UPLIFT & Scientology: Similarities and Differences


I just finished listening to a CD book expose of The Church of Scientology, which has stimulated interest relevant to UPLIFT. Composing this post has become a learning expedition::::

I started this post the day I finished listening to the book. My first task was to include some links to resources. This greatly delayed my intent: to compare some striking similarities between Scientology and my proposed UPLIFT project/expedition. These similarities could be disturbing if not examined in the proper context. However, I found the Scientology online sites very surprising. Their arguments against Wright’s book were as expected. What astounded me were the photos and videos of different Scientology buildings, enterprises, and large gatherings across the planet, in the 21st century and in 2015.  Either their promotion videos are faked, which would be very difficult, or there is a major disconnect between Wright’s description and what Scientology presents to the public.  If Scientology is as “strong” as their video’s claim, why don’t we hear more about it? Does Scientology’s strategy include being as invisible as possible to the public and MSM? What does the full phenomenon of Scientology tell us about “human nature”?

Here are a few links. You can get to more from them.

Going Clear Scientology: Hollywood & the Prison of Belief, book by Lawrence Wright.
Daily News review   Rolling Stone review  

HBO video of Going Clear     5min Sundance Interview: Wright & Gibney
Nominated for an documentary Oscar in 2016.

Scientology’s fantastic growth in the 21st Century10 minute video.

Scientology ONLINE.  Amazing website. Quality  FACTS about Scientology

Scientology in Tucson    E-Meter

Before getting into the similarities and differences between Scientology and UPLIFT, consider a few queries about what we really know about Scientology.

*  Are the photos and video’s of Scientology successes accurate?
*  What do we really know about the membership and organization?
*  Can there be a research study of Scientology as a phenomenon, not influenced by any attempt to support or oppose it?
*  What is our knowledge about the phenomena we label “cults”?
*  What is the story of the public debate about Scientology in the media? Access Anderson Cooper’s CNN expose.
*  To what extent does Scientology influence societal decisions today?

I will return to this inquiry about Scientology and cults elsewhere.

UPLIFT and Scientology

RECRUITMENT.  Both avoid promoting in the MSM. Both use a one-to-one means of attracting new members. Are there any general advertised gatherings promoted by Scientology? There may be some gatherings sponsored by specific projects, not advertised as a Scientology project.

INVISIBILITY. Both, at least in their early and mid stages of growth attempt not to attract attention of the rest of humankind. This is because the paradigm differences of both UPLIFT’s and Scientology’s conceptual schemes cannot be shared briefly by informing. Both require new members to gradually LEARN before they are able to commit. Too much uninformed attention would create unnecessary interference.

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT & IMPROVEMENT. Both movements offer the new member a better life, assisting their personal development and improvement.

SELF-REVELATION. Both movements involve a new member revealing details about their whole being. They are to be open and transparent. Scientology uses an interview/interrogation process called “auditing”, assisted by an E-meter (think lie detector). UPLIFT would use various tools to develop a individual’s “cognitive profile”. Both would collect and process the data about members – but for quite different intentions (later).

SOCIAL PRESSURE. Both would systematically use the natural influence of social pressure (desire to be a member of a group) to bond new members. Whether this is viewed as indoctrination to a cult or free choice to join a viable community depends on other factors.

BIG DATA ON EACH PERSON. Both movements recognize the diversity of persons and that the societal system can be most efficient if individual difference details are known. Again, each movement has quite different intentions.

Scientology collects personal data to eventually use to control the person. The new member initially feels good being able to release information about themselves that they consider “bad”, a typical therapy gain. Later, that info is use to “blackmail” the new member into submission. This is what critics claim; Scientology denies this.

UPLIFT would assists each new member to comprehend and accept their individual difference profile as to cognitive functioning.  They become aware of their basic abilities and disabilities, strengths and weaknesses. No person can be strong in every potential attribute. The data collection is used to personalize the learning program for each learner taking account of their personal uniqueness. Knowledge of individual differences would assist persons attempting to dialog or collaborate.  UPLIFT acknowledges the possible misuse of this information and will take all possible measures to insure it can’t be used negatively.

HELPING HUMANKIND.  Both movements are serious in improving the lives of all humans. What it may mean to “be human” may well differ between UPLIFT and Scientology. In that Scientology’s ideological perspective is rooted in reincarnation and the “billion year contract”, their true interest for Life-on-Earth can be questioned. How “serious” Scientology takes, in practice, the cosmology of Hubbard, is an interesting query.  Scientology may actually engage in projects that are helpful. Their drug addiction programs may be as successful and as appropriate as many others. UPLIFT is based on the belief that the global human population ‘s actualization of its full potentials have been suppressed by “civilization” and to really help: humankind requires their liberation and freedom to emerge.

PUNISHMENTS & REWARDS.  Although rewards are available in Scientology, especially in the earlier stages of involvement, critique of their practice (denied by them) involves incarceration and punishment, sometimes for very minor errors in performance. I speculate that this extreme treatment is applied only at the top level of Scientology management, which has contributed to many top managers leaving the movement.

UPLIFT would focus on rewards. But, also assist persons develop new preferences. Negative reinforcement for training would be approved ONLY if the person FREELY chooses that it is the treatment needed to change a dangerous habit.

KNOWING HOW TO KNOW. This is the definition of “Sci-ento-logy” according to L. Ron Hubbard. [Greek “scio” = knowing and “logos” – study of]  This could also be one of UPLIFT’s foundations. However, if Scientology defines and limits “what it means to know”, it violates the open learning process of UPLIFT.

ORGANIZATIONAL STRATEGY.  Both movement employ intelligence, science, technology, and engineering to design/implement their social strategies. It appears Scientology has been ingenious in using wealthy celebrities to help finance their enterprises. If their 21st Century growth is accurate, they have successfully manipulated nations and corporations to unwillingly support their growth.

The UPLIFT strategy leading to Societal Metamorphosis is quite different, and the details will be determined by the UPLIFT movement, itself; not determined by the any prior text.

COSMOLOGY & MYTH.  Scientology’s mythological cosmology is in the genre of  Hubbard’s SciFi/Fantasy imagination. He was well respected by SciFi leaders of his time. Hubbard’s cosmology is not all that impossible to accept for persons not familiar with contemporary science (which is the vast majority). UPLIFT has its own speculative mythology and cosmology, sketched in NU GENESIS.

Wright’s Going Clear implies that Hubbard chose to make his movement a religion for financial and legal purposes, but it soon developed many of the features of many popular religions. Given the tenor of the times, the UPLIFT movement might consider having a religious societal identity as a front.

Hubbard and Larry/nuet.  Although I have not read any of Hubbard’s writing and don’t like “Space Westerns”, I can appreciate how a vivid imagination can move a person. From listening to the book, Going Clear, I have difficulty comprehending how Hubbard could direct his movement when he was often hiding out for years on a ship moving from port to port.

At this point in time, the conceptual scheme for UPLIFT seems to be emerging only in Larry’s mind/brain, as part of nuet.  UPLIFT, as a movement (upmov), may initially treat Larry/nuet/LJV (including my writings) as an archeological dig, I don’t expect my writing to be made a sacred text as Scientology has done with the writings of Hubbard. Yet, one process to launch upmov would be for teams (using OLLO) to research the texts of Larry/nuet AND the texts upon which his insights were based.

RETREATS. Both movements recognize the need for retreats (time away from other distractions) for deep change to occur in persons. Schools use this in a weak manner with classes and live-in campuses.  Scientology went so far as to create the Sea Org, a small fleet of major ships that moved from port to port, for years. Scientology’s use of incarceration and forced labor would not be a part of UPLIFT.

Those deeply involved in UPLIFT would eventually be living and working within upmov communities. It may be necessary, to adequately introduce others to UPLIFT, that they devote extended periods of time at upmov retreats, where they live experimentally in ways to simulate and explore viable lifestyles – that also are “educational” as OLLO.

ORGS. Both movements account for our evolutionary heritage having evolved in tribes by attending to organizations or orgs. The nature and diversity of orgs in UPLIFT will be experimental and based on new learning. Scientology claims to gain it foundations from Hubbard’s “gospel” (“channeled” from aliens in Galactic Federation).

There are probably other similarities and differences. The differences are important, because – if as reported – Scientology employs repressive techniques and actually constrains & limits personal development – it should not be identified with UPLIFT (even if they share some similarities).


I am in no way supporting Scientology, but it may have evolved significantly from the decades covered in Wright’s book.  Just as the USA has to live with its treatment of Native Americans and slaves, so Scientology may today not be doing what it did in the past. Even if this were so, and their current leader no longer beats people, a viable society – from my analysis – can’t have a person as leader. Nor should they be dependent on a fixed text from the past.

An interesting exercise would be to explore comparison’s with other movements that were successful in organizing persons, beyond the negative cults.  I think of The Federation of Damanur, whose underground temples have been called the 8th Wonder of the World.  Others would be Findhorn and Auroville. The Zeitgeist Movement needs exploring.  There are many intentional communities in the world, but only a few of them have attempted to spread, and even fewer have been successful. Most movements plateau. Probably the most successful has been Christianity.

Author: nuet

01/24/1935. BS-physics RPI 1956; MS-physics UofChicago 1958; PhD-physics Yale 1965; PhD-Edu Psy Uof MInnesota 1970. Auroral Research Byrd Station, Antarctica 11/1960-02/1962. MINNEMAST curriculum dev 1964-68. Woodstock. faculty Pima Community College, Tucson 1974-1997. Transdisciplinary scientist, philosopher, educator, futurist, activist. PC user since 1982. "Wife". daughter, 2 grandsons. 5 dogs & 7 cats. Lacks mental imagery in all sensory domains.