Posts Tagged ‘Scientology’

Conversation Of Our Generation

5 June 2018

About a year ago, a young man named Nick Jamell started a blog ConversationOfOurGeneration.com in an attempt to cut through the lack of clear thinking and responsible debate that he saw occurring across the internet and in public life on matters of social importance.

He was recently interviewed by Jack Spirko (at The Survival Podcast, which caught my attention because it deals with Permaculture), and he seemed like a sincere guy who really wanted to see some changes made on this planet. I offered to write a “guest blog” for him, and he graciously agreed to publish it (linked above).

I wrote a piece entitled “My Paradigm Shift Experience” which tried to convey in just a few words the depth of change a person may experience as he shifts from merely studying and discussing the human situation to becoming involved with a group that is actually doing something about it.

I might note that this shift started for me by reading a real book and interacting face-to-face with real people who were involved with the movement we all know as Scientology. I don’t know if an experience like that can be duplicated on the internet. But as this internet is now the place where so many of us connect, I hope that for many people that experience can at least start here.

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Answers to Drugs

22 September 2017

Yesterday I attended a public information session concerning the increasing use of marijuana and other drugs. This session was organized by Bishop Ron Allen who heads the International Faith Based Coalition. This is an anti-drug-abuse group. He had this session video-taped for use in his outreach work.

Two of the presenters were with the Colorado National Marijuana Initiative. They were there representing the President’s Office of National Drug Control Policy.

From official websites:

A component of the Executive Office of the President, ONDCP was created by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 [which extended an act by the same name passed 2 years earlier]. The ONDCP Director is the principal advisor to the President on drug control issues. ONDCP coordinates the drug control activities and related funding of 16 Federal Departments and Agencies.

ONDCP also administers two grant programs: the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) and Drug-Free Communities (DFC).

The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program, created by Congress with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, provides assistance to Federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug-trafficking regions of the United States.

The National Marijuana Initiative (NMI) is one of three national initiatives within the HIDTA program.

Other presenters

Another presenter was with the California Dept. of Justice Advanced Training Center.

The first presenter, who did not sit on the panel, was the ED of Omni Youth Programs, a non-profit, non-governmental “agency” operating in Sacramento County. She is college-trained with a background in both traditional and non-traditional therapies. She is assisted at Omni by a trained Family Therapist.

She explained to the audience that Omni’s approach to drug abuse is to target correlated factors such as child and family violence. These factors are linked to drug abuse (alcohol abuse in particular) by many studies (I assume mostly done by sociologists). These factors are addressed through group training programs. Omni trains the trainers who then go out and train groups. If this training is like other methods I have heard about, it focuses on changing “undesirable” behaviors into more desirable ones. We can assume that this work is moderately beneficial, but it uses technologies that can also be applied to more sinister forms of social control, and involves no real therapy on a personal level. Measures of the effectiveness of this work were not stressed in her short talk, but the website indicates positive results in 6- and 12-month follow-up studies.

Criminalize it

The federal approach to the drug problem is to criminalize drug production (where possible), trafficking, and use. About half of all Federal prisoners are there on drug trafficking charges. This is about 100,000 people. There are only about 250 people in federal prisons for possession only, but in state prisons there are roughly 50,000 more. There were roughly 160,000 drug traffickers in state prisons in recent years.

These figures must not include many major in-country producers, as drug production figures show no sign of heading downwards. However, many of these drugs, even Meth and LSD, have significant non-US sources, and most illegal drugs are majorly produced outside of the US.

The law-based approach to drug abuse control gives a lot of people a lot of things to do, but gives no particular sign of being effective. As is the case with most lawmaking, anti-drug laws are on the books because they are demanded by popular opinion, or give the government the feeling they are “doing something,” not because they are effective at dealing with social problems.

The federal people at this event argued for a continued legal and regulatory approach to the problem, bolstered by information campaigns, which have shown some effectiveness.

If marketing is effective, why bother with criminalization?

My take would be to trash the legal approach and continue the information campaigns. This might seem hypocritical to some, but passing laws about things just doesn’t seem to work. Private corporations, which have no direct ability to make law (though they do lobby abundantly, per all reports), have grown strong on marketing alone. Marketing and propaganda can breath life into a failed idea or kill a successful one. I think the effectiveness of marketing stems from its stress on giving people reasons to do things rather than reasons to stop doing things. Starting remains more popular than stopping in this society and probably always will. The stoppers are doomed to a minority status, even if they gain control of government or industry for a time. One of the greatest paradoxes we live with today has been our success at starting wars. Wars have always been seen primarily as stops because of their destructive results, but we have become convinced that they have “constructive” purposes in society, so they are now broadly supported (at least in the US).

That wars are constructive is of course a lie. So what we have in the US is a situation where the public is being lied to broadly and believing most of it. This is a sad situation, and is the road to a totally out-ethics (self-destructive) nation, which we are rapidly becoming. Drug use is a part of this greater overall picture.

What my church is doing

Several programs sponsored by church members address these issues. They operate independently of church organizations:

Narconon handles the drug abuse problem by operating rehabilitation facilities across the planet.

The Truth About Drugs program backs up this work with drug education materials and activities.

United for Human Rights seeks to empower victims of criminal abuses by informing them of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Way to Happiness program distributes a secular moral code across the planet in about 100 languages.

That booklet is also used by Criminon, which is a criminal rehabilitation program.

Applied Scholastics seeks to improve study skills, as laid out in our Study Technology, through its international teacher training center and in schools across the planet.

Hubbard College of Administration similarly teaches our management technology.

The Volunteer Ministers are organized to assist in disaster relief, often working alongside the Red Cross and government groups. Volunteer Ministers can also get trained in all facets of Scientology so they can help friends, neighbors and strangers more effectively.

And the Citizens Commission on Human Rights seeks to put ethics in on the psychiatrist-lead mental health system.

Drugs and Psychotherapy

The connection between drugs and psychotherapy might not be apparent to some, so let me clarify: People seek therapy usually due to experiencing some “mental problem.” They quite often don’t make this move until they are acutely suffering. Traditionally the therapist talks to the person (now often called “talk therapy”) in the hopes of giving the person some helpful realizations. This sort of therapy is no longer popular; it is not covered by many forms of medical insurance, and it takes a lot of time. So if the talk therapy doesn’t work or is unavailable, drugs are resorted to. Usually some drug can be found that will alleviate the symptoms. It will do nothing about the underlying cause. That means that drugs can “hook” people, because the symptoms return if drug use stops.

So we see drug use as a result of ineffective psychotherapies, as well as lack of access to any therapy other than drugs. Drugs are seen by beginning users as therapeutic, and in the past have often been sold that way. For instance, laudanum – a strong opioid drug – started as a pain relief medicine. So did the modern forms of opium, morphine (still used), heroin and cocaine. To that list add “legitimate” drugs prescribed by psychiatrists, and we see that whole profession falling into the pit of hiding symptoms behind a drug fog, rather than treating root cause. And: As long as they continue to believe that the mind is the brain – a widely disproved misconception – they will continue to fail in their assigned role in society, if they even care what that is.

The result of the failure of psychotherapy to deliver relief where it is most desired has resulted in the current drug situation. The only real solution is to start providing a psychotherapy (or whatever you choose to call it) that really works.

None of the panelists at the event I attended suggested this.

Star Wars episodes 4, 5 and 6

3 April 2016

I never went to see Star Wars in a movie theater when it originally came out. Later, I saw parts of the earlier films (not sure how that happened), and some of the later films, complete. What with a new one recently released, and some talk of it on forums, I thought it was time to add the original three films to my collection, and watch them all the way through.

I found somewhat to my dismay that the original films are not available in digital format; newer sequences have been added (replacing the original ones) in almost all digital releases except for maybe one that is almost impossible to get a copy of. Star Wars devotees have gone so far as to reconstruct digital versions of those movies that are closer to the originals, risking copyright infringement attacks.

I settled for a modern copy – blue-ray plus DVD – from Walmart. Friday night I sat down and watched them, one after another.

Background (per Wikipedia, of course)

The first film in the series, originally entitled just “Star Wars,” was released 25 May 1977. It was created by a man named George Lucas. He was a filmmaker and had already made some other films, but had been working on the Star Wars idea for quite some time. He had always envisioned it as a series, but could only land a contract to make three films. Thus, he modified the story of the first film (the fourth in his series) so that it could stand by itself if it had to. He then sought help from other writers to develop the follow-up screenplays. His first helper was a woman named Leigh Brackett, a legendary science fiction writer who was over 60 when Lucas asked for her help. She had been married to and collaborating with Edmond Hamilton, a man 10 years her senior, since 1946. Hamilton was associated with the editor Farnsworth Wright who worked for Weird Tales magazine, was a Californian born in 1888 and had seen action in World War 1.

How these people got their inspiration for their work and story picks is not much discussed in their online biographies, yet is of interest to me.

But to continue with the background story: Lucas is a Californian from Modesto, about 10 years older than me. After he graduated USC’s School of Cinematic Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (1967) he tried to join the Air Force and then the Army. They turned him down due to disqualifications. He resorted to instructing a documentary cinematography class for the U.S. Navy. I find this fascination with the military odd and unexplained. It has been noted that many artists who began their careers in the 1960s were connected with the military.

Lucas is said to have been influenced by Joseph Campbell, a scholar in comparative religion who in turn was influenced by many noted “modern” thinkers. Lucas has characterized himself as a “Buddhist Methodist” and lives in Marin County, where there is a sizable enclave of successful people from the entertainment industry and related activities.

He ended up being the principle writer on all three of the original films, plus the prequel trilogy, produced much later.

The Story

Superficially, the movies are strictly Space Opera, Buck Rogers style, to a degree approaching camp. [Camp: banality, mediocrity, artifice, ostentation, etc. so extreme as to amuse or have a sophisticated appeal – my dictionary.]

They trace the adventures of one Luke Skywalker, a young man first unaware of his previous political connections, but sympathetic to the cause of the Rebel Alliance, a group opposed to the vicious rule of the Galactic Empire, which has developed a planet-killing weapon known as the Death Star which they hope will quell any remaining resistance. The Alliance has a plan to destroy the Death Star, and Luke ends up being key to its ultimate success.

An extensive string of major and minor additional characters fill the story with an almost unending stream of twists and turns. Ray guns are constantly being fired, space battles regularly occur, and ancient secrets are revealed, as the rebels and their antagonists chase each other through a universe (or galaxy) filled with a huge variety of beings, stars, planets and moons. Superluminal speeds are commonplace!

At the end of the first movie, the Death Star is destroyed, but the evil Darth Vader narrowly escapes the blast. This episode is now entitled “A New Hope.”

In the second episode, “The Empire Strikes Back,” Luke begins his training with Yoda as a Jedi knight, but interrupts it to go out and save his friends. During this episode Luke learns that Vader is his biological father.

The third episode, “Return of the Jedi,” first involves the group’s attempts to rescue Han Solo – a rascal but skilled pilot – from imprisonment, and ends on a moon called Endor, with a huge battle that, at the last minute, allows the rebels to destroy the second version of the Empire’s Death Star, incomplete, but functional. Luke learns that the rebel leader Princess Leia, is his twin sister. At the end there is great rejoicing as the area emerges from a long period of spiritual suppression.

According to the sequel stories, which begin 30 years after this (as all the actors from the original are now 30 years older), a new suppressive group called the First Order has emerged and attempts to gain control of the galaxy. This group is overtly inspired by the Nazis, according to writer/director J.J. Abrams, including the stories that they survived post-WWII in exile at various secret locations.

What I see as the most important theme

Superficially, this is just another epic Space Opera story. Its popularity, which has been almost unprecedented in the history of the film business, could be attributed to its central theme of good versus evil (where good always wins in the end), the skill of its story telling, and the attention paid by its creators to the details of cinematic art and technique.

But we should add a few other factors to the phenomenon of popular appeal: marketing push on the one hand, and on the other, the true depth of the human psyche.

What other films stand high on the list for popularity (by gross earnings)? Gone with the Wind, Avatar, Titanic, The Sound of Music, ET. And by franchise: Marvel (comic book superheros), Harry Potter, James Bond, Middle Earth, followed by many others involving magical powers.

Magic

To me, magic is the key theme in all these popular works.

I have been taught that at one time we were all capable of what today would be called “magic.” It can be broken down into a long list of spiritual abilities.

The appeal of stories involving magic lies, I think, in the abiding – if subconscious – question: Why don’t we have those abilities any more?

Almost all these stories address this question in a similar manner: Magic can be used for good or for evil. And because it can be used for evil, it is best left alone.

Most people, as much as they love these stories, would probably agree with this.

But is it true?

It is possible we are mistaken in some way about this. Star Wars gets as close to any popular story I know of in addressing this issue.

The Force

In Star Wars, the power of “magic” is in The Force. We are introduced to this concept in the scenes involving Luke’s Jedi training. The idea of such a Force is an ancient one, though I am by no means an expert in tracing the idea. However, its name betrays the slant of its namers. Force, in our language, is a physical phenomenon. However, the concept in one of its forms – that used by Frenchman Henri Bergson – √©lan vital (translated by materialists as “life force”) was translated by Bergson’s English translator as “vital impetus,” which is similar to Hubbard’s idea of a living urge, or an urge to be alive, or the simple essence of Life.

Thus, the whole Jedi concept may be purposely (or unwittingly) misleading. As a being becomes more and more disconnected from himself (or itself), and its own abilities, it will turn to material technologies to make up for its own loss of power. Its only power then becomes the threat of using those technologies on those it wishes to dominate. Those who refuse to be dominated can be exterminated, but that does not kill their love of freedom. Thus, most criminals end up concentrating on ways to substitute the love of freedom with more material attachments.

As the highest-level storytellers, we may suppose, are not interested in the spiritual freedom of their audiences, these films are not meant to help anyone achieve that, but only to “teach lessons.” And the primary lesson is that there is a Dark Side that is very powerful.

LRH has discovered that there is much more to this story than what these movies are showing us. I recommend his work for this and many other reasons.

Monkey in the Middle

1 November 2012

What is the U.S. military really up to?

My article on blogspot… is really the result of my frustration with all the confusing information being spewed out over the internet by people who all supposedly are working towards the truth!

When Gordon Duff wrote an article for Press TV, which he later posted on his own site, Veterans Today, about how the neo-Nazi-Zionist faction of the military was helping the neo-Nazi-Zionists ruin the reputation of the Obama administration so their man would be sure to get elected, I had to make a statement.

The story they are pushing is that people in the Obama administration failed to defend our ambassador in Libya even though they knew he was in danger.

Duff thinks that the group pushing this story is probably the same group responsible for the attack, and a group that wants to create major violence in several places, including the United States, in order to regain an upper hand in the affairs of earth.

What isn’t clear is why they are having such a hard time maintaining their position, though Duff has also recently published an interesting story about a “UFO War” in the Pacific that could have something to do with it.

I invite you to click through to my other blog for more data.

Let’s Step Back for a Moment

15 September 2012

I started this blog a couple of years ago because my web design teacher asked me to.

Less than a year ago, I began to pay attention to “tags” and add them to my posts. And after that, people started finding my posts, following my blog, and leaving comments.

This is a very new blog, and writing for the internet is new for me.

Very recently “Amedar” requested that I expand on some of the themes I write about. Amedar, if you see this, send another comment to me and tell me what you are most interested in.

Meanwhile, I will go over some basics for new readers.

I am currently unemployed, so have the time to read and write and “step back” a little. I hope that my readers are all doing well, but I also hope that you can afford to “step back” from your lives now and again and look at things from a broader perspective.

I don’t particularly want these posts to be about me. Nor do they need to be about you. But I think that you, the reader, have a right to know a bit about the person who is sending out these messages.

I was born in 1954, in Berkeley, California. I grew up in California, and between 1964 and 1976, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. My parents were both first-generation college graduates. They expected all their children to be second-generation college graduates. But, while my sister and brother went down this path quite willingly, I did not.

My sister and brother don’t particularly remember the day in 1963 that Kennedy was killed in Dallas, Texas. But I do. And I will never forget the line of questioning that originated in my mind as a result of those events: Why did this happen? Why would anyone want to kill the President?

There were many other questions. Many digressions. Many stops along the way to learn a skill, learn to cook, learn to play guitar, to read what others were thinking about.

But finally I ran into a person, through a book he wrote, who seemed genuinely interested in the exact same question that I had started with. And so I decided to devote some time to learning more about what he had to say. And I also decided, for better or for worse, to move to Los Angeles and work for the organization that was making it possible for people like me to find this man’s books and read them.

My time in Los Angeles was interesting for me. After all, it was where both my parents had been born and grew up. But I didn’t want that to be my story. I wanted to do something to connect more people with Hubbard’s story. It had helped me to understand some things. And his suggestions, when I was brave enough to follow them, had helped me personally to survive at a higher level. So after 26 years in Los Angeles, I decided it was time for me to go back out into the “real world” and see what I could do about this.

I used my interests in computers, science fiction, UFOs, psychology, Scientology and the arts as stepping stones back into the bigger world of ideas and actions. And I began to write about these topics from the perspective of what I had learned from “my teacher” L. Ron Hubbard while I was in Los Angeles.

The Clash of Opposing Intentions

What I found as I listened and read and wrote was that opposing intentions existed on this planet that were largely hidden and, therefore, almost impossible for anyone to understand. We see the results of these struggles. Wars, famine, terrorist attacks, crime. But we are not privy to the machinations behind these events, and are lead to believe that, since they always have happened, they will always continue to happen. But how are we to survive? How is our planet to survive? If the apparent destructiveness of Mankind cannot somehow be resolved?

According to Hubbard, it is somewhat workable to simplify this clash of intentions along one common theme: The urge to survive.

What this implies is that beings exist who, for some reason, no longer wish to survive. At first look, this seems like an absurd proposition. But every day people die of “natural causes,” “accidents,” “suicide.” Does not this fact betray an urge to succumb in Mankind? In fact, if people never died, how would we make room for all the people who seem to want to be born?

When Hubbard wrote Dianetics in 1950, he posed this problem in terms of traditional psychology, with one important twist: The mind, somehow, can make the body do things that aren’t good for it, or simply make no sense. He interpreted this, at that time, as a kind of accidental post-hypnotic suggestion. Hypnotists are noted for getting people to act in bizarre ways simply by installing a suggestion during hypnosis, then triggering it after the person is brought out of trance. This was an observable, working mechanism, and Hubbard proposed that people were being affected by it, willy-nilly, in the process of going through life. Dianetics was devoted to explaining all this, and teaching a method for ridding a person of unwanted hypnotic commands.

Dianetics was a great stride forward. Because it enabled us to assume that the individual always wants to survive, and that he only succumbs because he picks up hypnotic commands during the process of living that tell him he should succumb. This made us the “good guys” and the commands the “bad guys.”

That, however, was only the beginning of the story. What Hubbard did not have time to verify before he published Dianetics was that some people, in therapy, were remembering past lives (and deaths).

This was a real problem. Addressing those incidents as if they were real, and not just imagined, helped patients get better. So Hubbard was not willing to write this off. It’s just that this took him beyond the limits of traditional psychology and back into the philosophies that he had studied in Asia, and that Carl Jung had toyed with in his later years. It took him, frankly, into the realm of religion.

By 1954, Hubbard was getting so much flak from various academic, political and media groups that he finally went along with the suggestion of one of his students and established a church, thinking this would help protect his work from undue interference.

This actually worked out okay. But it’s not a very important part of the story. To this day, enemies of spiritual freedom try to harass Hubbard and the church for all their real and imagined faults. But that’s all a bit beside the point, isn’t it?

What did Hubbard go on to discover? That’s the real question.

The work of the church has helped to answer that question for those who are interested. The church has preserved all of his recorded lectures – which number about 3,000 – and has restored most of them and released them on CDs. Virtually all of his written materials are available. Besides roughly 20 books, there are about 13 large volumes of Technical Bulletins and a similar number of similar-sized volumes of Policy Letters.

It’s a lot of material. I have not studied nearly all of it yet, and actually very few people get the opportunity to do so. But it is a worthy goal, in my opinion. Because, the work, for the most part, seems actually workable.

I emphasize in my posts the material that I think is most pertinent to current events on earth. Ethics, the Suppressive personality, and the Third Party Law are key basics that all of us should be aware of. Do they apply well in every situation you will run into? Well, I don’t really know. I hope some people will try applying some of this data and let me know how it goes for them. It’s a learning process for all of us.

A Resource I highly recommend

I really like the site that I link to below. I would like to know what others think about this site, and if it seems like something useful to you.

I have been trained on all the courses listed on this site. So feel free to ask me about them in your comments. But if you want the benefits of these technologies for yourself, you will have to go ahead and get trained in them yourself. That’s just how that works.

Volunteer Minsters Solutions Page.