From: Dace (
Date: Tue Jan 08 2002 - 18:11:29 GMT

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    Subject: Scientology
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    Keith Henson
    (practical memetics at)


    I notice you're an apostate of the "Church of Scientology." I've always felt L. Ron Hubbard provides an excellent example of the tactical use of memes. Fifty years ago, he introduced his self-help concepts under the term, Dianetics. This word sounds enough like "dialectics" that it takes on a sheen of philosophical respectability. But it didn't work well enough for Hubbard, so he introduced the term, Scientology. In this case, he was playing on our desire for religious authority. Since the only modern institution that can fulfill our desire for an absolute authority is science, from a memetic point of view, the term makes perfect sense. What he demonstrated is that memes that exploit our religious impulse succeed over ones that play on our philosophical pretensions.

    Ted Dace

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