According to STAND League blogger Rodger Clark “At this point it’s safe to say that nothing and no one in recent history has received a more intense, relentless and sustained public smear campaign than the Church of Scientology, the religion itself and its founder, L. Ron Hubbard.”
Apparently Rodger hasn’t heard of Donald Trump, Brexit or Boris Johnson.
Clark’s article, entitled Inside Scientology: The Art of Critical Thinking claims that Scientology teaches one how to arrive at the truth through critical thinking. He states that it all boils down to one, simple question.
Is it true?
One assumes Clark is alluding to the allegations made against Scientology which, of course he believes are all untrue. Denial is one of the most important lessons a Scientologist learns after all.
The author makes several incongruous statements in his piece. He states that one must question if something is true, yet removes anyway for one to make an educated and informed conclusion. It’s almost as if Clark is telling us to somehow discern fact from fiction without any basis.
“Now, the moment you ask that question about everything you’ve been taught and think you know—about what ‘everyone’ thinks and popular opinion—you may find yourself in a great state of confusion. But keep asking the question anyway and you will start to sort things out for yourself without having to rely on other people, the media, ‘experts’ and ‘authorities’ to judge whether or not something is true. You will rapidly begin to develop your own skill.”
This is an interesting comment given that any time one engages a Scientologist in a discussion about their beliefs or abuses the Scientologist demands proof. One certainly would never get away with responding “I sorted this out for myself!”
It is intimated in this article that the author is asking people to disbelieve everything that has been revealed about COS over the last few years. He hints that if one only applies critical thinking skills to the issue, by questioning what they’ve heard, they will come to realize that all of the allegations are not true.
He goes on to state, “Critical thinking requires that the truth be the most important thing to you. Not emotions or opinions. Not your ego or self-importance. Not what your family or other people think. Not what popular opinion is. Not your likes, hates, politics, -isms, discontents and prejudices—not the way you think things should be, but the way things actually are.”
This is both ironic as well as hypocritical.
Is not Scientology the result of the opinions, thoughts and even politics of one man? How does one decide that the statements made by L. Ron Hubbard are actually the way things are? If the truth is the most important thing to the exclusion of all else, then why is applying critical thinking to his writings taboo?
The viewers of The Aftermath heard from former members of the cult who shared their experiences. These stories were not hearsay or rumor.
They were first hand experiences, truths achieved by people who did indeed question, is this true?
Is it true that I must live in silence and shame? Is it true that I pulled the abuse in? Is it true that this life is for the greater good?
Every person who has spoken out questioned and thought deeply about their circumstances and they all ultimately came to the same conclusion.
Scientology is a cult. It perpetrates abuses, crimes and dark dishonesty.
Interestingly, one can look at those who have escaped and see in practice some of what he preaches.
“Critical thinking requires a willingness to find out that you were wrong. Even completely wrong. That everyone you know has been wrong. It requires knowing that you don’t know, admitting that you don’t know and then finding out. Then, it requires a willingness to change what you found out and what you concluded if true information is presented that does not match what you thought was true.”
This one statement proves that Mr Clark knows nothing about practicing critical thinking. No Scientologist does.
They are in no way open to even the slightest possibility that they are wrong, that they have been led astray. There is no openness to change in Scientology. Never an admission of error or misunderstanding.
Clark says one must use critical thinking and question if something is true, yet Scientologists neither question what they are told nor are they open enough to even consider an alternate fact.
Even more outrageously he goes on to say, “It takes a very humble person to admit that, compared to the truth, they don’t matter. Their status, popularity, even their very existence doesn’t matter. They will be gone one day. The truth will live on and last forever.”
Here is some critical thinking; Scientology teaches that one returns over and over, not that he will be gone one day. So linear is one’s eternal timeline that Hubbard expected those under him to “remember” skills from former lives in order to accomplish their duties in the current one.
Even today members are told that when something bad happens to them it is because they pulled it in on themselves due to crimes in either this life or one before.
One would also argue that since the First Dynamic asserts that Man is driven to survive, his existence matters very much.
In order for one to defend a belief system one must have a certain level of understanding of those beliefs. That understanding does indeed come from questioning not from blind acceptance to the exclusion of all else.
With this article, Rodger Clark neither lays out a case for a dismissal of the allegations made against Scientology nor does he show an understanding of what critical thinking is or how it works.
He did get one thing correct, however.
The truth will live on forever.