Jump to content






Photo

Tom Cruise vs Nathaniel Branden


  • Please log in to reply
34 replies to this topic

#1 gary williams

gary williams

    $$$

  • Members
  • 234 posts

Posted 14 December 2005 - 09:47 PM

Mr. Branden,

What is your opinion of Mr. Cruise, his recent antics towards psychology and what is your opinion of Scientology?


gw

#2 Michael Stuart Kelly

Michael Stuart Kelly

    $$$$$$

  • Root Admin
  • 19,562 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 20 December 2005 - 04:43 PM

Gary,

Just so that you will not get the impression that you are being snubbed, I have decided to include this little note here.

Nathaniel Branden is travelling and will only return after January. I have no idea if he does much internet activity on his travels.

I do not know him personally. How his membership here came about was that Barbara drew his attention to my last post on the Psychology forum of SoloHQ before it closed. Nathaniel sent me a very touching and gracious e-mail thanking me. This was my very first contact with him and I was a bit wowed.

I wrote him back and invited him to look at this forum, since I had set up the Branden Corner and would not tolerate the Branden bashing that goes on elsewhere. I explained that he was absolutely free to do as he wished, that I would not pester him to post, and that posting or not would not affect the pro-Branden work I intend to do with the Branden Corner. Essentially, what NB finds good for NB is good for me.

I do not want to guess whether or not he will answer your question. I am sufficiently honored to have him on board. Knowing that he is here is a pretty good assumption that he reads this site - and that is a really good thing. If he does not answer your question, I have no doubt that it will NOT be from an intention to snub you, but from reasons of his own.

The Scientology war against psychology is interesting in its own right, so I will go into that in another post - or better: why don't you give us some of your own impressions first? Maybe open a new thread?

Michael

#3 Michael Stuart Kelly

Michael Stuart Kelly

    $$$$$$

  • Root Admin
  • 19,562 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 27 January 2006 - 05:45 PM

Gary,

Nathaniel finally answered this post, however he is still having a bit of a problem understanding this freeware package. So he asked me to put his answer in the proper place. (He even hoped his request would not be misconstrued as exploitation of child labor. Dayaamm! :D )

The answer to you from Nathaniel Branden is given below.

Michael


(Edit - I deleted his post here in mine. We finally worked out some bugs and his answer is in his own post below.)

#4 Barbara Branden

Barbara Branden

    $$$$$$

  • VIP
  • 1,581 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Los Angeles, CA

Posted 28 January 2006 - 02:21 AM

I, too, recall some of the things about Scientology that Nathaniel mentioned. When I was at UCLA, Hubbard's book, "Dianetics," had just come out and was all the rage. I read it, and was horrified by its nonsense. But then, Fabian Socialism and logical positivism were also all the rage at UCLA.

During the days of NBI, I regularly received phone calls from Scientologists insisting that their ideas and Objectivism had a great deal in common, though I was never able to discover what the common characteristics might be. And invariably, when I expressed my skepticism, the callers became hostile -- although they did invite me to come to their headquarters to get "cleared." Sadly, I'm not cleared. (And I'm still waiting to get "It" at EST, although I attended a two-weekend seminar. )

Barbara



#5 NatBranden

NatBranden
  • VIP
  • 1 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:psychology, philosophy, literature

Posted 30 January 2006 - 11:15 PM

Dear Gary,

I do not know Tom Cruise and have read very little about him. But I have formed the impression that he makes irresponsible and misguided assertions about psychology and psychiatry.

As to Scientology, I have not read anything on that subject in nearly 40 years, but everything I read left a very bad impression on me. When Nathaniel Branden Institute was operating, we had a "Book Club" department where we recommended and offered for sale books we thought would be of value to Objectivists. One such book included a chapter highly critical of Scientology. I received a threatening letter from someone allegedly in the Scientology hierarchy, saying that if I did not withdraw support for this book, seriously unpleasant things would befall me. I think I was intended to interpret this as life-threatening. I did not withdraw support for the book and that was the end of that.

Years later a friend of mine rose quite high in the Scientology world, tried to convert me, later broke free of it when he decided it was a dangerous racket, and left me with the conclusion that Scientology was bad news.

Over the years, I heard more negative reports. One person conveyed he was placing his life in danger by telling me some of the things he reported.

I hope this this is of some value to you.

Cordially,

Nathaniel Branden
www.nathanielbranden.net

#6 Rich Engle

Rich Engle

    $$$$$$

  • Members
  • 2,863 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Fort Myers, Florida, USA
  • Interests:Philosophy, Religion, Psychology, Chess, Music, Spirituality.

Posted 31 January 2006 - 11:12 AM

Whoa! Big Dog in the house!

Welcome, Nathaniel.

So, Scientology seems to me like one of those dog and pony show things, where it is being "sold". Baffle the natives with B.S. And now, it is the luxurious and costly discipline of the stars.

Now, it kind of freaked me on one level, because at the time ('70's) I was reading almost nothing other than science fiction (or, as Harlan Ellison renamed it, "speculative fiction"). I'd read collections where you'd have, say, Asimov, Koontz, others, and maybe Hubbard. He was a good writer.

I had no idea what he was about when "Dianetics" came out; I never associated anything with L. Ron other than sci-fi. I read that book, and it seemed pushy, but shallow. Certainly not as good as his short stories.

I always have some suspicion whenever there is a heavy financial barrier-to-entry for systems. I don't mind paying dues, but there is a limit.

Nathaniel, if you ever want to research cult phenomena, the best place is a very good man named Rick Ross. www.rickross.com

I suppose that almost anything in the range of human improvement bears the risk of being labelled "cult," but in the end hucksterism will define one thing from another.

I would also say that Scientology borrowed (rather than overtly stole) from a number of other places, just like EST/Landmark did. I remember asking you about that, if you had any encounters with Werner E.

Things like this are patchwork systems, replete with smoke and mirrors.

Best,
rde

Visit My Blog!

beyondevenbatcountry.blogspot.com


"There is no way that writers can be tamed and rendered civilized or even cured. the only solution known to science is to provide the patient with an isolation room, where he can endure the acute stages in private and where food can be poked in to him with a stick." -- Robert A. Heinlein


#7 Glenn Fletcher

Glenn Fletcher
  • Members
  • 12 posts

Posted 31 January 2006 - 11:25 AM

Rich directed us (actually Dr. Branden) to the site www.rickross.com, saying that

I suppose that almost anything in the range of human improvement bears the risk of being labelled "cult," but in the end hucksterism will define one thing from another.

So, I went there. He has a search option, so I typed in "objectivism". I got one hit; an article by Ray Jenkins entitled "Ayn Rand after a century: Who was she - and why?"

The opening line is:

The author of 'The Fountainhead' and 'Atlas Shrugged' simply won't go away - but she should.

He goes on to say:

This outcome pretty well settles the enduring question of whether Ayn Rand was an important writer, or whether she was simply the goddess of a great American cult whose erstwhile members include such powerful men as Alan Greenspan. Whatever her status as a writer, as a charismatic spell-caster, Rand ranks up there with Rasputin and Aimee Semple McPherson.


If this is the opinion of Rand that Ross thinks belongs on his website, why should I think that what he says about other "cults" is of any value?

Thanks,
Glenn

#8 Rich Engle

Rich Engle

    $$$$$$

  • Members
  • 2,863 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Fort Myers, Florida, USA
  • Interests:Philosophy, Religion, Psychology, Chess, Music, Spirituality.

Posted 31 January 2006 - 04:06 PM

Actually, Rick's site is more of a clearing house. For the longest time, there wasn't anything at all about Ayn Rand there.

But it is a good resource. He is also an expert witness, and cult deprogrammer.

Look up one of the mainstream cults, and you'll see it's very strong.

I don't think many people outside of the movement even know enough to say what about O'ism, really...

best,
r

Visit My Blog!

beyondevenbatcountry.blogspot.com


"There is no way that writers can be tamed and rendered civilized or even cured. the only solution known to science is to provide the patient with an isolation room, where he can endure the acute stages in private and where food can be poked in to him with a stick." -- Robert A. Heinlein


#9 Michael Stuart Kelly

Michael Stuart Kelly

    $$$$$$

  • Root Admin
  • 19,562 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 31 January 2006 - 05:10 PM

It's been a long time, but I read quite a bit about Scientology years ago. The most hostile but informative site on Scientology I found is called "Operation Clambake" at the following address:

http://www.xenu.net

It is still up and is run by a guy from Norway named Andreas Heldal-Lund.

There is a Wikipedia article about this site: http://en.wikipedia....ration_Clambake

Here is a very funny quote from the article:

The term "clambake" comes from a meal made by heating clams over hot stones or open furnaces. The term "clam" as an insulting slang word for Scientologists is derived from a passage in L. Ron Hubbard's A History of Man. In this passage, Hubbard asserts humans evolved from clams, and certain human psychological problems descend from difficulties these clams experienced. Some Scientologists criticize the use of this word, seeing it as hate speech.


Michael

#10 gary williams

gary williams

    $$$

  • Members
  • 234 posts

Posted 27 February 2006 - 10:28 PM

To all,

Pardon the delay in response. I have been under the weather (really, really, under the weather) and have not been keeping up with my Objectivist friends like I should. My utmost apologies!

Mr. Nathanial Branden,

Thank you for your response. (Big thrill, Nathanial Branden responded to one of my posts!!!) (Breath, Gary, Breath!!!!)

Sir, your response is what I expect from a leader in Objectivism. Basically, your response is......"I really don't care what Tom Cruise or Scientology think. I don't think about them. Their's is not thinking." If I may interpret your words correctly. (Oh, please correct me if I am wrong. More input by you is always welcome, (and needed) on internet forums.)

Ms. Barbara Branden,

The pleasure of your response is always a sweet delight. Intellect and beauty are always a killer combination.

Am I gushing?

Oh, well! You have experience with these people and I hope you will give us more detail into your experiences with them. My main concern is the cult of personality that comes with Mr. Cruise. His fame will recruit more people into the insanity and the un-reason of Scientology. I would like to see more influential people lead the "needy" toward Objectivism.

Can you help?


MSK,

Have I told you lately how much I love you? Oh, and that hottie chick of yours, Katdaddy?



gw

#11 Michael Stuart Kelly

Michael Stuart Kelly

    $$$$$$

  • Root Admin
  • 19,562 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 02 March 2006 - 10:12 PM

Gary,

That was quite a gush. Thank you!

That's a nice relaxed time thing you got going. I imagine the Brandens should be answering you back in about a year or so...

:D

So tell the truth. Under the weather... what does that mean? (Really, really, under the weather...) Was about hurricanes or were you tom-catting after the born again of the female persuasion?

:D

Welcome back, friend.

Michael

#12 gary williams

gary williams

    $$$

  • Members
  • 234 posts

Posted 02 March 2006 - 11:10 PM

Amigo,

I did say I loved you.

Of course I meant that in a man-ly "man-ly" way!



That's a nice relaxed time thing you got going. I imagine the Brandens should be answering you back in about a year or so...  



Of course you know the Brandens are at my beck and call! (Did I say that out loud?)



Man, I actually conversed with someone named Branden. Bliss, Bliss, Bliss!!!

Of course, Barbara is much hotter that Nat! (But that is just my opinion!)


Under the weather?

Scared the piss outta me, bubba!

All I can say is "if you have a sore throat?" "Do not ignore it!"


By the way, you need to be on TV. Let's figure a way to get it done.

It is time to take Objectivism "Uptown!"


"MSK" - The voice of Objectivism? Hmmm...I like the sound of that!


gw

#13 Mary Lee Harsha

Mary Lee Harsha

    $$$

  • Members
  • 154 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:From Houston to East Bay area to Iowa
  • Interests:See About me page

Posted 28 August 2009 - 08:58 PM

That bunch of posts was sort of interesting, so since I don't a have life tonight, I will tell you a story. My husband, Jay Loveless, who died in 1993 in Pleasanton, Ca. knew Ron Hubbard back in his "sowing wild oats" days in New York City. Jay was a minor player in the Actor's Studio bunch and described Ron Hubbard as a hanger on who was always trying to get the attention of men and women who had no respect for him and spurned him at every turn. He was thought to be a very poor writer. Later, Jay was genuinely surprised and dismayed to see Dianetics take off the way it did. His final word on L. Ron Hubbard was "pathological liar."

Dr. Branden was way more diplomatic in his response, but ... no excuse and too late to think one up. I will just let that stand.

Mary Lee
The basic definition of the problem:
Capitalism + Egoism versus Collectivism + Altruism

#14 Brant Gaede

Brant Gaede

    $$$$$$

  • Members
  • 14,340 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tucson, AZ
  • Interests:All kinds of stuff

Posted 28 August 2009 - 09:14 PM

"Dianetics"? Oh. All these years I thought it was "Diuretics" as it was referenced in an Emilio Estevez movie. ("Repo Man.")

--Brant

Edited by Brant Gaede, 28 August 2009 - 09:17 PM.

Rational Individualist, Rational self-interest, Individual Rights--Libertarian--objectivist Objectivist, not an Objectivist Objectivist


#15 Selene

Selene

    $$$$$$

  • Members
  • 14,835 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:New Jersey
  • Interests:Chess, birding, football, baseball, minimalist backpacking, argumentation and debate, politics and philosophy, strategic board gaming, history, Rand, poetry, writing.

Posted 28 August 2009 - 10:52 PM

It's been a long time, but I read quite a bit about Scientology years ago. The most hostile but informative site on Scientology I found is called "Operation Clambake" at the following address:

http://www.xenu.net

It is still up and is run by a guy from Norway named Andreas Heldal-Lund.

There is a Wikipedia article about this site: http://en.wikipedia....ration_Clambake

Here is a very funny quote from the article:

The term "clambake" comes from a meal made by heating clams over hot stones or open furnaces. The term "clam" as an insulting slang word for Scientologists is derived from a passage in L. Ron Hubbard's A History of Man. In this passage, Hubbard asserts humans evolved from clams, and certain human psychological problems descend from difficulties these clams experienced. Some Scientologists criticize the use of this word, seeing it as hate speech.


Michael


Excellent CLAM UP cannot be heard over the dunes at night. Geez, EST, my my Barbara those two week "seminars", how well I remember.

Adam

Post Script: Michael the new voice of the voiceless objectivists. Get the big "O" now!

Edited by Selene, 28 August 2009 - 10:56 PM.

"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice..and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

#16 Chris Grieb

Chris Grieb

    Mr.

  • Members
  • 4,327 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Washington DC
  • Interests:History of Objectivism, American & World history, movies

Posted 29 August 2009 - 09:02 AM

This is one of the treads I missed. It was fun to look at it.

Barbara; You are clear enough for me.



#17 Christopher

Christopher

    $$$$$$

  • Members
  • 962 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sausalito, Ca
  • Interests:Studying Healthy Values. I love family, wine, and opera. I am also seeking deeper inner experiences through spiritual practice

Posted 29 August 2009 - 02:10 PM

One of my favorite authors is Roger Zelazny.
Zelazny and L. Ron Hubbard were good friends (both were successful sci-fi writers), and as the story goes: Zelazny and Hubbard had a discussion about creating a science-based religion. Hubbard wrote his book in response to the discussion, then began creating a movement out of it. Zelazny found the whole thing appalling considering it was based on a simple discussion, perhaps even a small bet.
Their friendship ended because of it. But hey, who needs close friends when you can have closer sycophants.

#18 Chris Grieb

Chris Grieb

    Mr.

  • Members
  • 4,327 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Washington DC
  • Interests:History of Objectivism, American & World history, movies

Posted 29 August 2009 - 06:05 PM

I have been told that in on L Ron Hubbard novel one of characters says something like if if you really want to get rich start a religion. Hubbard decided to live his novels in his life.



#19 jeffrey smith

jeffrey smith

    $$$$$

  • Members
  • 650 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Florida
  • Interests:history, classic literature, classical music and opera, philosophy and religion

Posted 29 August 2009 - 07:48 PM

The short version, containing the publicly verifiable facts...
http://www.sonic.net...k-parsons-1.php

Seriously, Jack Parsons was in fact a rocket fuel chemist, affiliated with
Cal Tech and the nascent Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). He is honored
for his contributions to the US space program by having a small lunar
crater named after him. He was also a central member of the old Southern
California Agape' Lodge (not to be confused with the modern Agape' Grand
Lodge), with Wilfred Smith as Master. The earliest regular performances
of the Gnostic Mass occurred at Agape' Lodge.

Parsons was interested in bringing together the Wiccan and Thelemic
currents, and in directly confronting the dominant Christian worldview
and institutions. He identified himself at times as Belarion the Antichrist,
and wrote a manifesto under this name which still makes stirring reading.
Parsons is perhaps best known for his "Liber 49", or "Book of Babalon",
a "received" work (similar to Crowley's Class A material) which identifies
itself as a fourth chapter of Liber AL, the Book of the Law. In 49, Parsons
was instructed to perform specific Enochian workings to invoke a physical
manifestation of Babalon; as near as can be made out from his diaries, he
seriously and unaccountably misunderstood these instructions, and performed
the wrong ritual. His fortunes declined from then until his death.

L. Ron Hubbard was a latecoming member of the Agape' Lodge community,
although it appears that he was never formally initiated into OTO.
Accounts vary widely, but it seems that Hubbard did in fact depart under
strained circumstances with Parsons' (ex-)girlfriend and a considerable
sum of cash. Later Hubbard claimed he had been sent into Agape' Lodge
to investigate Parsons on behalf of US Navy Intelligence, who wondered
what a critical cold-war scientist was doing with his spare time.

Parsons died in a mercury fulminate explosion in his home laboratory. Rumors
persist that this was murder rather than an accident, the most common theory
being that the US Government considered Parsons insane and were afraid of the
security risk he posed.


A fuller version detailing alleged Scientology practices is here, if you are interested.
(Although a forewarning: the references to Crowley and Parsons as "black magicians" suggest the article's author took Crowley's self promoting PR a bit too seriously: and his description of "magical masturbation" is merely speculation: only OTO members have any firm knowledge of their rituals.)
http://www.factnet.o...y/lrhoccult.htm
Magna est veritas et praevalebit.

#20 Jerry Biggers

Jerry Biggers

    $$$$$$

  • Members
  • 1,264 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Maryland
  • Interests:Interested in Objectivism and libertarianism since the mid-1960's.; Other philosophy, science, history, Siamese (and other) cats. .

Posted 29 August 2009 - 11:48 PM

Gary,
Perhaps the most enlightening and revealing book about L. Ron Hubbard and his religion of scientolgy is the unauthorized biography of Hubbard, The Bare-Faced Messiah, by Russell Miller. The book was originally published in Great Britain around 1985 and was immediately the subject of threats and lawsuits from the Church of Scientology's lawyers. Although unsuccessful in blocking its publication in Britain, their legal action threats caused its American publisher, Henry Holt, to remove or modify certain passages in the book when it was published in the U.S. in 1987.

Even with these modifications, the book's heavily documented depiction of Hubbard is devastating. It shows that the entire "official" biography from the Church of Scientology appears to be the product of Hubbard's own highly active imagination. The real story of Hubbard's life and how he invented Dianetics (nee Scientology) is much more interesting than anything that Hubbard wrote about himself. It is definately one of the most fascinating biographical depictions of sociopathy that I have ever read. Hubbard was the living personification of the "P.T. Barnum effect" ("A sucker is born every minute!").

Although the book is now out of print, a complete copy can be read or downloaded at:
http://www.clambake....fm/bfmconte.htm


Incidentally, the term "clambake" is a dig used by opponents or past victims of scientology, and is a mock of Hubbard's hilarious acount of why humans cry when upset. It seems that many millions of years ago, the earlist ancestor of man was a clam that had the ability to pump water through its eyes (called a "Boo Hoo," by Hubbard). This was the first creature to climb out of the oceans and crawl on land, whereupon it was viciously attacked by seagulls. An emprinted memory of these traumatic attacks remains in humans and manifests when they are emotionally upset: they cry. Hubbard does not explain how the seagulls got up on dry land before the Boo Hoos.

Like all religions, scientology writings advocate altruism and absolute devotion and defence of church teachings. However, they have been known to fiercely attack those who criticize their religion, particularly former believers and investigative journalists. Hubbard wrote a manual on the "ethics of scientology." In it, he declared all former members of the Church who publically criticize it to be "Suppressives," and to be considered as "Fair Game" for retribution (usually in the form of law suits or other forms of harrassment).

Oh, I forgot about Jack Parsons, another eccentric and onetime close associate of L. Ron. Apparently, he was not a degreed chemist, altough he was knowledgeable enough in that field to convince many around him that he was an academically-trained chemist.

His relationship with L. Ron Hubbard is fully discussed in the above-listed book, The Bare-Faced Messiah. A book review about a new biography about Jack Parsons, with a lot of interesting material, ia at Reason Online at: http://www.reason.co...show/32190.html

Edited by Jerry Biggers, 30 August 2009 - 12:03 AM.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users




Nightingale-Conant