Psychology


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We know that Scientology uses a myriad of techniques in order to lure unsuspecting victims into their “church”. Free stress tests are probably the most common, but even more manipulative methods exist. Narconon is a Scientology front posing as a substance abuse treatment program. The audacity of such a group, one that prohibits any form of psychiatric medicine, using completely unscientific methods to treat very serious conditions, all for the sake of gaining members for their “church” and ultimately making more money. There a few activities more distasteful than this. Just take a look at the extent of the criticisms of their approach.

Well, today I learned of yet another Scientology front. LITE is an English school for foreigners. Here and here you will find an expansive list of the “church’s” schools worldwide.

The LITE program in the Czech Republic states:
“The study technology of L. Ron Hubbard addresses these issues. It’s the first truly functional technology, enabling you to study and understand any subject. It’s not mechanical studying, but true understanding of the material and the ability to use in practice what one has learned.”

Here is what academic researchers think of the “Study Tech“:

  • In a paper entitled The Hidden Message in L. Ron Hubbard’s “Study Tech”‘, Professor David S. Touretzky, Principal Scientist in the Computer Science Department and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition at Carnegie Mellon University and historian and researcher Chris Owen. MBE, claim that ‘study technology’ is a disguised effort to proselytize for the Church of Scientology. “Scientology jargon and religious beliefs . . . are inseparable from Study Tech.”
  • Harvard psychiatrist Dr. John Clark said that the Scientology methods of learning comes to: “Train the child to be either a willing subject of tyranny or to be a tyrant himself.”

Although the media has begun to cover Scientology in the United States and England, their activities are not yet widely known around the rest of the world. The Scientology schools capitalize on people’s lack of awareness and their desire to learn English. Posters and advertisements promoting the LITE school can be found in public transport stations and elsewhere. Several prominent Czech newspapers (Dnes, Metro) have written articles promoting the school probably unbeknownst to its connection to Scientology.

Here is a site in Czech that deals with some of the controversies surrounding the Lite School.

I was intrigued by the following video, which reminded me of Grant Morrison’s comment about how civilization is a process going through what Stanislav Grof has dubbed the Basic Perinatal Matrices. In other words, a birthing process.

I followed a link and the end of the first video to find the following. It’s an interesting, well produced piece that I mostly agree with.

The previous video then directed me to this website: Perceiving Reality Watch the flash in full.

Although I don’t agree with absolutely everything, it’s not a bad explanation of how most of us (myself included) exist in our day to day lives. It’s not a bad take on the notion of “reality tunnels” we’ve discussed at length here at Animam Recro. My problem with what has been said is that it’s an overly positive take on the nature of reality. For practical purposes, this is an excellent and very functional way of operating, but nature can destroy and take away just as much as it can “bestow”. I love the production quality yet couldn’t get the sensation out of my head that I was being sold something.

It turns out the site is a promotional piece for the Bnei Baruch Learning Center. And in fact, I wasn’t being sold anything, at least not something I had to pay for. This website offers free online Kabbalah lessons to anyone with the time and interest. It’s open to everyone and claims to not promote any religion, accepting individuals of all backgrounds. Hey, at least it’s not The Secret, right?

Here is a video description of what the institute offers. This is also where I have a few qualms with the program.

I’m always wary of certain phrases and ideas in teachings such as this. First, in my view it’s the unnecessary emphasis on “authenticity”. The use of this concept is maybe one of the oldest marketing tools known to man. We don’t want to follow an unauthentic system, we want the REAL thing. What does that even mean? Next comes the obligatory reference (on their website) to an unbroken chain of teachers that have passed down the teachings throughout history. We really need to get over this kind of talk. Everyone claims this, even Zen Buddhism goes back to the flower sermon, right? As teachings age, their connection to past teachers should not be used as a form of legitimization. The proof is in the pudding as they say. It either works or it doesn’t, you either follow it or you don’t.

Second, the following phrases also make me worrisome:

“…find out who you really are.”
“…learn the real rules of the game.”
“…a unique illumination revealed only through the study of authentic Kabbalah texts.”
“…an illumination that reveals your life’s true purpose.”

These wordings work like a magnet on individuals looking for meaning in their life. The problem is that when you build up a teaching like this and someone dives into it, the person may often come out equally blocked off to the world as when they entered it. The path of spirituality is a winding one, you never know where someone may get stuck and how they discern their current state to be “who they really are”.

And of course, as a teaching you always have to claim that you offer something that no one else in the market has to offer. But criticisms aside, this may be actually one of the best spirituality programs online I’ve had a chance to glance at. The fact that it’s free, rather technologically advanced, and promotes notions that are pretty spot on, it makes me want to learn more.

I hereby announce a challenge! I think Pavel and I should download a few of these free lecture videos, watch them and make a podcast for discussion. What do you think?

The University of Bristol Psychopharmacology Unit has made a web-based questionnaire designed to investigate aspects of recreational drug use. The questionnaire takes approximately 25 minutes to fill out. The questionnaire is entirely anonymous although some of the questions are of a personal nature. Your responses will be securely stored and you do not need to give any personally identifiable information.

If you are interested in taking the survey, please click here.

Thank you very much for your kind assistance with this project

Here is the second part of our podcast. We discuss other significant activities on our blog such as the Fellowship of Friends, prescription psycho-pharmacology, media, conspiracy theories, Scientology and more.

The volume on the recording is low, so be prepared to turn it up.

Listen

The Monochromatic Knight and Pavel a.k.a The Sheik

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