Nyogtha, Volume I, Issue XXXII

You know, this week I’m covering something I didn’t really think fit the theme or mood of Nyogtha. But I’ve had over a dozen requests for this, and I supposed debunking the fact for fiction made up about this subject does count.

I’m talking about Scientology. Since Tom Cruise started becoming a little more “outspoken,” I’ve had people ask me if Scientology is really alien worship or why L Ron Hubbard came up with the concept, what Dianetics is, and so on. And so it makes to cover it this day, although I have a feeling in 3-4 months there may be another writer who will give you a much more involved answer than I will on this topic…

Scientology

Scientology was originally created by science fiction author, L Ron Hubbard. Now I’m not going to go into whether or not Scientology was created by L Ron after a large drinking session with other famous Sci-Fi writers and Scientology was formed as a joke/money making scheme/to show how stupid humanity really is, as most of that is heresay and babble, and there’s no written proof sadly. I think you can easily guess my opinion on that though.

What we do have written proof of is that in the 1940’s. Hubbard invented a new form of psychotherapy meant to replace the practice of Psychology. He called this school of thought Dianetics

L Ron believed that the true human being, which some may call the soul, but which Hubbard termed “Thetan,” although it has nothing to do with the actual Greek definition of that word, merely inhabited the flesh. Hubbard believed the physical body was not the natural state for the Thetan and that the natural abilities of the Thetan were weakened/lessened/disrupted by inhabiting flesh.

Hubbard also stated that the conscious mind was created by the Thetan as a stimulus response mechanism which takes the impressions of events and stimuli and sends them to the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is a pre-programmed computer of sorts which basically looks up the stimuli and gives the response that it is programmed to make. Basically in a nutshell, it seems that Hubbard implies we are all robots acting without free will. Only the Thetan has free will and it is unable to act properly while stuck in out physical form. However Hubbard does seem to indicate there is potential for free will/counter programming, but that this is a bad thing.

Along with other data that the conscious mind records for the Thetan, the reactive mind collects negative stimuli such as destruction, pain, grief, and other physical and mentally injuries that occur in one’s life. According to Dianetics, it is when the conscious mind reacts to the stimuli in ways counter to the subconscious programming, even greater acts of destructive and self-destructive behaviour occurs, which further blocks the ability of the Thetan to operate correctly in this fleshy form.

The purpose of Dianetics, according to Hubbard is to help a human being unlock their Thetan through a process he called auditing. Auditing is a form of psychotherapy in which the individual works with various techniques and pays for various seminars that force one to confront their counter-survival behaviors that the conscious mind will act with rather than listening to the proper programming of the subconscious mind. This is called Engrams, Engrams are usually done in one on one situations with an auditor (Scientologist psychologist), but occasionally they are done in groups.

Auditing is almost exactly like the Freudian concepts of abreactive theory. Abreactive theory is where Freud would identify and force the conscious mind to remember traumatic experiences that one had either blocked off or repressed, even though the painful stress and subconscious memories had accumulated.

However, here’s where Auditing diverges. In certain sessions, an auditor will have what is called an E-Meter. An E-meter is a device that measures the body’s resistance to a flow of electricity. Consider it a form of a lie detector. As one journey’s through these auditing session the E-Meter will eventually read that the subject is “Clear” of the engram. This means that the Engram is basically “cured”, and that the memories and trauma will no longer effect the individual who has been audited. This allows the Thetan a little more power and to function more as it was meant to.

Although Dianetcs was written in the 1940’s, it really began to take hold in the 1950’s when it was published under the title of Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. It instantly became a best-seller, and L-Ron Hubbard began churning out book after book about Dianetics with a Stephen King level of speed. Dianetics attracted a very sizeable audience, even though it was rejected strongly by the psychological and medical professionals.

Throughout the 1950’s, Hubbard took his Dianetics and developed new ideas about the Thetan, which began more and more to involve metaphysical and religious concepts. Hubbard created methods that would allow the Thetan to remove all the engrams holding it back, which would allow the Thetan to act as a completely free entity for the first time since it was trapped in flesh, and this includes allowing the Thetan to leave the body when needed.

In 1954, Hubbard took these new ideas and gave it a corresponding name to reflect the religious and metaphysical aspects he had added to Dianetics. He called it Scientology.

Dianetics, remained slightly separate, serving as an introduction to Scientology and also the first program a new Scientologist would embark upon to rid themselves of those nasty little engrams.

However, L-Ron began to focus more and more on Scientology, leaving Dianetics to change very little over the years.

Hubbard became obsessed with the concept of the “Post-clear individual,” or the free Thetan. Hubbard spent more and more time with his belief a pure Thetan could escape the physical body and that he believed that Thetans were actually eternal beings that for some reason he couldn’t fathom at the time, repeatedly sought embodiment in physical forms, even though this weakened their abilities. Hubbard also began to write that the Thetan had a relationship with the Divine and began to add a lot more teachings on concepts like a Scientology God and how a freed Thetan could interact with it.

Members of this newly completed Church of Scientology went through a process that is basically the same today. Each member goes through a clear and strict program of Dianetic auditing. The member goes through various levels of the program which Hubbard called OT (Operating Thetan) levels. Note that the writing of what each of these levels consists of is pretty much considered holy scripture to Scientologists and access to them is only achieved by being a church member who passes one OT level onto the next.

Why these aspects of Hubbards writings are considered private and not others is open for speculation. As well, there are web pages from ex Scientology members who describe what the levels are like, but again, as this is technically heresay and there is no proof (such as copies of the writings), I can’t include them here as that’s too close to being the potential of spreading an Urban Legend myself. However, I do advise the curious to go research for themselves on this topic. It’s very easy to find this information

In general, the Scientology program in seen by members as a slow and methodical cleansing of the destructive nature of the mind and all the engrams members believe they have created for themselves. The process also offers techniques for the Operating Thetan and with each step, the member is given a deeper and more “complex” understanding of Scientology in regards to the universe, the divine, and the Thetan’s role in it all.

Like I mentioned earlier, ex members of the Church have written many books and web sites on what these teachings and secret practices are. However the church stated regularly that these are warped and distorted versions of the inner teachings meant to defame their practices and make them look like nuts. So again, due to the controversy of potentially spreading falsities, I suggest searching online.

Since these books have been written, the Church of Scientology has gone to almost extreme paranoid steps to prevent the spread of the confidential writings made by Hubbard to non members of the religion.

The Church of Scientology has been embroiled in controversy since it began. Hubbard and the church have attacked the concept of Psychiatry since it began, ironic as a good portion of the Church’s teachings are steeped in Freudian concepts. Hubbard called Psychiatry barbaric due to the use of electroshock therapy and lobotomies. Of note is also the Church of Scientology’s hard line stance against mind-altering drugs. The church is also heavily active in starting government protests, in regards to suppression of political activism and religious discrimination towards America’s “Anything but Christianity is bad” policy.

At the same time, the US Government has repeated sued the Church for their illegally practicing medicine without a license. The Government also pointed out the Church did not deserve tax-free status for the fact it ran itself more like a business than a religion, due to internal policy systems, and how it would charge for religious “auditing.”

In 1962, The controversy over Scientology and its proper status in the religious hierarchy caused the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to seize all known E-meters. The FDA claimed that these devices were not approved by them and that Scientologists used them to diagnose and heal diseases instead of proper conventional medicine. After a decade of litigation and court battles, the Church of Scientology won and the E-Readers were returned. However this was only the first of MANY court battles that would occur between branches of the United States Government and the Church of Scientology.

The other big court battles was decades of the Government claiming Scientology did not deserve tax-free status like other religions, labeling a scam and a scheme, whereas Scientologists insisted their beliefs were as genuine as any Christian, Muslim, Jew or Buddhist. In the early 1990’s, the Church of Scientology finally won this case as well.

Although in the 1940’s, Hubbard tried to pass off Dianetics as a scientific school of thought intended to oppose psychotherapy, Scientology has now gone a full 180 and claims their teachings are purely religious in nature. Scientology also gives the claim it is fully integratable with modern medical science, which once it opposes, and it now actively recruits doctors and dentists into its ranks. Psychiatry is still Scientology’s arch-enemy however and the church is active in admitting it tries to destroy the credibility of that science. As one could see from say, Tom Cruise’s recent commentary.

There’s a lot more that one could get into in regards to Scientology, such as L-Ron Hubbard being forcibly removed from the religion, but that’s a side note that really doesn’t discuss the inner workings of the church. Merely the fact that like all religions, greed and politics come into play and show the dark side of organized faith.

As I’ve said repeatedly, if you want to get into the “He said/she said” aspects of this very controversial religion, there’s always books like Enquiry and the Practice and Effects of Scientology or numerous websites that expose the inner workings of the religion. But remember to take it with a grain of salt, as Scientologists claim those websites distort what they actually teach and/or have only partial gleanings of info. But trust me, these sites are a complete hoot to read.

Cooking

As it’s been 100 or so degrees this weekend in Minneapolis, I felt it would be a neat idea to focus on the best kind of food one can have in this type of weather: ICE CREAM!
Actually, it’s not ice cream per say that we will be making by Gelato. The only real way gelato differs from ice cream is in the fact Gelato has 2-8% fat while North American ice cream is 10-30% fat as it is made with cream. Gelatos are made with milk or soy milk. Gelato is thus better for you and to many, it has a stronger flavour and creamier texture. I always find people telling me that funny, because fat hold in flavour better and Ice Cream is automatically creamier than Gelato because well…it has CREAM IN IT.

Because United States law says that in order for something to be labeled Ice Cream, it must be at least 10% fat, this recipe is appropriately called

Dark Chocolate Gelato

Ingredients

4 large egg yolks
One-half cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-fine sugar
2 and one-fourth cups WHOLE Milk. Do NOT try skim or 1/2%
3 and one-half ounces bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
One-Half cup unsweetened cocoa

1. In a heatproof bowl, beat the egg yolks with an electric whisk and add one-half cup sugar until thick and creamy. Gently heat the milk in a saucepan to a NEAR boiling point, then pour into the bowl with the egg mixture, beating well.

2. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. B eat the melted chocolate into the egg mixture, followed by the cocoa. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and stir with a wooden spoon until the bubble deflate and the mixture coats the back of the spoon. Remove from the heat.

3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, make a caramel by combining 2 tablespoons of sugar with 2 tablespoons of water. Boil the mixture until it turns dark amber in colour, swirling the saucepan as it darkens. When it reaches 350 degrees F/180 degrees C on a sugar thermometer, it is ready.

4. Whisk the caramel into the chocolate until smooth; it will sizzle. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and cool. Leave in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, then churn in an ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Serve or transfer to a freezer Container, cover the surface with waxed paper or foil and put it in the freezer.

13 Plugs

Go check out my review of Riviera: the Promised Land! Awful, awful game.

In Games, A-Will vents about ITG vs DDR, and Tom N reviews Killer 7.

In Comics, Hatton reviews a House of M title, while Jessie Baker covered the TPB of X-Men vs Avengers.

In Music, Gloomchen talks a lotta goth, and Fernandez turns 100. But he has come down with severe liver spots.

In Figures, Batesman shows up Corpse Bride figures, and PK goes Phantasm!

In Wrestling, Gordi and David Ditch say goodbye to Shinya Hashimoto. I had to break out Touken Restuden 4 and use Shinya in a 4 way dance against Don Frye, Onita, and Stan Hansen in a “Oops! I don’t think they were supposed to bump like that” match.

What? I was a UWF/AWA/New Japan/All Japan mark as a kid. Matt Hardy plugs can be found all over the rest of the site.

In Movies, McCullar reports on AMC refusing to carry The Aristocrats. It’s a lot funner when you read the article and change Aristocrats to AristoCATS.

In TV, John Duran is a mincing Pedophile.

Closing

Another week, another column. We’ve coming close to the one year anniversary of the site, and I think we’ll have to mark that occasion in a very special manner…