Martin Luther

Commenting on Scientology, Inside and Outside the Church

In God’s Image

There’s a passage in the Christian bible that is typically translated from the original text as something like, “Man was created in God’s image”.

Christians have never really known what to make of this. Obviously, it doesn’t mean that God has two arms, two legs, two lungs and a beating heart. But if not that, what would it actually mean? Christians differ in their opinions, but for the most part they’re guessing, since on its surface, the Bible’s assertion doesn’t seem to make sense.

I’d like to advocate for the position that this section of the Bible should be taken literally.

What makes a god a god? Presumably, he can create universes. He can influence MEST, even to the point of creating and destroying it. He should even be able to create and destroy life, more or less. A god would have no specific location and could be anywhere or everywhere, at his option. Any characteristics beyond this mostly derive from the above.

While I don’t wish to be sacrilegious to Christians, let me assert that these are precisely the native characteristics of a thetan, as we understand them in Scientology. Over the nearly endless ages, we have plummeted in our capabilities and forgotten our history. Ron’s technology, as expressed in Scientology, seeks to rehabilitate the thetan’s capabilities. Once the thetan is fully rehabilitated, he is more or less what he originally was so long ago, with the exception that now he benefits from the experience gained over the almost endless eons.

In essence, there is no difference between a thetan and a god. And the above is what makes Scientology an “applied religious philosophy”. Used properly and precisely, it returns to the thetan that which he has lost, and gives him back all the characteristics which originally made him a being “in the image of God”.

Fortunately, none of this lessens the stature or role of the Christian god, and thus does not stand in opposition to his existence. In fact, from a Christian perspective, it should give one far more comprehension of one’s relationship to God and one’s ultimate role on this planet and in this

Closed Mindedness

[I]f there’s anybody in the world that’s calculated to believe what he wants to believe, and to reject what he doesn’t want to believe, it is I.

L. Ron Hubbard, taped lecture The Story of Dianetics and Scientology, 18 Oct 1958

What Ron describes above is typically referred to as being “closed-minded”. It is, in today’s society, considered a Bad Thingtm. I’d like to present the case that it is not.

There is a sort of “closed-mindedness” that rejects and brands as heresy things like the Earth being round. This sort of closed-mindedness has been practiced by science and religion for hundreds or thousands of years. If you try to argue that science has not done this, you clearly have not studied the history of science. History is rife with examples of mainstream science ignoring and attacking theories and conclusions which did not conform to the orthodoxy of the time. One such example persists today in the subject of “global climate change”. Anyone who disputes global climate change is branded a heretic and holds in peril his future career by positing the idea that climate changes is not anthropogenic. Need proof? Try and get funding for a study intending to prove the opposite of current orthodoxy on the subject.

In any event, the above type of “closed-mindedness” is based on fixed ideas and (normally) false data. It would be appropriate to brand this type of closed-mindedness as unreasonable. It is.

However, there is another type of “closed-mindedness”, to which Ron refers, which is a different matter entirely. I practice this type of closed-mindedness, as do many others. If involves this: having observed something to be true, one then asks why such a thing would be. Going back to fundamental axioms and extending them forward, it then becomes clear why the observation is true. Once one reaches this plateau, further investigation and discourse is no longer necessary. The observation has become a fact.

In my youth, I did a fairly extensive survey of Eastern and Western philosophy. What I found was that the useful and/or true principles per square inch of ink were negligible. Moreover, there were just enough isolated truths to entice students into further study, and enough falsehoods to wrap a student around the nearest tree. But in Scientology, the opposite was true. Thus, I came to reject all older philosophies in terms of their usefulness. If you wanted to study them for the purpose of context in explaining history, then perhaps they might have some utility. But otherwise, not. This is why I rather discourage Scientologists, who, now free of the Church, seek wisdom and understanding by studying older philosophies and religions.

Ron, in the early days of his research, sought tools which would further his research and serve him in developing what he was discovering into a workable practice. He rejected, one after another almost all fields of human knowledge except science, and most particularly, the scientific method. This would give him a solid base from which to gauge his research and draw conclusions.

Getting back specifically to this idea of “positive” closed-mindedness (paragraph six above), I’m willing to listen to those who wish to argue some alternative conclusion, but their burden of proof will be significant. My overall experience with people like this is that they either haven’t thought the thought through, or are ignoring facts which contradict the conclusion they are trying to sell you on.

This type of “closed-mindedness” seems like a piece of arrogance to a lot of people who consider themselves “modern” and “enlightened”. However, popularity should never be substituted as something desirable over workability. By way of example, there is at least one auditor in the Independent Field who advocates for using Power Processes (Grade V) to handle exteriorization problems. This person would consider those of use who follow LRH’s tech to the letter “closed-minded”. That’s okay. We’re not here to be popular or to cater to someone’s “better idea”. We’re here to practice the workable technology Ron developed.

So be careful when you toss around the term “closed-minded”. Don’t mistake the one kind for the other.

John Lennon’s Imagine

(Fair warning: this post may generate more static than any I’ve ever posted. Opinions tend to be quite polarized in this area. All I ask is that you objectively read what I have to say. If you still feel like [figuratively] punching me when you’re done, feel free.)

There was a time when I might have considered John Lennon’s song Imagine to be a pretty song. But I was young and dumb at the time. I recently saw a highly trained, highly audited, “with-LRH” Scientologist posit the beauty of this song and I had to shake my head.

First, let’s consider the context of this song. It came out in 1971. The Vietnam war was still on and the nation was skeptical and tired of wars being fought in far off places which didn’t seem to have anything to do with America. Americans were tired of young men dying for causes which didn’t seem to be important here in the States.

Second, the U.S. was in the midst of a drugged haze which still seems to grip the country. Drug use jumped drastically in the 1960s, and left many of its participants in permanently scarred states of mind about life, religion and politics. Drugs tend to do that to people. They prevent proper observation and leave the participant with peculiar, spectatorish and hostile attitudes towards the rest of the world. These attitudes are often well hidden, but erupt from time to time in inappropriate ways.

Third, the author of this song was not the saint or profound philosopher many have painted him to be. He wasn’t even particularly visionary. He was a musician and composer after all. And judging by his solo career, he wasn’t anywhere near the composer alone that he was when paired with Paul McCartney. He was also a major druggie, having consumed LSD and other lesser drugs numerous times in the years before. It should be remembered that LSD is a drug designed to produce psychosis. It worked so effectively that its use barred Scientologists from being allowed into the Sea Organization. Lennon was also strongly connected to, if not propitiative to his wife, Yoko Ono. Regardless of your stance on Yoko, it’s a fact that her advent into John Lennon’s life coincided with the beginning of the end of The Beatles. Lennon was also openly contemptuous not only of the press, but of the fans in general. They earned his contempt by idolizing him and his mates. In his favor, at least he did realize that the Beatles were just four musicians in a rock and roll band, not prophets or even the spokesmen for a generation of young people.

Back to the song itself. Imagine advocates for a world without personal property, religions (including yours if you have one), government, national boundaries. Perhaps not coincidentally, these are the characteristics of one-world fascism which has been pushed by the power players on this planet for decades. Ostensibly, the song seeks to imagine the world coming together in peace once the above are eradicated. But this is the short-sighted vision of the drugged. These factors are not the reasons the world is at war and people fight amongst themselves. As we know from studying LRH, wars on this planet are fought because there are third parties behind the conflicts, actively promoting them and gaining profit as a result. The heavily divisive press (“Merchants of Chaos”) are part of this cabal as well, agitating people’s emotions and seeking to stir discontent among them by making the world appear far more dangerous than it is. Nationalism and patriotism never caused any wars. They are to be found anywhere people live, and are part of the loyalty and pride people feel for the places where they grew up and live. Personal property, similarly, does not particularly cause hostility among humans, either. Unless you happen to be a criminal who views all property as his or no one’s. Finally, while politics can be a divisive subject, government alone does not cause human suffering. It is merely a tool to be used for good or ill, depending on who wields it.

The anguish of humanity is rooted in far deeper causes than the fleeting wars, media, and activities of religions. The reasons for war, criminality and insanity rest in events which took place long long ago and are generally unknown to the average human. It takes a trained Scientologist to recognize the true causes lying in the psyches of humans.

All of which is just to say that John Lennon’s vision as expressed in this song is based on an almost complete lack or mastery of actual facts. It is based on a spectator’s view of the world, filtered through the unhandled drug mass and aberrations of its author. That he wished for a world at peace with itself is perhaps noble. But his ideas on why the world didn’t conform to his vision were and are demonstrably ludicrous. And the world he advocates is not one he would want to live in. It would be a fascist non-paradise, if anything. But that’s often the way with druggies and degraded beings.

On a final note, it can be observed that the aesthetics of a piece of art can be quite apart from form of the artwork itself. Artists infuse art with an aesthetic wavelength, more or less, and rely on the perception of the audience for the aesthetic to be perceivable. The form of the art is simply a carrier wave. Many pieces of art, nonsensical on the surface, still shine with an intensity of aesthetic which does not match the form itself. The artist adds that aesthetic component in greater or lesser quantity or volume as he creates the art. Only in this sense is Imagine a beautiful song. Lennon undoubtedly was sincere in his desire for this song to be a thing of beauty. It is considered so by many, and was the most successful composition of his solo career. But the actual message of the song is neither rational nor beautiful.

Teaching Advice

I just ran across an article in the Tech Volumes from 1951. It appears right after Dianetic Auditors Bulletin Volume 2 No. 1 July 1951 Education and the Auditor and right before Dianetic Auditors Bulletin Volume 2 No. 2 August 1951 An Essay on Management. It’s on page 131 of volume 1 my 1976 red volumes. This issue is so good, that I’ve taken the time to transcribe it here, in full. My commentary follows.


If one wishes a subject to be taught with maximal effectiveness, he should

1, Present it in its most interesting form.

(a) Demonstrate its general use in life.
(b) Demonstrate it specific use to the student in life.

2. Present it in its simplest form (but not necessarily its most elementary).

(a) Gauge its terms to the understanding of the student.
(b) Use terms of greater complexity only as understanding progresses.

3. Teach it with minimal altitude (prestige).

(a) Do not assume importance merely because of a knowledge of the subject.
(b) Do not diminish the stature of the student or his own prestige because he does not know the subject.
(c) Stress that importance resides only in individual skill in using the subject and, as to the instructor, assume prestige only by the ability to use it and by no artificial caste system.

4. Present each step of the subject in its most fundamental form with minimal material derived therefrom by the instructor.

(a) Insist only upon definite knowledge of axioms and theories.
(b) Coax into action the student’s mind to derive and establish all data which can be derived or established from the axioms or theories.
(c) Apply the derivations as action insofar as the class facilities permit, coordinating data with reality.

5. Stress the values of data.

(a) Inculcate the individual necessity to evaluate axioms and theories in relative importance to each other and to question the validity of every axiom or theory.
(b) Stress the necessity of individual evaluation of every datum in its relationship to other data.

6. Form patterns of computation in the individual with regard only to their usefulness.

7. Teach where data can be found or how it can be derived, not the recording of data.

8. Be prepared, as an instructor, to learn from the students.

9. Treat subjects as variables of expanding use which may be altered at individual will. Teach the stability of knowledge as resident only in the student’s ability to apply knowledge or alter what he knows for new application.

10. Stress the right of the individual to select only what he desires to know, to use any knowledge as he wishes, that he himself owns what he has learned.

This is advice from the Master himself, someone who has taught all kinds of subjects in all kinds of environments across this planet. Listen to his lectures, and you will hear these principles in action. I can echo the above, as I’ve been called upon to teach a variety of subjects over the years, and the above advice is as solid as it gets. I’ve also, like everyone else, been a student of many subjects down through the decades. My favorite subject in school, mathematics, when taught under these dictums, was a joy to learn. Conversely, my least favorite subject in school, history, was never taught with the above in mind, and was agony to sit through.

Several points stick out and appear repeatedly throughout the above.

  1. Don’t assume altitude simply because you know more about the subject than the student does. This is a chronic failing of university professors. It is also, apparently, the source of professors’ need for teaching assistants. They simply can’t be bothered with the confusions of actual students.
  2. Teach from basic principles in such a way that the student can derive subsidiary data. The result of failure to do this is a student who can perhaps follow memorized instructions, but can’t think with the data. He also cannot adapt what he knows to suit new or changing conditions. He’s a robot or automaton on the subject, and never the master of it.
  3. Stress that the student owns what he knows. In our case, the data, once conveyed, doesn’t belong to LRH. It belongs to the student. It is his to use freely in life. LRH may be the Source of the data, but it belongs to the student.

If you ever wonder about my approach to this blog, or other places where you see my contributions, know that the above is what I try to do. I am in the process of teaching, particularly here. And the above is how I go about it.

When Technology != Technology

(For those not familiar with the terminology, the expression “!=” means “is not equal to”. It’s programmer code.)

Technology has proceeded at a phenomenal rate in the last 100 years. In my lifetime alone, I can recall when microwave ovens and cell phones didn’t exist. When television was not in color. When there weren’t such things as iPads, iPods and personal computers. When integrated circuits hadn’t been invented. When asbestos was used virtually everywhere to insulate things. When Man had not yet landed on the moon. I could go on.

The pace of innovation in the last century has been staggering. Our lives have been endlessly improved (and sometimes become far more complicated) by technology. And there always seems to be a drive to “improve” and “refine” the technology of any given thing.

By way of example, consider the vacuum tube. At one time in the not-too-distant past, before transistors were invented (1947), vacuum tubes were in virtually every piece of reasonably complex electronics. They were the workhorses of most electronic circuits. But like the light bulbs to which they were kin, they were prone to burning out and needed to be periodically replaced. Thus there was a whole sector of industry devoted to manufacturing tubes, the sockets they fit in, etc. Then transistors were invented. Eventually, they replaced almost all applications where tubes had been in use before. They were more reliable, ran cooler, and didn’t require periodic replacement. But it still took a while before manufacturers changed their assembly lines to replace tubes with transistors.

Then came the integrated circuit (1958). Suddenly you could replace many transistors, resistors and other components with a single semiconductor package which would do the same job. And as time went on, it was found that you could make the individual components on an integrated circuit smaller and smaller, allowing for greater functionality in smaller and smaller packages. This made possible things like electronic calculators (1967), and personal computers (about 1977).

Some may recall the first cell phones, which were of enormous size by today’s standards. These were made possible by a variety of innovations, one of what was the integrated circuit. But how did manufacturers manage to squeeze all that functionality (the first cell phones made phone calls and that’s all) and more into the cell phones of today (true multi-purpose devices in a package that fits easily in your pocket)? The answer is “surface mount” technology. Prior to this invention, components like transistors and integrated circuits were built with wires sticking out of them. The circuit boards they fit on had holes in them. The wires on the components fit through the holes and were soldered to the boards underneath, then the excess wire was cut. That was referred to has “through hole” construction. Surface mount technology (1960), by contrast, required only “pads” on circuit boards, where very small components could be soldered on in seconds, with no excess wire to cut and no holes needed in circuit boards. This technology gained wide use in the 1980s and eventually was adopted universally for almost every application using electronics. Electronic components could be further downsized. Cell phones and other electronic gear could now be sized to fit on your wrist or in your pocket.

Think about that. In the span of about 40 years, electronics changed radically, in massive jumps about every ten years or so. Now you can make phone calls, surf the Internet, play games, and a do a wide variety of other things on one device that fits in your pocket. And contains more computing power than was used to get a man to the moon. The motto here seems to be, “How can we make this faster, smaller, cooler and better?”

As with electronics, so have gone many other areas of technology. The automotive manufacturing industry, for example, has seen the influx of a tremendous about of automation in the last 60 or 70 years. But interestingly enough, some aspects of automobiles have not changed. For example, steering wheels haven’t changed much in over a 100 years. If you think about it, we could use controls like joysticks to steer our cars. But we don’t. The steering wheel is quite “intuitive”, and the general population is quite used to using them to steer things. It would take a bit of engineering to retrofit automobiles to use joysticks, and it’s not certain that the general public would buy joystick automobiles if you offered them. By contrast, consider motorcycles and similar conveyances, which instead carry forward the roots of their predecessors, bicycles. Instead of steering wheels, they have handlebars. But these are cases where technology stopped because it wasn’t clear that changing them would provide any benefits, and could profoundly impact sales in a negative way.

In any case, as I mentioned before, the tendency in technology is to always move forward. To “improve”, whatever that means in a given industry. And as a people, we’ve gotten used to this and consider it a normal thing. A few years from now, there will be children born who have never seen anything but a flat panel display. They will wonder what those boxy things (CRT or cathode ray tubes) were for. That’s technology as we normally define it.

In Scientology, we have another thing we call “technology”. It describes and defines the form of and interaction of people in an organization. It lays out practices and routines which, when followed, lead to improved intelligence and markedly clearer states of awareness. This technology (more precisely, these technologies) was developed and/or codified by L. Ron Hubbard and constitutes the main body of his life’s work. While he was alive, he continually improved it and made it so that it could be applied, to great benefit, to anyone by anyone. Note that it was not developed by a committee or an organization or a group. Ron had a lot of help, but the main development and codification was his.

As Ron researched these technologies, he worked toward one thing: “workability”. Notice, not “perfection”. But “workability”. This is an extremely key factor to keep in mind. Whatever it was, it had to work invariably to improve specified conditions of the thing or person it applied to, usually to some specified end result. It didn’t have to be the “best” or “perfect”. One could chase his tail forever trying to attain perfection, only to have someone else come along and do it better. No, “workable” was sufficient. If Scientology was the ability to improve conditions, workable technology was how you got there.

Unfortunately, there are those in the Field who make too close an association between technology (e.g. smart phones, the Internet, etc.) and Technology (e.g. ethics, tech and admin). They believe that, because technology continues to march on and continually “improve”, Technology must do the same. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The Technology we have is more than adequate in the hands of an expert to handle what it’s designed to handle, without any “improvements”, thank you.

Our Technology was developed almost exclusively by LRH.

Our technology has not been discovered by a group. … [I]f in its formative stages it was not discovered by a group, then group efforts, one can safely assume, will not add to it or successfully alter it in the future.

HCOPL 7 February 1965 Keeping Scientology Working

In fifty thousand years of history on this planet alone, Man never evolved a workable system [of Technology]. It is doubtful if, in some foreseeable history, he will ever evolve another.

HCOPL 14 February 1965 Safeguarding Technology

In the above two issues, Ron made it abundantly clear what he thought of “helpful suggestions” and “improvements” to our Technology.

Getting the correct technology applied consists of:

Seven: Hammering out of existence incorrect technology.
Eight: Knocking out incorrect applications.
Nine: Closing the door on any possibility of incorrect technology.
Ten: Closing the door on incorrect application.

Seven is done by a few but is a weak point.
Eight is not worked on hard enough.
Nine is impeded by the “reasonable” attitude of the not quite bright.
Ten is seldom done with enough ferocity.
Seven, Eight, Nine and Ten are the only places Scientology can bog down in any area.

The reasons for this are not hard to find. (a) A weak certainty that it works in Three above can lead to weakness in Seven, Eight, Nine and Ten. (b) Further, the not-too-bright have a bad point on the button Self-Importance. (c) The lower the IQ, the more the individual is shut off from the fruits of observation. (d) The service facs of people make them defend themselves against anything they confront good or bad and seek to make it wrong. (e) The bank seeks to knock out the good and perpetuate the bad.

HCOPL Keeping Scientology Working

So when you see somebody having a ball getting everyone to take peyote because it restimulates prenatals, know he is pulling people off the route. Realize he is squirreling. He isn’t following the route.

HCOPL Safeguarding Technology

And that is where we sit today, except for this: Ron is no longer around to be the last bastion of sanity in protecting our Technology from alteration and “better ideas”. And so it falls to us.

Our Technology is workable. It doesn’t need “improvements” or “better ideas”. It needs us to hold the line on Seven, Eight, Nine and Ten above. And when we see someone trying to pull people off the route, we need to take appropriate action to ensure they don’t infect our group with their bank-originated alterations.

It’s up to us. Please, for all our sakes, do your part.

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