IN TELLING THE STORY OF SCIENTOLOGY
TRUTH IS A VARIABLE, PERCEPTION IS EVERYTHING
Perhaps at this juncture in the unfolding saga of Scientology it will be useful to pause for a moment, stand back and view developments from a different angle – a wider perspective – so to speak.
Whatever one’s position – in, out, in-between or never in – two issues seem to be at the heart of the matter; freedom and truth. Some out or never in will tell you that the C of S undermines individual freedom. Those still in will argue that without Scientology there can be no freedom – the Scientology Bridge is the only way to real freedom. As for the truth, just about everyone with a point of view on the matter will believe that the way they see it is the way it is.
The thing about both freedom and truth is that both are contextual, both have meaning, relevance and value only within the context defined in terms of the prevailing mindset. Neither is a constant. By changing the context within which freedom and truth are defined the notion of what is freedom and what is truth also changes. For instance, to most out of the C of S it is probably obvious that there can be no real freedom without the freedom of choice. On the other hand, within the context of how C of S management operates freedom of choice is seen as potential “counter intention”.
Any claim to “THE TRUTH” coincides with awareness being confined to a closed system – a context that recognizes only what’s “within” and excludes all “without”. Beyond context there is no such thing as the truth, there is only creation. The only truth we live by, experience and respond to is the truth determined by how we see our world, which in turn is the interpretation – a creation – of the mind (mindset).
“It all depends on how we look at things, and not on how they are themselves”. Carl Jung.
A study of human perspective can be found by Google’ing “Confirmation Bias”. It is pointed out that not even the most meticulous scientific approach can escape the inherent bias of the human mind. This is reflected in the words of two founders of the “New Science”
“What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning”. Werner Heisenberg.
“Physical concepts are free creations of the human mind, and are not, however it may seem, uniquely determined by the external world”. Albert Einstein.
When it really comes down to it, our need or desire to know is more about orientation than about finding “the truth”. The function of the mind and mindset in particular is to facilitate orientation in and ever changing world. Whatever information enters the mind is filtered in accordance with how the mind is set. And that is how we arrive at our truths – truths; the purpose of which is to provide a reality within which we can have a sense of self, focus, function and create.
Some will argue that there are irrefutable truths beyond the limitations of any particular context (mindset) – the laws of nature for instance. Here is the thing; the laws of nature only have meaning, relevance and value (truth) within the context of time – a context defined in terms of a past, present and future. However, time is not a constant as is increasingly confirmed by science, not to mention the observations and experiences of philosophers and many inquiring minds throughout the ages.
By changing how time is perceived and experienced we change the context within which the laws of nature are real. For instance, seeing time as an infinite now within which all possibilities are contained side by side – where there is no past, present and future – where no reality is designated to precede or follow another – where there is no predetermined sequence of events – no beginnings and endings – no cause and effect; the reality of nature’s laws, as we know it, become meaningless. Defined time – consecutive moments – is the result of the infinite now having collapsed into past, present and future on which depends our sense of self – a particular cycle of life – a beginning and an end.
The appearance of the primal spark of existence out of no-when and no-where – out of the infinite now – is not a once-off cosmic event; it is an ongoing “occurrence”. Existence is constantly created newly from one moment to the next, which amounts to the constant creation of new truths. The reality (truth) currently being experienced is one of an infinite number of possibilities, existing side by side within the infinite now. Reality is a possibility that has been energized, turned into a probability and then transformed into reality.
Nothing is as it seems. There is much going on around us we don’t see. The physical eye, for instance, is incapable of identifying certain phenomena of the physical world. As for the “mind’s eye”, it can see far more but is kept in check by a mindset; the priority of which is orientation. Consequently, unless information received concurs with the prevailing mindset it is altered or simply blocked out.
In the final analysis it’s not a case of “the truth shall set you free” but a case of; a functional mindset will keep you “in touch” in an ever changing world. Since a key factor of staying on top in the game of life is the extent to which we are “in touch”, the question is; how in touch – in present time – are the various points of view related to the Scientology saga? As I see it, some of the many viewpoints of those “out” are more in touch than others. As far as the perspective of those still in the C of S is concerned (management in particular), I believe they are seriously out of present time – out of touch with the world they profess to be saving. In short; the prevailing C of S mindset is dysfunctional.
THE SCIENTOLOGY SAGA FROM A BIRDS EYE VIEW
The idea behind the Scientology Bridge corresponds in some ways with the natural human inclination to rise to a wider perspective – to reach higher levels of awareness. From the instant consciousness (theta) assumes an oriented “location” in terms of time space, meaning, relevance and value, which coincides with the moment of conception, it begins a climb up a metaphorical ladder to a wider perspective of existence
Consciousness develops through various stages up the ladder, for instance, from embryo, adolescent to adult and so on. Each rung up the ladder (each stage in our lives) is experienced as a different reality defined in terms of its own particular truths. Should consciousness fail to let go of truths no longer relevant (rungs that have served their purpose) and not reach for new truths (the next rung up) it ceases to progress toward a wider perspective. The most significant consequence of which is; physical, intellectual, emotional and/or spiritual stagnation – an inability to experience higher levels of awareness.
Whatever the current attitude of anyone who has ever been involved in Scientology, it seems reasonable to assume that when they first made contact with the subject they must have seen an opportunity to become more than they are. Regardless of whether they abandoned the bridge of Scientology at some point or not, at least the lower end of the bridge served to raise them a rung or more up the metaphorical ladder to a wider perspective. In most cases I would say, Scientology changed the way they looked at and saw the world.
That it was Scientology that served to facilitate a shift in the individual’s worldview is not as significant as the fact that a shift occurred. It can not be ruled out that he or she may have found a different teaching or philosophy amongst many others suited to their progress up the metaphorical ladder to a wider perspective. The point is; they picked Scientology as the medium through which to “grow”.
The consequences of disowning the truths – the rungs – that initially facilitated a shift in perspective are debatable. (There is a difference between letting go of a truth and disowning it – the former tends to be proactive and the latter reactive). Nonetheless, in some cases, denial of what was once a truth relied on for orientation can amount to throwing out the baby with the bathwater, as they say. Significant insights can go down the drain by “forgetting” how one arrived at one’s current position on the ladder – insights that may be of value when moving on.
It is not improbable that in terms of typical human physical, intellectual, emotional and/or spiritual endeavors up the ladder the individual or group will, at some point, come up against a ceiling – a block to further vertical progress. On those occasions when a break through seems impossible a common solution is to then go for “horizontal progress”, which amounts to holding on to the same truths but “packaged” differently with new labels. In this “sideways” alternative we find the reason why humanity is unable to break the cycle of perpetual war and other seemingly irresolvable issues. It’s a case of doing the same things over and over and expecting different results.
It would appear that this is where the C of S has been at for some time now. The crop of church OT’s going up the bridge have hit that ceiling and the tech guys in the church don’t have a clue how to break through. Actually the C of S hasn’t come close to producing anything like an OT as described in Scientology materials. So what do they do? They go sideways and around in circles, revamping the basics and other procedures hoping for a different outcome.
Coming up against that ceiling is not an uncommon experience when in pursuit of happiness, success or love. And as is self evident, many breakthroughs are made. But what about the quest for truly higher states of consciousness, a state of significant mastery over one’s destiny – a state of awareness beyond typical human orientation? Is that possible? Personally I believe it is. Whether anyone has made a complete breakthrough in this regard I can’t say. But this I do know, there are people, some more than others, who have had a glimpse of what lay beyond the ceiling.
On the point of what is probably the most inhibitive factor in advancing beyond the ceiling, blocking the advance to higher levels of consciousness, there seems to be consensus amongst thousands of “explorers” around the world and throughout history. The ceiling is actually a state of mind. Long story short; any breakthrough anyone has ever made in a particular sphere of activity was preceded by a shift in mindset. A shift in mindset coincides with a shift in our sense of self. In other words, becoming progressively more aware depends on the ability to periodically let go of our sense of self – to let go of a truth (a rung) – that is no longer relevant. Isn’t this after all what an auditor is supposed to bring about when addressing valences, stuck points on the time-track, “inappropriate” viewpoints etc?
With regard to the C of S’s inability to move beyond that ceiling; instead of “liberating” the individual from a fixed sense of self, identity, me, I, ego, the bridge has become a measure of status, thereby doing the opposite. Metaphorically speaking; the C of S’s bridge has become a process of freezing H2O (theta), turning steam (free theta) into ice (solid theta). In glorifying the self the individual believes he is, and thereby fixing him within a context – an orientation – determined by C of S doctrine, we truly have a prison of belief.
Amongst the many reasons put forward for the beginning of the end for the C of S I back the notion that it began at the point when the individual’s innate nature of creation began to be significantly by-passed by C of S doctrine. Initially, reaching for the work of LRH included freedom of choice – the data was owned and we weren’t required to compromise our soul in its application. With time we allowed our freedom of choice to be replaced by an “other determinism” – church doctrine.
It is my opinion that some people, not all by any means, who call for Miscavige’s blood are pissed off because they allowed themselves to compromise their “soul” and be humiliated. Particularly, since it was at the hands of a twit like DM.
It may be hard to believe that there was a time on staff and in the SO when the spirit of play was often more prevalent than the burden of saving the planet – when people had a sense that they were involved in an adventure and not in a do or die struggle for survival. This was before individual freedom of choice along with real ownership of the material and personal creation were labeled as suppressive tendencies.
Personally, I wouldn’t change my years on staff and as an SO member for anything. As for my relationship with LRH; it was an extraordinary education to say the least. The word robust comes to mind. Being in close proximity to the old man for long periods of time, as was the case when captain of the flagship, required certain attitudinal adjustments. Such as; don’t take things too seriously, which I never did in spite of being fired several times as captain. I should add; it was never long before I was reinstated.
On one occasion after having been fired and put in a low condition by LRH, I decided to make full use of my luck. Being relieved of my duties as captain I could now spend some evenings with my buddies in the bosun’s cabin drinking beer and getting acquainted with some of the latest female recruits from LA. But what about the master at arms, did he not make sure I complied with the harsh conditions of my condition? Suffice it to say, he tried but failed miserably.
On this occasion LRH lost his patience with me ambling my way up the conditions. Everyday he sent a messenger to “product officer” me through the conditions. When I finally reached emergency I was told “the commodore wants to see you”. As I entered his office he said “your holiday is over” and reinstated me as captain.
The SO experience was never and still isn’t the same from one person to the next. Those who did not lose sight of the game being played – those who remained in touch with their own sense of value and worth – the experience turned out to be more of an adventure than a grim duty. I doubt if anyone in the SO today will think of their involvement in terms of an adventure.
Why was my time in the SO more fun than pain, more laughter than grief, experienced more as freedom than a trap? Was it because I was lucky, because of divine intervention, a guardian angel or because I had friends in high places? I have a suspicion that it was at least partly due to me not compromising my personal integrity to a point I would not easily be able to live with myself, which in a way amounted to not taking things too seriously.
For instance, when ordered by LRH to comm-ev my entire crew I refused. On more than one occasion I intervened to correct the old man’s navigational decisions at the risk of having my head bitten off or worse. For instance, we were approaching Tunis in Tunisia; visibility was limited by an eerie haze. On the bridge was LRH who had the con and several other officers. I had been fired as captain the day before, so took up position outside on the bridge wing.
Now, the entrance to Tunis is through a channel demarcated by two rows of buoys. Go outside the buoys and the ship runs aground. So here I am peering out into nowhere when I notice that we are actually outside the channel. I go up to the officer of the watch and tell him he had better inform the commodore to change course. Well, the officer went pale – imagine telling LRH he was wrong, Anyway he wouldn’t do it so I walked up to LRH and said, “excuse me sir but we are entering Tunis on a wrong course” His response was a loud “WHAT” in my face followed immediately by dashing into the chart room to check the course and order a change. As expected, I was reinstated as captain the next day.
Ex- Scientologists are often asked; if it was so bad in, why didn’t you just leave? As reflected in the answers by those questioned, it was never that simple or easy. Nonetheless, there are many who just up and left when they had had enough. In my case, when last on the Apollo, I decided the game was no longer what I had originally signed up for; the adventure had become a somber crusade. Even though I had just completed a project for LRH compiling all the internships up to class 12 auditor, with which he was very pleased, I made it clear I was going back to South Africa. In spite of the pressure on me to stay I left.
(See note below from LRH handed to me as I walked down the gangplank for the last time). .
Yes, the old man could be a real SOB at times, but the idea that he gave nothing of value to the world is ludicrous. As I see it, the image one has of LRH is one of perception – an image shaped by the prevailing mindset. The truth of who LRH actually was is a variable, and considering the scope of the old man’s activities, we are looking at a diverse range of truths. Anyway, this is pretty much the case with most of our assumptions about other people.
As for the philosophy and technology of L Ron Hubbard, even the most outspoken critics of Scientology who were once in and actually applied the technology, are hesitant to condemn its workability outright. Regardless of what one thinks of the upper OT levels, the value of some procedures at the lower end of the bridge are easily confirmed Take one of the simplest procedures, like hand squeezes for instance, of which I have done plenty. Whether it was applied to a passed-out drunk, someone having an epileptic fit or someone knocked out, invariably in less than a minute they “returned” opened their eyes staring at me. Getting someone out of a deep depression or heavy grief takes longer, but it works. Yet, simple as it may seem, the procedure is unlikely to be effective unless the one applying it has had some auditor training. The procedure only works to the degree that the practitioner’s TR’s are in – thank you to the genius of LRH. So, my suggestion to those who are out and have totally written off the years they have been involved; don’t through the baby out with the bathwater.
People who outright condemn Scientology without ever having experienced it and Scientologists in general, in or out, have something in common. Both sides believe they have “the truth”. Personally I believe many critics will be surprised at what they find should they take a closer look at the subject.
Moreover, it has been my experience for quite some time that there are truths beyond the truths of Scientology and that many Scientologists will be surprised at what they find should they care to look.
They may find the shift in perspective required to break through the ceiling they are currently up against.
Joe van Staden.