My Facebook updated "info"
2 July 2011 by Chuck Beatty
I'm an ex Scientology staffer (1975-2003), in Scientology's religious order, called the Sea Organization.
Here's my bio in full bore Sea Org jargon:
Flag CW Dec 1975-Jun 1983 (TTC, Sup, Word Clearer, D of T, etc.)
Likely the most notable contributions I made while in the Sea Organization were my years helping train the administrative Scientology lifetime staffers and regular staffers who staff the Scientology official churches. My second most notable contribution was my work during the final compiling of what are known as the "computerized routing forms", which are administrative forms staff in churches use to assist in their dealing with parishioners who come to that staff member's work station for administrative processing of one type or another. My leanings in the staff ranks were towards the administrative details extensively written about by Hubbard. I had the opportunity to read large amounts of Hubbard's final years private top echelon staff administrative writings (computer branch writings, Author Services Inc writings, Int Base administrative writings, Archives writings). And in my years as administrative course supervisor and then the routing forms project, I read and re-read all of the limited edition internal older echelon writings Hubbard wrote over the decades up to his final years' writings.
My interest/hobby is encouraging ex members to engage in hindsight discussion on the positives and negatives of Hubbard's Scientology theories and church setups they experienced firsthand.
Janet Reitman's new book "Inside Scientology" is a good current book on the last couple decades in Scientology history. It's extensively footnoted and has a bibliography of all the earlier good books so far written on Scientology.
Scientology is only 60 odd years old, at this time. (2011)
James R. Lewis, hopes ex members will fill out his survey
Raw info on the trends in official Scientology and in the newly increasingly publicized "independent Scientology" movement will depend on getting solid information about the strengths and trends of the independent movement, and somehow accumulating the raw facts that ex members, particularly of the "HGB" (middle management) level of the Sea Org from the ILO (Int Liaison Org) staffers who are privy to the actual expansion raw detailed statistics. Ex members are critical to listen to, by people who consider themselves "experts" on current Scientology trends.
People who care, will inevitably have to jump right into the mess of the details of terminology that the movement engulfs itself within.
There are PLENTY of us who can chaperone serious researchers through it, and our ex member "biased" views can be dispensed with, but there are some things which we DON'T have the capability to fudge and fib about, and only when researchers of Scientology get up to the point of being able to tell what is good solid info, or not, that to us ex members, is how we grade these scholars and journalists.
It is one of the pains of being a movement member, to watch scholars and journalists make their mistakes.
Anyways, I hope independent Scientologists do fill out the survey, and send more lengthy emails to Lewis, who I hope also does something useful with the information.
It's all in sort of a fumbly stage, even though the zeitgeist has relegated Scientology into the loony cult bin, at this point in history.
I lament no journalists and scholars focus on the still unreleased Hubbard writings of his final years, which COULD be looked further into, and if all those that have read those writings die off, and those writings DON'T make it into the public domain, then this window of somehow getting those writings' details shared now, is missed.
I prefer ex members do their own collection and posting of info, and let everyone share it.
I am for letting it ALL out into the public domain, and let the smarter minds include that info in their reviews of Hubbard and Scientology.
As an ex member who has read a huge amount of Hubbard, I lament when journalists and scholars do NOT mention Hubbard's most significant final years writings by referring to them specifically (Int/S, CMO Int, Gold, ASI, Archives, INCOMM) specifically!
Janet, I lament, did NOT go to that degree, and it to me is my biggest disappointment in her book, in that by omission, she SHOULD talk about the INCOMM traffic minimally, where there are plenty of ex INCOMM staffers who can corroborate the "Chug" advices from Hubbard, for instance. She should have interviewed a dozen people who have seen and understand the implications of the "Why TRs" movie, the one the late Isaac Hayes starred in.
I'm hoping in my lifetime, but not holding my breath, that a genuine intellectual scholar polymath takes on Scientology. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polymath
Hubbard to even the majority of educated college educated persons who read sufficient numbers of Hubbard's writings realize inevitably how flawed Hubbard is personally. The popular conclusion is Hubbard is a fraudulent Renaissance man and a days intense study of the publicly available Hubbard library of materials, makes that an unfortunate conclusion. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Renaissance_men
What short term, or even "5 year" studies of Scientology miss, is study of the talk therapy processes Hubbard today includes in the "Bridge to Total Freedom" talk therapy lineup. That's where a polymath psychology and philosophy type intellectual, could still find some fruitful untouched "pastures" in the Hubbard cannon.
So likely it is, that the journalistic books written these last couple decades and the ex member memoirs written on Scientology are about as "good as it gets" in this younger period of history of Hubbard's Scientology.
The new religious movement scholarship seems mostly superficial in my opinion. My last 5-6 years conversations with new religious movement and with American religion scholars led me to conclude that Scientology has to develop past this hagiography period and fundamentalist period and open up itself to outside researchers, or alternatively allow internal church scholars to develop and have access to ALL of Hubbard's writings (INCOMM traffic, Int/S Mission traffic, all the final CMO Int traffic, the ASI traffic, Archives/CST traffic) for starters. (Including, if possible, the destroyed earlier extensive writings of ex senior leaders, for example ALL long-term Int Base staffers will recall the "Big B" (Pat Broeker) and "AB" (Annie Broeker) years of "traffic" which they sent down to many of the senior leaders at Int and even ASI and INCOMM. Before Pat Broeker and Annie Broeker fell from grace, they wrote a lot of additional comments of what their impressions were of what Hubbard thought on top level strategic matters. All the "Big P" and "AB" traffic, just like the "COB" traffic of today, is relevant, to understanding the fads during these Scientology top ranks history years where the top people wrote things and their words had impact.
It might be never the case that a real polymath takes on the study of Scientology and Hubbard, in full, to judge the actual psychological talk therapy efficacy of Scientology. Or to judge the "body thetan" exorcism spiritual therapy that is run on oneself, "solo", in the secret "upper levels" of the Hubbard "Bridge to Total Freedom".
In the meantime I think younger sociologists that are doing some papers on Scientology, Professor Stephen Kent at University of Alberta knows about younger scholarship taking place on the subject of Scientology. (He's sadly "blacklisted" somewhat by other "new religious movement" scholars, yet Kent is far more expert on Scientology than any of the other NRM scholars in my opinion.)
I think the big problem with current discussion about Scientology, is that not enough truly smart intellectuals (a really good polymath) will even take the time to really look in depth into Scientology.
Hubbard has said so many bizarre illogical and vengeful irrational things, that he is dismissed overwhelmingly.
Were I still a member of Scientology, working in their PR department, I'd forever be retuning to William James' "The Varieties of Religious Experience" as the only profitable earlier polymath (almost) writing that has the material with which to make an organized defense of Scientology as a new religion.
My own personal firsthand experience absorbing a huge amount of still private Hubbard writings, and some of his training films which are still not in the public domain, but which huge numbers of people HAVE at least seen Hubbard's training films and these people COULD be in depth surveyed about several of these films, leads me to believe there is NOT the interest in really digging into some of the most significant inspirational and realistic of Hubbard's final years of thought about himself and the movement. Sadly even Janet Reitman's book omits discussion of the "Why TRs" film in particular, and she omits the important aspects of the "Archives Project" (CST - Church of Spiritual Technology, of which there are a half dozen ex members WILLING to talk in detail and who should be interviewed about this ALL important project that reflects the seriousness of Hubbard's ideas about himself and about the subject of Scientology).
So, maybe it will be in the decades to come, that the areas I think today are NOT being looked into sufficiently, will get looked into in the future.
Janet Reitman's book "Inside Scientology" states Scientology is a fundamentalist religious organization, and that is an important observation, which I think Gordon Melton and other religion scholars have made for years now, and that is a very important aspect of the problem of getting full research of Scientology done, since the final years of Hubbard personal notes and taped comments, are NOT in the public domain, and thus ex members are the only source of sharing that info, as imperfect as the ex members' memories are, still I would think that some scholars SHOULD be interested in what the ex members remember of these final years of Hubbard writings, particularly the INCOMM (computer branch of official Scientology), the Archives, the Int/S writings, the Exec Strata writings.
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