Martin Luther

Commenting on Scientology, Inside and Outside the Church

Archive for the month “December, 2012”

Throwing Out Modern Physics

I saw a comment the other day to someone else’s Independent Field blog, to the effect that what LRH describes as the fate of certain thetans dumped here by “aliens” simply wasn’t possible because the spacecraft doing it couldn’t get past NORAD’s radar. Whether you agree with or believe what LRH said about it or not, the statement reeked of ignorance. We have current aircraft in our arsenal which show up like “steel marbles” on defensive radars. If we can do that, why would anyone imagine that a more technologically advanced space-faring race couldn’t do us one better, by absorbing electromagnetic radiation at radar frequencies (thus making them radar-invisible)? Statements like this person made are patently silly.

It reminds me of how many Scientologists are disciples of what’s considered “modern” physics on this planet. LRH had quite a lot to say about physics over the course of three decades of lectures, most of it invalidative. Of course, there is no dogma in Scientology about this. You’re free to believe LRH or not. Our spiritual technology works whether Einstein was right or not.

But it leads me to want to comment on some of what is considered “true” in modern physics.

Consider space travel as understood on this planet. According to Einstein, the speed of light is a limiting factor of velocity in this universe. That is, according to Einstein, it simply isn’t possible to go faster than the speed of light. The mathematics of Einstein’s physics is such that if you approached the speed of light, your mass would approach infinity and the length of your spaceship would approach zero. The nearest star is 4.3 light years away. Meaning that, at best speed, it would take more than 4.3 years to get there. Of course, that’s at best speed. What we’re capable of achieving, with the best (untested) technologies we can imagine, puts that journey at something on the order of thousands of years to get to the nearest star. Imagine the planning and expense necessary to carry out that kind of journey. It would probably consume the entire productivity of all the nations of Earth for decades to execute such a mission.

We can imagine that our space buddies are better at this, and know of a way to do it a lot faster. Let’s say they could get from here to there (or vice versa) in just over five years. Of course, if you’re familiar with modern physics, you realize they’d have to spend a significant portion of the journey either accelerating or decelerating, and not too quickly, because otherwise it would crush their bodies. Hmm. Could be a big problem.

Of course, we know that our space buddies are visiting us all the time. There are almost daily reports of spacecraft and their inhabitants who visit the vicinity of this planet, looking remarkably similar to each other. In fact, the descriptions of their craft, their crafts’ capabilities, and the “aliens” themselves are so similar that it’s virtually impossible to ignore or discount all of them. There are simply too many similar or identical reports for them to be entirely fictional. So if we want to remain disciples of Einstein, we have to admit that there are quite a few of these folks, and they’ve all taken at least five years to get here. But here’s the really weird thing: If you decided to take a five-year journey to that blue planet around the nearest star, wouldn’t you do something like build a hotel at your destination, so you could relax and explore once you got here? How come our space buddies don’t do that? How come they’re not stopping in at the nearest Ramada Inn and ordering room service? After five years on the same old smelly spaceship, I’d do anything to get out of there and stretch my legs for a while.

Oh, you say, it’s not like that. They’re using “wormholes” to get here in an instant! Really? You do realize that wormholes are postulated purely out of the mathematics of modern physics, right? You realize no one has ever seen one or is likely ever to, let alone actually demonstrate or use one for anything. This is another example of common ignorance of what passes for physics on this planet. Talk to an actual physicist some time about this. It would require the power of a black hole to generate a wormhole. And you don’t want to be anywhere near a black hole, trust me. And there aren’t any near Earth or our nearest stellar neighbor, so far as astronomers have been able to discern. Moreover, even if you could generate a wormhole large enough for your spacecraft to pass through (you couldn’t), you could not predict or control where the other end of it went. You could, theoretically, end up on the other side of the galaxy today, and in Andromeda galaxy tomorrow. And the very act of attempting to shove something through a wormhole would instantly collapse it. I’m not telling you anything not known to every modern physicist. Wormholes and such are a theoretical extension of the mathematics of “modern” physics. Nice for science fiction, I suppose, but useless in reality.

Let’s consider another denizen of modern physics, so-called “dark matter“. Physicists have convinced themselves that this universe was born from a point source of energy which exploded about 13 billion (billion with a “b”, not trillion with a “t”) years ago (the “Big Bang” theory). Ultimately, it unevenly condensed into planets, galaxies and yielded our present universe. Physicists postulated this because of the observed “red-shift” of stellar spectra, assuming it must come from the “fact” that all the distant objects of the universe are moving away from each other. They’re still arguing about what will be the ultimate fate of this universe. But they seem to have agreed that the movement of distant objects in the universe doesn’t make sense. The universe should be flying apart a lot faster than it is. Gravity, the force which causes mass to attract other mass, just isn’t adequate to be keeping all this expansion in check. Thus, they’ve invented this stuff that would be able to keep the universe together the way we see it. It’s called “dark matter”. And apparently the universe is made mostly (90+%) of this stuff. Naturally, no one has seen any. Nor sensed it. Nor detected it. But its gravitational attraction is the only thing which could explain the behavior of the movement of distant celestial objects. Conveniently, it appears that it also doesn’t obscure our ability to detect distant objects, despite the fact that it supposedly makes up 90% of the universe.

Next time you dig up a handful of “dark matter” while making fence post holes in your back yard, make sure you call your nearest physicist hotline. They’ll want take a look at it before you toss it in the trash can.

Here’s another one. You thought that the three spatial dimensions of this universe were pretty much perpendicular to each other. You silly human. Evidently you weren’t aware that gravity actually “warps” space. This one’s kinda hard to explain. Gravity isn’t actually a “force” like magnetism. Instead, that attraction of matter to matter is the result of the masses involved mutually warping the fabric of space, so masses just naturally fall into each other. As an example, let’s say we draw a straight line between our planet and the Moon. That’s the way we would typically think of the fabric of space. Lots of straight lines which represent the dimensions of our universe, and across which massive bodies simply attract each other. Except that modern physics says, “No”. Instead, in the vicinity of the Moon, that line you drew curves down to the surface of the Moon. So if you were to throw a ball bearing at the Moon, it would fall into the Moon, because the Moon actually curves your straight line. Like I said, instead of the Moon simply attracting your ball bearing because of its mass, it curves the space into a track that causes the ball bearing to roll down toward the Moon. No, I’m not making this stuff up.

“Quantum physics” is another modern physics curve ball created by physicists when they couldn’t explain what they observed at the sub-atomic level using the physics they presumed to be true at the level we normally observe things (a 72 degree room Fahrenheit room at sea level). It’s an exceptionally complex framework of theoretical ideas which yield even more wild (and silly) ideas about the nature of existence. Quantum physics is where physics intersects with philosophy and psychology. It could be considered the most theoretical branch of modern physics. (And the hardest to actually grasp.) Of course, it has nothing whatsoever to do with the way thetans actually think or act. There are axioms, factors and logics which govern such things.

Some of the foregoing was made up after LRH died. Much of it was postulated by physicists before Ron died, and in the course of his lectures and writings, he commented on the silliness and absurdity of it. A great deal of modern, Einsteinian physics stems from the mathematics which was used in physics subsequent to Einstein’s Special and General Theories of Relativity. It was (and is) assumed that the behavior of the universe would obey mathematical rules, even when those rules approached zero, infinity, and imaginary numbers (the square roots of negative numbers). If a physics equation ultimately ended up with an “imaginary” result, physicists would, instead of throwing out their original hypotheses, try to work out how the physical universe obeying imaginary numbers would look. And proceeded from there.

As I said, there is no dogma in Scientology about this. But I would venture that LRH’s evaluations of modern physics are probably more reliable than what passes for “truth” in physics today. A great many of the ideas and roots of modern physics (starting with the theories of relativity) are certainly counter-intuitive, if not downright false. Einstein was a bright guy, but in many respects, he was dead wrong. And much of what has followed since can be attributed to otherwise bright physicists following down his blind alleys.

Here’s something to think about. There is something called the “gravitational constant”, normally represented by the capital letter G in physics equations. It was originally posited by Sir Isaac Newton, but not actually measured until some decades after his death. It represents the degree of attraction between two objects which have mass. Its original measurement was done under what could be considered “normal” conditions (a normal room, normal pressure, normal temperature, etc.). It has been assumed for almost 200 years that this “constant” was constant under all conditions, including at the galactic and the sub-atomic levels. As a result, other forces and types of matter have been postulated to explain phenomena at the excessively large and exceptionally microscopic level, where mass attraction obviously exists but doesn’t conform to the gravitational constant. But what if the gravitational constant isn’t constant at all levels? What if it varies, depending on whether you’re talking about your office, or the galaxies in a cluster, or the particles involved in subatomic interactions? What would happen to modern physics if this were found to be the case? How many physics texts would have to be rewritten, and theories re-thought? How many red-faced physicists would there be? Here’s something even more important: how long would physicists, wedded to their accepted theories, argue about the validity of alternative values for the gravitational constant? How long would it take them to accept the new “truth”? Before you answer that, study the history of scientists’ behavior in the face of threats to scientific “orthodoxy”.

Believe what you like. But beware of scientific “orthodoxy”. It’s not the same thing as scientific “truth”.

Politics Versus Policy

There are two ways a group can operate. One way a group can operate is by having and following firm policy. A group run that way places no value on who you know, how much people like you or not, your race, color or anything else except the invariant policy the group runs on. Your value to the group would consist of how well you perform in getting production out within the rules and policy of the group. Rewards and penalties exist solely on the basis of the interplay of production and adherence to policy. Competence is valued above affection or admiration.

The other kind of group relies on politics. In this kind of group, there may be rules or policy, but such things are subordinate to who you know, who your 2D is, how much people like you, etc. Getting things done in such an organization is more a matter of following orders than policy, since policy and rules can often conflict with the politics of the group. Your ability to advance, and the rewards and penalties of the group may well depend on who you know and how well you’re liked. In such an organization, you may find that the ends justify the means.

You’ve probably seen lots of organizations which run on politics, and very few which run on policy. You may know of organizations which are a mix of the two. But really, once you deviate from the first type, you’re automatically dealing with the second type. A peculiarity of the first type is that, sometimes, you can be wildly successful in the first type, while ignoring policy, since competence is of such value there. Fail to produce in the first type of group, and nothing, including policy will protect you. Conversely, in the latter type of group, you can crash and burn even in the face of great production, if you get “crossways” with the wrong people or person. Or do fantastically well, even with bad production stats, just because of who you’re married to, etc.

When I first came on staff in the mid-70s, it was promoted to me that an Org was the former type of organization. The Staff Statuses further reinforced this idea. Ron made it clear that if you followed policy, you just couldn’t go wrong. Apparently, you were encouraged to exercise your big mouth when you saw policy being violated. I’m sure Ron intended it to be that way. And I was ecstatically happy with that. But as it turned out, I found Orgs were not run solely on policy. I found that politics were a significant part of how an Org was run.

Now you should understand (if it’s not clear already), I’m a smart aleck with a big mouth. My parents continually cautioned me about this when I was a kid. I got in more than my share of trouble as a kid simply by being smart alecky or having a big mouth. As I got older, I learned a little more about what adults call “good judgment” (shutting up or suppressing your own communication). I never gained perfection on this score, but I did learn to shut up at times. I learned the hard way that being there and communicating could be a crime.

My experience on staff locked that lesson in.

Believing what LRH wrote about Orgs, policy and the like, I exercised very little “control” over my big mouth. My seniors finally decided to Comm Ev me. You should have seen the Bill of Particulars. To just read the charges, you’d think I was Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Hannibal Lecter all rolled into one. In the end, it was all for naught. The Int Justice Chief dismissed the whole thing for lack of evidence and staledate. Of course that was after they tried to shut me up with a Non-Enturbulation Order. Ultimately, I was swept up in the worldwide “List 1 R/Sers” engram. (For those who weren’t there, thousands of staff were routed out of Orgs as List 1 R/Sers during this time period. Turns out there were faulty definitions of the “rock slam” e-meter read in widespread use, and that R/Ses found on Clears didn’t mean the same thing they did on people who weren’t Clear; and it turns out an awful lot of the people who got routed out were actually unsuspected last life and this life Clears.) Thereafter, I spent a year off staff wondering if I was an SP. That was fun, believe me. Since then, I’ve been back on staff three times (total four times, always with promises that “things are different/better now”), been declared, had to do steps A to E, been accused of being a PDH-ing government agent, and a variety of other fun stuff.

I used to think that the Sea Org would be fundamentally different from being regular staff. Surely, policy would reign supreme in the Sea Org, as it hadn’t in Orgs I’d been in. At least that was my fantasy. At one point, I was working in a Sea Org organization while on a “project prepare” (getting debts paid and such so you can come into the Sea Org). I berthed, messed (ate) and libertied (spent time off) with Sea Org. While there, I had senior Sea Org members clearly lying to me for no apparent reason, rejecting perfectly reasonably ethics conditions formulas, and trying to break up my marriage. This was in the late 70s, early 80s. So much for the Sea Org being a different game than Org staff.

Some years later, while doing a confidential pilot rundown as a public, I dealt with the question of whether I should be a staff member or not. In doing a Doubt formula on the subject, I decided that staff was entirely the wrong game for me, despite my natural tendency to want to be in the trenches with other staff and Sea Org members.

So I had the pre-Miscavige Church of Scientology throw the book at me more than once. It’s been many years since then, and I’ve had a lot of time to work out how I feel about the whole thing. I don’t particularly hold the Church or its staffs or administrators in contempt from all this. That’s because I understand two things. First, the people who have given me the most trouble in this connection were normally not OT. Any OTs who participated in these injustices generally apologized to me for their participation, one way or another. Second, those most responsible for these injustices were untrained, generally in both Tech and Admin.

Since all this transpired, David Miscavige and his ilk have turned the Church of Scientology on its head. So much so that I’m not even sure that policy registers as a blip on anyone’s radar screen any more. It’s all politics now. How much have you contributed to IAS? How much have to contributed to Super Power? Ideal Orgs? Wanna get out of ethics trouble? Just give us money! We don’t really make a lot of auditors any more. We make people who’ve been through their Basics courses instead. Oh by the way, disagree with or have critical thoughts about our Fearless Leader, and you will find yourself swabbing the decks in far Timbuktu. And forget about ever going OT. Ad nauseum.

As you can see, things were a lot better back when I first got into Scientology and on staff. And still, there was some non-zero amount of politics driving things along. Now things are at least an order of magnitude worse. Things were bad enough when I first got in, that had I been aware of the facts, I never would have signed a staff contract. Ever.

I’m sure that people are still supposed to do the Staff Status courses when they first come on staff. And I suspect they still imply that the Church of Scientology runs on LRH policy. But just as obviously, it should be clear to any but a mental cripple that, in fact, the Church of Scientology runs almost entirely on politics.

Maybe it’s just me. Having had the pre-Miscavige Church level both barrels at me and pull the trigger multiple times, and realizing that I’m still here, I long ago ceased to fear what the Church could supposedly do to me. And I realize that an organization based on politics, not policy, is that last place I’d want to be. Obviously, I don’t survive well in places like that. Hence, I can’t imagine why I would ever sign up to help a Miscavige era Church, or stay there a second longer than I absolutely had to.

So my question is, if you were in that situation where you were a staff or Sea Org member who signed on and did your Staff Statuses (or Products in the case of a Sea Org member), why in God’s name would you hang around once you realized what was really going on? I’m continually reading these angsty stories about people who were staff/SO, spent years at it during the Miscavige era, and eventually left. I get that people have trepidation about the possibility of losing their future Bridges and/or connections with their family and friends, not to mention being afraid of being unable to make a living in the real world after so much time as staff/Sea Org. My question is, why would it ever get to that point? Upon realizing the obvious fact that it’s all politics, why would you sign up in the first place? And once you did sign up and find that policy was obviously a minor footnote, why would you hang around a minute longer?

Read It Drill It Do It Bridge

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not tech trained. So you’ll hopefully forgive me if I get the occasional Tech fact wrong. Please feel free to let me know if I do that. But since I’m not tech trained, I’d like to blithely speculate on something.

I’ve often heard of doing various types of auditing on a read it, drill it, do it basis. I know they do things like on the RPF (or used to). And it seems like I’ve heard of it occurring under other circumstances as well. And so I wonder if it wouldn’t be possible to do your Bridge that way all the way up. When I say that, I mean that you could do it with a twin, starting at the beginning, have a C/S and/or suitably trained Tech terminal looking over your shoulder as you go along. You both (you and your twin) stop at various points to do whatever “training” and study is necessary. And then, once done with your study, the C/S writes out the instructions for the next step or so you will audit. He keeps a sharp eye on your progress and suggests crams and instructs as needed, should something go a little off.

Assuming a perceptive C/S with good 8C, two reasonably intelligent PCs/students who are diligent and thorough in their study, enough drilling to get them each comfortable with their subject matter, and assuming nothing goes terribly wrong along the way, it seems to me like two people could go all the way up the Bridge this way. And when I say “study” I don’t mean simple robotic absorption of data. For example, when studying the Laws of Listing and Nulling, you wouldn’t simply memorize things and go on. You’d want to know why the Laws are that way. And what would happen if things weren’t carried out that way.

I’ll give you an example of the type of studying I’m talking about. When I was in school, I used to love math. My first year of algebra, I had a friend in my algebra class who liked math as much as I did. We would challenge each other by making up all kinds of wild and difficult equations and giving them to each other to solve. Being math geeks, we enjoyed this a lot and learned a lot when we had to correct each other’s work. Later on, when studying algebra and analysis (different school, different friends) I used to figure out different ways to derive the quadratic formula. (The quadratic formula is an essential formula for solving a lot of equations that have x2 and the like in them.) The quadratic formula is sort of complicated, and it can be easy to forget parts of it, etc. So my idea was that if you could derive it quickly in the middle of a test where you needed it, you’d never get in trouble if you forgot parts of it. Yeah, I know this is pretty math-geeky. My point is that this kind of study is the kind of thorough study you do when you really like a subject and want to know it from all sides, most importantly the hows and whys of the subject. Maybe you could look at it as the difference between studying a subject you’re majoring in in college, versus studying a subject you only have mild interest in.

In any case, it seems to me that if you and your twin study the Tech thoroughly under the direction of a good tech terminal and/or C/S, and keep your nose clean and are sincere, you could even skip the Academy (the traditional course room) and get all the way up the Bridge. Obviously, you’d need good checksheets, access to all the materials you need, etc.

(Please don’t get the impression that I’m dismissing the value of an Academy, supervisor and word clearer. Under normal circumstances, this is the best way to get your training standardly. I’m just speculating on the extreme case where it’s completely impractical to get to or spend a significant amount of time in an Academy. Just as obviously, I’m not suggesting you co-audit parts of the Bridge which are done solo. Solo means solo.)

If you’re tech trained and you disagree with this idea for some reason, please let me know why and be prepared for probing questions from me. Again, I’m not saying everyone or even a majority should do their Bridges this way. I’m just wondering if it isn’t an alternative possibility in extreme circumstances.

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