Friday, January 25, 2008

Questions About Scientology

If anyone has any questions about Scientology then I am willing to answer them. Please post your question as a comment to this post.

My rules are:
  • Questions should be asked politely.
  • If a question is worded in an offensive, sarcastic or antagonistic way then you won't get an answer.
  • If a question contains links to negative profiles or sites or to profiles or sites I don't like in some way then I may reject the comment, but I may give an answer to a reworded version of the questions which I will put in my answer. In other words you won't have to post it again.
After all, this is my site and I get to set the rules :) You can set the rules on your site!

(27 Jan 08 Addition) My original idea for this post was that I'd get a question: "What is abcde?" and then I'd post the answer "It is ghijk". Simple. However that's not how it's turning out. I'm getting long comments with several questions and lots of explanations and side comments. While I don't mind that at all, it sort of defeats the purpose of the page, which was to have short questions and answers. I don't want to stifle people, so keep asking questions however you like, but forgive me if I cut your post down to a simple "What is abcde?" so I can keep the page readable. If you have a questions that relates to a specific post on this blog then please make the comment on the page of that post.

(28 Jan 08 Addition) Wow, this post is proving to be popular. Please forgive me if I take a while to answer a question. I have other things I do in life too :). If you don't see an answer within a few days please be patient. I will get to you.)

(28 Feb 08 Addition) This page is getting loooooong and I don't think it is going to be very workable for people to see their answers here. So, ask your questions here and I'll post the answer as a blog article rather than as just a comment. Of course, you can always post questions and comments to specific articles and I'll answer them there, unless I think they are something that would be of broad interest in which case I'll also post them as a blog article.

Thanks again to everyone who has asked a question. Sorry if I'm slow in replying, but if you follow my guidelines I promise I'll answer eventually. Be patient :)

134 comments:

Ash said...

Why do you have to pay to "LEVEL UP" in this IRL MMORPG?

SouthernBread said...

I ask my question respectfully:

I don't understand why you have to pay to learn the secrets and parts of your religion. I've been a Methodist for several years and have never had to pay for any of my knowledge, with the exception of my bible. Why do you have to pay so much in order to learn? Knowledge is free.

Grahame said...

Hey Ash,

I will attempt to translate your question into English for the benefit of other readers :) (If I get it wrong you can correct me.)

Your question is: "Why do you have to pay to "LEVEL UP" in this IRL MMORPG?"

"Level up" and "MMORPG" are terms from computer games and IRL is a chat room term.

Click on the links for more info:
"Level up" means to move to a higher level in a computer game.

"MMORPG" means "Massively multiplayer online role-playing game"

"IRL" means "in real life"

So I'm guessing the question means something like "Why do you have pay to move through the various levels of spiritual attainment in Scientology?". This is very similar to the question from SouthernBread so please see my answer to SoutherBread.

Grahame said...

Hey SouthernBread,

Thanks for your question. I'll do my best to answer it. This should also answer the question from Ash.

First of all there is a lot of false information out there about the cost of Scientology services. For some reason certain individuals have decided to lie about it and have managed to dupe others into believing them and the lies spread and spread like an infection. So try and come at this with a fresh viewpoint as if you have not heard anything about this before. The important thing is to evaluate the information and make up your own mind. What I'm telling you here is from my own experience, so it is based on facts not rumors.

L. Ron Hubbard (the founder of Scientology) wrote many books on Scientology and recorded many lectures on the subject. The total number of words are in the millions. The books and lectures are available for pretty reasonable prices (E.g. Scientology: Fundamentals of Thought, other books by L. Ron Hubbard). So to learn the most basic and important parts of Scientology requires only the purchase of a few books. That's pretty much the same as in any other subject. You can get a couple of books, read them and then make up your own mind whether you want to find out more or not.

You could spend a couple years this way just reading books and listening to lectures. But what if you wanted to understand it better? Then where do you go? Well, Churches of Scientology offer courses that help you to learn and gain the ability to apply the data from the books. Naturally these courses cost something. Short beginning courses usually cost under $100 some as little as $35.

So at this point a person could have spent anything from $10 for a paperback book up to a couple of hundred for a few courses. By now they should have been able to figure out if Scientology is something they want to pursue or not.

Now let's take say you are a Christian and you've read the Bible and you've read other books on your religion and now you want to take the next step and go to a University and get a degree in Theology. This could cost you a lot of money for a four year degree. An equivalent course of Scientology Training doesn't cost anywhere near that much. I could repeat it here, but I think it has been explained very well in this FAQ article: Does it cost a lot to be a member of the Church and take services?. It's not a long article so have a look at it. The article also discusses the cost of Scientology Auditing (Spiritual Counseling). Just to make it clear, Scientology counseling is a very precise and exact activity that requires a lot of training to be able to do correctly. I'd compare it to the precision of what a surgeon does. It also requires the sort of backup that a surgeon requires. Take a look at the FAQ article I linked to for more on this.

One last fact for you. A few years ago I was curious as to how much I'd actually spent over the years in Scientology. I gathered up 15 years of tax returns and I added up the figures for how much I'd earned and how much I'd donated and my donations came to just over 11% of my income. That comes out at about the same as for a person who tithes.

Jim Gatos said...

Grahame,

Your links from here,

Theology. This could cost you a lot of money for a four year degree. An equivalent course of Scientology Training doesn't cost anywhere near that much. I could repeat it here, but I think it has been explained very well in this FAQ article: Does it cost a lot to be a member of the Church and take services?. It's not a long article so have a look at it. The article also discusses the cost of Scientology Auditing (Spiritual Counseling). Just to make it clear, Scientology counseling is a very precise and exact

don't work...

Jim

Grahame said...

Hey Jim,

The links do work. There is a temporary technical issue that is causing problems.

Grahame said...

Jim Gatos said:

As always, Grahame, I think some of your posts are extremely sensitive, thought provoking, and sensitive.

What you explained about the cost of taking Scientology classes and so on and so forth I've already "sorta" figured out. No church can survive without money. Whether one tithes or pays for a class, who's to say what's fairer?

However, I think what scares some folks is their quest for salvation. I ask, is it true that in order to "attain" higher levels of salvation, one needs to climb up the "bridge", and accomplish "OT" levels? That these "OT Levels" are very very very very expensive?

-------------------------------------

Grahame answered:

Thanks Jim for your kind words and for your questions.

To answer your first question about the "Bridge" and "OT Levels" I recommend you read this article by L. Ron Hubbard: Dianetics, Scientology and Beyond. I think that the article will answer the questions about what we do in Scientology to achieve spiritual freedom and it may even answer other questions you hadn't asked.

To answer your question on cost: The OT Levels are NOT "very very very very expensive". As I said in an earlier post, a few years ago I added up my donations and they came to about 11% of my income. I had done some OT levels at that time so the cost of some OT levels is included in that amount. I wouldn't describe that as "very very very very expensive."

There are people in the world who are bigoted and want to make new religions such as Scientology look bad. Let me be kind and say that they "exaggerate" when it comes to the cost of Scientology services :)

Some useful links on this subject:
- Does it cost a lot to be a member of the Church and take services?
- The Services of Scientology
- What is Operating Thetan or OT?
- The Scientology Bridge to Spiritual Freedom
- A full sized poster of the Bridge (This chart is a bit technical, so I recommend you go to the bottom-right of the image and look at the abilities gained - the column on the far-right - for the items up to Expanded Dianetics. Above that it gets a bit complicated and would need further explanation.)

You had more questions in the comment you sent me. I'll answer them in separate comments.

Grahame said...

Jim Gatos said:
Wheras I truly do respect some of L. Ron Hubbard's words, and I understand the high level of admiration Scientologists have for the man, to me, he was as fallible as the next guy.

My response:
Ron never claimed to be infallible. In fact in one lecture he said "all you have to be to live successfully is just a little better than 50 percent right. If you're just a little bit better than 50 percent right all the time, you can't help but win -- providing you're never wrong on the important points." (from "The Story of Dianetics and Scientology" lecture). The Scientologists I know have tremendous respect and admiration for Ron but no one has any concept of infallibility.

Other references
Do Scientologists worship L. Ron Hubbard?

Grahame said...

Jim Gatos asked a question about some weird sounding statements attributed to L. Ron Hubbard.

My response:
I have read all the books on Scientology that L. Ron Hubbard wrote. I have trained up to Class IV auditor. I have done the Philadelphia Doctorate Course, I have done many other course and I have listened to hundreds of hours of recorded lectures that Ron made. In not one of those lectures have I heard Ron say what you mentioned in your post. So in my own personal experience I have not come across weird and outrageous statements such as those you described.

I will say that Ron has a great sense of humor and some of his jokes could be taken out of context and made to sound bad.

Also Ron was researching life and the spirit and he never backed off from announcing what he was finding even if it may have sounded strange to some. For example, when he found that people were recalling past-lives and that facing traumas from the past helped them overcome problems they were having in the present, he did not hesitate to make his findings known. However, he never required anyone to believe anything he came up with. An important principle he followed was "What is true for you is what you have observed yourself." (from the article Personal Integrity).

Grahame said...

Jim asked:
I respectfully ask how can Mr, Hubbard have associated with Jack Parsons and Allister Crowley...

My response:
I came across this very question only a few months ago. The answer is here: Was L. Ron Hubbard involved in a satanic cult before he founded Scientology?. Make sure you read the connected newspaper article.

Grahame said...

Jim Gatos said:

I saw an episode of "Nightline" on Youtube" to which David Miscavige is confronted by Ted Koppel about the cost. Mr. Miscavige states that someone could advance pretty far even with "limited" resources.. Now, he adds that by the time one takes the basics of Scientology, to paraphrase him, he explains that you'd be making a lot of money anyway.. so the issue of cost of Scientology becomes a moot point.

Part of an interview with David Miscavige

My response:
I know from personal experience that his answer is true. However, the interview was quite intense and I think he never got a chance to fully answer the question. There is provision in Scientology for helping people when they are in financial difficulties and making a donation may be a problem for them.

- We have a huge network of Volunteer Ministers who will assist people for free.
- There is also a thing called the "Free Scientology Center" where people can get auditing (Scientology Counseling) for free from trainees.
- Many Scientology services are free, such as Sunday Service and many seminars.
- Scientologists like to help people, so often when someone needs help we will pitch in and assist them. An example from my experience was when a single mother with three kids had her house burn down, the Scientology community rallied round and helped get her a place to live and some financial help until she got her feet back on the ground.

Grahame said...

Jim Gatos said:

Here Grahame, I found this...

Path to Salvation

Actually, it's very understandable...

My previous questions may also be addressed with the above.

My response:
Thanks, that's a great reference. One thing I will clarify for people new to Scientology who read it is the definition of "Thetan", this term is mis-defined all over the place on the 'net. It simply is the word we use in Scientology for "soul" or "spirit". The word comes from the Greek letter "theta" and means the individual as a spiritual being. In some religions you would say "I have a soul" but in Scientology you would say "I am a soul". Because this could cause confusion, "soul" having different definitions in different religions, in Scientology we use the new word "thetan".

Grahame said...

SouthernBread and santarosa both mentioned a particular incident from the 1970's and how this reflects badly on the Church of Scientology. They both refer to this as something the "Church" did. That is not accurate. Let me give a very brief background based on my personal recollections from that time: in the 1960's an entity called the "Guardian's Office" was established in the Church to handle governmental and legal matters. By the mid-1970's the "G.O.", as it was called, had deviated considerably from long standing Church policy and did some really dumb and reprehensible things. The worst of these was that it actually infiltrated the government, (I think it was the IRS), to get documents on the Church that were being withheld by the government despite FOIA requests. Once the documents were taken the government organized raids on a couple of Churches because it turned out that the government had been mounting a "sting" and some G.O. executives had fallen for it - not to minimize what they did, but it's data as to what did happen. In the end some (I think four) G.O. executives were jailed for what happened.

So it wasn't the "Church" who did this it was a small number of specific individuals in a rogue department and they went to jail for it. After this happened the Church leaders of the time investigated the Guardian's Office and found that violations of Church policy were so extreme that they disbanded the enter G.O. and they put in place new policies and safeguards to make sure it never happened again.

That was 30 years ago and nothing similar has occurred since, so it looks like the safeguards were effective.

More data: What was the Guardian’s Office and does it still exist?
The Hidden Story of Scientology (I read this book about 25 years ago and I think it has data on what happened.)

Grahame said...

SouthernBread said:
I support the progression of man-kind, and the resolution of one's problems by being totally honest and dealing with them head-on.
I support the many charitable acts the church has done.

I do not support the way the church has treated critics.


Grahame replied:
Thank you for recognizing that the Church of Scientology and Scientologists do a great deal of charitable work. Also I agree with you about honesty and dealing with things head-on.

On the "way the church has treated critics". First of all, this is a generality. To answer the charge we need to know which specific individual or individuals treated which specific critics in what specific way? On a more "general" note, I'm afraid the complaints of "critics" just don't hold water as far as I am concerned. If a tenth of the claims of these people were true then half the management of the Church would be in jail right now.

I think Andrew Morton is a great example of a "critic" who claimed he was being harassed and it turned out he was lying. In November of 2007, Morton was quoted in the British paper, Sunday Express, alleging harassment by the Church. He stated "I have received threats from the Scientologists and things have become pretty heavy - to the extent that it is more than my lawyers can handle. I have sold my flat and I am not telling anyone where I am moving. I intend to disappear for a while." This statement was a total lie and the Church had never threatened Mr. Morton in any way. So great was the evidence of the falsity of Morton’s claim that the newspaper printed a retraction and apologized to the Church for the falsehood. See The Church of Scientology: An Apology

More data: Church of Scientology statement: Response to Andrew Morton's unauthorized Tom Cruise biography see "8. Are Scientologists taught to harass people who oppose them?"

Related data:
Anti-Religious Extremists - including some "critics" of Scientology
What does the term "fair game" refer to?
What does "suppressive person" mean?
Why do some people oppose Scientology?
Why do some people oppose Scientology? (2)
Can Scientologists come and go as members of the Church if they wish?
Why has Scientology been to court a lot of times?
What is Scientology’s view of democracy?

Grahame said...

Jim Gatos asked:

What, if any, are Scientology's connections, previous and present, with the occult and the Black Arts?


Grahame answered:

Short answer: None.

Longer answer: I guess this relates to your earlier questions about Alistair Crowley to which I gave this link: Was L. Ron Hubbard involved in a satanic cult before he founded Scientology?.

If you want to answer this question for yourself to your complete satisfaction then you should study some Scientology (such as the book "Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought") or the links I give at the end of this, then study some occultism or black-artism and then compare the two. That's really the only way for anyone to answer the question.

Personally I have no clue what sort of things are covered by the "occult" or "Black Arts" as I've never studied or dealt with them. However, to answer your question, I did look up some terms on Wikipedia (I know this is probably not the definitive source of data on these subjects but it gives a quick overview):

In the article for the word "Occult" it talks about "magic, extra-sensory perception, astrology, spiritualism, numerology and lucid dreaming". There is none of that in Scientology. The article also says that Buddhism and Hinduism are not generally considered as occult and Scientology is somewhat comparable to Buddhism and Hinduism.

I had a quick look at "Magic" and the same applies there - nothing to do with Scientology.

I looked at "Black Arts" and there were several links from there so I chose "Black Magic" as the most applicable. The article says that "black magic" is a form of "magic," so again, this has nothing to do with Scientology.

Data on what Scientology is:
Scientology: An Analysis and Comparison of its Religious Systems and Doctrines by Bryan R. Wilson
Scientology: The Theological Fundamentals of the Scientology Religion
Scientology Axioms and Basics
Scientology Principles and Application

Jaume said...

Hi Grahame, this is not a question but just a note of thanks for providing that link for the scientologymyths.info site, and for the good work you're doing on your blog. Thank you, and keep up the good work!

Best,
Jaume

Grahame said...

chakurakid15 said:

He's not saying he wants to get a degree in Theology. He's asking why does it cost you money to be IN the church. Christianity does not REQUIRE you to donate money to be in it or make you take classes so you can be saved ...

What he and I are curious about is why do you have to pay for classes to learn more about your religion? I've been in christianity for 13 years, and other then an occasional new bible when mine wears out, I've never been again REQUIRED to pay a cent to learn more about my religion or to get help. Why is it that Scientology does? I don't understand that. I'm not trying to be rude, but that seems a little ridiculous to me. If you could explain that, maybe I could understand a little better where you're coming from.


My response: Thanks for your questions. I'll do my best to answer them.

The Church of Scientology does NOT REQUIRE you to pay anything to be a Scientologist.

Let's compare what a person (Mr. C) might do if he wants to be a Christian but doesn't want to spend any money and what a person (Mr. S) might do under the same circumstances if he wanted to be a Scientologist.

Mr. C can go to his local public library and get out a Bible.
Mr. S can go to his local public library and get out a Scientology book.

Mr. C can go to his local Christian church to attend a Sunday Service at no charge.
Mr. S can go to his local Scientology church to attend a Sunday Service at no charge.

Mr. C can go to his local Christian church to attend other free services.
Mr. S can go to his local Scientology church to attend other free services.

So far there is no difference and no requirement to pay anything.

The big difference comes when we start talking about the spiritual technology of Scientology, what we in Scientology call "Auditing". There really is no equivalent that I know of in other religions. It is very difficult to describe what I'm talking about without going into tremendous detail, but I'll try to give you the "Reader's Digest" version.

Through Scientology Auditing you can achieve the following abilities:
- Willing to communicate freely with anyone on any subject. Free from or no longer bothered by communication difficulties. No longer withdrawn or reticent.
- Able to recognize the source of problems and make them vanish. No longer worried about problems he has with others, problems they have with him, problems others have with others or problems he has with himself. Can recognize the source of problems.
- Freedom from the hostilities and sufferings of life.
- Freedom from upsets of the past. Ability to face the future. Ability to experience sudden change without becoming upset.
- Ability to move out of fixed conditions and able to do new things. Able to face life without the need to justify his own actions or defend himself from others.
(These are just a few from the full list.)

When you gain these abilities you know it for yourself, no one tells you that you have them. You tell the Auditor (counselor) when you are satisfied you've reached the ability.

To give a person these abilities requires an exactly applied technology. It takes a great deal of work to teach a person how to give these abilities to another. It is not something you can do by simply reading some books. It's sort of like kidney surgery, you can read all the books you like on it but nobody in their right mind is going to let you operate on them. While not quite so life threatening, the technology of Scientology has to be applied exactly and with an accompanying discipline for it to work.

Thus it takes time and resources to do it. It takes Scientology Training. So if a person wants to be certified as a professional Scientology Auditor he will need to go to a properly certified Church which has highly trained professional staff who will make sure he comes out of that training as a professional. Naturally this sort of training costs money.

On the other side is receiving the Auditing so you can achieve the abilities such as those listed above. Delivery of this technology takes a highly trained professional team to do it. It takes time, resources and highly personalized attention. Again this costs money.

I hope that answers your questions about money.

One other thing. There is a word "Thetan" that we use in Scientology. it is a much mis-defined term. The word means "soul", but soul has so many other meanings that we use the term thetan instead, from the Greek letter "theta", the traditional symbol for thought or life. One does not have a thetan, something one keeps somewhere apart from oneself; one is a thetan. The thetan is the person himself, not his body or his name or the physical universe, his mind or anything else. It is that which is aware of being aware; the identity which IS the individual.

What Scientology Auditing (spiritual technology) addresses is you, the thetan and not anything else.

References:
A Description of Auditing
A Description Of Scientology Training
What is auditing?
What is a thetan?
What is training?
Does it cost a lot to be a member of the Church and take services?
Chaplain And Ministerial Services
Dianetics, Scientology & Beyond By L. Ron Hubbard
Auditing to Higher States of Existence

Grahame said...

A person who opposes Scientology (JB) asked some rather loaded questions. That is, questions of the "do you still beat your wife?" type, so however you answer you're guilty.

However, I'd like to at least address what he brought up.

Firstly, there is the question of people claiming to somehow be giving away Scientology for free while the Church "charges" for it. This is answered partly by my earlier post "Answers to Questions regarding the cost of Scientology Services " and partly in the comments section of my post "Questions About Scientology". Those cover a lot of the false data on cost of services.

On the idea that one can obtain Scientology services for free outside the Church, that is also answered in my "Answers to Questions regarding the cost of Scientology Services " article, but to put it briefly, in order to get the benefits of Scientology Auditing the technology must be applied exactly and that takes tough professional training and a team to ensure the quality stays at the level of perfection. It simply can't be done for nothing. Here are some other references regarding people who claim to deliver Scientology outside of the church: What are Freezoners? and Squirrels. My last comment on this is that these people don't deliver Scientology. It's like my example in an earlier post where I talked about going to someone who'd read a book on kidney surgery but wasn't a fully trained and certified surgeon, you just wouldn't do it unless you were nuts.

The last thing JB did was ask me to address "the record of violence that the Church of Scientology has" - as I said it's one of those "do you still beat your wife?' type of questions. It is also a huge generality of the "Muslims are all terrorists" or "Mormons are polygamists" variety. I wondered what sort of person would ask a question like that? So I took a look at his blog and he has this huge list of names of people who have supposedly been killed by the church. Wow! Isn't it great the way you can simply accuse people of something without any proof and immediately they are found guilty. So hey JB, let's think this one through logically. Now, last time I looked, if someone died under suspicious circumstances an organization known as the "police" (you may have heard of them) investigated and if they found someone was responsible for the death then the responsible party was prosecuted and if found guilty they were sent to jail. I think that is still the way they do things, at least in the USA. So according to you, JB, the police have been taking a lot of time off recently or else they have simply been ignoring multiple homicides. Are you accusing them of siting around eating donuts when they should be out keeping the streets safe from roving bands of homicidal Scientologists???

Sorry if I sound sarcastic but come on. Get real. You have been wildly misled. Instead of blindly attacking Scientology why don't you go into your local Church and actually talk to a live person so you can see what sort of people Scientologists are? You could get your questions answered. You could get factual data about whatever accusations you've heard. You could find out the truth about the false data you've been fed. For goodness sake, man, open your eyes and find out for yourself. Stop blindly accepting what you are being spoon fed by a group of anti-religious bigots.

References:
Church of Scientology Community Outreach And Assistance Programs
Scientology In Society
Scientology Volunteer Ministers

Grahame said...

areynolds1 asked questions about Scientology beliefs.

Here is what we believe in Scientology: The Creed of the Church of Scientology and that is it as far as beliefs go. You see, Scientology is not founded on belief. It is based on studying the principles, applying them correctly and then seeing for yourself if it works or not. This is what makes Scientology different from other religions. You don't have to have faith. You don't have to take anyone's word for anything. You can make up your own mind. This article describes the mindset one should have in approaching Scientology and actually it's also a great way to approach life: Personal Integrity by L. Ron Hubbard.

The core, most important data of Scientology, the things that the religion is based upon, can be found in the books written by L. Ron Hubbard, all of which are available here: Scientology Basics Books and Lectures. When you go to the page you can click on the graphic of a book and you'll see what the book is about and how much it costs. These books and lectures form the foundation of Scientology. They are the core, they are the important data. If you want to know what Scientology is then this is where to look.

areynolds1 said something about "the Scientology world-creation story" and then quoted some nonsense from the Internet. Let me tell you right here and now that if there is such a thing in Scientology as a "world-creation story" then the place to find it is here: The Scientology Factors. If you want to know about something then I say, don't mess around, go to the source. Probably the reason you can find so much BS about what Scientologists believe is that the people writing the nonsense don't understand the actual core data of Scientology and so go find a rumor they can understand and repeat it, ad nauseam.

More on Scientology Beliefs:
Scientology at its most practical level
A Description Of Scientology
The Axioms Of Dianetics And Scientology
Theology and Practice of Scientology
Free eBook: Theology & Practice of a Contemporary Religion - Scientology (PDF Format)
Articles by Religious Experts:
Scientology: Its Cosmology, Anthropology, System of Ethics & Methodologies
Scientology: An Analysis and Comparison of its Religious Systems and Doctrines
Scientology: The Marks of Religion
Scientology: An Analysis and Review of a New Religion

Grahame said...

Jim Gatos asked me some good questions and made some observations about religions and the history of religion.

On the observations you made, I largely agree with you. I think it is important to differentiate between the religion (the philosophy, the scriptures, etc.) and the people who are in it. The people in any religion are human beings and are subject to all the frailties and failings of human beings. There will always be some people in any religion who do illegal or bad things but what is the proportion of them to the ones who don't? If a couple hundred Catholic priests go off the rails over a 40 year period that is a terrible thing, but how many good Priests are there in the world and how many good Catholics are there in the world? I think the proportion that did those horrible things to kids is very small compared to the number of good people who are Catholics.

One of the main things religion does in this world is give people ideals to follow in their daily lives, for example, the Christian story of the "good Samaritan" teaches tolerance for people with different beliefs and that you should judge an individual by his actions, not by his race or creed. Religion teaches the ideals and then it is up the individual himself or herself to follow those ideals. You mentioned several people who failed to live up to the ideals, such as Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker. But what about Sister Teresa or Mahatma Gandhi? There are two shining examples of people who did follow the ideal.

Now for your questions: On a couple of them I have no data at all. I'll try and find out something and give you answers when I know something.

On your questions that I can answer:

You asked: "Britney Spears, Oh MY God.. What is her mental state? I even heard her manager fed her drugs to control her! I'm sure Scientology could have helped her, and if anyone says waht about the money she saved by NOT joining Scientology, I ask, what about the money she spent on drugs, or other stupid things? I'd like to hear your opinion, if you want to go there..."

Do I want to go there? Maybe I shouldn't, but I'll try some sort of answer. It is very sad what has happened to her, doubly sad because there are kids involved. The data on her manager drugging her makes sense to me if you look at her behavior since he came on the scene - she acted like someone who was drugged and out-of-it.

Could she have been helped by Scientology? Well, anyone can be helped. The question is would the various influences in her life have allowed anything to help her? It is an unfortunate fact that artists tend to attract to themselves a certain type of person who has bad intentions towards them. My wife has read many biographies and autobiographies of famous people and you can see nasty people throughout their lives. There is more data on this here: Overcoming the Ups and Downs in Life. So my answer is: If she'd had this data early on in her career and she'd used it, then she could have avoided the mess she is now in. (Also that booklet I linked to is available online or you can buy it for a few bucks, so it wouldn't have been expensive at all.)


You asked: "Are there any other sources to be studied in Scientology? Seems like L. Ron is the only one..."

L. Ron Hubbard is the only source for Scientology. Maybe that sounds funny to you so I can only answer why that is from my own experience.

Ron began his search for the answers to life very early on. He studied just about every philosopher who existed - he acknowledges many of them at the beginning of his book "Science of Survival" and it is a very long list, including Plato, Socrates, Francis Bacon, Thomas Jefferson, Rene Descartes, etc.

So Ron had that broad background of knowledge and was the one who started it all and thus was the one who was always on the leading edge of research and discovery. He obviously had a lot of help, one man couldn't have done it without help. But the way it worked out was that he made the initial discoveries about the mind and developed techniques to improve the mind and the capabilities of the individual. Then as others were learning these and trying to catch up with him, he was researching to find out more about man and better ways to help him. So, as I said, Ron was always on the leading edge, and he made his researches and findings known by writing books and articles and by delivering lectures. These form the basis of Scientology. These are the "source" materials.

Ron himself says:"Scientology is a workable system. This does not mean it is the best possible system or a perfect system. Remember and use that definition. Scientology is a workable system."

I've found it to be workable, so I follow it, right from the source. I'm a lazy sort of guy. If someone already invented the wheel then I'm quite happy to use four of them on my car. I'm not going to go out and invent it all over again. I don't have the time, I need to drive to work now :)


On one of your other questions I have a partial answer: If someone wants to leave the church then they can. Simple as that. A friend of my wife did a couple of courses and then decided not to continue. Nothing happened. She and my wife are still good friends. She enjoyed her courses, she just didn't want to continue. It was her choice.

One thing you have to watch out for on the Internet is stories from "Apostates." An Apostate is someone who renounces a belief or allegiance. Religious scholars have examined the phenomenon of people leaving a religion and then bad-mouthing or attacking it. The conclusion of one such scholar was "apostates from new religions do not meet the standards of personal objectivity, professional competence, and informed understanding required of expert witnesses." See The Reliability of Apostate Testimony About New Religious Movements by Lonnie D. Kliever, Ph.D.. Another expert said, "The apostate is generally in need of self-justification. He seeks to reconstruct his own past, to excuse his former affiliations, and to blame those who were formerly his closest associates." See Apostates and New Religious Movements by Professor Bryan Ronald Wilson.

So stories from people who left and bear a grudge are not going to be reliable. And I can confirm that from personal experience.

Other data:
Why are ex-members poor sources of true information on Scientology?

bookslave said...

Dear friend currently I am reading many of Hubbards works.I am quiet fond of him and the Church Of Scientology,I do not know any practicing Scientologist,so my questions are left incomplete or bias.I was told in order for me to join the church someone would have to offer me an invatation.Is this true? I only ask because my drive to join the church and possibly if Provided the chance,join the staff.I currently live in Chattanooga and would love to move to clearwater FL and start from scratch....

Grahame said...

Hey bookslave, All you have to do to join the Church is: find a Church of Scientology, walk in the front door and say "Hello." :)

About the only other thing I'd suggest is to finish the books you are reading so you know what Scientology is. It is important to understand a subject before taking any serious steps in it.

leith said...

what have aliens got to do with scientology?

Grahame said...

Hey leith, thanks for your question.

You asked "what have aliens got to do with scientology?". The answer is zip, nothing, nada. In Scientology we believe that man is a spiritual being (See the video "Scientology Beliefs: The Parts of Man"

You can find other videos about what we believe here: Scientology Videos

Here is more on how come the subject of aliens ever go brought up: Do Scientologist believe in aliens?

CarlNeumann said...

Hi Grahame!

It was great to stumble across your Blog. I am a Scientologist in Melbourne, Australia.

Your answers to peoples questions are spot on - well the ones I read that is.

It maybe good to mention that people should purchase a book (or two..) written by L. Ron Hubbard (preferably start with Dianetics) to really find out what Scientology is. They can buy them at: www.bridgepub.com or www.scientologybooks.com.au or from there closest Church to them.

Keep up the good work and thanks for diseminating the truth about Scientology.

Carl
P.S. I also like the same music as you!

Simon said...

Hi there,

I did some research about the sites you link to (scientologymyths.info, religiousfreedomwatch.org, youthforhumanrights.org, appliedscholastics.org, drugfreeworld.org), and they all seem to be run by the church of scientology. What's up with that, doesn't independent organisations ever say anything nice about your religion?

Grahame said...

Hey Simon,

My answer to your comment is here: Research on Scientology

Grahame said...

I had an interesting comment from Lawtears which I would have published if it hadn't linked to his profile and his anti-Scientology blog. (See my rules about what I publish).

What he said was this: At the anonymous demos, there's guys there that will say scientology is a cult because X,Y,Z happened. What I'd love to know is what your X,Y,Z is, that makes scientology NOT a cult. What are these 3 things (or give me more or less) that make you sure that, yes, scientology is the way for humanity and not a cult?

I thought this was a good question, so I answered it here: Is Scientology a Cult?.

Tell me what you think Lawtears.

Dana said...

I'm asking this in a completely neutral way. I have enjoyed learning about the religion from your perspective and I think it's only fair that you be treated with respect, not as an enemy of sorts. I can actually see why people become Scientologists and do not assume they've signed over their brains (or minds of any sort) when they do so.

But my question is -- even if I were interested in becoming a Scientologist myself, my understanding is that I would automatically be disqualified from doing so and labeled an SP because of my profession. I'm a journalist, and because of that I have been told that I am a "merchant of chaos".

I see where that idea comes from, but the fact is that I could go to just about any church or mosque or coven and be welcomed if I were a believer. At none of those places would it be assumed that I have an automatic desire to damage the faith through doing my job.

So if you could, could you explain why this is a good (or even bad) policy or why I should give up a good, honorable profession to better myself as a human being.

I know that Scientologists have some very valid reasons for hating the media overall, but it's also true that some of your celebrities, such as Tom Cruise, have used to tell the world about their own positive experiences using the tech, and that has helped your religion gain membership. Thanks!

Grahame said...

Lawtears asked: Out of curiosity, why don't you go to freezone and do the tech there?

My Answer: Scientology and Open Heart Surgery.

I hope that answers it for you. If not post another comment and I'll expand on it.

rhcp21490 said...

Hi my name is Patrick and I am doing a project about Scientology in school and was wondering if you could answer some questions.

Why did you choose the Church Scientology?

What initially appealed you about Scientology?

Do you believe Scientology is a cult?

What do you have to say to people who believe it is a cult?

Are you tolerating to other religions?

What would you do if someone tried to convert you to another religion?

Do you feel threatened by other religions?

What practices do you perform in Scientology?

Odin's Servant said...

Hi grahame,
I would like to start by letting you know that I am not being sarcastic or malicious in any way with my question. I do not know a lot about scientology, so my little knowledge may even be incorrect. But from my understanding, scientology believes that everyone is controlled by the spirits of dead aliens. and that when you die you will be rejoined with a mother ship or something like that.

Now i have to ask, how does one actually come to believe in this? Now I am no stranger to criticism for my beliefs. I am Asatru, that is, i believe in the old pagan gods of the norse tribes of scandinavia. Odin, Thor, Freya, etc... So I am not some self righteous dumba** who wants to badmouth someone.

But i would like to note that my beliefs have been grounded in my heritage for thousands of years. Scientology however seems to have been dreamed up by a science fiction writer. The stories behind scientology are quite interesting but i'm not sure i could believe in them. Could you inform me about how you came to this religion and what your actual beliefs are if my knowledge is incorrect. Thank you!

-

Grahame said...

Hey Odin's Servant,

Thanks for your questions. I have answered them here: What Do Scientologists Believe?.

If that doesn't answer everything or if it brings up more questions then please feel free to post some more.

Grahame said...

Hey rhcp21490 (Patrick) I will answer you questions tomorrow in a blog post. So look out for it.

Tom Newton said...

Ok, my question is this. You say "training" in scientology costs very little compared to a 4 year degree in any other religion.

OT VIII costs upwards of $300,000 USD to attain, assuming you have no "overts" to "go over again" (aka another intensive at $12,500USD). - Amounts taken from ASHO ordering form.

A 4 year degree cost at most $50,000USD from any recognized theological college.

Would you care to explain possibly where my data is incorrect in regards to this?

Grahame said...

My answer to the question from Tom Newton is here: Cost of Scientology Services - Again

Mike Krpan said...

How does scientology relate to science? Is it science? If so, how so? Please compare/contrast to mainstream, peer-reviewed, university oriented science.

Grahame said...

Thanks for your question Mike Krpan.

Scientology is a religion, not a science. However, it attempts to address the area of spirituality in an organized, logical, practical and scientific way.

The methods to attain spiritual improvement are rigorously tested to make sure they get a result every time.

The practical methods that a person can use to improve their life here and now and to address problems they are facing here and now have also been rigorously tested and validated for their workability.

For an introduction to some of these methods I recommend this website: The Scientology Handbook

Jimbo said...

Hi,

I have for a long time wondered why the money which is paid to the cos for training(is it for books and auditing too?) is called a donation.

Could you explain why that is? The way I understand the word is that it is a contribution which is made by the giver on his own initiative.

Looking at the meriamwebster dictionary it says:

: the act or an instance of donating: as a: the making of a gift especially to a charity or public institution b: a free contribution : gift

This would seem to indicate that someone could choose to take a course without being required to give anything in return.

I'm not suggesting that that is the way it should work - just that that is how I have so far understood the word donate.

Jim

Grahame said...

Hey Jimbo. Here is where I answered your question: Donations to Scientology Churches.

SomethingNice said...

Do you get different kinds of questions or comments in face to face conversations about Scientology, or is it similar to what you get on the net?

Grahame said...

Hey Somethingnice,

Funny you should ask. Someone at work this week asked me "So what is Scientology" then the next question was "So how is it a religion?" next was "What's your problem with psychology?"

Next day she asked "So it's more like an eastern religion, like Hinduism or Buddhism?"

The questions I get in real life are usually more real than the questions I get on the net. I have not been asked questions like those simple ones very often. I guess people on the net think they already know, so they don't bother to ask.

The problem is that if you have been misinformed then you know less than nothing.

SomethingNice said...

On a related note then, I wonder if the same rumors about Scientology would fly in a culture like Japan or India where Eastern religions are better known. Do you know any Scientologists from those areas? Do they get the same misinterpretations of Scientology told about them, or is that mainly an American/European thing?

Grahame said...

Hey somethingnice,

Those are good questions. I know some Scientologists who were born in the east, but they have been in the west for many years and came across Scientology here, so I can't answer your questions.

But if any Scientologists from the east read this, then I'd love to hear their answers.

Ming said...

Hey grahame, I've been reading up on this blog and a lot of the questions here and to be honest, it has sparked my curiosity and interest in Scientology. Up to this point, everything I've learned about Scientology pretty much came from comedy series that puts Scientology under a very critical light. I suppose its equivalent to getting your news from late night comedy shows.
My question is, if I wanted to take a basic course in Scientology to explore Scientology and experience it myself first handedly, where would you recommend me to go to? Since unlike the already well established Catholic Church, there doesn't seem to be any local churches that I can just walk into. Is there a place that helps me find where a local Scientology church is or would you rather recommend me to pick up on some readings first?

Grahame said...

Hey Ming,

Thanks for the questions.

If you want to find a Scientology organization to start at you can go here: Scientology Global Locator

Or to get a taste of the subject, read some of the data on this site: Scientology Handbook. It has a lot of basic Scientology online.

If you want to check out a basic book to get an idea of what it is about then there are a couple listed in my sidebar, or you can go here: Scientology Books and all the basic books are listed.

Also almost every library in the world has been given the Basic Scientology Books package, so you should be able to find books at your local library.

If you want to talk to someone to get more data you can call 1-800-HELP-4-YU.

I hope that gives you something to be going on with. If you have any other questions, please just ask.

Magnolia said...

Good evening. First of all, forgive my ignorance but English is not my mother tongue.
I'm curious by nature. I've been searching for a while sites about Scientology. The majority of them, no offence intended, say it is "trash". I can't help but ask myself "why?". I want to know the ideas of a member because I could change my mind. Thankyou very much! Bye bye.

SaraTattrija

Wolley said...

What is scientology's main objective?

Sophie said...

Hi! You don't want me to be offensive, so I'll try to explain my different idea the gentlest as possible... forgive me if I'm being offensive. Anyway, I read on a lot of sites what your precets are about. Would you give me any scientific proof that what you're saying is true? I'm just curious because I can't believe anything if there's no scientific proof.

goodbye

Grahame said...

Hey Magnolia,

I answered your question here: A Question from Magnolia

Tell me what you think.

Grahame said...

Hey Wolley,

Click this link for The Aims of Scientology.

Grahame said...

Hey Sophie,

To answer your question, try this:

Here is a precept of Scientology: Affinity, Reality and Communication. I suggest you go to that link, read the articles there and then go out into life and apply the data. Use it to improve a relationship you have or to create a new one. That way you will be able to tell for yourself whether that precept is valid or not.

That is how Scientology works. You are given knowledge, you make sure you fully understand it, you use it and then you see if it works or not.

For me that is infinitely better than being told by an authority that something is true or not. I would rather find out for myself.

So after you use the data on affinity, reality and communication, tell me what you find.

Jim Gatos said...

Grahame, I just thought of a question.. Hope you can find a minute..

One of L. Ron Hubbard's quotes is pretty profound. I believe it went like this..


"A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights."

My question has to do with those LESS FORTUNATE than those who are "able".. I'm sure I know what the answer will be only by looking @ the volunteer ministers, but here it is....

What about those NOT ABLE?

How does Scientology handle them?

Thanks Grahame. Happy Holidays...

Grahame said...

Hey Jim,

Your answer is here: Scientology: Making the Able more Able

editor said...

Hi,
I'm an editor at a website, and I'd like to contact you today if possible. (1/05)

Is there a way I can reach you?
Thanks,
Editor

Grahame said...

Hey editor,

Maybe if you left me an email address in a comment then I could respond.

I won't publish the address on the site.

Jim Gatos said...

Grahame, would you please look at this link? I saw this at the BBC RSS feeds.

Is this supposed to be "auditing by prescription"?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7892272.stm

I think it's bad news...

Grahame said...

Hey Jim,

It looks to me, from what the article says, that the conclusions the researchers have come to are erroneous.

Surely a more logical conclusion is that the drugs merely made the subjects less aware of their environment. The fact that they reacted less to present-time "startling" stimuli shows this. It proves nothing about their memories.

The experiments with animals also show this. As the article says, "Experiments on animals has shown beta blockers can interfere with how the brain makes sense of frightening events." The creatures were confused. The drugs disoriented them. It had nothing to do with erasing memories.

Seems to me that someone is trying to get a nice big grant from a drug company.

Grahame said...

Hey Jim,

One other thing.

Scientology Auditing does not erase memories as the article implies that the drugs do.

Auditing erases the trauma associated with the memories. The memories themselves are still there, it's the pain and suffering associated with them is gone.

If you had an accident and the memory was completely removed then you could easily make the same mistakes again and repeat the accident. If you have the trauma removed then you can remember exactly what happened and thereby learn from your mistakes.

I think that's a much better solution.

Jacqueline said...

Hello,
I'm so glad to have found your blog - Scientology being calmly and simply explained by a Scientologist - very refreshing.
I was on staff many years ago in SA and obviously never had to pay for services.
So I was wondering if you could tell me how much an intensive costs now?
Regards,
Jacqui

Grahame said...

Hey Jacqui,

When were you on staff?

masukaze said...

what happened in Operation Snow White and operation freakout? This is a question not to take a shot at the Scientology by the way.

Grahame said...

Hey masukaze,

Operation Snow White

Operation Freakout

C said...

Grahame, I would love to get more actively involved with Scientology but I don't wish to do the Purification Rundown. (I have never taken drugs in my life) Is this a deal-breaker? Is the Purif mandatory?

Grahame said...

Hey "C",

Whether you have to do the Purification Rundown or not is between you and the technical expert who determines what spiritual enhancement you need.

However, I think if you fully understood what the Purif is all about you would actually jump at the chance to do it.

I've done it twice now. Once back in the early 1980s and once in the early 2000s. I had no illegal drug history at all and a minimal medical drug history but I personally got huge gains from the Purif both times.

Unfortunately we live in a world filled with toxins. The fumes from cars, the leaded paint on the walls of an old house, the crap they put into drinking water to kill off bugs, the additives in foods, etc., etc. These all take a toll on you and after they are gone you feel so much better.

Clearer headed, more energy, fabulous skin and much more are just a few of the gains I got from the Purif.

So, my advice would be to go to your local Church or Mission of Scientology and talk to someone about it, or buy the book Clear Body, Clear Mind and read for yourself what the Purif is all about.

Emmeline St. Clair said...

Hi, I'm a newcomer to Scientology and would like to pose a couple questions to you. The first relates to Nadya Suleman, the infamous mother of fourteen. Do her obsessive experiments in breeding place her at a 1.1 on the Hubbard Chart of Human Evaluation (even though she has achieved great procreative success)? She appears to have very little regard for her children's well-being. They will grow up in a very impoverished household if she does not redirect her course of action (no father, grave financial problems, lack of personal space).

The second question relates to animals and the Fifth Dynamic. I know Scientology was designed to service the able man, but did L. Ron Hubbard make any important discoveries about animals? Would a Tone Scale applicable to animals heighten the Fifth Dynamic, or would it be a pointless frivolity?

Sorry about the length, I am a very verbose person and tend to overwhelm people in my communications with them. I am working on changing that with the help of Scientology. Feel free to keep my comment unpublished and excerpt the salient parts in your response.

Thanks in advance!

Grahame said...

Hey Emmeline,

Thanks for your questions. They are not frivolous or verbose.

You asked The first relates to Nadya Suleman, the infamous mother of fourteen. Do her obsessive experiments in breeding place her at a 1.1 on the Hubbard Chart of Human Evaluation (even though she has achieved great procreative success)?

I don't know enough about the woman to give you my opinion. From what I've seen in the news I would not place her very high on the tone scale.

The second question relates to animals and the Fifth Dynamic. I know Scientology was designed to service the able man, but did L. Ron Hubbard make any important discoveries about animals?

The Dianetic Axioms in the book Scientology 0-8: The Book of Basics cover this area. There is way too much covered there for me to try and do it justice here.

Would a Tone Scale applicable to animals heighten the Fifth Dynamic, or would it be a pointless frivolity?

The tone scale applies to all living things, so you can apply it to animals just as well as humans.

Paltry answers, but mine own :)

If you have more just ask away.

Jim Gatos said...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29797423

This is bad bad bad news...

Grahame said...

Hey Jim,

You are right.

The corruption in this field is unbelievable. The FDA approves a drug for use on kids based on two clinical trials that showed it was better than a sugar pill. They ignored all the other clinical trials that showed that it was not as effective as a placebo.

So, let's do 200 clinical trials, throw away 198 and pass on the two that succeeded to the FDA and they'll approve the drug.

Perhaps I am mistaken but I thought the FDA was supposed to be working for the benefit of the American People, not for the profits of the Pharmaceutical Industry. Silly me.

Caspian Rex said...

First of all, Grahame, nice work on the site. There is a lot of useful information here. (Also, I read your profile, and we have similar interests in music. I only recently discovered Symphony X!)

I am not a Scientologist, and can't actually see myself ever becoming one, but I have been researching it lately, just to try to get an idea what it's all about.

Here's my question for you: what is your opinion on Hubbard's book, Scientology: A History of Man? Frankly, it seems (to the non-Scientologist, at least) a little farfetched, e.g. Piltdown Man, clams, etc. I only recently acquired a copy myself, and have only glossed through it so far.

I would just be interested in whatever light you can shed on this interesting book would be appreciated.

Regards,
Cory

Grahame said...

Hey Caspian

I answered your question here: Question about "Scientology: A History of Man" book.

Tell me if that answers it for you.

moneymakingeasy said...

just have known that DIANETICS THE MODERN SCINCE OF MENTAL HEALTH
book has published in Sinhala. http://sinhalese.dianetics.org/
So I decided to buy a Sinhalese version of that book.Since most of the
sinhala people live in Sri Lanka, I thought that you have given the
permission to publish to a local publisher to print this book's
Sinhala version,because most of the American publishers have made Sri
Lanka only versions to serve better to our country's customers.
Actually it is very expensive for Sri Lankan to buy this book for $20.
Please let me some method to get it for around $5 or $6.Please reply me.
Please don't misunderstand me that I am trying to get it free,I like
to pay, But this is really expensive to Sri Lankans.
Can you help me to find a donor to buy that book ?

Grahame said...

Hey money dude,

I suggest you contact the publisher at the email address given on the Sinhalese Dianetics site (info@bridgepub.com). They will probably be able to arrange something for you.

Tell me how it goes.

moneymakingeasy said...

Have read the Dianetics book entirely what is your true feeling only about that book ?

Grahame said...

Hey moneymakingeasy,

I think the book is great. I've read it several times and I've used the techniques given in it to very good result on myself and others.

I highly recommend it.

Grahame said...

Hey moneymakingeasy,

I understand your difficulty in purchasing the book due to the financial situation in your country.

What I suggest is that you try to contact New Era Publications because they deal with your part of the world, I don't think Bridge Publications does.

If they don't reply immediately then just keep trying. I'm sure they get a lot of email, so persist.

moneymakingeasy said...

Do you think that if I request a Sinhala Dianetics book's PDF format from the volunteer ministers.Will they give it to me ?

Grahame said...

Hey mme,

I don't know. Give it a try.

bardill said...

I like your honest answers. It's indeed so difficult to discuss religion in civilized manner that I really hope you can answer me on some points.

1) I see lots of talk about "salvation of man" in scientology. Salvation from what?
2) Most religions believe that God revealed to some chosen man about his existence, his name, his plans etc. Apparently Hubbard never claimed that God revealed anything to him but he rather speaks of "discoveries". Is this right? Why your God does not reveal his religion to "prophets"?
3) If salvation comes only from becoming scientologists, what happened to people before scientology? If one can be saved without becoming scientologists, then why should one choose to become one?
4) Sometimes I see written that scientology is compatible with other religions. Is that right? If is right, how comes no monotheist religion believes in reincarnation? How can the Bible or Qu'ran pass over this crucial fact unless they are false and/or misleading?

Many thanks for your attention.

Luca

Grahame said...

Hey Luca,

I have answered your questions here: Some Questions About Scientology.

Jim Gatos said...

Grahame,

I saw this article;

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32271786/ns/health-kids_and_parenting/

thought I'd bring it here.

I'm curious, what's the "connection" with Scientology and Psychiatry?"

Thanks
Jim

Grahame said...

Hey Jim,

Thanks for the question.

I answered it here: Answer to Jim regarding Psychiatry and Scientology

Tell me what you think.

Nick said...

Hi,
I wanted to ask you something.

Im currently starting on scientology, I have a couple of books (dianetics, a new slant on life, & the way to happyness), I've been looking some videos from the scientology. I even joined the volunteer ministers to get a few more books.

The problem is that when i searched for a church in my country, using the church locator, i could find only 3, all of them far away from my location.

Since them im trying to get in touch over the net, but with very little luck. I could only find this blog, and a group in facebook (with almost no activity).

So, i was hopping you tell me how to get in touch with another scientologist.

Thanks

Grahame said...

Hey Nick,

I'd suggest you contact one of the churches in your country. Call them on the phone and they should be able to help.

Hope that helps.

mikeytriumphs said...

Grahame,

I am very appreciative that you have worked so hard on this blog. So much of what you find online regarding Scientology is negative, and it's good to find a resource outside of formal church websites that we're able to learn from an actual Scientology.

My question is this: I have been interested in Scientology for several years, but cannot bring myself to visit a Church or start a course. I am gay, and I have heard that Scientology places gay people very low on the tone scale, and says we're (like most churches do) bad or immoral people. I just don't agree with this.

Will Scientology services try and change me? Can I be both gay and a Scientologist? What exactly does the Church say about this issue?

Grahame said...

Hey mikey,

Thanks for your questions. I have answered them here: Scientology and Homosexuality

Tell me if that answers it for you.

Sophie said...

How is Auditing different from seeing a therapist and talking about your feelings and working on them and what not?

Therapists usually don't prescribe drugs so how is it different?

Grahame said...

Hey Sophie,

Your question about the difference between Scientology spiritual counseling (called Auditing) and psychology or psychoanalysis is a very good one.

The differences are so great that you could write a book on them.

I will answer you question fully, but this week I'm nearing the end of a major project at work and I don't have the couple of hours needed to write up a suitable answer.

Be patient and I promise I will answer the question in the next week or so.

Same goes for the other question you asked.

Grahame said...

Sophie,

I finally got time to answer you excellent question. Click here: Scientology Auditing versus Secular Therapy

Tell me what you think.

Eric said...

Grahame,

On your recommendation, I recently picked up a copy of Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought from my local library.

On page 72, Hubbard states:

"In Scientology it has been discovered that mental energy is simply a finer, higher-level physical energy. The test of this is conclusive in that a thetan, mocking up (creating) mental image pictures and thrusting them into the body can increase the body mass. And, by casting them away again, can decrease the body mass. This test has actually been made and an increase of as much as thirty pounds (actually measured on scales) has been added to and subtracted from a body by creating mental energy."

I was very much enjoying this text up until reading that. Here, Hubbard is making a falsifiable claim that appears to be quite scientifically unfounded. He also makes no effort to explain how this kind of test can be reproduced. I know from reading your blog and elsewhere, however, that where Scientology is concerned, there is usually more to it than the surface data.

I was wondering if you could elaborate a little more here on Hubbard's meaning with regard to the mass of mental image pictures, and how it could be that "mocking up mental image pictures and thrusting them into the body" could increase the weight of the body by "as much as thirty pounds."

Thank you,
Eric
Alabama

Grahame said...

Hey Eric,

Thanks for the question.

The answer lies in chapter 8 of Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought, called "Causation and Knowledge", which begins on page 85. However, I'll try to help you with the part you are on.

If you are familiar with physics then you will recall the famous equation from Einstein, E = mc2 (sorry the superscript tag is not allowed in Blogger comments). This equation (to really simplify it) says that if you take a mass and convert it to energy then the amount of energy produced is the mass (m) times the speed of light (c) times the speed of light again (2). In other words mass (m) and energy (E) are interchangeable. (This is how a nuclear reactor works.)

You can think of mass as condensed energy. (An analogy would be how steam condenses to water and then is solidified even more and becomes ice. In steam the water molecules are spread out all over the place and in ice they are jammed together.)

In Scientology, energy is defined as (see page 86) "postulated particles in space." The word "postulate" here means (see the glossary in the book) "considering or saying something and having it be true". It is a thought that causes something to happen. It is a basic capability of a thetan (page 85).

So, a thetan can create (postulate) energy - Mental image pictures are made of energy - Condensed energy is mass. So if a person can create (mock-up) enough energy and condense it by shoving it into his body, then the body would gain weight.

This does not violate the physical law called the "conservation of energy" (which states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed but can only be converted into other forms), because that law deals only with the physical universe and does not take the capabilities of a spiritual being into account.

The book does a much better job of explaining this, so I suggest you continue through chapter 8 and use the glossary to make sure that you have the definition of new words. The book (the latest version) has a great glossary.

I hope that helps. If you have more questions please don't hesitate to ask.

Eric said...

Grahame,

Thank you for the prompt and informative reply. Per your instruction, I have read Chapter 8 of Fundamentals of Thought, as well as read and re-read your reply.

I understand and agree with the following assertions: Mass and energy are interchangeable. Mass is condensed energy. Thoughts ("mental image pictures") are composed, in one sense or another, of energy. Hence, thoughts have weight.

My confusion (doubt) comes from the sheer magnitude of the claim. Hubbard seems to state that a thetan has been shown in a laboratory setting to have increased the weight of its body by "as much as 30 pounds."

Perhaps I'm going about this the wrong way, but I am imagining someone standing on a scale, concentrating really hard, "mocking up" mental image pictures, and causing their weight to rise 30 pounds.

If that is what Hubbard is in fact claiming, then such a scientific demonstration should be capable of being reproduced. Can you stand on a scale and increase your weight by mocking up mental image pictures? Do you know anyone who can? (No sarcasm is intended here.)

Perhaps I have taken the claim the wrong way. Perhaps he is actually shorthanding some more complicated process at work. Perhaps it is something more akin to "mocking up" pictures of food, which causes one to be hungry, which causes one to eat, which causes one to gain mass.

But if that is the case, then that seems to me to be somewhat akin to saying that, because my mind tells my arm to extend, and tells my hand to grab a glass and throw it on the floor, then my mind is capable of manipulating matter, hence I have telekinesis.

If Hubbard is actually stating that someone has (or can) stand on a scale and increase their weight by thirty pounds just by thinking a lot, then I hope you can understand how the claim would be of immense interest to someone wanting to scientifically validate or invalidate Scientology. It also makes one wonder why such a demonstration has not since, to my knowledge, been documented or reproduced.

Please help me clear this up if you can. If my confusion is unclear, let me know, and I will try to elucidate.

Eric

Grahame said...

Hey Eric,

As far as I know the quote you are interested in says what it says. It's there in the book, as is.

There were a lot of experiments done in the early days of Scientology and I guess that was one of them. Experiments are conducted to test an idea and once validated are no longer of much value. They are used as a stepping stone toward better methods and such methods were found and are in use today, whereas the technique used in the experiment is not a technique that is in use today.

I have not tried the experiment myself. I've never felt the need. There are plenty of other things I have observed (with far less effort than would be needed to duplicate the 30 lb feat) that validate that Scientology works.

If you need validation of Scientology, there are plenty of other things in the book that are easy to try out and observe for yourself whether they work or not. There is the principle of Affinity, Reality and Communication, the Conditions-of-Existence (be, do, have), The Eight Dynamics, and other basics.

What I'd suggest is that you do what it says on page 15: "To study Scientology, one should scan quickly through the basics and find something with which one can agree. Having found one thing (one fact) with which he can agree, one should then skim through again and find another fact. One should continue to do this until he feels some friendliness to the subject. When one has achieved this, and only when one has achieved this, he should then study all the basic principles."

Try using the basics that you or anyone else can easily test for themselves in their everyday lives and see what happens.

Good luck.

Eric said...

Grahame,

I know Scientology opposes the drugging of society, but I am unclear as to precisely what extent it stands in opposition to drug consumption, i.e. absolute opposition vs. nuanced opposition.

What, if anything, does Scientology have to say, for example, about "moderate" caffeine and/or alcohol consumption? Are Scientologists discouraged from drinking beer and caffeinated soda?

Thanks again,
Eric

Grahame said...

Hey Eric,

Great question.

Here is the answer: Scientology and Drugs - Attitudes and Rules

sarah said...

Hi, I'm a journalism student writing a paper about the effect of new media on the perception of Scientology. What are your thoughts, as a blogger, on whether new media has helped or hurt your religion's perception in the public eye- the secular view of Scientology? Why?

Grahame said...

Hey Sarah,

That's a good question, but I'm unclear on what "new media" means. Can you give me a definition and then I'll answer your question.

Eric said...

Grahame,

I notice that Scientology makes a big deal out of human rights, although I don't know what LRH or Scientology itself has to say on the matter of human rights.

To be even more specific, does Scientology assert that humans have inherent rights (and if so, what are they as understood by Scientology?), or do Scientologists simply endorse and stand by the established legal understanding of human rights, i.e. the Universal Declaration on Human Rights?

Thanks for any clarification you can give on this matter.

Grahame said...

Hey Eric,

Thanks for your questions. I have answered them here: Scientology and Human Rights.

Spellingmistakescostlives.com said...

Hi,
I've been looking into Scientology, and the E-Meter that plays a large part in the rituals.
Isn't the e-meter simply a lie detector? It certainly seems to measure the same things as one.

Grahame said...

Hey Spellingmistakescostlives.com,

I'll answer your question tomorrow as a post to the blog.

I hope I didn't screw up any spellin', 'cause goodness noes what mite happen :)

Grahame said...

Hey spellingmistakescostlives.com,

Here is my answer: Answer to Question about the E-meter

Eric said...

Grahame,

You've been so great at answering questions. I continue to explore the subject of Scientology due in large part to helpful people like yourself.

My latest inquiry is regarding the book History of Man, which describes a number of incidents on the time track which at first glance seem uncanny and downright bizarre, such as the "boxing glove" incident or the "ice cube" incident.

My question is, are these incidents to be taken literally? Is Hubbard describing actual events or just the way our minds are interpreting spiritual realities?

Any clarification or thoughts you have on this subject would be of great interest to me.

Thank you.

aya_dares said...

We are doing a group presentation about Scientology and I would like to ask you a few questions about newborn care. (I have found a couple of opposing materials and am not quite sure which are true.)

-Are there any specific practices in Scientology for new born babies after birth?
-Do you allow administration of vaccinations, injections and antibiotics to newborns?
-How about blood testing and circumcision?
-Do women breastfeed their babies? Do they use formula?
-Is it true that parents are prohibited from talking or holding their baby for a day (or a week) after birth?

I have quite a few questions. I really would appreciate any response regarding any of the questions.

Grahame said...

Hey Eric,

The data in "History of Man" is what Ron found when auditing people. The incidents in the book are what people described as they were audited. This was in the very early days when the subject of past lives was new and Ron was attempting to differentiate between what was important and what was not.

As he audited people many of them came up with the same stuff, so Ron wrote it up for other auditors so they would know what something was when they came across it and would not get confused.

It is not a beginning book and probably appears pretty wild to someone who has not had much experience of recalling past lives.

Does that answer your question?

Grahame said...

Hey aya_dares,

I answered your questions here: Scientology and Newborn Care

tahanamedley said...

Can you really believe that an alien race has the entire human population held captive mentally, for thousands of years? Please help me with this concept of perception.

Grahame said...

Hey tahanamedley,

No I don't believe that. Don't believe all you read on the Internet.

Hope that answers it for you.

FrankErdman said...

Hello Grahame - First of all, wonderful blog, I am glad I found it. I was googling for information on Dianetics/Scientology and came across it. I actually am rather new to learning about Dianetics and so on, and currently am reading through "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health", which I find to be quite fascinating and quite "in line" with other things I have read, including Freud. I do have a question regarding psychoanalysis, which is of course different from psychiatry, i.e., a Freudian psychoanalyst sort of does the "couch thing" but does not do medication of any form. Actually I quite agree with Dianetics regarding the harmfulness of mental drugs which is probably one of the things that attracted me to it. My question was that I have always been interested in psychoanalysis (specifically, Freud and Jacques Lacan) and have oft and on considered taking a course in that area, and so I just wondered if there would be a "conflict of interest" there. That is, I understand/agree with entirely the reservations Dianetics has about psychiatry. I also agree with some of the reservations about psychology generally in terms of the lack of objectivity in that field, especially as is shown in the constantly revised DSM. My understanding though is that specifically Freudian/Lacanian analysis is not psychiatry (doesn't prescribe drugs) nor psychologe per ce (not all pychoanalysts are licensed psychologists for example), but rather psychoanalysis is a specific field, aiming at the unconscious mind thru "couch time" roughly speaking. So, considering that psychoanalysis is neither psychiatry nor strictly speaking psychology (in terms of being bound to using the DSM or whatever), I wondered if that would be a "conflict" with Dianetics. I guess I just really enjoy theories of the mind, and have always been fascinated with Freudian analysis, which actually led me in at least in part to Dianetics. Basically I just want to find out, if say I or somebody were to study or even practice psychoanalysis, would that "prima facia" present a conflict with Dianetics or involvement with Scientology more generally? I honestly don't see that it would necessarily, but I wanted to find out, since I didn't want to find myself in a position of having a conflict of interest between different areas I was studying, as I am sure one could appreciate. Anyway great blog, and I appreciate any feedback you can give. :-) Cheers - Frank

Grahame said...

Hey Frank,

You are at liberty to study anything you want to.

The only restriction regarding Dianetics and other practices is that you don't mix other practices with Dianetics. The reason being that it has been found that doing so doesn't get results.

Pure Dianetics gets results, mixing it with other practices doesn't. It's as simple as that. It's something that has been observed over the years, so is based on reality and not just someone's personal bias.

I recommend that you take the Dianetics Seminar so that you get a chance to use it, that way you can see for yourself what results you get and also that way the subject is not just an interesting set of theories but an actual workable science of the mind that gets results when applied correctly.

Anyway, whatever you choose, I hope you have success.

Taylor said...

Hello,

I am currently in nursing school to become an LVN. The new criteria is 'transcultural nursing'. This new subject is a way for nurses to cater better to the different cultures and religions that are in this wonderful world of ours. My theory teacher has assigned us all to give presentations on topics that we choose. Mine is Scientology. There are many questions that we are required to ask and learn so that we may educate our fellow classmates. Would anyone be willing to educate me on a couple of questions for now and then I can ask more later?

1. If ill or have a condition, do you seek out a doctor for help or a respected individual in the community?
2. If someone had a condition like hypertension(high blood pressure), diabetes, or asthma, can you take prescription medications or are there remedies or herbs that you prefer? If so what are they and what is in them?
3. WHen pregnant does the individual see a doctor? If so does she go for regular check ups? In child birth are there rituals, traditions, or certain actions that are made or certain parts needed(such as umbilical cord, some cultures need it)? Is birth control an option for teens?

If I have offended anyone, I apologize. I would like to get as much information for my report and to educate my fellow classmates just as you will do for me. Thank you for any insight that you may provide and I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Best Wishes,

Taylor

Grahame said...

Hey Taylor,

Thanks for your questions. I have answered them here: Questions from a Nurse

If you have any others please don't hesitate to ask.

Andrew S. Doub said...

I am new to Scientology and recently began investigating the church. The nearest mission is about 8 hours away, so I am not in an area where I could go a take a course. I recently purchased the 18 Basic Books and two lecture sets (Professional Course and Clearing Congress). I was wondering, what would be the best way for me to study? I know chronologically reading the books is suggested, but are there any home study courses or study guides I could use? How can I get the most from my time, other than just reading the books?

Grahame said...

Hey Andrew,

Sorry about taking so very very long to reply to your question. I've been insanely busy over the past month and still am.

I will answer your question though on the blog itself.

It should be there in a few minutes (as soon as I've finished writing it).

hijabilicious said...

Could you tell me what scientologists believe in?
I tried to look it up but it sounds really complicating, and what happens to a person who reaches the clear-level? could you please explain in a non-complicated way? thnx beforehand

Grahame said...

Hey hijabilicious,

Thanks for your question. I answered here: What do Scientologists Believe?

Does that help?

thezedman said...

Operation "Snow White" led to the discovery of the Operation "Freakout" - there was a Grand jury indictement, 11 senior Scientologists went to jail, including Hubbard's wife. Paulette Cooper received $400 000 as a settlement from the Church of Scientology. These are all facts,court documented. And yet you call them "Myths"??? Your answer to Masukaze's question, in my view, is an insult to the man's intelligence. Likewise, you didn't reply to Dana's question, that I could notice, which would be impolite. I also don't expect your comment on this. Just please don't send me links to the "Myths" page like you did with Masukaze.

Grahame said...

Hey "thezedman" thanks for your comment. Here is my response:

On the question from "Dana": I actually did answer the question (Scientology and the News Media) but I didn't put the link to the article on this page, so it looks as if I never answered it. I've remedied that now, but I wanted to thank you for pointing this out.

You expressed dissatisfaction with my reply to a question from Masukaze.

I understand that comments are short and usually quickly written but you are condensing three things into one in the first sentence which gives a rather alarming impression. You omit the fact that these things happened between 35 and 40 years ago, that they were confined to a handfull of people in the Church (see the data about the Guardian's Office below), that everyone involved was fired and that nothing like these things have happened since. I think it is important to add those facts to give some perspective.

I was not calling these things "Myths". In my answer to Masukaze I gave links to a site that contains facts about things relating to Scientology, that are often twisted or misrepresented, hence the site is called "Scientology Myths". It doesn't mean these things in themselves are myths, it means that how they are misrepresented are myths.

If you read the articles about "Operation Snow White" and "Operation Freakout" you will see some facts presented and some other sources of data linked to. If these facts and those presented on the linked to sites are different to what is presented by anti-Scientology sources then you have to read the data carefully and make up your own mind. As I said, these things happened over 35 years ago, and I got into Scientology after that so I have no personal knowledge of them, therefore I have to give links elsewhere.

On Paulette Cooper, it is true that some harassment took place and that it was carried out by members of the rogue Guardian's Office (GO).

The GO was an entity within the Church of Scientology that went off-the-rails in the 1970's and consequently a handfull of it's members did some illegal actions in an attempt to correct government discrimination against the Church and for which they (quite rightly) went to jail. This was also why the GO was disbanded in the early 1980's.

The illegal actions taken by the GO were over 30 years ago and nothing like that has happened since, so it seems to me that what you might call the cancer of the GO was removed back then and has not returned.

Whatever the facts of what happened back then their relevancy to the current Church is at most tenuous and becomes less and less relevant with each passing year. There is no doubt that when bigoted people need some justification for their hatred they will bring these things up and we'll probably still hear mention of "Operation Snow White" and "Operation Freakout" a hundred years from now by those too blinded by hatred to see reality.

I hope that answers your questions. If not then please feel free to comment some more.

jake said...

Hello, Can you tell me why there is a cross in your logo? I thought that you accepted all religious beliefs, if so would that not offend others. Jay

Grahame said...

Thanks for your question Jake,

It's such a good question that I thought it deserved its own post for an answer: The Scientology Cross.

I hope that answers your question. If not then please ask for more.

Grahame said...

Patrick asked:

Hi Graeme,

Thanks for a great blog, with sharing what Scientology is really about and enlightning people.

I am doing services in CoS, and wondering how you deal with something I come across at the Org and the Events.

That is the fundraising and regging, I want to contribute etc, but when I can and not wanting be pushed into doing it. How do you deal with this at events and the org? I want to have nice ARC with everyone at the same time I want to feel free in the org at the events of not being approached by one or more people everytime.

I would really appreciate your input into how to deal with this effectively?

Kind regards,
Patrick:)

Grahame said...

Hey Patrick,

I published your comment using my username because the profile you used when posting your comment had links to web sites that I don't consider good for people. No offence meant, just my personal biases showing through.

Now for your question: the enthusiasm that people get for a good cause can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. Right now, there are a large number of very effective and worthwhile programs going on in Scientology and they all need funding. There is the "Ideal Orgs" initiative which your local church is probably raising funds for (if they haven't already opened their new building), there is the Truth About Drugs Campaign, the International Human Rights Educational Campaign, the International Educators Training Campaign, the International Disaster Recovery Organization and lots more.

The problem I have is that I want to help them all but I'm not a millionaire, so what I did to solve it was created an automatic monthly "bill payment" that is a donation to the International Association of Scientologists. The IAS provides funds to all these campaigns, so I donate to them and they pass it on - simple. I review the monthly amount regularly as part of my standard financial planning and increase it whenever I can.

Now when I am approached by fund raisers I tell them, quite truthfully, that I already made a donation and that handles it.

Try that and tell me how it goes.

One said...

Hi Grahame,

I just get the feeling that with the clearing of the reactive mind, that morals would fly out the window as the search for spiritual ends, in the end are selfish, and your told to do it for yourself. I believe that people are good, But when environments make it SO easy to be bad, and even rewarded in cases that clearer lines should be made aabout how much you do it for yourself.

Thank you Jonathan.

Grahame said...

Hey Jonathan, Thanks for your comments. I responded to them here: Selfish Spirituality

Darren said...

What is an "Illegal PC"?

Grahame said...

@Darren

I have answered your question here: What is an "Illegal PC"?.

I hope it answers your question. If not then add a comment to the article and I'll do my best to answer any additional quesitons.

lini said...

Very good blog. Very good example.

Grahame said...

@lini - thanks!

martin jeffrey said...

Hi Grahame,

I'm curious as to what the differences are between the mind and thetan. More specifically, I would like to know if memories and emotions are a product of the brain, or if the brain is more so used as a machine to interpret such things as memories and emotions that are a property of the thetan itself.

Further I am curious if the reactive mind is solely contained within the brain itself, or part of the thetan?

Sorry if my question seems a bit off mark, Scientology is an entirely new set of concepts for me.

Thanks

Grahame said...

@martin jeffrey,

Thanks for the great questions. I've answered them here: Basic Questions about Scientology Principles.

Tell me if it works.

Jesús Iturbe said...

Hi Grahame,

Would you please tell me which is the current position of Scientology and Dianetics on homosexuality? Also, are gay people allowed to be members of a Scientology Church with no discrimination? Are there any evidence that gays are really welcomed in any Scientology Church or mission?

Regards,

Jesús from Venezuela

Grahame said...

@Jesús Iturbe

As far as I know the Church of Scientology has no position on homosexuality. I'm not sure why it would need to. People are people. It doesn't have a position regarding someone being male or female either.

My take on it is this: We care about spiritual beings. What flesh they occupy and what they do with it, provided it is legal, is up to them.

I hope that answers it for you.

youngimages2000 said...

Greetings,
I want to find a study partner.
No one in my family believes in God, and my friends think Scientology
is nuts, and they abandon me.
The online courses are great, but I want someone to study them with me.
Where can I find a study partner and/or group?
I can't find anything on Craigslist either.
Please advise,
Thanks!
-ay-

Grahame said...

@youngimages2000

Try this: Scientology Global Locator. Enter your location and you can see churches, missions and groups near you. Click on the "Contact" tab and you can see contact info.

Good luck. Tell me how it goes.