiles.
Magical?
So, that's something you'll be able to tell people from now on. Crocodiles don't eat people, you can say, they happen to be very magical beasts.
It doesn't seem very magical.
You do look terribly tired, you know. Did I say that?
You did.
Well if I've said it twice, it must be so. Do you know, boy, what the most comfortable pillow in the world is?
Is it... eiderdown?
No no. It's a crocodile's tongue.
A crocodile's tongue?
Quite so. Another part of our magic, you see. Let me open my mouth so you may rest that weary head of yours.
Please don't feel you have to.
You're stepping back. You're still afraid of me?
Yes I'm afraid of you! You want to eat me.
We don't eat people! Have you ever spoken to a person who has ever been eaten by a crocodile?
Well I wouldn't have, would I?
No, because we don't eat people. We busy ourselves doing good works. That's all the sustenance us crocodiles need. See that over there?
Over where?
That pile over there, steaming away in the sunset. Do you know what that is?
I think I can guess.
I make that, you know. It's... it's unguent.
Unguent?
Unguent.
What does it do, this unguent?
Why it cures people of their ills! It can make them more confident, and intelligent. It can stop them drinking, and smoking, and over-eating. It is a most remarkably efficacious concoction. Scientifically proven, don't you know.
By whom?
Scientists. I have the papers with me, but they're heavy reading. Why not sleep here and you can look them over in the morning.
I'm not resting my head inside your mouth.
You still think I'm going to eat you?
Yes.
However can I rid you of this strange delusion.
It's not a delusion.
You think I lie? I find that rather offensive, as it happens.
I have it on good authority. A zoologist told me.
Oh you don't want to listen to zoologists. I shouldn't really tell you this but... zoologists have their own agendas.
Zoologists are interested in the study of animals.
And I suppose these zoologists have told you that all sorts of wild creatures go about the place eating people, have they.
Yes. And I trust them. I've spoken to several zoologists and they seemed very nice.
Ha! A worse breed of man there has never been. Do you know why zoologists go around spreading such lies?
They aren't lies. I know-
They spread such lies, my young fellow, to cover the awful truth.
I'm beginning to tire of this.
You are tired!
Go on then. Unburden yourself...
They go around infecting people with their dangerous fictions because... zoologists are the ones that eat people.
That's ridiculous.
They eat people as sure as eggs is eggs. As eggs is eggs, they eat people. They gobble down babies and children and women and men, and when the authorities come aknocking, they point to the nearest gazelle and say "dreadful, bloodthirsty things, gazelles, officer," and that is that.
I really am going now.
But home is such a long way.
It's not that far.
It's getting dark.
I can see just fine.
Well I worry for you. They come out at night, you see.
They?
The zoologists.
...
I'll walk with you a while.
...

Just to the edge of the village.
...

Just till I know you're safe.
...
You can ride on my nose if you like.
...

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Anatomy of a Deception - Part 2

In Part 1 we learnt of Mary Turner Thomson's relationship and marriage to Will Jordan, a man who presented himself to Mary as a CIA agent caught between an agency he was trying to leave and the dark forces he encountered whilst working for them. While Will faced a court appearance, Mary waited to hear back from his lawyer, but instead received a call from Michelle, Jordan's other wife.
It was not the words "I'm the other Mrs Jordan" that shook my world but "I have been told you are an agent." It was those eight words that finally bridged the gulf and reality became clear."
Mary arranged a meeting with Michelle that day and they swapped details.
I had crossed the gulf and knew the truth. After the initial numbing shock, there was an overpowering emotion that can only be described as "relief". I was free. Free from fear of being followed or targeted by shadowy enemy agents - they were not real and no one was after me; free from social services threatening to take my children away from me, as now I could tell them the truth; free from my prison of silence and lies.
Distressingly, with Will out on bail, Michelle was sucked back into the lies. Mary, on the other hand, took full advantage of her regained clarity, barring Will from her life save for the occasional conversations by telephone.

Mary was asked by a lawyer in the run up to Will's court appearance to discuss the reality that she had been living in for the previous six years. To her frustration she found herself unable to articulate or explain Will's CIA fiction, almost as if the language to do so wasn't there for her. The reality had been presented to Mary a piece at a time, such that when it came to explain to someone who had not travelled that same journey, it was impossible for that someone to understand.

Mary also found that the reality of certain events became unfixed. As she picked away at Will's lies she found memories that she couldn't rationalise, and it became more and more apparent that Will's manipulation of her went far beyond merely lying.
For example, I seemed to remember having talked to Michelle in the past and felt sure that I had firm proof of her as his "asset". I even remembered discussing with Will how I had talked to her directly. But when I tried to pin down the memory of talking to her and work out when it had happened I couldn't do it - the only clear memory was of him telling me I had spoken to her.
She believed she had somehow had her memory manipulated, and in researching this possibility acquired training materials covering techniques that she could relate exactly to the ways Will had controlled her. There remain a variety of incidents that defy explanation, but as she explained to John Ronson in his Radio 4 programme, one doesn't have to know how a magician performs a trick to know it is a trick. She thinks of Will Jordan as providing a mirror to her, matching himself to whatever her desire was so that he could exploit her.

Mary also added more names to the list of Will's victims, and is certain that there are more women out there that Jordan preyed upon. Her story stands testament to the fact that one needn't be stupid in order to be duped, merely trusting and needful; like most people, really.

Readers who believe they may have been a victim of Will Jordan or someone like him can find help and support at the Love Fraud website. The Other Mrs Jordan is available in paperback.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Panorama - What Happened Next

It would appear that we are due a Panoramic return to Scientology. A follow-up to the Scientology And Me episode is in the pipeline, though has been rescheduled, one assumes, to make way for a show on our PM nouveau Mr Gordon Brown. The What Happened Next episode, will likely focus in part on the Panorama Exposed documentary. For those who didn't see it, the Church of Scientology created a documentary as a counterpoint to the Panorama episode. The film focused on the alleged breaking of a variety of Ofcom rules in the BBC's re-examination of the self-help organisation. It was produced in tandem with the Panorama episode itself which was largely to its detriment as it covered a great deal of subject matter that never appeared in the programme. The documentary featured a number of interviews with people who could, under no circumstance, have seen footage from the Panorama episode itself. Lafayette understands that at least one of the talking heads had only seen the footage of Sweeney ranting, and answered a series of questions regarding hypothetical scenarios. Hardly valid criticism, therefore, of the documentary itself.

Also, some of its accusations were rather absurd. They accused Sweeney et al of pulling the wool over the BBC-viewing public's eyes in the filming and refilming of Sweeney entering a building, as though using take 1 over take 3 in some way constitutes a material change in the information being presented. They make quite a success at undermining "doorstepping", of turning up at someone's house or office unannounced in order to get an interview with someone, but again the doorstepping filmed didn't make it into the Panorama. This blogger has in the past accused the Church of Scientology of spending too much energy focusing on the details (perhaps a symptom of the word-based, and to that extent detail-based, thinking encouraged by Scholastic tech and word clearing (one can understand all the words but miss the concept)). This "winning the battle and losing the war" symptom is manifest in the Exposed documentary.

What the programme-makers seem to misunderstand is that the use of security footage and quite transparently manipulated interviewees only furthers the image that Scientology is a disproportionately defensive cult. As an exercise in damage limitation the documentary fails. One is left wondering what the details of the unacceptable agreement between the BBC and the Church of Scientology was. One is left wondering exactly why Tommy and co spent a day providing interview subjects for Sweeney only to pull the permissions for their use in the final programme. One is left wondering why the Church of Scientology accused Sweeney of bias when they, and not the BBC, made it impossible for him to represent the views of scientologists and the Church itself. One is left wondering why the organisation spent so much energy chasing, following and filming Sweeney in order to prove that they do not do that sort of thing.