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Friday, 24 December 2010 16:09

Or is something bigger?

is-logoFor six decades, a lot of conflict has centered around the question of Scientology’s religious status.

Originally, LRH said Scientology was a science. He didn’t think too highly of organized religion:

“Society, thirsting for more control of more people substitutes religion for the spirit, the body for the soul, an identity for the individual and science and data for truth. In this direction lies insanity, increasing slavery, less knowingness, greater scarcity and less society.”

The original purpose of Scientology in 1951 was to open the gates to a better world. Scientology was not a psycho-therapy nor a religion. It was a body of knowledge which, when properly used, gave freedom and truth to the individual.

Later on LRH said Scientologists voted to qualify it as a religion.

But what something can legitimately qualify for, does not answer the question as to what it IS.

There is an advantage to pushing aside all bias and rumor and calling a thing EXACTLY WHAT IT IS.

Sometimes you have to lay aside fixed ideas and considerations and LOOK at a thing in a new unit of time.

Scientology has a word: itsa. Itsa is the natural process of identifying something, as when someone says “It’s a this!” or “It’s a that!”  I suggest you run that little process on Scientology and if you do, and if you lay aside all bias, opinions and warnings you might have been given including the “but we’re supposed to say it’s a...”  and just look at what it IS.

Suppose someone walked into a meeting. Someone could ask, “What is it?” An answer might be, “Clint Eastwood.” But that would be “who” and not “what.” You could say, “an actor” or “an American” or "an award-winning Director." But those would just be titles that Mr. Eastwood had qualified for. What if you set aside all the things Clint Eastwood qualified for due to lineage, or experience, or whatever, and simply asked yourself the question again, “What is that?”

The most basic and true answer is simply, “It’s a man.” There is no disputing that. That answer is not going to offend anyone.

Why can’t we get Scientology down to something for which there is no dispute?

Well, Miscavige can’t seem to do it. There remains a lot of dispute about what Scientology is. How can that even be possible? Why should it even be an issue? Does anyone argue constantly about what you are? What a table is? What a tree is?

What is going on here?

There is a virtue in trying to reach a point of agreement... since agreement is the basis of Reality, which is one of the three major components of Understanding: Affinity, Reality and Communication.

Yet Scientology, which contains the very anatomy of Reality, can’t somehow establish agreement on what it is? Isn’t that just a little ridiculous?

Well, in sorting this matter out, I personally vote for siding with truth. Whatever it is, good or bad, truth is NOT going to lead anyone astray, create harm or damage anything.

Scientology was postulated by LRH as “the road to truth.” Isn’t it time we all took a good hard look at truth?

Economic buffoonery

At its core, most of the dispute revolves around Scientology’s status as a religion. Yet it’s only a religion in some countries. Is there any other religion like that?

David Miscavige’s church argues for Scientology’s status as a religion in America. In Mexico, in the middle east and elsewhere, RTC argues for Scientology’s status as "not religious."

Perhaps there are advantages to making something into a religion. Saying there are financial advantages ignores economic reality. What financial advantage is there to driving away about 50% of your potential market and making a significant percentage of them into enemies because they now see you as a con? That is not sound marketing.

Maybe that’s why David Miscavige and his cowed worshipers now have to resort to straight criminality to stay afloat. They blame DM’s own victims of abuse who are now speaking out as whistle blowers. DM and his mob are incapable of seeing that they are causing their own problems. Typical of suppressive persons -- unable to spot the source of their own problems, but just blame others.

Handling originations

In auditing, when the preclear interrupts to ask a question (an origination), LRH stresses the auditor must answer the question. He points out that most arguments in daily life occur when someone fails to properly handle an origination.

When people ask “What is Scientology?” and you answer with a statement of a “status” -- i.e., what Scientology has qualified for -- you actually haven’t answered their question as to what Scientology IS.

The common definition of “religion” in use

Additionally, when westerners use the word “religion” they’re talking about a system of belief -- faith, worship and reverence to God -- by whatever name. LRH said Scientology is not a belief system. He said it requires no faith. We don’t worship anything; in fact, we don’t worship, period.  Non-Scientologists know that, so to them saying Scientology is a religion is offensive.

Surveys show a large percentage of the population reacts with hostility toward any organization that calls itself a religion which is not in fact a religion according to the common definitions in use in their national culture.

Now if you ask most people what is a religion, they will say something about God. Hey, the official word in Scientology is that it is up to each individual to decide what the 8th dynamic is. In most people’s books, that alone is enough to demonstrates it’s not a religion.  Scientologists have no official belief in God. It’s not a belief system: it’s a philosophy. Spiritual yes. Religious? No.

Go into a Scientology church and find someone wearing a robe. You can’t because they don’t exist. Find a candle. You can’t because there aren’t any except for when the electricity gets turned off because the Idle Org can’t pay their bills. Oh sure there’s a token cross symbol here and there, an odd mix in a building that otherwise looks “corporate Miscavige” -- that’s their art motif. That’s why many people -- the very people the Church is supposed to help -- look at the CoS and think “%@&# fraud!”

Go into any house of worship and observe. You will see people worshiping. None of that exists in Scientology except at the Int base where they slavishly worship Adolf Miscavige.

Phony Sunday services

In the Christian church, Sunday services are the primary service they deliver. We as Scientologists don’t attend Sunday service.  LRH expected a Scientologist to get trained as an auditor in the Academy and go up the Bridge to Clear and OT. These days, even Miscavige’s unfriendly but glitter-laminated “Idle Orgs” have few to no students on Academy training, much less people coming in for “Sunday services” that nobody in Scientology has any interest in.

The implementation of “Sunday services” was put in by the old Guardian’s Office to “church up” Scientology so it could qualify as a religion.

Attending Scientology Sunday services isn’t even on the radar... unless it’s your BS radar. So who is the “Church” of Miscavige kidding?


But it goes deeper than that. Let’s examine the subject of loyalty.

Scientologists who joined staff in years past dedicated their lives to something. And if you asked them, they might answer different allegiances. Some people apparently dedicated their lives to the Sea Org. Some dedicated their lives to expanding Scientology. Some dedicated their lives to helping LRH. But if you want to know who your loyalty should go to, why don’t you look at whom LRH dedicated his life to helping.

We live on a planet full of people. The purpose of Scientology is to help the world one individual at a time.

It’s not about DM, the Church or LRH. It’s about the human race because Scientology is an effort to help the human race one by one.

That concept in inherent in LRH’s earliest writings. The only way to ensure a sane planet is to start making sane people, one at a time.

That’s why LRH cracked the table with his fist when officers of the Wichita Foundation suggested he outlaw mention of past lives.

So loyalty in Scientology has nothing to do with Adolf McRunt. It has everything to do with people -- your own 4th dynamic family. It’s all about helping them, because them is we.

Admin scale

Scientologists have a piece of technology called an Admin Scale. It is a hierarchy of elements relating to an activity: goals, purposes, plans, projects, orders, statistics, valuable final products, ideal scenes, etc. When trying to improve an activity, one of the things you can do is make sure that all elements of the activity are in alignment.

Here’s an example of an activity that doesn’t align within itself: We have a goal of helping people, so the people are threatened, offended, insulted, cheated and robbed of their money. Staff are beaten, threatened and treated like slaves... that is an example of an organization whose Admin Scale is not in alignment.

The goal of Scientology is to help individuals one at a time, to make a safe environment, and thereby to make a better, happier, saner world where people can flourish and prosper, where war is a thing of the past, where people are free to rise up to greater heights.

Therefore if our purpose is to help as many people in the world as possible, it behooves us not to poison the well of public opinion by calling Scientology something other than what it really IS. Why obfuscate reality? Affinity, Communication and Understanding depend on it!

Calling Scientology a religion is a deal breaker for many people who could otherwise use a hand. Even worse, to many the claim is not only a deal breaker but fighting words. We are now talking about actually creating hostility among the very people Scientology philosophy is supposed to help.

Let’s say some people needed your help. So the very first thing you do is throw scalding water in their faces. Wow, now they are hostile. Does that make the job easier? I’m going to say no.

Generating hostility

Now what the Church of Miscavige manages to do is perhaps the number one stupidest piece of mental idiocy in the history of Scientology. It convinces itself the reason for the public’s hostility is because “the public respond reactively and with hostility toward anyone who would try to help them.”

In short, the Church of Scientology believes the world is populated by suppressive individuals -- a bank dominated mob -- who instinctively want to destroy anything good.

So what is left is the perfect vicious circle: the Church offends and repulses its own public and creates hostility toward Scientology by masquerading as a religion which it is not. Then the Church mis-assigns the reason for public’s hostility to “reactive impulses” and then the Church treats the public it is supposed to be helping as though they are hostile to the philosophy, which further inflames and infuriates them.

That translates into this: the Church views all public as suppressive persons because they are hostile to the Church. But the public are hostile to the Church because the Church lies and treats the public like suppressive persons.

In other words, instead of being auditors to the world, the Church itself has become the reactive mind it was designed to handle and is now busy blowing people off the route, handing out wrong indications en masse and treating people as suppressives. Thus the Church is creating the very hostility it suffers from which further convinces them that the world is populated by enemies.

Seeing suppressive persons everywhere, the Church has truly gone Type III.

Ideal scene

Imagine an operating climate for Scientology that lacked animosity. No allegations of a cult, because David Miscavige and his corrupt DBs (degraded beings) were thrown out en route to prison, where they belong.

Imagine a philosophy that didn’t create anger and hostility because it simply called itself what it was, thus mirroring its own ideal of “truth” in its very description.  

And so we come finally to what Scientology is: a spiritual philosophy. That’s what it IS.

Tax exemption

Let's discuss Scientology's tax exemption. 

Let’s take a drive down reality street. Reality street is paved throughout every town in the world. You can go clear across the United States. Pick any route you like. Pass through any towns, small or large.  Wherever you go, you will see churches. In every neighborhood you will see churches.

And not one of them will be a Church of Scientology.

Thirty one years ago when I got into Scientology there was a tiny mission in Houston. Today, there is still a tiny mission in Houston. Do you know how big Houston is? Thirty one years ago Dallas had about 75 full-time staff members. Today there is a great big empty building out in the sticks (Idle Org) and about 35 actual staff.

The Church of Scientology, “saving” all that imaginary money on taxes, has become so tiny as to be almost imperceptible in the general landscape. Compared to any other church, Scientology isn’t even on the map.

They aren’t “saving” anything. In San Francisco, they are giving away compact fluorescent light bulbs as a means of getting people into the Church for a “tour.” Can anything be more pathetic?

When you create mistrust among 50% to 75% of your public, when you offend people and create an operating climate of hostility because they see you as a fraud, the waste is nearly 100%.

Which would you rather have: an ocean of money but pay taxes on it, or two pennies in a tin teacup and not pay taxes?

If you selected the ocean, you could pay a lot of taxes and still have plenty. If the tin tea cup, well, things are kind of tight. Maybe that’s why Miscavige just shakes people down for cash and doesn’t even bother making auditors?

Personally, I’m not interested in Scientology’s tax exempt status, but since so many non-Scientologists bring up the subject as if Scientology is saving a bundle, I just wanted to point out the obvious omitted income which dwarfs any ignominious savings.

Besides, there is no reason under the sun that Scientology couldn’t be a nonprofit. And donations could still be tax deductible without having to have a religious status.

Coming out of the pigeon hole

Considering the definition of “religion” used by most of the Western world, Scientology is not one even remotely. It's bigger than that.

Trying to force fit the spiritual philosophy of Scientology into being a religion is like trying to jam a whole city into a parking lot. Why pigeonhole it? 

Sure, Scientology deals with the soul. It rehabilitates spiritual abilities. It definitely can legally qualify as a religion. There is no disputing that. There is no reason Scientology can't have ministers. Can't offer Sunday services. Can't perform marriages and funerals and all the rest. But let's not dumb it down by calling it a "religion."

Scientology requires no faith, no belief. It just works. There are no candles, crosses or incense; no hymn books; no Sunday School teachers, robed preachers or solemn Latin phrases. No pews of people with nothing to go on but faith alone.

That faith is what sustains them. Yet they could surely use a few answers to questions like why are we here? What happens after we die? Who are we? Where do we come from? Those are philosophic questions that are answered in Scientology.

But by placing those answers in a jar labeled "religion" we would force people to violate the terms of their own faith, to violate their own religion that they already have in order to reach for Scientology. If we put the correct label on the jar by calling Scientology what it actually is -- a spiritual philosophy -- then the whole world can reach freely for those answers and benefit from them.

Scientology IS a living vibrant spiritual philosophy.


Written by Thoughtful



+2 # GetTheConcept 2010-12-24 17:28
Excellent! I've been thinking recently, "Why do I need to call Scientology a religion? Why do I need that burden and what constructive purpose does it serve? Why add that piece of dev-t where I would have to 'handle' someone on why it is a religion when all I want to do is provide some help to the person? Do I really need to say to someone that 'Scientology is my religion'?" Factually, looking back on it, I never actually considered it my religion, though I have used it a lot and it has been a major part of my life. I don't need to be labeled this way and it's a relief to realize that.
+2 # Karen B 2010-12-24 22:01
So good to see an article by you, Steve. Great topic! I agree with everything you said, 100%.

One comment, working in 6B, I had to make sure there was a Sunday Service each week and it was really difficult to get any real expanding attendance unless you had a really dynamic minister, a wedding, funeral, etc.

The sad thing about this becoming such a disinteresting activity was that there were some phenomenal sermons that were really quite mind blowing. LRH really did have a way of communicating about various things that come up in day to day living. They would envoke thought and raise perception. When I realized that these were some real LRH gems, I began to look forward to Sunday Service.

Back in the 70's we did have Sunday Service but at night. Standardly it was started with music from local talents, a dynamic speaker on some aspect of Scientology (very broad)and then fruit and desserts. The rest was just a social gathering. In fact, my very first visit to the mission was a Sunday Service and I was very impressed with the tone level of all of the people attending. None of my friends were happy, laughing and smiling. And I got to find out my first truth. I wasn't a meat body. It really was a safe place to bring your nonscientology friends in for an intro.

I would love to see more of this as the independent field evolves. But, lets leave the church out of it.
+2 # Thoughtful 2010-12-24 22:44
Yes, I agree with you. Just in case I didn't make this clear, I'm not attempting to exclude Scientology from religion; I'm saying it's bigger than that. Scientology encompasses the subject of religion: thus to say it's only a religion is limiting it's actual scope.

I completed Minister's Course when I was training as a staff auditor and was ordained as a minister of Scientology in about 1982. Because I was on staff, I used to wear a minister's garb once a week or so and it was a lot of fun. That collar sure commanded attention on the streets of Austin, Texas.

Today, I can't think of any reason why ministers of Scientology couldn't continue to dress the part. Certainly anyone can deliver services on Sunday.

I guess what I'm trying to say is why can't a "spiritual philosophy" have ministers and deliver Sunday services?

I think there is no reason. Just no one had thought of it that way before...
Yes, we have ministers. Yes, we have Sunday Services. No, Scientology isn't a "religion": it's a spiritual philosophy.

We rehabilitate spiritual abilities. We deal with the human soul. We have the answers as to who you are and why you are here and what happens after death. We can give sermons and conduct marriages. We are a spiritual philosophy. Thoughts?
+1 # Karen B 2010-12-25 13:55
I agree that it would be limiting the scope of Scientology to restrict its religious philosophy. It is WAY more than that!
# lamoore 2010-12-28 17:16
Quoting Thoughtful:

I guess what I'm trying to say is why can't a "spiritual philosophy" have ministers and deliver Sunday services?

I think there is no reason. Thoughts?

I think there is a reason. Which is (or may be) that having ministers and delivering Sunday services for deceptive reasons smacks of, well, deception.

That may bode well for the 'acceptable truth' Scientology theory/doctrine of helping people in spite of themselves, but it makes a bit of a mockery of honest spiritual development, which historically (and spiritually) stands on the premise of, well, honesty.

+1 # Thoughtful 2010-12-28 18:36
Iam, I think you're missing the point.

I'm not suggesting to have ministers and Sunday services for "deceptive reasons." Why are you dubbing that in?

The Church has ministers and Sunday services so they can call it a religion -- that's an example of a deceptive reason.

Scientology IS a study of wisdom, and thus a goldmine of information that can really benefit people and improve well-being. If someone wants to dish out helpful information to an audience on Sunday, I have no problem with that. I'm saying it would be possible to be a minister of Scientology without saying it's a religion, in which case there is no deception. The derivation of "minister" comes from earlier words that mean to steer, direct, supply or serve. You can't say the concept doesn't fit.

I used to wear my minister's mock up before I was in the Sea Org. And you know what? There was something right about it. I got very positive feedback from the general public. But I wasn't doing it so Scientology could be called a religion. I was doing it because it sent a message out to the community that I (as an auditor) was there to help.

I'm not beating the drum for any of this -- it's not even the point of of my article -- I'm just saying if someone wants to do that, there is probably no reason they couldn't. I don't think it is right to call Scientology a religion, however, because Scientology is a lot more than that.

Scientology is the most "honest spiritual development" on earth. And if you don't agree with that, then you're reading the wrong blog. Anyone is welcome to post on one of the many Scientology hate sites, of which the corrupt "Church" of David Miscavige is cut from the same cloth.

Scientology philosophy creates miracles and can do more for people than anything else out there. And that is being honest.

A real on-purpose Scientologist, actively involved in helping others, with zero hidden agenda of "trying to overwhelm people for Miscavige" or "clawing up IAS cash" or "getting footage for a PR video" or "calling Scientology a religion" has more right to wear the garb of a minister than anyone because they have real answers.

You could bring any minister on earth, any man of God... sit them down before a real Scientologist and it would be like teaching a first grader the ABCs. I'm not saying they couldn't teach us something, but in the main people don't have any TECHNOLOGY on how to handle life. And they don't really know who they are, where they came from, why they are here, where they are going, what happens when they die. They don't know how to handle confusions, how to handle this and that. Sure, the Scientologist would learn a lot from them too. But when the dust settles, it would be the minister taking the role of student.

Don't believe me? Try me out. Unlike Tommy Davis and chicken-shit Miscavige, I can publicly answer ANY question about Scientology.
# Thoughtful 2010-12-25 10:21
Okay Karen, I just revised the final section to make sure it's clear that as a "spiritual philosophy" we can still have Sunday Services, ministers, etc.
# Karen B 2010-12-25 13:31
Actually, I don't care if it is Sunday Service per say as I think church service of any denomination is on the downtrend. This statement based on comparing average family life 40 years ago to today. It was common practice for the whole family to go to church every week. So much so that most stores except for the occassional 7 eleven convenience store were all closed for the day. I live in the Bible Belt and even here, many people don't attend church regularly. I think weddings, funerals etc natural fall in with the philosophy just by themselves.

The thing that I would like to see rekindled is the free lecture (theta entertainment and social event). A place were people can introduce their friends to Scientology philosphy without it becoming a reg cycle. Seeing keyed out people is probably one of the simplest forms of effective dissemination. People want to be happy. Enthusiasm and interest are infectious and it is natural for people to want that for themselves.
# Joe Howard 2010-12-25 13:22
Steve, really great job. It reminded me of a time that a fellow SHSBC student had gotten into an accident on his motorcucle and was in the hospital and in need of assists. The super asked me to do it and I went into the hospital wearing a white suit, black minister's shirt and cross. People were literally moving back against the walls of the hospital hallway to make way for me. And hospital hallways are wide. Anyway, the guy got better but that was an instance I observed of the power of religious sympbology, at least in Los Angeles.

That said, the approach you have laid out here, that Scientology is spiritual philosophy, makes tons more sense than cramming the subject into religion. There are those who do not think Buddhism is a religion because there is no specific worship of a god.

Anyway, thanks for another brilliant article. And very timely, published as it is on the day before the return of the sun after the winter solstice. The movie Zeitgeist, available on line, explains the whole thing in astrological terms. Three days after the sun disappears, it reappears, following the constellation Virgo, the virgin.

All the best to every reader of this site for the season and into 2011.
+2 # Thoughtful 2010-12-25 14:52
Thanks Dan. I have been working on this article, reaching and withdrawing from it, for about a year I think trying to sort it out. Finally it all came together.

It is ironic that LRH coined the word "thetan" avoiding use of the words "soul" and "spirit" because they were too loaded with negative associations and unclear meanings... yet he allowed parishioners to associate the entire subject with the most loaded word in the entire language: "religion."

Of course, no one is perfect and we all make mistakes (except for DM). Luckily, LRH also said what's true in Scientology is what's true for YOU (paraphrasing). Perhaps there were other reasons for labeling Scientology a religion at the time (survival in the face of heavy government attacks). But I believe today it is a mistake to carry on with this solution because it has become a liability and a problem blocking dissemination.

When one explains to someone that "Scientology is not a religion; it's a spiritual philosophy," there is no disagreement. (And when you explain the Church is a corrupt mafia-like crime syndicate, there is no disagreement on that either.)
+1 # tunedal 2010-12-25 14:37
Love the article. I never say 'religion' about Scientology, always 'philosophy'.
+1 # Whodat 2010-12-25 15:33
Steve, brilliant article with the proper emphasis in the right place - 'only call something by its actual name. Calling it a church is just to mask its supposed tax exempt status.
+1 # Misha 2010-12-25 19:03
Great article, Steve. Love your writing style, too. I think Scientology became a religion under the pressure of circumstances in 1952 for two reasons: (1) defense and (2) tax evasion. Not sure what bullets LRH was dodging in 1952 and why but I know that hostility toward Scientology now is based on the fact that it is a criminal and corrupt organization where staff members are abused and mistrusted and 7 billion "wogs" are held in contempt. It would not even need any special defense advantages if it was following the principles of Scientology. And the point on taxes is just a dramatization of LRH absolute fixation on tax evasion. Fair taxes are good for the soul because they are the means of contributing on 3D and even on 4D. So there are no reasons really to insist that Scientology is a religion except for the self-inflicted public outrage wounds and tax evasion fixation.
+1 # aotc 2010-12-26 06:00
I totally agree. I live in the UK where religion has a really bad rep. If I were to get in comm with a stranger and say I'm in the *Church* of Scientology they'd think "oh just like Christianity, Islam etc - religion causes all wars..".
If I say I use Scientology which is a philosophy of life they go 'oh yeah whats that?" - they're interested and in comm!
# Seekign-As-Isness 2010-12-26 08:49

I totally agree, in my opinion the attainment of religious status has barred the door - for a huge percentage of the 3D and 4D - from having, knowing and knowing the tech is correct.

Now that IS suppressive!

About 2 years ago, before I even heard about independents or this site - at the risk of being sacrilegious - I had a similar discussion with my 2D.

It is so funny, how the more I read these postings, I continually find myself reminded of the story The Emperor's New Clothes.

Thanks for your post.

# cre8 2010-12-26 12:18

Wow, fantastic article!!

So simple! So powerful! I can't think of anything more powerful than "Truth"!!

+2 # J. Swift 2010-12-26 15:14
A series of newspaper articles from 1950 has just been posted on OCMB. IMO, these articles were written by LRH under the pseudonym "John Clarke." LRH wrote under many pen names, so this is consistent with his style. I suggest Indies read these articles. The first post is entitled, "1950 Daily News Article (First of a Series)": http://ocmb.xenu.net/ocmb/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=33543&start=0

I agree with what Thoughtful has written: Scientology is not a religion in the formal sense, nor does it need to be.

Here is an idea to consider: I am a Mason. Masonry is a moral and spiritual philosophy. While we believe in God, God is not defined. Each Mason is free to say what God is for them. We believe in the Afterlife. Each Mason is free to say what the Afterlife is for them. Jews, Christians, Hindus, and members of all faiths come together in Lodge to practice Masonry's moral science. Masonry is a non-profit organization that men, women, teens, and children can belong. Masonry is a voluntary association that never recruits, has high ethical standards, and whose primary goals are moral improvement and charity.

In almost every town in America and Europe, there is a Masonic Lodge. Masonry is pervasive, quiet, powerful, influential, and quite wealthy. For example, Masonry owns the L.A. Shrine where CoS holds events.

There is an enormous amount of Dead Agent material and anti-Masonic hate sites online. Masonry ignores it all. We believe in free speech. Most Masons are quietly bemused by the ignorance of our critics. Masonry spends money on charity and other important things. Masonry does not waste money attacking our critics and their rightful freedom of speech. Because they are free to speak out, we are free to speak out. This is good.

As Independents have learned, CoS and OSA are easy to bullbait. They react like a fully restimulated engram, or whatever it is Scientologists call massive upset. I do agree that CoS has become a Reactive Mind group. Anonymous' protests really showed how cowed CoS has become under DM.

If CoS behaved like Masonry, it could become a quietly influential power group. Maybe someday after DM flees to Bulgravia, CoS could look at a Masonic model in terms of governance and deportment.

Civility and quiet dignity are important to Masonry. Where is the
civility and quiet dignity in CoS?

# Worsel 2010-12-27 00:14
J,Swift, thanks for this viewpoint. If possible I would want to know: How would a mason suggest to deal with that situation, when one of their top management people would for example start to reform masonry into a cult, drinking the blood of their enemies, practicing which hunts with final burnings, develop thought policing differentiating who would be a "good" or a "bad mason", etc. etc.? If a percentage of masons followed that new "masonry-cult" would that be the end of masonry?
These are not rethorical questions. What would they do?
And thank you, Steve, for this article.
# J. Swift 2010-12-27 13:12
Worsel, yours are great questions and I will answer them with these disclaimers:

A. I speak only for myself and not for any other Mason or as a Masonic official of any kind.

B. I am not promoting or endorsing Masonry. I am simply comparing CoS to Masonry.

C. I fully support the right of people to practice Scientology inside and outside of CoS. I do not oppose the practice of Scientology. Rather, I oppose the human rights abuses and lies of David Miscavige as conducted through CST, RTC, CSI, CoS, IAS, WISE, ABLE, and all other corporations he controls as an absolute dictator.

Now, here are my answers:

1. Masonry is not a religion. It is a fraternity devoted to moral improvement and charity. Therefore, Masonry does not enjoy religious protection as does CoS. So first this: Masonry knows what it is and it is most definitely not a religion. Therefore, Masonry has no religious protections or scriptures. There are Masonic books and customs, but they are not deemed to be scripture because Masonry is not a religion. The actual practice of Masonry is an agreed upon set of practices that derive from the ancient customs and practices of Masonry. Masonry was not created by any one person but was created over time by many Masonic scholars and lodges. Masonry has no single Source or Founder.

2. Masonic offices are held by elected officials. Masonic officials are elected and serve for one year terms. There are clearly defined rules whereby an offending Masonic official Mason may be removed from office or even expelled from Masonry. This requires a Masonic Trial wherein the accused Mason is allowed to defend their self and face their accusers. Masonic Trials are rare and very rare and very serious affairs over which very Senior Masons preside. Masons like to "nip things in the bud" in private, gentle ways. It is part of our code to speak privately to an errant member and seek to restore him to regular practice.

2A. Masonry is a voluntary association and people are free to leave at any time if they are unhappy. You have to want to be a Mason. If you wish to no longer be a Mason, Masonry wishes you the best and bids you farewell. The way one leaves Masonry is simple: You stop attending meetings, stop participating, and stop paying dues. There is no routing out required. It is all voluntary.

2B. The phrase "Of your own free will and accord" is of paramount importance in Masonry. A Mason chooses to be a Mason and chooses to obey all rules and customs of their own free will and accord.

3. There is no CST, RTC, or any other form of centralized control in Masonry. Each country in Europe and in other countries has its own Grand Lodge. Each state in the USA has its own Grand Lodge. By analogy, each Grand Lodge is its own RTC and controls the purity of Masonry in its own jurisdiction. Each Grand Lodge is its own jurisdiction and grants charters to the individual lodges in its jurisdiction. For example, California Lodges are granted their authority to operate as Lodges by virtue of having been granted charters from the California Grand Lodge. In California and other US states, Lodges are divided into districts and each district has a high-ranking senior Mason in charge as the District Inspector. His job is to ensure compliance of the lodges in his district to Masonic customs and forms.

3A. If a California Masonic Lodge began to engage in "Clandestine Masonry" i.e. practices that violated Masonic rules and practices, there would be an investigation by the district inspector. If the Lodge did not stop its irregular practices, Grand Lodge could expel the offending members responsible for the clandestine practices, revoke the Lodge's charter, or both; this after a hearing by Grand Lodge officials. Thus, elected Masonic officials can strategically expel offending officials, individuals, or Lodges.

4. There is no centralized power in Masonry. Therefore, if, say, Nevada Grand Lodge made a rule that other Grand Lodges in the US did not agree with, these other Grand Lodges are under no obligation to obey the Nevada rule.

4A. As a California Mason, I am under the jurisdiction of the California Grand Lodge. No other Grand Lodge has authority over me. As a California Mason, I have the right to appeal matters directly to Grand Lodge. Individual Masons always have the right to go to Grand Lodge. There is a protocol of course, but the point is that I can bypass a senior who I believe to be in violation of Masonic practices. I have never done this and such a bypass is exceptionally rare in Masonry.

5. The spending of money is voted upon and approved by the membership at every level of Masonry. In a Lodge of Masons, a yearly budget is made and approved by vote of the members. During the budget year, discretionary monies are spent. However, this spending is discussed and voted on during the monthly business meeting. There is free and open debate during which time all members are allowed to speak. After discussion, a vote is taken. This is true at Grand Lodge level.

Worsel, I hope this answers your questions.

I hope that sweeping and peaceful changes are made in CoS that end all human rights abuses.

# Worsel 2010-12-27 16:51
J.Swift, thank you very much for your detailed answers. They permitted to discover a number of differences, like the organizational structure or the one year term of office of the officials. From that I would conclude that the two movements can be compared only partially and further, that the measures to effect a change would have to respond to such differences.
I share your hope for peaceful changes. I consider anyone a friend who tries in a reasonable way to make this planet a better place.
Thanks again for your answers.
# Obnosis 2010-12-27 15:55
I agree Scn is a philosophy more than a religion. But I disagree that Scn doesn't contain faith. The reason people stay in Scn is because of a belief or faith in the Bridge, in total freedom and immortality and OT powers, even a faith in learning to be an auditor in order to help others. That is what kept me going for all those years, that hope, that promise of betterment. No, it's not faith in God or Jesus as your savior, but it is faith in the technology as your savior. I see no difference.
+1 # Thoughtful 2010-12-27 16:57
I understand your point, but the fact is Scientology requires no faith in order to work. It even says so itself, so this is not just my opinion.

Perhaps you might wish to differentiate between "faith" and "blind faith." The former comes from the observation that something works as stated.

The latter, blind faith, is the condition of believing in something WITHOUT proof or evidence; no inspection, no looking or confront. Hence someone going along on blind faith can easily be lied to and tricked. We're all proof of that, me included.

But the tech either works or it doesn't. You don't have to "believe" in a contact assist for it to work. It simply works. Remember Scientology is an applied philosophy.

Take Dianetics for example. LRH explains how to audit. I applied it and darned if it didn't work EXACTLY like LRH said it did. That required no faith on my part. Just eyes. But do I have faith in the Book One today? Of course! I've seen it work on a multitude of people.

Does that faith blind me to the illegal activities of the Church? Nope. So it's not blind faith. It is faith based on personal integrity; i.e., real faith.

In my hands, the technology has always worked and it has never required any faith on my part to see that it worked like LRH said.

I suggest to you that faith is not what keeps people in the Church. Lies, ignorance and fear is what keeps them in.

It all starts when one forfeits their personal integrity; once that is gone, they have lost everything. And what comes from that is your own personal horror story. I know, because I have my own horror story. So in all this, I am speaking from personal experience.

Now: you said "what keeps people in Scn" I'm assuming you meant the Church. If you mean what keeps them a Scientologist, I'm going to say the only thing that should keep you anywhere is your own personal integrity.

If you violate your own personal integrity to stay anywhere, you're ASKING for trouble, and you really don't have much right to bemoan the resulting horror story which is INEVITABLE.

In the case of this website, we aren't bemoaning, we are attacking criminality for the sake of protecting others and to reopen the Bridge.

These people who throw the baby out with the bath water amaze me. That's like buying a new car, letting David Miscavige put cement in the tank instead of gasoline, and then taking your car back to the dealership and telling everyone "It didn't work."

We all point the finger at DM, and rightly so: he is a dirty rotten little sniveling germ. But the real pivotal point for the individual is the violation of his or her own personal integrity.

That was the door they opened of their own free will, that let the wolf into the hen house.

The road to being a victim requires just one step: violate your personal integrity. You are instantly a victim.

+1 # Jim Logan 2010-12-28 07:30
Points made and taken Steve. Denial of self is the beginning. Well said.
# Obnosis 2010-12-28 22:43
Thank you for your response. You live up to your name Thoughtful. :)

I think I basically agree with what you're saying. I'm curious what you'd say to someone like Jeff Hawkins or similarly myself who do acknowledge workability of some parts of Scn but question other parts, based on our own firsthand experiences. For example, Jeff acknowledges gains from the Grades, but questions the OT Levels, and he has done through OT III. Would you say regarding what is questioned "What's true for you is true for you" or would you say "You must have MU's" or "You must have out-ethics" or "You must not have received standard tech or applied it in a standard manner"?

I guess my point is that one gets some auditing and sees that it works, so one wants to do the higher levels, believing that if the lower level worked, the upper levels will work too. There is faith then, yes, based on experience, that the higher levels will work too. But you really don't know until you do them. So one is doing them on faith. You won't know it works till you've done it. In the current Church, that can be a very expensive investment of time and money, and if you don't get the results hoped for, you are told "You just need more." And many people buy that. To me, that is faith in the technology.

I think this dead horse has been beaten enough. I respect you and what you do!
+1 # Thoughtful 2010-12-29 12:28
Good questions. "You're out ethics" is David Miscavige's pat answer designed and intended to intimidate people and overwhelm them. I wouldn't say that.

Anyone in the current church is going to become wildly PTS. They get gains and then lose them because their gains are being actively invalidated by an SP in present time -- a Type A PTS condition. In this case, it's especially disastrous because the "SP" is the Church itself!

The "Church" (an SP group) can't remedy the PTS condition and keep the person in the Church, so they say "You just need more sec checking."

No, the person needs a standard PTS handling which would have been free and is easy to do. The pc or pre-OT would either have to handle the SP Church or disconnect. Me, I decided to do both. I disconnected from DM, from Int management and from the Sea Org. And now I'm handling them too, but from a safe distance because they are infected with a disease.

Many people hang up at Doubt because of false data. They don't know that they can move on up the Bridge outside the Church in a safe environment.

The problem is not the OT levels. The OT levels work. The problem is being connected to a malevolent, raving, rabidly antagonistic, suppressive person or group of the worst kind and wrongly attributing one's failed gains to the tech, whereas the failure to hold a gain is due to being PTS. That IS the tech. This is proven out in the huge resurgences in OT abilities people experience after they finally come to terms with what really happened to them in the Church.

I've written a much longer article on this subject which I will try to finish up and publish soon.

Thanks again, Obnosis, for the good questions.
+1 # Obnosis 2010-12-30 01:29
That makes incredible sense. I think I blew down a bit on that. THANK YOU!
# Obnosis 2010-12-28 22:58
I thought of a couple other examples.

Jason Beghe in his video interview, and I paraphrase from memory, in looking back at OT III (he did through OT V), basically laughs at it and can't believe he believed the story. (I haven't done any of the OT levels, but how does one complete through OT V and not have personal reality on the data?)

Or Larry Anderson, trained auditor, who after many years says he did not get the promised results?
+1 # Jim Logan 2010-12-29 11:07
I have done up through and past OT III. My experience of this material is vastly different than those you refer to. Aside from the 'story', the phenomena, reading heavily on the meter, and the results of life change are what I gained.

I'm also well-versed in the body of work that led up to these materials. I've experienced life-changing gains in all the 'lower grades' including Dianetics. I got the results, all the way up. The results from these Upper Levels was way, way, way more than I ever expected or could have predicted.
+1 # Jim Logan 2010-12-29 19:19
Here's a train of thought on the 'belief in'. If you believe in some aspect of Scientology, then you've not taken ownership for that aspect to make it your own. You've not assumed cause over that particular thing. It is selected out as something 'out there', a technical term used to describe it being a 'randomity'. It is an 'other-determined' thing. Eventually this 'belief in' will flip around and you'll find yourself opposing that which you believed in. This all comes about on the basis of not actually assuming cause and ownership over any aspect of Scientology for yourself but accepting it on 'faith'.

It's the same cycle that happens with any topic you 'believe in' with no further responsibility for your own certainty, yourself as something to have faith in, and observing for yourself whether something is or isn't.

Scientology is NOT a faith based, 'believe in' spiritual philosophy. If someone approaches it that way or finds they've gone that route, then they've wittingly or unwittingly selected out the subject as an other-determined randomity. (See the 2nd Advanced Clinical Course tapes, 27 Nov 53, SYMBOLS).
+1 # Jim Logan 2010-12-27 18:06
Maybe it's a hair split, or maybe it's a critical difference that in communication opens or closes the door, but I say Scientology is an applied philosophy that addresses the spiritual nature of beings. An applied spiritual philosophy if you will.

That's possibly not too much different than an applied religious philosophy or perhaps, as you've found by perusing the various surveys on the area, it is in a number of people's minds a vast though seemingly subtle shift in meaning.

Religion is a charged word for lots and lots and lots of beings on this planet. It's a charged subject.

I think the prime issue for me is that I can practice Scientology as a 'religous' activity and do so without the interference of some AMA, APA etc., defining it as 'medicine' 'psycho-therapy' and thus attempting to regulate it or even ban its practice.

In some conversations this weekend with non-Scientologists, after reading this article briefly, I did a little test myself. I said the words Church of Scientology, but then I did add, 'listen, it's not like any other 'church', it's an applied philosophy that covers a being's spiritual nature'.

I did notice, when I got the 'religion' button out of the way, the people I was talking to were receptive and they are not receptive to any of the 'religion' talk that goes around, for ANY religion.

Personally, I think you've honed in a something that LRH was looking at, and as you recall in the late 70s, an attempt was made with the Marketing Series, the Trout and Ries seminars and such to 'position' Scn so it communicated and didn't hit the buttons you're talking about in this piece.
+1 # Thoughtful 2010-12-27 19:45
As you said, the R word is possibly one of the most charged words of all. But the beauty is, we aren't part of the Church. So an Independent is free to relay their own reality, i.e., what is true for them. DM thinks that is a weakness because he totally misses the whole point of Scientology. I see it as a strength. My reality is: it's not a religion in the western sense; it's a spiritual philosophy. Yes, it is applied, but I believe for most people, keeping it simple is best in response to "What is it?" A simple question deserves a simple answer. Thanks Jim.
+1 # Tom M 2010-12-29 22:17
Good article Steve. You laid it out quite well.

LRH said that Scientology means knowing how to know - a study of knowledge.

American Heritage defines philosophy as: "The love and puruit of wisdom by intellectual means and moral self discipline." The derivation is "Loving Wisdom".

However, Scientology is all about application. LRH says "knowing how to know." I don't think I completely know how to know yet. Don't think I fully achieved that. I know how to audit another person and I know something of the mind, but I have not studied up to Class VIII so I don't know all there is about the Tech.

To me philosophy is a study. Scientology is a study AND application. One studies and applies what he has studied in order to learn how to know.

Anyhow, that's my take on it. I've always felt comfortable with. So when someone says to me "What is Scientology?" I tell them that it is the technology of learning how to know.

ML Tom
+1 # Jim Logan 2010-12-30 10:00
I've batted around that 'knowing how to know' since I got into Scn in 75. What the hell DOES that mean?

I found out what it means by studying up through the materials, starting with Dianetics and getting to the 1st ACC lectures. In those the simplicity of it was explained by LRH. I think it was an example of fixing a broken car.

Your car stops running, you don't know much about cars, yet you open the hood and start to look it over. You stand there looking at this thing and work out right there how and what goes where and which does this and that. With your attention units, your own ARC you extend out and perceive and permeate the thing and solve how the car works and what could be wrong with its working. There it is, a plug wire has come loose. Click, it goes back into place and vroooom your car works.

You come to understand with being there, looking, gaining a reality on what is what by communication and you come to know.

Another example, my own. I'm upset about some area of life. Don't get it, pisses me off and I'm nattery as fuck about it. I look and find my own MWH's, clean them up, now I know the source of my upset, I look at the area again, permeate it with theta manifested as ARC and I can know what the area is and have no upset related to it. I know how to handle an upset.

Even more basic, and possibly somewhat esoteric, anything TO know in the Three Universes is something 'out there' that is a result of a viewpoint creating a dimension point which serves as a stopping point for attention. Simply putting attention on and through and under and over and around something, you can know what it is.

Scientology gave me the KRC on the various ways and means to know something, anything and I use Scientology to know. I know HOW to know.
# Tom M 2010-12-30 12:27
Good one Jim. I think LRH knows how to know. I think (opinion) that we have a long ways to go to understand what he understands. Which leads me to "Life is Understanding". Sheesh. So far in this life the only understanding I got was the harshities of life. That is, until I ran into Scientology. One of the first actions I did was the PRD and that kicked the door wide open for "Life is Understanding" and "Knowing How to Know".

When I studied an LRH PL or HCOB I always imagined what the situation was for him writing this and trying to duplicate his Universe. Well, I was aspiring to duplicate his universe. Forget it.

But I think Study Tech, along with the Clearning Course, OT II and OT III we begin Life.

ML Tom
+1 # lamoore 2010-12-31 15:09
Originally, LRH said Scientology was a science. He didn’t think too highly of organized religion:

Later on LRH said Scientologists voted to qualify it as a religion

Hi Thoughtful,

I have a couple of questions I trust you have considered and possibly came to conclusions on.

#1. I've never heard of anyone mentioning 'they' (old time scientologists) voted to qualify Scientology as a Religion. Adding to that Ron's statements regarding not allowing 'group think' to determine policy, tech, etc. it seems odd that Ron would let the group overturn his original classification of scientology as being a science, or an applied philosophy.

#2. On the subject of Ron's tendencies, I find it almost impossible to believe L. Ron Hubbard, one of the most prolific writers/authors in history, didn't issue a final communication/bulletin/briefing, or something in writing to Scientologists of the world regarding his conscious decision to 'drop the meat body' to do upper level research. Adding to that the fact his will was changed the day before his passing and I struggle to comprehend how some authorities did not investigate the whole affair as being suspicious.

Any thoughtful thoughts on such issues?

# Gigi 2010-12-31 18:51
This is the best article I have seen written to explain Scientology in it's entirety. As a Catholic, I never felt my religion conflicted with the teachings of Scientology. (Maybe I am unique), I found lessons learned, projections, my conscious reactions, and so on to be separate from Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Sign me up to the re-opening of the training bridge! I am most interested!
# Veritas 2011-02-04 13:39
As a believing and somewhat practicing Catholic, I agree, and I have a better understanding of Catholicism from studying Scn. Though I guess belief and awareness of past lives makes one an "apostate" per the Magisterium which does not even permit belief in "ghosts", so I do not take Communion if I attend Mass (though I'm sure Christ is aware of the truth). It has begun to bother me that a Catholic cross was "borrowed" and re-defined to represent Scientology, which is a bit disingenuous and bad PR I feel, especially to Christians. I would like to see Catholics use Dianetics and Scientology, instead of relying on psychiatry and psychology so much, but being classified a "religion", it is perceived as competition and a threat. It would be more accepted as an applied spiritual philosophy open to all religions and beliefs, but it will probably take decades of work to restore the reputation now.
+1 # Moving Forward 2011-01-02 12:49
Really great article and I cannot count how many times I found myself nodding my head in agreement.

I've never considered myself religious and also found issue with much organized religion, so was always most comfortable in calling Scientology an applied spiritual philosophy, not a religion.

In my view, calling it a 'religion' can act as a stop for many people -- both religious and non-religious. As you said, it's also very limiting to try to boil Scientology down to 'religion'. I've always that found Scientology is a religion in more of the Buddhist sense, rather than the western idea of religion (i.e., Christianity and maybe if they are a little more broad-minded, Judaism and Islam), but the majority of people in America do not have any real concept of non-theistic religions.

An issue I had with things like Sunday services and minister's garb is that these are all Christian and the way such things were implemented were generally very pandering. It all seemed unnecessary to me and smacked of an attempt at convincing people of Scientology's legitimacy as a religion, which of course backfires as you described.

If someone wants to wear minister's garb or hold services, that is one thing -- they aren't doing it for PR reasons, but for their own spiritual reasons and I've no problem with that -- but to me, that isn't part of Scientology.

As for the cross, it can be argued that this symbol isn't solely a Christian symbol, but in the western world, at least, it is and has only been a Christian symbol for so long that this is a hard argument to sell.
# Klaus 2011-02-04 05:04
Hi Steve,
I joined in 1973 because I liked the description used then and could understand and relate to it as an "applied religious philosophy". For me it was more than just science, philosophy, religion. The three words above described it best back then.

-1 # Vance Woodward 2012-10-22 14:11
Scientology is a drug (metaphorically ... duh!).
Therefore it is a religion or close enough.

I wrote a series of blog posts about what I think of Scientology after twenty-two years of it. Jus'in anybody's interested.

Sorry, but you do not have the right to post comments.

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