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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TRs are just exercises. Like thousands of others inside and outside of Scientology. The content can be seen as irrelevant, because it's the exercise itself that's the 'message'.
The message is 'you can control yourself'. When it boils down to it; that's all it's about. It's discipline and 'training' and practicing controlling yourself; from your physical actions and comfort to your emotional state.
Naturally, there's a gulf of perception between 'trained' Scientologists, who almost universally remember (or still practice) the TRs with fondness and 'never-been-scientologists' who almost universally view them with suspicion.
The same 'kind' of 'training routines' can be found almost anywhere, whether, to a far more extensive level in a military boot camp or happy feel-good exercises in some newage 'course'.
Scientology's TRs fall somewhere in between and, unsurprisingly, most Scientologists see them as 'harmless' and remember achieving 'wins' while doing them.
Unsurprisingly, because they became Scientologists. Those who did not have 'wins' would very unlikely go on to become Scientologists.
However, in all things Scientology there is a 'subtext' to the 'training'. Yes, one learns to 'control himself', which can be a valuable and rewarding discipline, but he also learns to let others control him. To 'follow direction'. To 'take direction', especially to 'take direction unquestioningly'.
'Trained' Scientologists tend to go positively bonkers when they hear the TRs described by non-scientologists as 'hypnotic'.
Naturally; they have a 'post-hypnotic command' that 'Scientology is not hypnosis; scientology is not hypnosis....' :)
Well, maybe not in so many words, but, sometimes it sounds like that. Certainly there is a gigantic 'misunderstood word' on what hypnosis is; and, there's little doubt that it's deliberately so.
To really boil down 'hypnosis' to its simplest form; it's 'becoming comfortable with taking orders'.
Trust and 'authority' are essential elements for someone to be successfully 'hypnotized', and, most of us have ingrained resistance to 'taking direction'. Without the trust of the 'subject' in the 'authority' of the 'hypnotist' there will be no hypnosis.
This extends to such variants as 'autohypnosis', where the subject must trust himself and have respect for his own authority to give himself commands, and be comfortable to follow them, as in the use of 'affirmations', yet another hypnotic exercise.
If there is no trust, and no recognition of authority, there is no hypnosis.
If there is no trust, and no recognition of authority, there is no Scientology.
The 'TRs' are the training in that trust and the practice in accepting the directions to perform even ridiculous tasks and exercises.
Oh, I know, the 'TRs are good!' contingent are now over in the corner mumbling 'Scientology is not hypnotism' to the wall... but, at least they're not clucking or making lawn-mower noises...
You Can Lead a Clam to Reason; but You Can't Make Him Think