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> From: "Wade T. Smith" Subject: Re: Scientology
> > On 01/10/02 07:24, tazzie said this-
> > >Could I have a desricption of exactly what is *scientology*?
> > http://skepdic.com/dianetic.html
> > The organization itself is considered to be criminal in some countries.
> > - Wade
> Thanks Wade,
> Its hard to understand how presumably rational people could follow this,
> sort of Stuff..
That's the mystery, alright. I've met several Scientologists, and they're
usually smart, caring, capable people. How do they get sucked in?
After Keith Henson piqued my curiosity the other day, I began digging for
some of the juicier details on the profound weirdness that is Scientology.
The best thing I've found so far is an unauthorized biography of L. Ron
Hubbard, available here:
I've managed to read through Chapter 11 so far, and it's truly astonishing.
I don't recall ever seeing such an over-the-top case of clinical narcissism.
He also seemed to suffer from manic-depression with paranoid tendencies.
Hubbard had the mind of a six-year old boy. He was the center of the
universe, could do no wrong. He lied compulsively, didn't seem to grasp the
distinction between truth and falsehood. Completely lacked empathy.
Manipulated people without any concern for their well-being. Desperately
wanted to be revered as a great man. In short, a classic profile of
Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
He believed he was the savior of the world. This delusion is commonplace
among severe cases of pathological narcissism. But why would anyone follow
him in this belief? How did he transmit his insanity to a large group of
people, most of whom were otherwise normal and rational?
Years before the introduction of memetics, Hubbard became a master in the
art of formulating highly infectious memes. He claimed that "Dianetics,"
little more than a recycling of Freudian theory with a bunch of gratuitous
neologisms thrown in, was mankind's greatest breakthrough since the
harnessing of fire! Rather than appealing to our logic, this pathological
meme exploited our unconscious need for authority, in this case the
authority of the all-seeing psychologist. This may sound strange today, but
fifty years ago, psychology seemed almost magical in its ability to pierce
the secrets of the soul. "Scientology," with its religious overtones,
proved even more effective at exploiting our craving for authority.
Scientology promised a sense of security, as well as relief from suffering
and the sense of community that comes from joining a close-knit group. Most
importantly, it provided a sense of meaning. When you join up with Ron, you
can share in the belief that you're saving the world. In short, he conjured
a virulent meme that began reproducing his delusion of grandeur in the minds
of his followers. His private narcissism became the collective narcissism
of the group. Like any cult, Scientology represents the atavistic return of
the tribe. Instead of identifying primarily with yourself, you come to
identify with the group and particularly with its leader. Ron himself may
be dead, but his delusion lives on, copying itself with the recruitment of
each new member of the cult.
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