Perhaps the best news today is a long comment on Tony O’s blog from former Scientologist and now leading LGBT activist, and beloved “Auntie Kate” of so many on this blog. Kate wrote her first long post here in many months, and said she’s feeling completely free of cancer. Her post is worth reading.
Tony’s blog talks leads with a great explanation of Scientology ethics and features a remarkable video from Karen de la Carriere about life at Int Base. Mike Rinder scores some pictures and over-the-top e-mails about the weekend’s events.
Tony Ortega’s Blog
Tony’s blog featured the regular weekly story from former cult marketing exec Jeff Hawkins about the Scientology “ethics” system. Jeff does a great job explaining how Hubbard took something simple, albeit something that equated “ethics” with “making money” rather than what the rest of the world understands, then added in mechanisms to control and brainwash his followers. I found this a great explanation.
Karen De La Carriere produced a video with an interview with Jeff Hawkins and many others, which captures some of the craziness of life at Int Base. Mike Rinder compares life there to being in North Korea. Also available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0kL12vtw7M#t=433
The lulz for today come from yet another piece of Super Power equipment, this time the “pain table” which appears to be a vibrating plate of spikes that one puts one’s hand onto. It’s not nearly as cool as yesterday’s endocrine system “vomit comet” flight simulator ride, and nowhere near as bizarre as the oiliness table.
My take: of particular interest in the ethics discussion is how the fundamental roots are in economics, putting you in a state to be punished if the organization doesn’t hit its goals by growing every single week. And of course, no organization can grow every single week no matter what. It just doesn’t happen. The unreasonable goals backed up by the punishment-oriented culture, which eventually acquired such powerful tools for coercion, is why we protest.
I pointed out that this system of “ethics” used to drive production actually creates massive blowback and unintended consequences, particularly to try to bend the management goals to ones that are achievable consistently, even though they may not actually do much to improve the business.
- MarionDee talks about losing her husband to the Lyndon LaRouche cult three decades ago, and shares how it still grates on her. She also gives examples of LaRouchie behavior that resembles how Scientologists try to control behavior.
- LongNeckGoose captures Hubbard’s M.O. in coming up with things in the ethics gradients quite elegantly.
- “Peter” talks about his experience both entering the cult and leaving, 30 years ago.
- Kemist talks about how fundamentalist religions have some growing pains after the prophet or the people who knew him personally die out, but people adapt the faith to suit their reality once this happens. He points out that Scientology is basically a fundamentalist religion, something that I’ve also said on numerous occasions.
- Once_Born replies to Kemist by talking about how new religious movements often splinter, and ponders the current decline in Christianity.
- Dwayners13 looks at the Miscavige approach to improving on Hubbard’s statistical management techniques.
- Derek B. reminisces about how ethics conditions were used during his time in the Sea Org. He then gives a great explanation from psychology about how people stay stuck in the cult.
Mike Rinder’s Blog
- Mike’s first post reveals a Facebook post from a Kool-Aid drinker gushing about how great GAT 2 will be. Mike takes a stab at likely positioning for the release. Worth a read just for the long jargon-ridden post by the lady talking up how magic this is.
- Mike’s second post has a couple photos from the stage area for the events plus the new Terrace Restaurant at the renovated Oak Cove hotel. As dedicated foodie, I will say that the décor isn’t as awful as I had expected, though I hope they’re not waiting for their Michelin stars. I’ve eaten in neighborhood Chinese restaurants in Manhattan that are more elegant.
- Mike’s third post highlights the hype in some recent e-mails about the events. My favorite embodies Hubbard-like math skills: “Take that “WOW”, multiply it by infinity, and you will have about 1/1000th of a concept of what is in store for you when you get his briefing.”
The Forums (WWP, ESMB, OCMB)
Thanks again to Aeger Primo for keeping an eagle eye on things. She notes it’s a quiet day on the forums, though a couple interesting articles pop out.
AegerPrimo started a thread on ESMB to get their perspective on Scientologists and not drinking, a theme that was brought up by some of the ex’s in response to my post looking at the power of anecdotes. This could give more data points to think about as we try to understand the woman’s drinking behavior in the post from B. B. Broeker in the case study for analyzing anecdotes.
The Daily Fail is reporting that Tom Cruise’s sister Leanne De Vette, who was his publicist during the “crazy times,” will be deposed in the Bauer Media suit. This ought to be fun to see how she will use her Scientology communication skills and her Hubbard-created PR skills when under oath.