Sunday, April 26, 2009

Book Review: Psychiatry: The Science of Lies

The title "Psychiatry: The Science of Lies" would lead one to think the book was written by someone outside the field but in fact this book was written by one of the most respected psychiatrists of our time, Thomas Szasz.

I won't review the review, I'll just point you to it: Psychiatry: The Science of Lies By Thomas Szasz.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New Church in Malmo, Sweden

A new Church of Scientology has just opened in Malmo, the 3rd largest city in Sweden.

Here is the news article: Church of Scientology opens in Malmo

You can see pictures of the opening here: Church opening - Pictures

Monday, April 13, 2009

How to treat the homeless and beggars

During this time of economic crisis, there will probably be more homeless people and more people begging for money. How should you treat them? Should you tell them to go to hell? Tell them to stop being a victim and get a job? Or give them a few bucks and tell them to get themselves a decent meal?

A very practical way I have found is given in the Way To Happiness by L. Ron Hubbard:
Try to treat others as you would want them to treat you.

A nice example of someone following this tenet (I have no idea if he has actually read it or if he is just a nice guy with a natural empathy for his fellow man or maybe both) is given here:
One paycheck away from humanity.

I applied this myself recently. I was in the parking lot of my local supermarket, just about to get back into my car after shopping, when an older man came over and asked if he could get a lift to a pharmacy that was a couple miles down the road. His usual pharmacy was next to my supermarket, but his prescription had been phoned to the wrong place. He looked rough, his clothes were old and worn, and he smelled a little. He wore shorts and his legs had scabs on them.

My initial impulse was to say no, but I decided to put myself in his place. At worst he was lying to get a free ride and at best he was what he said he was. So what did I have to lose? I said, "Sure," and opened the door for him.

In the couple of minutes it took to drive to the pharmacy we had a nice chat and when we arrived he was extremely appreciative. I drove off having made a new friend and with a warm feeling inside.

So next time someone on the street asks for help, try putting yourself in there shoes. Remember the old saying "There but for the grace of God go I."

Sunday, April 12, 2009

ADHD drugs found to be ineffective in long-term study

A study of children on ADHD medication has found that over a period of eight years the drugs made no difference at all to the children in terms of behavior but that the drugs caused stunted growth. The other serious side-effects of these drugs were not mentioned.

Here is the complete article: Study admits that drugs may have long-term risk.

Monday, April 06, 2009

What is a Problem?

A problem consists
of two or more purposes opposed.
It does not matter what problem
you face or have faced,
the basic anatomy of that problem
is purpose-counter-purpose

L. Ron Hubbard from
Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought

The word "purpose" means "the goal or intended outcome of something" and "the desire or the resolve necessary to accomplish a goal."

A simple example of a problem is that you want to watch "Dollhouse" and your spouse wants to watch "Supernanny". There are two opposed purposes.

Sometimes you have to dig to see the purposes but they are always there. At first the Titanic sinking may not seem to have two opposed purposes, but lets dig a bit. The Titanic wanted to cross a particular patch of ocean but there was an iceberg in the way. You could say the iceberg had the "purpose" to be solid and the Titanic had the purpose to sail through it. There was the problem.

So, go ahead and pick out some problem you have in your life and figure out the opposing purposes. There will be two or more. See if this understanding of what a problem is helps you to solve it.

Tell me what you find.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Question about "Scientology: A History of Man" book

A question about a book:

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.


Hey Cory,

I'm glad you like the site. Thanks for your question. I'm always ready to answer questions from a fellow music lover :)

First let me say that if you want to get an idea of what Scientology is all about then the Scientology Handbook site is a good place to start. It contains down-to-earth, practical applications of Scientology to everyday life. I'd suggest that as a starting point and then, if you are still interested, go for the Dianetics and Scientology Basic Books.

A History of Man is not going to tell you what Scientology is because that was not its purpose when it was written.

Here is what I know of the book "A History of Man": In the late 1940's Ron Hubbard developed methods to help people remember. He used these methods to alleviate problems caused by past traumas (birth, operations, injuries, etc.). He published the book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health so he could share his discoveries with others.

As more and more people received Dianetics counseling some began to recall things that had not occurred in their current life. At first these were called "imaginary incidents" and were thought to be false memories caused by the traumas, but it was found that if these incidents were addressed as if they were real and the trauma removed from them, the person got better. When they were treated as imagination and ignored, the person did not get better. So Ron decided to treat them as real and researched further to find out what was really going on.

After a great deal of research with a large number of people Ron found that many people recalled the same or very similar things. The people recalling these same or similar incidents had never met and had never heard of these things before, yet they recalled them from their own viewpoint.

Ron's eventual conclusion was that these were incidents that people were recalling from past-lives. He published his initial findings in the book "History of Man".

The book was meant for experienced Dianetics and Scientology practitioners who had encountered past-lives while counseling others. It was aimed at helping them understand what they were encountering and at helping them help others. It is not a beginning or introductory book.

The couple of things you mention from the book in your question are actually very unimportant and got put in merely so practitioners would know what they were encountering if they came across them. They get a very brief mention in the book and were not deeply researched.

For someone who has never encountered past-lives, the book might appear pretty wild in places, but if you have experience with past-lives, either with your own or with those of people you have counseled, then it doesn't seem that wild at all.

I hope that answers your question. Feel free to ask any more that you may have.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Ability Reduction

It's impossible to reduce an ability.
About the only thing you can do is reduce its exercise
or the willingness to exercise it.
-L. Ron Hubbard from the lecture "Control"

An obvious example is an athlete who gets injured. He still has the ability but he can no longer exercise it.

Next is reduction of the willingness to exercise the ability. Let's look at an actor like Silvester Stallone. Nominated for two Oscars and a WGA award in 1977 and a BAFTA award in 1978. Clearly the guy has the ability. Then he picked some not-so-good movies to appear in and then the press and the creeps at the "Razzie" awards started to target him and next thing you know he is a "star" because of his past record and not because of his current films. Recently, probably because he was out of the spotlight, the attacks decreased and he made a bit of a comeback, gaining some critical acknowledgment for the movie "Rocky Balboa", which he wrote, directed and starred in.

So, how can you apply this to your life? Where are you not exercising an ability as much as you should? Is it caused by an unwillingness to exercise the ability? Is it caused by something else? Injury, illness, drug abuse? Narrow it down by examining the ability and what may be stopping you from exercising it. Once you've figured it out then you can figure out possible solutions that will help you to exercise it more.

Tell me how it goes.