Ray Randolph’s post on Marty’s blog has sparked a renewed debate on whether Scientology can be reformed in such a way as to leave out the harmful bits.
Several protesters cite the Bible as an example. There are millions of Christians who don’t stone adulterers to death or kill their daughters for having premarital sex, even though the Bible tells them to. Can’t Scientology undergo a similar transformation?
Here’s the problem with the Bible argument: The Bible was written thousands of years ago by unknown authors in a handful of ancient languages. It has been subject to numerous translations and interpretations, to the point that the entire legitimacy of Christianity, according to some, rests on whether a single word should be translated as “virgin” or “maiden.”
That’s not the case with Scientology, whose tenets were written by a single man, one whose existence is not in question, in more-or-less plain English – and where the English is less plain, there are extensive definitions given for made-up or redefined words. And where the Bible is often terse and vague, Scientology author L. Ron Hubbard’s writings are laboriously long and incredibly specific.
So are Hubbard’s followers free to pick and choose which bits of the tech they believe in? Not according to Hubbard, they aren’t.
Most people are familiar with the Keeping Scientology Working (KSW) policy, in which Hubbard stated that his “technology” must be applied exactly as written in order to deliver the promised results. But KSW isn’t the only example of this – it is a recurring theme throughout Scientology. (I’ve cited a few examples at the bottom of this post, but I recommend you read a few random policies and see for yourself how often this comes up.)
Hubbard clearly saw that people interpret religion as they see fit, so he admonished his followers not to do the same. He even came up with a term for this: Squirreling. Squirreling is defined by LRH as “Altering Scientology and offbeat practices. It is a bad thing.” To be a squirrel in Scientology to be one of the devil’s minions. Hubbard reminds his followers over and over and over again that the tech must be used in its entirety and exactly as written in order to work.
If you don’t understand this, then you aren’t as familiar with Scientology “tech” as you ought to be.
Scientology is not just a set of kooky beliefs. If all Scientology did was take people’s money and convince them that they are space aliens trapped in human bodies, this blog wouldn’t exist.
But Scientology does much more than that. It attracts people through unscrupulous means and tells them whatever they need to hear to get them signed up. It encourages people to forgo standard, proven medical treatment for quackery invented by a known charlatan. It actively seeks to isolate members, encourages them to dismiss criticism of the subject without reading it, and teaches that devotion to the group is the highest possible calling. And it does all this with one hand pointing to the sky and the other reaching into its victim’s wallets.
People say Free Zone or independent Scientology is harmless – but is it? If a Free Zoner uses auditing and touch assists to treat his cancer instead of going to the doctor, is that harmless? If a parent takes their schizophrenic child off of their psychiatric medication because Hubbard says “Psychs are evil,” is that harmless? If people accept that the proper treatment for a person having a psychotic break is to lock her in a room with untrained laymen who refuse to talk to her, is that harmless?
Just because a group can’t yet afford to hire private investigators or build their own private prison camp doesn’t mean they are practicing a “kinder, gentler” Scientology.
Protesting Scientology is not a game. It’s not a fun reason to wear a mask on Saturday or something to write about during your coffee break. Scientology hurts people. Scientology kills people. And I am not just being dramatic – the practice of Scientology has caused injury and death. That’s not an idle accusation, THAT IS A PROVEN FACT.
Can Scientology be reformed? No fucking way. If you don’t believe that, then you don’t know enough about Scientology.
I urge you to learn.
“When you want results you had better use standard techniques and procedures. I have sweated through their testing for years… ‘failures’ are caused by use of non-standard techniques and procedures.” — LRH
“‘Offbeat’ Processing,” Ability Magazine Issue 78, June 1958
“Standard tech works. Use it and it only.” — LRH
HCOB 20 July 1972 Issue II, DISTRACTIVE AND ADDITIVE QUESTIONS AND ORDERS
“No student may be advised to do anything except standard technology.” — LRH
HCO PL 20 February 1964, REGULATIONS