Walking Away


By Joe van Staden

How often, when a love affair comes to an end, have we been told that the quickest way to get over it is to get involved with another.  As impossible as this may seem at the time for all sorts of reasons, in most cases it turns out to be sound advice.

To many who have had a committed “love affair” with Scientology the idea of really “letting go” and moving on remains difficult. Many feel they need to remain “connected” even if just by a thread. Of course there is nothing wrong with remaining in touch with an “ex-lover” – unless it becomes an obstacle to finding someone new.

In the case of a special lover, what makes this person so special is that through them we experienced falling in love. Through the relationship our heart opened up making it possible to experience “the magic”.  And here is the thing; it was the EXPERIENCE of being in love that we essentially sought – the experience of being connected and in touch with “something” exceptional. Naturally the person with whom we shared that magical time, more often than not, takes up a valued place in our heart. Yet, though we sometimes come to believe that we can’t live without him or her it is the experience of being in love we really cherish.

When it comes to a belief system of whatever kind there is no particular doctrine or methodology that we can’t do without – unless we believe we can’t. In the case of a Christian, Muslim or Scientologist, for instance, their commitment is first and foremost about the EXPERIENCE of being “in touch” and “connected”.   Even though we may not always be able to state exactly in words what that “something” is, we can “feel” it. It’s a sense of being connected to something meaningful and in touch with a higher value or higher power – a “source” by whatever name.

Being “connected and in touch” means being well oriented, having reliable and meaningful stable data – a sense of self – enabling us to focus and function. Orientation nullifies confusion and provides purpose – a channel for self-expression and creation.

As evidenced throughout the ages, people’s beliefs change from time to time. This is inevitable in an ever changing world.   What doesn’t change is why we have beliefs – assumptions, values and a point of view in the first place.   In the absence of a frame of reference – a defined context within which to experience a reality and existence that makes sense, we go nuts. It truly becomes a case of; have something to relate to or get “splattered all over the universe”. What that something is is secondary. That it serves as a beacon for orientation in a “universe” of infinite possibilities is primary.

My views on this and related matters are extensively outlined in my blog. Nonetheless, if permitted, I would like to take this opportunity to briefly answer a few Frequently Asked Questions by people who have walked away from the church.

DOES SCIENTOLOGY WORK? Can Scientology methodology, for instance, alleviate certain unwanted feelings or successfully address certain physical conditions as claimed?   Yes, without a doubt – I have been there, seen it and experienced it.   The thing is, every other belief system (healing methodology) gets its “share of magic”, why not Scientology. Psychiatrists, medical practitioners and even witch doctors have a success rate in alleviating emotional and physical pain. In all cases the key is what people believe.

The psychiatrist’s colored sugar pill is turning out to be more effective in relieving depression than expensive high tech anti-depressant drugs.   Doctors daily perform miracles so to speak. They successfully handle very real physical conditions by administering sugar pills, fake injections and bogus operations. Isn’t it a bit of magic to cure asthma, in spite of physical damage to the bronchial system, by simply getting the patient to believe that his new inhaler is the latest breakthrough by science, when in fact the inhaler has no medicinal properties at all?  How about 80 heart patients, all recovering after receiving pacemakers, even though only 40 pacemakers were activated?

Devout Christians believe Christ performed miracles, as in the case of turning water into wine. Most people these days oriented in material realism will tell you the “water into wine” story is a myth. Yet experiments conducted where people were drinking tonic water and lime and not vodka, as they believed, resulted in typical inebriated behavior. Similar experiments have been conducted with non-alcoholic beer getting people drunk as confirmed by physiological tests.

So concerned are medical practitioners about the placebo and nocebo effects – the mind’s role in healing and causing illness – that they have openly admitted that it threatens their livelihood.

It’s amazing what the mind can achieve. By simply creating the right circumstances and atmosphere – by providing the appropriate setting and props – as in an auditing session for instance, the scene is set for a bit of magic.

DID LRH NAIL IT – need we look no further than what is contained in Scientology? For Scientology to be the ultimate answer it would require that the “system be closed”. In other words, Scientology has all the answers only so long as we don’t look beyond its teachings. As long as we stay within the parameters determined by the works of L Ron Hubbard we will have our wins – very real wins. But peak beyond the “truths” of Scientology and you are likely to forfeit its workability to some extent. Obviously the C of S is aware of this – observe its efforts to keep its members looking only inward.

So, on the one hand we can close our minds to anything outside the domain of Scientology and see how far that gets us. Or, we can take ownership of our creation capability, create our orientation – become increasingly enabled to create our truths and beliefs – and use Scientology and any other belief system to work for us.

IS OT 3 REAL?   The notion of people being possessed goes back to the dawn of human history as does the practice of exorcism. Tales of entities not of this world have been shaping belief systems probably before human beings discovered the benefits of fire. Folklore abounds with stories of demons, ghosts, angels, fairies, ancestral spirits and deities. How about succubus and poltergeists? Even today within the esoteric and metaphysical community people talk of a higher self, guardian angels and spirit guides. Academics in the fields of psychology and psychiatry have introduced us to the idea of MPD; multiple personality disorder. In the language of Scientology, other terms are used.

It should be self-evident that many problems and challenges can result where the “host” is entangled in such a kaleidoscope of viewpoints.   Any wonder then that people aren’t always sure of “the self” responsible for how they feel and behave.

Nonetheless, whatever the stories behind multiple viewpoints or entities are, all are rooted in two fundamental characteristics of consciousness (theta).

  • It is an innate characteristic of consciousness to assume different points of view. Possibilities for different viewpoints and experiences are infinite. It is something consciousness does all the time.
  • It is also innately fundamental to the nature of consciousness to experience and assume the characteristics of that which is observed. Limitations to the experiences and perspectives available to consciousness are limited only by the prevailing mindset – what is believed to be possible.

Where OT 3 is experienced as real it is fundamentally because the individual has bought into the story. Without consciousness’s contribution to the story, its influence and relevance to the pc’s case will be zero. OT 3 may be real, but its significance and relevance is entirely dependent on how it is viewed.

IS THERE SUCH A THING AS A REACTIVE MIND? This and several other questions deserve attention, yet space does not permit. Regarding the question about the reactive mind, my view may very briefly be summed up as follows: Somewhere LRH makes reference to the connection between time and aberration. It has become conventional wisdom that time is not the defined corner stone of human reality and existence we believe it to be. Time is an “innovation” of consciousness (theta) meant to prevent everything from happening simultaneously. A change in how time is perceived and experienced is potentially capable of erasing big chunks of the so-called reactive mind.   A complete shift in time perception – moving from the experience of time as past, present and future to the experience of the infinite now – will erase any form of mind; reactive, analytical or any other.

IS THERE AN ULTIMATE TRUTH?   In other words; is there an ultimate source of everything?   As I see it, it goes something like this.

It’s a case of; GOD BY ANY OTHER NAME. “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”. From Shakespear’s play Romeo and Juliet in which Juliet argues that the names of things do not matter only what they are.

Feelings of inexplicable dread, emptiness, a life without meaning and joy are symptomatic of having no higher value to relate to – nothing or no one to look up to – no higher power or source of inspiration.

It is said that one can feel alone in a room full of people. It is also the experience of many, that one can feel completely “connected” while being on one’s own – particularly when out in nature. The thing is, it does not matter how the source of our inspiration or higher value is defined; to the degree that we have a sense of being “in touch” with a “higher power” or higher value we tend not to feel vulnerable or lonely – our lives are not without meaning. A sense of “connection” gives meaning, relevance and value to existence. On the other hand feeling lonely coincides with our sense of being “out of touch” – disconnected from anything meaningful or extraordinary.

Essential to understanding this state of connectedness is that it does not only apply to being in touch with a supreme being or the like. A sense of being in touch is context specific. Many people have a strong sense of connectedness within the context of their family, friends or career, romantic relationship or a pursuit of value. As far as a 3 year old is concerned being “in touch” is being connected to mother. To many Catholics visiting the Vatican and receiving the Pope’s blessing leaves them feeling “in touch”. Muslims gain a sense of “connectedness” on their pilgrimage to Mecca.   Many a French soldier felt “in touch” when serving directly under Napoleon. Most scientologists were in awe on meeting LRH for the first time, they felt that they had connected with “source”.

However, whatever we are involved in there seems to be an underlying urge to widen the context within which our lives are defined. The desire for meaning, value and relevance seems to be an ever present aspect of every human being, even if not always actively pursued.   Nonetheless, actively striving to get in touch with the determining source of existence, by whatever name, is not uncommon.

It seems that the most zealous of believers, rational academics and scientists as well as agnostics and atheists, all have a sense that there is some unique force behind the existence of everything. However we describe this force, be it as God or in terms of several theories proposed by science, it is interesting to note that people of all persuasions have this feeling in common. The labels used to describe IT may differ a great deal but a sense that there is an “ultimate source” is universal.

The challenge of describing the indescribable (God by any other name), has probably been the single most notable endeavor of religion, philosophy and science.

The trouble with attempting to describe the “ultimate source” – the indescribable so to speak – is that it seems inevitable that any description of IT invariably collapses it into a lesser value – into something it actually isn’t. Using terms like un-oriented consciousness, the unifying field, infinity, supreme-being, a higher power or the ultimate singularity may bring us closer to getting a handle on the indescribable, yet the question remains; what is IT really?    Whatever we decide IT is the implication is that the “IT stuff” – the “God stuff” – is in everything.

The dilemma, so it seems, in finding answers to the IT factor really stems from the typical human perspective. We see ourselves as separate from IT in terms of measurable time and space, meaning, relevance and value.   From such an orientation, based on logic and reason, how do we become aware of – get in touch with – something which itself is beyond measure, logic and reason – beyond orientation of any kind.

The conclusion arrived at here is that thinking about IT – analysis – will take us only so far. Once the intellect has pointed us in a particular direction it becomes a case of “feeling” our way to gaining a deeper sense of IT. Unless at some point we switch to feeling mode – intuition and empathy – a closer sense of the indescribable will continue to elude us.

It seems the more we think about and label IT the more we are likely to become separated from IT. And this is where the mind comes in. In fundamental terms, we are never really separated from IT – we are never not connected to the divine – we are always connected at some level to that with which we seek connection. The belief and experience that we are separate is due to mind – thinking, analyzing and rationalizing – identifying differentiating and so on – mind stuff. In other words, the prevailing state of our mind determines our sense of connectedness.

We see in Scientology and other belief systems the means by which to minimize the mind’s negative influence on our connection to a higher power or higher value – the source of our potential. Be that as it may, the mind has its place in the overall scheme of things. For instance, games are impossible without a mind and a functional mindset keeps us in touch in an ever changing world.

Consciousness in one form or another pervades all of existence. The defined consciousness – the self – we sense ourselves to be serves as a channel through which “higher consciousness” – IT – gives expression. Every individual with whom we come in contact is an expression of that higher power. But, more than that; not only does the higher power give expression through you, me and everyone else, IT also “experiences” a unique existence through each of us. In other words, IT receives constant feedback through the life you are living.

At some level all consciousness is connected in a way difficult to understand from a typical human perspective. Based on only this one premise I can tell those within the C of S who implement and enforce disconnection policy; you have no idea what you are doing.

For an organization claiming to be the universal experts on the mind and soul getting a child to disconnect from her mother is pretty stupid.   But more than that, it reveals that they are completely out of touch with that something of “higher value” – God by any other name.

Metaphorically speaking, we are the channels through which God gives expression as well as the channels through which God receives feedback of ITS expression. The closer we are to God the more “out of this world awesome” is the flow through us from and to God   Keep in mind, it’s a case of God by any other name.

The next time you listen to music which touches you deeply, which sends ripples of exquisite bliss down your spine from head to toe – music which evoke feelings beyond explanation – you have been touched by God and you have touched God – the channel has opened wide.   The music is God being expressed through the performer and the ultimate listener is God listening through you.   Falling in love unconditionally – experiencing the joy of love – Plaisir D’amour – is a manifestation of that connectedness.

By the way, falling in love along with dozens of other simple life experiences – experiences trashed as reactive “wog stuff” by the C of S – if engaged in with maximum heart and minimal mind, brings you closer to the source of your potential.

The life we choose to live determines what comes through us from God by any other name. We might well ask; is my life adding value to that higher power or not?


62 thoughts on “Walking Away

  1. Brilliant! Thank you for this. Before getting into Scientology I use to drive myself crazy with the question of God or IT as you mentioned. It’s something that’s always been very important to me. After getting out I again went into the confusion of trying to find out. I am starting to realize though that I already have all the answers. So now what I do when I have a question is I imagine myself being in a beautiful place and I try and make it as real as possible, and then I ask questions. The answers always come. Explained to me with images and pictures I can easily understand. And honestly I am amazed at how much wisdom I actually already posses. It feels great to be my own source. Me and my wife have started to make our own axioms, just for fun. To me God is the imagination and the irony is that the most real thing you can get within yourself, is the imagination. And life is nothing but one big placebo effect in play. So just for fun I imagine OSA to be my enemy. They’re not really, but it’s a fun game. Down with the disconnection policy!!!!Off with OSA’s bloody heads!

  2. Joe, exceptional article! When I left Scientology I felt very lonely but having an enquiring mind I found other spiritual “things” that gave me a larger perspective of life.
    Being thrown overboard, dumped in a chain locker for days, denying sleep for extended periods and all the other Scientology disciplines are basically acts of violence which do not enhance beingness or life.
    Worst of all is having children disconnect from their loved ones is an indescribable evil, an act of violence so great that it cannot be tolerated by civilized people.

      • Thank you, Travers, for identifying the things you presented as Scientology disciplines. Those things are part of Scientology, just as much as “two way comm” and “ARC,” and should be identified as such.
        The earliest expressions of Fair Game and Disconnection appeared in the book Science of Survival – mixed in with the “Tone Scale” (1951); authoritatively telling another the contents of his own mind, rather than allowing him to look and find out for himself, first appeared in the book ‘What to audit’ – mixed in with the promise of becoming a super being (1952); “always attack,” not tolerating criticism, and “ruining utterly,” appeared in the Manual on Dissemination of Material (1955) – mixed in with spirituality and helping others; and the list goes on. All of these are part of Scientology, and woven into its fabric.
        Being able to walk away is essential, so as to place enough distance between Scientology and oneself to take a good and thorough look at it, free of its manipulations.
        Then, if ones wishes, the sorting out process can begin in earnest.
        The good can be saved, the bad discarded but not forgotten lest the same be repeated, and all facts, no matter how uncomfortable, can be confronted.

  3. Thank you Joe for an excellent article. The end result of me reading it is that I feel so much more connected to “God”.
    Keep up the good work.
    Lots of ARC Rodney.

  4. What an amazing and brilliant artice, Joe. And you write beautifully, it’s so easy to follow.
    What you’ve said resonates strongly. It also answers a lot of questions though at the back of the mind.
    As far as replacing a ‘lost’ lover with a new one, what’s worked for me is spending time on my own before venturing into a new love. I’ve always felt that need to regain myself and have a ball on my own. Fortunately, and I have friends who simply cannot be alone who move quickly into a new dalliance, I can with myself and enjoy doing things on my own.
    Leaving Scientology has been a bit like that for me. I’m consolidating before I venture out into a new direction, although I do look and listen to whatever I can get my hands on.
    Having this blog and friends of like mind has helped tremendously; and I hope we hear from you lots more, Joe.

  5. Great article. It makes me think about KSW (Keep Scientology working) policies.
    The KSW policies makes any further progress, improvement, keeping up with the times and new investigations impossible in the CoS.
    You will either have to look further as LRH stated with “for God’s sake build a better bridge” or abide with KSW. You can’t have both as they are in contradiction.
    With the Internet, data is in abundance and data that would not have been available or extremely difficult to find 20 years ago is now at your finger tips with a simple Google search.
    If I just look, as an example, at the work David St Lawrence is doing with the excellent Spiritual Rescue technology and how he uses Facebook and forums as part of his investigations.
    I think closing the door on new technology also close the door on keeping Scientology working.

  6. Good words and ideas, Joe. What I like is that you are figuring this out as you go along (I think 🙂 ). Since leaving scientology, I have realized that I am done with religion, but I have become more spiritual. I am happy to discover things for myself; I don’t have to take someone else’s word as “Gospel”.
    I find this a very exciting part of my life now. To be free to explore different ideas, to not shut the door when someone else speaks of their beliefs. To learn and to grow as a person and a spiritual being.
    I like your idea of a back and forth between us and a God (by any other name). I feel that life is a learning thing. I am here to learn and experience and to share that with whoever wants to listen. I don’t have to share. I don’t have to assert my rightness. I could be totally on the wrong path, but that’s also OK, because I will learn new stuff!
    Travers – your comment also touched me. I also consider disconnection to be something not only evil, but obscene. And as Joe indicated – it hits at something very deep and fundamental in us. When people are forced to disconnect and agree to do so, nobody is spared the pain. When you disconnect from someone you love, you are both damaged in spirit.
    What a lot of people don’t realize, is that without disconnection, Scientology could not last – no matter how many truths you might find in it. I am speaking about disconnection in terms of communication as well here. Not being allowed to talk about certain things is also a form of disconnection. So you can’t talk about your case to a friend, you can’t talk about bad treatment and screaming and abusive seniors in the SO, you can’t talk about how a guy can go from comm course all the way to OT8 and yet has not changed one bit fundamentally. If people could talk about those things, the church would have to work a LOT harder to actually keep people in. Better service would be demanded etc.
    Excuse the little rant on the side, but I feel very strongly about that topic!
    Once we start letting go of fixed ideas and thinking only one person or group has all the answers – the playground becomes very large and full of exciting things to discover. And connecting up to the “Spirit that is everywhere” is a wonderful thing.
    Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed and experienced, with all its ups and downs and human emotions. Go live it!

  7. I hate to disagree with you Joe. This is a very good and well thought out article. But my viewpoint on Scientology compared to other ”systems” is very different from yours.
    My reality, from reading and studying LRH, from doing the OT levels for many, many hours, from doing them wrong for a long time, then doing them right; from auditing others on NOTs, from seeing and working very, very closely with many others who have done the OT levels and NOTs, is this:
    We as beings – you, me and everyone else – on planet Earth and in this universe – are in VERY deep shit. It’s all well and good to do things that make you feel better, that actually do make you better, that help you in various ways. There are many other things that do this, including for example, music (which is something that is very important to me), appreciating beauty in nature, helping people with such activities as nursing, doing a good job at something, discovering or creating something completely new, having the real friendship of others – to name a few things.
    But to me, the most important thing by far is to get out the shit – and help others to get out of it. This may not be possible in my lifetime, and may not be possible on planet Earth. I certainly hope it is and I am working at it with LRH tech. I see (not “believe”) from my own experience that LRH tech has the very real possibility of getting me out this shit. And I believe that this was the over-riding concern of LRH, at least in the 50’s and most of the 60’s, and probably the 70’s as well.
    I guess the key thing here is what I mean by “shit” and how bad it really is and how important it is to get out of it. “Shit” to me here means ultimately dying as a thetan, as a spiritual being. Right now we who are talking here on this blog are not dead as thetans, and some of us are doing well in life and enjoying life and having a good time. This is good. There are others who are not having a good time, and others who are visibly dying as thetans, and still others who have already died to such a degree that you don’t see them anymore, and never will again unless we or someone does something to pull them out.
    That’s why I continue to do Scientology, and why I think it is still the most important thing that I can do. This is my reality, based on my experience and my thinking and looking. I know it is not the reality of many others reading this blog. And I am sure it IS the reality of many others who are reading this blog. I don’t have any ill will toward you or others who don’t see my point of view. But our viewpoints in this area are very different.
    I’m not trying to change your mind, Joe. And you won’t be able to change mine. I am just expressing a different viewpoint.

    • Morris, you make some excellent points. I’ve been using the tech for 46 years so far – the last 16 outside the confines of the church. For me, the grades, rundowns, OT levels, etc. are only the tip of the iceberg – there is way, way more “stuff” to handle than many may realize. I continue to dig myself out of the hole on a daily basis – thank goodness all the tech that allows me to do that is readily available.

      • Using the tech for 46 years and you dig yourself out of the hole on a daily basis?
        If, when you first became involved, someone had told you that, 46 years later, you wouldn’t be an Operating Thetan “fancy free and perceiving all,” but, instead, would be “digging yourself out of the hole on a daily basis,” what would you have said to them?
        Not being funny or trying to be cute. Am genuinely curious.

      • To B.V. Orts:
        Yes, it’s been 46 years and I have no regrets whatsoever. I’ve had tremendous wins and gains along the way, and continue to have them on a regular basis.
        You asked:
        “If, when you first became involved, someone had told you that, 46 years later, you wouldn’t be an Operating Thetan “fancy free and perceiving all,” but, instead, would be “digging yourself out of the hole on a daily basis,” what would you have said to them?”
        It wouldn’t have surprised me. I was not one of those who expected to be all done in a few years.

    • Thanks for your viewpoint. Here’s what I struggle with regarding Scientology getting people out of the shit. I have never observed the Clear that LRH describes in Dianetics. Not in clears, not in OT5′s and neither did I see those characteristics in OT 8′s. I have seen only momentary relief in others that later went away again. In fact I can honestly state that I have never dealt with an OT5 that was not short tempered and difficult to work with. And I’ve seen OT8′s act like complete assholes. I spent many years on staff as a tech terminal and I have to say…eish…I don’t believe anymore.

      • You make very good points, Curious. I don’t at all blame you for your viewpoint on this. (Sorry. “Blame” is not really the right word.) I have observed very similar things.
        I look at this behaviour of supposed OT 5s and OT 8s as the result of out-tech. I would say that these people didn’t really make it to OT 5 and OT 8. From my observation, most people were not at all properly set up to do the OT levels, myself included. There was so much out-tech in this particular regard, that the percentage of people who DID make it hs been miniscule to non-existent.
        And if a person spends time on these OT levels without being properly set up, and thus without really doing them, the result in many cases is that they will get worse, And I have seen this manifested in many people – getting worse – just as you seem to have observed.
        But I myself have gotten past this in my own auditing. I am finally getting the things I have wanted to get from Scientology auditing for more than 40 years, and was not getting. I think this can also happen for others, if they get fixed up with real LRH tech in the indie field.

    • That we are in “deep shit” and in danger of “dying as a thetan,” was part of the hype that LRH used when he started Scientology. It’s meant to scare and manipulate, not to enlighten. It produces fanatics and dupes, not enlightenment.

      • Hi Morris.
        Are you on one or two hits of Kool Aid a day? You sound just like the last SO member who tried to sell me NOTs.

      • Sorry, BV. These statements (or paraphrases) by LRH are very real to me, if not at all real to you.

      • Is that a nasty remark Old Timer?
        What I am talking about is not, and probably never was, available from Sea Org orgs.

      • Perhaps there are those who dont want to hear that the tech works or people are winning using it outside the church?
        So what, your right to an opinion is defended here even if I think you are all jaded and you presuppose we are hooked up to a kool aid I.V’s!
        Humblest apologies for feeling real good using and applying the tech and for having an opinion thus suited for being labeled a kool aider 😉

      • I agree. I also got told growing up that if I don’t believe in Jesus that I would go to hell. Religion has a very long history of using fear to control people. I live in South Africa where supposedly we have a very high crime rate. I take daily walks. All I see is a beautiful sunny sky, a whole lot of friendly people and lots of trees and no criminals. I don’t observe the big shit we are in at all. I think this planet is simply a work in progress. Not that long ago there wasn’t even such a thing as phones. Now we can communicate to anybody we want to anywhere on the planet in an instant. Where is the big shit?

      • Curious just because you dont see or experience it personally does it mean the “shit” doesnt exist? Being south african too, I know you know people who have experienced crime here in all its uglyness. I’d bet you have experienced a part of this as well! Perhaps now you are keyed out from the whole thing. Thats great. However..
        The bigger picture should you choose to confront it is not all blue skies and green forests. There is deep sickness and malevolence in places should you take a peek. The interesting thing is if you play the game as its presented, ask no questions and be a good boy there is a vaneer of normalacy. It’s thinly veiled. Start looking and questioning the status quo and observe the “shit”!
        After a while after poking around in places where demons fear to tread ie. Ones own mind, one notices all is not well in paradise. Extend that outwards and observe the same sickness exists in others. Shrug in dissagreement? Really? Wars, crime wanton destruction of environment etc happens all by chance? Get real, something is doing it. Something within us allows this to continue.
        Only by honest soul searching within and the exorsism of our own personal demons can we then confront and destroy the demons without. I honestly dont care what method you use to do the above just as long as it works for you. Forget what the messiahs, madmen, popes and polititians did to you and make a difference..or fade away. Choice is our last weapon!

      • Hi Morris.
        I understand why you feel this way. Look at this post from B.V.Orts:”That we are in “deep shit” and in danger of “dying as a thetan,” was part of the hype that LRH used when he started Scientology. It’s meant to scare and manipulate, not to enlighten. It produces fanatics and dupes, not enlightenment.”
        I couldn’t have said it better. Your comment reminds me of all the countless “comm cycles” I endured with SO members. We are in “deep shit” , “don’t waste this breath in eternity”…blah, blah,blah.
        I have heard it said before that scientologists don’t have opinions, they have references.

      • It’s entrapment into thinking we’ve got Scientology only and that there is nothing else. It’s a Koolaid Machine, this type of thinking. It’s what’s made Scientology and the church into a cult.
        I don’t see dead or dying thetans around me, to the contrary, actually.

  8. Beautiful!
    I find that the “love-affair” with Scientology leads to a “love affair” with knowledge, which is a good thing. One can still look at Scientology materials but with a much broader viewpoint, and not with a narrow and inconsistent viewpoint which Hubbard provided.
    In my case, I was already in love with knowledge when I came across Scientology. Scientology simply added a new and exciting dimension. But it also offered certain inconsistencies.
    I am continuing to be in love with knowledge that Scientology enhanced. I am only leaving behind the inconsistencies of Scientology like the clothes that did not fit.
    I still cherish the experience of exciting new realizations that I got from Scientology. Here is my latest look at that experience.

    • Vinaire,
      I dropped out of high school to pursue Scientology like you know who but unlike he who shall not be mentioned I eventually got my GED and attended a few years of College. Also I have a library full of books on various eclectic subjects (thanks to Amazon Premium 😉 ) and I spend much of my time researching other subjects other than Scientology.
      Actually I can thank the Study Tech for my renewed thirst for knowledge. Something I’d lost when I left High School and its cookie cutter methods of “education”.

  9. This article answers most of my current questions and inspires (or prods) me to really go for what interests me. Now that my life seems completely blah, it feels like the perfect time.
    For me the time has come to put away the books and theories (although I’m addicted and love them) and get down to experience. I feel that intuition and empathy include experiencing what is there and trying to not run it through a series of filters/thought systems.
    If we are aspects of consciousness, God by any other name, and consciousness is all there is, is there really good and bad, beautiful and ugly? My life, not particularly inspiring to myself, might nonetheless be what consciousness wants to experience through me. Trouble is, I don’t want to experience it through me. I’d rather have more of the “good” stuff, listen to beautiful music, do things I love.
    So my question is if there is no good, bad or ugly fundamentally, why do I reach for the “good”, the beautiful? Who is reaching, and why?

    • Touching on axiom 31: First part says that goodness and badness are all alike considerations and have no other basis than opinion. The second part re beauty and ugliness I have no objection to.
      But the first creates a dichotomy with the Code of Ethics and makes it logically inconsistent with the code. In any case it is dependent on the game one is playing and in human games “badness” is mostly frowned upon.

  10. This is a very strong synthesis of several strands of thought about the nature of consciousness, the existence of an ultimate truth or reality or ground of all being, and the quest for transcendence or oneness that lies at the heart of so much spiritual exploration. It gives us a powerful cognitive tool for understanding Scientology (and other traditions) in the same broad context, recognizing the truth and the boundaries of a given faith.
    I think it’s particularly strong in laying out the distinction between pure consciousness and rational thought — an insight often associated with the Yoga philosopher Patanjali some 2400 years ago. Wisely, the essay acknowledges the fundamental unknowability of the Absolute or the “God thing” by rational means.
    I do think that, like much New Age-style thinking, it may do some disservice to the power of objective science, and to medicine in particular. The placebo effect is real (and still rather mysterious) but so are physical and technological tools like drugs and pacemakers. To cite just one example given here — the effect of implanting non-functional pacemakers in heart patients — the lead researcher was much more cautious in her conclusions than this essay would suggest. She noted, for example, that the placebo effect tended to fade after about six months. And in a follow-up letter to a medical journal, after a similar study a few years later, she finished by saying, “we strongly believe that the observations found in the present study reflect the treatment effect induced by biventricular pacing rather than the placebo effect.”
    I mention this because I think it’s dangerous to cling to the dogmatic notion that drugs don’t work or that conventional medicine is devoid of validity. No human endeavor is perfect and many things remain unknown. But new things are learned every day — or can be, if one is able to let go of fixed beliefs, unquestioned assertions, conspiratorial world-views, and other mental habits that seem to have gotten ingrained in many members of many faiths.

  11. Joe,
    Interesting analogy but does Scientology really compare to a former lover?
    Not really in my opinion.
    To me it is basically an Applied Philosophy which has a technology that has worked for me and those I have applied it too. Just like the techniques on Motorcycle Repair.
    Fact is that I never had to believe it worked. In fact much of the time in the beginning I was skeptical that it would work but it did every time when I followed the *correct* procedure. Just as I would if I was rebuilding an engine for the first time.
    Regarding OT. There is nothing that you would consider an actual OT level in the Church these days with the exception of “new” OT VIII which is currently being run on *Pre* OTs who have no experience with actual OT Phenomena since the original OT Levels are no longer part of the Grade Chart.
    One big fat tech degrade.
    To me this is similar to trying to make a Clear without putting in their lower grades.
    Back to my analogy of Motorcycle Repair. It’s like trying to rebuild and engine by missing certain steps.
    The engine usually doesn’t run though even it does it may blow up but in any event.
    Not exactly a product.

    • The original OT levels have been available outside corporate Scientology for over 30 years and, 30 years ago, plenty of highly trained (Independent) auditors had access to them, and to all of NOTs, etc.
      Where are the OTs, and by that I mean real OTs? Can all those people, from 30 years ago, be dismissed as out-tech, DBs, SPs, and/or squirrels?
      You have to admit that, compared to the advertised results that convinced so many young people to hand over their minds, money, and sometimes children, to Scientology for Hubbard Guidance, years ago, the actual results compared to the advertised results are a tad disappointing.

      • Actually I’ll plead the 5th and admit nothing.
        Though I’ll say that if the person didn’t achieve the “advertised result” then what are they doing attesting to it?
        Another thing when dealing with the mind. Results are *subjective*. Take Grade 0 for example *willingness to communicate…etc….
        Now take what are called “OT” abilities particularly those covered in the Original OT Levels which pretty much deal with improving exterior perception. Not Psychokinesis or spoon bending, precognition which is basically fortune telling, maybe to a small degree telepathy but not much.
        Also *gaining* an ability is not the same thing as using it or even practicing that ability.
        Like that old joke:
        “Doctor, doctor.when you heal my arthritis will I be able to play the piano?”
        “Of course!”
        “Thank you Doctor!
        “I’ve always wanted to play the piano.”
        But anyway.
        If you comb through the Stargate documents you’ll find that CIA and the IC in general were fairly impressed with what a group of OTs was capable of doing.
        So you can be skeptical if you want of all things paranormal or like these UFO skeptics who demand that one land on the White House lawn to prove their existence.
        That’s your choice BV.

      • Remoteviewed,
        It was no secret that the old (upper) OT levels were a disappointment. (And these levels were, essentially re-cycled Rosicrucianism, by the way.)
        In the late 1970s I had a conversation with a highly placed “tech terminal” at AOLA about that, and it was freely admitted by official Scientology at that time.
        David Mayo, the Senior C/S International, was giving talks explaining why the old (upper) OT levels were disappointing. NOTs was being sold as the big breakthrough that finally solved the problem, and would make it possible for people to reach actual OT.
        As to why do people attest, etc. It’s because people are usually excited when they finish a level, with “VGIs” and their meters “telling them” that they’re done. The disappointment, when the excitement recedes, usually appears a little later.
        Now, both NOTs and the old (upper) OT levels have been available, in the Independent Field, to thousands of people for over thirty years. No real OTs in sight.
        Changing the definition of OT is avoiding the issue.
        OK, big deal, so the old OT levels were disappointing. It’s not the end of the world.
        We’re alive and aware. That’s better than any “OT ability” anyway. In fact, it’s downright miraculous that consciousnesses exists at all. That’s the true miracle.

    • Regarding OT. There is nothing that you would consider an actual OT level in the Church these days with the exception of “new” OT VIII which is currently being run on *Pre* OTs who have no experience with actual OT Phenomena since the original OT Levels are no longer part of the Grade Chart.

      Hey RV … great post. 🙂

      I think I mentioned this before, but LRH himself took the original OT levels out of the current line-up … see: HCOB 12 Sept. 78R Dianetics Forbidden On Clears and OTs. Pierre Ethier recalls they were still being C/Sed on certain cases at the FSO well into the 90s. They may have been taken off the Grade Chart, but they weren’t cancelled tech. That being said, I venture to suggest they may well end up being released as OT IX & X in GAT’erized II format some point down the road by the CO$. In the meantime, anyone can do the original OT Levels after Solo NOTs, delivered among the Indies by at least a half dozen or so auditors.

      Just though I’d through in a couple of taxfree cents.

      • Thank you, Formost, for pointing out that LRH changed the upper Grade Chart. Clear was downgraded, and (what we believed to be) the route to OT became a lot longer and much more expensive. These were LRH’s decisions.
        The old (mostly handwritten) upper OT levels have been available outside corporate Scientology for over thirty years.

      • Formost,
        Yes I know there has been an ongoing debate of whether Ron removed the original OT or not.
        Me I can’t seem to find an HCOB or Policy that specifically said they were canceled. In fact an HCOB written in ’72 which is BPI and is still part of Solo Course still includes them.

      • BTW Dianetics Forbidden on Clears and OT didn’t cancel the OT Levels.
        It just meant that you couldn’t audit lower level Dianetics any longer on Clears and OTs.

      • Sheeplebane,
        Of course we know it must be Ron because no one else has done anything within the organization other than David Miscavige 😉

      • Begs the question who else tampered with the tech that we dont know about? Maybe its time to acknowledge other contributors good and evil. LRH and DM’s names are getting old when it comes to blame dispensing. Even Mayo is well known and spoken about. How bout that Galusha chap who invented Idenics. Apparently his method bypasses GPM running and undercuts it. Wow! Bold endeavour and statements, seems doubtfull but I havent tried it yet to judge.

      • RV: In fact an HCOB written in ’72 which is BPI and is still part of Solo Course still includes them.

        The removal of the original OT Levels from the grade chart line-up is covered in the above cited ’85R HCOB. Unless you can cite me the exact name of the ’72 HCOB I can’t comment on it beyond pointing out a later HCOB withdrew them.

        RV: BTW Dianetics Forbidden on Clears and OT didn’t cancel the OT Levels. It just meant that you couldn’t audit lower level Dianetics any longer on Clears and OTs.

        Excerpt from last paragraph & line of: HCOB 12 Sept. 78R Dianetics Forbidden On Clears and OTs:
        “Anyone who is Clear but not OT III is to get through OT III immediately so he can receive this special rundown. After OT III, one does New OT IV (the OT Drug Rundown), then New OT V, Audited NOTs, followed by New OT VI (Solo NOTs Auditor Course) and New OT VII (Solo NOTs Auditing).
        The EP of the full special NED Rundown for OTs is CAUSE OVER LIFE.”
        RV, I would most certainly welcome any new infos on any of this, but with what we have available, and with what has been substantiated, I cannot draw any other conclusion than that LRH just withdrew them … the reason??? … who knows. I have my own theories … maybe something better he’s got on the burner for us after OT VIII, if there is anything after OT VIII, or, perhaps he revised the original OT levels for release as OT IX and up. LRH had mentioned the original OT I to have been a dead-end, so who knows? Further, why would LRH inform lower-level cases via a BPI/Remimeo format what happened to the original OT levels and reasons why? It makes sense, no matter which way the deck is cut, to ‘exit-stage-left’ them quietly.

      • The HCOB on forbidding Dn’s on Clears and OTs still doesn’t *cancel* the original OT levels as they can be done after NOTs according to RJ 30 and even after “New OT VIII” according to the issue on the Non-Interference Zone Reissued and Reenforced.

  12. Joe this essay reminds me of something..perhaps a setting in ancient Greece amoungst fellow philosophers. Your words stir up desires and hopes of better understandings. Perhaps theta was once whole and omnipresent and began its division and individuation in an effort to evolve and learn with creativity. Maybe all the answers are preknown and all we have to do is reconnect with theta as source, our source and move beyond understanding itself? The only question is how Joe, how? Thus far for me after trying out magic mushrooms to transendental meditation and everything in between, scientology in its various forms has been the most workable by FAR! I know more now than ever before. I can observe real lasting change. This tells me my path is correct. My point is that we can have many, many philosophical conversations and debates over this but will it give me more than a solo session? Not sure it will, but I’m always open to your opinions. Thanks for making us think, look and feel Joe!

  13. Never had a God thing this life. I tried a couple of times but just couldn’t force myself to believe in something I had no evidence of and could not have any two way comm with.
    RV above said something similar to my experience when he spoke of repairing or building motorcyles. For me the analogy would be computer programming languages. It was was great until I saw it become ever more a religion that separated me from those parts of humanity that didn’t share the same practices. I came in seeking truth and found quite a bit. But I absolutely did not come to worship at the feet of anyone including LRH or DM.
    What I have lost to a degree is a game. Most ex-staff would probably say the same. But there can be other games.

  14. I haven’t read the whole article yet Joe, but what I have read so far I think is excellent.
    You have a very nice and smooth writing style and you are very wise. Thank you. 🙂

  15. Going over the replies to this post one thing in particular stands out for me. I am definitely not alone in what I refer to as my “chosen career” – an explorer of consciousness. The wording may not suit everyone but I think the idea resonates with many. I have been involved in this endeavor before I came into Scientology, “discovered” a lot while active and simply continued on when I walked away from the C of S.

    It should be self-evident that consideration and respect for other points of view is a valuable, if not vital, attribute when exploring consciousness. Actually it has been my experience that when in consciousness exploration mode I get energized every time I am able to assimilate a different and varying perspective. Yes, many rationalize, at an intellectual level, that it is a good thing to be open to other points of view, but to actually be enabled to assimilate, own and “experience” other perspectives is an entirely different thing.

    The real value of increasing one’s capability to see and consequently experience existence from different “angles” becomes obvious when it is realized that possibilities are infinite, which means viewpoints and related experiences are infinite, all of which are within reach. The only “obstacle” to accessing this cornucopia of experiences being the mind – mindset. Nonetheless, there is a very good reason why we have a particular sense of self and identity – a defined orientation – a specific mindset comprised of unique values, beliefs and assumptions.

    Without the filter provided by mindset – without our beliefs and values, our assumptions and “truths” – we are likely to become completely overwhelmed by the volume of possibilities available to consciousness

    We are often told to think out the box which is generally seen as good advice. Yet this isn’t possible. There is no such thing as an unprejudiced point of view or perspective. We may shift to a different box; a bigger or more comfortable box, but a box – mindset – a frame of reference of some kind can not be avoided.

    We rely on mindset – a box of some kind – to filter, contextualize, categorize, reject and/or channel the vast amount of information and feelings to which we are constantly exposed in this immense ocean of possibilities. In other words, mindset provides the orientation which makes it possible for us to focus and function, to make decisions and choices, in a domain of infinite potential.

    Imagine being given the choice to live anywhere in the world with an allowance that will ensure a very comfortable lifestyle. Let us assume you accepted the offer, and after going down a list of a thousand possibilities you made your decision. In narrowing down the list certain criteria will have been used in the process of elimination. Undoubtedly you will have had benchmarks which immediately eliminated most possibilities, leaving you with a few probabilities. Those left on the list will reflect your idea of an ideal place to live. In the end, your final choice of the ideal spot would not have been possible without a frame of reference to filter the vast number of choices at your disposal. Without the benchmarks, which constitute your mindset, you would simply have remained overwhelmed and unable to make the “best” choice. Without guidelines, under pressure and out of desperation, you may have closed your eyes and blindly placed your finger on the list, allowing for the possibility of winding-up with an igloo inside the Arctic Circle!

    In the absence of relevant benchmarks – values, beliefs and assumptions – the thousand possibilities you had to choose from amounted to more information than you could effectively process and evaluate. Not having the appropriate criteria for evaluation will invariable put you “out of touch”. This is where mindset comes in. It provides the criteria allowing you to make a choice. It provides the benchmarks, frame of reference, the setting, in which life can happen. Mindset provides the required orientation – the context – within which life can be sustained and have meaning – a basis for self-expression in a world of constant change. The more functional a mindset the more appropriate the criteria used to make choices.

    Here is the dilemma. On the one hand a particular viewpoint – mindset – keeps us in touch within the particular context of our life experience, but, if we wish to or need to expand that context – increase awareness and add to the “menu” of our life experience – it becomes necessary to look beyond the parameters of the prevailing mindset. And as most of us know, it isn’t always easy to walk away from our comfort zone.

    As an explorer of consciousness of many years I have made, what I believe to be, some significant discoveries. One in particular is relevant here. Consciousness is creation. Should we think we have reached the top of the metaphorical ladder to a wider perspective, consciousness as creation, will simply extend the ladder again and again and again. Obviously there is more to the nature of consciousness.

  16. Joe, You are the one we have been waiting for .I read your account of the work you did in scientology in the beginning of the SO with LRH and believe you have proved that you have the strength, ability and intelligence to create Scientology 2. You have the rare ability to put into words complex concepts that people can read and understand. Maybe a book would be a good start. Put al your thoughts down in writing and test the market to see what reaction you get . After reading your thought above I knew I was looking at the missing link….. the next step.
    Dont stop now, let it all hang out,give them what you’ve got hidden away there and then get it published. This I believe would start anew resurge of interest from the thousands of disenchanted scientologists out there who have no where to go and no hope for their future. I was in PES in Durban FND when I met you over 30 years ago.

    • Thank you for your kind words. As I said I see myself as an explorer of consciousness. Currently I am involved in a project which is book related that keeps me quite busy. I don’t like putting it this way but it seems the best way of saying it – for now I am quite happy to just “go with the flow” and see what tomorrow brings. As I see it, by continuing to share and exchange viewpoints with anyone interested in doing so should eventually culminate in a defined direction – a particular game – which will interest most ex-Scientologists as well as likeminded people.
      On the matter of sharing viewpoints, in particular I think the subject of OT can do with closer scrutiny from different perspectives at this time. It is an issue that, however it may seem, can do with greater clarity.

  17. There are certain factual errors and wild statements not based on any empirical evidence in regards to the placebo effect in this article. It reminds me of the anti vaccination hysteria promoted by various groups based on no real evidence whatsoever in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Whilst i don’t dispute that there are plenty of psychosomatic illnesses that truly respond to this effect and even auditing the vast majority of
    physical illness is actually happening in the body and the thetans ability to effect an improvement varies greatly depending on the disease. For the sake of this argument why don’t we pick a good one, cancer. We have all heard of various miracles incurred by people who have eaten wheatgrass and tofu off the breasts of a fair maiden and claimed to be cured. But what does science say when a large number of studies where a drug and a placebo have been given in a double blind trial have been studied? Great improvements in pain, weight gain, performance and appetite. But what about tumour response – 2%. This is little different from the rate of spontaneous remission found in people with no treatment. Then to argue that somehow this spontaneous remission is somehow the work of the mind is well vey thin, one could just as well argue that it is the body alone that is responsible for these remissions . And to even further ram home the point there are certain cancers that have a 100% fatality rate, there are no so called placebo effects, treatment or fair maidens that will save you. Therefore in the case of cancer to somehow claim that the placebo effect or auditing cures people is hogwash. To claim that the mind can improve the condition of the patient is vey true, its just unlikely to save you.

    • Reference to the placebo in the article was intended as an example of the mind’s influence,not as a determining factor in existence. In the end the determining factor in existence is consciousness, which is a much more relevant subject – a subject which certainly can not be covered in a short article. . . . .

      • The article implied that the mind had a great influence on structure, my argument was that it doesn’t or only in limited ways apart from actual psychosomatic illnesses. Success stories do not rate as actual evidence.

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