Monday, 2 September 2013

Tomorrow's On this day... 3rd of August 2013... as I am otherwise engaged

On Dianetics - Book which served as foundation of L. Ron Hubbards creation, the so called Church of Scientology

"Dianetics" - For Seekers of Prefabricated Happiness
by Erich Fromm (1950b)

Never have people been more interested in psychology and the art of living than today. The appeal which books dealing with these subjects have is a symptom of a serious concern with the human rather than with the material aspects of living. But among these books are some which satisfy the need for rational guidance and others appealing to readers who look for prefabricated happiness and miracle cures.

 Dianetics1 is the latest in this series of books and the author uses all ingredients of the success formula with a remarkable lack of embarrassment. "The creation of Dianetics is a milestone for Man comparable to his discovery of fire and superior to his inventions of the wheel and the arch." The author claims to have discovered not only the "single source for every kind of neurosis, psychosis, criminality and psychosomatic illness" but also a therapy which cures all these ills. "Dianetics cures and cures without failure."

The author presents first a general theory of the structure of the mind, then builds upon these premises a theory of mental disturbances and a technique for their cure. "Man is motivated only by survival." He is surviving for self, sex, group and mankind and each of these "purpose divisions of the entire dynamic principle" is called a "dynamic." He distinguishes between the "analytical mind," "which perceives and retains experience data to compose and revolve problems and direct the organism along the four dynamics," and the "reactive mind," "which files and retains physical pain and painful emotion and seeks to direct the organism solely on a stimulus response basis." While the analytical mind which is compared to an exceptionally magnificent calculating machine thinks in differences and similarities, the reactive mind thinks only in identities.

The concept of the reactive mind is the basis of the author's theory of mental illness and its cure. During moments of intense physical or emotional pain the analytical mind is suspended and the words spoken in the presence of the "unconscious" person are stored as "engrams." These engrams are not accessible to the normal process of recall. Without being aware of it the person is determined by the contents of these engrams similar to a person whose behavior, posthypnotically is motivated by suggestions given during the hypnosis. "If there ever was a devil, he designed the reactive mind. ... It does anything and everything that can be found in any list of mental ills: psychoses, neuroses, compulsions, repressions. ... It can give a man arthritis, bursitis, asthma ... and so on down the whole catalogue of psychosomatic ills. ... The engram is the single and sole source of aberration and psychosomatic illness."

Dianetic therapy follows from these premises. The patient ("preclear") is ill because the engrams make him so. When all important engrams, particularly those of the prenatal period are recalled ("returned"), the patient is free forever ("cleared") from all "aberrations" and superior in intelligence to the average person. The therapist ("auditor") brings about this "return" of the engram by putting the patient in a state of "reverie." "When I count from one to seven your eyes will close. You will remain aware of everything that goes on." Then the auditor counts "slowly, soothingly" until the patient closes his eyes. During the following period of reverie the patient is told to "return" to earlier periods of his life as far back as conception and at the end of the session he is brought back to the present. The engram must be recounted many times until they are completely "erased."

In spite of the authors fantastic claims there is hardly anything original in his theories except new words for a mixture of misunderstood and undigested Freudianism and hypnotic age regression experiments. Some notions which are truly "original" are startling indeed. Thus we hear the patient report the words spoken by the doctor to his pregnant mother, or by the father to his wife shortly after conception. This reviewer when reading these case histories was tempted to wonder whether the author had intended to write a witty parody on certain psychiatric theories and the credulity of the public.

Hubbard's book can hardly be taken seriously as a scientific contribution to the science of Man but it must be taken seriously as a symptom of a dangerous trend. Were it only an oversimplified popularization of early Freudian theories it would be harmless. But Dianetics1 is expressive of a spirit which is exactly the opposite of Freud's teachings. Freud's aim was to help the patient to understand the complexity of his mind, and his therapy was based on the concept that by understanding one's self one can free one's self from the bondage to irrational forces which cause unhappiness and mental illness. This notion is part of the great Eastern and 
Western tradition from Buddha and Socrates to Spinoza and Freud. Dianetics1 has no respect for and no understanding of the complexities of personality. Man is a machine and rationality, value judgements, mental health, happiness are achieved by an engineering job. "In an engineering science like Dianetics we can work on a push-button basis." There is nothing man has to know or to understand except to apply Hubbard's engram theory. If he does not accept this theory he must have ulterior motives or be possessed by a "denyer" which is "any engram command which makes the patient believe that the engram does not exist." Everything is exceedingly simple. If you have read Hubbard's book you know all there is to know about man and society because you know which buttons to push.

Problems of values and conscience do not exist. If the engrams are erased you have no conflicts. All great philosophical and religious teachers wasted their efforts. There is no problem which does not result from engram command and there is no point to their thinking since they did not know Hubbard's discovery. Although the author says that "the ancient Hindu" writings, the work of the "early Greeks and Romans" including Lucretius, the labors of Francis Bacon, the researches of Darwin and some of the thoughts of Herbert Spencer compose the bulk of "the philosophical background" of his work it is hard to believe: certainly Dianetics1 does not show the fruits of such concern. The discovery "that survival is the single and sole purpose of life" is certainly not the expression of the spirit of the "ancient Hindus" or the "early Greeks" but that of a crude biologism for which ethical values are subordinated to the urge for survival - if there is any place for them at all.

But perhaps the most unfortunate element in Dianetics1 is the way it is written. The mixture of some oversimplified truths, half truths and plain absurdities, the propagandistic technique of impressing the reader with the greatness, infallibility and newness of the author's system, the promise of unheard of results attained by the simple means of following Dianetics1 is a technique which has had most unfortunate results in the fields of patent medicines and politics; applied to psychology and psychiatry it will not be less harmfull.

This negative view on Dianetics1 does not result from this reviewer's belief that present-day methods of psychiatry are satisfactory; they are in need of new ideas and experiments indeed. Fortunately, many psychiatrists and psychologists are aware of this need and in search for more effective methods of approaching the unconscious level (like, for instance, the Slesinger "Looking-in" test). But the premise must be the strengthening of the patient's responsibility, critical ability and insight.



1) This is a review of L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics with which Hubbard founded his Scientology-Church. The review originally was published in The New York Herald Tribune Book Review of September 3, 1950, p. 7.
Criticism of Scientology page

It is a cult, pure and simple.

It is highly organized, efficient and powerful.

It is extremely wealthy.

It has mastered the technique of mind control.

It was started by a very dysfunctional, now deceased, science fiction writer: L. Ron Hubbard.
Even one of Hubbards own step-sons portrays him to be a "madman" (See the book "L. Ron Hubbard: Madman or Messiah?")

It is brutal in its attack on those who threaten it.

It abuses the legal, educational and financial systems of the US.

It has bankrupt the former Cult Awareness Network (through a barrage of lawsuits), purchased their assets and now answers their phone lines. So when a parent calls the CAN and ask for help in getting their daughter out of a cult such as Scientology, a Scientologist answers the phone "Cult Awareness Network, how can we help you." I am not making this up. The story was in Time magazine, as I recall.

They are very smart, very devious.

They prey on people with low self esteem from dysfunctional families.

They are particularly effective at recruiting young people and at bringing foreigners over to the US on "religious" visas.

When people on these "religious visas" come over, they use their visa status as power over them.

They have an intricate and elaborate network of related organizations and businesses.

They have set up multi-level marketing businesses that sell products all around the country via telemarketing, then they funnel money back to the central organization.

They apparently have many insiders rules, one of which is that they are not supposed to do business with non-Scientology members if they can avoid it.

They are extremely effective at robbing the life savings of wealthy people.

They will let someone die, rather than let them get out of their control (for example, the recent death of Lisa McPherson.)

The US government is so shortsighted that they have allowed them tax-exempt status as a "church." And the US has criticized Germany for violating the "human rights" of the Scientologists. I am embarrassed by the US government, particularly Clinton, for this among many other reasons. I also feel discouraged at the lack of intelligence in the US when it comes to seeing a dysfunctional belief system. The US is so stuck on the idea of the "religious freedom", it is not looking out for the best interest of the human species.

They have their own security "police" who dress up almost exactly like the local police. In 1997 they started patrolling their properties in Clearwater with bicycles, just like the Clearwater police. They are almost indistinguishable. Their "police" even carry handcuffs.

They have video surveillance cameras and security guards outside their "hotel."

They own an amazing amount of prime real-estate in downtown Clearwater.

They are very effective at attracting the rich, famous and dysfunctional. IE movie stars. (Recently, Lisa Marie Presley just purchased a mansion on the water near the Scientology headquarters.) It is impossible to know how much money these millionaires are channeling into the organization.)

Their "staff" members dress very neatly, usually in various combinations of blue, white and yellow. Dark blue pants, white shirts and black ties seem to be most pervasive.

They "work" from morning to night. They walk back and forth between their various buildings with blank looks on their faces. They rarely smile or make eye contact, even with each other. It is frightening.

They are very obedient, very trained to follow rules and to "respect" authority.

They seem to spend a lot of money on "health food," vitamins, natural foods, etc.

They are very fear based.

They have an endless list of "classes" for their members, all of which they charge for. If you can't afford a course, they will let you go into debt to them. Then they use this debt as power over you.

Even the youngest recruits are wearing uniforms. Blue t-shirts and shorts, example. By young I mean under 15, for example. Here is a site with pics of some of the many uniforms the adults wear.

They are now building a new elementary school of their own. Most likely they will soon be getting government vouchers to pay for their children's mis-education. (Of course, other "religions" such as the Catholics, have long been permitted to brainwash young children's minds under the guise of educating them.)

One of the ways they recruit new members is to offer them a free "personality test." Then they suggest some of their "courses" for you. And then more courses, and more, etc.

They also gather extensive personal information about their new members, which they also use as power over them whenever needed, for example, if the member is considering leaving.

They claim to be interested in the survival of the species, and they convince their members there is a higher meaning to their work, a common religious technique. (Note, I do believe the survival of the species is our highest goals, but obviously I differ in the approach and means to that end.)

Their founder, Hubbard, wrote that the earth was formed as the result of a volcanic explosion from another planet millions of years ago. And that our "souls" traveled to the earth as part of this explosion... or something like that.

So, how do I feel?

I feel frightened that one day one of their leaders will decided it is time to arm themselves, or that one day they will get some of their people elected as mayor, city council members, judges etc. I feel frightened that they are growing so rapidly. I feel frightened that they are programming young children with their dysfunctional and dangerous beliefs. I feel frightened that they have mastered the art and science of stripping a person's emotions and individuality, and turning them into obedient clones. I feel frightened by their immense financial power base and their ruthlessness in using whatever means they have available to destroy anyone who threatens them. I feel frightened by their fear, insecurity and need for control.

I feel resentful that they are not paying taxes. I feel resentful that the government forces me to subsidize them through taxing me.

I feel disgusted that our government allows them to be called a "church."

I feel incredulous that with all the intelligent people in this country, we have allowed them to flourish, and we have even subsidized them.

I feel frightened that they will sue me for writing what I have written, or that they will find some other way to make my life miserable. For years, in fact, it has been this fear that has kept me silent, but I have decided I can keep silent no longer. So if you know any Scientologists, please don't tell them about this page!

Scientology discussed 

Lawyer says Church of Scientology is waging campaign to 'frame' him
Date: Monday, 3 September 1984
Publisher: New York Times
Author: Robert Lindsey
Main source: link (144 KiB)
Alternate and/or complementary: Reprint in Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 

LOS ANGELES — Michael J. Flynn, a Boston lawyer, was piloting a light aircraft toward South Bend, Ind., in October 1979 when its engine quit mysteriously at 8,500 feet. After making an emergency landing, he said he found several quarts of water in the fuel tank.

Since then, Mr. Flynn, who has led a legal battle against the Church of Scientology, a group that has long been the subject of Government investigations, says he has been followed by as many as four carloads of private detectives at once, his office has been burgled, and his clients have received anonymous messages asserting that he was a drug dealer involved with organized crime.

Most recently, Eugene M. Ingram, a private investigator for the Church of Scientology who was discharged from the Los Angeles Police Department in 1981, has given the Federal authorities an affidavit signed by a citizen of the United Arab Emirates who asserts that he once collaborated with Mr. Flynn to pass a forged $2 million check.

In an interview, Mr. Flynn, who in the past five years has filed 20 lawsuits against the church on behalf of former members and has himself been sued 13 times by the church, said: "It's an outrageous attempt by the church to frame me. They've been traveling around the country giving press conferences about me. What they say is 100 percent false."


$300 Fees to Church

The Church of Scientology calls itself a "new religion," one not based on the worship of a god but which says it is able to make people happy through a counseling system called auditing. Clients pay Scientology as much as $300 an hour to be audited by a therapist using a crude tool called an E Meter to measure their emotional responses to questions, a process that is said to enhance their ability to think clearly and control their thoughts and emotions.

Now headquartered in Los Angeles and Clearwater, Fla., the church was organized more than 25 years ago by L. Ron Hubbard, a science fiction writer who has not been seen in public since 1980. Church publicists say it has a membership of six million people, although dissident former members say the number is less than 100,000.

In July, The New York Times reported that several former high officials of the church who were disenchanted with Mr. Hubbard had admitted helping him divert more than $100 million in church funds to foreign bank accounts he controlled.

Many of these same former officials said in interviews that they believed that the church had fabricated the evidence purporting to implicate Mr. Flynn in forgery in an effort to silence his legal attacks against their organization. "He was our No. 1 enemy," said Laurel Sullivan, a former senior official.

"We were always trying to set up an operation against Michael."

Mr. Flynn, a 40-year-old lawyer who has practiced in Boston since 1972, says he has spent more than $400,000 of his own money on legal battles with the Church of Scientology that began in 1979 after he agreed to represent a former church member who wanted a refund of money she had paid for Scientology auditing courses.


Purported Death Threats

He said the church had decided she was a traitor to its cause and revealed intimate details of her life that she had told in confidental auditing sessions. Mr. Flynn pressed forward with the case and began to represent other former Scientologists. He said he then began to receive death threats, to be badgered by private detectives and to be the target of spurious lawsuits and of complaints to the local bar assocation.

Mr. Flynn acknowledged that if he was victorious in some of his lawsuits against the church he would profit handsomely from his legal battle against it, but said he was not doing it for the money, but "because I think they are fascist bullies."

Miss Sullivan and other former officials compared the allegations that Mr. Flynn had forged a check to efforts that they said they had worked on while still in the church to smear Paulette Cooper, a free-lance writer who wrote "The Scandal of Scientology, " a 1970 book critical of the organization.

In a telphone interview, Miss Cooper said she had unknowingly agreed to allow an agent of the church to become her roommate in 1972. The roommate, she said, then stole some of her stationery, with her fingerprints on it, and sent bomb threats to the church. The F.B.I. traced the stationery to her, and she was indicted on charges of threatening to bomb a church facility.

The Justice Department subsequently abandoned the prosecution, she said, "under condition that I undergo psychiatric treatment."


F.B.I. Raids on Church

In 1977, F.B.I. agents raided Scientology facilities here and in Washington and found documents showing, they said, that the organization, in a project called "Operation Freakout," had mounted an effort to have her imprisoned or driven insane.

In the interview, Miss Cooper said she had received "many" death threats from agents of the church and had been sued by it 19 times."And now they're trying to do the same thing they did to me to Michael Flynn," she said.

In January full-page advertisements were placed in The New York Times, The Boston Globe and other publications by Mr. Ingram, the private investigator, who was discharged by the police in 1981 after being brought up on departmental charges of pimping, pandering, conspiring to run a house of prostitution and protecting drug dealers. Criminal charges against Mr. Ingram were dismissed in 1982 for lack of evidence, Los Angeles police officials say.

The advertisements offered a $100,000 reward for information that would help determine who presented a forged $2 million check in June 1982 at the Bank of New England in Boston drawn on an E. F. Hutton Cash Reserve Management Account in the name of Mr. Hubbard. Because a teller questioned the validity of the check, it was not cashed.

Last month, Mr. Ingram and officials of the church called news conferences in several cities around the country and announced they had solved the mystery. They asserted that they had obtained evidence proving that the check had been forged by Mr. Flynn.


Allegations of Forgery

They gave Federal officials here and in Boston a 29-page affidavit signed by Ala Tamimi, a citizen of the United Arab Emirates, that offered in great detail a purported account of how he had been recruited by Mr. Flynn to pass the forged check for $400,000 and then panicked and left it at the bank when the teller balked at cashing it.

Brackett Denniston, an assistant United States attorney in Boston, acknowledged that representatives of the Church of Scientology had asked his office to investigate the allegations but refused to discuss its status. Mr. Denniston, when asked about Mr. Tamimi, said he was in jail in Italy and under indictment in Boston on charges of mail fraud, wire fraud and perjury in connection with a scheme to fraudulently obtain fees in advance for arranging millions of dollars in loans that never materialized.

After the affidavits were submitted as evidence in a court here, in one of the dozens of actions involving the organization, Judge Paul G. Breckenridge of Superior Court assailed the church's attorneys on Aug. 2 for "totally unprofessional" conduct and called the material "garbage."

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