Research and Questions

Hello,
I'm writing a second paper on Scientology for an anthropology class. I was wondering if some of you might be able to answer a couple of questions for me. Any help is vastly appreciated!

1. How do language and speech patterns influence one's status? I.e- in what way would a high ranking member of the Church's speech differ from a low ranking member?

2. How do people assert their superior ranking over lower members?

3. Are there any commonly used metaphors or analogies used within the Church that might be foreign to a non-member?

4. In what ways do the roles of men and women differ within the Church? What is socially acceptable for men to do, but not women? (And vice versa.)


5. What specific social categories are there between the elite and non-elite?

6. What sort of symbolic capital exists? Symbolic capital being economoic capital that is converted to social value.. i.e- wealth creating social importance.

Thank you!!!!!!!!!
 

gomorrhan

Gold Meritorious Patron
"1. How do language and speech patterns influence one's status? I.e- in what way would a high ranking member of the Church's speech differ from a low ranking member?"

They are more likely to use scientologese than others. My exposure to "high-ranking" Churchies was limited, but what I remember was mostly that they used jargon more than others. What they talked about was different than people who had more exposure to the outside world, almost entirely dominated by whatever project they were working on in the Church, with little or no awareness of current events outside of scientology.

"2. How do people assert their superior ranking over lower members?"

There is a clear chain of command in the Church. Failure to follow orders from your superior would result in being sent to their ethics department for 'correction', and would be enforced through limited pay, or refusal of the other services (auditing and training in scientology) that are given in lieu of real pay in the first place.

"3. Are there any commonly used metaphors or analogies used within the Church that might be foreign to a non-member?"

Not really. There is a lot of jargon for concepts and ideas, but they aren't considered metaphor by scientologists. The most common analogy is treating the mind as a computer, but I don't think this is actually foreign to garden-variety humans.

"4. In what ways do the roles of men and women differ within the Church? What is socially acceptable for men to do, but not women? (And vice versa.)"

I don't think there are actually any big differences in terms of staff opportunities, although it struck me quite frequently that mid-level management was mostly women, and upper level management was mostly men. Auditors seem to have been mostly men, but there are many women who are auditors, as well, although in the organization I worked in, there were NO female auditors working there. This was the Boston Org, 1990. Outside of staff, women and men's roles are seen by traditional 1950 standards (Hubbard's idea of them, anyway), as defined in the book: "The Second Dynamic", which is composed of Hubbard references from various writings. Essentially, women are considered to be mothers, homemakers, and caregivers, whereas men are considered providers in these writings.

"5. What specific social categories are there between the elite and non-elite?"

There are five types of status a person can have in the scientology world.

A. How much money you get into the organization.

B. How many people you influence to join scientology (Celebrities are considered incredibly high status, because of their ability to reach large groups of people, and because many people who worship celebrities may operate on their 'say-so' concerning how to have a better life)

C. Your rank within the Church heirarchy (Public scientologists other than Celebrities are basically considered slackers by many staffers, because they lack the commitment to really 'get onboard' as staff).

D. Your case state, meaning how far you have traveled along Hubbard's 'Bridge', the processing side of the Bridge to Total Freedom (defined by what grade or OT Level you have completed [Grades 0-IV, Clear, OT I-VIII].

E. Your technical training level, which is meant as a gauge to what services you can offer to fellow parishioners. This is demarked by Class 0-XII.

You could put these in different orders, but this is pretty much the valuation placed by the organization on it's membership, staff and public.

"6. What sort of symbolic capital exists? Symbolic capital being economoic capital that is converted to social value.. i.e- wealth creating social importance."

Case state, as defined above, is actually measured pretty well by how much you can afford to spend on auditing, and/or your amount of time invested as a staff member. Thus, having invested money or time as a staff member converts to case state often, but not always. It is often cited that it costs 300,000 dollars to get through OT VIII, for example. Training level is similar, but not as expensive (although possibly equally time-intensive to acquire).

Another symbolic capital type would be their various levels of Patron Status. You might want to google International Association of Scientologists. While this can be valuable within the organization, in terms of greasing the wheels, it doesn't much matter to individual scientologists, usually. What mattered to me, and to the others I associated with, was your training level and case state. That was what merited respect (primarily training level, less so case state), whereas organizational rank merited deference. As in, I respected our Qual Secretary, who was the most highly trained auditor at our organization, but I had to DEFER to the executive in my department, the Treasury Secretary, and he had to defer to ... etc., etc. We had to be NICE to people who gave the organization money, but they neither received my respect or my deference.
 

alex

Gold Meritorious Patron
Hello,
I'm writing a second paper on Scientology for an anthropology class.

snip


We are not rats to be studied by indifferent researchers, we are living people who desire to live in dignity.

How dare you study us and dissect our customs and culture as if we were ingnorant savages living in the jungles?

How can you hold us at arms length like a specimen and still consider yourself human?

Have you elected yourself God to attempt to figure us out and intellectually deny us the possibility of free will?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DL2nEDCe0Hw



(Just funning with you, please post your finished paper, it would be fun to see how you see us)

Kevin has some good answers.

alex
 
Last edited:

Roland ami

Patron with Honors
Survey

It's fine to ask such questions. The more information there is in the normal world about Scn the better.

1. How do language and speech patterns influence one's status? I.e- in what way would a high ranking member of the Church's speech differ from a low ranking member?
Both the increased use of jargon, and also a certain forcefullness, or even callousness. It is not uncommon (or wasn't in my day anyway) to hear execs literally screaming at their juniors. Otherwise a simple mention of one's auditor and case level does the trick. At Flag, the OTs wore a security access card around their beck, and this was certainly a status symbol.

2. How do people assert their superior ranking over lower members?
There isn't that much purely social interaction. Most of one's interaction is either in the PC waiting room, or else on course. In the former, there is respect for the higher level PC's - "I'm on NOTs, how about you?"; in the latter it is apparent who is more trained by the greater competence and self assurance that goes with being an auditor.

The latter is NOT illusory. Auditors really do have abilities most people simply don't. They can't turn water into wine, but they can rapidly sort out why something is confusing or doesn't make sense. Their status is not purely social, it is real.


3. Are there any commonly used metaphors or analogies used within the Church that might be foreign to a non-member?
Hah! There is practically a whole new language to learn! Also, there are certain LRH catch phrases that are commonly used, such as a "hill ten" (an essential target to make), or or a WOG or Raw Meat (both meaning non-Scientologists).

4. In what ways do the roles of men and women differ within the Church? What is socially acceptable for men to do, but not women? (And vice versa.)
Ther is absolutely no sexual discrimination within the church. Women can take any role a man can, and vice versa. In this respect LRH was ahead of his time. This doesn't mean that sexual harrassment didn't happen, but it was thoroughly frowned upon and regarded as unnacceptable - indeed any kind of sexual behaviour was unnacceptable, after about 1970.


5. What specific social categories are there between the elite and non-elite?
It isn't a social distinction. People have status according to their case level (the place on their auditing grade they've achieved), and their training level, and also according to their rank if they are in the Sea Org or otherwise on staff. A "Case Supervisor" is accorded the most respect, followed by a high classed auditor. Any OT, particularly an OTVII or VIII is granted respect. part of this is that such people know how to fight back in the system if they get screwed over too much, so they are treated better. But part of it is that such people do know what's what, and are regarded as valuable (before David Miscavidge's time, anyway!).


6. What sort of symbolic capital exists? Symbolic capital being economoic capital that is converted to social value.. i.e- wealth creating social importance.
Simply one's training and processing level, as public, and rank, as staff. To some degree people who have given a lot of money to the IAS are given preferential treatment, but that's only officially, they aren't regarded any better socially.

All the above is as of about 15 years ago. Things may be different now.

Roland
 

Free to shine

Shiny & Free
We are not rats to be studied by indifferent researchers, we are living people who desire to live in dignity.

How dare you study us and dissect our customs and culture as if we were ingnorant savages living in the jungles?

How can you hold us at arms length like a specimen and still consider yourself human?

Have you elected yourself God to attempt to figure us out and intellectually deny us the possibility of free will?


(Just funning with you, please post your finished paper, it would be fun to see how you see us)

Kevin has some good answers.

alex

Oh give it a rest Alex! :smoochy:
Questions about language somehow lead to "intellectually denying free will"?? :melodramatic:

Scientologists - both current and ex - are worthy subjects for intellectual curiosity. :D
 

gomorrhan

Gold Meritorious Patron
Ummm... Alex did say he was "just funning" (as in just fucking with). I think Alex likes playing with the idea that others have concerning Alex being a prototypical scientologist, attitudes and all, and was demonstrating them.
 

Free to shine

Shiny & Free
1. How do language and speech patterns influence one's status? I.e- in what way would a high ranking member of the Church's speech differ from a low ranking member?

Knowledge of the nomenclature does influence status. Part of being accepted in the group is use of the jargon, as it indicates an acceptance and agreement with the closed circuits of the organisation's viewpoints. The more you 'know' the more you are acceptable.

My experience of 'higher ranking members' - defined as having moved further up the "Bridge" or organisation - is that they swear a lot more. :D



2. How do people assert their superior ranking over lower members?

One of the most insidious ways is to ask "what case level are you?". How far you have progressed IS the status. So if an "OT" asks you that question, and you answer "Clear" (further down the levels) then the usual response, (and I am talking with 35+ years experience here) is a look or comment that puts you in your lowly place. Talking of achievments and progress is how rank is asserted.

As for staff, rank is often asserted by volume. Swearing, screaming, insults, degradation are all too common. It is excused as "ethics presence" and "tone 40 intention" to "make it go right". I am not saying this is a prerequisite for higher ranking, more that is too often a sad result.

3. Are there any commonly used metaphors or analogies used within the Church that might be foreign to a non-member?

Many - a whole language. There are threads here that give many definitions and explanations. The jargon is part of the mind trap.


4. In what ways do the roles of men and women differ within the Church? What is socially acceptable for men to do, but not women? (And vice versa.)


There is no apparent difference, although as stated often middle management seems to be women and top execs men.

However women in the Sea Org are not allowed to have babies. They are either convinced an abortion is the right thing, or else if they decide to go ahead with a pregnancy they are demoted to an outer organisation.

Rape has been covered up. (See Tommy Gormans story). I have my own experience of this and as a young girl could not report the rape as I knew the male student would be believed over me and the whole thing denied within the organisation, resulting in punishment for me.

Motherhood is discouraged and made dreadfully difficult for staff. Children as young as 11 are recruited into the Sea Org and in times past the young girls became "Commodore's Messengers". I don't think the uniform would have suited the young boys. :coolwink:

5. What specific social categories are there between the elite and non-elite?

The main social category is those who are "OT" or highly trained and those who are not.
Those who have money and those who do not.
Thos who work on staff and those who do not.

6. What sort of symbolic capital exists? Symbolic capital being economoic capital that is converted to social value.. i.e- wealth creating social importance.

Those who donate large amounts of money are given social status. Celebrities also. They experience a totally different side to Scientology than say for example, people in the RPF.

(There is a section on the board here that explains the words I have needed to use here, see Grundy's threads.)
 

Free to shine

Shiny & Free
Ummm... Alex did say he was "just funning" (as in just fucking with). I think Alex likes playing with the idea that others have concerning Alex being a prototypical scientologist, attitudes and all, and was demonstrating them.

Yeah I know.
However the tone of the first words are really not lightened by the disclaimer. :)
 
thanks for the quick responses! very helpful indeed :)

Could anyone give me any specific examples of the types of jargon that is used? I'm trying to get an idea on how linguistics can shape a society and vice versa.
Thanks again!
 

alex

Gold Meritorious Patron
Oh give it a rest Alex! :smoochy:
Questions about language somehow lead to "intellectually denying free will"?? :melodramatic:

Scientologists - both current and ex - are worthy subjects for intellectual curiosity. :D

Ah the danger of humour, a fine line between what can be laughed about and what is offensive.

I would love to be studied.....haven't you noticed what an attention wh..e I am?
:)

alex
 

GoButtonIsBlowButton

Patron with Honors
A joke...

This was one we used to do as a joke designed to teach people not to speak in code in front of 'public' (interested new people) --

The DTS had a PTS sit, so she went to Qual and the C/S had her do a L4BR to FN Cog VGI's. She returned to post, and was in high Aff.

...translates to...

The Director of Technical Services had a personal problem, so she went to Personnel Relations and was privately counselled. She had a successful outcome, and returned to her job, happy and productive.

The Church makes a big deal out of not reading or saying things that people don't understand. Though you'd never know it to visit a church, read Hubbard, or see some of these threads.

OH, I forgot. No joking about what you learn, starting about 1981. It's gotten serious and grim.
 

alex

Gold Meritorious Patron
thanks for the quick responses! very helpful indeed :)

Could anyone give me any specific examples of the types of jargon that is used? I'm trying to get an idea on how linguistics can shape a society and vice versa.
Thanks again!

Read: http://www.forum.exscn.net/showthread.php?t=4928

and get a feel for the jargon.

Read posts by Grundy for some straight information on whats what.

such as http://www.forum.exscn.net/showthread.php?t=5262
http://www.forum.exscn.net/showthread.php?t=5111
http://www.forum.exscn.net/showthread.php?t=5013

"Your time machine is thursday at 2.

csw for additional information.

You can make it go right.

Much love"

alex
 

Marie

Patron
1. How do language and speech patterns influence one's status? I.e- in what way would a high ranking member of the Church's speech differ from a low ranking member?

directness, confront (ability to face), and ethics presence (surity in rightness - or something like that) are the difference in the speech paterns of upper management vs the regular staff member. Pretty much the same that I saw in "OT" vs newbie's. Language gets more full of the "scientologies" and more full of shortened versions or initials (TR's, out-tech, hill 10, etc) the longer you are on staff, and probably public.

2. How do people assert their superior ranking over lower members?

Presence, attitude, threats of "ethics actions", sending to ethics, etc...

3. Are there any commonly used metaphors or analogies used within the Church that might be foreign to a non-member?

a million of them

4. In what ways do the roles of men and women differ within the Church? What is socially acceptable for men to do, but not women? (And vice versa.)

not that I noticed, but as stated before - middle management usually women, higher men.

5. What specific social categories are there between the elite and non-elite?

from what I remember from 20 years ago on staff (in order):
RPF/SP's
New guys (raw meat)
people on ethics handling (PTS, etc)
Off-line public
On-line public (sub catagories of Class 5 org, upper orgs, flag, freewinds)
Staff at class 5 level
SO staff at cl 5
so staff at service orgs
so staff at continent level
so staff at flag level (management FOLO - not flag service org)
so staff at int level (gold, rtc, etc)

6. What sort of symbolic capital exists? Symbolic capital being economoic capital that is converted to social value.. i.e- wealth creating social importance.

If you have money and fame you are the most important, next money... but if you are staff you are spending thousands, and thousands of dollars... Staff are poor, below poor and treated like crap.

Thank you!!!!!!!!!
 

Zinjifar

Silver Meritorious Sponsor
Thanks again :) How do you think this 'Scientologese' (as I saw someone call it!) influences the society?

Every language contains unspoken assumptions. Scientologese is *designed* to incorporate such assumptions and make them unquestionable.

Zinj
 
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