Talk:Church of Scientology/Archive 2

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This archived Talk: page is the archived Talk: page of [Talk:Scientology (doctrine)]; see Talk:Church of Scientology/Archive 1 for the earlier archive of that Talk: page.

Church of Scientology

Church of Scientology — just placing this link here so others know it exists.  —Stephen Ewen (Talk) 13:26, 24 August 2007 (CDT)

Draft in talk

I recommend that the article be redrafted in the talk space before appearing on the main article space.--Robert W King 10:29, 30 September 2007 (CDT)

I would agree with that. That practice works well when we're dealing with topics that are prone to a lot of controversy. --Larry Sanger 10:49, 30 September 2007 (CDT)

Gentlemen, I have today set aside to work intensively on this project, and have hit a snag—someone has edited what I did while I am working on it, and now I have to merge his/her comments, but can find no such option in any of the buttons. I am happy to work on the draft somewhere else than where it is going to be edited while I am working on it, but my understanding of working in "talk space" is that this is the talk space....where we discuss the article rather than create the article. So where do I go? Would it perhaps be easier to create the whole thing off line and then post for discussion? This is a huge subject, and I find that I am travelling around the world on business almost non-stop, so my time has been somewhat thin for this project. However, I am onto it again and would like to post the next section and receive comments, so I can fine-tune future efforts. I was not aware that someone had edited my earlier post, even though I had listed it to be watched...maybe I have not done it correctly...but I must say, whoever worked on it I thought did a very good job and I am very comfortable working with whomsoever it was. Steven Ferry 11:02, 30 September 2007 (CDT)

For contentious articles the Talk space is perfectly suitable.--Robert W King 11:08, 30 September 2007 (CDT)
In that case, perhaps if I post one section at a time. I do not see how an article with this many sections and subsections, which is not properly formatted in this talk section, will be easy to manage. Am I on the right track? Steven Ferry 11:14, 30 September 2007 (CDT)
Sure! However you would like to work on it... --Robert W King 11:21, 30 September 2007 (CDT)

Steven, there is unfortunately no way to merge changes automatically (not yet, anyway). You unfortunately must do it "by hand." If the edit conflict window is still open, however, that should be of great help, because it shows the difference between the text you have added and the text the other person has added.

Do bear in mind that this is a wiki, and everyone has the authority to work on any article at any time, with a few exceptions perhaps.

I think posting one section at a time for comments is a reasonable idea as well. But I do have one request, and that is that we remove the article outline to this talk page, or else your user space, Steven--detailed but unfilled-in outlines don't look good from the end user's perspective, and they tend to inhibit work done by others, in our experience. It serves as a way for one person, the outliner, to "stake a claim" to an article, which Citizens may not do. --Larry Sanger 11:23, 30 September 2007 (CDT)

I am somewhat confused. I just responded to Robert and it did not post, but instead your post came through, Larry. To address your ideas, I am happy to remove the outline, but have you alread done this, because I don't see it on this page? .... I wonder, however, how a structured article can be presented without an outline. I shall certainly try to follow one, but always open to better ideas for presenting the information. In the meantime, I am posting the next section for review. Steven Ferry 11:41, 30 September 2007 (CDT)

Ah, I see the Talk secton is properly formatted...excellent! Steven Ferry 11:43, 30 September 2007 (CDT)

'"Scientology as science, philosophy, and religion"'

The difficulty with describing Scientology is that, in investigating and pronouncing upon life itself, Scientology crosses into many areas of human knowledge: answering the question, “What is Scientology?” is analogous to summarizing the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

This difficulty is compounded by the new territories charted by Scientology which, while launching from the accumulated knowledge of thousands of years of thinking men, found one discovery predicting and leading to another, with the result that anyone attempting to define the mental and spiritual dimensions of life in terms of the language and perceptions of those immersed in the material world, is hard put to bring about recognition in the reader. This problem is solved partially and in broad terms by defining Scientology as “an applied religious philosophy,” but as it is the first such, amplification is required.

Scientology is a philosophy that examines, and claims to advance the understanding of, the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence.

Scientology was declared a religion and the Church founded in 1953 at the suggestion of some Californians involved in early Scientology, who recognized that the research path had led them into recognition of the spiritual dimension of man, thereby moving the subject beyond the purview of studies of the mind and into those of religion.

Scientology is an applied religious philosophy because it is not something to be merely discussed and thought about. Thousands of techniques requiring precise application have been spawned and are applied daily by Scientologists around the globe to improve conditions—whether of a personal nature, organizational, societal, or any of a wide range of human endeavors, such as the arts and sports.

Central to the new perspectives Scientology brings to the fields of religion and philosophy, is the rigorous research undertaken that resulted in a body of knowledge which, when applied precisely, is reported to achieve precise and invariable results. This body of knowledge, like any other science, is based upon an epistemology and axioms. The same discipline and expectations of the various sciences existing today, had not been applied, until the advent of Scientology (and Dianetics, its precursor in the field of the mind) to the fields of the mind and the spirit.

To understand better how Dianetics segued into Scientology, it is instructive to know that Hubbard’s twelve years of research into the mind were recorded and published in Dianetics, The Modern Science of Mental Health on May 9, 1950, at the end of which book, Mr. Hubbard stated that he needed to conduct “further research into life force”x [[x DMSMH, p 481, 2007 edition]] as an apparent but undefined element influencing the mind. Within a year, he had “identified an animating force within every living thing." This he called Theta" and "distinguished it as energy existing separate and distinct from the physical universe.” He subsequently developed a highly sensitive galvanometer in Wichita in late 1951 and after additional tests in Phoenix, Arizona in 1952, became the first to claim to isolate and identify scientifically the human spirit.x Dianetics in the 21st Century, DMSMH, p 503-5, 2007 edition

While many prefer to err with Galen in denying that Scientology has scientific basis, it does fit the definition of a science: “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment”...with the singular exception that the language of the definition reflects Western man’s focus on the material and lack of scientific research or precedent in the humanities.

If science is defined as a systematically organized body of knowledge on a particular subject, based on axioms and laws, which predicts and confirms phenomena and which, when it’s techniques are applied, achieves invariable results, then Dianetics and Scientology can be defined as sciences of the mind and spirit, even if no such sciences have ever before existed.

“There is something new... called Dianetics. A new science which [sic] works with the invariability of physical science in the field of the human mind. From all indications it will prove to be as revolutionary for humanity as the first caveman’s discovery and utilization of fire.”

Walter Winchell, New York Daily Mirror, 31 January 1950.

As a non-denominational Church, Scientology has no dogmas but provides information and thereby insights that each individual is expected to achieve on his or her own determinism concerning man’s spiritual nature, whatever religion he may belong to, and ultimately, whatever god(s) he may believe in.

As might be expected of a Church, Scientology runs social programs around the world that address the various issues of suffering or difficulty mankind faces, such as immorality, drug abuse, psychiatric abuses, education failures, criminality, human rights abuses, religious intolerance, and disaster relief. The technology applied in these programs, as well as those designed for businesses and organizations, is based on Mr. Hubbard’s work and is designed to achieve the aims of Scientology as expressed by him:

A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights.” He went on to say, “Nonpolitical in nature, Scientology welcomes any individual of any creed, race, or nation. We seek no revolution. We seek only evolution to higher states of being for the individual and for society.

The Aims of Scientology, September 1965, Technical Volume #7, p 663 or http://www.scientology.org/en_US/religion/presentation/pg014.html


Dianetics—the breakthrough that led to Scientology

Dianetics, from Greek dia (through) and nous (soul), means “what the soul is doing to the body.”

Hubbard’s mainline research into the mind began in 1932 while at George Washington University, where he was studying mathematics and engineering. Positing that subatomic particles might shed light on the human thought process, he had enrolled in one of the first nuclear physics courses taught in the United States. One day, he visited the psychology department to consult on his research:

I made the horrifying discovery that nobody had the mind taped. It was very obvious that I was dealing with and living in a culture that knew less about the mind than the lowest primitive tribe I had ever come in contact with. Knowing also that people in the East were not able to reach as deeply and predictably into the riddles of the mind as I had been led to expect, I knew I would have to do a lot of research.

L. Ron Hubbard, xxxxxxxx

By 1938, his research was focused on determining how cells functioned. Following an elaborate series of experiments, he determined the common denominator and fundamental, primary goal for all life forms apeared to be infinite survival (for mankind, this does not mean merely having an existence, but includes ideals, love, and art among other vital aspects). The better an individual is able to manage his life and increase his level of survival, the greater his pleasure, abundance, and satisfaction.

Research was interrupted during World War II but intensified after 1945, when Hubbard used his enforced convalescence from his war-time injuries to study endocrinology at Oak Knoll Naval hospital. Hundreds of fellow patients, liberated from Japanese prisoner-of-war camps, were not responding uniformly to testosterone being administered by Navy physicians (under great stress, men may lose their virility and have difficulty eating or breaking down food if deficient in this hormone).

All I was trying to establish was whether or not the mind regulated the body or the body regulated the mind. Therefore, if on some of these patients hormones did not work and on some of them they did, there might be a mental reason. If those patients on whom it did not work had a severe mental block, then it was obvious that regardless of the amount of hormone or medical treatment the person received, he would not get well. If the mind were capable of putting this much restraint upon the physical body then obviously the fact that was commonly held to be true, that structure monitors function, would be false. I set out to prove this.

L. Ron Hubbard, xxx

In case after case, Mr. Hubbard used techniques he had developed to find and remove mental blocks such that the previously unresponsive patients reportedly were able, as predicted, to make the expected improvements immediately with their medical treatments. “Thought is boss,” was Mr. Hubbard’s conclusion, a finding at variance with conventional wisdom.

In the years between his discharge from Oak Knoll and the release of Dianetics, The Modern Science of Mental Health, Hubbard worked two hundred and seventy three cases of all types, including many in mental institutions in Savannah, Georgia and Washington, DC.

The fundamental discoveries of Dianetics included:

  • Isolating that which undermines the basic mandate to survive, causing pain, negative emotions, irrational thoughts and self-doubts, the disappointment of unhappy relationships and the underlying reason for the failure to meet goals set: a part of the mind, operating below the level of consciousness and therefore as a hidden influence, which brings about all psychosomatic illnesses, unwanted sensations, inexplicable and inappropriate emotions (anger, hatred, fear, resentment, apathy, etc.), and irrational ideas and conduct that have all conspired to make life less than pleasurable. Mr. Hubbard called this part of the mind the reactive mind because it causes people to react instead of address their environment analytically and with an open heart.
  • Techniques that could be applied by layman to remove these negative elements from their minds and therefore their lives within a reasonably short time frame, thereby reputedly increasing their intelligence, health, and general well-being.

Specifically:

  • The mind records what an individual perceives continuously as three-dimensional mental images that contain all these perceptics, including color, sound and smell, as well as the individual’s conclusions and speculations. Without Dianetics therapy, these pictures cannot always be seen, heard, or otherwise sensed well, being nullified by the pain and negative emotions stored.
  • The analytical part of the mind observes, stores and remembers information, and uses it to compute and make rational decisions that promote survival.
  • In moments of intense physical pain and unconsciousness or moments of severe loss or threat of loss (emotional pain), the analytical mind overloads and the reactive mind takes over in the same way that a fuse takes delicate equipment such as a computer off line. This rugged reactive mind records everything that occurs on a cellular level in its own banks, unavailable to the individual's conscious recall and not under his control. The reactive mind has the power to react obsessively upon the individual at a later time when conditions approximate those existing at the original time of injury or upset, forcing irrational “solutions” on the individual by bringing about the same pain as suffered at the time (should the individual resist this mind’s warnings about the “dangers” it adjudicates the organism is once again facing).
  • The reactive mind thinks only in identities: every perceptic recorded has the same value and meaning as every other. For example, the voice of his mother = the voice of his father = the pain in his head = the smell of camphor = whatever else is recorded at that time—what Dianeticists refer to as “A=A=A” or irrationality (aberration, meaning an inability to think clearly, to make mistakes or operate on fixed ideas that are untrue). Rational thought, conversely, is based upon the ability to differentiate widely and narrowly.

In simple survival terms, the smell of damp woods and the sound of bone being crunched would prompt a cave man to rapidly depart a location on “instinct,” milliseconds before a carnivore took a swipe at him—his “instinct” being based on the last time he had heard and smelled such when his mate’s head was being severely compromised by a saber-tooth tiger.

  • This one-time survival mechanism had value in man’s early tooth-and-claw existence, but became a distinct liability with the advent of speech. When, during an attempted abortion, mother says “I can’t see anything” as she pokes a hole in the embryo’s heart with an orangewood stick (normally used to manicure her nails), then the hapless embryo records this faithfully and later on, the adult finds himself with sharp pains in his heart and wearing spectacles. He will, of course, see lots of opticians and heart specialists over the years, none of who can do anything about his conditions, being psychosomatic in origin. These commands, stored in the reactive mind, impinge upon not only the individual’s thought processes and emotions, but also the systems and organs of the body.
  • With Dianetics counseling, all the moments of unconsciousness and physical and emotional pain can be located in the reactive mind and examined until they lose their power and are simply re-filed in the analytical banks as memory, under the control of the individual.
  • A person who no longer has this reactive mind is called a Clear (in the way that one “clears” earlier computations from a calculator so as to be able to reach correct conclusions). This state is completely new in the human experience and includes
    • Freedom from active or potential psychosomatic illness or aberration;
    • Self-determinism rather than being determined by a hidden part of the mind;
    • Vigor and persistent in life, unrepressed;
    • Able to perceive, recall, imagine, create and compute at a level high—a raised IQ and swift reasoning ability;
    • Mental stability;
    • Free with emotions and able to enjoy life;
    • Few accidents and fast reaction times, good health generally.

In essence, the Clear is better able to enjoy life; being more logical and dynamic, he is better able to face up to situations and to succeed at whatever he decides to do. He also thinks better of others and seeks to assist their survival.

Dianetics has had various ramifications in society, one of which is the injunction to maintain silence around an injured/unconscious person, including during operations and childbirth (for reasons given above).

Another area of public interest is the question of past lives. Hubbard ran into these with his patients in late 1950 and found that where a patient was encouraged to ignore such incidents when he encountered them in therapy, his case would not improve. When the patient was allowed to view these incidents, they would discharge and re-file in the analytical banks, resulting in improvement for the individual. The board of the first Hubbard Dianetics Research Foundation in Camden, New Jersey, tried to ban any mention of past lives for fear they would result in public ridicule, but Mr. Hubbard persisted. Addressing past lives is commonplace in Dianetics and Scientology counseling.

With over 20 million copies sold in over 50 languages and 150 countries, the original book, Dianetics the Modern Science of Mental Health has remained popular (it has been on over 200 best seller lists, including over 100 weeks on the New York Times best seller list—both in 1950 and its 50th anniversary in 2000). Proponents ascribe this success to the book and subject representing a much needed breakthough in the subject of the mind which is sorely needed by a world well advanced in the physical sciences yet sorely lacking a science of the mind to manage the powerful technological advances of the past century.

An early success:

A few months ago, Mrs. Martha Dildian of Suffield, Conn., contacted John B. Skupen, Boston auditor [link], and agreed to a limited amount of processing … All her life … she’d had a semi-paralyzed left arm, shorter and bent and a ‘humpback’ shoulder two inches higher than the left. After 14 hours processing, her shoulder dropped, her left arm straightened out and lengthened, and she suddenly found herself able to do things with her left arm which previously had been impossible …”

Journal of Scientology, Issue 1-G, date xx? 

The question might be asked, why has it taken man so long to discover this hidden part of the mind? Freud was the first to talk of the unconscious mind, but made no progress in identifying it, nor how and why it worked, nor developing a technology to erase it. The reasons the reactive mind was so hard to identify were identified by Mr. Hubbard: any time one approached a past painful incident, one would go unconscious as the unconsciousness in it would stir up; a person tends to shy away from pain or unpleasant emotions; the utter irrationality of the ideas expressed in the incidents; the difficulty in connecting the dots between the original incident and the first time it is reactivated, which could be decades later; and the fact that when an incident is restimulated thereafter, it generally takes about four days for the dictated pains and illnesses to manifest.[[ x]] DMSMH, Mechanisms and Aspects of Therapy, p 454, 2007 edition

Steven Ferry 11:41, 30 September 2007 (CDT)


I am holding off on a) more writing and b) posting the above, until I have had confirmation that it be on track/edits made. I will be traveling, so incommunicado for several days. Re-reading your last comment, Larry, I realize that you may be referring to the posted page in suggesting the removal of the outline, so I have obliged. For my part, I shall seek to follow it, as an outline has an obvious function in any written work, whether writtenby an individual or a groupSteven Ferry 09:11, 3 October 2007 (CDT)

Steven Ferry 19:30, 10 December 2007 (CST)The Three Parts of Man, a Fundamental Tenet of Scientology

In the autumn of 1951, Hubbard determined that Man was neither body nor mind, but a spiritual being, the source of all that distinguishes man from the animal kingdom. Hubbard used the word “thetan” to refer to this spiritual element of man that is aware of being aware: the identity that is the individual, you, the reader. Further research confirmed that the thetan could move out of the body in what Hubbard called “exteriorization”—being exterior from the body—and exist independent of the body. A being is able to see, hear, and feel without using the body’s eyes, ears, and hands. This simple ability, once experienced, results in great certainty that one is, in fact, a spiritual being, or thetan.

Hubbard delineated the three parts of Man:

  • The body as the physical component;
  • The mind, essentially comprised of pictures;
  • The thetan, which has no physical substance, but is rather the creator of things.

In Scientology, the thetan is considered the most important element in the game of life and the target for improvement through counseling, for without the thetan there would be no mind or animation of the body, while without a body or a mind there is still animation and life in the thetan.

In contrast to the ideas promulgated by psychology and psychiatry over the past 150 years, Scientology does not consider the mind to be the brain—which is a palpable part of the physical body, much like the hardware of a computer, specifically the keyboard or busbar, for the brain is simply a conduit that carries messages. The thetan uses the body (including the brain) as a communication center, something from or through which to derive sensations, and to identity himself to self and others.

In this analogy, the mind would be the software and the thetan, the end user at work on his computer. Like a database, the mind accumulates recordings of thoughts, conclusions, decisions, observations, and perceptions of the thetan throughout his existence. The thetan uses his mind in managing or controlling his body, the activity of living, and the physical universe.

Where religions have talked of and championed the soul or spirit through the ages, Hubbard not only made the fact of one’s spiritual nature self evident to any who honestly looked, but also developed techniques to increase the perceptions, intelligence, and abilities of those beings; the first being the recognition that a thetan is immortal and the freedom that connotes.Steven Ferry 19:30, 10 December 2007 (CST)

Historians

Historians of religion are accustomed to dealing with many curious bodies of belief and behavior, and therefore treat them at a distance. I tried to do that with this article. Richard Jensen 20:26, 10 December 2007 (CST)

auditing and engrams

It has been many years since I read Dianetics, but I believe that "auditing" and "engrams" are essential topics to be included in this article. David E. Volk 08:41, 11 December 2007 (CST)

View of federal German minister

Schäuble: Scientology will Macht in Deutschland

09/12/2007 09h13

©DDP/AFP - Uwe Meinhold

Hamburg (AFP) - Bundesinnenminister Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) hat in dramatischen Worten vor der Scientology-Organisation gewarnt. "Scientology arbeitet auch in Deutschland daran, politische Macht und Einfluss zu erringen", sagte Schäuble der "Bild am Sonntag". Die Organisation sei als verfassungsfeindlich einzustufen, bekräftigte der Innenminister. [...]

Die Innenministerkonferenz hatte am Freitag die Prüfung eines Verbots von Scientology in Auftrag gegeben. Nach einem Bericht des "Spiegels" sehen die Verfassungsschutzbehörden der Länder derzeit aber keine Chancen für ein Verbot der umstrittenen Organisation. Auch Politiker von CDU, SPD, FDP, Grünen und Linken äußerten Bedenken gegen ein Verbotsverfahren.


Translation:


Schäuble: Scientology wants power in Germany

December 9, 2007

©DDP/AFP - Uwe Meinhold

The federal minister of internal affairs, Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU), has warned in dramatic words for the Scientology Organisation. "Also in Germany, Scientology is working towards obtaining political power and influence", said Schäuble to the "Bild am Sonntag" (a German newspaper). The organization must be categorized as hostile to the constitution, emphasized the minister. [...]

Article goes on: Minister wants to forbid Scientology, but the guardians of the constitutions of the different German states do not see a possibility for a prohibition of the controversial organization. Politicians of CDU, SPD, FDP, Grünen and Linken stated objections to a prohibition procedure.


Reading this, it seems to me that getting a reasonably balanced CZ article will be a hell of a job. Fortunately this subject is completely out of my league and no concern of mine.--Paul Wormer 09:39, 11 December 2007 (CST)

PS. I qualify my latter statement. If the draft above were to become an article, I would say goodbye to CZ, so it is after all a concern of mine.--Paul Wormer 09:58, 11 December 2007 (CST)

This is possibly one of the hardest articles to write. --Robert W King 15:08, 11 December 2007 (CST)
take a look at tthe current article and please comment. Richard Jensen 15:55, 11 December 2007 (CST)
I moved the text to the Church of Scientology article. There's not much point in having a separate article on doctrines. Richard Jensen 16:49, 11 December 2007 (CST)
Well one article should be about the belief, and the other should be about the church itself; I think there's enough valid considerations to have two seperate articles. --Robert W King 20:31, 11 December 2007 (CST)
Perhaps. I'd like to see the whole lot moved to Scientology and then separate articles can develop as needed. Stephen Ewen 21:35, 11 December 2007 (CST)
the problem is that we don't know much about the beliefs. they're secret after all. Richard Jensen 22:10, 11 December 2007 (CST)
Not really true. We are given a quite full scaffolding, inclusive of commentary by ex-memebers. Stephen Ewen 03:30, 12 December 2007 (CST)
pretty dubious sources on both sides, which produces very poor analysis (as above). Scientology theology is not worth more that a paragraph in my opinion. We do need a little perspective here on the mission of an encyclopedia to cover more than fringe groups. In this case scientology theology has attracted very little attention from theologians, and we should follow suit and not exaggeratet he importance of this group.Richard Jensen 04:10, 12 December 2007 (CST)
I think part of the problem is that to know about scientology and to reveal what is unknown about it particularly as it relates to their beliefs and practices, you practically have to be an ex-member. When you become one, in some respects, it makes you a biased source. Otherwise, if you are attempting to inform the public about Scientology as a current and active scientologist, there will be bias and contention (and secrecy of course) because that's the way of the church. --Robert W King 10:47, 12 December 2007 (CST)