Saturday, February 7, 2009

Imaginary Friends

It's true, I believe. Sometimes children have "imaginary" friends that in fact are real but they stop seeing them after adults put them down for it.

SoMa Scientology Mission: Scientology 8-8008:
"I started crying (in a good way) when he said that our imaginations as a child are real, it's our own universe. And how we sink into agreement with the physical universe due to people invalidating our views and imagination. I remember sitting on the swings when I was five and having a conversation with two people that my older babysitter couldn't see. She invalidated me and got mad because I was giving them more attention then her. I had a really magical life up until that point."

Sanctified Snake Oil and Anti-Cultism

AntiCultControversies : Message: Sanctified Snake Oil and Anti-Cultism:

"There is an article (and also a book by the same title) by Susan Sarnoff entitled Sanctified Snake Oil that is about what can happen when advocates of various causes get carried away and distort things to fit a cause. Sarnoff makes no mention of cults or anti-cultism, but what she wrote seems to fit some of what I see going on in some circles. I posted the article in the Files section of this list serv if anyone is interested in reading the full article. Here is how Sarnoff describes the “Snake Oil Paradigm”:

****begin quote (Sarnoff, Sanctified Snake Oil, p. 397, 1999, Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Human Services)


1. Frame the subject so that it cannot be opposed.

2. Once the issue is defined, stretch the concept as broadly as possible in order to:
a.) Increase the size of the “target” group;
b.) Make the problem appear to be universal;
c.) Make the problem appear to be of crisis proportions.

3. Consider anyone who resists identification with the target group to be “in denial,” in order to:
a.) Define all “sufferers” as in need of “treatment;”
b.) Make treatment seem more effective because many of the treated will not suffer from the problem or will have a mild, easily treatable degree of the problem, and non-improvement can be blamed on denial.

4. Identify “poster children” who “suffer” from the problem but are appealing to the public (e.g., completely innocent and in no way responsible for their circumstances).

5. Use anecdotal evidence (preferably about “poster children”) and single, dramatic cases to publicize the problem.

6. Use biased or “cooked” data — if forced to present any statistical proof of the problem.

7. Confuse goals and processes.

8. Confuse satisfaction with effectiveness.

9. Ignore unintended consequences and never admit that they might emanate from the “solution.”

10. If criticized for any of the above, attack the opponents instead of their positions.



1. Write “human interest” stories on single, extreme cases, suggesting that they are “typical” of the problem.

2. Publish statistics without consulting source data or confirming accuracy.

3. Oversimplify complex issues and policies.

4. Publish the results of research studies without discussing the methodology of the research (e.g., samples, controls).

5. “Bury” corrections and retractions in back pages and small print.

End quote********

Sound familiar, anyone?


Give and Get

Giving is the real joy in life, and the best we could ever give to someone is giving of ourselves. If we can achieve this in our work, in our relationships, in whatever we do, then we'll be truly happy. It's also infinite. There's never an end to the joy of giving. It carries true meaning, and creation is its ultimate outcome.

Getting is nice too, for a while, and we should not prevent us from getting. But it has its limits. After a while, the taste we found in those things we valued is not quite the same, and even the best things on earth are never enough, never satisfying, we'll always want something different. Getting should be a consequence, not a goal.

We often think that if we get rich and can do what we want, we would be happy. That's true, but only for a while. Eventually, it would still depend of what we do with it. Those who have learned to give of themselves in whatever situation they are in, rich or poor, are ultimately more happy than those who always seek to get, rich or poor. Sometimes, the small things in life are what really matters.

There's never an end to the opportunity to give, because we always "have" with us what we need in order to do so: ourselves.