Here is an email circulating in the scientology bubble.
From: Vern Jones
Sent: Friday, March 03
Subject: Handling Entheta in the News
I recently have been experimenting with handling the amount of entheta news displayed on the CNN home page I use. As most know, home pages usually carry an array of news stories in various categories. I suspect that they keep stats (numbers of hits or clicks) and then increase the selection to similar ones to those that receive the greatest number of hits or clicks. This is an online marketing method that I am convinced is also used for the news.
So, what I have been doing is to only click on the theta-sounding articles as much as possible. Today, after a few weeks of doing this, I noticed a definite uptick in proportion of theta to entheta articles.
Admittedly, I sometimes do click on an article that is serious and represents some entheta, but usually only something I think might be actually informative. (This is really not common to find.) I avoid especially the ones that are obviously slanted and meant to arouse anger or some irrationally-based emotional response. A good example of this is the political attacks on the president by obviously biased sources.
In any case, I invite anyone to play this game and see if the theta stats in news can be raised this way.
“Entheta” news seems to be a big topic in the bubble these days.
But of course, this “handling” is par for the scientology course. The way you deal with “entheta” is to avoid it. Not look at it. Hope it goes away. You know it is not going to be true, and it is “obviously slanted” because anything you do not agree with is obviously biased lies made up by people with hidden agendas and bad motives. It’s the defining characteristic of those who live in a bubble – anything outside the agreed upon “truth” is to be disregarded. And it is the same story beyond the confines of the scientology world, and today most easily observed in the ever-increasing political bubbles in the US.
People really do have their heads stuck in the sand (or perhaps somewhere else…)
Carlos Ex SO says
It is hard to believe I too once thought this way. It gives me the chills just thinking how disconnected I was and if I were still in the SO, I would be so unaware of reality and further stuck in the theta trap. I am so glad I woke up!
Jen Smith says
Cognitive dissonance or avoidance or scapegoating for some. Fear, delusional, ignorance (just don’t know any different) for others. With a bit of naive and indoctrination. Propaganda machine.
This email is an example as to how people see things differently in Scientology. What they are describing is part of the internet, there is evidence for it. They don’t need to suspect. I forget the terminology. The ads we see on social media is based on our internet activity is another example. Search engines will post articles about your topic based on how many others have viewed them. Has Scientology worked on this to try to get certain articles to post up first? Not like I want to give them the idea but it would preoccupate them a bit.
Off topic please forgive…..wondering if there’s any news on anyone calling their family inspired by Phil & Willie’s billboard? Sure hope so!
I hope so too on the billboard. I’d like to see ongoing donations so that we have year round billboards and we change the subject matter every now and then, such as “Where’s Shelley?” and “Free Heber” etc. On a different topic, when will Louis Theroux Scn Movie be showing in America? I heard March but have seen nothing about when.
Katy Lied says
I guess I’m not going to be very popular here, but I specifically wanted to discuss “thought-stopping” by members of the COS, which is slightly different than Rinder’s post. From reading the comments, it would seem like scientologists and other wacky insular groups are the only people who practice thought stopping in our modern world. I don’t believe that- not at all. I think thought-stopping is very common– from putting away thoughts of cheating on our spouse, or banishing the thought of our sadness at our sister’s funeral, or even trying not to think about that cringe-inducing moment at the company party where we told a joke that fell flat. When we are alone with our thoughts, we constantly make choices on what to think about. Some of us have found that not thinking about troubling things, whether it is examining a doctrine that doesn’t seem to make sense, or memories of the summer boyfriend who cruelly dumped us, makes us feel better.
I understand frustration at someone who wont even entertain some concept you want to discuss. I myself hate to see animals suffer. I refuse to watch nature specials where animals die, I will change the channel when those ASPCA commercials with the suffering dogs air, I didn’t even know who Harambe was because every time someone started talking about a gorilla who was euthanized, I would stop listening. Today a dear friend sat me down and forced me to watch a video of a bunch of turkeys walking in a perfect circle around a dead cat. I had previously avoided seeing this amazing sight because I heard it had a dead cat in it.
So if you might be open to the idea that in our modern, liberal world, we may practice just as much thought stopping as in Victorian England or in Ceaucescu’s Romania, then what is it about COS members’ thought stopping that is so abhorrent to us? Is it because scientology thought stopping is externally enforced? Is it because external policing of private thoughts using the emeter so antithetical to our concept of liberty?
Yeah, that’s probably it.
Katy, I enjoyed your comment. It’s an observable fact that our thoughts and feelings enter our minds uninvited, automatically. We can’t know what thought will appear a minute from now. Although their appearances are independent of our control we like to think we can decide which thoughts to ignore and which ones to engage.
Are you calling “thought stopping” the decision to not engage, pursue or entertain a thought?
If so, I consider ‘thought stopping’ an important and valuable discipline. Most of the thoughts that enter our mind are not worth pursuing. They have little to do with knowledge and understanding and are strictly habitual, petty and irrelevant.
A different kind of “thought stopping” refers to the effects of a ‘false argument’. Such an argument or statement makes sense superficially but doesn’t make sense when you analyze it. It’s typically annoying because you have to stop and figure out why it doesn’t make sense.
The latter “thought stopping” is what I and many others consider the hallmark of Ron Hubbard and his scientology. Of course, Mr. Hubbard didn’t have the corner on that market. Turn on the TV and watch the news. The politicians and the talking heads will drown you in ‘thought stoppers’ also. The upside is they all provide wonderful lessons in what is NOT clear, rational thinking.
Katy Lied says
The way $cientologists avoid criticism is another reason why the strategy of placing billboards, like the “Call Me” campaign, is so effective. They can’t ignore those signs.
If I had the means to do a sky-writing campaign, I would post a few messages over the facilities near Hemet (I’d probably I’d draw a big middle finger to DM too).
We all need to brainstorm ideas (cheap or expensive ideas, the sky’s the limit in a brainstorm) to show the believers the truth, and as a group we should mount, to the best of our individual abilities and resources, a re-education campaign targeting all members, including the Sea Orgs. Maybe this could be a goal-oriented side project for people like me who gripe on Mike’s blog.
JPG Ringo says
Has anyone considered a crowd-funded or sponsored billboard campaign across from the Celebrity Centers or the big Orgs? There are hundreds of organizations and groups that are more worthy pursuits than getting your brain washed and rinsed. I’m thinking about Veteran groups that I belong to or have used for help, real and helpful organizations like AA, and many churches that reach out to homeless and ill.
These people encourage and help inward vision to see your own potential, not blow smoke up a body part and pick your pocket. There are so many wasted lives and surrendered potential that that can be used to actually make a difference without self-appointed icons demanding fealty.
I would love to say I’d make a donation to such a crowd-sourced fund, but I am scared of ever giving one red cent to anyone these days. Some asshole would ruin the whole thing, take my money, and then say rude things about me because I am not giving more. Money, it’s always money.
Just do what my mom does when ever something come up that bothers her. “I DON’T WANNA HEAR ABOUT IT!” thought and conversation stopper.
I Yawnalot says
It is now hereby deemed that “bullbait” is a suppressive act and is be removed from all Scientology training. It is also deemed a suppressive act to view or hear any material in any medium or from any person that can be used to cause a negative reaction against a Scientologist in good standing. It has been suspected by management for some time now that Scientologists have been using and viewing real life situations outside of church control in a manner not respectful of nor aligning with command intention.
You have been warned, all ethic’s officers have been put on high alert and will act swiftly to Keep Command Intention Working. Donate today to see an end to this sort of dissension.
Have you seen the short pieces from the Daily Show, where two people in an office repeatedly try to avoid talking about Trump or his administration? They really try. They watch kitten videos, ask how each other’s weekend was, but somehow they keep coming back to Trump, deportations, tweets, Russia….it makes me laugh, because it truly reflects how everyone I know is struggling with the constant stream of really disturbing and upsetting information coming out of Washington. I have a friend who is a massage therapist. He is booked solid all week and out for the next few months. He mentioned a friend of his that is a dentist that is seeing a steady flow of people coming in with broken teeth, TMJ problems, grinding teeth.
Vern Jones thinks that the number of negative news stories is increasing because how how he clicks on the different stories. What he fails to recognize is that the amount of really upsetting, horrible stuff is increasing and his effort to stop it by the clicks of his mouse won’t do a damn thing.
Tomorrow is A Day Without A Woman. Supporters should wear red.
According to Rasmussen the stuck pigs are in the minority bubble, even self-RPFing by adopting black as the primary color of their wardrobes.
Well Rindered Column. Thanks Mike.
We all like happy news or that which reinforces our own view of how things are.
BUT how does a person figure out what is true and what is fiction and form his/her own views to begin with? We have to look at all sides, study them and synthesize what makes the most sense. In my (catholic) high school, although not enunciated as such, the common thread was think for yourself. So we were taught to question everything, from content of books and newspapers, how adverts and other tricks of persuasion work, to authoritarian propaganda and dogma (including our own religion). We had to consider what was substance and what was I came out of there knowing nothing was black or white but all was shades of grey.
To get through the maze of real and fake information you have to take shortcuts. When I tried to understand what was good about scientology I was amazed to find about 95% was flim flam pretty quickly. So I soon had no need to read things produced by COS, for example the Freedom magazine hate-filled diatribes on how evil people who have left and spoken up are.
I can’t imagine going through life with a dead brain looking to be spoonfed only happy news.
From Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now
But now old friends they’re acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I’ve changed
Well something’s lost, but something’s gained
In living every day.
I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all
Jen Smith says
I’m trying to teach my daughter about critical thinking and how important it is. Her teachers (two teachers teach each other’s class certain topics) have told them they are 75 and 105. I told her well then, I’m older then them and I’m 38. Plus a bunch of other facts. Does this make sense to you I’ll say to her? Are they really that age or they just being silly. She refuses to believe or at least state that I am correct. Sigh! Lol.
I like to look at most things with a critical eye. I like to research. But how do you know what to research when one is just not very knowledgeable? I can see how intelligent people can buy into this. I have a hard time believing how broadly educated, knowledgeable people buy into Scientology. To me, I think it boils down to, with the knowledge I have so far, when challenged with living day to day life, or wanting to find some answers to life, one can buy into this out of desperation and find the beginning courses work for them. You know the saying, hook, line and sinker. Or if one is not knowledgeable in various areas and not taught to critically think (a lot of people aren’t), they go in not knowing any better. They aren’t aware of where they should research and where to look critically. If one doesn’t know, for example, all the areas Hubbard borrowed from, and how to actually apply it, then one would take his word as of he discovered something new and that he is applying that knowledge properly. What I’m trying to say is, if people don’t know certain things, then they don’t know what to look up and think critically about. The world we know today is a lot different then the world in the 1940s/50s/60s when this way of thinking was CONjured up by Hubbard. And then you add in the people who grew up into this, either from birth like Jenna Hill Miscavige or later on in childhood like Aaron and Mike. Which to me seems like the bulk of current Scientology. I have to wonder how their thinking patterns and brain growth/development is affected? I think it also depends on the time period in one’s life where they begin to get indoctrinated. But where and what are they suppose to look up if they don’t know it exists? Were they taught to critically think as well?
There must be a glitch or something hidden inside Scientology that allowed them to see and think differently, as the truth is slowly exposed and they become more aware. I can’t put my finger on it. But are Scientologists taught to critically think in some ways that opens the door for them to see life and Scientology differently? Yet, are programmed through the brief system of Hubbard to not question things within that belief system (I know, I know. KSW)? To answer some of my own questions, I imagine just access to information outside of Scientology and giving oneself permission to look at things critically (since the tools were there?) is key. And being continuously abused and being treated horribly is one of major impetus for people to leave and then look at life under a new lens.
Cat daddy says
Mike Rinder, you are a gem
gato rojo says
Scientology does lay in some very heavy, deep cognitive biases. I didn’t know what those were of course when I escaped. But once I found out, that whole subject was great reading and helped me peel myself out of them. Just part of the everyday cult indoctrination.
gato, if you wanted to say more about the cognitive biases, I’d love to hear it, since that is an area of interest – and, I think it’s enlightening to everyone.
Regardless, to me one of the glaring faults of Scientology is that in spite of the suppose “science” and the training in “evaluating data” and the like, not to mention making people more able and sane, Hubbard did essentially nothing to warn or train people about the cognitive biases that can lead people to incorrectly evaluate data and situations. Not only that, but he seems to have actually exploited cognitive biases for the purpose of controlling his followers, while claiming he was making them more sane and setting out a path to freedom. As we see in this subject of this post, Scientologists seem particularly prone to misunderstanding attribution, and confusing correlation and causation, which Hubbard and Scientology have exploited to take credit for benefits and achievements that they probably had no actual role in producing.
While the idea of cognitive biases as such may be fairly recent, there were certainly precedents that should have been known to Hubbard, particularly if he was actually rigorous in his studies and “research.” Essential ideas such as attribution errors, and the confusion of correlation and causation, go back to logical fallacies, and those and other cognitive errors were generally known in mid-century behavioral and social psychology. Plus wasn’t Hubbard supposed to have had advanced knowledge?
Jen Smith says
I would love to understand this as well. Good area of discussion if not already done.
Todd Cray says
The funny thing is that this strategy is extremely counter-productive. Let’s say, for example, that I spot a (most likely paid for) puff piece on David Miscavige. I express my appreciation by repeatedly opening it and pretending to read it half a dozen times or more. For my troubles, the news portal’s various tracking devices will remember my passionate interest in 4’13”.
Now if enough people do this (after all there ARE 12 million members–or are there?), DM will become “trending” and “church” or DM news are indeed more likely to pop up when visiting the portal.
But here’s the catch: “DM yanking vigorously as new church opening” is equally likely to appear as “DM beats his staff” (no pun intended) or “DM disappears his wife.” This will happen for me as well as (if trending is achieved) for anyone using this portal. And Xenu help me if–accidentally or out of curiosity–I open up one of “those” articles.
A new org or mission is opening? Now that is entheta. God forbid. Don’t click on it. 🙂
Alice Graves says
In a way, scientologists are providing the sane world (hope to God that’s still a viable constituency) with a public service. A bird’s eye view into the actual mechanics of building and maintaining the “Us vs. Them” mindset that has plagued mankind from probably the very beginning of our development here on Earth.
In this country, if you should query a skinhead, a Klan member, or some of the more extreme members of the garden variety Trump voters, to ask them what they’re so mad about, you’d probably only hear things like “Get these fucking people out of our country!!!!” – nothing more articulate than that about immigrants, people of color, etc.
But scientologists provide a much richer and in depth look at how the human mind actually builds its fortresses against who and what it needs to smother, tear down, torture, and/or kill in order to believe that its own kind is prospering and safe from annihilation by another tribe – i.e. “the rest of us.”
When you read things like this about their fear and avoidance of “entheta”, you really can’t get a better view into the core of mankind’s original primal fear of being knocked off.
Scientology’s own doctrines and history show that scientologists are not at all interested in spiritual progress and transformation, which involves empathy, compassion, and merging with all that is. No, they are merely interested in survival.
And they say they’re a spiritual group?
Us vs. Them is the normal state of the human condition, and the default protocol of our brains. It’s also what people fall back into when they are under threat. There’s nothing unhealthy about (for example) a black man in the Jim Crow South having Us vs. Them mindset toward the KKK and sympathizers. If someone is taking an Us vs Them view of you, there is no reason not to return the favor.
What SCN does is stoke the fear and hatred of enemies who have no interest in harming them. Ironically, their paranoia and cruelty gives plenty of reasons for people to develop an us vs. them worldview toward SCN.
In a way, you could say the church pulls it in…
Let’s face it – entheta is often more interesting than “theta”. Scnists try to stay above 2.0 on the Tone Scale, and to do this they attempt to remove anything below 2.0 in their life. They avoid “entheta” movies, “downtone” music, or their “aberated” fellow employees. All of this is supposed to bring happiness, better heath, and better survival. In short, they seek to inhabit an unnatural world.
Mark Granger says
This is like approach a pair of railway tracks. You look to your left and see empty tracks which looks safe and inviting. Very theta. You look to your right and see a big scary light of a rapidly approaching freight train. Very entheta. So you walk down the tracks to the left and try to ignore the rumbling noise growing behind you.
I think the big news here, other than the idea that you can prevent rain by leaving the house with an umbrella, is that anything critical of Donald Trump is entheta to Vern Jones, and he presumes the same for all his recipients. If Vern and friends don’t like bad news about Donald Trump, it’s going to be a pretty tough 6 months coming up for the remaining time he’s president.
Lynda Castell-Blanch says
It doesn’t surprise me that this Vern guy is obviously defending Trump. I don’t imagine Scientology likes fact checking any more than the current regime in office.
yes, i think it is very telling that the cult members are defending this clone of LRH?DM=Drumpf!
Harpoona Frittata says
“Somewhere else” indeed!
“So, what I have been doing is to only click on the theta-sounding articles as much as possible. Today, after a few weeks of doing this, I noticed a definite uptick in proportion of theta to entheta articles.”
Wait, don’t tell me, Vern is a full OaTy supper bean and this is yet another ass-tonishing display of his suppa powdered OaTy causitiveness, right? Single-handedly, it seems, Vern has reversed the tide of entheta swirling around him and now invites your to join him for more wins!
Vern’s email gives us insight into the degenerative long-term effects of scientology on the IQ. Any average high schooler could easily point out its absurdities. Although it’s tempting to make fun of it, and I see nothing wrong with doing so, I think it should also be taken seriously as a cautionary tale. Copies of the letter should be circulated in high risk areas with the heading: DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU!
It does seem odd that in a world which provides almost unlimited information regarding *anything*, that a few thousand toe the line and obey a silly twit who actually has no more power than what they give to him, unearned.. Virtually none of the plans or orders he has given birth to have produced any actual value whatever. The remoresless pandering for money has convinced many to leave, has probably convinced millions to never “arrive” and has those clinging to the sinking ship made to look like non thinking lunatics. And being ordered to disconnect from long term friends based on innuendo and, often, false reports and accusations, will carry it’s own pain in the years to come.
Mick Roberts says
“…a silly twit who actually has no more power than what they give to him…”
Jen Smith says
I have a question regarding this. Why do they keep pandering for money? I know they have tons of wealth in owning property but don’t they also have lots of cash locked in bank accounts too? Or is this an illusion? If they do, how do they get away with tax exemption? Isn’t that money suppose to be used up?
Another off handed question. Does anyone know where DM lives? Does he have his own property? If so, how does he get away with this?
Mike Rinder says
The money is what Miscavige measures his success by. It is what Hubbard said was the ultimate measure of success. And for a sociopath, it is a measure of the control and domination you can exert over others to get them to keep giving you money against their best interests.
DM has living facilities in all major scientology outposts, specially constructed for him. Right now he is living in his apartment in Clearwater because he is going to be speaking at the LRH Birthday Event on Saturday. When he goes to England he stays in his rooms in Hubbard’s old Manor. He has an apartment in Los ANgeles next to Author Services. And one at the Gold Base. etc etc
Jen, I’d add to Mike’s explanation, that at this point the focus on raising money gives Miscavige and the Scientology structure a mechanism to deflect attention from their failures to deliver much in the way of actual services and training, and a way to hide their shrinking membership by building grand physical facilities and then claiming that it equals “expansion.”
The Price of Freedom by LRH: “Constant and continual alertness is the price of freedom. Constant willingness to fight back is the price of freedom. There is no other price, actually.” Pretty hard to apply that when you routinely shut out anything that might be contrary to what you want to hear. And what does not-ising the MEST environment have to do with “being in present time”? How does any of this pass as “confronting” Life? How does it qualify as “constant alertness”? Fostering this padded cocoon mentality has been pushed so far by CoS as to be farcical.
Doug Parent says
Good point. It reminds me of the end phenomena of the professional TR’s course which more or less states that “it is a person who can resolve any situation with communication alone, no matter how rough”. Yet church members are told they have to disconnect, cut off all communication from someone who may be troubling them or have an opposing view. Scientology charges you major fees for the technology but invalidates your ability to use the ability gained to handle situations that come up in life. It’s like they don’t think the tech works, or that people are basically evil. Either way, Scientology invalidates your ability. Maybe the planet should considering disconnecting from Scientology Orgs altogether.
It’s always fun to contradict church policy with LRH quotes. I mean, what are they going to do?
Instilling fear of entheta in the scientologist is a form of mind-control. They are made to think entheta is like poison that will infect you. You become the EFFECT of it! Whoops, that totally contradicts the “at cause” scientology ideal.
That ideal takes a serious hit but it’s regrettably necessary ‘collateral damage’. There has to be a way to make sure scientologists stay away from credible testimonies against their religion. Credible testimonies make sense and when something makes sense you tend to believe it whether you want to or not.
Thus better to turn scientologists into fraidy-cats who are the effect of entheta than to risk having them face the opposition head on and see the light. Keep them away from the light by calling it ‘entheta’ and make them afraid of it.
Mick Roberts says
“…..most easily observed in the ever-increasing political bubbles in the US”
Ever since I became passionate about this subject thanks to the Aftermath show, I’ve noticed many, many parallels between how both the CoS and US political leaders attack those with whom they disagree. Ask any dedicated conservative what they think about MSNBC or any dedicated liberal what they think about Fox News, and the answer is always the same……”fake news”.
They never seem to be able to say anything positive (or even “neutral”) about their perceived “enemies”. It’s always attack, attack, attack…..”never defend”. Tell others to not believe anything they hear from these “obviously biased sources”. Attempt to convince everyone of the nobleness of their own position and the corruption and “evil intentions” of those who have a different position. Pronounce that they and people like them truly do have the best interests at heart for future generations, while those with differing opinions are so “warp-minded” that they don’t have the ability to think rationally. Does all of that sound like CoS tactics or US political tactics? Hard to differentiate between the two with how they handle people they label as their “enemies”.
I don’t visit those hateful CoS attack sites anymore, mostly because they’re all the same…..nothing more than just lame-ass recycled garbage that I find intellectually boring as hell. But I also don’t even care to waste my time reading them anymore because there’s absolutely no balance to the information they put out there, so I can’t seem to force myself to believe ANY of it. There’s never any “we appreciate the many years of dedicated service from [fill in the blank], and he/she worked tirelessly and accomplished many good things for our church, but…..”. Nope…..it’s 100%, from beginning to end, basically just saying “this person has always sucked total ass!!!”
And Scientologists seem like they tend to buy it. And why? I believe that the reason they do so is because it validates their own pre-conceived notions of what their version of “reality” is. It’s comforting to feel validated. Hearing others agree with what you’ve always believed provides you with a sense of moral superiority and can allow you to feel a level of acceptance from your “group”.
And at the end of the day……”thinking” is just difficult (for all of us). It’s really hard to actually THINK. As crazy as it may sound, I believe it’s much harder to actually “think for yourself” as opposed to just letting someone else “do the thinking for you”. I’m afraid that’s one of the traps that Scientologists (and dedicated political party loyalists in the US) fall into……it’s just easier not to have to think, and to let someone else think for you and just provide you with the “talking points” that you can recycle to those who may disagree with you.
That image Mike used for this post sums it up perfectly in my opinion…..both for Scientology and the current level of political discourse in the US.
Mike Rinder says
Great comment, thanks. I appreciate you didn’t take one side of the political spectrum and begin some flame war…
The truth of the matter is that refusal to LOOK is and being stuck in a “fixed idea” of what is right or wrong are much more certain causes of conflict than the “unseen 3rd party”.
BTW — if the so-called “Third Party Law” was true, why doesn’t scientology apply it to find the “hidden source” of conflict between it and “the critics” and “the media” and resolve all their problems?
Mick Roberts says
I was unfamiliar with the Scientology term “Third Party Law” so had to look it up. I keep learning new things almost daily. You make a great point about how Scientology should be able to find this “third party” source to resolve their own institutional conflicts if they truly believe in this “law”.
I’d provide a link to where I read about this, but it was an online Scientology course and quite frankly, I don’t care to advertise that for CoS. But from what I read, and perhaps reading a bit too much “between the lines”, it appears to me that this “Third Party Law” as a whole, is simply a way for Scientologists to “feel better” about themselves by blaming any of their conflicts on some “hidden, unknown source” so they don’t have to be held accountable for their own actions. No personal accountability whatsoever. It’s always “someone else’s fault”. Amazing…..
Mick Roberts says
P.S. And yet they tell people that if they’re going through a problem, they “pulled it in” themselves. I can find no consistency in this philosophy. It seems that these random and often-times inconsistent beliefs that LRH put out there depended on what just happened to pop in his head on any given day.
The only consistency is that this approach always deflects the blame from the Scientology organization and its “tech,” or Hubbard himself – everyone else may get blamed for “pulling it in” even when that is patently absurd, but they themselves are never to blame even when it is patently obvious. This is typical of high control groups and narcissistic personalities, that they always blame others or something outside themselves.
The illogic actually serves to create confusion and even cognitive dissonance. When the subject/follower accepts this as normal or necessary, they subject themselves to increasingly control and blind obedience.
This dynamic also plays out in abusive personal relationships, where the abuser always blames others or factors beyond their control, and those around them accept that they have to “walk on eggshells,” trying to deflect the madness and even ending up blaming themselves for any little way in which they might have triggered – or failed to pacify – the abuser.
Mick Roberts says
Great points PeaceMaker.
I’m glad if that was helpful.
The last sentence of the second paragraph should have been something more like “When the subject/follower accepts this as normal or necessary, they submit themselves to increasing control and blind obedience.”
I hope that made sense, it’s a complex principle at work. If you read some of the classic works on cults and mind control, you’ll get a better understanding of this and other mechanisms and phenomenon.
Some groups openly teach their followers to accept contradictory thoughts or principles. While there can be some philosophical or theological validity to accepting duality – and even scientific validity, in the case of the wave-particle nature of light – in control or cult environments it is used to train people to uncritically accept what they are told, and even to engage in internal thought-stopping.
I think that Hubbard, as a pathological personality and an abuser as well, intuitively used deflection of blame and imposition of responsibility on others, as a tool to control those around him, though he may have come to understand it on a theoretical basis as well. I guess I should point out that the “pull it in” thinking is part of a philosophical or practical doctrine of viewing the individual as responsible (and powerful), that does have its merits – but once again, not when taken to extremes or imposed as a top-down control tool.
Liz Breckow says
It’s hard to tell if he thinks he’s actually changing what pops up on his screen or if he’s changing all the internet. Probably doesn’t matter. Thinking the purpose is to get anyone with internet access to self censor by tweaking their own preferences. Although, if he’s a true believer of millions and millions of scientologists maybe he does think the church can influence substantially.
My takeaway from this article is that there’s definite fear on Scientology’s side that information is being disseminated amongst the flock. So good news.
Vern is ether an idiot or a Wizard of Odd. Some days the news will conform to his version of ‘theta’, and sometimes it won’t. The priority of news story listing is somewhat governed by how many clicks the story gets. But they are mostly governed by how fresh the story is.
Vern and his handful of clams and their pretend ‘voting’ are doing nothing but upping CNN’s page views. Keep your nose to the $cieno grindstone Vern, there are enough net savvy clams out there that are laughing at you. And us wogs just laugh even louder.
Actually, it sounds like he is customizing the display preferences for his app. News media don’t sell news – they sell readers/watchers/listeners. Vern is tuning the app so it can direct his eyes onto pleasing stories (and the ads they contain). He’s helping CNN advertise more effectively to him.
In creating his bubble, he is selling himself to CNN.
Wait, I’m just trying to understand here…this person thinks they have the ability to change or persuade the content on the freakin’ CNN website by clicking on more of the positive stories rather than the entheta ones?
I cannot believe how much the tech has changed! What ever happened to being able to communicate and confront freely on any subject? Even the most basic of the tech has been perverted and non confront and avoidance is now the norm? Wow!
Sure different from the old days …
Len Zinberg says
The bad news is that the EP of Scientology is delusional madness.
The good news is that recovery is very possible once one leaves.
I wonder about some people *cough John Allender cough* *cough Jenny Linson cough* being able to regain their sanity. Some are so far gone, it would take a lot to regain clear thinking.
Then again, I hope I didn’t look that way to the outside world when I was in. eeeek
Len Zinberg says
For me, the most poignant moment in the A & E series (I choke up even now, thinking about it) was when Steve Hassan revealed to Mike Rinder the degree to which he once feared him, after which both wept.
Redemption isn’t easy, but it is certainly possible.
Old Surfer Dude says
Definitely, ‘perhaps somewhere else!’
Mike Wynski says
Stick your head in the sand (or elsewhere) so you can’t hear the Karma Bus about run you down.
Joe Pendleton says
Though we have been through this subject many many times before, it is still stunning to me when I read a new account of how absolutely and bizarrely ignorant and just nuts so many of the true believers are. Let me get this straight … this guy not only thinks he gets some personal gain from not reading what he considers entheta articles (which is logical if not reading the “bad news” makes him not feel as depressed about things) BUT … he thinks that by not clicking on the negative articles HIMSELF, that fewer negative articles are actually APPEARING on the CNN website !!!!???!!!! Yeah, in the “wog world” this would be called delusion, but no doubt in this guy’s world, this is a potential “OT win” that needs to be in the next Advance mag. He personally affects an international news website simply by not clicking on certain stories himself. What is he? An OT 25 or something?
And … dare I even venture into the following waters without ruffling some political feathers? But as the quoted “win” mentioned this …. As Keeping Scientology Working says that “democracy has given us inflation and income tax” and since OBVIOUSLY the Democratic Party loves income taxes (and financing the psychs) and the sainted Ron Paul himself is against these taxes as well his claims that the national bank creates inflation along with the dastardly Dems … then one of the prime sources of “entheta” that you don’t want to click on is “political attacks on the president by obviously biased sources.” And no, my friends, he does not mean the 44th president .. he is referring to the current occupant of the White House who claimed over the weekend that his predecessor was wire tapping his NYC residence. In my 35 active years in the CoS, the only president that the bulk of Scientologists I knew routinely attacked was Bill Clinton, the one guy in the WH who actually had personal time for John Travolta’s lobbying him. But of course, he was “1.1” and wanted to raise your taxes to finance mental health, so he was certainly an SP. The utter ignorance about history and politics which does not stop most Scientologists from pontificating in these areas is a never ending surprise, even though it shouldn’t be. Ask 100 staff and/or SO members who was the Vice President of the USA is and I would be shocked if more than 2 or 3 even come close.
Yeah, it is not just the current resident of the WH who is probably trying on a number of tin foil hats as I write this.
(If I don’t click on the sports reports accounts of games the Warriors lose, does that mean that they won’t appear anymore on the ESPN website? )
His INDIVIDUAL news feed may be affected due to the tracking and cookies that CNN (and most websites do), but that’s the only thing he is influencing.
Harmless Weirdo says
I suspect confirmation bias is what’s really at work, here. Once you decide to start looking for what you consider to be “positive” news stories, you’ll start seeing more of them–which will then support the illusion that fewer “negative” ones are appearing on your newsfeed.
“but no doubt in this guy’s world, this is a potential “OT win” that needs to be in the next Advance mag.” My thoughts exactly while reading his tirade. I think they’re becoming more and more delusional in the bubble. You’ve got to be if you continue to buy into little Davies “new tech”.
Doug Sprinkle says
That was a great post, insightful and hilarious at the same time.
Aren’t you OT enough that if you refuse to click on news of Warriors losses, the Warriors will stop losing?
Joe Pendleton says
I’m trying my best in that regard, Valerie … (ah, I can hear my metering Supe right now … “Try?? You don’t TRY … you just DO IT!”
Ann B Watson says
❤️ Post of the day, Mike. Yes yes to beyond Infinity regarding your last line! And the bugaboo Entheta is a word and a concept those in are always petrified of because oh my they might find out the truth about their cult. The email above is very lame. Poor Scientologist clicking away on theta news stories to get an uptick in theta news. Waste of time and money. ????
BAD NEWS on how expensive the bridge is:
I used to downplay what it cost to go up the bridge, avoided mentioning what I paid, spoke of getting up the bridge by focusing on just paying for the next service and always staying on service, and never ever named dollar amounts.
It felt like to say out loud what it cost would be an overt. It would make it seem unreachable or too daunting. This must be unspoken policy. Nobody talks dollar amounts to anyone lower on the bridge, – from my experience.
HAHA. Now when I’m talking about it I always include what it costs.
“Yah, well, we’re paying off the Flag debts, it cost 100 grand just for set ups and the first year of 6 month checks”, “I’m glad spouse was already OT V, we ended up paying about 250,000 to get him/her through VII and then VIII.
“I wasn’t counting on ten grand for two new meters”
“Student Hat, Purif, SRD was over ten grand..”
“oh, you’ve paid for Cause resurg? Yeah, it’s nice and cheap. But a month of accomos and chow will probably be 5 grand each, so make sure you factor that in” “Plus, you’re going to be off work for a month or more”
(Hey Mike, what percentage of scios would you say actually make it to OT III or above?)
FYI for the Never Ins: I would guess that maybe 75% of the scios I know never get trained on the auditing levels or onto OT levels. Staff, SO, Ex-SO, ‘always a public” can spend 30 years in the cult, still doing lower bridge, re-doing lower less expensive things, doing a stint on staff in hopes of free service, and so on.
P.S. I’ll never give them another dime. I wouldn’t give them my used Tupperware.
SFN, I got to the point in the late 70s when I had just had it. Decided never to spend another dime. Fortunately finished enough of the bridge to satisfy myself, never looked back.
Lars Rosenquist says
“In any case, I invite anyone to play this game and see if the theta stats in news can be raised this way.”
Even if 100 % of the people who read Vern Jones’ email follow his “game”, it only makes up less than 1 millionth of people reading major news sites, so it will have absolutely no impact whatsoever. Just goes to show how unbalanced suggestions inside the bubble can be.
It would only ever impact that individual user’s selection of news stories, not the CNN home page overall for everybody. CNN would use a cookie to determine who a user is and feed them news articles based on what they’ve viewed previously, but it would never affect someone else’s feed. If you clear the cookies from your browser, you’re gonna have to start all over again, too. Vern fails to mention that.
there may be a grain of truth to the game. many sites track what is viewed by visitors via cookies. Even if you don’t log in to a site the cookies can be left on your computer. If you click on any of the ads, these are certainly tracked. CNN may very well track which articles are red by each user and push similar items out. Google and YouTube do this without question. Watch an anti-SCN video and just see what youtube suggests at the end. I have also seen products I researched show up repeatedly, after the fact, as ads on sites I visit that have nothing to do with that product. Does CNN do this with their news stories? I don’t know. However, if someone logs in and only reads the cute kitten articles, it would benefit them to send more to that user to keep them on the site and paste more ads on the page along with the articles.
That said, the general tone of the article and the way it is written, does make me want to barf. I would say to him, “Man up and grow a pair. If you cant confront a little entheta, then your TRs are out. “.
Mick Roberts says
True, but I’m just happy to know Scientologists (even if they’re public) are actually reading the news. Perhaps just glancing at the “headlines” occasionally will possibly increase the curiosity of a few of them to read what the “entheta” articles have to say. For a few (although a relatively small handful), it might be a start at least.
Where is the insouciance?
This was aired yesterday on HBO, and as one can see, is orders of magnitude larger, in terms of “entheta”…
So, where is DM (“DeMon”…..lol)? Or is Muffins the fall guy for the yanker in chief?
“because anything you do not agree with is obviously biased lies made up by people with hidden agendas and bad motives”
…and every person who leaves the church is wrong, off, has Mu’s, is PTS, SP, etc. so everything they say is 100 percent discounted.
Right = scientology
Wrong = everything else.
chris burris says
I read a letter to your family and honestly I don’t know what to say. I’m sorry that your children have taken the stance they have. However I have a reading assignment for you. Please read the book of Job in the Bible. I believe you will find some insight. Read the first chapter then read the last. Even with everything stripped away God can make something awful work out for good. My prayer is that you find peace and love and may that abound in your heart forever.
The past couple of weeks have been crazy for me. So busy I can’t think crazy. As such, I haven’t read much news of any type. My hubby was saying yesterday “so did you read…”. I replied “I’ve been so busy the whole world could blow up and I’d be blissfully unaware.” We both laughed.
Here’s the difference: even in my “blissfully unaware” state I am not pretending the bad news has all magically gone away.