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  1. dante

    dante New Member

    I'm developing a PhD proposal. My thesis (under construction) is to explore the literary basis of both Dianetics and Scientology, examining the SF work of LRH and contemporaries, links with Thelema (Crowley) and pre-1950's psychiatry (Sargant et al). I'm looking for an original concept and I don't want to simply rehash work done by authors such as Atack, Miller et al. Can anyone suggest a line of enquiry which has not been extensively explored or perhaps lacks a more academic approach? email dante.alighieri2@aol.co.uk
     
  2. dchoiceisalwaysrs

    dchoiceisalwaysrs Gold Meritorious Patron

    Hi Dante,
    How about the mechanisms of literary and psuedo- literary rhetoric and their outcomes.
    The era, milieu, and character of the various contributors.
    The caliber of literacy and critical thinking skills of the overall marketplace and a comparison to that of the reached consumers as the era evolved.
    Those might be a informative foundation, where that information and its accuracy along with your unbiased measuring stick could yield a paper of merit.
    What doctorate are you doing this for?



     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
  3. Jump

    Jump Operating teatime

    Perhaps you could examine the Scientology Tone Scale

    * Friendly disposition
    * Concern
    * Manipulation
    * Lies
    * Extortion
    * Blackmail
    * Enantiodromia
    * Despair

    And all the while keeping up VGI's so as not to lose one's eternity ...

    :clap:
     
  4. Free to shine

    Free to shine Shiny & Free

    Perhaps the actual outcomes of that within scientology families and how they operate, as well as attitudes towards sex. Bearing in mind the 50's and 60's are mostly when the rhetoric was set in stone and Hubbard's words and policies have to be followed decades later despite any changes and evolution in society.

    This has not been deeply explored.
     
  5. dante

    dante New Member

    Hi. Thanks for your response. Well, it started out as English Lit/SF Genre but I wanted move away from literary criticism, so it's rather become Cultural studies. I have a side-interest in Scientology (I am not an ex-scientologist) which prompted some initial research into LRH. In essence then, the question I want to ask is "how does one invent a religion?" It's impossible to ignore the obvious links between the SF elements of Scientology theology and the fact that LRH was, amongst other things, a writer of SF. I can also see links between Dianetics and the work of contemporary (to 1950) writers in the field of psychiatry, and elements of the Thelemite religion. There are interesting historical links between LRH and Aleister Crowley (another character who interests me greatly). The trouble is I don't want to cover ground already explored without adding something original to the mix, but the subject is so vast that it's a big commitment to determine what has and has not been effectively researched.
     
  6. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    After you've done some narrowing down you could post a "short list" of possible topics. It doesn't really matter if this list has five or thirty items on it, although the fewer items on it the easier the next step. Then the posters here could give links to (etc) existing research (etc) -- or not if they don't know of any -- on those topics. Some people here know a great deal about ancillary subjects relating to Hubbard and Scientology. The absence of response wouldn't mean that topic hasn't been researched before, but it's a starting point.

    Paul
     
  7. oneonewasaracecar

    oneonewasaracecar Gold Meritorious Patron

    How does one 'invent' a religion?

    That is a very broad question and I don't really know how you would go about answering it (unless you were planning to start one :coolwink:).

    From what you have written, it appears the question you have started to answer is what are the origins of Scientology. Sadly, there has been a lot done on this. The character Xemu is a Marvel comic character and the story came out after a recent very large volcanic eruption and at a time when alien implants were big in Science fiction.

    There are a few things that have never been done academically that I would love to see done. Most of them are in the domain of psychology and include:
    - Studies of the long term of the effects of Scientology on the mind
    - Studies of the methods of psychological control
    - An analysis of Hubbard's psychology
    - A commentary on the parallel's between the Stanford Prison Experiment and the dawn of the Sea Organization.

    The list is not comprehensive.

    There are a few subjects which are probably more in the direction of literature and culture which have not been explored, and one of them overlaps with your original question.

    How are language and ideas used to manufacture a reality which is able to alter people's behaviour?

    This is a fruitful area. Scientology uses language in many ways to construct a distorted world view which makes sense of the distorted lives of Scientologists. The alienating language starts the process of disconnection from others but it is worse than just that.

    Scientology changes people's language to the point where you can say 'I am going to audit you so I can clear your bank,' and the Scientologist will not bat an eyelid.

    Scientologists are told that missing a withhold is out ethics - Translation: if you are interrogating someone, you have to find whatever it is they are hiding and document it. The person collecting the information doesn't really understand that the instructions are meant to facilitate blackmail, but in reality they do. It is not unlike a story by Isaac Asimov where some robots, which are unable to kill a human are able to to so by being given separate instructions the sum of which lead to a murder.

    Such a topic could also cover Hubbard's use of PR. You could look at the correlation between the actions of the Guardian's office and Ron's journal 67. Although Hubbard encouraged government infiltration as early as 1960, the Guardian's office was formed in 1966 and Operation Snow White commenced in the early 70s. This tape was apparently played at the orgs, so it was not just for Guardian's Office staff. This was a pep talk meant for all Scientologists, as Hubbard prepared to ramp up his covert operations against all of his enemies - the US government in particular.

    On second thought an interesting variation on that might be to look at translating a series of Scientology statements, claims, PR releases into English and looking at the way meaning is specifically distorted. You could let the reader draw their own conclusions on what it does to the mind.

    This would also allow you to limit the scope of what you are trying to do, which I suspect is going to be important for you given the scope of Scientology.
     
  8. dchoiceisalwaysrs

    dchoiceisalwaysrs Gold Meritorious Patron

    Oh I see. Now the subject has now shifted over to a focus on Cultural sub- study of sociology. I really am at a loss to figure out if "the religion angle " discussed with Helen O'Brien will also be included which the often evasive elcon was going to include in his vast outpouring of fiction ,sub- category dianetics and science ---erh I mean Scientology which he stated is not a religion
    I think Hubbard must have lost his way looking for characteristics of god and proof thereof as other than denigrating god,religion,philosophy and homo saps,I can only recall at best perhaps a handful of, hisself Very Authoritative OT rise above the lowly reactive human mind, bluffing. Remember he apparently possessed a Dr of Divinity along side his Physicist degree.
    There are clues however which you might want to build 'something new' upon like the Only Source altitude of manic megalomaniacs and their tendency to aggrandize various memes and tactics used by other manipulators ,toy around with them upon dupes who misplaced their trust in the proclaimed altruistic but fraudulent practice of bag of tricks.
    Excuse me for asking, but to what degree are you a scientologist and which books about Scientology by non-scientologist have you read and oh that first question of mine when will you answer it?

     
  9. dante

    dante New Member

    I am not a Scientologist, nor am I an ex-Scientologist. My interest in Scientology has, up until now, been entirely personal. My particulat interest is in science fiction. I suspect that most of the books I have read about Scientology are by ex-Scientologists. I am by no means an expert, just interested. Because of this interest it was my intention to focus on the works of LRH pre-1950s but in order to avoid spending the next three years immersed in the critical idiom I would prefer to follow my nose/heart and examine the literary basis of Dianetics & Scientology. As it happens another side-interest I have is in Aleister Crowley, and consequently the link between Crowley and Hubbard is of particular interest to me. That's where I'm coming from, and hopefully that's where I'm going. Your comments on the subject have been very much appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
  10. Jump

    Jump Operating teatime

    Crowley said that 'will' was everything.

    Hubbard took that to heart and almost everything he willed came to pass...

    in most of his admirers

    adulation
    manipulation
    domination
    subjugation
    ruination

    Until his own ruination. He admitted he failed, then after hiding from the law for over a decade conspired to orchestrate his own suicide.
     
  11. RogerB

    RogerB Crusader

    Well, Dante . . .

    Here is a thought. I see a review of the recent book by Steve Cannane: Fair Game: The Incredible Untold Story of Scientology in Australia on Amazon.com a review titled:

    A Journalist's Impeccable Research Reveals the Hidden Dark and Dangerous Secrets of the Practice of Scientology's Jihad

    So, it strikes me that a wonderful and insightful basis of a thesis would be along the lines of "How did it come to be that an old Sci Fi writer was able to create a cult that is now waging a Jihad against all others in their society: how is it that sensible peoples can be led to support such actions in the modern day world?"

    What say ye? And what say ye all?

    https://www.amazon.com/Fair-Game-in...&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=recent#RETC5YLGJTJYM
    /
     
  12. George Layton

    George Layton Silver Meritorious Patron

    How about The Scientology Family Tree?

    Dianetics near the roots, (hubbard's workings while building up to it) the scientology base, and all the branching out of the "techs" that expanded out of it. Those scientologists that went with different ideas they arrived at from the dealings with scientology, ranging from something like Paul's Robot (taking the bad out of tech) to eckankar, that merged ideas from scientology with shabd yoga, and everything in between.
     
  13. TheOriginalBigBlue

    TheOriginalBigBlue Gold Meritorious Patron

    Any Scientology Tree must at least start with Metteya....

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maitreya

    L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the belief systems Dianetics and Scientology, suggested he was "Metteya" (Maitreya) in the 1955 poem Hymn of Asia. Numerous editors and followers of Hubbard claim that in the book's preface, specific physical characteristics said to be outlined—in unnamed Sanskrit sources—as properties of the coming Maitreya; properties which Hubbard's appearance supposedly aligned with.
    _____
    It is my understanding that the Church has determined that Hymn of Asia is no longer worthy of being published but you can get a copy on Amazon for under $4.00 if you hurry and it seems there is an audio version but if it isn't in LRH's authentic voice or narrated by a famous celebrity I'd pass.
     
  14. Anonycat

    Anonycat Crusader

    How do you start a church? It's amazingly easy. Here's a funny 20 minute lesson about exactly that, as well as hustling money from that "religious" organization. Mr. Oliver even makes his own religion, and says exactly how it was done.

    [video=youtube;7y1xJAVZxXg]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7y1xJAVZxXg[/video]
     
  15. Veda

    Veda Sponsor

    Sounds like you're trying to have someone else do your school work for you.
     
  16. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    And how does such a thesis get challenged when there are no academics at the institution awarding the degree who will know much about it? I hadn't thought about it, but doesn't one's supervisor go over possible thesis topics with the candidate at the outset?

    Paul
     
  17. phenomanon

    phenomanon Gold Meritorious Patron


    It sounds very interesting.
    You should be able to find info here about the connections that you are interested in.
     
  18. phenomanon

    phenomanon Gold Meritorious Patron

    This seems to a factual scale for those who were in the Sea Org.
    This was not factually true of those who remained "Public Scn'ists", or Non-SO.
    It is also not factual for those of us who were members before the madness became untenable.
     
  19. Udarnik

    Udarnik Gold Meritorious Patron

    The socio-linguistics of thought-stopping phraseology has not been fully explored.

    From a cultural studies point of view, $cientologists speak as if they are in a time warp, using turns of phrase that were common in the 30s and 40s (sometimes into the 50s), but now sound anachronistic. They also use a vernacular that is peppered with neologisms that are distortions of known productive suffixes (beingness, knowingness, havingness, etc.) .

    The ultimate purpose of this linguistic activity was to develop a shorthand in the $cientologist's brain that shifted thought onto a learned paradigm whenever a topic is broached that may lead one to think critically about $cientology. But it grew organically out of the way Hubbard wrote for the pulps.

    You could even conduct a survey with Exes on the more bizarre phrases and words to see which ones they had trouble "word clearing" at the beginning of their time in the cult, to see if there is a pattern to which ones stand out.

    The exchange of perfectly good words for neologisms, and the enforced use of anachronistic phrases served two purposes - it served to help indoctrinate the new member by forcing them to think about the form, rather than the substance, of what they were learning, and to linguistically isolate them from the WOG world.
     
  20. Gib

    Gib Crusader

    cool. I started down that path and created a tread here:

    http://www.forum.exscn.net/showthread.php?38446-Dean-Wilbur-Rhetoric-Hubbard-dianetics-sicientology

    Hubbard was influenced by his Dean Wilbur book English Rhetoric. Later on Hubbard tells Heinlein about some books he read, here is the post I made:

    http://www.forum.exscn.net/showthre...sicientology&p=1058047&viewfull=1#post1058047

    http://www.forum.exscn.net/showthre...sicientology&p=1058062&viewfull=1#post1058062

    What influenced Hubbard is important, it's part of the "warp and woof" of scientology. There are others who have investigated the rhetoric of scientology, one can do a google search, here's one, but I do not think they know of the proof I provided in my tread:

    https://www.researchgate.net/public...r_Scientology_and_the_Rhetoric_of_Consumerism

    Le Bon's work is important in that his study of crowds, a group or cult, is actually a blueprint of how to create one, although he was communicating what he observed.

    I'm glad to hear that somebody will go down the literary route, after all Hubbard said he was just a writer first and foremost. I'm more than willing to answer your questions or give my POV.
     

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