Caution

Before you link on through to The European Society for General Semantics, please be advised that Jose Klingbeil has misrepresented my position on Scientology and Dianetics in his article. He has refused to correct the misrepresentation despite my urgings, he has also included gratuitous remarks unrelated to the subject. 

My position is largely determined by the following quote:

"Mr. Hubbard concluded that the thetan [~soul] is able to leave the body and exist independent of the flesh. Exteriorized, the person can see without the body's eyes, hear without the body's ears and feel without the body's hands. Man previously had very little understanding of this detachment from his mind and body. With the act of exteriorization attainable in Scientology a person gains the certainty he is himself and not his body."

In an email to Jose, I stated:

I part company with L. Ron Hubbard, because he believes that the "mind" can leave the "body", and I do not subscribe to dualism. General semantics and Scientology share a number of premises, but the separation of "body-mind" is not one of them. The difference in only one premiss yields Euclidean "flat" space versus non-Euclidean "curved" space - two entirely different entities. Mother Gorman's book on general semantics and contemporary Thomism was highly recommended by Bob Pula and others with the Institute, in spite of the fact that Mother Gorman could not let go of the dualism premiss, so even those who were "highly qualified" and "officially" evaluating others recommended readings that included points of view in opposition to their own. Just as most major religions offer some benefits to some, so, perhaps, does scientology.

Jose has plucked two sentences out of the above paragraph and tried to make it sound like I support Scientology, and, in spite of my correction to him, he refuses to alter his interpretation.

L.Ron Hubbard allegedly wrote Dianetics after an exposure to general semantics.  Dianetics refers to Korzybski on page 86, which corroborates the above assertion.  Among other premises, both Scientology and general semantics distinguish humans from animals - as do most of the popular religions.  Both claim that the proper understanding and use of language and the processing of information can lead to improved "mental" health.  But, for me, a system which has even one indemonstrable premise is untenably unscientific.

To me, scientology is just another non-scientific belief system that operates without benefit of empirical corroboration and takes dualism as a fundamental premise. I have no interest in investing any time in the study of such a system based on false or unverifiable premises.


Annotated bibliography of general semantics papers
General Semantics and Related Topics
This page was updated by Ralph Kenyon on 2009/11/16 at 00:27 and has been accessed 5974 times at 35 hits per month.