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Former Scientologist explains Scientology | Aaron Smith-Levin and Lex Fridman

Uncovering the Reactive Mind: Investigating L. Ron Hubbards Dianetics

  • Dianetics is a mental health science created by L. Ron Hubbard
  • The reactive mind is a collection of recordings of moments of pain and unconsciousness, which Hubbard called engrams
  • Dianetics originally only acknowledged the incident of birth as an engram, but later included the idea of past lives
  • The reactive mind is a stimulus response mechanism meant to protect the individual from things that would bring about pain and unconsciousness, but has become harmful rather than beneficial over time
  • Auditing therapy is used to recall these engrams in order to erase them and consequently remove their power over the individual.

Exploring the Controversy Around Scientologys Theta Universe and its Abstract Forms

  • The Church of Scientology does not believe in the same concept of an engram as Dianetics
  • Instead, with the introduction of an immortal spiritual being, the earliest incident could be trillions of years ago in other galaxies and universes
  • Hubbard proposed that there is a Theta Universe (made up of thetan power) which is senior to the physical universe and creates it
  • From Plato, these abstract forms are used to construct reality
  • Cults can be convincing and some ideas sound beautiful but go wrong
  • When discussing Scientology one should be fair and accurate and work to understand why people in or out of Scientology embrace its ideals.

30 Years of Scientology: Interview With Long-Time Member and Escapee Who is Helping Others

  • The subject of the interview has been a member of the Church of Scientology for 30 years
  • They were taken out of school at 12 to work for the organization in various capacities
  • They now help run an organization that helps people escape from Scientology and have had a great amount of success
  • They also have a YouTube channel where they educate people on their experiences.

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let's do a full overview of Scientologyit's ideas how it operates how it wieldsits power and influence and let's startat the very Basics what is ScientologyScientology is a belief systemcreated by lren Hubbardthat does fundamentally believe that weare all Immortal Spiritual Beingscalled thetansthat we havenative god-like potentialthat there is nothing more powerful inthe universe than a thetan like soGodlike is you know quite literal hereand that through variousdecisions things have made they havefallen away from their native god-likepowertwo uh fallen down to a state where mostthings aren't even aware that they arethetans aren't even aware that they everhave lived before or have these powersand that things are now in a state wherethey're trapped in bodies trapped hereon Earth uh trapped in this prison of aphysical Universe trapped on this prisonof a planetand that only Scientology can restoreethane to its native state are thesemultiple beings like is there one Sataninside of me that's trapped in thisprison well the thing would be youthe thing would be me the thetan is youbut I'm presumably Limited in somefundamental way so this statement thatis me is is limited so there's likeeight billion satans on the planetthere's one primary thing in animatingeach bodylater in Scientology you learn there'sactually like tens of thousands orhundreds of thousands of like sickunconscious half dead face and stuck toyou that are now an additional cause ofproblems for you sure but fundamentallyat the lower levelsthe non-confidential levels there's justone thing per bodywell I mean it's an interesting idea Ijust would like to kind of explorethe philosophy of that so there's abeing that's all powerful that'simmortaland its projectionist manifestation onthis Earth isfundamentally Limited and you're tryingto uh the process of Scientology is theprocess of letting go of thoselimitationsyou know that's an interesting idea Imean a lot of religions have this kindof idea that there's uh not justreligions but like we have the capacityas human beings to do to achievegreatness in all kinds of ways yeah andthat's the question we have with ourcognitive abilities we start with theembryo and build up and into thisorganism and like this world ofopportunities before us what are wecapable of and the idea that we'recapable of almost anything is a reallypowerful one and there's a lot ofreligions there's a lot of philosophiesthere's a lot of advice self-help thatkind of explores those ideas and so init seems like with Scientology this theapplication of these religiousphilosophy means that there's we'relimited and we'll have to break thethrough those limitations and there's aprocess to break through thoselimitations that would be correct sowhat can make it challenging toadequately and completely describeScientology in the beginning is whatscientologists believe actually changesas they progressfurther into or further up inScientologysoum the explanation is I've given it ispretty consistent with what you wouldget at the lowest levels righturethane I'm a thetan everyone's athetanand we have a reactive mindI'll run Hubbard would say the reactivemind is a collection of uh theserecordings mental recordings of anymoments of pain and unconsciousnessyou've ever had in your life it's likethe subconscious minduh it's always recording in moments ofpain and unconsciousness and that theseare called uh these recordings are RonHubbard called them engrams now when nowRon Hubbard first wrote Dianetics in1950 this was before Scientology camealong a couple years later right so in1950 when you wrote Dianeticsit wasn't a spiritual Endeavor it wassupposed to be a mental health a scienceof Mental Healthsoas of that time the earliest engram youcould have was the incident of birthbeing born was an engramand technically in Dianetics they saidyou could have prenatal engrams likewhen you're still in the womb but therewas no concept of past lives as of 1950version of Dianetics rightand so the idea there was thatuh the reactive mind is essentially astimulus response mechanismcreated through Evolution millions ofyears ago to protect the individual fromthings that would harm them in otherwords things that would bring about painand unconsciousness so you have theserecordings of things that hurt youcreated pain and unconsciousness and inpresent time these things will reactupon you in a way to cause you to avoidsimilar things reacting upon you in asubconscious unconscious way so thereactive mind protects youfrom the trauma that is inside yoursubconscious mind yes and the idea iswe've now as human beings evolve to astate where it no longer serves usbeneficially it only serves usnegativelythis was Harvard's Theory and he saysyou can get rid of these engrams by youknow basically recalling them and goingover them again and again usingDianetics auditing therapy and if youget back to the moment of birth anderase the earliest engram all the othersubsequent engrams on the Chain wouldvanish oh nice so there's a changeearlier similar earlier similar earliersimilar early similar okayso that gives you a pretty goodunderstanding of how elrond Hubbardthought of the mind because that carrieson has applicability later on inScientology I mean that's a prettypowerful model of the mind I mean Freudhad similar conceptions that a lot ofour traumas are grounded insort of uhpoor formulation of sexuality orimperfect formulation of sexuality nochildhood something like this and thenwe're trying to figure out the puzzlewhatever we formed in early childhoodright and it's similar similar kind ofit is similar that's probably whatHubbard took it fromum in the early days of Dianetics beforehe decided Psychiatry was evil uh heactually credited Sigmund Freud withsome of the shoulders he was standing onin writing Dianetics so the so he stilladmired Psychiatry at that time sothat's an interesting moment ofDianetics so what else you mentionedDynex auditing was there too so if wejust before Scientology what what arethe ideas that formed what we know asDianetics as I've just described that isthe fundamental at least that is prettymuch the nuts and bolts of dinetics wasit applied was it applied often oh yeahno that's what Dynex in the early dayswas all about was just auditing auditingis the process of the one-on-onecounseling recall a moment of pain andunconsciousness run through the engramover and over and over again findsomething earlier Simo that is dianeticsauditing one of the main things thatchanged with Scientology is that birthor prenatal ingrams were no longer theearliest engrams on the Chain yeah theidea is you have to get the earliestengram on the chain for the later onesto blow which is a raceand so but all of a sudden now with theuh addition of an immortal spiritualbeing into the equation well now theearliest incident could be trillions ofyears ago in other galaxies anduniverses other universes so before theorigin of this universe yes is there amodel of physics integrated in any ofthis nothe model is you have the physicaluniverseand then above that you have the Thetauniverse so we use the word thingearlier so in Scientology let's use wordThetaI don't know theta's just basicallythetan power Satan's collectivelyso Hubbard would say you have the ThetaUniverse which is senior to the physicaluniverse and creates the physicaluniverse and remember I said I saidnative god-like potentials so we're nottalking about the God who created theEarth we're just like scientologistsdon't believe in a God but we'll getinto that lateruh we're talking about just creatinguniverses like just think like Matrixlike just when I say creating Universeessentially just creating differentthings simulationsbut it sounds like a little bit morelike the ideas of Plato which is there'sthese platonic forms there's abstractforms that arebigger more General than our particularreality here and those forms are used toconstruct the reality well I grew up ina cult so I'm not familiar with theworks of Plato[Laughter]you can't use that as an excuse foreverythingI would like to you know non-jokinglyyeah Steel Man the case because a lot ofphilosophies a lot of religions a loteven scientific endeavorsare a little bit full of uh uncertaintyyou can call it [ __ ] but they'reyou're on on sturdy ground because we'resurrounded by mystery and you have totake these ideassomewhat seriously and see where thoseideas go wrong this happens withCommunism this happens with capitalismthese ideas sound beautiful in theirideal forms and then they somehow gowrong and some go more wrong than othersand so I don't think sort of it's easytosort of caricature and make fun of theideas I think if we take them seriouslyyou'll start to understand like whenyou're in it it was serious uh it can bevery convincing it's you know the thedevil is going to be a charismaticperson he's not going to be a caricatureof ridiculous person so that that helpsus understand which ideasuh will sound appealing but will becomedangerous I totally agree in fact it'sone of thethrusts uh I have on my channel iswanting to talk about scientology in away that would actually resonate withcurrent scientologists yeah not justresonate with former scientologists Iwant people who are still in to be ableto hear how I talk about it and go wowhe's being really fair and reallyaccurate he's not just a hater you knowwhat I mean if you look at the you knowlet's take one of the worst places onEarth is North Korea uh you have KimJong-un and the reality is there's a lotof citizens of that nation that deeplylovethe leaderbecause they've grew up in that way andyou I mean through fear through allkinds of manipulation through propagandaand so on they're not allowed to lovemembers of their own family they're notallowed to have romantic love they'reonly allowed to have love for the leaderand to reach those people you have toempathize with the fact that in theireyes in some sense this is a great manthis is a god a Messianic figure youcan't just make fun ofthe Ridiculousness of the situation thatthis this pudgy person Waltzing aroundcreating propaganda like how is this afunny haircut with a funny haircut likeit's so easy and Hitler too to make funof to make a caricature of the personbut this is a real person a real personthat influenced the minds of millions ofpeople in the case of Hitler uh you knowtens of millions of people and andcreated a huge amount of suffering notbecause ofum the caricature version but because hewas a charismatic leader he was somebodythat people deeply deeply loved and thatjust over time I mean with uh the abuseof any kind of ideology this thishappens over and over and so yeah it'sit's interesting becauseScientology is so close to theuh to to the core of what is Americabecause so many Americans are involvedwith it so it's interesting to study thethe Beauty and the power of the ideasthat underlie it and where things gowrong yeahand I'll just say it's interesting toknow you would never get arepresentative of the Church ofScientology to sit down and have aconversation with you and even be asfair and accurate about scientology asI'm going to be which is which isnoteworthy do you honestly deeplybelieve that's the case there's notgoing to be a high level official thatwould sit down for a conversationno I disagree with you I hope you'reright because I think that given thecurrent dynamics of what's HappeningI think in order to say from theirperspective in order to save the Churchof Scientology they have to uh betransparent and authentic basicallysteal men their case but better youwould think sowell we'll talk about the other ways youcould do that which is the manipulationto propaganda through control media andall that kind of stuff they paintthemselves into a corner of not beingable to send a representative out intothe world to speak honestly about itbecause you're literally not allowed toso when faced you know if you're justsitting down with an entertainmentjournalist a representative might beable to fudge their way through aninterview but sitting down for a longFormat Interview with someone who isgoing to ask them about Xenu and thebody fatens and Leah Remini and LisaMcPherson that's a no-go zone so so I'mrepresenting why it will never happenbut [ __ ] I would I would tune in forthat interview I mean I hope you do getsome way you don't think Davidmiscaviors sit down for an interviewI would love to be wrong you know ingeneral journalists in these kinds ofsituations can beumcan attackin a way that doesn't empathize anddoesn't come from a place of deepknowledge and understanding and I thinkit's possible to have seriousconversations with people like that inan empathetic way but it's also in achallenging way I think there's a hugeamount of trust required and obviouslyfor us a very secretive organization theamount of trust yes might be too muchrequired anyone over there if they'vedone their homework knows you're goingto be as Fair as anyone in the world isgoing to beand yet they're simply things they'renot allowed to talk about and they'renot even allowed to say I'm not allowedto talk about it so that's a fundamentalpart of the Church of Scientology is thesecrecy yeahso that's where you're trained as you goup through the ranks the secrecy secrecyit's not even a matter of training it'sthat there's an entire the entire upperhalf of scientology's bridge is simplyconfidential I mean and I never even didthose levels when I was in Scientology Ididn't learn what scientologistsactually believe on those upper levelsuntil after I get out of Scientology andI was freaking born and raised in itlet's go there let's go to a personalstory so you've spent 30 years incytology yeah I was four years old whenmy mom got in and then about seven yearsago I got out yeah and you're on whatYouTube channel now and you're aneducator so I was four years old when mymom got introduced to Scientology andshe got in really fast really quickum so but I was 12 years old when I wastaken out of school and startedofficially full-time working forScientologyokay soum in various capacities I worked forthem from the ages of 12 to the age of26. yeah okay so and then I was 34 whenI officially parted ways withScientology uh which was really morethem officially parting ways with me butwe can get into all that later that'sjust kind of how Scientology does it andwhat do you do now in terms ofScientology so now I run growing up inScientology the YouTube channel but whatI primarily do is I help run anorganization that helps people who areescaping from Scientology I'm the vicepresident of the aftermath Foundationand we created the foundation after thetelevision show Leah Remini Scientologyin the aftermathand there was such an outpouring ofsupport from non-scientologists all overthe worldwhat can we do to help people leaveScientology that we decided to create afoundation and it's been incrediblysuccessful we've helped people escapefrom all regions and echelons ofScientology we we've accomplished whatwe've accomplished is far beyond what weactually envisioned would be possibleit's been a huge success