Martin Luther

Commenting on Scientology, Inside and Outside the Church

Archive for the month “November, 2012”

Freedom Versus Sacred Cows

For the second time in a month or so, I’ve apparently hit upon a sacred cow in the Field, or seen someone else hit upon one.

In a way, I think this is enormously humorous. For months (probably been going on for years), all I’ve heard from the Field is rapture over the fact that, now that we’re not under the onerous thumb of the “Church of Miscavology” (or some other snide term), we are free to look at, read, question or say whatever we like. And isn’t it all just grand? Yay! We’re free to investigate Eastern religions, psychology, alien visitations, Internet auditing, the idea that LRH didn’t really develop the Tech, whatever. Good times! We’re not “drinking the Kool-Aid” any more, no sirree, not us. We’re free and we’re one big happy Independent Field family.

Except we’re not. You’d think with all this supposed freedom, that we’d feel very egalitarian and magnanimous when it come to the opinions of others. And we do, right up to the point where someone bumps into one of our sacred cows. And then at that point, look out! Suddenly you’re in Miscavige’s employ, or you’re a “flat-earther” or a troll or your case is messed up (all criticisms actually leveled at me) or whatever.

I recently came out against Internet auditing (see my last post). I never said it should be forbidden or that anyone should be punished for it. I just said it was a bad idea and not “Standard Technology”. Next thing I know, I’ve got this fellow writing me with nearly incomprehensible grammar, spelling and punctuation (illiterate or semi-literate) who claims to be an auditor, yet proclaims loudly that I am “in need of some serious auditing” (evaluating my case in complete violation of the Auditor’s Code). I’m supposed to take this guy seriously? Not so much.

One poor girl/guy was repeatedly savaged recently on someone else’s blog for being annoyed that so much whining was going on about David Miscavige physically abusing people, and not enough attention was being put on what the Field should be doing to prepare for the future. Commenter after commenter abused him/her, and completely failed to see the overall point he/she was making.

The Field constantly complains about the way the Church forbids and punishes differing opinions and inquiry into the outside world. And yet it acts in almost the same fashion when someone in the Field comments adversely on or argues against some Field sacred cow. In case it’s not obvious, that’s hypocrisy. If we in the Field are going to make it, I think we need to be a lot less attached to our sacred cows. And a lot more accepting of the fact that others may disagree with our opinions of those sacred cows.

How about if we in the Field practice the art of being different from the Church of Scientology in how we treat dissenters? How about if we agree that it’s a big world out there, and there will inevitably be people who disagree with us, and that’s okay? If we ever expect to be truly free ourselves, we have to grant that same freedom to others. As opposed to hypocrisy, that’s called “granting beingness”.

Auditing Over the Internet

Apparently, I’ve stepped in it, as I often do. In my comments regarding auditing over the Internet, I’ve hit upon an unsuspected “sacred cow” of the Independent Field. Though there are those who disagree with this practice, those who advocate for it are exceptionally vocal. So let me state for the record: If you want to audit over the Internet, be my guest. And if you believe you’ve been helped by being audited over the Internet, far be it from me to invalidate your gains. There. I don’t think I could be more clear than that.

That said, for the rest of you, including those who may be contemplating participation in such an arrangement, let me explain to you why I believe it is a bad idea.

First, auditing over the Internet is auditing on a via. I can’t imagine anyone could argue about that, but I’m sure some will. I remember back when I did the HAS course in 1976, we drilled TR-1. One of the purposes of that drill was to be able to deliver a command to the PC without using vias. No waving of hands or gesturing as you talk, no raising of eyebrows unconsciously, etc. No vias. You sit there across from the PC, who’s in the same room as you, three feet or so away, and ask, “Do birds fly?” and “Do fish swim?”. That was an integral piece of auditing tech, basic to all future delivery of processing to PCs. Maybe I’m wrong and LRH relaxed that requirement, but I don’t think so.

Second, auditing over the Internet involves the use of the Internet as the via. Now, let me tell you a couple of things about the Internet. I know these things because I’ve been assembling, programming and dealing with computers since 1974. Auditing over the Internet involves at least you as the preclear/pre-OT having a web camera connected to the Internet so the auditor can see you. A web camera is like a motion picture camera, except a lot cheaper and lower quality. A typical motion picture camera or web camera delivers what looks like continuous images of whatever it’s pointed at. At least that’s what you’d think. But you’d be wrong. These devices instead deliver single frame photos at a rate of speed roughly 30 frames a second or so. When you put them together as you do with a motion picture, they look like moving images, but in fact they are individual images, stitched together and shown in order. Sounds okay, doesn’t it? Except it’s not. In the case of a web camera, you’re sending those images over the Internet, one at a time. Now, the Internet was not designed to deal with this kind of traffic from the outset. It was originally designed to deal with text and such, which it does very well. The problem with transmitting video over the Internet is that each individual image is transmitted separately and may take a different route and pass through a variety of computers and networks before it gets to the auditor on the other end. Each of the images transferred is numbered, and when it gets to the auditor’s computer, the auditor’s computer attempts to reassemble them in order, to make the full motion picture possible. Unfortunately, since each image can take a different route, some images may be delayed in arriving. And hard as the auditor’s computer tries, it simply may not be able to fit all the images in in order before it begins to display the whole motion picture. Some images may never arrive. Others may arrive, but too late. They’re dropped from the movie. The result is jerky video. If you’ve ever seen a Skype phone call, or ever seen a jerky Youtube or other video on the Internet, you’ve witnessed what I’m talking about. I just explained to you why that happens.

Third, general purpose computers, like your laptop, your desktop, your iPad or your iPhone are meant to do a variety of things at once. There are all kinds of processes going on in the background as you read email, compose a letter, or work with a spreadsheet. While your computer is dealing with your keystrokes as you type, they’re also checking for new emails, or scanning for viruses, or indexing documents on your hard drive, or checking to see if the printer is ready to print something, etc. These are all “general purpose” computers, and they have a multitude of processes occurring simultaneously. If you’ve ever had to wait (even a fraction of a second) for your computer to respond when you interact with is, you’ve actually witnessed what I’m talking about. Moreover, a virus or similar program somehow installed on your computer without your knowledge can slow things down even more. These kinds of slow-downs can strongly affect performance or create jerky response, just like I mentioned above in my second point. Welcome to jerky Skype calls or jerky Youtube videos again.

So these last two items can, separately or together, affect not only how well your (the preclear’s) computer responds in picking up and transmitting images of you, but also the auditor’s computer in showing video and needle reactions. Is that what you want? Do you want to have the auditor, because of the Internet and his and your computers, miss a read or a facial expression indicating pain or emotional charge?

Of course, Internet auditors will probably swear they’ve never seen this happen, or that such events are minor for one reason or another. Yeah, okay. But I’m telling you what the liabilities are.

Now, if you’re still not convinced, let me put it this way. Let’s assume that LRH is still alive. And let’s assume I’m putting together a CSW to him to allow me to audit over the Internet. Being an honest sort of bloke, I tell him all the advantages of auditing over the Internet, but I also include the above data as well. What do you think his response will be? If you say that he’ll do anything but disapprove it, you’re lying to yourself. And if you say that not only will he disapprove it, he’ll also send me to cramming for even asking the question, your understanding of the way LRH thinks is pretty good. And if you think he’ll cancel all my certificates and make me redo all my auditor training, congratulations! You know LRH exceptionally well!

Again, I’m simply informing you of the facts. Any reasonably knowledgeable computer geek can testify to the last two of my points and the TRs bulletins will testify to my first point. As to LRH’s responses, those are hypothetical. But I’ll bet I’m right about those, too.

If you choose to audit or receive auditing over the Internet, the decision is yours. You have the facts. Proceed at your own risk.

Public Announcement/Coming Out

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I’ve been “under the radar”, so to speak for a while. For various reasons, my wife and I have finally decided to “come out” and make public our separation from the Church of Scientology. I’m not going to do a big Doubt Formula for you here. If you’ve been reading this blog, you know my reasons. I will, for the sake of completeness, do an abbreviated version below.

My actual name is Paul M. Foster. I have decided that the Church of Scientology, as currently constituted and as an overall entity (not necessarily all staff and public), is not delivering Standard Ethics, Tech and/or Admin, as defined by its Founder L. Ron Hubbard (LRH). Further, it has been driven so far from delivering, forwarding and protecting the Bridge, as defined by LRH, that I can no longer in good conscience recommend it to any public, raw or long-term. I believe that any aggregate stats it reports are false and that its purpose at this point is to accumulate cash to benefit a few (or one) at the expense of its parishioners. I believe that the leader of the Church, David Miscavige, is the person most directly responsible for this state of affairs, and is in fact a criminal psychopath.

The only group which is generally forwarding the purposes and technology of LRH is the Independent Field of Scientologists. While it, too, contains its share of miscreants, overall it is, as a group attempting to keep a show on the road on this planet, through the continued application of Standard Technology. I pledge my support and assistance to this group, in the hopes that we can continue the work started by L. Ron Hubbard.

I fully realize that this means I may never be able to set foot in a Church of Scientology ever again. I fully realize that there may be misguided souls who, when they read this or are informed about my decision by the Church, will be compelled, willingly or unwillingly to “disconnect” from me. So be it.

I count all Scientologists, inside or outside the official Church as part of my third dynamic, and am willing, to the extent practicable, to assist them in their movement up the Bridge and out of the trap. I wish them and their missions, orgs and groups nothing but the best. My comm lines are open to them and I offer them my friendship, regardless.

As for David Miscavige, as a matter of ethics and justice, his condition is Confusion with respect to me, the Church of Scientology, Scientologists and mankind. Whatever hell he has consigned his future to, he richly deserves.

And now that that’s over with, let’s all Flourish and Prosper!

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