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Re: [evol-psych] Re: [cyclesi] What are influences?

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  • Wade
    When I dabbled in such things I made clear that I didn t believe a word of it and was just telling them what their forecast was according to the rules i had
    Message 1 of 14 , Dec 13, 2012
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      When I dabbled in such things I made clear that I didn't believe a word of it and was just telling them what their forecast was according to the rules i had picked up in the couple of books I had learned.  From her posts my understanding is that Anna at first believed it, then gradually realised that the apparent accuracy of her work was really a function of body reading and the art of making generalised predictions and honing in on the feedback from clients.  This is clearly how most astrologers and fortune tellers operate.  

      As I have previously posted, I am unsure whether or to what extent this applies to you compared with the possibility that you are deceiving yourself as well as your  clients and that you really and truly believe this nonsense.

      My best guess would be that the truth lies somewhere in between.  I think it is a mistake to see a belief as bivalent as it is treated in formal logic and is generally the presumption in scientific discourse.  I think that people can "want to" believe something sufficiently much that that itself comes close to actual belief for example that ones favourite sports team will win the cup.  I think that people can also "believe" something in a social or professional basis for example that its wrong to eat pork or beef even if  in one's heart of heart one  doesn't REALLY believe there is a supernatural being out there who will be really cheesed off if  you eat a bacon butty.  In may ways a thought experiment questioning what odds would u be prepared to stake on the question of your belief being true. Whether one would actually stake one's life on a particular belief being true.

      I don't know whether you feel brave and honest enough to share with us  the  real degree  of belief you have in the efficacy of astrology??

      Wade


      On 13 December 2012 19:32, Julienne <julienne@...> wrote:

      I think it's interesting, Wade, that you and Anna, who fooled people with fortune telling, are
      projecting your deceits onto me. Fascinating.

      Anna didn't bring up Andre's death as anything but a seriously vicious attack. You don't seem to be paying attention, Wade  - this wasn't on my List, or Gonzo's - it was a separate List - the Cycles List - not just astrologers - a year after Andre's death. Andre wasn't on the Cycles1 List.

      You seem to be easily confused, and not particularly ethical - perhaps the reason you aren't getting astrology or Anna's 
      activities straight.

      Julienne



      At 09:48 AM 12/12/2012, Wade wrote:


      I think the discussion had veered towards the question as to whether astrologers
      could cause people damage by for example planting in people's minds what becomes self fulfilling prophecies.

      This was actually something I was concerned about when I dabbled in this type of stuff as a teenager, even though in my case I was
      honest enough to say that I didn't believe a word of it myself.

      Anna brought up Andre's death as a serious real world example where the nonsense that people are fed by astrologers has a tragic real world
      impact.  Now I have no idea who said  what to whom and when etc but from the posts you (Julienne) yourself have posted to attempt to clarify the issue it doesn't look very good to be frank.  This guy seems to have been seriously mixed up and to have bought into the Astrology BS that you and Gonzo have been peddling hook line and sinker.

      I am sure that you would have not consciously done anything to feed his problems, I'm less sure of this of Gonzo who seems to be a considerably fruitier fruitcake.  It also seems plausible that this guy would in any case have found some reason/excuse to top himself, but it is surely a valid example of where the fantasies dreamed up by astrologers and peddled to the weak minded and gullible can potentially have tragic consequences.

      As far as I can tell Anna's only "crime" seems to have been to start asking increasingly awkward questions within your/Gizmo's group as her own thinking on the subject matured.
      This is another important similarity with religion where apostasy is often severely punished, for example under certain interpretations of Islamic tradition by death.  It is not difficult to see why this should be the case.  A traitor within the citadel is a far more dangerous foe than an enemy encamped outside the city's gates.

      Wade


      On 12 December 2012 19:07, Julienne <julienne@...> wrote:
       

      At 04:01 AM 12/12/2012, Wade wrote:

      >It seems to me a rather tawdry tactic for Julienne to dig up and
      >repost messages Anna
      >has made to another egroup, nearly a decade ago.
      >
      >May I ask Julienne what right you consider you have to make such posts???
      >
      >Equally, if Anna cared to share with us what she was up to on
      >Julienne's group in the first place, eg investigating what astrology
      >was all about or finding out how the cult operates etc it might
      >leave the rest of us a little less bemused as to what this was all about.

      How tawdry was it for Anna to have brought up Andre's death from 10 years ago?

      Anna claimed to be an astrologer...she was also on Gonzo's egroup,
      and the Cyclesi group.

      These posts give the lie to Anna's present claims.

      Julienne


      Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.
                  -- Albert Einstein


    • Don Zimmerman
      ... DWZ: A still more self-serving case, undoubtedly rather common, is someone who does not care one whit about religion, but who feigns belief for personal
      Message 2 of 14 , Dec 13, 2012
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        --- In evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com, Wade <wmaillist@...> wrote:

        > I think that people can also "believe" something in
        > a social or professional basis for example that its wrong to eat pork or
        > beef even if in one's heart of heart one doesn't REALLY believe there is
        > a supernatural being out there who will be really cheesed off if you eat a
        > bacon butty


        DWZ:
        A still more self-serving case, undoubtedly rather common, is someone who does not care one whit about religion, but who feigns belief for personal practical gain, such as a business owner who goes to church regularly in order to maintain status in the community and impress customers.

        Best regards,

        Donald W. Zimmerman
        Vancouver, BC, Canada
        dwzimm@...
        http://www3.telus.net/public/a7a82899
      • Wade
        Yes and this seems to be a charge which could be fairly levelled at most US Presidents since maybe Jimmy Carter. Wade
        Message 3 of 14 , Dec 13, 2012
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          Yes and this seems to be a charge which could be fairly levelled at most US Presidents since maybe Jimmy Carter.

          Wade


          On 14 December 2012 05:32, Don Zimmerman <dwzimm@...> wrote:
           

          --- In evolutionary-psychology@yahoogroups.com, Wade <wmaillist@...> wrote:

          > I think that people can also "believe" something in
          > a social or professional basis for example that its wrong to eat pork or
          > beef even if in one's heart of heart one doesn't REALLY believe there is
          > a supernatural being out there who will be really cheesed off if you eat a
          > bacon butty

          DWZ:
          A still more self-serving case, undoubtedly rather common, is someone who does not care one whit about religion, but who feigns belief for personal practical gain, such as a business owner who goes to church regularly in order to maintain status in the community and impress customers.

          Best regards,

          Donald W. Zimmerman
          Vancouver, BC, Canada
          dwzimm@...
          http://www3.telus.net/public/a7a82899


        • Julienne
          ... I m not sure what you mean by this? Fortune telling books, or what? Both you and Anna mentioned these tricks - but I never ran into anything like that. I
          Message 4 of 14 , Dec 14, 2012
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            At 08:42 AM 12/13/2012, Wade wrote:


            >When I dabbled in such things I made clear that I didn't believe a
            >word of it and was just telling them what their forecast was
            >according to the rules i had picked up in the couple of books I had learned.

            I'm not sure what you mean by this? Fortune telling books, or what?
            Both you and Anna mentioned these "tricks" - but
            I never ran into anything like that. I actually first ran into
            astrology while I was studying at Harvard. One of the courses I was
            taking was "Methodology in the Social Sciences".

            > From her posts my understanding is that Anna at first believed it,
            > then gradually realised that the apparent accuracy of her work was
            > really a function of body reading and the art of making generalised
            > predictions and honing in on the feedback from clients. This is
            > clearly how most astrologers and fortune tellers operate.

            I don't see anything "clear" about that at all. Because that is the
            approach you and Anna took, doesn't mean any real astrologer does.
            The bane of astrology is the faker, the hoaxter - the ones who have
            no idea what they are doing, who may ask someone's birthday (June 24)
            - and then give some kind of Barnum reading. How many billions of
            people may be born om June 24 - and no two the same? Fakers focus on
            the kind of "forecasts" of which you speak - but that's not what I do.

            What information did you get from people to do your pseudo readings?

            >As I have previously posted, I am unsure whether or to what extent
            >this applies to you compared with the possibility that you are
            >deceiving yourself as well as your clients and that you really and
            >truly believe this nonsense.
            >
            >My best guess would be that the truth lies somewhere in between. I
            >think it is a mistake to see a belief as bivalent as it is treated
            >in formal logic and is generally the presumption in scientific
            >discourse. I think that people can "want to" believe something
            >sufficiently much that that itself comes close to actual belief for
            >example that ones favourite sports team will win the cup. I think
            >that people can also "believe" something in a social or professional
            >basis for example that its wrong to eat pork or beef even if in
            >one's heart of heart one doesn't REALLY believe there is a
            >supernatural being out there who will be really cheesed off if you
            >eat a bacon butty. In may ways a thought experiment questioning
            >what odds would u be prepared to stake on the question of your
            >belief being true. Whether one would actually stake one's life on a
            >particular belief being true.

            Once again you are equating astrology with "belief" and with
            superstitions. Once upon a time, there may well have been practical
            reasons to not eat pork, you know - such as getting sick from
            undercooked pork. These beliefs fade as we learn more about what it
            is in the pork which makes us sick, and so we learn we must heat it
            to certain degrees to avoid getting sick.

            Now, some people get stuck - they are so imbedded in their
            traditional religious texts, or in their religious hierarchy, that
            they don't revise their thinking - they believe that the teachings
            are from God, Buddha, whomever. This is what we see in the radical
            religious Right, for example. They parrot passages from the Bible
            without any understanding of the fallibility of the teachings, in
            whatever form.

            So, when you and Anna jumped in to to readings without much of any
            training,, I took classes, not just from one teacher, as Anna seemed
            to think was adequate, but from many. I also, within the following
            months and years, also took more courses in psychology (at Harvard),
            and then Religion, Astronomy, Philosophy, on a graduate level. My
            undergraduate degree was in Philosophy.

            I also attended astrology conferences, and signed up to work on
            astrological research with a group of astrologers who were also
            doctors, mathematicians, and in other professions. I also, as I was
            teaching, worked with the school principal doing the charts of some
            of the students, teachers, and parents. I also, in my next teaching
            position, in Greenfield, Mass., was asked to teach an astrology class
            to students and teachers at the school.

            Seven years after I starting to study astrology, I founded The
            International Society for Astrological Research, Inc..,
            bringing people together from all over the world - those doing
            astrology, or astrological research, from all fields - physics,
            mathematics, biology, medicine, history, the arts, and more. But I
            have written about this all before. Those
            people included some mentioned here already _ Gauquelin, Eysenck,
            Carl Jung's daughter, and hundreds of others.
            0
            Unlike you and Anna, I have never believed in playing with people,
            and so I have worked to do what I could to explore astrology from as
            sound a base as possible.

            >I don't know whether you feel brave and honest enough to share with
            >us the real degree of belief you have in the efficacy of astrology??

            Depends on just how brave I have to be? I don't know if you read what
            Andre wrote - that I would face down a skinny bull:))

            Are you a skinny bull?

            However, only if the ad homina attacks, the false accusations, and
            the stalking stop. Anna is sending out one piece of rubbish after
            another - none of it true - from accusing me of driving Andre to his
            death, to sending her personal e-mails, to rewriting e-mails - anyone
            ever known me to ever do that, even ONCE - in 12 or more years on
            here? - to ripping people
            off financially - to having only 8 people on my Lists, not to mention
            stalking me on Google and Harvard, andgoodness knows where else,
            which has apparently been going on for years as she followed me from
            list to list. And then there have been the gratuitous charges of
            misandry and bitchiness and deceiving myself and others.

            It doesn't seem to me you really want to know about astrology - but
            instead you seem to want to discuss me. What on earth is a "degree of
            belief"? 98.6 degrees? If you can discuss the topic sensibly, and
            refrain from proving your own points by shredding my character and
            turning this into a gossip column - then fine.

            What good is demonizing me going to do? Will that prove to anyone
            that astrology is useless?

            I will say again, as I have been saying for decades, I do not
            "believe" in astrology,

            Can I tell you definitively how it works - the celestial mechanics,
            the "forces" , or "energies" or whatever may be behind it? No - that
            information is still in the realm of theory, as is so much other
            information behind many other scientific speculation in other fields.
            We're all still hunting for the T.O.E. - The Theory of Everything.


            Julienne






            Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which
            differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people
            are even incapable of forming such opinions. - Albert Einstein
          • Wade
            Julienne: Can I tell you definitively how it (astrology) works - the celestial mechanics, the forces , or energies or whatever may be behind it? No - that
            Message 5 of 14 , Dec 14, 2012
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              Julienne:

              "Can I tell you definitively how it (astrology) works - the celestial mechanics, the "forces" , or "energies" or whatever may be behind it? No - that information is still in the realm of theory, as is so much other information behind many other scientific speculation in other fields."


              Wade:

              That sounds perfectly reasonable I'm sure.  But it's not the whole truth LOL.  

              Neither Julienne nor a single one of her astrological buddies - (and I'm sure that with all those years in the business she knows pretty much anyone who's anyone in the field) can tell us definitively how astrology works but nor can they give us even a vaguely plausible proto theory of how it might or possible could work.  Any explanation that might have been given over the centuries has been made to look ridiculous as our scientific understanding of the universe has advanced.  A more honest and fair minded assessment would be:  Neither I nor anyone else in the business has an even vague idea how astrology might or possibly could work but we still believe it does. 

              And if this is not the case:  we would I'm sure all be intrigued to hear what these proto explanations are.

              OK so there is no explanation as to why astrology works.  Maybe an astrologer could say the position was not so dissimilar from that of quantum mechanics. Physicists are certainly more advanced in coming up with proto theories of what is going on, but there is at least no widely accepted complete explanation  Instead what we do have is an ability to do experiments and see if the predictions of the mathematical theory are demonstrated   Of course with QM they are to an astonishing degree of accuracy and we have built major global industries relying on QM effects.  Compare this to the situation with astrology not a single proper scientific study has managed to verify the predictions that astrologers have made.  ALL WE HAVE IS THE ANECDOTAL CLAIMS OF ASTROLOGERS AND THEIR CLIENTS THAT IN SOME CASES THEIR PREDICTIONS ARE FULFILLED.  Well do astrologers at least make the same predictions?  No.  As Julienne has herself informed us, even two eminent astrologers who apparently admire each other's work such as Julienne and Gonzo disagree fundamentally on some of the critical aspects of their predictions.  Gonzo takes a rather fatalistic, probably more logically coherent approach that if that's what the stars say, that's what's gonna  happen. Julienne takes a more human/optimistic approach:  This was what was going to happen, but now i have tipped you off, you can take action to dodge the bullet.  Note the parallel with religion.  All religious people  think their particular is the right one.  (With the  possible exception of the Church of England who are so crippled by political correctness that they tend towards the "it doesn't matter what brand of nonsense you believe, as long as you believe in something that's OK).

              So what do we make of these anecdotal claims?  Firstly (I believe) there have been numerous studies which show that people tend to remember correct predictions and forget the misses and moreover they tend to skate over the generality of  predictions. We find that many people such as Anna and myself with minimal training get very positive "client" feedback even though we admit that we are making the whole thing up and just reading people's feedback/body language and phrasing predictions carefully

              So we have a situation where.

              1 Astrology has NO THEORETICAL explanantion whatsoever - and if J disagrees let's hear it.

              2 There are no properly conducted scientific studies that have uncovered any evidence that the predictions of astrologers are anything better than chance, good psychological/political analysis  etc  and if J disagrees let's have the references

              3 There is a perfectly understandable non magical naturalistic explanation as to why people might think that predictions are coming true of apply to them.  etc.


              Now Julienne has made much of the fact that she  has spent many years studying astrology and related subjects, has founded institutes , met the key players  etc etc. in short is an astrological bigwig. People like myself and Anna on the other hands have quite openly admitted that our knowledge of astrology is basic (or in my case almost non existent) in comparison.  Surely Julienne is therefore far better qualified to assess whether astrology works or not?  This is an apparently seductive argument but the answer is definitely NO.

              I'm sure that Julienne will admit that any self respecting Grand Ayatollah such as Sistani in Iraq, almost  certainly knows more about the intricacies, history and practice of Islam that either she or anyone  else on this list does.  Does that mean that he is better placed to assess whether Islam is "hogwash" or not?  No.  Infact he would be one of the last people on earth that I would trust with that judgement.  Why ?  Because his entire social status and life's work depends on Islam being correct.  It would take a man of incredible integrity and moral strength to say.  Well you know I've been thinking it over, and my whole  life's work has been a complete  sham.  This is precisely why any one on the list would be extraordinarily foolish to take Julienne's word seriously on the question of astrology unless she can at least address points  1 and 2  above.

              A final related point.  Julienne has criticised myself and others for dismissing astrology on the basis of my minimal understanding of what "leading" astrologers actually do.  Well this is how the world works.

              Let's take "Scientology" as an example.  My knowledge of Scientology doesn't actually extend to much more than a few sentences.  That it was invented in the 50s by a Sci Fi Writer called L Ron Hubbard, that it involves a belief that people are reincarnations of beings from other planets, that is has an office in central London where people try to con you into taking psychological tests  which then lead to expensive self help courses.  OK ENOUGH. Into the Loony Cults folder (along with Astrology) as far as I'm concerned.  Now according to Julienne's logic this is not sensible:  before making such a judgement we should take all the courses , ask the people who are High Priests of Scientology  or whatever they call them. To me  this would be a fundamentally foolish move.  We know some belief systems are a little like a drug. Asking a high Priest of Scientology whether it works is a bit like asking a cocaine addict in need of a fix whether  coke is a good  thing.  Signing up for the classes is a dangerous idea.  We all think that we are intelligent and free thinking enough to resist silly ideas but the fact is that a proportion of the people who signed up for the type of courses that Julienne took did have their minds captured as sadly seems to have been the  case with her.

              Wade














              On 15 December 2012 07:39, Julienne <julienne@...> wrote:
              At 08:42 AM 12/13/2012, Wade wrote:


              When I dabbled in such things I made clear that I didn't believe a word of it and was just telling them what their forecast was according to the rules i had picked up in the couple of books I had learned.

              I'm not sure what you mean by this? Fortune telling books, or what? Both you and Anna mentioned these "tricks" - but
              I never ran into anything like that. I actually first ran into astrology while I was studying at Harvard. One of the courses I was taking was "Methodology in the Social Sciences".


              From her posts my understanding is that Anna at first believed it, then gradually realised that the apparent accuracy of her work was really a function of body reading and the art of making generalised predictions and honing in on the feedback from clients.  This is clearly how most astrologers and fortune tellers operate.

              I don't see anything "clear" about that at all. Because that is the approach you and Anna took, doesn't mean any real astrologer does. The bane of astrology is the faker, the hoaxter - the ones who have no idea what they are doing, who may ask someone's birthday (June 24) - and then give some kind of Barnum reading. How many billions of people may be born om June 24 - and no two the same?  Fakers focus on the kind of "forecasts" of which you speak - but that's not what I do.

              What information did you get from people to do your pseudo readings?


              As I have previously posted, I am unsure whether or to what extent this applies to you compared with the possibility that you are deceiving yourself as well as your  clients and that you really and truly believe this nonsense.

              My best guess would be that the truth lies somewhere in between.  I think it is a mistake to see a belief as bivalent as it is treated in formal logic and is generally the presumption in scientific discourse.  I think that people can "want to" believe something sufficiently much that that itself comes close to actual belief for example that ones favourite sports team will win the cup.  I think that people can also "believe" something in a social or professional basis for example that its wrong to eat pork or beef even if  in one's heart of heart one  doesn't REALLY believe there is a supernatural being out there who will be really cheesed off if  you eat a bacon butty.  In may ways a thought experiment questioning what odds would u be prepared to stake on the question of your belief being true. Whether one would actually stake one's life on a particular belief being true.

              Once again you are equating astrology with "belief" and with superstitions. Once upon a time, there may well have been practical reasons to not eat pork, you know - such as getting sick from undercooked pork. These beliefs fade as we learn more about what it is in the pork which makes us sick, and so we learn we must heat it to certain degrees to avoid getting sick.

              Now, some people get stuck - they are so imbedded in their traditional religious texts, or in their religious hierarchy, that they don't revise their thinking - they believe that the teachings are from God, Buddha, whomever. This is what we see in the radical religious Right, for example. They parrot passages from the Bible without any understanding of the fallibility of the teachings, in whatever form.

              So, when you and Anna jumped in to to readings without much of any training,, I took classes, not just from one teacher, as Anna seemed to think was adequate, but from many. I also, within the following months and years, also took more courses in psychology (at Harvard), and then Religion, Astronomy, Philosophy, on a graduate level. My undergraduate degree was in Philosophy.

              I also attended astrology conferences, and signed up to work on astrological research with a group of astrologers who were also doctors, mathematicians, and in other professions. I also, as I was teaching, worked with the school principal doing the charts of some of the students, teachers, and parents. I also, in my next teaching position, in Greenfield, Mass., was asked to teach an astrology class to students and teachers at the school.

              Seven years after I starting to study astrology, I founded The International Society for Astrological Research, Inc..,
              bringing people together from all over the world - those doing astrology, or astrological research, from all fields - physics, mathematics, biology, medicine, history, the arts, and more. But I have written about this all before.  Those
              people included some mentioned here already _ Gauquelin, Eysenck, Carl Jung's daughter, and hundreds of others.
              0
              Unlike you and Anna, I have never believed in playing with people, and so I have worked to do what I could to explore astrology from as sound a base as possible.


              I don't know whether you feel brave and honest enough to share with us  the  real degree  of belief you have in the efficacy of astrology??

              Depends on just how brave I have to be? I don't know if you read what Andre wrote - that I would face down a skinny bull:))

              Are you a skinny bull?

              However, only if the ad homina attacks, the false accusations, and the stalking stop. Anna is sending out one piece of rubbish after another - none of it true - from accusing me of driving Andre to his death, to sending her personal e-mails, to rewriting e-mails - anyone ever known me to ever do that, even ONCE - in 12 or more years on here? - to ripping people
              off financially - to having only 8 people on my Lists, not to mention stalking me on Google and Harvard, andgoodness knows where else, which has apparently been going on for years as she followed me from list to list. And then there have been the gratuitous charges of misandry and bitchiness and deceiving myself and others.

              It doesn't seem to me you really want to know about astrology - but instead you seem to want to discuss me. What on earth is a "degree of belief"? 98.6 degrees?  If you can discuss the topic sensibly, and refrain from proving your own points by shredding my character and turning this into a gossip column - then fine.

              What good is demonizing me going to do? Will that prove to anyone that astrology is useless?

              I will say again, as I have been saying for decades, I do not "believe" in astrology,

              Can I tell you definitively how it works - the celestial mechanics, the "forces" , or "energies" or whatever may be behind it? No - that information is still in the realm of theory, as is so much other information behind many other scientific speculation in other fields. We're all still hunting for the T.O.E. - The Theory of Everything.


              Julienne






              Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions. - Albert Einstein


            • Julienne
              ... Actually, if I have criticized you for anything, it is for misrepresenting astrology, being on a crusade to convince everyone that I m faking because you
              Message 6 of 14 , Dec 15, 2012
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                At 02:55 AM 12/15/2012, Wade wrote:
                Julienne:

                A final related point.  Julienne has criticised myself and others for dismissing astrology on the basis of my minimal understanding of what "leading" astrologers actually do.  Well this is how the world works.

                Actually, if I have criticized you for anything, it is for misrepresenting astrology, being on a crusade to convince everyone that I'm faking because you faked it. I feel like I'm dealing with someone who's going to tell me we've never really been to the Moon.

                Let's take "Scientology" as an example.  My knowledge of Scientology doesn't actually extend to much more than a few sentences.  That it was invented in the 50s by a Sci Fi Writer called L Ron Hubbard, that it involves a belief that people are reincarnations of beings from other planets, that is has an office in central London where people try to con you into taking psychological tests  which then lead to expensive self help courses.  OK ENOUGH. Into the Loony Cults folder (along with Astrology) as far as I'm concerned. 

                Your need to bundle astrology with "cults" is blocking you from looking at it. Mockery is a common ploy for avoiding what makes us feel uncomfortable or threatened.

                Now according to Julienne's logic this is not sensible:  before making such a judgement we should take all the courses , ask the people who are High Priests of Scientology  or whatever they call them. To me  this would be a fundamentally foolish move.  We know some belief systems are a little like a drug. Asking a high Priest of Scientology whether it works is a bit like asking a cocaine addict in need of a fix whether  coke is a good  thing.  Signing up for the classes is a dangerous idea.  We all think that we are intelligent and free thinking enough to resist silly ideas but the fact is that a proportion of the people who signed up for the type of courses that Julienne took did have their minds captured as sadly seems to have been the  case with her.

                Hmmm...that's pretty much my character, isn't it Wade?. :) I never challenge anyone on here, for example, do I? Just a quiet little mouse sucking it all up and swallowing it whole.

                Well, if you think you are so incapable of critical thinking, then that's on your shoulders, Wade. But if that's how you really see the world, you might as well go and hide under a rock - you are always going to have to hide and close the doors to your mind and psyche for fear the boogey man is going to sneak in there and muddle up your neurons. :)))

                I always thought Scientology was nonsense, from what I had seen of it. However, I met a scientologist at a party who
                thought astrology was nonsense. We agree that I would go to a scientology meeting with him to see what actually went on there. So, I went. The first hour or so was supremely boring - some kind of rah rah rally - don't remember any details.
                It was just like a glob of human sardines looking up at a very, very high stage - I suppose where the gods of scientology dwell and gaze down at the paltry little wriggling amoebas below.

                Then came the "group" get together - where one man lectured to a group of about 20 of us. Most of it was about Hubbard's "thinking' - his philosophy, his "important thoughts". The problem was, they weren't his ideas at all - we were clobbered with the thoughts of Plato, Nietzsche, and many others.I put up my hand to speak, and then explained that these weren't Hubbard's thoughts at all. The "teacher" became pretty flustered, and then angry. He told me to leave the room. So I did.

                Next thing I knew, I was being chased down by the "people in charge". I was taken into an office, and their first approach was to tell me I had been "disrespectful". I explained why I objected, that the material being attributed to Hubbard was misattributed - that he was stealing from our great minds of history. They tried to tell me I had misunderstood, and that they thought I should return to the room and apologize to the teacher. Well, like that was going to happen  -  not. :))

                I explained to them my background in philosophy, etc., and finally they backed down a bit. They desperately wanted me to go back into the room, I told them that I was unable to support what they were doing at all. In the meantime, my gorgeous but unfortunately dumb and brainwashed date, was out of his depth. He was called in from his "advanced" session, to try to tame his wild date. :)) But, for his sake, I went back into the room, sans apology. But I had to correct the teacher again, and he used that moment to abbreviate the session and call it to an early end.

                I was so pleased to get out of there. My chief feeling was that it was profoundly boring, especially the rah rah infantilizing rally, but also so frustrating to realize how many people were too ignorant/uneducted to know the source of the ideas being presented, and so needing a guru to validate their lives.

                But, now, Wade, why couldn't you do that?  I looked the dragon in the mouth and saw it was a flopping little guppy out of water. 

                Two things (at least) make people gullible - one is lack of information/lack of education. The second is a lack of critical thinking skills.

                It can be hard to practise these - even if we're educated all too often we're fed so much nonsense, from political manipulation to scientific  discoveries or theories which may be beyond our basic information. If we're highly
                educated, it can still be difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff, especially in fields in which we're not expert.. Global warming? Little Ice Age? We can't know everything. So, we explore those things which interest us, or which come into our conscious world. Some of those turn into dead ends - no interest, no natural aptitude. But we can always do our best to  maintain some sense of objective openness.


                Julienne










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                Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.
                            -- Albert Einstein

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