I had considered posting about this topic then didn’t to save it for my book. But recent events involving Marty Rathbun, the unofficial leader of the independent Scientologist movement and also a letter from a client I had worked with last year convinced me otherwise. My client told me he felt he wasn’t told the truth by Rathbun. Rathbun presents Hubbard and Scientology as benevolent and near ideal before Miscavige. He told me I had told him the “100% truth.” By that he meant I told him that the policies and tactics that Miscavige uses in harassment, degradation, and human rights violation trace back to Hubbard. I also made it perfectly clear to him that although I could help maximize his talents and gifts and diminish his weaknesses that the god-like promises that Scientology offers have not occurred. These were tough pills to swallow for a young impressionable young man; disillusionment, lost hope, and the realization that he was sold a bill of goods to a greater or lesser degree. He got through it, we all have to.
On 22nd of February on the radio station KHOW in Denver Marty Rathbun was asked point blank if he believed in the OT3, Xenu story. He said, “I don’t believe anything” several times (perhaps implying he has his own mind and is free to think what he wants). He was also asked by the cagey host, “Are there thetans in my body?” and “Are there spirits of the aliens in me?” Rathbun flatly said, “No.”
Since the OT 3, Xenu myth is Scientology’s genesis story and is a foundational belief for advanced Scientologists or Independent Scientologists; you can’t really say NO to those questions. If you believe in L Ron Hubbard as Independents claim to do, one is not at liberty to say that you don’t believe anything, especially OT3. You don’t have the luxury of freedom of thought. Maybe Marty is realizing as my peers and I did long ago that LRH and his writings are not inerrant. The OT3 story is akin to the Bible verses about Adam and Eve whereby eating God’s forbidden fruit caused man’s ruin (Genesis 3). Those verses lay the foundation for the basic theology that you need God or a messiah to save you from the evil nature which befell upon man thereafter. OT3 lays the foundation for the core belief of Hubbard’s promise to make one an “OT.” He believed the route to OT is through exorcism. You can’t say you are a Scientologist if you deny the core secrets that true believers pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to learn.
Suspension of Reality
All religions and theologies ask that one suspends reality to a greater or lesser degree. They all ask for a leap of faith. Evangelists run into this when they try to explain the virgin birth, the resurrection and other core Christian beliefs that science says cannot occur. Jews run into this attempting to explain Moses’ miracles. And the Scientologist has to face it when an informed internet reader challenges him on the Xenu story. In today’s science fact based world things that are faith based or “unseen” are severely challenged and are becoming nearly extinct. Society wants documented proof; unedited, un-retouched video as it were.
Augustine of Hippo (St. Augustine, November 13, 354 – August 28, 430) wrote, “Seek not to understand in order to believe, but believe in order to understand.” There is inherent danger in that motto as it can enable devious cult leaders to take advantage of the faithful innocent. On the other hand, believing to understand must occur in order to see the unseen; such as God, angels, or spirits. In any case it takes suspending a scientific touch it/feel it reality to adopt a theological or religious belief.
Suspension of reality is one of the key factors used by the devious who wish to exert their own reality through abuse and mind control. It is usually achieved by overwhelming the perceptions of the believer. Historically, pagans partook in the “nectar of the gods” to suspend reality and see Zeus, Odin, or Jupiter. This technique is ancient, but carries forward through history; the Turkish whirling dervishes (12th century) danced into a frenzy to reach kemal, the source of all perfection. This is sought through abandoning one’s nafs, egos or personal desires, by listening to the music, focusing on God, and spinning one’s body in repetitive circles. Assassins (11th to 13th century) acted upon orders to kill due to the hypnotic command value from hashish with a promise to reach paradise which is very similar to today’s suicide bombers. The 60s counter culture tore down traditional values prompted by mind altering drugs especially LSD. Carlos Castenada’s book, “A Separate Reality” had followers walking through the jungle for weeks with their eyes crossed to shift reality. Scientology techniques such as arduous hours of TR 0 (confront drill) which overwhelms perception while at the same time causing sensory deprivation does it, as well as running around a tree day afer day at a time on the Cause Resurgence Rundown. The new spinning gyro used in super power overtly does the same thing. These procedures put the person at certain risk of suggestion and implanting a new and contrary reality by suspending the old one. Anyone who is devious will take advantage of that and force their will upon their victims.
Freedom of Thought
Freedom of thought does not mean that you don’t have strong beliefs. You have them, but have come to them by hard won study, thought, and examination on your own initiative and the merits of the belief system. It also means you have the freedom to be critical, question and query, and the right to change your mind. After critical examination, if you wish to make a leap of faith you can. Maybe some independent Scientologists are starting to realize that and realize they have the freedom to contradict L Ron Hubbard’s teachings and get free from the trappings of their own minds.