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not Scientology’s most hysterical critics, led by the blind atheist cleric, Tony Ortega, are doing their best to nullify any attempt by Independent Scientologists to reform Scientology. This is very short-sighted. It’s based on a blinkered thought-stopping distortion that “it is impossible to reform Scientology.”
Anyone who has taken a course in a Scientology organization, which was not run by the fanatics in the Sea Organization, knows that the tired old distortion above is not true. There are plenty of groups of Scientologists who have never been abusive. And the overwhelming majority of Scientologists throughout its history have worked to make sure that Scientology would never be abusive.
Two recent events have been minimized and largely ignored by Tony Ortega and his militant Bunkerites. These events are very important for ending the abuses in the Church of Scientology.
- The First Independent Church of Scientology received approval of its Articles of Incorporation by the State of California on March 7, 2016, as reported by the Religious Liberty League.
- Per Tony Ortega’s own reporting, Dani Lemberger and the Church of Scientology were ordered to settle a lawsuit in Tel Aviv this month – or the judge threatened to get rid of the Church of Scientology in Israel. The deal was sealed to the public. But what kind of bargaining position did Dani Lemberger have in those negotiations under a judge who said that?
I think these events might be viewed as two big legal wins for independent Scientology – a form of Scientology WITHOUT the Sea Org in it.
I’ve even seen Jeff Hawkins, a former Sea org member, now pretend to know what Independent Scientologists will do in the future – as if Indies are not aware of the abuses that can arise from Hubbard’s writings.
The route to ending the abuses in Scientology will not come primarily through Tony Ortega’s blog, nor his ex-Sea Org sources. In fact, almost 7 years of Ortega’s reporting has proven impotent in producing reform: No criminal charges have been filed against any Church official, and almost every legal attempt to force them to reform has shown loss after loss in court.
The end of Scientology abuse will come though many different routes, but it is clear now that it must mostly come from Scientologists themselves.
You can not rely on the David Miscavige Perp Walk to be the single thing to change conditions for the better in Scientology. Scientology already had a Perp Walk for Mary Sue Hubbard and 11 other top Scientologists in the late 1970’s. Look at where they are today.
It’s not very smart for anyone to treat Independent Scientology as the “brainwashed enemy” – if you are truly interested in seeing the end to Scientology spiritual abuse.
Now, if you are simply a blind follower of the atheist cleric Tony Ortega – and you hate all religion – then overlooking all this is understandable.
But – if you want to remain blind, you are never going to win against David Miscavige.
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44 thoughts on “Indy Efforts at Reforming Scientology Should Be An Important Part of the Solution”
Thanks to WildKat at ESMB for alerting me to my comments being closed. Sorry about that.
Also, thanks to strativarius for this comment to ESMB’s Number 1 Asshole HelluvaHoax!
The doors are open. You’re all invited to tell me how much of an attention whore, or an OSA agent, I am!
Bill on ESMB wrote:
I did not say that anyone interfered with any Scientologist’s ability to practice Scientology. I said that in these critics’ hysteria yesterday and last night, they are working against their own claimed purpose: to end the abuses in Scientology.
Reza Aslan’s Believer showed a very important PART of the overall solution to get rid of the abuses in the Church of Scientology, and these critics – who claim that’s what they want to do – spend all their time cyber-bullying Reza Aslan and doing everything they can to discredit him and the Indie Scientology movement – no matter how small or large it is.
This is fueled mostly by Tony Ortega’s atheism, as Reza Aslan is an enemy to Sam Harris and other atheists for publicly speaking in contradiction to them.
It’s amazing how hard it is for people to be able to read English after they’ve been on ESMB for a while. Maybe it’s their computer screens. Maybe their computer screens are so filled with dried and flaking ejaculent* that they can’t see the English words any more.
Windex! ESMB should get Karen to donate a bunch of money for ESMBers to use Windex on their computer screens so they can read English again!
*ejaculent definition: to utter suddenly and vehemently
Do you remember writing a post where the subject of the thread was all the assholery and cyber-bullying that (used to) routinely go on at ESMB, and, in justifying that, you said something like
Do you remember where you wrote that? I’ve been trying to find it again but I can’t find it now.
It was such a completely arrogant, assholish, and self-ignorant thing to say that it kind of took my breath away. You are such a great writer that I’d like to memorialize it and put it out to a wider audience. I think I’d like to frame it here on my blog. It’s hard to be ESMB’s Number 1 Asshole, and you deserve all the credit in the world for getting to the top of that activity and staying there for so long!
Can you send me a link?
When I first met HH, I was really challenging with him and probably not that fair re the indie thing. We later made nice, exchanged genial pms and posts, etc. Later, he stated getting testy with me. I guess he didn’t like my views.
One day, someone started yet another flame auto da de thread. He went in there and complained about Mark Baker and me and that we’d ganged up on him. I was mystified as I thought we’d made up. Evidently he was still upset.
Point is, he.was.upset. As in he felt he’d not been treated nicely or fairly. As in he didn’t like things said to him.
But now he wants to excuse viciousness? Ummmm…
And someone tell Veda I’m still not an OSA Agent.
But that’s what OSA Agents always say, isn’t it?
Lol….. Oh Veda. Dear sweet Veda.
I still have to keep reminding myself that he’s a guy. From the beginning I had him pictured as an uptight, stuffy, know-it-all, old fashioned librarian type who never smiles or laughs.
The anti-conspiracy-theorists at ESMB (ad the bunker) have apparently been spinning a conspiracy theory. You, me, and Oracle are — how do they usually put that? “are OSA agents or might as well be”.
Its funny how these “people” jump up and down attacking any REAL conspiracies that exist in and around scientology, and yet are the first to invent conspiracy THEORIES when someone threatens their continuity of narrative game.
Remember when we were all posting at Mark’s blog last fall and various abusive persons weren’t allowed to do their usual dog-piling? This twitter account was created with the sole intention to position Marty Rathbun (and Mike and I etc.) as OSA…
I’m thinking that next (if it hasn’t happened already) we’ll be portrayed as some sort of SCIENTOLOGY SHADOW GOVERNMENT agents. So deep under cover not even OSA knows we’re OSA.
Scientologists are obsessed with stats (statistics). Did you notice how many times commenters at ESMB today attacked your STATS?
And how would they even know how many READERS or VIEWS you have anyway…unless I missed it I don’t see any view counts on your posts.
That was coming from ESMB’s number 1 asshole HelluvaHoax!. He has to find some way to put me down, so he looks for the number of comments on my posts.
One of the things about these critics who spend all day every day criticizing others is that they never themselves get criticized. And oh boy – like Geir Isene says – never criticize a critic!
They can’t take it!
Quality matters more than quantity.
But sometimes quantity matters, too.
Look at that! Actual discussion of the issues instead of the normal character assassinations on ESMB! Even HelluvaHoax! delivered one of his rare, fairly well though-out -non-asshole responses.
So I ask you:
What about Mormonism, lads?
If you study the history of it say, in terms of polygamy, you’ll find that the Church itself denounced the practice even though Joseph Smith was the original and most horny instigator of it.
And then look at modern day Christians and Jews. Leviticus 20:13 states:
When was the last time you saw millions of Jews and Christians “surely putting to death” homosexuals?
People can apply reason to religious scriptures. While there are plenty of people like Mike Rinder who applied the worst of Scientology policies for years – even he has come to realize that it was wrong. Even Mike Rinder.
I personally have seen the writings of dozens of free zoners and Indies over the years denouncing the craziest of Hubbard’s writings.
Most all of you were Scientologists once – and not the kind of Scientologist like Mike Rinder. You would have never done anything abusive to people using Scientology – even if Hubbard writings prompted you.
You have just forgotten who you were when you were a Scientologist. The overwhelming majority of us were good people, and NOT abusive even if Hubbard’s writing could be interpreted in an abusive way.
We just didn’t do it. That’s not why we got involved in Scientology.
You’re not thinking, lads.
You’re espousing the ideology of your tribe.
Think for yourselves.
And well done on sticking to the issues.
Unfortunately, I am afraid that Indie Scientology (at least the Milestone Two commenters) were pretty focused on reconstituting Scio ethics procedures. I remember one discussion about how “traitors” like Hanna Eltringham would face severe ethics procedures before being allowed to become considered in good standing. I believe this was a discussion around the First Independent Church of Scientology.
It was remarkable to see the vitriol directed at those who had spoken their personal truth. And the smug judgemental belief.
Does anyone know if the scientologists portrayed on the Aslan show, or the Dror Center, have ethics enforcement? If so, it is (IMO) a strong argument against the Indie movement. Aslan made them seem benign, this would be an important omission.
Those are good points, Eileen, but I step back and see a bigger picture.
Independent Scientology is a response to the abuses in the Church. As such, they are going to be on the lookout for abuse. In addition, Independent Scientology has no Sea Org. The Sea Org was the generation point for almost ALL abuse in Scientology. Hubbard intentionally created the SO to be his own little fanatic paramilitary force that would “get in ethics” on the planet. He created all kinds of fanatic making procedures such as KSW, the RPF, military ranks, barking orders, etc for the Sea Org to enforce on other Scientologists.
A Scientology with no Sea Org in it is going to be a very different thing than the Church of Scientology.
In addition, Indies have access to and regularly use the Internet. No Indy group can get away with much for long.
Plus, the prices are about a tenth of the prices of the Church for the same services in Independent Scientology.
When you add these together, and see that the very existence of Indy Scientology enters the factor of competition into the Church’s monopoly – Indy Scientology becomes an extremely important tool to reduce the spiritual abuse that goes on in the Church of Scientology, and which law enforcement has shown they will never address.
The idea that there might be an asshole in Indy Scientology who might be smug and overbearing to others in his use of ethics should not be an obstacle. No option with regard to Scientology is perfect. But this option is pretty good.
So can I count on your vote for Indy Scientology this November? 🙂
Also Eileen –
You should know that in a non-cult environment where the ethics officer is working solely for the interests of the Scientologist he is helping and NOT for the interests of the Church, Scientology ethics can be very helpful and therapeutic. That was the environment where I first learned it out here in the cornfields, and Scientology ethics changed my life for the better. I said when I was a Scientologist that it “saved my life”. I don’t know if I would go that far today, but I can not deny the beneficial effect of Scn Ethics applied this way if I am being honest with myself.
Might a good therapist been just as helpful?
I respect your opinion and experience, but I believe that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” No one should hold power over another persons ethical decision making. Besides, the term ethics when used in Scientology is not really accurate, is it? I think by ethics scientologists mean obedience.
Ethics is the study of those things that are not absolute, that “depend” on context. I don’t believe in murder, but might kill someone who attacked me, and would almost certainly kill to protect my children.
I have participated in administering doses of morphine to someone dying in agony. I am a killer, but does that make me a murderer?
Scientology is not a science, science trades in ambiguity and probability. Scientology is rather a belief structure of absolutes. I was amused to hear one of the Indie scientologists refer to the fact that he did not “believe” something, he “knew” it to be true. The thing is was referring to was something that can never be known as a fact, but only known as a belief (might have been his existence billions of years ago). So many years out of the cult and he still doesn’t know the difference between believing and knowing!
In my opinion, the construct of “ethics” as used by scientologists will always make the practice dangerous.
So, I guess that means I won’t be voting for an Indie Scientologist come November!
OK, well Eileen, once again you have presented me with lots of things to think about.
Regarding what Scientology ethics means, it normally isn’t obedience, but it does mean that in its worst, most abusive applications.
Here’s an example of real life ethics as it was applied to me in a mission here in the cornfields – far from any sea org installation, and at a time when the Sea Org really had no “reach” into the place.
I fought a lot with my dad. A whole lot. And this made me depressed and really fucked up in my early 20’s. This was considered an ethics situation because it was affecting my moods and my whole life adversely. In Scientology, ethics is considered to be related to survival. So this was an “out-ethics situation” I was involved in – fighting with my dad – because it was harming my survival.
So a Scientology ethics officer taught me about Evaluation, Invalidation and “Good roads, Good Weather” and then participated in role playing where he acted as my dad acts to trigger me, and I was me applying these concepts to speaking with him. This was drilled for hours until I was very good at controlling the conversation to stay off of volatile subjects (good roads, good weather) and I did not evaluate for him (tell him why he does what he does) or invalidate him.
I went home from college the next weekend and successfully DID NOT fight with my father. It was very hard, but I did it. And when the weekend was over I was so relieved that I drove around in my car and cried for 2 hours. My relationship with my father was improving for the first time since I was ten years old. And it looked like it was in my power to keep that going.
That’s an example of a Scientology ethics handling that is for the interests of the person, and not in the interest of the organization. And it was one of the most valuable things that has ever happened to me.
And by the way, because I was a current student on a $75 course, there was no charge for any of this.
The ethics officer was almost as happy as I was about the result.
What a great story, and an impressive real gain, and I am glad you had that experience. Where we may differ is that I I credit the ethics officer, he helped you a lot, and helped you gain an important insight. I credit him, Scientology was just the tool he used. I would posit that it was the person, not the tech, that caused the shift.
Glad you had that experience. Maybe I will vote for you 😉
Ha! Well, it was actually a very standard ethics handling, per L Ron’s technology for handling such things that any Ex here would recognize. And yes, the ethics officer was a great guy who really wanted to help people. I would agree that he had a lot to do with how well the tools were applied.
Guys like him were very common in Scientology, outside the Sea Org, believe it or not.
I’ve often mentioned that indies are looseknit, not centralized and not all the same. But I do know what you mean and have seen it (well more like heard of it) -but only occasionally. I tend to think it’s not common.
But here’s the thing re having a new Scn church: I honestly don’t think its members would ever all agree on which policies to ditch. This is important.
That is why I think they’re better off being freeform/grassroots.
I’m right here, old men!
Clean out yer glasses. Or clean off the ejaculent from your computer screens with the Windex that Karen bought you.
Leaving comments off was a mistake. I didn’t mean to. Turned them on and been talking to you all day!
Oh but you need a way to discredit me. So comments off when you first looked on this post was the way.
You know, I’ve never met either of you in real life. But I’m beginning to get the impression that you are just really old men – like in your late 70’s – who have nothing better to do than sit in front of your computer and spew hatred and frustration on things your calcified brains can no longer process.
Evidently he is a senior citizen. Bright, interested in higher education and other admirable things but still a bully who lacks empathy.
Thanks to FreeBeingMe for the pic of my Spirit Animal!
FBM reminds me of a very painful lesson I learned on ESMB: That not everyone who attempts to discredit you, or to cyber-bully you, is OSA. I learned that you should always juggle multiple hypotheses for what you are seeing, assigning each a level of probability. You should rarely, if ever, assign a certainty to any one hypothesis.
It is impossible to tell who’s OSA and who is not OSA with any certainty on the Internet.
I never said “EVERYONE IS OSA!!”, though. FBM is just kidding me here.
NOTE TO SELF: FBM’s J&D of Alanzo raises the probability that he/she is an OSA Agent.
I read ESMB, WildKat. I have since it began in 2007.
And I actually exist, too.
Have HelluvaHoax! send me that link, will ya?
Al, why even bother? These days, I’m sad to say, ESMBs seems more like an echo-chamber than a discussion board. Can you even recall the last constructive exchange of ideas about scientology?
Good question. Yes I do. It was the very recent “has Marty gone silent?” thread. Ethercat has done a great job in moderating ESMB. And it could not have been easy. There are still one or two people there who, for whatever reason, are not getting it. One of them is “Bunnyskull”. That person came into that thread with one of their typical slime posts and, instead of moderating Bunnyskull, the whole thread disappeared.
That thread was going great. And I don’t know why that decision was made.
Two of the best commenters there are “ILove2Lurk” and “I Told You I was Trouble”. I love those guys. There are others there, too, who are important voices for this community.
I have endless hope for ESMB. And Ethercat continues to stoke the flames in my heart.
Good to see you around!
I’m happy to see you so positive about it. You must spend more time there than I do. I’ve always been rather fond of Paul/DullOldFarts’s commentary myself. 🙂
I’m sorry, I couldn’t get all the BOLDING in that HelluvaHoax! has got in his original post, but here’s the link to it so you can see it for yourself.
It’s one of the funniest things I think he has ever written.
When somebody finally calls him out on years of hubristic assholery, he craps his old man pants and lets fly with the viciousness that he claims he does not operate on.
I’m not lying, Hoaxie! You wrote it. And you operate on it, every day, on ESMB.
It’s time somebody stood up to you.
PS If anybody else can find his quote on ESMB, please send me the link. It was during a discussion of moderation on ESMB – if that helps.
And then Lotus, another great poster on ESMB who thinks for themselves, pipes in on HelluvaHoax! with this GIF:
“Ex-Scientologists At War” would be an interesting book title.
Mary Aiken mentions cyber stalking, the danger of allowing children to have smart phones, and studies of cyber trolls among other things in an interview on Booktv.org on her book “The Cyber Effect:A Pioneering Cyberpsychologist Explains How Human Behavior Changes Online”. There’s also a transcript for people wishing to save time.
(search Mary Aiken)
This looks interesting. Thanks.
I love C-SPAN.
Does that make me an old man? 🙂
I made a post about you on ESMB.
Here it is:
All right. So let’s discuss your post here, and you can take my posts back to ESMB and post them there, too.
Or would you get banned from ESMB if you did that?
My point is that ESMB can get almost as tribal as Scientology can. It can practice disconnection and dead agenting. It can gather everyone together to believe in the most negative distortions and enforce them on each other, too.
So let’s have some real, non-tribal, discussion of the subject, eh, Gib?
Gib wrote on ESMB:
Everything anyone writes, or does, produces emotions. Being persuasive is not “shit-stirring”. Shit-stirring is bringing up ideas and questioning things that the tribe members do not want brought up or questioned. I’m surprised that you adopted the rhetoric that Alanzo is a “shit-stirrer” with so little thought.
Here’s why you would want to reform Scientology: Because you can’t kill it. Using the courts to destroy Scientology is not a tactic that is proving to work against their 1st amendment protection. Look at the miserable results of the legal efforts so far. It’s just not effective.
Let Scientologists have the right to believe what they want, just not the right to abuse each other. Support those Scientologists who recognize the abuse and help them to create a version of Scientology that can compete with Miscavige on price and fair treatment of its members.
That is probably the only way a critic is going to be able to achieve what he wants – whether Clear and OT exist or not.
Take that back to ESMB and post it, Gib.
Let’s see what happens.
it can be killed, not necessarily thru the courts, but thru social media and news and blogs, why this can also be called word of mouth.
I wish members got the memo from Steve Sarge where he told of Hubbard saying he failed and wasn’t coming back, it’s in Martys book and Lawrence Wright book. Opps, there goes the upper OT levels, which are supposedly the OT levels as OT1-8 are pre-OT. It’s a dead end. The guru LRH is dead and ain’t coming back, LOL
I might add I didn’t need Sarge to make this statement to Marty, so he was not somebody that had credibility to me, I already figured it out by simple observation of so called clears and OT’s in action.
I know what you are saying. But I’ll always be saying the mantra of no clears, no OT’s. And afterall, Hubbard carried that mantra of clears and OT’s, so I reverse it. Religion, spiritual, what BS when it comes to scientology.
Free Being Me wrote, On ESMB
I can spot at least 4 cognitive distortions in your post. These are beliefs of yours, and not facts, which you prop up and keep telling yourself. You ignore the evidence against your beliefs, just as Scientologists do. You even ignore your own experience which would question these. You surround yourself with others who will not question your distortions so you can keep believing them. You resent any questioning of them. You seek to ban and discredit anyone from ESMB who would question them.
1. “$cientology is cult” With the dollar sign, you are FILTERING: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_distortion#Filtering
2. “There’s nothing of value in $cientology” (again with the dollar sign) OVERGENERALIZATION
3. “It’s convoluted mind fuckery and a waste of time to “reform” since its only purpose is to trick the unwary, gullible, ignorant, into becoming cultists and keep people in their cult bubble.” MAGNIFICATION AND MINIMIZATION, SPLITTING (ALL-OR-NOTHING REASONING or DICHOTOMOUS THINKING), LABELING & MISLABELING.
The cognitive distortions are so rampant and baked-in to the agreed upon discourse on ESMB, that’s really all the time I have for it this morning.
See this whole wikipedia article and see if you can spot all the cognitive distortions in FBM’s one post.
It’s a Sunday Mornin’ Jubilee of BELIEF on ESMB!
Even Lotus Chimes in to the Tribal Witnessing:
Even with all that, it can be reformed, Lotus. The Catholic Church, when it created a monopoly for itself and ran the government was also pretty abusive.
Today, it is much less so because it can no longer afford to be.
“The Tribal Witnessing”! Still Laughing!
You’re “The KING of RHETORIC”, Alanzo!
The Commodore would be proud of you!
what do you mean by Tribal Witnessing
You know how in church when the preacher gets all riled up and others in the congregation hear the Word and stand up and waive their hands and say “WITNESS”!!
That’s what was going on between Free Being ME and Lotus. They was feelin the spirit of the tribe, and witnessin fo the lawd of ESMB!
They were repeating their agreed upon tribal beliefs back to each other.
They were on Skype
Lotus sent me a message in her native tongue!
It’s FRENCH – the land of my ancestors!
Here’s her message after google translate:
HA! I kind of understood that!
That seems like a nice response to me. Work on the charm, Al, you’ll thank me for it later. 🙂
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