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Reply #26: Time to get some ARC in on your MUs, W/Os and TA! [View All]

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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-09-04 05:42 PM
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26. Time to get some ARC in on your MUs, W/Os and TA!
I'm not an expert on either -- or an adherent -- but I consider myself well-read in both Buddhism and Scientology.

First of all, you have to make the usual distinction between the theory and the practice -- of both.

And second, the purblind hatred of Hubbard is about as useful to understanding the cul ... I mean, religion ... as Hubbard's purblind hatred of anything that rubbed Hubbard the wrong way.

Hubbard actually was a bright guy. Scientology is, in fact, drawn largely from Buddhism, especially the northern schools of Buddhism that incorporate complex meditative techniques. Some of the "tech" is still so close to Buddhist practice that it could be fairly said to be a blatant appropriation -- also known as a "rip-off". If you read some of the books by the Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso), especially How to Practice, you'll see the similarities. (Robert Thurman's writings are probably even better for a Western interpretation of Tibetan and Mahayana Buddhism.)

Yet more of Ron's Tech is taken directly from the Dhammapada. Even the (in)famous E-Meter was developed by non-Scientologists. GSR as a tool for therapy was pioneered by Carl Jung, and Roger Sperry (one of the "holographic brain" guys) did a great deal of research on it during his post-graduate days.

The other big influences on The Tech are Epictetus, Logical Positivism, and Horatio Alger. There is quite a lot of the Gospel of Personal Responsibility in Scientology, and a lot of "memes" that would eventually devolve into right-wing buzzphrases.

And unlike Buddhism, Scientology is utterly lacking in the concept of compassion. Compassion is central to Buddhism. It is also central to Christianity and Islam.

If you can find them on the web on in a used book store, check out "The Phoenix Lectures" and/or "The Philadelphia Doctorate Course" (a.k.a. "PDC"). They provide an interesting look into the mind of Commodore Ron, raw, uncut, uncensored -- "Ron Acoustic", as it were. Neither has been redacted by the current bunch of Co$ leaders, though The Phoenix Lectures is not directly sold to the public anymore.

By the way, if you think I'm "soft-balling" Hubbard, think again. I'm capable of ranting about him with the best of you. But with so much vitriol already here, why bother? The fact is, simply calling Hubbard names, proclaiming the group as a cult, and heaping abuse on Tom Cruise is about as useful as "auditing" your "body thetans". (And OF COURSE Tom isn't going to see the bad side of the Org.) Like fundamentalist Christians and Moslems, Republicans, and businesspeople, most Scientologists are decent people, and most of them should be considered to be victims rather than vermin. Even the late, idolized Lisa McPherson joined Scientology of her own free will.

There's also a movement of "Free Zone" Scientologists, who use The Tech but who are disconnected from The Church. Some of the Free Zoners are also stark, raving nuts, but again, most are decent folks. (FYI, I am not a Free Zone Scientologist, either.)

Speaking of "why"s, why should anyone take the time to understand Scientology? Because there is enough to it to suck people in. In many ways, "The Tech" is highly effective. Enormously effective. Dangerously effective, since the Co$ has become so totalitarian. With a better understanding, it will be easier to fight the deleterious effects of Scientology and other belief systems that cause cultish behavior.

After all, the Ship of State currently has its own demented "Commodore" at the helm, and supporters who behave very much like Ron's Sea Org.

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