Martin Luther

Commenting on Scientology, Inside and Outside the Church

Scientology and Other Subjects

There is a (hopefully) minor movement to merge Scientology with other subjects, or to add other subjects to the study of Scientology. I would say Scientology is just fine as it is, thank you. But let’s examine some of the subjects involved.

Body Language

One prominent Independent Field blogger recently suggested that Scientology would benefit from adding the study of “body language”, particularly facial expression analysis, to the study of the Tone Scale. This blogger claims to have independently discovered many of the basics of this subject, and that his use of the subject afforded him an unprecedented ability to spot people who were lying. (His first tip-off? The fake smile, where the lips describe a smile but the eyes don’t. I consider this mildly humorous, since the person making this claim displays this exact kind of smile in many of the photos of him on his site, including the one on his front page.)

First off, there is no such thing as a lie detector. Not even an e-meter can detect lies. It may indicate charged areas (just as facial expressions may), but neither the meter nor facial expressions are a reliable detector of lies. Second, the study of facial expressions (and overall body language, of which facial expression analysis is an integral part) is not a precise science. It is more of an art than a science. An analogy might be the “science” of profiling, as developed by FBI psychologists. Profiling allows the FBI to roughly determine the age, ethnicity, general disposition, social class, etc. of people who commit certain types of crime, particularly those who commit the same crime repeatedly (like serial killers). Profiling works fine… until someone breaks the profile. “All serial killers are caucasian.” Until a black person kills a bunch of people in succession. Thus, the idea that profiling is a science goes out the window. It works as advertised most of the time, but not all the time. It’s an art not a science. The same is true for body language.

For example, I was recently watching a Youtube video where an interview was taking place between a moderator and a group of comedians. One particular female interviewee seemed to almost be coming on to the host/moderator. So I asked my wife to turn on her “girldar” (girl radar) and tell me what she thought. She disagreed. She observed that the girl sat squarely in her own space and rarely invaded or encroached on the space of the interviewer, as one would expect if a girl was seriously interested in a guy. I had to admit that that, along with some other factors, quashed my idea that this girl was seriously interested in the interviewer. And later in thinking about the interview, it also occurred to me that these same characteristics could also indicate that the girl was physically cold on the set of the interview. My wife agreed that this, too, was possible.

The study of facial expressions and body language is imprecise, and definitely open to interpretation. The observation that certain expressions, gestures and postures go along with certain attitudes is valid. But making definite pronouncements with regard to them is bound to wind up, on occasion, in mistakes being make. There are subtleties and environmental factors involved, not to mention other mental factors, which might mitigate definite pronouncements based on body and facial observations. Thus, the subject is more art than science.

Third, combining the study of body language with the study of the Tone Scale is probably not the best idea. A person can have various positions on the Tone Scale. They can have a general social tone. They can have a general actual tone level. They can have a tone scale position with respect to a subject, a person, a group, an object, or any number of other things. Further, their thinking at any given moment may be a composite of a number of factors. They may be speaking to you about the variety of goods available at the grocery store, but actually thinking mostly about the test they have to take tomorrow. How do you untangle that without a meter? And some aspects of Tone Scale analysis require that a person be evaluated across a broad range of characteristics, such as when you want to determine a person’s actual, general tone level.

Fourth, how do you make an intersection between body language and tone scale position? When a person looks down and to the left, that’s grief? Really? How can you be sure? Psychologists who study body language are no help; they don’t know the Tone Scale. You may know the Tone Scale very well, but can you absolutely say that when a person looks down and to the left, it always means grief? Always? I don’t think anyone can legitimately make that claim.

Ron was an outstanding observer. In the Dianetics book, he talked about PC indicators like skin color, skin tone, etc. But he didn’t exhaustively detail the subject. It takes quite a while, and the ability to very carefully observe in order to properly catalog the possible PC reactions which might come up in session, and what they mean. And while such observations might be important in auditing without an e-meter, they lessen in importance once the auditor begins to utilize the e-meter; the e-meter is a far more dispassionate and reliable indicator of mental state. The fact is that, while LRH could probably spend hours detailing the number and diversity of facial and body indicators it is possible to observe, he never did divulge this information. One has to wonder why. Certainly, it would be difficult to make an auditor an expert in that subject, except through long study. And why do so, when the meter would reliably detect the mental condition of the PC? The subject of body language analysis was known while Ron was alive, and he probably knew a fair bit about it, but he never (to my knowledge) mentioned it. As such, it’s probably safe to say that it wasn’t deemed important enough to mention or include in the study of Scientology. And again, as we’ve seen, it’s more art than science. Ron was certainly in favor of things being more, not less, precise.

Don’t get me wrong. The study of body language is probably worthwhile, so long as we remember that it’s an art, not a science, and that it is in no way comparable to Scientology.

Oriental Philosophy

This one is rather easy to dispense with. Oriental philosophy did not produce any system for taking one from lower to higher states. To quote Ron from the classic lecture, “The Story of Dianetics and Scientology”:

Gautama Siddhartha was the first person who said you can be Clear. And all he told you, however, was all you had to do was conceive mind essence. If you just conceive mind essence, you’ve had it. Ask those who tried.

This is the liability of a philosophy which seeks enlightenment without a path to actually attain it.

Moreover, as Ron readily admitted, Oriental philosophy is generally hard for Occidentals (westerners) to understand. Perhaps representative is the Zen (Buddhism) koan, “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” I imagine pondering that question for a time would be a lot like “conceiving mind essence”… guaranteed to spin you in. There are undoubtedly a great many truths contained in Oriental philosophy, but teasing them away from the rest of it is a task not for the faint of heart. Moreover, all the truly important truths of Oriental philosophy are also part of Scientology. An examination of the Axioms, Factors, Logics and Pre-Logics would bear this out. But more importantly, the basic truths revealed in Scientology go even further and deeper than the truths of Oriental philosophy. They reveal the anatomy of the thetan, the universes he creates, the MEST universe, and how he becomes aberrated.

While there’s nothing wrong with the study of Oriental philosophy, it will not appreciably add to a thorough study of Scientology, in terms of understanding more of what is going on in life and this universe.

Western Philosophy

Western philosophy contains far less truth than Oriental philosophy, and the truths are far more difficult to tease out. Worse, while Western philosophy is easier for Occidentals (westerners) to understand, it contains just as many opportunities to spin oneself. Consider a classic question from Western philosophy: “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” It’s a silly question, and the answer may be obvious to you and I, but it’s asked as a serious question among Wester philosophers. If you want to know just how nutty humanity can get, do a survey on Wikipedia of Western philosophers, following from article to article. Examine the basic points that the various philosophers are trying to make. It would be amusing if it weren’t for the fact that each philosopher in turn is deadly serious about the statements he’s making. In addition, many Western philosophers get stuck in the behavior of humans with regard to each other, rather than tackling the basic questions of the spirit, the universe and the mind. This really represents the intersection of Western philosophy and psychology, which heavily influenced it. Perhaps the best examples of Western philosophy are some of the oldest, as with Socrates and Plato. But these older philosophers rarely dealt with the most basic questions.

Again, there’s nothing inherently wrong with studying Western philosophy, as long as you’re well grounded in Scientology. Of course, the defenders of “extracurricular” studies would claim that that statement is designed to ensure you have all the right fixed ideas and dogma in place before you examine Western philosophies. Instead, I would insist it’s simply a matter self-preservation. Having truth in place before you study a bunch of falsehoods is always a good idea.

Psychology

This is the field that brought you electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), the transorbital leukotomy (sticking an ice pick into the eye cavity and using it to rough up the frontal lobe of the brain), the lobotomy (opening up the skull and removing parts of the brain), Thorazine (the “chemical lobotomy”), the Diagnostical and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), Gestalt Therapy (look it up), Primal Scream Therapy (look it up), the libido theory (do you really need to look it up?), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for handling any emotional condition, etc. This is a field which generally has no concept of the soul and typically believes the mechanisms of thought reside in the tissue of the brain. If you expect to find truth here, you might as well save yourself some time and look on the back of your dog biscuit box.

Psychologists have little agreement among themselves about how to approach the human mind. This is reflected in the wide diversity of schools or movements in psychology. They do tend to agree that psych drugs (psycho-active chemical compounds) can be tremendously beneficial in treating (not curing) mental conditions. Unfortunately and unpredictably these compounds can cause people to snap and start shooting people. (Or commit suicide.) Psychologists’ divergent testimony can be bought for a few hundred dollars and used to prove that the exact same person is both sane and insane, depending on which side of the courtroom (the defense or the prosecution) you’re sitting on.

Psychologists have no system for taking people to higher states of being. Without the critical admission of the existence of the human soul, how could they? The best they hope to do (and they know this) is to move the mind around a bit and change behavior, which is relatively easy to do with drugs, electricity, insulin, ice picks and scalpels.

It’s been implied by some in the Independent Field that psychologists are close to agreeing that there is such a thing as the human soul. Psychology practitioners and their ilk go far back on the time track. It might be worth remembering what happened the last time such people admitted the existence of the human soul: they invented implanting to enslave free thetans.

Study this field all you like. Just be aware of the injunction found at various locations on old maps of the world: “There be monsters”.

Quantum Physics

One blogger believes that the study of Quantum Physics would be beneficial to provide context and an appreciation of the idea that “consideration takes precedence over mechanics”. There’s a certain humorous irony in this claim. This universe is the very embodiment of mechanics. Why would you study the pattern of agreements that make it up (physics), if you already understand that the mechanics of this universe directly result from the considerations of thetans? You’d be far better off working out how to consistently disagree with the agreements which make up this universe. Studying the laws of this universe only serves to further stick you to it.

For those who doubt what I’m saying, please go get a copy of the Philadelphia Doctorate Course lectures and study them, particularly SOP 5. LRH has quite a lot to say about disagreeing with the physical universe and steering PCs away from agreeing with the universe. In fact, at that point in Scientology, he considered the ability to disagree with the universe to be the critical component in becoming OT.

Of course, if you want to get a job in a physics lab, by all means study physics. They’re going to want you to be able to parrot the pattern of agreements.

Other Studies

Baseball should be studied, because it enhances one’s understanding of the essence of Scientology.

Of course, I’m kidding. Baseball has nothing to do with Scientology. It’s a perfectly legitimate subject to study. But it’s not part of Scientology. It can’t be merged with Scientology, and Scientology can’t be integrated with it. Part of the reason that’s true is that baseball, no matter how much you like it, is not in any way comparable with the study of Scientology.

And this is the issue with bloggers and others who would attempt to integrate Scientology with other, legitimate or illegitimate subjects. They attempt to meld Scientology with other subjects, in part justified by the idea that a datum cannot be evaluated except by comparison to a datum of comparable magnitude. The problem: when it comes to Scientology, there is no subject of comparable magnitude. None of the subjects mentioned above represent a full Bridge from wog to OT, as Scientology does. That alone takes them out of the realm of “comparable”.

Remedy A and Remedy B

As a postscript, I felt it important to remind Scientologists about a couple of actions which aren’t spoken of much, but probably should be used more often: Remedy A and Remedy B.

Remedy A
… has to do with definitions in Scn or the present subject. You must not miss that, it’s present subject, immediate subject. It’s the immediate subject the guy’s trying to study. It’s not just applicable to Scn. This guy is trying to study engineering and he hasn’t understood a term in engineering. Well, you could handle that with Remedy A. (SH Spec 47, 6411C17)
Remedy B
Remedy B is a former subject. He’s got the present immediate subject mixed up with some former subject. So now you’ve got to find the former subject and find the word in it which hasn’t been defined. (SH Spec 47, 6411C17)

Another important concept: the confused idea. These (according to Study Tech) stem from misunderstood words.

When you see a Scientologist spouting weird or confused ideas, consider that perhaps they have misunderstood words in Scientology. And if they’ve been studying some other, seemingly similar, subjects (like the above), consider that perhaps their root misunderstoods are actually in the other subject(s). (Or vice versa, I suppose.) The answer is as above: Remedy A and Remedy B.

Conclusion

If you want to study subjects outside Scientology, feel free to do so. No one can legitimately tell you not to. But beware of people who tell you that the study of some other subject will “enhance” your understanding or appreciation of the subject of Scientology. The careful study of Scientology, its practice and results, should be more than adequate to give you a full appreciation of its context and worth. I would instead question the motivations or true understanding of people who try to tell you otherwise.

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3 thoughts on “Scientology and Other Subjects

  1. sofia13 on said:

    Very intelligent analysis. I, for one, have no desire to leave the largest squirrel group on the planet, only to find myself in another squirrel group.

  2. I love your blog!!!! you are very intelligent in your assessments. As a vet auditor of 40 years, I find the sophomoric and extremely glib utterances of aformentioned individual in your article, who wants to appear “oh so intellectual”, really irrtitaing.

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