The weekly show where I answer questions left in the comments section of my Q&A videos or sent to me by email at AskChrisShelton@gmail.com. This week, the questions I take up are:
(1) Thanks Chris, for your channel you were one of the first familiar faces I saw when I left Scientology and your channel is a big help on getting and keeping my head straight after years of indoctrination. It was amazing to see my old management senior talking with a real straightforward approach to leaving Scientology. For years before I left I proudly told my fellow Scientologists I was a Flag trained Class IV Co-audit Supervisor and Cramming Officer. I also would explain to “wogs” that I was a very knowledgeable Scientologist proudly. One of the biggest things I have had to deal with after leaving is the deflating of my ego. I still think it is my biggest weakness and struggle to keep it in check. I am sure you also have struggled with this. How do you deal with it? Also I suffered from depression shortly before leaving and a bit afterwards which of course at the time I didn’t admit to myself. Have you dealt with this? I also would like to say to the non-ex-members that Scientologists are people and most are good people and for some of us this cult has ruined and destroyed our life and the lives of those closest to us.
(2) You state in your last video that religious claims, contra scientific ones, are fundamentally metaphysical and therefore unfalsifiable. More specifically, you say that because religious claims are unfalsifiable, a position stronger than agnostic atheism (“I don’t know with absolute certainty, but have no positive evidence to accept the claim”) is untenable. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on two objections to that line of reasoning:
(1.) While I don’t foreclose on the possibility that a theistic claim might be internally coherent, to date I have yet to see any such claim actually meet that standard. Far from being forced to admit that the claim might be true, if the definition of a god or gods is contradictory, how can anyone not reject the existence of such a logically impossible being?
(2.) Even if (1) is met, a theistic claim that has clear implications for empirical reality can still be investigated and falsified. For example, if someone claims that omnipotent, omniscient god X wrote scripture X, and scripture X says that the universe contains only one planet, we would have good cause to believe that god X doesn’t exist. The vast majority of theistic claims involve a god who intervenes in people’s lives, often miraculously, to deliver followers from disease and other undesirable facts of life. Since, however, there is no empirical evidence that believers are healed at a rate higher than non-believers, doesn’t any claim that hangs upon such specific divine properties fall apart by demonstrable scientific evidence?
When we apply these two criteria, it seems to be that the number of religious beliefs left untouched is exceedingly small, and clearly includes many of the people whose beliefs you pass over as merely unfalsifiable.
(3) It is known that the number of active Scientologists is (thankfully) constantly decreasing. Now in response to this, is the church squeezing its active members for more and more donations or are they subsidizing these losses with previously gained funds? I ask, as if it’s the former and pressure is being put on members to donate more and more, then surely this can only result in increasing amounts of bad feeling and disaffection towards the church and in turn, more people leaving. It’s a business model that simply does not work.
(4) Chris, a question for you. I watched a Youtube book review of Dianetics (here: https://youtu.be/3M0SCzBAn5Y) and at one point she mentions that it says the analytical mind is also called the “egsusheyftef”, which is defined in the glossary as “a made up word with no meaning”. As far as I can tell, the word doesn’t appear in the original version of the book so I guess it was pushed out as part of GAT I or GAT II. So, what on earth made DM read that and say “Yeah, looks good to me. I’m not going to RPF whoever inserted that crap in there”?
(5) As I understand it, people who have in the past been receiving psychiatric care for things like a suicide attempt are “illegal to be audited” and cannot move up the Bridge in the body they are said to have now. What happens to those people that are in Scientology? Do they just get thrown around in lower courses with no chance to reach Clear or higher OT levels? I know that some Scientologist have committed suicide believing they will return in an other body. I can’t help but wonder if there is some sort of pressure or suggestion from the COS on these people to actually go through with a suicide to be able to return and go up the Bridge?
(6) Do you think the Church finally got to The Rathbuns? Maybe that’s why they seem to be turning tail?
(7) Reading Ron Miscavage’s book has given me greater insight into David’s mindset and how it developed. Is there much information about LRH’s childhood and family life?
(8) I would like to know if it might be possible you get (and already have answered) questions that came directly from OSA they sent to you for the reason to get you into a trap? I hope that you get what my question is about, because of my bad English.