Sunday, August 08, 2010

What's True For You

30 Dumb Inventions - L. Ron HubbardImage by mandiberg via Flickr

The Twitter account @scientology is currently posting through links to the site. Interestingly the website is being more open about some of their more fringey beliefs, such as an affirmative response to "Does Scientology believe in mind over matter." The site also places on each page the following quote from L Ron Hubbard:

"What is true for you is what you have observed yourself. And when you lose that, you have lost everything." 

It's a troubling quote because it ultimately puts personal truth above objective truth. This is not some accident of Hubbard's. The pursuit of personal truth at the expense of reality underlines many aspects of tech, from touch assists (which you're supposed to do until they work) to... well... mind over matter. Scientology takes this so seriously that they view anyone trying to "put in data" where it isn't wanted as an act of violence. This is somewhat ironic considering the amount of time they spend trying to put in their own data where it, too, isn't wanted.

But Scientology is supposed to be "the science of knowingness". What the above quote basically implies, is that Scientologists should avoid data that contradicts their own beliefs. In other words, if someone tries homeopathy and gets better, they should avoid trying to confirm their belief that the homeopathy cured them. This is not the science of knowningess, but the very opposite. It is a formalised turning away from reality. There is nothing to be lost by taking in more data, other than one's errors and delusions.

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