Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Scientology: What is true for you

Jeff asked: Hi Grahame, I posted a question earlier, don't know if you got it or not. L. Ron Hubbard says that people should only accept things in Scientology if they find them to be true for themselves, and not accept anything on blind faith. I'd like to know if there were any things in Scientology which you have personally found to be not true for you based on your own observation and thinking? Thanks.

Thanks for your question. I have come across things in Scientology that I was doubtful about when I first studied them. However, when I went over them thoroughly and 1) made sure I understood them and 2) applied them to life, myself and those around me, I found they were true for me.

As of right this moment I can't think of anything which I have personally found to be not true for me. There have been things I've sort of "flagged" for later inspection because at the time I came across them I was not able to immediately verify them or apply them to my life. I don't think I have any of those still unanswered.

An example was on the first course I ever did. The idea of a "thetan" (Scientology term for a spiritual being) came up and I could not accept it at that time because I was an atheist. Later when I became aware of myself as a spiritual being that could exist separate from a body I saw that it was true.

Another would be the idea of past lives. Being an atheist I couldn't just accept such a concept when I first came across it. Later when I actually began to recall past lives and had improvements occur in my life due to erasing past bad experiences in those lives, it became very real to me.

I hope that answers your question


Grahame said...

Jeff asked:

Grahame - thanks for taking the time to answer and for your thoughtful reply. I have another question if you don't mind. If a Scientologist were to agree with, say, 95% of Hubbard's writings, and disagree with, say, 5%, would there be an effort on the part of the organization to work with that person, with word clearing or correction, to handle that remaining 5%? In other words, is the goal to bring all Scientologists into 100% accordance with Hubbard? That is, is divergence tolerated, or is it looked on as something to "correct"?

Firstly, I need to explain what Scientology Technology is: it is a body of knowledge which contains precise steps and actions that lead to a specific outcome. You do steps A, B, and C and you get result D. These steps and procedures have been developed and refined over many years. They have been found to work. Unworkable versions were discovered and cast aside and only the workable was kept.

If an individual studies, understands and exactly applies these procedures then he or she will get a result. The fact that a result will occur if the procedure is followed has been proven over many years for many thousands of people.

In the case of these exact procedures, if a person doesn't get a result then he or she would be helped to clear up whatever barrier to understanding they were hitting so they could apply it successfully. This is comparable to teaching a surgeon how to take out an appendix. You know it can be done successfully and if he does it wrong you want to help him get it right so he gets the desired result.

So that's the technology. Next is what L. Ron Hubbard called "Ron's opinions". No one is expected to agree with all of Ron's opinions.

Jim Gatos said...

So, if someone has a problem with one of L.Ron's ideas, opinions, or thoughts on a subject, and they do not want to agree, then wouldn't they get labelled as a PTS "Potential Trouble Source"..?

Grahame said...

Hey Jim,

As I said in an earlier comment, L. Ron Hubbard's opinions are, as he himself stated, just opinions. You can agree with them or disagree with them or ignore them, it is entirely up to you.

On the technology side of Scientology the writings are the religion. It's not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing, it's "did it work" or "didn't it work". That's an important thing to understand. We are not talking about someone's musings or ideas. We are talking about someone figuring out specific and exact steps to achieve a specific and exact result.

It's like a recipe. Joe Schmoe reads the recipe and says, "I disagree with this recipe." That's silly. He should follow the recipe and see if it produces the cake or not and he should try it several times. After that he can say, "this recipe works," or "this recipe doesn't work."

That is how Scientology technology should be approached. Try it and make sure your trying is thorough and not biased by preconceived ideas. At that point you can decide for yourself if it works or not.

For example, there are about a hundred procedures that are followed to produce a state called "Communications Release". The end product is a person who can freely communicate with anyone on any subject. The person is no longer withdrawn or reserved and is no longer bothered by communication difficulties. You follow the "recipe" and you get the result. If you are the one delivering the procedures (the auditor or counselor) then you can see for yourself if the person has gained the end product. If you are the person receiving the auditing then you can see for yourself if you have gained the end product. "Agree" or "Disagree" doesn't enter into it. The question is "did you gain the end product or not?"

On a more basic level, if a person disagrees with the basics of Scientology (Man is an immortal, spiritual being. His experience extends well beyond a single lifetime. His capabilities are unlimited, even if not presently realized — and those capabilities can be realized. He is able to not only solve his own problems, accomplish his goals and gain lasting happiness, but also achieve new, higher states of awareness and ability.), then the simple answer is to find another religion.

The key is always to find out for yourself what Scientology is by reading a book or two, then take a course where you get to apply it under the supervision of a professional to see if it really works or not and then make up your own mind.

After I had read several books and taken a few beginning courses, I decided it was for me. After that, if I came across something I was doubtful about, I made sure I understood it and then I tried it and saw for myself whether it worked or not. Every time, so far, the thing I wondered about has worked.

A person can decide they don't want to be a Scientologist without being "labeled" anything. If they simply decide that it's not for them and they prefer to be a Christian or Buddhist or whatever, then no problem, that's their right.

On the last part of your question: A "Potential Trouble Source" is a technical term for someone who is connected to an anti-social personality and is suffering because of it. You don't just label someone that because they disagree with something. A person who is PTS is having a rough time in life and needs help.

I hope that answered your question.

Grahame said...

Jeff asked more questions:

Grahame, thanks again for your patience, and for clarifying the difference between Hubbard's opinions and the technical procedures. Just a few more questions, if I'm not becoming a pain:
1. Given your clarification, let me rephrase my original question: Are there opinions which Hubbard has given which you disagree with, based on your own independent experience and thought?
2. Secondly, thanks for the information about how the technology is developed and refined. Can you tell me who supervises this development and refinement process? Is it done by, or reviewed by, a technical board within Scientology? Are their studies and papers open for public review? Are they peer-reviewed?

1. There are probably some, but I can't think of any that could be called "severe" disagreements.
2. Scientology Technology was developed by L. Ron Hubbard. There are areas where further refinement is occurring, such as in collation of materials and in the development of methods of training. These are supervised by Religious Technology Center. All the information on how the technology was developed is given in the books, lectures and bulletins of Scientology. Most of these are available for purchase or in libraries. More are being released all the time. I'm not sure how Scientology could be "peer-reviewed". Who would review it? Buddhists? Hindus?