Thursday, July 10, 2014


I'm not finished with this epic introduction to Scientology, and I don't know if I will ever finish it so I thought I'd give my initial impressions. Hubbard has no gift for punditry. Like a teenage Dictator, Hubbard writes in total absolutes and then refers to his own absolutes as "absolute". Like saying, "The sky is I previously established, the sky is green." The fundamental absolute is really earth-shattering, "Survival is the objective of life."

Getting Clear
Yeah, I was stunned too. In fact, I had to go back 20 years to when I was a budding philosopher, living off of my mother's kindness in Ecuador, that I wrote the same words and broke my arm patting myself on the back. Hubbard is a better writer than myself because he manages to say much less with far more words. It only took me 100 or so pages to sum up my statement on existence but Hubbard needs 700. One critic titled his review of a Hubbard book, "The Sound of One Mouth Blabbering" and I really think that's funny and fitting because Hubbard definitely gives the impression of believing what he says as he writes in a giant pastel colored echo chamber. If Ayn Rand never wrote fiction she'd write something like Dianetics. In fact, you might call Dianetics a method book to become a fictional Ayn Rand hero, since Rand never explains how someone is going to become as happily self-serving as John Galt. But, the way Hubbard is so absolute and certain is startling, unbelievable, like he's experimenting with the language and style of a demagogue. I'd like to count the number of times he writes "Irrefutable". Every other page has something like, "These statements are irrefutable based on scientific data publicly available." But his blabbering is so unrelenting that I think the success of Scientology is because most of us would rather push on through the book than try to refute the statements. It's like Hubbard knew the tired and aberrated* simply wanted to feel better, get rich, get laid, etc...and did not want their self help era to begin with a lengthy refuting/contradicting of the very book they just paid $8 to help them get better. Right? We're trying to be positive so let's all accept every overgeneralized statement in this huge book and move on!

In my early career as a cult** leader I missed this point and so had no followers. I actually tried to do the work and map everything out as I determined my legions of devotees would best be served by. I wanted people to be moved by the statements themselves and not by dramatic axioms. Hubbard skips right over all that and simply says, "Clinical tests prove these statements to be scientific facts..."
Damn! I'd have millions of followers too if I had used that simple bit of irrefutable bullshit. Normally, a scientific book of this nature, one that irrefutably describes the solution to acne, world war, mental fatigue and bloating, would be followed by a lengthy source bibliography...but not Dianetics. No, the back of this book has "Where to find an auditor" section.

Drug Treatment for Neurosis thumbnail
Does anyone else think this?
It's blatantly unscientific and a completely manufactured, jargonized cult of optimist fetishists. It's like the Fairbanks Rescue Mission I lived at for 3 months in Alaska when I had separated both shoulders and collarbones, had no money, no home, no friends...and the evening sermon would begin, "Are you injured, homeless, broke, alone? Christ has an answer..."
Believe me, I paid attention, until I realized every person in the little room was injured, homeless, broke and alone. The pastor was cherry-picking afflictions. Hubbard does the same thing but he says, "Did you get passed up for a promotion, is your boat not big enough? You need to be audited." At least Christ has time for the destitute; Scientology aims for a different income bracket.

Dianetics does have a point: Life can be miserable and perhaps it is all my fault for intentionally preserving each moment of my past like a calculator with a stuck #7. I feel Dianetics might have some clues to my own aberrations and inability to relate to society, but as a writer I sort of depend on my memory for material. If I totally resolve my shameful and self-loathing engrams*** then where will I get all my good material? So, while I do feel the evidence supports my suspicion the rats have taken over the cheese factory and humanity is defined by confused masses who merely don't want to upset the status quo regardless of the consequences...perhaps a mindless apathy, sharpening drill bits, selling sneakers, teaching math, etc. would suit me. Maybe Amitriptyline would help. And maybe Dianetics will be a piece in the puzzle if not how to integrate to the insane asylum, at least to confirm that it's as bad as I thought it is.

Then I dig a little deeper into the ways of Scientology and I see it's not practiced in a wholesome way by some. Elements of positive response and coming to terms with the past, though unoriginal, can't really be faulted, but the degree of falseness I detect in the spokespeople can't be ignored. Trappist monks don't get much face time with CNN and that's too bad because no one has anything to compare the aberrations that usually sit next to Piers Morgan and Nancy Grace. Trappists are boring and they won't sell Ragu Marinara sauce, so Mr. and Mrs. Revlon Make-up-Forced-Smiles are slotted with dusted faces and false eyelashes and the next generation of consumers think they have a good idea of ideal behavior. It's a distraction but it becomes conditioning...which is ironic since Hubbard's strategy is to recondition aberrated conditioning...and the nature of modern Scientology is in itself aberrated conditioning...which is like some horrible loop of never ending engrams regenerating themselves...all on the premise of helping people find clarity but ultimately about consolidating land in Malibu. I've met and talked with Trappist Monks so I know what wholesome looks and sounds like; Scientologists do not compare. They sound like programmed replicants.

Summary: I don't want to steer anyone away from self help therapy. God knows, I need relief from my untamed reactive mind. Scientology probably doesn't pervert anyone who isn't already perverted. To use Hubbard's basic axiom: it will survive if it follows the rules of survival. I've become simple-minded in my old age so when a confirmed drunk once asked me for advice I told him to treat everything like toilet paper: If you need some then you go and get it. It's not complicated.

*Aberrated is a word used frequently in different forms in Dianetics. Aberation, aberee, aberated, aberate. It's a cool sounding word and Hubbard's vocabulary really is very broad, though too clinical and hollow for my taste. He's not entertaining and sometimes flippant on serious subjects. He sounds autistic. I use the word aberrated to amuse myself with a word Hubbard appeared to favor. He defines it as "A departure from rational thought or behavior." But I've always defined that word as "a departure from normal thought or behavior" and that's actually the correct definition. There is a big difference between the two definitions because currently in Texas it's normal to eat at a horrific restaurant called "What-a-burger" and drink something called "Big Red" soda. That's normal, so an"aberration" would be to reject those places. I'm an aberee because I refuse to eat at What-a-burger and drink Big Red. But as an aberration I think I'm being rational because of the health risks with that type of processed shit. So we have a contradiction when the normal behavior is irrational...and the aberee is abnormal but rational. See? I'm just a poor hippy living in a van so I must be an asshole aberration but the normal citizen is bent on global destruction. And this contradiction is what keeps Oggy awake at night.

**I use this term with hesitation. Cult is an admittedly negative word, but I've often stated that religions are maligned inaccurately as the sources of grief related to their religions. "Buddhists", for example, who hack others to death with hatchets...aren't Buddhists in my mind. You are a Buddhist right up to the point you hack someone to death with a hatchet. Then you are just a bald guy in a red robe holding a bloody knife. Israeli and Palestine conflicts are about land, not religion. Has anyone evidence that the Muslim religion specifically denounces it's close cousin Judaism? These conflicts have religious undertones, but aren't about religion. However, some of the primary practices of Scientology are remarkably unsavory. It's not a departure from Scientology to disconnect from your suppressive family's required. So, Dianetics goes from a strange theoretical treatise written and tested by a devoted investigator into the human mind, to "THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY"...a religion that advocates "destroying" enemies and obstacles. Since this developed recently we can be skeptical and claim it's not a true religion since there is no deity to worship or bible. Even though the book definition of Religion includes a belief in a God, Scientology has managed to make itself tax exempt in the eyes of the law

Their own explanation of why they are a religion is this:

"The Scientology view of an Ultimate Reality transcending the material world includes its concepts of the thetan and the dynamics which include the spiritual world (the Seventh Dynamic) and the Supreme Being (the Eighth Dynamic)."

My grandfather would call this "total bullshit" but it passed the test in America and it's a religion. During my 4 year sentence in Los Angeles I was exposed to many religions and they were all loathsome. I want to be fair so I think I'll just consider every religion a cult. The Red Sox Nation would definitely qualify as a religion if they ever chose declare themselves as one. Watching the World Cup left no doubt in my mind that soccer is also a religion practiced by many. So, cult and religion are used interchangeably until I decide differently or mankind comes to its senses.

***Engrams are a totally invented bit of Hubbard jargon used to encapsulate "unresolved issues". If your mother coughed when you were in the womb then you would have an "engram" of that moment and only a thorough audit would resolve or "clear" that engram.

Note: I put Dianetics next to the Holy Bible on my dashboard to see if the cops would bother me and the two books touched for a second and I think I accidentally opened a portal to another universe. Oops!

Additional Note: For comparison, I browsed a self-help book called "How To Be A Grown Up" by a white tooth Fox News "paid pretty face" Stacy Kaiser. It's totally generic and definitely wasn't written for the average homeless musician. It did, however, make me realize that mental health or being 'well-adjusted' does not automatically come with wealth and family like a Burger King combo meal. It's easy to think that my living in a van, riding a 40 year old Vespa moped around a strange city is the cause of my mental fatigue and spiritual torment, but those are merely symptoms. I know this but the continual depreciation of my value in the eyes of the police and society sometimes cloud my vision.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.