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What Is Scientology? (not)

[Note: if you arrived on this page through the “What Is Scientology” web page of Operation Clambake, please check my critical analysis of that page.]

This chat session, in which Scientology critics introduce Scientology to a newbie, contains many of the myths critics promote about Scientology.

This is the transcript of an actual IRC chat session. The nick name of those who did not agree to have their nick used have been reduced to the first letter only.

A newbie arrives in a channel populated by Scientology critics. He has a Scientology-related question. After answering his question, critics introduce him to Scientology.


Session Start: Sun Jun 06 05:57:35 1999


*** tomomi (Krissandra@sdn-ar-002mnminnP317.dialsprint.net) has joined #scientology

The newbie logs in.

Green would be a fitting color for him :-)

<tomomi> : hey! can I ask you "scientologists" a question? if you dont mind of course

Naturally, he thinks that the channel (called simply "Scientology") is frequented by Scientologists. This isn't the case. It is maintained and populated almost exclusively by critics.


The first subject is rather innocuous, but it will soon get more interesting.

<D> : sure. But we have to remove your brain first. don't worry, we'll give you a receipt.

<tomomi> : hehe, okay. Well, a person in the "religion" channel was asking what Squirrels meant. So I'm kind of curious as well

<D> : Squirrels are apostates -- people who have altered the writings or practices set forth by L. Ron Hubbard. You either do it Ron's way, or we'll hunt you down and ruin your life.

<Zinjifar> : squirrels are people who think they know better than a drunken megalomaniac and go and make up their own stuff

<N> : to a member of the Church of Scientology, a squirrel is someone who has intentionally altered the writings of Scientology's founder, L. Ron Hubbard. Being a squirrel is considered a 'high crime' in scientology

<tashback> : But don't they basically use it to refer to anybody who practices Scientology outside the auspices of the church?

<Zinjifar> : by the way.. the current management of the Church of Scientology is all squirrels. There *is* no pure hubbardism left

<D> : Squirrels are insane criminals. They don't want anyone to get better. They try to subvert Scientology for their own ends.

<N> : tash: again, a 'squirreled' meaning of 'squirrel' by the current Co$ INT EXEC Strata

<Zinjifar> : yeah.. the leader of scientology perverted it to pay for a 32 hole golf course so he and tommy cruise could play

<D> : Criticizing Hubbard is itself a crime. Only squirrels do that.

<Zinjifar> : * Zinjifar hums 'it's a squirrel world after all'

"Squirrel in fact only means someone who does not apply Scientology "tech" per the book - whether in or out of the church. It has little to nothing to do with "apostate", "insane criminal", or "criticizing Hubbard".

·         An apostate is someone who deserts his religion and doesn't necessarily practice it anymore. "Squirrels", on the contrary, do practice one or other form of Scientology.

·         "Insane criminal" who "does not want anyone to get better" is the definition of the Scientology term of "suppressive person", not "squirrel".

·         As for "criticizing Hubbard", it is false to say that "only squirrels to that". On the contrary, "squirrels" usually still praise Hubbard to the point they continue to practice his techniques even as they quit the church...

Even in a relatively innocuous topic such as this one, thus, we see how critics tend to lump things together to make it more gory than it really is.

But this is only the beginning...


OK - let's now switch to the real meat: the "secret scriptures", "Scientology kills", and other myths prompt to create the desired phobic impression.

<D> : while you're here, would you like to know the biggest spiritual secret of Scientology? The $180,000 stupendous revelation that Scientologists must undergo years of preparation to learn?

<tomomi> : um, sure

<D> : okay, here it is. Hope you're sitting down for this...

<tomomi> : k, I'm comfortable

<D> : L. Ron Hubbard showed that all of us -- you and me included -- are possessed by the spirits of murdered space aliens. But Scientology can teach you how to make telepathic contact with these space aliens and shoo them away. You'll feel much better when you do.

<N> : squirrels must be disposed of quietly & without sorrow, along with folks who denounce scientology, or have neurologic or endocrine disorders, or are physically deformed, or are homosexual, etc...according to the writing of L. Ron Hubbard

<tashback> : D, are you sure tomomi is spiritually prepared to hear this?

<D> : you think I'm joking? Think I'm making this up? I'm not. You can read it in L. Ron Hubbard's own handwriting. www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/OTIII

tash: oops. Too late now!

<tomomi> : wait a second. Are you saing that people with birth defects need to be disposed of?

<D> : it's okay. they'll get reincarnated with new bodies and that way they won't be a drain on society.

This often happens on IRC chat. One person launches a subject while another is still busy typing about the preceding subject. We now have two subjects rolling: the "dispose without sorrow" one, and the "alien spirits" story.

For the "alien spirits" story, see my Xenu page.

As for the allegation that "squirrels must be disposed of without sorrow.... along with folks who are physically deformed or are homosexual...", it makes it appear as if Scientology has a Nazi-like precept of ethnic purging. This is utterly false.

L. Ron Hubbard did share the views prevalent in the 50's regarding homosexuals. This, however, was corrected subsequently. See my Gays and Scientology page. He also did make the "quietly & without sorrow" statement but in a completely different context and unrelated to "people who are physically deformed..." The statement was related to the "tone scale" (emotional level scale). Scientology critics interpret this statement literally, while Scientologists give it a completely different meaning.

By all means, there is nothing near or far related to killing people who have neurological or endocrine disorders, or are physically deformed. This is a complete fabrication.


<N> : tomoni, if you were a scientologist, and heard the confidential secret sci-fi story D is telling you, you would be believeing that you could catch pneumoinia, or even die just by hearing this tale...

<D> : what N is telling you is absolute truth.

<tomomi> : whats your proof?

<D> : we have the documents. read 'em for yourself. www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Secrets

<N> : tomoni: for the 'quietly & without sorrow' clause of Scientology, read 'Science of Survival" by L. Ron Hubbard

<tashback> : Wait a second. The tale is only dangerous if you hear it when you're close to Clear, cuz you've been sensitized by then. It doesn't have any effect on brutes like us.

Indeed. Tashback isn't the typical one-pointed critic. She often tries to bring some moderation and accuracy in the pictures.

Before reaching the levels where the Xenu incident is revealed, people have to reach the level of "Clear". A Clear, according to Scientology, is someone who does not have a "reactive mind" anymore. The reactive mind is where past traumatic incidents are supposed to be stored and that part of the mind Scientology claims to be responsible for our irrational behavior. "Normal" people are supposed to be way below any awareness of the Xenu's incident effects because the reactive mind has for consequence to reduce their general consciousness. A clear, who is supposed not to have a reactive mind anymore, is, on the contrary, supposed to be more vulnerable.

Furthermore, it isn't just reading the documents that is considered to be dangerous, but more importantly running the processes described.


<D> : dst has personally received numerous legal threats from Church of Scientology's lawyers for the documents on that web site.

<Zinjifar> : we have lots of proof hubbard took dope and pulled it out of his ass this is called research

<tomomi> : close to clear?

<D> : "Clear" is one of the major stages of enlightenment in Scientology. You can get to clear for about $40,000 at today's prices.

<tomomi> : So what makes a person "worthy" of existence?

<Zinjifar> : being able to pay for david miscavige's gold course

<D> : Ron said: "A person is only worthy as he can serve others."

<tomomi> : okay, so you have to PAY of enlightenment?

<tashback> : After you've spent about $37,000, then the Xenu story gives ya pneumonia if ya hear it without doing it right.

<D> : damn straight. And at retail prices, too.

<N> : between being recruited into Scientology...you gradually progress thru a 'self-help' & counselling steps to the state of "Clear" - a being who no longer has his own reactive (read 'evil') mind

The prices quoted by Scientology critics above are the full prices of the individual auditing route. It indeed is expensive. What they forget to tell you, however, is that most people do not take that route. They take the training route. The training route is where you learn the processes yourself and apply them to other students. This route is much cheaper. What is more, Scientology encourages people to take this route rather than the auditing route. Indeed, they claim that one is helped even more by understanding how the processes work, and by helping others at the same time.


<tomomi> : okay, are you guys Scientologists or are you being sarcastic?

<Zinjifar> : we are as much scientologists as they are

<N> : I was A Scientologist for nearly 30 years

<D> : N is an ex-Scientologist. tash and Zinj and I are critics of the cult, but what we've told you is 100% true.

Funny this "100% true" and "absolutely true". It sounds (and is) so cultish. A Scientologist would, on the contrary, call the information provided a complete fabrication. The truth is in between - while not being entirely false, the presentation that is being made is so distorted that it has little to do with the reality anymore.


<tomomi> : True according to Scientology or True as a fact?

<D> : as I said, we have the documents to prove all this stuff, and a lot of it is now on the web.

True according to Scientology. Scientology has very little connection to real facts.

<N> : according to Scientology, no belief but Scientology's is true :)

<Zinjifar> : it's impossible to be as sarcastic as the actual teachings of scientology

<tashback> : Tomomi, but what happened in "religions" chat? Are they talking about Scientology there?

<tomomi> : One person was for a little bit. So no one here is an actually believer in Scientology?

<D> : tomomi: Scientology believers aren't allowed here.

Another myth - The myth of Scientologists not being allowed to participate in critical forums.

Scientologists joining forum such as this IRC channel or the alt.religion.scientology newsgroup (ARS) are often immediately attacked by dozens or hundreds of Scientology critics who throws at them clichés they have read on web pages. Their belief is often ridiculed. They have to endure personal attacks. The Xenu story is systematically thrown at their face, even though critics known it is considered by Scientologists as confidential and even dangerous.

While there has been advises for Scientologists to keep away from these forums, some did post nevertheless. When they do not fit the low picture critics would like them to fit into, they are accused of being secret agent ("OSA') posters or having hidden motives.

The myth of "Scientologists are not allowed here" fits at the same time

1.      the picture of a totalitarian cult that forces its members away from outside criticism

2.      the justification as to why Scientologists don't usually come in these forums

3.      dismissal of those who do come and score points 'in spite" of being Scientologists.


<N> : However, Scientology is likely to be one of the best documented cults of the 20th century...and many of those documents are on the web

<Zinjifar> : they send their secret police in here

A corollary myth: if Scientologists participate on ARS or IRC, it means that they are trained agents for the cult. In fact, anyone, including outsiders, moderate critics, and moderate ex-members, who don't tobe the invisible party line is promptly accused of being a subversive agent of some sort or to have other unsavory motives. See http://bernie.cncfamily.com/sc/osa_bailey.htm for a few examples. This is the kind of behavior that prompted the very judicious remark of an outsider:

"This is the problem I see with many, if not most scientology critics. If you disagree with them, then you must be "one of THEM". Like arguing with a rabid dog."


<D> : their church doesn't want them associating with us.

<Zinjifar> : but they don't talk very good and can't type worth shit

Myth of the brainwashed cultist, unable to articulate any cogent thought. See the moderated Scientologists webbed on my page and check out whether this is true or not.


<N> : occasionally a real-live Scientologist wanders in here, but if they hang around for any period of time, they learn too much and become an ex-Scientologist

Yet another myth. In three years, I have seen two Scientologists quit the CoS as a result of reading ARS or IRC, and have seen dozens who are on the contrary more involved in the movement than ever in view of the distorted presentation made in these forums - which confirms to them the CoS' claims as to the evil nature of critics. I have even seen hard-liner critics join the CoS!


<D> : the murdered space aliens bit is a big problem. Not to mention the occasional deaths of church members at the hands of the church itself. Lisa McPherson being one of the more recent deaths.

Here we are - the unavoidable subject of the death of Lisa McPherson. It is also presented here as just an occurrence of death among many, while in reality there has been remarkably few such instances in the nearly 50 years Scientology has been around.


<tomomi> : yeah, um, one of my friends was explaining it to me, but not any of this

<N> : the so-called Church of scientology detests what we do spreading word of the scams & criminal actions of the cult...many of the real-life scientologists who find their way here become former scientologists in short order

The same myth again. It isn't many at all, and it certainly isn't in "short order" either


<Zinjifar> : actually it'd be an insane totalitarian cult even *without* dead space cooties

<N> : www.lisamcpherson.org

Concentration Camps

OK. Now if you think the above isn't sinister enough, watch out how it gains additional momentum by introducing concentration camps and slave labor, which are again myths since participation in Scientology is voluntary.

<Zinjifar> : they have their own secret police, concentration camps, slave labor

<tomomi> : in America?

<Zinjifar> : and yes.. they say that if you belong that you have de-facto agreed to let them kill you

Bwahaha!!! First time I hear that level of nonsense :-)


<D> : John Travolta is under the thumb of this cult.

<Zinjifar> : yes, in america

<D> : tomomi: yes, the concentration camps are in California.

<tashback> : You can have a concentration camp as long as you're a religion in America.

<sigh> this is not the usual Tash here, but shows how even reasonable critics can be drawn in the whole madness at times.


<Zinjifar> : we have a satellite picture of it. Would you like to see it?

<tomomi> : sure

<Zinjifar> : lemme see where I put it

<D> : they're called "spiritual retreats" by the Scientologists.

<N> : the Church of Scientology runs at least two forced labor camps inside the USA. One is in Clearwater, Florida, the other is outside Los Angeles

<Zinjifar> : is the RPF still in copenhagen too?

<tashback> : It's the "Rehabilitation Project Force," RFP for short. It's for Scientology staff members who earn the disfavor of their superiors. RPF, pardon.

<D> : the dead space aliens bit comes from a document called OT III. It's several levels above Clear. Most Scientologists don't know about the dead space aliens.

<Zinjifar> : of course.. we can't prove that they actually *kill* any of their people.. since so many disappear

A simpler explanation for the reason they can't prove it is because it simply isn't true, but the "so many disappear" argument serves both as a justification for the fact that they can't prove it, and as yet another myth that serves to further drive in the paranoia and cult phobia.


<N> : Zinj: no recent confirmation of the RPF in Copenhagen, though it's on my agenda to discuss w/ Mainer

<Zinjifar> : most scientologists don't know anything but that they are the only hope of mankind and if they want to save the world they shouldn't ask questions

<tomomi> : Sheep

<Zinjifar> : no tomomi dupes yes victims yes hypnotic rondroids yes but in general well meaning and intelligent people who got scammed

Myth of the evil eye - the mind-control theory allows both ex-members and relatives to explain why otherwise intelligent and even gifted persons get enrolled in the "scam", and thereby effectively puts the responsibility on the "evil cult".


<Zinjifar> : the saddest things in scientology are the children

Yes - don't forget to include the poor children in the picture. These, after all, go to "brainwashing factories" where their mind are "hurt with thought-stopping technique of word clearing".


<Zinjifar> : although I'd bet that most of the public scientologist children get out. The ones who are in the Sea Organization have a much harder time

<tomomi> : Sea O?

<Zinjifar> : since they grow up away from real life

yes. Sea org

<D> : The Sea Org is Scientology's version of the Gestapo

I started to worry that no one would bring in the Nazi and the Gestapo. Thank you, D!!!


<Zinjifar> : they wear funny sailor suits

<tomomi> : hehe

<Zinjifar> : did you see the milenium episode about the postal worker cult?

I hoped someone would also bring in the trench coat cult, but we only get the postal worker cult instead. Pity. If you still long to associate Scientology with the trench coat cult, watch for worrying signs of "the cult recruiting children to take action against critics".


<D> : It's a paramilitary organization modeled after the Navy, with fake ranks and uniforms and such.

<tomomi> : how is it that people fall into this?

Now that's the classical question, naturally stemming from such an overblown and distorted presentation. To "make sense" on how people can fall for something made as absurd, you per force need to bring in another myth: the myth of mind-control. Members are deceived, manipulated, controlled until they can't see the real nature of the "scam" anymore and have no remaining free will to escape from the hold of the cult.


<Zinjifar> : they don't get it all at once. They're fed it a little bit at a time, using hypnotic methods that damage their critical abilities

<D> : there's a wonderful book called The Road to Xenu that explains how people get involved. You can read it on the web. Xenu is the guy who murdered all the space aliens in OT III.

<Zinjifar> : yeah.. Road to Xenu is a good read

<tashback> : "Road to Xenu" is a very good introduction to Scientology.

<Zinjifar> : it's fictionalized in the sense of being the stories of a couple of people. not *just* the author but it's all accurate

About as "accurate" as the above presentation, in fact.


<tashback> : Right -- It's a fictionalized account, but good read and good intro.

<D> : you can find Road to Xenu at www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Library

<N> : Jon atack's Total Freedom trap is a good quick read, too

<tomomi> : hmmm

<N> : isn't Total Freedom Trap in dst web site library too?

<D> : N: yes, it is.

<Zinjifar> : anyway.. about 4 years ago I sat down to read Road to Xenu and spent a couple of hours reading with my mouth hanging open

Yes. Anticultists actually believe the whole thing. It's not like if they are not sincere or well-meaning, and, in some respect, they have valid points. It's just that they bring their recrimination so far that they become the oppressor themselves, and sometimes turn out to be an even bigger danger than cults themselves.


<tomomi> : ya know, if they made all this Space Alien stuff into a movie, I bet I'd really enjoy it. I know its completely off the subject, but it just crossed my mind for a second


OK - the indoctrination session is finished. We just conclude now with a milder subject, like it started.

<tashback> : Tomomi, speaking of that ...

<Zinjifar> : they're making it into a movie :)

<D> : actually, Hubbard did write it up as a screenplay, called "Revolt in the Stars". It sucked, though.

<Zinjifar> : a travolta movie

<tomomi> : bah

<Zinjifar> : Battlefield Earth. Which is supposed to be science fiction

<D> : Battlefield Earth is *not* OT III

<Zinjifar> : no.. that's true..

<N> : Hubbard allegedly did write a screen play "Revolt in the Stars" which is essentially his OT 3 story

<tashback> : Yeah, g4ess y64're r5ght.

<Zinjifar> : but it's also consistent. The evil aliens are psychiatrists

<D> : the aliens in BFE are psychiatrists? I thought they were Wookies.

<tashback> : 6h n6, cat 6n 2eyb6ard screwed 0y 2eyb6ard 4* aga5n!

<Zinjifar> :psychlos

<Bern> : tash: now you are making sense ;-)

That's me :-) I have heard enough anyway.

By the way, Battlefield Earth came out as a film a few months after this conversation. In their fear the film would be a success, Scientology critics spread out unfounded (and false) rumors of it being full of "subliminal messages". The film, however, seemed to have been a genuine flop and film critics laminated it - not because it was an adaptation of an L. Ron Hubbard book (as film critics were quite harsh against Scientology critics too), but because it probably was a very badly made film.


<Zinjifar> : they use psychiatry to enslave earth

<D> : more "pussy in the keyboard" problems

<tashback> : Darn, wh\r]'s that 2ey t6 f5x th5s+

<Bern> : LOL!

<D> : hahaha tash. now you gotta buy a new computer.

<N> : D: turns out the Psychlos (the aliens) fell many many generations ago under the spell of the 'catrists'

<Zinjifar> : or a new.. no I *won't* say it :)

<tashback> : N6, there's a 2ey f6r th5s.

<Bern> : 6=o 2=k

<D> : a 2ey for that? h6w handy!

<Zinjifar> : hawaii 5-0

<tashback> : test test is it fixed now? Hey, my cat musta restepped on the right key!

<N> : Jack Lord!!!

<Bern> : i=5

<tashback> : it's magic.

<Zinjifar> : * Zinjifar hums 'my sweet lord'

<tomomi> : ah well, thanks for answering my questions, but I've gotta go to bed

<Zinjifar> : book em N

<N> : bye tomomi

<Zinjifar> : nite tomomi

<tomomi> : bye!

<tomomi> *wave*

*** tomomi (Krissandra@sdn-ar-002mnminnP317.dialsprint.net) has left #scientology

<D> : You can have your brain back now.



What follows isn't relevant to the introduction of Scientology anymore, but is only me discussing with the participants in view of webbing this rather typical example of the the kind of presentation that is being made about Scientology.


Random Quote :

Disclaimer :

This web site is NOT created by a Scientologist. It is created by a Scientology EX-MEMBER who is critical of Scientology. However, this ex-member is ALSO critical of the anti-Scientology movement. This does not make him a Scientologist, nor a defender of Scientology.

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