How do people believe even the advertised claims?

I saw good stuff happening

The reason I got into scientology is because I saw good stuff happening to people I knew. I had a brother in the Sea Org (he signed up for Sea Org in 1978 or so and he never said anything bad about CO$, and he wasn't crazy the few times I saw him -- seemed more sane in fact than some of my family outside Scn). My husband had migraine headaches that were cured -- I mean it, CURED -- by a single auditing session. My daughter was seriously depressed and some auditing really helped her. My husband had serious digestive problems until he did the purif, then he was healthy (w some other holistic medicine stuff too, admittedly). My husband quit smoking dope every day - flat out QUIT. My stepson got clean, completely off drugs of any kind. All because they were studying Scientology and using it in their lives. This is good stuff. Good stuff. What if that good stuff really could work for everybody?

Sure, I had seen the book Bare Faced Messiah - but had not read it. Lost interest. How could anything possibly be that big a con? That author must just have an axe to grind. I had heard of Lisa McPherson and read a little bit about it, too, and read the church's response - only fair to read their response, isn't it? They couldn't possibly ALL be lying, could they? And we are all big kids here, and we can figure things out for ourselves, can't we?? How could anything possibly be that big a con???

I also knew that when 99% of the human population believe one thing -- (for example, the earth is flat), the brave little 1% who believe some new thing (no -- the earth is Round and if we sail over here . . . etc. etc.) -- the brave little 1% may very probably be right. These paradigm shifts in belief have been observed over and over throughout human history. And will continue to be observed.

(Of course the brave new 1% could be completely nuts, but you don't know that 'til you study out the new paradigm and try it, do you?)

So Scientology is presenting itself as the new hope for mankind and presenting themselves as the brave little 1%. Okay, let's try it. And I had NOT gone to the internet to research Scientology in detail, and had no real reason to do that, given my family history. (Didn't hear about Xenu until I saw South Park. Whhhaaat?? Did those South Park guys make that shit up??!!?? They must have!! No wonder the guys at the org say the suppressives are out to get the Church of Sci! That is some nasty crazy story, that Xenu shit, to tell about My Church!!)

So I started going to the org, and being on course, mostly to be with my husband. I thought I'd try Scientology out too. I am always looking for the reason for life, how should we humans live, why is there evil in the world, why do I not have the self confidence I want to have, why do I sometimes feel so all alone, why does this lifelong nagging issue make me miserable, etc, etc. So I thought I'd try Scientology out too. I am the smart kid here, and I can figure things out for myself, can't I?? What could possibly go wrong?? Its just a church. Lots of people go to lots of churches.

Besides, how could anything that is so glossy and well presented, with this much structure and organization and glowing praise from so many people (look at it -- all the plaques and commendations from all the people and communities and mayors etc etc in What is Scientology? book) -- how could it possibly be a con?? Look at all the sincerity here on people's faces! Look at the weight of the paper in this glossy Impact magazine, at the high quality of this publication, at the packaging on these CDs! This is obviously the REAL THING! The Good Stuff!

And the people at the org are so NICE!! Wow are they NICE. These are good people -- no, these are GREAT people, and they really want to help! They are working for virtually NOTHING, just because they believe in something so strongly, and they are really nice! This is Good Stuff!!

And all the Division 6 stuff is really simple life skills stuff.. Communication. Fair Exchange. Make a graph. Use statistics to track your progress. Blah Blah Blah. Very organized study, clay demo-ing stuff til you really understand it. And the ethics - they want you to keep commitments, etc. This is a bad thing? No, its a good thing. Don't see bad stuff here.

And always the promise of go up the bridge, go up the bridge -- wow they made it seem like if you just go up this Bridge, you would be totally capable of handling anything!!! and all-powerful and rich !!! --and here are these very successful OT's in the local community and they were at all the events!! making big donations and were obviously very successful and happy with their happy families around them!!

How could this possibly be a con???

Now what the hell are these guys with masks doing in front of the building? What the hell are they afraid of that they have to wear masks? Everybody in here is really a nice person! What are they afraid of that they have to wear masks, and what do these signs mean about church of $$$ and Scientology breaks up families?? It's all just good families in here, having a party and playing loud music while those weird masked guys are outside with their signs.

Hmmm. What is going on here? The little oddities that you notice, the off observations and feelings that you note that you brush over, the Hey Wait -- what about. . .?? The course supervisor always responds with yet another reference to another book that RON wrote -- and you get caught up in more and more and more detail . . .and are nearly buried beneath a mountain of stuff that RON wrote and obviously he has an answer for everything and if you would just go up the Bridge and be on Course all the time you would become a Perfect Being. . . After all if you have ANY issue with what is taught, it is obviously only YOUR case, your past life problem, and certainly nothing is wrong with what RON did. Hmmmmm.

How very very gradual the introduction for a "public", for a WOG like myself. You learn very gradually not to question. You are indoctrinated very subtly. Everyone is so NICE. You write a success story! And there are nothing but success stories posted up on the wall!!! If you have a problem, or a question, it is only YOUR CASE. There is nothing wrong with the tech, only with YOU. You gradually realize that people are not discussing what is really going on in their lives -- that is only for "session". There is no analysis, no discussion, no opinion allowed in the course room, at the event, talking to the reg, etc, etc. Ron has all the answers. Any analysis, discussion, opinion only refers to some issue in YOUR CASE. RON has all the answers. Going up the bridge will solve ALL.

Several times I was told I was doing too much "Figure Figure". Not good to "Figure Figure" apparently. Not good to try to figure shit out. Wait a minute -- isn't that what Mr Hubbard was doing -- wasn't HE figuring shit out?
Like -- figuring out how to carry out the con of the century??

Had I not been so pressured for money I probably would still be in. That was the tipping point, the thing that made me say HEY. :angry: What is going on here?:angry: My graph of my net worth does not fit what RON says, in fact it is going the WRONG direction and these bastards are still breathing down my neck morning noon and night and "building ARC" relentlessly with me -- WHAT BULLSHIT -- "BEWARE a Scientologist bearing flowers. . . what they want is MONEY". . .I told the reg. . .

Then every odd little mismatch, all the inconsistencies fell into place with a giant CHA CHING. CHA CHING. And I started to investigate. Thank GOD for the INTERNET. And here I am.:happydance:

The initial good stuff that brings them in the door - that brought me in the door - is what any person goes into any religion for.

If you are selling a new paradigm of belief, (Marty? Hi, nice to meet you. . .) you had better make sure the goddamn thing hangs together, is useful and make sense under close examination. And I Mean CLOSE EXAMINATION, Darlin'. Wow, like, you know, like what if all religions are just a Con. . . . .??? Like if you're gonna do a religion, its at least gotta be useful, and do good stuff for people??? For all the people in it??? Just a thought.
 

FinallyMe

Silver Meritorious Patron
You will not want to define education only as book-learned education. Consider that college graduates (away from mom and dad's daily guidance?)have more life experience than high school seniors and are thereby more able to discern B.S. Books don't teach anything about B.S. as applied in life.
 

Voltaire's Child

Fool on the Hill
I think the point they're trying to make is that unlike the majority of other religions, Scientology makes claims that ARE testable. You can't test whether there's a heaven or a hell or even a soul, but you can test whether someone's IQ improves. Believing something that makes demonstrably false claims is harder than believing in something that makes wacky but untestable claims.

Some of its claims are somewhat testable- like the IQ thing. But some aren't.Most of Scn (as opposed to Dianetics) is about spirituality. A thetan- a body thetan- charge off the case-overt/motivator sequence- OT abilities- these concepts are as ephemeral as anything I ever saw as a Catholic Ball of Fluff (as I once was) ...
 

MafiaWog

Patron
Hi Mafia Wog,

I'm going to try to be brief, as I have to leave for work soon. I havent got time to read the other replies so I appologise if I'm repeating something someone else said.

I'm interprepting your question as "How do people get into Scn, when there's so much out there that says it's wrong?"
Cass

One could see it that way, but I was mainly talking about things one hears or sees which just seem questionable or just plain wrong. I can absolutely see how many would agree with Scn's stated humanitarian and spiritual goals (I mean the ones presented at the outset/ones which most would find to be laudable, not the more radical ones encountered later on), and I do believe that at the lower levels, certain courses and auditing probably do help quite a few people.

As much as they say it isn't, it has its roots in standard therapy and counseling.

But in spite of that, and I'm sure that when one wants to believe in its teachings and has first-hand positive results it is hard to ignore those results, how do brand new members ignore these various inconsistencies? Are they just not noticed at all to begin with? That doesn't even seem like a possibility to me.

Sorry if I'm turning into somewhat of a broken record; it would be "easier" to ask this question as it pertains to information revealed later on in one's training, but the effects of the environment and all are too great by that time, and it is quite likely that the person's way of thinking has changed significantly from when they first entered.

It would be wonderfully easy to say that low intelligence is a major factor, but from what I've read and seen and those I have conversed with, you get people seemingly across the board in this regard. Which does make one wonder about those in the Mensa range of intelligence; how would those deemed to be so smart even walk in the door? But that's for another time...

I guess it's a question of when one is faced with so many "FACTUAL"
claims which seem only to exist within the Scn system, how do people just ignore what may often be completely opposite claims to what they have learned from everywhere else? Of course there are many who wont be able to spot fallacies in areas they have no knowledge of, but everything else...?

Thanks again. I think this is about the best I can do in terms of blundering through my question, heh. Thanks again for your patience and participation : )
 

Student of Trinity

Silver Meritorious Patron
Thus stating your bias.

I think I've been as clear as it's reasonably possible to be, from my first post, about my view that believing in the paranormal powers of Scientology is getting sucked in by a scam. I don't think that's bias; there are cogent arguments for this view. Unless I've misread you badly, you yourself don't believe in the claims that Scientology confers paranormal powers. And believing in those incredible advertised claims is what this thread is about.

I admit to not being particularly impressed with Scientology in any form, but I've also tried many times to be clear that I don't mean to argue with anybody who finds its purely subjective and spiritual benefits more impressive than I do. I am really only interested in this 'soft' aspect of Scientology insofar as it supports the scam of 'hard' Scientology. I'm not saying that's all it does, just that that's all I care about.

This naturally means that I'm unlikely to say anything very positive about Scientology at any time, at least not without immediately turning around and casting it in a bad light. Nevertheless I don't think this is really bias. I think we pretty much all agree that there are a lot of bad parts in Scientology, at least in some of its forms. I happen to only be interested in those parts.

On the topic of education levels in Scientology: over on WWP there is a thread about Scientologists with doctorates. It seems as though there have been one or two Scientologist MDs, and possibly also a couple of PhDs, though this part doesn't seem as clear to me from the posts. Quite a number of DDS's and 'doctors' of Chiropractic, but those are not really academic degrees. This seems a rather low concentration for a 'science of mental health', but doesn't really say much about any general correlation between formal education and Scientology.
 
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SchwimmelPuckel

Genuine Meatball
I can well believe that very intelligent people could be sucked in. <snip>
Thus stating your bias.
Well, I have the same 'bias' then.. I can well believe that intelligent people can be sucked in.

What's biting you Terril? - This is unlike you.. I think..
And lack of knowledge of religious history...:melodramatic:
Ahh.. But this is not unlike you Claire.. But I fail to see what religious history has to do with the issue?

Scientology was 'created' in 1950! Not so long ago. It is a mordern plastic religion that is younger than Coca Cola.. The 'hype' was that it was a modern religion based on scientific methods and reasoning. Definitly not belief! - In fact, when I got 'sucked in' it wasn't a 'religion' at all. It was a new and 'groundbreaking' mental therapy. There was a PR campaign going to make it seem a 'religion' for the purposes of legal protection and circumnavigating medical regulations.. To avoid being liable for Quackery actually..

So, I have some 'tolerance' for whacky unsubstantiable ideas in old religions.. But no such tolerance for Scientology. I expected that 'religion' to do better than that. They claimed so after all!

:yes:
 

Voltaire's Child

Fool on the Hill
What religious history has to do with the issue:

The op indicates that it's somehow noteworthy and/or strange/irregular that people would fall for the claims in Scn. Yes, we all know those claims are wild. But the op as written also implies that this is just this weird unique phenom...it's not. The world is full of people who believe claims just as over the top, wowie-zowie, extravagant, wild, etc in their religions and it's been that way for millennia. Modern times, electricity, the internet, the Industrial Revolution, the media- none of these things have changed that. There's truly nothing new under the sun.

People who believe in Scn's claims are no different than people who've done similar for thousands of years and are doing so today who aren't and never were Scn'ists.

So making it seem odd and gee, what kind of people are they- well, I got news for ya. A large percentage of the entire world is/are those kind of people. Right now.

Personally, I think quite a few of you could do with a review of religious history. You'd see the power plays, the odd beliefs, the heresies, the cultic thingies, the good, the bad, the ugly, the inbetween, the theocracies- long before Scn ever existed. Hubbard wanted Scn to not repeat the mistakes of the past and he failed UTTERLY. Scn is a microcosm of every cult and major religion's fuckups that ever existed.
 

fisherman

Patron with Honors
"Intelligence" is rather difficult to quantify. I was once involved in a group experiment with some high powered people that clearly demonstrated proved that I.Q. didn't enhance our probability for survival very much. Effectively pooling, disseminating, and applying the group's collective knowledge was the key.

What we learned, is that: when your plane goes down in the Australian "outback" the "mensa" superstar, raised in Manhattan, and sitting in seat 3b, may not be much use. But if the group is able to "tap" his knowledge (along with the aborigine on-board AND everyone else) the statistical chance of survival rises rather dramatically.

There's nothing here that isn't obvious, but it's pretty interesting to experience it firsthand. (My group perished, in case anyone's interested)

About PhD's and other degrees in Scientology, may I suggest this? Anything above an undergraduate degree is really job training. You're learning to BE a historian, biologist, botanist, on your way to pre-med, whatever. Many pedigree schools don't even offer a Master's degree in some areas, because they only want to train PhD's who will practice in the particular field.

My point is, anyone in a graduate degree program has got a rather narrow focus. And 99% of their time is devoted to it. They're not likely to be too attracted to Scientology.

It also occurs to me that even at undergraduate level, a majority of student's have probably "tracked" themselves into some kind of "identity". "Harvard scholar," "University of Michigan football booster," "Quiet poet at Gettysburg College," "Radical Artist at Rhode Island School of Design" -- whatever it might be, "the schtick has already stuck". At that point it's possibly too late to be impressed by the shiny Sea Org suit.

In short, I don't think intelligence and education necessarily go "hand in hand". I suspect there are many reasons beyond "I.Q." that contribute to the paucity of degrees in scientology. It's probably just the wrong demographic.

fisherman
 
One could see it that way, but I was mainly talking about things one hears or sees which just seem questionable or just plain wrong.

When you go down to the corner store to buy an icecream, do you ask for the nutritional information of that icecream so you can compare it with the nutritional information of other icecreams before you buy them?

No. You just eat the icecream and if it taste like shit then you don't go back to that icecream store.

from what I have seen or heard, people mostly get into scn because other religions didn't work for them or they had friends or family that seemed happy in scn. They're looking for something to self improve etc, and scientology says they have it. they show you through stress tests, personality tests, showing you the e-meter and quite often through dianetics. these are all things that have been done else where, but just work. so you think hey, this scn thing might be on to something and you keep having a little bit more of it.

and like someone said before, it's a little bit of indoctrination here and there, they litteraly train you not to question.
 

Student of Trinity

Silver Meritorious Patron
Corruption and power grabbing are a feature of all of history, not just religious history.

And what religions other than Scientology have ever promised routine access to paranormal powers? Miracle stories about a few very special people, or the general belief that miracles are possible in principle, are not the same as the claim to provide a standard sequence of processes that will give anyone consistent miraculous powers.
 

Voltaire's Child

Fool on the Hill
Corruption and power grabbing are a feature of all of history, not just religious history.

And what religions other than Scientology have ever promised routine access to paranormal powers? Miracle stories about a few very special people, or the general belief that miracles are possible in principle, are not the same as the claim to provide a standard sequence of processes that will give anyone consistent miraculous powers.

Are you kidding me? Have you read nothing about Buddhism, Catholicism and Hinduism?
 

SchwimmelPuckel

Genuine Meatball
Are you kidding me? Have you read nothing about Buddhism, Catholicism and Hinduism?
Care to explain?

Buddhism: - As far as I know, has a 'promise' to become at peace and some exalted spiritual state. (Which Hubbard claimed was clear, but he didn't ask any buddhists..) - No claims of supernatural powers outside ones own mind.

Catholisim: - No promise of ESP that I know of.

Hinduism: - Reincarnation.. As a way to maintain a segment of the population as lowly slaves. Else nothing supernatural.

Anyway, I'm still 'tolerant' of outlandish claims in these very old religions.

Not so with Scientology, which is a modern 'technology', and as such has a responsibility to be more sane and sensible.

:yes:
 

Student of Trinity

Silver Meritorious Patron
I have not in fact read all that much about Catholicism, Buddhism, or Hinduism. The Bhagavad Gita and a few Upanishads, and only in translation. The Bible, an old catechism or two, some Aquinas, some Augustine, a little Kung, a bunch of Thomas Merton. Really only a few brief introductions to Buddhism, but those gave me the strong impression that Buddhism makes very little in the way of paranormal claims. I'm more up on Islam, if that helps. I think it's fair to say that Islam considers the ordinary course of nature to be the will of God, and while God might do anything, Islam is about submitting to God, not expecting miracles.

So, humor me in my relative ignorance. What are all these promises that everyone can get superpowers in major religions?
 
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Voltaire's Child

Fool on the Hill
The Lives of the Saints are full of such things. Also the prophets were said to be able to do amazing things. Yes, in Xtianity and Judaism, as in Islam, it's said to come from God originally, but those abilities were (allegedly) bestowed upon ppl.

Shamanism, too. Psychics? Same damn thing.

There are many many stories in Buddhist literature, modern and ancient, about lamas and other holy men would could do extraordinary things. Hinduism, also. Where do you think Hubbard got a lot of his ideas (and methods, and theories) FROM??

Scn is just one more johnny-come-lately in that regard. And there are billions of people TODAY who believe such things are possible and that there are people who can do those things.
 

MafiaWog

Patron
What religious history has to do with the issue:

The op indicates that it's somehow noteworthy and/or strange/irregular that people would fall for the claims in Scn. Yes, we all know those claims are wild. But the op as written also implies that this is just this weird unique phenom...it's not. The world is full of people who believe claims just as over the top, wowie-zowie, extravagant, wild, etc in their religions and it's been that way for millennia. Modern times, electricity, the internet, the Industrial Revolution, the media- none of these things have changed that. There's truly nothing new under the sun.

People who believe in Scn's claims are no different than people who've done similar for thousands of years and are doing so today who aren't and never were Scn'ists.

So making it seem odd and gee, what kind of people are they- well, I got news for ya. A large percentage of the entire world is/are those kind of people. Right now.

Personally, I think quite a few of you could do with a review of religious history. You'd see the power plays, the odd beliefs, the heresies, the cultic thingies, the good, the bad, the ugly, the inbetween, the theocracies- long before Scn ever existed. Hubbard wanted Scn to not repeat the mistakes of the past and he failed UTTERLY. Scn is a microcosm of every cult and major religion's fuckups that ever existed.

Hmmmm...well, I wont get into other religions or faith as a whole, my point was that, as thou stated, Hubbard said these are facts, not faith. Yea, many believe in some pretty ... curious things, even ones made in the name of science. But reeling it back into context here, when one is told "this is scientific, it is a fact" and is then presented with claims that are not demonstrated or have some curious leaps of logic involved, it's the dismissing of those thoughts which piques my interest.

Over time, one Issac so used to dismissing internal and external objections that it's second nature...But if something is said to be a science, not based on faith, it just seems it would be that much harder to keep up the charade.

Ah well. Perhaps there is no answer. I'm factoring out social pressures, not wanting to seem rude to those so helpful, etc.
 

Student of Trinity

Silver Meritorious Patron
Saints and great lamas, sure. Catholicism and Buddhism don't promise everyone will become a saint or a boddhisattva. And even the legends about the saints and enlightened teachers attribute a handful of miracles to them in the courses of their lives, not stable superpowers they can use at will. Scientology really is an outlier in this respect.
 

xseaorguk

Patron Meritorious
Children and the Cult

Typing on my cellphone, I apologize for typos. Second, if somehow I upset or insult anyone, it was not my intention to do so. Alright...

Nowadays, the internet plus somewhat mainstream media coverage, including news and shows like South Park, would pretty much supply most people with information on Scn, even if they had never heard of it. And let's suppose someone encounters an org first, there's plenty of readily accessible information to be had.

I know this was not always the case, back when libraries were about the most flexible source of information people had access to.
I have never been in Scn or any related groups, have been researching it and coercive groups for 6 years or so, and actually have had first-hand experience with sleep deprivation and its effects on decision making... That proved to be an interesting incident at work... but anyway...

But even before the psychological tricks start coming into play, and assuming a person honestly doesn't know anything about Scn except what they're told by a current member/reg, I still have trouble understanding how people believe some, if not many, of Scn's claims.

I am assuming upon first arrival, the hard sell isn't quite as extreme, for that would freak people out (it eventually did with me...not a member but I've been to big blue and spoken with members, etc). So overwhelming people probably isn't employed at this point...or is it?

I guess I'm wondering how,given a moderately relaxed atmosphere where someone asks what Scn is all about, how does one's basic critical thinking get circumvented? Being polite, keeping your concerns and seemingly apparent contradictions to oneself, leaving quietly after would be no big surprise. But to come back, after having had time to research or ask others their thoughts...? Why leave thinking it's bunk only to come back unless it's to clarify and discuss concerns? How would anyone come back, genuinely interested?

Basic stuff: I get a copy of Dianetics. Maybe I have some periphery awareness of it from TV... Assuming I could plow through it in all its turgid splendor, how do people not wonder, if it can do all it says it can, why isn't it more well-known and in use?

How do women ignore the claims that most of them have attempted abortions numerous times when...well, they haven't? How do these things not make one question the claims being set forth? Heck, a lot of claims in DMSMH are radical ones, easily tested and proven.

The claim that it is a science, yet there is little written about it outside of Scn? The way the e-meter supposedly functions; do people really believe that thoughts hold enough mass to affect the machine?

I'm ignoring some of the more..."advanced"(?) inconsistencies and conflicts, ones which may require even an intuitional understanding of the scientific process, logical fallacies, etc. It just seems that with so many blatant claims and assertions, people would be more suspicious of those claims just via basic curiosity and logic.

I'm sure the "medical profession and the psychs are keeping info about Diabetics hidden so they can make money" argument gets thrown around, but I mean come on...usually you want to keep your conspiracy theories under wraps till a few weeks in, ya? If there's anything that's gonna tip me off, it's conspiracy claims...

Sorry if this is a bit long and rambling, slept very poorly, couldn't really get my question out with more eloquence...

Is the seeming promise of a more fun and free life enough to make one ignore such glaring inconsistencies? If that's the case... I still just don't understand how people don't see red flags super early on. Insight?
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Any normal kid nowadays can't even go a few hours withour checking their mobile phone, texts from friends and emails, so what chance does the cult have in getting 'wog' kids in?
None at all in my opinion...
Only chance are already indoctrinated kids from $cn families, so eventually they are going to be breeding amongst themselvles (if not already) and thats gonna be reaL CREEPY, just imagine little Miscaviges with two heads at Goldbase
 
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