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Six months and learning

2010-02-09 Comments off

It’s been 6 months since I left the Church of Scientology and published my Doubt write-up. For six months I have been blogging and engaging in discussions and exchange of viewpoints on the Net. First there were lots of discussions on this blog with participants from all over the world. Then I erected The Scientology Forum (www.scnforum.org) and moved the discussions over there.

There has been media – all major Norwegian newspapers, Norwegian national TV, the St Petersburg Times and coverage on the net. I have been in communication with hundreds of people – many still in the church looking for a smooth exit, others recently out or out since the 80’s and various critics and people anonymous. Many have left as they have read my bloggings. And there is more media to come. In this update, I would like to focus on my experience on the Net.

The Scientology Forum may very well be the only loosely moderated area for discussion on the net where scientologists can feel safe from exposure to upper level confidential material and where free speech is still the high goal. It is one of the few places where scientologists meet critics and exchange viewpoints.

Although it has been reported as a pro-tech forum, that wasn’t the original intent. I simply wanted more time with my family after having spent way too much time approving comments on my blog. With several good moderators at the forum, I actually got more family time. I am grateful to the moderators for that.

I wanted to see if scientologist could debate the subject on neutral ground, and if they could stand the arguments put forth by the critics. I think they have done well. And the critics have given them a good run for their money. And in this I appreciate the critics for questioning everything.

The Scientology Forum has managed quite well so far with original research and valuable facts presented – clarifications, extensions and debate on the Axioms, Logics and Factors by Vinaire, the discussion on disconnection and the ensuing research on PTS/SP tech by Jim Logan, discussions on the E-Meter, KSW #1, the CST underground vaults, double-blind studies by Valkov and much, much more. The facts that surface need a home, and that home could be the Scientology Facts wiki.

It seems that the hot topic on the Intertubez these days is whether the current bad CoS scene is caused by David Miscavige by his alteration of LRH policies, by LRH through his policy and conduct or as a complex co-creation by everyone involved to a greater or lesser degree. I tend to believe it’s a mixture of all these three but that DM has made the scene significantly worse on his own.

Now I would like to share some experiences with you after my first six months “in the open”. The following points do not relate to scnforum.org specifically, but more the overall scene of Scientology on the Internet.

  1. Scientology itself is a highly charged subject. People feel very passionate about it – both pro and con. There are fanatics on both sides. There are the rabid critics, and there are the hard core Scientology party-liners. They have more in common than they like to admit – selling an agenda or “thesis”, insistence on being right and the ensuing habitual breaches in logic. Both camps are arrogant and “knows” what’s best for you. Tolerance in this arena is hard to come by. Insults on the other hand…
  2. Most people engaging in discussions about Scientology have difficulties in differentiating. Scientology becomes the Church of Scientology becomes Hubbard becomes individual scientologists becomes the FreeZone becomes Independents becomes the argument becomes the tech becomes whatever. Most discussions about some piece of Scientology ends up in a discussion about Hubbard. Insistence on differentiation and logic will earn you some snide remarks and insults, but it is the only way forward in trying to get to some facts on the table and to get something effective done.
  3. The noise/fact ratio is immense. There is a lot of blabbering by people who simply love to see their name and printed word appear on the net. Most have little or nothing to contribute except snide remarks, loose opinions, speculations or garbage.
  4. There is more speculation than fact. In absence of fact people go rampant in speculations. This is why it is important to get facts on the table. This is why I now set up Scientology Facts – to collect whatever is possible of facts about Scientology and the Church of Scientology. Fact is what will make most people see what needs to be done. In the short run, an appeal to emotions may get things going but in the long run Fact is King™.
  5. Trying to change another’s viewpoint by engaging in a discussion on the net is futile. It usually ends up in more cemented viewpoints. The insistence on being right is magnified by public discussions. As a variation of an old Internet saying goes: “Winning an argument on the Internet is like competing in the Paralympics. You may have won, but…
  6. Keeping a discussion on topic? Yeah, right.
  7. If you want to engage in discussions on the net, ensure you contribute something of value to others in terms of facts, real experiences, valid questions and valid responses. Logic is your friend. And so is conciseness. Read up on “Logical Fallacies and the Art of Debate“. Stick to the topics at hand and don’t get offended.

The above points are not intended as invalidation of The Scientology Forum, but it may serve as a heads up that it could become a rambling mess unless we strive to keep the noise/fact ratio as low as possible and also capture research and fact onto Scientology Facts.

My purpose is threefold: 1) To help people differentiate between Scientology and the Church of Scientology, 2) To stop the human rights abuses in the church and 3) To ensure the tech is free for everyone to use. The forward progress along these lines are not happening on the Internet alone in front of a keyboard. – it takes actual real world action to pull these off.

It’s been an exciting first six months. Many have left the church, high profile people like Paul Haggis and Larry Anderson as well as scores of OTs. I believe we are seeing the snowball rolling down the mountain summit. This year we may just witness an avalanche. And in the debacle, I hope we can rescue the tech from the misapplications perpetrated by the church.

More at The Scientology Forum

Winter wonderland

The InterNatter – strike two. In come Scientology Facts!

2010-01-05 Comments off

I highly commend all the great people on The Scientology Forum for their contributions. I feel it has provided a higher density of facts and sound debates that most comparable places on the net.

It would be great if we could capture the facts in the various discussions of the forum and build a wiki of facts. Not opinions, but facts. Verifiable facts. A Scientology Wikipedia in the spirit of scnforum.org (same rules but without any opinions).

I could see compilations of useful references (links as not to poke the CoS Copyright tiger too much), facts about membership counts, facts about org stats (one page per org), facts about Ideal Orgs, pages for notable people (one page per person like Mary Sue, Ken Urqhart, Dan Koon…), historical facts etc.

What about scnfacts.org?

What do you think?

Media & The Geir FAQ

2009-12-31 5 comments

New media coverage in the St. Petersburg Times: “Three of Scientology’s elite parishioners keep faith, but leave the church

And for new readers of this blog, here are some frequent questions I get and my answers:

Q: Why did you leave the church?
A: Read my About page.

Q: Are you still a Scientologist?
A: Yes indeed.

Q: What are your purposes regarding Scientology?
A: 1) To stop the abuses in the church, 2) To help the general public differentiate between Scientology and the church and 3) To help make the Scientology philosophy free for everyone.

Q: What do you mean with “To help make the Scientology philosophy free for everyone”?
A: Read “LRH4ALL“, “Monopoly on freedom” and “Open Sourcing Scientology

Q: What are your views on the Scientology and on the church now?
A: Read “My positions

Q: What will it take for you to go back to the church?
A: A reform handling every reason why I left (see my About page). Also read “The ideal scene

Q: What are you doing now?
A: Lots. Living life to the fullest 🙂 I am running The Scientology Forum (scnforum.org. See also my homepage.

Q: How can I contact you?
A: By e-mail: g@isene.com

More questions will be answered by browsing the Navigation page.

You may also ask me questions directly by leaving a comment on this blog.

Further discussion at the forum.

BTW: Happy New Year

A new site to behold: Rediscover Scientology

2009-12-27 Comments off

It’s just launched and is taking on content: Rediscover Scientology.

Go take a look and tell the creator(s) your verdict and suggest content.

Another Doubt Settled

2009-12-17 Comments off

I used to run U-MAN Norway, a WISE recruitment company, from 1990 till 2000. I was also the delivery manager (OES) for U-MAN International towards the end of my career there. The founder of U-MAN, Izhar Perlman has been a Scientologist for 30 years. After reading the Friends of LRH website, he now completed his Doubt condition:

I have been 30 years inside the Church of Scientology and resigned it by sending a letter to the Lisbon Org about 3 years ago.

It is only in the last days that I finally realized that I have been in and out of Doubt conditions for many years.

I remember the first time I heard a tape about the new management, and how Scientology is doing well, and the narrator was supposed to be LRH but I was sure it was not! That was in 1984.

Followed many incidents of strange and off tech Ethics handlings, unwise WISE handlings and arbitrations, and finally out tech on the upper OT levels.

I was declared in 1994 and then did the A to E steps back to good standing.

Three years ago I could not continue anymore to agree with the way things were happening inside the Church.

The last straw for me was The Basics, where DM actually accused LRH of doing a sloppy job of supervising the printing of his books for years.

I wrote my letter of resignation to the DSA Lisbon Org, and that was it.

But it was not!

Per the Doubt formula I got through to step 6 where I announced my decision to the Church but failed to announce it publicly to to the group I decided to remain part of.

This fact hit me a few days ago when I read the data on the site http://www.friendsoflrh.org/ .When I read all the things I observed throughout the years, and the LRH quotes that demonstrate clearly that the actions of DM are suppressive and contrary to LRH intention.

For me this site (http://www.friendsoflrh.org/) clearly give all what is necessary to complete the first 5 steps of the Doubt formula.

I therefore want to announce publicly:

I have never doubted the Scientology tech or the intention of LRH regarding it.

The doubts I had was on the application of the data by the Church management and the staff that works for it.

I am a Scientologist as I follow as much as I can the teachings and processes of Scientology. I am against the Church of Scientology management and especially DM who I know to be suppressive of LRH Tech, staff and public.

By announcing this I finish step 6 of the Doubt formula, and never to get back into that trap.

I will continue to suffer on up through the conditions, and I hope I can help many of my friends to confront the truth and again live a life of integrity and happiness.

A short list of my friends include all the Scientologists I knew in Tel-Aviv, the ones I met in AOSH EU and FLAG, the ones I met when I had U-MAN and the ones I knew when I had the Trimlines network. I hope you read this announcement and if you have a shadow of a doubt check the site I wrote about above and see all the vast data that is available on the Internet.

your friend

Izhar Perlman

Discussion at TSF

Issues solved

2009-12-10 Comments off

The issues mentioned in the blog post below has now been handled.
The Scientology Forum is back on track.

Welcome to the safe public forum for discussion of Scientology.

Adventure vs Total Freedom

2009-11-15 Comments off

Why does adventure outsell Nirvana?

People flock to the cinemas to experience a sense of adventure. Not only James Bond, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. Hollywood caters for a wide audience with adventures of love, tragedy and everyday life. From Casablanca to Finding Nemo and Gandhi, there is the longing for excitement and for something different. Society is rife with antidotes for the dreaded boredom or the lack of game.

Thetans want a real game. Playstation can be a substitute for an exciting life. Live Action Role-Playing is as close as most people get. Some challenge death by throwing themselves out from cliffs. Others goes overboard and becomes mercenaries. Thetans want to create effects in a real game.

Have a look at what you want. What is the ultimate game for you?

Why then does Scientology sell “Total Freedom”? Total freedom is an all out Tone 40 – a “no games” condition.

The optimum level on the Tone Scale is 22 – Games. That’s a tad above action and that is where adventures are experienced for real.

Most people would prefer the adventures of Indiana Jones over continual serenity on cloud 9, watering plants and playing the trumpet all day long.

L. Ron Hubbard says:
There is only one way, really, to get into a state of living, and that’s live! There is no substitute for an all-out, over-the-ramparts, howling charge against life. That’s living. Living does not consist of sitting in a temple in the shadows and getting rheumatism from the cold stones. Living is hot, it’s fast, it’s often brutal! It has a terrific gamut of emotional reactions. If you are really willing to live, you first have to be willing to do anything that consists of living. Weird. But it’s one of those awfully true things that you wonder why one has to say it. And yet it has to be said.

Living is the game at hand. What Scientology can offer is for you to be a better player of the game you want. And that is what Scientology should be selling.

My greatest win on OT VIII was a surge in adventure – being able to fully experience and enjoy the games I play. To play the game for real and not just coping in life. I used to be dreaming about more interesting games. Now there is action and participation everywhere I look. The quote above is the real deal. It is life as I know it. I want adventure more than total freedom. Working toward total freedom is exciting. I just think selling a nirvana of sorts carries with it a lot of unneeded expectations.

I believe people want adventure. Handling the abuses and out tech in the Church of Scientology is an adventure worth engaging.

Cross-posted to scnforum.org for discussion.

scnforum.org – the first week

2009-11-14 Comments off

The Scientology Forum has been live for one week.

In the first week, more than 100 members registered. And with more than 1000 posts in 7 days, the new forum has got a very good start.

Welcome over at scnforum.org and participate in enriching discussions. It is already the first and foremost open forum where people can join in courteous discussions on Scientology.

scnforum.org – practicing free speech as advocated by the Code of a Scientologist point #10: “To work for freedom of speech in the world“, and by the Creed of the Church of Scientology: “That all men have inalienable rights to think freely, to talk freely, to write freely their own opinions and to counter or utter or write upon the opinions of others“. The forum is a guardian of free speech and human rights – the very rights that the church is trying its best to suffocate.

Happy to see scnforum.org taking off

2009-11-10 Comments off

After I set up The Scientology Forum a week ago, it has started to take off. In the four days that it has been live now we have almost 100 members and more than 500 posts. I am very happy to ba able to share the moderation duty with four other excellent gentlemen. At the same time, the comments on this blog has simmered down, just like I had hoped it would. It’s a nice transition.

This does not mean I will stop posting on this blog. It only means I will move the discussions over to scnforum.org – where the action is. Come on over and join a safe and strongly emerging Scientology community.

Dear Scientologist

2009-11-07 Comments off

If you have seen abuses in the church, or tech corruptions, or if you feel the fun is drying up, then you are not alone. Most Scientologists I have talked to up through the years have seen this and more. And many harbor some doubt about their own situation with the church. This manifests in for instance not picking up the phone to avoid registrars, not attending IAS events to avoid the pressure and coming up with small white lies about being to too busy to be on course or not affording another set of the Basics.

And then you may wonder what trouble you encounter if you were ever to report all the outpoints you see. Or if you would get expelled or SP declared if you were to stand up, say “No!” and walk out the door.

If you are indeed working on correcting the outpoints you see, I highly commend you and the rest of this article is not intended for you.

Now, here’s the kicker: You inherit the condition that you do not assign and handle. If you stay silent, you tacitly condone the abuses, tech corruptions and the suppression of Scientology itself. If you do not help stop the degradation of Scientology, you are at best in a Treason condition. If you don’t try to handle, in any way, the outpoints you see, you will mount up some serious work on your future Liability condition. Making up the damage for not stopping the suppression of Scientology is no small task.

Maybe it’s time to take a look at what you are, who you really are and to do a real and honest Doubt condition before you amass to much amends work up the line.

If you would like to comment on this blog, post, please go to the cross-post on scnforum.org and participate in the discussion over there.