A while back, Marty Rathbun made a post to his blog concerning Ron’s and the Church’s attitude toward the psychological/psychiatric field: Scientology Inc. versus the Psychs. I posted some comments to that blog entry, along the lines that I was puzzled why there was so much sympathy toward the psychs in the Independent Field, and cautioning that I felt such sympathies were misplaced. Finally, Marty responded to one of my comments this way: “Your views and your blog are flat earth, pure and simple.”. I was taken aback by this reaction, and answered his post along these lines: “An ad hominem? Seriously? My whole blog? How about if we let others decide” and then I included a link to my blog. Marty didn’t allow that comment. And to my knowledge, he as not allowed any comment of mine to appear on his blog since that time. (When I try to post a comment, I don’t even get a “your post is being held for the moderator”.)
I have no interest in getting into politics or a firefight in the Field. And I have nothing particularly against Marty. In fact, I applaud and appreciate what he’s done for the field. He provides a clearinghouse for people “coming out” of the Church, provides vital strategic intelligence of Church tactics, and does a lot of vitally needed repair on people who, coming out, desperately need it. And his book (What Is Wrong with Scientology?) was a good read. If nothing else, I learned a lot about grades processing that I didn’t know before.
Nonetheless, Marty is very sympathetic to psychiatry/psychology/sociology. His reading list includes at least two books by psychs/sociologists. And his latest post (Selectively Numbing and Thought Stopping) includes a video clip of a brief talk given by a research sociologist. Marty comments that her talk is a good adjunct to some of the concepts he mentioned in his book, and serves to further explain the origin of and need for “decompression” time when people leave the Church.
As I understand it, when Marty exited the Church, he was in bad shape spiritually and mentally. His very compassionate wife, Monique, and her father (an ex-Marine and therapist) were instrumental in helping him get to the point where he could begin to confront his experiences with the Church, etc. So I can understand why he might be sympathetic to psychs.
What I take issue with is three-fold. First, Marty is (not by his choice) seen as an opinion leader in the Independent Field. If you look at the comments attached to his latest post (cited above) and others, they are almost uniformly positive and laudatory. This includes one by Mike Rinder, which characterizes Marty’s search for understanding as “inspiring” and “greatly appreciated”, even though it veers into the psych field. Despite Marty’s protestations, he is accumulating a “cult of personality” around him. This was inevitable, given his visibility, experiences, and his excellent ability to communicate. But because of his status, people who might otherwise be persuaded to look to Scientology for the piece or pieces of the Tech to handle their problems or questions, instead are being directed toward psychology and sociology.
Second, there is Marty’s reaction to my blog comment (cited above) and others who disagree with his viewpoint on this subject: personally attack them (ad hominem) and censor them. Don’t get me wrong. Marty has every right to do as he likes on his blog, just as I do. And not being able to comment on Marty’s blog is more a nuisance to me than anything else; I have no burning need to comment. I just find it remarkably hypocritical on his part. At every turn, he seems to advocate for free thought and free speech in the Field. But when it comes to this subject, the discussion appears to be closed. I also find this reaction remarkably similar to the way the Church has come to react to those who disagree with or question its activities: attack the person and censor them. (In the Church’s case, it’s declare and disconnect.) And it is precisely these kinds of reactions that Marty and others in the Field appear to object to from the Church. It is definitely not the type of reaction expected from someone (or some entity) with clean hands and a pan-determined attitude. I’m not trying to cast aspersions on Marty’s character. I’m merely making a technical observation.
Third, the vast majority of people who exit the Church profess to still believe in the Tech as a workable system which should be standardly practiced and which does produce the products it claims to. Their beef is not with Ron’s technology, but with the Church and David Miscavige. And yet, when they begin to “decompress”, what do they do? They appear to dive straight into their own cases, figure-figuring about what they did wrong, what the Church did to them, why it happened, etc. etc. Is this what Ron would recommend? Or would he instead insist you get some help and get into session? Does anyone believe that the horrible experiences you’ve just been through in the Church cannot be undone with the proper application of Standard Technology? It is for precisely this reason that I advocated earlier (The Leaving Scientology Rundown) for a set of case and ethics (not justice) actions to repair those in need of repair when leaving the Church.
As I listened to the sociologist’s talk (cited above), and thought about the experiences of those leaving the Church, I was struck by the remarkable similarity to the experiences, attitudes and reactions of rape victims. Betrayal, guilt, individuation, shame, feelings of rejection, etc. And in many senses, what the Church has been doing to parishioners in the last few years is, in effect, a form of rape. If not physical, certainly spiritual. Think about it. The question is, is rape (spiritual or physical) beyond the reach of our Tech? Of course not.
I understand. You just got out of a no-win scenario with the Church. You’ve been suppressed. Don’t think this. Don’t look at that. Don’t read the other thing. And now you’re finally free. But you’re loaded up with psychic scars, the likes of which you may not have experienced for lifetimes. You’re looking for answers. You’re looking for relief. But instead of looking to the one place where you profess there is a workable technology to handle your conflicted emotions and answer your conflicting questions, you’re investigating psychology? Or eastern mysticism? Or the Tao Te Ching? And you say you’re looking for truth? For answers? On the study tapes, Ron talks about the need to discard areas of unproductive inquiry in order to better focus on areas where true answers may lie. Again, people are free to look where they like for answers. But if you’re looking into the field that brought us ECT (electroconvulsive therapy), prefrontal lobotomy and behavior modification, how many truths do you think you’re going to find? (Many folks will say that psychology has changed over the years. I’ve got news for you. Psychology started “changing” in the 1930s, starting with Abraham Maslow. They still haven’t developed a workable technology.)
And yet you find people in the Independent Field actually pointing you in that direction. Let me reiterate some things you’ve read on every course you’ve ever taken in Scientology.
In fifty thousand years of history on this planet alone, Man never evolved a workable system. It is doubtful if, in foreseeable history, he will ever evolve another. …
It has been proven that efforts by Man to find different routes came to nothing. …
Scientology, exactly and correctly followed, takes the person up and out of the mess. …
Scientology is the only workable system Man has.
(Taken from HCO PL 14 Feb 1965 Safeguarding Technology)
Whatever Ron may have said earlier about other avenues and other similar subjects, the above is what he said in 1965, and it never changed thereafter. And its importance is underscored by its inclusion on virtually every checksheet in Scientology.
If the above is “flat earth, pure and simple”, then I live on a two-dimensional planet, the same one LRH used to live on. You’re welcome to live here, too.