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Jon Atack: Scientology’s ‘training routines’ and their relationship to meditation

Jon_AtackJon Atack is the author of A Piece of Blue Sky, one of the very best books on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. He has a new edition of the book for sale, and for more than a year on Saturdays he helped us sift through the legends, myths, and contested facts about Scientology that tend to get hashed and rehashed in books, articles, and especially on the Internet. He was kind enough to send us a new post.

We’re encouraged, Jon, that you’ve been receiving messages about your pieces here in the Bunker. And this week, you wanted to respond to one question in particular, about meditation and Scientology’s odd ‘training routines.’ We’re curious about this too. Take it away, Jon.

JON: I received this enquiry, just before Xmas, and think it is relevant to any former member who is wondering about the relationship between meditation and TRs. I have meditated for forty years, and regard it as a very helpful practice, though, many methods called “meditation” are simply forms of self-hypnosis and may have negative effects (for which, see below).

Hi Jon,

I’d like to ask your take on something. I’ve recently been exploring what is currently called “mindfulness movement,” my impression of which is a westernized Buddhist practice. Some of these practices often take me back to my teen years — with parents who are Scientologists — and the drill called OT TR-0. (I have not considered myself a Scientologist since the 1980s, when I read the books by Corydon, Miller and you.) I know the true nature of the TRs are a question of great debate among former Scientologists, so I’ll focus on my own view of this particular drill. At the time, at the bottom of the “bridge” I felt very flattered by the notion of doing something with OT in the name. As you will remember, it was two people sitting across from one another with eyes closed, and the goal was to “be there, doing nothing else other than being there.” At the time I was told by someone that this was akin to Eastern-style meditation.

Now 30 years later I am reading of and trying mindful meditation, and the goal of quieting mental chatter with meditation does seem to be much the same thing as “being there, doing nothing else than being there.” Ironically, since one’s eyes are closed, I am not sure of the purpose of the other person sitting across from you in the Scientology drill.

What is your view? Is there a link between OT TR-0 and meditation as today’s “mindfulness” movement describes it? If there is anything in common with mindfulness, the similarity ends there, since moving through live worrying about O/Ws, Ethics conditions and PTSness is certainly the opposite of being mindful.

Is this one of the few Scientology process that has some benefit to it, perhaps like the proverbial broken clock that is right twice a day? I’d appreciate your input.

Dear Bunkerite,

I think I comment in Blue Sky that TR-0 is akin to meditation (it is called “tratak” by some Indian practitioners). However, the TRs are steps within a process. And that process has an invidious and hidden intent (leading first to bullbait, which dissociates emotional responses and has a robotizing effect).

Nibs Hubbard (L. Ron Hubbard Jr.) “developed” the Upper Indoctrination TRs to calm some rowdy students (reissues of the original bulletin removed the “Jr” after L Ron Hubbard). OT-TR0 has the potentially sinister aspect of immediate group acceptance — by sitting with your eyes closed in a course-room full of strangers, you lower your defenses. In behavioral terms, this can be dangerous. Of itself, sitting quietly with your eyes closed is no bad thing, but probably best to do it at home or with people you already know and trust.

This said, I differentiate between forms of ‘meditation’. The Transcendental Meditation form – with the repetition of a word (often the name of a demon, but that isn’t the point, here), induces a hypnotic state. Which is to say, it can lead to euphoria, which of itself is not necessarily a good idea, as such meditators have been known to become addicted and lost interest in the necessities of life (including child care and work — I researched a book on TM many years ago and spoke with both disillusioned and still-illusioned members).

I learned zazen at a Zen temple when I was 18, so TR-0 — with the concomitant hallucinations — came as no surprise to me. Many people cite TR-0 as the peak experience which convinced them of the value of Scientology, but it is just a technique (and as a Bunkerite noted, some call it the Ganzfeld Effect, quo vide).

In zazen — which is the zen, chan or dhyana practice of Buddhism (depending on which language you speak) — you sit cross-legged with a straight back (so that you won’t get cramp, basically. The taoists often meditate lying on their side, for the same reason — I lie on my back, on a mattress with three pillows under my knees and one under my head), and breathe deeply and regularly, without holding the breath. This is sometimes called “breathing on the wheel,” because there is a calm circuit of breath.

It may well be that the breathing is the most significant aspect of meditation, because slow, deep breathing has a direct physiological effect — the system is calmed, so less cortisol is released, and anxiety diminishes. In dhyana — which as you say is the origin of mindfulness, or non-religious meditation — the idea is to let go of thought, rather than to try and stop it.

You can meditate with eyes open, half closed, or closed, but the eyes should be still and there should be no attempt to control blinking (though Bodhidhamma, who took dhyana to China, and founded Chan or Zen, is said to have cut off his eyelids, so that he would not waste time sleeping — a silly idea as sleep will occur anyway).

If a thought arises, you let it go. The best description of Zen meditation that I know is by the neurophysiologist and long-term meditator, James Austin, in his Zen and the Brain. An expensive book for a simple technique, but one of the better texts of mindfulness. Probably one of our readers will know of a cheaper way of finding this technique. Here is his website.

Typically, you will find that you become aware of layers of linguistic thought, often discovering automatic thinking that is not necessarily helpful (this was rediscovered by Aaron Beck and became the basis of cognitive therapy — meditation helps to ferret out these thoughts). From time to time, you will think, “I’m not thinking!” And then realize that you are, of course. After a while, you will be able to enter a calm state, where no language is generated — experienced meditators can do this at will — then you will discover the far more rapid non-linguistic layers of thought.

Personally, I avoid any trance state by listening to calm music when I meditate — Indian music played on a single instrument (and without tabla accompaniment) is good, Dr Subramaniam’s Three Ragas for instance. You can find a taste of this at YouTube. His brother, L Shankar, has also recorded some fine pieces (when he wasn’t playing with Frank Zappa, John McLaughlin, Bruce Springsteen or Peter Gabriel…). My own favorite is sung polyphony from the renaissance period — there are many instances, but the Hilliard Ensemble’s Walter Fry, Gombert or Palestrina discs are excellent.

Most, if not all, Scientology “processes” are borrowed and may have virtue. Many people use visualization (which Hubbard called “creative processing” when he borrowed it from Aleister Crowley) and hypnotherapy has many advocates. I am not one. It is the setting that makes Scientology so invidious, not the practices of themselves. As a form of age regression, Dianetics has its virtues, but I have no time for age regression, because of the tendency to generate false memories (see Richard Ofshe’s excellent Making Monsters or the remarkable work of Elizabeth Loftus on this subject). Best, as you have done, to reject the lot and investigate one technique at a time, before proceeding! Enjoy your meditation!

 
——————–

OUR COUNTDOWNS

15 days until Alex Gibney’s film Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief opens at the Sundance Film Festival at 2:30 pm on Sunday, January 25 in Park City, Utah

2 days until our special Underground Bunker announcement at noon, January 12

 
Posted by Tony Ortega on January 10, 2015 at 07:00

E-mail your tips and story ideas to tonyo94@gmail.com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of LA attorney and former church member Vance Woodward

UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer
The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

 

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    • VickiStubing

      Good morning, Dodo!

    • MrsLurksALot

      Good morning, Dodo.

      Here’s an ad in Boston I didn’t see on the lists…..http://boston.craigslist.org/gbs/cls/4813643885.html

      • Good morning, MrsLurks. Good catch. Flagged.

      • Pierrot

        Thank you for your vigilance, It was dropped from the RedX spreadsheet as we reckon that 21 days old ads are very well rooted and near impossible to remove. We do not want to clutter the spreadsheet too much and prefer concentrating on younger and fresher ads.
        Your comment shows your dedication to smell out the ads, keep on searching!

        • MrsLurksALot

          No, thank you for YOUR vigilance and for all you do on a daily basis.

          I really like the spread sheet format, very easy to use. I’ve employed IP tech today and flagged twice this morning. I troll for ads when time allows, I know I’ve been in lurker mode for a while now, but I’m slowly dipping my toe back in, so to speak.

    • Robert Eckert

      Unclammy (one scientology CD in a huge batch for sale): http://ottawa.craigslist.ca/emd/4840064978.html

    • CoffeeIsGood

      Good morning! First post here. You inspired me… I just spent the time to figure out the flagging and flagged all of the last 4 days. What a great project – thank you!

  • Baby is napping, but she wanted to share this:

    • Shelly Britt Corrias

      That’s right – Tony’s going to announce his pick 2 hours before the game- go Ducks! 😉

      • shasha40

        It better not be that, I don’t watch hockey . ( but I will be right here to find out ) : D

        • Shelly Britt Corrias

          lol. it’s college football, but that’s OK. I was joking. I don’t have a clue what the announcement will be!

          • shasha40

            As was I , ‘ cause isn’ t that what we do here ? Lol shows how much I know about college football ! : D

      • Rita Gregory

        Tee hee!

  • EnthralledObserver

    Morning/Evening all! 🙂
    Interesting to note and learn about the $cientology processes. I have no interest in trying any sort of meditation, so to have these things described and compared for me is valuable. Thanks Jon and Tony. 🙂

  • sookiesookie

    I just started mindfulness meditation a few weeks ago, so this is a timely article for me. I appreciate hearing about other people’s techniques, since I still feel a little like I’m “faking it” when I meditate. (My thoughts run a lot towards, “here I am… meditating…”) Hoping it feels more natural with time.

    I’ll be checking out Austin’s book from my library today and am looking forward to it! One I’ve been enjoying the past week is “Wherever You Go, There You Are” by Jon Kabat-Zinn. http://www.amazon.com/Wherever-You-Go-There-Are/dp/1401307787/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1420892524&sr=8-1&keywords=9781401307783

    • chukicita

      Sookie, i think it will probably feel more natural with time. Everyone feels like they’re ‘faking’ at first and that is okay. You are learning to pay attention to your mind from a refreshingly new perspective.

      I was first taught a form of basic meditation when I was nine as a cultural thing. Practicing it in spurts over the years, learning other kinds and purposes. In my experience, it is most powerful when you’re doing it as part of a community (the “third jewel” of buddhism is the “sangha” or community) and everyone understands why and the symbols and music (if any) are familiar touchstones and not exotic to you. (For me, the sound of breathing and sound of water were the “music”)

      Jon mentions the relationship of meditation to cognitive therapy — i didn’t realize that, but it makes a lot of sense to me. He describes it really well above. Finding the river of thinking and pretty much taking responsibility for the flow of your thoughts.

      But I think the surroundings and intent are also important. Why meditate? To gain super powers? To become enlightened? To connect with your community? To just calm down enough to be able to enjoy life while you’re here?

      I was always taught that you never pay for instruction in meditation. You can give gifts to your teachers, but payment really nullifies the validity of a teaching.

      This is why it’s very alarming that Scientology misuses meditation to gain for itself, and really couldn’t care less about it’s sangha after the last dollar is wrung out of them.

      • sookiesookie

        Thanks for the encouragement, chuckicita. It *is* refreshing. I started it with the hope that I could stay more focused mentally, instead of my normal racing thoughts of “things I need to do today” and “things I forgot to do yesterday” and “hey look – a bird!”

        I’m not sure my thoughts are settling down any yet, but at least now I’m aware of it when I start to mentally race ahead or away from where I actually am.

        Your description of meditating in community sounds lovely. 🙂 Once I get comfortable with it and feel less awkward, it’s something I’d like to try.

        • chukicita

          The community thing can be lovely, but it can also come with a great deal of baggage 😀
          It’s important to understand and resonate well with the community goals. That’s why Scientology’s use of techniques with a goal to introspect and divide people are really disconcerting.

          Oh, and you don’t always have to be still. Dance can be a good vehicle for meditation. Good luck!

    • Zer0

      A good starter trick is to count your breaths. See if you can get up to 20 without being too distracted. Also, eyes half open is easier for me than eyes closes. It help to keep from falling asleep:)

    • Kim O’Brien

      Mindfulness is great . Just focusing on breathing …being present …really helps with anxiety and sleep. NO magic word,no chant , nothing but the breath. Practicing more and more ..solo.

      • sookiesookie

        Thanks, Kim. That’s what’s working for me — just concentrating on the circular aspect of my breathinig, in, pause, out, pause… it’s what I bring my attention back to, every time it moves onto something else. I’m lucky if I make it through a whole in/out cycle before having to bring it back! OTOH, just the fact that I notice and bring it back seems to be making a difference.

  • 0tessa

    Jon, interesting. As always.
    ‘It is the setting that makes Scientology so invidious, not the practices of themselves.’
    I agree that it is important to differentiate between the setting (ideology, mindcontrol) and the practices (training routines and other exercices (spotting points in space, being three feet behind your head).
    If Mindfulness were part of a coercive setting, we would tend to condemn it altogether.
    ‘Islam’ means ‘submission’. Scientology might also be considered to mean submission. Because that is the setting of it. As of many other types of spiritual paths or religion. Zen being one of the exceptions and that’s the reason it is not called a religion.

    • chukicita

      In Judeo-Christian traditions as well, it’s supposed to be the Lord’s will, not yours. The question “have you accepted Jesus as your savior?” is heard by me as “have you submitted to Jesus?”

      Perhaps for many thousands of years it was fitness-advancing for humans to be able to bond with a small kinship group, and important to regularly share and reinforce declaration of group identity. “Submitting” to an external leader would avoid a lot of infighting and the kind of alpha male stuff that is more divisive than binding to small groups.

      • 0tessa

        Worldwide religion is probably the most important element in social bonding after that of (extended) family. Nowadays there are a lot of other means of bonding. Religious bonding does not necessarily means that it should be submissive, but unfortunately in most religious settings (muslim countries, cults like Scientology) it still is. I’m afraid it will never disappear.

        • Douglas D. Douglas

          Yep. I was raised in a strongly Christian setting, yet paradoxically am very resistant to controlling influences. There was a vogue for “discipleship” at one point that I completely rejected.

  • Eivol Ekdal

    A recent Skeptoid
    “The Fallibility of Memory”
    http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4446

  • 1subgenius

    I tried to warn someone about TM once to no avail.

  • Stacy

    Jon makes a very interesting point about doing TR-0, eyes closed, in a room full of strangers. This lowering of the guard, enforced trust, situation is helping to generate the “us” mentality of a group. It’s part of the process of creating the group bond, helping to draw people into scientology and away from others, the “them” that inevitably forms whenever we join a group.

    Did LRH really understand all these subtleties when he set them up? I don’t want to believe he was clever enough, but he may have been. Regardless, he set up a very invidious control system.

    • Rita Gregory

      I think the sociopath was very clever, in an evil villain type way.

      • Stacy

        I agree.

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      Hubbard constantly self diagnosed, self treated, and self medicated until the very end. Dianetics and scientolgy were his attempts to avoid doctors and cure himself. They had a dual purpose of providing an income even though impaired in every which way. His “research” main tool was his cash register and bank balance in choosing what stayed, what remained and what new magic trick he needed to conjure up.

      • Stacy

        On the other hand, I’ve heard some exes say they felt like they were going crazy on the TRs, from hallucinating and such.

        They definitely seem to be the courses where the most people experienced something, whether they interpreted it in a positive or negative manner.

        I guess my question about LRH might be better phrased. Do you think when he pulled together all these disparate techniques to use, did he understand not only the totality of effect the routines would create, but also the subtle nuances that were working together to create that total effect?

        Hopefully I did a better job with clarity on this question. What LRH did is so frigging complex that often when I ask one question I end up neglecting multiple potential interpretations, among other problems.

        • TheHoleDoesNotExist

          Understandable, tracy. Jon covers the good and the bad. No effective manipulation or con is void of some kind of real reward or benefit, so there’s that. From oral histories of those who worked with Ron, my personal conclusion is his mental impairments are what drove him, that the voices s in his head were dictating his orders, and they were comprised of multiple personalities, ie, he suffered from multiple mental disorders. Add to the mix the many other personnel who had a hand in the processes and of course it turns out complex and confusing.

          • Stacy

            I completely agree with you that his multiple mental Illnesses drove him. Whether the desire to con was there originally…it may have been. Nothing says it couldn’t have been both.

            On the other hand, I may be looking for patterns that don’t exist. Our brains try to make sense out of mush, and sometimes there’s nothing there but mush! 😉

            • TheHoleDoesNotExist

              That last is why some stay so long! And yes to both. I think the desire to con was most def there. We have tons of evidence in his own words. But I think that was because he knew he couldnt get a real job. It might help to know what usually happened in the 20’s and thru the decades to people with both his physical as well as mental illnesses.

              Those were some terrifyng prospects. So in that light he had to be in possession of some smarts and cleverness to escape what was then horrifying conditions of existence, locked away, forgotten and even denied (disconnected!) From and by one ‘s own family.

            • Stacy

              It’s always important to remember the time in which he grew up. Eugenics, EST, institutionalization, WWII, and then the fear of the Cold War (among other things). By the time the 60s counterculture movements started, he was too set in his ways to let go of his established beliefs and behaviors. Throw in mental illness, and you’ve got the perfect ground to grow an evil LRH.

        • villagedianne

          I believe the answer to your question is in this story from Krishnamurti which I have posted on other occasions:

          “You may remember the story of how the devil and a friend of his were walking down
          the street, when they saw ahead of them a man stoop down and pick up something
          from the ground, look at it, and put it away in his pocket. The friend said to
          the devil, ‘What did that man pick up?’ ‘He picked up a piece of the
          truth,’ said the devil. ‘That is a very bad business for you, then,’
          said his friend. ‘Oh, not at all,’ the devil replied, ‘I am going to
          help him organize it.’ I maintain that truth is a pathless land, and you
          cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That
          is my point of view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally.
          Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever,
          cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or coerce
          people along a particular path.”

          • Jon Atack

            Poor Krishnamurti, all those years of telling people to leave him alone and think for themselves. Such an insightful man (though somewhat oversexed, we hear, and keen on Savile Row suits, just as Hubbard was – ah, feet of clay). I hoped that Roanne would inherit Scn (as her granddad promised in 1981) and just like Krishnamurti did with Theosophy, give it all away. No such luck. Instead we have the Philly street tough. But a lovely story, thank you!

        • Shelly Britt Corrias

          “Was it evil/manic brilliance in planning or more like a “perfect storm” or “spontaneous domino effect”? It’s hard enough to articulate the question. Knowing the answer is relevant though, especially with the increasingly violent radicalization.

          • Stacy

            Motive is always important to understanding how to treat/ rehabilitate or prevent future occurrences.

        • Jon Atack

          The blinkless TRs certainly created some interesting responses, but for the most part, people just hallucinated and got high.

      • Jon Atack

        all true. We could never attain Hubbard’s level – the ability to perceive the truth and make money from it. As Nibs used to say, if we were becoming gods, what did that make his dad? DM I have come to believe is an utter cynic, with no belief in the Bridge. Hubbard varied from one day to the next, though he did admit it was a scam to one interviewer (off record) in the late 60s and said that he loved ‘reeling in the clever ones.’ The sign of a lesser mind is its delight in fooling those of us supposedly more intelligent.

    • Shelly Britt Corrias

      Eyes closed in a room full of strangers – for hours. That was me at 17, away from home in the “big city”. Good lord, this aspect never occurred to me either. And your last question I have been wondering about for some time. The jury is still out. i wonder what Jon thinks about that.

      • Stacy

        Good point. If Jon shows up to read comments, we’ll have to ask him.

    • BosonStark

      Definitely, I think it creates a bond to the group and to the belief in Scientology. That is two things meditation will not do if you are practicing it by yourself and using it as a means of quieting your thoughts, feeling peaceful and content, or gaining control over anxious feelings.

    • Rita Gregory

      He was certainly clever enough to observe just how to control people.

      • shasha40

        I hate to admit it , but he sure was . Great con man . smh

        • TheHoleDoesNotExist

          Ron had a lot of help every step of the way. He was a smooth bullshitter, especially in his time when information took years, not minutes, to be shared. But remember, that’s why he was always on the run, as soon as his last supporter or “assistant” got wise to him, he vanished. Today, every time DM comes up with something, we get to find out about it within 24 hours sometimes.

    • MaxSpaceman

      PSYCHOPOLITICS – the art and
      science of asserting and maintaining
      dominion over the thoughts and
      loyalties of individuals, officers,
      bureaus, and masses, and the effecting
      of the conquest of enemy
      nations through “mental healing.”

      From L Ron. Lafayette’s infamous “Brainwashing Manual” http://www.apfn.org/pdf/The_Brainwashing_Manual.pdf

      • Stacy

        Thanks. I’ve been wanting a look at his brainwashing manual.

    • ze moo

      Lron had 30 years to perfect his scam and he had a lot of ‘help’ from the loyal minions. He wasn’t a genius, he was a naughty scamy boy.

      • villagedianne

        Manipulating people that much is a kind of genius. Let’s not underestimate it, lest we fall victim to it in some part of our life.

    • Eivol Ekdal

      “If you control someone’s body, you control their mind”
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elFdBCldOz4#t=175

    • My intuition is that Hubbard had little of no theoretical understanding of what he was doing.

      He ‘succeeded’ in creating the controlling social environment that is Scientology because he was personally obsessed with obtaining power over others, and tirelessly tried out new ideas to achieve this. When some new approach enhanced his power, he retained it. When it didn’t, he discarded it.

      One of the reasons reason the whole mess works is the emphasis on secrecy and the refusal to explicitly describe what the objective of any technique is. Practitioners have to come up with own epiphanies, and are not allowed to discuss these with each other. Nobody is exactly sure what Scientology really is. When you combine this with Hubbard’s unquestionable assertion that Scientology always works, and if it appears to fail this is only because you are doing it wrong, it cannot be falsified.

      This is why Scientology is such a confusing complicated mess. Hubbard never had to discard an idea just because it was not consistent with his previous statements. Only the minority who learned the ‘secret teachings’ encounter the major contradictions. Once they had ‘advanced’ that far would likely have adopted the Scientology mindset, and have learned question their own understanding instead of Hubbard.

      Another reason Scientology has lasted so long is that Hubbard was greedy, stashing away a personal fortune to no purpose. This huge cash reserve has enabled it to survive far longer than it could have done if it had to rely on its doctrines and practices.

      I think the bewildering variety of fringe groups that were around in the 1950s were like lottery tickets. There was a tiny chance of any one of them ‘wining’ by surviving a substantial length of time – but someone had to win. It turned out to be Hubbard. If it had been another clueless guru who won the jackpot we would likely be asking the same question about him (or her).

      • Stacy

        Great comments, Once Born. I was hoping you’d weigh in.
        I find myself going back and forth on this- did LRH TRULY understand what he was doing, on a theoretical level, or did he not? You’ve just swung me back toward the “he did not” side.
        I wonder what Anonymous has to say about this. Hopefully he’ll weigh in too. 🙂

      • Jon Atack

        He was too busy getting high and dealing with his savage depression. Jim Dincalci’s interview will appear here – as if by magic – soon, where he explains this moodiness – when he was looking after the Source in 1972. Barbara Klowdon, who was Hubbard’s girlfriend, while he was being unfaithful to his second wife [‘I had no second wife’] just like Dincalci became a psychologist after her encounter with the great man. She too says that he suffered from immobilising depression. Dincalci also points out his paranoia, which is evident once you’ve stepped back far enough from his writings. He just jumbled everything together and let us make whatever sense we could from it. His book collection was removed from St Hill, in the early 90s, when the marvellous Professor Johannes Aagard, set about listing the titles – pulp fiction and Crowley. The Hubbard library!

        • I’m beginning to think that the CofS evolved from Hubbard’s ramblings (shades of meme theory).

          1950s US society provided the environment and Hubbard’s need for power and money the selection pressure (the survival of the fittest being replaced with the survival of the option which yielded most money and power).

          This process took place during the early days of Scientology, when Hubbard was directly involved with members on a day-to-day basis. However, at some point, it became self-sustaining – took on a life of its own.

          When Hubbard went to sea, he began to lose touch. By the time he returned to the US to go into hiding he had completely lost any connection not only with Scientology but also with his own culture.

          Despite this, the CofS continued to function (and even underwent modest expansion) without much meaningful input from its leader. Hubbard’s light hand on the tiller allowed the organisation to adapt to new circumstances. His absence and occasional “immobilising depression” may have been functional, in that it gave grass roots Scientology the room it needed to adapt to new circumstances.

          Miscavige’s doctrinaire micro-management froze the CofS time – and any organism which can no longer adapt is on the road to extinction.

          I would love to see the titles in Hubbard’s ‘book collection’. His reading comprehension was evidently poor, and this would confirm that his ‘research material’ was superficial too.

          His only talent seems to have been to recognise and exploit popular concerns (e.g the threat of nuclear war and ‘radiation’) and exploit them to the hilt – as long as his readers had little knowledge of these subjects, themselves.

          • Jon Atack

            Hubbard was a fairly typical manic depressive, but of a sociopathic bent with severe paranoid tendencies. So he often exploded with energy and then slumped into despair. Barbara Klowdon told us that he was drinking a bottle of Scotch a day and couldn’t think of anything. She had him stare at a blank sheet of paper, until he finally decided he could expand his ‘tone scale’ (the humours, as I’ve commented elsewhere). Richard de Mille was with him for the second part of Science of Survival, and says he was drinking a bottle of rum a day for that. De Mille had to gather the ramblings – recorded on little green discs – and put them into book form (to make the most readable of the books – Hubbard, of course, never had the focus to finish another book, after DMSMH). He grabbed whatever was popular – Cybernetics had hit the news, so he borrowed the ‘netics’ and added the Roman name of his preferred goddess – Diana – to it.

            He was already aloof after the first course at Elizabeth. A friend of mine was on the second, and Hubbard was nowhere to be seen. He liked to give his 45 minute lecture and leave. A few people managed to spend time with him – the Kemps and Reg Sharpe, later on, but they had to adulate him adequately, and they had to leave when he was bored.

            He often interfered down to the smallest detail (the menus on the ship, for instance – though how many variants on rice and beans there are, I’m not sure). The trend was that when he took over, the stats would collapse. So, for instance, the ‘Battle of Britain’ which was blamed on Sibersky was planned by Hubbard, and it took a mass of money (by imprisoning believers until they coughed up), and then Sibersky was scapegoated (I talked with someone who overheard Hubbard’s orders to him). I was fascinated by Jeff Hawkins account – he put DMSMH back on the best seller lists by ignoring Hubbard policy and following standard industry procedure. I was surprised whenever I read a source book – such as Reiss and Trout’s Positioning – to find how much Hubbard seemed to have misunderstood of the techniques involved.

            The cult is devouring itself – at that point of malnutrition where the organs are digested – the last part of the ‘cycle’ of action: decay. Because there are no Sea Org babies, public are being sec checked to find out why they aren’t sacrificing their own children. This is utter folly, as the Patrons will defect as their children return with freeloader bills and broken nails. But a dinosaur with $8 billion dollars can live on its own organs for decades. I wish DM would just run away with the money and leave the poor victims to find their way back to life. But he has OCD and the org is necessary to his own sense of ego. He’d be bored running his own island without a whole gang of people to bully.

            The books were sci-fi pulps and Crowley. Sadly, Johs didn’t send me the list (though he told me about the books having been removed when he revisited).

            Yes, he saw what was panicking the public and went for it, desperately and never with much success. The cult never reached the size of the 1950 Dianetics movement, though his control increased, year by year (until the pinnacle of fair game, disconnection and heavy ethics), but even when in hiding he had his telex machine and was issuing orders.

            He was an opportunist. We need to help people better understand such people as so many of them have power in our world and rely on our support to keep it so.

            • It’s hard to diagnose a psychiatric condition at second hand – especially when the subject was apparently an enthusiastic user of a variety of drugs. Was Hubbard bipolar? His writing binges, followed by deep depression fit the bill – but he was also taking powerful stimulants which produce the same symptoms.

              This said, the best argued retrospective diagnosis of Hubbard I have come across is a paper which attributes a personality disorder called ‘malignant narcissism’ to him. https://scicrit.wordpress.com/2014/06/18/malignant-narcissim-l-ron-hubbard-and-scientologys-policies-of-narcisstic-rage/

              The authors suggest that this disorder was incorporated into the culture and practices of Scientology, which goes some way to explaining its corporate behaviour is so intolerant and vengeful. They use the experience of the persecution of Paulette Cooper as an example of Hubbard’s ‘narcissistic rage’ and suggest that this characteristic was incorporated into Scientology’s DNA.

              Your account of Hubbard’s aloof behaviour and micro-management is interesting. I get the the impression that Hubbard was being held together by the people around him. It’s a strange paradox. They believed he was some kind of universal genius, while at the same time they doing much of ‘his’ work for him and somehow denying this (not to mention the evidence of their own eyes). This suggests that the organisation worked best when Hubbard was not interfering.

              It’s interesting that you suggest Scientology never reached the membership of Dianetics at it’s height. Perhaps this was probably because Hubbard was forced to play to his strength – as a con artist.

              This ‘talent’ enabled him to persuade John W Campbell (who was a good publicist with a popular pulp magazine at his command) to launch and promote the book.

              This is probably why there is such a pronounced contrast between the success of dianetics (which cost him nothing to promote) and the failure of “Battlefied Earth” and “Mission Earth” (which was self-published, and cost a fortune to ‘promote’) https://scicrit.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/l-ron-hubbard-david-miscavige-and-the-curse-of-the-guru/

              Finally, there will always be potential demagogues among us. While we do need to understand the individual pathology of people like Hubbard, we also need to understand the social situations which such disordered individuals to gain power. It is probably impossible to understand Hubbard without understanding how and why his ramblings appealed to post-war, Cold War America.

            • Jon Atack

              Yes, Jodi Lane’s work is interesting. Of course, Barbara Klowdon and Jim Dincalci gave first hand accounts, and both went on to achieve the relevant qualifications in psychology to make their determinations of his mental health. The same is true for Richard de Mille – who spent three months with Hubbard, writing Science of Survival, and later became a professor of psychology. De Mille wrote to me, congratulating the analysis I gave in A Piece of Blue Sky, and supported a doctoral application for that text. Here is the relevant passage, which, as you’ll see, prefigures the notion that Hubbard’s narcissism was externalised into Scientology (first made by Judge Breckenridge in his 1984 ruling), as Lane later suggested (her supervisor, Steve Kent said that Blue Sky exceeded the standard for doctoral research and would be the foundation for all future academic enquiry):

              In the mid-1960s, Hubbard began to speak of
              himself as the “Source” of Scientology. Having initially acknowledged his debt
              to Freud and a host of philosophers, and having handed out numerous
              “Fellowships” to Scientologists for their “major contributions,” he finally
              decided that Scientology was his creation alone4: “Willing as I was to
              accept suggestions and data, only a handful of suggestions (less than twenty)
              had long run value and none were major or basic; and when I did accept major or
              basic suggestions and used them, we went astray.”

              Hubbard was not truly the “Source” of
              Scientology, little, if any, of his work is original. Hubbard pieced together
              modified versions of pre-existing ideas. Hubbard’s peculiar genius was for
              reframing ideas so they would fit neatly into his own belief system, and
              articulating them in a digestible form. For example, Scientology organizations
              use surveying techniques derived from Motivational Research, which was
              developed by psychiatrists in the 1950s. The only text referred to by Hubbard
              in this connection was Vance Packard’s “The Hidden Persuaders.” Hubbard failed
              to acknowledge that Scientology survey methods derive from the psychiatric
              stimulus-response techniques which Packard was attacking.

              Hubbard insisted that Scientology alone
              could save the world from a holocaust. Scientology would create “a civilization
              without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can
              prosper.”5 His own survival, in an environment conducive to
              “research,” was therefore imperative, at least until his work was complete. In
              his own words6: “the whole agonized future of this planet, every
              Man, Woman and Child … depends on what you do here and now with and in
              Scientology.” Hubbard believed that his was a messianic mission. To quote from
              his obtuse poem Hymn of Asia, written
              in the 1950s: “See me dead/ Then I will live forever/ But you will/ See/ An
              Earth in flames/ So deadly that/ Not one will live/ Fail once to stem a hand
              that smites/ Against me and/ I die.”

              In his writings, Hubbard made a distinction
              between morals and ethics. The former being based upon custom and opinion, the
              latter upon reasoned “pro-survival” decisions. He advocated the pursuit of “the
              greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics” (the eight “dynamics,” or
              urges toward survival for self, family, groups, mankind, matter, other life forms,
              spirit and infinity). If Scientology was to save the world, and if it depended
              upon L. Ron Hubbard for its completion, then the “greatest good for the
              greatest number of dynamics” would always include as its most significant
              aspect the continued protection and support of L. Ron Hubbard.

              To Hubbard, anyone who opposed or even
              criticized him was evil, their opposition to him inevitably slowing the
              progress of mankind. It was his published assertion that the
              “anti-Scientologist” and the “anti-social personality” are one and the same.
              His obsession with enemies sprang from his evident paranoia. A former Director
              of the original Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation told me of Hubbard’s
              overwhelming suspicion about agents infiltrating the organization. A girlfriend
              of the early 1950s said he was forever looking over his shoulder. The trait
              developed, until he came to believe that the American Medical Association, the
              World Federation of Mental Health, the world bankers, the press barons, and the
              Western governments were all involved in a multi-million dollar plan to destroy
              Scientology, and, especially, L. Ron Hubbard.

              In his ruling in the Armstrong suit in
              California, Judge Breckenridge called Hubbard “schizophrenic,” but was he
              really insane? Avoiding the sometimes contradictory definitions of psychiatric
              authorities, it seems safe to take the legal view that a madman is someone who
              cannot be considered responsible for his actions. He suffers from delusions,
              and has no clear sense of right and wrong. Psychiatrist Frank Gerbode, who
              practiced Scientology for many years, feels that Hubbard was not schizophrenic,
              but rather “manic with paranoid tendencies” (which is not a classification of
              psychosis, but of tendencies towards psychosis). However, Gerbode suggests that
              the best description is the lay diagnosis, “loony.” Even if Hubbard was manic
              with paranoid tendencies, he was still sane in the eyes of the law, and
              therefore still responsible for his actions.

              Hubbard borrowed the expression
              “anti-social personality” from psychiatry, where it is synonymous with
              psychopath and sociopath. Professor of psychiatry Hervey Cleckley, who became
              famous with his co-authorship of The
              Three Faces of Eve, was an acknowledged authority on psychopaths. In his
              book The Mask of Sanity, he listed 16
              telling characteristics, the majority of which are found in psychopaths.

              Cleckley pictured psychopaths as
              superficially charming and of good intelligence. Their thinking is logical, and
              has a basis in reality, which is to say they do not suffer from delusions. They
              are not nervous or neurotic. They are unreliable, untruthful and insincere.
              They feel no remorse. They perform anti-social acts without any real motive.
              Psychopaths do not learn from experience. They have “pathologic” egocentricity,
              an incapacity for love and are unresponsive in relationships. They cannot
              comprehend the response generated by their anti-social actions. Psychopaths
              demonstrate uninviting behavior, and tend to drink or take drugs. Finally, they
              do not respond to any sort of therapy. According to Cleckley, psychopaths have
              a remarkable ability to evade punishment. A psychiatrist could construct a
              powerful case to support the diagnosis that Hubbard was a psychopath, or
              anti-social personality. At least in Cleckley’s terms.

              Of course, Hubbard had his own version of
              the anti-social personality, Suppressive Person or anti-Scientologist7:
              they speak in generalities (“everybody knows”); deal mainly in bad news; worsen
              communication they are relaying; are surrounded by “cowed or ill associates or
              friends”; habitually select the wrong target, or source; are unable to finish
              anything; willingly confess to alarming crimes, without any sense of
              responsibility; support only destructive groups; approve only destructive
              actions; detest help being given to others, and use “helping” as a pretext to
              destroy others; they believe that no-one really owns anything; and fail to
              respond to therapy.

              Hubbard conforms to a number of the
              characteristics in both his own and Cleckley’s summaries. Hubbard’s clinching
              point for the recognition of an anti-social personality was the inability of
              the Suppressive to see any of the listed deficiencies in himself. There is no
              suggestion that Hubbard ever saw himself as a Suppressive Person.

              However, as another authority, Robert G.
              Kegan, has pointed out, the traits of the psychopath are also true of many
              ten-year-olds (in “The Child Behind the Mask: Sociopathy as Developmental
              Delay”). Hubbard was very much an overgrown child, and it is easy to see
              aspects both of his behavior, and of Scientology as projections of this
              dangerous immaturity. Hubbard’s self-obsession fits neatly into the
              psychopathic type known as a narcissist.

              Judge Breckenridge called the Church of
              Scientology Hubbard’s “alter-ego;” a perceptive comment. Indeed, the whole of
              Scientology can be seen as an externalization of Hubbard’s temperament.

              Scientology makes more sense when seen in
              the light of Hubbard’s psychopathic tendencies, and his paranoia. His bouts of
              exhilaration in the belief that he had conquered some deficiency, and his bouts
              of intense and usually private depression when his deficiencies once more took
              hold, created a pattern which runs throughout Scientology.

            • I would agree that Hubbard despite showing signs of a serious personality disorder and having addled with self-administered drugs was ‘crazy as a bedbug’, but legally responsible for his actions.

              My view is that he had a partner in crime, who supported his actions and maintained the myth of the man among people who had never met. This was the Church of Scientology.

              The behaviour of the organisation was modelled on the behaviour of Hubbard, and was designed to achieve his personal objectives (money and power). The organisation has a abusive ‘personality’ that operates independent of its founder.

              We are all familiar with entertainers, who start out as decent people, but are corrupted by the money and power that comes with ‘success’. They surround themselves with yes-men, completely lose perspective and begin to behave in outrageously abusive ways.

              If the entertainment industry was a person, we could unhesitatingly diagnose it as a sociopath, which has a bad influence on many of the people who work within it. The same applies to the Church of Scientology.

              Good people who are not mentally ill will behave in outrageous ways in
              certain (toxic) social situations http://www.lucifereffect.com/

              Hubbard was not a cruel and manipulative person at best. This tendency was made worse by the toxic social situation (the CofS) that he created in his own image, and the fact that he was its undisputed dictator.

              Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

              Towards the end of Hubbard’s life, I think his creation consumed him, and spat him out. From about the point that he went to sea, the organisation was operating independently of Hubbard, and it only needed him as a figurehead.

              An explanation of Hubbard’s power needs to take account not only of his individual pathology but also the social situation in which it operated.

            • Jon Atack

              I agree, save with the notion that Hubbard was not cruel and manipulative ‘at best’. We picked up accounts from early childhood on, researching Blue Sky and Bare-Faced Messiah and he seems to have been both cruel and manipulative by nature. As with most sociopaths, he was capable of charm, and there are still followers who spent much time with him and are sure that it was the Sea Org that sent power to his head, but how about the 1955 The Scientologist: A Manual on the Dissemination of Material, where he puts forward the notion of ruining ‘utterly’ any unlicensed practitioner by using the law to ‘harass’. He was vindictive. That he kidnapped Alexis, and kept her from her mother (whom he had tortured, as he did his first wife) for three months is hardly credible. But it happened only months after he released his world saving cure.

              Power does indeed tend to corrupt (and absolute power absolutely so), but Hubbard was out to con from the very beginning. When he switched from deep trance hypnosis after DMSMH was commissioned, with no light trance work at all, he simply explained to Don Rogers that hypnosis was unpopular. The moment before they opened the doors to the first foundation, he turned to Don and said, ‘Let’s sell these people a piece of blue sky.’

              He started out a pathological liar (as accounts from those who knew him in the 30s and 40s show – watch this space for more like the Forest Ackerman interview – we have plenty yet to come) with a very weak ego. He couldn’t bear criticism and longed to be adulated (forget the Code of Honour!), as many people have told me over the years (John McMaster couldn’t believe how narcissistic Hubbard was, but in that case it took one to know one). He was a sick man – physically and mentally – and a dangerous one. That doesn’t mean I don’t think he could have been redeemed. I wept at news of his death, because I had some silly idea that I might sit with him in prison and help him back to reality. Oh, well.

              But as you say, and Judge Breckenridge said before us, Scientology is the ‘alter-ego’ of Hubbard, and under DM has become even more destructive. Let’s hope that the Indies continue to renounce that part of ‘scripture’ which is termed ‘ethics’ in the looking glass world of Ron Hubbard. I suspect that many will begin to adopt the underlying tech if they achieve power (as they are doing in Russia, right now).

    • Jon Atack

      I agree. He was generally out of it on phenobarbital, amphetamines, demarol, booze or whatever else he could stick into himself. I have nothing to suggest that he was well read or thoughtful. But once he’d gathered enough followers, they brought him ideas. I’ve interviewed many and learned that he would pick up ideas and then spin them slightly (‘alter-is’) and sell them on. Indeed, in the early days, he awarded ‘doctorates’ to those who contributed ideas. He just added new ideas, without ever subtracting the old and left the mess of contradictions to simmer. So the double bind confusion of cognitive dissonance that keeps believers fixed. It is embarrassing to think that I fervently believed in this silly nonsense for nine years. I think I’m going to sit in the corner and cry…

      • Stacy

        You know better than to be embarrassed. You’ve studied LRH enough to know how well he packaged scientology, and what a slick job he did drawing people in gradually. But if you still feel the need to cry, I’ll pat your back for you and nod sympathetically in all the right places..

        • Jon Atack

          Thanks, all sympathy gratefully accepted. I do think it is appropriate, every now and then, to keep in mind that we are fallible and I try to have a modicum of humility (though my enormous ego keeps getting in the way, somehow).

          • Stacy

            A little ego is always ok; if you can’t get it through the door, however…
            Did you get the Melton list?

            • Jon Atack

              I did, thanks so much (how did Melton and ego get into the same paragraph, I wonder?). The balance between ego and humility is a difficult one. I’m not one for kissing lepers (so unhygienic) but at the other end is Hubbard’s constantly blaring trumpet (the only development in the fields of mind and spirit in 50k years, as he so modestly put it). Best to be a little too far one way for an hour and then a little too far the other, perhaps. I must admit, I don’t actually have time to think about my own greatness or insignificance. Maybe I should work harder at it…

            • Stacy

              Sorry, I digressed. Referring to a conversation we had a while ago about Gordon Melton articles, and seeing if there were articles you wanted. I sent you a list and didn’t hear anything, so I was mildly wondering if that email went astray.

  • Xique

    Some of the worst memories are returning to me. Yes, sitting in a course room full of strangers, eyes closed, with what I presumed was an equally uncomfortable student sitting across from me, supervisor lurking, clock ticking was brutal. Be There Comfortably and Confront was the instruction. I was anything but comfortable. In the privacy of my own home I enjoy quiet meditation, but in the “church” it was awful .

  • It’s probably just me, and meditation/self-reflection must not be discarded, but I think the happiest times of my life were when I was engaged with others, as in having meaningful and/or just fun conversations. Also, any form of art. And sometimes just a quiet time by myself, without much thought, may be just listening to the rain.
    I hope it’s not too confusing. As always, thanks Jon, Tony and every Bunkerite.

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      Doesn’t quiet time by yourself, without much thought, listening to the rain count? Does vegetating while laying back in the spa with the multilight fountain on count?

      • Indeed.

      • Richard Grant

        Yes certainly, IMO.

        I think the strength of meditation is that it gives us a way of creating this kind of mental space when there is no garden or spa or fountain at hand. And meditating *in* a garden — or beneath a great ancient tree, as with the Buddha — is pretty awesome too.

        • Shelly Britt Corrias

          Wow. Bingo!

        • It can be anything. And it’s free.

          • GSioux

            Free, simple, but for many, not easy.

      • romanesco

        Who’s counting?

      • Racnad

        Yes it does. Do that 15 minutes every day, and you’re 90 percent to where all the Mindfulness books are pointing to.

      • GSioux

        All those are types of mindfulness. Unfortunately people want to settle on a definition of mindfulness rather than understanding/contemplating the qualities of the state of mindfulness. Building that ability into your daily life is the goal – and you have found various ways to do it. Nice!

      • Jon Atack

        Yes, it does. Now please send me the numbers so that I can access your ‘bank’ account.

    • Shelly Britt Corrias

      Not confusing at all. Gardening and art are my go-to’s.

      • I love THDNE and your comments. Just reading them an imagining it feels like peace.

        • Rita Gregory

          I agree, Dodo.

        • Richard Grant

          What a nice thing to say, Dodo! You are a gentleman.

          • Shelly Britt Corrias

            Indeed he is. Thanks Dodo.

        • TheHoleDoesNotExist

          My zen like garden and backyard I had planned in my head for years. When I was able to make it happen, I sat down with the landscaper and whipped out the whole scene in a half hour, including the materials list. I love it when anyone new comes over and I watch them physically and mentally go “ahhhhhhhhhhh”. Of course there are blutooth speakers hooked up to the music playlists.

          • Shelly Britt Corrias

            So cool. I am working on mine, transforming a years-neglected small yard. It’s taking time and that’s OK with me. In fact, I’m going out later to put in about 120 bulbs and a few plants before it freezes. We should share pix sometime.

      • Jon Atack

        Me too. And music.

    • Mike Leopold

      Dodo, you are no Dodo!

    • Stacy

      I’m with you Dodo. Your suggestions hold more peace and fulfillment for me than any of the times I’ve tried meditation. The paths varies for many of us.

    • “playing in the dirt”, what i call gardening, brings me more peace of mind than years of therapy did….just being in tune with nature, the earth, listening to the birds, talking to the toads i find, transplanting flowers and wishing them well, etc….i think the same as when i sit in the street and read during the summer…it’s warm, i half zone out and it’s very relaxing…..

      might be ‘mediation’ in a traditional sense, but it does relax my mind greatly…..i am far too impatient and too much of an aries to sit and focus on JUST mediating, must be ‘doing’ something…..

      • Thank you, Miss Tia. I really, really like your comment.

        • Thanks Dodo! Oh and Good Morning! 🙂 I got up late today!

      • TheQueenofBulgravia

        Dear Miss Tia, Although your Street looks very Genteel, please do not sit in the street and read. It is a Toadal danger to your Queenly Self and your Neighbours may think You’re Daft(er). 😉

        • Too late! I’ve been doing this for YEARS!! I’m the last house on the left hand side (if you google map it and do street view– Robinette Ct, Akron OH 44310 –i freely give my address out no worries!!) I see in street between that small area between the driveway and the front steps—which are now totally covered by honeysuckle, I use the side door, don’t care about the front door! 🙂 I put out 2 chairs, a reclining one to sit in and a regular plastic chair as a footstool and I face the dead end section as that is where the sun is shining from and I adjust the chairs accordingly as the sun moves during the day….I’m basically technically ‘on’ the sidewalk—but we really don’t have one as the street is only 15′ across….

          My neighbors EXPECT me out there now, I’ve been doing it so long!! I’m also considered the de facto neighborhood watch and if something happens, someone is walking around that doesn’t belong, someone will phone me or yell over and I’ll go check it out!

          It is ‘toadally’ safe and if i wasn’t daft or something weird, like being a toad taxi, etc my neighbors might think i’ve gone normal! 😉

      • ze moo
        • Oh excellent! I haven’t heard this one in years!! 🙂

      • Shelly Britt Corrias

        My cat (in my avi) showed up one day in the garden. He came from nowhere and photo bombed me. He was maybe eight months old and wild. He eventually adopted us. It’s been almost six months now and we love him immensely.

        • awwww, that’s so sweet!!! he’s adorable!!

    • GSioux

      You are very fortunate to have those experiences.

    • daytoncapri

      Dodo – I wish you upon you and to everyone. It’s a good thing. Happened to me once in my life. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stendhal_syndrome

    • Jon Atack

      What the psychs call ‘flow’, which can be helped by a tad of meditation. For me the point of meditation is not enlightenment (I’ve long given up on that and entered the state of Complete Disillusionment with No Perception) but calm.

      • Calm/peace is golden. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience, Jon. I learn from it.

        • Jon Atack

          Thank you for your responses, I learn from them.

          • Wow. Welcome. I will take it as a compliment!

  • TheHoleDoesNotExist

    My hubby wants to know if there’s a meditation app. Tech nerds, heh.

    • Eivol Ekdal

      Angry Birds

      • TheHoleDoesNotExist

        Bwahaha.

        • Eivol Ekdal

          Angry Gay Birds?

      • Tsunetomo

        Bubblewrap.

    • Rita Gregory

      According to a quick google search, there are.

    • Ravi Shankar, Enya. Alternate. Available on Youtube.

      • TheHoleDoesNotExist

        Interesting you and Richard popped up with music, like an organic app! Making notes now, although Enya already on yhe list.

        • Shelly Britt Corrias

          Your statement made me realize that during my last years in the SO, I turned to music very much as a “release” or refuge. I had my favorites, and when things were just fucked up beyond repair, there was STILL a handful of CDs that could keep me going.

      • Shelly Britt Corrias

        Hevia, which is electronic bagpipe music from Spain. Heavenly, for lack of a better description.

        • Stacy

          Have to say, Dude looks like he’s reached the ultimate state of transcendence in your new avi pic. 🙂

        • Love it! Thank you very much, Shelly!

    • Richard Grant

      This may not work for everyone, but there’s an app made by Brian Eno and Peter Chilvers called Bloom that creates what Eno calls “generative music” which I find is conducive to meditation, especially in noisy or distracting environments. (Chillers and Eno have made other apps along these lines, but I find the others to be more distracting than calming.) It’s not a meditation app per se, and of course YMMV, as we used to say.

    • Juicer77

      Cat on the lap. Begin chin scratch to start purr cycle. Repeat as needed. Headbonks optional.

      • Shelly Britt Corrias

        we did that this morning! highest ever headbonks, too!

        • Juicer77

          We were trying but the dog employed Cold Wet Nose tech and interrupted us 🙂

      • villagedianne

        from http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-do-cats-purr/

        Scientists have demonstrated that cats produce the purr through intermittent signaling of the laryngeal and diaphragmatic muscles. Cats purr during both inhalation and exhalation with a consistent pattern and frequency between 25 and 150 Hertz. Various investigators have shown that sound frequencies in this range can improve bone density and promote healing.

        So there you have it. I expect the headbonks will prove to be therapeutic as well.

    • BosonStark

      Vocalizing or aural (voices, music) input reduces my chance of entering the meditative state. It varies with people but for me it is a true shutting down the stream of thoughts which is ordinarily part of our consciousness, even when we’re vocalizing or listening to music. So it includes not thinking about music or getting a lot of sensory input. That’s why a quiet place is better for meditation.

      The seated, crossed-leg posture helps a lot though and I don’t know why. Focusing on a spot of color, with my eyes closed, helped me to stop my stream of thoughts and enter the meditative state.

      • “a quiet place” – just a concept alone worth meditating upon.

        • TheQueenofBulgravia
          • Replace a pacifier with a little beard and it looks almost exactly like me!
            I hug a lion pillow though.

        • BosonStark

          Yeah, you need that so you can hear the voice inside you scream, “Am I meditating yet?”

          Seriously, that’s why the feedback was so important to me, of knowing I might experience this scalp tightening sensation. Without that, otherwise you have no way of knowing if you are really meditating, and you start thinking too much about whether you’re meditating or not.

          Scientology keeps people at it, seated doing these TRs for so long, it’s more likely to happen for them, so it’s a structured discipline. I just think meditating alone is easier when you’re learning it because having other people around is distracting to me, but apparently it isn’t if you sit there long enough.

          I figure that one of the reasons that the “color spot” method I use is not well known is that you can’t market music, groups, rituals or an elaborate elaborate method around it. It’s not a set of tools. Xenu is not included at a higher level.

          The person I mentioned who suggested I try holding the meditative state throughout the day got one of the highest scores in the country on the Medical College Admissions Test, so some people really used meditation for something of value. But I don’t know for a fact if the meditation had anything to do with it because I think he was a genius to begin with.

          • I appreciate you sharing the experience. It’s new for me.

            • Shelly Britt Corrias

              Me too.

          • I appreciate you sharing your insight. It’s a new territory to me.

    • MaxSpaceman

      a start, which may lead to an app. Great resource. http://marc.ucla.edu/default.cfm
      UCLA has a Website devoted to the subject of mindfulness meditation.

      • TheHoleDoesNotExist

        thanks – bookmarked.

    • Freethinker

      May I suggest Headspace. My wife and I have found it to be an excellent way to dip your toes in to mindfulness meditation practice. We have been using it every day.

      http://www.headspace.com

      • TheHoleDoesNotExist

        and thank you, too. Bookmarked. My hubby especially needs quick, anywhere anytime breaks with his work and schedule. Always learning so much in the Bunker.

    • Zer0

      Lots of good stuff out there. I like the emWave which provides real-time feedback which can be recorded on a computer.

      • TheHoleDoesNotExist

        Lots of homework this weekend. Thanks so much.

    • Racnad

      Yes there are. I’ve seen a couple that play spacey music with breathing sounds to help you focus on breathing, while showing peaceful nature pictures. I think they’re sort of a crutch.

  • BosonStark

    I learned to mediate apart from any religious philosophy or chanting and found it very useful. No one taught it to me, or if they did, it didn’t work at that time. I read a sort of all-about book on TM which among other things said to sit cross-legged, arms resting palms up, closed eyes, focus on a spot of color in the center of what would be your visual field, voiding the mind of thoughts and relax, breathing normally but being mindful of it. The physical signal that you’re meditating and have changed your brain waves to a different state will be the tightening of the scalp or a tightening at the temples, and a sense of deep relaxation.

    And so it was. I got there in less than 5 minutes and then practiced it fairly regularly for a few years. At the time, I was astounded that I could invoke a specific change of state of consciousness like that so easily. After that, it became a useful tool to use before interviews, stage performances or other things that would ordinarily make me nervous. I use it less than once a year now probably because I’m not anxious about things. I could also use it to fall asleep faster, if I was anxious about something.

    The only more advanced thing I learned to do was control the color of the spot I was viewing behind closed eyes, taking it through the spectral range. I met a more advanced practitioner of meditation who told me I should try to hold the meditative state with eyes open for longer periods, all day even, and while moving around. I got so I could do that, somewhat, but I never did it for hours. I liked the feeling of doing it for 10 minutes at most, then coming out of it feeling refreshed and focused.

    Had I learned meditation thinking it was something magical bestowed by Dr. Hubtard’s “technology,” I think I still would have been curious about what other practices teach about it. The idea of it being used to turn people into obedient robots for Ron is chilling and that is its primary purpose in Sciloontology, getting you to be “certain” about Ron’s BS.

    Meditation never had a downside for me at all and I found it to be very practical and I wish I learned it in childhood instead of in my 20s. I had a lot more to be anxious about growing up. I never had an inclination to do it in a group or use it as a pathway to spiritual enlightenment, or it never served that purpose for me.

  • Tsunetomo

    Fascinating post. As a never-in, my understanding of Scientology is, of course, pretty shallow compared to many of you that frequent the bunker. But I can’t help thinking that Scientology is a kind of anti-Buddhism. One of the central doctrines of Buddhism, as I understand it, is the renunciation of identity, the idea that one’s sense of self is a burdensome construct that we schlep around with us every waking moment, and we will be happier and far less anxious when we set it down and simply allow ourselves to be. Whereas Scientology offers the reverse outlook, the idea that we can build our minds to fulfil an infantile fantasy of super-powered omnipotence. An approach which, ironically, leads a person further away from who they truly are. Buddhists look up to the Dali Lama, whereas Scientologist’s aspiration figurehead is a diminutive film star who regularly evokes the type of creepy unease one feels around mannequins or clockwork automata – the suspicion that one is watching an imitation of humanity, something that walks and talks but has no inner life, no authentic self.

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      That’s a pass! And an eloquent, visual one at that.

    • Shelly Britt Corrias

      Incredibly astute! From the moment you engage with $cn, it’s all about something that is “wrong” with you, which $cn can fix. And with each process or training course, you’re less able to simply allow yourself to be.

      • pluvo

        Yes. You enter Scientology finding out about what is ”wrong with you“ or …concealed as “Scn is making the able more able” – and there is nothing wrong with wanting to be more able. “What, I use only part of my inherited potential? What a shame!”

        One of the first things you learn is that you have a reactive mind which you need to get rid of to use your full potential. This is depicted like a disease you need to get rid of. The goal is to
        get rid of this “reactive mind” – the evil in you, holding you back and undermining your real potential. And not only that, this reactive mind is also the reason for all the ills in the world. Who didn’t observe unwanted or irrational behavior in oneself and others, “The goal of Scn: A world without war, crime, and insanity” – also when it is sounding too idealistic, to strive in that direction is really not a bad thing. At the same time people you like who are around you are improving, are getting more able, are getting rid of their “reactive mind” which is holding them back from their full potential. And to improve communication skills and gain knowledge about relationships is in vogue.

        Now – imagine this in a pre-Internet era where you cannot just find out all about the organization (‘Church’) with a few clicks. The stories are not told yet, didn’t happen yet – or when – were successfully suppressed with ‘fair game’.

        After this initiation and the first ‘wins’, and experiencing the wins of all the others, you are prepped (hooked). From there on you will find out what else is all wrong with you, what you have to get rid of. You have stepped on “The Bridge to What is All Wrong With You” sold as “The Bridge to Total Freedom”. And not only what is all wrong with you …but also what is all wrong with the others, yes even the world as such (I’m restraining here from listing all the labels which Hubbard invented for this).

        Most step off somewhere on this deceiving road, thus there are more and more “Exes”(the real expansion of the CoS), ‘causalities’, minor till severe, lining the road out. Scientology starts with “what is wrong with you”, is steadily increasing “what is wrong with you” – as covered by Scientology’s ‘ethics and justice’ – and ends with “what is all wrong with you”. Besides that nobody likes it to get told continually what is “all wrong with him” and what he did and is doing all wrong, it could explain some of the reactions from “Exes” on the way out – mental overload with “what else is wrong with you” interfering with the process of sorting out the indoctrination.

        Scientology, “the road to what is all wrong with you”, is masked by all kinds of “humanitarian” and self-help improvement assertions, prying on the good intentions of people.

        • Anonymous Confused Person

          Pluvo, ĉu vi parolas Esperanton?

          • pluvo

            No, I do not speak Esperanto. :). I just have chosen the name “pluvo” (rain) in Esperanto because it is kind of a neutral language – not existing and still there. It also sounds like Spanish which I like very much.
            I’m living in an area where people complain a lot about the rain. I love rain – thus pluvo.
            Anonymus Confused Person, you seem not confused at all 🙂 – do you speak Esperanto?

            • Anonymous Confused Person

              Hi, pluvo — I do! Though not very well. I’m good enough to s l o w l y work my way through Esperanto texts. It is pretty nifty, though. I love your avatar & nick. : )

        • 3feetback-of-COS

          I like to characterize Scientology as hijacking people’s good intentions.

          • Simple Thetan

            Bingo! I love it.

        • Shelly Britt Corrias

          Thank you for this, Pluvo.

          It truly is the Bridge to What is Wrong with You, courtesy of All-Wrong Hubbard himself.

          • pluvo

            Thank YOU, Shelly. You got me to complete the sorting out in my mind of this mechanism :).

        • daytoncapri

          Excellent post Pluvo.

          This is a serious statement, and I’ve held back on this, and a big step beyond your points.

          Someone close to me have been fair gamed, and I’m beyond bitter about it. Fair gaming can be so underhanded, unexpected and I sputter into profanity and cannot finish this sentence.

          With that perspective, sometimes I wonder if posters on this forum are deliberately delivering the “what else is wrong with you” message in order
          1) to scare the “lurking Ins” as they consider blowing,
          2) to damage the “Indies” as they post their transitional thinking
          3) to undermine the “Exes” as they try to help.

          Who are the first to jump on those who are not totally free?
          Who attacks the newbies?
          Who attacks all scientologists in any form – ex, indie, in?

          • pluvo

            Thanks! Yep, I know exactly what you mean. I really appreciated your comment two days ago… But I’m a bit careful as I was not on the ‘old’ critics boards and am no ‘expert’. I came here over the ‘Indies’ line. Besides warranted critic, I also think there is a kind of underhanded “divide and conquer” going on with the Indie bashing (others just jumping on the bandwagon) and driving of people who only dare to say something positive – and who have more inside stories to tell. Yes on all three of your points. But I am pretty sure that others are reading who observe this too. I made ones a comment about ‘sleepers’ and got my suspicion immediately acked.

            Luckily I had no fair gaming, I’m not important enough and I am at a good place. But it
            must be very vicious. The last on the Bunker who told about it happening was
            TheHoleDoesNotExist. We just need to continue and expose and expose and tell our stories. There are thousands of people who are reading daily – the Bunker is open 24/7.

            https://whyweprotest.net/threads/osa-tactic-for-crictics-in-fighting.51024/page-2#post-1059660

            https://whyweprotest.net/threads/osa-tactic-for-crictics-in-fighting.51024/

            I’m still learning. Pls ack when you have read this (I’m going to edit then). I appreciate your communication. 🙂 – Wish you all the best.

            • daytoncapri

              acked , thumbs up.

      • GSioux

        In Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction trainings, he emphasizes “there is much more right about you than is wrong with you.”

      • Cosmo Pidgeon

        It’s always about something that is wrong with you. It never ends. Until you notice there is something wrong about that.

    • romanesco

      Great observations. You should drop us a line more often.

    • My guess is, one can be anything and anyone, but first they should be able to be nothing and everything.
      And then they can be anything they want. Wow, I sound like a Guru.

      • Exterrier

        Ahh, thank you, oh Sensei master. 🙂

      • Jon Atack

        You are just so profound, yet at the same time shallow. How do you manage it? And how much will it cost me to plumb the depths of your profound shallowness, oh great One? But then I am already anything I want as well as everything I don’t want…

        • Aren’t we all are capable of being it all?! 😉 Great to hear from you, Jon!

    • Exterrier

      Thanks so much for pinpointing so well the feeling I get about Tom Cruise. Tsunetomo, your description of $iphonallogy as an Anti-Buddhism also created an “Aha” moment. A very observant Never-in you are.

    • Zer0

      “Scientology is a kind of anti-Buddhism”

      I’ve had that same thought many times. Instead of breaking down the walls of ego to reveal reality, Scientology builds the ego up to epic proportions, essentially creating insanity.

      • romanesco

        Plus, instead of seeking to reduce noise, distractions and conflict in people’s lives, it produces them.

        • Zer0

          Great point! It’s a snowball effect. The cognitive impairment of scientology is multifactorial, and it sure would introduce all manner of interpersonal difficulties.

      • Tsunetomo

        Exactly.

      • Innoculated

        Absolutely, ZerO, what you said. Egos are groomed and torn down, carrots are dangled and the fear stick is waved to motivate. People are caught in a trap eventually as in “I can’t have anything to do with you (fill in the blank) now that you’re an SP or I’ll lose my eternity.” People are always looking over their shoulder; they become their own prisoners really.

    • Douglas D. Douglas

      It sounds like you are describing a live-action version of the Uncanny Valley:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley

      • Tsunetomo

        Yep. Uncanny Valley. As you probably know, it was this quality exhibited by TM during chat show appearances that led Christian Bale to use him as a model for his performance as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho.

    • Racnad

      In Scientology, religion of many paradoxes, our lives are considered constructs we create at our own will, but at the same time a multitude of additional constructs are introduced: PTSness, Ethics conditions, body thetans, and of course, the Reactive Mind, which no one has until they learn about Dianetics and mock it up.

      • Jon Atack

        So true. It’s a good job we never evaluate for the preclear. Otherwise, they’d never be able to mock up a reactive mind or any of those body satans.

        • Racnad

          That’s the great irony of Scientology. While most people are not perfect when recruited – we all have our “ruin” – most of the problems addressed by Scientology – PTS symptoms, overt-motivators, feeling restimulated, keyed-in, other somatics, are in fact mocked up by the Scientologist – given the appearance being very real, AFTER being told by LRH one has these problems.

          • Jon Atack

            A human being without problems is a dead human being – whether that constitutes a ‘ruin’ or not is a matter for conjecture, but we’ve all experienced trauma (most of mine came from the cult after I left, I must say!) As you say, the evaluation which is the Tech creates the behaviours it describes. It also tends to amplify existing difficulties. When I left, I could finally ask people to describe their ‘case’ and tell me how well they had been addressed. Almost everyone I spoke to admitted a peak experience in their first few days, followed by years of butterfly chasing, where the significant problems of their lives (ruins) grew worse – marriages collapsed, businesses went bust, kids abandoned the family, the normal losses of life were ignored (causing emotional upheaval when finally accepted), sadness was staved off briefly by euphoric experiences (exteriorization without perception, or ‘depersonalization’ as it is known in psychiatry), followed by the usual ‘roller coaster’ as the serotonin/dopamine production slumped post auditing.

            On an unrelated note, I think it is misleading to speak of the ‘Independents’, when there are only Dependents, who, without the false promises of the cult find it hard to deal with the world. Luckily, although we may not be gods with supernatural powers, we can find profound peace by helping others and seeing them adapt to a realistic and positive view of the wonder that is life. At least when we give up on Scientology’s ‘reality’ we have some hope of making positive change, rather than perpetuating the auditing junkie behaviour.

    • Jgg2012

      Right, I think that the goal of Scientology is to unsettle or unnerve a person (“wogs are awful” or “everyone is insane”) so he feels that he needs Scientology when he does not. As I understand it, this is why Jung (a student of Freud’s) decided to abandon regression therapy–people got false memories that made them feel worse. Hubbard saw this and, imo, said “here’s my chance! I can’t make people better, but I can make them feel that they used to be miserable.”

      • Jon Atack

        Governing Policy: make money, make more money, make others produce so as to make even more money. Ah, the secrets of true spirituality!

    • Jon Atack

      Yes, although you do not have the wisdom acquired by those of us gullible enough to devote our lives and savings to Scientology, you have penetrated the core truth: Scientology is indeed ‘anti-Buddhism’. The Dalai Lama has often said that he would give up any Buddhist principle that was proven to be wrong scientifically, which is actually very much in line with the Kalama Sutta, which I quote at the drop of a hat (and not a Scientology hat):

      Believe nothing on the faith of traditions, even though
      they have been held in honour for many generations, in many places. Do not
      believe a thing because many people speak it. Do not believe on the faith of
      the sages of the past. Do not believe what you yourself have imagined,
      persuading yourself that some god inspires you. Believe nothing on the sole
      authority of your masters or priests. After examination, believe what you
      yourself have tested and found to be rational, and conform your conduct
      thereto.

      Buddhism encourages debate and the Buddha frowned upon belief – the poisoned arrow doctrine was his answer to questions about the ‘soul’ or reincarnation – a man dying from a poisoned arrow can take the antidote (basically meditation) or wait for an explanation about the origin of the poison. At the heart of Buddhism is the realization that there is no self – anatta – which has crept into psychology and neurophysiology in the last 25 years – just a continuum of processes. This is fundamental to Buddhism but is denied absolutely by Hubbard in Creation of Human Ability, process R2-47 ‘separateness’ where Hubbard insists that individuality (selfness) is perpetual: ‘This was the process which told me that we are not natively sprung from one “common body of theta” … It can be concluded that the thetan is an individual separate from every other thetan…’ Nor do we find the four noble truthes, the eightfold path, the ten precepts or any other basic Buddhist doctrine. Instead, we are told that Scientology is ‘twentieth century Buddhism’ and Hubbard reckoned himself to be Maitreya (or Metteya, if you prefer the Pali). A claim proved false by his death, as Maitreya will lead all of humanity to enlightenment in his own lifetime (okay, this is not pure Buddhism anyway, but the point seems worth making).

      • Tsunetomo

        Jon, thank you so much for responding to my comment. I’ve
        enjoyed your articles a great deal. Although they centre round the subject of
        Scientology, many of your observations touch upon the psychology of the
        religious experience in general. Very thought-provoking.

        As someone who recently started taking an interest in
        Buddhism, I can’t help noticing the eerie similarities between Buddhism and
        Scientology, the sense that they are almost exact polar opposites.

        For example, I’ve been struck by my own experience of
        meditation, and the description others have given of their first positive
        experiences of Scientology.

        The actor Jason Beghe, in a recent video, described the
        intense euphoria he felt following his first auditing session, an experience
        which led him to dedicate many years of his life to Scientology. I felt a
        similar sensation during my first attempts at meditation. However, Buddhists I
        have encountered don’t place much emphasis on these initial sensations. They maintain
        that the purpose of meditation is not escapism. It’s not a way of putting
        yourself in a trance state and walking round in a blissed-out stupor. It’s a
        mental discipline which allows a person to be more centred in the present and
        face the reality of their emotions.

        Scientology seems to take the opposite path, with devotees ‘chasing
        the dragon’, trying to replicate the initial highs they experienced during auditing,
        in an attempt to stay at the top of the tone scale and avoid painful emotions
        like grief, boredom and depression. Tom Cruise is held up as a model
        Scientologist, someone permanently pumped and enthused. Yet to an outside
        observer, he seems to be living an utterly inauthentic existence. He is,
        superficially, the perfect chat show guest. Energetic and personable. But one
        can’t escape the impression of emotions under ruthless control. On some
        essential level, the man is absent from his own life.

        • Jon Atack

          My own experience of zazen was very intense at first. And I too was cautioned to take no notice of the bliss state. All too often meditators do grab on to this. The abbot at the monastery told me that happiness is beyond the human scope, that we can be serene, amid the suffering. Some people seek out the high, which shows that they are, as you say, escaping. But Buddhist philosophy says that we should hug and kiss the spokes of the wheel of suffering, and, on better days, I understand this.

          Yes, being pumped with enthusiasm is not a good way to be. It isn’t about getting high. A look at the Nazi rally in Triumph of the Will shows just how scary enthusiasm can be. And we all know what happened to those enthusiasts. Tranquility is a much better state and far more helpful!

          Thank you so much for your contribution. I’d have stopped writing the blog long ago if it were not for the generosity of the Bunkerites!

          • Tsunetomo

            Wishing you all the best, Jon. And looking forward to your next article.

  • Tsunetomo

    For those that might be interested, the books (and audiobooks – she has a lovely voice) of Pema Chodron are very good. http://youtu.be/NQGvB4Obs1s

  • BosonStark

    Some people confuse meditation with prayer or being relaxed or focused. The meditative state can be measured by increased theta and alpha waves on an EEG, which is different from just being relaxed. So, if you don’t have an EEG machine, how do you know you’ve reached a meditative state — basically, for me it’s the scalp tightening and/or tightness at the temples. It’s a very distinct feeling.

    • chukicita

      Boson I read your other post and it’s interesting that you did this independently of a community or even a purpose, it seems, and it was helpful to you as a way to quiet your mind.

      • BosonStark

        From at least one comment, it seems like some people are almost afraid of meditation, as if it means a loss of control and becoming susceptible to unwanted influences. Also, some people consider “not thinking” or “emptying the mind” to be impossible, or they might lose their identity if they were to stop thinking while conscious. It is a bit hard to do if you don’t understand the concept or ways to try doing it. Our minds are so full of thoughts.

        I didn’t even know I was capable of doing it until I read this basic book on TM. I thought meditation was some elaborate discipline a person had to train in for months or years. That’s why I was really surprised and delighted that I was able to achieve a genuine meditative state within 5 minutes of trying it, and understood something which had been a mystery to me for the first few decades of my life.

        • daytoncapri

          Is there a fear – or even loathing- on this forum of meditation because of some overlap of technique with Scinos’s TRs?

          This is not a complicated weave, just unravel a little. TRs are under a malevolent 3rd party control, but “meditation” doesn’t really require “malevolent” or even “3rd party.”

    • Zer0

      You can measure heart rate variablity (HRV) which is a real-time proxy to the activation of the adrenal axis stress activation. These products are available. Ironically, you can also use the galvanic skin response (GSR), preferably with a more modern device than an e-meter!

      The meditative state can be differentiated from normal relaxation by more resonant slow breathing, increased HRV, and other cognitive changes which are fairly easy to detect.

  • Mike Leopold

    This is exactly one of the issues which I have been attempting to clarify in my own mind for some time, having spent many hundreds of hours doing the Scientology T R’s.
    Once again, Jon Atack is able to describe exactly the “robotizing effect” of bullbaiting, demonstrating that Hubbard had that uncanny ability to take something good, and, with his imprimatur,ultimately turn it into something malevolent.
    As one who used to often say “Thanks, Ron”, it is with a not inconsiderable sense of chagrin that, 30 years later, I say, “Thanks, Jon.”

    • Innoculated

      Yup, I did those ex’s, too, back in the day (more than 30 yrs ago). The effect is a state of dissociation. People who go through trauma often become dissociated (not really grounded). It can feel euphoric but if continued, dissociation makes it difficult to live in the present moment and achieve any goals or connect to people.

    • daytoncapri

      I embraced the Bullbaiting exercises, and maybe others also liked that concept that “words could never hurt me.” In the my early post scientology period, I thought it was a useful skillset when I was in sales – it was only partially true in the beginning and, like most of my scino training, melted away like an ice cube on a warm day.

      • Jon Atack

        Words can enslave you for a lifetime… I love the appendix to 1984 (though the book was tedious, both times that I read it), where the power of words is stated in all its true horror.

        • daytoncapri

          Well, Jon. Much ground can be explored here. I looked up and began to read the 1984 appendix and, in all honesty, my eyes began to glaze. Notwithstanding, even a casual read provides a powerful takeaway: If you wish to really affect, or even control, the way that people think, then you can start with shaping the grammar and words that they use. Allowing certain words/concepts in, and excluding others. While we’re at it, let’s include a Code of behavior in order to control both thoughts and actions.

    • Jon Atack

      Thanks Mike!

  • Panopea Abrupta

    My 2 cents: All spiritual and meditation practices must ultimately be judged by what happens when practitioners reenter the quotidian.

    It is relatively easy to be “enlightened” when challenge-free.

    But, when the baby wakes you again, at 3 in the morning or when your old grandmother, who has Alzheimer’s, asks the same question for the 47th time today, when the baby-sitter is 30minutes late and doesn’t call or answer, then we discover how deeply we are centred (or not:)

    If, in your daily life, you become a more responsible, ethical, kind citizen of this earth, then there may be merit in your practice. Equanimity, calm, presence, focus and gentle strength and purpose would seem to me to be reasonable indicators.
    A good sense of humour , gratitude and appreciation for life, grace under fire, quickness of thought should usually flow from valid practice.

    My own path has been and continues to be a serious journey in the martial arts.
    As in all paths, a good sensei is hard to find.

    There are many many charlatans in the spiritual supermarket.
    Hubbard’s contribution may be judged by it’s results – a criminal fraudulent money-grubbing racket and rigid starving Ron-bots.
    The leaked Cruise video and the abusive video of Cardone’s speak volumes.
    My ex-$ci friends in recovery give more than eloquent testimony.

    Gardening is better for you.

    • Stacy

      As always, Pan shows us the way 🙂

      Great insight Pan.

    • Sergeant Pepper

      May I quote this?

    • Richard Grant

      This is a brilliant point.

      At the risk of going full-Hindu, the Bhagavad Gita makes this point from the get-go, when Krishna tells Arjuna (if I may paraphrase lightly): Once you’ve got this meditation thing down, go out there and take action in the world.

      What he actually says is: “O Arjuna, established in the yoga of actions, perform your activities giving up attachment and become equipoised in both success and failure.”

    • Zer0

      “practices must ultimately be judged by what happens when practitioners reenter the quotidian”

      Very true. It’s amazing how a little “centering” practice can carry over throughout the day. Things that might normally spike your blood pressure are more easily tolerated. People tend to ruminate, which is an unhealthy frame of mind, leading to chronic cortisol elevation. Just a short break from rumination can have health benefits.

    • villagedianne

      When I started doing a spiritual practice many years ago (not meditation) I found that I didn’t fly off the handle and get sudden flashes of anger like I had done before. So it did help me feel centered in my life outside the spiritual practice. I still had my feelings but I could release them in a non self-destructive way.

      However I notice that some people fall into spiritual egotism, where there spiritual practice becomes another way to burnish their ego. I have learned to beware of anyone who tells you how spiritual they are. Any practice that has levels and secret teaching is also suspect IMO.

      • A friend of mine coped with stress at work by spending his lunch break in a local park, whenever possible. He would sit alone on a bench, eat his sandwiches, and just watch the world go by. I don’t know if this was a ‘spiritual practice’ but there is often great restorative power in simply taking a break and emptying your mind.

        When I trained in Jujitsu, I found this had the same effect, for different reasons. In that situation, you have to concentrate on what you are doing or you are liable to get hurt . Consequently, you have to let the concerns of the day go. I think this is why I almost always left the mat feeling mentally restored and often wonder if this was another path to the benefit sought by mediators.

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      Most excellent, oh wise pan. I know when I and/or myhubby has reached optimum state when I go back in to the kitchen full of dirty dishes, make a face, and my husband walks in and washes them for me with neither of us saying a word. Also, he weeds my garden. This, to me, is the important stuff.

    • Anonymous

      Agree with you.

      Despite the superficial, outer-onion layers of the Scientology sales pitch and expereince, once one becomes more deeply involved in the organziation / study, one learns that the qualities of “equanimity, calm, presence, focus and gentle strength” are NOT considered valuable and in fact are Marcabian implants.

      The implants of those traits (to which I will add charity, kindness and humility) were purposely done by the Confederacy to weaken the human population on earth so they could be safely ignored until the next Marcabian invasion occurred.

      Scientology is such a convoluted, multi-layered load of bollocks that most folks will never encounter the above in the written / spoken “tech” and “policy” of Hubbard, but it is there and it appears he was not joking.

      But I can’t find any evidence that Hubbard was not also insane.

    • daytoncapri

      Gardening is good – ask my wife. I like extracting black walnut meats with a hammer and wire snippers. Our wise-beyond-her-years daughter smiles and says were both having zen experiences.

    • Simple Thetan

      As blunt as your argument is, it is correct and precise.

  • Eclipse-girl

    Last week, we were joined by two exes.

    They both claimed that the the TRs are not hypnotic and they should know since they did them.
    They claim that as never ins, we give to much credence to Jon’s statements and research.

    One claimed to have studied a great deal of hypnotism.
    One claimed to say the Scientology as practiced in the 1960s and 70s was far differernt than scientology practiced in the 1980s.

    These commenters both had “indie” inclinations.

    I wonder if the hypnotic effect of the TRs is something that deeply effected them and now they can not walk away from the euphoria that they experienced.

    • Rita Gregory

      If you are in an hypnotic state or were in one, would you be aware of it?

      • villagedianne

        I was hypnotized once and I was perfectly aware of my surroundings and that I was being hypnotized. I was just in a very relaxed state. I felt great afterwards, similar to having a very refreshing sleep.

      • romanesco

        I went to a hypnotherapist once in an effort to quit smoking (incidentally, it worked for about five days, and it did produce a feeling of euphoria). I was fully awake, just listening to somebody talk. If the woman hadn’t identified herself to me as a hypnotherapist and described exactly what the procedure was going to be beforehand, I probably wouldn’t have described the experience as a hypnotic state.

    • Sid

      Someone in their indie group told them that, and in their mild permanent hypnotic state they bought into it.

      (I’m half kidding, and half not)

    • ze moo

      The semi or full hypnotic effects of the TRs are the reason many became loyal clams. Throw in auditing and other reinforcements and I can see where the wit and wisdom of Lron are accepted and embraced. I can see where indies think that clamatology was very different in the 1960’s. The OT stuff was just coming out and the TRs were still being perfected. Any version of clamatology is still a trap.

      http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fthefabulous80s.files.wordpress.com%2F2012%2F07%2Fguest_admiral_ackbar.png&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fthefabulous80s.wordpress.com%2Ftag%2Fadmiral-ackbar%2F&h=715&w=715&tbnid=8dmvQJ0JXyydvM%3A&zoom=1&docid=ls-Y-aP46NVEGM&ei=VjqxVMeaDMKmggTb-YCIDg&tbm=isch&ved=0CCIQMygAMAA&iact=rc&uact=3&dur=744&page=1&start=0&ndsp=15

    • Shelly Britt Corrias

      “I wonder if the hypnotic effect of the TRs is something that deeply effected them and now they can not walk away from the euphoria that they experienced.”

      My take: YES, absolutely. It won’t be the ONLY thing keeping the door bolted, but it’s key.

      Keep in mind, TRs are usually done as a first step into the cult. They are repeated endlessly throughout one’s training, reinforcing their hold. At 17, I did my first set of TRs. Sitting there with eyes closed in a strange place with even stranger people, I kept thinking “this is weird, what am I doing, are they nuts, this can’t be true, but what if it is, I’ll just try, oh, this is embarrassing! …” then all of a sudden, a calmness, then a sort of euphoria. It did feel nice, especially after all the jumbled thoughts and aches & pains that came before. It felt better than anything I got from alcohol or weed. It acted as “proof” of their theory, and I was willing to go deeper in. Now the doubts were countered with “yeah, but remember the TRs …” Having no idea about the true source of the perceived betterment, I sought more of the same for two reasons: 1) it felt good and 2) it offered evidence that I was on the right path.

      • Draco

        I experienced the exact same thing the first time I did TRs, Shelly. And you are right – “yeah, but remember the TRs …” – this also kept me going through times when I could have / should have left. That feeling of euphoria and power is hard to explain, but I did actually feel like I was nurturing a powerful secret that my friends could not understand. Unfortunately – this is often the highest point you ever reach in scn. All the rest is trying to achieve and go above that first high.

  • Elron stole OT TR 0 from Aleister Crowley’s “The God” posture. What’s new?

    In Book 4, Part 1, Chapter 1, Crowley describes the posture. Here are some excerpts:

    “1. Sit in a chair; head up, back straight, knees together, hands on knees, eyes closed. (“The God.”)”

    “As previously remarked, the first difficulty arises from the body, which keeps on asserting its presence by causing its victim to itch, and in other ways to be distracted. He wants to stretch, scratch, sneeze.”

    “Let us then choose a suitable position, and consider what happens. There is a sort of happy medium between rigidity and limpness; the muscles are not to be strained; and yet they are not allowed to be altogether slack. It is difficult to find a good descriptive word. “Braced” is perhaps the best. A sense of physical alertness is desirable. Think of the tiger about to spring, or of the oarsman waiting for the gun. After a little there will be cramp and fatigue. The student must now set his teeth, and go through with it. The minor sensations of itching, etc., will be found to pass away,”

    In the PDC lectures, Elron recommends Crowley’s book “Magick In Theory and Practice” which is only PART 3 of Book 4. “The God” posture is described in PART 1. Here it is if you’re interested: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3bTd-NF3_aLenpJR3F4Z1pYTGs/edit

    • Shelly Britt Corrias

      Thank you, that is new to me. Invaluable reference, which I read with more than a little apprehension. Crowley uses that “altitude” tone and hypnotic prose. IMO anyway. But wow, was anything of Hubbard actually “original”?

      • Draco

        ‘We place no reliance
        On Virgin or Pigeon;
        Our method is science,
        Our aim is religion.’ – Aleister Crowley

        It would seem that elron took even this idea from Crowley – starting as a “science” and ending as a “religion”.

        • TheHoleDoesNotExist

          Ron the Pilfer Man

        • Bury_The_Nuts

          All of it….stolen, repackaged with a shiny bullshit bow, and sold to anyone who would buy.
          Too bad the whole shit sandwich didn’t die with him in 1986.
          The man was human garbage.

      • Jon Atack

        Again, as above, see my Possible Origins for Dianetics and Scientology and Jeff Jacobsen’s paper on the same subject. I don’t think he had an original idea. And he didn’t believe anyone else did – dianetic axiom 172: dreams are the imaginative reconstruction of areas of randomity or the resymbolization of the efforts of theta.

        Which is to say, there is nothing new under the sun (though fingerprints and snowflakes beg to differ).

    • Draco

      Did not know this. My word – right down to the hand on knees – the same thing. I will have a read of the link provided. Thanks for the info. I think it’s important that these things are put out there, so that people can see where hubbard was really coming from. The fat fraud.

    • Excellent, Jason!

    • Eclipse-girl

      I wish you were a day or so ago when someone claimed Ron did not steal the TRs from anyone.
      Perhaps they were being sarcastic.
      It can be hard to tell, sometimes.

    • daytoncapri

      Ron was the original Squirrel of Scientology.

      • Jon Atack

        But persistence only comes when you add a lie – alter-is – so Hubbard took other people’s ideas and claimed them for his own, so that they wouldn’t disappear (though, curiously, Crowley’s books haven’t disappeared…)

    • Jon Atack

      This is very helpful, and new to me. I missed it when I wrote Possible Origins for Dianetics and Scientology – which shows that most of Scn comes from Magick in Theory and Practice. I must add this to any future edition. Thanks!

      I was concerned when I began these blogs that I might become a guru – where my intention is very much to be part of a community of enquiry – so I’m delighted that we can all add our information and insights.

  • Richard Grant

    One reassuring thing about meditation is that it’s an ancient and well-documented practice. You could say it’s been subjected to a couple millennia of field-testing and tweaking and refinement.

    One of the world’s great spiritual texts, the Bhagavad Gita, devotes a whole chapter (#6) to meditation, including some comic relief from Arjuna, the great warrior, complaining to Krishna about how hard it is. Keep at it, Krishna tells him.

    Another cool thing is that there are numerous methods of meditation, so if one doesn’t click for you, you can try something different. The goal is always pretty much the same and the results don’t seem to depend on the specific technique you use to achieve them.

    I’m not sure exactly what the rap against TM is. As far as I can tell, it’s simply a popularized form of the ancient practice of mantra meditation. (“The McDonald’s of meditation,” Adam Smith called it in his book Powers of Mind.) I’ve heard versions of this “names of demons” legend for about 35 years, since being handed a leaflet by a fundamentalist Christian. The author of the leaflet seemed to regard Hinduism itself as a form of devil-worship, so I’ve never taken it more seriously than that. Anyone troubled on this score could substitute a different mantra, like “om” or “sri shiva namah” or a hundred others.

    I took a course in something called the TM-Sidhi program, which comes straight out of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the seminal text of yoga and a very curious document. As with TM and mantras, TM-Sidhi presents a sort of minimalistic, one-size-fits-all distillation of Patanjali’s methodology, which can be nearly impenetrable to modern students, even with accompanying glosses and commentary.

    One fair criticism of the TM approach, I think, would be that the late, colorful Maharishi Mahesh may have been guilty, in his early years especially, of overselling things. So was Lord Krishna, whose promises in the Gita do not bear a close resemblance to what most meditators actually experience, and Patanjali, whose enthusiasm for the powers of yoga runs to an implausible extreme.

    I think our modern tendency is to “edit out” these relics of ancient Hindu religious fervor and to focus solely on the practical, measurable benefits of yoga and meditation: changes in physiological and neurological functioning, for example, or the sense of calm and focus that most practitioners readily experience. As someone with a bit of a mystical streak, I’m inclined to think we may have overcorrected. The stated goal of meditation, as presented in the Gita, is to achieve unity of one’s own consciousness with the Universal Consciousness. It’s not necessary to believe that to benefit from meditation. But I think it’s a cool concept and I keep it tucked away somewhere.

    • TM keeps a lower profile than Scientology, but I wouldn’t assume that they’re harmless or not a profitable business. Article from 20 years ago:

      Doug Henning and the Giggling Guru May 1, 1995, Martin Gardner, Notes of a Fringe-Watcher, Skeptical Inquirer

      • Richard Grant

        RMycroft, thanks for the link. I know Martin Gardner, bless him, had zero tolerance for charlatanism, and was a sharp-eyed skeptic of mystical practices in general. I never shared that intense level of skepticism, which seemed indiscriminate to me, like many of the New Atheists today. I am a fantasy writer, among other things, and I tend to have a certain sympathy for the idea of things unseen. I try not to be overly credulous or uncritical about it, but there it is.

        I’m sure TM was/is a wildly profitable business endeavor. But I never got any creepy vibe from it, or from any of the people involved. I learned the basic technique in about 1972 along with millions of others and have practiced it, intermittently, ever since. As I recall, it cost $40 at the student rate, and that was my whole investment for about 15 years. Nobody ever called or nagged me to come back in for any reason (though there was a free service called “checking” if you felt like being reassured that you were doing it right). I don’t think there was even a mailing list.

        Sometime in the early 80s, I got in the mood for some more intensive kind of spiritual practice. Since I’d always had positive experiences with plain-vanilla TM, I checked to see if there were any advanced courses, and discovered the Sidhi program. It encompassed pretty much the whole range of traditional yoga — breathing exercises or pranayama, physical exercises or asanas, and mental exercises based on Patanjali. The course was eight-weeks long, culminating in two weeks in residence at a school in Iowa. It cost $3000. I decided to spring for it and have always thought it was worth the money. Again, I never got contacted afterward or nagged to do anything further. Actually there was a cool, unofficial free benefit, in that a bunch of people doing this program used to meet for group practice in the evening, which was helpful because it provided to chance to compare notes and experiences and so forth.

        Anyway, that’s my anecdotal report, for what it may be worth.

        • TM doesn’t seem to have suffered from two aspects of Hubbard’s stamp on Scientology: (1) Wanting absolute control of all things Scientology/Dianetic (and get his buck from it), with no tolerance for people and groups on the fringes, drifting away, or mixing practices. Enemies and Squirrels! (2) The heavy push to get people onto the bridge and keep selling them the next level.

        • daytoncapri

          Thanks for report – you spent sizable chunk of change AND it was worth it to you. You must be on to something. Some advice if you please.

          I want a piece of what you have. I won’t fault you if you have nothing to say to this rambling, off-the-wall question

          I’ve always been wayyyy too impatient for meditation. My real passion is the bicycle. I can happily – joyously – ride my bicycle from dawn to dusk on the longest day of the year. Thinking about something that makes you really angry? Knee jerk reaction is the perfect response. Just crank those pedals and go faster. Works pretty well. General level of fitness improves. Endorphin levels shoot up and stay up.

          Bicycling is not an option in this cold weather, and I’ve got this job…

          So now I want to learn meditation for my health and peace of mind. Wife wants the same, so we’re going into this together. That’s good so far.

          But it’s so d*mned hard for me to sit still, Heck, I run around at work ALL the time, and enjoy it! I love being in motion.

          Meditation can lead to bliss (?) – or something. Stillness. No knee-jerks allowed. So to meditate, I need to sit still. How do I make myself WANT to sit still?

          • Richard Grant

            Great question, daytoncapri!

            I’m not sure how a real meditation teacher would answer this. It’s certainly the kind of question that comes up in the classes I’ve taken. I’ve heard about a “walking meditation” that is sometimes taught to kids who are just physically unable to sit still for any length of time, so that might be worth looking up.

            I think one general principle here is that WHATEVER comes up for you when you sit down to meditate is okay — it’s a natural product of how your brain and your physiology work. You’re generally advised to observe and acknowledge it, then to return (as effortlessly as possible) to whatever you were using as the focus of meditation: your breathing, a lighted candle in front of you, a mantra, whatever. In your case, it sounds like what MIGHT come up is an irresistible impulse to stand up and start moving. It might be tricky to simply “observe” or “acknowledge” such an impulse.

            Here’s a slightly different approach. You might make the meditation into one part of a more active practice that starts with physical exercises — something from yoga or tai chi designed to help stretch and relax the muscles, relieve physical tension, and focus your energy inward. Then instead of just sitting, you could try using a more formal posture like the Lotus position in yoga or the straight-backed pose taught in Zen. These require a certain level of deliberate intention, at least at first, so they might satisfy your body’s desire to be “doing” something.

            In this position, you might try some breathing exercises. (It should be easy to find suggestions online.) Again, this is something physical that requires a bit of attention, but it also can have the sneaky effect of slowing down your heartbeat and breathing and whatnot, so that you become more relaxed without conscious effort.

            If you spend maybe 10 minutes on physical exercise, then maybe 5 minutes on breathing, you might find you are actually in the mood to drop all that and sit quietly for a while afterward.

            Finally I’d say if you absolutely can’t sit still for more than a few minutes, then don’t fight it. Call it a successful session and come back to it tomorrow and see how it goes then. People call this a “practice” for a reason.

            I am not a qualified teacher, but I hope this helps anyway.

    • Robert Eckert

      “Anyone troubled on this score could substitute a different mantra, like “om” or “sri shiva namah” or a hundred others.” No no no, “shiva” is the name of one of their gods, i.e. HEATHEN IDOLS. A good mantra for Christians would be Kyrie Eleison whose repetition is specifically approved in the gospels (a blind man reciting it gets cured by Jesus). The English rendering “Lord have mercy” unfortunately does not have the six-syllable rhythm, although the Slavic version Ghospodine milwe does, and has a nice sound. The Aramaic original was probably Ben Dawid channeni (the gospel text has him saying either wios Davidou or Kyrie before the Eleison, where Kyrie has the better sound in Greek).

  • Frank Lee

    In the late 70s I loved the music of Steven Halpern. I don’t want to post the link, but if you look for his name on youtube and “Spectrum Suite – Music for Meditation”, you will find some of the most soothing music I have ever heard. Very helpful for women in labor, by the way.

    • Sherbet

      Here’s a tip for you: NOTHING is helpful for women in labor. LOL

      • Frank Lee

        Well, I’d have to disagree. Avoiding the panic helps the most, and shortens the process. All of us got here the same way, and most women made the decision to do it again, so it couldn’t be so horrible. My children also found it easier to go to sleep to this music, particularly the autistic one.

        • Sherbet

          I was just teasing, you, Frank. Yes, there are techniques for relaxation, and, you’re right, women go through it repeatedly, and there are ways to make it less painful and calmer. I always had to laugh when my obstetrician would talk about “discomfort.” Hell, it hurts!

          As a lifelong insomniac, I’ve found the music you suggest to be helpful some nights; other nights it doesn’t help at all. I have one of Halpern’s CDs.

          • Frank Lee

            Thanks for being civil. Lately, I haven’t had a lot of it, and the crazy attacks have made me a bit punch drunk!

            A lack of sleep can cause any number of problems, which is likely why LRH used the sleep deprivation method to control his members, as does COB. Did you know that the gene that carries the tendency to walk and talk in your sleep, carries the same tendency for migraine headaches? If I were young, and starting over, I’d love to study genetics, there is so much more to be learned!

            Have you ever tried Melatonin for your insomnia? It is a natural chemical produced by the brain, now available over the counter. It won’t make you sleepy, but it can produce a better quality of sleep. I prefer the one that also has L-Theanine, an ingredient of green tea.

            • Sherbet

              No, I didn’t know that about sleep deprivation. Interesting. Yes, I’ve tried Melatonin on and off, but I can’t say I’ve given it a really consistent trial. Some herbal teas work for me.

            • Eclipse-girl

              Tell me what works for you.

            • Sherbet

              Traditional Medicinals sleep tea.

          • Elegant Mess

            Hi Sherb. I’m a fellow insomniac. I’ve found Melatonin to be helpful in establishing a healthy sleep pattern. I will have to try the musical recommendations given by Jon and other Bunkerites. Though, lately for some reason, talk-show formatted podcasts have been sending me off to dreamland. This may not be a great suggestion for most, but I’ll take what works. 🙂

            Oh, and never being through the process of child birth, I will abstain from the other part of this conversation. Pregnancy and labor scare the bejeesus out of me!

            • Sherbet

              Thanks for the tip, Elegant. I’ll give Melatonin a better trial. But, if it works, that means no more late-nite visits to the Bunker for me.

            • Elegant Mess

              Well, the late night crew will definitely miss you, if it works. But, I think we’ll be understanding if you’re getting healthy, restful sleep. 🙂

              As for the melatonin, I typically take 5-6 mg about 30-45 mins before I want to go to bed. The first round I did was with 3 mg didn’t quite cut the mustard for me. The makers of my melatonin also suggest a week or two off of it after using for 2 months.

            • Eclipse-girl

              Thanks for the tips

            • Eclipse-girl

              How much is safe to take?

              I was told no mare than 3 mg by someone.
              But that has no affect on me.

            • Elegant Mess

              I’ve found 4-5 mg effective for me. 3mg just didn’t cut it. Any more than 5mg makes me feel a little stoned (not that I would know anything about that!) and can make me a little groggy the next morning. It might be different for someone else, so just take my experience as anecdotal.

              ETA: Best of luck to you!

        • Sidney18511

          The day that YOU can push a little human out of your vag, talk to me. Until then…..keep it to yourself

          • Draco

            Yup!

  • Captain Howdy

    with the repetition of a word (often the name of a demon

    “Howdy..Howdy..Howdy”

    • Sid

      After which we can all go Om.

    • Sherbet

      //snicker//

      • Captain Howdy

        Try it, you’ll like it.
        Like if the Pats are down in the 4th and you’re feelin. stressed, start chanting my name.

        • Sherbet

          OK, as long as you don’t make my head spin around.

        • stillgrace2

          Just out of curiosity, if the Pats are down in the 4th, and we chant your name, what will happen? An interception? A fumble? An earthquake? Joe Flacco’s head spins around? The sun comes out and melts the football? I want to be prepared.

          • Captain Howdy

            The new Governor let’s Aaron Hernandez out of jail for 2 hrs and he scores the winning TD.

            • stillgrace2

              He only gets two hours? We best start chanting before the game starts.

          • Juicer77

            If you chant Howdy’s name, Joe Flacco will smile. Got my purple on today.

    • stillgrace2

      If anyone doesn’t know, “Captain Howdy” is the name of the demon in “The Exorcist” (at least the name he gave to Regan when she asked him his name). That book frightened me in my youth and gave me several heebie-jeebie moments.

      • Draco

        Saw the movie, read the book and didn’t know that! That’s almost as bad a name for a demon as Xenu is for a galactic RULAH!

      • villagedianne

        Any relation to Howdy Doody?

        • stillgrace2

          “I am mostly flesh and bone and he is mostly wood.”

    • Eileen

      I’ll try that and let you know how it goes.

      • Sherbet

        No, Eileen! Don’t unleash him from the Ouija board.

        • Eileen

          Snickersnort

    • Douglas D. Douglas

      • Sherbet

        That is awesome. Somebody, make a T-shirt for the Cap. It’s his kind of dark humor.

    • ze moo

      Will we have to listen to that 1974 bad song?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuDsvw4Gnp4

      • Captain Howdy

        WTF? I can’t believe I’ve never heard this. Thanks, now i have a theme song to torture you guys with.

      • TheHoleDoesNotExist

        Holy cow! I’m stoked!

      • stillgrace2

        Where and how did you ever find this? Hah!

        • ze moo

          I spent several years as a ‘volunteer’ dj at a college radio station. Eventually, all the staff gathered and broke that record. Also murdered was the new riders of the purple sage’s Panama Red. There was a lot of bad top 40 music in the mid 70’s.

      • Jenstnick

        This is terrible. Just terrible.

        • Sherbet

          I liked it.

          • Sherbet

            Nat, you can’t think it’s terrible and like it, too. Get off the fence. 😀

            • So terrible it’s good (especially the chorus) — like a pug is so ugly it’s cute XD

  • Techie

    Another data point about the need for two students when doing eyes closed confronting. It is described as a “easier” form of eyes-open confronting (the original TR0) but most find it much harder in my experience. To achieve even a few moments of calm, thought free, was a “Major Stable Win” for me, but the niggling thought remains that it wasn’t really very “stable” if it only lasted a moment. The practice has changed in many ways over the years, in the mid 70s when I started with it the end of the activity (the “End Phenomenon”) was a Major Stable Win, described with those exact words, and no further explanation. As in any Scientology activity, the onus is on the subject to come up with some glorious epiphany. Otherwise the action continues essentially indefinitely. Ron said it was great and your friends are all gushing about how great it is. Of course one reason they are gushing is because they can’t leave the auditing room or training chair unless they are smiling from ear to ear and thanking Ron with all their stoney little hearts. But this is not obvious at first glance and you may have the thought that you did not find it so great, but everyone else apparently did, so why rain on the parade?So you are stuck in a chair with your eyes closed and you’re not supposed to think but of course you are thinking “How do I get out of this?”At Steven’s Creek in the mid 70s they came up with a sure-fire method, not necessarily approved by Ron, but 100% effective and joyous at the highest level of insanity. Just open your eyes periodically. If the others eyes are not open, no harm no foul. But if the other happens to open his eyes nearly simultaneously, you can both smile and join in a peak moment of shared glory – the two of you somehow connected in the spiritual or “theta” universe and have joined in a mutual Major Stable Win of high level significance. You have demonstrated magickal (“Operating Thetan”) powers not normally experienced without paying $100,000s, in a $35 Communications Course, at the very first step!I don’t say Ron was really thinking this would happen when he or whoever invented the TRs added closed eyes TR0 with another student and called it “Operating Thetan TR0”. But that is how we did it at the Steven’s Creek Mission in San Jose, when it actually was located at 4340 Stevens Creek Road.

    • Jon Atack

      A friend of mine spent 15 years trying to find that ‘stable’ win. I met her soon after I’d left and explained my departure. She looked very confused and then said, ‘Does that mean I don’t have to do it any more.’ When I assented, she said, ‘Oh good!’

      Grab the euphoria and have them write a testimonial, then in with the reg for the next level!

  • Sid

    In OT TR 0 with someone sitting across from you there is a ‘coach’. This is the beginning of giving over your will to another. The coach and later the auditor sits across from you and controls everything. That to me a fundamental part of hypnotism.

    • Draco

      When I was in the sea org and sleep deprived, I used to volunteer to do OT TR0 with students so that I could catch up on some sleep! Dozy sup never caught on.

      • Sid

        I forgot about that. Yes, it was a good get away from the stress and catch some sleep time. You had to learn not to let your head nod off and rest just at the edge so that you slept but maintained your head up position.

  • Mighty Korgo of Teegeeack

    It was nice to read that. My fiance is upstairs, resting in bed, reading a “Dummies Guide to Meditation”. Quite a coincidence. She has not asked me to read her book. I will not ask her to read Jon Atack’s essay but I may tell her about it.

    SInce Scientology I have told people that if I want to raise my consciousness, I will stand on a chair. One of Scientology’s most important lessons is to be suspicious of gurus, even ones from long ago and far away.

    I am a happy guy. I attribute this to just the right amount of serotonin flowing through me, meaningful work, good life partners and good upbringing. I have been lucky and have also made some good decisions. To quote Kurt Vonnegut, “People rarely notice their luck until it has gone sour”. I try to notice mine. Vonnegut has been one of my gurus though I don’t think he led a life anyone would want to imitate. Other gurus of mine are also from the popular culture. Hunter S. Thompson, Bob Dylan, James Randi and Carl Sagan mix in as well, but I pick and choose which parts of their “bibles” to go to. I admire Hunter Thompson’s ability to see through nonsense but he is cynical and barely self-aware. Dylan has some really interesting reflections on the human condition but often they are mired in self-pity or aggression. I could go on.

    Things have gone OK thus far, even with my light weight spiritual advisors.

    I think the real trick is to live life in a state of personal questioning, trying to do the right thing but learning from mistakes and imperfections. I am sure I could deliver ten sentences like that at the drop of a hat, but for the last forty years or so, that has been my central one.

    • “We are prouder of our luck than of our merits”

      Rex Stout—The Rubber Band

      • daytoncapri

        Rex’s sister – Ruth Stout – was a pioneer of organic gardening. A real delight who reminded us of my wife’s Kansas grandma. We showed this film with a screen and projector at a summer family gathering / picnic in Mom and Dad’s garage. Everyone was smiling and totally caprtivated from 3:30 onward, but it’s best to start from the start. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNU8IJzRHZk

    • kemist

      Today some people dislike the concept of luck so much that they try to convince themselves that whatever happens to them is entirely their own doing through weird concepts like the “Law of Attraction”.

      This denial is reassuring to one whose life is happy and easy, as it provides the illusion of being completely in control of one’s circumstances. Unfortunately, it also has the very nasty side-effect of sharply decreasing one’s empathy towards other people suffering, and of making one an unhelpful egostistical asshat.

      • Techie

        Just as a banana is sometimes just a banana, a statistical outlier is still a possible outcome. It is kind of appalling to consider that you are just one of billions of people on a planet spinning through a universe that is mostly empty space. However, that is the case. I like Mighty Korgo’s idea of personal questioning with a little help from those you meet along the way. Combine that with Jefferson Hawkin’s point 11. from his rules for exe happy living tonyortega.org/2015/01/08/jefferson-hawkins-provides-scientology-a-way-to-happiness-that-actually-works/#more-19120 As James Thurber said “Let your Mind Alone” http://www.amazon.com/Your-Mind-Alone-James-Thurber/dp/089190266X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1420907696&sr=8-1&keywords=%22mind+alone%22+james+thurber

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      “if I want to raise my consciousness, I will stand on a chair” That and Hunter, Bob, James and Carl in your mix – that’s a pass. You are your own guru. Nice.

    • To quote Kurt Vonnegut, “People rarely notice their luck until it has gone sour”. I try to notice mine.

      .
      Vonnegut also frequently advised people to stop and say to themselves, “If this isn’t nice, what is?” It’s a good policy. I know so many people who don’t enjoy their achievements because they immediately set themselves another task.

      As for gurus – I completely agree following anyone uncritically is a recipe for personal disaster – see Anthony Storr’s book, “Feet of Clay: a Study of Gurus”.

    • daytoncapri

      The term guru. That term means different things to different people, so let’s use the modifier “bad” and “good”.

      A “bad” guru is one who shows you the established and immutable path and instructs you to strictly follow. Cult leaders like elron are obvious, but each of us could be our own bad guru if our thinking is stuck like that…e.g.,”I made this conclusion this years ago…”

      The “good” guru, is one who reflects information about yourself that you yourself will process (or not) as you make your own path.

      As for other people who have been, are, and will be influencing – there’s a bunch, and the list continues to grow. We keep learning and growing, we are children in school until the day we day.

      In any case, responsibility on the path resides in each of us: “If you find a Buddha on the road, kill him.”–Lin-Chi

      (Feeling good tonight – I usually don’t spout like this.)

      • Mighty Korgo of Teegeeack

        Thanks, DC. I see the distinction. I wouldn’t use the word guru for your “good guru”. I can see a lot of people in that role. I certainly have a few in my life.

        • daytoncapri

          You are a good guy, and this is a friendly response. If you search on the terms “guru” and “reflection” you’ll find some things. “Reflection” is how I was introduced to the term, and thus how I process that term. In this wiki article, you can see the Dali Lama’s advice on the guru, the paragraph above talks of “reflection”. I’m not Bhuddist. Not an expert. Just spouting. Feeling good. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guru-shishya_tradition

          • Mighty Korgo of Teegeeack

            Thanks, again, DC.

            I went to the wiki site and read it. I suppose I have had gurus in the musical and visual art traditions, but I don’t think I have ever had one in the spiritual tradition. If I did have a spiritual guru it was more likely one of my friends who was into Scientology up to his neck, then Hubbard himself. I believed many things my friend said he experienced but I didn’t surrender myself to Hubbard. And certainly with Hubbard there was nothing subtle in my low spiritual levels.

            I couldn’t help think of the scene in Steve Martin’s first film, The Jerk, where his dad takes him around and says, “Son, that is your ass. That there is a hole in the ground, Next to it is a piece of shit. This is a can of Shinola”. That was Martin’s first step before Bowfinger and his dialogue with Tina Fey at the academy awards.

    • Jon Atack

      Put the meditation book on the chair first and you will rise to even higher levels. And it is an excellent idea to notice your luck. I admire your gurus too. Especially Hunter S Thompson’s ability to take enormous amounts of psychoactive chemicals and still be able to see the typewriter clearly enough to type (wow! Now that’s an ability he shared with Ron, though Ron eventually had to dictate). I’m rereading Sagan’s Demon Haunted World, even as we speak and honing my baloney detection kit. Dylan had a hand made blade the child’s balloon while offering up his innocence only to be repaid with vast amounts of money, but he does have a way with words.

      see the kalama sutta above for everything I’ve learned, so far. That and humility, so that I don’t waste whatever smarts I have on defending my stupidity.

  • i-Betty

    I am ambivalent about hypnotherapy but dad offered to pay for me to have hypnotherapy to stop smoking. I had to go for two hour-long sessions a week apart and I remember sitting in this chair while the man mumbled at me, with me feeling more and more restless and fidgety because it was all so silly. But I never smoked again and that was almost 4 years ago. And I have tried every method to try to quit over the years.

    Anyway, important footage has come to light of Grant and Gary Cardone’s father. It is not easy to watch but it might go some way towards explaining what it is to be ‘a Cardone’.

    http://youtu.be/U8ygcb2ouX0

    • Draco

      *Snort*

  • :/ intermittent power here today 😛
    Nina the storm/hurricane ravaging the west coast of norway today 🙂
    so hope you bunkerits have a more pleasant weather front in your area 😉
    movie is just a few miles north from here 🙂 as you can see some nice weather 🙂

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCU0w4pscEg

  • kemist

    The kind of meditation I did for a short time used mainly breathing techniques as a way to induce a sort of trance. It lasts about 30 minutes, and you feel very relaxed afterwards. The techniques alternate between rapid short breaths and slow long ones. You do get to hyperventilate a bit, which induces euphoria. I can understand how one might become addicted to this kind of thing.

    For me, this feeling wasn’t new as I had already been using a similar technique since I was a child to decrease the pain from migraines. When your parents don’t believe you are having them, you get very creative in your attempts to get away from the pain. This is still something I use today when it is too late for medication to work. I get my oxygen buzz, fall asleep, and wake up with tolerable pain, provided I keep in a dark room.

    • One of my friends discovered meditation when he noticed that he could stay underwater longer if his mind wasn’t busy thinking and churning through sensory input.

  • You know from whom I would love to hear about the feeling of his trance induced out-of-body experience? Jason Beghe.

    • Kim O’Brien

      with his shirt off . wearing a sarong 😉

      • Sherbet

        Do your yoga breathing, Kim. You’re hyperventilating.

        • NOLAGirl

          We ladies would have so much fun playing Marry, Shag, Kill. 😀

    • Bury_The_Nuts

      If Jason wants to leave his body….I know where he drop it off for safekeeping.
      😉

      • Eclipse-girl

        I believe that Baby would want some piece of that.

        • Bury_The_Nuts

          No doubt!

  • Douglas D. Douglas

    Hmmmmm. Much to mull over today. I may have time only for a quick check-in.

    I was raised in a strong Christian home, but paradoxically we were all very resistant to “super spirituals.” We also were very much in tune with the Western concept of absolute right/wrong, black/white, good/bad thinking. Therefore, anything that was not explicitly Christian (for us, this meant Biblically based) was of the Devil. So all forms of meditation, yoga, Eastern philosophy, TM, Hare Krishna, and so on and so forth was OUT.

    I never worried or feared any of this, but was totally resistant to it, and to a certain extent still am. My wife has introduced me to the concept of calming down through directed breathing. The mantra (so to speak) is “Smell the roses and blow out the candles.” It does help me relax if I am stressed. Best of all I can do this in the car while driving.

    A final, kind of funny story. A friend of mine was once describing how rushed we are in the Western world, even to the point of losing all concept of time when we want to slow down. He proposed an exercise: close your eyes, and open them when you think a minute has passed. Everyone who tries this for the first time, he claimed, misses the mark by a considerable amount– even opening their eyes within a matter of seconds.

    I closed my eyes, remained totally calm and relaxed, and opened them at PRECISELY one minute. My friend was astonished. He all but babbled. I must have some kind of amazing meditative power– not only did I not rush through this, but I finished right on the mark.

    What I did not tell him was his. I spent eight years early in my working life as a floor director in television (part of my work, anyway). As such, I was in charge of “counting down” people on air. And, as such, I can still, with fair precision, count down ten seconds mentally to this day. So all I did while “meditating” was count down to ten six times (sixty seconds= one minute), then open my eyes.

    The point? Far from freeing my mind and hitting an artificially imposed mark, I was mentally very, very busy. And my goal was not to relax, but rather freak out my friend!

    Now, would this exercise have amused the Buddha?

    • romanesco

      Bwahaha! You bastard. One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three MMississippi….

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      What a great and relevant story. It’s almost like it’s all in your mind!

    • Missionary Kid

      As the son of a missionary, I, too had the fundamentalist Christian upbringing here in the US that had the world judged by whether something was Christian or not. I believe I’m older, so Eastern religions were not a part of the general public consciousness when I was growing up, so practices such as meditation were not a part of the judgement that I would have been warned against.

      Perhaps that’s the reason that I and my older siblings have not had the prejudice against meditation.

  • valshifter

    “OT-TR0 has the potentially sinister aspect of immediate group acceptance”
    When two people sitting in front of each other with eyes closed, what is one contributing to the other in that process I don’t understand?
    But for the purpose of mind conditioning it makes sense as Jon mentions above;
    it makes you surrender to the group, “the full acceptance of a stranger” just benefits the group in general, that makes the group a little more solid and weathertight it implies “we have a thing going on here” , is a ceremonial act between you and the group like a marriage. I don’t see other significance in it than that, bullcrap that you becoming more enlightened with it.

  • Anonymous

    The very first course many people did in Scientology was a short weekend study called the “Comm Course.” It contained the OT TR-0 through TR-4 drills with a minimum of contextual theory. The central idea was that after completion one would be better able to communicate and handle the communication of others. This course was fairly uncontroversial, was done in a Div 6 course room and Scientology lingo was kept to a minimum.

    One of the anecdotes I clearly remember about the course was that it contained a reference to Hap Hazard, who was a JPL engineer. The claim was made in the course pack that Hap Hazard had assisted Hubbard in coming up with the TR’s and that the “comm formula” was originally intended to ensure clear communication between ground controllers and orbiting astronauts.

    Much later when I finally realized that Hubbard was an inveterate liar it became clear that this Hubbard claim (like so many others) was littler more than marketing hype. At the time all things related to space travel were incredibly interesting to the general public and Hubbard was no doubt capitalizing on the zeitgeist.

    https://beacon.jpl.nasa.gov/historical-photo-of-the-month/page/13?mopt=1

    http://www.kevitivity.com/2010/07/lunar-exploration-suit/

    I have never since seen any Scientology reference to Hap Hazard, in relation to the Comm Course or anything else, thus it appears that all mention of Mr. Hazard (like so many others) was disappeared when it became inconvenient. Chances are good that he never had a single thing to do with Scientology…but I am curious…does anyone else remember any references to Hap Hazard in Scientology?

    BTW – There are a zillion toys marketed with the name Hap Hazard…but he was actually a real person. Note the link above.

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      Okay, this is awesome! And I may have to change my avatar pic now. I do remember the Comm Course and it was easy breezy. I was shocked years later when I walked into a course room with the then current version of TR’s.

      http://i.imgur.com/cQM6Sn1l.jpg

      • Sherbet

        That’s #8. You mean there are seven more of those things?

        • Anonymous

          It is a 1957 photograph of a prototype spacesuit. You have to start somewhere.

          • Sherbet

            I was around then, and we thought by 2000 we’d all be zooming around in saucers with our work being done by robots.

            • TheHoleDoesNotExist

              Well, we Do have the Kardashians.

              I think we have a long way to go, but perhaps some our scientific minds here can remark how close we are with current research trends to make a big, fat flying leap already.

            • stillgrace2

              Much of my housework (since 2004) is performed by robots while I sit here and peruse bunker posts. Between my two house roombas, my scooba, my outdoor/garage roomba, my gutter robot, automatic cat box, and bread machine, life is good. When I had a pool over thirty years ago, I had an automatic pool sweeper that was way ahead of its time.

            • Sherbet

              Wow, it’s Jane Jetson!

            • stillgrace2

              It’s “Lazy Gracie”, thank you. I never cared for housework but I do appreciate a clean house. I had a housekeeper once, but she made me feel so guilty; she was old enough at the time to be my grandmother, and she sighed and groaned a lot while she was working. Robots are better.

            • TheHoleDoesNotExist

              That’s what I was thinking!

      • Anonymous

        Yep – that’s him.

        Because there is so much (previously hidden) ridiculous stuff that has been unearthed about Scientology, it is hard to “not know” that stuff when recalling the marketing hype, as well as the sense of adventure, that were so prevalent in the earlier times.

        And there were quite a few successful, legitimate folks involved in the organization at one time…it was not always (and only) a collection of kooks.

        • TheHoleDoesNotExist

          I can understand why those of the current generation find it hard to believe. I once posted that many of our Bunkerettes remind me of the diverse, witty, hilarious, sharp as a tack, learned, experienced, compassionate and adventurous characters that I knew early on in scientology.
          I think I stunned them with that one – but it is so true.

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      Was he mentioned in The Aberree perhaps? His name does sound familiar. I think I read The Aberree publications before anything else.

      edit:
      http://www.aberree.com/v03/n05p11.html

      • Anonymous

        Thanks.

        The name Hap Hazard comes up (once) via the search function at the Aberree link, but when reading through the referenced scanned page of the publication itself, I cannot locate the actual instance.

        In any event, I have since found at least one other reference to Hap Hazard being involved in Scientology and appended it to my priginal post.

        • TheHoleDoesNotExist

          Thanks.

          • Anonymous

            BTW – have you noticed that many ex-Scientologists use the up-vote function on Disqus NOT as a true “up-vote,” but as a TR-2 acknowledgment?

            Some habits die hard.

            • TheHoleDoesNotExist

              It helps to know if someone saw the comment or missed it – especially when it gets busy. – but yep, I acked her!

            • Anonymous

              From the TR-2 training materials:

              “TRAINING STRESS: Teach student to acknowledge exactly what was said so the preclear knows it was heard.”

              Oy.

            • Robert Eckert

              I’m a never-in who’s been using the upvote as an ACK for a long time.

            • Anonymous

              It is not an exclusive club.

              And I would never join a club that would have me as a member, anyway, Groucho.

            • He once wrote to a ‘restricted’ club that since his daughter was only half-Jewish, that she be allowed in the club’s pool where the water was waist high.

            • daytoncapri

              “Everyone must believe in something. I believe I’ll have another beer” Groucho.

            • Anonymous

              Also attributed to W. C. Fields…

            • daytoncapri

              I like WC as the author. Works for me.

            • Dr_Orpheus

              I do the same thing as a never-in. It just seems the polite thing to do.

    • Michael Leonard Tilse

      I remember a glossy multi-page chult promo piece, around 1977 or so that had a big spread on Hazard’s involvement. The piece also had profile pieces on Ingo Swann and Chuck Norris, both then big time Scientologists.

      • Anonymous

        Interesting…that is one piece of promo I have not seen and would enjoy reviewing.

    • daytoncapri

      If L Ron wrote this comm course himself – which is iffy, giving his ability to use other people – my guess is that “acking” is a basic practice from L Ron’s Navy training on how to operate a radio. Roger. Over and out.

      • Anonymous

        The “comm formula” in Scientology is a practical tool that has application in many situations.

        It is not unreasonable at all to assume that it came from somewhere besides Hubbard’s imagination. It is a fairly obvious statement of the way simple communication occurs…add in the element of great distance and the idiosyncratic nature (then) of radio transmission and the comm formula looks very much like the kind of thing one might find in a navy procedure manual.

        Most oral communication in the global air traffic control system uses the same protocols described in the Scientology comm formula, but those protocols most certainly did not originate from Hubbard or the church.

  • Around 1900 or 1910, Charles Haanel wrote The Master Key System. The first exercise in the book is OT-TR-0. The New Thought writers of the day wrote many, many things that found their way into Scn.

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      There’s a reason so many were looking for answers in all kinds of places back then. There were so many mysteries that now are taken for granted and understood by 1st grade children.

      “12 Crazy Facts about life in 1910 America that will make you appreciate Today – A lot”

      99% of all doctors had no college education.”

      “20% of adults could not read or write and only 6% of Americans had graduated from high school.”

      http://inspiremore.com/12-crazy-facts-about-life-in-1910-america-that-will-make-you-appreciate-today-a-lot/

      • Of course, many college students today could not answer the test questions given to 8th Grade students of the day. Kids had to be educated fast and then get out and get to work.

  • Panopea Abrupta

    Red-X Red-X Red-X

    You know those recent $cientology ads on TV and in USA Today?

    Damon Runyon responds:
    ‘Well, I say, ‘it is a nice long story, and full of romance and all this and that, and,’
    I say, ‘of course I will never be ungentlemanly enough to call anybody a liar, but,’
    I say, ‘if it is not a lie, it will do until a lie comes along.’

    Clear Craigslist of their lies:
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-Kvg78kCcvo5gL7UfPcmhmbsagTNtdj0y2LAiHVFrCU/pubhtml#
    TICK TOCK, Diminishing Mismanager

  • Ruby

    um…what is that I see at very top? The Unbreakable Miss Lovely? By Tony Ortega?

    • Vaquera

      I just saw that! It’s not the 12th!

    • Panopea Abrupta

      Oh wow!
      There is a teaser!
      Senor Ortega to the phone, pronto
      Thank you, what a wonderful and much neglected story.
      The original, the amazing, the courageous Ms. Cooper deserves all the literary plaudits possible.

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      Does Tony know this is there?

      • Ruby

        no idea…

        • TheHoleDoesNotExist

          I’ve been keeping the subject secret for a long time. 🙂

          • Sherbet

            Teacher’s pet.

            • Ruby

              haha!

            • TheHoleDoesNotExist

              Might have had something to do with refreshments at my Super Power Party:)

              I thought at the time this would be a Wow subject – and I can’t wait to read new info – I am assuming there will be – and I think this will get incredible promotion and attention, knowing her husband, his connections, and his undaunting adoration of the Mrs.

            • Ruby

              Bamuary keeps getting better.

            • TheHoleDoesNotExist

              and the BAM’s just keep on comin’

            • Sherbet

              What’s interesting to me is that Cooper’s story has lots of legal documentation. Nobody can say bitter apostates made the whole thing up.

            • TheHoleDoesNotExist

              and we all know what a stickler for fact checking Tony Ortega is – this is going to be

              a HOT seller.

            • Sherbet

              Scientology’s ID is about to go from “Tom Cruise’s crazy space religion” to pure, documented evil.

            • TheHoleDoesNotExist

              Finally! I wonder if everyone here knows who her husband is?

            • Sherbet

              I know the name, but it doesn’t mean anything to me at the moment.

            • TheHoleDoesNotExist

              I’m going to wait on throwing that out – since it appears the picture is gone – so now we are all going to have to pretend we know nothink! Nothink!

            • Ruby

              what are you talking about? Know nothink about what? 🙂

            • Sherbet

              Thanks.

            • TheHoleDoesNotExist

              Awesomeness, no?

            • Sherbet

              Awesomeness, yes!

            • NOLAGirl

              I understand he is a very noble man. ; )

            • TheHoleDoesNotExist

              Good one!

            • MaxSpaceman

              spanning more than 10 years. Relentless- to bring her down. At the height of Lafayette and Mary Hubbard’s massive arrogance, they did their worst.

            • MaxSpaceman

              and the packaging is nice- perfect, really. The cover, the typeset, the feel.

            • Draco

              Plus it was confirmed by the Guardian’s Office’s own documents.

      • BosonStark

        I think this was the surprise, Tony’s book about Paulette Cooper. It’s a great story — haven’t read the book of course — and I hope it gets picked up for a movie.

        • TheHoleDoesNotExist

          I knew what it was about – I think this might be an unintended leak.

          • Ruby

            I am happy to have our host delete all of this if it was unintentional

          • Sherbet

            “2 days until our special Underground Bunker announcement at noon, January 12…or January 10. Whatever.”

          • BosonStark

            I didn’t know what it was about, so it’s a nice surprise. I thought his book was about Scientology with a focus on ex-members.

            • TheHoleDoesNotExist

              Well, it is about scientology, most definitely.

          • Sherbet

            Webmaster tikk (spelling?) is being sent to the RPF even as we speak.

    • MaxSpaceman

      ~ That looks perfectly wonderful ~

    • Googling the title brought up this: http://www.petersfraserdunlop.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/New-York-Sept-2014.pdf (go to pg. 31)
      I guess the cat’s out of the bag…

      • Oh, boo! I would rather have been surprised 🙁

        • TheHoleDoesNotExist

          Do some TR’s, Nat. You are getting sleepy, very sleepy – what book you talkin’ ’bout?

        • ThetaBara

          You’re not? I am!

    • romanesco

      WTF happened? I see nothing.

      • MaxSpaceman

        [ F5 ]

        • romanesco

          Seriously?

          • MaxSpaceman

            Yes- the blurb posted by Vaquera is terrific. It sounds like an awesome story fully told by Tony O.

    • Rita Gregory

      Me too!

      • Elegant Mess

        I saw that, too! I thought I might have been hallucinating….glad that I wasn’t the only one.

  • Many people use visualization (which Hubbard called “creative processing” when he borrowed it from Aleister Crowley)

    http://www.lermanet.com/exit/volney/Creative-Image-Therapy-2.jpg

    Volney Mathison invented the e-meter which was used in the early days of Scientology, and was closely involved in Scientology’s early days. He used to practice what he called, “Creative Image Therapy” (and wrote a very strange book about it) This appears to another form of visualisation.

    Hubbard stole a lot of ideas from Mathison, as well as the e-meter. Although Hubbard’s ‘creative processing’ owes much to Crowley, I suspect that he elaborated it over time using ideas stolen from Mathison as well.

    • Anonymous

      There definitely was a great deal of Mathison’s work in Hubbard “Source” material. Heh.

      But Hubbard did acknowledge (in writing) that Mathison invented the original e-meters used in Scientology.

      • Techie

        True, but he tried to imply that Mathison got the idea from him. This was in the script for the film “History of the E-Meter” and an extensive search was made for the actual lecture so it could be dramatized. It was never found, though a substitute that worked out of context was placed in the film. Hubbard never acknowledged Mathison’s other contributions like the tone scale and some auditing techniques.

        • Anonymous

          This is one of the stories that morphed over time as circumstances dictated.

          Hubbard and Mathison were collaborators at one point…and like many others …eventually Mathison became an “SP.”

          Depending on the date of the materials that Hubbard / Scientology published on the subject, Mathison was a Scientology supporter / collaborator / competitor / SP / Non-Person.

          And by the way – that sequence of morphing identity is one which many, many folks went through via their involvement in Scientology.

          It is part of the pathology of Hubbard and his malignant organization.

          • Missionary Kid

            Scientology is so 1984, making someone an unperson when they become wise to the lies.

    • That’s not surprising. He was an intellectual magpie. The Lensman series also has the concept of visualization of the Cosmic All, although I don’t know if “Doc” Smith came up with it or also got it from Crowley.

      • Missionary Kid

        I believe, unsupported by any evidence, that the concept had been around a long time before Crowley and Smith. Indeed, the attribution to god of being omniscient embodies the concept, doesn’t it? The all-seeing eye, too?

        • In Norse mythology, Odin had two Ravens who flew about Midgard(Earth) every day and reported to him on humanity’s doings afterwards.

          Also, this:

          Second, Valaskjálf, built of solid silver, in which there was an elevated place, Hlidskjalf; from his throne on Hlidskjalf he could perceive all that passed throughout the whole earth.

          • Missionary Kid

            Even though I’m of Scandinavian heritage, because of my fundamentalist Christian background, I never learned much about Norse mythology. Thank you.

        • Odin had a throne in one realm that allowed him to see everything happening in Midgard or Earth, and had two ravens who flew around Midgard and saw everything, reporting to Odin at night. Given the great intelligence that they and their fellow corvids have demonstrated in the local cemetery near my house, one can see how the Germanic people would choose them as Odin’s informants.

      • I think ‘Doc’ got the idea from the scientific determinism of the time – the idea that, if you know the laws of physics and the initial positions of all the particles you should, in principle, be able to predict everything that will happen.

        This was Newton’s belief -since God set up the state the universe, then set it running like clockwork he had perfect knowledge of everything that could possibly happen. The Arisians were a not-quite-perfect but pretty-damn-clever secular version.

        Of course, along came quantum mechanics and chaos theory to demonstrate that this was not possible. But the story stands.

        I read all of those books when I was 12 – the perfect age for them.

        • “Anyone who says they understand quantum mechanics is lying”

        • Robert Eckert

          “This was Newton’s belief -since God set up the state the universe, then set it running like clockwork he had perfect knowledge of everything that could possibly happen.” Actually, Newton did not believe this: one of the concerns of his later life was proving that the planetary system could neither have formed, nor could it continue operating, under the “clockwork” of the natural laws without supernatural intervention by God. Laplace was the one who said “An intelligence knowing all the forces acting in nature at a given instant, as well as the momentary positions of all things in the universe, would be able to comprehend in one single formula the motions of the largest bodies as well as the lightest atoms in the world, provided that its intellect were sufficiently powerful to subject all data to analysis; to it nothing would be uncertain, the future as well as the past would be present to its eyes.”
          The disagreement involves subtleties of the mathematics of celestial mechanics but I will try to summarize in layman’s terms: the Earth would stay in its elliptical orbit perfectly if the Sun were the only body acting on it, but the other planets cause “perturbations”. When Venus makes its closest approach, for a while it is pulling the Earth one way, then it passes and for a while pulls in the opposite direction; and Newton proved these do not cancel, and so he thought God had to “nudge” the planets once in a while to keep their orbits stable. But Laplace proved that these perturbations mostly act to cause the ellipse to simply rotate so that the perihelion (point in the ellipse where Earth is closest to the Sun) sweeps slowly around (there are also “aperiodic” terms which change the shape and radius of the orbit, but on a much slower scale; Laplace could not solve these, and it is still a difficult problem, but Laplace could show they were small).
          Concerning the origin of the Solar System, Newton showed that if it were just a question of matter falling into a whirlpool, most of it ends up in the center; his argument was confusingly stated, but amounted to coming up with the quantity called “angular momentum” (speed of the circular motion times its radius) which ought to be distributed more or less evenly with respect to mass, but the planets have 1% of the mass and 95% of the angular momentum: most of that matter should have fallen into the Sun. Laplace argued that some non-gravitational force must start operating as the infalling “nebula” (he thought the nebulae were planetary systems in formation, citing Andromeda as his main example: that turns out to be a whole other galaxy!) so that contact repulsions keep the matter separated. Nobody could make his model work, and for a while “catastrophe” theories requiring the Sun to collide with other stars were in vogue, but in the 20th century Hoyle and Alfven showed that if the Sun started out spinning 20 times as fast (as it would if it hogged all the angular momentum– and astronomers were finding that young stars like the Pleiades spin something like 20 times as fast as the Sun) its powerful magnetism would start to accelerate the surrounding matter until the Sun lost its momentum to the surrounding nebula.
          Laplace was a radical for his time, going beyond a deterministic deism (in which God sets the universe in motion and then leaves it be) to an outright atheism in which the universe has always been here, always developing strictly according to deterministic natural laws. Napoleon remarked concerning his treatise Mechanique Celestiale, “I hear you have written a great book about the universe, and never once mentioned its Creator.” Laplace replied, “I found no need for such a hypothesis.”

          • I stand corrected – Laplance, not Newton.

            However… this debate is probably where “Doc” Smith found the idea for the Arisians in his books – entities who could simulate the development in (impossibly) great detail.

            • Robert Eckert

              Ironically, he was formulating this idea just when quantum physicists were realizing that the basic premise of Laplacian determinism is incorrect: the current positions and momentums of all the particles do not determine the outcome but only delimit a tree of possible outcomes. When Heisenberg established that positions and momentums cannot be observed simultaneously by photon exchange (all our channels of perception, not just sight, are photon exchanges: the contact repulsions sensed by touch and hearing, and chemical reactions sensed by smell and taste, are electromagnetic at bottom), it was still hoped that there “really are” exact positions and momentums that determine everything, but we just don’t know how to get them. Then this so-called “hidden variables” model was shown to be incorrect: which branch among the tree of possibilities occurs is “random” in the technical mathematical sense of “uncorrelated” to the positions and momentums of the particles– that is, there could be hidden determining factors, but they are not material.

  • Vaquera

    The Unbreakable Miss Lovely by Tony Ortega
    Scroll to page 31
    http://www.petersfraserdunlop.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/New-York-Sept-2014.pdf

    Woohoo!!!!

    • Vaquera

      The above pdf is from September 2014. How the heck did we miss it?

    • Eileen

      On Monday let’s all act surprised 😉

      • Sherbet

        I think the Shar Pei did it.

        • NOLAGirl

          I see what Tony did. Sent Jon Atack in to hypnotize us all and try to slip the book pic in while we were in a trance. Sneaky. 🙂

          • TheHoleDoesNotExist

            I knew it!

            • ThetaBara

              With swanky digs like this, you clearly need a popcorn cart!

      • Vaquera

        Maybe “our special Underground Bunker announcement at noon, January 12” was a red herring for Scitrolls. Tony is clever that way.

      • Spackle Motion

        I am very surprised…….that Brian Blessed has a new biography out! Woohoo!!!

        (truly, I am happy about that as a Black Adder fan)

        • Loved him in I, Claudius, Henry V, and, of course, Flash Gordon.

          That’s the answer to this: “Name three movies you shouldn’t see when you’re stoned.”

          • I love the scene in Henry V when he strides into the court of the French king, in full armour, looking like a human tank.

  • MaxSpaceman

    It’s gone. Refresh- the pic’s gone.
    ETA:… no-! nevermind! it’s still there !!

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      No! I won’t.

      • MaxSpaceman

        It’s back !

        • Ruby

          Someone is playing with us!

          • TheHoleDoesNotExist

            Well, I’m excited. So it’s working!

          • NOLAGirl

            Scott! What are you doing back there? 🙂

            • Rita Gregory

              Laughing his ass off?

            • NOLAGirl

              I would say so. LOL 🙂

        • Vaquera

          But it’s wonky

        • Free Minds, Free Hearts

          Yes, I saw it go away and come back also. Where can we get this book?!!

    • Rita Gregory

      Sneak preview?

      • Leslie Stipe

        Thank you! It’s been quite some time since I heard that song. Such a pleasant surprise!

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      Now it’s gone again.

      • MaxSpaceman

        No! Refresh again! Still there !!

        • TheHoleDoesNotExist

          I’m getting dizzy now.
          So … are we going to get New Post soon? hmmmmm

          • MaxSpaceman

            I know!
            But- the click tech. to get there is: click “home” on the menu. Then click into Jon’s article. It’s there.

  • MaxSpaceman

    The programming ‘mis-step’ is in this sequence:

    If you’re on the comment board, refresh won’t bring the picture up. It is gone from that http: link.
    But- if you go to Bunker menu, click ‘home’. Open today’s Jon article. It’s there – Paulette.

    • Vaquera

      Thx Max. That worked.

    • pluvo

      You are mean – spoiling all the thrill of excitement. Probably have told also your siblings that there is no easter bunny and similar. Probably next is you tell us what happens on OT3. You should be flagged and flogged.

      • MaxSpaceman

        Off to the MAA for you, pLuvo. 😉

  • nottrue

    Where do I buy it…

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      That’s what we’re all waiting to hear.

  • Robert Eckert
    • Ha ha! “Homeless Samurai” and “apple butter vegan terrorist”

  • Tony Ortega

    You can thank Mr. Pilutik for this, but our cat is out of the bag and so, NEW POST UP

    • Techie

      TKU t1kk!

  • Eivol Ekdal
    • Missionary Kid

      Thanks. Reddit also has the Cardone brothers. Yea!

  • GSioux

    The Bunkerite’s question is a very good one. The term mindfulness has various meanings currently and historically. journal.frontiersin.org is a link to an article in the journal “frontiers in neuroscience” written by David R.Vago. The title is Self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-transcendence (S-ART): a framework for understanding the neurobiological mechanisms of mindfulness. The article is great in that it addresses some of our modern cultural definitions of mindfulness as well as various historical ways of understanding it. It, of course, looks at mindfulness as it is being researched by neuroscientists currently. In my private practice with trauma victims, ex-cult members, and stressed people in general, it is clear that individuals can benefit greatly from learning mindfulness skills. However, receptivity to developing the skill is quite individual. When I took Jon Kabat Zinn’s week-long basic training in Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction, I struggled initially due to my history in a cult-like fundamentalist family. Trust is a big issue. A sense of safety is absolutely required.

    Someone further down mentioned Zinn’s book Wherever You Go There You Are – that is a lovely introduction to incorporating mindfulness into everyday life. How To Sit by Thich Nhat Hanh is a sweet and simple introduction. The formal technique is helpful because it can be used in any situation while listening to music or rain, or repeating a mantra (all useful and effective) do not have that flexibility.

    • daytoncapri

      Thank you for your compassionate (may I say sweet?) discussion on mindfulness. My wife and I are making our way through this home video course (link below), which we bought during their 70% off Christmas sale. 🙂 The commonality of language and concepts with Scientology are obvious from the start, but the “tech” is presented by an evil (??) psych from Harvard Medical School, and combined with a deep respect for ancient wisdom. It is viewed at-home on demand, and thus our own choice, so it feels quite safe. It’s a good fit for an Ex like me, Not a plug, really, just a report, since we’re early in the process. The wife is a never-in, but very spiritual, and we’re having a wonderful and surprising exchanges as we go. http://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/the-positive-mind-mindfulness-and-the-science-of-happiness.html

  • daytoncapri

    Jon, once again. Thank you. For all you have been through, you could have fallen wrecked, bitter, damaged, deranged or dead. Instead, you have consolidated your experiences and have risen above them.

  • RK

    Practicing mindfulness can be done many ways. UC Berkeley has a site where you can download tapes of 5-10 minutes of someone walking you through “mindful breathing” that one can do sitting at their desk, but i find that sitting outside with a cup of tea and just observing what’s going on around me works just as well. I do this when I walk the dog, or go for a hike. I have even purposely practiced mindfulness for a period of time while working or doing yardwork. I don’t need a class, nor someone to give me a pass. I can flunk this. I think meditation is valuable for many but not the only way.

  • Peter Robinson

    In the context of the discussion on meditation, can highly recommend Waking Up by Sam Harris..A guide to spirituality without religion.

  • Dynan3

    For an experience that gets to the root of Buddha’s teaching of enlightenment available to every human being, look into dhamma dot org.
    A free room and board, 10 day course is offered. Difficult, because of the present nature of people living outside themselves, but so truthful, wise and scientific. You can, if you decide to, give a donation after you finish the course (only past students may donate) for the future attendees so that there is no chance of monetary manipulation of the pristine teachings of the Buddha. The course teaches how to get to the ROOT cause of suffering…it does not aim at ecstatic states that will appear along the way to true personal freedom from suffering. It is for practical application in life. “Anyone can be holy in a cave.”
    A word to the wise…