Friday, April 28, 2006

Study Tech at work

I was a very glib student when I went to school (back before the last ice age). I could parrot back whatever the teachers had said, and had near perfect eidetic memory of the textbooks I read. So I did really well on tests, skipped a grade, etc. But when it came to actually applying what I'd learned, it was as if I never really absorbed any of what I was studying. It wasn't until my circumstances changed in my junior year in high school that I became aware of this flaw in my education.

At 15 years old I suddenly had to learn very quickly how to build a house. I was living with my older sister that year (1968). I spent the whole "Summer of Love" on a 2 acre lot in the desert outside El Paso, Texas, putting in a foundation, building framing, and putting up roof joists, putting on a roof, putting in plumbing and electrical and insullation, and putting up siding. I even learned to lay the proverbial bricks. I did most of the work with my brother-in-law directing and helping as he could (he had a bad back and was away most of the time). It was the first time I'd ever built anything or had to DO anything that mattered. About the only thing I was able to use from my prior life were my basic geometry skills -- how to measure out and lay out a right angle.

And that winter we lived in the house.

That qualification got my first "real" job - construction chief on a privately owned ship. All they cared about was: "Can you DO it." It didn't matter that I was "only" 18 years old.

The emphasis in Study Technology is on application, and it achieves results that cut through the psychobabble of modern education like scissors through playdough.

Here's a recent success from a parent after some tutoring using the study technology:

Let me begin by saying that what you do is AWESOME. I am a parent with a Masters Degree and numerous awards, but could not help my child understand in 3 years what you have helped him obtain in less than 3 weeks. I see a change in my son – not just academically but personally. There is an air of confidence he now holds. Life has opened up for him so much more. He could read before, but now he reads and understands.
We have been blessed beyond belief. – L.T.

Here's a success from a principal:

Applied Scholastics tutors have enabled our students to progress in reading, specifically. Students are equipped with the tools they need to help themselves. We are all enthusiastic about further progress. – S.N.

I wish study tech had been around when my sisters were young - it would have changed their lives and reduced the amount of struggle it took to get through school.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Psychiatry at work...

I recently saw someone trying to treat his child like a dog. He was at the mall, and the child was wearing a harness attached to a leash held by his father. I suppose if one believed (as the psychiatrists have been promoting for the last century) that we were all soulless animals, then it would make sense to treat a child like a dog, control him as you would a dog by guiding him at the end of a leash, stopping him from going where he wanted to go.

It reminded me of this quote from L. Ron Hubbard in the book "A New Slant on Life" which I used when helping my own children as they were growing up:

Children are not dogs. They can't be trained like dogs are trained. They are not controllable items. They are, and let's not overlook the point, men and women.

That's how I treated them. In that same book, he says

A child is not a special species of animal distinct from man. A child is a man or a woman who has not attained full growth.

When I negotiated with my children from this viewpoint, cooperation could be had. Whenever I negated this and tried to "lay down the law" or come up with some kind of punishment for bad behavior, I got only sullen resistance and looks that could kill. It took more time than simply cuffing them about (as my parents would have done to gain compliance) but my children are sane and effective adults now. Like the rest of Hubbard's advice, it works if you actually do it.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


I often refer my friends who are hung up on one thing or another, waiting for some kind of clearance or approval, to this quote from L. Ron Hubbard:

The only possible way that you can get any freedom is to stop asking everybody's permission to be.

I first heard that when listening to the Philadelphia Doctorate Course lectures given in the early 1950's by Hubbard. I've listened to them 4 times through over the last 20 years, and I gain something vital and new every time I Iisten to them, from every lecture. My understanding builds over time and with the number of times over the materials. Understanding of what? Of life. Of how to live my own life better.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


We have a lot of madrone trees here on the ranch. They look naked compared to the other trees, especially when the light is right. Here's a photo I took of the peeling bark of a madrone (bottom left of pic), and the smooth, almost sensual wood that has no bark left on it (upper right). The little tendril of plant growing across it is poison oak. The reddish marks on the madrone are scars of some kind, perhaps a buck trying to shed his antlers, or marks from when the branches of the tree next to it struck it when felled. The second picture is the same tree from further away.

This tree sits on the edge of a cliff; some of its roots are exposed. A big wind might blow it down. So I am documenting it now, in the prime of its life.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Volunteer Ministers in Australia

Australia recently had a category 5 hurricane (they call them cyclones down under) named Cyclone Larry hit northern Queensland. We've had Scientology Volunteer Ministers from Brisbane and Sydney on scene helping people since right after it hit. If you can spare anything from your Paypal account to help support these volunteers as they pass out food and water and minister to those in dire need, contact and find out where to send it. Volunteer Ministers have the motto that "Something Can Be Done About It" and they make that motto a reality every time they show up in their yellow shirts.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Tom Cruise - Diane Sawyer

If you watched the Primetime show on ABC last night, you saw that Diane Sawyer interviewed Tom Cruise about a lot of the subjects that have been written up in the tabloids lately.

It's been at least a decade since I last saw Diane Sawyer on TV and I was surprised how old she looked. Tom looked great and I thought the interview went very well; he came across as credible and enthusiastic.

Regarding Scientology, he handled her question about silent birth by giving her the truth about it. Silent Birth makes sense when you come right down to it, so I think that his interview will dispel a lot of the attention that the curious have had on that. One of our religious beliefs in Scientology is that fetuses and neonates can hear anything said around them. Most of what is said they just ignore, and of course they don't understand it at the time, but if there is pain and unconsciousness involved and there are medicos joking around and saying things, then later in life, under the right circumstances those words that were said can start to act like hypnotic commands. Better to prevent it in the first place, hence "silent birth". From my own experiences, I can tell you that such words in those moments of pain and unconsciousness do act exactly like hypnotic commands and can make people act very strangely. I've felt the force of these myself, and using Dianetics have run through these enough times to spot them and to dispel their influence completely.

Tom also said that Katie would have use of any drugs (including an epidural) if she needed them, and could make all the noise she wants.

Tom's intense joy of living came through, as well as his love for Katie and his kids.

Tom warned Diane not to believe anything she read in the tabloids--that it was all made-up lies. And that people had been lying about him since his early childhood, when he moved around a lot and they made fun of him as the new kid.

All in all, it was a good interview. No new ground was broken, but it was good to hear Diane say that she'd read Dianetics twice. At least she had done her homework! Tom advised her to read "Fundamentals of Thought" next if she wanted to know what Scientology says about God.

When she tried to pin him down about Scientology's views about God, he was very politic. There's no dogma within our church telling us what to believe about God. We do pray when we get together during a Sunday service, for example -- we have several prayers asking God to secure human rights for all of us humans. Most Churches of Scientology have a Sunday service every week. But that's not the focus of what we do. Like Tom said, our focus is on helping people live a better life in their own estimation. And we have many tools that help us and help others to do that.

We have a huge Volunteer Minister corps that goes where needed around the globe, from Ground Zero in NY to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans to earthquakes in Pakistan and helping tsunami victims in India, Thailand and Sri Lanka. If you want to find out about Scientology, ask one of those guys in the yellow VM shirts who are filling sandbags, digging survivors out of the ruins, giving first aid, or handing out food and water. They'll be glad to tell you, especially if you pitch in.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Psychiatry - the smug bastards are on the run....

CNN almost gets it right in this video. Their reporter quotes Tom Cruise from a GQ magazine article. It would have been much more effective as a news piece if they'd gotten an interview with Tom, but they didn't bother. This piece feels kind of patched together with whatever footage was laying around. They did interview one psych, who runs the favorite PR line from the psychs about how black box labels scare people off the drugs. As if that's a bad thing. That's the whole point! To those of us who have been fighting psychiatry for decades, it is gratifying to see the smug bastards on the run.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Sites about Scientology worth reading.

As a person who has been a practicing Scientology minister for more than half his life (I was ordained thirty years ago in 1976 by the Church of Scientology of California) I have been very interested in all the news Tom Cruise has been making about Scientology over the last few months. Although we don't normally read them, we picked up four tabloids that all mentioned Tom and Katie at the newsstand last week. People Mag, Us, Star and some other I can't remember. The magazines were fascinating -- very little fact, mostly opinion disguised as fact. "According to sources close to Tom..." Photos were either staged or paparazzi shots. I was thinking "That's a hell of a way to be presented." What if someone did that to you? Snuck up when you were on your way to your car, before you'd had your coffee, and took a roll of pictures while you opened your car door, scowling at what jerks they were. They can make you look like an idiot, even if you are normally as perky as Katie Couric.

I was wondering what someone completely new to the subject of Scientology would find in the search engines. Poking around at Google, I found the following listings that make good reading -- they aren't the main Church of Scientology website, and they put the subject in an understandable and humane perspective:

  • US Navy Chaplain presents basic information on the Church of Scientology including history and basic beliefs.

  • Scientology (CESNUR) Documents and updates on the Church of Scientology from CESNUR (Center for Studies on New Religions)

  • Scientology Volunteer Ministers - Scientology Solutions to a ...
    Suffering from worries, sorrow, grief or fear, whatever the problem, Scientology Volunteer Ministers can provide practical help.

  • Scientology Effective Solutions - Informational brochure series in PDF format about the Scientology religion and its activities.

  • Church of Scientology: The Bonafides of the Scientology Religion -
    A description of the Scientology religion: the theology and practice, Scientology members and their community activities, a history of religion and papers ...

What's True for You...

One of my favorite quotes from L. Ron Hubbard is this one: "What is true for you is what you have observed yourself. And when you lose that you have lost everything." (I'm quoting from a book called "Understanding, The Universal Solvent", and the quote originally came from an article about personal integrity.)

I read many philosophers in college, and none of them put it that well, or gave you any tools to dig yourself out after having lost your own viewpoint, as Hubbard does.

That quote explains the problem reporters have to contend with when writing a story about, say, Tom Cruise. What they SEE is a very enthusiastic movie star. But they have a hard time reconciling what they SEE with what their editors tell them. Rather than stick with the truth (what they SEE), they embellish facts, dig up rumor and innuendo, and get comments from the envious. What a scam such journalism is.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Aversive "Therapy" = Get Me Out Of Here....

Have you ever seen the movie "Alien IV", where they clone the aliens and keep them in cages? The scientists control the aliens by hitting a button that gives them a painful blast of cold gas when they do something they shouldn't.

And there you have it, the essense of "aversive therapy". You do something the psychiatrists don't like, and the psychs will shock you. Of course, the state is paying the psychs $214,000 per child for this program, because who would voluntarily pay for such a "service" for children? And these are not adults being shocked in the name of help -- these are kids.

I'm talking, of course, about the "Judge Rotenberg Educational Center" of Canton, Mass, where they are experimenting on children with electric shocks. True, it's not the spine cracking voltage they still use today in Electro Convulsive Therapy, but it's enough that one child, Antwone Nicholson, begged his adoptive mom, "Just get me out of here and get me in another place. I can be better in another place." (Quoted from People Magazine 4/17/06.)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

David Miscavige

Since I first heard of him the early 80's I've admired David Miscavige's direct, no-nonsense approach and the results he gets. His work in getting IRS tax exemption for the Church of Scientology in 1993 effected great relief for the Church and its parisioners. I'd like to thank him publicly here: Thank you, David Miscavige!

Found an interesting article in Freedom Magazine about an event I attended in 1998. If you look closely, one of those heads in the audience is mine! David Miscavige was the emcee - he does a great job of delivering the good news accumulated during the year.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Never Forget...

Filmmaker Paul Greengrass (of "Bloody Sunday" and "The Bourne Supremacy") has a new film coming up for release, called "Flight 93" -- about the events of 9/11. The squeamish are already howling that the movie trailer should not be being shown, much less the film. That's it's too soon for such a film.

Personally I've been wondering what was taking Hollywood so long. It's been nearly five years, which is an eon in "Hollywood years".

Sure it's crass and commercial for Hollywood to profit from that horrific day. The same as it was for them to make a film about the battle of Midway as it happened, or about the events of December 7, 1941, only a year or so after it happened (that film won an Oscar, so I hear.)

I was listening to a recorded lecture of L. Ron Hubbard yesterday and heard one of the most cogent reasons ever expressed as to why people will do such horrific things. People are only willing to destroy others AFTER they have been convinced that they are no longer human: instead they are inhuman or subhuman "Japs", "Jerrys" and "Krauts", "Ruskies", "Ragheads" and "Sand Niggers", "unbelievers" and "infidels".

It takes a lot of propaganda and misinformation, and widespread inability to actually face and communicate with others, to make a whole people willing to destroy others. They won't do it if they can actually confront each other, if they are sure that each other exists.

The Japanese were told during WWII that Americans would actually eat them.

So real communication is the key. I beseech all of us to make the effort to communicate despite what may be believed about the "enemy". I believe that that which we are told that seeks to de-humanize someone else to us is meant to make us hate them, and it always contains lies.

Criminals commit crimes because there isn't anyone else but them, so none of their behavior, nothing they do has any consequence, because other people DO NOT EXIST for them. Not really. Show them that others exist, teach them to communicate with others, give them a basic moral code they can follow, and they reform. That's the basis of Criminon Program, operating in prisons around the world to reform and rehabilitate prisoners. It's the only effective rehabilitation program going. The penal system itself hasn't had any focus on rehabilitation for decades.

So this film has an opportunity to make human or to make inhuman the terrorists. I am dreadfully curious which road it will take.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

More photos -

Here are some new photos from the ranch.

That bright yellow stuff on the stump is some kind of fungus, I think. The slim branches are poison oak, before they leaf out in the spring. To be avoided!

Today the trees are waving in the wind. The soughing is soothing and peaceful to me.