Scientific proof that Scientology works

When Spike Lee was being pestered by a reporter once about how one scene from one of his movies meant Spike had some sort of negative behavioral trait, Spike asked the fellow to step back for a moment.  Spike asked the reporter to stop obsessing with a single tree in the forest. He said he hoped that in the end he would be judged for his entire body of work by cooler minds.

The “scientific thinking” and the wholly negative writing skeptics frequenting this blog will never understand what I am about to say.  They are much like the reporter who wants to obsess on this, that or the other excerpt. They approach the subject much like Miscavige does – so he won’t get this either. But,  those who have carefully studied Hubbard’s entire body of work and applied it to see what is workable and what is not certainly will.

One of Time magazine’s one hundred most influential people this year is Harvard physician and sociologist Nicholas Christakis.  I have appended the article on him explaining why he made the list.   Serious students of the subject of Scientology I think will agree  that what Christakis has scientifically demonstrated to be true validates perhaps 75% of what in essence Scientology has to teach.

Ironically, Christakis’ work also serves as a great scientific justification for starting to cut some of the hyper critical, negative out from the comments section of this blog. I am all for freedom of speech. And as I’ve said before there are plenty places that welcome the defiant negative that some people are incapable of seeing beyond. I am equally for freedom of association. You want to associate with folks who are trying to move on up a little higher?  Then you can start contributing to the motion by treating the others who sincerely are with some dignity and respect.

Nicholas Christakis by Dan Ariely

Social scientists used to have a straightforward, if tongue-in-cheek, answer to the question of how to become happy: Surround yourself with people who are uglier, poorer and shorter than you are — and who are unhappily married and have annoying kids. You will compare yourself with these people, and the contrast will cheer you up.

Nicholas Christakis, 47, a physician and sociologist at Harvard University, challenges this idea. Using data from a study that tracked about 5,000 people over 20 years, he suggests that happiness, like the flu, can spread from person to person. When people who are close to us, both in terms of social ties (friends or relatives) and physical proximity, become happier, we do too. For example, when a person who lives within a mile of a good friend becomes happier, the probability that this person’s good friend will also become happier increases 15%. More surprising is that the effect can transcend direct links and reach a third degree of separation: when a friend of a friend becomes happier, we become happier, even when we don’t know that third person directly.

This means that surrounding ourselves with happier people will make us happier, make the people close to us happier — and make the people close to them happier. But social networks don’t transmit only the good things in life.

Christakis found that smoking and obesity can be socially infectious too. If his thesis proves out, then the saying that you can judge a person by his or her friends might carry more weight than we thought.

Ariely is the James B. Duke professor of behavioral science at Duke University and the author of the best seller Predictably Irrational

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26 responses to “Scientific proof that Scientology works

  1. I don’t believe or disbelieve the benefits of $ci… I’m often on the hunt for self-help techniques, and I’m sure some of Hubbard’s ideas are as good (or as bad) as anyone else’s. One of my concerns (and keep in mind, I know very little about it) is this whole business of doing away with the ‘reactive mind’. In nature, REACTION is a very normal and natural occurrence. Things happen, and then things react to that happening. The sun rises and flowers open up. To think that the human brain should not be reacting to trauma or issues is kind of … cultish. To get to the point where you don’t blink when someone is screaming obscenities at you… well, that’s a little weird to me. Part of me gets it — I used to be an air cadet, and I loved standing at attention and not budging or blinking as a little test to myself that I was strong and I could withstand anything. But lets face facts… it’s probably healthier to learn how to react in a HEALTHY way to what life throws your way than to learn how not to react at all. MHO of course.

    Thanks for the blog, Marty. I enjoy reading what you write.

    • Jo, thanks for commenting. One misconception is that you “lose” something. The experience remains – it is just no longer occluded or controlling you. My experience is people’s reaction times seem to increase with auditing. You know the experience you described with the cadets is almost exactly how I feel about the TRs (communication Training Routines) and in fact is part of the purpose of it. You want a counselor who can comfortably handle anything that might be thrown at him/her without reacting in a manner that might serve as invalidation of evaluation of the person being counseled. Thanks for sharing your observations.

  2. And with that, I lost all my respect for you.

    In science it’s not your call to prove that you are right and somebody else is wrong. It’s your task to gather proof that you are wrong/right and publish your work for the community to verify. What you write here is pure rubbish. Even a 10 year old kid would call this silly/strange. Where are your so-called proof, and when will you publish your findings in a science magazine for verification?

  3. Marty(honestly)

    Well said. The negative and the haters are a distraction you surely don’t need, and as you’ve said several times there are plenty of other places they can have their say. This Marty’s place – keep it so!

  4. Wow, very cool 🙂

  5. “When people who are close to us, both in terms of social ties (friends or relatives) and physical proximity, become happier, we do too. For example, when a person who lives within a mile of a good friend becomes happier, the probability that this person’s good friend will also become happier increases 15%. More surprising is that the effect can transcend direct links and reach a third degree of separation: when a friend of a friend becomes happier, we become happier, even when we don’t know that third person directly.”
    I guess that this would mean that if your neighbor is insane or believes in insane things that you are at higher risk in believing the same as your neighbor. I believe this to hold true. This is why the CoS has a disconnection policy, to keep the scientologists away from sane people.

  6. “Serious students of the subject of Scientology I think will agree that what Christakis has scientifically demonstrated to be true validates perhaps 75% of what in essence Scientology has to teach.”

    Important rule of Science: Never presume when you have no backing or evidence. Freud and Jung’s work was mostly based on presumptions and personal opinions and is not considered scientific nor valid. Hubbard’s work is the same. They are more philosophies rather than real science.

    There is a fundamental flaw in your attempt to claim “Science will support Scientology” when you haven’t even presented direct evidence of this. Judging from the decline of Scientology membership and research by investigators such as Dave Touretzky, I suggest you take a few steps back and think about your claim.

    My answer to your statement: No. Students of Sociology, Psychology, Psychiatry, Counseling, Human Behavior, and any with a well understood of the fundamentals of the Scientific method would not agree with you.

    However, this is not because of some fundamental belief that “Scientology is bad.” It simply is because it has not been scientifically proven that Scientology, in any form presented either by Co$ or Freezone, has not been tested using the scientific method; in order to prove that it makes people happier. Now, personal experiences can be attributed, but still does not provide significant amount of evidence.

    To make a valid and reliable claim that Scientology “works” requires measurements and testing that are valid and reliable (look up “validity” and “reliability” in terms of Scientific research. These are very important.)

    Most scientists can say that ANY religious or philosophical pursuit CAN help. In fact, there are several researchers such as mentioned in this article on Psychology Today that are looking into spirituality or philosophical lifestyles and how they can have a positive affect: http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199909/spirituality

    Before you jump the gun with science, look for or pursue scientific backing. A loose comparison between Christakis’s work and Scientology isn’t enough.

    And thank you for conveying your thoughts.

    -3rdman

  7. Marty,

    I am truly going to try to be extra respectful of the thoughts in this particular article. If for no other reason than for the sake of science 🙂

    One of the most wonderful things about scientific research is that there are no assumptions. In science if something works at 4 o’clock on Tuesday, it must also work at 9pm on a Friday. If something works with an object that is painted white it must also work with an object that is painted red, or some part of the theory must be altered to compensate why the red object is not effected the same way as the white object. (Chemicals in paint etc..) It must be 100% and not 3/4 of the time. But things like happiness are very hard to measure. Some people laugh when they see another get hit with a pie in the face, others don’t.

    When Dr. Christakis made his observations he had to test them each individually. He could not say that “this” is like “that”. He had to measure it in some way to make sure it was 100% the same and not 3/4 the same. (unless he was able to show a statistical margin of error, that is more acceptable in the “social sciences” as apposed to the physical sciences. But Dr. Christakis is a “social scientist”.)http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_differences_between_social_science_and_physical_science

    • Jim,
      Thanks for respecting the last part of my communication about civility. I’m taking this all in and am going to respond when I have absorbed it all. I am glad you wrote – I was thinking about you while fishing. I gathered that you are a student of history. If so, I have a recommendation on 20th Century history. Touch and Go, a Memoir by Studs Terkel. He has a pretty interesting perspective because long life was spent really communicating on a deep level with people. He opens one chapter with a quote from James Baldwin I thought you’d especially appreciate: “History does not refer merely to the past. On the contrary, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all we do.”

  8. Your presence was causing David Miscavige to be less happy. He got rid of you, and surrounded himself with people who made him feel happier. So is that how it works?

  9. There is no use seeking forgiveness from the true Supreme Being because the true Supreme Being was never upset with us in the first place!

    The Supreme Being isn’t unhappy with us. We are generally unhappy with ourselves. It is this unhappiness with ourselves, the self-hate, which distances us as individuals from the Supreme Being. The more we hate ourselves, the further away we believe ourselves to be from the Supreme Being.

    The Supreme Being has no problem with us and loves us all unconditionally. We have to learn to forgive ourselves and each other before we can end the falsely perceived distance between ourselves as individuals and the Supreme Being.

    False gods [including the Church of Scientology] tell us that we are somehow wrong and then demand various forms of self-sacrifice, self-denial or self-abuse in order to earn forgiveness from them. Why receive the forgiveness of false gods? These false gods are guiltier than any of us!

  10. This was very interesting marty. It provides more insight into how the interdependent apparency of existence works on a mechanical basis. Just like ideas spreading, so do emotions, behaviours and other life phenomena. (Nothing is static, except a static!)

    When you have a good look, a really good look at life, you realize that it truly is magical!

    For those who enjoy science rather than metaphysics or philosophy, quantum physics is a good place to find some truth about this universe, and your involvement in it.

    And marty, you are a great testament to the workability of scientology, as you’re clearly a highly intelligent, compassionate and aware human being. Thanks for being and communicating.

  11. ” One of the most wonderful things about scientific research is that there are no assumptions. In science if something works at 4 o’clock on Tuesday, it must also work at 9pm on a Friday.”

    Soderqvist1: obviously, one of natural science’s structural assumptions is that the universe stays the same all the time; in the sense that natural laws are the same at Tuesday, and Friday so your experiment is not jeopardized by some whims by the universe. Here we have the problem of Proof (deduction) versus Evidence (induction). We have no proof that natural laws will not be whimsical tomorrow. But we have lot of evidence that it will not change. As far to my knowledge the word “proof” is only used in logic, or formal mathematical systems, because the conclusion is already inherent the premises. Trivially; Aristotle was a philosopher, all Philosophers are mortals, and then by necessity; Aristotle must be one of the mortals! Conversely, lot of trials under the last hundred years have confirmed Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, but it doesn’t prove, nor is it by necessity that it will hold truth, nor that some experiment tomorrow will not disprove it, but he have lot of evidence suggestive of that, it will not be falsified!

    Soderqvist1: there is Scientific evidence Suggestive of Reincarnation by the Biochemist and Professor of Psychiatry Ian Stevenson, criticized By Skeptical Inquirer, but Biologist Julio Cesar de Siqueira Barros has pointed out flaws in the Skeptical Inquirer.

    Ian Stevenson
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Stevenson

    Julio Cesar de Siqueira Barros
    http://br.geocities.com/criticandokardec/imad-elawar-revisited.html

    Soderqvist1: some critics specialize in finding out the worst Mr. Hubbard has written and use it to disprove him as a whole, but it simple doesn’t work that way, as another poster has said “it doesn’t matter if Aristotle has existed or not” every single proposition attributed to him stay or fall on its own merit. I for one I am searching out that part which is useful for me, and I have a comprehensive data compilation regarding Hubbard, which can be related to science.
    http://www.forum.exscn.net/showpost.php?p=229477&postcount=37

    Soderqvist1: I can also prove beyond reasonable doubt that Both Russell Miller, and Kurt Eissler claim is largely untruth, meanwhile Ron is closer to the true, and a qualified estimation is that he did know “Snake” Thompson!

    Bare-Faced Messiah Chapter 1 A Dubious Prodigy Page 25
    Ron would often refer to Thompson in later life, yet the Commander remains an enigma. He cannot be identified from US Navy records, nor can his relationship with Freud be established. Doctor Kurt Eissler, one of the world’s leading authorities on Freud, says he has no knowledge of any correspondence or contact of any kind between Freud and Thompson.
    http://www.clambake.org/archive/books/bfm/bfm01.htm

    Soderqvist1: I have linked OT8 Geir Isene‘s essay about Personal Integrity to Hubbard and further to his mentor “Snake” Thompson, by two replays!
    http://elysianchakorta.wordpress.com/2009/08/15/personal-integrity/

    Reply1
    http://www.forum.exscn.net/showpost.php?p=287403&postcount=86

    Reply2
    http://www.forum.exscn.net/showpost.php?p=287453&postcount=88

  12. “The “scientific thinking” and the wholly negative writing skeptics frequenting this blog will never understand what I am about to say. They are much like the reporter who wants to obsess on this, that or the other excerpt. They approach the subject much like Miscavige does – so he won’t get this either. But, those who have carefully studied Hubbard’s entire body of work and applied it to see what is workable and what is not certainly will.”

    What you want to say is that being surrounded with happy, positive people in your life is more likely to lead to your own happiness, than being surrounded by negative, suppressive people. So did i understand that correctly or what?

  13. “For example, when a person who lives within a mile of a good friend becomes happier, the probability that this person’s good friend will also become happier increases 15%.”

    I don’t know, I think I will be less skeptical when the happiness measurement accuracy reaches 2 decimal points.

  14. Let it be understood that the following are not science…

    Political Science
    Social Science
    Philosophical Science

    Marty Wrote:
    Serious students of the subject of Scientology I think will agree that what Christakis has scientifically demonstrated to be true validates perhaps 75% of what in essence Scientology has to teach.

    The study does not “validate” what Scientology has to teach. It shows that it is “consistent” with concepts in Scientology.

    Using your logic, I could say the following is validated by the study as well.

    Humans have a “friend o meter” which is insubstantial. As someone is closer to their friend, their happiness increases.

    As for the paper itself, I LOL’d. Friends being closer makes people less lonely and sad. ZOMG.

  15. Marty,
    I have taken about 20 div 4 scientology courses and do not see how Christakis’s comments validate most of scientology. I think those do give some confirmation to the construct of the meme. Read Virus of the Mind. Memes are contagious, for better or worse.

  16. Forgive me if my first comment seemed uncivil, it was not my intent. I just had an honest question about something that bothered me concerning Dianetics.

  17. Hey, if someone wants scientific validation of LRH’s research all they need to is listen to Dr. Bruce H. Lipton’s lectures series entitled “The Wisdom of Your Cells.” This is nuts and bolts biochemical explanations that substantiate LRH’s discoveries that became Dianetics and Scientology. There’s a new (last few years) subject called epigenetic biology that scientifically validates much of what LRH was saying. In fact, anyone who doesn’t know a damn thing about Dn or Scn can listen to these 8 lectures by Lipton and have a conceptual grasp of what LRH was doing.

    • Thanks Joe. Maybe Jim should create a data base on all this since he is pretty schooled in fundamental science.

    • Marty and Joe,
      I’ve thought this over and this is my take on this.

      I recommend that individuals take the list of names that were at the beginning of S.O.S. and the beginning of 8-8008 and read up on those men’s work. That would include specifically Korzybski’s work, Science and Sanity from my personal point of view as that work is a compendium of the broadest range of materials.

      I have no need of any one’s ‘license to survive’ so peer review and approval from science is of no interest to me personally.

      Scientology is a personal road to truth, it is a fulfilling of the age old Socratic idea of ‘know thyself and the truth shall set you free’. It is a journey of personal discovery of the truth that is the spritual being himself and if he needs someone else to tell him he’s found that truth, then he hasn’t yet. There is no need of peer review to find agreement on what one has attained personal certainty upon, his very nature and his own being and his own power.

      True knowledge doesn’t require the stamp of academia to be knowledge and is knowledge whether they say so or not.

      That is difficult for those who crave approval and someone else’s agreement before they can say what they observe and know what they know.

      It is a good thing that those that have made the breakthroughs in knowledge for all to share had no such need. Nevertheless the contributions of such great thinkers, each man must know himself and that truth will set him free.

      The best knowledge base there is, is the individual man. Scientology in its basics is nothing more than a means to attainment of that.

  18. You know, Marty, in ancient Rome, it was a customary belief that laughter made people better. It had been proved by them countless times that people who were sick if surrounded by people who felt jolly and laughed seemed to get better faster.

    Maybe this is not “scientific” enough for some people, but one fundamental we Scn’ists all know is that “what is true is what is true for you”.

    Therefore, your effort to point out that someone who is a Sociologist and probably quite learned in how humans tick, has gone way over some people’s heads.

    Oh, well! Such is life!

    Thank you for this post! I get it!

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