Re: Belief System Management

Michael M. Butler (butler@comp*
Sun, 08 Feb 1998 18:56:35 -0800


I'm glad you noticed that. My view: A heresy.

Harry Palmer (and btw, I love the fact that he didn't change his name)
_was_ at one time fairly deeply involved with Scientology. I suspect Harry
just needed a noun and picked one he knew.

Based on my reading of Scientology and my experience of the Avatar
materials, the Avatar rundowns, and other exercises, are _much_ more
respectful of the individual. One size does not fit all. I could imagine a
hostile investigator equating the two, but that person would have to have a
serious axe to grind...

Harry refers in one of his (two) books to his having had a problem with the
upper (OT) levels of the Scientology stuff, where they expect(ed) you to
relive the big cataclysm (I assume he's talking about Ximu/Xemu, "have you
ever enslaved a planet", and all that)--
--and Harry says he found himself wondering "is all this really necessary"?

Of course, the answer is "no".

The key nifty thing in Avatar is the notion and practice of "discreation",
which is effortless and recovers attention you may not have noticed you
were using. Since I happen to believe that attention is the only thing that
is in fundamentally short supply for me, I took to it; and (after three
separate attempts to get all the way through the material :) ) got to where
I can do it fairly often.

I think Harry & Co. have gotten to where Ron thought he would get people
to, giving Ron maximum benefit of the doubt (I have the semiheretical
thought that when Ron wrote "Dianetics", he was acting in good faith,
responding to genuine shortcomings in the psych-therapeutic methods of the
time, and still had most of his screws fairly tight).

I make no particular guarantees that Star's Edge has no shortcomings. But
I've given serious thought to presenting the Avatar materials in a
non-woo-woo, non-Newage way, to every gearhead, Dilbert and transhuman who
is interested in reclaiming and focusing attention, and "creating what you

My biggest open area (including doubt) regarding the Avatar materials lies
right around the region of "persistent conditions" and "rundowns"--I may
someday come to an answer to the same kind of question Harry found himself
asking: "is all this really necessary"? But dat discreation stuff is da bomb.

Details of my personal experiences available upon request.


At 10:49 AM 2/9/98 +0000, you wrote:
>At 10:52 AM 2/8/98 -0800, Michael Butler wrote:
>>Another bunch of people doing interesting (IMHO) work in the field of
>>belief system management/being your own guru:
>>From their FAQ:
>`Section III (The Avatar Rundowns) explores the foundational beliefs that
>the universe and presents a simple and effective technique for managing
>The technique is used in a series of rundowns to remove conflicts,
>persistent conditions and even pain!'
>This language is eerily akin to Scientology (especially `rundowns'). Are
>they a spin-off or, as it were, heresy, do you know, Michael?
>Damien Broderick
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