All of them, those in power, and those who want the power, would pamper us, if we agreed to overlook their crookedness by wilfully restricting our activities.
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What was good about Scientology's Comm Course? Well, the "Confronting" — staring at someone and not moving — wasn't too bad. Done in moderation, and after my eyes stopped hurting, I treated it as just a form of relaxing meditation. But too many of the TRs in the Comm Course seem to me to be geared toward learning how to not communicate — to wear a robotic, emotionless mask.
According to Hubbard, "The only reason a person gives up a study or becomes confused or unable to learn is because he or she has gone past a word that was not understood." But the Comm Course "materials," with their tangled-up language and bits of psychobabble, communicated little to me except confusion — and let's face it, being able to recite dictionary definitions of every single word in a sentence doesn't necessarily make that sentence any more easily understood.
I remembered a quote from Gotthold Lessing in a book by a former cultist:
"If God had locked up all truth in his right hand, and in his left the unique, ever-alive striving for truth, albeit with the addition that I should always and eternally err, and he said to me, 'Choose! — I should humbly clasp his left hand, saying, 'Father, give! Pure truth is after all for thee alone.' "
Okay, so it's pompous.
But in Scientology I saw no hands, neither left nor right. I saw neither truth nor the striving for truth. Instead I saw a pressure to "join" and "fit in"; an outright withholding of information deemed necessary to prepare newcomers for future revelations; a lack of the joy and humor and spontaneity I've felt in other churches; the false affection which one of the cults calls "love-bombing."
And I saw that age-old root of all evil — the love of money. During the breaks in the course, several times I heard students being chided by their superiors for not forking over more money for more and more and more training. And at one point one of the students — who works for a local janitorial service — proudly showed me the receipt he'd just gotten for finally paying for the "Purification Rundown," a Scientology program designed to "get rid of the restimulative effects of past drugs and chemicals." It came to approximately $630 and he admitted he wasn't even sure what the Purification process would entail.
"You are very fortunate people," Hubbard tells his followers. "You are very very lucky people. You came all the way down the track, lived all those years, did all these stupid things, and you wind up here with a chance out."
Thanks, Ron. But no thanks.