Category Archives: Controversial

Engagement, “Going Clear, Scientology and the Prison of Belief”

L. Ron Hubbard
Cover of L. Ron Hubbard

I, with my trust HBO NOW subscription, sat down to watch “Going Clear, Scientology and the Prison of Belief” the other night. By now, if you are interested in these certain things, you will have seen the reviews and basic plot lines.

It details the story for 8 former Scientologists, each with their own unique story that somehow ends up being the same. Many of them were high level executives of the organization. We are introduced too briefly to the genesis of the cult, that of L. Ron Hubbard (or LRH). Watching the brief clips of him, you can see the sadistic hold this man had on life. I think he suspected that of himself as well, given that he did at one time ask the VA for psychiatric help. We are also told of some of the belief systems — and reminded that only only top level Scientologists get to really find these out.

Jamie DeWolf, the great-grandson of LRH, has a video of the family’s secrets – The Son of Scientology.

They are tax-exempt, for some unknown reason… The IRS simply surrendered.

There is abuse, there is torture. There is the prison of belief. There were mind games and simple acquiesces of the human spirit. I cannot fault them, as I too consented to have my humanity disparaged and destroyed. One of the more striking things, as a continuous believer, is that a recovering cult member, could tell you the difference between religion and Scientology. One person compared “the bridge” to Christianity’s Hell. It was a small quote, but nothing added to that. But it reminded me of what Einstein said, “You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth.”

One of the things that become apparent to me, especially as one who has moved out of a (Christian) cult and experienced many of the psychological wars these people face, is how the sense of shame permeates every bit of one’s being. Further, they understand their role in it. They were abused and in turn passed that abuse on to someone else. When they got out, they have attempted to build a life with a huge black hole where their normal development should have been.

I can tell them that there should not be a sense of shame, but I wouldn’t and still do not listen to myself. Those who move out of abusive cults — and especially those who participated in them — maybe want that sense of shame.

Something else that became clear — each had their own breaking point. For some, it was the forced loss of family. For others, it was the realization that they were the victims of systematic abuse. In watching the actor Jason Beghe speak, there is something else. He has not left. Or rather, he has not learned how to cover in the hole that exists in his life. He looked to be on drugs. This, I think, is understandable. When you have your life, your entire belief system, ripped away from you — the natural, human, instinct is to find something to replace it. For some, it is drugs and alcohol. For others, as Einstein said, it is atheism (and by atheism, I mean more like a-theism, an anti-theist position).

There is another quote. Someone asks a survivor about why they think they could believe that. They said something about the mind turning itself off to that which would hurt it. This, the theory of motivated reasoning, is what drives many of us, I think. Or maybe, prevents us from exploring anything not directly supportive of our current belief system. This is the prison of belief. But, we find this in total atheism, in total Christianity, in total Islam. When we lock ourselves up in our minds, we will stay there and be destroyed, led around by our captivity.

I would encourage you to read the book and to watch the movie.

I’m going to watch it again.

@Indiana new legislation “protecting businesses”.

(Someone asked me if I can’t just be foolish on Facebook… Well, hell, NO! I will be foolish here as well:)

1 – The State of Indiana passing laws that are to allow business to reject service to gays: WRONG. Even with the argument that it is to protect businesses from the heavy lawsuits gay people file against business. We should not respond with legislation against others whereas saying that we don’t like “legislation” which is against us

UPDATE: Please read a clarification in the comments.                               UPDATE #2 – Please read how CNN “headlines” the matter here

2 – Gay people closing otherwise good business by suing them because they cannot bake a cake for themselves, or arrange flowers by themselves (what kind of gay people are they?): WRONG
3 – Gay people in business, hypothetically, refusing to provide services for the KKK and the Westboro (more like West Burro) Baptist Church in a anti-gay regalia: WRONG.
So, in whatever case, it is all wrong! The fact is that no one wants to live together with those with whom they disagree. The fact remains that TOLERANCE is something you give, not something you DEMAND! The one demanding TOLERANCE and rights should be the first one READY TO GIVE IT!
I have repeated this often, including in “diversity” courses: Tolerance demanded is in and of itself INTOLERANCE! Especially when it is in detriment of others.
If it matters, before you call me names, read this: I do business with gays although I respect those who do not!
Now you can call me names …
A Civil War “of sorts”?
  1.  We can’t live without legislating against those whose live styles or opinions we despise;
  2.  We can’t live without involving the courts against those whose life styles and opinions we despise;
  3. We can’t live without involving the GOVERNMENT against those whose life styles and opinions we despise:
THEN, we are already amid a CIVIL WAR; a bloodless one indeed, but perhaps just as dividing of a society as a full blown CIVIL WAR!!!!

“wrong side of history” is colonialism

Native Americans flee from the allegorical rep...
Native Americans flee from the allegorical representation of Manifest Destiny, Columbia, painted in 1872 by John Gast (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Scot McKnight has a post up that helps to solidifywhat I’ve been trying to say.

He begins,

Some people think they know where history is taking us and are quite happy to declare boom-booms on those who take exception, the boom-booms declared with a long finger pointing at them with the accusation they will be on the “wrong side of history” or, perhaps more damaging, they will be “left behind” or “irrelevant.”

He wrestles first with statements against religion and how as a species we are losing our connection to the need for a divine. Taking this a step further, he attacks inclusion advocates who often use the “wrong side of history” mantra as a reason to progress. McKnight and I differ on inclusion, which seems to be needed to said because if you question progressive idols, then suddenly you are a bigoted fundamentalist.

Frankly, “wrong side of history” is a tired and worn-out phrase that has been co-opted from other narratives, providing a slippery slope and dismissing the moral imperative of inclusion.

Let me explain. The “wrong side of history” mantra is nothing short of a modern-day manifest destiny, the 19th century version of American Exceptionalism that led to the extermination of indigenous peoples as well as the preservation of slavery, both African and capitalistic. This mantra is about Americans, for Americans, and sets a particular interpretation of American values above the rest of the world not to mention Christian Tradition. It has no regard for soundness of logic, reason, or doctrine, only for a political movement that can change as quickly as the weather. Indeed, in one FB conversation recently, Roger Worsley (a prolific UMC progressive blogger), stated simply he writes only for American progressives, feeding them only what they want. In doing so, Worsley (albeit, passively) admitted that the only Christianity that mattered was his white progressive version.

If you are fighting for inclusion only because you don’t want to be on “the wrong side of history” you have to ask yourself, in what way are you respecting the people you are supposedly fighting for? Aren’t you just using them as mere bodies, footstones/cannon fodder/pawns in all actuality, to advance your cause? Why not fight for inclusion simply because it is right rather than as a means to re-establish white American dominance, colonizing the world and Christian Tradition?

History is fickle and has no sides. It can be undone, destroyed, and forgotten. What cannot be so easily destroyed is the mind and heart changed for the good, for the right.

My fellow #Americans

American Flag
American Flag

My Fellow Americans:

After reading in a few news outlets that the students of a certain university (mush brains being mushed brained) are removing the glorious AMERICAN FLAG from their campuses to make it MORE INCLUSIVE, I decided, as an AMERICAN BY THE WILL AND GRACE OF GOD to write this as A FAVOR for all those tho go to extremes in this INCLUSIVE PURSUIT so they know that what foreigners may not want is exactly the purge of anything that indicates that they are indeed in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!

When they went to the Consular Offices, or Embassies to get their visas to come to America, they stood in line, paid fees, sacrificed their time to proudly earn the right to come, not to a foreign country of any sort, but AMERICA!
When their write to their moms and dads, they proudly do not say, “I am in a foreign country” – rather, they say I AM IN AMERICA, proudly!
When their moms and dads, grandma, grandpa, tell their buddies that they have a son, a daughter, a grandson or granddaughter studying in a foreign country, they don’t simply say, a foreign country; they say “my….. is a student IN AMERICA, IN THE USA!
When these students write to buddies they BRAG about being, NOT in any foreign country, but IN AMERICA!
They may say whatever they say about America among themselves, but no one brought them here, it wasn’t easy to be here, it wasn’t cheap to be here, but they are here and THEY ARE PROUD OF BEING IN AMERICA!
So, this “inclusiveness” is because these students: (1) don’t know the mentality of a foreign; (2) they themselves are ashamed of being from a country where every other foreign is proud of being, or else they wouldn’t be here! So, “inclusiveness” is childish, disrespectful, disrespectful of everyone accomplishments, and disregarding of all the sacrifices involved to be here, in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. As a “former” foreigner whom God Blessed with the American Citizenship, I say, FLY THAT FLAG HIGH! REMIND ME EVERY MOMENT THAT I AM IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! You’re welcome!

Anthony Le Donne and Taken by the Lost Gospel T-Rex

Um… so…. read this review.

THE LOST GOSPEL is not the worst book ever written. I once attended a party where I was subjected to an excerpt of dinosaur erotica. It was a lovely gathering otherwise, but my ears were assaulted by pages from Taken by the T-Rex. I will say no more for fear that I will corrupt you, gentle reader. The silver lining of my turpid tale is that I now have a new barometer for beastly books. While The Lost Gospel is no match for dinosaur erotica, it is equally daring.

via Gronking Jesus | The Los Angeles Review of Books.

It really does not get better than this.