I think it all comes down to demonstrable results. Is the experience relevant to the conditions to which one thinks they apply? Such as you can imagine knocking off a hat at fifty paces, but can you do it in the real world?
And can you differentiate what is imagination and what is actuality?
BINGO! Simply, can one differentiate well between the realm of ones own IDEAS and the REALITY that those ideas relate and refer to.
In Scientology, Hubbard seems to have taken GREAT measures to confuse between these two - between some IDEA and the REALITY. First, Hubbard did this when trying to make the word and idea "Scientology" some "real thing", OTHER THAN just an abstract idea.
He constantly defines "Scientology" in some way, such as "knowing how to know", or as "Man's only hope". He often defines the word "Scientoloigist" in some way, such as "the being three feet behind scoiety's head". THAT is a vague analogy, that means what exactly? :confused2:
The FIRST major error one makes when dealing with this subject of Scientology is in accepting the ABSTRACT IDEA, "scientology", as if it means anything outside of the specific details of the subject, the organization, people, Hubbard's history, policies, etc. This is as true for the cirtics as it is for the believers.
Hubbard studied General Semantics, and he incorporated more than a little of it into his subjects of Dianetics and Scientology. He hides and masks that well. The Data Series comes directly from General Semantics. So do the notions of "absolutes don't exist", "gradient scales" and the notions of "differentiation", "identification" and "similarities".
But, Hubbard USED these ideas, being well aware of the difference between the realm of IDEAS and the realm of OBSERVABLE REALITY, to intentionally CONFUSE the two realms. I suggest that the critics stop what they first began doing when they were involved in Scientology - tear down these confusions between IDEA and REALITY that Hubbard instilled in your heads.