This from the comments thread to this post by Village Voice editor Tony Ortega. For those not aware, Marty Rathbun was previously the 2nd-in-charge of the Church of Scientology, and he has since split from that organisation, denounced its leader David Miscavige betraying the legacy of its Founder and running slave-labour camps, and is attempting to start his own Scientologist International, with blackjack, and hookers, and e-meters. (So, these guys are to the Tom Cruise church what Protestants are to Catholics, or Trots are to orthodox Communists.)
I post this as a counterbalance to my recent positive-sounding ruminations on Rathbun's independent Scientology. I think perhaps my ego continues to have a sneaking regard for the subject because it would love to, as Scientology promises, be able to solve all its own problems using rationalism and without surrender. However, I am still intrigued by what seem surface similarities between Scientology and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy - in that both claim to be able to "deprogramme" the subconscious mind by extracting, looking at and then "as-is"ing rules of behaviour and assumptions about reality. This "tech" doesn't require an empathic or transference relationship with a therapist, only someone to guide the patient/preclear's self-analysis, a job which can be equally well done by a computer.
Other points: given the points raised about Ron's insane bullshit auto-hagiography, others have pointed out that this is yet another link showing his debt to Crowley. Thelemites have often argued with me that Uncle Al did that deliberately - throwing insane grandiose lies into his writings just to see who'd be enlightened enough to realise they were bullshit. I don't credit Ron with that much self-insight. I also note the points made by other commenters on this thread that Rathbun seems much more interested salvaging those people damaged by the Miscavage/Cruise regime than repackinging "LRH tech" for the broad masses.
One thing that the Scientology Cult fears the most is that the common-sense parts of what is called "auditing" - which exclude trickery and coercion, and exclude subtle psychological manipulation and overwhelm, such as found in the Auditor-Code-violating "Implantology levels" - be recognized and used in a free fashion by independent counselors.===
I have to think Rathbun must be a little frustrated at his current predicament. He is trying to defend a subject which is indefensible. I do agree with his premise that Miscavige is doing all in his power to portray Hubbard as a fraud. Fortunately, I did not watch the entire three hour video extravaganza that is the 2012 birthday celebration. Three hours is a long time for decent movie and the thought of watching and listening to the dropout dwarf and mullet head for that time would no doubt lead me to at least suicide ideations, if not attempts.
The words of LRH [L. Ron Hubbard] go beyond "tall tales" and amount to fraud. Recently, someone asked me why or how anyone would ever get involved in this cult? My response was simply ego. It is a religion marketed on the promise that their "tech" can solve each and every problem-emotional and physical-that plagues the initiate. The promise of immortality and super powers are powerful motivators for the vainglorious with large amounts of disposable income. These dupes are secure in their belief that the large donations made by them will ultimately contribute to their further success and give the the "super power" that they know LRH possessed. Absent in this fraudulent conduct is any "science" to back up their ridiculous claims. When challenged on this point, they point to faith.