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Scientology's Intricate "Web"
What is Scientology ? Scientology is only a cult with about 50 000 people, with no media attention except the occasional lawsuit. But from the point of view of the Internet, you might be induced to think that Scientology is the biggest subject matter in the world, second to sex. A search for "Scientology" will return 742 000 results, and eight ads. Sometimes it's just too much work for your average Insolitologist to sift thru it all, find the absurdity, and sift truth from PR.
Well, this page is for you. We're taking the plunge into the wild wild world of Scientology, and we might just learn something about Xenu along the way, or at least hear Hubbard's goofy singing.
-Sites Related to Church of Scientology, Dianetics and L. Ron Hubbard
First and most important stop, Scientology's own sitemap, or should I say, networkmap. You can access all the Scientology sites, Hubbard sites, Dianetics sites, Bookstores, Music sites, Special Features, 3-D Tours, and of course free personality testing online (do not do the latter unless you like to get junk mail). That's more than a hundred major sites, including the Dianetics site available in 53 languages. Exactly how many Scientologists speak only in Nepalese ?
Anyway. Why so many web sites you ask ? First of all, you ain't seen nothing yet. Secondly, the first goal is to get the most hits from search engines. The more sites you have, the more you can spam search results, and at the same time look powerful and respectable.
The sites listed here go from bland pablum, to mouthpiece denunciations 1984-style (especially against Germany, which has constantly opposed Scientology), to ridiculously glorifying sites praising L. Ron Hubbard. You may notice in astonishment the "Meet Over Sixteen Thousand Scientologists On-line" - I will get back to that later.
At least, these are all the sites that Scientology wants you to see.
-Clearing the Internet: Scientology and Scientologists on the World Wide Web
The title of this page is "We know who you are and what you are trying to do", part of the web site of well-known critic Tilman Hausherr. It is a long list of web sites of individuals affiliated to Scientology, or organisations which are linked, but cannot be publically associated to the cult without losing credibility, with Scientology. Most Scientologists are ashamed (even with Scientology's hunger for public attention) of saying that they are Scientologists, but some aren't. Here are some interesting sights :
Advanced Dental Care, a Scientology-based dentist clinic. Check out some pictures of the inside : Bridge and Tone Scale pinned to the walls (see right), and the dentist displays his Clear certificate !
Sky Dalton, former owner of the Scientology-based ISP Earthlink.
Laury Dizengremel Wicks, a sculptor who seems inordinately fond of Scientologists.
Leisa Goodman, former lawyer for Scientology and now Media Director. That's two big strikes against you, Leisa, you better give up while you're ahead.
Life-Improvement is someone who claims to be "Dianetic Counselor". Since Scientology prosecutes any independant person who does that, he's either a shill, or has balls the size of Montana.
James M. Keppler is one with THREE strikes against him : he's a chiropractor, a Scientologist, and a kook.
My Experiences with Scientology. Loren Sherman really loves Scientology. He "used to be very introverted, somewhat critical", but now he's a people-scamming, gullible idiot ! Wow !
Reality, Belief and The Mind is six pages of insane rambling from Gene Zimmer about modern medecine (a pet peeve of Scientologists), ending with his admission of being a Scientologist. Foundation for Truth in Reality ? Isn't reality already true ? Not for a Scientologist I suppose.
Theta Romance and Theta Singles are there for you lonely Scientologists who are looking for a soul partner... er, I mean thetan partner. Boca-chika-wow-wow !
CEO Software knows how you can get out of debt : by following Scientology doctrine ! Well, it worked for Hubbard, since he got from poor hack writer to multimillionaire by scamming more and more people (see right).
InfoGroup not only has a horrible web site, but advertises its connection with WISE (World Institute of Scientology Enterprises) on its front page.
Truth Books sells books, but only from Hubbard. Funny, that.
-Scientology Official Home Page
Our Grand Tour of the Scientology web sites starts with the granddaddy of them all, the Scientology home page. Nothing very interesting on the front page except a truckload of links.
The audio section contains a few gems from the mouth of Hubbard itself. Listen to his rendition (Real Audio file) of his song "Thank you for listening", which has been said by some to sound like he had a sock in his mouth. Also check out his extracts of lectures, where he explains to us that we can be three feet back of our head and that cerebral palsy is psycho-somatic. Is it wise to put those on your home page ? I don't know, I'm not a crazed cultist.
But that still isn't any help to figure out what Scientology actually is. Maybe the next web site can help us.
-What is Scientology ?
Well, it goes like this :
The Scientology® religious philosophy contains a precise system of axioms, laws and techniques, exhaustively researched and documented as workable. As such, it provides the individual with the ability to dramatically improve conditions, not only in his own life but in the world around him.
OK, so that's not helpful at all. Honestly, you're not likely to get any answer from any official Scientology web site about what Scientology actually is. Scientology is just a mind-bending cult with lots of money, really.
So what good is this web site then ? It's no good at all. However, like most other Scientology web sites, it does provide a link (Adobe Acrobat file) to the Oxford Capacity Analysis test that is used on all prospects, for you to fill out and send them (do not send it unless you like junk mail !). It contains such scientific questions as :
3. Do you browse through railway timetables, directories, or dictionaries just for pleasure ? [presumably the answer here should be yes, so that you are not bored reading Hubbard's nonsensical mass of doctrine]
14. Would the idea of inflicting pain on game, small animals or fish prevent you from hunting or fishing ? [probable answer here is "no", to indicate you won't mind following the nonsensical and cruel Scientology doctrines]
29. Would you rather give orders rather than take them ?
31. Could you agree to strong discipline ? [obviously here the good answers are "no" and "yes"]
59. Do you consider the modern "prisons without bars" system doomed to failure ? [obviously it's not, since it works very well with Scientology]
61. Do you ever get a "dreamlike" feeling towards life when it all seems unreal ? [better get used to it]
92. Are you a slow eater ?
124. Do you often make tactless blunders ?
129. Are you in favor of color bar and class distinction ? [since Hubbard was in favour of Apartheid, I would think the good answer is "yes"]
176. Do you spend too freely in relation to your income ? [very important quality for a Scientology victim]
Since psychiatry is evil, I suppose they had to make up their own tests... The OCR really has no validity as a psychometric test, and is not recognized scientifically. It's just a method to drive home to people the urgency of them buying Scientology courses. Here are the test's answers from Clambake, in case you want to calculate how good a fish (or as Scientologists would say, "raw meat") you are.
If we cannot know what Scientology is, maybe we can learn about what it can do. This is what the Scientology Handbook purports to do. Here you can learn about Scientology's solutions to problems as varied as drug abuse, study trouble, predicting people, and what are our life goals. Scientology doctrines can solve everything !
Scientology doctrine says that most if not all sciences are wrong, and biology is not exception. You can learn, in the drug abuse section, why painkillers are as bad for you as hard drugs (as a note, drug treatment is a PR button used by Scientology to attract weak people and good media : many of their web sites are fronts for anti-drug recruitment). Turns out it has nothing to do with the inhibition of the production of prostaglandins OR with blocking the path of the chemical messengers that signal pain in the brain, but rather with the functioning of your thetan - your soul. As you see to the right, painkillers prevents the thetan from making mental image pictures (translating scieno-speak, prevents the soul from remembering things).
A. Inhibit the ability of the thetan to create mental image pictures
B. To impede the electrical conductivity of nerve channels.
As a result, the thetan is rendered stupid, blank, forgetful, delusive and irresponsible. He gets into a “wooden” sort of state, unfeeling, insensitive, unable and definitely not trustworthy, a menace to his fellows actually.
That is remarkable, I do always feel like a menace to my fellow after taking an aspirin. And when I get to the Tylenols, watch out ! There are a few more atrocities like these. For example. in Communication, The authors of the site try to convey to us what communication is, and drown themselves in Hubbardese :
Communication is the consideration and action of impelling an impulse or particle from source-point across a distance to receipt-point, with the intention of bringing into being at the receipt-point a duplication and understanding of that which emanated from the source-point.
Allright, I understand perfectly. Yep, I see the word "particle", so it must be scientific !
You can also learn how to predict people. Yes, psychology is wrong, people are very easy to predict. You just have to find out where they are on the Tone Scale, an ubiquitous chart in Scientology. You find out where people are on this Scale by "observing the obvious" - especially a person's eyes. The eyes tell you everything. If a person's eyes are just going everywhere on the map, that's a 1.0 - Fear. A gaze directed downward is in Grief, which is 0.5. This does not apply to people who constantly look for change on the sidewalks. Anger is higher on the Scale, at 1.5, and this is when the person fixes something intently away from you. You may feel this way often while reading the sites linked on this page. But don't worry : one can fluctuate on the Tone Scale, and a sip of brandy will put you back up to Boredom, 2.5, where the eyes are wandering calmly. All of these characteristics are very very scientific.
The entire Tone Scale itself can be consulted here. One wonders. Why is Anxiety below Hate ? What are those f***ing fuzzy things ? And why are there levels BELOW death ? Only Hubbard knows, but I do know that Scientology is such a big -40.0.
I have added an image of the usual tone level of Scientology officials (especially public relations officials) below, for your convenience :
In "Illness & Injuries", you get a nice rundown of the procedures used in Scientology to cure physical problems. The end of each section has a "Suggestions for further study" link. As you can imagine, all of those lead to lists of books written by Hubbard. Big whoop.
The Applied Scholatics web site, apart from it being the way to shill Hubbardese theories of education into schools, is unremarkable except for one part, where you can "Learn About the three Barriers to Study".
WTF ? The site suddently changes into a plain white background with huge buttons, big animated images, and even stupider writing than usual. It seems to be for children, but what children would be interested about this stuff ? It just makes no sense whatsoever.
It can make you feel squashed.
It can make you feel bent,
sort of spinny,
sort of lifeless,
No, I have no explanation for any of this. I think someone at the web design department had brain damage and hey, they couldn't just throw all that good code away.
Incidentally, for those who wonder what is up with Hubbard's Study Tech, it can be subsumed into three concepts. Whenever a student does not understand or is bored, there can be only three reasons :
1. skipped gradient : the material is too advanced for the student's level. This is used as a pretext to control what the student can or cannot see - any material too controversial is "too advanced".
2. lack of mass : the student must relate ideas to real life. In the cult, that means making demos of concepts out of clay, called "clay demos" - playing with clay is supposed to skyrocket your IQ.
3. misunderstood word : all the words in the material must be understood, otherwise the student can get tired, worried, frustrated, etc. Being tired can only be due to misunderstood words, nothing else.
These are the only possible factors. If a student is puzzled about the statement "the moon is made of green cheese", he should make a clay representation of the moon, and look all the words in the dictionary (even "the" and "of") in order to grasp them completely. No explanation of the text by the supervisor is allowed, only questioning as to "which word is being misunderstood". If a student is tired and yawns, it has to be because of words that have not been understood. Lack of sleep, false or obstruse material does not exist in Hubbard's world, which makes it convenient when trying to enforce doctrine.
This is it for our examination of web sites about Scientology itself. In the next part, we will examine the sites about our favourite cult leader, L. Ron Hubbard, some dead agenting, how Scientology is trying to flood the web with cookie-cutter home pages, and more ! Delightful for the whole family !
Continue to part 2
review written by Franc, 07/2002.