Monday, December 31, 2007

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Might help someone, I don't need it.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Why Drugs?

I've seen humans described as "The Drug Using Ape". There isn't a single human society that does not use one kind of drug or another, unless their behaviour has been distorted by the infection of one of the religion memes. And even then, drug free religions are a small and vociferous subset religions as a whole. Peyote munching native Americans, cannabis smoking
rastafarians, wine guzzling christians, psychedelic snuffing Amazonian Indians to name just a few of the drug using religions.

Then we get to the social drug users. Coffee, tea, qat, cannabis, opium, alcohol, tobacco, ephedra & coca are just a few of the naturally occurring drugs. The drugs synthesised by man, often from a natural starting point, are many and varied and growing all the time. Cocaine, heroin, the amines (MDMA, Amphetamine etc.) & LSD spring to mind.

So, it seems that most of us, at one time or another, use psychoactive substances. It seems to be a mere accident of birthplace or time that defines which set of substances are socially acceptable in your peer group. On a World War II bombing mission amphetamines would be considered normal, where a decent bottle of Claret would not. The tipple of choice at a Buckingham Palace garden party is tea or a glass of champagne, but pop a few drops of LSD on the fairy cakes and you'd get a few raised eyebrows. Do the same at a Californian beach party and you'd have to ask people to form an orderly queue! (Five bucks a fairy cake and the laser show starts just after
sunset.

So, it seems many societies, many cultures choose to alter the way their central nervous system (CNS) handles the inputs from their senses and the way their brain uses various neurotransmitters to change their perception of the world and the way they interact with others. In a few words "how they feel". Why would we want to do this?

There are many reasons people take drugs, and many reasons for each individual substance. But i conjecture it's down to a single, inbuilt human trait. The one that led us to the technologically advanced, socially complicated society we have now. That of curiosity and our playfulness.

Play, along with it's partner curiosity lead us up many winding paths just to see what's there. And once we find something novel play takes over with the thought, "What the hell can we do with this!" This process can be seen expressed full blown in children but we never seem to grow out of it. I believe this is another blessing from human neotony. That is, our seeming to retain all the attributes of a juvenile into and beyond sexual maturation. Watch a gaggle of baby chimps at play, then take a look at their grandparents. See how different their behaviour is. Humans retain that playfulness throughout life, along with a large skull in relation to body size (to contain our massively overdeveloped cerebral cortex) and flat face. In fact most mammals go through this maturation process. We did away with it and it has given us a huge leap ahead of our closest relatives.

So where am i going with this? OK, Here's one of the first modern humans walking up that winding path, hungry. Seeds form a major part of his diet and that Morning Glory vine is loaded with the things. This is a new part of the forest for him so he takes a chance. After eating a handful he starts to feel pretty damn strange, sees the world around him change in beautiful or even scary ways. After a while things settle down and he's off to show the others. Curiosity will lead some of the others to try these this new "magical" food and around the camp fire that night our shiny new monstrous (compared with the other primates in the forest) cerebral cortex gets to work explaining what just happened to them. Doorways to another place? Visitation from their gods? Turning man into godlike beings? They will have to wait a while for the neurotransmitter theory. But in the meantime they will speculate away until the cows come home as humans do. Linking this new, magical thing into their everyday experience with stories and tradition.

There, right in front of you, is the birth of one of the longest lived cults in human history, still going on around the globe with a myriad of different substances and cultures. Shamanism.

Right... Moving on. We discover the tools to play with something, along with the curiosity to push the boundaries a little, and we just can't resist it. At first it was naturally occurring chemicals in plants (and some animals, poison frogs have been used too) that gave us the tools to play with our brain. Explore different ways of seeing the world around us. In fact, i hold that drugs are like the ships of the early explorers, carrying us to new and uncharted worlds. But these are worlds within. As in all great journeys of exploration there are dangers, hardship and even death. But the rewards of a new beauty, a new continent even outweigh the dangers.

Our "What the hell can we do with this?" leads us on to the synthesised psychoactives from our organic chemists "playing" with chemicals driven by our innate curiosity. Giving us explorers of the internal universe newer and faster "ships" & "aircraft" with the discovery, refining and outright invention on new substances. Allowing some to dip their toe in at the edge of this ocean of the mind and others to take a brave and joyous leap into the deeper waters to return with tales of wonder and beauty.

So, if your a paddler on the edge or a full blown explorer of the uncharted regions of our inner space, be careful, research. Learn from others who may have gone before you. And remember... life itself is a chemical experience transmitted between neurons in our brains. How sad and tawdry would it be to view this wonderful universe, to feel the love of another, just one way.

Lets play!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

A Red Carpet to Power for the Cults?

I just mailed this to Ms. Morpheus at work... it needs a wider airing.

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Things coming to a head it seems in the US. Another activist being jumped on by the US authorities.

Do you think the christian religious right, in defending their right to practice their religion and teach creationism etc. is giving scientology an open door to power? By enshrining the right to believe what you want, and giving those beliefs equal validity in law no matter how stupid or dangerous they are is laying out the red carpet to scientology. Add to that the tom cruise (i refuse to capitalise) effect of celebrity endorsement and it all starts to look pretty scary!

It seems more and more police depts. and local authorities in the US and even UK politics are being consumed or at the very least influenced by the cult. A google about Clearwater and their police dept. relating to scientology is frightening.... as is this thread on Operation Clambake's message board...

Take a look at a post from alt.religion.scientology and look at what they do to a person's mindset...

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How Scientologists Think and Fool themselves.

Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
From: dennis.l.erlich@support.com
Organization: Los Angeles Valley College BBS (818)985-7150

CULT-THINK

(Certainty vs. Reality)

The scariest thing about scientology is the subtle, imperceptible, yet totally encompassing mindset I had for the fourteen years I was under its influence. The cult "teaches" a person how to know with certainty, so those who ascribe to its world-view exist in a completely different reality than the rest of society.

I remember talking to my teacher after a night school class. I explained to him, proudly, that I was a scientologist. We had already spoken quite a bit and he had formed the opinion that I was a pretty "together" person. Upon hearing of my cult membership, he pronounced: "Well, I thought people in scientology were mindless robots, but you're obviously not a mindless robot!".

He was gravely mistaken.

I didn't look or act like a mindless robot, but I was so programmed it had become my total identity. I had been completely taken over by the scientology personality and didn't even know it!

When among non-scientologists -- "Wogs", we called them -- I didn't look or act like a cult member. But I was.

I was totally certain scientology was the only answer for Mankind. I knew that the Wog world was composed of lost and messed-up people who were wasting their lives -- just waiting to be "gotten in" to scientology and "handled" so that they too could attain Total Freedom.

I had been indoctrinated and fully believed that I should..."Never fear to hurt another in a just cause.." and I was prepared to do anything, legal or not, to further the expansion of scientology. I was certain that Ron Hubbard was an totally sane individual who had "risen above the bank" (reactive mind) and I had unquestioning trust in his teachings and dictates. I knew that I was a member of an elite group of people who were in possession of all the answers to the world's problems and questions. Ron had said so.

He also said there were many people in the world whose sole purpose in life was to bring harm and sickness to others and I believed him. These people were "suppressives". Suppressives were psychotic. I knew that people who opposed scientology were always suppressive. If you were "connected" to a suppressive you were likely to become ill or have accidents. Therefore I was very careful to stay far away from anyone critical of scientology.

I knew there were world-wide, evil organizations opposed to scientology. These organizations were run by suppressives. I was certain all psychiatrists were suppressive. It was obvious to me that psychiatrists, psychologists and quite a few medical doctors were against scientology because it threatened their right to cause harm and illness to their patients. Scientology was, after all, the only technology of the mind that worked "One Hundred Percent of the Time". No wonder psychiatrists felt threatened.

I also knew if you criticized something or someone (except scientology's enemies), it was because you had done something unethical or immoral. I was certain anyone who was critical of scientology or L. Ron Hubbard was either suppressive or had committed unethical, immoral or illegal acts. I was therefore very careful not to be critical of anything about scientology. If I felt critical, however, I knew I had done something wrong, so I made sure I discovered and confessed whatever it was. I knew if I didn't keep "clean" with regards to any wrongdoings, my progress toward "Total Freedom" would be blocked.

I knew scientology worked. It worked "One Hundred Percent of the Time". But when it didn't work, I knew it was because the person was either suppressive (scientology doesn't work on suppressive persons) or because the person was in communication or contact with a suppressive. Oh yes, it also doesn't work on people who commit unethical or immoral acts. So, on those occasions when scientology didn't work on me, I knew it was because I was either in communication with a suppressive or because I had done something wrong. Therefore I made sure whenever I communicated with anyone who might be a suppressive or did anything I thought might be wrong, I always confessed it. I suspected from time to time that I might be suppressive, since that would really explain why the "tech" didn't always work on me.

But don't get me wrong. The tech "worked" on me quite a bit. I had many realizations and understandings about life and about myself. I was certain these were only possible because of the scientology auditing I was getting. I was sure they could never be obtained from finding out about the world, from learning about myself, or from experiencing new points of view.


I was also sure if I ever left scientology, the benefit I had gotten from these realizations would be completely lost, and I would go insane and probably commit suicide. Ron had said so.

In spite of the realizations and understandings I had, I knew I was still "really messed up" and I would need lots and lots of auditing and training and the "upper levels" before I could become a true "OT".

When I finally became OT, I knew I would have god-like abilities and I would be "totally aware".

Although I did not know anyone in scientology who demonstrated god-like abilities or seemed totally aware, I knew I would attain these abilities when I was ready because that was what Ron said.

If I was learning about scientology or administering it to others and I became critical because it was not making sense or working, I knew it was because of something I didn't understand about it. Probably I had skipped words I didn't understand or did not make it "my own" by demonstrating the principles with clay models. Or perhaps I had not drilled the procedures enough. But whatever the cause, I knew it was my own fault. Because of this, when studying, I looked up every word I didn't understand and even quite a few I did. I really made the text "my own" by studying it and restudying it with total resolve. I knew that if I "felt good" about the text I was studying, I had probably studied it long enough and could go on to study something else. It would have been highly unethical to not ensure I "felt good" about what I was studying.

I knew that true ethical conduct consisted of doing the "greatest good for the greatest number". Scientology was the greatest good you could do. Therefore, any actions which ultimately furthered scientology's aims were good actions.

I knew there were people working "under cover" in the government for scientology. I really admired these people because they were leading such a romantic life and they were doing work for the "ultimate good".

I also knew that it was the "ultimate good" for scientologists to be charged hundreds of dollars an hour to confess to their ministers. Sure, scientology's prices were high. But then you can't put a price on freedom. Ron said if you didn't charge a person a great deal for something the person would not consider it valuable.

Also I knew scientology had a lot of expenses -- especially lawyers fees.

I knew it was important for scientology to have lots of money because we were going to "Clear the Planet". Since there were so many suppressive and psychotic groups and people out there opposing scientology, it would take lots of money and work to ensure that scientology was accepted by everyone.

I knew the practices of scientology were not ever supposed to be mixed up with any other practice. This included yoga, meditation, "bathing in light", or anything else that was intended to affect a person mentally or spiritually. I knew that scientology would not work if you were doing any other practice at the same time.

I knew there were past lives and we all had a "time track" going back trillions and trillions of years. The time track involved earlier civilizations where there was space travel and exciting galactic adventures. Ron told us so.

He also told us that people could be members of other religions and be good scientologists. But, I knew they had better not practice any religion because if they did, it would be considered "mixing practices". I could not fathom how a good Christian could possibly stay a Christian and get auditing (which always involves past lives). Still, we were told to tell "raw meat" they could remain faithful to their religion and still be good scientologists. I couldn't imagine why anyone would remain faithful to their religion. They would see the obvious errors in it as soon as they
began studying scientology in earnest.

Although scientology worked with religions to protect their freedom to practice, I knew that true freedom was obtainable only through scientology. As soon as scientology had a firm foothold in society, all the other religions would become obsolete or would have to be abolished.

I was totally certain the upper levels of scientology dealt with "mystical things" and techniques for becoming more aware and more spiritual. I suspected "OT's" could travel at will outside of their bodies, read minds and always felt compassion for other, lesser beings.

At that time I didn't know scientology practiced exorcism. That information was on the confidential "upper levels" and I wasn't quite ready for it yet. It was kept confidential because if you had not completed all the lower levels and found out about it, you would probably go insane or die and get into real trouble with the Ethics Officer. I was certain of that.

I was really afraid of getting into "ethics trouble" and being sent to Ethics to confess and make amends for my transgressions. Amends usually consisted of working extra hours (often missing sleep) doing tedious tasks like cleaning floors, painting walls or filing papers. Many people did amends that involved taking risks in order to "deliver an effective blow to the enemies of scientology despite personal danger" as was often required.

But if I confessed to the Ethics Officer, I might be treated with more lenience than if I was reported for doing something wrong.

People were always getting into ethics trouble and I knew it was important to write reports to the Ethics Officer if I suspected someone was doing something unethical. If I failed to report someone, it was just as bad as doing the unethical thing myself. I had to be careful to confess all my transgressions and those of others (especially those pertaining to scientology). I knew if I didn't "take responsibility" for these "sins" and do the correct amends for them, scientology would not work on me. Then I would be denied the "Road to Total Freedom" and my immortal soul would be lost forever.

I knew that mankind had been cheated and tricked in the past by various religions promising to cure of all their ills and provide all the answers but, this time, I was totally certain, it was "for real." Ron said so.

Although sometimes I felt doubts about scientology, I knew they were coming from my "reactive mind" and that I should simply ignore them. The reactive mind, I knew, has a self-protecting mechanism which creates doubts and opposes scientology. Scientology creates certainty and wants to destroy the reactive mind.

So, if you wanted to achieve certainty, you should never try to make sense of the doubts that came from your reactive mind; it would drive you crazy . . . I knew that was true because Ron said so.

And if you know something with total certainty, that makes it true . . . doesn't it?

Sure it does! Ron said so.

And if you know something with absolute certainty, that makes it true,
doesn't it?

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Do we really want these people holding ANY influence whatsoever in our society?