Scientology: hard and soft, tech and religion

Student of Trinity

Silver Meritorious Patron
Many ESMB members were kind enough to make a lot of very reasonable comments in this introduction thread. The discussion there led me to make a distinction which I hope is not offensive, between 'hard Scientology' and 'soft Scientology'. By 'hard Scientology' I mean any version that considers L. Ron Hubbard to be infallible, or practically so, and thus makes strong claims for paranormal powers and/or the literal truth of Hubbard's space opera scenarios. 'Soft Scientology' for me basically seems to cover a lot of the Freezone, and though it's not my cup of tea, I have no real beef with it. I do have a beef with hard Scientology, and a question I'd like to pursue in this forum concerns how much mileage it gets from sometimes pretending to be soft.

Without meaning to disparage the much looser and more eclectic religious views of Freezoners, my opinion at this point is that the doctrinaire Hubbardism of hard Scientology is actually quite unattractive and unimpressive as a religion, and that hard Scientology only gets traction as a religion because of its 'hard' claims for paranormal powers. I'm thinking that nobody actually joins Scientology for Hubbard's rambling and incoherent metaphysics, let alone for Xenu and body thetans; rather, I think people are willing to swallow those things, for the hope of gaining genius IQ, eidetic memory, permanently perfect health, telepathy and telekinesis, stable exteriorization with full perception, and so on.

But then if anyone takes the hard stuff really seriously, and asks for it to demonstrably happen as promised, hard Scientology puts on its soft face, and says, 'We're a religion, dealing only in spiritual propositions.'

Proponents of 'soft Scientology' don't make the hard claims, and can honestly say that (their) Scientology really is purely spiritual or therapeutic. I wonder, though, whether they are not still managing to have their cake and eat it, too, even if only unconsciously. Because of the strong claims made by hard Scientology, the name 'Scientology' carries some connotation of superhuman abilities, and perhaps soft Scientology gains some appeal from this, even when it doesn't actually make those claims. Kind of like taking the cocaine out of your product but keeping the name 'Coca-Cola'.

Be that as it may, the hard/soft shell game played by hard Scientology seems to me to be full blown doublethink, as well as clear cut bait-and-switch. While soft Scientologists may be perfectly right in claiming that their form of Scientology does not do this, that doesn't change the fact that a lot of Scientology is hard Scientology, and it does do this. It does it a lot, and I think it's very important in keeping hard Scientology alive.
 

EP - Ethics Particle

Gold Meritorious Patron
Nailing it!

SoT - I approve your above post as "So on Target" that ya might want to think about changing yer name! :coolwink::thumbsup::clap:

EP
 
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KnightVision

Gold Meritorious Patron
You're spot on. Nobody would put up with all the blatant obvious bullshit in Scn unless they were fairly convinced that there were 'special powers' to be gained from it. This 'deceitful use of manipulation' is and will continue to be their undoing. The whole thing is nothing more than a very clever con job that should have died out with Hubbard. What we are seeing today is the desperate attempt by David Dick Miscivage to force every last dollar out of the scam that he can. This is the legacy that Hubbard left for the world; a band of of raving, greedy lunatics. It's falling apart, most have departed and that is why Davey the Dick remains as pretty much the last gladiator idiot who is determined to destroy himself, the empire and anybody else who causes him to have to face the music. And that music is simply that Hard Scn died a long time ago... Yet the Dickless Dummy refuses to accept the hardcore reality of it.
 

Gadfly

Crusader
Student of Trinity, I love it! :thumbsup:

Making the distinction between "hard" and "soft" Scientology is so very pertinent and aligns so very well with honest observations in the area!

VWD! :yes:
 

Dulloldfart

Squirrel Extraordinaire
I don't believe soft Scientology exists. When it goes soft, only using the useful bits, it is no longer Scientology.

Veda (ESMB poster) often makes that point here. A picker-and-chooser might call himself a Scientologist, but sometimes that is done for commercial reasons: someone who has recently left the CofS and wants to get auditing on a familiar basis is not likely to be too trusting of a "squirrel", someone who doesn't deliver straight Scientology.

Professional freezoners — those who deliver services, usually for money — have a vested interest in preserving their credibility. There is a tendency to promote one's "standardness", one's adherence to the technical canon. But since this standard is somewhat iffy, it often becomes a PR matter and not a technical one.

Some years back I made up an exhaustive list of about 200 factors that added up to "standard tech", gave each one a weight, and then attempted to quantify how standard various entities were in the real world. The details are available here, but it came down to the hypothetical "average" freezoner being maybe 85% standard, despite promoting his 100% standardness. Nowadays I would not be quite so charitable. And note that Hubbard's cosmology and weirder space-opera stuff (Marcab, Helatrobus implants, freight-trains on Venus, "OT" abilities etc.) aren't even mentioned specifically beyond the one point of Hubbard's materials being generally upheld.

Paul
 

Zinjifar

Silver Meritorious Sponsor
I don't believe soft Scientology exists. When it goes soft, only using the useful bits, it is no longer Scientology.

Paul

Scientist may not be aware that he's jumped out of the fryingpan into the fire :)

This issue is a long-standing one, always a bone of contention and by now jumps immediately into circular death throes.

Scientology is *Ron's* word; Ron's 'system'; Ron's religion and organization and *Ron* was very specific. *Any* interpretation of his word is a High Crime called Tech Degrade. Any form of 'Soft Scientology' which changes or picks and chooses from Ron's *full body of Work* is what He called 'squirrel' and is *not* Scientology.

People can call themselves whatever they choose, but, if they are running any kind of 'Soft' Scientology, they are wrong to call themselves Scientologists. According to Scientology.

That they so desperately clammer to the name/word is itself however a measure of their mindfuck.

Zinj
 
Many ESMB members were kind enough to make a lot of very reasonable comments in this introduction thread. The discussion there led me to make a distinction which I hope is not offensive, between 'hard Scientology' and 'soft Scientology'. By 'hard Scientology' I mean any version that considers L. Ron Hubbard to be infallible, or practically so, and thus makes strong claims for paranormal powers and/or the literal truth of Hubbard's space opera scenarios. 'Soft Scientology' for me basically seems to cover a lot of the Freezone, and though it's not my cup of tea, I have no real beef with it. I do have a beef with hard Scientology, and a question I'd like to pursue in this forum concerns how much mileage it gets from sometimes pretending to be soft.

Actually it's a "reasonably fair" distinction, as long as you don't consider it as too "definitive".


Without meaning to disparage the much looser and more eclectic religious views of Freezoners, ...

Never fear! We're fairly accustomed to "disparagement" by now. Frankly, "disparagement" is a relief compared to some of the crap that gets thrown our way. :whistling:


... my opinion at this point is that the doctrinaire Hubbardism of hard Scientology is actually quite unattractive and unimpressive as a religion, and that hard Scientology only gets traction as a religion because of its 'hard' claims for paranormal powers. I'm thinking that nobody actually joins Scientology for Hubbard's rambling and incoherent metaphysics, let alone for Xenu and body thetans; ...

Largely true, still I have met a few who right from their first exposure thought Hubbard's wildest ramblings were "the wisdom of the ages". Humans come in all types. :melodramatic:

[ n.b. There are those in the u.s. who thought well-enough of George W. Bush to vote for him as president, and then subsequently did so again 4 years later. Many of these are currently to be found fawning over Sarah Palin. :whistling: ]


... rather, I think people are willing to swallow those things, for the hope of gaining genius IQ, eidetic memory, permanently perfect health, telepathy and telekinesis, stable exteriorization with full perception, and so on.

I've met many scientologists who have met this description.


But then if anyone takes the hard stuff really seriously, and asks for it to demonstrably happen as promised, hard Scientology puts on its soft face, and says, 'We're a religion, dealing only in spiritual propositions.'

Basically this is the Co$ approach. :yes:

Still, I've also known quite a few who were initially put off by the hype but found practical value with the tech itself. They continued for some time with the church in order to learn & use scientology despite the cognitive dissonance of tech vs church. Eventually, they wind up leaving when it becomes blatantly obvious that there is nothing left to gain from further involvement with the church.


Proponents of 'soft Scientology' don't make the hard claims, and can honestly say that (their) Scientology really is purely spiritual or therapeutic. I wonder, though, whether they are not still managing to have their cake and eat it, too, even if only unconsciously. Because of the strong claims made by hard Scientology, the name 'Scientology' carries some connotation of superhuman abilities, and perhaps soft Scientology gains some appeal from this, even when it doesn't actually make those claims. Kind of like taking the cocaine out of your product but keeping the name 'Coca-Cola'.

Quite possibly there is truth in what you say. It would also apply to many westerners who have been drawn to eastern spiritual & religious practices where similar traditions of "siddhis" have been maintained, e.g. Vedanta, Tantric Buddhism, Shamanism. It also applies to those who convert to christianity or islam out of a desire for "salvation" and for those attracted to Kabbalah out of a similar desire for corporeal transcendence.

Frankly, such motivations are ubiquitous among most people professing religious affiliation. Few professed religious actually understand the actual intellectual basis & history of their respective faiths. Fewer still convert to those faiths only AFTER first mastering those "details" of religion.

Monty Python had the "germ" of religious commitment right: "...your a catholic the moment dad came". :whistling:


While soft Scientologists may be perfectly right in claiming that their form of Scientology does not do this, that doesn't change the fact that a lot of Scientology is hard Scientology, and it does do this. It does it a lot, and I think it's very important in keeping hard Scientology alive.

Yes. True. However, you happen to be posting to a board where (barring a few OSA agents & trolls) everyone agrees in principle to the killing off of hard scientology. This is especially true of the "soft scientologists" who post on this board.

I know a few freezoners who would not agree. But they aren't among the majority of the FZ. Nor are they the type to post on ESMB. :)


Mark A. Baker
 

Student of Trinity

Silver Meritorious Patron
Though I have no personal experience on the matter, I'm sure Paul is right that a lot of people I would call hard Scientologists insist strongly that only the hard version is entitled to call itself Scientology. And that a lot of people I would call soft Scientologists are keen to identify themselves with hard Scientology.

After quite a few pages in the thread I linked to above, though, I'm not convinced that soft Scientology is inherently inconsistent on its own terms. So, unless someone has a serious argument that soft Scientology is internally inconsistent, the issue seems to be merely one of who owns the dictionary. To avoid pointless diversions in discussions with hard Scientologists, I'd be perfectly happy to adopt the term 'Scientology-inspired esoterism' in place of 'soft Scientology'. To avoid needless conflicts with people whom I feel no need to attack, though, I plan to use the 'hard' and 'soft' distinction to make clear that I only really object to hard Scientology, not necessarily to anything and everything that identifies itself with the S-word.

As Zinj observes, insistence on names for the sake of names is a sign of serious intellectual limitations, to the point where it's usually not worth trying to carry on a conversation. The distinction I try to draw with 'hard' and 'soft' is, I think, real and useful, despite the fact that people on both sides of the line have interests in blurring or shifting it.

Even the institutional CofS has elements of both hard and soft Scientology in it; the fact that the hard part is really there underneath everything still makes me class CofS Scientology as unambiguously hard, overall. But I'm interested in the way hard Scientology shifts and dodges by putting up a soft front whenever it is pushed for hard proof. The line that you have to get ethics in before the tech can get in, for example. This combines nicely with the fact that the 'tech' is always carefully described as 'workable' rather than something that always works. (Who would buy a car or a laptop that was only advertised as being 'workable'?) The point is that if you can't get the paranormal powers that were promised, hard Scientology can invoke nebulous religious excuses for why the practical, true-for-you, look-don't-listen 'tech' did not, in fact, work in your case.

It's still a bit of trick to have your cake and eat it, too, in this way. I think Scientology must have quite a few techniques going that give it what stage magicians call 'shade' — time to pull a fast one unobserved — so that it can switch between hard and soft faces without getting called out.

The needlessly pervasive special language, for instance, probably serves to give concrete claims a certain religious leeway, and to make nebulous statements sound more substantial than they are. If you can make a person run to a dictionary between your statements, you can get away with a lot of position-shifting while they're off busy looking things up; and this still works quite well even if they don't literally go find a dictionary, but merely concede mentally that they're not quite sure what your words mean in the context at hand. In such a case you can often get away with gradually and surreptitiously changing the meaning of your words, to the point of making a sort of slowly curving pun in which your initial and final concepts share nothing but a name, but you never let the two different concepts appear together in a single sentence. That's a rhetorical technique that I've described as 'topological lying', because you can in principle use it to make totally inconsistent statements without anyone ever being able to point to a particular point at which your story falls apart. By playing language games like this you can kind of shove the lie around, like a bubble under the wallpaper, so that it slides away from any particular point of investigation. It's always in there somewhere, though.

Anyway, that's the kind of technique I find interesting. It's even more interesting as a technique people can use on themselves, even unconsciously. If I'm right, it's one of the nitty-gritty mechanisms of doublethink; and maybe understanding how it works could help people detect it.
 

Zinjifar

Silver Meritorious Sponsor
The narrowing down of the term 'Scientology' is *not* a purely academic question. Scientology as it exists in the 'Church' of Scientology and the Scientology Movement is a *political* 'movement' with very real (if delusional) political goals and very abusive methods. All of which are solidly based on the *philosophy* of Scientology as revealed by L. Ron Hubbard.

Practitioners of 'Soft' Scientology choose to pick and choose to divorce themselves from at least *some* of those goals and methods, but, prefer to avoid specifying which. Because they are interested in rehabilitating the *Brand*.

Unfortunately, this kind of coy charade is well in keeping with what Ron chose to call the 'fabian' nature of Scientology. The covert covering up of its actual goals and methods.

Thus, when a 'critic' or opponent of Scientology says 'Scientology says/does *this*' a 'soft' Scientologist can weasel in and say, 'no it doesn't! You mean the *Church* of Scientology. But, Scientology is a philosophy and *doesn't* do that.'

Followed by 'Yes, Scientology the 'philosophy' *does* do 'that'. It's right in the dogma of Ron. Scientology *says* to do that!'

Answered by 'But, I don't do that, and, I'm a Scientologist, so, you can't say Scientology does that! I don't do any of the bad things Ron said to do, and, since I'm a Scientologist, you can't say that Scientology says anything that *I* don't accept.'

And on and on...

Zinj
 

Terril park

Sponsor
Though I have no personal experience on the matter, I'm sure Paul is right that a lot of people I would call hard Scientologists insist strongly that only the hard version is entitled to call itself Scientology. And that a lot of people I would call soft Scientologists are keen to identify themselves with hard Scientology.
it.

Don't really think you are correct in assigning hard and soft to scientologists. By and large most in the FZ accept the tech as a whole,
and probably most of the philosophy. And a lot less of the admin.

I think a more usefull term is that of fundamentalist. They would consider that everything LRH said and wrote was true, even when contradicting
other things he said and wrote, and that if it wasn't said by LRH its of no value.

Here is a fundamentalist in full on fundamentalism.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IdI0Dr4iRc
 

Terril park

Sponsor
Though I have no personal experience on the matter, I'm sure Paul is right that a lot of people I would call hard Scientologists insist strongly that only the hard version is entitled to call itself Scientology. And that a lot of people I would call soft Scientologists are keen to identify themselves with hard Scientology.
it.

Don't really think you are correct in assigning hard and soft to scientologists. By and large most in the FZ accept the tech as a whole,
and probably most of the philosophy. And a lot less of the admin.

I think a more usefull term is that of fundamentalist. They would consider that everything LRH said and wrote was true, even when contradicting
other things he said and wrote, and tghat if it wasn't said by LRH its of no value.

Here is a fundamentalist in full on fundamentalism.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IdI0Dr4iRc
 

Veda

Sponsor
IMO, It's rare to find someone, who continues to identify himself as a Scientologist, who has abandoned the notion that Scientology is the "hope for Mankind," or has abandoned Hubbard's "cosmology."

For example, Hubbard's 1952 book, 'History of Man' is central to "New OT 8," which is done both inside and outside the CofS. 'History of Man' announces that it "is a cold blooded and factual account of your last sixty trillion years."

The Helatrobus implants, dreamt up by Hubbard in 1963, and then abandoned by him, have been taken up again by some in the Freezone, who "research" it, guided by their e-meters which "tell them." And strong sharp e-meter responses, combined with Hubbard's revealed "secrets of the universe," are taken very seriously. http://www.clearing.org/cgi/archive.cgi?/hilton/helatrobus.memo

Ken Ogger, another Freezone Scientologist, also comes to mind, and he even "discovered" more implants, which were added to Hubbard's list of implants.

And I'll skip over Bill Robertson, the Galactic Patrol and Ron's Orgs, which is the largest "Freezone" group, although using the term "Free Zone," and active mostly in Europe. These folks have been known to actually converse with both Hubbard (Elron Elray) and Xenu (X).

And Freezone Scientology follows the Grade Chart or Bridge, which features the implants of the Clearing Course, the implants of OT 2, and the implants of OT 3.

Without the Grade Chart/Bridge, there is only the dreaded "dwindling spiral" leading to permanent residence at the bottom of all of Scientology's many scales.

The recurring difficulty, when discussing Scientology, is that Scientology, habitually, misrepresents itself. It has its own "tech" for doing so, which is called "PR tech" and it - like Hubbard's cosmology - has made it into Freezone Scientology.
 

yon8008

Patron with Honors
This could be a very exciting topic!


While I always insist on keeping mentally separate
"The exact perception of my experience" from "The theory that could explain it"
I would like to mention a few experiences that did verify some of the more esoteric aspects of Hard Scientology.


In one session (running Ruds on 4 flows) I got stuck with a persistent feeling of death. After a few different approaches that didn't shake it, my class VIII auditor used a technique from NOTs. Since I had read some of that material I understood what was going on. If you have read about the OT III materials you would likely guess what the theory says I was encountering. With a few commands the feeling changed and I felt the most intense emotion I have ever felt, and suddenly the stuck feeling of death was gone, and I felt better than I had ever felt in my whole life! But I did realize that this particular feeling started about 8 months after I first read the OT III materials, and that without those techniques to address the feelings I was having IN THE WAY that the OT III theory prescribes, this feeling would have stayed with me. A less skilled/knowledgeable auditor or C/S wouldn't have identified that handling. Here was a situation where this theory allowed my auditor to approach the situation I was having and to very quickly identify what it was and handle it. I also gained a new appreciation for the confidential materials. I encourage people to leave them alone. I thought they were just sci-fi and that reading them would have no effect on me. It didn't have any effect for 8 months.



Scientology talks about how even many of the basic levels of auditing are above the reality level of most people. They brush it off as non-sense, not even worth looking at. The may read 'self-analysis' and think "the procedures in this book couldn't actually result in any meaningful change in a person" - but how many lines or pages did they try it on. (Probably falling asleep by the 5th line).

In my experience, I am being more aware of things as a result of my auditing and studying. I was completely amazed listening to the "Thought Emotion Effort" lecture series in the Basic's line up. Suddenly I had new awareness of the very subtle efforts involved in thinking and perceiving the meaning of words. It's like driving past an orange house everyday, but one day you stop to look closer, and you see that the 'orange' is actually made up of 1mm squares of red and yellow. Totally surprising!

As your awareness increases, these things become more and more real to you. Those that can't see the red and yellow squares haven't looked close enough yet. They won't listen when you tell them 'you have to look closer, go up and get your eye within 30 centimeters from the house' - they walk half way up the drive way and say, 'No, it's orange'.

When I was audited on book one, the pain in my back went away only when I went along with the unfolding experience of being stabbed by a bayonet in a trench in WWII.

I used to think that the CCHs were just silly, and then one day I was exhausted and my wife said, "Give me that hand", I did nothing, but when she picked it up and put it in her hand, I couldn't help but laughing... not because "it was a funny thing to do", but because some how that action of so gently getting compliance from my body to her loving instruction just connected for me. I asked her to do it again with the subtlest twitch of my hand after she gently put it back where it was before. After about 10 cycles of this, each time laughing for a good minute or more, I gave her my hand on my own, and we both laughed. CCH is the lower harmonic of ARC, and for those in apathy or below, they are WONDERFUL when done correctly!


With each piece of tech I learn I try to see how I can apply it, how it might work. Then later, when I'm in a situation where it fits, I try it and see. I don't worship the Tech, but I like having a growing toolbox of what I know how to use - how to use it - when to use it - and how far it will go in delivering results.

Is Hard Scientology about Blind Faith, Self-Deception, and Conforming to Dogma?

I don't focus on it, because it wouldn't be real to most people. Instead I focus on showing people how to gain some benefit at the levels that are real to them, so that their perception and willingness to LOOK comes up to a level where they can see it for themselves. Space Opera and OT Levels and Super Powers? I have some evidence from personal experience that supports these, nothing conclusive or objective. But, if the tech is ever going to deliver these, I expect it to be a step by step process of developing abilities.

It it's not real to you yet, put it over in pile B, and learn to use the growing pile A of technology that does make sense. Later, something in pile B may make more sense.
 

Student of Trinity

Silver Meritorious Patron
'Fundamentalist Scientology' could certainly be a fair replacement for my term 'hard Scientology', though it brings the standard problem that 'fundamentalist' has an established meaning in the context of other religions, and it's a real question how well that established concept fits Scientology. Probably it fits fine, but I don't want to have to defend a side issue in case there are quibbles about how well it fits. Again, my concern is for the distinction, and not for any particular terminology.

It may be, though, that actually there are hardly any of what I want to call 'soft Scientologists'. If this is so, then the distinction does become pointless as a label for groups of people. It could still be very useful as a distinction between different aspects of Scientology doctrine: the claims for paranormal powers that would mean a major scientific revolution, versus the vaguer claims for spiritual progress that can only be attested to subjectively.

What I want to do is, firstly, insist that the hard claims cannot really be softened by association. Claiming 'exteriorization with full perception' or telepathy is just as blatant a challenge to all known science as claiming the ability to fly or turn invisible, no matter how much soft rhetoric about thetans has been padded around those hard claims. Fine, science could be wrong; but it would be huge, huge news for it to be wrong on this scale — much too huge to let the claims pass unexamined as plausible corollaries to a spiritual proposition. As soon as you talk about paranormal powers like that, it's time to stop yammering about the tone scale, get in the lab, and do it for real. Or GTFO.

Secondly, though, I want to learn more about how the hard and soft parts of Scientology work together to enable the cult to keep going. My conjecture is the basic symbiosis: the hard claims make the otherwise unattractive soft side of Scientology sexy enough to pull people in, and the soft padding keeps people from looking seriously at the hard claims. If this hypothesis is true, then one consequence we could expect is that it would be really important for Scientology to do smooth and unobtrusive bait-and-switch back and forth on a regular basis; and so a lot of Scientology practice would be tricks to enable smooth bait-and-switch. So I'd like to see whether this is actually the case.

My first question in this direction is about the overwrought jargon of Scientologese, which is mostly not specialized terms for concepts unique to Hubbard, but idiosyncratic replacements for common concepts that have perfectly good names in ordinary speech. I see lots of opportunities for using a big invented vocabulary to run smooth bait-and-switch, by building bait-and-switch right into the meanings of words.

For example, 'ethics'. A basic issue in ethics (as the term is normally used outside Scientology) is whether the ends justify the means, or whether we're supposed to follow the rules regardless of consequences. A normal ethical system has to pick one approach or the other, and stand or fall by it. If you're an ends-over-means utilitarian, hypocrisy or inconsistency is not a problem, but if things turn out badly you have to face the music. If you're a rules-are-rules type, you can stand on your principles regardless of cost, but hypocrisy is a grave crime. It seems to me that Hubbard's 'most survival on most dynamics' formula is a neat trick for switching smoothly between these two mutually exclusive approaches, having cake and eating it too, and ducking responsibility in any case.

On the surface Hubbard's 'ethics' looks like classic utilitarianism, with a systematic, scientific-sounding structure to boot: we simply act for the best, doing whatever works best. And dynamics 1 and 2 are pretty 'hard' — it's clear what they mean, and the promises are great. 'Survival' is still a bit weasely, because it really only fits life-and-death situations and applying it more generally gets fuzzy, but most people have a firm handle on what it means for themselves, their sex lives, and their families to survive and thrive. So this 'hard' part of Scientology ethics, the first two dynamics, is attractive; it makes people see Scientology as a useful practice that will build up them and their families, maybe even get them laid, rather than a legalistic system of religious rules. But then from the third dynamic on up, things get soft, because what Scientology calls 'survival' becomes more and more nebulous and unmeasurable. Already by the third dynamic the softness is in, because what 'groups' are to be considered relevant to a given situation is usually a very subjective question.

So in effect the eight dynamics are a kind of Stalinist legislature permanently packed with a three-quarters majority of votes that will go for whatever Scientology says. Any arbitrary dictate of Scientology can get rubber-stamped by the higher dynamics' majority into a utilitarian 'most for the most' imperative. Since it's impossible to say objectively whether any given situation involves dynamics 3 through 8 or not, Scientology ethics can switch smoothly at will between behaving as a utilitarian system that works for the best without getting hung up on cut-and-dried rules, and behaving as a rigid legalism that insists on compliance regardless of actual outcome. Spot an instance of hypocrisy or inconsistency, and it plays utilitarian; complain that things are actually going wrong at the only actually measurable levels, the first and second dynamics, and its play is to stand rigidly on principle, by invoking the other six. The flexibility to go either hard and soft like this at will, smoothly and without explicit admission of any inconsistency, is built into the definition of Scientology 'ethics'.

Is this a fair analysis? Are there other similar examples of built-in bait-and-switch in Scientologese?
 
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yon8008

Patron with Honors
Your analysis of the 8 dynamics and an ethics consisting of "most survival for the most dynamics" is spot on; it really can be manipulated exactly as you said.

I loath concepts/policies that open the door for this kind of manipulation, so at the very best there was an oversight of some missing data or missed relative importances that would keep that door closed, at the worst it was done intentionally. Here are some examples of additional data (or increased relative importance of previously stated data) that would have been helpful in applying this principle:

1) whenever you are presented with any choice between options A, B, C, D, etc - you can evaluate each plan on ALL Dynamics. Whenever an option causes reduced survival on ANY dynamic, know that there is some better solution out there and it is up to you and your creative ability to find it. However, don't let the intention of "finding a better solution" result in actually executing the "do nothing" option - think fast, minimize the contra-survival effects on any dynamic, maximize the survival benefits to all dynamics. Your Creativity is the only limitation in finding better solutions, never let anyone tell you that all of the options have been considered.

2) Recognize that the breaking down of any action plan into it's impact on the dynamics is a tool to remind you of the wider impacts of the plan. This is an application of the Logics. Often times by seeing a negative aspect to one or more of they dynamics, you will instantly identify a 'quick fix' that will mitigate the damage to a dynamic.

3) Throughout history lazy value destroyers have gained unearned values by duping innocent and naive individuals into sacrificing their earned values to specious higher causes (god, the mountain spirits, the environment, the whales, mankind, the group/the state/the children/the mis-fortunate). While the application of the 8 dynamics may be helpful to you as an individual in making better plans & double checking your plans for obvious improvements, do not allow anyone to evaluate the impact of a plan for you, or corner you into an agreement which is contrary to your own evaluation. Be wary of individuals who refuse to hear obvious ways of improving a plan to create more survival or less contra-survival, such individuals have taken on the color of the enemy - know and use the information in the Data Series.

4) NEVER SURRENDER YOUR SELF-DETERMINED EVALUATION TO ANY EXTERNAL AUTHORITY.

5) ACTIVELY NULLIFY AND REHABILITATE ANY PERSON OR GROUP THAT IS UNDERMINING THE SELF-DETERMINISM AND RATIONAL THOUGHT OF OTHERS BY POSING AS AN EXTERNAL AUTHORITY; DO THIS BY POINTING OUT EXACTLY HOW IT IS BEING DONE AND BY SHOWING A BETTER WAY TO OPERATE.

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(Neo-Tech, meaning 'FULLY INTEGRATED HONESTY' is an information package focused on delivering immediate benefits to individuals while undermining external authorities by revealing the many ways by which lazy net value destroyers dupe the naive into surrendering their earned values: false guilt, creating confusions by non sequiturs, by weaving sound-good irrational beliefs by using unstated assumptions and then later exploiting them, by inventing mysteries and unknowables, by inducing doubt of ones own ability to reason, by undermining rationality as a whole, by taking true facts out of context, by focusing on seemingly valid 'a-points' and evading 'THE-point'.)
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Many of my posts use these principles - showing how mis-evaluated relative importances of the volumes of Scientology Tech can result in undesirable manipulations and irrational results.

The Highest Principle must always be the individual's self-determined rational thought process.

(The below is my address to Co$)
Attempting to 'save the irrational masses' by undermining their irrational self-determined thought and subjecting them to 'your superior rationality' can never be an operating principle. If you really do want to 'save them from themselves' - create programs and marketing campaigns that they would find acceptable, that help them take one step that they are able to take, that you can deliver on a profitable basis. Note: they probably won't find a suspension of their self-determined thought acceptable, no matter how irrational it seems to you.
 

Mystic

Crusader
"Hard/Soft", huh? Is immaterial. Hard implants or soft implants, FreakZone of MoneyZone, all philosophical and religious scams.

(OSA would love this thread.)
 
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