Scientology Crime Syndicate

From heldal@online.no Fri Apr 30 18:02:16 1999
Subject: What's wrong with Scientology?
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1999 17:02:16 GMT

Many things IMHO, but here are some:

Based the text at:

http://www.xenu.net/archive/baloney_detection.html which is based on the book "The Demon Haunted World: Science as a candle in the dark" published by Headline 1996.

Some comments, with Scientology in mind, when looking at a list of suggested tools for testing arguments and detecting fallacious or fraudulent arguments:

- Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the facts.

I've so far not seen any independent confirmation of the claims offered in Dianetics or Scientology. And since it serves a lot of rather extraordinary claims I would assume I could demand some extraordinary evidence.

- Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view.

It is evident from the 50 year history of this "self-help philosophy" and "religion" that it does _NOT_ encourage substantive debate. It claims to be a "science of the mind" but still seem to abhor any of the features that we usually recognize science by. It does not offer access to the results of the scientific study it claims to have been based on, or even data on how it was conducted. Instead of honestly facing criticism it either tries to ignore it, or use tricks and foul play to attack the ones who asks the difficult questions or oppose its claims. The maker and the followers of Scientology has repeatedly been disclosed as cheaters and liars, and they hope to get away with it by threats and more lies.

- Arguments from authority carry little weight (in science there are no "authorities").

All extraordinary claims in Dianetics and Scientology have one thing in common; in the end all they have to show as real reference is the authority of their creator, L. Ron Hubbard. The Church of Scientology (CoS) has for many years invested a lot in creating a saint-like image of Hubbard, but outside CoS his posthumous reputation is very dark and shabby. He is known as a pathological liar and charismatic con-man. With no authority as a person, his claims hardly manage to stand by themselves.

Dianetics and Scientology just isn't science.

- Spin more than one hypothesis - don't simply run with the first idea that caught your fancy.

You seldom see a follower of a cult looking for alternatives. Why ruin a good thought or dream, some might ask. People are different and some only seek something to believe, while others want to know. It is an undisputable fact that humans are able to believe in almost anything, no matter if it is true or not. Probably most deep personal religious convictions has their own unbeatable personal experienced evidence that will survive most logical criticism and argument. There is no rational argument that will convince a believer that there are alternative explanations to their religious experiences. Many in Scientology believe very strongly that they too have such experiences - or many might just be convinced they are worth waiting and training for.

I'll not go to deeply into this, but it shows me that there are far better explanations to why some people imagine they have past life memories from other galaxies. All weird claim about "life, the universe, and everything" can't be true, not all of them at the same time. Still all have their strong believers. So the _only_ thing we actually have live proof of, is that strong belief itself (even personal "proof") is any guarantee of a belief or claim being right.

There is an obvious danger, especially, with religious conviction; they often make you stop looking for alternatives. You're supposed to submit and accept, there are things you can't explain so it has to be these dead space aliens or invisible gods who are behind it. Science will try to find a way to prove a theory wrong by testing everything to try to create a result that does not comply with what the theory predicts. Religion has shown a tendency to only collect what is in favor and work against anything that's not.

- Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it's yours.

In my opinion one of the most important methods in a cult. In the beginning you are served only what sounds best in your ears. You are lured into investing your time and money into the cult while they slowly weave their net around you. If you along the way show any doubts those feelings are quickly handled as a threat against all the values which you are supposed to want to uphold. If you doubt Hubbard it is used against you suggesting that you do not want to help save the human race, you do not want to get well, you do not want others to get well, you are destructive and so on. We are only humans, we can be manipulated relatively easy. Soon you will base your existence and whole future around the hypothesis of your group. Hubbard may not be the Messiah, but looking at how he indirectly and directly runs your life there isn't that big a difference.

At this level it is very hard to even try to think the thought that the foundation of your whole life may be wrong. One would most likely try to cling onto anything within reach to try to convince oneself and ones surroundings, just to survive. In this desperation ones mind is very able to play you tricks. What many call "religiousness" I call mental instinct for survival.

- Quantify, wherever possible.

Quantify proper scientific results. Personal experiences which are impossible to verify or repeat is not scientific proof.

- If there is a chain of argument every link in the chain must work.

"There is a reactive and analytic mind because Hubbard said so and I believe Hubbard knew best" is not a very good line of argument.

- "Occam's razor" - if there are two hypothesis that explain the data equally well choose the simpler.

Hubbard was a disturbed person who may have believed all the things he "saw" and with a charisma and talent to engage others he managed to create an environment that attracted a few people at some point in life. There are many much simpler hypothesis that explains this phenomenon in a much better way than the one that makes L. Ron Hubbard into a genius who could fly in space, communicate with space alien spirits and alone discover things about the human mind nobody else could.

The Occam's Razor separates the ones who want to believe and those who want to know.

- Ask whether the hypothesis can, at least in principle, be falsified (shown to be false by some unambiguous test). In other words, it is testable? Can others duplicate the experiment and get the same result?

One can't demand that a religion should be falsifiable. But we have different rules in science. That's why it just is plain stupid when Scientologists talk about "science of the mind" etc.

So what is the reply I get from Scientologists? They tell me to try it first, then I can judge it. When I ask how much I must try before it is legit for me to judge, or at least make a valid opinion - they can't say. I know Scientologists who have spent more that two decades studying Scientology and still they haven't been shown everything. How can they be in a position to say if Scientology works or not, if they haven't seen it all yet?

Would any Scientologist pay me 1,000 USD if I told them I had the answer to "life, the Universe and Everything" and that was the price to get a copy of it in leather binding? Don't judge me or my book before you've read it. Read it and then see, if it is what it promises then great! Don't listen to the ones saying I'm kidding you, they don't know. They're just criminals and liars, and you don't listen to such people? They want chaos and are afraid that the truth in my book will create order and happiness. BUY THE BOOK NOW!!!!

Not very likely. Not even a Scientologists would give me a dime - even if they had one spare. Anybody who will not give me the money admit that the scientology argument to try it yourself is no argument at all.

Scientology is a scam. Scams are fragile and will crumble if people dare to undress them. A threatening scam is of course a harder nut to crack, but it will crack. History books of the future will feature L. Ron Hubbard as one of the most remarkable con-man of our century. Not because he was the biggest or most successful, but because thanks to people like the critics on the 'net, he's one they will have most available contemporary information on. I also believe the 'Net vs. Scientology will be an important event in the forming of the future 'net and free speech.

A little prediction to end my rambling. :-)


Some common fallacies of logic and rhetoric (from the above mentioned page):

--- The referred and quoted page was prepared by Michael Paine who
also gave permission for Operation Clambake to host it.

Best wishes, SP4 & Adm. TOXE CXI
Andreas Heldal-Lund, Normannsgaten 9, N-4013 Stavanger, Norway
Pho: +47 88 00 66 66 Fax: 90 32 35 46 E-mail: heldal@online.no
home.sol.no/~spirous www.xenu.net www.hedning.no/hedning
"The great snare of thought is uncritical acceptance of
irrational assumptions." - Will Durant

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