Why Is A ‘Clever’ Magazines Like The “New Statesman So Dumb When It Comes to Scientology?

new-statesman_ New Statesman | February 2017 | “Telling Tales”| John Sutherland | Download as .pdf (to download, click on the grey ‘Download through Browser’ button which will appear in a new tab).

The New Statesman, is a well-established national magazine published in London. It  bills itself as offering intelligent writing about politics, current affairs and culture, taking a liberal, sceptical  stance.

The February 2017 issue lives up to this claim. It contains a variety of interesting articles on all of those subjects.

However, at the very end it rather blots it’s copybook with a ‘humorous’ and dismissive account of the writers encounter with Scientology, years ago.

In it, he suggests that maybe Scientology’s opposition to Electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) and psychiatric drugs might be just a little admirable – thereby revealing that he has no idea of the nature of this opposition. It’s almost as if he has fallen for Scientology’s anti-psychiatric rhetoric – so much for the sceptical stance…

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Mary Sue Hubbard (L Ron Hubbard’s Wife) Celebrates ‘Going Clear’ in 1967

mary-sue-hubbardClear No 208: Mary Sue Hubbard | Download as .pdf (to download, click on the grey ‘Download through Browser’ button which will appear in a new tab).

This strange document was published in 1967. It’s a simple folded piece of card approximately 15 x 23cm – two pages, four sides.

It commemorates the occasion upon which Mary Sue Hubbard (at that time the wife of L Ron Hubbard) celebrated her ascension to the state of Clear  -the 208th person to achieve this status.

There are only two pages of text (the other two are devoted to the title and a picture of Mary Sue). This consists of a potted biography of the lady which begins by describing her participation in Scientology’s early development, particularly the history of the Dianetics Institutes.

It also bestows the fulsome praise required to create a cult of personality for Mary Sue herself, so that she may be seen to be worthy of her place at the side of the founder of Scientology. This was not to last. Nine years later, in  1976, she would fall from grace in a most extraordinary way.

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Narconon UK Promotes its Services to Practitioners of Alternative Medicine

narconon-ukFor today’s post, I am indebted to an supporter of osteopathy, who has provided some interesting information about the activities of Narconon, which recently opened a small facility in the UK

Narconon is a  Scientology front group, which claims to provide paid drug rehabilitation treatment, but actually delivers Scientology indoctrination.

The website Osteobiz, aims to coach osteopaths on the business side of their occupation. In one entry, the author warns about a range of cons and swindles which osteopaths are liable to be exposed to.

One of these is headlined “The Drug Rehab Centre Scam”… and that’s where Narconon comes in. Continue reading

The Advertising Standards Authority Versus The Church of Scientology Plymouth

self-analysis-frontOn the 5th of December 2016, I published a video showing members of  the Church of Scientology Plymouth (UK)  distributing leaflets outside of Charles Cross Police station. This is just around the corner from their modest Org in Ebrington Street.

In the process, I was given a flier, and carefully read it. It seemed to me that the text made two highly questionable claims.

According to the rules of the UK advertising regulator (the Advertising Standards Authority) advertisers who make specific, testable claims must be in possession of objective evidence which supports their case. If the advertiser cannot present such evidence when asked to do so by the  ASA the claims made are deemed to be misleading, and must not be repeated.

I duly submitted a complaint online. Yesterday, I was informed that it has been upheld.

This kind of decision could severely limit Scientology’s ability to make similar claims in future – and could ultimately force them to submit whole classes of promotional material to the ASA for pre-approval.

All that is required is for more people to collect Scientology advertising containing potentially misleading claims.

Details of the offending leaflet, my complaint, the ASA response and the likely consequences appear after the break.

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Plymouth Ideal Org – Fantasies and Lies

fantasy-fleet-clubA few days ago, I came across a Facebook page for “Scientology Plymouth“which contained the remarkable image at the right (there is a larger version below, after the break).

At first glance, it looks rather like a building decorated to celebrate a Nazi rally. It is, in fact, a rendering representing the old Royal Fleet Club / Hotel in Plymouth (UK)  – a old building with 50 rooms, two ballrooms and a number of kitchens.

If you follow this blog, you will know that this place was bought by The Church of Scientology  for £1,000,000 in 2010. Over the intervening years they have claimed, time and again, that it is going to be renovated to a high standard, and become an ‘Ideal Org’ serving the South-West of England.

Presumably, this image represents what they hope to achieve – however,  many of the renovations presented in it are simply not possible.

To illustrate this, I went to the building to take a picture of the real thing for comparison purposes – and discovered some interesting developments. It is possible that the Ideal Org project in Plymouth (the only one in the UK which is self-financing) is on the move again.

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The Codes of Scientology – Moral Commandments for Auditors, or an Assertion That ‘The Ends Justify the Means’? (Pt 1)

a-1The Codes of Scientology | L Ron Hubbard | Certainty: The Official Periodical of Scientology in the British Isles | Volume 6 No 8 | 1959 | Download as .pdf (A new tab will open – click on the grey ‘download through your browser’ button)

In this post we examine an issue of the  British periodical “Certainty”, published by the Church of Scientology in 1959. It was in this year that L Ron Hubbard bought Saint Hill Manor in England, moved in, and made it the world HQ of his organisation.

The download above contains a scan of an original copy. As far as I know, this is not available anywhere else online.

This issue was aimed at people who were ‘training’ to be ‘Auditors’ – that is Scientologists  who investigate the supposed past-life traumas of ‘ordinary’ members, in a private room, on a one-to-one basis, using the e-meter. At this stage of the operation, auditors were not under the absolute control of the Church of Scientology, as they are now, and freelance ‘practice’ could be quite lucrative.

In this  issue L Ron Hubbard presents a number of ‘moral codes’ for auditors. The double-edged nature of these ‘commandments’  is unsettling. Far from protecting the public, they can be read as requiring auditors

  • To conform to orders given by the Church of Scientology and force their clients to do so.
  • Do whatever it takes to advance the cause of Scientology, placing this above the welfare of both their clients and the general public

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Scientology and Visual Imagery – Understanding the Scientology Mindset Pt 14

Face DiskI have never been involved in Scientology. This  blog is an attempt to understand why clever, capable people accept its doctrines (which are, in the face of it, bizarre and incoherent) and follow its practices.

One approach that I have taken is to examine Scientology training and assess whether or not this has an influence. It seems to me that Scientology’s nine ‘training routines’ do, beginning with TR0 (AKA Training Routine Zero).

In TR0 two people are requited to sit close together and stare fixedly at each other for prolonged periods of time. Research shows that unchanging sensory input can lead to a form of sensory deprivation, which has strange effects – including a dissociated state (you feel detached from you body) and ‘strange face’ hallucinations.

Scientologists constantly practice their Training Routines, so they are soon able to slip into altered states of consciousness almost at will (the likely reason for the strange, unsettling ‘thousand yard stare’ they apply to protesters).

It has seemed to me that such compelling experiences, interpreted according to Scientology doctrine – for example as evidence of a ‘previous life’ – which could be a powerful incentive towards conversion.

First, I have to reconcile the fact that, during online discussions I am occasionally told by some  ex-Scientologists that they had no hallucinatory experiences during the TRs, and by others that had compelling, life-changing experiences.

I think I can do that now, thanks to something I have recently learned about myself. Continue reading